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  #1  
Old 27 May 2010
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BMW R1200GS/GSA "pinging" leading to possible Engine Failure!

We are trying to obtain as much info as possible from 1200 GS/GSA riders all over the World, but more specifically in the Southern Hemisphere countries.

Our 2009 GSA's have been found to run incredibly lean with an Air/Fuel ratio of 14.7:1, which together with our poor fuel in South Africa and high temperatures are causing the bikes to constantly "ping" and the overheating to the point where we have to switch the bikes off.

A group of 20 GS/GSA/HP2's and one RT were tested in a controlled environment on a Dyno and at 24deg C, we found that the worse of the lot was the RT with a 15:1 ratio.

We have been told by BMW that these are the settings to comply with the EU Regulations, but Germany and Europe specifically might as well be another world... we have temperatures up to 47 degrees.
Planning a trip through Africa is going to be near impossible due to the poor fuel.

There have been a couple of Boxer engines self-destructing due to the high heat caused by excessively hot running conditions, helped along by extreme temps in the engines with lean mixtures.

We have a huge lot of research behind the belt and want to present our findings to BMW to get them to allow the mixture mapping to be changed on our bikes to the idea of 13.5:1, which would not only allow a better and more responsive engine use, but would also prevent damage and melting of pistons and valves.

Anyone interested can please check our thread and findings as well as comments that are now rolling in from all over as to the "pinging" condition of these wonderful machines!

Any and all advice, help and info would be gratefully received to assist in resolving the issue!

BMW R1200GS/GSA - Boxer Engine - DYNO TESTING DONE - SHOCKING RESULTS !!! (Technical info on the thread from page 10 onwards)

Safe riding!

Last edited by Canard; 27 May 2010 at 17:38.
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  #2  
Old 28 May 2010
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I wouldn't expect them to be terribly responsive. Witness the engine surging in earlier oilheads, which got the comment that this is "current state of technology".

However, an engine that is pinging and overheating in any climate has a fault. As long as the bike is under warranty you have legal possibilities of redress. Also, I cannot see BMW wanting to replace engines under warranty in great numbers.

Perhaps in the first instance bikes under warranty should go back to the dealer for repair. It's the dealer's and BMW's problem, don't let them make it yours.

The other thing you can do, if BMW don't want to play ball, is to go to the bike magazines and let them publicise that. Loss of sales will make them move.

Good luck.
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Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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  #3  
Old 28 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Beddhist is bang on - but why not avoid all the stress and simply fit a fuel controller? problem solved without any gobble-dee-gook-marketing-responses.
I think it's a warranty-issue.


Yesterday I read through all the 14 (?) pages on wilddog but couldn't find any compilation of data or dyno-graphs. Will it be available?
Edit: Found the data.
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  #4  
Old 28 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I think it's a warranty-issue.


Yesterday I read through all the 14 (?) pages on wilddog but couldn't find any compilation of data or dyno-graphs. Will it be available?
Edit: Found the data.

They were posted in PDF format for the bikes tested... attached ~!

Notice however the lack of power on the one HP2
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Boxer Dyno-2010-05-28.pdf (272.6 KB, 224 views)
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  #5  
Old 28 May 2010
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Originally Posted by Canard View Post
Notice however the lack of power on the one HP2
The other HP2 doesn't look good either, and they are both modified...
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  #6  
Old 9 Jun 2010
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Don't these bikes have "knock" sensors to overcome this very problem?
Or am I missing something?
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  #7  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl P View Post
Don't these bikes have "knock" sensors to overcome this very problem?
Or am I missing something?
Yeah, knock sensor is amazing thing for a modern high-compression engine, but only to a certain level since it has its limits too.

R1200-s run extremely lean in stock mixture already (and they are one of the most fuel-efficent 1200cc currently around as well thanks to that and very developed EFI mapping, since BMW has a long history with EFI on their bikes)

...and then guys put better breathing filters (light foams, K&Ns etc - even more air!) and better flowing exhausts (Akrapovices, Remuses etc etc - more flow, less backpressure, faster circulation of air thus more air) = fuel mixtures go ultra-lean with those mods = extreme heat on cylinder upper heads. Combine this with extremely hot weather conditions. This all lean, dry and hot running probably helps to collect more carbon deposits on the piston heads, cylinder upper wall and valve heads as well = pinking that knock sensors can't help at some point if there's just too much of it.

I reckon we'll soon see burned holes in the piston heads if guys keep heavily performance-modifying their modern EFI bikes and running them in extremely hot climates - and it's not just BMWs, most of the new modern high compression fuel efficent EFI bikes run close-to-extremely lean mixture in stock already, the physics remain the same on all engines.
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  #8  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by Margus View Post
Yeah, knock sensor is amazing thing for a modern high-compression engine, but only to a certain level since it has its limits too.

R1200-s run extremely lean in stock mixture already (and they are one of the most fuel-efficent 1200cc currently around as well thanks to that and very developed EFI mapping, since BMW has a long history with EFI on their bikes)

...and then guys put better breathing filters (light foams, K&Ns etc - even more air!) and better flowing exhausts (Akrapovices, Remuses etc etc - more flow, less backpressure, faster circulation of air thus more air) = fuel mixtures go ultra-lean with those mods = extreme heat on cylinder upper heads. Combine this with extremely hot weather conditions. This all lean, dry and hot running probably helps to collect more carbon deposits on the piston heads, cylinder upper wall and valve heads as well = pinking that knock sensors can't help at some point if there's just too much of it.

I reckon we'll soon see burned holes in the piston heads if guys keep heavily performance-modifying their modern EFI bikes and running them in extremely hot climates - and it's not just BMWs, most of the new modern high compression fuel efficent EFI bikes run close-to-extremely lean mixture in stock already, the physics remain the same on all engines.

THIS is exactly the type of damage we want to try and avoid and prevent. The "suggestions" that have been made has ranged from 1. Changing our riding style, 2. Adding Octane Boosters, 3. Staying out o fthe 4000 - 4500rpm range.... to even "Not riding on very hot days"
The worst suggestion was that we should just trade the bikes in before the 2 year warranty lapses - so we won't have any problems.
My old R75/5 is now over 35 years old and still rides like a dream.... you want to tell me BMW has digressed and that their new "superior" 1200's are only expected to last 2 years?
Even if I can afford to buy a new bike every 2 years - which I cannot - it's still NOT ethically or morally right to then knowingly allow a possible problem bike to be sold to a fellow biker, where the engine "might" be damaged or even have catastrophic failure when the warranty is no longer covering the bike?

My not wanting or allowing people in different climates to change the airflow mapping, or voiding warranties if we even look at Power Commanders etc is nothing short of bullying tactics, when all we really want it to have a very expensive bike - running correctly as it should!

I realise the EC have strict emmission controls - well I live in Africa and one single Taxi's emmissions will destroy the good that 100 bikes are trying to do.

I delivered a letter & ultimatum to BMW yesterday (Thursday) Sort it out - or refund me!

Last edited by Canard; 11 Jun 2010 at 07:38.
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  #9  
Old 11 Aug 2011
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I have just read this thread and would like to know the result of your ultimatum.
Cheers,
Yuksel
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  #10  
Old 11 Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by MYuksel View Post
I have just read this thread and would like to know the result of your ultimatum.
Cheers,
Yuksel
Me too.

Did they use the phrase "They all do that Sir" ?

Still, think of how much the lawyers will have charged since June 2010 if this is still going on

Andy
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  #11  
Old 12 Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Me too.

Did they use the phrase "They all do that Sir" ?

Still, think of how much the lawyers will have charged since June 2010 if this is still going on

Andy

"They all do that Sir" ... is exactly what they came out with.

The excuses were unbelievable.... the BMW-SA National Sales Manager even uttered "don't you agree that in some cases pinging is not detremental and non-destructive, and merely the way the engine was saying it was still functional" - WHERE in your life have you ever heard such crap?

The way the American Consumer law protects their people was also mentioned, and basically the fact was agreed that because the South African Consumer law was not so strict - I had no recoursse!
In fact I was told that the vehicle's ECU was set for EU-3 standards and I was only one person to take on the system - therefore BMW-SA did not have enough to approach Germany for resolution to change the ECU mapping for use in Africa (in Europe they use 98 & 100 Octane - we used 95 Octane and at Sea-Level the HP output of the bike was only 92Hp instead of the marketed and promised 105HP - FALSE advertising!!)..... so much for caring about their clients!

After so-called checking and testing, not under the conditions we discussed, and with a riding style that purely disgussed me..... they declined to accept any responsibility or even to try and offer assistance.

The bike was garaged while we then hedged our options - however a family crisis arose in the UK, which meant I needed to sell my GSA ..... however I received a really good offer for the bike, which allowed me to purchase a brand new 2011 GSA a month ago in England - for less than I sold the 2009 SOHC for!

I have however only managed to do about 18 miles on the bike.... waiting for full UK license and Insurance to allow me to ride... will then see whether this one is any better?

Basically the attitude I received from BMW management sucked!! One' things for sure.... I'll never buy a BMW in SA ever again......
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  #12  
Old 12 Aug 2011
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Tough time there, but I'm glad it sounds like you are getting close to the end. It's a mess when more and more issues like this make me want to keep the Bonneville (R80GS substitute) for even longer.

The 2011 bike will have none of these problems with EU fuel that I'm aware of. The BMW testers club does seem to have run it's course with the 1200's, they seem to be working on the 800/650 and waiting for the watercooled version (bets on what'll leak or fail on the first years production model now been taken).

BMW customer service in the UK however is probably the model they used to train the South Africans. Hopefully you don't get to meet them though (although if you do and it happens to be in a dark alley late at night, give 'em something from me).

Andy
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  #13  
Old 12 Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Canard View Post
....which allowed me to purchase a brand new 2011 GSA a month ago in England....
All that and you bought a brand new GS with the money????
Geez. Apparently you still think very highly of the model, brand, and riding experience. I'm not sure how seriously to take all your previous complaints, but I do begin to see why BMW would continue to treat their customers poorly: it's obviously a viable business plan!

Back to my Kawasakis and Suzuki.

Mark
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Old 12 Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
All that and you bought a brand new GS with the money????
Geez. Apparently you still think very highly of the model, brand, and riding experience. I'm not sure how seriously to take all your previous complaints, but I do begin to see why BMW would continue to treat their customers poorly: it's obviously a viable business plan!

Back to my Kawasakis and Suzuki.

Mark
+1 on that markharf.. seems utter madness to go near them again.
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  #15  
Old 12 Aug 2011
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I have many many MZ's in many pieces. I'm am under no illusions that they really have any saving graces in terms of looks, performance, reliability, attractiveness to the opposite sex etc. In short they are, and really always were, pretty crap in the scheme of things.

However, give me a stormy night, a knackered bike and nothing more advanced than a can of cola and a Swiss army knife and can you guess what I hope the bike is?

Having learned that South African petrol is the issue, why start the learning curve at the bottom by buying a Triumph, Yamaha, Honda, Ural, Cagiva or whatever that's going to have an equally hopeless bit of design somewhere? Admittedly, after the F650 water pump thing I will never buy a new BMW again and I will never have any faith in any brand, but this also, logically, means using the hard gained knowledge should make the Rotax engined pig a logical choice for me. I guess Canard likes the 1200 when it works and knows them well.

Of course, as the great man (Homer Simpson) said; "Listen to the song in your heart, not the voices in your head".

Andy
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