99 R1100GS Starting Issue

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by MSR Jungle Thumper, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. MSR Jungle Thumper

    MSR Jungle Thumper Adventurer

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    When I stop at at light, I usually turn the bike off. Two days ago, while trying to start the bike, I pushed the start button and nothing happened. No starter noise at all. A few moments later, while trying again, the starter did engage, the engine cranked, but it did not start. After about a minute of continuously cranking the engine, it finally started and I was able to ride home. What could have happened. Today I started the bike without any issues. Any suggestions? Your feedback is very well appreciated.
    #1
  2. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    what does your first sentence mean? you shut the bike off at stoplights? every time? like turn off the ignition and then restart the bike when the traffic light turns green? why?

    today it started easily and ran normally? low on fuel? fuel pump? hard to make a case for an ignition problem or HES if it’s all normal now. kill switch, clutch switch, side stand switch? have you bypassed the side stand switch so you can start it without having the bike on the center stand? when you were having trouble did the instrument lights come on when you turned the key on?
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  3. MSR Jungle Thumper

    MSR Jungle Thumper Adventurer

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    Yes, I turn the bike off via the kill switch on the right side of the handlebar. Then I start it when the light is about to turn green. Traffic can be very bad here. I don't see why I should leave the bike idling for 5min at times.
    #3
  4. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    I agree, I would shut the bike off rather than idle for that long as well.
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  5. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    What indications did you notice when the bike failed to crank, then when it cranked but it dint' start? Was the RID working? Did you hear the fuel pump prime when you turned the kill switch back to RUN? Was the bike in neutral? Was the green neutral light illuminated? was your clutch lever in or out?
    #5
  6. MSR Jungle Thumper

    MSR Jungle Thumper Adventurer

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    My bike does not have a RID. I did not pay attention to the fuel pump priming. The bike was in 1st gear, and clutch lever in.
    #6
  7. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    Not enough info... How many miles? Gen. mechanical condition? Is the switchgear still solid after all these years (20+)?

    I'd pull the starter and inspect it as outlined in the old HoW article, now listed under Resources.

    You'd want to be certain the battery was fully charged and firmly connected, as well.

    Riding under those conditions - esp. where the rpm range isn't always charging the battery - I'd also consider an upgrade to the alternator's output a la...

    https://www.euromotoelectrics.com/BOSCH-Voltage-Regulator-BMW-R-K-p/boalt-reg365.htm

    Aside: EME is selling that part for dirt cheap, right now!
    #7
  8. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    he said he “cranked it for about a minute” and it finally started. Sounds like the starter is OK to me.

    agree though, more info needed. No “crank” when pushing the start button and then “cranking for a minute” without starting makes it sound like 2 different issues.
    #8
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    If it happens again try shifting to neutral. There clutch switch goes bad on these things sometimes. The bike fails to recognize the clutch is in, so it won't turn the starter with the bike in gear.
    #9
  10. MSR Jungle Thumper

    MSR Jungle Thumper Adventurer

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    I did adjust the clutch cable on Sunday.
    Bike is a 99 R11GS and has 88.5K miles on it. The bike is on overall good condition. The bike has a Oddisey PC680 battery.
    R11GS.jpg
    #10
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  11. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    I like the neutral switch idea above.

    Also, see posts from @roger 04 rt about how the PC680 is not adequately charged by 11X0 alternators. It's a great battery; I use one, but it really needs a compatible charger to top it up. That' esp. true if you frequently ride at lower rpm and must leave the headlamp turned on when the engine isn't running.

    I'd probably swap out to an LED headlight bulb to reduce the electrical load, as well.
    #11
  12. Mituk

    Mituk Been here awhile Supporter

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    Roger's point about the fuel pump priming as well as the clutch is a good one. Also, if you switch the key on with the kickstand down, you shouldn't hear the fuel pump - swing the stand up, and you should hear the pump prime.

    I had a situation once off-road when I'd gone down in some big rocks going downhill. I got the bike righted, but it would not start. I realized the fuel pump wasn't priming, and after looking through a few things, found one of the fuel tank quick disconnects had come loose. Once I got that reseated, switched on the key, and the fuel pump primed - bike started.

    I've never had the bike not start if the fuel pump is priming.

    Regarding lights/battery, CopperGreen here on the forum makes(I hope he still does) a headlight kit for replacing the stock headlight with an LED TruckLite. This is a great upgrade for the 1100GS - much more reliable and better light output. I run the same battery you do, and have never had any issues with it staying charged, but I usually ride for longer distances.

    Cheers
    Dave
    #12
  13. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    Do you know if the HES has been upgraded or replaced? If not, it needs to be done. A failing HES would cause a non-start like you described.

    Btw, the clutch cable is not the issue. It's (maybe) the clutch switch. When you get a chance, se if the bike will start with the sidestand up, clutch in, in gear.

    Nice bike, btw.
    #13
  14. Mituk

    Mituk Been here awhile Supporter

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    oops - sorry Jim - I attributed your advice to the wrong person.
    Not sure how I could forget the HES failure - I've been stranded because of that. Mostly its the wiring that goes bad - often the sensors themselves are fine, but it's easier just to replace the whole thing rather than rewire.
    #14
  15. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Hopefully if this happens again it will be in your own garage, then you can take note of what lights and what doesn't, eliminate side stand switch or clutch lever switch etc. Sitting at a set of traffic lights is never a suitable scenario for trouble shooting! Your bike looks brilliant, well cared for, i really like the later 1100's especially in that colour.:thumb
    #15
  16. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    I like that color too.

    Generally speaking, it's not good practice to turn off your bike in traffic. The "5 minutes" at a light is not enough to harm your bike. If you are doing this at all times (or even just frequently) you are exposing your bike to more wear/risk than just letting it idle. The bigger risk is in creeping traffic with the oil temp at 8 bars and climbing. Turning it off at lights won't solve that risk.

    The main reasons to keep it running are: 1) To avoid an unknown/unshown issue that prevents you from restarting (oops, you already found this one) and 2) if something starts happening in traffic you need to be able to react quickly and decisively (think someone behind you not seeing you stopped -- bigger oops) - the bike running will provide you best, most-effective response options. I also keep my bike in 1st gear/clutch in when stopped in traffic just in case I need to react quickly and decisively. The time to drop it into first may be the time I need to avoid disaster. Just something to think about.
    #16
  17. lumpy749

    lumpy749 Adventurer

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    Valid point by Paul Barton. Best to be ready to spring into action. Although that said I have turned mine off in stopped/grid locked traffic. But it is a 35C Australian summers day and I make sure everyone is motionless around me. I have had my 1150 crank for longer than usual when its been hot. That is, when left idling in hot weather, shutdown and re-started. But its not hugely longer cranking. 5 - 10 seconds more cranking maybe.
    #17
  18. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    I'm the same. I have turned it off but only in gridlock not at a light that you know is going to change.
    #18
  19. MSR Jungle Thumper

    MSR Jungle Thumper Adventurer

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    Yesterday I connected the Battery Tender to the R11GS. It took 8 hours for the green light to stop blinking! I guess the battery was not fully charged. I never connect the Battery Tender to the R11GS as I ride it almost on a a daily basis. The BT is always on the other GS, which I don't use that often
    #19
  20. Three Dawg

    Three Dawg Into Africa

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    I'm surprised that the 1100 is not thought to have the capacity to charge an Odyssey properly - I thought they have (at least the ABS ones) a 700W alternator. Although I suppose starting it up loads of times on a relatively short trip may mean the battery needs a top up from time to time.
    #20