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Would not start, then memory wiped


Peter Room

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Peter Room

2014 wethead 15,600km. Stopped and switched off for 3 minutes after a 1 hour ride. Remained sitting on bike, sidestand not deployed. Then switched on and hit starter button - nothing, no starter motor noise. Repeated 3 times, then everything came to life but personalised settings like favourite menu, quickshift indicator, and digital speedo rather than RT logo all gone and replaced by default settings. This and new appearance of 'service due' spanner sign only 5,600km after 10K service suggests the computer memory was wiped - but not totally as trip meter, total mileage, and average fuel consumption values were retained and not reset to zero.

 

Immediately checked voltage when engine running (14.2) and when engine stopped (12.3) so battery and alternator OK.

 

Has anyone else experienced this and what are your thoughts on the cause and need for action?

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Guest Kakugo

12.3V with the bike turned off sounds an awful lot like a struggling/defective battery.

I don't know about Wetheads, but on my Hexhead a 12.4 voltage is enough to cause starting/malfunction warning issues. Intriguingly or tellingly enough, I haven't had any since fitting an Odyssey battery...

Even the less sophisticated Honda will really struggle to turn over at that voltage.

 

I suggest you take your battery to the dealer and have it tested. If the dealer's too far away, any car electrician should be able to do the test for you.

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I had this happen once on one of my K16s -- at 70 mph! Was driving along n cruise control, using the MultiController, when the dash display went dark. After a couple seconds the instrument cluster "re-booted" itself. Same result -- all personal setting lost. Never happened again. No clue as to the cause. Made me wonder whether Microsoft was the software vendor.

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dirtrider

 

Immediately checked voltage when engine running (14.2) and when engine stopped (12.3) so battery and alternator OK.

 

Morning Peter

 

12.3 volts is a fairly dead battery by today's standards. (was that taken with key on or key off?)

 

Right after a 1 hour ride with the alternator putting out 14.2 volts & enough amps to keep up with all your accessories & battery needs that battery should have shown 13+ static volts.

 

Maybe start by checking the battery cable connections, if they are tight & corrosion free then as Kakugo suggested have your battery load tested.

 

Problem is: on the BMW OEM batteries, a lot of times will test good on a hand held battery tester, but still be marginal or even have an occasional internal open.

 

With your problem only happening once, & with the limited information given, the battery would be at the top of my personal list. (it still could be something else but a marginal battery is usually the cause)

 

IF it happens again try starting it only ONCE, if it won't crank then hook your voltmeter across the battery posts & try cranking it again. Maybe you can catch the battery voltage drop even farther.

 

Now that is operational again you can try disconnecting the battery to see IF your dash loses the same personal settings as you saw during your on-road issue.

 

The new BMW electronic controlled bikes just don't play well with marginal batteries.

 

If it turns out to be a battery/low voltage issue don't forget to do a new TPS relearn as the TPS might have lost it's high/low parameters.

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Paul In Australia

Dirt rider

Thought TPS relearn was redundant with fly by wire throttle on wet heads?

Best regards

Paul

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dirtrider

Afternoon Paul

 

Good catch-- You are correct as there is no TPS relearn specified in the manual under battery replacement.

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Peter Room

Many thanks for your thoughts - the battery and its connections are the main suspects. Since new, I have had the bike hooked up to a BMW battery tender when in the garage.

 

Last night, I left the bike NOT on the battery tender. This morning, ignition off voltage measured by meter = 13.1 and ignition on but engine not running voltage by bike menu 12.3. Started bike twice when cold then stopped engine, voltage by meter 12.98 and by bike menu 12.3. Removed battery, terminals were clean but I recleaned them and reinstalled the battery: ignition off voltage by meter 12.98 and ignition on but engine not running voltage by bike menu 12.3.

 

The battery remains the main suspect, even though only 14 months since the bike was new. I'll post an update if the true cause of the problem becomes clear.

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Guest Kakugo
Many thanks for your thoughts - the battery and its connections are the main suspects. Since new, I have had the bike hooked up to a BMW battery tender when in the garage.

 

Last night, I left the bike NOT on the battery tender. This morning, ignition off voltage measured by meter = 13.1 and ignition on but engine not running voltage by bike menu 12.3. Started bike twice when cold then stopped engine, voltage by meter 12.98 and by bike menu 12.3. Removed battery, terminals were clean but I recleaned them and reinstalled the battery: ignition off voltage by meter 12.98 and ignition on but engine not running voltage by bike menu 12.3.

 

The battery remains the main suspect, even though only 14 months since the bike was new. I'll post an update if the true cause of the problem becomes clear.

 

In past few years I've had two batteries fail exactly at the twelve months mark.

Local wholesaler told me they have been having "lots and lots of problems" with motorcycle/lawn tractors batteries in the five years or so. Apparently there's a very good reason why those lead sheets coming from China are so cheap. :rofl:

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My 2015 is only 1 month old, apprx 300mi, build date in 3/15. My battery sits at 12.2 when I turn the ign sw on, then jumps to 13+ with the motor on. Never seen the readout over 12.2 without the motor running. Do you think this battery is about shot?

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dirtrider
My 2015 is only 1 month old, apprx 300mi, build date in 3/15. My battery sits at 12.2 when I turn the ign sw on, then jumps to 13+ with the motor on. Never seen the readout over 12.2 without the motor running. Do you think this battery is about shot?

 

Afternoon ehc0720

 

No, according to Peter's observations above it seems the bike's voltmeter reads system voltage not battery voltage.

 

The only way you can be sure is to put a Known Good voltmeter across your battery. (it seems the onboard voltmeter reads low)

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Guest Kakugo

One thing I've learned over the year is never to trust onboard voltmeters. Never.

I am actually surprised in all these decades nobody managed to come up with a reliable one given it's not exactly like designing a quad-core CPU and given after market products (such the now defunct Battery Bug) work as intended.

It's funny the ultra-advanced electronics on the Wethead have exactly the same issue coming up with reliable volt readings like the far simpler voltmeters on 70's vintage tractors.

 

Luckily a good multimeter is very little money these days. Even those dirt cheap ones from Hong Kong work well.

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dirtrider

Morning Kakugo

 

Most times it isn't the voltmeter's fault. Unless the darn thing is hooked "Battery Direct" it is reading system voltage not battery voltage. Due to the wiring resistance & system-on-load it stands to reason that the onboard voltage reading would be slightly lower than actual battery voltage.

 

About the only way around the system-on voltage drop is to hook the voltmeter "battery direct" then use a system-on relay to connect/disconnect the voltmeter at key-on.

 

Just so much easier as OEM to let one of the computers monitor voltage then put it out over the CanBus/LinBus system then on to dash controller or other concerned controllers.

 

I use a micro relay to operate a voltmeter on my Ducati & one of my old 4 cylinder Hondas & those are spot on but do require extra wiring to go "battery direct" & tie into the ign-on circuit.

 

It could be done as an OEM setup but the cost & complexity probably outweighs the gain for most riders. People still equate 12 volt battery's to 12 volts (not 12.75+ volts) & get all bent out of shape when they see 14.2 volts running down the road when they are thinking 12 volts is what their bike should have.

 

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Peter Room

Problem almost solved.

 

Today despite being on battery tender for 2 days, the bike only just started when cold and again when hot so I took it to the dealer. He saw the bike's dash showed 12.3v when engine stopped and 14.2v above 3,000 rpm but found the battery had lost its capacity to hold charge - bike build was January 2014 so 15 months old - no new batteries in stock so I have a loaner bike till one comes in.

 

He could not explain partial loss of computer memory, though he did say the odometer and trip meter values, which were not lost, are stored more securely than menu preferences. Maybe voltage drop after 4 attempts at starting with the dying battery caused the minor computer malfunction.

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