New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal?? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 8 Old Jan 12th, 2019, 11:46 pm Thread Starter
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New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

Hello, I just purchased a 2002 K1200LT with 57k miles. Since it is winter here, the bike has not been ridden in probably 3 months. Started it up at the seller's house and let it run for about 5 min. Seemed to run well with no strange noises but it did burn some oil. Hard to tell in cold weather how much oil because exhaust always blows white/grey on engines until they warm up. It was a pronounced smell though, almost like a 2 stroke snowmobile. The price was good because he sold his house and is moving and didn't want to deal with moving a bike in the snow. I started it up at my house today and ran it for about 5 min and it seemed to burn oil the whole time. Not sure if it makes a difference but it was on its side stand. It is about 25F outside. Not overly concerned yet because it has been sitting and that can be normal on some engines. The previous owner did not mention anything about it using oil. I will not be able to ride it for a couple more months so I wanted to run it by the group and see what you think. In the next week, I am going to be taking off the Tupperware and giving her a good once over. I will be replacing all fluid, filters, brake lines, and anything else that I discover that needs replacing. I will probably do the plugs too so I will do a compression test while I am at it. Is there anything that you would recommend that I check? Is this something to worry about or would a good 20 min ride clear it right up? I can't wait to ride it but unfortunately, I will have to be patient.
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post #2 of 8 Old Jan 12th, 2019, 11:50 pm
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

Being on the side stand tends to let the oil get past the valve guides and it will smoke on start up. Center stand should solve that.


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post #3 of 8 Old Jan 13th, 2019, 12:22 am
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

I would not worry about this. As the second post says, parked oil can settle. Not running for 3 months and cold weather. I'd move on to other items. Is there an oil stain on the right side between the transmission and engine for instance. Does it still have rubber brake lines? Nasty. Other than that just look. 50K miles is young but many parts are old and will need your attention some day soon.
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post #4 of 8 Old Jan 13th, 2019, 1:03 am Thread Starter
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

Thanks guys, these are the answers I was hoping to see. Glad this isn't a major warning sign, however, I will keep an eye on it in the spring. I will just sleep better now. Now it's time to order the maintenance parts.
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post #5 of 8 Old Jan 13th, 2019, 3:26 am
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

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Thanks guys, these are the answers I was hoping to see. Glad this isn't a major warning sign, however, I will keep an eye on it in the spring. I will just sleep better now. Now it's time to order the maintenance parts.
It caught out a friend of mine who bought one from a dealer after riding mine. Such a shame that the dealer didn't understand it either and bought it back! I rarely use the sidestand with the engine off and never see any smoke.
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post #6 of 8 Old Jan 13th, 2019, 8:08 am
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

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Being on the side stand tends to let the oil get past the valve guides and it will smoke on start up. Center stand should solve that.


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I donít think the valve guides are the issue. Think about the design of the K1200 engine. It lies on its side with the head to the same side as the side stand. When you first shut down, there is oil all over the inside of the engine. The hot oil tends to drain down pretty fast after shutdown. If the bike is placed on the side stand at shut down or immediately after, a small amount of oil will run down the sloped cylinder walls and against the bottom of the pistons, particularly those that stop near TDC. This oil will pool behind the piston and slowly seep past the rings into the combustion chamber where it will burn off at the next engine start. A little bit of oil can make a lot of smoke. I have had my LT smoke for a couple minutes after sitting on the side stand for a while.

There are two ways to minimize this phenomenon.

1. Park the bike on the centerstand. This is what I do at home when I plan to park overnight or longer.

2. Lean the bike to the right a little before you kill the engine. Then hold it there for 30-60 seconds. I generally take this time to remove my gloves, remove my helmet, unplug my intercom cord, etc. The lean the bike onto the center stand. I find this will dramatically reduce the smoke, particularly for short stops such as meal breaks on the road. You will still get some smoke on overnight side stand use, but it will be greatly reduced.
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post #7 of 8 Old Jan 13th, 2019, 4:03 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

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There are two ways to minimize this phenomenon.

1. Park the bike on the centerstand. This is what I do at home when I plan to park overnight or longer.

2. Lean the bike to the right a little before you kill the engine. Then hold it there for 30-60 seconds. I generally take this time to remove my gloves, remove my helmet, unplug my intercom cord, etc. The lean the bike onto the center stand. I find this will dramatically reduce the smoke, particularly for short stops such as meal breaks on the road. You will still get some smoke on overnight side stand use, but it will be greatly reduced.
Thank you for the suggestion. I will make sure to do that!
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post #8 of 8 Old Jan 14th, 2019, 6:16 am
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Re: New to me KLT, burning oil on cold start, normal??

All the smoke is actually a design feature to help keep mosquitos away. Probably good if you live in Florida.
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