Darn thing wont start - any ideas? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 2:18 pm Thread Starter
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Darn thing wont start - any ideas?

When I put the 05 LT to bed for the winter, I remove the battery, seats and top box. The seat and box are removed so as not to provide a rodent motel. I live in the country. I have done this each winter without any problems. I usually just reassemble and the bike will start. This time, I installed the fully charged battery, the seats and top box but the bike will not start.

The starter motor does not turn, there is no apparent drain on the battery when the start button is pressed. (The headlight does not dim and a volt meter shows only a slight flicker when the start button is pressed.) I do hear a "click" which may may come from the starter relay.

It may not be related but the alarm system does not appear to be operating correctly. Central locking operates intermittently but that has been an on going dealerservice problem since last year. The alarm seems to set correctly (two beeps) but the unlock produces four beeps. The little handbook that came with the bike does not mention any alarm function that produces four beep.

Any help will be appreciated
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post #2 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 2:22 pm
 
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hmm

Got to ask the basics...
DId you make sure the bike is in neutral or not in a gear with the side stand down ? Could it be the side stand switch ?

Could be the alarm system. like you suggested . Can you take out the fuse for it then try ?
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post #3 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 2:33 pm
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Check your Reverse switch as well. If it is not straight up, then it won't start.

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post #4 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 2:37 pm
 
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make sure the engine cutoff switch is set to the run position. you never know
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post #5 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 2:56 pm
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This is one of the best posts I have read regarding diagnosing a starter malfunction: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14826 Note that somewhere in there it mentions that if your alarm is malfunctioning it may disable the starter (I don't have an alarm, so I'm guessing here, but evidently when the alarm computer thinks someone has tried to steal the bike it shuts off current to the starter). The fact that both the starter and the alarm system are acting wierdly makes this relevant - you could spend a lot of time trying to diagnose a faulty starter circuit when what you really need to do is figure out how to fix the alarm and thus release the function that purposely cuts off the starter.

Otherwise I would suggest searching for those pesky rodents, they may have made a bed in the starter.

Actually, that attempt at a little joke sparked (pun intended) a wild thought. When you take off the top box you have to undo some electrical connectors under the back seat. IIRC about what someone told me, farther back, beneath the plate to which the top box attaches, is a major relay for the alarm. You might want to pull the top box again and check back there to see if anything in the wiring to that relay has been chewed. Happened under the dash of a cage of a friend of mine.

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post #6 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 3:03 pm
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I believe the culprit is the alarm. It has an internal battery and with the main battery out of circuit for the winter may have pulled it down and now it has failed. Everyone who has ever had a dead battery or battery out for extended time has had this and/or fob synchronization problems. I don't think the alarm was designed to be with out power from the main battery.

John
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post #7 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 4:08 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihbond
Got to ask the basics...
DId you make sure the bike is in neutral or not in a gear with the side stand down ? Could it be the side stand switch ?

Could be the alarm system. like you suggested . Can you take out the fuse for it then try ?

Thanks for the reply. I parked the bike on the center stand and did restart it at least once on the stand before leaving it for the winter. It seems to be in neutral. The dash indicators show that it is and the rear wheel will turn. The side stand has stayed retracted so I don't think that's it.

Peter
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post #8 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 4:12 pm Thread Starter
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The "Kill" switch seems OK. If I move it to either of the off positions and press the starter button there is no clicking sound. If I then put it in the on position, there is a noise which I assume is coming from the brake circuit and pressing the start button produces a click

Thanks it was worth a try
Peter
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post #9 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 4:34 pm Thread Starter
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I will take a closer look at previous threads. The alarm system not acting normally is strange and unfortunately, I don't know enough about the system. I had been thinking that the alarm was not related because each time I press the starter button, I can hear a click. I assumed it was the starter relay clicking and also assumed that if the alarm was disabling the starter it would be opening the relay trigger circuit and there would be no clicking sound. I hope someone can provide more information please. I read that if I take the alarm out that the bike cannot be started. What is the best way to disable it for testing? Last but not least, does anyone know of a decomression kit and a kick starter kit for the lt. Sure would make life simpler

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post #10 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 5:01 pm
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Comments

No specific troubleshooting suggestions here, just thoughts and experience.
I had mice chew the wiring for the alarm under the top box on my 2000. I don't have the alarm system but the wiring and connector is in there. Mouse damage to alarm wiring prevented starting BUT did not prevent engine cranking. In the case of my 2000 the alarm system was designed to disable the ignition system not the starter circuit.

My bike is stored in a rodent infested old barn, I don't remove the battery for winter, I just plug in a battery tender. I see no advantage in removing the battery.

I don't have an alarm system and I don't miss it. Seems like they cause more trouble than they are worth.
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post #11 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 6:49 pm
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Take another good look in the battery area. If you had it out you may have missed one or more positive or negative leads. We had had some strange things happen and the guy looks and finds one wire he missed and when he hooks it up - problem is solved. Each terminal has several wires on it.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #12 of 18 Old May 10th, 2007, 8:09 pm
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I don't have a newer alarm system so I only speak from experience with the factory alarm system installed on my 2001.

Something also to consider is to set the alarm and try to start..

My alarm disables the ignition in 20 seconds when the key turns off and only primes the siren if I hit the fob. I assume yours works the same way. Mine has an indicator that says alarm activated and/or ignition disabled.. i.e. the LED is on or flashing..

Do you have visuals ??

If you do have visuals what do you see different from what you expect? When my ignition 'disable' is on the start button does nothing... same as if the kill switch/reverse/side stand deployed...

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #13 of 18 Old May 14th, 2007, 12:41 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks for the input ... I've not been able to do anything with the bike this weekend and hope to have another try this afternoon. I did remove the top box and check the wiring for the alarm, it all seem OK. I will take the battery out to see if there are any loose wires hidden in some way. A visual check with the battery in didn't find anything. My next step may be to do a visual on the starter itself. Does anyone know where the starter is actually located?

Thanks
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post #14 of 18 Old May 14th, 2007, 1:12 pm
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I had the latest experience with a faulty alarm. It, though, was blowing the 15amp fuse that also controls the brake light, horn, central locks. Couldn't disconnect the alarm, because it would do what yours is doing, just a click, no start. Try pulling the 15amp fuse and see if it starts. I just didn't have a brake light/horn/etc until I got it to the dealer for a new alarm.

I believe starter is in front of battery, will have to check that location...

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post #15 of 18 Old May 14th, 2007, 4:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWheels
. . . My next step may be to do a visual on the starter itself. Does anyone know where the starter is actually located?

Thanks
Deep in the subterranian innards of the bike. Lift the seat and kneel down on the left side of the bike with a flashlight. Look under the gas tank forward of the battery. On the right side, right in front of the battery is something that looks like a black fan; that's the alternator. Look to the left and below the alternator to see a cylinder with an endcap that has two electrical connections. That's the starter. The connector closest to you, the one that the big brown wire goes to, is the negative. The one farther away from you is the positive. You can do a visual check, but it's a pita to try to put a wrench on the connectors without at least removing the gas tank.
Have you checked your battery? I know that you had it on a tender, but batteries can develop internal resistance over time. A bad battery may even display a normal 12+ volts when you check it without a load, and then drop volts when a load is put on the battery. The LT is very sensitive to even small voltage drops.

Bill
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post #16 of 18 Old May 15th, 2007, 9:28 am Thread Starter
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Great detail. Thanks for the information Bill. I will do a visual this afternoon.
Peter
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post #17 of 18 Old May 16th, 2007, 9:45 am Thread Starter
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Darn thing wont start - Final

I managed to get it running. Turns out it was the battery. I removed the battery to get a better visual on the starter and put the battery on charge. When I reninstalled the battery, the bike started no problems. I tried it three times during the day and it started. I went to try it this morning and it would not start on the bike battery but I was able to jump start it.

Thanks for your help
Peter
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post #18 of 18 Old May 16th, 2007, 10:35 am
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Thumbs up Good news and bad news

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWheels
I managed to get it running. Turns out it was the battery. I removed the battery to get a better visual on the starter and put the battery on charge. When I reninstalled the battery, the bike started no problems. I tried it three times during the day and it started. I went to try it this morning and it would not start on the bike battery but I was able to jump start it.

Thanks for your help
Peter
Good news: you have identified the problem and the solution is quite simple.
Bad news: You need to buy a new battery!

Good news overwhelms bad news!

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