R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Topics related to the ownership, maintenance, equipping, operation, and riding of the R1150R.

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Delfiki
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R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:15 pm

Hello all,

Not sure what happened, but I had registered and created a post about this. Few days later I noticed my post and account were deleted. Weird...

Anyways. So I picked up a new to me '04 R1150R. The bike did not run at all. Previous owner said he rode it for a while, then one day it wouldn't start again. Decided to sell it due to kids/wife/life. When i checked it, it cranked over, nothing seemed seized, and came with tons of extras. (Corbin seat, two windshields, tons of fuel/air filters, clymer book, some large belt, receipts for service, new brake pads for all 3 calipers, head gaskets, passenger backrest, nelson rigg bag, and a few other things). So, 28k on the clock, I snagged the bike for 2k which seems like a steal to me.

Fast forward to today and I've done the following:

-Replaced battery with a fresh PC680
-Replaced all 4 spark plugs with what the fiche/manual calls for. NGK's on the main, Bosch on the aux. (Autozone messed up and sent me a box of 10 bosch instead of 2, so I have spares forever now).
-Filled gas tank with some fuel as the PO didn't have much in there

So I tried to start the bike up, and it had a rough time and I'd hear weird sounds from the left side of the bike. After a few tries and some starter fluid in the air tube, it finally came to life. So once the bike is on, it stays on pretty solidly. I even rode it down the street, and wow does this seem to have a lot of power. Also the brakes bite hard enough to make sure i don't have kids.

Upon subsequent start-ups, the weird screech/grindy sound comes back and sometimes won't fire/start the bike. Is this definitely a starter issue or should I look at something else?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5WrbN58zy0


Also second question. When I turn the power on, and after the bike has been running for a while, the Brake Failure light continuously flashes. However, both brakes work (too) well. Any thoughts on what is up with that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uY7PTpGI_Q
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

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Photoguy
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Photoguy » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:05 am

Can't help with the running/noise issue, but the brake light might be the ABS system which flashes initially until it's activated by riding few miles per hour (forget how many exactly)- then it's good to go and the warning light should go out.

Best of luck and welcome to the group.

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby sstein » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:57 am

Relatively a newbie here - but I know the starter is located on the left just above the left foot peg. It sounds like something is not engaging correctly, but I have not needed to remove the starter so I can't give any more info. I believe it is quite easy to remove and inspect. May be a reasonable first step.

Welcome.

$2000 sounds like total steal for all you got out of that deal.
2002 R1150R
"Better is the enemy of good enough"
- my brother-in-law's brother

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:50 am

Photoguy wrote:Can't help with the running/noise issue, but the brake light might be the ABS system which flashes initially until it's activated by riding few miles per hour (forget how many exactly)- then it's good to go and the warning light should go out.

Best of luck and welcome to the group.


Ahh, fantastic. I was hoping it would go away after a bit. I didn't go fast enough or far enough to really test. I was worried the bike would leave me stranded in case it was definitely an ABS fault. Thank you for this info.


sstein wrote:Relatively a newbie here - but I know the starter is located on the left just above the left foot peg. It sounds like something is not engaging correctly, but I have not needed to remove the starter so I can't give any more info. I believe it is quite easy to remove and inspect. May be a reasonable first step.

Welcome.

$2000 sounds like total steal for all you got out of that deal.


That's what I'm thinking. I'm guessing the teeth are shot on the starter...or the flywheel is screwed so I'd have to fold the bike in half to replace. Hopefully its just the starter. I'll have to pull it to see.

But yeah, 2k for everything seemed like a good deal to me. Even if I have to put in a little money to get it working properly, I have a relatively low mileage bullet proof bike.
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

sstein
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby sstein » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:46 pm

True. If you decide to part with any of those extra farkles, be sure to list them on the "buy/sell" forum on this site so we can all have a gander at them...
2002 R1150R
"Better is the enemy of good enough"
- my brother-in-law's brother

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:03 am

Actually, I'm hoping to find some slick side boxes before I tour on this thing. Hoping to finally hit the tail of the dragon around April or so.
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

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Photoguy
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Photoguy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:43 pm

Trail of the Dragon- buddy of mine made the trip last year, had a really great time.

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby kirby » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:30 am

I've had my rockster for 15 years and have just rebuilt the starter 'cause of noises that started. You can check the flywheel easily by pulling the timing plug (rubber) on the right side and having a look.
A new starter is not that$$$.
mike Mojave CA
'04 ROCKSTER

Delfiki
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:51 pm

Little update since I had some time to get around to it.

I pulled the injectors and hit the starter button while the bike was on the center-stand and in neutral. No fuel spray from either side. I'm not entirely sure how to check for spark, but I figured since the bike starts with starter fluid, I have spark.

Fuel pump does prime on start-up, and also whines/wizzes when the bike is powered on, in first gear, and I try to spin the rear wheel.

One issue I did notice is that the clock goes nuts/fast when I try to get it to fire up. At this point I've pretty much drained the battery and need to recharge it.

Any thoughts on what the issue might be with these new bits of info? I'm starting to think maybe the HES or some other electrical issue.

Thanks!
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby AZBMWRIDER » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:07 pm

When you turn the key to the on position, does the fuel pump stop after 5 seconds or so, or does it continue to run ???
'02 R1150R, Atlanta Blue
Been riding since 1979, BMW's since 1981 .
4 R65's, '87 Guzzi V65 Lario .

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:22 pm

AZBMWRIDER wrote:When you turn the key to the on position, does the fuel pump stop after 5 seconds or so, or does it continue to run ???


When I set the key to On with the kill-switch disabled, ready to star the bike, i can hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds then stop.
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

sstein
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby sstein » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:49 am

I know that there are two fuel lines with quick disconnects on the right side above the right cylinder. One is supply, one is return to the tank. Make sure they are not reversed.

So by "the clock" you mean the actual clock - not the speedo or tach, just to be clear. That sounds like something electrical. Cant imagine what would make the clock speed up though.
2002 R1150R
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:39 am

sstein wrote:I know that there are two fuel lines with quick disconnects on the right side above the right cylinder. One is supply, one is return to the tank. Make sure they are not reversed.

So by "the clock" you mean the actual clock - not the speedo or tach, just to be clear. That sounds like something electrical. Cant imagine what would make the clock speed up though.


Previous owner changed them out with stainless steel fittings and installed in such a way that they can't be reversed. Bike runs with starter fluid, so it's eventually getting fuel once it's fired up.

And yeah, the actual time clock minute hand moves faster while I press the starter. Tach and speedo stay put.
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Delfiki » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:34 pm

Got myself some space with a garage to do some tearing down next month. Anyone think this may point to a faulty HES? I'm going to start doing a bunch of preventative maintenance as I'm hoping to ride out to the dragon still.
2004 R1150R
1985 K100
2003 Honda Shadow ACE

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby towerworker » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:27 am

I've never heard of a clock spinning fast upon startup. The clock does have a "fast adjust" mode but that's only activated by continuing to depress the adjust button on the back of clock housing. That is indeed strange. Possibly you've been told this already but one service you definitely need to perform is an ABS flush/service. The iABS system is very unforgiving of lack of maintenance. There are threads around the forum on doing this. Not difficult but a bit tedious. There is also a special long necked funnel that is necessary. If you can't find the one pm me as I'm pretty sure I still have mine. My ABS failed so I pulled the pump several years ago. I'll send it to you. On the Hall Effect sensor.....if it was bad it would never start at all. I think you said it would run fine once you got it started with starter fluid? If so then it would not be injectors. Since you've replaced battery have you reset the Motronic? There is a procedure outlined in the book for that.

When you pull the fuse or disconnect the battery, the ECU will "learn" the full range by itself, as you work the throttle through the full range. But the quickest way is to turn the key on, don't start the bike, twist the throttle full open and let go twice. Turn the key off for a few seconds, then start the bike like normal. The ECU will have "relearned" the full range of throttle.

I'd also check for proper operation of any safety interlock switch -- clutch and sidestand. Just to be sure. On the starter sound, pulling out or disengaging.....I don't think you have any flywheel issues judging by the sound. And the starter sounds almost fine but might could stand being removed and do some very careful cleaning. You DO NOT want to remove dust and grime by spraying something like brake cleaner spray up inside the bendix gear assembly. But you want to get to the electrical part (solenoid and internal contacts) and make sure they are clean. If you end up replacing (which I doubt is necessary) an aftermarket new starter can be bought for about $75. A new BMW starter is closer to $500. I've been running an aftermarket starter for over 2 years now. It's been fine. If you read the above paragraph a second time you will see why I had to replace my starter. There is a history of the "stick coils" failing on many of the "dual or twinspark" R1150's. The bike will sometimes run but it may only be running on the lower plug. The upper plug has it's coil integrated in the coil wire/cap. Those are not difficult to check. Do a search on the forum on "stick coil failure".

Another possible issue that I don't think anyone has yet mentioned is "too tight wire ties" around the wiring bundles as they go up to the instrument cluster. Over time the continual moving back and forth of the handlebars can possibly break or damage some of the wires within that bundle(s). Again a search on the forum will give you an idea of which ties to cut. OK....hopefully some of the above will give you a few more things to look at.

Hope some of this helps. Feel free to PM me and I'll shoot you my phone number and we can talk more on the phone. There is one more fella that I hope will chime in. CycleRob........he's the defacto BMW guru.

Wayne
The Older I Get, The Less I know. (in honor of MikeCam)

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby Hyja1 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:50 am

Hey Tower worker. I learned a lot from your post. Hope it helps the OP. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and expertise.
Holland Ja, San Francisco
‘02 R1150R black

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby racurley » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:31 pm

That is indeed an odd sound on start up. I replaced my starter last year. It is not difficult to remove and bench test it. There are YouTube videos on how to test it if you aren't sure. I just replaced one on our Civic too so I've had practice. :) The clock thing sounds like a symptom of the zip tie too tight as described. Maybe check for a short there. Maybe that impacts the start? No sure why the starter fluid makes it work.

I have a single spark without ABS so will only be so helpful to you. As towerworker so aptly outlined, those stick coils have been troublesome but I'm not sure if they as much a problem on startup as once they get hot.

When I bought my bike, the PO had not been diligent at regularly replacing the brake fluid and it was very "grabby". The brake pistons were gummed up and I had to tear down and clean the calipers. Now, all is good and has stayed that way.

Good and helpful post Towerworker!
2003 R1150R
1999 Yamaha VStar 650 Classic (sold)
1991 Honda Nighthawk CB250 !!

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby towerworker » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:02 pm

At one point (after '04 models came out) BMW realized there was an issue with heat destroying the stick coils. A new and better protected/designed stick coil was made and subsequent models had those. One of mine failed at 40K or so. I replaced both. I guess a pair today may be close to $300. But I believe I remember a post where someone had found new coils being built maybe in the UK? Quite a bit less expensive as I recall. Again a search will probably find something. There is also a thread on I think ADV Rider where the fella came up with a pair of Ford coils from a V8 and some ignition wire. A whole bunch less expensive than BMW. That's worth researching as well. I was so impressed by what the guy did I decided I'd most likely do the same if mine ever fail again. I've a bit over 100K now and still runs like it did when it had 20K.
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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby EasyBee » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:44 am

Delfiki wrote:
Photoguy wrote:Can't help with the running/noise issue, but the brake light might be the ABS system which flashes initially until it's activated by riding few miles per hour (forget how many exactly)- then it's good to go and the warning light should go out.

Best of luck and welcome to the group.


Ahh, fantastic. I was hoping it would go away after a bit. I didn't go fast enough or far enough to really test. I was worried the bike would leave me stranded in case it was definitely an ABS fault. Thank you for this info.



Photoguy wrote that the ABS light flashes after starting the bike until you ride a few (3) miles per hour. So after about 10 to 15 yards, no more, it should absolutely stop blinking!
In answer to that you wrote : "I didn't go fast enough or far enough to really test." How did you test the bike? Did you ride at all, or just start it and that's it? If you did ride it and it was/is still blinking, you've got an ABS problem on your hands. ABS systems should be serviced ie flushed (especially the ABS unit itself) every year.

R1150R owners manual https://www.dropbox.com/s/fq00jqe8whsg2v3/BMW_R1150R_Owners_Manuel.pdf?dl=0
Maintenance manual R1150R https://www.dropbox.com/s/8cb55xst44iw329/Maintenance%20BMW%20Integral%20ABS.pdf?dl=0
Olihead maintenance manual Rseries by Carl Kulow https://www.dropbox.com/s/1e1ov95vm2sslqy/Oilhead%20Maintenance%20Manual.pdf?dl=0
Service ABS https://www.dropbox.com/s/8tymrxnbw68pkb1/service_abs3.pdf?dl=0
ABS removal https://www.dropbox.com/s/x3dcisxdm66ff20/Abs_Removal.pdf?dl=0
Wish you a good 2020 and many save rides.
8790 Adaptive, Akrapovic, Hyperpro, Ilmberger, Bagster, MRA, paintsprayed wheels, BMW panniers.

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Re: R1150R Starting issues/Brake light flash

Postby kirby » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:47 am

Sticks in my Rockster are going on 120K miles still good. I recently bought a spare pair for $100 ea, the upgraded bosh type.

www.euromotoelectric.com, in Denver.
Good source for Beemers.
mike Mojave CA
'04 ROCKSTER


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