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Thread: 2010 (DOHC) R1200GS Engine Vibration

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5_19 View Post
    Mine was kind of gradual and just seems it kept getting worse. What happened at 40,000km? Was it after service etc? Where are you located?
    At first I noticed my windshield vibrating more at a light, then the highway ride that felt it was on cobblestones. It wasn't after service and I didn't do much to the bike. After each attempt the dealer makes all i have to do is rev it a bit and I know the issue is still there. They are very frustrating to deal with as they don't know what they are doing and they eventually start trying to make you believe there is not a problem.
    I know my bike and I know there has been a significant change. The service manager always told me these engines get smoother as they get broken in. Now he tells me at 40,000 km this is what I might have to expect. He changes his story to suit the situation. I am going to force him to ride another camhead and then jump on mine. I worry he is such a liar that he'll say "it's within the tolerance we are allowed for vibration"
    This is not a typical boxer vibration, I know what that feels like. This is a constant high frequency deal breaker vibration.
    I have no respect for his opinion anymore. I'm giving them one more chance and then the bike will be traded in for a Triumph Explorer XC. I'm done with BMW. I'm in Toronto, Canada.
    If it is an engine unbalance situation I can guarantee they will never find this, never mind solve it.

    5_19 please let us know if the stick coils make a difference.

    As a footnote, isn't it sad we need to rely on other riders to fix problems ? Shouldn't the manufacturer have the knowledge to deal with this ? It's gotten me so stressed I just want this problem to go away.

  2. #32
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Vibration under power in a twin engine has a couple possible sources:

    1) Unequal combustion power
    2) Something mechanical in the powertrain

    If you let off the throttle at high speed and coast (clutch still engaged) and the vibration goes away, and if you coast with the clutch disengaged, and you have no vibration, it seems like it has to be unequal combustion.

    Once you know the stick coils are good, and that compression is equal and that the valves are correctly set, you're down to a couple items.

    1) Throttle butterflies under power are at different angles. Plug the canister lines at the TB temporarily and equalize with the throttles well off the stops using the right hand adjuster.

    2) the BMSK, which has dual independent Mixture Adaptation, does an excellent job of equalizing AFR (meaning fueling), has corrupted adaptation tables. For the OP I'm suspicious of this because it happened after a re-flash. I would reset the Adaptives with a GS-911 and verify both LCFs and O2 sensors were working with a GS-911.

    3) The tank vent solenoid only goes to the left TB and it opens and closes on a timer. The valve inside the solenoid is supposed to open less at idle than at WOT. It has a spring that counteracts the high pressure differential at idle. I suppose this valve could get messed up and stay too far open. That's why I'd try riding with both TBs plugged for a while, to see if maybe something is wrong with the valve.

    4) I would also have the GS-911 park the idle actuators in their lowest position and make sure there was the specified amount of slack.

    With equal air, and working O2 sensors, the BMSK should be able to equalize the power.
    RB

  3. #33
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    I have a Canadian bike which never had a canister. The tech changed the Bowden box components and the sync is dead on. Everything else is functioning as it should. All the ignition components were checked by me and two independent BMW techs.

    On the highway I pulled the clutch in and the vibration disappears. Rev the engine and I feel them again .

    My only thoughts now are there may be carbon build up on one piston head, which is a longshot.

    The other is the engine is mechanically out of balance. I don't think they have a way of measuring this though.

    I can see them finding "no fault" and whining that they can't fix a fault they can't find. I keep asking them if severe vibration is not a fault ?

    Unfortunately technicians, like doctors, just want you to go away if they can't find the problem. It's called the GOMER policy. Get Out Of My Emergency Room. They will then lie and deny .

    Does anyone know a way to determine a mechanical imbalance in the boxer engine ?

  4. #34
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpw1200 View Post
    Does anyone know a way to determine a mechanical imbalance in the boxer engine ?
    Many many years ago I saw an article by a HD mechanic who shone a pinpoint flashlight at the HD's rear-view mirror and watched the reflected patterns on the wall of his shop - he claimed to be able to tell what was out of balance by the pattern produced. I always thought the article was pretty much BS - but aside from something like that, short of disassembly and measurements, I don't know of any means to track down a mechanical imbalance on any engine.

    You might spend a bit of time with a mechanic's stethoscope and your bike and one that runs well, and see if there are any odd mechanical noises coming from any area of your engine. (Harbor Freight has a dandy stethoscope for $3.99 - sometimes on sale for $1.99.. great tool, and one I use frequently.)

    As Roger pointed out - the BMSK should do an adequate job of making the engine make equal power from the cylinders. To check it, I'd look at the O2 sensor output using a GS-911 and make certain the patterns look similar port/starboard cylinders. If one looks significantly different - first I'd swap the O2 sensors and see if the odd pattern follows the sensors - if it did, I'd replace the one with an odd pattern (by odd - I mean excessively slow switching - should be on the order of 1 second or so - or low output.) A bad O2 sensor will not cause any fault to be stored in the BMSK, so if the dealer's mechanic isn't really tech savvy (some rely on the machine to tell them what to do) - they could have missed this. Dunno if the factory computer shows the actual O2 sensor pattern or not, that might be something the GS-911 has and the factory box may not.

    I realize you have replaced the O2 sensors - but the only mechanical fault I found in my bike was the routing of the wiring going to the port side O2 sensor. It was mounted so it rubbed against the back of the transmission case. It eventually wore enough to ground the output from the sensor - intermittently. Took quite a while to track this down - something like that could have happened - which is why the GS-911 is so handy to have.

    Other than that - I can easily understand your frustration. I had an '04 R1150RS that was a lovely bike in all respects - except - it had a buzz in the engine that made it impossible for me to ride any distance without being in severe pain in my hands. Nothing I did made it go away, and I did a LOT of things. I finally traded it in for my current R1200R - which is wonderful as far as vibration. The dealership that took it in trade resold it 3 times after I traded it in - it seemed no one could stand the bike for long. Dunno what eventually happened to it, but I was certainly glad to see the last of it.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 03-25-2014 at 10:15 PM.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  5. #35
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    +1 to Don's advice.

    You could also use your GS-911 to reset Adaptive values and see what it is like and how the vibration progresses: more or less or the same after resetting.

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    I asked them to change the O2 sensors and stick coils ,as they ran out of ideas. They will not do it unless their little computer tells them they're faulty. At this point I doubt that's the problem as well, and I'm done with this. Life's too short.

    The adaptive values were reset numerous times. Didn't make a lick of difference.

    The O2 sensor plots look exactly the way they should and are identical.

  7. #37
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpw1200 View Post
    I asked them to change the O2 sensors and stick coils ,as they ran out of ideas. They will not do it unless their little computer tells them they're faulty. At this point I doubt that's the problem as well, and I'm done with this. Life's too short.

    The adaptive values were reset numerous times. Didn't make a lick of difference.

    The O2 sensor plots look exactly the way they should and are identical.
    Then it sounds like the O2 sensors are fine and that it is not the adaptive values going awry.

    If you have access to a GS-911, and can connect it, set it up to log values to a CSV file on your PC, then start the bike without touching the throttle, and let it idle like that for 5 minutes. Close the file. I would be happy to look at it.

    Have you tried pulling the tank vent hose from the left throttle body, capping the TB nple and going for a ride? Could be something wrong there.
    RB

  8. #38
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    Re-visit of the Lambda Sensors

    Looking to test the Lambda sensors by using volt meter and heat gun. Been reading about this Cam head engine vibration problem around the world, UK South africa, Germany, Canada. One of the guys in South Africa had got his dealer to swap out the Lambda Sensors even though the BMW computer showed no fault codes and it worked. Vibration gone smooth runnings again. It took a few letters to the current BMW Motorcycle business director and he lit a fire under the local dealer. So, re-visiting the Lambda sensor again.

    Any one know of an after market Lambda Sensor replacement for the BMW ones. for the 201-2012 Cam Head part# 11787718140 and printed on the inside of the sensor under the threads NTK:JAPAN-9G21. Can't find a hit on these for a replacement part. $240.00 a piece is steep but if it runs again it is worth it!

    Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks,
    rac

  9. #39
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    In order to test them for accuracy you need a source of specific air/gas type and control O2 sensor temperature.

    Another way is to put them in an exhaust with a second bung added and compare each sensor with an LC-1. If you wanted to send both of them to me, I can do it.

    This is a perfect replacement but you have to cut and splice with posilock connectors. $79 at Beemerboneyard.

    http://www.beemerboneyard.com/11781464492n.html

    I will be surprised if lambda sensors solve your problem.

  10. #40
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    Cool What do you suggest?

    Roger 04 rt,

    If you don't think it is the Lambda sensors do you have a different suggestion? I started this thread a while back and another on ADVrider. This thread seemed to have more concious thought as it progressed. So I am open to suggestions because I would rather be riding than fixing and this BMW is starting to resemble a "Hanger Queen"!

    Please, I am listening!

    Thanks,
    rac

  11. #41
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Can you connect your gs-911 and set it up to log realtime values to a CSV file? Then start and let it run 5 minutes. All without touching the throttle. And then send me the csv file to review?

    This would let us verify the interaction of the sensors in a format where I have comparative data.
    RB
    Last edited by roger 04 rt; 03-26-2014 at 05:05 PM.

  12. #42
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strmboui05 View Post
    Roger 04 rt,

    If you don't think it is the Lambda sensors do you have a different suggestion? I started this thread a while back and another on ADVrider. This thread seemed to have more concious thought as it progressed. So I am open to suggestions because I would rather be riding than fixing and this BMW is starting to resemble a "Hanger Queen"!

    Please, I am listening!

    Thanks,
    rac
    In an earlier post you mentioned that pulling in the clutch at a speed/RPM where you get vibration results in the vibration stopping. Here are some other points to test.

    If the bike is on its stand, in neutral, does the vibration occur in the problem RPM range?

    If you cruise at high rpm, then close the throttle while you decelerate through the problem rpm range does the vibration happen?

    If you run in the problem rpm range on a downslope, is there vibration?

    If you run in the bad range going up an incline is the vibration more or less?

    RB

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
    In an earlier post you mentioned that pulling in the clutch at a speed/RPM where you get vibration results in the vibration stopping. Here are some other points to test.

    If the bike is on its stand, in neutral, does the vibration occur in the problem RPM range?Yes and it gets worse with higher rpm

    If you cruise at high rpm, then close the throttle while you decelerate through the problem rpm range does the vibration happen?NO

    If you run in the problem rpm range on a downslope, is there vibration? A lot less than going uphill

    If you run in the bad range going up an incline is the vibration more or less? MORE

    RB
    I send you a pm requesting your email so I can send you the CVS file.

    Thanks,
    TJ
    ~TJ
    From: The fastest growing town in Texas, it's Dublin every day!
    2009 BMW R1200 GSA
    IBA 45734, Member MOA, VRCC and PGR

  14. #44
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5_19 View Post
    My bike is a 09 R1200 GSA with 45k miles. A few days ago I made a quick 520 miles round trip on the super slab and was pretty annoyed by the vibrations between 4000 and 5500 rpm. The vibrations got worse with hp output or with a load increase like going uphill or head wind. going down hill it was bearable. Pull in the clutch at speed and it's smooth as glass. Therefore mine is definitely engine related.

    My right mirror is vibrating more than the left (just another observation). Yesterday I started trying to figure out if I could figure out what is causing this and if I could make some improvements. After reading several post and what others have found I think I have several issues.

    One thing that I found was that my bike runs the same if I disconnect the bottom stick coils. However when I disconnect the main side coils it wont go over 40 mph. Its run and idles with reduced power and completely dies under load, just like it hit the rev limiter or somebody hit the kill switch. From reading the above post I think it might be save to conclude that my bike has an electrical issue with either the bottom plugs, stick coils, or some other electrical issue. Because it happened under load it think it must be the stick coils.

    Besides the bottom plug issue I was able to make a significant, therefore noticeable improvement. Checked valve clearance and all where within spec. Just did them about 3000 miles ago. Got the GS-911 out and went thru the whole thing and made no changes as none where necessary either. When I checked the throttle body syn the FIRST time it was within spec also. The 2nd time I decided to put a tee in the line and leave the hose that hooks up on the LH throttle body (US models only) as part of the test. There is was a noticeable difference. Throttle body sync near perfect as I have ever seen it with the hose disconnect, Sinc is all messed with it hooked up. This hose goes to the charcoal canister and can be disconnected. I decided to go test ride the bike with the hose off and the test port plugged. Bottom line for me, less vibration, smoother at idle, noticeable clearer right mirror. I have a winner here!!!

    After these findings I decided to figure out a way to leave my synchronization tool hooked up during these short test rides. By doing that I found out two things. Right now synchronizations is best when the LH test port is plugged. Its even better when the bottom stick coils are disconnected (I already found out earlier that I must have some issues with those).

    FYI must sync tool is simply a 15 ft clear hose filled for about 1/3 with transmission fluid. The specific gravity of transmission fluid is roughly 14 times less than mercury. The highest difference that I observed was 6" transmission fluid (= 0.4"Hg not bad). The best was, dead even at 4500 rpm and <1" at idle.

    I think we should keep this thread going and when both bottom stick coils are replaced I will report back.
    TJ,
    Just sent you a pm with my email address.
    RB

  15. #45
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    strmboui05

    Quote Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
    In an earlier post you mentioned that pulling in the clutch at a speed/RPM where you get vibration results in the vibration stopping. Here are some other points to test.

    If the bike is on its stand, in neutral, does the vibration occur in the problem RPM range?

    If you cruise at high rpm, then close the throttle while you decelerate through the problem rpm range does the vibration happen?

    If you run in the problem rpm range on a downslope, is there vibration?

    If you run in the bad range going up an incline is the vibration more or less?

    RB
    Answer: 1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Yes
    4. increases

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