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  #1  
Old 30 Jul 2011
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Bump-starting an F650GS twin

Any good tips? I tried and failed yesterday! Rear wheel locks. I daresay more weight on the rear will help - so do you jump on the bike 'side-saddle'? What's the best gear to use?

Thanks for any thoughts!
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  #2  
Old 30 Jul 2011
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If battery is completely discharged, you will not be able to push start your F650GS. The fuel pump needs to have power to pressurize the fuel system in order for the engine to run.
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Old 30 Jul 2011
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So what do you do if you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat battery?
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Old 30 Jul 2011
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1- jump start from another vehicle
2-if no other vehicle, make tea and wait for other vehicle!
3-if no other vehicle, make tea and wait for helpful person- there is always one around

4-if all that fails- park bike out of sight, lock up, take battery with you, hitch/walk etc to nearest garage/place that either has a charger or other batteries to take juice from.

I have an 8amp hour (in strong direct sunlight) solar panel - but it measures 120cms by 70cms.... - and that would take awhile to charge your battery - a little diddy panel would take a very long time to charge a bike battery. There is a military version which is a 'foldaway' but that is serious ££.

There is a commercial solution by Powertraveller (if you really want to carry this extra kit) and is called the StartMonkey 200-
specs:
Startmonkey200 is suitable for use on batteries with up to a 650CCA and can restart this type of standard 12 volt car battery between 15 and 20 times on a full charge thanks to its High Energy Dynamic Polymer Battery.

The 400 series would be too powerful.

But you still might want to buy a new battery before you go IMHO
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Old 30 Jul 2011
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Thanks for that Bertrand!

As I am heading off to Latin America for a year in search of remote places, options 1-4 may well not work for me. I will certainly get a new battery but still... I have been pondering getting a solar charger. I'm guessing you don't need a full charge for ignition? If I had a 'travel-size' one, how long do you suppose it would take to get enough charge to start the bike?
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Old 30 Jul 2011
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Full charge=no but enough to turn over your engine.
How long is a piece of string?
It depends on the strength of the sunlight and how many hours of strong light you have.
and depends on how many amps you need to turn over your engine- (not just pressurise the fuel system) check your manual for data.

Depends on the state of your battery
and so on-
Then you need to do some maths!

If you were to leave your bike parked for a long time- a small panel (say 5watts) will trickle charge the battery but then, the chances are, the panel might get pinched..

If this is a huge concern for you- seems to me you may wish to consider buying the '200' model

But it's more money & more kit- always more kit !!!
or you might want to carry a bike set of jump leads- better/cheaper and gets you to meet the locals too!

And if going in search of empty places..... I would encourage you to learn about your bike as much as possible, think laterally and innovate! too many 'what if' scenarios' !!
and when it comes to bm-wobble -U's... I would not go anywhere without my '911' diagnostic dongle- Takes all the head-scratching out of it-
BTW can you fix a puncture?

video of the '200' in action on a quad here
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Old 30 Jul 2011
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I guess I would only need enough amps to pressurise the fuel system if I then bump-started it....

Of course you're right about how long is a piece of string - it being solar power after all... Then again I will be near the equator mostly.

I'd really like to avoid loading myself down with unnecessary kit, that's for sure. The Startmonkey200 is 660g and £90. Hmm. Risk assessment...

The 911 seems like a mighty fine idea. But Touratech here in the UK want £350 for it!! And it doesn't work with either my Mac or iPhone. Bugger.

I have a tubeless repair kit and a compressor but have not yet had need. After having read the drill many times I feel like I will be able to do it no problem. I will have to find myself an old tyre to practise on before I leave mind you!

Your advice is much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 31 Jul 2011
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Rather than buying new kit to get you out of a situation you may never find yourself in, learn how to bump start on your own.

Yes you need to jump on the bike at the point of lettig out the clutch, and I find 3rd gear the best to use.

You will rapidly get knackered and overheated, so if you are wearing all your gear, take it off first. And the panniers / top box. Even unloaded you bike weighs close to 200kg, and that's a helluva lot of energy you're burning to shift it!

If things are really bad, consider unplugging the headlight connectors (or removing the fuse) assuming you can't switch them off. It's not huge, but every drain on the battery should be eliminated where possible.

To be honest, a new battery should last you perfectly well on a tour, and I doubt you will be out of reach for more than the life of a modern battery!
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Old 31 Jul 2011
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How about a scooter battery or maybe even something meant for power tools or industrial emergency lighting? So long as it's 12V it'll fire up the fuel pump (or are the electronics "smart" enough to do the "computer sez no" routine?). Probably only worth it if you are going up the Desert, jump leads and a friendly attitude are lighter.

Get the fuel pump to run and the electronics powered, bump start as you would a lower tech machine, but hit the starter button as you jump on the pegs and drop the clutch. My K100 came with a 12 year old car battery in the sidecar. As I picked it up 300 miles from home there were fuel stops, so I've had some practice!

Andy
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Old 1 Aug 2011
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Prevention is key! I mount one of these to all my travel bikes to moniter my charging system.BikeMeters.com - Digital Voltmeters manufactured by DATEL It simply tells you how many volts you have at the battery. Go below 12 and you have a problem. With no lights or electric gear, it should read around 14.2 volts with the bike running at higher rpm, although every bike is a little different. Or you can pack a lightweight emergency spare: http://shop.testsycl.com/
I have heard of people carefully stuffing a rag soaked with gas in the airbox to get the initial hit on FI bikes until the charging system takes over, but i honestly have never tried it.
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Old 1 Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by goo View Post
The Startmonkey200 is 660g and £90. Hmm. Risk assessment...

The 911 seems like a mighty fine idea. But Touratech here in the UK want £350 for it!! And it doesn't work with either my Mac or iPhone. Bugger.

The startmonkey'200' is £149.99
but it does have an added advantage of being to charge up your notebook if you have one and all your other little electro-bits
but it's $'s and weight- your call!

If you do go the route of the '911' dongle, I have an unlocked Nokia E61 ready to go with the software on it I could sell you if you want cheap-

Maybe a new battery and a set of bike jump leads is the cheaper way to go.
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Old 1 Aug 2011
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Hi Bertrand

How much do you want for the E61? I'm a bit of a 'puter geek so the 911 sorta appeals...

I'm gonna do a new Lithium battery and jump leads anyway mind you!

Thanks to all for the input!

G
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  #13  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Managed to bump start my F650GS

So we have been Helpx'ing for the past week and a half in the south west of Spain in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately we had a falling out with the host of the vineyard we were volunteering at as we were being asked to work much more hours than what was first requested. Communication broke down and we had to leave pretty much straight away. You can imagine how much of a clusterf-ck it was when the bike didn't start.

Knew it was a dead battery straight away. I have a Heine Gericke charger, I tried caring it for an hour and a half while we packed our things together. No dice, the battery was reading 11.7 volts and when I unplugged the charger it wasn't even registering 0.1 amps.

Tried to start, no dice, went online and read this thread in the only internet cafe in town. Maybe we have enough charge to get for fuel pressure.

Went back, clicked on the bike, and we pushed it down a slight slope, it kicked over the first time I dropped the clutch but didn't keep going...

That gave us hope.

We pushed it back up the slight slope and tried again.

Raaarrrgh! The engine rips into life! Unfortunately at the same time the local constabulary were coming in the other direction in this tiny town.

They were trying to tell me to turn the bike off. No way was I planning on doing that so I yelled the situation at them in my broken Spanish and they had a chuckle, told me to put on my 'casket' as they call it, and left.


SO! It is possible to push start the bike with only the smallest of amps coming out of the battery. Hope this helps someone else out of a jam.

For more reference. The battery was at 9.5 volts when I started charging, the charger pumps out 0.8 amps, charged it for about an hour and a half and was able to push start off that.
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Last edited by JetJackson; 10 Oct 2012 at 17:48. Reason: added further reference
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