Hard FIRST start BMW F650 GS

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by algie70, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. algie70

    algie70 n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    My 2003 F650gs is struggling to start the first time. It's September in Phoenix, AZ so it's not the temperature. It takes about 10 cranks of the motor to get the first start after sitting all night. I can shut it off immediately and it will start in 2-4 cranks. It's only hesitating on the first start. I'm running a fuel injection cleaner through the tank now. Has anyone had this issue? I appreciate your input.

    Mark
    #1
  2. CycleDoc59

    CycleDoc59 Wrench Rider

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    East Virginia
    You didn't mention mileage or maintenance; such as valve adjustment, spark plug replacement,
    fuel filter/pressure regulator replacement....(?)
    #2
  3. algie70

    algie70 n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
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    Phoenix, AZ
    It has 10500 miles and I had the 6000 mile service done at a certified BMW mechanic. I'm rolling up on the 12K service. If I can't resolve this, il just do it early. And everything on the bike is original. I bought it in December with 5200 miles on it. I was told that FI can be an issue with older F650s if they sit and to listen for squeak or squill coming from the FI when I turn the key prior to starting it. It was fine and worked flawlessly for 5k.
    #3
  4. CycleDoc59

    CycleDoc59 Wrench Rider

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    East Virginia
    Ok; it's but a baby mileage wise, but a clue may be so few miles
    since it was built. Bad things happen, especially to fuel systems
    when vehicles sit... My guess is the fuel filter/pressures regulator
    is sticky. Some dingleberry decided that the regulator should be
    clamped onto the end of the filter (?), as seen in this photo:
    http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=31503. This gives the
    item the silly price of about $110 dollars, and no substitutes.

    Before assuming I'm correct, dig thru here, and maybe pose the
    question to the collective on this forum (The Chain Gang):
    http://faq.f650.com/GSFAQs/FuelInjectionFAQ.htm
    #4
  5. divimon2000

    divimon2000 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    I'm sure there are many potential issues here, but what come to mind are:
    Fuel Filter/Regulator clogging/dying
    Pump on its way out
    Injector dirty (only way to really clean is sending out, ie. "cleaner" won't do it)
    Exhaust sensor
    Airbox sensor

    You may come closer to figuring it out before sending it to $$ BMW service. Try these one at a time:
    1. Cold starting with a bit of throttle (one of my bikes requires it below 60 degrees)
    2. Starting it only after waiting a real long time after you turn the key to let the pump pressurize more
    3. unhook airbox sensor- sometimes null is better than a bad reading.
    4. unhook exhaust sensor

    :ear
    #5
  6. algie70

    algie70 n00b

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    Sep 19, 2009
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    Phoenix, AZ
    All good advice. I appreciate it. Il try it.
    #6
  7. algie70

    algie70 n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7
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    Phoenix, AZ
    I had some other people swear by Sea Foam. I'm running that tank now and it seems to be getting worse. I think your fuel filter/regulator idea is spot on. As the Sea Foam is doing its job, the filter is only clogging more. I ordered a new one yesterday.
    #7
  8. divimon2000

    divimon2000 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Could be, I know they are expensive but..E10 has helped mess up more than two of my pumps/filters on combustion engines. Also scratch 02 exhaust sensor, and change for water temp sensor. Water temp is used on start up, my bad.
    #8
  9. algie70

    algie70 n00b

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    Sep 19, 2009
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    Are you using an additive to counter the E10? I was in the BMW shop the other day and they recommended it but they don't ride my bike. They also don't seem to know a lot about it. The world seems to favor the 1200s.
    #9
  10. RedRockSA

    RedRockSA F650 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    .....the battery and are you adopting a "hands-off" the throttle start?
    I don't want to upset the apple-cart (and all the flushing & filter replacement) I have a 2003 F650 GS as well and had a similar problem a few months back -
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My solution/cure was:

    1. charge/replace battery
    2. before start give throttle 3 full turns
    3. do not twist throttle when starting
    4. keep starter depressed until motor catches or dies
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The reasoning ....

    BATTERY
    I checked the battery and it was slightly low, so left it on charge overnight - next morning was smooth as silk..... ...the following morning was back to burlap sacking. Once again a charge on the ever-so-slightly below par battery did the trick.....but not for long.
    Suspecting a 'surface charge' on the battery I tested whilst 'under load' of starting & got confirmation when the voltage dropped faster than a feather in a vacuum chamber. One new battery later and no problem!
    THROTTLE
    My habit obtained years ago with my Honda 500R (which required a more physical relationship) didn't help.
    I am so used to giving the throttle a good wank together with a full body drop down on the kick-starter, that when the 650 was doing its 'cough'-'cough' start I just could not stop myself from trying to catch it with the throttle .... an absolute No-NO as it upsets all the readings and cannot set properly, resulting in a probable cut-off soon after, even with a new battery.
    Also before attempting the first start with a new ( or re-charged) battery, give the throttle 3 full twists first (key off), remove hand and then attempt a proper key start.
    Finally & very important...... continue depressing starter until motor either starts or cuts out entirely do not release the starter, if motor is turning over but not catching - wait for it to die or catch!
    This starting process is a requirement of the 650 - necessary for correct readings and settings to take place & NO damage will occur.
    #10
  11. algie70

    algie70 n00b

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    RedRock
    When I added Sea Foam to my fuel, the sputtery throttle effect got worse. This led me to believe that the fuel filter was getting bad and the effect of the fuel addidtive was exacerbating the filter problem because it was clearing the system. I changed the filter/pressure regulator last night (good times). The sputtering/surging stopped. The start is still a little slow. I have had my battery off and on the charger all week. I ordered a new sealed battery that should be here Friday. Cross your fingers. I think this combo will fix it.
    I do not use the throttle at all when starting the bike. Why the three turns on the throttle before turning the key? I was under the impression that without the bike running, the throttle was ineffective.
    #11
  12. coletrain

    coletrain All aboard!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    476
    Location:
    North Georgia
    twisting the throttle 3 times "resets" the Throttle position sensor. It basically gives the "brain" the parameters it needs for closed throttle and wide open so it "knows" where the throttle is in order to start/idle/run. I do it with the key on, twist to wide open three times, key off. key back on and push in starter button, release starter button when running. Resetting the TPS is a good idea after long periods of non-riding.

    All good advice above. These bikes like nice strong batteries. The moment the battery starts to go- all kind of weird stuff starts happening. If the new battery dosent fix your prob, try cleaning the idle control valve.

    http://faq.f650.com/GSFAQs/HardStartingFAQGS.htm
    #12