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Thread: R1200GS Electrical Issue

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  1. #1
    Registered User Pahl's Avatar
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    R1200GS Electrical Issue

    Hi,

    I live in Ukiah, CA and it was around a 104 degrees the other day so I dicided to take my 10 year old son out for a ride through the redwoods to the coast to cool off.

    About an hour into the ride and 3 miles from the nearest town, the bike sputtered a little and suddenly died. The starter turned over a few times when I tried to start it again. Eventually, all I got was a click. The symptoms were consistent with that of a dead battery. However, I had replaced the battery about six months ago. Fortunately, a good Samaritan named bob was kind enough provide jump. The bike fired right up when connected to his car. I turned the bike off and left it connected for about 10 minutes and we were on our way again. Just as I got into town (4 miles), the bike did the same thing. This time, I noticed the sputtering got worse as I gave it more throttle. Thinking that this might be because of the fuel pump drawing more juice, I up-shifted to lower the RPMs and that bought me an extra quarter mile before the bike died. I ended up pushing it about three blocks to a dirt bike repair shop. Dirt bike mechanic checked the battery voltage. He said it read over 14 volts. I didn't even get a click when I tried to start it then. He said he thought the problem might be in the charging system or the computer. In speaking with the mechanic, I discovered he didn't go to service school or have any formal training in bike repair.

    Anyway, long story short, I had my wife come get us with the pickup. The next day, the bike started right up. I ran it for 10 minutes both at idle and rev. I am not a mechanic, but I have some experience with electronics. I am wondering if the problem has something to do with temperature. I have heard of similar problems with cracked microchips. They might work fine when they are cool, but as the temp goes up the crack expanse and it fails...only to work later after it has cooled down. I talked to me dad (retired electrician). He said the had a cracked coil in the alternator on his old R90 once that did the same thing.

    Does anyone have any ideas? If so, what kind of a job is it to fix?

    Sorry for the long story.
    Matt #7105
    R1200GS

  2. #2
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    dunno, but...

    ...its either fuel, air or spark.

    probably not air, probably not fuel.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Totally consistent with battery voltage dropping below that needed to run the bike. The jump, and short recharge bought you a little more before it did it again.

    So, either the charging system is not charging the battery, or the battery is bad. But the bike should run on the charging system unless it is so overloaded trying to charge the battery that there isn't anything left to run the bike.

    Start by taking the battery out, fully charging it and having it load tested. If the battery proves to be good, attack the charging system.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 08-18-2012 at 11:44 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #4
    Registered User Pahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    TTotally consistent with battery voltage dropping below that needed to run the bike. The jump, and short recharge bought you a little more before it did it again.

    So, either the charging system is not charging the battery, or the battery is bad. But the bike should run on the charging system unless it is so overloaded trying to charge the battery that there isn't anything left to run the bike.

    Start by taking the battery out, fully charging it and having it load tested. If the battery proves to be good, attack the charging system.
    Thanks. What I failed to mention was the mechanic tried connecting the shop battery and the bike still wouldn't even try to start.
    Matt #7105
    R1200GS

  5. #5
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    Just another thought if the battery checks
    Out under load I'd check the ground
    Cable for corrosion or loose connection
    I would not be so quick to suspect warm
    Ambient tempatures 104 degrees is
    Uncomfortable for humans but not so hot
    For machines. Happy hunting.

    Joe,
    R1200RT

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    When an electrical system powers a running bike OK but won't crank it a bad battery is suspect. When an electrical system won't even keep a running bike running it is even more feeble.

    It is possible a bad connection - battery, ground, alternator, etc. is causing the problem. But you will not find the problem unless and until you get a reasonably fully charged sound battery in the system. (Preacher mode off)
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb

    I had Vulcan 750 that left me on the side of the road more than once. I finally noticed that one of the three alternator leads was broken right where it comes out of the alternator, so the bike was only putting out 2/3 power. When I spliced the broken lead back together, I never had another problem.

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