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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.
Its not BMW obsession, its EURO5 Emission regulations by the EU that drive all manufacturers to make their engines the most efficient!
 

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Firstly I wanted to thank you for posting the video, this whole discussion has helped me to gauge if there is a real problem or not with mine.

My new 2020 1250GS (5 weeks old) also makes the same noise (more on the left than right but I dont think that's important based on the findings). Its a ticking rather than the "knocking" of some other videos posted. It sounds exactly like this video. After reading the thread, I decided to put the bike into the dealers MC Oslo for a check, mostly because it puts the issue on the record for guarantee.
...
Reporting back, after a longer period of non-progress to be honest. Im the same Skokie as above, due to having problems accessing the account, I made a new one.

To summarize,

My bike, new in 2020, made the exact same sound on the left side as the video posted in my reply above. I took it to the dealers and they said it had too much plan on the left side exhaust cam. It was due a new left side head.

Todays status.

They replaced the head, but afterwards there was no change in the sound, exactly the same (maybe a bit worse) and same only when hot.

I went back to them, put in the bike again, saying its not resolved.

After a week, they came back with its normal and nothing they can do. There was a more technical discussion on the points but I dont recall now specifically what the chief mechanic said.

So, based on this, and other comments here, for the pure ticking at hot, I dont see a solution.
 

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My 2019 RT goes in for its 12,000 service in 2-weeks. Also asked them to check into the pinging/rattle noise. Mine is not a tick.....Sounds like pre-ignition. Worse when Im 2-up under load. Usually between 3800-4200 RPM (sometimes higher). Its not horrible and it comes & goes...but something isn't right. Always run Shell or BP premium.

Also having issue checked with the DTC/ASC. Seems whenever weather is cooler/damp I get the DSC warning whenever the bike is leaned into a corner. And not aggressive cornering...The slightest angle will trigger it. This only happens on occasion...Very strange. I'll keep you all posted.
 

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I followed this thread almost from the beginning when Maturerider started it...
I even exchanged my then new blue 2019 R1250 GS, which suffered horribly from this pinging noise for an Exclusive 2020 R1250GS.
The latter also produces the noise but quite a bit less frequently and loudly... but I fear that all 1250 engines are prone to it.
A few months ago I test rode the 2021 version, just for comparison... and this one was even pinging louder than my 2019 bike..
So, I concluded that I won't mind the strange noise anymore... it is just a characteristic of this engine.
I have a 5 year warranty on my Exclusive and if the engine destroys itself within this period, I'll get a new one...
Everything else about the GS is just wonderful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #385 ·
Like Silijkmoto I have (eventually) learnt to live with the strange engine noise. Have come to the conclusion that ‘they all do that, gov’. One could call it character. There again, perhaps not! More like bad engineering.

I’m currently more concerned about the corrosion on the crank cases (see my recent tread).
 

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Like Silijkmoto I have (eventually) learnt to live with the strange engine noise. Have come to the conclusion that ‘they all do that, gov’. One could call it character. There again, perhaps not! More like bad engineering.

I’m currently more concerned about the corrosion on the crank cases (see my recent tread).
I looked up some Dutch posts on your corrosion problem and came to the following conclusion :

  • the coating on the engine is missing on those spots where different planes are meeting . Brine and salt get under the edges of the coating and make it peel off.
  • when still under warranty, BMW generally get you an new engine
  • when after warranty, most people just sand the affected spots and cover them with silver paint and transparent lacquer
  • the black finish of the Triple Black versions is more resistant but eventually starts peeling too.
 

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I love my 2019 RT. If Im told that the noise wont cause harm long term....I can live with it. Just want it looked at and documented. No bike is perfect. If it is pre-ignition it should be able to be sorted out by the dealer or with a remap from an outside source. Curious on what the dealer will say. Considering the 1250's have knock sensors they really shouldn't ping at all. Starting to think its something other than pre-ignition (even though the symptoms point to that)
 

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Well, my 1250 is now 3 weeks old. Still didn't have its first service as it's hard to ride with lockdown and police patrols everywhere. It has 600 km (370 miles). arround 300 km's it started ticking from both cylinder. Today, reaching 600 km's started to sound like a diesel car (not too much, just a bit) beside the ticking noise.
 

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I love my 2019 RT. If Im told that the noise wont cause harm long term....I can live with it. Just want it looked at and documented. No bike is perfect. If it is pre-ignition it should be able to be sorted out by the dealer or with a remap from an outside source. Curious on what the dealer will say. Considering the 1250's have knock sensors they really shouldn't ping at all. Starting to think its something other than pre-ignition (even though the symptoms point to that)
It is not pre-ignition, but rather the resonance of the throttle body butterfly oscillating at certain RPM and when slowly accelerating and when the engine has to “work”.
At higher speeds and RPM the pinging is drowned by the other engine noise.
Since it is the same part as used in the 1200 engine but gets more stressed in the 1250 engine, it behaves like that.
My complaint was transmitted to BMW GERMANY in 2019, but only resulted in a general notice to all EU dealers that there is no remedy, but that the phenomenon is harmless... well, that still remains to be seen..
 

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I was very interested in buying a new S1000RR. That engine is also equipped with a shift cam. Quite a few concerns emerged from a noisy engine once warmed up. One YouTube blogger was comparing a 3rd and 4th generation BMW RR that he owned. Long story short, he felt the 4th gen RR was an incomplete bike. He felt the engine noise as well as the fuel mapping were unacceptable. Consequently he sold his new 4th gen RR. Bear in mind he coined out $26k for that bike. The guy said he would own another 4th gen S1000RR once BMW sorted out these issues.

If I purchased a 1250 or the new RR and was experiencing engine noises, not only would I contact the dealer I would also contact corporate. I’m not convinced that all the noises emitting from these engines are harmless. I was reading some postings from the S1000RR forum about early 4th gen engines discovered to have galled cam lobes when their bike were brought into the dealer for noisy engines. I’m not suggesting a correlation between a galled cam and the shiftcam mechanism but you can’t rule it out either. Personally my gut tells me to let the dust settle before buying into this new technology.

You need to make some noise of your own to the manufacturer otherwise corporate might slow-walk a solution. If you’re not satisfied with the results, let the them all know.
 

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I have made all the noise I could as an individual... but unless someone starts a class action against BMW nothing will change... and keeping in mind that the majority of 1250 GS riders apparently don't even HEAR the unsettling noise their very own bike makes, such action is fruitless...
 

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I'll be curious whether BMW does resolve it. The boxer engine is too important to the company to leave issues to simmer. Fixing via software seems a logical fix.

Being new to BMW bikes the last 20 months I'm impressed how loyal many of the owners are based on various issues, I hope BMW does not take advantage of that.

I know if I was shopping for new >1000cc ADV bikes it would likely not be a GS.
 

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I presume you are being sarcastic ???
The only piece i may have been sarcastic about is BMW taking care of their customers. Generally I think they care less but time to time they do step up...I have a riding buddy whose 2018 GS was bought back due to electrical issues they could not fix and a guy here on a forum recently had his 2015 engine replaced. In both those you could argue that was the minimum they should do.

Will BMW be better than Triumph, Honda, KTM, Suzuki or Yamaha at taking care of customers? Not sure I know.

I just know we all vote with our wallet.
 

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I think it all depends on the goodwill of our dealers rather than de BMW manufacturer, who indeed couldn't care less about its customers.

I sometimes get a professional glimpse of what's going on at the higher levels of the BMW foodchain and it doesn't make me happy.
The German billionaire Quandt family that owns the BMW company has a peculiar mentality which doesn't leave a lot of room for warm feelings toward their faithful buyers all over the world.

Their local dealers therefore have to take your fate at heart and often must invest a good deal of their time and money to make and/or keep you happy.

This however is a two way street : if one continously treats his dealer as a thieving gangster and doesn't allow him to make an honest buck by servicing your bike regularly, the dealer also will strictly adhere to the absolute minimum level of service he's backed up for by the BMW importer and manufacturer.

That doesn't mean you should just give your wallet to your dealer, but I know professionally how far a good dealer often goes in giving you a good service, far beyond what he's supposed to do by the powers that be.
 

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I think it all depends on the goodwill of our dealers rather than de BMW manufacturer, who indeed couldn't care less about its customers.

I sometimes get a professional glimpse of what's going on at the higher levels of the BMW foodchain and it doesn't make me happy.
The German billionaire Quandt family that owns the BMW company has a peculiar mentality which doesn't leave a lot of room for warm feelings toward their faithful buyers all over the world.

Their local dealers therefore have to take your fate at heart and often must invest a good deal of their time and money to make and/or keep you happy.

This however is a two way street : if one continously treats his dealer as a thieving gangster and doesn't allow him to make an honest buck by servicing your bike regularly, the dealer also will strictly adhere to the absolute minimum level of service he's backed up for by the BMW importer and manufacturer.

That doesn't mean you should just give your wallet to your dealer, but I know professionally how far a good dealer often goes in giving you a good service, far beyond what he's supposed to do by the powers that be.
Agree the dealer plays a big role. In my case local Triumph dealer is much better than local BMW dealer.
 

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I ride a 2019 1250 gs adventure. I had a very loud engine noise that was so loud through helmet and ear plugs it actually hurt my ears. This occurred once the bike was fully warmed up to full operating temperature, and under acceleration. I took it in, had them listen, and they had to keep it there. They could not find anything wrong except metal in the oil. They consulted with the factory who also scratched their collective heads. They finally gave up and replaced the engine. Took 2 months to get it but works better now. I asked what the issue was and was told it no longer mattered as the bike had a new engine and they weren't wasting time on it. The bike only had 11500+/- miles on it. I still don't know what it was.
 

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Well hello all. Been around for years but never posted. Didn't have a GS....until two days ago. Bought the only GS they had, new or used and it was just out of their "Do Not Sell" inventory.

Great timing.

TICKING?

Nope..... no ticking from the right cylinder.

What a beautiful sounding motor.
 

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It is not pre-ignition, but rather the resonance of the throttle body butterfly oscillating at certain RPM and when slowly accelerating and when the engine has to “work”.
At higher speeds and RPM the pinging is drowned by the other engine noise.
Since it is the same part as used in the 1200 engine but gets more stressed in the 1250 engine, it behaves like that.
My complaint was transmitted to BMW GERMANY in 2019, but only resulted in a general notice to all EU dealers that there is no remedy, but that the phenomenon is harmless... well, that still remains to be seen..
Just a quick update.....12k service done and all checked out fine. Of course the dealer didn't hear anything, but the test rides they do after service is very short. They did a full firmware update and the bike is running great.....but the noise is still there at certain times. Now that the weather is getting warmer I have noticed something that has me agreeing with Slijkmoto. My bike gets quieter when air temps get warmer. This leads me to believe it could be throttle body related and as the air temps rise (and engine temp) whatever is vibrating/oscillating expands slightly and just doesn't move around as much.
Curious to know if others notice the same thing now as the temps are starting to warm up. Other than that, I expressed my concerns and its all logged and on file. Bike runs great and still has another 2-years of warranty. Going to ride the hell out of it and hope for the best.
 

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Just a quick update.....12k service done and all checked out fine. Of course the dealer didn't hear anything, but the test rides they do after service is very short. They did a full firmware update and the bike is running great.....but the noise is still there at certain times. Now that the weather is getting warmer I have noticed something that has me agreeing with Slijkmoto. My bike gets quieter when air temps get warmer. This leads me to believe it could be throttle body related and as the air temps rise (and engine temp) whatever is vibrating/oscillating expands slightly and just doesn't move around as much.
Curious to know if others notice the same thing now as the temps are starting to warm up. Other than that, I expressed my concerns and its all logged and on file. Bike runs great and still has another 2-years of warranty. Going to ride the hell out of it and hope for the best.
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
I have noticed that my new R1250GS has a strange and unexpected engine noise.

It occurs when the engine is under load at all speeds and all gears. A typical circumstance - 50 mph in top gear when slightly opening the throttle there is a strange rattle/slight knock/grumble. It's always difficult to describe a mechanical sound but it's obviously fairly loud if I can hear it at 50 with a full face helmet and silicone ear plugs.

My dealer said 'it's still a new'.

My previous two water cooled 1200s never had this issue.

Any ideas?
i have the same noise on my 1250 and I have an Akropovic hp slipon which is from my 2017 rallye and just wondered if you guys who have this noise are using the standard pipe?
 
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