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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I've been having a strange starting problem with my 2012 r1200r.
Over the past few months it has begun to behave as if the starter motor is going. There is a pause of about half a second or more before it coughs and turns over, but then it tends to start. It's been in the garage three times, had had the starter motor checked, which I'm assured is fine, and has had a new battery.
The problem is made far worse by filling it with petrol, such that the last few fills, it won't start at all afterwards. I use premium unleaded. The engine has usually been run for 15 minutes so is hot. It seems worse in winter.
After changing the battery (even though the old battery was only 18 months old) it seemed a bit better under normal conditions, but again last night, I filled it up on the way home, and the starter motor turned albeit with a pause, and then slowly, but the engine wouldn't fire.
I tried it about six times over ten minutes, and the battery went flat (it seemed to do this too quickly for a brand new battery). It had had a similar performance the previous three times I filled it with petrol with the old battery.
I had to wheel it round the corner and borrow a plug socket, and leave it on charge for 15 mins at the carwash (where an absolute gentleman stayed behind 15 minutes after work in the cold and dark on a Friday night to help me out)
It started eventually, and as always, ran flawlessly.
When I got home about 15 mins later, it started pretty well three times in succession.
To my mind it seems to be due to cold petrol and hot engine,or even the weight of the tank causing a problem, but I have no idea.
It's going back to the garage on Monday for a tank remove and general fiddle with.
Has anyone ever heard of a problem like this?
It's 2012 and has done about 35k miles and is used most days.
Thanks for looking.dan
 

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Air, fuel and electricity. Check your spark plugs and air filter. Unless you have a fouled fuel filter from bad gas, there shouldn’t be a fuel issue, but you could use an additive like B-12 Chemtool or Seafom to cleanse the fuel system.
 

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‘12 R1200R Classic | ‘15 R1200RT
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I’m following this thread with interest. I have the same bike but no such problems. It’s not always happy at first start-up but it’s never failed to start. Curious to hear what you learn.
 

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Interesting, but very worrying for you Dan.

Just guessing, as not a tech, and never heard of this problem. Fuel pump. Fuel filter. Fuel tank vent pipe (is there one?). Water in fuel tank. Leaking petrol filler cap seal (has the bike beeen washed recently or left in heavy rain?). Battery and it's cable connections.
 

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My bike (39K miles) began having starting issues this year as well. It hesitates for a second after hitting the start button before starting, as if the battery is weak. I haven't had the issue with not starting after gassing up like the OP. I've searched the site on this topic and didn't find much of any reasons or solutions. My buddies 2011 (low miles) starts cleanly.
 

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I had a similar problem on my R9T, which I think is the same engine? Anyway, the starter would delay cranking--like a hiccup--and then crank sluggishly. I went through new batt, then tightened connections, even new solenoid, but the problem was still there. But it's completely fixed now! The solution? A new starter, and it's an after-market one at that.
 
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I had a similar problem on my R9T, which I think is the same engine? Anyway, the starter would delay cranking--like a hiccup--and then crank sluggishly. I went through new batt, then tightened connections, even new solenoid, but the problem was still there. But it's completely fixed now! The solution? A new starter, and it's an after-market one at that.
Interesting, glad you fixed the issue. My bike behaves the same way, how much did the starter cost you?
 

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I got it off of fleaBay...$127 I don't see the exact same one now, but the seller was dbelectrical It fit and works great...just two small issues: It came in a silver, so I had to paint it black to match the original on the R9T. And the side clamp rods were different than the configuration on the original, which just made it trickier to get in place. But, the price was right, especially since I was taking a flyer that the starter was indeed the problem.
 
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Thanks, appreciate the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had the starter checked, and he said it was fine, but I'm going to fit a new one anyway I think.
It's not a fuel/water ingress or flooding issue as it has been happening for months, though slowly worsening.
It is something to do with the starter motor. It must be, I simply can't think of anything else, but why filling the tank provokes it I just don't know.
I've taken to carrying a jump starter pack with me.
 

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I’m going to just add this in case it’s of any help.
I’ve got a 2019 1250 model which was displaying the same symptoms.

I took it to my local BM Motorrard dealer and they said it had been filled with bad fuel! They had to drain all the old fuel out, clean the tank and fuel lines and replace filter etc. I doubted their diagnosis as I had never heard of it before. The dealer said they had only ever come across one other case. Anyway it was fine after and has remained so! . Good luck with yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And an update. It wouldn't start again on Friday after filling the tank. Despite a new battery, I had to push it round the corner, borrow an electrical socket off the valet service lads, and allow it to trickle charge for 30 mins. (The battery was flat after about five presses of the starter button). Again the motor, after a slight delay, coughed lazily, but wouldn't fire.
I have now taken to carrying a mobile starter battery kit which starts it as needed.
It went back to the mechanic yesterday.
He completely stripped it out, (along with a bike electrician). He said it was starting perfectly. He left the bike at the gate for me as I was late.
Went to start it, and it wouldn't.
Had to borrow a jump starter from the next door business which fortunately was still open.
I can only think it's the solenoid in the starter motor, but it's just bizarre.
The mechanic simply was incredulous when I rang him.
 

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What size Amp Hour (Ah) battery did you put in the bike? When I replaced the battery in my 2014 a few years ago the replacement I got from the dealer was a 12 Ah, the original I removed was a 10 Ah, and I later noticed that the owners manual Technical data calls for a 14 Ah ? The original only lasted about 3.5 years, and if I recall correctly I had to remove a spacer from under the battery to fit the 12 Ah replacement. In the cold the bike definitely cranks slower.
 

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go buy you a new starter bmw as usual cant job out to a vendor and get a quality starter...... i dont think anyone praises bmw reliability for any bmw made after 2006.
 

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There are similar reports for GSs on Adventure Rider. I've experienced a similar issue on my 1250RS. I posted this there:

Same issue on a 2020 1250RS with ~3000 miles. First time it happened, I assumed the battery was dying, so replaced it (I happened to be next to somewhere I could buy a replacement); but, same thing happened a few hundred miles later with the new battery. Hasn't occurred again in the subsequent 2 weeks. Symptoms were the starter turning once, then sounding like it disengaged, accompanied by the sort of errors you get with a duff battery (traction control fault, bike has fallen over warning fault, etc). Each time it failed, bike was warm, but it has started fine from warm since the 2nd failure.

Looks like there are quite a few cases out there...
 

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This may sound odd, but I wonder if this would be a good test….I’ve done it before on my XX and is safe if done propearly.

Take another 12v battery (preferably automotive) and either use it in place of the motorcycle battery (tricky as you have to jerry-rig the connection as it won’t fit in the bike) or jump by attaching cables in parallel (positive to positive…negative to negative). The later maintains 12 volts but now lets you have all the CCAs of both batteries. The former just gives you a much stronger battery.

If the bike starts flawlessly, odds are it’s a bad battery. If the problem persists or only improves slightly, it’s a mechanical or electrical issues (faulty part having high resistance or a short partly grounding out key circuits).

While you can buy a load tester and check a battery that way, it’s a tool most of us rarely use, and it won’t help you diagnose if you have a resistance/ground problem.
 

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Ah - I forgot to say that the 2nd time it happened, I got a jump start with no problems. But, that was a brand new battery. So, the jump start test doesn't rule out the battery. I suspect the starter is requiring excessive current sometimes; maybe a starter fault, maybe the decompressor isn't working sometimes and when it doesn't there isn't sufficient CCA to spin the motor at full compression. Hard to diagnose when it's intermittent.
 

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Yeah…electric motors are like that. If just one coil has failed, it could have enough momentum to keep turning until it hits the next energized coil. You could test by using a wood dowel to resist the starter gear turning…meaning it would stop when you hit a bad coil…but you’d have to remove the starter and set this up on a work bench.

Remain jumped to a good battery and just cycle through multiple starts and see if anything odd happens? There would be the chance the starter would stop on a bad coil and not engage or be sluggish when engaging.

*when I say “coil” i may be thinking of “winding.”
 
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