Jump to content

2012 R1200RT starting issue

Tony Van Der Voorn

Recommended Posts

Tony Van Der Voorn

Hope someone here can help. Not sure if this is in the correct forum.


Purchased a new R1200RT in April, had an accident in July due to a medical condition, the bike was at Engle in KC, MO for about 3 months getting repaired.


Brought it back home and everything seemed to be working fine. I ride it every day. After about a month or so, it would not start right away, but would always start on the second attempt.


Last week, on the coldest day so far this year, it would not start after two or three attempts and then just got a clicking noise like the battery was completely dead. Managed to start it by hooking it up to my Battery Tender Plus, and rode it to work, approximately 8 miles, mostly freeway. That evening after work, had the same issue as in the morning and got a jump from security at work. Immediately hooked it up to the BatteryTender when I got home. The following morning, I unhooked the Tender, would not start immediately, but started on the second attempt. Spoke to a fellow BMW rider at work and he suggested that possibly the battery connections were loose. A couple days later, I confirmed that the connections were loose and a couple days after that, I tightened the connections. The Tender was on the entire time. Now it will not start at all, just a weak cranking sound.


It is my understanding that a Battery Tender will fully charge a dead battery. Could it be a defective battery, just eight months old?



Tony Van Der Voorn

Wichita, KS

Link to comment

How does it behave if you attempt to jump it from a known good battery? E.g. from you cage.


If it cranks normally then I'd say bad battery, age aside.

Link to comment

Afternoon Tony


Sure sounds like a bad battery. Those BMW batteries are none too good to begin with & if your damaged bike sat with the battery run down for a few weeks waiting for parts that could be enough to kill it off for good.


The first place to start is to either replace your battery or have yours load tested.


Link to comment

Just a note but it might not apply to you or your situation. Battery Tenders like Deltran require a minimum voltage to start charging. You may have a green light showing on the tender even when the battery is below the required minimum voltage to start charging. I do not remember if the minimum is 4 volts but it is something in that range.


So it could be possible that even though the tender was connected for a long period of time, if the battery was below the minimum voltage when the charger was connected, the tender may not have charged the battery at all.


As others have said, a load test is probably the best thing to check to see if the battery will hold a load. It might test 12v in a static situation but has no or limited load cranking ability.

Link to comment

FWIW, a better modern charger might recover your battery which sounds like its weak- but as DR notes, the oem battery is marginal in the best of circumstances. Still, it should fire the bike if in decent shape.


My charger of choice is the Xtreme by Pulsetech. Using it, I have recovered dead car batteries that were so flat none of my other high or low output chargers would even initiate a charge. In fact, have done this more than once, the last time being last week for a dead battery in a diesel powered vehicle- lights had been left on for a week but still it was recovered with that charger..


In really cold weather, it helps to crack the throttle just a little (not wide open), while cranking the bike..


I have Battery Bugs on my bikes to watch the state of performance of the battery in the cold. One of its functions is too look at how low the voltage gets pulled during starting and display it as a per cent- serving as a relative indicator of starting punch. No BMW oem battery has ever looked very good when starting the bikes in 30ish degrees weather. I use the Odyssey PC680 as routine replacement and they always look good in cold weather starting- a far superior battery if you need one. Don't take an oem warranty replacement- you're better off spending a few $ of your own and putting in good stuff..

Link to comment

I experienced the cold start issue this morning. It was about 24 degrees and didn't want to go for a ride at all! I cracked the throttle and it eventually started. Battery, and bike, is 2 years old and a little over 10K miles. I think the battery is in good shape but just not strong enough under the conditions.

Link to comment

Merry Xmas Greg


The battery that BMW uses is marginal for cold weather cranking even when new. At 2 years old it is even less effective. If you are using thicker engine oil (like 20w50) or even a 15Wxx that makes it even worse.


Cracking (opening) the throttle a bit on cold mornings is usually enough to j-u-s-t get them started. (that is until it gets really cold like 0°f or below). I have seen them crank so slowly & with such difficulty on real cold mornings that the fueling computer loses it's adaptives & TPS learn due to low battery voltage.


If you only ride a couple of cold days a year just live with it. If you want snappy cold engine cranking even down to sub freezing mornings then install an Odyssey PC680 & use 10w40 engine oil.


Link to comment
I experienced the cold start issue this morning. It was about 24 degrees and didn't want to go for a ride at all! I cracked the throttle and it eventually started. Battery, and bike, is 2 years old and a little over 10K miles. I think the battery is in good shape but just not strong enough under the conditions.


My owners manual says to turn the throttle a little when its cold. It makes a huge difference for me. She fires right up.


Cranking voltage is what its all about. Put a volt meter on the battery, the charging plug or even at the starter connections.


Read the battery voltage while cranking. It should never go below 9.6 volts.


10W 40 if your friend in the cold weather.


I don't promote synthetic oil. This is THE benefit of it, its not near as thick as dino for the same weight in the cold. Try it you will see. Do the pour test.

Link to comment

Thanks, guys.

It has 10W 40 in it. I don't think it would have started without the throttle being opened.

PC680 will be the replacement but I don't think it is necessary...yet.

Link to comment
Danny caddyshack Noonan

At 4 months old, mine died on a 38F morning in Klamath Falls. Wouldn't start before stalling the starter motor. It could have been slightly down from running 1 heated seat and 3 clothing articles the day before....doubt it, there should be about 100W of margin there. Had to disconnect the aux lights (55W each) to get it to start. Still using that battery but, it cranks a bit slow on the cold mornings down here in my garage.


So, the factory one does tend to "draw vacuum" (suck). It'll either get a warranty one or a PC680 (eventually anyway) when it goes.

Link to comment

I agree the stock battery is crap. The battery in my 2011 RT started going dead overnight a few months back. Rather than waste a day at the dealer, its a 250 mile round trip, I installed an Odyssey PC 680.

Link to comment


Using a light installation that allows running a pair of 55W lights with the motor not running is simply asking for trouble.

If your setup actually permits that, I'd suggest permanent rewiring to another arrangement so that the bikes load shed relay takes the load off when starting..

Link to comment

I have a 4 month old R1200R. I went out last night to test the battery and charging system for another thread.


Battery static volts. 12.3 v

Cranking volts mimimum 6 v

Charging 14.1.v


I twisted the throttle a little when I pushed the starter button and it fired right up.


It was 19*f and the bike had been sitting for a few weeks with 20-50 in it.


I put a small digital charger on it.

r1100RT is sitting right next to it with a new pC680 in it.


I may have to trade batteries. The RT is for sale......

Tonight I will do the same test on the RT. Its been sitting since I bought the R1200R.



Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...