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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Fellow Air/Oil-Heads.
So this happened today:
1. Took bike out at 8am. Bike was ridden the day before, no issues. Bike is 2yrs old with ~3200mi
2. Fuel light came on about 2-3 mi into the ride, display noted that 5 mi had been completed
3. Bike started to lose power in 1st and 2nd gear, and I heard a 'tick-tick' sound that I attributed to valves...
4. Bike stalled about a miles from gas pump, and I smelled some burnt oil, not overwhelming. Opened tank and could hear some gas sloshing around in there
5. Called Motorrad and requested tow, came in about 1.5hrs
6. Took to dealer purchased bike from, who told me the fuel gage was unreliable and likely needed gas. Was a bit red-faced
7. Tech took bike out for ride and stalled on him (Hah! Wait, why am I happy?). He pushed it 0.5mi
8. He says that there may be a bearing issue, cuz he heard the same 'tick-tick' but said it was likely in engine
9. Bike at dealership awaiting approval from BMW to breakdown (still under warranty)

Will keep ya posted
134820
 

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Thats a bummer, but I'm glad the Dealership is taking care of you. Hope you get your bike back soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, so 1 full week later:
  1. Dealer has not been able to complete diagnosis due to 'large amount of BMW work and only 1 technician'.Wagner BMW in Worcester, MA. Hope to complete by Sep 11 (almost 1 month after going into shop)!
  2. Tech thinks there may be a loss of seal or compression in 1 cylinder...but this is not based on anything other than crystal ball!
  3. The sales mgr. keeps using the words 'catastrophic failure' in calls with me, but I think he is using this as justification for not being able to get to my bike! Does anyone know if BMW pays less than shop labor rates on warranty work?
  4. In other news: Convinced wife that I need another bike for winter project! Looking at 2013 Triumph Speed Trip
I miss my bike. I feel like I'm devolving into a 'regular' (those unschooled in the ways of 2 wheels)
Peace Out till next update
 

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Does anyone know if BMW pays less than shop labor rates on warranty work?
I've heard many garages say that of course they get paid for doing warranty work - but the margin is less than customer work so you can see the implication this might have in terms of prioritising jobs.

I've got no idea what the issue might be - just hope they get it sorted for you.
At least it should be covered by warranty.

Were you riding the bike especially hard the day before?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Ian. Yeah, covered under warranty thru next yr, and this issue likely doesn't have anything to do with wear items (brakes, tires, so on) so not expecting to pay anything. N

Nope, can't remember riding hard the day before, a simple short ride with no issues
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update at 5pm:
  • They put the bike on the slow lift and ran diagnostics, no issues from computer
  • Leak test and compression test completed, all PASS
  • BMW asked for a listing of aftermarket accessories (Pro-Race end can, Heli-Bars are the only non-BMW accessories)
  • Shop is expecting BMW to approve tear-down tomorrow (yikes!)
  • Technician still thinks it has to do with a 'bearing', I think it is some electrical or fuel issue...
Let's see what tomorrow brings.......
 

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Sorry to hear about your bike and hopefully it will be fixed soon, on a lighter note, does the rear light in the US need to be seen from the moon, its massive!
 

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Ummmmm..................😈
135181
 

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Discussion Starter #11
At SB, YEP, they are massive! And BMW uses the same lights on multiple bikes. I noted that the XR1000 uses the same lights. Some BMW cost-cutting/common component efficiency. Not sure if the US is being more safety focused vs. OUS markets, but California is our biggest market and they are generally more 'nanny state' compared to the rest of the US. I'm in Mass, which is no slouch on telling you yer business as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited by Moderator)
NOT THE FINAL UPDATE!
Shop called me yesterday:
  • They have not been able to locate the issue and the bike is running
  • As stated prior, leak test, compression and computer diagnostics show no issue
  • They are changing the spark plugs and oil, gonna take a test drive and return back to me (what a load of 🤬, it took them a whole month to do nothing!)
    • Plugs are in-transit as they ran out of stock (more BS)
  • The tech says that it is running fine on the lift, and he will ride it personally...
When did motorcycle engine diagnostics become a black art?

Also, bought a new/used bike... really good deal from a kid that needed to go back to college!
135640
 

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This sounds a whole lot like fuel starvation - either through high restriction somewhere, or an intermittently failing fuel pump. Can be diagnosed with a fuel pressure AND flow test (really need to check both together). Bearings don't fix themselves, and an engine will happily run itself until parts have welded themselves together, so the fact it's running fine again kinda rules out any internal wear surfaces failing.

Fuel pumps can cause trouble in a few weird ways - the little teabag filter on the end can degrade and plug it, they can make flow but not pressure, they can make pressure but without flow, etc etc.

One question - did you still have full power in 3rd, 4th gears?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi RB, I didn't get a chance to test power in 3rd and 4th. The bike started to shut down the engine in 1st and 2nd and I came to a stop on the side of the road. I'm in agreement with the fuel issue being a worthy investigation, since the bearing issue is suspect. The bike did not seem 'lug-lug' to a stop with any internal engine noise, only a slowdown and shut-off of the cylinders. Here's to hoping the issue is resolved this week and I can give y'all a final assessment...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I submitted a written complaint to BMW Motorrad North America, and a nice lady called me yesterday to get some details. She said she would follow up with dealership today and call me back. Not sure if dealership will react negatively to the matter, but will be good to get a fire under their a$$e$!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
New News: The dealership has given up on fixing the bike! They have sent in their findings to BMW along with video (including a scope of the cylinders). They're saying there is no issue with the fuel pump or filter, and they suspect 'a bearing' in the motor.

I've called BMW and left a message. Waiting for a call back. Going to push for a new bike, or a loaner while they replace the motor.

Note: All services performed on time (600mi initial, 2000mi oil change at start of season, bike is at 3200mi now) at the dealership.

The only thing I can suspect is the pro-race open pipe may have caused something to happen within the engine!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The dealership also said the only viable option thru them would be to replace the entire motor. They are not inclined to crack open the cases...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BMW NA has asked for 3 days to investigate the videos with technicians and dealership, and will come back to me with a plan. I LOVE the R9T racer, but it has been this single odd affair that has soured me on the brand altogether! I did not have any issues w/BMW prior (1 missing mounting screw on fairing, replaced by dealer). I love the ride, feel and sound of the bike. I'm truly unhappy with this situation. In comparison, my old Yamaha ('87 Radian) had a habit of leaking a small amount of oil from the left side of the head and my Honda CBR 600 (02) was never in the shop...

Not sure if this is a fluke or this is par for the BMW course....
 

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While BMW’s are not, on the whole, as reliable as bikes from some other brands, they aren’t unreliable. But I certainly can imagine being soured on the bike and the marque.

If it were me, I’d probably let BMW make an honest effort to fix the bike. Ride it for a bit. See what I think and how I feel after some miles. I’d love to see the dealer and/or BMW offer something to offset the inconvenience and annoyance (perhaps dip into their accessory catalog).
 

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Your exhaust will not have caused any failures! Good luck - sadly the art of true failure diagnosis has been mostly replaced by 100% faith in the ECU diagnostics. Hopefully the big dogs at BMW NA can either do a better job or guide them in the right direction.
 
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