Thanks for the great writeup melsman. Big reason why i decided to join the forum.
I'll spare a lot of the details, but I have never been able to have auto work on my bike, have always had to use ESP, even after bringing it in right away for the service bulletin. Well I never trusted the work the dealers did on it, so this last spring I decided to purchase a new ECM from hondapartshouse.com The new ECM took the install fine, no codes afterwards, but auto still goes into too high of a ratio when starting out.
Which leads me to my question: by installing a new ECM, assuming all the sensors are good, do I at least have myself narrowed down to a clutch/oil issue? Or does the new ECM need to be flashed like the dealers had to do when the service bulletin came out? During this next winter I'm going to tear it down, put a new clutch in, and follow your exact oil guidelines.
And just an aside, I understand how that when the clutch slips, the ECM senses the RPM go up and then increases the gear ratio. But how I look at it, since the machine has front and rear wheel sensors, the ECM should also know the bike isn't going fast enough to be able to handle the higher gear ratio, whether the clutch is slipping or not. If a human brain can know that it is not appropriate to shift to a higher ratio, with the proper sensor inputs and programming, an ECM should be able to do the same. So it still seems to me like the programming that Honda did is lacking, if it can't handle any sort of clutch slipping.
2004 TRX400FA (Rancher 400AT)
MotionPro twist throttle kit
12" handlebar mounted light bar
rear rack wheelchair carrier
Cycle Country 48" plow w/ KFI hybrid mount
Champion 3000 lb winch w/ synthetic rope
23" Titan 489's all around (saving clutch)
2011 Grizzly 450 EPS
Others in the family: '04 TRX250TE, '85 TRX250 Utility (X2), '05 TRX90, '06 TRX500FA, '95 TRX400FW,' 88 TRX125