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Discussion Starter #1
A question from a brand new member. Getting my feet wet in a couple forums.

I purchased my new R1200RT approx 2 weeks ago and was getting used to the slight vibration that is apparently present in all "R" motors. I rode up to Kansas City, MO from Wichita, KS (approx 200 miles in 3 1/2 hrs) to get the 600 mile service. I honestly don't remember if the worse than normal vibration was present when I arrived at the BMW dealership, but it certainly was when I left and seems to possibly be getting worse yet.

Any ideas or suggestions before I call the dealer Tuesday morning and require me driving back to KC to fix?

Thanks,
Tony Van Der Voorn
Wichita, KS
 

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A quick simple check it to look where the throttle cables enter the adjusting nut on the throttle bodies. Is the cable outer sheath up on the edge of the cup or down in as it should be. If that is not the case they you need to talk with your dealer unless someone has a fix. The 600 check is only an oil change and a general look over of everything. No valve check. And if it is running good I doubt if a sync was done. Frustrating but it will pass. While you are looking around make sure all wiring to the spark plug coils is connected and coils secure on the plugs.
 

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Welcome on board Tony.

No it is not normal to have more vibration after the 600 miles service than before it, but I do hear this from time to time. By all means talk with your dealer. You will probably have to return it for a check-over if it is severe.

There is more to the 600 mile service than an oil change, including a computer diagnosis and review looking for abnormalities.

Having said that- the real first service will happen at the 6k miles mark and with any luck at that point you will be able to do it yourself- if you are at least a little bit mechanical and have basic tools. Many of us find this self-service to be an important part of the fun of ownership.

As for the vibration... a great deal of it depends on your previous bike experience and expectations. Yes, the boxer engine will have a different feel than other engine types. There is a pretty high probability that what you are sensing is normal.

The good news is that as your bike breaks-in it will get better and if you do your own service you will have a good bit of control over it. For many R1200RTs break in happens at or near the 18,000 mile mark.

Now having said all that... tell me about the vibration. When do you feel it most, under what conditions? Cool motor or warm? Steady speed or under acceleration? What gear?
Feel it in your seat, or handlebars? Any perceptible sounds you associate with the vibes?
Can it be felt to a greater extent on acceleration of on trailing throttle (backing -off)?

The more you can tell us the more clearly you will be able to communicate with your service adviser....
 

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Man, that sucks. I can't help with the mechanical stuff. But, assuming the vibration is normal, invest $10 in a set of "Grip Puppies". Someone else suggested them to me on this site. They make a world of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, I am not very mechanically inclined and it appears BMW doesn't want its owners doing service on the 2012's due to the "service light" shutoff ability.

I really don't think this increased vibration is normal compared to the slight vibration I felt for the first 600 miles, which I actually liked after my sewing-machine sounding ST1300.

The vibration is most severe at idle. Also when I am slowing down and the engine is no longer under load, I can feel the vibration quite a bit.

I feel the vibration in the handlebars and the seat.

Looks like the dealer replaced the oil filter, oil (4 qts 10W40), gear oil (75W90) and (3) gasket/seal/o-ring.

What does the "synchronisation" item on the dealer check list mean. Or is it something they quickly look at and just check-off on the checklist? Could that be part of the issue?

I checked the oil when I returned home from the trip to KC and the oil level was filled to approx 2/3 to 3/4 of the sight glass. It appears to be using oil also, but will keep an eye on that. It did not appear to have used any oil during the first 500 miles.

Motor temperature doesn't matter.

At low RPM, a sputtering sound and I can smell richness of exhaust. I also has died at low speed manuevers in 1st gear. Revving the engine in neutral doesn't seem as smooth as before.

I don't seem to feel it as I gain speed and RPM. However, when I am reducing speed, once I get into 1st gear, the engine seems like it is starving for fuel/spark.

Me and my riding partner considered the possiblibility of bad fuel, we both filled at the same pump and the same 89 octane (he rides a C14). He has had no issues with the running of his bike.

Several of my freinds were impressed with the sound and feel of the R1200 motor when they first rode it. They can also see and feel a very distinct difference in how it runs now.

Thanks,
Tony Van Der Voorn
 

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Let me comment...

If the vibes got noticeably worse, then contact the Service Adviser. Does not sound right... but before paranoia sets in... our bikes will have some vibes, certainly more than an ST1300... or at least "different" vibes.

Vibes at idle are much more likely to be "normal". Most of us who notice vibes are talking about then at th 4k to 6k range where many of us ride, and where the motor is happiest.

The dealer replacement list is normal- exactly what you get with an oil change and a final drive service.. By the way- the "gaskets" are actually what most of the time are called washers. Here they are kind of soft metal made to crush a little and make an efficient seal.
A.K.A. Crush Gaskets.

Synchronization means something important for us. You have 2 cylinders. One on the left and one on the right. Each one has its own throttle-body... this is the part that opens and closes to let air and fuel mixture into the cylinders. Since we have two, one on each side... they must be synchronized to let in the same amount of stuff... otherwise one gets more/or less and thus a vibration can result since one side is not the same as the other side. On a 4-cylinder engine like the ST1300, there is a common intake so it is all taken care of automatically.

But... and here might be the rub... the 600 mike "service" is fundamentally to get the oil out of there that was used in the first 600 miles... the other tests and checks are usually done on the BMW computer system. This thing is usually quite accurate and yields a lot of useful information. One thing it checks it to see if there is synchronicity between the left and the right... as described above. The "problem" is that the technician is given a fairly short amount of time for this tremendously "routine" job and sometimes, just sometimes, things can get rushed.

Oil consumption... this is another of the BMW-type things you will get used to. There is a considerable variability in how one bike versus another consumes oil- DURING the BREAK-IN PERIOD. Some units will never use a drop and other will use up to a quart in 1,000 miles... all until they are broken-in. Mine used oil until 18k miles, then like a light bulb came on- it stopped. IT IS NORMAL.

What is important is to learn how to check your oil. There are even long threads and arguments on this. My advice is to read the manual and do it that way. Checking is done by looking at the sight glass. If you see oil it is good. If you have just put in new oil- it may be hard to see because it is so clear. Do not over fill, but if you do- no real big thing.

Smell and stalling etc... especially in low speeds... First- this is obviously your first BMW. This motor likes to be revved. Do not lug around in low gear. It is not a tourque monster- it wants and needs to be run...

Just use a premium grade fuel... this is not a problem unless you are in Mexico or Uganda...

The getting to first gear and the "starving" comment... Keep your revs up!... Downshift through the gears... its ok.

You and the others will feel more vibes- since you are now focussing on it...

Final word of advice... Ride it. Ride it hard. Go fast... or leave it in a lower gear. 5 or 6k is not a bad shift point. Do Not 'Baby this engine... the more you run it the better it will be.

Now. lest you think I am a boy-racer... just let me say I am a 68 year old somewhat seasoned rider... (ha...) just run it good and see how it feels in a 1000 miles...

edit to add... you might also consider looking into another well-known BMW Forum--- the BMW Sport Touring Forum. That outfit has about 50 times the members as here- but they also have a lot of very mechanically adept guys too. We oftem have gatherings called Tech Days, where experienced guys will coach you and others in the bacic maintenance operations. This will add quite a lot to your ownership experience. We will not do the work for you, but coach you as you do it yourself.

I have done tech days here at my garage and it was some of the most fun I've had with the bikes. Every Tech-Daze will have a Guru... to make sure you learn what's going on. At my last one we also had an advance first-responders first aid class.

You all carry a competent/professional first-aid kit right...?
 

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This is my standard reply for this issue, sometimes it was the problem, sometimes not.

Look at the outside of your throttle bodies, on the right side there should be a black rubber cap on a brass tube, the left side will have a vacuum line on this port. the ports are approx. 3/4" long and 1/8" diameter, sorry I don't have a pic
If the dealer did the TB sync they will remove the hose and cap to hook up their sync equipment. Sometimes they forget to put either the hose or cap back on which will give you a vacuum leak causing poor idle, could be rough, higher then normal or both.
It will also be notced when accelerating or decelerating.
Look from the cylinder, front to back on the inside of the fairing along the TB.
I'll look for a pic

Your ST had 4 TB's and they also required a sync but 3 were matched to 1 fixed TB, I think they all were synced to cyl 4, a lot more work to get to them.
 

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I will be in El Dorado at my sons house starting Friday for several days. He lives about three minutes from the north turnpike exit. If you want to drop by I would be happy to take a quick look at it and give you my opinion. You could also compare it to my 1150RT to give you some reference. PM me if you are interested.
 

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The guys have covered everything except don't buy cheap gas and don't buy regular if you can avoid it. Always buy premium. Start out with all the top tier gas products, Chevron, conoco, shell, texaco. Do not buy arco, bp or other econo gas. Let your riding buddy by that cheap stuff, BMW's don't like it. If you can't resolve your problem yourself, go back to the dealer. Something is wrong. A buddy of mine insists the dealer take the bike out before they start to work on it and after. He says it needs to be running better than when you first rode it when he picks it up

http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html
 

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New2rt said:
This is my standard reply for this issue, sometimes it was the problem, sometimes not.

Look at the outside of your throttle bodies, on the right side there should be a black rubber cap on a brass tube, the left side will have a vacuum line on this port. the ports are approx. 3/4" long and 1/8" diameter, sorry I don't have a pic
If the dealer did the TB sync they will remove the hose and cap to hook up their sync equipment. Sometimes they forget to put either the hose or cap back on which will give you a vacuum leak causing poor idle, could be rough, higher then normal or both.
It will also be notced when accelerating or decelerating.
Look from the cylinder, front to back on the inside of the fairing along the TB.
I realize I'm late to the party, but this is what I was going to suggest. Easy "oops" to make, unfortunately not all that easy to check without pulling the tupperware unless you know what you're looking for.

JayJay
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for your replies and help. I will contact the dealer tomorrow and find out what my next step should be. I got together with the local BMW owner's club here in Wichita and they all agreed that something is not right, they described the problem like one of the cylinders is missing or not completely firing the gas/air mixture. I have asked about this issue on the BMW SportTouring forum also and I seem to be getting better replies on this forum.

The vibrations that I am experiencing seem to be related to the engine not runnins smoothly. I have already realized that this engine likes to rev, but it doesn't seem like I should need to rev the engine when I am at a stop or coming to a stop, which is where the vibration is very noticeable.

I have no idea where to find the throttle bodies and the associated vacuum lines, I will leave that to the dealer to investigate.

I always use tier 1 fuel stations and the owners manual says that 89 octane is acceptable fior this engine.
 

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tony_voorn said:
Thanks everyone for your replies and help. I will contact the dealer tomorrow and find out what my next step should be.

I have no idea where to find the throttle bodies and the associated vacuum lines, I will leave that to the dealer to investigate.

I always use tier 1 fuel stations and the owners manual says that 89 octane is acceptable fior this engine.

Tony,

With all due respect, PREMIUM ONLY Toss the manual. The sticker on my tank door says "91 AKI", which is European "anti-knock index", and very definitely Premium grade. The 10% ethanol in most US fuel actually drops the BTU/gal index of 93 octane fuel to around 87 or so - one reason your RT is starving for available energy (BTUs) is that it's trying to run on 89 octane / 10% ethanol fuel.

Second recommendation - Don't be afraid to pull the tupperware and LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. Get a small rechargable screwdriver and a good set of torx bits for it. It will make the removal and replacement much easier. Set it for "ratcheting", and then hand-tighten all the screws after you have got them snugged down a bit with the electric tool.

Look at the great DIY threads on this board - especially the ones by SemperFi, and all of them on BMWMOA.org. You will need to be a member of BMWMOA to access the board, but it's cheap, and you get an OK monthly magazine to go with it. (IMHO the guys at BMW RA are doing a much better job with OTL - MOA needs to step it up a notch on the BMW ON).

Welcome aboard. Never hesitate to ask questions. Always best if you give the answers a shot, and use your dealer as a last resort. Part of the psyche being a BMW owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If anyone is interested, it was a disconnected vacuum line that was causing all my problems.

Thanks again,
Tony Van Der Voorn
 

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Thanks for getting back to the list with the information. Was it one of the ones going to the throttle bodies (one has a line the other a plug). The good thing is now you can relax and enjoy the wonderful bike that you were hoping for! ;)
 

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BrianV said:
With all due respect, PREMIUM ONLY Toss the manual. The sticker on my tank door says "91 AKI", which is European "anti-knock index", and very definitely Premium grade. The 10% ethanol in most US fuel actually drops the BTU/gal index of 93 octane fuel to around 87 or so - one reason your RT is starving for available energy (BTUs) is that it's trying to run on 89 octane / 10% ethanol fuel.
With all due respect, this is not true.

Ethanol actually increases the octane of gasoline. Octane doesn't relate to BTUs, rather the ability to prevent preignition. The higher the octane, the slower the fuel burns, which is what prevents knock. Ethanol does have a lower BTU rating than straight gas. This doesn't mean that your bike will "starve", it means you'll burn more fuel to achieve the same results.
 

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tony_voorn said:
If anyone is interested, it was a disconnected vacuum line that was causing all my problems.

Thanks again,
Tony Van Der Voorn
I was thinking a fouled plug (or a plug wire not hooked up) when you said about using oil, but that really makes sense, and it is a mistake that I have made before.

But there is no excuse for this from a delaer as they should test ride the bike, or at least start it. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Not good.

I hope that you did not have to drive several hundred miles to have a vacuum line plugged back on. Did they at least give you a free cup of coffee?
 

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tony_voorn said:
I always use tier 1 fuel stations and the owners manual says that 89 octane is acceptable fior this engine.
As a new owner there is some advice learned by experience of the members that is helpful. To casually toss it aside draws concern. BMW (and their dealers) says a lot of things about their bikes some of which are plain not true. These bikes are extremely sensitive to the properties of fuel in the US of A. Our fuel is different in quality from Europe. You will find a tendency for your bike to ping (suffer from pre detonation) in hot weather, going up hills and mountain roads when it is warm and other situations. Premium fuel will generally eliminate this serious situation. Regular fuel is okay when premium is not available such as rural stations or Mexico for example, but you may need to ride it differently. I never buy a load of Premium at a questionable station due to age/water possibilities, I'll suffer along with regular. Do yourself and the bike a big favor and use premium. The lower octane rating abilities referred to in the manual are based on the fact the bike can detect detonation and retard your ignition. This would be a reduced performance state of tune.You get lower power and not all the abilities you paid for in the first place. Once you are use to your new bike you will be riding it with more gusto and enjoying yourself I presume. With the miles you have on the bike at present, now is the time to start riding it harder to seat the rings. BMW motorcycles require a certain degree of maintenance (and understanding). Living as far from your dealer as you mentioned, it would be to your benefit to learn all you can about your bike and move to the stage of being able to remove the plastic to have a look around or do an oil change. I find great satisfaction working on my bikes and I have come to a greater understanding of them and how they operate. This makes me appreciate what I have even more. Buena Suerte and enjoy the Summer.
 
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