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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2012, 3:55 pm Thread Starter
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K1200RS Starting Issues

My mount (K1200RS 2002) worked perfectly for a year and then got serviced. First time I drove to petrol station to refill, she wouldn't restart. Bump start, drive home, noticing headlight bulb's gone...
Starts following morning, no probs, but after sitting out for day (December, Scotland) at work, no joy. Bump start and drive home. Same continues for few days.
Holiday almost over, test start bike, nothing, not even a click...trickle charge overnight. Next am, starts fine. Diagnosis - battery us a goner. Charge overnight/bump in afternoon for couple of days then take to friendly mechanic, test battery and charging system, order replacement battery. Install and charge, no start...
Remove and clean/inspect starter motor, replace...no start. Starter relay?

Questions, are we going down the right road? Are we being sensible ordering $129 starter relay from US? Should we consider 40 Euro used relay from eBay Germany?

This is driving me completely nuts and I don't have money to throw at "try a solution" need some experienced advice, please help fellow K-men
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2012, 6:39 pm
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After you bump start it, does the headlight immediately come on?

When it doesn't start, if you put it in gear, bump the machine, then try to start it normally will it start?

I had issues (on my K75) with the starter bendix getting all dirty. Apparently those machines are grounded through the starter, which can cause problems if they get dirty, as they inevitably do.

This may not be related to your situation in any way. . .but at least it's something to think about until somebody comes along who *does* know what they are talking about!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2012, 8:00 pm
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I have to ask.

Is there TWO ground wires coming off the negative terminal of the battery?

I think you may have a bad starter switch at the handlebar or maybe one of the interlocks such as gear indicator/neutral switch, sidestand or clutch. Maybe start unplugging the connectors under the seat rail and check for corrosion, that is where the sidestand and gear switches are connected.

Getting the starter switch housing away from the handlebar, easy enough but you have to remove the mirror to find the rear screw, and then spray some contact cleaner in there.Maybe a clue that the switch is not functionning correctly because your headlight is off.

Curious me....how did you get that starter out? The long "by the book" way or the short way?

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 5:18 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,

Headlights are fine when ignition comes on. After bump, lights remain perfect.
Has been known to start normally after a short bump, but not recently...
Thanks for those checks, JackQT

I've not got the bike to hand, got a mate who's a bike mechanic working on it as a homer with my Clymer manual to guide him, but will check about the 2 grounds from the negative. Did notice that after removing and reseating all the fuses, the bike started with the old duff battery... Headlight seems ok, had to replace bulb at time of first starting issue, but no problem since then, think the switch is ok, pal's checked that. Removed starter the 'quick' way found in your previous post, many thanks for that! Once that had been checked, with new battery in and switch 'tested' this leads to the assumption that it's the replay. Does it seem logical that the relay may have been brought to the brink of death by running with duff battery such that new battery tipped it over the edge? Slightly reluctant to fork out £70 if not absolutely sure.

Thanks for the comments so far, much appreciated
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 7:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendo67
Does it seem logical that the relay may have been brought to the brink of death by running with duff battery such that new battery tipped it over the edge?
Yes...isn't there threads somewhere here about that relay actually sticking keeping the starter going even with the ignition off. From holding the starter button with a low battery ???? There are....!!!

Them threads terrified me enough to install a quick-disconnect switch on my bike.

But it is a relay,once removed has to be a way to "Power it" and check the continuity at the main poles.

Just hypothesizing here....there is a splitter next to the fuse box(es), that is where the starter cable attaches. If you put a meter on it it shows ground but as soon as you hit the starter button that reading will show a positive. Maybe a way to diagnose a bad starter relay,loadshed relay or switches without going into the electrical box.

Nasty cold today, can't think straight....and same yesterday a bit. But so you understand the system, that diagram is for an earlier K-bike but pretty well the same for ours.Sorry Bert for stealing your diagram, that's for a good cause!




Did you try starting with the clutch pulled in? That would isolate the gear/neutral indicator switch as a possibility. I had an issue with mine, no starter unless clutch pulled but was my doing as one of the fine pin connector got bent when I reconnected it. Corrosion in there could cause the same issues.

Make sure them TWO grounds are there at the battery, you don't want to fry anything or send the ground path where they shouldn't go.

Thanks for succesfully trying that "Starter removal procedure".

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 7:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669
Yes...isn't there threads somewhere here about that relay actually sticking keeping the starter going even with the ignition off. From holding the starter button with a low battery ???? There are....!!!

Them threads terrified me enough to install a quick-disconnect switch on my bike.

But it is a relay,once removed has to be a way to "Power it" and check the continuity at the main poles.

Just hypothesizing here....there is a splitter next to the fuse box(es), that is where the starter cable attaches. If you put a meter on it it shows ground but as soon as you hit the starter button that reading will show a positive. Maybe a way to diagnose a bad starter relay,loadshed relay or switches without going into the electrical box.

Nasty cold today, can't think straight....and same yesterday a bit. But so you understand the system, that diagram is for an earlier K-bike but pretty well the same for ours.Sorry Bert for stealing your diagram, that's for a good cause!




Did you try starting with the clutch pulled in? That would isolate the gear/neutral indicator switch as a possibility. I had an issue with mine, no starter unless clutch pulled but was my doing as one of the fine pin connector got bent when I reconnected it. Corrosion in there could cause the same issues.

Make sure them TWO grounds are there at the battery, you don't want to fry anything or send the ground path where they shouldn't go.

Thanks for succesfully trying that "Starter removal procedure".
Minor nit-pick, but it can be useful for trouble-shooting (at least on the K1200RS/GT). The parking lamp doesn't get power from the load-shed relay. It stays on when starting. Point being is that if you have a bad ground through the starter brushes, the load-shed relay will drop out until the ground is good again. Headlamp will go out when that relay drops out, but the parking light will stay lit.



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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 9:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
Minor nit-pick, but it can be useful for trouble-shooting (at least on the K1200RS/GT). The parking lamp doesn't get power from the load-shed relay. It stays on when starting. Point being is that if you have a bad ground through the starter brushes, the load-shed relay will drop out until the ground is good again. Headlamp will go out when that relay drops out, but the parking light will stay lit.
Yes you are right. But maybe someone with better drawing skills/less dislexia at electrical plans than me could redo it for our bikes.

Lets see....remove parking/taillight and I think the temp switching unit..... add speedometer and TWO battery grounds....

I'd even supply my BMW electrical diagrams but not for copying , some knowledge of German required.

Keeps coming up over and over again them grounding gremlins, too long sometimes to explain in writing.

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Last edited by H96669; Jan 17th, 2012 at 9:29 pm.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2012, 9:15 pm
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I'm experiencing them gremlins right now. And, right now, while loading the bike on a trailer, the only lights working are the Piaa's, (as their power and ground are connected straight to the battery. There's a control circuit that turns them off from one of the relays) but the dash lights were out. Naturally, now that it's all secured, and I can walk around the bike while it's running, all the lights work. Headlight is going off and on, but the rest are fine. FWIW, the headlight seems to have a problem staying on (or off, for that matter) when the RPM's are around 2500. I suspect the brushes, but will let the diagnostics run first. I'd try taking out the starter here, but there's some homeowner regulations that basically prohibit any major work being done on vehicles and all I have is an open carport to work in. Oil changes are frowned upon. But, I knew this when I moved in.



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2012, 1:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
I'm experiencing them gremlins right now. And, right now, while loading the bike on a trailer, the only lights working are the Piaa's, (as their power and ground are connected straight to the battery. There's a control circuit that turns them off from one of the relays) but the dash lights were out. Naturally, now that it's all secured, and I can walk around the bike while it's running, all the lights work. Headlight is going off and on, but the rest are fine. FWIW, the headlight seems to have a problem staying on (or off, for that matter) when the RPM's are around 2500. I suspect the brushes, but will let the diagnostics run first. I'd try taking out the starter here, but there's some homeowner regulations that basically prohibit any major work being done on vehicles and all I have is an open carport to work in. Oil changes are frowned upon. But, I knew this when I moved in.
You'll have to be sneaky....half an hour to get that starter out. Maybe get a shield of some sort to keep the prying eyes from seeing anything.

But if you do that take some pics, mine aren't all that clear, got a much better camera now.

And my question would be: If there is enough room behind the starter/bellhousing to sneakily spray cleaners at a sticky Sprague clutch?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2012, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by H96669
Yes you are right. But maybe someone with better drawing skills/less dislexia at electrical plans than me could redo it for our bikes.

Lets see....remove parking/taillight and I think the temp switching unit..... add speedometer and TWO battery grounds....

I'd even supply my BMW electrical diagrams but not for copying , some knowledge of German required.

Keeps coming up over and over again them grounding gremlins, too long sometimes to explain in writing.
After a while I worked out how to use the oem wiring diagrams and I'm fairly ok with them now.

1. I refer to the translation of wire colors from German to English first.
2. Then I worked out how to jump around the sheets using the numbers at the bottom of the pages. That's a cute way of showing a large circuit on several sheets. Ideally you want everything on one A1 size page or a huge Plasma TV and Pdf file. Sorry I'm not up for that! But you can scan their drawings for the areas you need, print and physically cut and paste, then highlight the circuit lines and take out to the bike.
3. The page listing the blocks and modules in English is important.
4. I plug german words into BabelFish for translation if I'm not sure. Translation can be strange, but you work it out.
5. You can't always assume the oem colors are correct for your bike. I use pins pushed through the wire and a multimeter to make sure the wire is going where I expect.
6. Wiring junctions (e.g GROUNDS) are often physically wrapped inside the loom and their diagrams don't tell you where. A lot of junctions are inside the 'electrical box' right side under the tank with plastic caps over or soldered and heat shrinked.

If you are trying to work from the old whiteponds site freebie, then I sympathise because technical drawings like circuits need to be scanned at much higher resolutions than what was uploaded and converted carefully to make them readable. I've recently had to get some electronic copies of HP test equipment manuals and the firms that sell that kind of service know how to do it properly. The Clymer circuits aren't bad and some might find that easier to use as it has colors.

The K's wiring weakness is that part of the loom that goes up inside the cockpit and is wiggling around with the steering. There are an awful lot of wires in there. Because those BMW cheapskates put in wires with thin cores and not many strands, they don't handle the flexing very well.

What happens is the wire breaks inside the PVC jacket and it's virtually impossible to spot, even after removing the loom tape. My trick is to unwrap the tape back as far as possible, warm the bundle up (carefully!) with a hair dryer, then carefully tug on each wire. The wire that pulls like a length of elastic is the broken wire. If I need to replace a length, I tend to choose silicon wire with plenty of strands in the copper core. I've only had to do this twice so far.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Jan 25th, 2012 at 5:52 am.
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