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#1001481 - 11/24/17 02:15 PM Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs?  
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roger 04 rt Offline
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roger 04 rt  Offline
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Naples FL & Cape Cod
Late in April I put my ‘04 RT (dual plug) on “ice” for the summer in Naples and left it on its own to struggle through Hurricane Irma. I filled the tank with Premium, and put it on a non-AGM trickle charger (weekly 4 hour timer).

When I got back 6 months later the first start was a bit sluggish but it ran pretty good (or so I thought at first) and so I mentally wrote off the slow start as cobwebs. Unfortunately the cob webs got thicker and it also began to have a barely noticeable hesitation when I rolled on acceleration (surely I was imagining that). Then last week it took three presses of the starter button first thing in the morning to get it going.

I finally got out the GS-911, LogWorks software for the LC-1 to record AFR, Harmonizer and pulled off all the plastic so I could work out what was going on. My motivation was low because I’m also seriously thinking about a low mileage 2015/16 R1200RTW. But since I’d have to fix the 04 to sell it and because I couldn’t stand not knowing, I got myself in gear, one cold start per day.

Day 1
My first look was at the GS-911 cold start data and log—no errors, data looks good. Next, I looked at the LC-1 cold start log of AFR—leaner than normal during the poor start period but nicely settled in at lambda=0.92 (13.5:1) once warmed up. From my experience measuring cold start AFR, the leanness at cold start is usually due to poor ignition. My stick coils are fairly new but the plugs were 2 1/2 years old so I put in new bottom plugs which I had lying around since they are problematic on the dual spark (all four plugs actually looked great but a little warn). New plugs did nothing. (Note: the hotter NGK DCPR6E lower plugs looked really good and I’ll stick with them.)

Day 2
Since I had the Harmonizer out and it had been a while since a TB balance I dialed out a small amount of l/r error and boosted the idle about 75 rpm—no effect on starting the next morning.

Day 3
Thinking about whether charging the battery for 6 months, once per week on a low voltage trickle affected the battery but set that idea aside as I’d put 150 miles on the bike since returning and my VR is modified for AGM—and since my good charger was up North. At this point that nagging idea that the gasoline sat through a Florida summer and is now about 7 months old reached the surface when the low fuel light came on. And I know at least half of you reading this have been thinking “drain the tank and put new fuel in”, since the first sentence.

I filled the tank with Premium, added 6 ounces of Techron Concentrate and rode 100 miles into the Everglades and back at good speed on Rt 41.

Day 4
The bike started normally in about a second and idled smoothly. I’ll run a couple tanks of fuel laced with Techron and call it a day. Was it fresh fuel or Techron? I’ll never know for sure since I added both at the same time.

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 11/24/17 02:25 PM.
#1001482 - 11/24/17 02:32 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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Bud Offline
95% of an RT
Bud  Offline
95% of an RT
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Southern Illinois
All's well that ends well.


95% of an RT.

I haven't had too many Beemers, I just don't have enough time.
#1001483 - 11/24/17 02:35 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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Shane J. Offline
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Shane J.  Offline
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Olympia, WA
Roger, had you added a fuel stabilizer before putting it into storage?


Shane J.
Tumwater WA

2006 R1150RTP, 2004 R1150RT (my wife's bike), 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt
prior bikes,1969 BSA 650, 1994 Sportster, 1996 FLHS, 1999 Buell S3, 2002 Buell S3, 2003 BMW R1150 RTP
#1001484 - 11/24/17 02:41 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
dirtrider  Offline
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Ohio
Morning roger 04 rt

Does your bike still have the factory evap can on it? If not then moisture probably migrated in through the tank vent & bonded with the alcohol in the fuel. (depending on how much moisture got in that can make cold starting & runability poor until that tank of fuel is depleted & replaced with fresh)-- On my personal bikes without evap cans I will usually plug one into the tank vent line for winter storage. I also fill my fuel tanks with non-alcohol fuel for winter storage (usually obtainable from a marina)

A lot of times on the dual spark 1150's the lower spark plugs will oil & soot up from sitting as the piston area/cylinder wall oil will slowly migrate to the bottom of the combustion chamber over time.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#1001486 - 11/24/17 03:14 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: Shane J.]  
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roger 04 rt Offline
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roger 04 rt  Offline
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Naples FL & Cape Cod
Originally Posted by Bud
All's well that ends well.



True, but I wish I'd been patient enough to do it in two steps.


Originally Posted by Shane J.
Roger, had you added a fuel stabilizer before putting it into storage?


No, I just filled it with 10% ethanol Premium, took it for a ride, and parked it on the center stand.

#1001487 - 11/24/17 03:22 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: dirtrider]  
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roger 04 rt Offline
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roger 04 rt  Offline
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Naples FL & Cape Cod
Originally Posted by dirtrider
Morning roger 04 rt

Does your bike still have the factory evap can on it? If not then moisture probably migrated in through the tank vent & bonded with the alcohol in the fuel. (depending on how much moisture got in that can make cold starting & runability poor until that tank of fuel is depleted & replaced with fresh)-- On my personal bikes without evap cans I will usually plug one into the tank vent line for winter storage. I also fill my fuel tanks with non-alcohol fuel for winter storage (usually obtainable from a marina)

A lot of times on the dual spark 1150's the lower spark plugs will oil & soot up from sitting as the piston area/cylinder wall oil will slowly migrate to the bottom of the combustion chamber over time.


Good Morning DR,

I still have the factory evap system so I thought that would buffer against moisture entry, I'm not so sure now. Also, I though less air would enter the tank if I had it full. I'm really used to parking stuff for months and having it run fine. I think the difference between FL and the MA is that the up north it's very dry in the winter, whereas down south the summer is ninety-odd percent humidity for most of the time. I'll try using no-ethanol gas next time.

The stock plugs on my '04 really get sooty. You may remember I tried the 2-heat-range-hotter NGK plugs. They look nearly as good as the center plugs after a couple years of riding. The plugs I had on hand this week were the stock bosch plugs so I put them in as a trial. Next time I have the plastic off I'll install the hotter NGKs.

It seems similarly possible that some fuel congealed in the injectors and that the Techron is helping but I've not had that problem before.

What are the thoughts on fuel stabilizer for the summer?

EDIT: BTW, my boat had half tanks of non-ethanol marine fuel, which are running fine ...

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 11/24/17 03:22 PM.
#1001490 - 11/24/17 04:12 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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WindyKnowItAll Offline
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Joplin, MO
Roger, I wonder if the 10% ethanol might actually leave over a 6-month hot weather period and with it it's water-suspending capacity. I think the Techron (even the ultra concentrated) is mostly methanol which would help it burn water, in addition to the scrubbing of the detergents.
Then again it might be folly to ponder the inner workings of magic potions.

#1001504 - 11/25/17 04:59 AM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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Boomer343 Offline
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Alberta, Canada
Roger I have been following the recommendation of Steve Sefsick, https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/ , from my days on the Concours boards. Steve lives in Florida and works on small engines plus some motorcycles. His procedure is to use 2 Stroke Oil in the TW3 rating as a fuel stabilizer.

I use a syringe and put a couple ounces in a tank. I also use it in all my vehicles on a regular basis. I no longer use any other product as a fuel stabilizer even though I only use ethanol free fuel in two of our three vehicles.

On our 2005 BMW z4 with under 30000 miles it cleaned up dripping injectors and quieted the injectors down. No stinking fumes from stabilizers either. Just a happier engine.

The 1150RT runs smooth and no surge due in no small part to the coil wiring mod and O2 mod you pioneered. But I have never done a valve set or throttle body adjust in the 4 years I have owned it. No surge that I'm aware of.

You can contact Steve through the link for his suggestions for Florida fuel.


Moto Longa - Vita Brevis
#1001506 - 11/25/17 10:49 AM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: Boomer343]  
Joined: Nov 2011
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roger 04 rt Offline
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roger 04 rt  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,555
Naples FL & Cape Cod
Originally Posted by WindyKnowItAll
Roger, I wonder if the 10% ethanol might actually leave over a 6-month hot weather period and with it it's water-suspending capacity. I think the Techron (even the ultra concentrated) is mostly methanol which would help it burn water, in addition to the scrubbing of the detergents.
Then again it might be folly to ponder the inner workings of magic potions.


Techron recommends 12 oz twice in cars. So I’m planning two tankfuls which will mean 6oz twice. I’ll also run the tank to near empty again.

Originally Posted by Boomer343
Roger I have been following the recommendation of Steve Sefsick, https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/ , from my days on the Concours boards. Steve lives in Florida and works on small engines plus some motorcycles. His procedure is to use 2 Stroke Oil in the TW3 rating as a fuel stabilizer.

I use a syringe and put a couple ounces in a tank. I also use it in all my vehicles on a regular basis. I no longer use any other product as a fuel stabilizer even though I only use ethanol free fuel in two of our three vehicles.

On our 2005 BMW z4 with under 30000 miles it cleaned up dripping injectors and quieted the injectors down. No stinking fumes from stabilizers either. Just a happier engine.

The 1150RT runs smooth and no surge due in no small part to the coil wiring mod and O2 mod you pioneered. But I have never done a valve set or throttle body adjust in the 4 years I have owned it. No surge that I'm aware of.

You can contact Steve through the link for his suggestions for Florida fuel.


Had a look at the shooodaben site. Thanks for the link.

#1001516 - 11/25/17 03:32 PM Re: Poor Starting RT: Battery, Gasoline or Plugs? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,257
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
dirtrider  Offline
The Oracle
Member

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Posts: 13,257
Ohio
Originally Posted by roger 04 rt
Originally Posted by dirtrider
Morning roger 04 rt

Does your bike still have the factory evap can on it? If not then moisture probably migrated in through the tank vent & bonded with the alcohol in the fuel. (depending on how much moisture got in that can make cold starting & runability poor until that tank of fuel is depleted & replaced with fresh)-- On my personal bikes without evap cans I will usually plug one into the tank vent line for winter storage. I also fill my fuel tanks with non-alcohol fuel for winter storage (usually obtainable from a marina)

A lot of times on the dual spark 1150's the lower spark plugs will oil & soot up from sitting as the piston area/cylinder wall oil will slowly migrate to the bottom of the combustion chamber over time.


Good Morning DR,

I still have the factory evap system so I thought that would buffer against moisture entry, I'm not so sure now. Also, I though less air would enter the tank if I had it full. I'm really used to parking stuff for months and having it run fine. I think the difference between FL and the MA is that the up north it's very dry in the winter, whereas down south the summer is ninety-odd percent humidity for most of the time. I'll try using no-ethanol gas next time.

The stock plugs on my '04 really get sooty. You may remember I tried the 2-heat-range-hotter NGK plugs. They look nearly as good as the center plugs after a couple years of riding. The plugs I had on hand this week were the stock bosch plugs so I put them in as a trial. Next time I have the plastic off I'll install the hotter NGKs.

It seems similarly possible that some fuel congealed in the injectors and that the Techron is helping but I've not had that problem before.

What are the thoughts on fuel stabilizer for the summer?

EDIT: BTW, my boat had half tanks of non-ethanol marine fuel, which are running fine ...


Morning Roger

Using non alcohol gasoline (if available) is probably the best approach if long term storing in humid places. No matter what you use be it fuel stabilizer or 2 cycle oil (most 2 cycle that contains fuel stabilizer) you still have the alcohol factor to deal with & alcohol is a moisture magnet.

My thoughts on using fuel stabilizer for summer storage (or any long term storage) is IT HELPS prevent the gasoline part from quickly deteriorating but doesn't do much for the alcohol part taking in moisture.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
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