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OK. So here's the official response:

"Engine noise from left side. This was noticed during development and analysed and considered irrelevant. It may be more pronounced as engine temperature rises and due to geometrical and mechanical differences right to left.
It is considered a characteristic and not a defect."

It's spoiling my enjoyment of the bike really. Might look at an older one.
 

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I have noticed lately that my 1250gs has starting making a rattling noise on moderate acceleration from lower revs! I thought it was a pinging but it is running high octane fuel .
Sounds like it's has the 1250 rattle, hopefully it doesn't develop into the death rattle. It has just clicked over 8000km.

Sent from my SM-N910G using Tapatalk
It's detonation. BMW have set the tune in the ECU with way to aggressive ignition timing advance. The 1250 engine now has knock sensors which picks up the detonation noise and the ECU backs off the timing to stop the detonation.
The octane of the fuel you use has no bearing on whether detonation occurs as the ECU advances the timing till detonation is detected.
Two problems here. My engine detonates lots and often. Sometimes the ECU does not adjust to stop the detonation and it continually detonates till you close the throttle or open it up more, neither acceptable when wanting to simply riding at a constant speed. It detonates with mild acceleration out of corners.
My mates 2019 1250 GSA does the same. He has a mechanical background and he (like me) is pissed & frustrated about the detonation and the longer term affects this will have on the engine.
Detonation is NOT good for engines, pistons, spark plugs etc etc and will/may one day destroy the engine. And it will likely be out of warranty so then BMW will say it's the owners problem. Thanks.
My 2017 1200GS ran a 91RON tune in the ECU. Never detonated. With a 95RON tune it detonated using 95 & 98RON. My mates 1200 did the same till he had the 91 tune loaded in his bikes ECU.
BMW need to back off on their obsession to minimise emissions & maximise fuel efficiency and modify the ECU tune to that which actually works in the real world.
 

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It's detonation. BMW have set the tune in the ECU with way to aggressive ignition timing advance. The 1250 engine now has knock sensors which picks up the detonation noise and the ECU backs off the timing to stop the detonation.
The octane of the fuel you use has no bearing on whether detonation occurs as the ECU advances the timing till detonation is detected.
Two problems here. My engine detonates lots and often. Sometimes the ECU does not adjust to stop the detonation and it continually detonates till you close the throttle or open it up more, neither acceptable when wanting to simply riding at a constant speed. It detonates with mild acceleration out of corners.
My mates 2019 1250 GSA does the same. He has a mechanical background and he (like me) is pissed & frustrated about the detonation and the longer term affects this will have on the engine.
Detonation is NOT good for engines, pistons, spark plugs etc etc and will/may one day destroy the engine. And it will likely be out of warranty so then BMW will say it's the owners problem. Thanks.
My 2017 1200GS ran a 91RON tune in the ECU. Never detonated. With a 95RON tune it detonated using 95 & 98RON. My mates 1200 did the same till he had the 91 tune loaded in his bikes ECU.
BMW need to back off on their obsession to minimise emissions & maximise fuel efficiency and modify the ECU tune to that which actually works in the real world.
That gives me hope. Assuming it'd be possible to have it re-mapped. I've made a better, shorter video to illustrate the noise I'm experiencing. When cruising along it's really noisy. Add a little power and the noise briefly goes away (would this make sense in terms of the fueling quote above?). Maybe we all just need an 'off road' map...

 

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Here is my spark plugs from my r1250gs after 12k miles, the right spark plug disappear electrode View attachment 28248
Same thing happened the the LHS plug on my 1250GS. Engine started detonating at 13,000 kms. Had a massive detonation event at 17,000 kms but after that, the detonation was typical as of 13,000 kms. Pulled the plugs at 27,000 kms and discovered the LHS plug had no Iridium tip and was firing off the copper base the Iridium tip was originally weld onto. A huge spark plug gap like with your plug. Amazed the bike ran as good as it did with such a gap.
The top of the piston under the plug had all the carbon burnt or shocked away due to the detonation.
I had kept my BMW service manager informed of the detonation that commenced at 13,000 kms, the event at 17,000 kms and the finding of the missing Iridium tip at 27,000 kms. No effort on BMW's part was made to investigate any of these issues.
The RHS plug showed signs of burning or eroding away under the Iridium tip. The plug fitted by BMW (8 heat range) is too hot. I fitted a 9 heat range plug and at 13,000 kms there appears to be not burning away of the centre electrode but the engine still detonates.
At 40,000 kms i initiated a complete check of static ignition timing, cam timing and whatever else could be done. It was found that the LHS Oxygen Sensor was faulty. Replaced and engine runs soooooo much better now but the engine still detonates.
One would think that by now BMW would know how to build & manage the running operation of the engine. Apparently not.
 

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That gives me hope. Assuming it'd be possible to have it re-mapped. I've made a better, shorter video to illustrate the noise I'm experiencing. When cruising along it's really noisy. Add a little power and the noise briefly goes away (would this make sense in terms of the fueling quote above?). Maybe we all just need an 'off road' map...

I detect no detonation there.
My engine like yours when cold starts and runs like a Honda engine (smooth & quiet) but as the engine parts & oil heats up, the cacophony of sound commences.
While it is a mechanical noise, i think in part is is due to the lean fuel mapping of the ECU. The engine is just not running properly & smoothly.
I have read where owners of later model boxer engines have increased fueling via remaps and add on fuel management gizmos, and the engines become quiet(er) and so much smoother in operation.
Unfortunately there is no way (that i am aware of) to modify the mapping/ignition timing/fueling of the 1250 engines.
Unlike the 1200 engines where different fuel Octane maps could be installed, my BMW service manager tells me the 1250 has 1 map only and the ECU together with the knock-sensors, adjusts the tune to the fuel being used and the detonation that occurs. IMO, BMW have not got this right at all. Knock sensors are old-school now with the ECU managing the detonation after the event. Some engine management systems can monitor the ionization field at the spark plug gap, preempt detonation and adjust the ignition timing/fueling before detonation occurs. A much superior method. No engine damage.
Whoever can develop a work around of the BMW tune will make a fortune.

Addendum: after the discovery of a problem Oxygen Sensor in my 1250 engine and its replacement, the noise evident in this video like in my engine is now less, especially from the LHS. With the new O2 sensor, the fueling is improved and the engine is running smoother and there is a better balance between the L & R cylinders and this translates to a more 'together' engine, running smoother & quieter.
 

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Can't seem to find it, but what size spark plug socket does the 1250 need? Been following this thread and have been getting the pinging since slightly before my 12K service. Dealer had no spark plugs in stock. Ordering plugs now, plus do I need the handy tool to help unseat the wire? Thanks!!
 

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Hi

Im new to the site so unsure if you ever got to the bottom of the engine rattle? I have exactly the same issue with my 1250 GSA, sometimes under load going up hills but also on flat roads at 65mph in 6th going for an overtake it rattles.

I have had 2 previous bikes a GS 2014 & GSA 2015 and although they would rattle that was due to me being in too high a gear and too low speed so that was to be expected, very much the same in manual car going through the gears 1st to 2nd to 3rd but missing 3rd and going straight to 5th same noise.

I took my bike to a dealer in Yorkshire on Saturday and expected a call back mid week with some new, they actually called me yesterday morning to say no faults found!, I insisted that they take it for a longer test ride which they did then called me back again to say "yes there is a rattle" but its comparable to their demonstrator and no where near a bad as the other 2 1250 they have in, one had to have a new clutch basket fitted and the other one had to have a new engine.

After reading the forums it seems there are some who are experiencing the same issues and given my dealer replacing parts on 2 other engines it would appear that there is a problem but not to every bike.

The dealer has agreed for me to loan their demonstrator this weekend so I can see if they are the same but after giving it some thought even if they are same noise it doesn't take away that ive got a bike that rattles like hell when accelerating and more so compared to the last 2 bikes ive owned.


id be interested to hear how you have gotten on if its been sorted or are you having to wait for things to get any worse

regards Jim
Sounds like the engine is suffering detonation/knocking Jim.
My 1250GS engine 'rattles' in the same situations as yours. It is detonation/knocking/pinging.
It is not good for the engine & will likely eventually kill it.
Some explanations
detonation/knocking/pinging
Detonation and Knock Explained
 

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Hi folks,

I had informed my Belgian dealer about the findings from Heli_madken together with the pictures the latter distributed on this topic.

Today my dealer came back to me with his own results : he had loosened the clamps of his noisy demo R1250R with the special tool required for this task and repositioned the actuators on a variety of other places… however, no positive result was obtained … he only could notice that the resonance noise came back on different RPM ,but didn’t become quieter or less frequent than before.

He also mentions there IS a positioning lug which he indicated with the two opposed red arrows on the picture Ken had sent before, which the actuator is required to touch sideways (third red arrow), according to BMW’s installation instructions.

He strongly contradicts Ken’s idea that the factory workers freely choose how the actuator should be positioned during assembly ; the lug positioning should be strictly followed in order to guarantee the “ideal” air flow.

There is no information yet available as to an eventual assembly update for the model year 2020 of the 1250 engine in view of the noise issue but he’ll keep me informed.

I have made an extensive trip today with my wife riding pillion , here in the French mountains..and to my chagrin I have noticed that my R1250GS (2/19), which now has some 5.500 kms on the clocks, has become noisier than ever… upon checking the actuators on my bike , they are positioned exactly as prescribed by BMW… (my tentative repositioning Yesterday apparently was to no avail, as feared).

As far as I am concerned, I am back to square one… I’m happy that Ken has obtained a positive result on his RT and am very anxious to learn if any of you has obtained some better results than me and my dealer.
The latter has sent Ken’s explanation to the Belgian importer for comments and suggestions and I shall keep you posted.
The throttle bodies on my 1250 have the rubber stop up against the nook in the throttle bodies. One is snug and the other about 1 mm free so they have not been assebled the same in the factory.
But, if i twist my throttle bodies, the rubber stop and the throttle body move as one.
So, this possibly makes the original assembled position of the rubber stop variable.
What i have tried to do is position the throttle body shaft parallel to the line of the inlet valves so that the air/fuel flow to the valves is even & equal into the inlet tracks (mindful that there is a differing inlet valve opening time & lift between the 2 inlet valves when on the low profile cam lobes).
When i turn my ignition on, the throttle body actuators flutter and make a very audible sound. The lhs actuator is louder the the rhs.
I have not positioned the throttle bodies to deal with the noise others are saying they have (as i do not have this issue afaik) but in a desperate attempt to see if this reduces the detonation/knocking my engine is prone to do at low throttle openings, at times irrespective of speed and revs. Hopefully now the air/fuel distribution within the cylinder and combustion chamber at time of spark plug ignition may have a better burn & flame path and not detonate/knock. Clutching at straws here most likely.

Why do us owners of expensive motorcycles, from reputedly a premier manufacturer, have to try and sort out issues BMW have created and either do not have the ability or interest to remedy and recall bikes and correct. Smacks of massive corporate apathy and contempt for its customers. I am about over BMW and their products.
 

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Why do us owners of expensive motorcycles, from reputedly a premier manufacturer, have to try and sort out issues BMW have created and either do not have the ability or interest to remedy and recall bikes and correct. Smacks of massive corporate apathy and contempt for its customers. I am about over BMW and their products.
At least they fix simple stuff like rusting final drive splines...oh, wait...

It is crazy. Seems the only way they will learn is through market share.
 

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in my 1250 GSA the right exhaust header is completely blue7discolored, while the left one is still as new...different fuelling left/right?
The color of the header pipes on my 1250GS were not the same. I think the rhs was blued with the other still chromed.
I mentioned this to the BMW service manager and I suggested the fueling of the lhs was different, likely lean.
Interest was shown but not to the extent it initiated any investigation.
Much later I discovered the lhs spark plug had got so hot the plugs copper core under the Iridium tip had burnt away and the Iridium tip had disappeared.
Much later it was discovered the lhs oxygen sensor was faulty and running the lhs cylinder very lean.
May pay to investigate and prevent something similar happening to your engine.
 

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Gentlemen, I would like to "stick my nose" in this thread. I believe this issue may be an ignition timing/knock sensor & or a fuel mapping issue. If it were a throttle/butterfly oscillating. A different air filter (K&N) may affect that issue and one would hear a different noise. I think throttle butterfly oscillation would affect performance and you would feel it in your butt. Also, remember that OEM's have had challenges in meeting emission requirements which has meant remapping ECU's. IF, one could get the dealer to put their scan/diagnostic tool on the engine and see what the timing is, how much it is advancing on acceleration, what the knock senor is cycling at, and also see what the fuel system is doing, they could isolate the cause. An air fuel ratio can also be measured, and if nothing else...install a different ECU. I think that I would try encouraging the dealer to spend time (=$$$) to be the "Hero" and figure out what is actually occurring. While I get that BMW folks are the experts, I have seen time and time again where OEM's are not inclined to solve problems. As has been stated, one often hears, "No one else has this problem".
diesel3446
I agree with the points you make in your post, especially "an ignition timing/knock sensor & or a fuel mapping issue' and unfortunately, "OEM's are not inclined to solve problems". Sad but true.
 

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Been wondering if the answer is to trade my 1250 for a 1200 but it doesn't take much to find 1200 motors that also sound bad:
I'm going to keep plugging away and hope BMW come up with a solution. If not I'll trade it against another brand while there's still some warranty left.
 

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I detect no detonation there.
My engine like yours when cold starts and runs like a Honda engine (smooth & quiet) but as the engine parts & oil heats up, the cacophony of sound commences.
While it is a mechanical noise, i think in part is is due to the lean fuel mapping of the ECU. The engine is just not running properly & smoothly.
I have read where owners of later model boxer engines have increased fueling via remaps and add on fuel management gizmos, and the engines become quiet(er) and so much smoother in operation.
Unfortunately there is no way (that i am aware of) to modify the mapping/ignition timing/fueling of the 1250 engines.
Unlike the 1200 engines where different fuel Octane maps could be installed, my BMW service manager tells me the 1250 has 1 map only and the ECU together with the knock-sensors, adjusts the tune to the fuel being used and the detonation that occurs. IMO, BMW have not got this right at all. Knock sensors are old-school now with the ECU managing the detonation after the event. Some engine management systems can monitor the ionization field at the spark plug gap, preempt detonation and adjust the ignition timing/fueling before detonation occurs. A much superior method. No engine damage.
Whoever can develop a work around of the BMW tune will make a fortune.

Addendum: after the discovery of a problem Oxygen Sensor in my 1250 engine and its replacement, the noise evident in this video like in my engine is now less, especially from the LHS. With the new O2 sensor, the fueling is improved and the engine is running smoother and there is a better balance between the L & R cylinders and this translates to a more 'together' engine, running smoother & quieter.
Of course there is a way to remap a BMW engine, Bren Tuning. Engine is smoother but if you want a custom map they will make one for you too.
28361
 

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I test rode the new Triple Black R1250 GS (2021-2022) yesterday ..
I hoped BMW had solved somehow the annoying pinging noise issue for the new model year... and that this solution could be applied to my own 2020 Exclusive bike, now residing in France.
Alas, the brand new demo bike made almost as much pinging noise when hot, as my previous 2019 R1250GS which I sold last year because of this issue...
So there is no hope for a quick solving of this problem in view.
When I mounted my own GS , which I use in Belgium (an R1200GS of 2017) I was so relieved I could ride again this quiet, supple, pinging free motorcycle of mine, I kept smiling all the way back home...
 

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I got lucky and found last week an R1200GS (2017) in sparkling new condition with a mere 6000 kms (less than 4000 miles) on the clocks in Triple Black trim with all the options and a 2 year BMW warranty.
Ridden back to back after an R1250GS , it is just fractionally slower but so much smoother and more quiet than the larger engine... I am really, really happy with my ’new’ bike and don’t long at all for a 1250 anymore.
 
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