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Old 05-09-2009, 08:06 PM   #1
tomrinbellingham OP
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Weird Electrical Problems on 2006 F650GS

Has anyone else experienced and solved these problems? Should I, for example, replace the computer and have done with it? Would that be the end of it? Any ideas on what the problem is and/or how to fix it would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the problem:

I recently rode my F650GS to Ushuaia. I crashed a few times, got everything very dirty often, pressure washed everything a couple of times, shipped the bike on the deck of a sailboat thru a bad storm at sea between Puerto Lindo, Panama and Cartagena, Colombia, and beat the hell out of the bike on bad “roads” in Peru, Chile, and Argentina. The bike is back together and would be perfect – again – except for a couple of electrical problems:

1. Once it is warm, the engine will jump into an intermittent pattern where the tachometer will indicate about a doubling of the actual RPMS and coincidently the engine will die and restart immediately (because the bike is still rolling) in a split second. Or, if you are going very slowly, it will die, but restart after waiting 5 seconds with a push of the button. That is the main problem.
It is exactly the same problem and pattern that began in Central America and gradually got worse (more frequent dying) until I couldn’t keep it running for more than 5 minutes before it would cut out and not restart for maybe half a minute then only run for a minute before doing it again.

It seems that it only dies when the engine is warmed up and when the tack is indicating a false doubling of the RPMs.
I had it fixed by the dealer in Bogotá where I had the bike serviced – beautiful facility and equipment and the head of the shop spoke good English; I don’t think they actually fixed anything (it was very intermittent at the time and they probably never experienced the problem because they didn’t let it get hot and/or it just didn’t happen on a short test ride. After 100 miles it was doing it again and got progressively worse. I nursed it all the way thru the Peruvian Andes, Bolivia, and down to Santiago, Chile where I took it to a guy with a small shop and a reputation.

He changed the fuel filter and lots of other things and it didn’t fix anything. He called his friend who was the head of the electrical service department for the Santiago dealer and he came over with all his equipment and in 15 minutes tracked down three electrical contacts that were intermittent (all in the fuse box) cleaned that really well and the engine ran perfectly for the next 3,500 miles.
I shipped the bike home from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I put it back together and cleaned it up a bit. Now, after riding it about 20 miles, it is doing it again with cut outs fairly frequent, but less than when I arrived in Santiago!
I’ve paid a lot –twice- to have that problem fixed….

2. And a new less significant, but still bothersome problem: Besides the coincident engine cut out and double RPM indication of the tack, I now have a new problem with the clock and the trip odometer indicator. The clock goes back to zero every time I turn the key off and restart the engine. The odometer goes back to 11.1 miles at the same time. I think it is every time, but I haven’t tried it that often. Neither of these problems were present in South America – new since getting the bike home and putting it back on the road.

I’d like to get these problems fixed permanently, but I hate spending money for fixing electrical problems when the technician doesn’t know what the problem is (it’s a mystery that could soak up lots of dollars of time trying to figure out) or when the problem will somehow fix only to come back again after 3,500 miles.

I hesitate to spend another bunch of money on detective work on a mystery.

I like the bike. See picture as it is now, all cleaned up again. It did get me from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia and home again, but ....


Tom
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:50 AM   #2
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I'm getting all cross-eyed from trying to read your post. Any chance of tuning down the font a bit ?
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:06 AM   #3
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I don't know your bike, but it reminds me of relay box problems with another.... Long story short, the fix was to replace the relays individually when they acted up, or swap out the box with a low mile replacement.

If the insides of a relay get contaminated they might respond to cleaning for a while but often as not the problem will return.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:14 AM   #4
JDLuke
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I have also come to believe that the entire system of relays on this bike is a slightly weak link. I have had intermittent tachometer, speedometer and odometer problems since the bike was near-new. Indeed, the now non-existent stealership from which I purchased the machine once replaced the instrument cluster under warranty, but that didn't fix anything.

I've had:

Zero MPH reading regardless of speed
Zero tachometer reading regardless of engine speed
MPH readings corresponding to engine speed
Completely Random fluctuations of MPH that don't correspond to anything
An odometer that currently reads about 10K miles, a sticker that says it was replaced at about 6K, and somewhere around 18-20 thousand real miles unaccounted for.


I've noticed that over the last couple of years it's been a lot better. I believe that it was that time I opened up the relay box and hit it with a bunch of electrical contact cleaner that helped out.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:04 AM   #5
Larry1
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Thumbs down F650 GS, ignition cutting out, tach double speed and/or swinging wildly

I just had this problem commence within the last month. Yesterday, the bike almost left me stranded.

Look at the cable behind the suspension stiffness adjustment knob. You will likely find that it is in contact with the sharp corner of the adjustment assembly and that the cable is worn through, to the copper wire, shorting it out.

It would have been nice if they had at least deburred the stamping that the back of the adjustment assembly is made of.

I hope this solves the problem for you. If not, I would recommend some preventive measures. I am now repairing mine and will likely debur the assembly and affix a rubber barrier to the cable at that point to protect it using some split tubing and some wire ties.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:49 AM   #6
spectrecat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry1
I just had this problem commence within the last month. Yesterday, the bike almost left me stranded.

Look at the cable behind the suspension stiffness adjustment knob. You will likely find that it is in contact with the sharp corner of the adjustment assembly and that the cable is worn through, to the copper wire, shorting it out.

It would have been nice if they had at least deburred the stamping that the back of the adjustment assembly is made of.

I hope this solves the problem for you. If not, I would recommend some preventive measures. I am now repairing mine and will likely debur the assembly and affix a rubber barrier to the cable at that point to protect it using some split tubing and some wire ties.
There is a recall bulletin from BMW for this harness issue, the dealer did an inspection and rerouting of the harness as a recall, they also replaced the subframe where the side stand mounts as a recall too.

Paul
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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Have you tried reading the fault codes? Know anyone with a GS-911?
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
dump-a-thump
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That sounds distrurbingly familiar......

Firstly, good job treating the bike how it is supposed to be treated.

You've got two problems...

The easy one is the resetting of the clock. If you turn on the power to the bike you should hear a mechanical whirring for a few seconds behind the instrument cluster...

The clock runs on the same circuit as your power-port. Either the fuse is blown or you have a break in the wiring for this circuit. Its a matter of spending the time and finding out where the circuit is broken. If you have to go thru the wires with a tester, be very careful about re-sealing the holes you make.

The big issue is the computer cutting out and the rev's doubling. I had the same issue on my 07, usually associated with water. My bike also occasionally mis-fired violently. The computer codes indicated that it was a blown computer, but the next computer they put in went pop as well, they had to chase it down to a broken wire in the harness. Since I was on warranty they were nice enough to toss a new harness into the bike (you don't want to do that, freakin spendy), and the system has been good since then. Again, it will require chasing wires, which is a huge pain...

I'd guess the other shops just put a jumper wire across the broken bit, and it has either come loose or else been affected by water.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
Larry1
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Recall for wiring harness fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrecat
There is a recall bulletin from BMW for this harness issue, the dealer did an inspection and rerouting of the harness as a recall, they also replaced the subframe where the side stand mounts as a recall too.

Paul
Yes, I found the recall on the internet upon further research. It would be nice if BMW would send the recall notices to the user. I've also had my bike back to the dealer since purchase for periodic maintenance and state inspections. They never said a word about either recall. I have some nice photos are of the nice sharp stamping edge on the rear of the shock stiffnes adjuster (not deburred as is proper practice) and the resulting cut in the wire. I was lucky. Others have had their bikes catch fire from this problem.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #10
dump-a-thump
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Wanna put up a link to the wiring recall/ TSB and I'll make sure it gets updated on the chain gang's list...
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:23 AM   #11
greer
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Spike,

Have you checked the Technical FAQs at www.f650.com?

Sarah
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:58 PM   #12
Kiwi Tinkerer
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gs-911

Find somone who has a GS-911 you can borrow. Set it up via bluetooth to a smart phone. Take side cover off and plug the gs-911 in. Start the application on your smart phone and set it to log data. Ride aroudn the block. It will track all the readings and should help you figure out which component is failing. Or at least which component the engine management thinks is failing. (No I am not a salesman for it)
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
bilgepump
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okay so this is a really old thread, but i thought i'd check in to see if anyone knows the solution to the OP's problem.

i've got a 2006 Dakar that is doing the same thing. it will stall at random intervals when riding and the tach will shoot up to read double the actual rpm's. it will continue reading double until the key is cycled. the problem has gotten worse, the bike has been dying and will not restart until the key is cycled. and the other day it died and would not restart at all. the bike sat for a few days and then fired up just fine, rode it for a couple miles and dead again.

i looked at the rear suspension adjuster knob bracket and it's smooth, there's no damage to any wiring anywhere that i can see. the bike is low mileage (about 8500) and hasn't been beaten up off-road.

i took it in to a dealer last autumn and it was reporting trouble code "missing +12v terminal". the battery terminals are clean and secure and the battery tested strong. the dealer re-flashed the computer and that got me a couple months of trouble-free riding, then the problem came back very suddenly. the bike is back in the shop now, waiting to hear the latest diagnosis.

any ideas on what is causing this or how to fix it?
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:42 AM   #14
bilgepump
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adding the rest of the story just in case anyone else finds this thread looking for info on the same/similar problem...

my BMW dealer replaced the ECU (a $550 part) and now it's running perfectly. i've put about 2500 miles so far on the new computer without any problems. still no idea what caused the original computer to fail, but my bike's back in action at any rate.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:00 PM   #15
mattomoto
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Man, I had a lot of those same symptoms and luckily, mine was a loose positive battery cable . It would die periodicly, wacky odometer and clock. Sometimes it ran perfect. Since someone on here (sorry, forget who) suggested the cables, it has been fine (over 5000 miles). I did not even think about those as the last time I put a battery in it, I put aircraft nuts and locktite on the bolts!

Not saying yours is as easy as mine, but sometimes its the simple stuff.
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