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Discussion Starter #1
When I start up I get lots of white smoke. Lasts about ten minutes of running, then disappears. Don't seem to be burning much oil. '03 with 18K miles. Friend suggested a leaking gasket or some sort of oil seal which expands as it warms and stops problem. My questions are these; a) how bad is it, b) can it be "simply" fixed by my very scanty mechanical skills (I can turn a screwdriver and wrench but not much more, c) does it have to go to the dealer/mechanic, and finally, d) what happens if I continue to ignore it, will it get much worse? Otherwise, everything else seems to work just fine. Last complete fluid change was 1000 miles ago. Thanks, in advance for any help.
 

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Just a few drops of oil will fog your front yard. Its normal especially if you parked it on the side stand. When on the side stand the cylinder head are slanted down. I tell my Harley freinds its a feature of the pre ignition oiler and we pay extra for it. ;)
 

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Ten minutes worth may suggest - especially with the white smoke comments - a coolant issue. This would be VERY unusual on this engine...

Try this exercise: Shut the engine off and before parking, tilt the bike to the right for about 30 seconds and park it on the center stand - NOT the side stand.

The next cold start should have very little smoke, and it should subside in 30 seconds. If this is the case it is nothing to worry about, and as mentioned above just another example of superlative BMW engineering design to eliminate cold start engine wear. ;)
 

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What does it smell like? Burning coolant has a very distinct odor.
 

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Is it smoke or water vapor. Since it is getting cold, water vapor condenses inside the exhaust system and as engine heats up it evaporates it off. This is very common here in the northeast during the cold months.
 

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As Ron stated, white smoke indicates anti-freeze burning. The oil burn smoke on these is easily mistaken as white depending on what oil you are using. On mine there's just a small blue tinge to the smoke. The smoke is caused by the cylinder head being on the left side and therefore "downhill" when the cycle is on the side stand. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it won't. Mine smoked so bad once that I couldn't see vehicles in my mirrors. A simple way to avoid the problem is to develop a habit of using the engine kill switch first, shutting the ignition off second, and putting the side stand down last. Try that or just use the center stand.
 

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Put your hand in the exhaust stream is it oil that you smell or Glycol I would as suggested check your radiator level
 

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I'd suggest stickin yer nose in the smoke and taking a wiff, white smoke, if antifreeze, usually makes me gag:)

a little burning oil ain't so bad on the nose after a side stand park :cool:

But I do recall similar issues in MI when cold, it does look white so give it a wiff and see.
 

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Good God Yall !!!

It's Normal... Most likely because you're just shutting it off and dropping it on the side stand. Pull up to your stop. Leave the bike in 1st gear. Shut the bike off with the sidestand or Key off. Then......
As was suggested earlier, Hold the bike upright or slightly to the right for 30 seconds after shutting the engine off. This allows the oil to drain back into the crankcase and not get down into the cylinders. Using the center stand will keep it from doing that very much.
But as long as you let it drain a few seconds the side stand will work fine.
It's been observed that this will occur more with a higher oil level in the engine.
I ususally kept mine at between half and 3/4 site glass when on the center stand.
My LT would somehow use up that first half site glass and then stop.....

Add some DDT to your gas and keep the mosquitos down in the summer time.

You've activated the Camp Fog feature of the LT...

Get used to using the side stand to shut the bike off. Folks come in tired and have forgotten to put it down and dropped the bike.

I wouldn't even be concerned about it as long as the smoke doesn't smell like coolant.

It's very, very, very, very rare for one of these engines to have a head gasket failure.

Keep us posted.

John
 

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This is importand so I decided to post it separately.

Don't use the kill switch to shut off the bike. #1 Sidestand, #2 Key.

Those kill switches aren't very robust if you know what I mean. It's been know to fail and leave you stranded... Kill switch is only for emergency.. Unless you want to replace it...

There are those who will disagree... I'm a technician, I know how switches and things work...

That switch when fooled with feels like it could just break off at any time...

Take care

John
 

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yeh I have had the skeeter fog machine go on for like four to five minutes when parked on the side stand...

its much kewler to have it side stand down in gear.... balance..... take gloves off slowly and deliberately.... look around... remove helmet....turn off radio.....lower screen....zip jacket down....

now lean the bike onto stand...
dismount.... turn off key...grin ... cause when you start it the next time... it won't smoke!


:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, everyone, for the info. The uniform answer seems to be to keep the bike straight when shutting down (without using kill switch) and keep upright for at least 30 seconds, then put side (kick stand) or center stand. I've got the '03 model and frankly, haven't yet mastered putting it up on center stand. But you have all certainly relieved my concerns over a leak. Thanks again.
 

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I have a 2002 LTC and I turn the engine off and lean to the right until the security system yellow lights flash on the dash. Never have smoke.

Al
Spokane
WA
 

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judgebill said:
Thanks, everyone, for the info. The uniform answer seems to be to keep the bike straight when shutting down (without using kill switch) and keep upright for at least 30 seconds, then put side (kick stand) or center stand. I've got the '03 model and frankly, haven't yet mastered putting it up on center stand. But you have all certainly relieved my concerns over a leak. Thanks again.
Remember, when using side stand, ALWAYS leave bike in 1st gear.
Can't roll off and go boom that way..........
 

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Seems we are all "jones'in" for good quality posts as of late... :D In reference to the OP issue, I had the same issue with my '00. Asked the same questions, got the same responses....( Even adding DDT, LMAO!) To solve my issue as it was not the normal "side stand" enticed problemo was to reset the Motronic. Have you had her balls out recently? Is this a recent issue or a long term recurring one? and '03 with those miles, does she ever get out and stretch her legs?
 

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JPSpen said:
This is importand so I decided to post it separately.

Don't use the kill switch to shut off the bike. #1 Sidestand, #2 Key.

Those kill switches aren't very robust if you know what I mean. It's been know to fail and leave you stranded... Kill switch is only for emergency.. Unless you want to replace it...

There are those who will disagree... I'm a technician, I know how switches and things work...

That switch when fooled with feels like it could just break off at any time...

Take care

John
I've had the LT for 3 years now, ride it every day (usually, unless there's ice or forecast of ice) and have always used the engine cutoff switch to shut down. I have found it to be robust enough to endure 55k miles so far.

Not intended to be argumentative, just posting another opinion and personal experience.
 

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And also not intending to be argumentative, but in support of John's concern over the Kill Switch weakness, my personal experience on a recent trip was a broken tab on the switch when I did use it! I still have the piece which I will probably try to re-glue.

As far as the preferred method to kill the engine, the Sidestaand deployment while still in gear is the best way in my opinion.

John
wacolt said:
I've had the LT for 3 years now, ride it every day (usually, unless there's ice or forecast of ice) and have always used the engine cutoff switch to shut down. I have found it to be robust enough to endure 55k miles so far.

Not intended to be argumentative, just posting another opinion and personal experience.
 

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judgebill said:
Thanks, everyone, for the info. The uniform answer seems to be to keep the bike straight when shutting down (without using kill switch) and keep upright for at least 30 seconds, then put side (kick stand) or center stand. I've got the '03 model and frankly, haven't yet mastered putting it up on center stand. But you have all certainly relieved my concerns over a leak. Thanks again.
You may want to consider this technique to get it up on the center stand that I talked about years ago - it is MUCH easier:

Over the past four years I've been pretty lucky not to wrench my back putting the beast on the center stand. I even posted that I did not understand what the big problem was..... well, a couple of weeks ago I finally messed up my back good doing exactly this - luckily it is nothing more than a muscle pull. Ibuprofen is my friend.

As part of the team that designs our seats we work with an ergonomics specialist, and I was complaining to her how badly I hurt myself. She asked me to demonstrate (kind of) how I put it up on the centerstand:

Grab the left handle bar grip with my left hand, put my right hand on the "grip" below the seat, face the bike and stand on the extension with my right foot. Then TRY to make one very smooth motion utililizing all three points for leverage. This is exactly how I tweaked my back, and it is WRONG.

Her recommendation was to grab the left handle bar grip with my left hand,
grab the luggage "grab rail" (passenger grab rail on top of the side hard case) with my right hand, (don't worry, it won't break) face the BACK of the bike, and stand on the extension with my LEFT foot, while standing up straight, back arched with my head level.

Not only could I get her up with my bad back, it was probably 50% of the effort. What I had done before was causing torsion (twisting) and is VERY bad for your bod - DUH. Fugghedabout the "grip" below the seat, it is dangerous since you need to reach to use it.

This is all new to me and I hope this helps out someone since I know it has been a "bone of contention" for years.
 

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That reminds me of the time I went to take an advanced riding course. The school was owned and operated by a woman.

Being such, she obviously had had a few "what can a woman teach me ?" comments from guys who had been riding for a long time and wanted to freshen up their skills.

The first thing she told us to to do was to put the bike on it´s centre stand. Nearly all of us did it the "wrong" way. She then proceeded to show us the "right" way, which is the one you described above.

That really put us in our place. After that, she had us all round her little finger.

Mind you, being a faster and more competent rider than anyone else, helped as well !.
 

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Personally I don't use my kill switch either, but it is a good way to "kill" some time before tilting the cycle. (Now that's funny, I don't care who you are):rotf:

The kill switch is stressed in MSF classes and I suppose it's a good thing to practice but at the same time I doubt that any of us would have the presence of mind to use it if we find ourselves sliding sideways across the pavement.
 
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