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Thread: Dead in the Driveway - Help me now... 2007 R1200R

  1. #1
    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    Question Dead in the Driveway - Help me now... 2007 R1200R

    O.K.
    2007 R1200R 15K miles fully maintained and pampered...

    Just went down to the gas station and filled her up.
    Came home to change jackets due to the cool weather.

    Went back out to start the bike and turned it on and everything was dead.
    Pushed the button and got a 'click' and nothing.
    Nothing showing on the computer either.

    Turned the key to off and also to 'lock' and back to 'on' and the computer shows time and total miles only.
    Tried key on again several times and the intermittently computer read normal and dials went thru their dance.
    Hit the starter and 'click!' and dead again, readout on the computer blank again.
    Once the key was on and the start procedure (dials/lights) just came on after being blank (except time and miles).

    When I turn the key to 'off'' I can hear what sounds like a slight electrical/grinding sound.
    Like it's trying to go into shutdown mode.

    Sounds like a dead battery right? Battery tests at 12.9V.
    Checked all the battery connections including the Fuzebox installed for accessories (clean install I might add).
    All good.
    Never had a start problem to date.

    What do I do next I ask...
    Dead computer?
    I hate being at the mercy of The Dealership...
    Last edited by deilenberger; 09-24-2013 at 08:14 PM. Reason: added year/model to title
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    It has all the symptoms of a bad battery, how old is it? Is the voltage reading just off the battery as it sits? Depending on your meter, you may be able to watch as you hit the starter button and if the meter dips below 9.2V, it isn't going to start. Sometimes the battery has the voltage but not the energy behind it to actually make the start. Don't ask me how I know
    OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Classic - broken cell connector in the battery. It might show 12+ volts no load and a fraction of a volt w. Ithaca just a tiny load like a te st lamp.
    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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    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    It has all the symptoms of a bad battery, how old is it? Is the voltage reading just off the battery as it sits? Depending on your meter, you may be able to watch as you hit the starter button and if the meter dips below 9.2V, it isn't going to start. Sometimes the battery has the voltage but not the energy behind it to actually make the start. Don't ask me how I know
    OM

    ...could possibly be the battery, I think it's maybe 2-3 years old. Have to check the PO's records.
    Later on that.
    No testing voltage at the starter while cranking. Won't crank.

    Push button if the computer comes up and just 'CLICK' and everything dies...
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

  5. #5
    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Classic - broken cell connector in the battery. It might show 12+ volts no load and a fraction of a volt w. Ithaca just a tiny load like a te st lamp.

    You mean frashizzeled battery then, correct?
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

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    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Badda Bing!

    ...O.K., I'm an idiot. Checked the PO's records. Battery was never replaced.
    Must have been thinking about another bike.

    That was easy. Guess I should be glad it happened in the driveway and not he gas station...

    So...what's the latest hot set-up for a BMW battery these days?
    Thought about a Shorai but didn't have good luck with one on my last airhead.

    Usually I get an Odyssey or Westco.
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapiddog View Post
    No testing voltage at the starter while cranking. Won't crank.
    Glad that you all all set The test would be- for those following along- meter on battery, see the 12.9 volts and when you hit the starter button- voltage goes way down....in your case probably to 0 volts. Probably the 12.9 you saw was just the conductivity of the electrolyte and no real contact plate to plate.
    I can't help you with the battery choice as I am at the point that a new one every three years seems like the way to go. When I lost a battery in my F800 a while back I got a chance to see how fussy things were with these new(r) bikes. With the old battery, it would not take a jump from a donor battery. It would start with a jump from a running vehicle and would not stay running without the "live" jump.
    And yeah, much better at home. :
    OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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    Did you test the battery while applying a load (like trying to start it)?

    If it's still 12.9v it's not a bad battery, right?
    Tim
    Olympia, WA
    1991 K75 - 121k Miles

  9. #9
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    To elaborate on my earlier post, I have had the same thing happen more than once.

    In the most recent case I made several starts over the period of about a 120 mile ride. Then - nothing.

    The bike would start with a jump from a pickup, but die as soon as the cables were disconnected. I hauled the bike home.

    I pulled the battery. Sitting on the workbench I tested the battery with a volt meter. It read 12.7v if I recall correctly. I have a tail light bulb rigged up in a socket for a testlight. I connected the light - it wouldn't glow, and the voltage dropped to .04v.

    A connector in the battery had broken. Often you can hear a snap or pop when it happens. The no load voltage was just through the electrolyte - it would not produce any current. Or at least not enough to light a tail light.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by rapiddog View Post
    ...O.K., I'm an idiot. Checked the PO's records. Battery was never replaced.
    Must have been thinking about another bike.

    That was easy. Guess I should be glad it happened in the driveway and not he gas station...

    So...what's the latest hot set-up for a BMW battery these days?
    Thought about a Shorai but didn't have good luck with one on my last airhead.

    Usually I get an Odyssey or Westco.

    I have a 2006 R1200RT that I bought from the original owner in 2010. I replaced the original BMW battery with an Odyssey PC680 about a year and a half ago. It has worked great so far, but haven't had it long enough to say if the longevity will be exceptional. The Odyssey website says to expect 5 year service life IIRC. If I know I won't be riding for several days I hook it up to the BMW battery tender. I think that is the key to longer battery life.

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    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    To elaborate on my earlier post, I have had the same thing happen more than once.

    In the most recent case I made several starts over the period of about a 120 mile ride. Then - nothing.

    The bike would start with a jump from a pickup, but die as soon as the cables were disconnected. I hauled the bike home.

    I pulled the battery. Sitting on the workbench I tested the battery with a volt meter. It read 12.7v if I recall correctly. I have a tail light bulb rigged up in a socket for a testlight. I connected the light - it wouldn't glow, and the voltage dropped to .04v.

    A connector in the battery had broken. Often you can hear a snap or pop when it happens. The no load voltage was just through the electrolyte - it would not produce any current. Or at least not enough to light a tail light.
    BTW, an electrochemist ham radio friend of mine pointed out to me that when an internal connection in a battery is broken, and the battery is jostled, it's possible for the battery to explode. The open connection suddenly making connection can cause a spark and set off the explosive gas mixture of hydrogen and oxygen inside the battery. In the case of car batteries in the '70s some of these mishaps blinded the jostler. The proper caution is to put a rug over the questionable battery when jostling it...even when it's still in the vehicle.
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  12. #12
    Registered User Alfred02's Avatar
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    Ok, so far you haven't even proven that it's a bad battery.
    Could still be something else at this stage.
    2 options.

    1) Test yourself. Measure voltage directly across battery terminals, while turning key on. If voltage drops below 10 volt, then the battery is toast.
    If voltage stays above 11.5 then next would be to check connections.

    2) Pull the battery and take it to a battery place who can load test it for you.
    Australia N,S,W
    Mid North Coast
    2014 R1200RT LC/SE

  13. #13
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Battery

    I replaced the stock BMW Battery on my 2009 RT at the beginning of the season with
    an Odyssey PC 680 and it has worked great so far, price was good too. I had to do
    some modifications so that the battery would be held snug in the battery box, but
    found a great posting about that on these boards that worked like a charm. I also added
    a battery monitor to my bike so I could pick up any signs of battery malfunction sooner
    rather than later. Good luck with your bike.

  14. #14
    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    ...problem solved. It was the (probably) 6 year old battery... OEM BMW.
    I don't have any records showing it was ever replaced.

    Replaced with a 240A Cycletron (made by Yuasa) from the local auto parts store for $105 otd.
    Everything is back to normal.

    Thanks again for the input and help.
    You made my weekend.
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapiddog View Post
    ... So...what's the latest hot set-up for a BMW battery these days?
    .
    Battery thread, battery thread, I'm so glad we have a battery thread.......Westco, Odyssey, Shorai, Yuasa, Panasonic....

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