First breakdown.. had to get towed.

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skyler.robbins
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:14 pm

First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by skyler.robbins »

Hey Gang,
Welp... had my first BMW breakdown that required a friend to come get me and the bike.
This is on the conversion that I recently got running. I've put about 200+ miles on it since then.
It's been running great after getting the carb issue sorted.

I took it out for about a 20 mile ride, stopped for lunch, got back on it.. going about 40 mph and
then the bike did a big stutter.. almost like fuel related. I knew I had a steep hill and a long bridge to cross
so I babied the throttle so I could hopefully make it home.

But no such luck. The bike just stalled as riding on the St. Johns bridge. Almost like I ran out of fuel.
Now I'm sitting in a lane of traffic ON THE BRIDGE with a dead bike. Looked inside the tank.. it's got about 1/4 tank of fuel
Tried starting it.. motor cranks, no start though.

I ended up pushing the bike up to the top of the bridge and coasting it down to the other side. My legs definitely were feeling the burn, hahaha. Called my buddy up and he rescued me with truck and trailer.

Got it home and we determined no spark. is it the new dual coil? Is it the new points/condenser? Bad/loose ignition switch? Checked the easy stuff first. Swapped out new condenser with original one. Bike starts right up!
So far it appears that the new condenser that I purchased from MaxBMW is the culprit. I haven't ridden the bike since, but plan on doing that today.

So..

Did I happen to get a one time crappy condenser?
Does MaxBMW sell crappy condensers?
Is there something causing my condenser to go bad?
Your thoughts?...

I'm going to ride it with the old condenser and see if that problem comes back. Time will tell I guess,
Pictures of bridge and condenser..
Attachments
KIMG1077.JPG
X5YJFKTVVNB7DBW5FADHFZQA6M.jpg

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schrader7032
Posts: 7806
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by schrader7032 »

Easy enough to swap back if the bike fails again. Change one thing and then you'll have something to work with.

I think condensers can be hit or miss. I thought I had some info on aftermarket condensers...what I have are items for a /2 and the suggestion was one for a 1973 Ford Torino.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

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skyler.robbins
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:14 pm

Re: First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by skyler.robbins »

Thank Kurt..
I ended up riding the bike around yesterday for around 30 miles or so.. no issues.
I'll write it up as a bad new condenser.

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srankin
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by srankin »

Condensers are one thing which is sneaky at causing problems because they look so simple and there are no moving parts. I am surprised Max may have sold you a bad one. Did you call them to let them know what happened? If I were selling bad parts, I would like to know about it so I could take care of the problem.

Hope that is all that is wrong and you can enjoy the rest of the riding season. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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skyler.robbins
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:14 pm

Re: First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by skyler.robbins »

Reported the issue to MaxBMW.. they said they haven't been getting any complaints.
No worries.. got a spare coming.

cbclemmens
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:21 pm

Re: First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by cbclemmens »

A condenser is an electrolytic capacitor. If you have a good analog ohm meter you can check the condenser as follows: Set the meter on the highest ohms reading possible, hold the negative lead to the case and the positive lead to the terminal. You should see a small amount of flow as the capacitor charges. The flow should stop after less than a second. The condenser should take a small charge and then show infinite resistance. If you get an actual resistance reading then it is shorted and is bad. If it doesn't take a charge it is also bad.

BUT the most likely explanation is that the case was not sufficiently grounded when installed. That could be nothing more than an oily film on the surface of the case.

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srankin
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: First breakdown.. had to get towed.

Post by srankin »

Thank you for the information on checking the condenser. I have filed it away in my log for future use if need be. This is the kind of stuff that makes this forum worth belonging to the Vintage club worth.

LOL, I got rid of my points and condenser a long time ago, best thing I ever did. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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