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Thread: New user/owner seeking counsel from the wise. (1995 r1100gs)

  1. #1
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    New user/owner seeking counsel from the wise. (1995 r1100gs)

    Like the title says I am brand new to the BMW realm, in addition to the motorcycle realm as well.
    This is my first bike ever and I am excited to start hitting the road.

    I am consulting the forums because they have never failed me in the past, that and I enjoy doing all my own work to whatever extent I am capable.

    My questions are as follows:

    Just buying this bike I have noticed a few things that I would like to get some info about.

    The start up: takes a few times sometimes more, have to constantly work the choke to keep it going dies occasionally.
    Idle: idles at around 800 once warmed up, and dies if I don't keep working the throttle sometimes.
    The throttle: if I get on it real quick it will bog down immediately until I let off, if I rev up a bit slower it works just fine.

    Changed the fuel filter, spark plugs and still the same thing. Was told the valves were adjusted prior to me buying it.

    I have yet to pick up a tb sync, or even check the ecu for codes. Does it just sound like it needs a tune up?
    What are some things that I need to look for on this bike?
    Should I change out all the fluids prior to riding it? What would you all recommend?

    Thanks.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexscott87 View Post
    Like the title says I am brand new to the BMW realm, in addition to the motorcycle realm as well.
    This is my first bike ever and I am excited to start hitting the road.

    I am consulting the forums because they have never failed me in the past, that and I enjoy doing all my own work to whatever extent I am capable.

    My questions are as follows:

    Just buying this bike I have noticed a few things that I would like to get some info about.

    The start up: takes a few times sometimes more, have to constantly work the choke to keep it going dies occasionally.
    Idle: idles at around 800 once warmed up, and dies if I don't keep working the throttle sometimes.
    The throttle: if I get on it real quick it will bog down immediately until I let off, if I rev up a bit slower it works just fine.

    Changed the fuel filter, spark plugs and still the same thing. Was told the valves were adjusted prior to me buying it.

    I have yet to pick up a tb sync, or even check the ecu for codes. Does it just sound like it needs a tune up?
    What are some things that I need to look for on this bike?
    Should I change out all the fluids prior to riding it? What would you all recommend?

    Thanks.

    Bike looks clean for age. How many miles are on the bike? Has it sat for most of it's life? Was fuel sitting in it most of its life?

    My comments are primarily aimed at older units that have few miles on them in reference to age.

    When you said you changed the fuel filter are you referring to the fuel filter located within the fuel tank or was it an external filter? If it was the filter within the fuel tank did you examine the fuel pump and screen? Low mileage bikes that have sat for most of their lives are well known for ruining the fuel pumps. The next question is subjective to a large degree but have someone who is familiar with the sound of the fuel pump on this model listen to it when the key is turned on to determine whether it sounds like it should. Fuel pressure can also be measured as long as you have the correct tool. Can you see rust when you open the fuel cap? If you changed the internal fuel filter was there rust within the fuel tank?

    800 rpm is too low on the idle. I don't remember the exact idle speed on that particular model but you should see approximately 1,000 to 1,100 rpm. If you are not aware of the service history I would always recommend changing all of the fluids right off the bat. A full tune up while it may be a good idea may not really be necessary but is certainly useful in establishing a baseline. BMW calls for the valves to be adjusted at 6k intervals. It is common where you may find the valves to be within spec at those intervals but given the fact I'm not an engineer I figure those folks know better than myself. Keep in mind performing the service is no guarantee the bike will run better should you have other issues.

    How does the brake fluid look? Does the bike have ABS? ABS brakes can be exceptionally sensitive to the lack of fluid renewals. There is some risk in renewing brake fluid on motorcycles where it has not been done for years. My theory is you need your brakes so go ahead and renew the fluid and hope for the best. You may find the brake lines need to be replaced so be prepared for that. Primarily applies to low mileage units that have sat for long periods of time. It is possible you may find your ABS pump needs replacement. Keep in mind when an ABS pump fails you still retain full brake functionality although you do lose ABS functionality.

    Ignition-related components this old can create problems as well. But first verify all fuel-related components are working as they should.

    Last but perhaps not least... if you enjoy working on your own stuff invest in a service manual preferably the OEM version in my opinion. While an aftermarket manual may be good nothing compares with the OEM books.

  3. #3
    Macrunch MCrenshaw's Avatar
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    All good advice. Pay close attention to all wiring and rubber hoses and lines. Brake lines probably do need to be replaced as well as fuel hoses. Early oilhead bikes are notorious for having wiring with poor insulation. It's not uncommon for the wiring on the Hall Effect Sensor (HES) to become brittle and break off. This most often happens during rain or very humid weather and the engine will not fire.

    Welcome to the world of beemers and I'm sure you will enjoy your new bike.

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    To clarify, the choke is not a choke. It is simply a faster idle caused by a separate cable pulling slightly on the throttle body pulleys. When you need to fiddle with it you are just increaseing the idle slightly. Fully warmed up you will want an idle of at least 1,000 rpm and 1,100 isn't to high.

    You adjust the idle speed ONLY with the big brass crews threaded into the throttle bodies. Do NOT adjust the smaller screws on the pulleys that are or were locked with blue paint.

    To adjust the idle is part of the synchronization. Synchronized side-to-side at idle, and also when the cables are holding the throttle bodies slightly open. This requires a dual manometer - carb stix, twin max, carbtune, etc.
    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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    you need to do/have done a TB synch. that should clear up most of your running concerns.

    if you have a valid service history, and fluid changes are up to date, that should be fine. otherwise, change them, and you have a solid baseline to start with.

    don't bother with OEM manual (only avalable on CD, there is no OEM "book" anymore)- unless you are a really good mechanic and know your way around these bikes, as the OEM manual assumes you know all the basics. Get a Clymer's, or maybe a Haynes. Some like both.

    add your location to your profile. someone in your area might be willing to assist your initial efforts.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    you need to do/have done a TB synch. that should clear up most of your running concerns.

    if you have a valid service history, and fluid changes are up to date, that should be fine. otherwise, change them, and you have a solid baseline to start with.

    don't bother with OEM manual (only avalable on CD, there is no OEM "book" anymore)- unless you are a really good mechanic and know your way around these bikes, as the OEM manual assumes you know all the basics. Get a Clymer's, or maybe a Haynes. Some like both.

    add your location to your profile. someone in your area might be willing to assist your initial efforts.
    Yea, "books" is a slip of the tongue. Don't worry, I still call music cd's "albums" time to time. And, best of all I still call electronic parts books "microfiche". Hey, when you got 1 foot in the grave these things happen! (Still like OEM whatever you want to call them though - sorry)

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Bike looks clean for age. How many miles are on the bike? Has it sat for most of it's life? Was fuel sitting in it most of its life?

    My comments are primarily aimed at older units that have few miles on them in reference to age.

    When you said you changed the fuel filter are you referring to the fuel filter located within the fuel tank or was it an external filter? If it was the filter within the fuel tank did you examine the fuel pump and screen? Low mileage bikes that have sat for most of their lives are well known for ruining the fuel pumps. The next question is subjective to a large degree but have someone who is familiar with the sound of the fuel pump on this model listen to it when the key is turned on to determine whether it sounds like it should. Fuel pressure can also be measured as long as you have the correct tool. Can you see rust when you open the fuel cap? If you changed the internal fuel filter was there rust within the fuel tank?

    800 rpm is too low on the idle. I don't remember the exact idle speed on that particular model but you should see approximately 1,000 to 1,100 rpm. If you are not aware of the service history I would always recommend changing all of the fluids right off the bat. A full tune up while it may be a good idea may not really be necessary but is certainly useful in establishing a baseline. BMW calls for the valves to be adjusted at 6k intervals. It is common where you may find the valves to be within spec at those intervals but given the fact I'm not an engineer I figure those folks know better than myself. Keep in mind performing the service is no guarantee the bike will run better should you have other issues.

    How does the brake fluid look? Does the bike have ABS? ABS brakes can be exceptionally sensitive to the lack of fluid renewals. There is some risk in renewing brake fluid on motorcycles where it has not been done for years. My theory is you need your brakes so go ahead and renew the fluid and hope for the best. You may find the brake lines need to be replaced so be prepared for that. Primarily applies to low mileage units that have sat for long periods of time. It is possible you may find your ABS pump needs replacement. Keep in mind when an ABS pump fails you still retain full brake functionality although you do lose ABS functionality.

    Ignition-related components this old can create problems as well. But first verify all fuel-related components are working as they should.

    Last but perhaps not least... if you enjoy working on your own stuff invest in a service manual preferably the OEM version in my opinion. While an aftermarket manual may be good nothing compares with the OEM books.
    Wow thank you for the reply, this bike has 81k miles on it, the fuel filter was outside of the tank. I couldn't really see inside to see how clogged(if it even was clogged) it was.
    When looking on the in tank I saw no rust, granted I did not see underneath the fuel pump. I'll be taking it to the bmw dealer just to have someone listen to it, seeing as how I know no one up here off hand that knows how everything is supposed to sound.
    The OEM service manual was actually included in the purchase which I find to be quite helpful. I have been studying that like no other just to gain a better understanding.
    I do have the ABS lights flashing at me once I turn the key, to my understanding this is due to the fact that a component that is tested at startup and not one that is tested during riding has gone bad, malfunctioned. I have yet to check the actuall code it's throwing.

    I'll do a complete fluid swap on the bike once I get my license mailed out to me (managers don't take too kindly to me working on it in the parking garage. Thank you again for your help, I'll keep you all updated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    you need to do/have done a TB synch. that should clear up most of your running concerns.

    if you have a valid service history, and fluid changes are up to date, that should be fine. otherwise, change them, and you have a solid baseline to start with.

    don't bother with OEM manual (only avalable on CD, there is no OEM "book" anymore)- unless you are a really good mechanic and know your way around these bikes, as the OEM manual assumes you know all the basics. Get a Clymer's, or maybe a Haynes. Some like both.

    add your location to your profile. someone in your area might be willing to assist your initial efforts.
    Awesome! I will most certainly get on this right away.
    From what I was reading it seemed like something real easy to do, hook up the tool, and adjust the screws accordingly while maintaining the idol speed.
    As far as the book, I do consider myself capable of preforming anything as long as I have the instruction. I have been messing around with cars and jets for a good amount of time so I have a decent understanding, but this is still a new realm.

    I'll add my location now, that would be rad if there was someone in the area.

    Thank you

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGLAVES View Post
    To clarify, the choke is not a choke. It is simply a faster idle caused by a separate cable pulling slightly on the throttle body pulleys. When you need to fiddle with it you are just increaseing the idle slightly. Fully warmed up you will want an idle of at least 1,000 rpm and 1,100 isn't to high.

    You adjust the idle speed ONLY with the big brass crews threaded into the throttle bodies. Do NOT adjust the smaller screws on the pulleys that are or were locked with blue paint.

    To adjust the idle is part of the synchronization. Synchronized side-to-side at idle, and also when the cables are holding the throttle bodies slightly open. This requires a dual manometer - carb stix, twin max, carbtune, etc.
    Ok idle speed adjusted with big brass screws, check. Would you recommend a thorough cleaning of the throttle bodies? Take them off and clean out all the gunk that has accumulated inside, or do they remain pretty clean?

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    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Good for you to get a great Oilhead! But you say this is your first bike ever? Kinda big and heavy to start with an Oilhead GS, and a bike with a dry clutch to begin with.

    I hope you have taken some rider training class before taking off on this bike? If not, definitely take the course, may do well to buy yourself a used 250cc dirt bike and get familiar with riding on that first. Dirt skills develop good basic riding skills.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Good for you to get a great Oilhead! But you say this is your first bike ever? Kinda big and heavy to start with an Oilhead GS, and a bike with a dry clutch to begin with.

    I hope you have taken some rider training class before taking off on this bike? If not, definitely take the course, may do well to buy yourself a used 250cc dirt bike and get familiar with riding on that first. Dirt skills develop good basic riding skills.
    Thank you for the concern, yes I have taken the MSF course offered here in California and passed with flying colors, so say the instructors. This was on of the bikes that I actually felt comfortable on as well, I'm 6'5" about 220lbs. It seemed suitable.

    I have a respect for power of machines so hopefully I shouldn't have too many problems with the size and power. As far as the dry clutch goes I'm doing a bit of research on that right now. Thank for the input!

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    dry clutch- like a car's clutch. basically, that friction zone you learned to love in your BRC class? don't use it much, learn to combine increased throttle with a deliberate ease out of clutch with little time spent in fz. dry clutches do not like to be slipped. best upshifts occur at 5K rpm or above, only about half a clutch pull, preloading of shifter. (there, that should give you enough terms to search on to figure it all out )
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    dry clutch- like a car's clutch. basically, that friction zone you learned to love in your BRC class? don't use it much, learn to combine increased throttle with a deliberate ease out of clutch with little time spent in fz. dry clutches do not like to be slipped. best upshifts occur at 5K rpm or above, only about half a clutch pull, preloading of shifter. (there, that should give you enough terms to search on to figure it all out )
    That makes total sense. Rpm is one question I had and you answered it. So no friction zone, or very little of it on this bike. Got it!

    I love this. The information just keeps flowing.

    Thanks again!

  14. #14
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    Just an update on my progress with getting this bike. Replaced the fuel pump, filter, spark plugs, and two fuel lines in the tank that I found to have large cracks in them. Added some QD's to the main fuel lines.
    The response those two lines made was substantial, starts right up, the throttle response is amazing.
    Just need to do a tb sync and adjust the idle. It's near 2k right now. Thank you all again for your help.

  15. #15
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    I don't have much to add.
    The throttle body synch is done throughout the throttle opening range.
    On mine someone had fiddled with the (steel) idle set screws (which are supposed to have a dot of paint on them, not to be adjusted) and mine was out of synch at idle, but came in synch at larger openings. Lucky.
    The actual idle level can be adjusted with the brass bypass screws. Within a normal range that is. I keep mine around 1200 because I am lazy and sloppy with the clutch I guess. You will be happier if you keep those in synch with each other as well - if not, then one side will idle leaner than the other and may give you a hesitation coming off idle.

    The ABS warning lights just flash, it's not a code. It means the ABS system is not active (yet). You may hear a nasty scrape-clunk when you start out; that's a self-test firing off. At that point the lights should go out. They will flash if there is air in the system, or if your battery is too low to run the motors with the proper violence.

    Ah one more thing. The throttle bodies do accumulate varnish and filth, and at 80,000+ miles it may be bad enough to justify going in after it. You should be able to pull the bodies loose from the bike without disturbing the cables and screws so they stay in synch. Be careful with the rubber fittings as they may be getting stiff already. A little WD-40 won't hurt anything here. It made a big difference on my 1100, but I'm not sure why (it is not a complicated piece). But clean is always better than dirty.

    I would change out all the fluids. Just paranoid about that sort of thing. The transmission and final can take the same lube or you can go a little thicker in the final if you want. I'm using a full synthetic 70w-90 in both. I have a wee bit of seepage coming around the rubber boot and I am told that this is probably due to the smaller molecules of the full synthetic getting past the seal - you could use up to a 120 mineral oil and maybe it wouldn't do that.
    I generally use a full synthetic motor oil, 20w-50 - the thing is oil cooled and I believe the synthetic takes the heat without breaking down. I change the oil and filter once a year whether it needs it or not.

    On the 1100 there is whirring and clunking. I like to say it sounds like a Cessna motor bolted to a John Deer transmission.
    Long throws at the shift lever.
    Last edited by scott.lambert; 04-28-2013 at 01:22 PM.

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