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'05 R 1200 Gs
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Here is a link to a quite thorough riding review of this bike. They do mention "engine noise ( not in a bad way ).

https://advrider.com/2019-bmw-r-1250-gs-adventure-motorcycle-tested-and-reviewed/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial&utm_content=04_02_2019

Engine sound

The engine note is somewhat muted. It emits a nice smooth growl and tells you it’s really not working hard to do the job you are asking it to do. Frankly, it’s somewhat “agricultural” sounding and I mean that in the best sense of the word. You can hear the engine internals working while doing their job. It’s a reassuring sound that the engine is not all that stressed. You’ll likely hear the engine working more than you will hear the exhaust or intake howling. So if the feel and sound of a howling engine are really important to you, the GSA will not float your boat. But if you are more concerned about getting from A to B without drama and with ease, the ShiftCam BMW comes through in spades.
 

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You're certainly not the only one with this complaint: I am collecting now several similar declarations from new owners of a GS 1250 and most members of the GS blogs I visit, do complain about the irritating noise... However, as my French dealer puts it :"most of his clients don't hear any abnormal noises at all, especially so when upscaling from an oil/air cooled GS, when they are of the opinion that "all" mechanical noises are typical for the watercooled engine... ".

Every time I do collect a new snippet of information reg. this problem I send it to my Belgian dealer who transmits it immediately to BMW in Berlin.
The more complaints are registered, the sooner some reaction may be expected from the manufacturer (who is known to only come into action when it's no more avoidable).:frown2:
 

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Discussion Starter #24
It would be nice to know what is causing this strange noise. On every ride I am thinking 'this doesn't sound right'. An explanation would alleviate my concerns.
 

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There is a discussion in the german GS-Forum too.
It seems, that the gear, that drives the camshaft has too much clearance to its neighbor gear. BMW is going to change the camshaft driving gear in one case I read about. There is no feedback yet, how it worked out. I will tell, if I get to know more.

The 1250 I drove did not make any more noise, than my 1200. I think it was even less noisy.

Joe
 

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There is a discussion in the german GS-Forum too.
It seems, that the gear, that drives the camshaft has too much clearance to its neighbor gear. BMW is going to change the camshaft driving gear in one case I read about. There is no feedback yet, how it worked out. I will tell, if I get to know more.

The 1250 I drove did not make any more noise, than my 1200. I think it was even less noisy.

Joe
Can you please provide me with the link to the German blog ?

I can read German, but couldn't find the forum you're referring to.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
There is a discussion in the german GS-Forum too.
It seems, that the gear, that drives the camshaft has too much clearance to its neighbor gear. BMW is going to change the camshaft driving gear in one case I read about. There is no feedback yet, how it worked out. I will tell, if I get to know more.

The 1250 I drove did not make any more noise, than my 1200. I think it was even less noisy.

Joe
Thanks for the information.

I suspect that might be a different noise since drive to the camshafts (and valves) would not make a different noise when the engine is under load. I'm suspecting the noise is more of a big end, small end or piston slap type of noise (although I acknowledge that modern pistons don't have much of a skirt to slap).

The mystery continues.
 

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A "piston slap" like voice my GS 1200 LC makes at about 80 MpH. It is not very lound, but it sounds awful and is normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
The R1250 engine is considerably quieter at start up and tick over than the R1200. 'Cleverly' BMW have moved the noise further up the rev range. Presumably engine noise couldn't be eliminated so they 'moved it about a bit'.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
You're certainly not the only one with this complaint: I am collecting now several similar declarations from new owners of a GS 1250 and most members of the GS blogs I visit, do complain about the irritating noise... However, as my French dealer puts it :"most of his clients don't hear any abnormal noises at all, especially so when upscaling from an oil/air cooled GS, when they are of the opinion that "all" mechanical noises are typical for the watercooled engine... ".

Every time I do collect a new snippet of information reg. this problem I send it to my Belgian dealer who transmits it immediately to BMW in Berlin.
The more complaints are registered, the sooner some reaction may be expected from the manufacturer (who is known to only come into action when it's no more avoidable).:frown2:
Has BMW come to any conclusion as to the cause of the strange noise.

Took my 1250 to my dealer today. They acknowledged that it didn't sound right and are going to speak to BMW
 

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Every BMW I've owned makes a weird agricultural sound.

F800GT: Rattling grinding sound.
R1200RT: Sewing machine
K75S: Weird George Jettson whine.
R1200GS: Rattlely
G650GS: Clack Clack

Everyone says "It's normal."

I think these engines are designed to only really have enough metal to handle the load on the component and that finely tuned machining just contributes to each bikes characteristic sound.
 

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Noise vs MTBF

Mean time between failures (MTBF) is the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a mechanical or electronic system, during normal system operation. MTBF can be calculated as the arithmetic mean (average) time between failures of a system. The term is used for repairable systems, while mean time to failure (MTTF) denotes the expected time to failure for a non-repairable system.[1]
The definition of MTBF depends on the definition of what is considered a failure. For complex, repairable systems, failures are considered to be those out of design conditions which place the system out of service and into a state for repair. Failures which occur that can be left or maintained in an unrepaired condition, and do not place the system out of service, are not considered failures under this definition.[2] In addition, units that are taken down for routine scheduled maintenance or inventory control are not considered within the definition of failure.[3] The higher the MTBF, the longer a system is likely to work before failing. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Are historic engine "noises" on boxer engines an indication of decreased mean time between failure? Is noise associated with the new 1250 series engines an indication of this?

I don't have hard numbers on boxer MTBF but one generally accepted evaluation of BMW engines is that if properly serviced and maintained, they run for a very long time. Many of the nits associated with BMW motorcycles originate with problems with switches and software. No one, to my knowledge, faults boxers for engine case/crankshaft/connecting rod/piston/cam/valve/head issues. Problems with drive shaft/alternator and clutches for instance get some bad press but generally a well maintained BMW motorcycle is good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Mean time between failures (MTBF) is the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a mechanical or electronic system, during normal system operation. MTBF can be calculated as the arithmetic mean (average) time between failures of a system. The term is used for repairable systems, while mean time to failure (MTTF) denotes the expected time to failure for a non-repairable system.[1]
The definition of MTBF depends on the definition of what is considered a failure. For complex, repairable systems, failures are considered to be those out of design conditions which place the system out of service and into a state for repair. Failures which occur that can be left or maintained in an unrepaired condition, and do not place the system out of service, are not considered failures under this definition.[2] In addition, units that are taken down for routine scheduled maintenance or inventory control are not considered within the definition of failure.[3] The higher the MTBF, the longer a system is likely to work before failing. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Are historic engine "noises" on boxer engines an indication of decreased mean time between failure? Is noise associated with the new 1250 series engines an indication of this?

I don't have hard numbers on boxer MTBF but one generally accepted evaluation of BMW engines is that if properly serviced and maintained, they run for a very long time. Many of the nits associated with BMW motorcycles originate with problems with switches and software. No one, to my knowledge, faults boxers for engine case/crankshaft/connecting rod/piston/cam/valve/head issues. Problems with drive shaft/alternator and clutches for instance get some bad press but generally a well maintained BMW motorcycle is good to go.
I think what you are saying is 'your bike is doomed'. Fair enough! Nothing lasts forever.
 

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I think what you are saying is 'your bike is doomed'. Fair enough! Nothing lasts forever.
Of course, everything doomed at some point. What I am saying is that the boxer Berlin is a seriously dependable internal combustion engine. Kubota 3 cylinder Diesel engines are the preferred driver for refrigerated shipping containers and their MTBF is 16,000 hours. To translate into miles, that's 480,000 at 30mph. (Not truly a good comparison. They run 24/7 and temperature deltas are tough on engines)

A motorcycle engine that sees good maintenance that is capable of 100,000 miles and more is one to respect.

I accept and respect that you and others that have chimed not appreciating the sound of the 1250. If it is sufficiently annoying, get rid of it and go for an inline engine. Just please don't suggest that the 1200/1250 or BMW engines in the past are ready to blow due to mechanical engine noise. Personally I hope your pleasure at the positive operation experienced flying your bike will over ride any audio issues. :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Of course, everything doomed at some point. What I am saying is that the boxer Berlin is a seriously dependable internal combustion engine. Kubota 3 cylinder Diesel engines are the preferred driver for refrigerated shipping containers and their MTBF is 16,000 hours. To translate into miles, that's 480,000 at 30mph. (Not truly a good comparison. They run 24/7 and temperature deltas are tough on engines)

A motorcycle engine that sees good maintenance that is capable of 100,000 miles and more is one to respect.

I accept and respect that you and others that have chimed not appreciating the sound of the 1250. If it is sufficiently annoying, get rid of it and go for an inline engine. Just please don't suggest that the 1200/1250 or BMW engines in the past are ready to blow due to mechanical engine noise. Personally I hope your pleasure at the positive operation experienced flying your bike will over ride any audio issues. :grin2:
My issue is that this is my fourth BMW and this is the first that makes an unpleasant and unexpected mechanical engine noise that I can hear on the move whilst wearing a full face helmet and silicon ear plugs. If this is a characteristic feature of the 1250 so be it. I could live with it because the rest of the bike is so good BUT if it gets worse (I notice it more than I did) a think it would be best if it was sorted sooner than later. I'm no mechanical engineer but I have always thought that sometimes a small noise in time, if ignored, can develop into something major and even catastrophic. Not that I think that will happen in this instance but WHAT IS CAUSING THIS BLOODY NOISE?
 

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I concur

I have had an oil cooled R1150GS from new (1999) and have ridden a few 1200s for short periods.
A month or so ago I test rode a R1250GS Adventure Rallye and the engine noise was immediately apparent from quite low speeds.
No such noise from the 1150 or 1200s.
It reminded me of worn out cam chain noise from my old (1973) Mini 'A' series engine.
The dealer said that someone else had commented.
We wondered whether it might be tyres as the Rallye has more trail type tyres than my 1150 and I did manage to convince myself at one point that it changed a bit with road surface.
I wondered whether the screen may be somehow reflecting the noise back to the rider.
Today I rode a friends R1250GS with road tyres and the noise was exactly the same as the Rallye
It only becomes unnoticeable over 70 with earplugs in and the visor closed.
I couldn't live with it.
 

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Egnie Noise

I have a R1250 and don't notice and unusual engine noises: surprise:

I think the whole bike is buttery smooth, the only thing I would say regarding noise is the exhaust seems kinda loud but I ride a Goldwing too that is super quiet so my perspective may be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I have a R1250 and don't notice and unusual engine noises: surprise:

I think the whole bike is buttery smooth, the only thing I would say regarding noise is the exhaust seems kinda loud but I ride a Goldwing too that is super quiet so my perspective may be different.
Surprise? Oh yes! I did over 80,000 miles on three previous 1200 GSs (one oil head and two LCs) and they never made this noise.

It is just conceivable that mine has a mechanical fault.
 
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