Bike garaged for 2 years - idle and stall issues - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 2017, 12:35 am Thread Starter
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Bike garaged for 2 years - idle and stall issues

New to the forum. What a ton of straight to the point knowledge - this is great! Hope you can help me.

About 4 months ago I bought my first BMW, a K1200GT 2008. It only had 16000 miles on it and had been in the guy's garage for 2 years as he could no longer ride bikes.

He charged the battery and I took it for a spin. I was used to a 750 cc Honda Shadow, not this. Couldn't believe how fast, smooth and how many bells and whistles is had. It was more than ideal for my needs.

I knew the guy a bit as another parent at our kids school. I had chatted to him about our bikes 2 years ago and he raved about this BMW, never mentioned any issues at all.

But I'm finding it will randomly stall at low rpms, usually as I'm coming to a stop and pull in the clutch - it just dies or sputters and almost dies. If I give it some throttle it will stay alive. Would likely happen more when bike is cold but it has happened as I pull into work after 50 miles. Its just random and when I try to recreate the issue I'm not always successful.

The revs seem to jump up and down between 1500-3000 rpm. But again, not always.

Sometimes when I rev on the highway to pass a car I sense it hesitates and then pops forward. Not sure if that's because I'm doing 70-80 in 6th gear and that's normal or its part of the overall issue.

I have gone through the threads, seems idle and stall problems are well known and can be solved by a change to the air box or buying a booster plug. I just wonder if my situation is a bit different if the bike has been sitting for 2 years. I know the seller, he told me about the quirks of the bike but never mentioned the stalling or idle issues. I'm sure he would have if he experienced this.

When I first felt the issue I took the bike to BMW and had the annual service done, plus new tires and the steel rear wheel flange added per a recall. But the idle issue remains unchanged.

I love the bike but just don't trust it at low speed maneuvering. Damn thing died on me after I started it and went to take a (simple) tight turn in a car park.

I'd appreciate any pointers on what to check to resolve this.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 2017, 7:45 pm
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A tune up by the dealer will not fix the idle issues with your bike.

Sure, having a bike sit for two years can wreak havoc with the fuel system. We don't know how the bike was prepared for its sabbatical. If no fuel treatment was used the fuel deteriorates, especially in 2 years. Was the bike engine run periodically or not. Did you drain and replace all the fuel?


As you mentioned: airbox and booster plug fixes are common, as are software updates.

The idle issue for your K12GT is well known. Hunting idle and stalling and all that. Surging too. Search online and on this forum for more. You need a dealer/mechanic that understands that and doesn't just give you the corporate BMW line that "they all do that". Some of the issues are related to a bad airbox design, where heat binds up the works causing high idle. The stalling can be related to software. A GOOD dealer will know all this and guide you to get it repaired. If these issues were not addressed by the Previous Owner(s) you get to do it. An new design airbox coast $300-400 and takes some work to install. When I did mine it helped a lot, but not completely.

However, these early K12GT's, before the K1300 improved it, are not so great at fueling and idling and smooth transitions of throttle at best. The bike can be smooth and powerful and then totally disappoint by stalling as you pull off the highway or at a stoplight. It all got better with the K13 in 09-10

Welcome to the zoo.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

1974 Norton Commando 850 Soon to be a restoration project

Last edited by lhendrick; Aug 19th, 2017 at 7:51 pm.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 2017, 6:35 pm
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Friend of mine has a '06 K1200GT that started to run really bad. He had the air box changed by the dealer in Salt Lake and still had the issue. He took it to our independent and turns out, the fuel lines were clogged. He blew out the lines with low pressure air and it works fine now. If it sat for two years, the fuel system is probably compromised. Had a fuel issue with my Turbo 750 (clogged injectors) and I put Seafoam in it and cycled the fuel injections so the fuel was in the injectors for a few days. Went to start it a few days later and it ran like a champ. You should also run a little Techron every now and then.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2017, 1:18 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pointers.

I called the dealer and he said he was familiar with the issues. He mentioned he had an 07 that used to surge and he ended up getting rid of it.

I left the bike in for an oil change and he'll check it out and let me know.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2017, 2:36 pm
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Hi, let me know what the dealer says. I recently picked up a 2006 k1200gt and have serious sputtering issues. Spark plug replacement worked for a little while. I've replaced O2 sensor, air-filter, fuel pump, installed a booster-plug (it stopped stalling after that), but it still shows the symptoms you mentioned. Doing a TPS reset seems to help it run smoothly, but not for long..... it's a lovely bike, just wish it wouldn't bog down and sputter.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2017, 3:08 pm Thread Starter
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I issues I had with the 2008 have all been resolved, albeit in an extreme manner. Last Wed I was knocked off the bike while commuting home.

I'm OK overall, couple of fractures in my right foot, bruised ribs and some abrasions. The bike slide for a bit but didn't look too bad. But I found out today that they will write off the bike. I wasn't expecting that.'

So now I have to look at a new bike and reading a bit on the forum I don't think I'll get another k1200 as I never could trust the one I had - would it die at a slow speed? Can't practice slow speed maneuvers on it. Will it surge at higher revs? Just unpredictable which is such as shame as it was a great bike apart from that.

I'm about to research the k1300 as I'm getting the impression they fixed alot of the older models issues with the K1300 release.

Not the resolution update you wanted, me neither but I'm happy to be OK.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2017, 9:28 pm
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Try to find a 2010 K13GT or just get the newest 1600GT that you can afford.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 2017, 9:33 am
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glad you're alright..good luck with the new ride
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2017, 8:29 pm
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Glad to hear you will recover. Foot injuries can take a while to heal (no pun intended).

I think a K13 is a good choice. The K16, while a rocket, is also a very heavy rocket.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

1974 Norton Commando 850 Soon to be a restoration project
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 2017, 7:38 pm
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First off, speedy recovery.

Second, I have a K1300GT and love it. I have put 6k miles on it since I got it last year. It was hardly used and had 10k. I know the previous owner hadn't used it in a long time. It did all sorts of fussy, dumb things, like stalling and hesitating, and it took a 2k of riding before these disappeared.

Even now, if the bike sits for a month it acts up a little.

I think these bike do not like to sit and require quite a bit of riding (tanks of gas) before they perform at their best.
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