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Thread: Clock resets to 0:00 when starting

  1. #1
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    Clock resets to 0:00 when starting

    On cold days (45 degrees or so) this winter my '02 R1150RT started doing something weird. I had not been able to ride it for a few weeks, but on one warm day I went out to crank it up and go for a spin but the clock read 0:00 so before I cranked it up I put it on the charger for a few hours until it was charged. Cranked the RT up, set the clock, and away I went. I went out a couple of more times in the next few days and all was well.

    Another cold snap, and the bike sat for a couple of weeks until the next warm day. Again the clock said 0:00, but I heard the fuel pump kick in, so I tried the starter. Started right up! Set the clock and went.

    Another cold snap for about a week, then warm. This time the clock read right, and the bike started fine, but the clock dropped back to 0:00 when I hit the starter. Reset the clock and rode off.

    Next cold snap, and the clock was back to 0:00, but the fuel pump whined and started ok.

    TODAY I cranked up the bike (clock read correct), ran about 5 miles on a errand, parked and went into the store and when I came out the clock was back to 0:00. I hit the starter and it fired right up. That running engine sounded good. I double checked the heated grip switch, and looked it over but could not find any electrical drain left on. Back home I let the RT sit for a hour or so and it fired right up and the clock still read OK.

    The Question Is...Do the clocks on the R1150 RT function as a "low battery indicator"? Does it take more amperage than a starter??? I do have to say that I am planning on dropping a new battery in anyway (already have it in the garage) because the previous owner said that he had replaced it but did not remember when; but this clock thing seems curious. My guess it is due to a drop in amperage, but why would a digital readout shut off when there is still enough power to crank a R1150 engine?
    Last edited by DaveSlash5; 03-21-2014 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Happily Bent dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Low voltage indicator..............I think you might have hit on something. Mine was doing the same thing until one day, no start. I knew it was battery issue because the ABS lights started flashing as well and the codes were for low voltage.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
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    No ABS lights yet, but I think I will get that Odyssey in before the next ride.

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    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    My 03 R1150RT did the same thing until I replaced the battery.

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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSlash5 View Post
    ... The Question Is...Do the clocks on the R1150 RT function as a "low battery indicator"? Does it take more amperage than a starter??? I do have to say that I am planning on dropping a new battery in anyway (already have it in the garage) because the previous owner said that he had replaced it but did not remember when; but this clock thing seems curious. My guess it is due to a drop in amperage, but why would a digital readout shut off when there is still enough power to crank a R1150 engine?
    Good questions. When you press the starter button, for a moment (less than a second) while the starter motor begins turning there is a huge amperage draw on the battery. When that happens, the battery voltage dips to 10 volts (give or take) on a new battery. As the battery ages that voltage dip increases--I've seen GS-911 logs below 7 volts on bikes that turn over and start.

    The starter motor isn't much impacted by that that short voltage dip (because it's a clunky motor) but the RID (clock), ABS and Motronic have more sensitive electronics that can only take a small drop for a short time. If the dip is great enough or long enough, those electronics think you've turned the key off and they then reset themselves.

    About all you can do is keep the battery fully charged and replace it when a full charge doesn't work any longer.

    There are other things that can cause the same symptoms: loose or corroded connections at the battery, starter or engine lug, other internal battery failures and chronically under-charging which I wrote about here: Starter or Battery (it was the battery).
    RB

  6. #6
    Registered User Blacque Jacque Shellacque's Avatar
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    The 1150's don't have the ABS flashing lights as a low battery warning. Instead they have the digital clock reset. It was one of those undocumented improvements that came out of BMW engineering!

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    My clock on the '02 R1150RT routinely reset to 0:00 during cold weather starts, typically at 40F or below.
    The annoyance began in the first winter and has persisted over 4 different batteries.
    A new battery helped for a while, and switching to lower weight oil in winter may have improved it.
    Finally I started using a battery tender in winter, plugging in whenever the bike would sit longer than a day, that prevented the problem.
    This problem is only seen by those who ride through the winter, so it may be under-reported.
    --
    Doug Raymond
    R1150RT '02
    Ambler, PA

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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Not 100% positive, but I thought there is a common minimum voltage for Auto/MC electronics to shut down. For some reason I thought it was 9.2 volts. I have had cars that blew out all the station presets or required entering your security code and had clock resets when the batteries were poor, and voltage got low when cranking.

    Has nothing to do with amperage, but voltage. And the fact that the clock flashes, instead of the ABS faulting was probably NOT a designed that way, but more a function of the individual systems.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    ...

    Has nothing to do with amperage, but voltage. ...
    Yes and no. It is the drop in voltage during starting that causes the difficulty, but it is the spike in current from the starter motor that causes the disruptive voltage dip.

    6 months ago, as a test I powered all the electronics on my '04RT. What a difference it makes to starting time and quality. I didn't mention it before but the injectors and coils are each affected in their own way by the low voltage. And although the Motronic compensates, at very low voltages my measurements showed that the compensation was inadequate.

  10. #10
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
    Yes and no. It is the drop in voltage during starting that causes the difficulty, but it is the spike in current from the starter motor that causes the disruptive voltage dip............
    I guess I should have clarified, yes the amperage draw is what causes the voltage reduction. I was referring to the OP's question if the clock took more amperage than the starter.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  11. #11
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSlash5 View Post

    The Question Is...Do the clocks on the R1150 RT function as a "low battery indicator"?
    Yes.

    My R1150RT did exactly that, having the clock reset, a few days before the battery got so low it wouldn't start, which was thankfully at home and not out on the road.

    From my experience, you need a new battery.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  12. #12
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Clock resets are a very good indicator of low battery voltage. I've yet to find a faster or easier way to sort out whether it's the battery or the starter or the connections or the ??? than a load tester. $20 at Harbor Freight. Checking the voltage drop across the starter is usually my next test after checking the battery with this puppy.

    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  13. #13
    Happily Bent dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    Clock resets are a very good indicator of low battery voltage. I've yet to find a faster or easier way to sort out whether it's the battery or the starter or the connections or the ??? than a load tester. $20 at Harbor Freight. Checking the voltage drop across the starter is usually my next test after checking the battery with this puppy.

    That's a pretty harsh tool but can be very effective. I always look at how fast voltage drops rather than the actual values.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
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  14. #14
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    Clock resets are a very good indicator of low battery voltage. I've yet to find a faster or easier way to sort out whether it's the battery or the starter or the connections or the ??? than a load tester. $20 at Harbor Freight. Checking the voltage drop across the starter is usually my next test after checking the battery with this puppy.

    Clock resets are also a good indicator of connection resistance and internal battery resistance. On an 1150 the best tool is a GS-911 logging voltages. Then you can catch the fast drop.

    My pc680 had plenty of charge for turning the motor and lighting the lights. But because of chronic undercharging it had developed higher internal resistance. That led to a quick drop for about half a second--disaster.

    The Motronic bikes will start on a very low voltage if there is no dip. But that takes a second battery. Better to just keep the single battery at 100% SOC-state of charge.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everybody!

    Glad I already have my new battery.

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