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  1. #1
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    Default Losing steering assist

    Went for a 200 + mile ride today and several times on curves I had to use extreme force to turn the bars , needless to say it took the fun out . It didn't happen on every curve and oddly seems to happen more often on right handed curves . The bike does not show any codes . The steering is hard exiting the curve but once I'm going straight the handling is normal. Like I mentioned , it does not happen on every curve however it does seem to happen more often on tight curves. I have 38k miles and a lot of those miles are riding twistys in N. Carolina , Tenn. & Virginia. After I got home I rode it around the neighborhood and could get it to act up on some of the curves and when going back and doing the curve again it didn't do it . Needless to say it's very unnerving. The DPS was changed under warranty some time ago but it only threw a code and the steering wasn't affected . Has anyone else experienced this problem with losing intermittent steering and not showing a code ? Need to get it to my dealer but if it don't stay broke it will be hard to find the problem. The bike is a 2011 rt sm5 .

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Grandpot's Avatar
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    Default Similar problem

    Quote Originally Posted by exwinger View Post
    Went for a 200 + mile ride today and several times on curves I had to use extreme force to turn the bars , needless to say it took the fun out . It didn't happen on every curve and oddly seems to happen more often on right handed curves . The bike does not show any codes . The steering is hard exiting the curve but once I'm going straight the handling is normal. Like I mentioned , it does not happen on every curve however it does seem to happen more often on tight curves. I have 38k miles and a lot of those miles are riding twistys in N. Carolina , Tenn. & Virginia. After I got home I rode it around the neighborhood and could get it to act up on some of the curves and when going back and doing the curve again it didn't do it . Needless to say it's very unnerving. The DPS was changed under warranty some time ago but it only threw a code and the steering wasn't affected . Has anyone else experienced this problem with losing intermittent steering and not showing a code ? Need to get it to my dealer but if it don't stay broke it will be hard to find the problem. The bike is a 2011 rt sm5 .
    I have a 2011 RTS and have a similar problem. When moving below 5 MPH the power steering works, above that, it resists turning in either direction. The first time it did that in a turn, I almost hit a car head-on. The problem is very repeatable now. A new steering unit is over $1,000 for the part without labor.

    The Steering Angle Sensor works fine. The steering unit just wants to go straight when over 5 MPH. I decided to unplug the motor of the steering unit (the motor has a separate plug) to see if the Spyder would work in that condition. It does. It is a little harder to steer when going slow, but at highway speeds it works fine. A highway speeds the power assist is not used anyhow.

    I don't mind putting a couple of more pounds of force to turn the Spyder if it saves me over $1,000. At least it is constant and doesn't fight my intentions to turn.

    Back around 2009 BRP had a Safety Recall for this issue. I doubt if they will do anything for a 2011 unit with 20,000 miles on it.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    A few Ryders here in Aust have experienced the same problem, most of them have been due to aging batteries, and they've able to rectify their intermittent steering problems simply by replacing the battery with a new OE Spec Yuasa or better. That could be a good first step for you exwinger - if your battery is more than a couple of years old or if it shows ANY signs of aging, fit a new one!

    Good Luck
    2013 RT Ltd

  4. #4
    Active Member The Governor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exwinger View Post
    Went for a 200 + mile ride today and several times on curves I had to use extreme force to turn the bars , needless to say it took the fun out . It didn't happen on every curve and oddly seems to happen more often on right handed curves . The bike does not show any codes . The steering is hard exiting the curve but once I'm going straight the handling is normal. Like I mentioned , it does not happen on every curve however it does seem to happen more often on tight curves. I have 38k miles and a lot of those miles are riding twistys in N. Carolina , Tenn. & Virginia. After I got home I rode it around the neighborhood and could get it to act up on some of the curves and when going back and doing the curve again it didn't do it . Needless to say it's very unnerving. The DPS was changed under warranty some time ago but it only threw a code and the steering wasn't affected . Has anyone else experienced this problem with losing intermittent steering and not showing a code ? Need to get it to my dealer but if it don't stay broke it will be hard to find the problem. The bike is a 2011 rt sm5 .

    Dying battery.
    1. Check fluids & tire pressures.
    2. Start bike.
    3. Hold on.
    4. Full throttle.
    5. Repeat 3-5.

  5. #5
    Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    Dying battery maybe but that should NEVER be a cause of steering failure on anything. Get a dealer to report it to BRP as a major safety issue and report it personally to NHTSA. Far too serious to be brushed off by anyone - don't take NO for an answer..
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  6. #6
    Active Member The Governor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
    Dying battery maybe but that should NEVER be a cause of steering failure on anything. Get a dealer to report it to BRP as a major safety issue and report it personally to NHTSA. Far too serious to be brushed off by anyone - don't take NO for an answer..
    It's not a steering FAILURE, it's a loss of POWER ASSIST. I agree it's a safety issue, but not something that would cause a loss of control. The odd thing about it is the battery starts the bike just fine, and everything else works, EXCEPT intermittent loss of power assist.
    I wouldn't have believed it unless it happened to me.....
    1. Check fluids & tire pressures.
    2. Start bike.
    3. Hold on.
    4. Full throttle.
    5. Repeat 3-5.

  7. #7
    Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Governor View Post
    It's not a steering FAILURE, it's a loss of POWER ASSIST. I agree it's a safety issue, but not something that would cause a loss of control. The odd thing about it is the battery starts the bike just fine, and everything else works, EXCEPT intermittent loss of power assist.
    I wouldn't have believed it unless it happened to me.....

    It ain't working like it should or as you expect it to or as designed to - that's steering failure and can cause loss of control and/or a collision. Why do you think there was a recall about 6 years ago?
    Last edited by Freddy; 10-11-2017 at 08:09 AM.
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Governor View Post
    The odd thing about it is the battery starts the bike just fine, and everything else works, EXCEPT intermittent loss of power assist.
    I wouldn't have believed it unless it happened to me.....
    Also could be a loose or corroded connection at one end of the main battery cables.

    Do you have it on a battery tender ALL the time that it isn't being used ??
    My ride: '17 Spyder RT

  9. #9
    Active Member The Governor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
    It ain't working like it should or as you expect it to or as designed to - that's steering failure and can cause loss of control and/or a collision. Why do you think there was a recall about 6 years ago?
    Park the bike until fixed if you are concerned about the loss of POWER ASSISTED STEERING.

    I hope you got the answer to your question. I'd bet it's a dying battery. That power assist sucks up a lot of power.
    1. Check fluids & tire pressures.
    2. Start bike.
    3. Hold on.
    4. Full throttle.
    5. Repeat 3-5.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Just remember, the power steering unit on the Spyder is an electric motor and not hydraulic, like on most automobiles.
    2014 RT SE6
    Previously 2008 GS SM5
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  11. #11
    Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KX5062 View Post
    Just remember, the power steering unit on the Spyder is an electric motor and not hydraulic, like on most automobiles.

    That must be why folks keep talking about the battery and connections.
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  12. #12
    Very Active Member IGETAROUND's Avatar
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    Default losing steering assisrt

    A few Ryders here in Aust have experienced the same problem, most of them have been due to aging batteries, and they've able to rectify their intermittent steering problems simply by replacing the battery with a new OE Spec Yuasa or better. That could be a good first step for you exwinger - if your battery is more than a couple of years old or if it shows ANY signs of aging, fit a new one!

    I had similar intermittent loss of assist, Before you do ANYTHING else, check and tighten both of your battery terminals. Loose ground was my problem, and I have star washers on my battery bolts.
    All the great movements in the world began with a cup of coffee!


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  13. #13
    Very Active Member billybovine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KX5062 View Post
    Just remember, the power steering unit on the Spyder is an electric motor and not hydraulic, like on most automobiles.
    I hate to break it to you but most new automobiles have electric power steering.

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  14. #14
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    Default Dying battery

    Pretty sure it's not a dying battery , it's brand new . Maybe a loose terminal but haven't checked that yet but will tomorrow . Had to make an appt. for dealer and leave it but he will at least check using BUDS. Will do that after I check the battery. Dealer did say it's funny it's not showing any codes when it fails .

  15. #15
    Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    Faulty DPS doesn't generate a fault code I believe, just a dash warning on earlier trikes - if you are lucky.
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    A few Ryders here in Aust have experienced the same problem, most of them have been due to aging batteries, and they've able to rectify their intermittent steering problems simply by replacing the battery with a new OE Spec Yuasa or better. That could be a good first step for you exwinger - if your battery is more than a couple of years old or if it shows ANY signs of aging, fit a new one!

    Good Luck
    This. Just happened to me 3 months ago. New battery and it's been fine since; 2012 RT-s with the original battery still in it (no longer!)

  17. #17
    Active Member lewisalice's Avatar
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    I change my battery every 36 months if it needs it or not worth the money for the piece of mind.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Governor View Post
    It's not a steering FAILURE, it's a loss of POWER ASSIST. I agree it's a safety issue, but not something that would cause a loss of control.
    I disagree. Loss of power steering in a car could result in a serious collision if it happened suddenly. Same with a trike. Since the assist is only active when turning it follows that a turn is the most likely time for failure - and the most serious.

  19. #19
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    Default terminals

    I knew the battery probably wasn't bad because it was brand new this spring. I tore into it this morning and after a minor bit of swearing , got to the positive terminal and lo and behold it was loose .Star washer went on the terminal this time and really torqued down . How many of the other owners that replaced batteries for this problem didn't really need a new battery but probably just had a loose connection ? I was the one that changed my battery , was really late at night just before leaving on a trip the next morning and didn't take the time to add a star washer . Lesson learned , new star washers on every battery change . Positive terminal isn't fun to check on the spyder .

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by exwinger View Post
    Pretty sure it's not a dying battery , it's brand new .
    That could mean that it wasn't properly charged before being put into service.
    And.....sometimes "brand new" things don't work right.

    Edit: But I see that the problem has been located and fixed.
    My ride: '17 Spyder RT

  21. #21
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    Default problem fixed

    Took it out this afternoon and rode curves back and forth that I had the problem on while testing before checking the terminal and absolutely no problem. A loose terminal on the spyder is a big deal for causing goofy problems .There's a lot of threads relating to the loose terminal and should be the first thing checked ....but on the older spyders it's a PIA big time to do.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
    Faulty DPS doesn't generate a fault code I believe, just a dash warning on earlier trikes - if you are lucky.
    It did on my 2013 RT. The failure also was intermittent. Took it to the dealer and the DPS was on the list of problem units. Replaced under warranty.

    2014 Copper RTS

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  23. #23
    Active Member Freddy's Avatar
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    That's good to know IMS - however I wouldn't put a 2013 in the 'earlier' class.
    The best substitute for brains is....................what?

  24. #24
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybovine View Post
    I hate to break it to you but most new automobiles have electric power steering.
    Yes, many new cars do, but most cars do not.
    2014 RT SE6
    Previously 2008 GS SM5
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    It did on my 2013 RT. The failure also was intermittent. Took it to the dealer and the DPS was on the list of problem units. Replaced under warranty.
    What did they replace??
    I have the same intermittent problem....brand new 2017 RT-S....I am taking it back to the dealer this weekend!
    Thanks

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