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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last weekend, we were out on a ride with my 2015 K1300S. The bike has 5,444 miles on it and is in otherwise mint condition.

Under no acceleration at low highway speed (60 mph), the bike unexpectedly began rattling and a large plume of blue smoke emerged. Low oil light came on immediately after this occurred. Clutch was immediately engaged and got off the road safely. The engine was still running, albeit with limited power.

We didn't know what to make of it, so we focused on trailering it back to my home which was fortunately only five miles away. After taking off the right fairing, we discovered what appears to be the end of one of the connecting rods protruding from the engine block. This would have explained the sudden loss of oil and the blue smoke, which dripped onto the exhaust on the road.

Has anyone ever seen this before?

Initial feedback from dealers is it will need a new engine, which is really disappointing for a bike with this low of miles. Warranty would be expired due to it being beyond 3-years, but this bike has been babied and it is surprising it would have seen this level of failure so early in its life.

Any thoughts, feedback or words of wisdom are appreciated. Need to either fix this bike or sell it "as is" to someone that can use it for its other low-mileage and good condition parts.

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this kind of stuff gives me the Heebie Jeebies.

Do you check the oil level regularly? These engines can burn oil and cause it to run low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
this kind of stuff gives me the Heebie Jeebies.

Do you check the oil level regularly? These engines can burn oil and cause it to run low.
This would have been the first ride of the season, and I plead guilty for not checking the oil before we went out. We weren't planning on going far and this happened about 45 minutes into our ride. That said, there was no oil light on prior to this occurring, and the oil light did come on immediately after the problem. Thus, we know the oil sensor was working properly. Bike also had no symptoms of leaking oil as it never lost a drop while being parked. As you mention though, burning oil could cause loss of oil without any leaving the engine otherwise. I do wish in hindsight I would have checked the oil prior to us going out that day, but I can't answer your question definitively. Thanks for the reply.
 

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This would have been the first ride of the season, and I plead guilty for not checking the oil before we went out. We weren't planning on going far and this happened about 45 minutes into our ride. That said, there was no oil light on prior to this occurring, and the oil light did come on immediately after the problem. Thus, we know the oil sensor was working properly. Bike also had no symptoms of leaking oil as it never lost a drop while being parked. As you mention though, burning oil could cause loss of oil without any leaving the engine otherwise. I do wish in hindsight I would have checked the oil prior to us going out that day, but I can't answer your question definitively. Thanks for the reply.
If the oil were so low as to be a problem the oil light should have come on, and as you said, it came on as soon as the oil pressure dropped from catastrophic failure.

My advice would be to reach out to a BMW dealership, have them reach out to their higher-ups, and see if they can do some sort of goodwill repair on this. Engines should not catastrophically fail like this. Potentially research what lemon law protections you might have in your state, and consider reaching out to an attorney.

If the aforementioned fails (which is likely the case considering the age of the bike), there are several paths forward for you, depending on what you’re willing to do yourself with your ability and willingness, or what a mechanic might charge you.

You could sell the bike to someone who wants to fix it or part it out. You could get a replacement engine from beemerboneyard, ebay, or other used BMW motorrad parts retailer and then either install it yourself or have someone else install it. You could remove the engine and attempt a rebuild, or have someone else attempt the rebuild.

I think your cheapest and easiest option would be the outright replacement of the engine. Figure $1.5k for the engine, plus another $1k for the replacement. You could sell the old engine components and likely recoup around $500-$1k.

Rebuilding the existing engine is maybe cheaper, but not by much, depending on where you source parts and how much damage there actually is from the failure. BMW official will only ever recommend replacing the entire engine, and generally for good reason: it’s the only way to ensure things are done properly.

Fingers crossed BMW Motorrad finds a way to help you in a reasonable way.
 

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If you want to get riding again fast, I will straight up trade you my K1200S for yours in the condition it is in now. Unfortunately that’s the best help I can offer :/, unless you’re located near me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If the oil were so low as to be a problem the oil light should have come on, and as you said, it came on as soon as the oil pressure dropped from catastrophic failure.

My advice would be to reach out to a BMW dealership, have them reach out to their higher-ups, and see if they can do some sort of goodwill repair on this. Engines should not catastrophically fail like this. Potentially research what lemon law protections you might have in your state, and consider reaching out to an attorney.

If the aforementioned fails (which is likely the case considering the age of the bike), there are several paths forward for you, depending on what you’re willing to do yourself with your ability and willingness, or what a mechanic might charge you.

You could sell the bike to someone who wants to fix it or part it out. You could get a replacement engine from beemerboneyard, ebay, or other used BMW motorrad parts retailer and then either install it yourself or have someone else install it. You could remove the engine and attempt a rebuild, or have someone else attempt the rebuild.

I think your cheapest and easiest option would be the outright replacement of the engine. Figure $1.5k for the engine, plus another $1k for the replacement. You could sell the old engine components and likely recoup around $500-$1k.

Rebuilding the existing engine is maybe cheaper, but not by much, depending on where you source parts and how much damage there actually is from the failure. BMW official will only ever recommend replacing the entire engine, and generally for good reason: it’s the only way to ensure things are done properly.

Fingers crossed BMW Motorrad finds a way to help you in a reasonable way.
Thanks for the additional comments and thoughts. All well taken.

I am going to pursue the BMW route to check that box. I agree when everything you said. Unlikely to go anywhere due to age of machine, but also clearly the result of some type of manufacturing defect with this particular engine as no engine should fail outright at 5000 miles.

I did talk to Beemer Boneyard this morning. They have no K engines right now and said they don't deal with them that much. He mentioned eBay as well.

A new engine through BMW is $10,500 + labor to replace. I haven't gotten a firm quote on this yet, but I've heard figures in this range from several dealers I've spoken with thus far.

I do have another bike (GSA) that will keep me on the road this season, so I'll just take this step by step to see what makes sense. I appreciate your offer though!
 

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Thanks for the additional comments and thoughts. All well taken.

I am going to pursue the BMW route to check that box. I agree when everything you said. Unlikely to go anywhere due to age of machine, but also clearly the result of some type of manufacturing defect with this particular engine as no engine should fail outright at 5000 miles.

I did talk to Beemer Boneyard this morning. They have no K engines right now and said they don't deal with them that much. He mentioned eBay as well.

A new engine through BMW is $10,500 + labor to replace. I haven't gotten a firm quote on this yet, but I've heard figures in this range from several dealers I've spoken with thus far.

I do have another bike (GSA) that will keep me on the road this season, so I'll just take this step by step to see what makes sense. I appreciate your offer though!
Even outside the warranty period BMW have a slush fund to deal with problems that should not have occurred but did. Push the issue through a BMW dealer.
 

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Sorry to hear it. Nice bike, too. Damn ....
 
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Thanks for the additional comments and thoughts. All well taken.

I am going to pursue the BMW route to check that box. I agree when everything you said. Unlikely to go anywhere due to age of machine, but also clearly the result of some type of manufacturing defect with this particular engine as no engine should fail outright at 5000 miles.

I did talk to Beemer Boneyard this morning. They have no K engines right now and said they don't deal with them that much. He mentioned eBay as well.

A new engine through BMW is $10,500 + labor to replace. I haven't gotten a firm quote on this yet, but I've heard figures in this range from several dealers I've spoken with thus far.

I do have another bike (GSA) that will keep me on the road this season, so I'll just take this step by step to see what makes sense. I appreciate your offer though!
Badger,

I went the BMW NA route in 2010 when the cam chain gremlin was making its rounds through the '05 & '06 model years. I was than and still am a BMW enthusiast and have the receipts to show for it so I decided to contact them and bitch about having to pay serious money to repair their poor design. I ended up exchanging several emails with one of the customer service people and even had a few pleasant phone conversations with him. He seemed to take a genuine interest in my complaint and spoke with the dealer I wanted to handle the new and improved parts install.

The entire process took almost three months and their offer amounted to this; they asked me to pay a heavily (their word, not mine) discounted price for the parts and they would pay the dealer as if it was warranty work. In retrospect and after doing more due diligence, I discovered that the price I paid covered their parts cost AND the lower labor rate they pay dealer mechanics for warranty work. So, for the time I spent communicating with them and the dealer I essentially paid them to fix their mistake.

I look forward to reading what happens next with your bike.
 

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I would say go with an engine swap.
Are you the only owner?
Have you had it serviced by the dealer?

If it is not "Yes and yes" then the bike has an unknown treatment and possibly maintenance history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would say go with an engine swap.
Are you the only owner?
Have you had it serviced by the dealer?

If it is not "Yes and yes" then the bike has an unknown treatment and possibly maintenance history.
I'm actively working with the dealer I bought it from. The original dealer sold it new, took it back on trade a few months after they sold it new, and resold it to me with a couple of thousand miles on it. They went through and serviced it before they sold it to me. They have the service records and are in the best position to go to bat for me on this. So far, I'm happy with their attentiveness to this situation.

I'll keep you guys informed on this once I get some feedback. Thanks for the thoughts and comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Badger,

I went the BMW NA route in 2010 when the cam chain gremlin was making its rounds through the '05 & '06 model years. I was than and still am a BMW enthusiast and have the receipts to show for it so I decided to contact them and bitch about having to pay serious money to repair their poor design. I ended up exchanging several emails with one of the customer service people and even had a few pleasant phone conversations with him. He seemed to take a genuine interest in my complaint and spoke with the dealer I wanted to handle the new and improved parts install.

The entire process took almost three months and their offer amounted to this; they asked me to pay a heavily (their word, not mine) discounted price for the parts and they would pay the dealer as if it was warranty work. In retrospect and after doing more due diligence, I discovered that the price I paid covered their parts cost AND the lower labor rate they pay dealer mechanics for warranty work. So, for the time I spent communicating with them and the dealer I essentially paid them to fix their mistake.

I look forward to reading what happens next with your bike.
Thanks for the perspective. I'm somewhat going into this situation with the philosophy that "the key to happiness is to lower expectations." I've mentally written the bike off, so hopefully any positive developments from here will just be a bonus. Will definitely let you know how things play out, as it is still evolving and I'm working through the multi-month process I'm sure I'm in for in the best-case scenario.
 

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Thanks for the perspective. I'm somewhat going into this situation with the philosophy that "the key to happiness is to lower expectations." I've mentally written the bike off, so hopefully any positive developments from here will just be a bonus. Will definitely let you know how things play out, as it is still evolving and I'm working through the multi-month process I'm sure I'm in for in the best-case scenario.
I like your attitude. The bottom line is that a professional and well articulated plea to BMWNA may - MAY - may go a long way towards reimbursement of some if not most of your potential expenses. Above all I was polite and professional in all my communication with them. I reminded them that the interwebs is a bigger community than they may realize.

It's all about goodwill, right? Best wishes and good luck!
 

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So sorry to see this - I've only ever seen this type of failure on early K1200RSs. I suspect a rogue bolt in that big-end cap, or perhaps your bike's engine rolled off the line at 4.50 pm on a Friday, when the lads in the factory had started early on the bratwurst and beers, and lost their torque wrench. I've had a K1200S and now run a K1300S Motorsport like yours. All I can say is I think the bike is well worth fixing with a new or reconditioned engine - nothing else rides quite like the 'Starship'. Good luck.
 

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Swedish police suffered this on several GT's. Cause is the low weight oil and driving off with cold engine, no lubrication on conrod to piston no 4. Takes time for oil to flow there as the feed comes from the left side furthest away.
Switching to 20w50 oil it never happened again. Thicker oil retains lubricationfilm longer until it flows.

Driving with cold engine wears the bearingsurface and eventually it fails.

I use 20w50 motul 7100. Engine runs smoother.
 

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Swedish police suffered this on several GT's. Cause is the low weight oil and driving off with cold engine, no lubrication on conrod to piston no 4. Takes time for oil to flow there as the feed comes from the left side furthest away.
Switching to 20w50 oil it never happened again. Thicker oil retains lubricationfilm longer until it flows.

Driving with cold engine wears the bearingsurface and eventually it fails.

I use 20w50 motul 7100. Engine runs smoother.
This doesn’t make sense to me. When the engine is cold, the oil is thicker. How does switching to a thicker oil help with this? Maybe if you went with a 5w-50 or something (if that exists).
 

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And real life shows it to work, after the switch in oil they never blew an engine again. Now the k13 bikes have been traded for R1200.
 
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