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Thread: 2013 R1200GS - hard to start on demo ride

  1. #1

    Question 2013 R1200GS - hard to start on demo ride

    Took a 2013 R1200GS for a demo ride last Friday. Temperature was about 41F. Bike had been out on a demo ride with the previous group and had been sitting for about 30 minutes or so when I tried to start it. It took several tries of long cranking over the space of a minute or so before the bike would start. BMW motorrad officials said it hadn't happened before. There was lots of fuel and I have a 2011 R1200GS so I know not to twist the throttle when trying to start the bike. A sister unit on the demo ride also had starting problems on that demo ride.

    I had a BMW 650CS that was also really hard to start from day one and it kind of reminded me of that bike. That bike was eventually cured to some degree by ensuring that the battery was fully charged and but mainly when BMW downloaded an updated fuel mapping to the bike.

    If you were a bank robber and wanted to start the bike in a hurry, you wouldn't want to have used that 2013 R1200GS as your get-away vehicle last Friday.

    Dave McDougall
    2011 R1200GS

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Maybe an indication that they really don't have the fuel mapping quite sorted out yet...?
    It would be interesting to hear from more new owners around the country, regarding temperature, altitude, etc...

  3. #3
    Registered User TRJeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Two Rivers Wi.
    mine has had zero issues at all, starting even below 32 deg. was no problem, now at 1800 miles and smiling all the way.

  4. #4
    Tourmeister gr8ridn2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Kern Valley CA
    My new GSW started perfectly in 34F morning temperatures at Bellemont AZ while attending the Overland Expo in Mormon Lake AZ. Those early morning starts were at 7100 ft elevation. Temps for the ride varied from 34 to 105F in Parker AZ. No problems starting during the ride or since I took delivery. The bike has performed brilliantly in all the conditions I have experienced in it's first 2800 miles.

    I think there is a problem with the demo bikes that is not common to the other GSW's.
    2018 R1200RT W - Continent traveler
    2016 S1000XR - Smile Maker
    1976 R90/6 - Just Plain Fun

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Northern California
    I have had a similar problem with my 2014 R1200GS. On a recent trip, it started promptly in a hotel garage, but after it sat at the front door while I loaded the panniers, it hard-started. I had the impression that I could have cranked it forever without success, but when I stopped cranking and then re-started cranking, it started immediately. Then, a couple of days ago, I started it briefly to return it to the garage after washing it. Started fine. But the next day it again hard-started. I felt that the fuel charge was being ignited early with a kick-back result.

    This could be fuel mapping - confusion caused by starting and then not operating long enough to warm it up. Or it could be the sensor that distinguishes where the crankshaft is in the 720 deg firing cycle. Or it could be something else. In the first instance the battery was fully charged. In the second, it had been about a week since the bike had been ridden.

    Any thoughts on what might be happening?

    Also, BMW has a web site where anyone can pay for access to technical information on their cars (as does VW and, I believe, all the other car companies). Does BMW Motorrad have such a site? If so, what's the URL?

    Thanks for any responses.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Long Beach, CA

    2014RT and 2015GSA similar problem

    I've had the same problem on both my 2014 RT and 2015 GSA. If I fire them up but don't let them warm up completely it occasionally takes multiple long cranks to start up at a later time. The ambient temperature will be 55-65 degrees F. I agree with the earlier poster who thought there might be a problem with the fuel map. My sense is that the air/fuel mixture is too lean to restart. I did have the dealer check the RT but no problem was found.

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