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Discussion Starter #1
I started the 1999 Lt this afternoon a few minutes before going to work (nightshift). It was running while I put on my gear. The bike had been running for about eight minutes inside the garge with the door open.

I got on the bike and proceeded to negotiate my way backwards down the drive between my other vehicles ... when I noticed that there was a whole lot of white smoke oozing/pouring out of the gaps between various body panels including the stingray!!! Oh shit!!!!

I turned the bike off quickly and put the kickstand down and ran to the garage door keypad. I typed in the code and glanced back at the bike and oh boy it was not only smoking but there was a yellowish flame right on top of the engine!!! It was freaking burning??? WTF???

I remembered that I had a fire ext. (chemical) next to a far shelf so not wanting to wait on the slow moving door I slid under it gear and all and grabbed it. It took two very short burst to put the flames out. What a mess!

I looked at the top of the engine this morning a few minutes ago and there seems to be some residue of some type of fluid (oil?, brake?). Only guessing by the color and intensity of the flames I don't believe it was fuel.

The bike had not been started or ridden in exactly one month.

The clutch lever will NOT move! Since I did not engage the clutch before I noticed the fire I don't know if the fire was the cause of the "frozen" lever or not.

I will tell you that I have had this bike for two years and it has been a great ride through and through. It has 68,000 on the odo. Luckily I have other bikes to ride. I transferred my gear to the 95' Tiger and pensively made my way to work.

The LT will still start but I can't get the clutch to move at all. Well if anybody has any ideas I would/will be grateful to entertain them after I get some sleep.
Thank You
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The fire burned for about 30 seconds to the best of knowledge since I didn't notice it was on fire until I saw the smoke. It was probably burning a little longer. I was putting my riding gear on virtually right next to the bike. I did not smell anything out of the ordinary just exhaust gasses.

I have replaced fuel filter, air filter and brake relay over time but have not had a look inside or rather on top of the engine that I can remember. I guess you are saying that the clutch tubing/piping runs directly above the area where the fire was located? Are you also saying that the clutch hydraulic line at that point is synthetic or rubber?

I don't have time to look into the situation until I rotate back to dayshift having a couple of days off in between the shifts. On the centerstand the bike will start and I can shift it (very carefully?) into first gear and back to neutral no problem except of course no clutch disengagement. The clutch lever will not move.

How much would a repair like this cost? I have full coverage but with a high deductible!

Just by chance is there a purely mechanical, not related to the fire, problem that might have occurred prior to the fire? Is there some mechanism that prevents clutch disengagement that I might have tripped closed when I very quickly got off the bike or that I tripped while I was pushing it back up the inclined driveway? Grasping at straws ... I know, I know but maybe.

Well I appreciate any and all help. If I were a betting man I would bet that I will be one tupperware removing fool on my next set of days off!!

Thanks
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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I'm going go with Grif on this one. The line most likey melted closed and it runs from the clutch lever all the way to the slave cylinder. You are going to need to get in there and replace the breather line and fuel line just to be safe. And a good visual on the rest of it for damage. Be sure to hose out the dry chemical agent as they are highly corrosive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I hear y'all saying sounds like the most probable scenario. I will get "her" undressed and check things out as soon as I get the time.

The dry chemical ext. did make a mess even though I used only two very short burst. I will wash it off as advised. I don't think it would be wise to blow it off with compressed air!

Many Thanks!!
 

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Greetings,

If you have comprehensive insurance on your policy, this is a covered loss in most states. Take photos before you take her apart if your going the insurance route. You can PM me for further info on this subject if youd like?

Dale
 

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To me, the CAUSE of the fire is the most important thing to discover and I'm betting on the Fuel Line QD's ;) Amazing story...just glad it didn't burn to the ground!
 

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Regardless of mileage, ANY fire on any vehicle is serious business and I would recommend you advise NHTSA of it. You may also want to send a certified letter to BMW advising them of the situation, including pictures.
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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Most of the early bikes did not have the QD's, just a insert and clamps.
 

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Just wondering WHy you leave the bike running for so long before riding it. Manual clearly says start and ride - do not leave idling.
Not sure of this would have made any difference - could have been worse
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will take plenty of pics before, during and after searching for causes and effects.

There are no QD's on this model year (99') based on my limited experience. But I did remove the gas tank about six months ago to replace that pleasantly easy to get to brake light relay.

As far as idling for eight (best guess) minutes goes this bike is subject to far harsher conditions on the road stuck in Houston summer traffic (clutch/throttle go ten feet, clutch/throttle go ten feet, clutch/throttle go ten feet ...etc ... rinse repeat...) than idling in the shade in the garage, that being said I don't normally let it idle that long. I do however always let it idle a bit so as to check things out "operationally" speaking, wrong or right that's just how I do it.

The last trip out on the LT down to the valley (way south Texas) I did run the bike through some twiggy high grass. Maybe some bits of kindling were just waiting for the right conditions? Leaky fuel clamps or compromised hoses?

Well anyway no answers til' I get to it on Tuesday or Wednesday and even then maybe no answers.


thanks for the help/suggestions
 

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Just as an FYI, before I would consdier touching the motorcycle I'd call my insurance company and see what they suggest first. It's a bit late to do that once you start to take it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well after going twelve rounds with Dolly I am back in town and am now ready to begin with the plastic removal.

By the way does anybody have any idea how to get a stuck cassette out of the cassette player? It has been there since the previous owner.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The tape isn't mangled it plays and sounds alright. When I push the eject button there is no noise associated with ejection the tape keeps playing.

I removed the side panels but still can't see the fire damage so I guess it is the stingray and the gas tank next. The fuel lines and surrounding area showed no sign of leakage or damage just a little bit of powder.

There is oily residue mixed with dirt "around" the front rotor and rim.

Back to work!
 

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c00k1e said:
Just wondering WHy you leave the bike running for so long before riding it. Manual clearly says start and ride - do not leave idling.
Not sure of this would have made any difference - could have been worse
I'm curious about this right here. Do you think there's a time limit on idling the bike BEFORE it bursts into flame? I mean, I know we're all concerned about wasting gas and all, but isn't this a little mediaeval? :)
And definitely make sure this is reported to the IIHS and to the NHTSA as well as BMW North America. In my opinion, BMW should be offering to inspect this bike ASAP (meaning TODAY) to understand what spontaneously combusted! Catching on fire is NOT acceptable. I for one, will be watching BMW's response to this situation.
It seems there's no end to the number of ways the LT is designed to fail, although to be honest I would prefer a rear drive to a fire! I hope I didn't just jinx myself :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Houston traffic is MEDIEVAL much worse than idling in the shade in the garage door open. Eight min was a guess (overestimate)! I was putting my gear on while the bike was idling.


Just two short burst and dust everywhere!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I removed the stingray and the tank.

It does not look good! There are several charred and some lines burned completely through. :eek: It looks like the clutch, both cruise control cables, and several electrical lines are charred and melted a bit, so it looks like game over.

The ins agent is coming by today (late afternoon) to look at it.

Wish me good luck. ;)

Thanks

p.s. any ideas on the stuck cassette tape? :D
 
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