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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a long time airhead rider, and have rebuilt a few along the way. I have ZERO experience with the LT's. I have acquired a 1999 LT that seems fairly intact, but had the bodywork mostly removed and was told that the bike had issues with the starter--or starting, and the previous owner had let it sit disassembled for awhile. I have no idea what the real situation of the bike is.

I have figured out how to open the disabled saddlebags to get to the battery, but I'm concerned about this "immobilizing" system. I don't know if the problem with the bike is that it was previously immobilized? And I for sure don't want to immobilize it myself.

I'm hoping that someone here can advise me on the next steps I should take to make sure that I don't make the situation worse.

It seems like a pretty solid bike, and I would love to bring it back to service.

Thank you in advance!
 

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Howdy Pilgrim. :wink: Welcome to the best place on the planet to help you with your acquisition.

First thing you are going to need is a Clymer manual for reference. Getting to the starter is no small task if that indeed is what the issue is. It could be the starter relay or the immobilizer. That can be disabled with a few jumpers. For the 1999, that would be pins 10 to 6 and 11 to 3 on the alarm controller plug by my notes from John Zeiler. The newer alarm systems require an additional jumper.

Are you crazy? none of us are qualified to make that determination because of our own mental status. There is much to consider on an LT that has been sitting for a long time. Depending on how long ( how long is it), fuel lines inside the tank and maybe a pump, gum and rust from ethanol, fuel injector service or a good cleaning. Be aware that the starter relay can fuse shut if cranking on a low battery so if you hook the batter up and it starts to crank with the key off, that would be the issue. If the brake lines are still original, they need to be replaced pronto as even if they look OK on the outside, they have deteriorated on the inside and are not safe to use any longer. Spiegler makes an after market set as well as Galfer. See recent thread on " Has anybody installed" for a discussion on them. They are both far less than OEM and Spiegler lines are able to twist at the fitting so installation is easier. Still not sure on the Galfer bout that but probably not but they are less expensive. IF it has quick disconnects on the tank fuel lines, if they are still plastic, they will crack and leak. Those need to be replaced fro safety. Fill out your profile a little and let us know where you are as you will likely be here a lot asking questions and we don't mind. There may even be someone near enough to come over and give you a hand.
 
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Wrencher Extraordinaire
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Chances are the 99 did not have an alarm or immobilizer, but you can check to see if the original dealer installed an optional unit by looking under the top case for this. If it is there there are instruction on how to disable on the picture.
 

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I am a long time airhead rider, and have rebuilt a few along the way. I have ZERO experience with the LT's. I have acquired a 1999 LT that seems fairly intact, but had the bodywork mostly removed and was told that the bike had issues with the starter--or starting, and the previous owner had let it sit disassembled for awhile. I have no idea what the real situation of the bike is.

I have figured out how to open the disabled saddlebags to get to the battery, but I'm concerned about this "immobilizing" system. I don't know if the problem with the bike is that it was previously immobilized? And I for sure don't want to immobilize it myself.

I'm hoping that someone here can advise me on the next steps I should take to make sure that I don't make the situation worse.

It seems like a pretty solid bike, and I would love to bring it back to service.

Thank you in advance!
You are nutty as a fruitcake for buying an old LT! Which means you should fit right in here. >:)
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Well I opened up the space under the top case, and it does look to me that I may indeed not have the alarm.

(I'd attach a photo but I seem to be too dumb to figure out how--in my defense I did just have a major ischemic stroke three weeks ago, but then again I did have a miraculous spontaneous recovery, so i guess that's not really a good excuse)

I connected battery and the radio, dash lights, fuel pump, etc energized, but no response from starter switch.

Is there an easy way to hotwire the starter that avoids all other circuits, just to see if it cranks?
 

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Mine lost a kickstand interlock safety wire and did not start one day. Wire somehow melted / shorted to the exhaust. (Ok it was loose).
Clutch /neutral safety and sidestand safety. Easy to check.
 

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Is there an easy way to hotwire the starter that avoids all other circuits, just to see if it cranks?
Yes you can use a large piece of wire from the battery (+) to the starter tie point behind the battery. It usually has an insulating cap, but a quick bump will let you know if the starter is good. Then we can help you trouble shoot further.

Yours will look a little less crowded but the tie points are the same (the pic is from an 05).

I just looked at your picture and I see a black wire next to the battery (-). BMW does not use Black wires for grounds they use BROWN wires. In fact the output of the starter relay is a big black wire that should be on the starter tie point.

Also the two barrel connectors #1 and #2 in the second diagram are for the reverser controller and the starter signal goes through them. Make sure they are connected as often when people pull the top case the first time they undo them. If they are undone then the bike will not crank.
 

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OK if a direct wire on the tie point made the starter turn then we need to figure out where you are loosing the starter signal. Looks like the rest of the connectors are all OK. Next is to check the side stand switch as the bike will not start if the stand is down (or thinks its down) and the "N" is not visible on the dash. Then if the reverse switch is not in "F" it will not start either.
 
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OK if a direct wire on the tie point made the starter turn then we need to figure out where you are loosing the starter signal. Looks like the rest of the connectors are all OK. Next is to check the side stand switch as the bike will not start if the stand is down (or thinks its down) and the "N" is not visible on the dash. Then if the reverse switch is not in "F" it will not start either.
The OP (Billy Pilgrim) never mentioned if he see / hear BOTH of these AFTER Ignition ON cycle:
1) Can you hear the 2 seconds fuel pump priming noise ?
To confirm one more time, wait 6 seconds or more following ignition ON - move the Kill switch on handlebar from center to LEFT, then back to Center position - every cycle to center should make the fuel pump prime one more time.

2) after ignition ON, can you see the RED engine temp warning as ON on dash (thermometer shaped).

Unless we clarify these 2 items, we do not know if the problem is starter interlock related OR some other wiring issues. If my memory is correct, the REVERSER switch is the most problematic as it does not disable the engine-temp warning like all other interlocks (side-stand, neutral) - hence this one need separate testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Affirmative on the fuel pump cycling and the engine temp light.

The ABS lights also flash.

Just wondering if there are easy access points to get a meter on the various switches (starter, side stand, clutch).

Also, the reverse switch linkage is missing, so I'm waiting for a replacement from eBay. A few things look to have been lost while the plastics were disassembled, like the radio cover and the other small cover below that.
 

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Affirmative on the fuel pump cycling and the engine temp light.

The ABS lights also flash.

Just wondering if there are easy access points to get a meter on the various switches (starter, side stand, clutch).

Also, the reverse switch linkage is missing, so I'm waiting for a replacement from eBay. A few things look to have been lost while the plastics were disassembled, like the radio cover and the other small cover below that.
OK for pump cycling and Temp light warning ... so you have all "basic" starter interlocks satisfied for a start.
In such case, then is has to be EITHER:
- bad / missing wiring somewhere OR
- the reverser switch behind reverser handle - this one does NOT affect starter interlocks the same way as Neutral and side-stand
- the starter Relay itself (or related wiring)
- the handlebar starter button switch (very uncommon to go bad)

The other JOHN (Jzeiler) can help you about the reverser switch testing.

To test Side-Stand switch, it is fairly easy without any multi-meter following steps:
- Key OFF, Sidestand down, put it in 1st gear or 2nd gear (may need to rotate wheel with hand on center-stand)
- Key ON: check that Engine-temp light is OFF. Move side-stand up slowly: about half way up the temp warning lamp should go on and the fuel pump should prime.
- Key OFF: test done (although you can do more cycling of side-stand up-down if you want to confirm not intermittent.

Of course, in case of malfunction of Side-Stand switch, a multi-meter OHM function can test both logic: is the system seeing stand UP and also seeing when stand is down. There are 3 wires to achieve this double logic (see attached image with notes).

To test Clutch switch, you will be able to confirm ONLY ONCE you can have the "normal" starter function to work. When out of NEUTRAL (any gear), the engine will refuse to start unless the clutch is pulled. You can also test with a Multi-meter HOWEVER the end connector is quite far in the electrical junction box under fuel tank (below relay box).

The end connector for the right hand switch assy (with Starter button) is also in lower electrical junction box. This is covered a bit in BMW shop manual AND also in CLYMER manual.
 

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If the linkage is missing for reverse (your picture is too small to see what you are showing) then so is the interconnect switches for starting and reversing. Unless there were modifications done the starter will not work without those. The switch housing is shown ON the side of the gearbox in the last picture, if you have that part then once you get the rest of it you can shift in and out of reverse and test the switches. The connector is a white one up near the coil box on that side of the bike.
 

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OK looks like it is still on the shaft. If you remove it from the shaft be very careful as the little "tits" on the micro switches can be buggered up easily as you slide them off of the cams. Better to test at the connector. One will be open and the other closed in reverse and then they switch condition in forward. With the bike in neutral you should be able to move the little arm by hand if you rotate the rear wheel a bit as you are engaging straight cut gears for reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I guess you've answered my next question. When I tried to rotate the switch lever it would only move about 15 degrees and then snap back.

If I understand correctly, I need to rotate the rear wheel at the same time to mesh the gears to allow it to rotate fully?
 

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Yes you will feel a definite clunk when it engages, also there will be a "R" lit up on the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Yep, I only had to nudge the rear tire and it snapped into reverse.

Affirmative on the dash light on when in reverse.

I unplugged and re-plugged the reverser connection just in case. Still no response from the starter button.

Do you happen to know which connections I should be jumping on the connector to test? Would it be the horizontal pairs or the ones at 45° ?

I really appreciate the help!

edit- I just looked at the reverser controller online and see that there is at least one other connector. Is this even the correct connector to test?
 

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