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Thread: K13GT Alternator Failure!

  1. #1
    Caribbean Druid
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    K13GT Alternator Failure!

    Just a note for K12/13GT folks: I thought my battery was going bad, so I took it in today. The shop tested it and said yep, bad. However, it was not only the battery but also the alternator that had failed. Bike is an 09 K13GT with 9.8K miles. I don't have a lot of extra drain on the system, just my ZUMO, Adaptiv radar detector, and CooCase LED brake lights. Anyway, they hope to have a new alternator in for me either NLT than Friday....

  2. #2
    Caribbean Druid
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    Update

    Well, if your K13GT alternator fails, it appears there is no replacement part currently stocked in the U.S. My replacement alternator (warranty) is winging its way over from Germany this weekend...hopefully I'll have the bike back mid-week or so.

  3. #3
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    That is a bummer - any more information from the dealer other than it is broke.
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  4. #4
    Caribbean Druid
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    Not much. They were as surprised as I was. About 3 weeks ago I wheeled the GT out for a ride after a 2 week layoff, and the battery was dead. I figured I had fallen victim to the ZUMO mounted-drain-the-battery syndrome. So I put the GT on the Battery Tender and it took literally 2 days to fully recharge. So no problems after that. I was careful to pull the ZUMO if I was leaving the bike for more than a day or two. Then I pulled the GT out on a Monday morning a week ago, after a 250 mile ride the Saturday before that, and it was dead again. I never got an engine warning light or anything while riding it. I charged the battery up again and rode it over to the dealer this past Wednesday. They test it and at first say "Yep, bad battery, not carrying a load." Well, I had kind of already figured that part out... Seriously, as soon as they put a new battery in and cranked it up, it started discharging, without a recharge from the alternator. Really bizarre, as we were still not getting any warning lights, etc. Then they went on a search for a replacement alternator, intending to overnight it and get me up and running the next day (I've got a great dealer...). No luck. They had to get Germany to send the part via express...

    That new Ducati Multi-Strada 1200S Touring is starting to look pretty good...Maybe I can swap 'em my GT and 1098 straight for one of those...

  5. #5
    Caribbean Druid
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    update

    So I'm on the range late today, teaching an MSF class when the shop calls. They've got the alternator, have it installed and the bike will be ready shortly. Not bad, considering the shop was closed Sunday and yesterday. Not 15 minutes later, the shop manager calls again and says "Wait a minute, we're getting some readings on the output that we don't like. We're checking some numbers and we'll get back to you." I tell them no problem, I'm teaching today and tomorrow, and can't pick the bike up until Thursday anyway. That's the last I hear today...

    Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode of "The GT Turns".... not. I'm seriously starting to think Multistrada here...

  6. #6
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwestly View Post
    Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode of "The GT Turns".......
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  7. #7
    Caribbean Druid
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    Ok, today's episode...

    So at the end of today's MSF class, we get the students out the door and I'm on the phone to the shop. Shop manager says the new alternator tested out good....however...it seems the bike's computer system is not allowing the alternator to charge the battery below a certain RPM. Once the bike is running 4K RPM or so, the system works right. However below that the battery is in discharge only.
    As of the end of today they are trying to reprogram the computer system to see if that fixes the issue. If that works, they'll retest it and I'll have it back tomorrow. If not, they have to email/send all the test results to Germany to try and figure out the next step. Interestingly, when they talked to the BMW N.A. rep today, he said they had recently had another report of a GT alternator/system failure (NFI).

    The saga continues....

  8. #8
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    It's amazing the level of technology in these bikes, the computer system controlling the charging characterisitics.

    Hopefully you will get your bike back quickly and corrected.
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  9. #9
    Caribbean Druid
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    You know, my first bike was a 1970 Yamaha 200 2-stroke street twin (used, $400), when I was 15. It was oil-injected, bellowed blue smoke, the battery occasionally leaned over in its mount and touched the frame, causing discharge, and the carbs were NEVER in synch. But everyday I got up, slapped on my 3/4 Bell Helmet (K-Mart, $19.95), and rode it to high school. I could actually fix the thing on the side of the road, if need be. Sigh...

    Anyway, I'll post today's episode once further revelations have been cast from BMW's version of Mount Olympus...

  10. #10
    Caribbean Druid
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    Today's news....
    The shop is still getting negative readings from the computer system and no recharge of the battery below a certain RPM. All data now going to BMW N.A. and Germany...guess I'm riding my Duc this weekend...

  11. #11
    Caribbean Druid
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    Success!

    Shop called yesterday and said Germany isolated the problem. It was the ZFE component within the computer system. Evidently this is some firmware/hardware part that controls the alternator output and battery recharge, among other things. Fortunately this part does exist in the U.S. The shop had the part overnighted and they installed it today and tested it. Everything now works and the system gets the right amps at low rpm to recharge the battery.

    Tomorrow morning I'm riding over on my Ducati 1098 and exchanging it for the BMW...the Duc has developed a little bit of rough idle...go figure...

  12. #12
    Caribbean Druid
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    Well, its dead again...

    Picked up the GT, rode it home, everything was great. It sat for a week. I went out this morning to crank it up and go for a ride with our local MSTA group. I turned the key and...nothing. No click, no whine, no computer screen lighting up...nothing. Dead as a door nail. Needless to say, the humor in this situation has made a quick exit.

    I called my service manager and his first words were "You're kidding!", followed very quickly by "We'll be right there to pick it up". (I have a great service department, fortunately). So soon thereafter the shop's retrieval truck arrived as promised. They have one of those cool bed loaders that deploys from the back of the truck, flat onto the ground. We rolled the bike up onto it and away it went...

    Stay tuned...

  13. #13
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Bummer
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  14. #14
    Caribbean Druid
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    Ok, the culprit is now the recently installed ZUMO 665 cradle. Like some others, it apparently is drawing voltage even when the GPS is shut down. Actually, I'm glad its the cradle and not the bike. Fortunately the dealer was able to revive the battery and it is holding a charge. Tomorrow I'm installing the CentTech fuse panel just received, and I'm going to run both the GPS power and the Adaptiv radar power leads into the switched terminals on the fuse panel. This should solve the problem...

  15. #15
    RadRider radrider's Avatar
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    Good to see your alternator problem is being solved. I can tell you I have had my Zumo cradle connected first to the outlet and later direct to the GPS connector for 5 years on my RT with no problems with the battery or alternator. Is the dealer insinuating that the GT can't tolerate a direct GPS connection?
    RadRider
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