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If i leave the bike to sit for a couple of hours or over night, i have to hold ignition button for 8-10 seconds before it starts. It does not matter if it's hot or cold outsite (I live in California). Initially, it always takes 8 to 10 seconds to start. As soon as the bike starts, i can shoot it down and start again, even if it hasn't warm up yet. Being familiar with cars, i can imagine that the pressure regulator is not maintaining the pressure when the motorcycle is off. Other than that the motorcycle runs fine. I recently replaced the fuel filter and a fuel pump but still have the same problem. Anybody has any ideas what could be the problem? Do RTs maintain pressurized fuel system when you turn the ingnition off?

Motorcycle: 2001 BMW r1100rt


Thank you very much.

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I forgot to mention that when the ignition is turned on, I can hear the fuel pump pressurizing the system. I recently purchased this motorcycle with 57,000 mi on odometer. It was sitting for about a year but i got a pretty sweat deal on it. All preventive maintenace was conducted at the appropriate intervals. After the purchase, i did TB sync and valve adjustment. However, the starting problem never went away.

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Your battery might be a little weak.


I had a very similar issue with a 1150GS. I ended up selling the bike before I ever diagnosed the problem but I always suspected that the battery was a little weak AND that somewhere there was a minor electrical drain that was very slowly discharging the battery. To make starts a little easier I learned to always pull in the cluth as that seemed to take some of the load off of the starter motor.

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Thanks for you reply. I will check the battery. However, the engine cranks but the motorcycle starts only after 5-6 revolutions (6-10 seconds). After engine runs for a few seconds it can be shot off and started again with no problems. This makes me believe that the fuel is not readily available at the injector. I am planning to remove the injector to see if there is any fuel while crancking.

I greatly appreciate you input.

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I thought they all did that. Mine does that. My buddy's does that.....First start of the day seems to take a few more revolutions. Personally, I don't think you have a problem at all, but I'm sure someone else will chime in here.

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

My last bike was an 02 RT and it had a similar nature. It needed a fully charged battery and a fast spin on the starter or it would take 5-8 seconds to start first time any day. after that it cranked right over. I kept it well tuned as you, so finally I just got a battery tender hooked it up every night and it would turn over after 2 or 3 seconds. A quirk, but no big deal. I never worried about it staritng after sitting for any period of time after I got the tender. I came to regard it as, "the nature of the beast."


+1 Oh yeah, I just learned about pulling in the clutch right before I sold the bike. It definitely lightens the load on the starter.

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Ok, great. I am glad that this is not a serious problem. Eventually i will get a fresh battery to see if it will improve the starting time. Unfortunately i don't have a garage or an outlet to hookup a battery tender. I park my bike outside. Thanks a lot guys for your word of advice.


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I currently have the same problem. I also have a Battery Tender hooked up all the time so it turns over nicely. I have checked a couple of things; vent tubes in the tank, fuel filter, timing , TB sync and valve adjustment. It isn't normal but I can't seem to find out what is causing it and I would hope that some more knowledgeable person would be able to help.


Conversely my friends 95 1100GS starts hot or cold with the touch of a button? My bike is a 1994 R1100RSL if that helps.


Not having a Battery Tender isn't your problem unless your bike is cranking very slowly.

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Al Navecky Jr

I have the same problem with my 00 RT. A new charged battery did not help. I will try the pulling the clutch. Even other BMW riders say my bike is hard to start.

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Gordon, does the system stays pressurized when ignition is turned off? Fuel injected cars maintain pressurized fuel system but i am not sure if RTs maintain the pressure with ignition switch to “off” position. Usually there are two components that keep the pressure in the system: fuel pump and a fuel pressure regulator. In most BMW cars fuel injectors are located between fuel pump and pressure regulator ( 1. fuel pump 2. injectors 3. pressure regulator) and it is really easy to measure fuel pressure by connecting a gage to the tester outlet. RTs have the following fuel system sequence: 1) fuel pump 2) pressure regulator 3) fuel injectors. Does anyone know how to measure fuel pressure at injectors? It is easy to measure the pressure after the fuel pump by splicing in a "T" but regulator's metal (or maybe plastic)lines go directly to injectors. The fuel pump is good but I am not sure about the pressure regulator.

As I understood from previous posts this problem is somewhat common and I am going to leave it alone for now.


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How about trying a little trick: going through the fuel pump priming cycle twice before that first start of the day.

  • Switch the bike on, let the fuel pump cycle, etc.
  • Switch the bike off without starting it
  • Wait a minute or two (put on your gear, or whatever)
  • Switch the bike on again, do another cycle, etc.
  • Now start it

Maybe that will help save a little wear and tear on the starter and the battery.

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I've been doing stopwatch tests on my modified 2003 R1100S. It starts consistently in 30-40 degree weather in 1.5 seconds, and about half a second fully warm.

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When was the last time the fuel filter was replaced? If you have a bad/dirty filter the system could pressurize and yet you might not have sufficient pressure at the injectors. If you have a dirty filter you will be able to hear the pump whine while the engine is running. You might also want to check the valve adjustment and do a preemptive throttle body sync and a plug replacement just to make sure everything is correctly turned.

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