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Old 2 Aug 2004
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Location: Medellin, Colombia
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1150GS engine knocking and pinging. PLEASE HELP

I recently changed my 1100gs for a 2001 1150gs. I really like this bike, however I noticed tha the engine knocking and pinging occurs frequently. Any solution??? Please notice that I live in Colombia (South America) where the fuel quality is low.
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Old 2 Aug 2004
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How is it on better quality fuel when you can get it? If it's okay, then:

There is available - or WAS - MAY not be now - a replacement chip for the fuel management system to retard the timing and adjust for poor quality fuel. Check with your BMW dealer.

In the meantime, ride it gently so that it isn't pinging - keep pinging a lot and you will damage the engine, expensively. Low throttle openings and higher revs is better.

Good luck.

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Old 3 Sep 2004
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I read somewhere that you can go to a BMW dealer and have them re-program the ignition advance curve. I guess there is like two choices, regular and retarded. Ask, this will solve the problem.
But the root of the problem might be fuel quality, this happens some times here in Mexico also, when I travel to small towns where they dont sell much fuel so it gets little rotten. Also some nasty guys mix it with cheap solvents, what we call "adulterar" and you will get a musical "marimba" out og your GS airheads!
You can buy some Hi-octane aditive, it helps sometimes depending on the brand of it.
But if you hear it most of the time, be carefull and do not roll the throtle all the way, just little by little , otherwise you could regret it.
Good Luck

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THE Motorcycle JOURNEY is making known the unknown.
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Old 4 Sep 2004
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fuel quality is a factor . But pinging/detontations are an issue on my bike and we have 95 and 98 octane fuel in Spain. It usually seem to be related to hot weather and short urban rides. I have also had cam chain slap from the left hand cylinder. Its loud and not pleasant. There is a new revised cam chain tensioner available. i am going to try to make the dealer change it (I dont suppose Ill have much luck, I´ll try).
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Old 6 Sep 2004
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I agree with Grant.
Avoid riding with lots of throttle at low rpms.

If you find there is no modification avalible then you could try retarding the system by changing the hall effect plate position ... a few (1, 2, 3, 4 not 10, 20!) degrees - score a mark as to where it is now and then move it a little .. if you go the wrong way (advancing rather than retarding) the pining will get worse and the bike may get difficult to start. Looking at the diagrams on http://users.rcn.com/dehager/service...ll_sensors.pdf
you should move the plate counter clockwise.

Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 22 Dec 2004
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I've just bought a brand new (2004) R1150GS Adventure and have not yet done 500 miles on it, but I've noticed a loud rattly/tapping noise between 2300 and about 2800 RPM on gentle throttle, I've also now noticed a knocking between 1500 and 3000 at all throttle positions making the engine feel very rough sending vibes up through the bike. The engine oil level is good, and as I say the bike if 'brand new!'. This is my first BMW having owned several sports bikes as well as an XT600Z Tenere (which is for sale by the way), yet have never experienced this type of thing. These taps and knocks can't be right can they? I'm due to have the bike checked at BMW battersea for the initial 600 mile check a few days after christmas, I'll be pointing this out to them, but should I demand an explanation and a fix, or is this a 'quirk' of the boxer engine?

Your advice will be most welcome.
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Old 23 Dec 2004
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My 1150GS used to make constant loud noises.

Once you've eliminated fuel quality & ignition timing variables, consider the following:

I read a couple of threads on the Adv. Rider site re: noisy 1150's. One reason given was that the left hand cam chain tensioner was not up to the job. It allowed the chain to flap about a little & resonate at certain rpm. The recommended fix was the uprated tensioner from BMW, not cheap at £128.00 in the UK or £105.00 in Germany (where I bought mine).

My bike needed a service anyway & after doing nothing more than changing the engine oil, I fitted the new tensioner, the result was pretty impressive. On start up from a cold engine, it was immediately & significantly quieter at all rpm. It now sounded quieter standing next to the running bike with no helmet on than it used to while wearing earplugs & a helmet! I could now hear the ticking valves, sure sign a service was due!

The tensioner is both spring & hydraulically activated, the new part has a 30-40% stiffer spring & a smaller drain oil for the oil, together they provide the necessary tension. if you go this route, you'll need to unbolt the Telelever arm & slide it forwards to access the l/h tensioner as it sits on top of the cylinder, not below like the r/h part. I had a few problems her but resolved them (see second link) with help.

I can't guarantee this will fix your problem, it may not even be related but these two links are a worthwhile read for 1150 owners anyway:



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Old 23 Dec 2004
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Location: Estonia
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There could be many reasons:

Knocking and pinking:

- Carbon build up in combustion chamber as Grant and others stated before. Use fuel additive that will remove the buildup. Btw: my uncle uses very radical method cleaning up buidup and carbs - just washing pure water directly from bottle down to removed air filter room's hole to engine and at the same time revving warm engine enough that it can run with water/fuel mixture. After few minutes of "washing" like that the pistons head and cylinders look like brand new (absolutely no carbon)! Lot of massive black stuff (dissolved carbon) come out from exhaust during the operation. Indeed, i really don't recommend to try this "at home"! And i don't know how it reacts with katalyser if you have one on your GS.
- Incorrect or poor quality fuel
- Spark plug heat range incorect Use correct one.
- Improper air-fuel mixture Take the bike to BMW for diagnostics testing.
- Piston slap or rattling can make the bad sound too
- Cylinder-to-piston clearance excessive
- Connecting rod bent From over-revving or foreign object left in cylinder or trying to start badly flooded engine.
- Piston pin or piston pin bore worn or lack of lubrication
- Piston ring(s) worn
- Piston seizure damage Usually from the lack of lubrication or overheating.

Valve noise:

- Incorrect valve clearances
- Valve spring broken or weak
- Camshaft or auxillary shafts worn

Other noise:

- Cylinder head gasket leaking
- Exhaust pipe leaking at the cylinder head connection
- Crankshaft ronout excessive Caused by bent crankshaft (from over-revving) or damage from an upper cylinder component failure.
- Crankshaft bearing worn
- Crankshaft tensioner defective
- Camshaft tensioner defective
- Cam chain, sprockets or guides worn

Check the bike and try to remember if it could have suffered in someting in the past (i.e. overevving, overheating) - makes searching the fault easyer. If the bike is ridden easy with no harm then search for mostly spontaneousy occurring faults (i.e. camshaft tensioner etc)

Good luck, Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 23 December 2004).]
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