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Thread: 2014 R1200RT with abnormal valve train noise (ticking in nature)

  1. #1
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    2014 R1200RT with abnormal valve train noise (ticking in nature)

    I am currently riding a 2014 R1200RT and have a question for the forum specific to the water cooled motor. I tend to use the bike for both local work runs and longer tours of 4k Ė 6k miles. The bike has just under 20k miles and the motor seems to be progressively getting louder relative to the valve train. The issue has been ongoing since the 6k mile range, or that is at least the first time I asked the BMW techs to take a closer look at the motor. The valves have not required any adjustments over the course of the 6, 12 and 18 thousand mile services.

    So directly to the issue. The noise essentially sounds like what you would hear from a motor with hydraulic lifters where one of the lifters was not getting enough pressure, thus the ticking sound (the motor does not have this design). The left side is more pronounced than the right to the ear. Now this is my first boxer motor, but I have been around several other bikes with the same motor and they are nowhere near this noisy. I recently purchased a RNineT, which is a different motor, so not a true comparison, but I can tell you there RNineT sounds nothing like the RT. Different oil viscosity and apparently different engine tolerances per the BMW mechanics.

    Just past the 18k service, the dealer replaced the cams due to some wearing concerns. This apparently has been an issue with a few other units. All valves adjusted, new cams, still noisy. Maybe slightly better, but still loud and does not sound right to me and apparently BMW, because I continue to press for a solution and they claim to be opening a PUMA ticket (Iím sure I have this acronym incorrect). The ticket is supposed to be a technical request for more manufacturer support. I could be wrong on this last part, but that is how I understood the discussion.

    Iím almost willing to trade the bike in for a 2016 but they donít make the Grey any longer so now Iím going to press them to fix the motor. Iím also not willing to let them sit on the bike for weeks to find a solution because I use the bike extensively.

    Oh, I did leave out one piece of information. When started cold, bike sounds wonderful. Once the oil is hot, and bike is at an idle or very light load under 3k RPM's, noisy as can be. Annoying enough that folks next to me on an HD what to know what is wrong with the bike.....

    Any similar experiences out there with this particular year ?

    Jamie

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    On my 600 miles service since I changed the oil on my own I switch to Amsoil 10W-40. Well, I know someone will say that 10W-40 and the recommended 5W-40 are same when oil is hot. That's true but I still believe that Amsoil is the better product especially when it comes down to quieting noisy lifters. Running strong 8K miles after.(of course I changed it at 6K as recommended). Give it a try it won't hurt.
    I had a starting issue also and the dealer could not fix it. Again on my own I switch to K1600 spark plugs which are same as far as reach and heat index, so bike starts times better. Dealer will never recommend it of course.
    The starting issue, the noisy valves and others, those issues are not for the dealer, some manufacturer support needs to be involved.

  3. #3
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    I had a ticking noise in my 2014 GSA WC. At 29k had a flat intake cam on the right side, other cams showing wear. A 2 week wait for parts and back together. Off on a ride to the rally, and one other ride to Durango in the middle of August. Took her in for a valve adjustment and to check the wear. 3 valves required adjustment. 35k miles. Then off on the last ride of the season to the east coast. Returned home after 9600 miles and back to the dlr for a valve adjustment. 2 valves required adjustment, This was at 45k miles. Haven't been on her since, Currently apart in the garage for cleaning.
    I would suggest going back to the dealer and have them take another look at the valve train. When my dlr called BMW they were told my failure was the second one they knew off. I can't vouch for their veracity.

    bob

  4. #4
    My 2014 is louder than I would like, especially at idle after it warms up. Ticks loudly and a little embarrassing at stop lights and wish it would always sound the way it does when it's cold. Now at 25k miles but had always sounded like that. Please let me know if you find a solution.
    2014 R1200RT
    2013 C650GT

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    I'm in a similar boat I think. Seems like excessive valve noise at idle, but especially when accelerating.
    In my case, and even more concerning to me, if I'm in 5th gear at around 4K rpm (65mph ish) and I go WOT, I'm getting a noise like ball bearings or marbles in a blender.
    Taking it in for service hopefully next week.

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    Dealer is looking for an audio file, so I'll send them one for the ticket they are running.

    My understanding is the 5W 40 viscosity oil is due to the tighter tolerances in the water cooled engines. Would love to try a 10W 40 solution but not interested in fighting a warranty battle.

    I will keep you posted on the progress, but very interested to see if there are more bikes with this issue. I'm guessing there are.

    Jamie

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by spazpilot View Post
    I'm in a similar boat I think. Seems like excessive valve noise at idle, but especially when accelerating.
    In my case, and even more concerning to me, if I'm in 5th gear at around 4K rpm (65mph ish) and I go WOT, I'm getting a noise like ball bearings or marbles in a blender.
    Taking it in for service hopefully next week.
    Going wide open throttle at 4K rpm resulting in it sounding like "marbles in a blender" is detonation or "pinging". Most likely the engine is going extremely lean. It is possibly a fuel quality issue, or wrong octane issue but most likely a lean fueling condition. On a very high mileage bike it might be a buildup of deposits.

    In any case, it is the equivilent of hitting the piston and valves with a medium to large sized ball peen hammer and is likely to damage the engine.

    Get it checked and fixed, would be my advice.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Going wide open throttle at 4K rpm resulting in it sounding like "marbles in a blender" is detonation or "pinging".
    It is indeed--don't do that.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  9. #9
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamiekimble View Post
    Just past the 18k service, the dealer replaced the cams due to some wearing concerns. This apparently has been an issue with a few other units. All valves adjusted, new cams, still noisy. Maybe slightly better, but still loud and does not sound right to me and apparently BMW, because I continue to press for a solution and they claim to be opening a PUMA ticket (Iím sure I have this acronym incorrect). The ticket is supposed to be a technical request for more manufacturer support. I could be wrong on this last part, but that is how I understood the discussion.

    Jamie
    Jamie - You do have the acronym correct. It is what is known as PUMA Case, which is frequently opened after the dealer and regional technical person from BMW have become stumped, so to speak. This gets the engineers at BMW AG (Germany) involved trying to get a fix for the problem.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    Jamie - You do have the acronym correct. It is what is known as PUMA Case, which is frequently opened after the dealer and regional technical person from BMW have become stumped, so to speak. This gets the engineers at BMW AG (Germany) involved trying to get a fix for the problem.
    John, thanks for confirming. I have an engineering background so I'm interested to see how this process works.

    Most of my riding miles and dealer experiences are with HD so it will be interesting to compare the processes. The RT is my first BMW. I wanted a better sport attribute to go along with my tours and that bike is perfect for me and a great machine all around. I like all of the creature comforts it offers for the big multi thousand mile runs. I also like the attributes of the boxer motor. Amazing torque that let's you not be so particular about which gear you are in at times.

    I recently bought a RNineT for around town fun and that is another great product from BMW. That bike sounds significantly better than the RT, even after getting hot.

    Clearly something up with the water cooled version so it will be interesting to see how quickly BMW wants to resolve the problem. If the shock recall is any indication, I may be in for a long ride, pun intended :-)


    Jamie

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jamiekimble View Post
    John, thanks for confirming. I have an engineering background so I'm interested to see how this process works.

    Most of my riding miles and dealer experiences are with HD so it will be interesting to compare the processes. The RT is my first BMW. I wanted a better sport attribute to go along with my tours and that bike is perfect for me and a great machine all around. I like all of the creature comforts it offers for the big multi thousand mile runs. I also like the attributes of the boxer motor. Amazing torque that let's you not be so particular about which gear you are in at times.

    I recently bought a RNineT for around town fun and that is another great product from BMW. That bike sounds significantly better than the RT, even after getting hot.


    Clearly something up with the water cooled version so it will be interesting to see how quickly BMW wants to resolve the problem. If the shock recall is any indication, I may be in for a long ride, pun intended :-)


    Jamie
    Jamie,

    I've owned many BMW, too many. Maybe 15-20ish. I should chose one or 2 and settle already.
    I think I finally have.

    This past spring, I purchased a 2014 RT and a '15 GS. Not happy. The inescapable mechanical noises from the bikes ruin the ride for me.
    From the moment I thumb the starter and hear the decompression valves slap around, to the the clunky transmission, and the seemingly constant intrusion of weird engine noises.

    Sold the RT.
    GS is for sale.
    Just a month or two ago, I purchased a 2010 GS, it has the same engine as your R 9 T.
    Although my 2010 GS certainly isn't a better all 'round performing bike than my '15 GS, I prefer riding it, if for no other reason than the disturbing mechanical noises always coming from the new one.

    This spring, knock wood, my '15 GS will sell and I'll be looking for a nice, clean, low mile, pre-wethead RT to go along with my GS.

    Most folks seem to be very happy with their LC/Wetheads. I agree, there's a lot to like.
    Tough luck for me I guess.
    Oh well.
    Last edited by dmilan; 11-21-2015 at 04:35 PM.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=dmilan;1021387]Jamie,

    This past spring, I purchased a 2014 RT and a '15 GS. Not happy. The inescapable mechanical noises from the bikes ruin the ride for me.
    From the moment I thumb the starter and hear the decompression valves slap around, to the the clunky transmission, and the seemingly constant intrusion of weird engine noises.

    QUOTE]

    Looking at the way the LC routes the oil circulation path, it seems possible an under lubing situation could exist. Over time cause flat cams. On startup it seems the top ends take to long for the lube to arrive. The MA2 spec oil doesn't help as it falls off the parts, like water would, when the engine shuts down.

    KenTfrmCA

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=kentfrmca;1022007]
    Quote Originally Posted by dmilan View Post
    Jamie,

    This past spring, I purchased a 2014 RT and a '15 GS. Not happy. The inescapable mechanical noises from the bikes ruin the ride for me.
    From the moment I thumb the starter and hear the decompression valves slap around, to the the clunky transmission, and the seemingly constant intrusion of weird engine noises.

    QUOTE]

    Looking at the way the LC routes the oil circulation path, it seems possible an under lubing situation could exist. Over time cause flat cams. On startup it seems the top ends take to long for the lube to arrive. The MA2 spec oil doesn't help as it falls off the parts, like water would, when the engine shuts down.

    KenTfrmCA
    I never knew this about MA2 spec oil. Do fully synthetic MA2 spec oils suffer this weakness? What spec do you use? ma1?

  14. #14
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    A Little More Information on MA2

    I found this in WikiPedia. Perhaps it doesn't help much:

    "JASO
    The Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) has created their own set of performance and quality standards for petrol engines of Japanese origin.

    For four-stroke gasoline engines, the JASO T904 standard is used, and is particularly relevant to motorcycle engines. The JASO T904-MA and MA2 standards are designed to distinguish oils that are approved for wet clutch use, with MA2 lubricants delivering higher friction performance."
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

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