Betsy's first breakdown - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Betsy has been having some intermittent fuel pressure/pump issues and then today she decided to take it one step further. I pulled out onto the Bruce and lost all power, didn't even have any lights. She did not want to turn over and as I rolled across the 4 lanes on a downward angle I look over my shoulder and here comes a car travelling at least 100km/hr (posted speed limit). Just when I was preparing to say a hail Mary power returned and on the second push of the start button she came to life, albeit slightly reluctantly and I managed to avoid becoming roadkill.
    As I trundled along with my partner/mechanic in my ear, he asked if my brake light was working? How the hell was I supposed to know! I travelled almost 20km and stopped for fuel. As it was dark I had tried checking my brake lights at the traffic lights and had been noticing that vehicles following me were rather close as I was braking. At the pump I checked my brakes first and well shit, neither the front nor rear were giving me lights. That coupled with the earlier incident and the prospect of riding a further 50km in the dark and rain with no brake lights and (in the words of my mechanic) a catastrophic electrical failure I decided it was time to utilise my roadside assistance and get a tow truck home. We finally made it home safely and Betsy will go under the microscope to determine the issue.

    PS if anyone has had anything similar please share the information below.

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  4. #2
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    How old is the battery?
    A failing battery can cause some wierd issues.
    That’s all I got.
    07 F800 ST 

  5. #3
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    I'd attack it with a Louisville Slugger magic wand whilst reciting the magic words, "Piece of Shite".
    That's worked well on a couple occasions in the past. It does leave a few witness marks though.

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    I'd attack it with a Louisville Slugger magic wand whilst reciting the magic words, "Piece of Shite".
    That's worked well on a couple occasions in the past. It does leave a few witness marks though.
    I've just given her the silent treatment today 😂

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scf View Post
    How old is the battery?
    A failing battery can cause some wierd issues.
    That’s all I got.
    Not sure from memory but I don't think that old. I'll have the old boy check it for me though, thanks!

  10. #6
    Bogbody's Avatar
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    As can something as simple as a loose battery terminal.
    Or, in my case, some mumbly-mumbly years ago, forgetting to tighten up the earth lead onto the bike frame.
    F800GT in blue known as "The Blue Bat"
    Based near Peterborough, Cambridge, UK 

  11. #7
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Alice, if old boy gives you the silent treatment does that incite you to work harder?
    You might try a pulsing bit of stinky eye. That worked on the Grandkids.

  12. #8
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    Definitely do a diagnostic on your battery (load test) and your stator output.

    These symptoms definitely suggest an overall power failure (battery dead/marginal) and this may be due to a failing or weak stator which are known to fail. We had a similar failure on our F800ST and it materialized only when we had additional demands on the battery/stator (lights, heated grips..etc.). The stator experienced a slow death but the symptom was a catastrophic and sudden failure (battery finally gave up).

    What year is your 800S/ST?
    -------------
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtully View Post
    Definitely do a diagnostic on your battery (load test) and your stator output.
    I haven't had a battery or stator failure on my '13' GT (yet ?). But have read enough about them on here to fit a voltmeter (incorporated with a USB outlet). Now I will know as soon as the charging system stops performing. There are LED kits available that show green, amber, red which might catch your eye a bit quicker. A bike will run quite some time on just the battery (assuming it is not the problem), before finally coming to a halt.

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk UK View Post
    I haven't had a battery or stator failure on my '13' GT (yet ?). But have read enough about them on here to fit a voltmeter (incorporated with a USB outlet). Now I will know as soon as the charging system stops performing. There are LED kits available that show green, amber, red which might catch your eye a bit quicker. A bike will run quite some time on just the battery (assuming it is not the problem), before finally coming to a halt.

    Ian
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  15. #11
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Yup on the volt meter. They are so inexpensive. I got a few for $3 apiece free shipping.

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    I'd start with charging system, too. When my stator started dying last year my fuel gauge went a bit wonky, losing the top bar randomly.

    As for F800GT, it's got the reworked flywheel with extra holes that make a stator failure much less likely.

  17. #13
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    That top bar of the fuel gauge failure is a common on some bikes. My Wee Strom gave up the top bar ghost a long time ago. As long as the other bars are working you still have a decent indicator of fuel level. Unlike a car tank the motorcycle tank isn't linear.

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    What I meant is that what seemed like a fuel gauge failure was actually a symptom of low charging/battery voltage at idle revs. Once I replaced the stator it started working normally again.

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  20. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogbody View Post
    As can something as simple as a loose battery terminal.
    Or, in my case, some mumbly-mumbly years ago, forgetting to tighten up the earth lead onto the bike frame. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://f800riders.org/forum/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif[/IMG]
    Interestingly the connections were loose so have tightened them up now.

  21. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtully View Post
    Definitely do a diagnostic on your battery (load test) and your stator output.

    These symptoms definitely suggest an overall power failure (battery dead/marginal) and this may be due to a failing or weak stator which are known to fail. We had a similar failure on our F800ST and it materialized only when we had additional demands on the battery/stator (lights, heated grips..etc.). The stator experienced a slow death but the symptom was a catastrophic and sudden failure (battery finally gave up).

    What year is your 800S/ST?
    Betsy the ST is a 2008, I shall get Jim to do a stator load test on her. He does suspect the regulator rectifier if there is a stator issue as they fry the stator. There was some loose battery connections, clutch was loose and accelerator cable was tight (she was revving up when full steering lock to left). So those have been fixed and I had a blown brake light, now also replaced.
    She did get the stinkeye which didn't seem to help. She is doing some off revving and dropping off when on the main stand being run (also happens when I'm warming her and intermittently at traffic lights).

  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    Yup on the volt meter. They are so inexpensive. I got a few for $3 apiece free shipping.
    We have some, handy having a mechanic around

  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceNicho View Post
    ...and accelerator cable was tight (she was revving up when full steering lock to left).
    That's a very exciting way to execute a three-point turn!
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

  24. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runmyownlife View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AliceNicho View Post
    ...and accelerator cable was tight (she was revving up when full steering lock to left).
    That's a very exciting way to execute a three-point turn!
    Certainly explains some oddities here and there lol

  25. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceNicho View Post
    She did get the stinkeye which didn't seem to help.
    If the stinkeye didn't work, maybe you should have tried this: -

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mv0onXhyLlE

    Ian
    2014 GT Orange. Just the comfort pack and heated grips - not into gizmos.

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  26. #21
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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  27. #22
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    So testing today there are definite issues that point to the regulator rectifier which means that will be replaced and hopefully hasn't fried the stator yet.

  28. #23
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    In case you didn't know, these older (07-10) models have a rotor design that does not allow much oil through to cool the stator. This combined with the old school shunt style regulator rectifier that they came with leads to lots of stators being burned out. My 08' is now on its 5th stator! This last time I changed the rotor to the newer style and changed the R/R to a shindengen.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
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  29. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccramerusc View Post
    In case you didn't know, these older (07-10) models have a rotor design that does not allow much oil through to cool the stator. This combined with the old school shunt style regulator rectifier that they came with leads to lots of stators being burned out. My 08' is now on its 5th stator! This last time I changed the rotor to the newer style and changed the R/R to a shindengen.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
    Well I am still waiting on my Haynes workshop manual as well (bloody Covid messing with the mail). I'll bring that up to the mechanic partner. May be that we change both and avoid this happening again. I know he plans on using a Honda regulator rectifier when he replaces it as "no one has made anything better in the past 30yrs". Thanks for the heads up!

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