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#998261 - 10/03/17 05:13 AM Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No?  
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Imgnr Offline
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So, I've been getting horrendous fuel mileage on my '04 Rockster (50 miles before the light comes on). Turns out that both top plugs are not firing. I've done lots of research on this site, and others. I ordered new (used) coils and they didn't work. There is a small possibility that all 4 coils in my possession are bad but I don't think that's a high likelihood. I don't have the technical knowledge to do a full electrical diagnosis.

Then I read about the stickcoils-ectomy. I didn't name it. Anyhoo, the person simply connected the bottom plugs to the top ones and called it a day. Went from dual spark to single spark but he says the bike runs like a champ.

Anyone done this? Thoughts?


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998262 - 10/03/17 09:20 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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The simple answer is that it will function but it will function as if you retarded the timing several degrees.

The reason is that with two plugs firing, the mixture gets ignited and starts burning at two spots, hence it burns faster and reaches a higher peak pressure in the cylinder. As a result, bmw retarded the ignition timing compared to the single spark. I don’t know but how much, at what RPM/TPS points in the ignition map. You could buy a used single spark Motronic if that concerned you.

The other approach would be to figure out whats wrong with the upper coils. I’m sure you can get plenty of help here. You could start by checking if you have 12v at each stick coil.

#998264 - 10/03/17 10:14 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr
So, I've been getting horrendous fuel mileage on my '04 Rockster (50 miles before the light comes on). Turns out that both top plugs are not firing. I've done lots of research on this site, and others. I ordered new (used) coils and they didn't work. There is a small possibility that all 4 coils in my possession are bad but I don't think that's a high likelihood. I don't have the technical knowledge to do a full electrical diagnosis.

Then I read about the stickcoils-ectomy. I didn't name it. Anyhoo, the person simply connected the bottom plugs to the top ones and called it a day. Went from dual spark to single spark but he says the bike runs like a champ.

Anyone done this? Thoughts?


Morning Imgnr

You will be far better off repairing your stick coil problem than trying to make it a single spark engine.

It is a possibility that you have 4 bad stick coils but not that probable.

There is a good chance that your 04 bike has second (load relief) relay powering the upper spark plug coils.

So first thing, do as Roger suggests & check the green/black wires going to the upper coils with the engine running for 12 volts on those green/black wires.

If no 12v to the upper coils then that usually points to a power relay problem, or a power/ground problem TO that second load relief coil. Or a broken wire between the relay & the upper coils.

I have worked on very few Rocksters but 2nd load relief relay is usually in the center row of the fuse box on the L/H end. That relay needs full time battery 12v (no fuse) going to it (red wire) from battery (+) post. Needs full time ground going to it from battery (-) post.

The trigger circuit to that second relay is 12v direct (green wire) from ignition switch but that is the same circuit that runs the lower coil so it is probably working if the engine is now running on the lower spark plugs.

If your 04 is by chance a bike without the second load relief relay (really just a power relay) then the upper coils are powered by the same green wire that powers the lower spark plug single coil so that circuit must be working if the engine runs now, so if no 12v to the upper coils, it is probably just a simple broken wire or bad solder joint.

Pretty easy to at least see if your upper coils have 12v to them with engine running so do that first. If you find NO POWER to the green/black wires to the upper coils then post back & we can help you track the problem to it's root failure point.


[Linked Image]


Last edited by dirtrider; 10/03/17 10:41 AM.

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#998320 - 10/04/17 03:21 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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DR - There is nothing in the space that's labeled "Relay #2". No relay, no receptacle. Does this mean I have an early R1150? I will take my tank off and try tracing the wires and checking that the solder joints are not cracked. Any detailed advice on what to look for would be greatly appreciated.

I couldn't cancel the order for the set of R1100 plugs so I have that handy in case I can't figure it out. Just in case...


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998329 - 10/04/17 11:29 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr
DR - There is nothing in the space that's labeled "Relay #2". No relay, no receptacle. Does this mean I have an early R1150? I will take my tank off and try tracing the wires and checking that the solder joints are not cracked. Any detailed advice on what to look for would be greatly appreciated.

I couldn't cancel the order for the set of R1100 plugs so I have that handy in case I can't figure it out. Just in case...


Morning Imgnr

I have worked on so few Rocksters that I am working outside of my direct knowledge zone on this.

My book shows both an early 1150 Rockster without a 2nd load relief relay (power relay) & a later 1150 Rockster that uses a 2nd load relief relay. But it doesn't show the changeover date or any other identifying information. (books have been wrong in the past so I really don't know for sure)

In any case you REALLY need to check for 12v power to the green or green/black wires going to the upper coils with the engine running. If you have 12v power there then really no need to trace wires or look for any relays.

If you don't have 12v to the green or green/black wires going to the coils then you will have to troubleshoot the upper stick coil circuit(s).

If you don't have 12v to the green or green/black wires at the upper coils & definitely can't find a relay that powers them then (personally) I wouldn't waste my time tracing wires or checking that circuit but would instead just make a simple power relay system to power the upper coils (that 2nd load relief relay was added for a GOOD reason & would be worth while taking the time to make one for your bike).

Pretty simple circuit--power relay gets 12v B+ from battery + post, gets ground from battery (-) post, gets initiation (pull-in) power from existing lower coil green wire, & power output goes to existing upper coil green or green/black wires.


D.R. ___
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#998337 - 10/04/17 01:26 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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#998351 - 10/04/17 04:36 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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DR - Looks like there are three wires to the stick coils. So the green/black should be +positive. What about the other two?

Roger - I might give this a try. I'm not too comfortable cutting into factory wiring though. Can you please clarify what the two yellow circles are? Do I join all these wires together? What colors are they? Also, where is the connector located?

Thank you!


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998352 - 10/04/17 04:42 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr
DR - Looks like there are three wires to the stick coils. So the green/black should be +positive. What about the other two?


Afternoon Imgn

Yes, 3 wires.

The green or green/black is 12v power TO the coil.

The brown is coil RFI shield ground

The black/green or black/violet (depends on side) are the coil trigger wires that run back to the Motronic.

Last edited by dirtrider; 10/04/17 04:44 PM.

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#998408 - 10/05/17 10:03 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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My personal contact, Helmut, in the Archivists' Department of the BMW Motorrad factory in Berlin Spandau might be able to look out the VIN change for when the factory decided to mod the spark plugs with separate load relays. Mind you we're talking thirteen years back....

I'll chase him up. He owes me a round of beers with Rostbratwürste from 2 years ago anyway.

Simple way to establish the change on our bike is of course to lift the lid on the fuse box under the seat and see if there's that extra relay located to the right of the Pink-coloured coding plug.

AL in s.e. Spain


This is a list of the people I'd trust with my bike
#998411 - 10/05/17 11:05 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr
DR - Looks like there are three wires to the stick coils. So the green/black should be +positive. What about the other two?

Roger - I might give this a try. I'm not too comfortable cutting into factory wiring though. Can you please clarify what the two yellow circles are? Do I join all these wires together? What colors are they? Also, where is the connector located?

Thank you!


Imgn, the yellow highlights on the schematic show the added pieces. The highlighted circles are the new bundles, meaning those wires are all connected together when you are done. (To the right of that is a bigger circle which you remove, which connects all the green wires together before you begin.)

So to make this modification work you have to take apart a bundle of 12 green wires and rebundle them into two separate groups. One group has 10 wires, the other new bundle has 4.

If the functions in the schematic don’t make sense, it would be a good idea to get some help.

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 10/05/17 11:12 AM.
#998451 - 10/05/17 08:52 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Roger - Assuming theres power, could i simply cut the green /black wires and use them to activate the relay to energize the stick coils? The bottom coil will not be included in this circuit. Seems more straight forward in my admittedly inexperienced brain.

Alan - my bike was hacked to pieces so the absence of the relay or supporting wiring doesnt mean it wasnt there at sime point.


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998453 - 10/05/17 09:09 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Alan Sykes]  
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Originally Posted by Alan Sykes
My personal contact, Helmut, in the Archivists' Department of the BMW Motorrad factory in Berlin Spandau might be able to look out the VIN change for when the factory decided to mod the spark plugs with separate load relays. Mind you we're talking thirteen years back....

I'll chase him up. He owes me a round of beers with Rostbratwürste from 2 years ago anyway.

Simple way to establish the change on our bike is of course to lift the lid on the fuse box under the seat and see if there's that extra relay located to the right of the Pink-coloured coding plug.

AL in s.e. Spain


Evening Alan

They all have a relay to the right of the CCP coding plug. That relay isn't the load relief II. The load relief relay II is on the L/H (shifter) side of the CCP coding plug.


D.R. ___
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#998454 - 10/05/17 09:12 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr
Roger - Assuming theres power, could i simply cut the green /black wires and use them to activate the relay to energize the stick coils? The bottom coil will not be included in this circuit. Seems more straight forward in my admittedly inexperienced brain.

Alan - my bike was hacked to pieces so the absence of the relay or supporting wiring doesnt mean it wasnt there at sime point.



Imgnr, Not the way you explained it. You could cut the GREEN wire at each coil connector and use one hot side to energize your relay’s coil. Then you could connect the switched side of your relay through two more wires to connect to the green cut stub at the connector. To me, that’s pretty inelegant but somewhat easier than cutting open the 12-wire green bundle. Your call, just make sure you know what you’re doing.

But before you do any of this did you measure for 12V at each stick coil connector green wire at key on?

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 10/05/17 09:22 PM.
#998457 - 10/05/17 09:16 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr
Roger - Assuming theres power, could i simply cut the green /black wires and use them to activate the relay to energize the stick coils?



Evening Imgnr

I don't want to get between you & Roger here-- Just posting on the green/black wires so there is no confusion based on my posting above.

If you have green/black wires going to the coils then your bike probably has (or should have) a load relief II relay somewhere.

On bikes that came WITHOUT the 2nd load relief relay (upper coil power relay) the coil power wire should be ALL GREEN not green/black.


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#998459 - 10/05/17 09:27 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Evening DR, You’re absolutely right. If he has green/black wires at each coil he has the 2nd load relay. A picture of his electrical box would help.

Also green/black wires should not be confused with the black/green wire on one side.

#998488 - 10/06/17 05:32 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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You gents are a wealth of knowledge. BMWsporttouring.com must be paying you a crap ton of money! j/k. I confirmed that there is no power to the black/green wires at the stick coil by testing it with a circuit tester with the bike running. I stuck the needle end where the green/black wire is on the connector to the stick coil after disconnecting it.
I also triple verified it by testing the bottom plugs, one at a time, by disconnecting the bottom plugs, and grounding it with alligator clips. Then trying to start the bike. It actually started on one cylinder but proves that the top plugs are not firing.

Roger - I would love to link a pic of the fuse box but Photobucket has decided to not allow me to link pictures unless I upgrade. I noticed a lot of older posts have broken links as well. That is really bad as this (and other forums) area wealth of knowledge. Wish the hosting system will allow people to upload pictures directly.
Anyhow, the pink relay/CCP plug is missing. There's an empty white female plug where it should be. One one of your older posts about CCPs, R1150Rs do not have a CCP plug? "No Coding Plug: R1150R/GS US+ECE". Any reason I should try to replace it? Then the plug directly to the left of it (on the shift side) is completely empty. I believe that's where the secondary relay should be. If I look in, I can see the wiring loom underneath. Everything else looks the same as in the pic that DR uploaded.

This Saturday, I plan on adding a 2nd relay ONLY to the stick coils. I'll leave the bottom plugs alone since they're working. Not elegant but no one sees the wire and again, my bike is a rat rod.

My plans (step-by-step):

First Option: 2nd Relay

- Put the new relay where it should've been in the fuse box.
- Splice a long length of wire to the + headlight wire and connect it to wire on the relay which energizes the + wires.
- Connect a wire between the relay and the + end of the battery. Add a fuse to it. What amp fuse should I use? I'm thinking 15?
- Trace the green/black wire from each of the stick coils up as far as I can and clip them. I will check for continuity in the wires between the stick coil connectors and where I clipped them.
- Add a length of wire between the ends of the green/black wires.
- Splice in the + wire that's energized by the relay to the new length of wire between the green/black wires.
- Tape everything up and start the bike. If everything works, then solder and shrink tube everything.
- IF it doesn't work then on to Second Option.

Second Option: Use the R1100 coil that came with the plugs to power the main plugs.

I think Option 2 is probably better as all four plugs will fire as designed. Some questions for this option:
- The relay already be connected as described above.
- Find a good place for the new coil. I'm thinking the big empty space next the battery where the ABS control unit used to be. Any reason why I shouldn't put it there?
- Clip the connection between the two green/black wires and connect it to the new coil and connect the + wire to the new coil.
- Splice in the other two wires from the new coil to the existing coil. Can the wires handle the extra load? If there are better wires to splice to, please let me know.
- Run the spark plug wires to the two the plugs.
- Start her up.
- IF that still doesn't work, then on to Third Option.

Third Option: Run the plug wires from the R1100 to the coil that powers the bottom plugs.
- Disconnect and remove the relay and wires I added.
- Plug in R1100 plugs to the existing coil.
- Run the plug wires to the two main plugs.

IF that doesn't work, roll the bike to the end of the Santa Monica Pier and push it off.

For the amount of time and money I've put into it, I could've bought a good running r1150 but hey, I rescued a bike from the scrapyard and I can say I really know the bike intimately. Well, not THAT intimately...yet.

I'm going on a short overnight trip in two weeks probably through Palomar in SD county and on to Palm Springs. Hope to have her ready before then. Otherwise I'll ride my trusty 1995 Triumph Thunderbird that I also rebuilt 8 years ago. That one was never wrecked. Just parked for seven years.





Last edited by Imgnr; 10/06/17 06:45 AM.

No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998492 - 10/06/17 12:15 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Morning Imgnr

Anyhow, the pink relay/CCP plug is missing. There's an empty white female plug where it should be. Any reason I should try to replace it?-- YES, definitely install the correct CCP or make a jumper to take the place of the CCP (the 1150 bikes definitely run better with the correct CCP)


The plug directly to the left of it (on the shift side) is completely empty. I believe that's where the secondary relay should be. If I look in, I can see the wiring loom underneath. Everything else looks the same as in the pic that DR uploaded.-- IS THERE A PLUG THERE???????-- If so then just install a yellow relay. OR, is there JUST an empty space in the fuse box there (no PLUG or socket?)

This Saturday, I plan on adding a 2nd relay ONLY to the stick coils. I'll leave the bottom plugs alone since they're working. --This is how I would do it.

First Option: 2nd Relay

- Put the new relay where it should've been in the fuse box.--This is good

- Splice a long length of wire to the + headlight wire and connect it to wire on the relay which energizes the + wires.--DO NOT DO THIS!!! the headlight goes out during engine cranking so there will be no upper coil power for starting. Tie this circuit (pull-in-coil) into the lower coil green wire

- Connect a wire between the relay and the + end of the battery. Add a fuse to it. What amp fuse should I use? I'm thinking 15?--Fuse to the wire size so 10 amps should be plenty.


- Trace the green/black wire from each of the stick coils up as far as I can and clip them. I will check for continuity in the wires between the stick coil connectors and where I clipped them.--If you have green/black wires to those coils then look again for a 2nd load relief relay. Green wires are usually on no 2nd load relief bikes & green/black wires are used on bikes WITH 2nd load relief.


- Add a length of wire between the ends of the green/black wires.-- Add wire from where to where (you need to tell us more on this one??

- Splice in the + wire that's energized by the relay to the new length of wire between the green/black wires.-- The wires need to go from your added relay's power-out to the upper coil power-in (is this what you have in mind?

- Tape everything up and start the bike. If everything works, then solder and shrink tube everything.
- IF it doesn't work then on to Second Option.

Second Option: Use the R1100 coil that came with the plugs to power the main plugs.-- You could make this work but it isn't the best option & you will STILL need to power this coil with an added power relay.

I think Option 2 is probably better as all four plugs will fire as designed. Some questions for this option:

- The relay already be connected as described above.-- I don't understand this one?

- Find a good place for the new coil. I'm thinking the big empty space next the battery where the ABS control unit used to be. Any reason why I shouldn't put it there?-- As long as the plug wires reach & it isn't a real hot area then it should be good.

- Clip the connection between the two green/black wires and connect it to the new coil and connect the + wire to the new coil.--DO YOU HAVE green/black wires? If so then look for the original 2nd load relief relay or it's socket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Splice in the other two wires from the new coil to the existing coil. Can the wires handle the extra load? If there are better wires to splice to, please let me know.--DO NOT do this as that will be too much extra load on the ignition switch. You will need to add a power relay to properly do it this way.



Third Option: Run the plug wires from the R1100 to the coil that powers the bottom plugs.
- Disconnect and remove the relay and wires I added.
- Plug in R1100 plugs to the existing coil.
- Run the plug wires to the two main plugs.
-- This should be a very last resort as the engine won't run as intended. It w-i-l-l work but not properly.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#998531 - 10/06/17 06:28 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Good afternoon DR: As always, thank you!

I will go with Option 2 which is to use the plug ands and coils. Apparently it's from a 2003 R1150. Guess they didn't use sticks in 2003?

- New coil shows only two input wires (see pics). One should be + from the new relay and the second should be the purple one from the Motronic module? Does it matter which wire - black/green or black/violet or should I connect both of them together? The brown wire (I believe it's ground) that goes to the current stick coil doesn't need to be connected?

- Which one is + and which one goes to the Motronic module? Looking at the picture, left and right.

- CCP: If I put a jumper in, what slots should I jump? What is the factory CCP that I should get?

- No Prior 2nd Relay: There is no receptacle for the 2nd relay. I confirmed that the power wire to the stick coil is GREEN ONLY so my bike did NOT come with a load relief as suspected.

- I will splice relay to a green wire as long as I can get power. If not, I'll look for the tail light wire.

- I will use10 amps fuse.

- YES to "Splice in the + wire that's energized by the relay to the new length of wire between the green/black wires.-- The wires need to go from your added relay's power-out to the upper coil power-in (is this what you have in mind?"


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]



Last edited by Imgnr; 10/06/17 06:33 PM.

No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998533 - 10/06/17 06:43 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Afternoon Imgnr

I will go with Option 2 which is to use the plug ands and coils. Apparently it's from a 2003 R1150. Guess they didn't use sticks in 2003?



- New coil shows only two input wires. One should be + from the new relay and the second should be the purple one from the Motronic module? The brown wire (I believe it's ground) that goes to the current stick coil doesn't need to be connected?'--This should work-- BUT!-- I have a cautionary concern that it might overload the coil driver in the Motronic & possibly fry the Motronic. In the stock form each stick coil has it's own internal driver in the Motronic to handle a single stick coil, you will now be asking that driver to handle a much larger coil. I don't now this for a fact but this is something I would be personally concerned with.

- CCP: If I put a jumper in, what slots should I jump? What is the factory CCP that I should get?-- I don't know the answer off-hand on your model but I will try to find the answer & post it for you. Maybe Roger knows the correct CCP for your Rockster.

- No Prior 2nd Relay: There is no receptacle for the 2nd relay. I confirmed that the power wire to the stick coil is GREEN ONLY so my bike did NOT come with a load relief as suspected.-- OK, now we know that fact so we can move on to making your system work.

- I will splice relay to a green wire as long as I can get power. If not, I'll look for the tail light wire.--Don't use the tail light wire as that will keep the coil powered up with key in parking position.

- I will use10 amps fuse.--This should work just fine.

- YES to "Splice in the + wire that's energized by the relay to the new length of wire between the green/black wires.-- The wires need to go from your added relay's power-out to the upper coil power-in (is this what you have in mind?"--Good

- Splice in the other two wires from the new coil to the existing coil. Can the wires handle the extra load? If there are better wires to splice to, please let me know.--DO NOT do this as that will be too much extra load on the ignition switch. You will need to add a power relay to properly do it this way.


D.R. ___
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#998538 - 10/06/17 07:16 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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I only have a second but this isn’t a great plan as the dwell time on the black green and black violet wires is very short only 1mS. The common coil dwell is about 3mS.

You’d be better off figuring where the 2nd Load Relay socket is.

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 10/06/17 07:17 PM.
#998540 - 10/06/17 07:48 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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Originally Posted by roger 04 rt
I only have a second but this isn’t a great plan as the dwell time on the black green and black violet wires is very short only 1mS. The common coil dwell is about 3mS.

You’d be better off figuring where the 2nd Load Relay socket is.


Afternoon Roger

I know you are on a short time budget so I'm sure you didn't have time to read through the convoluted story above but Imgnr finally verified the wires to the stick coils are green not green/black so it looks like his bike didn't come with a 2nd load relief relay.


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#998547 - 10/06/17 08:54 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr


- CCP: If I put a jumper in, what slots should I jump? What is the factory CCP that I should get?



Evening Imgnr

On the correct CCP?-- WELL!, this one seems to be problem. I have so little info on the Rockster.

My parts book shows a p/n 61132306213 adapter but my wiring schematic shows a Brown CCP terminals 30-86-87a-87 shorted together.

I show that p/n 61132306213 adapter costing about $3.80 from BMW so I guess I'm going to suggest that you just buy a new one (probably have to order it).

Does your bike have bare socket now or is there something pushed into some of the terminal cavities?


D.R. ___
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#998548 - 10/06/17 08:55 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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roger 04 rt Offline
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Evening DR, Didn’t notice that but saw pictures of a common coil. Is he thinking of using that? That’s where my dwell time concern lies.

#998549 - 10/06/17 08:59 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Also, when I read out my 2003/04 Motronic here’s what I get for coding plugs.

2004 R1150RT US (USA) Twin Spark
No Coding Plug: R1150R/GS US+ECE
Beige Coding Plug: R1150R/GS Japan
Yellow Coding Plug: R1150R-GS Ocatan 91
Pink Coding Plug: R1150RT-RS US+ECE
30-86 Coding Plug: R1150RT/RS Japan
30-86-87: R1100S US+ECE
30-86-87a: No Valid String found
30-86-87-87a: keine Serie (no series)

So I would say no coding plug is the best/correct choice unless lower octane is desired, then a Yellow plug.

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 10/06/17 08:59 PM.
#998550 - 10/06/17 09:01 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: roger 04 rt]  
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Originally Posted by roger 04 rt
Evening DR, Didn’t notice that but saw pictures of a common coil. Is he thinking of using that? That’s where my dwell time concern lies.


Evening Roger

Yes, he is talking of using a standard lower coil for the upper plugs (in addition to keeping the stock lower coil). He is planning (at least I think he is planning) to use one of the upper coil driver outputs to trigger that coil.

You have a valid concern with the dwell time difference.

I have my own concerns about using one-side stick coil driver to trigger that large coil.

So between us it doesn't sound like a sound idea.


D.R. ___
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#998552 - 10/06/17 09:40 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Shout out to DR and Roger! I don't know there is such a big difference in dwell time between the standard coil and the coil sticks. Thought it was good enough to power the 2003 R1150's before the coil sticks were used.

Guess I'm going to add the second relay and use the coil sticks.

Thank you! I'm working on this tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Last edited by Imgnr; 10/06/17 09:46 PM.

No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998561 - 10/06/17 11:09 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Imgnr, all the green wires are connected in a common bundle. Do you have an opinion on why there is no 12V on the green wires at the coils?

Last edited by roger 04 rt; 10/06/17 11:11 PM.
#998566 - 10/07/17 01:35 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Roger i have no idea why theres no power to the green wires. Ill try my best to trace it. There should be power with the engine running only but not just ignition on? I tested it with the engine running from the bottom plugs.

Also i checked the part number on the coil and theyre the main ones from an R1100. Would that make a difference w the dwell time? Dwell is not controlled by the montronic device?


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998579 - 10/07/17 09:45 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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I think it’s a good idea to trace the green wires, you may avoid other problems in the future. All the green wires are in a bundle and they are all switched on with the key (engine doesn’t have to be running).

The dwell is controlled by the Motronic by fixed tables. The dwell time on the black/green and black/violet wires is about 1/3 to 1/2 that of the control wire going to the common coil for the lower plugs.

#998582 - 10/07/17 11:59 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Morning Imgnr

You might get some idea on where to look for the lack of 12v to the upper coils.

The 12v that feeds those upper coils comes out of the ign switch, goes on for a ways then splits into (4) green wire circuits. (a basic solder joint)

One of those green wires goes to the kill switch, one to the main (lower) coil, then one green wire goes to EACH upper stick coil.

If BOTH stick coils don’t have 12v on the green wires then you know the problem is (probably) at or above where they splice together, if your kill switch works & lower coil has 12v power (ie engine runs) then you have good 12v to the splice joint. (so problem can’t be above the splice joint)

So IF both stick coils are lacking 12v power but the engine runs on the lower coil that pretty well points to the problem AT the (4 wire) solder joint or that BOTH L/H & R/H green wires to the stick coils are open (cut) very close to the solder joint before they head off in different directions.

The problem is, I can’t tell you where that solder joint is on the 1150 Rockster & unfortunately my wiring schematic doesn’t give wire run distances between harness ends & solder joints.


D.R. ___
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#998631 - 10/08/17 12:42 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Great news! One of the plugs to the coil was messed up (scraped half way off from the PO crashing it) and as a result broke the connection where the connector is. I tried soldering it. Not a great job but it works. The other side had an issue a little further up the loom before it meets with all the other wires. Did not even have to take the tank off.

Took the bike for a 54 mile run of PCH through Malibu and back. A lot of stop and go traffic and splitting lanes combined with hilly terrain. I got 32 mpg which is not great but much better than what I was getting.

I did get the supplies to run the 2nd relay and will tackle that some other day for when I have to pull the tank off. I'll do it the right way and follow Roger's direction about going to the bundle.

BTW, does anyone have a parts bike and is willing to send me just the plug that goes into the stick coil? Mine does not lock because the tab was scraped off when the PO crashed it. I've been holding it into the coil with two zip ties. I know, my bike is a POS but it's now a running POS.


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#998645 - 10/08/17 01:28 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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BMW sells that as a "repair wire", or, if you know someone in the electronics industry, they may be able to cross it to a standard plug. Glad you found the root cause.


2017 R1200GS
#998647 - 10/08/17 02:04 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Originally Posted by Imgnr


BTW, does anyone have a parts bike and is willing to send me just the plug that goes into the stick coil? Mine does not lock because the tab was scraped off when the PO crashed it. I've been holding it into the coil with two zip ties. I know, my bike is a POS but it's now a running POS.


Morning Imgnr

As mentioned BMW does sell a stick coil repair pig tail but they retail for around $136.00 ea. I have a large collection of Bosch & BMW connectors & those stick coil connectors are kind of an outlier as to matching up to a common connector.

If you shop E-Bay you can sometimes find a late 2003/2004 full bike harness that has the upper stick coil connectors for $40.00- $50.00 (you might need to be patient to get those prices)


D.R. ___
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#998655 - 10/08/17 05:02 PM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Thank you all for your help. No rush on the connector since it's working. Here's the bike on today's ride up PCH - 2 days in a row. Did not check mileage yet. Lots of new BMWs along the way but none looking like mine (or as beat up)!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


No sparkenzie BMW but learning...
#1001979 - 12/05/17 10:33 AM Re: Stickcoils-ectomy - Yes or No? [Re: Imgnr]  
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Craig G. Online
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I tripped upon this thread while researching a cause/cure for a low idle speed problem I'm having with a recently purchased '04 RT.

Just wanted to give Roger a big +1 on his 2nd load relay suggestion... this RT did not have the factory installed 2nd relay and adding it made a significant improvement in starting and idle speed. The idle when warm is still not what it needs to be but I'm working on it.

As an aside - its a bit alarming to me that after all the effort (and time) put into responding to the OP the root cause of this problem was a stick coil connector that was "scraped half way off from the PO crashing it" and another condition that was found visually. It's a reminder for all to put some effort into self-diagnosing a problem before enlisting the troops.... we might burn them out.

Last edited by Craig G.; 12/05/17 10:35 AM.
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