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Thread: Where is the choke? 2003 K1200GT

  1. #1
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    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
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    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.

    Best,
    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S PD — 1993 R100GS — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  3. #3
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    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
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIFvicSViKE

    296 chip fix
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8yYh_NnoZI


    John Gemi’s Performance Chip on K1200LT
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHNLb_epZTQ

  4. #4
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    How old are your plugs? As the plugs wear, the gap increases eventually to the point where starting in cold weather is a problem.





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    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
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  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
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  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you are up and running. It is possible that one or more of your electrical add-ons is causing a parasitic drain on the battery while parked so that might be something to check. I wouldn’t change the oil viscosity as I don’t think you’ll find it to make much difference.

    On the battery itself, if you do decide to change batteries you’ll find a lot of people recommend the Odyessy PC680 for the GT, as shown here: https://www.batterymart.com/p-odysse...0-battery.html
    I have used that battery in my K1200GT with satisfactory results. However, in my K1300GT the Odyessy sometimes comes up short on oomph, especially in repeated starts like stop-and-go traffic. The Motobatt MB51814 seems to do better—you can compare the AH and CCA ratings from the Motobatt site here: http://www.motobatt.us/MB51814-Motobatt-12V-Battery.

    Plus, the Motobatt has 4 terminals so your main wiring harness can be connected to a separate terminal from your add-on electricals, which can help simplify maintenance and troubleshooting.

    Both batteries can be purchased from a variety of vendors and pricing, so shop the numbers.

    Best,
    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S PD — 1993 R100GS — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  8. #8
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Glad your back up and running.

    Motorcycle batteries don't have much cranking capacity in the cold, and 13F is cold, next time you may want try bringing the battery inside to warm up.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  9. #9
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider View Post
    I wouldn’t change the oil viscosity as I don’t think you’ll find it to make much difference.

    DG
    I'm not advocating this oil or that oil, but viscosity differences at cold temperatures are quite apparent.

    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
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  10. #10
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmull View Post

    So here is my take:
    (1) I am guessing the thinner synthetic oil would make a difference. For cold weather use synthetic.
    (


    If you want to get in reallllly deep about if synthetic would help in this instance, see this (skipping to ~5:30)

    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  11. #11
    At home I would put a heat lamp on it, directed at the engine. Obviously this won't work if you are not at home. Thinner oil will help. Pulling the battery and keeping inside over night will help but being unfamiliar with a K1200 it is probably a major operation. The difference from a cold to a warm battery is huge.

  12. #12
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    At home I would put a heat lamp on it, directed at the engine. Obviously this won't work if you are not at home. Thinner oil will help. Pulling the battery and keeping inside over night will help but being unfamiliar with a K1200 it is probably a major operation.
    Actually it's not that bad. Lift the seat off, pop the tool kit tray out and you're at the battery. There are plenty worse.

  14. #14
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    My 2003 does the same. Will try to stall if pulling away under load while still cold. I've learned to keep the revs up while slipping the clutch.


    I checked with my dealer and my bike was never updated with the new ECU chip, but the offer has since expired and I was told BMW was no longer offering the fix.

  15. #15
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    2003 K1200GT,

    I ordered a Motobatt MB51814 for $127. I will charge it fully and give it a test next week. Today, we are -9 and -13 in a few days. If my hand doesn't freeze to the wrench, I will give it a try.

    The ChromeBattery of Indiana is letting me return the new $42 battery. I didn't ask, they offered. I really didn't mind eating the cost and called it education but they were very kind paying for shipping back and returns. Anyway nice company. Battery was fine in 30 degree and greater temps. I give them a thumbs up.

    As for my experiment, adding the higher Motobatt amp (22 vs 19), I do want to see if at 13 degrees, it can turn the motor. It wouldn't be fair to try it at -9.

    I agree that synthetic is kinder on cold engine. I didn't use it because of common complaints of oil leaking around the rings using the side stand. I would think more leaking with a synthetic oil. I always use the center stand anyway. I was just following the BMW rule book.

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