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Help!! My new R1100S died and has no spark

Hi folks,

Really glad I found this site, and thanks in advance to all the people who are willing to chime in...
So, I just bought a '99 R1100S in Portland and rode it home to Seattle last Sunday. 29,000 miles, beautiful and clean, good service history and runs great for $3500. Only got to ride it a couple of times this week because of the weather, but is has been running perfectly, until yesterday. The motor abruptly died without warning about a mile from my house, as though the kill switch had been bumped. All lights are on, starter works and cranks the motor over just fine. I was almost positive it was an ignition issue as I pushed it home. Checked for spark in my garage, and there is no spark. Checked fuses (the four in the left front fuse box- are there more?) and the fuses are all intact.

Help!!

The wife thinks I bought a lemon, but I'm sure there is a switch or connection somewhere that is the culprit. I've read that the hall effect sensor can cause an ignition failure, does anyone know how to check that with my multi-meter? Anyone feel like giving a quick tutorial on how to check the coils on this bike?

Really appreciate any advice or suggestions, thanks!

Old 03-16-2012, 08:14 AM
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It's all right here.
http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/oilhead_hall_sensors.pdf
Old 03-16-2012, 08:26 AM
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Any options on the bike. Is it completely stock?

Post a few pictures. We will tell you if it's a lemon!

The only way for it to be a lemon for the price you paid would be if the clutch splines failed, or the ABS went out, or something of the major mechanical variety... Which doesn't happen too much...
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2000 Dyna FXDX, 2000 R1100S, R1200S, rNineT, F800GS, S1000XR, Jeep Rubicon, 2001 Corvette, 1978 Porsche 928. 22 pairs of shoes. 24 bottles of beer.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:52 AM
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Hall effect a possibility. Also possible, and both easier and cheaper, is a sticking or contaminated sidestand switch. Get it try, and exercise it.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:13 AM
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Thanks so much you guys. Regarding options, the bike has ABS. I should have taken photos before I started pulling the body work off, I'll be sure to get some posted up soon. It is Mandarin and very, very clean.. definitely not a lemon. Although I need to read up on the clutch spline issue, I think that may have happened when I tried to wheelie the bike in first gear. Something definitely "slipped"..

But back to the ignition issue- thank you Coffeeguy! That thread in ADVrider is a goldmine. In the diagnosis for faulty HES, it describes checking the sidestand and clutch safety switches, and both of those seem to pass the test. I will post up my results as soon as I have time to get in there further.
Old 03-16-2012, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81Forest View Post
Thanks so much you guys. Regarding options, the bike has ABS. I should have taken photos before I started pulling the body work off, I'll be sure to get some posted up soon. It is Mandarin and very, very clean.. definitely not a lemon. Although I need to read up on the clutch spline issue, I think that may have happened when I tried to wheelie the bike in first gear. Something definitely "slipped"..

But back to the ignition issue- thank you Coffeeguy! That thread in ADVrider is a goldmine. In the diagnosis for faulty HES, it describes checking the sidestand and clutch safety switches, and both of those seem to pass the test. I will post up my results as soon as I have time to get in there further.
Tried to wheelie...

Did the front end of the bike go down roughly after this attempt? Something could have jarred loose, like the fuel pump connector. Put your head near the right side of the tank in a quiet moment, and turn the key on. You should hear a easily audible *WHIRRR*, for about 2-3 seconds. That's the fuel pump pressurizing the system - it will cycle momentarily and then stop. It's just inside the tank on the right side. If you don't hear that, tilt the tank up, find it's wire/connector (very easy to spot) and unplug it. Clean and inspect the contacts within the connector - mine were green corroded and balky. Reconnect and switch the ignition on, see what happens.



P.S. You get one guess why I am suggesting this as the possible culprit :-).

N.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noblehops View Post
Tried to wheelie...

Did the front end of the bike go down roughly after this attempt? Something could have jarred loose, like the fuel pump connector. Put your head near the right side of the tank in a quiet moment, and turn the key on. You should hear a easily audible *WHIRRR*, for about 2-3 seconds. That's the fuel pump pressurizing the system - it will cycle momentarily and then stop. It's just inside the tank on the right side. If you don't hear that, tilt the tank up, find it's wire/connector (very easy to spot) and unplug it. Clean and inspect the contacts within the connector - mine were green corroded and balky. Reconnect and switch the ignition on, see what happens.


P.S. You get one guess why I am suggesting this as the possible culprit :-).

N.
Thanks Noblehops. I can definitely hear the fuel pump pressurizing, so I think that connection is intact. Definitely no spark though.

About that wheelie... the front end never actually got off the ground. I gassed the throttle pretty hard at about 5000 rpm, expecting a nice little power-mono. Instead, I felt a "slipping" sensation that I don't think was my rear wheel breaking loose... kind of a shuddering chatter type of thing. I have a feeling it was the clutch slipping, but it has not happened at any other time. Then again, I've barely ridden the bike on dry pavement. Here are a couple of pics in the PO's garage, when I picked it up:





Old 03-16-2012, 03:11 PM
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my guess is the Hall effect sensor plate has failed,
since you have no spark
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:24 PM
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Yeah, duh, sorry about my reading comp there. No spark.

Gorgeous bike, sorry you've got a glitch so soon.

N..
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I Do Vapor Blasting! Visit restocycle.com for information.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81Forest View Post
Hi folks,

Really glad I found this site, and thanks in advance to all the people who are willing to chime in...
So, I just bought a '99 R1100S in Portland and rode it home to Seattle last Sunday. 29,000 miles, beautiful and clean, good service history and runs great for $3500. Only got to ride it a couple of times this week because of the weather, but is has been running perfectly, until yesterday. The motor abruptly died without warning about a mile from my house, as though the kill switch had been bumped. All lights are on, starter works and cranks the motor over just fine. I was almost positive it was an ignition issue as I pushed it home. Checked for spark in my garage, and there is no spark. Checked fuses (the four in the left front fuse box- are there more?) and the fuses are all intact.

Help!!

The wife thinks I bought a lemon, but I'm sure there is a switch or connection somewhere that is the culprit. I've read that the hall effect sensor can cause an ignition failure, does anyone know how to check that with my multi-meter? Anyone feel like giving a quick tutorial on how to check the coils on this bike?

Really appreciate any advice or suggestions, thanks!

Where are you in Seattle? I live at the north end of Lk. Washington( Kenmore), need another set of eyeballs? I have had the fuses fail in the past even through they looked good to the eye, now I always test them or replace with new when trouble shooting.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:39 PM
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Really sounds electrical...and Rick has a lot of miles on S bikes, he'd be a good "eyeball" consultant!

And maybe it's a karmic bike reaction...it didn't want to wheelie and it's found a way to communicate!

With the age of bike (even reasonably low miles considered) the clutch issue sounds like a worn clutch plate? Who knows how the PO treated the clutch, and I've seen guys who can wear out a dry clutch in about 10 minutes. If you have to go in to solve that situation, it would be a great opportunity to look at the splines when you're in the neighborhood.

Hope you get it sorted soon! Who knows we may actually get some sunny weather again someday. If you're ever out on the Kitsap Peninsula give me a shout and we can meet up for coffee...or a ride.

CHEERS!

PS. That's NOT NOT NOT a lemon, just needs some TLC!
Old 03-16-2012, 07:30 PM
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Nice looking bike!
FWIW, my bike has 83k on the stock driveline, and I pull the wheel up on a regular basis!

It's all in the wrist.....

p.s. I'm not endorsing this type of behavior, or suggesting that it's good for the bike. When I first got my S, I tried to wheelie it like my old VFR... Slipping the clutch againt the throttle on the powerband is definitely NOT the way to do it on the BMW! Hopefully your clutch is not toast.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBMann View Post
Where are you in Seattle? I live at the north end of Lk. Washington( Kenmore), need another set of eyeballs? I have had the fuses fail in the past even through they looked good to the eye, now I always test them or replace with new when trouble shooting.
Hi RBMann,
I will definitely take you up on that offer. I'm actually in Redmond, not too far from you. I'm pretty swamped this week but if your schedule permits, I could really use another set of eyeballs. I'll send a PM.

Forest
Old 03-18-2012, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulaner View Post
Nice looking bike!
FWIW, my bike has 83k on the stock driveline, and I pull the wheel up on a regular basis!

It's all in the wrist.....

p.s. I'm not endorsing this type of behavior, or suggesting that it's good for the bike. When I first got my S, I tried to wheelie it like my old VFR... Slipping the clutch againt the throttle on the powerband is definitely NOT the way to do it on the BMW! Hopefully your clutch is not toast.
Thanks Paulaner, good to hear that it can be done. I'd love to hear your preferred technique in detail for a bit of the old wheel-loft. Not that I condone that sort of behavior either...
Also curious, how often do you get in to do the 10-14 hour clutch-spline lube job? I read a very cynical and disparaging article about our BMWs by an experienced mechanic, that has me terrified of those splines. He sort of makes it sound like oilheads are ticking time bombs after 24,000 miles... Curious what others say in response to these "thoughts":
Affordable Beemer Services, LLC - My Thoughts
Old 03-18-2012, 03:35 PM
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Do some research on this board, which has several mechanics every bit as good as that one, and you will see varying opinions as to whether spline shaft lubing really matters. Opinion is probably that "It can't hurt." but there is no quantifiable data one way or the other.

I do not think there have been any failures with the R1200S motorcycles. No doubt they learned from their mistakes although disavowing any responsibility.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81Forest View Post
Also curious, how often do you get in to do the 10-14 hour clutch-spline lube job? I read a very cynical and disparaging article about our BMWs by an experienced mechanic, that has me terrified of those splines. He sort of makes it sound like oilheads are ticking time bombs after 24,000 miles... Curious what others say in response to these "thoughts":
Affordable Beemer Services, LLC - My Thoughts

I routinely wheelie my 02 R1100s prep. Haul camping gear, powerslide on gravel roads, do water crossings occasionally, and ride two up with my wife .... I checked my splines at around 20,000 and again at 35,000.. zero wear. My final drive is still tight too. I now have 50,000 miles trouble free. enjoy your bike, and don't let doomsday profits spoil your joy.


I do know a few bikes that have been ridden gently, but due to either misalignment from manufacturing defect, and random defective parts... Splines have failed. But I see similar problems from bikes of all brands come through my shop.
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Last edited by wswartzwel; 03-18-2012 at 04:47 PM..
Old 03-18-2012, 04:42 PM
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Open the throttle quickly at about 1500-1800 rpm... Mine will flip over upside down, if I am not careful


Originally posted by 81 forest "About that wheelie... the front end never actually got off the ground. I gassed the throttle pretty hard at about 5000 rpm, expecting a nice little power-mono. Instead, I felt a "slipping" sensation that I don't think was my rear wheel breaking loose... kind of a shuddering chatter type of thing. I have a feeling it was the clutch slipping, but it has not happened at any other time. "
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:52 PM
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That whole mechanic's article was so full of 'political intrigue' and random musings, and alarmism and some obviously incorrect figures that I'd not give it another thought or read. I'm sure he liked the world better when we all had rope belts and lived on onion soup and trudged to school on foot up hill both ways.

24000 miles as the average failure? Cracker please!

Enjoy the bike, which will probably be fine. A few wear out a bit early a very few very early, and a great many go many miles and years with no problem. Lube it if you have the time, desire, and wherewithall. It can't hurt, and will probably help, a little.

His point about the rear drives was a little more on point. The factory seems to have too much variance in initial build preload. I end up with more on than them, on purpose, on both the rear drives and the paralever pivots. Very few failures, no goofy bronze bearing replacements, and on failures on those replacements.

Most are fine.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:48 PM
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Ckcarr, wswartzwel, and roger albert- a million thanks. After those reassurances and much searching and clicking, I'm pumped up to get my new dead bike working again. And I am now pretty convinced that the hall effect sensor did fail. The hogranch article is spectacular, and I'm curious if anyone in this forum has gone ahead and done that entire DIY repair, with the wiring harness rebuild and all. Obviously much cheaper than the $237 unit I see on ebay.. "with a few dollars and some ingenuity." There is also a mysterious Greek version here by "archon", anyone have any experience with that? Bmw hall sensor R1100S R1150GS R RS RT R1200 | eBay
Probably a bad idea, and it's still $160 shipped.
Guess I just need to find me an avionics supply store and source some of that fancy wire..
Old 03-18-2012, 11:14 PM
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your neighbor. RBMan has experience with the hall effect sensors. you should hook up with him.

Old 03-19-2012, 06:28 AM
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