Cam chain failure? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2009, 6:48 pm Thread Starter
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Cam chain failure?

There was a BMW tech at my dealer who recommended replacing any cam chain on K12 models approaching 30,000 miles. I was told that the chain may stretch and eventually break, causing major engine damage. The shim adjustment BMW recommends is only a band aid and will not prevent the chain from breaking. He said the problem is not widespread, but is common enough that expensive preventative maintenance is worthwhile (that is a $600 job). The shop currently has a K12S with 30k miles having $2k engine work done due to a broken cam chain.

I am wondering about how widespread this problem may be. I am assuming it involves all the new K12's (the K1300 has a new, different cam chain that I was told will not stretch like the old one. The recommendation was to replace the K12 chain with the K13 chain).
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 2:03 pm
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Do it. The noise alone will drive you nutz when it starts the stretch. Or at least do it soon as you hear the noise, probably when you push the 40k mile mark.

Try and combine it with a big service. Get ready for bad coils around 40k miles too if you ride in high heat a lot or stop/go. those are 115 bucks each, four of them, do em all at once if one goes, do the plugs also at the same time (due to access).

then you can spend the 1400 bucks I did to get the coils fixed (twice) on beer or gear instead of bike repairs!

those milestones really do mean something, sure it might last longer so just combine it with a service or repair to cut the cost down.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 3:06 pm
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Never heard of timing chain's lasting only 30K miles. But have heard of one or two cases of the cam chain breaking.

Even timing belts last longer than that.

BMW is really screwing the pooch with quality.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 4:35 pm
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Wonder if that's why they got rid of the "big tensioner spring" entirely, as well as the spacer washers, when they went to the oil reservoir thing?

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 4:54 pm
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Maybe I'm confusing the two now that you mention it.

Mine was real bad, especially at idle. And it did start around 30k I believe, they found the problem when getting the coils replaced around 42k and did the whole job at once.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2013, 9:15 pm
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Cam chain noise at startup

I have purchased my first 07 K 1200GT with 33,000 miles. Purchase from a dealer from E-BAY. This was a repo. Bike was not abused at all. I have been a wrench all my life and enjoy motorcycles. I learned to upgrade the cam noise problem. I replace the cam chain guard and the oilier on top of the head. Speaking to my dealer and everyone out their is not to worry about this type of motor. When I installed these parts, all the worries are over. If your noise starts to happen 50,000 miles later??? take this in to have the chain replaced. The germans know their stuff. Why the germans did not do this upgrade from the start is because it was not necessary. They are not stupid. I have driven every type of motorcycle except the Italian made. To me for the best handling and confort is the BMW. I love all the bikes. Kawasaki is badass. Much more power but can't handle the turns. What to look out for is the upgrade repairs done and your motor is very noisey after startup then replace the chain. The jump guard will save the motor. I have seen many timing chain motors on automobiles with the jump guard. Remember the Honda GL1800? All the problems they have in the beginning. Enjoy and ride your second design k1200-k1300 motorcycles.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2013, 10:27 pm
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Originally Posted by easyrider58
This was a repo. Bike was not abused at all..
wtf?... cant really beleve that can you? ...Given your experience and ownership of prior bikes?
Anyway...not to get on you or anything, I think you have covered your bases. Cam chain tensioner, gaurd...your good to go...Lots of guys here have a ton of miles on the K bikes, and with reasonable takes a lot to wipe the smile off!

07 Kgt
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2013, 10:32 am
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At over 40K miles my cam chain and guides looked like new, no excessive slop on the slack side and guides clean as a whistle. I don't think there are big cam chain problems on the bricks because the oil pressure driven tensioner seems to work.

That is not so true of other BMW model variants that have experienced timing chains jumping off, seized motors at first crank, recalls, anti jump guards fitted and generally bad Karma for the owners.

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