2001 BMW F650 GS Dakar Idle problems

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2017/02/08

Points: 0

Hi guys.

Thanks for allowing a newbie to join. Although I've been riding more than 10 years, I'm not the adventurous type. I bought the Gs just for fun, to have a nice bike to drive in town and maybe take out into the beautiful West Coast where I live.

I do need your help. The GS have an idle problem. When I hit the start button, it starts almost immediately, idles for 5 or so seconds then either dies down suddenly or have the idling dropping down slowly until it dies.

Not to waste anybody’s precious time, I have read over the last two weeks hundreds of articles on this topic, so, what have I learned and what have I tried:

Starting: Wait for the lights and don’t touch the throttle.

Reset ECU, and throttle position by turning 3 times before starting.

Cleaning: Air flow sensor, lambda, throttle valve actuator, throttle body, side stand switch, injector with cleaner in the petrol

I changed the air filter, the oil, even drained all the petrol and added new petrol.

What I haven’t done is to change the fuel filter, and I’m not sure about the clutch tension some people mention as a possible problem, it seems a bit far-fetched.

Anybody wants to give me some clues, it will be appreciated.

Charles Oertel's picture
Joined: 2007/04/14

Hi Anton

  1. The throttle thing to reset the ECU does not work for single-cylinders - it is to recalibrate the throttle-body position sensor on the boxer motor.
  2. The problem may be one of the sensors or wires to the sensors (I'm thinking exhaust temp, air temp or whatever).  Most likely you would have to send the bike to a dealer or one of our other excellent mechanics (Kingtek or JKWorks say).  Or (and this would be also be a schlep) replace each sensor with a working one and see if it makes a difference.
  3. Otherwise, it might well be the fuel filter.  After standing a while the fuel trickles through the blocked filter slowly, and when you start there is enough to run a short while in the pipes and injector, but the filter does not let the fuel through fast enough and the engine gets starved.  Replace the filter and see.

Committee: Webmaster / Ride Captain

Joined: 2017/02/08

Hi Charles, thanks for the reply.

I finally cracked the mystery this morning, and maybe you will believe it, but I could not.

After removing the throttle body once more and removing throttle valve switch, I noticed that the angle of the throttle when it is closed and the angle of the valve when it is closed, are not the same. Checking the throttle body, I noticed that the small screw, almost like a idling screw, was preventing the throttle from closing shut completely.  After turning the small screw to the outer position, hitting start, and the GS purrs like a kitten.  

Thanks for your advice, I do think I will change the filter anyway.


Zanie's picture
Joined: 2013/11/21

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think, same as my bike (just plain 2001 F650GS), the fuel filter forms one unit with the fuel pressure regulator / pump, i.e. you cannot just replace the fuel filter, but have to replace the whole unit (quite pricey). It was just short of R 2,000 two years ago. But look around on the forums. There's a work-around to this by using non-BMW bits.

raphapretorius's picture
Joined: 2014/02/17


I recently had the same problem, as well as some occasional acceleration hesitation.

Anyway all my problems sorted now after removing, cleaning and re-spacing the spark plug, I watched a youtube guide about cleaning and re-spacing spark plugs correctly first.

I also very slightly adjusted the clutch using this guide http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/ClutchAdjustmentFAQ.htm, it shows very nicely how to do it right.

Then a little fiddling with the throttle and it now runs smoothly again. I couldn't find a really nice guide about the throttle anywhere still looking for one.

Here is extra info on the F650 spark plugs http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/SparkPlugFAQ.htm

Rapha Pretorius
E&E Engineering Student,
Stellenbosch University

Joined: 2018/09/17

Good morning Friends,

I am a newbie here, so thank you for the opportunity.

I also experience a strange problem this weekend on my 2005 Dakkie.

It was with Sovereign BMW for a major service last week and was brought all the way up to Gauteng for the trip to Limpopo.

The bike pulls like a rocket but just before Modimolle (Nylstroom) it was cutting out, then go again, cutting out, then go again while on the run.

Same when I came home to Boksburg, running like a bullet, then near Boksburg, about 230 kays later start doing the same thing.

I am puzzled because the idling is perfect.

Is this petrol or electrical?

Your advice will help me a lot!

Zanie's picture
Joined: 2013/11/21

I had strange "hesitation/cutting out" issues (never completely died while riding), but perfect idling. It turned out, after months of trouble-shooting, to be a faulty throttle position sensor.

All annoying, intermittent hard-to-resolve issues were always related to damn sensors in my case (other one was the temperature sensor - not to be confused with the thermostat).

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