Sluggish turn over when cold - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 6:14 am Thread Starter
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Sluggish turn over when cold

Just as that subject states, When it is cold outside (35 and below) and the LT sits out, it turns over very slowly and sluggish almost like the battery is very weak. So far it has fired up with no problems, but it is getting colder and I'm wondering if I'm going to be stranded at work one cold afternoon.

No problem when it is warmer out...say 40 and above.

The bike is a 2005 with approx. 9K on it. I pretty much ride the bike everyday so not a case of the battery sitting and discharging. Does anyone else have this problem? Anything I should check or is it a normal "LT trait"?

Thanks!

-Ekim
2005 K1200LT (R.I.P.)
Manchester, MD

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post #2 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 6:18 am
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What weight oil to you have in the bike? Do you have a gel battery or an AGM type or ? This condition sounds pretty normal to me for a bike left outside in the winter.

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post #3 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 6:23 am
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Ekim, what weight engine oil are you using? If you are still using 20w50 its like glue when the temps drop, makes it awfully hard to spin the crank. I would change the oil to 10w40 for the winter.

Pat Rourke
White Lake,MI.
2002 K1200 LTC, Champange

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post #4 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 7:00 am Thread Starter
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I'm sure it has 20w50 in it since the dealer changed the oil a few months ago. I also have the stock battery, so not sure if that is gel or AGM?

I will give the lighter weight oil a try and see if that helps. What temps is 10w40 good to (highs)?

BTW...the bike is only outside at my destination, not stored outside.

-Ekim
2005 K1200LT (R.I.P.)
Manchester, MD

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post #5 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 7:02 am
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I agree with the 10w40 for the cold months. I would check the battery as well as the battery is pushing the 2 year mark. Many people claim that is as long as batteries can be expected to last in motorcycles.
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post #6 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 7:18 am
 
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At this point, I'm suspecting that battery more than the oil weight. Simple enough to get the battery tested. Or...you could always wait until the bike gets cold at home, then jump it with your cage. If it fires right up, you know that it's the battery for sure.
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post #7 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 8:39 am
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at 35 degrees your battery has probably lost 30-50 percent of its cranking power. Nothing can be done about that. However If you plan on using the bike a lot in colder temps I recommend going to a lower viscosity oil as recomended above.

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post #8 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 8:48 am
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Block heater

Depending on how serious you are about riding it. You can make a few moves that will help you out.
1 Legged Marvin and I used to park outside year round, we always got within 100" of an electrical outlet.
We had between us, 2 block heaters (for diesel trucks got them at the Mack dealer up the road) a 3 way adaptor, small battery charger and 100" extention cord. If that oil is warm the engine will turn over everytime, we never got stranded. Can be a little bit of a pain stowing the gear, we Just left the block heaters in place and tossed the other stuff in Marvin's hack.
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post #9 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 9:04 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Depending on how serious you are about riding it. You can make a few moves that will help you out.
1 Legged Marvin and I used to park outside year round, we always got within 100" of an electrical outlet.
We had between us, 2 block heaters (for diesel trucks got them at the Mack dealer up the road) a 3 way adaptor, small battery charger and 100" extention cord. If that oil is warm the engine will turn over everytime, we never got stranded. Can be a little bit of a pain stowing the gear, we Just left the block heaters in place and tossed the other stuff in Marvin's hack.
Rock.
Unfortunately I do not have access to electric in our parking lot at work, but if I did, that would be my preferred method to keep the bike ready to fire up on those chilly days.

I think I will start to search the forums for Battery suggestions as well.

I guess worse case I'll just need a jump if she wont turn over when it is really cold outside.

Thanks for all the advise/suggestions. Never disappointed with the support on this forum!

-Ekim
2005 K1200LT (R.I.P.)
Manchester, MD

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post #10 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 9:11 am
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Smile

Just another view with out looking for a fight. I use Shell Rotella T 5W-40 synthetic oil year around and happy as a pig in you know what.

DON
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post #11 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 1:40 pm
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Sun

Do you have sun? Can you park in the sun?
If so, go to your local VW dealer and ask them what they do with the transit chargers, they may give you a couple or charge you a few bucks.
They were made to keep the Batteries from draining in transit, a guy at the renewable energy fair said they gave him the all the ones they had, for nothing.
Rock
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post #12 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 7:49 pm
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Try pulling the clutch in, to remove the trans load, while you crank!! I'm sure you keep the charger on it when at home!!

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post #13 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 8:08 pm
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02 LT at 36 degrees (bike temp) today started with 20-50 BMW oil without any issue. Bike has sat for 3 weeks. New battery. The GS 1150 with a 3 year old battery started with a 20-50 ams/oil synthetic (very low pour point) with the same storage.

Anyone know if a 20 min. ride for 10-11 miles will charge the battery enough to keep the battery in good shape, or do you need to ride for a couple of hours.
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post #14 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 8:39 pm
 
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I get started slower when it's that cold, I'd say thats normal for any machine.
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post #15 of 15 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 8:54 pm
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My '05 did the same thing until I switched to 10W40. No mo' problems.

Ride On!


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