Dicky Starter button?

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Matchymarty
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:07 pm

Dicky Starter button?

Post by Matchymarty »

Hi all,

Just bought a 1990 R100GS bumble bee.
Test ride etc seemed to be fine, and started it a number of times on the way home after picking it up from previous owner.

Before washing it, it started up first go after sitting for 4 days. WIN!

Gave it a wash, now, when I turn the key, i can hear the starter relay click, then the button does nothing. I took the start button off the handlebars, and it seemed clean and relatively dry. I blew it dry with air gun and squirted some WD40 in there. Still no go.
Strangley after many times, it did start, and, after running it for a few mins, it started first press 3 more times after that in quick succession.

Battery had 13.1V, and terminals were tight and not corroded.

Any TYPICAL places to look ?

Matchymarty
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:07 pm

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by Matchymarty »

UPDATE:
Just got home and checked how it started.
Fired first push of the button. So, now that 'WHATEVERITIS" has dried out, she starts like a ripper again.

So, what are the 'usual' things that get wet on these airheads that I should look at ?

I'm guessing the relays etc would have been dry, as I didn't exactly hose up under the tank.... Is it likely to be the starter button or something else?

Thank you in advance... just not used to looking for these types of faults, I mostly have old english single cylinders with kickstarters ! Nothing works on those! ahahahah.

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srankin
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by srankin »

Well, it could be the switch, or the relay. Get yourself a good wiring diagram and a Voltmeter and test light. If you are hearing clicking form under the gas tank, it would lead me to think the relay is bad. Since the switch only activates part of the relay, which then kicks in and activates the starter on a different current path. The clicking is perhaps the relay trying to activate.

A test light or voltmeter will show if there is power where it should be when the switch is pressed and power to the starter solenoid if the relay is working as it should be. Without either the test light or voltmeter, it is just guessing. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

chrishea
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by chrishea »

The starter relays do wear out and they often go intermittent like you are describing. The relay part number should be 61 36 1 389 105 and they sell for about $20. The relay is in the middle of the circuit - the button tells the relay to close that then energizes the starter solenoid. With the relay clicking, to me the button is working. So, that leaves the relay or solenoid. To troubleshoot the relay, find the contact marked “87” under the relay, or pull the starter cover off and check at the little wire going to the starter.

Based on my experiences with starter relays, I’d spend the $20 BMW wants for a new one and just swap it out.
Chris
Seattle

Matchymarty
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:07 pm

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by Matchymarty »

Thank you both.

Yes, the click is a singular click, when I switch the key to 'ignition' , then it is silent. Not sure if there's a click when the button is pushed (due to the engine firing and starting).

Interestingly, the lack of 'start' only happened AFTER washing the bike. Granted, I've only owned the bike for a few days, and have not tried starting in all different conditions.

I'll get a new relay anyway as you say, then spend some time going over the wiring. I know there are a few wires with insulation that have rubbed, and the poor old wires are 32 years old, so... yes, will be worth going over it.

Thank you. Will update when I get chance to go over it now I have somewhere to start.
Cheers.

chrishea
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by chrishea »

Well, the click you are hearing when turning the key to “on” is the headlight relay. I interpreted the click as when you push the starter button. You may also hear the headlight relay “unclick” when pushing the starter button. Pop the tank off, identify the starter relay and with a finger on it you should feel the click. So it might be the button after all.

The whole circuit is key, kill switch, starter button, starter relay, starter solenoid. And like you said, all the wiring in between.

Try cycling the kill switch a few times too, those have been known to become intermittent. Some folks have disassembled their switches. Sounds weird, but if you want to take those apart, do the work in a plastic bag, or you will lose the small ball bearing and/or the spring in there. The spring will spring out and the ball bearing with it and never be found again.

The relay shouldn’t be affected by washing, unless you really aimed the water up under the tank.

Good Luck.
Chris
Seattle

Matchymarty
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:07 pm

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by Matchymarty »

Chris,

Thank you again.
Actually it makes sense the headlight relay is the one clicking when I cycle the key. I suspect the low beam in the headlight bulb , so I'll change that out too, and see that the headlight relay is working correctly.

Kill switch has been tested and it works great.

As you say, the starter relay shouldn't be water affected, so, suspect the starter button is at fault here. I will check the condition of it over the next couple of days, and as I have the headlight out, will check all things there too.

Indicators aren't working either... new flasher relay on the way... So a few wee issues to sort out.

Cheers.

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srankin
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by srankin »

Replacing parts will get you to where you want to be in time. Checking things with a volt meter or test light takes so little time, costs so little as does a good wiring diagram.

I am glad you have the problem in hand. good luck. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

jimcarrr100rs
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:47 pm

Re: Dicky Starter button?

Post by jimcarrr100rs »

Try putting some water on the switch only and see if it happens again.
77 & 83 R100RS, 56 R69

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