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Old 09-02-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
PaperBoy OP
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Oroville, Washington, USA - 48.938665, -119.427047
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Help! '99 R1100GS Malfunction

This is the first time my bike left me stranded -- I was on the way to a friend's memorial and basically missed it last Saturday morning. Also missed a couple photo assignments and it drastically changed my riding plans over the long weekend.

I need some help trying to get my 1999 R1100GS to start. The bike was functioning fine and I was cruising along when I went over a cattle guard and the bike stalled. Pulled over and tried a restart, no luck. I was at the top of a hill and coasted to a junction with a more major road. I couldn't hear the full pump and had the tank off when a couple of nice guys on Harleys stopped to help. We fiddled with things and eventually something we did must have got the fuel pump working again, at least we could hear it. However, it still wouldn't start. Another guy came by with a cruiser and offered me his pickup, which was at his house about a mile away, to haul it home. I used the truck instead to find a friend with a trailer and we took it the 15 miles or so back home. I had to use my own pickup to head out of town for the weekend, bummer. The bike is on the charger now.

So, this sounds lame, but will the fuel pump come on when the side stand is down, but just not start? I know the switch on the R1100GS kills the engine just like hitting the kill switch, no matter what gear the bike is in. But I can't remember whether it normally cranks at all with the side stand down. It seems like it doesn't, but wondering if the condition is being caused by a failed side stand switch after I hit the cattle guard/bump.

The starter sounds like it is cranking, I just don't seem to be getting a spark. Haven't found any obvious disconnected wires. I guess it could be a bad pump still because I know it sounded like it wasn't coming on when I first pulled over.

Could hitting a rough patch of road/cattle guard cause harm to the Hall Sensor. I have a back up for both the fuel pump and Hall Sensor. I'm more comfortable replacing the pump than the HES, just hoping it may be something more simple like the side stand switch.

I'm at work now and will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon before I can did back in to it. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
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1999 R1100GS - Blue & White, the fastest colors.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:50 AM   #2
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Location: N.W. Arkansas
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verify fuel flow first, remove injector feed line, or remove plug and smell for gas after trying to start

check the wires on the throttle side handlebar switch, they are often cable tied too tightly to the bars, and can open or break which is the same as the switch being off.

side stand switch might have died, its connector is right above air box where your left thigh would be while riding the bike.
disconnect it, and then short the pins and try to start ( the pins on the bike side of connector, not side stand switch side)
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:45 PM   #3
Jim Moore
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My first bet is the HES. My second bet would be that you knocked an internal fuel line off when you went over the bump.

The HES is easy. If you can do a fuel pump you can do a HES.
Jim Moore
Jax, FL

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Old 09-02-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
PaperBoy OP
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Location: Oroville, Washington, USA - 48.938665, -119.427047
Oddometer: 343
Thanks all

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to try and get off work early tomorrow and sort this out. I'll check for fuel and the wiring for the switch. Then try a jumper for the sidestand. If that's it I will probably order the RTP harness and relay when I get some cash. I wish it was just $40 like in the how to's that have been posted. Now they are over $90. It should allow the bike to run with sidestand down, but only in Neutral so I would still have the safety feature of the switch when moving.

Will also check internal lines in the tank.

If it turns out to be the HES I have a friend about 40 miles south that can help me figure out how to install it. Hopefully the used one I have is actually in working condition. Once switched I'd probably rebuild the old one with new parts.

She has never had trouble with cattle guards before, but this one was pretty rough and I hit at about 50 mph and bounced.
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1999 R1100GS - Blue & White, the fastest colors.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:02 PM   #5
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Look at your wiring. One of the 1100s I maintain had to damn near a total rewire from shorts in the wiring where ever it had a bend or connector. I think it was faulty wiring that was causing my HES to fail.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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When my '99's HES failed I would get the fuel pump prime, it would crank but not start. I pulled the one allen wrench screw out of the injector retainer and cranked it while aiming the injector at a piece of paper. No dice.

Pulled the HES out and cut it apart. I'm surprised it was still running. All the tiny wires in the loom had their insulation rotted away and finally screwed it up.

1999 BMW 1100GS
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