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Thread: 2005 R1200RT fuel /pump /level sensor issue?

  1. #1

    Post 2005 R1200RT fuel /pump /level sensor issue?


    sorry, first time posting, hope this isn't to long. Way way too many miles on RT airheads, my 1988 finally quit and move up to a used 2005 RT that had been stored. Picked it up in the midwest, had warranty work done on fuel pump and rear flange. Road east - died on highway as fuel indicator went approached 1/3 tank. Topped off tank (gas station nearby) and road to St. Louis, stopped at dealer. They check computer fault codes (nothing), said it might have been an anomaly. Road east.

    Problem not solved, happened again, same place with fuel level. Continued back to east coast, never letting tank drop below half, bike ran fine. Took it up to MAX's, they checked new fuel pump (to make sure correct pump, correctly installed - it was). Replaced pump and cleaned tank (full of a lot of sand and stuff, we think due to bike in storage for two years prior to me buying it). Rode away, problem not solved - it did it again last week. Problem seems to occur when the INDICATED fuel level shows around 1/3 left, but milage readout and level indicate more miles to go.

    Mechanics said it might have been wrong fuel pump installed (in that the feed tube was not reaching the lower half of the RT tank, not the case). All my riding has been on old airheads, first time on a 'new' fuel injected, pressurized non-carburated motor, I don't know what to expect, how to trouble shoot, what to do. I don't know what to expect on milage or how the electronic readouts relate to what is actually in the tank, levels, ext. I don't know what the milage SHOULD be, when a 2005 RT with what I think is 7 gallon tank should run out of fuel. Should the thing run out of gas 170 miles into a tank?

    The bike is acting like it runs of gas. When it fails, I coast to the side, wait a minute or two and it restarts, then I head for a gas station QUICK!. Sometimes it will do it again before I get there, I wait another minute, rock the bike left to right as much as I can to slosh what ever fuel is left, and then it will re-start and I scamper off. Could this simply be a bad fuel sensor? The computer fault codes they tell me indicate nothing else wrong. Is there a code for running out of gas?!?!

    Again, sorry for the length, bike did not come with tool kit nor manual so I'm a little lost as I re-learn so so many things about this complex, fancy and so far temperamental beast. If you have any advice, you can email me directly at

    Appreciate any thoughts, thank you all!


  2. #2
    It may be a venting issue where opening the tank relieves the vacuum. You might try just opeing the tank when it sputters. Listen carefully for any "hiss".
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  3. #3
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Chestnut Hill, MA
    Isn't a 2005 RT a "Hexhead" and that was the beginning year of the history of fuel-strip failures?

    Welcome to the BMW MOA Forums, BTW, Phil!

    Sent you an email to the address you provided also.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  4. #4
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Central Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It may be a venting issue where opening the tank relieves the vacuum. You might try just opeing the tank when it sputters. Listen carefully for any "hiss".
    +1 on Paul's idea.

    Even if the fuel level sensor is kaput, you should get more than 250 miles on a full tank. When the bike has sputtered to a halt how much gas have you added to fill the tank?
    The fuel sensor is probably OK if it registers full after filling the tank and gradually drops to that problematic 1/3 level as you ride. Failed fuel strips tend to fail with a static reading. BMW extended the warranty on that part to 12 years from the initial in-service date.

    You can download an owners manual in PDF format here:

    The only "tool kit" that came with the bike is a small plastic wrench that opens the oil filler cap (Part 71117691446), about $5 at a dealer. I've managed to open mine with just my fingers. You can also get purchase for a wrench by dropping a thick 3/4" nut into the top of the cap.

    That triangular opening also happens to fit the 13mm headlight adjuster nut, which can be handy.
    Last edited by lkraus; 05-17-2016 at 09:44 PM.
    2006 R1200RT

  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Welcome to the forum Phil

    I will move this over to Hexheads is what your year model is called here.

    Will wait until you see this before moving so we don't lose you in the swap.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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