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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
... My wife thought I was trying to avoid something in the road. ...
Bryan
My wife was also on the back when this happened to me...it was such a sudden and noticeable deviation from the straight line we were headed that she thought it was me trying to test the steering. But as I said it wasn't me.
 

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If you add in the yaw sensor I think you'll stay in a straight line, even if you have one wheel on a gravel shoulder.....haven't tried it on my Spyder but it works great in my car! (also a Bosch system)
FYI: The DPS uses the speed sensors, a steering angle sensor and a steering torque sensor to modulate the steering assist. The first two are self explanatory, the third sensor tells the control unit how much force you are turning the bars with. All of these can easily be tested in BUDS, at your local dealers. If the SAS is not aligned with the yaw sensor, you will get a fault code and the unit will go into limp home mode. The "skidding spyder" light will light up as well. There would likely have to be a fault with the torque sensor and the SAS to have the unwanted steering effect with no fault.
 

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My steering started acting different on today's ride. I first noticed that trying to make small corrections while going straight required more effort on the handlebars almost like the steering was sticking. With a little more pressure the handlebars would jump in the direction of the correction. My wife thought I was trying to avoid something in the road. As we continued this symptom got progressively worse and in a gradual turn the steering would stick and require more effort to come out of the turn and when it would jump cause an overcorrection. It's going to the shop next week as I don't feel safe riding it now. In a tight turn at higher speed this overcorrection could cause loss of control. I'm a very experienced ride and I've ridden the Spyder for about 5000 miles now so I know what it should feel like and this was not what I was use to.

Bryan
Update:

It seems that the power steering motor on my Spyder is drawing excessive current causing it to get hot and it will need to be replaced. Should have the parts next week. The guys at RideNow Chandler got me right in and had the factory folks on the line within a couple of hours trying to figure it out. They called me and kept me informed as to what was going on. Can't ask for better service.


Bryan
 

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It seems that the power steering motor on my Spyder is drawing excessive current causing it to get hot and it will need to be replaced.
Can you please ask your dealer to get clarification from BRP about your uncommanded control input? I would like to get specific information about exactly how (or if) the Spyder's DPS can turn the handlebars without a rider input.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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FYI: The DPS uses the speed sensors, a steering angle sensor and a steering torque sensor to modulate the steering assist. The first two are self explanatory, the third sensor tells the control unit how much force you are turning the bars with. All of these can easily be tested in BUDS, at your local dealers. If the SAS is not aligned with the yaw sensor, you will get a fault code and the unit will go into limp home mode. The "skidding spyder" light will light up as well. There would likely have to be a fault with the torque sensor and the SAS to have the unwanted steering effect with no fault.
You sound as if you might be a Can Am technician. I'm trying to get more specific information regarding DPS failure modes. Do you have direct access to BRP technical people?

In my mind, this question needs to be answered before ANY of us gets back on his or her Spyder. If the DPS can fail in such a way that the system turns the wheels independent of rider input, as opposed to over/under-amplifying a rider input (bad enough in itself), this machine is UNSAFE! For example, assume you are riding down a two-way highway. How would you prepare for the instant when the DPS twitches and you are suddenly in the oncoming lane?

We already have reports from at least three different sources who've experienced or witnessed uncommanded steering changes in a Spyder. I'm not usually one to make "demands" of a manufacturer, but in this case I feel BRP MUST answer these critical safety questions:

  1. Can the Spyder DPS fail in such a way that it turns the handlebars independent of rider input?
  2. If yes, what is BRP doing to address the issue, and should we stop riding until a recall and fix are completed?
I urge all of you to contact your dealers with these questions so BRP hears us LOUD AND CLEAR!

Regards,

Mark
 

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Can you please ask your dealer to get clarification from BRP about your uncommanded control input? I would like to get specific information about exactly how (or if) the Spyder's DPS can turn the handlebars without a rider input.

Thanks,

Mark
Mark,
In my case the symptom was not "uncommanded control input". Let me try to make a clearer discription. I was trying to make a lane correction after about 10 miles of riding with a passenger. The steering seemed stiff or like it was stuck in the current position. It required more effort on the handlebars to ovecome resistance and when I did ovecome it the resistance was gone completly causing me to overcorrect because of the extra pressure I was applying to the bars. The DPS was not forcing me to turn but resisting my effort to turn, there is a big difference. In any event it is not a desirable condition to say the least. The symptom seemed to get worse the longer we rode offering resistance to every turn or correction I made. The closest example I can use is worn, abused, unlubricated steering head bearings on an old motorcycle. The bearings tend to wear indentations in the race in the most comon position ie. forward. When you turn the handle bars from this position you can feel resistance as the bearings climb out of the indentation worn into the race. I've been riding my Spyder for almost 10 months and have 5000 miles on it without experienceing anything out of the ordinary in this regard. I consider myself a very experienced rider with 42 years and 100's of thousands of miles in the seat. This experience may have saved me from overcorrecting to the point of loosing control. I didn't feel that I was ever not in control but that I was haveing to put a lot more effort into keeping control at all times.

From what I understand the factory directed the tech to measure the DPS motor current while moving the steering through the range of movement. The nominal current spec was about 3 amps. Mine measured 31 amps. This excessive current is causing the motor to oveheat and possible bind internaly (my guess). The symptoms could not be duplicated on a short ride by either me or the tech so I suspect the sypmtom is time related alowing for heat to build up in the motor. At least two other Spyder were tested using the same proceedure, one had 27 amps current drain but no one had noticed a symptom of failure and one had 3 amps. Since the factory was involved in troubleshooting the problem they are very aware of it and will need to do a failure analysis of the defective motor to determine the root cause and a corrective action. I would be looking for things like manufacturing problems causing a shorted winding or a design flaw in the motor itself requiring an more robust design. For my case the solution is to replace the motor which may or may not have the same problem at some point. I suggest that if you feel that you have a concern with the steering have it checked by the dealer. A couple of motor failures does not make a trend and mean we should all panic and stop riding our Spyders. Just use some caution, be aware of how your bike feels and note any changes in critical systems.

Bryan

Update:
The new DSP unit was installed but problems were encountered in connecting to the BUDS system for alignment. It seems the new DSP is a different part number than was originally installed from the factory and a BUDS software update is necessary to complete the process. They tried to download the update but it didn't work so BRP is sending a CD with the update to the dealer but it won't be here until Monday. I'll post again when the problem is resolved.

Bryan
 

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In my case the symptom was not "uncommanded control input". I suggest that if you feel that you have a concern with the steering have it checked by the dealer. A couple of motor failures does not make a trend and mean we should all panic and stop riding our Spyders. Just use some caution, be aware of how your bike feels and note any changes in critical systems.
I appreciate the clarification with your problem. This is the assumption I made about the worst failure mode imaginable -- a problem with the system that makes it harder or easier to turn the handlbars which could serve to amplify or reduce a riders intended input. That's bad enough, but not unmanageable.

To clarify on my end, we haven't and don't have any issues with our Spyder, but that's not really the point.

My BIGGEST concern stems from Ken's story of a Spyder whose handlebar turned all the way to one side ON IT'S OWN. To me, this kind of failure mode it is completely unacceptable and renders the Spyder UNSAFE to ride. The idea that the Spyder (or any vehicle for that matter) might turn by itself while I'm motoring down the road at 80 mph is terrifying!

While I might have the strength to overcome the power steering motor, I doubt my wife -- the Spyder's primary rider -- does. We need to KNOW (from BRP) if this type of failure mode is possible...

Regards,

Mark
 

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I appreciate the clarification with your problem. This is the assumption I made about the worst failure mode imaginable -- a problem with the system that makes it harder or easier to turn the handlbars which could serve to amplify or reduce a riders intended input. That's bad enough, but not unmanageable.

To clarify on my end, we haven't and don't have any issues with our Spyder, but that's not really the point.

My BIGGEST concern stems from Ken's story of a Spyder whose handlebar turned all the way to one side ON IT'S OWN. To me, this kind of failure mode it is completely unacceptable and renders the Spyder UNSAFE to ride. The idea that the Spyder (or any vehicle for that matter) might turn by itself while I'm motoring down the road at 80 mph is terrifying!

While I might have the strength to overcome the power steering motor, I doubt my wife -- the Spyder's primary rider -- does. We need to KNOW (from BRP) if this type of failure mode is possible...

Regards,

Mark
I agree with you Mark. My wife said she would not get on the Spyder again until this is resolved. Riding is dangerous enough without our machines taking over with a mind of their own. Call it Herbie Syndrome or Problem #52.

It would be very interesting to find out how the case that Ken talked about was resolved.

Bryan
 

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I appreciate the clarification with your problem. This is the assumption I made about the worst failure mode imaginable -- a problem with the system that makes it harder or easier to turn the handlbars which could serve to amplify or reduce a riders intended input. That's bad enough, but not unmanageable.

To clarify on my end, we haven't and don't have any issues with our Spyder, but that's not really the point.

My BIGGEST concern stems from Ken's story of a Spyder whose handlebar turned all the way to one side ON IT'S OWN. To me, this kind of failure mode it is completely unacceptable and renders the Spyder UNSAFE to ride. The idea that the Spyder (or any vehicle for that matter) might turn by itself while I'm motoring down the road at 80 mph is terrifying!

While I might have the strength to overcome the power steering motor, I doubt my wife -- the Spyder's primary rider -- does. We need to KNOW (from BRP) if this type of failure mode is possible...

Regards,

Mark
I figured out how to consistantly reproduce the "error", and it is simple physics, not the motor magically turning the wheels.

Go ahead a try this and see if you get the same result.

Before you start your bike, turn you wheels to an angle that provides a small amount of pressure on the steering system after you let go of the bars. When you start the bike the power assist will enguage and read that force as input and will react to it. If you do not touch the handle bars the wheels will move very slightly in the direction of the force then stop when the system in balenced out. So far the greatest distance I can get them to move is about an 1".
 

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I figured out how to consistantly reproduce the "error", and it is simple physics, not the motor magically turning the wheels.

Before you start your bike, turn you wheels to an angle that provides a small amount of pressure on the steering system after you let go of the bars. When you start the bike the power assist will enguage and read that force as input and will react to it. If you do not touch the handle bars the wheels will move very slightly in the direction of the force then stop when the system in balenced out. So far the greatest distance I can get them to move is about an 1".
Unless I misunderstood him, this is NOT the same symptom as reported by Ken. Ken says he saw a Spyder turn its handlebar all the way to the left (or to the right) after turning on the key.

Regards,

Ma
 

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Mark,
In my case the symptom was not "uncommanded control input". Let me try to make a clearer discription. I was trying to make a lane correction after about 10 miles of riding with a passenger. The steering seemed stiff or like it was stuck in the current position. It required more effort on the handlebars to ovecome resistance and when I did ovecome it the resistance was gone completly causing me to overcorrect because of the extra pressure I was applying to the bars. The DPS was not forcing me to turn but resisting my effort to turn, there is a big difference. In any event it is not a desirable condition to say the least. The symptom seemed to get worse the longer we rode offering resistance to every turn or correction I made. The closest example I can use is worn, abused, unlubricated steering head bearings on an old motorcycle. The bearings tend to wear indentations in the race in the most comon position ie. forward. When you turn the handle bars from this position you can feel resistance as the bearings climb out of the indentation worn into the race. I've been riding my Spyder for almost 10 months and have 5000 miles on it without experienceing anything out of the ordinary in this regard. I consider myself a very experienced rider with 42 years and 100's of thousands of miles in the seat. This experience may have saved me from overcorrecting to the point of loosing control. I didn't feel that I was ever not in control but that I was haveing to put a lot more effort into keeping control at all times.

From what I understand the factory directed the tech to measure the DPS motor current while moving the steering through the range of movement. The nominal current spec was about 3 amps. Mine measured 31 amps. This excessive current is causing the motor to oveheat and possible bind internaly (my guess). The symptoms could not be duplicated on a short ride by either me or the tech so I suspect the sypmtom is time related alowing for heat to build up in the motor. At least two other Spyder were tested using the same proceedure, one had 27 amps current drain but no one had noticed a symptom of failure and one had 3 amps. Since the factory was involved in troubleshooting the problem they are very aware of it and will need to do a failure analysis of the defective motor to determine the root cause and a corrective action. I would be looking for things like manufacturing problems causing a shorted winding or a design flaw in the motor itself requiring an more robust design. For my case the solution is to replace the motor which may or may not have the same problem at some point. I suggest that if you feel that you have a concern with the steering have it checked by the dealer. A couple of motor failures does not make a trend and mean we should all panic and stop riding our Spyders. Just use some caution, be aware of how your bike feels and note any changes in critical systems.

Bryan

Update:
The new DSP unit was installed but problems were encountered in connecting to the BUDS system for alignment. It seems the new DSP is a different part number than was originally installed from the factory and a BUDS software update is necessary to complete the process. They tried to download the update but it didn't work so BRP is sending a CD with the update to the dealer but it won't be here until Monday. I'll post again when the problem is resolved.

Bryan
 

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Mark,
In my case the symptom was not "uncommanded control input". Let me try to make a clearer discription. I was trying to make a lane correction after about 10 miles of riding with a passenger. The steering seemed stiff or like it was stuck in the current position. It required more effort on the handlebars to ovecome resistance and when I did ovecome it the resistance was gone completly causing me to overcorrect because of the extra pressure I was applying to the bars. The DPS was not forcing me to turn but resisting my effort to turn, there is a big difference. In any event it is not a desirable condition to say the least. The symptom seemed to get worse the longer we rode offering resistance to every turn or correction I made. The closest example I can use is worn, abused, unlubricated steering head bearings on an old motorcycle. The bearings tend to wear indentations in the race in the most comon position ie. forward. When you turn the handle bars from this position you can feel resistance as the bearings climb out of the indentation worn into the race. I've been riding my Spyder for almost 10 months and have 5000 miles on it without experienceing anything out of the ordinary in this regard. I consider myself a very experienced rider with 42 years and 100's of thousands of miles in the seat. This experience may have saved me from overcorrecting to the point of loosing control. I didn't feel that I was ever not in control but that I was haveing to put a lot more effort into keeping control at all times.

From what I understand the factory directed the tech to measure the DPS motor current while moving the steering through the range of movement. The nominal current spec was about 3 amps. Mine measured 31 amps. This excessive current is causing the motor to oveheat and possible bind internaly (my guess). The symptoms could not be duplicated on a short ride by either me or the tech so I suspect the sypmtom is time related alowing for heat to build up in the motor. At least two other Spyder were tested using the same proceedure, one had 27 amps current drain but no one had noticed a symptom of failure and one had 3 amps. Since the factory was involved in troubleshooting the problem they are very aware of it and will need to do a failure analysis of the defective motor to determine the root cause and a corrective action. I would be looking for things like manufacturing problems causing a shorted winding or a design flaw in the motor itself requiring an more robust design. For my case the solution is to replace the motor which may or may not have the same problem at some point. I suggest that if you feel that you have a concern with the steering have it checked by the dealer. A couple of motor failures does not make a trend and mean we should all panic and stop riding our Spyders. Just use some caution, be aware of how your bike feels and note any changes in critical systems.

Bryan

Update:
The new DSP unit was installed but problems were encountered in connecting to the BUDS system for alignment. It seems the new DSP is a different part number than was originally installed from the factory and a BUDS software update is necessary to complete the process. They tried to download the update but it didn't work so BRP is sending a CD with the update to the dealer but it won't be here until Monday. I'll post again when the problem is resolved.

Bryan
Update 9/19/2008
Issue is still not resolved. Spyder goes into limp mode shortly after all adjustments and calibraition have been made. The tech has been on the phone every day with BPR and notihing they do works. It's been down 3 weeks now and I'm getting pretty fustrated
I just want to
my Spyder!

Bryan

Problem Resolved:
Hats off to BRP for recognizing that the problem with my Spyder was not getting solved quickly enough and dedicating the resources needed to find the solution. A BRP specialist flew into Phoenix and found an error in calibration of the system. Once corrected the steering works perfectly. The defective DPS will be carefully analyzed by the manufacturer to find out why it failed. We talked at length about the symptoms I experienced so he could understand the problem. I'm happy to have my Spyder back on the road again and the process will go smother for the next person because of what was learned. Thanks BRP

Bryan
 

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I have a question about Ken who said he saw the handle bars turn by themselves all the way to one side. Was the front of the Spyder on the grond or jacked up???

Update 9/19/2008
Issue is still not resolved. Spyder goes into limp mode shortly after all adjustments and calibraition have been made. The tech has been on the phone every day with BPR and notihing they do works. It's been down 3 weeks now and I'm getting pretty fustrated
I just want to
my Spyder!

Bryan
 

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the spyder's power steering is different than most automotive systems in that it uses a sensor and an electric motor (as opposed to a hydraulic pump). i know of at least one case where the power steering did actually turn the wheels. if i remember correctly, when the key was turned on, the wheels would automatically turn to the right and it it took a lot of effort to bring them straight ahead. my guess is that the steering angle sensor is misaligned (or bad) and thinks the rider is trying to turn.
i'm not used to quoting myself but this has turned into a "coconut telegraph." i am only aware of a power steering problem that happened at a dealership - i was not there and did not witness it myself. i only brought it up because i too had thought that the power steering could not activate without rider input.
 

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When you start you bike or even a car you will feel a jolt especially if you wheel is turned and not straight. The wheel may even move slightly, this is normal as the power steering is turned on and run through selfcheck when u start your bike or a car. The only way I could see the power steering turning the handel bars to one side on it's own is if the front wheels were jacked off the ground. I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure it possible as the steering system would over correct if you started the bike with whe wheels slightly turned and off the ground. Or even if you moved the handle bars slightly with the front jacked up. I would not be worried as the system is designed to have the load of the bike on it. Basically momentum of the wheel turning with no load would trick the steering system in to thinking you were actually trying to turn the bars because of the lack of weight. If you take the load away the system may act strange but it wasn't designed for that so no cause for alarm.

i'm not used to quoting myself but this has turned into a "coconut telegraph." i am only aware of a power steering problem that happened at a dealership - i was not there and did not witness it myself. i only brought it up because i too had thought that the power steering could not activate without rider input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
This is onelaplouie's wife....I was on the back of the bike that day and I will tell you that the bike SWERVED ON ITS OWN...I thought my husband was checking the steering, to find out he wasn't. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM, and someone is going to end up in on coming traffic. I'm not bashing Can-Am by any means...I have a new 2009 Can-Am ATV on order and I like Can-Am, but we just couldn't ignore this issue. Jerseyboy just posted in Syder Discussion about this steering issue, and he did end up in the other lane, luckily there was no other traffic.
 

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From Jersey Boys post: "I had to apply a lot of effort to continue steering because of the tightening radius turn. Suddenly the high effort vanished, I lurched into the other lane as the steering got easier, as I try to pull back to my lane the steering stiffens again ."
I am not trying to create and argument at all but I need to point out is that the Spyder is NOT steering itself. From what everyone is saying that has had this issue is that there getting alot of resistence on the steering in turns, etc. So when a person turns the wheel with extra force to fight the power steering system, the system will sometimes release it's resistence causing a person to over steer. It's like playing tug of war and the other side just suddenly lets go of the rope with no warning. I've heard that this same issue can happen in the newer cars that use electric power steering as well. However becasue a car is bigger and weighs more you are less likely to oversteer as much. I missed the chat last night and I'm sure BRP will look into what exactly is causing the system to act like this. Hopefully they can sort it out quick. I guess it's the price we pay for trying to the newer technology first. It looks from the forums that only very few machines are having this issue, so hopefully it's not wide spread. BE SAFE!!!

This is onelaplouie's wife....I was on the back of the bike that day and I will tell you that the bike SWERVED ON ITS OWN...I thought my husband was checking the steering, to find out he wasn't. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM, and someone is going to end up in on coming traffic. I'm not bashing Can-Am by any means...I have a new 2009 Can-Am ATV on order and I like Can-Am, but we just couldn't ignore this issue. Jerseyboy just posted in Syder Discussion about this steering issue, and he did end up in the other lane, luckily there was no other traffic.
 

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My Spyder is on the raod again!


I updated my previous post regarding the steering problem and it's resolution.

It took some teamwork and I am staisfied with the interaction between BRP and RideNow Chandler.


Bryan
 

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My Spyder is on the raod again!
It took some teamwork and I am staisfied with the interaction between BRP and RideNow Chandler.
First, congrats on getting your beloved machine roadworthy again!

Second, was there any discussion between you and the BRP rep regarding the potentially dangerous control problems you experienced? I would hope to hear BRP is looking for a fix to eliminate such a hazardous steering system failure mode...

Regards,

Mark
 
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