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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested to know if anyone with an LT has had the same happen to their bike.
Seems to me to be a sensor or solenoid involved with the reverse gear switch. When you turn the ignition on to start the dash lights glow as normal, But the headlight and indicators/hazards don't work and the starter doesn't even try to kick in, if the headlight is on there was no problem starting. If I put the bike in reverse and rock the back wheel then the lights, indicators intermittently work. If I get them to stay on then the bike will start. Sometimes there seems to be a buzzing coming from the reverse unit, sounds like a relay chattering. Does the reverse unit also control the front headlight and indicators? I have pulled the plug from the reverse switch to check the switch and it works fine. Any ideas?
 

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I know some people have had issues with their reverse units and I am not sure if the lights you mention pass through that device or not as I haven't looked at the wiring. I can say that those lights share a ground point for the load shed relay at the starter and flickering lights and light issues is one of the symptoms. Take a look at post #13 for pictures of the offending screw and have a look see on your bike. It may be lose or it may have fallen out completely if you are having this type of issue. I had power issues with lights and accessory things foickering and not working properly. I had a missing screw.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/149682-turn-signal-woes.html
 

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Sounds like a classic loose ground on the starter. Since the starter is double ended and sealed with o-ring on each end there is a single 5 mm allen the provides the ground. This is also where the load shed relay gets its ground as well (lights and other stuff). Check for a missing or loose bolt here:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the information bmwcoolk1200. I have been looking around the forum and do not know how to find Post #13. I have all the covers off the left side of the bike and have removed the reverse unit.
What I do not understand is why I can replicate the issue by having the bike in reverse and gently moving the rear wheel. If I push the wheel against the direction of reverse then the lights come on, pushing it the same direction as reverse causes a relay to chatter in the reverse unit. At the time I am doing this I have not started the bike, I have just switched on the ignition and turned the reverse switch, so there is no vibration.
I would however like to know where to find the wires on the starter to ensure they are not loose. I do not have a wiring diagram.
The pictures attached by jzeiler show where the wires are but what do I need to remove to be able to see those wires?

Thanks again for all the help from this forum.
 

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The pictures posted by jzeller show the screw you need to find and where it is on the starter. If you lift the seat and look down in front of the battery with a really good light, you can see the screw. Those are the same pictures i referenced in post 13 of the thread "turn signal woes" which is a link to that thread. Since John has posted the pictures here, you can just use those. I am posting another of my LT and the screw viewed through the opening in front of the battery. If the screw is lose, it needs to be tightened. It isn't easy. I had to cut down an allen wrench to get it in between the housing and the screw. Not easy to tighten. If it is gone, you need to replace it.
 

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Removing the battery will give a little better access to it. What you are doing in reverse is moving the starter since the reverse gears are engaged to the starter. This movement alters the ground to the starter which is also the ground to the load shed relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for explaining why when I move the wheel in reverse I can get the lights to come on and in turn start the bike. I spent the entire day taking the ground points off cleaning them, put a bit of vasaline on them and tightening them. I removed the bolt in the picture, cleaned the area and added an additional ground wire from that point to the battery and tightened it. No easy chore with what space is available to work in. Imagine my frustration when it did not fix the symptoms. The only way I can start the bike is to move the wheel with reverse engaged. When the light comes on and stays on when I disingage reverse I can start the bike. Lights may flicker and go off or stay on, which means I cannot ride the bike. This is becoming extremely frustrating as I do not know what else to check. Any ideas will be welcome.
 

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Thanks for explaining why when I move the wheel in reverse I can get the lights to come on and in turn start the bike. I spent the entire day taking the ground points off cleaning them, put a bit of vasaline on them and tightening them. I removed the bolt in the picture, cleaned the area and added an additional ground wire from that point to the battery and tightened it. No easy chore with what space is available to work in. Imagine my frustration when it did not fix the symptoms. The only way I can start the bike is to move the wheel with reverse engaged. When the light comes on and stays on when I disingage reverse I can start the bike. Lights may flicker and go off or stay on, which means I cannot ride the bike. This is becoming extremely frustrating as I do not know what else to check. Any ideas will be welcome.
Well, at least you know that that hard to reach screw is not your issue as it was for me. In myc as it was totally gone so a visual inspection was all I needed to confirm the issue and replacing the screw fixed it for me.

I looked at the Clymer schematics and it looks like most of the bike electronics has a link to the reverse controller. Looks like mostly brown ( ground ) connections. I checked on my 01 LT and none of the interlocks affect the lights. If the key is on, the lights are on so I am not sure it would be part of the interlock circuit failing. Other than replacing the controller, I am not sure what else to tell you. Maybe John will have more Perls of wisdom regarding this issue. He has been at these LT's far longer than I have and probably has forgotten more than I have learned. Depending on the year, Ebay does have about 9 listed from 99 - 02.
 

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There are two microswithes in the reverse switch. Have you check that both two functions? When I had starting problems with my bike, one switch has crashed.
Roger/Sweden.
 

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There are two microswithes in the reverse switch. Have you check that both two functions? When I had starting problems with my bike, one switch has crashed.
Roger/Sweden.
Those switches themselves do not affect the headlight on my 01 bike or Panzers newer model but they can affect starting. Panzer damaged them while doing his clutch so he has to move the selector knob often to get his bike to start but no light issues associated with that. Not saying it isn't the controller as it has many connections but I am still looking for how it is affecting the lighting system in the schematic. I don't think those switches themselves would do that. It must be affecting the load shed relay if it is the controller. Still looking and hoping someone has that knowledge and chimes in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had previously checked the reverse micro switches. They work fine. I have ordered a reverse controller and will install it as soon as it arrives. I will update the thread once installed and tested. Thanks again to everyone helping me out.
 

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Yours is a very unusual condition. The reverse controller may very well be the issue but it is a new failure mode we have not seen here to date. Keep us posted and good luck. Be mindful of the three big black/yellow wires from the controller. Each has a colored sleeve with red going to the battery (+), the brown one goes to the ground tie point behind the battery and the black goes to the starter tie point behind the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, I replaced the reverse controller and still have the same issue. I double checked all the ground leads they are clean and tight, checked the bolt on the starter, it is tight. One thing I do notice is when I switch it on, do not start it and place it in reverse then move the rear wheel ever so slightly in one direction I get the headlight, dash, flickers to work then it will start. If I turn the rear wheel in the opposite direction then the headlight, dash and flickers will turn off and it will not start. I can also hear a relay being activated when the lights turn on.

bmwcoolk1200 - I see you live in Sugar Hill GA, I am in Johns Creek so not to far from you. if by chance you happen to come down this way I would like for you to see this issue.

Thanks again everyone for helping.
 

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Okay, I replaced the reverse controller and still have the same issue. I double checked all the ground leads they are clean and tight, checked the bolt on the starter, it is tight. One thing I do notice is when I switch it on, do not start it and place it in reverse then move the rear wheel ever so slightly in one direction I get the headlight, dash, flickers to work then it will start. If I turn the rear wheel in the opposite direction then the headlight, dash and flickers will turn off and it will not start. I can also hear a relay being activated when the lights turn on.

bmwcoolk1200 - I see you live in Sugar Hill GA, I am in Johns Creek so not to far from you. if by chance you happen to come down this way I would like for you to see this issue.

Thanks again everyone for helping.
John's creek is not far. I could make that trip with a little advanced notice. Tell me what you have in mind and I will see if I can accommodate a look see.
 

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Okay, I replaced the reverse controller and still have the same issue. I double checked all the ground leads they are clean and tight, checked the bolt on the starter, it is tight. One thing I do notice is when I switch it on, do not start it and place it in reverse then move the rear wheel ever so slightly in one direction I get the headlight, dash, flickers to work then it will start. If I turn the rear wheel in the opposite direction then the headlight, dash and flickers will turn off and it will not start. I can also hear a relay being activated when the lights turn on.

bmwcoolk1200 - I see you live in Sugar Hill GA, I am in Johns Creek so not to far from you. if by chance you happen to come down this way I would like for you to see this issue.

Thanks again everyone for helping.
Given that turning the starter seems to change the state of things, my money is on an internal issue in the starter. Maybe a bad spot where the brushes ride. I don't say this lightly as I am well acquainted with the work required to remove the starter, but more and more points that direction. It would be nice to get another set of eyes on it before you pull the transmission to get to the starter.
 

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Given that turning the starter seems to change the state of things, my money is on an internal issue in the starter. Maybe a bad spot where the brushes ride. I don't say this lightly as I am well acquainted with the work required to remove the starter, but more and more points that direction. It would be nice to get another set of eyes on it before you pull the transmission to get to the starter.
Matt, I was thinking the same thing. Placing it in reverse and turning the rear wheel one way or the other would turn the starter and transmission. Trying to think of something to measure to prove this without pulling the starter that I could easily duplicate on my bike. Maybe a meter from the tie points behind the battery and ground with the batter removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Gordon, my phone number is 813 481 9086. Please give me a call at your convenience to arrange a meeting. Thank you, Cedric.
 

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Matt, I was thinking the same thing. Placing it in reverse and turning the rear wheel one way or the other would turn the starter and transmission. Trying to think of something to measure to prove this without pulling the starter that I could easily duplicate on my bike. Maybe a meter from the tie points behind the battery and ground with the batter removed.
I am not sure what is best, and I haven't reviewed the REPROM starter test procedures. I was thinking that disconnecting the starter leads and put a meter in continuity mode across the starter and then rotate the rear wheel and see if the beep goes away in one or more spots.

Might want to review the video Kirk did on replacing a fried starter. I can't recall if he discussed any troubleshooting or symptoms or just the R&R.
 

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I am not sure what is best, and I haven't reviewed the REPROM starter test procedures. I was thinking that disconnecting the starter leads and put a meter in continuity mode across the starter and then rotate the rear wheel and see if the beep goes away in one or more spots.

Might want to review the video Kirk did on replacing a fried starter. I can't recall if he discussed any troubleshooting or symptoms or just the R&R.
I am going to come up with something likely with the help of the brains on this forum that I can easily perform on my bike and compare with Cedrics. I imagine it will be something like you describe. Removing the tie point behind the battery ( in front of the rear fender) is not difficult to do to isolate the starter. Open to other suggestions. I may try to do that simple test on my bike today and see what I get.
 

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Yours is a very unusual condition. .
Calling John Zeller or anyone who has a spare starter to test if the results of this video are conclusive enough to work as a test in this instance. I also did the test again after I reconnected the starter wire back to the tie point and got the same results so pulling the wire off should not be necessary, only the plastic cover to get access to the terminal. It is easier than trying to get to the nut on the starter itself.

 
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