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Smithers 05-10-2012 10:49 PM

Aprilia Mille Sputtering and Hesitation
A few months ago my bike started sputtering pretty badly. The Rotax engine started hesitating more and more and was driving my crazy. If I applied the throttle the acceleration was just fine. But when I would re-apply the throttle or just try to hold a steady rpm then the engine would cut out like one of the coils was going bad or it was out of fuel.

I inspected all the electrical connections starting with the connections on each of the coils. This solved my friends similar problems with his Ducati Monster 620. This was not my problem.

I always use Chevron Premium fuel and I ride all the time so it wasn't bad gas. I had just replaced the spark plugs and it ran fine for a few hundred miles so before I started having problems so that wasn't it. I did notice that one of the battery cable connections was not as tight so I went ahead and put small locking nuts on the bolts. This didn't help.

Smithers 05-10-2012 10:53 PM

I kept on riding it every now and then checking things over like making sure the temp sensors were clean and the connecting wires were in ok shape. I was really bummed because swapping out parts on these bikes is just expensive and really time consuming ordering the parts and all of that. I started to think the problem was with the fuel pump. I have an extra fuel tank and pump but I was just dreading the thought of having to do change them out. If I went through all of that work and it didn't help I would have been really bummed.

What next? Start asking around on the forums of course. I asked a couple well known gents about my troubles and I received a quick answer that did make sense.

Smithers 05-10-2012 11:00 PM

Just to give my fellow Aprilia troubleshooters here the complete background on my particular bike I composed the following:

My 2000.5 Mille was hesitating badly at 3500-6000 rpm off the throttle and while just barely cracking up the throttle. It never back fired at all. My battery is topped off and my cables are tight. One time last year I did tighten up my negative cable and it worked fine for a while but now it's back. It bucks and misses every .5-1.0 second but I am still able to ride it home without much hassle. It's just really annoying and when I put the engine under a load it accelerates without hardly any hesitation at all. I have the Titanium Eprom chip that came with the Aprilia Titanuim slip-on. The current exhuast system is an Akroprovic full titanium race system with a non-restrictive carbon fiber muffler. Other than that it's all stock. I changed the plugs a little while back and that didn't solve anything.
  • Should I replace the ground cable?
  • Are my coils going bad?
  • Spark plug wires going bad?
  • Fuel pump going out maybe?
  • Could a sensor be faulty?
Bike has 32,000 miles on it. Besides changing the oil, filters, spark plugs and clutch I've never had to do anything to the engine. I've put 4 tanks of fuel in the bike since it's been hesitating every now and then so it's not bad gas. I keep a Noco Genius charger on the battery all the time. Swapping parts out on cars to fix the problem is cheap but Aprilia parts are a bit more expensive to be fixing things that way.

It feels like the spark is cutting out because it just misses badly often but continues to spin. It will idle fine without dying so it only hesitates over 1500 rpm + but like I said if I put a load on it the engine accelerates smoothly. So if I have to ride it home I let off the throttle then accelerate to 80mph, let off and coast then apply the throttle to 80 again etc. It's painful to hold it at 5000rpm at the speed limit and ride with the misfiring.

Smithers 05-10-2012 11:38 PM

I'll post more tomorrow. -_- ZZzz.........

Smithers 07-17-2013 06:23 AM

I still haven't found the root of the problem. I'm thinking one of the coils is giving up. I've seen a lot of my automotive friends fixing the same type of problem on cars. I do have an extra fuel tank with pump - but coils would be a nice easy fix. >:|

Smithers 11-28-2014 02:56 PM

I realized that I never posted the fix for this problem with my Mille. I handed the bike over to a factory trained Aprilia tech who happens to have moved to this area from LA. The front cylinder had a broken piston ring. There was no way I was going to find that out on my own because I just would not have wanted to believe something like that could happen. He says he has seen it before so it does happen on the leading cylinder apparently?

Smithers 08-11-2016 06:56 AM

Just to update this thread. I swapped out my engine for another one while he was replacing the piston rings in the engine. He had another Mille that needed an engine so I let him put that engine in the other bike on permanent loan. It runs just like it should in the other bike now. Glad to see it rolling again.

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