Service-Pinit-Highland-GP and C'dale

Spent the last few weeks just lurking about here, as for the honest to god truth, don't seemed to be real welcome here by some of you. Fortunately for us, the folks a Cannondale do indeed seemed very enthusiastic about our special project. It is because of that I decided to post this thread.

We took our Cannondale engined Superkart to Laguna Seca recently for the World Superkart Challenge. We were one of two 4-stroke karts entered. Thursday, we discoverd the engine produces more heat then the trx250R we had run previously and only got a few laps in each session before hitting 220+F. FInally with an additional radiator plumbed in and some ducting, got it down to the 170-180 range, right where Mark S said we should shoot for.

According to the Air/fuel meter we installed, we were rich at idle, but lean across the board above that. No more practice that day, so back to the hotel with the laptop. Decided to just alter the base X440s fuel map wiht a universal 10% increase above a TP of 10%. And set teh rider trim for digital jetting, so he can tuen it with teh help of the A/F gauge while out on the track.

Up unitl this point the two times we had the thing out, it started everytime and ran fine. Got to the track the next day,hooked up the lap top and downloaded the modified map. Wouldn't start. No other changes made. Noticed teh fuel pump was running on. Finally, just pulled the plug on the fuel pump. It quit of course and when plugged back in it was not running. Still wouldn't start. Switched to the D&M program. no faults registering. Checked the engine cal file.

WHAT the H??? It had both throttle values at 5.0 The Injector flow was at 20,000 and the offset was 1.99. Gee, no wonder it wouldn't run!! THought I must have screwedit up with my 1st map creation attempt, so went and downloaded the standard base map. AFter a fair amount of cranking to clear it out, it started right up and seemed to be running fine on the stand in the pits.

Shut it down. Get ready for our one practice of the day ( sharing the track wiht ALMS, Formula Mazda, SpeedVision Challenge). Get teh signal to fire up and hit the track. No go, fuel pump also running on again. Run and grab laptop and plug in and check cals. Its back to teh 5.0-20,000-1.99 settings. Was running fine when we shut it down. Reload map, but it is flooded and runs the battery down trying to clean it out.

Charge the battery, check all the connectors, etc. Everything looks fine. After a while, it fires up after charging the battery and reloading the map again. Get ready to go out for qualifying. Won't start and pump is running on. Check cals again. Throttle values ok, but injector flow is back to 20,000 and offset 1.99. ???? reload map, but again flooded and won't fire. No qualifying. If able to get it going will start 32nd.

Can't figure this out. Get back to hotel and get online and go to the Cannondale website. Find there is a dealer in Salinas, about 10 miles from the track! Get to track Saturday am. Check and the cal file is all corrupted again.

Send Stephanie to call the dealer and see if she can get directions. The dealer is Pinit Motorsports. She talks to a gentleman named Steve and tells him we have a Cannondale Superkart ( he already knew we were there from his friend Wayne Rainey, who told him there was a Cannondale on the entry list!), and tells him what it is doing. This dealer, who doesn't know us from Adam, who didn't sell us a thing, and who doesn't care that this is a kart and not a bike or quad, volunteers to come out to Laguna and help out. We rush around to get him the proper pit credentials and meet him at the gate. He rides in on his bike with his laptop and all...and a spare ECU!!!

We, well mostly Steve, tried everything with the unit. WOuld still kick out those bizarre engine cals once in a while. Fuel pump would also run on at times. Once while the fuel pump was running, we unplugged the GP control harness and it quit. Plugged it back in and the pump started running again. Steve checked the wiring harness and all.... fuel pump wiring was ok at teh pump and wasn't grounding itself out. (We are running the completely stock harness) Everything was fine. Plugged in his ECU. Wouldn't communicate with my software, but also wouldn't with his dealer software. ?? Back to the original ECU. Finally got some settings in it that it would start and run.....just minutes before the cal to teh grid for the pre-final het race.

Start teh single cylinder ICE class in 32nd. Comes around after one lap in about 16th. Comes around the 2nd lap and pulls into the pits, engine still running. This was the first time we had the chance to run it at 100+% effort in racing conditions. The motor bent teh 1/2 in steel rod used as a chain tensioner/engine stop, and twisted the bearing hanger it was attached to to the point it pulled some of the bolts right out of the axle cassette. A little bit of torque there!! The set-up had worked fine on the 250 2-stroke singles we ran. Disappointed to drop out, but passing about 15 karts in one lap showed some potential there.

Spent what time we had Sunday welding braces on teh bearing hangers and strengthening the rear assembly. Got it done about 15 minutes before race time for the final. Gremlins crept in again over night and when we hit the green button, there went the fuel pump again and a quick hookup showed the cal file corrupted. Reload the map, but it is flooded. Battery getting weak as we crank it. Hook up a charger. finally get it to fire and try to run, but when we disconnect the charger, it quits. Don't make the grid for the race.

Get back to Michigan. Call Cannondale, Call Scooter at GP, call the dealer we got it thru, Team Highland. Scooter has us send him the complete GP controls wiring harness, as he wants to check that out for any shorts. Also has us send him the ProCal disc, as when we go it, it loaded fine on the desk top, but wouldn't load on the laptop. Had to burn a CD from off the desk top to get it to load. SO he wants to check CD. Scooter says he has seen this once or twice before. The Engine cal files we kept defaulting to are the maximum values for those parameters. Never did figure out what had happened to the other units that did this. THinks the hex files got corrupted somehow.

Marc also wasn't real sure just what was going on. Steve from Pinit called Mark also and told him what he had experienced wiht the system when he came out to check it. Dennis from Highland also called and talked to the C'dale office. Conclusion, the are sending us a new ECU.

Whether it was Pinit, Highland, GP Control, or Cannondale itself, we have had nothing but impressive service to say the least from these folks. Don't think I would have gotten it from Honda or Yamaha. Sure it was disappointing to travel nearly 6,000 miles round trip and then not get to race, but with the response we have had from all these folks, I don't feel so bad about it. I do not feel like I am on my own I would have likely been with some other brands.

BTW, the crowds loved the Cannondale kart. When not working on it and setting it at the end of our pit, wasn't unusual to have 5-10 people gathered around, more than around any other single kart. Firing it up in the pits always drew a crowd. People came by after hearing it run out on the track and the consensus opinion seemed to be that it sounded like a Ducati Superbike!

If/When I here as to the cause of this corruption of teh system, will let you guys know if anybody is interested.

OBTW, for those with the GP control system, know how you can nickname your ECU...well, when we got our set-up, we nicknamed the ECU "Christine"!

Charlie - Your always welcome around here. Sometimes the guys say bad things about our four-wheeled quad friends but it's all in jest.

It was great seeing how you are expanding into a new motorsports area for a Cannondale engine. I hope you get the bugs worked out and get that monster onto the track for another try at a race. Can't wait to read your next report.

Good Luck and let us know what they find on the ECU defaulting problem.

Cool, you sure got some people to help you out! Its funny that you just posted this. Someone is selling a c-dale motor on e-bay and I was just thinking, what if I put that in a cart? Keep us posted!



I hope no-one gives you a hard time here. You're providing additional insight into the whole Cannondale thing, motor and company.

It sounds like you verified that the fuel pump was not grounding out like the C-dale bulletin mentions. But, since you are operating in the Kart frame have you verified that your system ground is good? Is the Kart frame providing a good, consistent unopened ground? I can't imagine what would happen to the ECU if it was getting power spikes. Just a thought.

Joe :)

Just when I first posted about pulling the mnotor out of the bike, it seemed to oftend some...kinda made me feel like the guy that ripped the arms of that statue of Venus deMilo!!!!

You are right in that these ar ethe same engines and maybe we can learn something about them from each other.

Haven't nailed it down to the ECU just yet. (BTW, we do have redundent grounds, have lost a race years ago because of losing the ground!). Talked with Scooter at GP at length this pm. They tested teh harness and tried it on some test bikes also. Everything worked fine. As for the CD not loading porperly in our laptop, the said they have noticed that with some of the older laptops ( ours is a thinkpad, P120) that had never had any of their drivers updated.

So after checking thru the harness, he went thru some of teh symptoms it was exhibiting. Of note to him was that when we hit the green button to prime it, the green power light comes on, but the temp light wuold also come on until shortly after starting the engine. SHouldn't be doing that, teh fault light may come on and do that but not the temp. Then he recalled that in some of teh early-mid'02 bikes, the plug for teh GP harness on teh engine side in some bikes had one of the rows of 6 connectors out of sequence. This would cause teh ECU to get all kinds of error inputs. It would also explain why it ran fine in the bike during breakin and on the kart befoer we tried to use the GP system. IF you don't hook up and us the GP system, then you would never know about this as the bike doesn't use that section of harness for anything else. Also would explain why even Steve's ECU wouldn't work either. Don't know if it was universal in all the earlier '02s or just some. If your never getting the GP control system or not changing your maps or anything, don't worry about it.

Was too late to call Mark S. GOing to try and find a wiring diagram showing the proper pin placement in that plug.

As for service. Humor an old guy here, Back in '65 when I started racing, most all bike shops were small out of the way little shops owned and run by hardcore enthusiaists, for teh most part. "The nicest people thing hadn't really hit hard yet. Everybody knew each other on a first name basis and it was a place to go hang out sometimes, as there was usually somebody around telling tale tails. Well by the late '60's into teh very early '70s, this all started to change. More people were getting into teh bike business who were not "lifers", but more business oriented. Bigger shops, multiple brands of Asain bikes, etc. No more of this, "he kid, you racin at Millburg this Sunday?", "Nah, broke the gazmo on teh bike and can't afford to fix it." "here kid, take this Gazmo and we will see ya at the track, pay me when you got the money." nINstead it was becoming, go into the parts area, pull a tab and stand in line 'til they call your number and then get some guy that don't know you from Adam, could care less if you were racing their product, and probably knew less about actually working on it than you did!! Now not all shops became that way, but enough did that things changed big time.

Well, in dealing with these two Cannondale dealers and with GP and Cannondale itself, it's been kind of a Dejavu thing. Reminds me of the old days when most of the shops were owned and run by true enthusiaists who were so much into what they were doing that they wanted you to share that same feeling and every customer was somebody with a name, not a #. Kind of refreshing, if you ask me.

I take my CDale, KX250, and my girlfriends KX100 to Steve. After dealing with some other shops in the Bay, its hard not to even though its 50+ miles out of the way.

I too am looking forward to a success Kart racing story. I think that the ATV and Kart racing will help to find new and different bugs in the CDale motor. Once all the bugs are worked out, we'll all be a lot happier, and all the other guys will be choking on "made in the USA dust".


Great detailed post! Glad to have you on here to enlighten us. Let us know what you find out on the harness, if the pins are in the wrong holes. I'm assuming you'd just have to trace them back to the connectors on the ECU and find the correct holes in the plug/recepticle to put them into.

Good luck with the cart...

If you are interested in seeing what the Cannondale kart looks like, go to:

It's one of the largest karting websites in the world and the lead story is a small sample of photos from teh recent Laguna Seca race. just click on the link on the front page adn you can't miss the photo of the C-kart.

I like the way the air filter is sticking up and forward. It makes it look a little like the BORG from star trek. You will be assimilated, resistance is futile.

--marc :)

Funny you should mention that. The editor of one of the racing magazines was looking the engine set-up over. Compared to the other singles, the YZs, CRs, etc., the Cannondale, with the airfilter stuck up there and all the wiring harness and sensors, he also called it a Borg. That got expanded into the nickname for it....the CannonBorg 440!

Very cool. So when is your next race? Your going to have to keep us posted.

Next race is this weekend..10/12 & 10/13 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course in Lexington.

Will let you know what happens...whether "Christine", our ECU cooperates, or we need to call in an exorcist!!

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