Is my Bonfire alright or is this a defect?
You finally received your Bonfire, but suspect that your bike has one or more defects? Then you've come to the right place!
The page is updated regularly and contains all common Bonfire defects and how to fix them. In addition, we also clarify what is not a defect. And very important: We show you how to take care of your motorcycle properly, so that it doesn't come to that.
My engine control light is on all the time
If this is the case, then your OBD system still has the old software and should be updated by us at the next service. Your light will only go out after 40 drive cycles, which means you would have to turn your Bonfire on and off 40 times and then the light should go out.
By law, the check engine light is required to stay on for at least 3 more drive cycles. This means the function of the light is compliant with the law, but of course confusing for you as a driver. So in the new software, the check engine light goes off exactly after 3 drive cycles.
A little mnemonic: The check engine light will always come on as soon as there is a fault in the drivetrain. In this case, your motorcycle will no longer be drivable and will always stop. So as long as your bike is running, there is no error ;)
The right front brake lever is weakYes, the right front brake is not as strong as the left CBS brake. Due to EU regulations, the CBS brake has to brake really well (deceleration of 4.9 m/s^2), while the front brake has to brake only half as well (2.5 m/s^2). This is because the front brake is only considered an auxiliary brake and the combined brake is considered the main brake. For this reason, the CBS brake activates 4 pistons in total, while the front brake activates only one piston in the front.
The left lever of the CBS brake can be pulled close to the handlebarAs mentioned above, the CBS brake activates a total of 4 pistons, so more brake fluid must be pushed through the brakes. Therefore, the lever can be pulled closer to the handlebars.
On your Bonfire, sintered brake pads are installed on the front brake. These must be run in for at least 100 km. During the running-in period you should not brake too hard, so in the best case you should not use the emergency brake. After the running-in period you should notice how your brakes grip much better.PS: In 2024 the brakes will be updated to match the movement of the right and left brake levers. We will be happy to replace the brake levers in your next service so you can benefit from the brake update.
The Dual Sport tires are mounted the other way round
Yes, the front tires are mounted the other way round and that is correct.
It may seem odd that the front tires are mounted the other way, but Heidenau wants the tires mounted just so. Our explanation is that the front tires need more grip when braking, and the rear wheel needs more grip when accelerating.
My wheel is not mounted centrally
Yes, the wheels of the Bonfire are not always perfectly centered.
We have a tolerance of 3 mm to the right and 7 mm to the left on the rear wheel. The rear wheel is usually mounted more to the left because the Bonfire has more weight on the left side due to the large front brake, position of the battery cells in the battery and the hub motor. To prevent the bike from tipping to the left, the wheels tend to be mounted slightly to the left. For the front wheel, we only have a tolerance of 2 mm to the right and 4 mm to the left.
Sometimes the offset on the rear wheel can appear larger, as the mudguard does not run perfectly straight to the rear either. Also the mudguard can be mounted up to 3 mm offset to the center.
If the position of your wheel falls out of tolerance, please contact our Rider Support (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My wheels and rims are not perfectly round
The Bonfire has a tolerance of 2.8 mm for both lateral runout and radial runout for spoke rims. Since rims with spokes must be manually centered, your rim may not be perfectly round. However, as long as your rims are within the specified tolerances, your ride will not be affected.If the lateral or vertical runout of your wheel is out of tolerance, please contact our Rider Support.
My wheels are not perfectly in line
The wheels of a motorcycle are "on track" when their wheel center planes are exactly behind each other in a common plane (see top example on the right diagram).
The wheels can be offset parallel to each other, i.e. turning in 2 different planes. This would also be an offset of the contact points (see lower example on the right diagram).
Important: In the lower toe-offset range, the driver constantly corrects this skew unconsciously via the steering, since it automatically goes into the curve when the vehicle is running straight. A track offset in the upper range causes the motorcycle to oscillate at higher speeds. (For oscillation see next point)
We currently have a tolerance of 6 mm for the track offset. This specification is in the lower range of the track offset and will hardly be noticeable. However, it is possible that your motorcycle pulls a little more to the left or right when you ride hands-free.
If the offset is out of tolerance, please contact our Rider Support.
My motorcycle oscillates to the left and to the right (should only happen from 130 km/h)
When the motorcycle oscillates, the rider feels a permanent torsional vibration resulting from the machine twisting an imaginary vertical line through the center of the machine along the vertical axis.There are many different causes, some of which influence each other. The oscillation occurs with a frequency of 2.5...4 Hz about the longitudinal axis, usually only at speeds above 130 km/h. Since the Bonfire can't go that fast, we don't know about the this phenomenon yet and it shouldn't occur with your Bonfire.
My handlebar flutters "Shimmy Effect"
Handlebar flutter is very common on older and less expensive motorcycle models. The Bonfire "may" also be affected by this, even if there is no defect. However, several defects can cause the handlebar flutter to be amplified.
This effect is caused by a torsional vibration around the steering axis (see diagram). You can usually recognize the effect from 60 km/h onwards by the vibrations in the handlebars. The flutter should decrease from 80 km/h and be barely noticeable from 100 km/h.
Handlebar shimmy is more pronounced when coasting or at a constant speed, while nothing is felt during the acceleration phase due to the unloaded front wheel. Shimmy is not really dangerous, however, as long as you have a firm grip on the handlebars (according to Motorradonline here: https://www.motorradonline.de/typen/fahrwerksphaenomene-unter-der-lupe-das-grosse-flattern/).
The research booklet is a bit older, but here both the pendulum and the flutter and possible solutions were tested in detail: https://www.ifz.de/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ifz_Forschungsheft_4.pdf
For the Bonfire, we conclude that 3 factors (mainly construction) favor handlebar flutter:
- Dipping forks are more susceptible to handlebar flutter because the fork natural frequency is very close to the flutter resonance, which leads to resonance overlap
- The light front wheel and heavy rear wheel have a destabilizing effect and increase handlebar flutter
- The off-road tires generate stronger vibrations and promote handlebar flutter
The following deficiencies can lead to handlebar flutter and should be investigated by you:
- Front wheel is not centered, which means the radial and lateral runout are out of tolerance
- The front wheel is not balanced (you can recognize this by the fact that there are no balance weights stuck to the rim)
- The front tire is not properly mounted (you can tell by the line on the side of the tire).
- The steering head bearing is too loose and has play (you can tell by the noise it makes when you brake).
If your Bonfire has one or more defects, please contact our Rider Service.
If your Bonfire does not have any of the above mentioned defects, we have a few tips for you to reduce the effect:
- Shift as much weight forward as possible, which means bending more forward or riding alone.
- Ride as aerodynamically as possible, i.e. bent over, ride without top case and without side bags
- Correct tire pressure. Try to ride according to our manufacturer's instructions or a little more or less to find out at which air pressure the effect is weaker.
- The fork stabilizer stiffens the fork and should also weaken the effect.
- Change from off-road tires to street tires, which besides being more comfortable to ride on, are less prone to handlebar flexing.
Currently, we continue to test which defects or conditions influence the handlebar flutter and how you can best get rid of it. As soon as we have a perfect solution, you will find it here.
My battery connector is burned
Probabaly you just started driving and the vehicle didn't really want to accelerate. Then it started to jerk and then you smelled something. After opening the battery box (and the smell of melted plastic), you saw that one or both battery plugs were burned out.
This happens in most cases when the connector is not completely plugged in. That's why we mention it so often: Plug the battery connector all the way in!
Please write our customer service and clean the plugs of the battery and the vehicle with contact cleaner. In most cases the plug is still ok, only the plastic may be a little damaged. Send us some photos so that we can take a closer look or give you some tips.
Then make a very small round on your Bonfire (maximum 5 minutes) and then check if the plugs do not get too hot or if there is any damage again.
If everything is ok, you can continue to use the plugs and the batteries. If not, our customer service will replace the connector for you.
A defect is when the connector is no longer in proper contact with the vehicle after a long period of use and therefore becomes hot, even though it is completely plugged in. This is previously expressed by a slight crackling. If your vehicle is new and this error occurs at once, it is often because your connector was simply not completely plugged in.
Here you can see how to connect the battery:
My brakes are dragging
Yes, this is normal because the Bonfire has floating caliper brakes installed. The special feature is that the caliper is floating and the pistons are only actuated on one side. Therefore, one side of the brake pads almost always rubs against the brake disc. This noise changes with speed and can also have a rotating noise due to the nature of the brake disc. You don't have to worry because internal combustion engine motorcycles make the same noise, but of course you can't hear it because of the engine noise.
My Bonfire squeaks when braking
Yes, this can happen because the Bonfire has sintered brake pads. Sintered brake pads are known to be more prone to squealing than regular brake pads. Often brakes squeal because you have not used them for a long time. In this case, we recommend applying the brakes a few times. Usually, they should be quieter after a few brake applications.
If the brakes still squeal, you may need to clean them. To clean the brake caliper and the brake disc, we recommend buying special brake cleaner.
The Bonfire squeaks while driving
Yes, this can be normal. The Bonfire has two rotating parts: the front wheel and the rear hub motor. Each wheel has two oil seals to protect the axle and bearings from dirt. These oil seals are made of rubber and contact both the rim and the axle. They sometimes make squeaking noises due to rotation.
If these oil seals are making noises, on one hand you know they are working and protecting your bearings from dirt. That's a good thing. To minimize the noise, you can clean your axle and use some oil/grease.
Sometimes the swingarm also squeaks. Here you can just put some axle grease on the swingarm axle and some axle grease between the frame and the swingarm. If you want to do it fast, you can also spray WD40 between the frame and the swingarm, that should help for a few days.
If the squeaking from the axles (front or rear) does not disappear after 100 km, please contact our Rider Service. We don't currently have a perfect solution for this, but we are working on it.
The Bonfire vibrates slightly
When you accelerate from 20 km/h, you will notice that the Bonfire can vibrate slightly between 30 to 40 km/h. This vibration comes from the engine via the swingarm to the frame and your seat. This is completely normal, because the Bonfire has a torque of over 160 Nm and this creates very strong forces, especially when accelerating, which are transmitted as vibrations through the swingarm to the frame. You don't have to worry about this.
Also, the Bonfire can vibrate slightly when you ride the off-road tires. These have no centerline and a very rough pattern, which causes vibrations when riding. If these vibrations bother you, then we recommend switching to street tires the next time you change your tires.
The engine makes noise when I drive off
As described in the point above, the engine has an enormously high torque. For this very reason, it makes noise, especially when you start from a standstill. Unlike a motorcycle with a combustion engine, the Bonfire has only one gear. The Bonfire is almost always in 3rd gear, so it needs a very high torque and this is often expressed in noises or vibrations.
PS: These noises or vibrations are not loud and usually only you notice them.
My motor heats up very fast
Yes, this can happen. One of the disadvantages of a hub motor is that it heats up fast since there is only one gear. To keep the motor cool, we recommend following steps:
- Make sure you have the right pressure in the tires (or even slightly higher than we recommend to reduce friction)
- Try to ride alone
- Try to stay at a speed instead and reduce accelerating
- If you ride uphill try to ride faster than 40 km/h
PS: Keep in mind that the Bonfire is not made to climb steep hills. The Bonfire should be able to climb a constant hill of 10 % but at 20 % the Bonfire will stop after 5 minutes to cool down.