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  1. #1
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    Default Handlebar icon! VSS Light! Check Engine! Limp Mode! Oh my!

    Ok so that was supposed to be lame reference to Wizzard of Oz "Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh my!"

    Yes, I experienced some drama yesterday. It was my first ride of any significance since I acquired this barely used, 2010 RT back in October of 2018. I bought her with only 2,700 miles on it and I'm now at about 4,500 ish. Mostly local stuff, commuting, etc but not a full day of actual backroad touring until Sunday.

    The lights and messages first happened after about 10 miles of some fairly aggressive cornering and about 120 miles into our day. I was about 50 miles west of Hillsboro, Oregon on twisty Hwy 53 where it would have been impossible for roadside assistance to load me up on a flatbed. I let things sit there for a while and all the idiot lights had cleared. I decided to gently ride another 5 miles to a country store to re-assess things.

    Once again, all the error lights and indicators had cleared after she sat for a while. I was at a major highway now and I learned I could go 10-15 miles at a hop (around 60mph) before idiot lights and messages kicked in again if I rested the bike for 15 minutes or so in between. I capitalized on this behavior and limped in to Hillsboro and parked the Spyder at a church. No dealers / service shops open on Sunday so my wife drove out to pick me up.


    Symptoms
    Here is the behavior I experienced…
    Roughly the same sequence of indicators and lights during my series of hops into Hillsboro:

    1. First, this VSS backlit light comes on.

    2. Shortly after that, the generic check engine icon lights up as well (simultaneous with the VSS light).

    3. Next, sometimes, the lower portion of the LCD display would show a symbol with the engine block outline (redundant to the above ‘idiot light’).
    • Sometimes, the lower portion of the LCD display would instead show a drawing of handlebars.
    • Once or twice, there was (finally) something of a useful message that said ‘CHECK DPS’.

    4. Lastly, the dreaded orange screen with “Limp Home Mode” would appear and all the drama that comes with that. (Engine RPM gets crippled, orange flashing, me having a near heart attack, etc.)

    FWIW, I didn’t feel or hear any issue in the engine itself (until limp mode kicks in of course) nor sense any problems with steering or handling. My interpretation of the sequence of events is that the issue is strictly with the power steering assist and that the cascade of other lights, warnings and ultimately limp home mode was something of an over-reaction on the part of the nanny?


    I looked up the local CanAm dealer for Hillsboro, OR when I got home. They are closed both Sunday and Monday but I made the decision to move it on Monday (today) anyway from where I left it parked and drop it off in the dealer's parking lot along with the means to contact me. (I was concerned about it just sitting in an unfamiliar neighborhood for more than 24hrs straight.)
    I checked for codes before I started it up today and got none. The drive to the dealer was all inner streets and only about 4 miles from where she was parked overnight so I didn't get up to 60mph. No repeat of Sunday's drama during that short drive.

    I've read through other threads that mention handlebar icon appearance and DPS issues but none were characterized quite like what I experienced.
    Thoughts anyone?
    I'm praying the shop charges aren't too insane. Been riding sport touring bikes for years but this is my first Spyder. Pretty disillusioned that she's having issues already.

    TIA,
    David in Washougal

  2. #2
    Active Member Joel The Biker's Avatar
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    Default

    These are symptoms experienced when a battery terminal is loose or ground is loose.
    KEYLESS REMOTE LOCKS AND FRUNK, HEADS-UP DISPLAY, RADAR DETECTOR, CUSTOM TAILLIGHTS, 2 BROS EXHAUST, SWAYBAR, PAINTED REAR, PAINTED DASH, SHORTY TINTED SCREEN, RIVCO FRONT BUMPER, CUSTOM REAR LUGGAGE RACK, DASH CAM, ANDROID GPS, COMFORT SEAT, 595EVO TIRES, LED HEADLIGHTS, PAINTED MIRRORS, LED REFLECTORS, MUCH MORE.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Chupaca's Avatar
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    Default Don't panic....

    These machines are prone to flashing lights and warnings but many are what I call glitches. Start buy starting the spyder and let it run a bit. Check to see if those warnings and lights are still on. If so turn the engine off, remove the key and let the computers reset. Give it 45 min or disconnect the battery. Now restart normally and see if things are back to normal. The VSS code can come on for many reasons and cause the check engine light to come on as well. As the computers communicate it may also cause a DPS code causing the limp home mode. Had this happen a few days ago now having a manual I pulled in the clutch shut down the engine removed the key held it behind my back for a bit while coasting then put the key back in popped the clutch and was on my way . The check engine light does require the computer reset but the rest was gone. If nothing goes away or on the next Ryde it happens again have it checked out...
    Gene and Ilana De Laney
    Mt. Helix, California

    ​2012 RS sm5

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks everyone. Since I dropped it at a shop, I'll let that play out at least to the point of resetting the computer. I'll let you know the outcome. Meanwhile, other hints, tips and interpretations of what I experienced are welcome.

  5. #5
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    I recently experienced all the same issues you had while on a trip down in Big Bend area in Texas. I eventually "limped" a couple days to Las Cruces, NM and had warranty work done there ,2017 RT. The issue was a new paddle shifter assembly which took three weeks to diagnose and eventually repair. Now my question is, I had expenses associated with getting myself back home to Tucson, AZ which I have read somewhere BRP will cover some if not all of these expenses. Any thoughts as to where I can find this information??

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Snowbelt Spyder's Avatar
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    Well David. I think you nailed it. Aggressive cornering and heavy use of the DPS system. This is textbook of an aging battery or connection issues like Joel said. I have to re-tighten my positive battery connection every year...and that's with using star washers. Nature of the beast. DPS can draw a consistent 20 to 25 amps under these conditions. If you or the previous owner have never replaced the battery, as mentioned don’t panic, but remember that these machines are sensitive to voltage variations. Before you spend a fortune on diagnostics at the dealer, and if the age of the battery is unknown, recommend you start there.


    Doug

    2012 Spyder RT LTD Lava Bronze, RT 622

    Original Owner

    Seal Pups, F4 Customs SWCV, Corbin, JT's Air Filter, Cat Bypass, Power Commander V, NBV, SpyderFlap, Rivco Dual Flag Holder, Lidlox, Baja Ron Sway Bar, links, plugs and wires, Adjustable Chrome Side Vents, Spyderpops Block Off Plate and Belt Guard, Bump Skid, Canisterectomy, Akrapovic, ******* HL/FL, Spyder Cuff with X-Grip, S-Drive, Rock Armour, P238, Laser Alignment by Gray Ghost, Windshield Arm by Noboot, Vibration Dampener by Doc.

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