Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > BMW Tech

BMW Tech BMW Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to BMW riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

7 Litre Camel Tank Lets You Explore More, Click to Find out More!

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 15 Feb 2006
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,028
1150GS starting problem?

Any ideas on this intermittent problem:

Bike's a 2001 / Y-plate 1150 on just over 48,000 miles. Up until now, all's been well.

Sometimes when you press the starter button, nothing happens - no clicking solenoids, no signs of life whatsoever? Other times it fires up immediately without any need for the fast idle lever.

I know the kill switch is fine as I can hear the fuel pump primin the system every time I turn it to RUN.

I've replaced the entire r/h switchgear with a used example in good condition, problem still persists?

I've swapped the starter relays over from another bike, problem still there. At the time, the bike would not turn over with either relay fitted yet the other bike fired up with either relay fitted a few seconds later.

Fitted another complete starter motor, no improvement?

The bike normally fires up when cold i.e. in the mornings & when it's time to leave work but not all the time. There seems to be no pattern to the problem.

Bike's also fitted with a Datatool alarm, I had suspected that the immobiliser function was cutting in when it shouldn't but doubt this is the case as the fuel pump can be heard whirring away every time. I was tempted to disconnect the alarm but it's well spliced in to the loom, I'd probably do more harm than good.

Any suggestions - load shedding relay perhaps? I've had the multimeter & wiring diagrams out and have been unable to find a broken wire etc. Both starter motors turn over quick when it does start & the battery's in good order.

All help appreciated

Thanks in advance.

My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
Old 16 Feb 2006
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,366
Ok, when you press the starter button and the motor does not turn over - do the instrument lights dim (oil pressure, batter red warning lights - they should be lit)?

If they dim a little that tells us that the button is connection some load - how far they dim tell us how big the load is.

Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Feb 2006
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,028

Fault is intermittent, with no pattern to the problem. I've not noticed the instrument lights dimming, I'll check & report back.

Last night I disconnected the clutch interlock switch from the main loom. I then tried it with the bike in gear with the connector on the loom bridged with a lenghth of wire - switch seems good i.e. engine turns over when in gear with the bridging wire in place but won't when unbridged.

I plan to try the same with the sidestand switch at the weekend.

Thanks for the help.
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Feb 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Estonia
Posts: 770

i'm 50% sure it's starter relay, i had exacly the same problem on my 1100. Take off the seat, put your ear close to fuse/relay box and push the starter, you should hear very silent "click-click" sound if pushing the starter button (in case the starter doesn't turn over). Then it's just "tired" relay contact. Other times it works OK and it turns over, just like mine did.

I cured the starter relay myself - take the starter relay apart, cleaned the contacts and bend SLIGHTLY the contact closer to contact. Don't do it hardly - otherwise it contacts it permanently and starter may kick in while you drive - you can destroy the pendix or starter itself this way. More secure is just to get new relay of course...

So that's my idea, dunno if it's your case as well.

Keep us updated, Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 17 February 2006).]
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Feb 2006
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,028

I used the starter relay off my girlfriends bike, didn't work. I put mine in her bike, it worked fine. I put hers back in her bike, it worked fine. At the time my bike failed to start with either relay fitted?

I've had starter relay on my old Jota, I remember doing as you said & cleaning it, worked fine afterwards.

When the engine fails to turnover, there are no clicks from the relay at all. It's as if there's no current to it? I've replaced the entire r/hand switchgear, starter relay & starter motor. Problem still persists - it may or may not turn over. If it does turn over, then the bike fires up immediately as it's always done?

Battery's charged up. Tomorrow I'll reconnect the clutch interlock switch (currently disconnected & looped on the loom side) and do the same on the side stand switch.

[This message has been edited by Steve Pickford (edited 19 February 2006).]

[This message has been edited by Steve Pickford (edited 19 February 2006).]
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:35.