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Thread: 2015 RT - Starting or Battery Issue?

  1. #1
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    2015 RT - Starting or Battery Issue?

    I have a 2015 RT with 8800 miles on the ODO. It went into service in April 2015 as a dealer demonstrator. I bought it in July 2015. My practice is to keep it plugged into an Optimate-4 unit whenever it's in my garage. This served me well with my 2008 RT, so I figured I'd do the same with the new one.

    Three weeks ago I returned from a 2.5-week trip overseas. I unplugged the Optimate and started the bike. All the time I'd owned the bike, it would start with just a single push on the starter button. Since returning from the trip, it always takes two pushes. The starter seems to sound just as strong as it always had, but the engine just doesn't start (when cold) as it had. Once it's warm it starts immediately with one push.

    Omega Man and I have been in texting conversation about this. His first suggestion was to crack the throttle a bit on starting. That did not change anything. His next suggestion was to see about battery voltage on starting. Since this RT has a voltage readout, I switched the display to constantly show that number. I found that after turning on the ignition and letting the RT prepare itself to start, the voltage displayed "12.1volts," dropped down to "11.7" then rose back up to "12.1." I then started the engine (two pushes of the button of course), and within 20 seconds the voltage climbed to "14.1volts" where it stayed until the engine was shutdown.

    Omega Man suggested that the battery needs a load test to determine its health. I'll look into doing that this week.

    I hope that someone who reads this has some wisdom or experience with this situation. Thanks for reading.

    John
    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."

  2. #2
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I agree with OM. The first step in addressing starting difficulties is always to make sure the battery is in good health, and its connections are sound.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  3. #3
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    How is a "load test" actually performed on the RTw? I'd envision removing the battery and driving it over to Auto Zone or someplace that advertises free testing. But removing the battery on an RT, I understand, is not so simple. So, my questions are, is removal simple, and is removal even necessary?
    '16 R1200R, '14 R1200GS,
    Priors: '13 K1600GT, '08 R1200RT, '04 R1150RT, '05 R1200GS, '73 R75/5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sailorlite View Post
    How is a "load test" actually performed on the RTw? I'd envision removing the battery and driving it over to Auto Zone or someplace that advertises free testing. But removing the battery on an RT, I understand, is not so simple. So, my questions are, is removal simple, and is removal even necessary?
    I'd ride to the the testing center of choice, remove the panel in order hit the negative post and the jump point (see manual Page 129), easy.

    Jay

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    John
    Where are you plugging your charger in. If on the right upper fairing very good chance it shuts off and will not charge. On both my 1600 and RTWC I installed a fused Powerlet plug which has solved the canbus issue, this as recommended by my purchasing dealer

  6. #6
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    John
    Where are you plugging your charger in. If on the right upper fairing very good chance it shuts off and will not charge. On both my 1600 and RTWC I installed a fused Powerlet plug which has solved the canbus issue, this as recommended by my purchasing dealer
    I'm plugging in the Optimate to a SAE Pigtail connected to the battery terminals. The pigtail was installed in the bike before I bought it. I had the same arrangement on my 2008 RT. Even though I have the Optimate Canbus device, I go directly to the battery.
    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."

  7. #7
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    I hope that someone who reads this has some wisdom or experience with this situation. Thanks for reading.

    John
    No wisdom for you, but you're not alone.
    I've been reading where other wethead owners have to do the two push thing to start their bike.
    I saw a post a couple days ago where the owner didn't have the problem until his bike had approx. 7,000 miles.
    So far I have not seen a fix mentioned.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

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    Cool Umm, and the battery is where?

    Quote Originally Posted by strataj View Post
    I'd ride to the the testing center of choice, remove the panel in order hit the negative post and the jump point (see manual Page 129), easy.

    Jay
    Hi,

    I'd like to install a pigtail on m y 2016 RT in order to use my CTEK charger, how do I access the battery? I'd rather not start removing panels randomly until I find it...

    Thanks,
    Ski

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibumwi View Post
    Hi,

    I'd like to install a pigtail on m y 2016 RT in order to use my CTEK charger, how do I access the battery? I'd rather not start removing panels randomly until I find it...

    Thanks,
    Ski
    Ski,

    You use the same post's (- +) as above. You may want to consider visiting your dealer.

    Jay

  10. #10
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    SKI
    Bikes right side panel surrounding oil fill. This will expose battery negative post and a positive (red) post just forward of battery
    FYI the screws holding panel on have two different length shoulders and the rubber grommet can be a bit pesky

  11. #11
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    Got it, Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    SKI
    Bikes right side panel surrounding oil fill. This will expose battery negative post and a positive (red) post just forward of battery
    FYI the screws holding panel on have two different length shoulders and the rubber grommet can be a bit pesky
    You called it, Thanks!

    The rubber grommet is more than a "little" pesky.....

  12. #12
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    Bought a few spare grommets, just in case

  13. #13
    John,
    I wouldn't go down the rabbit hole too far. Mine came out of the box this way. I use a BMW trickle charger, like you I pulled up the voltage readout in a troubleshooting attempt with the same results. I don't think it's a voltage issue, I think it's an ecu issue. The fuel air mixture cocktail on a cold start seems off slightly. I think it's going to take a software fix from der mottorrad company from Bavaria.
    R. Reece Mullins Ebony R1200RT (Gretchen)
    MOA # 143779
    MOA charter club #5
    SECMOA (BMW MOA secretary)

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    SKI
    Bikes right side panel surrounding oil fill. This will expose battery negative post and a positive (red) post just forward of battery
    FYI the screws holding panel on have two different length shoulders and the rubber grommet can be a bit pesky
    Thanks. This is good info. Was aware of the pesky screws but not aware of theexposore to the terminal remotes.
    R. Reece Mullins Ebony R1200RT (Gretchen)
    MOA # 143779
    MOA charter club #5
    SECMOA (BMW MOA secretary)

  15. #15
    Registered User zenwhipper's Avatar
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    One push or two pushes for the start of the bike does not make me concerned at all.
    2016 RT1200RT
    Brand new April 7, 2016

    Past bikes: 2001 Kawa ZR750S, 2002 VFR, 2006 V-Strom, 2008 FJR

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