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Arctic Adventure

I’m planning a motorcycle trip to the arctic circle this coming summer. I’ll be riding my 07 BMW K1200LT. However, there’s one thing that might be a problem - it won’t start.

Recently I discovered that I had water in my gas tank. I completely drained the tank, added new gas as well as iso-heet to dry up any remaining water. However, it still won’t start.

I’ve removed the plugs to let any gas/water that maybe in the cylinders to evaporate. With the plugs out I noticed they were wet and they weren’t too charred (they’ve only got about 100 miles on them). Also, I got a nice shock testing to see if they had spark.

Finally, from all the attempted starts my battery was a bit wore down so it’s now on a trickle charger to keep it fully charged.

With the battery fully charged it attempts to turn over but still never starts.

A friend suggested that maybe the injectors are clogged and instead of a nice spray it’s a dribble. Also, someone suggested changing the fuel filter. It too only has about 1000 miles on it but since my bike has a quick disconnect below the fuel pump and filter I can see that there’s a nice strong and clean supply of gas making it into the fuel lines.

So, should I invest in getting my injectors cleaned ? What’s the chance the problem isn’t in the fuel system and have something to do with the computer?


You’ll get lots more help on a BMW motorcylce forum. Just google it. But you want absolutely no problems with your bike before you set out. Anyone else going along? Much safer that way.

I agree with texases that you ought to go to a dedicated forum.

I’d also add, however, that if you really want to ride to the Arctic circle you should be much more than a great rider (hopefully you are). You really ought to be a great motorcycle mechanic as well. This is a very cool thing to do (my father & uncle did it together back in the 80s) - but you are frequently going to find yourself in some very remote areas. If you can’t figure out something as basic as a no start problem then you are asking for trouble.

At the very least, if you’re determined to do it, take the bike to a good shop. Explain what you are going to do and ask them to fully service the bike so that it is ready to go. Also ask them to help you build the best roadside emergency kit you can, and buy a repair manual for the bike to take with you.

You happen to own one of the most high-tech and reliable brands of motorcycle out there. It is great that you want to tackle this problem yourself, but if I was planning a motorcycle trip to the arctic, I would want to make sure the motorcycle was up for the trip. Bite the bullet and have it fixed by a professional. Having a trouble free trip will make worth it.

Before a long trip with a cycle that has some on-going issues, I would want someone with knowledge and experience to take a close look at the whole bike.

BTW, after finding water in the fuel, changing the fuel filter is somewhat standard. I would change it as part of the water in the fuel issue.

What would changing the fuel filter solve? I ask seriously. As of now I can see that the flow of gas is strong and appears to be water free. Ok maybe there’s still a bit in there but wouldn’t the iso-heet take care of that? I’m not opposed to changing the fuel filter but with the evidence provided that doesn’t seem to be the source of starting issue. Correct me if I’m wrong.