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Old 01-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
h2only OP
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weird startup

been cold here and started the F800gs up today, turn the key, all the instrument gauges move and light up as normal. Hit the start button, one click of the starter, nothing, hit it again, fired right up. Then right after it was running, the gauges light up again and the tach and speedo go all the way through their sweep, then all is normal.

Did this a few times with the same results. Thinking maybe battery, I turned it off and plugged in the battery tender, the charger showed full charge after about 10 seconds.

Any ideas what would cause this?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
ebrabaek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2only View Post
been cold here and started the F800gs up today, turn the key, all the instrument gauges move and light up as normal. Hit the start button, one click of the starter, nothing, hit it again, fired right up. Then right after it was running, the gauges light up again and the tach and speedo go all the way through their sweep, then all is normal.

Did this a few times with the same results. Thinking maybe battery, I turned it off and plugged in the battery tender, the charger showed full charge after about 10 seconds.

Any ideas what would cause this?
I would say loose batt connection, as it would not click with either sidestand disconnect, or kill switch depressed.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:58 AM   #3
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I've had the same experience, but only since installing a lithium battery. Any time the ambient temperature drops below 10 celsius, I have the same symptoms. If I apply a load to the battery for a minute or two it seems the battery warms up enough to crank the engine and still maintain power to the instrument cluster. A long ride seemed to cure it until the battery ran down enough from the short commuter trip.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:38 AM   #4
ScubaStevieG
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I'd suggest that it probably has more to do with battery strength/health than anything else. This is my first winter with my 800GS and it does the same in the cold (sub 35 degrees). It is especially noticeable if the heated grips are on during start-up or the aux lights are on (dumb yeah I know). I don't know yet whether the stock battery is underpowered or whether mine is going bad. Heavy and even standard weight oil will exacerbate the problem if the bike is cold... These bikes have a boatload of electronics that power on at the same time that the starter is struggling to bring the beast back to life so it doesn't surprise me that the amperage drops almost instantaneously for a few moments - enough to reset the computer.

I noticed similar behavior on my 1150 GS right before I replaced the battery... instant fix thereafter even when temps were in the teens or near 0. I'll probably be replacing my battery shortly (its an 09 and OE as far as I know). Car Batteries have 2 ratings and the CCA cold cranking amps is the one you care about the most in this weather - I'd assume that motorcycles do the same.

On the li-ion battery - I've seen on many camera forums conversations about how performance of li-ion battery packs degrades more than nicad in cold weather ( sub freezing temps), so it wouldn't surprise me if that same effect was manifested in a big bike battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by h2only View Post
been cold here and started the F800gs up today, turn the key, all the instrument gauges move and light up as normal. Hit the start button, one click of the starter, nothing, hit it again, fired right up. Then right after it was running, the gauges light up again and the tach and speedo go all the way through their sweep, then all is normal.

Did this a few times with the same results. Thinking maybe battery, I turned it off and plugged in the battery tender, the charger showed full charge after about 10 seconds.

Any ideas what would cause this?
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
h2only OP
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thanks for the info, it has been below 30 degrees for a solid 2 weeks here. For some reason I always decide to start my stored cars, bike and the such on the coldest days of the year.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #6
ScubaStevieG
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By the way -

There are some interesting threads on batteries here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=415604 cntrl+f battery and you'll get right to them on the sticky.

I read through a few on my phone this morning and I came up with a few nuggets of useful information and extrapolated a bit to our common problem:

1. the 800gs and beemers in general have a low charging voltage - that doesn't play nicely at lower temps when batteries require higher voltage to charge. Add on a few accessories grips etc and over short rides you're not returning your battery to a fully charged state. I can't find the thread with the chart at the moment. will try to add it here.

2. the 800 has some nominal current draw even with the key off. Batteries also have an inherent "degradation" over time this can add up to a not insignificant amount if you are just starting your bike instead of taking it for a spirited ride at RPMs high enough to charge fully.

3. there are entire threads on how much the 800 battery sucks, fails, is replaced under warranty etc. I never found out whether there was a part change in newer models.

4. found some data backed up my Li-Ion statement earlier - It makes a great Southern state battery but wont work nicely in the colder climates. Also I learned that Li-Ion batteries remain at full voltage output until they die whereas a AGM or acid battery will slowly degrade giving you some warning that the battery is tired. Tremendous savings in weight is the tradeoff.\

Hope this helps!


Quote:
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thanks for the info, it has been below 30 degrees for a solid 2 weeks here. For some reason I always decide to start my stored cars, bike and the such on the coldest days of the year.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2only View Post
been cold here and started the F800gs up today, turn the key, all the instrument gauges move and light up as normal. Hit the start button, one click of the starter, nothing, hit it again, fired right up. Then right after it was running, the gauges light up again and the tach and speedo go all the way through their sweep, then all is normal.

Did this a few times with the same results. Thinking maybe battery, I turned it off and plugged in the battery tender, the charger showed full charge after about 10 seconds.

Any ideas what would cause this?
A chap whose trip from London to South Africa I was following has a video featuring the issue you've described - in his case it was the stator/alternator not charging properly - video here
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:23 AM   #8
MikeMike
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I had the same situation here in tropical temps. It was an early warning my original battery was wearing out after 3 and a half years of stellar service.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:15 AM   #9
Steveman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supertorro View Post
I've had the same experience, but only since installing a lithium battery. Any time the ambient temperature drops below 10 celsius, I have the same symptoms. If I apply a load to the battery for a minute or two it seems the battery warms up enough to crank the engine and still maintain power to the instrument cluster. A long ride seemed to cure it until the battery ran down enough from the short commuter trip.
This is very common with lithium batteries, they are sensitive to low temperatures ...

Regards Steve
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
h2only OP
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Originally Posted by duffs View Post
A chap whose trip from London to South Africa I was following has a video featuring the issue you've described - in his case it was the stator/alternator not charging properly - video here
that video shows EXACTLY what mine is doing. So........are these covered under warranty?

Thanks
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #11
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You better hope so. Rumor has it Motorrad has installed defrillators in the parts departments worldwide as their gift.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
Kerfuffle
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That happens to me on occasion when the bike has been sitting for a week. Doesn't happen after the first start. Doesn't matter if I use the battery charger, so I suspect its the battery itself.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:54 AM   #13
ebrabaek
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Originally Posted by Kerfuffle View Post
That happens to me on occasion when the bike has been sitting for a week. Doesn't happen after the first start. Doesn't matter if I use the battery charger, so I suspect its the battery itself.
It is a known issue, that the stock R/R is not charging the battery with high enough voltage. The battery will sulfate over time, and die a slow death. Your symptoms are in line with that, but most likely caused by a low charging R/R. You put a new battery in there, and it will happen again. How long time..... no body knows. Have a look here..

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781564
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #14
Steveman
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Your knowledge is astonishing, mr. ebrabaek, sir!

Regards Steve
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
MikeMike
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How long?
In cooler temps it won't last another month.
If you are a betting man...
It is giving you a heads up, next thing you'll find starting to be a slower and "Do I really have to crank that damn starter motor" PMS type affair.
And then one day...nada.
And it will happen in an interesting place.
Fortune telling is easy!
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