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Old 08-13-2011, 08:23 PM   #1
WoodButcher OP
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Hot start, slow crank problem

2009 R1200GSA. Bike starts just fine in the morning every time. Starts after work just fine, every time. However, I started to notice on the mornings where I stop for gasoline or coffee (2 mile trip) on the way to work, I get a slow crank almost all the time. One time I rode most of the way home from work and tanked up and same slow crank. Today, it worked fine after a 25 minute trip and 20 minutes cool down, but after that start I rode another 25 minutes and ate some food, about 20 minute stop, and extremely slow crank. Rode 35 minutes, hit the Home Depot for 30 minutes, made sure it was in neutral this time and clutch lever in, started fine.

I'm suspecting the battery, but I'm just surprised that it starts just fine in the morning and after it sits all day at work. Temps here are 80 degrees in the morning and over 100 when I leave work. Just did the 12k service, but it started before that.

So, is it just another one of those failing batteries? The reason I ask is the I'm heading on a trip in a couple of weeks and need to get it taken care of. Normally I'd just ride until it failed, but I don't want to deal with it on the road. Bike was purchased in April 2010,, so battery is still under warranty. I'm wondering if it sat on the bike for a year before it was purchased though. That might explain it dying early.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
Wolfgang55
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Clutch adjustment?

How far out on the lever do you let off on the clutch before you feel the bike starting to move?
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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Engagement point hasn't changed and bike doesn't move when I get the slow crank so I don't think that is it. Thanks for the idea though.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
def
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If all else is well (battery), I might suspect the starter.

It is easy to remove and service. There have been some episodes of dirty contacts in the solenoid but I do not know if it is year specific.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodButcher View Post
2009 R1200GSA. Bike starts just fine in the morning every time. Starts after work just fine, every time. However, I started to notice on the mornings where I stop for gasoline or coffee (2 mile trip) on the way to work, I get a slow crank almost all the time. One time I rode most of the way home from work and tanked up and same slow crank. Today, it worked fine after a 25 minute trip and 20 minutes cool down, but after that start I rode another 25 minutes and ate some food, about 20 minute stop, and extremely slow crank. Rode 35 minutes, hit the Home Depot for 30 minutes, made sure it was in neutral this time and clutch lever in, started fine.

I'm suspecting the battery, but I'm just surprised that it starts just fine in the morning and after it sits all day at work. Temps here are 80 degrees in the morning and over 100 when I leave work. Just did the 12k service, but it started before that.

So, is it just another one of those failing batteries? The reason I ask is the I'm heading on a trip in a couple of weeks and need to get it taken care of. Normally I'd just ride until it failed, but I don't want to deal with it on the road. Bike was purchased in April 2010,, so battery is still under warranty. I'm wondering if it sat on the bike for a year before it was purchased though. That might explain it dying early.
Wouldnt think its a battery- Ive had the same issue after replacing 2 batteries. How many miles on the bike? Valves adjusted yet or lately? Sounds like a tight valve(s).
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Try this one: check your voltage after starting and at revs. If more than 13.8V and going towards 15 you are overcooking your battery which will give exactly those symptoms. Eventually battery will die. If it is that, you need an alternator repair.

Happened to me once on a FJ1100 - would not start when hot, but fine cold. Cure was to put a 30 amp relay on the brown wire out of the alternator - gods know why this worked, but it did. Bloke who fixed it is a grey-beard who learnt it from another grey-beard...

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Old 08-15-2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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Okay, I'll hit the last two questions:

Valves are good, adjusted during 12k service. They were a hair tight before the adjusting. Problem existed before and after so probably not valves, but it was something I considered since I needed to do the 12k service I knew I'd fix that if it was the culprit.

Voltage check. I saw another post (yep, I use the search function) where JVB suggested checking the voltage before and during cranking. 12.5-7 before. First crank dropped to 10.5. Shut it down and tried again, 11.5 while cranking. So that didn't give me much info, but that was just in my garage. I'm going to repeat it replicating the riding situation where the slow crank happens. If I can check it when it cranks slow that will really help diagnosing it.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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I had the same problem on my 09 1200GS. The bike would start fine in the morning and after work but when I stopped for gas, it would get a hesitation when cranking. It was still under warranty so I took it to my dealer and their machine stated the battery was bad. They replaced the battery and it has not happened since. I got a little over a year on the first battery. So far so good on the second. Almost a year.

When I tested mine, I would hit the starter and the voltage would drop to just above 10 volts which, I was told, is too low and may indicate a bad cell. Just FYI...
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
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Well, I put it on the battery tender overnight just to make sure it was completely charged. Started fine in the morning, but slow crank after work. So I'd say the battery is going since it is getting worse.

Thanks for the ideas. It's off to the dealership to get the battery tested. If that tests okay then they say they'll check the charging system.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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I did one final test just after my last post. 12.5v before hot start, 8.9v during crank. Second crank attempt was 9.3v. Bike started both times, but that voltage drop is too much.

I'll let you all know how it goes with the dealer.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:05 AM   #11
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Update. Battery tested good with on a couple of load tests. Apparently the starters don't handle heat well and we've been cooking down here. So they are putting in a new starter. The old was not spinning up well when hot.

We'll see if that does the trick.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:53 AM   #12
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Rusty, how you doing?

These bikes need a good battery to turn them over, if you have a so so battery and hold down the starter button for a while with this slow craking issue it will cause the starter to fail. The heat to the starter caused by holding the starter button down with a simi low so so battery will cause the maginets to come loose. This part can be changed out cheaper than a new starter.

After they change the starter (great to have a new starter) it should start good. If it does this slow start thing one time, buy a new battery no matter what they say. IMHO I think that batteries can act strange no matter what it is on. These bikes need a good battery.

I had this problem on my GS. Starter failed, maginets came loose. When I decided to put a new battery in it worked perfect ever since.

Have a safe trip.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:46 AM   #13
def
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Originally Posted by ABuck99 View Post
Wouldnt think its a battery- Ive had the same issue after replacing 2 batteries. How many miles on the bike? Valves adjusted yet or lately? Sounds like a tight valve(s).
Wrong...tight valves will reduce cylinder pressure at start reducing the starter load.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:50 AM   #14
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I'm in Texas heat also, and have the same year bike as yourself. I'd say it's the battery. Mine acts similar, and I'm still on the original battery. It cranks slowly after a short ride, and the display screen blanks out when it comes back up the bat symbol stays on for a bit. These stock batteries don't seem to have a long life.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:40 PM   #15
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I'm in Texas heat also, and have the same year bike as yourself. I'd say it's the battery. Mine acts similar, and I'm still on the original battery. It cranks slowly after a short ride, and the display screen blanks out when it comes back up the bat symbol stays on for a bit. These stock batteries don't seem to have a long life.
Yeah, yours sounds like a battery issue. All my lights and dash are fine. They put in a new starter, but I only rode it home yesterday. Tomorrow and Saturday it will get a better workout.

Calvin, I'm lucky, I've never had to hold the starter down to make it crank a lot to start. They did tell me that is the primary reason the starters fail because they aren't designed for lots of cranking any more and they heat up and die. I suspect I just do too many short trips in hot weather and it has caused it to fail early. I am going to watch the battery like a hawk though, in case the starter issue has started the battery on a failure path.
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