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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 04 K12GT of which the cap bolts holding the bearing cap on the bottom of the connecting rod to the crankshaft on the number one cylinder broke, causing the rod to crash through the top of the block. I'm wondering if this is anything anyone has experienced? It appears the bolts themselves snapped right along the seam from con rod to cap. 78,000 miles. I wasn't even "blowing out the carbon" at the time. Have there been any recalls? Service bulletins?
 

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I have an 04 K12GT of which the cap bolts holding the bearing cap on the bottom of the connecting rod to the crankshaft on the number one cylinder broke, causing the rod to crash through the top of the block. I'm wondering if this is anything anyone has experienced? It appears the bolts themselves snapped right along the seam from con rod to cap. 78,000 miles. I wasn't even "blowing out the carbon" at the time. Have there been any recalls? Service bulletins?
This was a problem on the early 1997 models (mainly sold in Europe / Canada) and a few early 1998 models (start of K1200RS in USA). When / If it failed , it would be the front cylinder in 99% cases. Eventually somewhere in mid 1998 , BMW redesigned the connecting-rods and the bolts type. All models starting about mid-1998 and later have this new connecting rod design (K1200RS and also K1200LT). BMW never made an official recall - it was handled on a case-by-case basis if your engine broke for a1997-1998. Two of my close friends had this here in Quebec in 1998 - complete engine change handled during warranty on new K1200RS.

See attached photos: new design Bolts is 1st photo. If yours is indeed a 2004 motor you should see this type of bolts holding connecting-rods cap on right side. 2nd photo to compare different bolt design side-by-side. Connecting rods are also machined differently but this is not easy to see unless you have both old and new type in your hands.

In last 18 years (on 3 forums) I have seen quite a few failures of these connecting-rods on 19997-1998. If indeed you have the latest connecting rod design then you are one of the very few unlucky. Among about 400 users visiting 3 different K1200RS-GT forums - I have seen only 2 cases of failure on later models like you have.

An important contributing factor that may affect all K1200RS (any year) is recent work done on the timing chain cover (to fix a leak OR change the timing chain tensioner guide / lining). Part of the oil pressure galley passes thru the timing chain cover before going into crankshaft area. If timing chain cover is installed with too much sealant in wrong area, you can restrict or block some of the oil flow to crankshaft (1st oil path is into connecting rod #1)

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply. I definitely have the newer design, and there was no recent engine work done. 78,000 MILES but that should not be a failure mode at any mileage. Did anyone ever have any sympathy for help repairing from BMW?
 

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Thank you for the reply. I definitely have the newer design, and there was no recent engine work done. 78,000 MILES but that should not be a failure mode at any mileage. Did anyone ever have any sympathy for help repairing from BMW?
I can feel some of your pain. However at this point in time when the bike has been out of warranty for 13 years (a 2004 in Canada had 3 years warranty if I recall) I doubt very much you will get any help in the BMW network. In fact they will probably tell you they have never heard of such failure even on 1997-1998. Of course this failure does not exist as there was no published recall on it - not even in 1997-1998. No trace... ;-)

Around year 2004, a good local friend bough a used 1998 models that had low mileage from another of his friend. About 1 year later the connecting-rod of cylinder 1 blew up on the highway - he had to be quick on the clutch pull as the rear wheel locked. We convinced him that internal parts are too expensive new and too much hassle of other internal damage - so he bough a good used complete motor from an EBAY seller in USA for about $US$ 400 (parted bike from accident). He had it shipped to a US location near border and he drove across border to bring it back home in Canada.

The above story happened around 2005. Nowadays it is getting more difficult to find a good donor used engine from a K1200RS or K1200GT (2003-2005 only). Most engines on EBAY have more mileage by now and there a fewer K1200RS-GT on the road. Also shipping cost for heavy bulky items have increased A LOT in last 10 years. You best bet would be to find a locally (Canada) parted K1200RS that you could go to inspect yourself before buying the engine.

On the other hand. if you choose not to bother with above and decide to part your own K1200 (I hope not) then please let us know here as we are always looking for good used parts. Good luck in your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
interestingly I found a 2003 K12GT right across the water in Vancouver that very night with only 33000 miles, so went over and bought it the next day as my original engine turned inside out. The analogy is that my wife died so I married her twin sister. Mostly the same...small differences...lol...and now I have a parts bike. It just seemed like such an unlikely failure, especially since I've taken it to the rev limiter many times in the past, but this time I was just riding down the highway. No lockups thankfully.
 

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For those that might believe your case is unique on later model connecting-rods, here is a link in same forum from 2019 period. This time it was a very last generation 2005 K1200GT (similar to yours). If you go down the messages, about half-way into the thread , the owner had furnished many detailed photos of the engine damage.

Based on his photos, I suspect lack of oil pressure on the crankshaft to connecting rod #1 journal / interface. Why ? we do not know even if we did asked many questions when he posted this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the update. NO engine should fail like that no matter the mileage, unless the rev limiter has been disabled and it's being used for racing.
 

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I have been monitoring my oil pressure for +260,000kms.

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