Q. I recently bought a 2003 Yamaha R6. It was working all right for a week, but one evening it didn't start. On pressing the starter switch I could hear the starter sound but the bike failed to start.
After all the checks from my mechanic it seems that the ignition transponder is not working. Can I replace the transponder or do I have to replace the whole ECM, transponder and key unit?
Is there any way to bypass the transponder and still start the bike? Is there any other solution to get the bike started?
Rahul Ghadge, email
A. On Yamahas the transponder aerial, which is a black box around the ignition lock, has fine wires inside circling the key when it’s in the ignition lock.
These wires are fragile and when broken the aerial is useless, even a slight tap can do this.
The Yamaha stores its key immobiliser system in this aerial and the ECU.
Unfortunately a new transponder won’t cure it because the immobiliser in the aerial has to be synchronised with a code in the ECU, therefore both have to be replaced as new which is very expensive.
The new parts will have a virgin code in them so when the items are put on the bike, the virgin code will allow them to recognise the red master key and synchronise with each other, so they are then paired for life
The aerial cannot be repaired, but if you buy a replacement transponder aerial (from a breakers or a dealer), there are firms like Motomatrix (www.motomatrix.co.uk) that can code new keys to the transponder aerial and synchronise it to the ECU.
They do this by reprogramming new keys to the aerial and putting the ECU into its original virgin state again.
Sometimes they can remove the data from the broken transponder aerial and programme it into the new transponder aerial, this way the old keys can still be used and the ECU will also be synchronised.