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Hello All,

Hoping to get some input on the experience I’ve had with my 2019 Baby GS.

Not-so-quick background:

This is my first motorcycle. I wanted something that is good quality, versatile and beginner friendly. As for checking off those boxes; I figured BMW is certainly a quality brand, the GS platform affords me on and light off-road capability, and it’s not too powerful to where I might get myself in trouble.

Anyways, I got the bike almost three years ago. Been a daily rider until about four or so months ago when it started fighting me to start up. We’re talking ninty-eight percent street with perhaps a half-dozen trips out on some forest roads to get myself in position to go backpacking. On and off road I ride it gingerly- both due to respect for the bike, acknowledgment of my modest skill, and the fact that I have three young kids and I’m not trying to kill myself out there.

I had the dealer do the initial ride in maintenance after the first six-hindered (or whatever it was) period- with no issues reported. I change the oil and replace the filter every 3k miles (more on that later) using OEM parts and recommended lube. Trickle charged when it’s cold. Coolant kept in check.

That being said, that ongoing fight I alluded to having with it to start is turning into a losing one. My issues with the bike starting began the first winter I had it. Died on me after work. I was able to get a jump and kept it in the trickle charger through that winter and babysat it through into the fall. Took the battery in to the local depot and despite the attendant telling me the battery I was turning in was good I figured I would try a new one just to be sure. Replaced the battery and it worked like new.

At that point I resigned myself to having to get a new battery every year or so. The dealer reinforced this by letting me know that the bike’s battery is small and it’s just par-for-the-course. Not a huge deal I thought. However, when the issue started becoming impossible to ignore again this past winter and my replacement batteries (I went through three including the obscenely over-priced BMW OEM option from the dealer) failed to immediately fix the problem I took the actual bike to the dealer.

When runs, it runs steady and seems perfectly fine. Never stalled. Never sputtered. With a brand new battery in there the engine chugs, the fuel pump hisses and it seems to try, but just won’t fire up. I’ve never had any kind of accident or tinkered with the engine to implement my own incompetence as the culprit. Like I said, the bike runs fine considering it’s inborn limitations. The only thing that has ever been strange is how dark the oil gets after changing it (hence my changing the oil every 3K or so). Additionally, my diagnostic reader gave me a low amp/volt (I don’t remember which one) error readout a couple times, which I assumed was just due to the battery issue I was told I would have to deal with.

So yeah. Here we are. The dealer did an initial “diagnostic” which honestly sounds like a simple look and listen test. They said that there is a popping sound when the bike is trying to start that could suggest a timing issue. Maybe, but it runs just fine when it is going so I am skeptical.

I honestly didn’t know it was still under warranty, so that’s a relief, but as a first time rider I am sorely disappointed with BMW.

Yeah, I bought their cheapest option, but it wasn’t cheap compared to similarly specked options out there.

I‘ll update as I know more but without anything to ride all I can do these days is vent here… and wait the nine to twelve months the dealer quoted until my pre-ordered Tenere 700 arrives.

I sincerely appreciate your feedback and consideration on this.

Thanks in advance!

Best,

Ben

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Plant Vehicle
 

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It sure wouldn’t hurt to try some fuel treatment. Like “sea foam” brand. If you had a carbon build up that might help out. Watching the cranking voltage could be diagnostic. If you fall below 12 the ECU may fail to fire. Flip way to test is jump from car battery if she fires right up….bingo.
 
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You haven't been here long (Welcome! by the way) so maybe you haven't heard of the "Difficult to start when cold" sagas (there are many).
Do a search on that subject, but it comes down to: when temps are cold (below 32F) you have to "crack open the throttle" to enrich the mixture when starting .
Essentially you are doing the job the choke used to do back in the old days last century when motors had carburetors.
This may not be the cause of your problem, but it is good to know if you ride in the cold.
 

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Hard starting on a single cylinder engine is quite often a sign that the valves are too tight and need adjustment. Popping noise could also indicate the same. I would start by getting them checked.
 

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Hard starting on a single cylinder engine is quite often a sign that the valves are too tight and need adjustment. Popping noise could also indicate the same. I would start by getting them checked.
I am having this popping sound since 2018.
Especially in cold conditions and longer period of motorcycle unused for 1-2 weeks.
A full battery (mostly charge only 15 minutes) solves the problem for me.
Even the 15° throttle at cold temperatures is not necessary anymore.
I have deleted the LED charge cable, that caused the battery to loose power.
Minor change, big difference.
 
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