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2,295 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here is an ongoing "story" about one of the bikes I absolutely LOVE to ride. It is pieced together from a few posts from another board. I hope you enjoy my anguish.

My 95 R1100R will crank, but not fully start.

Was riding through town last December when the engine puttered to a stop at a traffic light and refused to restart.

Upon first perusal online, I found that the HES was usually the culprit, so I blindly ordered one and when installing it, found that the wiring attached to the original HES was frayed at the plug end. I figured I had the correct diagnosis and all would be well.... Not so.
Same symptoms.
Crank, but no start. So that leaves out the kick stand, kill, and gear switches. If not working, they will not allow cranking.
At one time, it felt like it was going to fire up, but to no avail.

I checked for spark. Excellent spark. Checked compression. Nice , high and even.
Yes, I checked the plugs and verified that the timing chain and valve gear are working.

So, I moved on to fuel.

Even though the fuel pump was operating when the key was turned on, I decided to change the pump with a Chinese pump. Same, Same.
Ordered new Fuel injectors from BMW..... Same same.

I figured that by this time, I would justify the monies being spent as a sort of "overhaul".
Installed a new pressure regulator from BMW. (And THAT is an undertaking that is ridiculous on an ABS bike.) You guessed it.. Same same.

Verified gas out of the injectors while cranking. Had expected a spray of gas in a fine pattern, but what I saw was somewhat less, and I rationalized it as... "well, how much darn gas should it have at idle?".

My next attempt was to change the fuel filter, even though I was able to blow through it when I changed the pump. I also reset the TPS, checked the cable seating and tried starting fluid.

I've been working on bikes and cars for over 40 years. I currently own well over 30 bikes in various states of restoration plus a few cars, and am well versed in all things Motorcycle. However, I am more comfortable with old nasty Japanese bike carbs and points and condensers. There. I gave away my age.

And of course, even with all of these other bikes to ride (I have a bulletproof K100 Brick, 2 newer Harleys, etc), I want to ride the R1100R.
The bike is 2 towns south of here, in a garage with no electricity and limited tools.
Yay, challenge!
I can plug things into my pickup truck, as it has a built in inverter, but am limited to wattage.

I did was spay the heck out of the air filter with starting fluid through the hole left by the removed snorkel. To my surprise, the bike started right up and ran for about 2 minutes. I was able to twist the throttle and get some response, so I knew there was at least SOME fuel pressure. Engine failed to continue to run, but would start and run on gasoline for about 20 seconds then stall. It would start right up again though and do the same thing. I amused myself with fantasies of actually riding this bike today, or sometime in this millennium.
Tapping the HES (crank sensor)back and forth to see if timing was why it was running badly proved only that it would fail to start easier when not fully advanced. It still ran for the 10 to 20 seconds before sputtering out.

I drained/siphoned the fuel tank for what has got to be the 20th time for this project, because I had to bleed the brakes through the ABS system. The ABS system had to be removed because that is actually an easier way to get to the fuel pressure regulator (you know, the one that never breaks). The brake fluid was nasty, so It was a good thing to get it flushed. The recommended method to get to the pressure regulator is to remove darn near the whole rear of the bike, swingarm included. Yeah, no.

Upon removal of the tank and opening the fuel pump cover for the umpteenth time, I changed the fuel filter even though the old filter was clear.
I left the cheapie fuel pump in there, because it would have been a pain in the butt to change it back to the old one (I am such an idiot). But it sure did pump and flow gas when tested. Does anyone know the other number for the Ford pump that works for the BMW Bosch pump that is priced like it is made out of baby organs?

After reinstalling the tank, connecting the hoses (correctly) and filling the tank again.... Same sequence.
It runs for 10 to 20 seconds or so, then peters out. I can rev the engine, but it really takes finesse to get it near 3k rpm. and then it stalls out.

I did notice that the engine seemed to warm up pretty quickly, especially the pipes that branded the inside of my left wrist whilst I was finagling the HES.
"Hot", I could hear my mother's voice from about 1966. Only the expletives I exclaimed were louder than the sizzle of fresh wrist meat on the right head pipe.
Next project was to put old fuel pump goes back in. I don't trust the Chinese pump that is in it.

Defeated, I pointed the GMC North up US1 to the house, where less (hopefully) recalcitrant motorbikes awaited my arrival so I could be mocked by them.

First up was the almost completed 1970 Honda Cl450. The bike that has tried to kill me twice. Get it all dialed in, roll it off the lift, then WHAAAAAAA WHAAAAAAAAAA!, the throttles magically pinned themselves. Well, the tach works. Good thing I routed those cables according to Soichiro Honda's specifications. After rerouting, all is well. Some small punchlist items, and it is done.

Next up was a 94 Honda PC800 that thinks it is a Harley. Whenever you turned it off, it left a puddle of oil. Started with a few drips and the more it got ridden, the more it leaked. Fellow PC800 owners are ripe with horror stories about mysterious oil leaks that are impossible to repair, mostly because the labor charge to remove all the bodywork is twice what any 6 PC800s are worth. The bike has been sitting in its puddle for months; because I had too many other things going on (I do have a company to run), and I really didn't want to immerse myself in that bike when I had others to get ready for spring. Yep, call me lazy.
With the CL450 off of the lift (been on there since last July), I rode the PC800 up there and decided to peruse the underside for the presence of oil. Spent a good half hour trying to see the dreaded disintegrating cam plugs and the obvious cavernous hole that was in the most impossible place to get to on the engine. Found the oil filter loose!
Tightened the filter, wiped the underside down, then placed white paper towels on the lift under the engine. Let it sit till the next morning, if there were no drips, I could use the bike to go to Manhattan to do a service call. All NYC service calls are done on a bike.
Got up the next day, and the paper towels were bone dry. Thank you Soichiro San.

Next trip to the remote shop. Started the R1100R with fluid, ran for less than a minute. It did run on gasoline for some of that time.
The thing I did notice, was that the exhaust got HOT very quickly. Within seconds

Spent Easter Sunday working on the r1100r. Replaced the Chinese fuel pump with the old factory pump.

What I confirmed, was that it would start only on ether the first time, then would start on gasoline and only run for a few seconds... And the exhaust got excruciatingly hot in a matter of seconds....

The bike would not rev up and sputtered out after a maximum run of 10 seconds.

I noticed that the exhaust joint dripped some fuel, just a couple of drops...

My next hypothesis is telling me that the catalytic converter may be plugged or melted.

I was defeated after another drain the fuel, open the tank, close the tank, refill the fuel fiasco, so I left and went home. When I get some time, I will remove the exhaust and try to start it.

Have I told you all just how nice my TW runs?

37 Posts
A friend of mine has an '94 or '96 R1100R, I forget. He blames MANY quirks on the battery being low every few years. Is there any chance the battery is on it's way out?

2,295 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Brand new battery (BMW) tested it too.

The batteries cause all sorts of issues.

A friend of mine has an '94 or '96 R1100R, I forget. He blames MANY quirks on the battery being low every few years. Is there any chance the battery is on it's way out?
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