Should I put in a skip??? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2015, 8:12 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Should I put in a skip???

Hey guys, early on this year I made the decision to move on from jap bikes to give BMW a try and brought myself an '07 K1200GT purely due to my brand-new Kawasaki z1000sx Tourer being stolen.

I was desperate and made the decision to purchase and pay for the bike via eBay without even seeing it in person and had it delivered as it was reasonably priced and It looked fully immaculate. Luckily upon receiving it, it was in the exact condition stated, I couldn't find a mark on her despite having 26,000 miles on the clock and upon starting her up it sounded a bit rough for a few seconds but settled down and I assume this is common with these bikes.

After using it for work a few times I found low-revs to be terribly snatchy to the point where I'd stay in 2nd gear up until about 45mph as anything below 4,000rpm was just not smooth but either way according to the display I was still averaging 49mpg so I was happy with that and I read up online and found that these were often bad at low revs and that fitting a power commander would generally solve this.

After a few weeks I had issues with the oil level and so topped it up and I also noticed the bike was very smokey on cold mornings. About a month later the oil light came up again so I was worried that I had a piston ring or something gone. Eventually I got a puncture on the front tyre and as such put it in to my local motorcycle repair garage to have the tyre done, a full service and to check the piston rings.

He phoned me up a couple of days later and informed me that the good news is my piston rings should be fine and that apparently there is some oil filter or something that runs through the air box and this was overflowing and that the air box was full of stones and had never been cleaned out. It sounded a little strange to me but he said this would fix the smoking / burning oil issue and that it wasn't my piston rings so sounded great as the repair costs had dramatically dropped.

Upon trying to fit the power commander, he then informed me that 2 of my injectors were not functioning correctly and that they would need replacing but was unable to find any 2nd-hand ones in the UK so had to get some sent over from the USA. Again seemed a bit odd but the price was still good.

Eventually he finished doing all the work with a massive list on the invoice totalling 750 which was more than the original amount but provided it fixed the problem I was still happy to pay that. So I took the bike away and everything seemed a lot smoother, especially low-down revs, I was getting around 5mpg better economy from the bike, it sounded a little nicer but still a bit rough on idle but although better I was still unsure about the bike.

Now to the last couple of weeks, the bike seems to have got very snatchy again, the low oil has come up yet again and as of this morning I arrived at work and it sounded very, VERY rough. I've gone back out on it in the last hour and it sounds louder as though the exhaust is leaking yet I can't seem to find a leak anywhere, it's started coughing and spluttering quite badly on tick-over and kept sounding like it was going to die and also the exhaust is suddenly popping very often and sometimes it seems to sound like it is coming from towards the front of the bike which is why I checked as much as I could for a hole in the exhaust but found nothing.

I've actually left the bike unchained as at the moment if it was to be stolen I'd probably be quite happy, that is how bad the situation is so I have a few questions;

- does these bikes burn oil like mine does?

- Are they as bad at low as mine was (to the point were if you have it in 1st and allow the tick-over to drive you along the bike kangaroo's

- Between 2 & 4k rpm if you lightly come off the throttle the bike judders you forwards and slightly kangaroos when you go back on the throttle, is this normal?

- Any ideas where the increased noise is coming from and why it is suddenly popping and banging?

- Should I be burning the thing to the ground?

Thanks guys,
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2015, 9:46 am
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Posts: 1,397
Originally Posted by ratboyab
1. - Do these bikes burn oil like mine does?

2. - Are they as bad at low as mine was (to the point were if you have it in 1st and allow the tick-over to drive you along the bike kangaroo's

3. - Between 2 & 4k rpm if you lightly come off the throttle the bike judders you forwards and slightly kangaroos when you go back on the throttle, is this normal?

4. - Any ideas where the increased noise is coming from and why it is suddenly popping and banging?

- Should I be burning the thing to the ground?

Thanks guys,
Adam --

1. My 2007 K1200GT does not burn oil. I do not know whether other K1200GTs burn oil, but I do not add oil between changes, and it seems okay.

2. Do a web searches with different combinations of "Bucking Bronco Syndrome", "BBS", and "K1200GT". You should find a lot of information on it. The 2006-2008 K1200GTs always had some uneven throttling at lower RPMs, but the early models were worse. BMW fixed the issue by replacing the airbox with a different design. After that, things were improved but not perfect. Another thing that helped was updating the firmware on the bike. Yours may not have had the airbox fix or the latest firmware update. There were also homebrew fixes that people tried. Do the web searches and you will learn more.

If your airbox is the original type, the dealer will not replace it now - it was not a recall.

My new 2007 K1200GT had very strong engine braking when I rolled off the throttle. A few people liked it, but I did not. The throttle has always been "touchy" or "sensitive" for me, but this made it even more challenging when I rode. One of the firmware updates reduced engine braking considerably, making my ride smoother and easier for control and for coasting with the throttle rolled off. (I guess I am a "klutz" when it comes to sensitive throttles.)

I also have a PowerFRK installed. It fakes the system into thinking that the temperature sensor is reading a low temperature and is supposed to smooth out throttle at low RPMs. It does not seem to do much for me. I do NOT recommend it. I bet that they charge a high price for a few resistors, capacitors, etc.

The Power Commander is much more sophisticated and programmable, but I have not tried it.

3. See above.

4. If it is a very loud rattling noise, then it is may be a loose cam chain but that is just a guess. It is a very common problem. There are two issues:

a. If the cam chain jumps a tooth, then VERY bad things happen with the valves, pistons, etc. There is a BMW recall to add a small plastic chain jump guard to help prevent it from happening.

b. The noise probably comes from a loose cam chain tensioner. The original BMW cam chain tensioner was flat on top. The new cam chain tensioner has an (estimated) 1.5 or 2 cm high reservoir on top that fills with oil to push the piston down onto the top of the cam chain. The BMW dealer replaced my flat cam chain tensioner with the new one under warranty many years ago.

Still the reservoir-type cam chain tensioners can get stuck and not apply the proper tension on the cam chain, which is the source of the loud rattle. A few months ago, my bike started making a VERY loud rattle. I thought that maybe the cam chain had skipped a tooth. It was the cam chain. A very knowledgeable friend came by and brought an APE Race Parts manual cam chain tensioner to replace the BMW tensioner. You manually screw it down onto the cam chain, where it applies the proper tension. It requires periodic manual adjustment - you cannot neglect it - but it works much better than the oil reservoir type.

* I cannot be certain that your loud rattle is the cam chain tensioner, but it is a common problem that fits your description.

* If your cam chain tensioner is not working well, and your K1200GT does not have the cam chain jump guard, then there is an increased risk that your cam chain might jump a tooth, which is very bad. Even with the jump guard in place, there is a risk.

* Bring your bike to the BMW dealer to check for recalls. They will install the cam chain jump guard if it has not been done yet. There are other recalls as well, including the very recent issue about the cracking wheel flange. They won't replace the airbox or update your firmware unless it is part of a recall.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2015, 2:48 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Hi XMagnaRider,

Thanks for the very informative response.

I don't think the noise is anything to do with the cam-chain tensioner although now that you've mentioned it I think I may have that issue aswell as at very low revs if I open the throttle quickly then it does sound like a rattle as it starts to accelerate but this only seems to happen if I let the revs get a bit too low for the gear it's in.

The reason I don't think the other pops and bangs is from that is because this sounds like the engine backfiring, the noise does come out of the exhaust but sitting on the bike it sounds like it's coming from the engine area / under the bike. Last night I thought the exhaust manifold gasket might have gone so I tried covering the exhaust to hear it blowing elsewhere but that come back with nothing other than a burnt finger as I went off balance and caught the side of it.

I tried playing around with the power commander as I thought that may have gone up the creek and stopped working but I changed the map from "Stock European" to "Full Akropovic Exhaust & Aftermarket Air Intake" which pretty much increased the amount of fuel going in and it is running a bit better, above 4,000rpm it's a hell of a lot smoother but still between 2,000 & 3,000rpm it's backfiring and loses a little bit of power each time this happens. As such I'm now thinking / hoping that it's a HT lead breaking down or perhaps a coil pack - do these have coil packs??? It shouldn't be the spark plugs as provided he actually did what I paid for, I had a full service done along with plugs only a few weeks ago.

Do you think I'm heading down the right line?

Would I be able to put in to a BMW dealer and they get up on the computer what is wrong with it?

I'd love to put it in to BMW and just say "Make It Work!", but unfortunately my wedding is coming up in less than 8 weeks and unfortunately my misses is telling me that the wedding is more important for some weird reason...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2015, 11:11 pm
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, NY, USA
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Well, I don't think you are heading down the right path. Trying to fix your problems with the power commander will not address what seems to me to be related to the original problems your dealer found. I'm guessing here, but the oil consumption is troubling me and if it is related to an oil breather hose that connects to the intake system that may be causing some of your low rpm issues.

Check to see if the new design air box assembly and idle control valve was ever installed. It took BMW a few tries to get it right and the software update is needed too to get the low speed fueling under control. Have the dealer check the part number on the air box and check the software versions.

I had to replace my air box to make my 2008 ride-able at all.

Not to beat a dead horse, but buying a bike as complex as this one, used - sight unseen has the potential for trouble - and now you know.

With lots of time and money and patience this bike can be made to purr.....mine, a 2008, is finally running pretty well but it has taken forever, and now one of my electronic black boxes is failing intermittently and costs $850 plus labor - I have it jury rigged right now so I can ride this Summer.

If it were me, with a 2007, I'd dump it and start with at least a 2010 K1300GT, which benefited from considerable evolution. Sorry for your troubles.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

1974 Norton Commando 850 Soon to be a restoration project
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2015, 1:45 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Hi I hendrix, thanks for your response,

Regards to heading down the right path I was referring to the spark plugs, HT leads or coil packs causing the backfiring / loss of power?

The power commander was what was suggested as the only way to smooth out the low revs, at the time I had no idea about a change of airbox or anything but either way the power commanders if set up properly should be beneficial for the bike but I don't expect it to resolve my current issue.

All the items that my repair shop picked up on I had sorted but I can only go on the guys word that he actually did what he stated unless I took it somewhere else to have it checked over.

I do agree that purchasing a bike without seeing it is very risky but like I say when I got it it wasn't too bad so if I had looked at it and test rode it I would probably still have brought it.

At the moment I really want to test ride another K1200gt just to see if it is that much better and decide whether to stay with BMW or move back to a jap bike but at the moment without getting the bike sorted I would pretty much only be able to sell it for scrap value...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 12:04 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rockford, MI, USA
Posts: 363
Does "Oil" come up on the display with a "check mark"
This is normal, the oil level has been checked by the ECU and is OK (aka the check mark) page 52 of the 2007 US riders manual

I purposely will stop at some point during each ride to have the system check level.
It is a lot easier than the method in the manual (page 101) which involves taking the seats off and warming up the engine.
Then I got even smarter and marked the plastic tube along side the oil tank with high and low marks. Use the same method as the manual states but look at the marks instead of pulling the seats and looking at the dipstick I do this before each ride after warming the bike up. The time to put on helmet gloves etc. gives the wife something to check before we ride

'07 K1200GT Crystal Gray Metalic
'00 Ducati 900 Monster
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