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Discussion Starter #1
My garage lies other side of the wall behind our hearth in the TV room. On cold nights like this we always toast by the fire, and so the back side of the chimney knocks the chill off my bikes. So when I came out this morning, even though it was 17 degrees, Ocelot fired right up.

But after parking all day outside the office in 20 mph winds on a day which never exceeded 22 degrees that was one damn chilly brick. VERY reluctant to start. Round and round she went with just a weak cough now and then. Had to go back inside and let her dry out and let the battery rest. Then I went out and cranked the crap out of her. Took me maybe fifteen minutes to get on the road.

Now here's the deal: I am a lifelong rounder. Riding Season is a myth. This is Dull-Aware; not the Yukon. I am not going to walk to work. That means this type of behavior is entirely unacceptable. If she cannot start down to five degrees like all my other bikes, then she is gonna be out of here come Spring.

Luckily, Ocelot is a 1990 K75C with no ABS; so she has the giant battery, and it's brand new. Juice was not an issue. The brain enriched the mix, I know that because she smelled like a gas station. I know the "choke" lever is in good shape, because it sends the idle up.

I am thinking there has got to be a cold weather trick. I know with all my Hondas it was always full choke, absolutely zero throttle, and crank. Annie my R1200CLC beemer likewise wants me to not touch the throttle, but she wants me to stab the starter. Biffy my KLR wants full choke and crack the throttle at first cough. Had one bike, if it didn't catch on the first try, you turned the key off and walked around for a bit, because more cranking would just flood the thing. Had a kickstart R69 many many years ago that a Dane taught me the old country way: Light a newspaper, throw it under the pan, count to five, then start kicking. Idea was to warm up the air in the intake.

So I am looking for advice from a rounder up North. Some brick jockey from the land of cheese and skeeters, or some crazy Canuck from the land of taxes. What's the trick? How do you start the thing in the teens? Crack it open? Keep it shut? Stab? Crank?

And while we're at it, what's with the "choke" lever? I find there's a notch at about half way. What's the purpose of this notch?
 

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I live in the Northeast. Always have, except for 12 years in Maryland, and I have ridden and worked on BMWs for thirty-odd years.

K-Bikes with L-Jetronic often resist starting in cold weather. Aside from proper tuning, there are three things you can try. The first is to not use the "choke". Just stab the starter button. Frequently they will fire right up. The other is to roll the throttle on and off, "tricking" the L-Jet into believing the motor is accelerating because the airflow meter is getting jiggled back and forth. Finally, I have found that boosting fuel pressure will give enough fuel to get a reluctant bike started.

You noted that the bike "smelled like a gas station". When one of these bikes doesn't get enough fuel to start, it simply goes into the exhaust. When cranked long enough, they'll even foul their plugs without giving any sign of starting.

The mid-point in the choke lever is to keep the motor running during warm up. Only K75s have this feature.
 

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You get snow out there? Maybe your bike is just not wanting to get dumped on slippery stuff.
The K75 tends to flood easily, especially during a muffed start up. I use full choke (actually, it's a fast idle, no choke function) no throttle, clutch in (for less tranny drag) If no go, then hold it WFO for a couple more cranks to lean it out. Always worked for me, but I drive the Jetta now if it gets below 40. Total wimp in my old age. I remember reading about some fluke the injection system had but I can't remember it now.
 

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PsyKotic Waterfowl
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54089093 said:
The mid-point in the choke lever is to keep the motor running during warm up. Only K75s have this feature.
Where did you pick up this little tad of misinformation? All K75s, K100s, K1s and K1100s have it. They all use the exact same left hand handlebar assembly which includes the choke. Look up part number 32721457069.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partxref.do?part=32721457069

Cold starting, what works for me: One blip of the throttle before hitting the start button. No choke until the engine is running then use the choke until it warms up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Land of Coffee

Does it get that cold in Seattle? Nineteen here this morning. Always thought of Seattle as more wet than frosty. Do you get the brittle air and black ice like we do on this side of the continent?
 

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PsyKotic Waterfowl
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Ocelot said:
Does it get that cold in Seattle? Nineteen here this morning. Always thought of Seattle as more wet than frosty. Do you get the brittle air and black ice like we do on this side of the continent?
It's usually not THAT cold here but it can get into the teens occasionally. (14 back in November of this year)

Black ice: unless we have a cold snap not so much in the city except on bridges but we get plenty of black ice in surrounding areas during the winter.
 

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:teeth
FlyingDuck said:
Where did you pick up this little tad of misinformation? All K75s, K100s, K1s and K1100s have it. They all use the exact same left hand handlebar assembly which includes the choke. Look up part number 32721457069.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partxref.do?part=32721457069

Cold starting, what works for me: One blip of the throttle before hitting the start button. No choke until the engine is running then use the choke until it warms up.

My '88 K100RS SE has that detent and it works well for a set point during the rarm up period. My guess would be that the BMW engineers put that there so us American riders would have a point to set our chokes at that they determined to be the ideal point for most cold starts. (Crazy American riders with their "all or nothing" attitudes.... :teeth )

I live in Corvallis Oregon, just a few hours away from Seattle and yes it can get cold here. We have had snow, freezing rain, low teens for temperatures, and a tornado along with our more typical upper 30's to low 40's weather. (That has just been since the first of November.) We usually get a week or so where we sit in the 20's in January or February then get a warm snap that pushes us to the mid to upper 70's in February right after that cold spell. And that is just for the coastal side of the Cascades. When I ride to visit a friend of mine in Baker City, Oregon in January I will be riding in 20's in daylite, and low teens after sunset. I made a trip over to visit her in November (during our cold snap) and my K100RS started just fine with single digit weather using the same method FlyingDuck uses. Works great every time and my bike has 145k miles on it.

In that long story I guess I'm trying to establish that us riders in the Pacific Northwest do experience cold temps too and we do ride our bikes in that weather. And our bikes operate just like they should. Even on Oregon's 10% ethanol blend during the summer and closer to 17% with our winterized fuel. (My Honda bikes required aviation fuel belnded in during the winter to run.)

:xcheer:
 

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Sounds to me as if you are flooding the engine. Try holding the throttle wide open when you crank if it starts right up you choke is flooding the engine, and needs adjusting.
 

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This problem can happen with most of the K Motronic motors.

When starting cold the controller looks at the engine tempereature (i.e very cold) and dumps even more fuel into the motor which can soon foul up plugs. It shouldn't be necessary to crank for 15 minutes and just get more fuel in.

I had this problem when I first got my K bike and put it down to rolling open the throttle for starts, just as I did on the carb bike. I've since learned this is a no-no. Just leave the throttle on the stop, crank and if it doesn't fire after 3 cranks, leave it alone 5 minutes.

The frustrating thing seems to be you can't purge out the wet fuel mix by opening a 'choke' because the brain ignores all that. I don't know if there's a simple way to crank with the fuel pump or Motronic disabled. Not sure if you can pull a fuse and still crank (F4?).

If I'm on a critical mission, I just pull the plugs, cook on a gas flame until they stop smoking and put them back hot.



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Discussion Starter #12
triggs are for kix

Guys, my battery is brand new, full of juice, never cranked slow. It's the big fat one, much bigger than the Ody, big enough for a small import pickup. I don't remember the numbers, but when I bought it I checked the ratings and this guy is rated at significantly more cold cranking amps than the Ody. So here is the deal: It's not the battery. Take that to the bank.

So far, I have tried a couple of the tricks advised here. Tried starting without the "choke", got a cough, then she immediately wanted a faster idle, so she died. (BTW - can we just call this the fast idle lever so we don't have people reminding us it isn't a choke?) So she wants her the fast idle lever. Tried jiggling the throttle immediately before start. That seems to have worked. Key on, crack, stab, go. No prob.

On the other hand, last couple days it had to warm up enough to snow here. When I tried the on crack stab go it was in the upper 20s. Today we are all iced up, so I am driving the wife's stinking cage. Hate when that happens. The true test will come next time we are in the teens.

:snowlaff:
 

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Whoops!

It's been a while since I've ridden my older K-Bikes. The K75 has a detent at full "choke", whereas the 4-cylinder bikes do not.
 

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How long is really needed to warm up the engine in these cold temperatures? I saw that I got 50 less miles from my last tank and can only guess that it's from letting the bike run while I dress. Really necessary to let the engine get to normal operating temperature?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
start and go

I've been a rounder for fifty years. There may be six or eight days a year when ice makes me take the cage. In all that time, I have treated every bike the same way: start and go. The most warm up she gets is as long as it takes me to close the garage door and put on my gloves. I can't see anything good come from idling in the driveway at all. If you want oil to circulate, you got to get going. If you want the engine warm, you got to make some heat. If your battery is feeling sluggish, you got to make some juice. If you sit there idling cold, you delay all three.

Fire her up and hit the road. :snowlaff:
 

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pallum said:
I saw that I got 50 less miles from my last tank and can only guess that it's from letting the bike run while I dress.
This could be due to winter formula fuel they bring out this time of year. My wifes truck is also seeing a drop in fuel mileage. My Bimmer diesel is still getting 31 miles a gallon (7.5 litres per 100 km)
 

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That could also be throwing me off. Going with Ocelot's tried and true (apparently :p) method so we'll see how far this tank gets me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
too small sample

pallum said:
T... we'll see how far this tank gets me.
Your low average may be a simple miscalculation. One tank is way too small a sample. Average over 500 or 600 miles min to get any good sense of your mileage. It's too easy to squeeze in just a little more or a little less. And with a mere 3 gallons going in, that little more or less divides out to a big diff in mileage. I can go stick the nozzle in right now until it clicks, compute one total, then pull out all but the tip, squeeze it easy, compute again, and lose ten mpg. Try it. You can do a car this way because you are putting 22 gallons in and the filler neck is a long thing. With a bike, you don't have a filler neck for consistency.
 

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I'll always defer to FD, but on my choke there's the detent for choke/warmup, and pushing it past that to full open is "start".

I don't have anything cold here to compare, but I use that "start" position for start without any throttle, then let it drop back to the detent for the first mile or so, then back to run after it's had the throttle open a couple times.

for what that's worth, mine started first try after two years sitting (British gas so no winterizing needed) with the start function, maybe nine cranks total.


starting procedures are always fun, and unique to the bike. My BSA wants a good tickly, a little crack of the throttle and then some babying. The Suzuki GS650 did great with a puff of air into each of the vent tubes and no choke. I don't know what to offer with these new fangled electronic controlled monsters :D
 

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Better late than never....

Unless I missed it:

None has mentioned the actual BMW suggested start procedures for various temps.

First detent down to some figure (I'm thinking 30s F or thereabouts) second detent below that.

You have to hold it in the second position and then once the beast will run with out it you can leave it in first.

I rode to Florida a few weeks ago and (due to it being me I'm sure) it was super cold my first morning out (25 or so). By the time I went to start up it was about 30 I guess... second detent to get her running and after about 10 or 15 seconds or so, she'd idle on the first stop.

Didn't ever touch the throttle, no problems.
 
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