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Old 11 Apr 2002
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Location: zurich, switzerland
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bmw r80 gs: engine problems

i seem to have a technical problem with my bike bmw r80 gs. i'm not really a mechanic so i'm looking for advice to my problem:

the engine keeps cutting out, just like that, during the ride.

after the engine stops, i can't start it for 2-5 minutes. after that it runs smoothly again for a while and stops again.

i had the carburators cleaned, and it seemed to work.

the problem, however, is that prior to stopping, the engine runs well on both cylingers and then stops from one second to the other. with a carburator problem i would expect one cylinder to run fine, while the other might stop. it just doesen't make sense to me that both carourators would stop at exactly the same time.

i would suspect that there might be a problem with the wiring, some loose contact.

any answer or hint would be greatly appreciated!



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Old 12 Apr 2002
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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This SOUNDS like fuel starvation - both sides run out at the same time, or with one quitting the other is so weak it quits too.

I'd check the venting for the gas cap, and the fuel filter(s). The taps themselves have a filter INSIDE the tank - and these often get badly gummed up, and covered with rust flakes. Puling the gas cap off sometimes cures the problem - plugged vent hole.

Immediately on stopping pull off one of the float bowls - is it dry, or low - should be almost brimming over.

With both bowls off check fuel flow - should be a steady stream from both sides.

That's where I'd start anyway - if that's not it, let us know and we'll get into ignition problems.

Grant Johnson

One world, Two wheels.
Grant Johnson

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Old 13 Apr 2002
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I think the problem is the coil. When the engine is hot, the coil gets hot too and expands. It then fails to pass a spark. When the engine cools down, things get aligned again and it works. Another thing to check is the battery negative cable and ensure you have a good ground. Other places to look are the wires to the plugs, make sure the resistance is 5000 Ohms, or around there.


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Old 1 May 2002
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I had the same problem in Scotland last year and was the coil at the end which expanded with heat and letting moist/water in! Drove me nuts as it would run for several miles then just stop and not start for about 30-40 minutes. New coil sorted it out!

Little Gringo
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Old 1 May 2002
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i agree with the others. the COIL. did the same on my r100gs. get the newer bosch one, not another old version bosch
good luck
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Old 7 May 2002
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thanks to all of you very much!

it turned out to be a problem with the wiring... i found an excellent mechanic in bobo dioulasso, burkina faso who fixed up me bike again!

thanks again!

online diary and travel info from the road in africa:

west coast to cape town
east coast to zurich

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Old 8 Oct 2002
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Location: Stockholm - Sweden
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I've had that.
Engine just stopped.
Then as it cooled down it ran like nothing had happened.

It was not easy to find the problem, but when I did...

I had jammed the cable from ignition control unit on the cam-shaft the generator cover.

You may perhaps suffer the same ?

Albert Lindberg, D.C.
Drive Safely,
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