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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I had to take a trip to Richmond for a training class. It is a 50 mile ride and I decided to top off the tank before I hit the road so I could get a good MPG reading on a pure highway trip (as opposed to my commute which is a mix of highway and backroads). I put 3.3 gallons in and took off.

On the way down, I started to notice a lack of throttle response, although I didn't recognize it as such at the time. I noticed that if I tristed the throttle while in 6th gear at 4000 RPM that it took longer to get going faster to pass trucks on the highway. I thought it was because of the high winds at the time.

When I arrived, I checked the trip computer which told me I was getting 42 MPG. Hmmm... That's about the same as my commuter mileage. Again, I figured it was due to the high winds.

After the class, I rode home and things got much worse. It hesitated when I accellerated on to the freeway. Every time I tried to go faster, no matter the RPM, it hesitated pretty badly. Throttle response was horrible. It got progressively worse on my ride home. By the time I hit the country roads near my home, it was so bad that under full throttle, the thing was buck very hard. It was downright scary. The trip computer now said I was getting an average of 35.7 MPG.

I assumed it was bad gas. My plan was to ride to work and back (37 miles each way) to drain the tank and then fill it up at a different station. I figured I would just take it very easy and not try to get going to rapidly.

Overnight, the temps dropped into the upper teens. This morning, it fired right up and I got on the road. Shockingly, all the previous day's symptoms are gone. Its quick, responsive and there is no hesitation at all. By the time I got to work, the average mileage had risen to 37.5.

What happened? Did the water from the bad gas freeze in the tank? Am I going to have the same symptoms when I ride home this afternoon? Did it fix itself? Any suggestions?
 

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Sounds like bad gas.

A "Fix itself" is unlikely. If it was water in the gas, it might have passed through, but an overnight "cure" is unlikely. I would think it is 50/50 that you will have no symptoms on the ride home.

Regarding the computer's MPG... are you re-setting the reading after every check?

FYI, (Rotate the Rider's Display to the Mileage setting and hold the selector button down until the RID clears the old average and resets).

Hope all goes well. Let us hear what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hopz said:
Sounds like bad gas.

Regarding the computer's MPG... are you re-setting the reading after every check?

.
Yes. I reset it every time I fill up. I did not reset it this morning which means it improved by almost 2 MPG over a 37 mile commute, including the disaster of yesterday when it was down under 36.
 

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Could it possibly be a clogged line or filter or some sort of blockage caused by sediment in the fuel? Not on my RT, but in my old 327 'Vette I had a clogged filter. Same exact symptoms as you have, exactly. Turned out that the filter was stopped up by dirt/sediment in the fuel. Let it sit overnight or a few hours with no fuel being pumped and the crap in the line "settled" to the bottom of the line and filter as the mechanic explained to me. The junk in the bottom of the tank was amazing, and fine as powdered sugar.
In your modern FI bike there are probably lots of places where such a stoppage could occur. Good luck---I hope this helps. Let us all know what you find.
 

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I'd bet on the Fuel Pump controller starting to pack up.

Get it checked out before it leaves you stranded and waiting for the tow truck.
hth
\v/
 

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Cliffy109,

I've had similar symptoms with that were caused by water in the gas. Water is denser and will migrate to the lowest point of the tank (below the fuel pimp). After running/riding for while it swirls around and gets into the system. The less gas in the tank the higher concentration of water.

Try this really cheap test to isolate the issue.
Shake the tank up (to get the water moving) before starting and see if it runs bad on startup. Then leave it sit overnight and start it without moving it and see if the symptoms have disappeared.
 

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hopz said:
FYI, (Rotate the Rider's Display to the Mileage setting and hold the selector button down until the RID clears the old average and resets).
I didn't know that. Thanks.
 

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All other things being equal, I would vote for the bad gas theory. I know here in the northeast they @&**! with the gas formula in the cold weather. You could have gotten the fuel from the bottom of the station's tank. As most folks know, try and refuel at a busy station and get the freshest gas. I guess the next few tanks will tell. Try different stations and brands.

Mick



"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well... I'm still not sure. When I left work last night, the bike didn't want to start. It was very odd and it seemed like no fuel was flowing. I twisted the throttle a few times and it finally fired up. It ran like a champ all the way home. My "miles to empty" actually increased because it seems to be getting much better mileage than it was on Tuesday.

I didn't ride today due to ice on the roads. At the moment, I'm holding my breath that it isn't anything beyond bad gas. I'll run it down and fill it up at a different station.
 

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This thread brings up subjects that have surely been taken up before. Buy your gas at stations that have product turnover. Buy a good brand of gas, "top Tier" can be found on the web. There is an advantage to fuel that contains cleaners, on the west coast Chevron comes to mind. If this is a question get some Techron additive and use it once and a while. BMW bikes are sensitive to fuel quality to a point of frustration in some cases. Current fuel with 10% alcohol starts going bad in 30 days. If you have had an incident with poor fuel, change your filter if you have one. This is a hassle but needed. Water in your fuel will clog the filter. When the new fuel with 15% alcohol (E15) comes on line do not use it. Try not to use in in your car if possible. Canada and Europe have better fuel than we do. Lucky dogs.
 

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There is stil a chance this is funky gas BUT do not ignore the comment about this being the start of a fuel pump controller failure- sounds very much like that could be happening to yours. BMW has replaced at least a couple thousand of the things (and issued an improved replacement part) - it is VERY common. They typically fail "intermittent" at first, often run fine again for a while, then die totally. I got about 50 miles out of mine from first signs until it died totally. Some get more, some just crap instantly.

You can bypass the fpc roadside in 10 minutes if you have a T-25 and T-20 torx and a bypass wire pre-made - takes a little longer with just some extra wire so you can cut the plug off your old one and wire one up. There are plenty of threads on this subject on various BMW websites but the UK GS website has a very good explanation of the thing with lots of good photos. Read them and you'll understand whether this relates to your problem.

If its the fpc and you're not prepared, you will get stuck eventually.

One way to check is to hook up a GS-911 or the dealership computer and look for fuel pump electrical codes thrown. If it hasn't thrown a code yet, its probably not the fpc.

If it dies and you don't hear the fuel pump run briefly when you turn the key on, it is the fpc. Fuel pump controller is under the side cover on clutch side and easily accessed on my 08 RT by pulling the 4 T-25 screws that hold the plastic in place. The fpc is held in place with 2, T-20's and you'll note that both it and the fuel pump connector sit in wells that do not self drain so can collect water if you ride in the wet or hose under the plastic. That water and the poor design of the original (silver color) fpc (the new black replacement part only addresses a couple of the several possible ways the fpc can fail) is why it dies.

The part is covered under the new bike warranty and any replacement gets the usual 2 year part warranty. Part is $150, approx. Bypass cable can be bought from Burns Moto for about $20 if you need one to get your bike going again to get to a dealership without a tow. Many of us who do longer rides carry a bypass cable or spare fpc on the bike.

Good luck.
 

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Also, FWIW, there are no filters in your fuel lines or at your pump that are easily clogged if you have a fairly recent RT (what model, exactly?). That's not at all likely.

Given all the crappy weather of the past few weeks I wouldn't be surprised to run into a station with bad gas BUT.....
 

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I got bad gas three months after I bought mine new. Only had 6,000 miles on the clock. Had to have it towed to Nashville. Cost me $230 and I got reimbursed from Murphy Gas ( Wal-Mart)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great stuff here guys. The bike is a 2007 R1200RT (sorry for forgetting to mention that). I spoke to the dealer today and he thinks I should bring it by. They offered to put it on the computer to see if anything shows up. I think he mentioned that they have some new hardware they are anxious to see how it works. I'm not sure how soon I can being the bike in, but maybe tomorrow I can do that.

I'm really just a commuter on this bike. I put 1000 miles a month, 12 months a year on the bike and most of it is within 40 miles of home. I'm not terribly mechanically inclined so I rely on the dealer for most of what it needs.
 

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Cliff,
Your 07 originally has a silver color FPC and all dealers know these fail regularly. There will be one or more fuel pump electrical codes readable on their computer IF it is bad (eg 10118, 10117, and/or others). They'll say something like "no power at fuel pump", etc The shop tech can show you this if you ask to see it. If there are no codes at this point, after all the issues you note, it is still OK but could still fail in the future- many do.

The replacement part is black powder coated and easily identifiable as the new part (the replacement part is not "bulletproof" and can also fail in many of the same ways so don't think a change is a permanent end to any possible fpc issues- its not). Get them to give you the dead one, or at least the plug off it so you can make a bypass cable from it to carry on your bike if yours is dead. The blue plug at the base of the fpc is needed- its about the only thing you can connect to the fuel pump. (I kept the plug off mine when it died and so many of these have crapped out I doubt BMW requires dealers to send in the dead one any more).

Your 07 is probably out of warranty and I don't know if BMW will cover the parts cost for you IF it is bad BUT you should ask your dealer to check. This is a factory mistake with a bad part and bad well design- and in some cases BMW picks up the cost as "good will" when such errors occur.

I am also a "bike commuter" and that usually means you ride in the rain at least sometimes. I killed my 08 fpc that is identical to yours riding in a pair of frog chokers last year.....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Racer7. Not only am I prone to riding in the rain, I don't have a garage. Its parked outside and covering it is futile. It get wet often.

I'll talk to them about the bypass plug. I'm glad you brought that up. I would not have known to ask. The guys at Mortons BMW take pretty good care of me. Not that they treat me any different, but I married the owner's daughter so I know them well. The only reason I didn't bring it up to them yet is that I try to avoid taking any advantage of my son-in-law status.
 

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Let us know what happens. You've had a couple strong possibilities discussed in this thread but it could still be something else. Should be pretty straightforward at the dealership. Nice thing about the new bikes is that the electronics can greatly speed good troubleshooting by an experienced tech.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, it was exactly as racer7 predicted. Its the fuel pump controller. I am about 3 months out of warranty so its on me. It turns out the battery is pretty shot as well. Ugh. Not what I wanted.
 

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Cliff,
Sorry about the result but its no surprise. There have been thousands of these failures- the UK GS site has a log and its from that data that I extrapolate the number. Same part is on all hexheads/camheads and the lousy well design is common to GS, RT and some others. The R has the well better positioned but the fpc is still the same piece of junk.

You should at least get the Mortons to make a formal request for some coverage on the part.- this is a factory screwup all the way.

The replacement fpc should go in with a thin bead of silicon sealer on the gasket- otherwise the replacement will also not seal (bad gasket design- no real clamping pressure from those 2 dinky T-20s in plastic- should be a three screw clamp type gasket and not what is used). The upper well should also be inspected for water at each service and the area cleaned and connections inspected if it is flooded.

At least the fpc repair is fast and simple. If your battery is original, not surprising it is dying but no one in their right mind buys a replacement BMW gel battery (made by Exide, it is not a very good battery) because it is way over priced and not very good. There are plenty of aftermarket choices- all cheaper - some only 1/3 the OEM cost- and almost all are at least as good. Some of the OEM batts fail very quickly- bad when new has been reported by quite a few people. I've still got the original in my 08 bike but it has never been very good having barely enough punch to crank the bike in the cold. Voltage checks on it indicate it won't get me through next winter- will probably need a replacement this summer. Folks in really hot places have them crap out a lot faster.
 
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