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Discussion Starter #1
About a week ago, I lost all stopping power for the rear brake. Turns out all the brake fluid had leaked out of the rear master cylinder. The brakes seemed to work fine using the lever.

I brought the bike into the dealer to fix the problem (and get a set of Michelin Pilot Roads). The dealer found that the brake line running from the master cylinder to the ABS unit had been over-tightened at the factory and could not be reused. A new line has been ordered and I should be able to pick up the bike tomorrow.

I'm beginning to be concerned about the quality control at BMW (after having terrible experience with my K1200RS). The jury is still out.

Ken
 

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I had the exact same problem about a month ago.

My current problem is strange.
Sometimes I get engine braking, sometimes I don't. After riding her hard for 50 miles or so, I lose all engine braking. Tach hangs up between 4 and 8k. If I pull in the clutch it just "idles" at 5000 RPM for about 5 seconds, then begins a slow descent. Sometimes it stops at 2k and idles there for a while.

Dealer performed the throttlebody TSB and said it was marginal, but still in the clear. I'm strongly considering making an even swap for a new '06 R1 in the black/yellow 50th anniversary paint scheme. I'm tired of calling the dealer.
 

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Catatafish said:
I had the exact same problem about a month ago.

My current problem is strange.
Sometimes I get engine braking, sometimes I don't. After riding her hard for 50 miles or so, I lose all engine braking. Tach hangs up between 4 and 8k. If I pull in the clutch it just "idles" at 5000 RPM for about 5 seconds, then begins a slow descent. Sometimes it stops at 2k and idles there for a while.

Dealer performed the throttlebody TSB and said it was marginal, but still in the clear. I'm strongly considering making an even swap for a new '06 R1 in the black/yellow 50th anniversary paint scheme. I'm tired of calling the dealer.
Very interesting. That's something I noticed very early on the KS. I sold mine with very little regret.

A buddy recently bought a new R1. I think he said something about breaking 210mph? Is that possible? He's not prone to exaggeration. He also said everything about the R1 was completely outstanding.
 

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I had a similar problem months back, though the rpm range was around 2,600. Oddly enough, I adjust the throttle cable and the problem disappeared - so far...I guess the cable was too tight and wasn't allowing the throttle to snap back to idle. At least I HOPE that's what it was.
 

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Maybe downhill with a 30 knot tailwind. Even then I'd think he'd hit the rev limiter around 190, but I'm just guessing. Easy to cipher if you know the gearing ratios.

I'm sure I'd love the R1 David, but I have two issues:

1) Taking it up the ass on depreciation. With 8000 miles on the S, I'm guessing it's worth $11,500 tops (wholesale). It would be an even swap for the R1 which is pushing $11k. Then, there's the depreciation on the R1.

2) I ride regularly to Huntsville to see the little lady. Can I do 3 hours slabbing it on a R1? Maybe.

The black/yellow R1 is a beautiful machine. To me, it rivals the MV as far as looking at it goes. As far as sport bikes go, for a 6'0" rider, I don't think there's a better bike. It sure would take some getting used to. I sure do like grabbing a handful of brake on the S and not having to worry about an inadvertent stoppie. I can brake harder into the corners than any of my liter bike buddies. The S is perfect for the lazy sport rider.

I'll take the S in this week and if he says there's nothing wrong that he can find I'm definitely trading. The fueling/throttle issue is dangerous, and annoying. Two weeks ago I came to a stop and it just kept revving. After almost plowing into the guy in front of me, I had to hit the kill switch. First time in my life I've ever touched a kill switch. :(
 

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Thanks for the tip Marty, I'll fiddle with the cable adjustment tomorrow and see if that does anything. Maybe as the cable heats up, it expands. Although currently it seems to have the apporpriate slack at idle but I'll let out some more and see if that does anything.
 

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Faust said:
A buddy recently bought a new R1. I think he said something about breaking 210mph? Is that possible? He's not prone to exaggeration. He also said everything about the R1 was completely outstanding.
At Daytona, the fastest track on the AMA circuit, the fully built, factory superbikes have not exceeded 200 mph yet, so no, your friend's new R1 will not go 210. I have owned three R1s, and currently have a highly modified R1 track bike. And this is where the R1 excels... it is an incredible machine. But if you want to go any distance in comfort, this is not the bike.
 

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Kencorsun:

I've been seeing some dried-out, dark residue on the back of my bike near the rear
brake reservoir. Did you notice this as well ? Had my brakes checked out a few weeks ago by a dealer and he said the fluid level was normal, but I am still wondering whether the reservoir is leaking???
 

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Discussion Starter #9
furgetboutit said:
Kencorsun:

I've been seeing some dried-out, dark residue on the back of my bike near the rear
brake reservoir. Did you notice this as well ? Had my brakes checked out a few weeks ago by a dealer and he said the fluid level was normal, but I am still wondering whether the reservoir is leaking???
No, I didn't notice this. I would just watch the rear brake fluid carefully and occasionally check the stopping power of the rear brake alone. As I mentioned, using the lever appeared to result in normal braking.

Ken
 

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kencorsun said:
About a week ago, I lost all stopping power for the rear brake. Turns out all the brake fluid had leaked out of the rear master cylinder. The brakes seemed to work fine using the lever.
Seems a little odd that there could be a leaky master cylinder without the usual smell of brake fluid to give some notice of the problem - perhaps there is no smell to this fluid. I'm not clear on whether the master cyl seals had let go or if the brake line you mentioned had failed. If it was a brake line failure the potential exists for big problems at the worst possible time - emergency, max pressure braking. "Failures to proceed" generally won't get you killed but "failures to stop" can ruin your whole day. IMHO this is an issue that needs further investigation and attention.

The issue of engine speed remaining inapproprately fast could be traced back to:
- incorrect cable adjustment
- inadequate cable lubrication
- unsuitable cable routing due to radiant heat issues and tight radius bends in the cable.
- throttle linkages and assemblies binding.

The cable lube is easily fixed with a light oil run down the inner and worked inside. Cable routing is always going to be a compromise. Apart from the obvious problem of "cooking" a cable that could be plastic sheathed internally, etc, etc cables can get a little softer and slightly deform around and into sharp radius bends.

Possible solutions:
- Check cable adjustment
- Lube cable, throttle linkages and assemblies
- Check and reroute cables to avoid heating and tight radius bends.

While its a pain in the arse having to chase this sort of shit yourself, the nuisance value and loss of time in getting a vehicle to the dealer multiple times can make it worthwhile checking the problem out yourself. You may not be able to fix it yourself but the clearer the discussion with the service people, the better the chances of "one shot - one kill" (if you'll pardon the analogy)

Cheers
Lenz
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lenz said:
Seems a little odd that there could be a leaky master cylinder without the usual smell of brake fluid to give some notice of the problem - perhaps there is no smell to this fluid. I'm not clear on whether the master cyl seals had let go or if the brake line you mentioned had failed. If it was a brake line failure the potential exists for big problems at the worst possible time - emergency, max pressure braking. "Failures to proceed" generally won't get you killed but "failures to stop" can ruin your whole day. IMHO this is an issue that needs further investigation and attention.

I don't know if the brake fluid smells. Don't forget the cylinder is located down by your right foot which would make it unlikely to be smelled if the cylinder leaked while moving.

The leak was from the master cylinder. The problem with the brake line occurred when the mechanic tried to reattach it after doing the necessary work on the master cylinder. I was informed that there is a certain amount of "crushability" in the fitting that allows the line to be disconnected and reconnected more than once. The end of the line crushes a bit each time to ensure a tight fit. When the mechanic tried to reattach the line there was no "crush" left. I was told the problem was that the line was overtightened at the factory. Again, there was no leak from the line or the connection.

I'll get more information when I pick up the bike tomorrow. Also, I'm not a mechanic and am depending on the knowledge and skill of the mechanic working on the bike. He has done a lot of work on my bikes and I have confidence in his ability.

Ken
 

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K-R Similar?

Perhaps a similar problem with the K-R? Both me and a friend with K-R's have noticed particularly weak braking when using the rear pedal alone. Took alot of pressure and movement on the foot pedal, but performed well at the braking function. I expected it was the rather small caliper and a poorly adjusted pedal free play range.

Then, yesterday after a one month (bad back) layoff period, I noticed no fluid in the rear fluid container. Topped off by adding a tiny amount to get it up from the bottom/line out area to the MIN mark. No areas showing fluid leakage, not able to duplicate any leakage by fiddling around with exposed hoses, etc. No stains or fluid damaged parts. I'll road test it gently and watch it over the next week before appealing to the service manager.
 

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Catatafish said:
Maybe downhill with a 30 knot tailwind. Even then I'd think he'd hit the rev limiter around 190, but I'm just guessing. Easy to cipher if you know the gearing ratios. :(
180.7 is the speed at the limiter rev 6th gear...210 on a vvvvery optimistic odometer
 

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kencorsun said:
About a week ago, I lost all stopping power for the rear brake. Turns out all the brake fluid had leaked out of the rear master cylinder. The brakes seemed to work fine using the lever.

I brought the bike into the dealer to fix the problem (and get a set of Michelin Pilot Roads). The dealer found that the brake line running from the master cylinder to the ABS unit had been over-tightened at the factory and could not be reused. A new line has been ordered and I should be able to pick up the bike tomorrow.

I'm beginning to be concerned about the quality control at BMW (after having terrible experience with my K1200RS). The jury is still out.
Ken
Ken,
It seem there are a number of issues with the K1200s.

Brakes
Heavery steering
Run Poor at Low RPMs
Gear Box

It seems to me that BMW has some unfinished design work to do on the K12s. I have not had any real problem that has to be repaired just stuff that does not work quite right.

So the bike magazines seem to be slamming the K12s for the same things Brakes, Gearbox, and Fuel Injector Mapping. My K only has 1K miles on it and I've been thinking about getting rid of it. With all the bad press it received it makes want to dump it for another bike. I was going to purchase a Yamaha R1-LE then I decided this was more practical hahaha. I have a Yamaha FZ1 that is about as fast with its modifications; it also turns faster has great brakes and is more comfortable with its Sargent seat. FZ1 is also more fun to ride around town then the K bike is. Of course the K on the HWY is a different story, it great there. Of course there no way an R1 will be as comfortable as the K12s.

I guess the slow speed handling and the fuel injector mapping are my biggest complaints.
So what is BMW doing to resolve these problem, the dealer denies them like you stupid.
 

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Hey Ken,
I was interested to see that you're switching to Pilot Roads. Any particular reason? Also, has CCBMW upgraded your ECU yet? I'm ready for a full set of tires myself and was leaning (per our conversation some time back) to the MEZ6. Hope all's well.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jewilson,

1) I think the brakes stop about as well as it is possible to stop a bike. That said, they are a bit grabby at very low speeds and I did have a leak which reduced the brake pedal to a foot rest. I would rather have non-power assisted brakes, but these brakes are awsome.

2) I don't have heavy steering.

3) My bike runs fine at low RPMs

4) The gear box is clunky from first to second, but it seems to (finally) be improving. I'm going to switch to synthetic oil to see if that helps a bit.


Pete,

How are ya? I'm switching to the Michelin Roads only to see how I like them on the S. I've been very satisfied with the Metzeler Z6s and may very well go back to them if the Roads aren't noticably better. Hope to see you on the road in the Spring. How about the BRP gathering?

mconrad,

I fiddled with the throttle cable, but eventually found that the original tension (or close to it) worked best.

Regards to all,

Ken
 
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