BMW 650 X-Challenge - Stranded in Terlingua, TX

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by GSL, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. GSL

    GSL Team Big Wheel

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,739
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Weird symptoms - yesterday, bike was running fine. With engine running, could turn off the key and remove it from ignition and bike would not stop running. Those BMWs just want to go! :rofl

    This morning, dead bike. Instrument cluster will come on, but no clicky on the starter.

    Suspect a short somewhere, and doing diagnostics now. Anyone else have this happen on their X-Challenge? Looking for ideas on narrowing down the problem...
    #1
  2. GSL

    GSL Team Big Wheel

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,739
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Bike will jump start, but whatever short is allowing the engine to run with the key turned off is also allowing the battery to drain overnight.
    #2
  3. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,837
    Location:
    madera california
    are the battery teminals tight and is it grounded tight? those would be the first things i would check.
    #3
  4. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,731
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Looks like your amperage is low. How did you get the motor to stop running?
    #4
  5. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,000
    Location:
    NoVA
    The solder joints in the ignition switch itself are a known weak point. Remove the back of the housing and inspect the wires where they are soldered to the switch. I'll see if I can find a link in the X-Challenge thread to show some pics.
    #5
  6. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,629
    Location:
    Tejas
    If you don't have any luck in running down the problem on your own, a guy named Ray has a home-based shop just a few miles to the north of Study Butte/Terlingua. He's a very knowledgeable guy who I'm sure could assist if you need it. His place is called Cycletek and his number is 432-371-2569. He moved out there to retire but has nearly been run over by all manner of folks needing ATV/UTV/motorcycle service rather than have to go the 100+ miles to Alpine. He's a good guy and good resource if needed.
    #6
  7. tbarstow

    tbarstow Two-wheelin' Fool

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,919
    Location:
    Viva Lost Wages!
    Your ignition switch has taken a crap.

    You can make a jumper from stuff at the auto parts store that will work like a key.

    Get a waterproof blade fuse holder, 15 amp blade fuse, some wire, and some crimp connectors.

    Take the headlight cowl off and find the white wire connector coming from the ignition switch. Unplug it and look in the end that is on the bike to see if you need 2 male or 2 female blade connectors (I can't remember which ones off the top of my head).

    Cut 2 piece of wire and crimp them to the blade fuse holder. Make sure this is long enough to hang out from the headlight cowl after you put it back together. Put the 2 male/female connectors on the ends of the wires. Plug them into the connector on the bike that the ignition switch would plug into.

    Plug in the blade fuse and your bike should start. Unplug the fuse and your bike should stop.

    Put all of this back together with the blade fuse holder hanging out near the key switch. Put the fuse in, start the bike, and resume riding.
    #7
  8. LTP

    LTP LostThePlot

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Teetering on the edge of insanity. (Winchester)
    my money is on the starter solenoid.

    The ignition switch is a simple affair. When this fails you won't get any lights at all- but you are.

    I've recently replaced my starter solenoid after all sorts of problems, mostly like you describe. lights come on but the starter won't kick in or turn over.

    I was also having fuses blow while the bike was turning over on the starter.

    i've since replaced the starter solenoid and all the gremlins have gone.

    HTH
    #8
  9. GSL

    GSL Team Big Wheel

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,739
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    So, we jumped it, got it running, rolled the dice and took off for a day-long ride. Once the battery was charged back up, all was well.

    To stop the bike, just put in gear and stall it.

    Bike started up fine the rest of the day, once the battery had a charge.

    Diagnostics:
    1) Engine running - neither the kill switch nor the key would stop the engine from running
    2) Engine off - key on, kill switch in off position, bike won't start.
    3) Engine off - key on, kill switch in on position, bike starts
    4) Engine off - key in off position, kill switch on, bike won't start

    It's as if the key and the kill switches behave properly when needing to start the engine, but neither works when wanting to kill the engine, thus draining the battery overnight, because something was not shut off and is still allowing a drain on the battery.

    Not my bike, and we are all home now. I suspect Dan will dig into the ignition switch first...

    Thanks all for the comments. Turns out we were not stranded, just delayed... :evil
    #9