Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Help - R1100RS not starting

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    31

    Help - R1100RS not starting

    Rode my bike in to work this morning without issue. Went to start it go drive home today, hit the start switch and nothing happened. When I turned the key, all the lights came on as normal (fuel pump engaged), it was as if the kill switch was on (done this one before). I checked the kill switch, made sure the stand was up... still nothing. Fortunately I was parked on a hill and was able to jump the bike. Once started, everything was perfect. Got home, parked the bike and tried to start it up again and nothing happened. It's like the wire to the starter button was cut...

    Any thoughts or recommendations would be really appreciated.

  2. #2
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,836
    Quote Originally Posted by mhallman View Post
    Rode my bike in to work this morning without issue. Went to start it go drive home today, hit the start switch and nothing happened. When I turned the key, all the lights came on as normal (fuel pump engaged), it was as if the kill switch was on (done this one before). I checked the kill switch, made sure the stand was up... still nothing. Fortunately I was parked on a hill and was able to jump the bike. Once started, everything was perfect. Got home, parked the bike and tried to start it up again and nothing happened. It's like the wire to the starter button was cut...

    Any thoughts or recommendations would be really appreciated.
    If the fuel pump cycled when you turned the key on that would mean the sidestand interlock and the kill switch are OK. First thing to do is put a meter across the battery terminals, turn the key on and hit the starter button. What does the voltage drop to? If it goes below 10 volts or more then you need a new battery. While there make sure the battery connections are clean and solid.

    If it does nothing then I would put the + probe of the meter on the connector at the starter solenoid. Take the starter cover off. Find what should be a black wire with a push on connector connected to a tab on the starter. That is where the 12VDC signal from the starter button goes and that engages the solenoid which in turn engages the starter. If you don't see 12VDC at that point when you push the starter button with the key on of course, the problem is upstream and you will have to trace back that wire.
    I don't have the schematics for the 1100RS but assume the wiring is the same as the RT. For the starter to turn the key must be on, kill switch made, sidestand switch made and starter button depressed. This powers on the starter relay but in order for the starter relay to work the clutch switch must or neutral switch must also be made.

    Hope this helps!
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Trinity, NC
    Posts
    789
    Mhallman, when you try the start button, is the bike in Neutral and is the neutral light ON? Did you try to start with the clutch lever pulled in?
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    Mhallman, when you try the start button, is the bike in Neutral and is the neutral light ON? Did you try to start with the clutch lever pulled in?
    Did not try to start it in neutral - 1st gear with the clutch in.

  5. #5
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Trinity, NC
    Posts
    789
    Quote Originally Posted by mhallman View Post
    Did not try to start it in neutral - 1st gear with the clutch in.
    Try putting it in Neutral, make sure that the N light is on. Sounds like the clutch safety switch isnít working, so it doesnít recognize that you pulled in the lever. Starter wonít engage with that.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    Try putting it in Neutral, make sure that the N light is on. Sounds like the clutch safety switch isnít working, so it doesnít recognize that you pulled in the lever. Starter wonít engage with that.
    I think you're on to something. When I put it in neutral, the green N did not come on.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    31
    I was just out messing with the bike - shifting gears up and down and when I put it in Neutral, the neutral light came on and the bike cranked right up. Obviously, this is something that will need to be fixed soon, just not sure what to fix.

  8. #8
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Trinity, NC
    Posts
    789
    Quote Originally Posted by mhallman View Post
    I think you're on to something. When I put it in neutral, the green N did not come on.
    There are two safety switches that can prevent the starter from engaging. The Neutral light (switch) and the clutch. The idea is to prevent you from using the starter when the bike is in gear and the clutch is engaged. For the starter to work, the bike must be either in Neutral (N light ON) or the clutch has to be disengaged. There are other safety switches that prevent the entire electrical system from working - the "kill" switch and the side stand switch.

    It sounds like you have left yourself with the combination of a bad clutch switch and a bad/slow neutral switch. The clutch switch is easier to replace. The Neutral switch function usually gets "slow", because of ingress of dirt or oil into the neutral switch. Mine is slow, but I find that if I move the shift lever up and down within the range of staying in neutral, the light eventually comes on. I shut down the motor by lowering the side stand which leaves the dash lights and neutral circuit still active. Then I play around with shift lever. If I ever found my clutch switch not functioning, I would replace it immediately.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  9. #9
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Trinity, NC
    Posts
    789
    You could also try to spray some electrical contact cleaner into the clutch switch location - on the left handlebar. It's a micro switch and it may be dirty. Even if this works, I would replace the switch with a new one. Avoid the temptation to cut the wires, join them together to fool the system. You'll eventually stall at a light or in traffic and restart without pulling in the clutch and the bike will suddenly take off.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  10. #10
    Registered User K7GLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    160
    Quote Originally Posted by mhallman View Post
    Obviously, this is something that will need to be fixed soon, just not sure what to fix.
    Regarding the N switch (separate from the gear indicator switch) see post #7 here:
    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...-light-gremlin
    - Glenn
    2000 R1100RT (current)
    1982 R100RT (traded)
    1970 BSA A65T, 1969 Honda CB350, 1967 Honda CB160 all fondly remembered

  11. #11
    On these bikes the Neutral switch gets wonky (tech term). Oil residue seeps into the switch making the contacts somewhat finicky. So sometimes the switch works and sometimes it fails to detect neutral. It becomes hit or miss. Often shifting into and out of neutral several times wipes the contacts enough that they they work properly.

    If you do have a wonky neutral switch that is no problem as long as the clutch switch works. Just pull in the clutch and the bike will start just fine. But if the clutch switch is bad and the neutral switch is in the wrong phase of the moon, or whatever, then you become dead in the water, or at the gas station, at home, or elsewhere.

    The perfect answer is to replace both switches. The "get by" answer is to replace the clutch switch and put up with the neutral switch working some of the time.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  12. #12
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,836
    Yep, sounds like the "lazy neutral switch" or so it was named here after it started happening on many oilheads.

    Like I said in Post #2 "but in order for the starter relay to work the clutch switch must or neutral switch must also be made."

    One of the two needs to be closed to enable the starter relay circuit. If you follow the small cable from the clutch switch it comes to a small two pin connector. A meter on the beep for continuity or ohms setting can telly you quickly if the clutch switch is not working. They get sticky... I freed mine up with WD40 the last time this happened to me. Removing it first (one small philips screw) makes it easier.

    My neutral switch on the gear box is also "lazy" and has a mind of it's own. Like Paul said, working it in and out of neutral will sometimes cure it temporarily. Mine seems to work better on long hauls when everything is really toasty down there. I'm coming up on spline lube time and the gearbox needs to come out to do all that properly so I plan to address that problem then. It's a fair bit of work to get at it.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    31
    Thanks to everyone for all the information. It sounds like my neutral switch has been on and off for a while but that the clutch switch just went out. Just to make sure, would the bike be able to jump start with a bad clutch switch? That's how I got it home originally.

    This forum is such a great resource - especially for new bike owners. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  14. #14
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Trinity, NC
    Posts
    789
    If you mean start by putting it in gear then dropping the clutch, then YES. The clutch and neutral safety switches control operation of the starter only. If the ignition is on and the kill switch and side stand switches are good then the bike is electrically ready to run and start.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    31
    That's what I was thinking. If I could trouble everyone with one more question - How in the world do you get to the nut to unscrew the wire? Do I need to take some other things off?

Similar Threads

  1. Starting Problems 2000 r1100rs
    By mhallman in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-08-2018, 07:07 PM
  2. Non-Starting RTs
    By GIARCG in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-25-2016, 05:24 PM
  3. R90/6 not starting
    By rbryson in forum Airheads
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-14-2012, 04:40 PM
  4. R60/5 not starting. What the...
    By atyourservice in forum Airheads
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-05-2009, 08:17 PM
  5. R75/6-not starting
    By yrfuneralmytrial in forum Airheads
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 11-12-2008, 03:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •