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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is it my Alternator?

Happy Spring Everyone!

I installed a new battery for my 01 K1200RS - turned it on - the OEM not as strong tunring over but worked ok and after 1 hour ride I turned it off and ON again it did not have enough power to start. (This was the same thing my old battery was doing)

I got a volt meter checked while off - 12.6 volts - after siting for a while it turned over and now when running the alternator was pusing 13.4 volts - turned on high beam and not much diff in the volts. Anyone have any ideas?
 

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Here is some reading for you on batteries, may help you determine the shape of yours, look at the charge tables. But 12.6 sounds right,should be more for a Gel battery at full charge.
All in there:

http://www.batteryfaq.org/

However it depends when you do the test, you have to wait for the surface charges to dissipate first or turn the lights on for a minute then wait 5 minutes or so to accurately gauge the Voltage. Clymer says wait 30 minutes after charging to test the Voltage.

Alternator seems OK at that voltage but you'd need a shop manual to test it properly.

What I would do is to connect another battery to the bike,with yours fully charged first, as in jumpstart from another vehicle. If it is still sluggish, I'd suspect the starter.Check all the connections first including the one at the starter and the ones next to the fuses, the starter wire is connected there too.

But if it is the starter, let me know I have a way to remove it without tearing half the bike apart or cutting anything. I just haven't had a chance to post it yet with pics.

Do not insist too much on a sluggish starter, it may only need a cleaning and new brushes, if you hold it too long you will burn it! :thumb:
 

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Toronto_AQ said:
Happy Spring Everyone!

I installed a new battery for my 01 K1200RS - turned it on - the OEM not as strong tunring over but worked ok and after 1 hour ride I turned it off and ON again it did not have enough power to start. (This was the same thing my old battery was doing)

I got a volt meter checked while off - 12.6 volts - after siting for a while it turned over and now when running the alternator was pusing 13.4 volts - turned on high beam and not much diff in the volts. Anyone have any ideas?
I hope you realised when you swapped the battery that there are TWO ground wires on the terminal post? The short fat black wire is the important ground that can fall behind the tray so you miss putting it back. Unfortunately all the starter amps try to go through the loom which makes the starter appear sluggish BIG WARNING OF DOOM AHEAD. Unfortunately, if you keep cranking the loom is the next thing to burn.

If BOTH ground wires are connected I'd hang my voltmeter across the starter relay and look for near zero volts when cranking. If OK then hang the voltmeter on the starter terminal. If getting 12-12.6 volts when cranking and starter still sluggish go look at the starter.



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Toronto_AQ said:
Happy Spring Everyone!

I installed a new battery for my 01 K1200RS - turned it on - the OEM not as strong tunring over but worked ok and after 1 hour ride I turned it off and ON again it did not have enough power to start. (This was the same thing my old battery was doing)

I got a volt meter checked while off - 12.6 volts - after siting for a while it turned over and now when running the alternator was pusing 13.4 volts - turned on high beam and not much diff in the volts. Anyone have any ideas?
Did you fully charge the new battery before using it or just dump it in??
And 13.4 volts out of the alternator doesn't seem high enough to me. I would think the running voltage (2,500rpm+) at the battery should be around 14.0-14.5VDC
 

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Toronto_AQ said:
Happy Spring Everyone!

I installed a new battery for my 01 K1200RS - turned it on - the OEM not as strong tunring over but worked ok and after 1 hour ride I turned it off and ON again it did not have enough power to start. (This was the same thing my old battery was doing)

I got a volt meter checked while off - 12.6 volts - after siting for a while it turned over and now when running the alternator was pusing 13.4 volts - turned on high beam and not much diff in the volts. Anyone have any ideas?
check "ALL" your ground connections...a heated ground terminal or lug, because of a bad connection will sometimes fail but when cold it will work...I have had that problem with other vehicles just a twist of the wrench solves that problem...when the connection is weak it will heat up....and also give you a lower reading on your tester...you should have at min. 14 volts charge rate. don't know if the stater is grounded between the housing or if it has its own ground circuit...but maybe try running a jumper cable from your neg side of the battery and the other end to the stater housing or if dose have a ground cable hook it up there and see if it cranks better....nother trick is to get a good visual of the harnesses and crank it over in the dark...you may see sparkage where there is a bad connection....a stater that is going south sometimes will suck when hot ... but when cold its fine
 

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Here is what Clymer says for "Charging Voltage Test"....:

-Connect a digital voltmeter to the battery terminals
-Start the engine and allow to idle. The voltmeter should read 13-14 Volts.
-Turn on all electrical accessories and switch the headlight to HI. The voltage reading should remain 13-14 volts.


The alternator is rated at 840/14 W/V maximum output in both Clymer and the BMW shop manual.

Batteries, there is a few duds out there, even new ones, the only way to find out is with a "Load Test", if you do not have access to a load tester you can improvise, here is a quote:

"If you do NOT own a load tester, the normal quickie way of doing this job, and it is perfectly adequate a method, is to remove the fuel or ignition (ground it properly) from the engine so it will not start. Charge and then monitor the battery voltage as above. Crank the engine for 10 to 20 measured seconds. At the end of the time period, still cranking, note the voltage....again, 9.8 is the minimum."

But you can do that with the lights also, Google "motorcycle batteries load test" you'll get quite a few hits.

Interesting and funny readings here on batteries for BMWs, not so much on Gels, but tells you why you may not want to buy batteries at Walmart. :)

http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/newbattery.htm
 

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Batteries actually do have specs. at least the better one's. Start by looking at the 10 second max cranking current, that tells you something about the battery internal resistance which on decent batteries is very low when new. It has to be otherwise if you do the load tests as above, you will see more volts drop on load, due to the internal resistance of the battery. Of course to be fair to the battery it should be fully charged before doing the test.

If you are interested in specs and want to see what I consider to be the ultimate K bike battery look at the Odyssey batteries. I'm not saying other batteries are no good, just that here is a battery with a decent published spec and most who use it say their blinking ABS lights at start up on a cold morning (low battery) are gone and cranking speed is high.

Of course no battery will perform well if it is not fully charged and these bikes need battery electricity. I've been running a Chinese AGM for over 3 years tendered 24/7 and it's now starting to show a couple of signs it needs replacing. So it will be an Odyssey this time. It's no fun push starting K-bikes.



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Discussion Starter #8
Found Problem

Yes, I did find that I forgot to hookup the 2nd ground - yeah I know -

Did a full dump/full charge on the IBM battery and it works fine - however I am ordering a new battery just to be on the safe side. Wish I had heard about the odesey sooner.

On another note - I smell something burning when I get off the bike. Time will tell.

Thanks again team!
 

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Toronto_AQ said:
On another note - I smell something burning when I get off the bike. Time will tell.
Thanks again team!
Road tar and debris will get on top of the catalytic converter and really stink up a storm. This happened a lot on you '04.
 

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brucecha said:
Road tar and debris will get on top of the catalytic converter and really stink up a storm. This happened a lot on you '04.
different smells...depends on what kinda animal guts you run over :teeth
 

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I have always smelled a burning smell at the end of every ride for 70,000 miles. I think it's normal.
 
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