Originally Posted by K1200RSR1200GSA
A few years back my 2002 K1200 RS started puffing white smoke once up to temp. I parked it and started riding the GSA all the time. I have read where a few people have had head gasket issues with these bikes. Not common but not unheard of. I have the head off and before I start reassembly I have a question.
Can I or should I spray the new gasket with copper coat? I have seen where others have and when I worked as a large turbocharger mechanic we did this frequently on the cold end. The gasket that was removed did not show an obvious failure point. Any other advice would be appreciated.
Bought my K1200RS new in 2002 - did all the maintenance myself including coolant change every 2 to 3 years. At 45,000 miles after 5 years of ownership, my k1200RS began to show these symptoms:
1) strange white smoke on startup that was NOT just water vapor. ALSO the smell of coolant burning thru exhaust has a very specific unique smell.
2) after medium or long ride (more than 100 miles) AND after letting the whole bike cool down 12 hours, the radiator expansion tank under seat would always loose a bit (lower level about 1/4 inch every ride).
These combined symptoms, with no external coolant leak anywhere else, clearly pointed to the head gasket. Previous to this, the engine never any other issues since new and I knew nobody else had worked on it.
I installed a new OEM head-gasket dry as nothing is specified in either BMW factory service manual or Clymer manual. While a lot of stuff was apart, I took opportunity to change the cam chaim tensioner lining / guide (although this is normally needed a bit later as they do not wear very fast)
I would also suggest to order 8 new exhaust stud NUT and 4 exhaust copper gaskets as these gasket are not really reusable. You may also find a few of the 8 exhaust STUDs quite rusted, so be prepared...
I did this job in 2006 - since this job I added another 51,000 miles (now at 96,000 miles roughly). The symptoms have never re-appeared.