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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL

    Where is the choke? 2003 K1200GT

    I didn't expect a choke line to pull on a fuel injected machine, but my 2003 K1200GT won't start today. Last run 3-4 days ago.

    Temp is 12 degrees in garage out of the wind. Battery fresh. 12.1vt meter reading. It turned over, caught a spark once. Continued churring and gave up. When once cough came though, my starter had an evil scratching complaint but not broken.

    Went back an hour late. Checked the usual, neutral gear, clutch in, kick stand back and on center stand, kill switch normal on. Fiddled with the throttle. Checked for mouse nest in the muffler. Tried the starter with throttle open a smig. Repeat of the single chug. Time to think.

    My vin show build date of 11/2002. Some blogs talk about ECU unit upgrades. What is the best stable ECU recommended for low idle? I haven't had any engine power or idle problems.

    Maybe I didn't let the pressure build enough. I just turned the key and went to work on the starter button. I will try that in the morning letting the pressure build up.

    Let me know of any tricks you have found helpful on a cold morning.

  2. #2
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Nibley, UT USA
    There is no traditional “choke” or enrichener, mixture enrichment is all handled in the ECU. Two things to note on your next start attempt. First, that battery condition is important and second, you want to wait 10-15 seconds after turning the key before hitting the starter. There’s a lot of system checks being done in the first few seconds after the key is turned and you want them to complete before hitting the button.

    One other question-when you turn on the key, do you hear the whirring of the fuel pump pre-energizing the fueling system? That’s one of the items that needs to complete before the key is turned.

    The ECU swap you referenced was a campaign, not a recall, and the issue was not with starting problems but with engine stalling until warmed up. Your dealer should be able to run your VIN and tell if the ECU was ever swapped on your bike.

    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL
    I will try it tomorrow to go at a slower pace to hit the starter button. When I turn on the ignition, I do get all the fuel pump whirling noise as expected and diagnosis lights flashing as expected. I forgot it takes awhile to run through the tests. Battery is fresh and on a trickle charger green light fully charged.

    Out of curiosity, I trolled around on these youTube video where there are references to ECU chips 166 and 296 on a k1200gt. Also there is John Gemi's performance chips being recommended. I think Gemi has a K1200GT replacement too. My bike has behaved like the 166 chip video a couple times this Fall. Not enough to bug me but wonder what others think. Thanks for suggestions.

    166 ecu chip

    296 chip fix

    John Gemi’s Performance Chip on K1200LT

  4. #4
    3 Red Bricks
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pleasanton, Ca.
    How old are your plugs? As the plugs wear, the gap increases eventually to the point where starting in cold weather is a problem.


    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  5. #5
    12.1 volts is about a 50% charge if that is a key-off reading.
    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

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Thanks for the feedback. This morning, bike started ok. A little on the slow wake up but fired up with a two tries. Temp was 33 degrees instead of 13 degrees yesterday where I tried four of five times during the day once the battery charged green again. The bike idled fine this morning after a little wake up revs. I didn't ride it due to icy roads.

    I did not see an issue with ECU chip 116 idle problems discussed. Unless someone recommends me to change, I will leave the ECU alone.

    GTrider's suggestion to pause longer between key on and starter button made sense. I let it go 20 seconds until the diagnostics quit. I also unplugged the USB connectors to my Garmin and Dash Camera. The headlights were on and my LED fog lights with key on. I didn't have an easy way to unplug the fog lights. These items are 5vt 2 amp units, so it will cause some load. In the summer, I didn't notice anything degrade.

    My spark plugs are new 2 months ago. It had full service done, too. My oil is not synthetic but regular 20-50w motorcycle oil. That could be a cold weather problem. I have a USB port along with a battery meter attached. It is only active when the key is on. The meter show 14.3 vt when the bike is running. When just off a car chargers, meter shows 13.1. On a trickle chargers it usually shows about 12.4 as a normal after several rides and over night trickle. This all seems normal to me and not 50% charged.

    My goal is to do some cold riding in the mountains. It would be nice to spend the night in a warm cozy motel and in the morning be able to start the bike and ride. With this current experiment, should the temps drop below 20, I better pull the bike into the lobby and warm it up. This cold bike won't start very well with my current setup.

    So here is my take:
    (1) I am guessing the thinner synthetic oil would make a difference. For cold weather use synthetic.
    (2) Don't forget to add a pause from key on to button push 20 seconds. Not something I do in the summer.
    (3) A stronger cranking power battery would also be helpful. I better revise my current new Walmart battery for something stronger. Replace my trickle charger to get the Volts up to 13. Mine shuts off as green around 12.4.
    (4) unplug the accessories if you have any.

    Thanks for your input. Too icy for riding today.

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