1. eNewsletter Sign Up

BMW G650GS engine stall/bad idle

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by DeadByrd, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. DeadByrd

    DeadByrd BMW does it best

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I rode my bike to work last night. It was parked in the parking lot for about 3 hours, while it rained off and on. At 10pm I drove home, in the rain, and didn't have any issues right away. After about a mile, I noticed the bike having a hard time idling. The further I went the more noticeable it was when I'd come to a stop or have the clutch pulled in. Just as I was making a slow turn down the block from my house the engine stalled. It would start and fire, but would die if there was no gas. It just wouldn't idle. After a few tries and gave up and pushed it home.

    I put it into the garage, went into the house took off my gear and had my brother, my mechanic, look at it. It fired up and idled just fine. It was in the garage for about 3-5 minutes. It's a 2009 that I bought ten days ago.

    Does anyone have any similar issues either with a G650GS or the older F650GS? The ideas we had were that water got on the starter coil or spark plug, (which would be silly since it's a dual sport- can't get wet? c'mon!), or that the computer needs to be updated. Ideas anyone?
    #1
  2. JDLuke

    JDLuke Ravening for delight

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,644
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I've had occasional issues with stalling on my '01 F650GS. Once it happens, I almost always see the same result as you: It requires a bit of throttle to even idle. Shutting off the ignition for a bit seems to correct this. I believe the computer occasionally gets a bit confused about throttle settings, but I cannot be sure.

    I don't have any REALLY strong answers, but a weak battery seems to make this situation worse (These bikes COOK batteries, check it constantly or buy a sealed cell).
    #2
  3. rgford22

    rgford22 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1
    DeadByrd,

    I also have an 09 F650GS and this bike has a problem. It collects water from the "air intake cones". The water then settles and causes the bike to stall at low speeds. I have been working with my dealer and BMW customer service. They do not have a solution for this problem. It is a safety issue. I have also notified NHTSA which can be done on-line. Please take the time and do that also. I have had conversations with other owners of this bike who are experiencing the same and this is what we are doing. The more people that log their complaints with NHTSA the sooner we may get some attention from BMW. I have will keep you posted on any news, please do the same with me.
    #3
  4. DeadByrd

    DeadByrd BMW does it best

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks, I'm not happy that it's happening to others but am happy that they are doing something about it. I'll follow up with my dealer and the NHTSA as well.

    If anyone has similar issues or other issues to keep an eye out for please let us know!
    #4
  5. JDLuke

    JDLuke Ravening for delight

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,644
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
  6. onemoreokie

    onemoreokie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    My 2009 x-country does the exact same stalling routine about once a month. Shut it down...wait 2 minutes.....restart......good as new. You can hear it coming on and just keep on the throttle to keep the bike running but eventually you have to slow down and
    it sputters for a bit and dies.


    It's annoying! Dealer couldn't find any fault codes.
    #6
  7. DeadByrd

    DeadByrd BMW does it best

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This link talks about surges around 4k rpm. For me it was running fine up there, but when the clutch was pulled in it wouldn't idle smoothly.
    #7
  8. JDLuke

    JDLuke Ravening for delight

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,644
    Location:
    New Jersey
    The link is about 'Surging and Stalling' and some of the stuff goes right back to the introduction of the FI motor in 2001. Ignoring surging for the moment, these machines, while generally very reliable, have had an idle stalling issue somewhere in the system from the very start. There's a link on that page to a list of fixes some people have tried. Frankly, I find I agree with the poster who said to just shut it off for a couple of minutes.
    #8
  9. gonzomup

    gonzomup ChainGang Recidivist Supporter

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,470
    Location:
    Minneapolis -- or something like that...
    Listen to JDLuke. Stalling, surging, and rough idle are a well-known problem on "older" F's (which are the exact same bike as the G650, save the source of the engine). Check the "hard starting" FAQ, too. Spend some time in the FAQ's. There's more than you'd ever need to know about the thumper in there.

    Bohdan
    #9
  10. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,045
    Location:
    SoCal
    It may not have been the water.

    Fuel injection Rotax's have an issue. You can not touch the throttle when you press the starter. It throws the computer into a tizzy. The symptom is that the engine won't idle, it will run but not below 2-3000 rpm. The cure is easy, turn off the engine and wait a few minutes. The prevention is don't touch the throttle when you start. My BMW mechanic showed me what he does, he always presses the starter with his index finger instead of the thumb. That way you can't give it throttle.

    I've had this happen to me about 4 times. One time the symptom showed right after I drove off, other times it shows up later in the ride.

    Not saying this is your problem but keep it in mind.
    #10
  11. Bike#8

    Bike#8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    187
    Location:
    Socal=Mt. Laguna & Palomar Mtn.> Now in Idaho Yea!
    My former XChallenge and my current XMoto would both exhibit those same stalling symptoms, if I turned the key on and immediately hit the starter button.

    I've learned to wait 5 or more seconds now while the dash/computer does it's thing before starting it, w/no throttle.
    #11
    Birdu2 likes this.
  12. DeadByrd

    DeadByrd BMW does it best

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Earthroamer,

    That was actually very helpful and reassuring. After reading your post I remember the salesman mentioning that. He told me that this bike hates to receive gas upon start up, how it'll throw the computer out of wack. Thanks again!
    #12
  13. Somber

    Somber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    service tech that went over the bike with me the day I bought it told me the same thing, basically said to always wait till the full set of lights go out before hitting the start button... I've always done so, I've never had this issue, maybe I'm just lucky and my bike is immune to whatever you guys are experiencing, but it is more anecdotal evidence to support giving it some time between key switch and start...

    mine is an 09 X-Co, about 2800 miles since Nov...
    #13
    Birdu2 likes this.
  14. RivahRider

    RivahRider Windrider

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    Lancaster, VA.
    My '07 had never stalled in 22,000 miles untill this week. It then stalled several times on a 50 mile ride. I needed to check the valve adjustment so I took it apart including disconecting the battery for the two hours I worked on the bike. Put it back together and it stalled again a couple of more times. I'm wondering if I got some bad fuel. I've put some cleaner in and new fuel. I'll see if that helps. Other than that it rung perfectly.
    #14
  15. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,045
    Location:
    SoCal
    Oh yeah, I forgot, wait for the lights to go out. Every time that I've had this problem, it when I was rushing the start.
    #15
  16. GEESK

    GEESK My first BMW

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    This has been very helpful to me I am leaving for Grand Rapids @10:00 am tomorrow morning to go and pick up my new 2009 G 650 GS :rofl . Wait for the lights on the dash to go out and hands off the throttle while starting GOT IT AND THANKS!!!:wink:
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #16
  17. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed American Anti-FAscist born and raised. Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    55,527
    Location:
    Circling Sagittarius A* in spaceship Baltimore
    <<<<It may not have been the water.

    Fuel injection Rotax's have an issue. You can not touch the throttle when you press the starter. It throws the computer into a tizzy. The symptom is that the engine won't idle, it will run but not below 2-3000 rpm. The cure is easy, turn off the engine and wait a few minutes. The prevention is don't touch the throttle when you start. My BMW mechanic showed me what he does, he always presses the starter with his index finger instead of the thumb. That way you can't give it throttle.

    I've had this happen to me about 4 times. One time the symptom showed right after I drove off, other times it shows up later in the ride.

    Not saying this is your problem but keep it in mind.>>>>

    I have to +1 this one earthromer....Has happened to me on my 05 F . What worked for me:...restart and allow to idle before giving any gas. Now I don't give any gas til I get a solid idle...NO problems any more.
    #17
  18. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,045
    Location:
    SoCal
    Yeh, and the waiting for the lights to go out. I did again yesterday, was in a hurry, jumped on the bike, turned the key and hit the starter. Would not run below 3k rpm. Stop, turn it off, watch the birds for a few minutes, started up fine. Patience grasshopper.
    #18
  19. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,052
    Location:
    Mentone, AL
    ...but on my 03 Dakar each time I had such issues arise it was one of two things:

    1-battery going bad (or loose connections)
    2-using the wrong gas

    Also, when starting, always wait the prescribed 3 seconds or so for the temp light to go out, then hold the starter button down for 2-3 seconds after she fires up until the bike idles smoothly.

    Another thing you can try is to disconnect the computer under the seat overnight to do a master reset to default settings.

    Since changing batteries and making sure the connections were good and tight I haven't had either surging or engine dying issues (my bike now has 56K miles).

    About the gas, for the first 40K miles I had the bike (which I purchased used) I just assumed because of the high compression and EFI that it needed 93 octane premium fuel. With the great gas mileage this bike gets the difference in cost seemed to be worth it to pay a bit more for the higher grade on the chance that it would be helpful. BIG MISTAKE!

    One day I stopped to fill up and all they had was regular (87 octane) and I filled up with that. Within five miles I noticed the bike was much stronger in the lower RPM range (2000-4000 RPM) and it never once tried to stall.

    Checking around with other experienced F650 riders I was told that the EFI mapping was tuned for 87 octane (unlike my R1200 GS which was set up for premium but had a knock sensor to adjust for lower octane).

    I was really pissed at myself that for 40K miles I had been paying extra for lower performance and poorer gas mileage.

    That was over 10K miles ago and the bike hasn't had a single hiccup since switching over to 87 octane regular.

    YRMV
    #19
  20. johnnydanger

    johnnydanger Dangerous!

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    I've experienced these symptoms now and then. It always seems to happen about 20-40 miles after I fill up at a gas station. I thought it was a fuel system hydro-lock like if gas was in the vent tube and the bike couldn't pull anymore fuel due to the pressure--this used to happen to me in an old car I had. When it happens is usually when I completely top up the tank to the little hole in the bottom of the metal ring on the filler. If it eventually dies, I stop, turn the bike off, unlock the gas cap, shake it out (lots of gas usually comes out of the cap) and put it back on the bike. Always seems to work, though it might just be a coincidence as the shutting down and restarting might be the real solution.
    #20