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Thread: Atypical Smell at Operating Temp After Sitting for 4-5 Years

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    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Atypical Smell at Operating Temp After Sitting for 4-5 Years

    So, I got the bike (88 R100 RT) running after sitting for 4-5 years. The bike had a few atypical smells. Came back after about a 10 mile ride to give the bike a once over and everything seemed OK. Is it normal for bikes to have lets just say an atypical smell at operating temperature compared to normal frequent operations?
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

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    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Define "atypical". Could it be that some insect/rodent debris is wedged somewhere that is now burning off?
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Define "atypical". Could it be that some insect/rodent debris is wedged somewhere that is now burning off?
    I checked the bike over for rodent homes and did not find any. In my initial draft, I had included a description, but later deleted them, since it somewhat subjective and difficult to determine and describe aromas. But, here it goes. At first, the aroma reminded me of an electrical smell and later moved to a strong smell of something similar to oil. I realize that burning oil would not be an atypical smell. But, whatever it was, was very strong for the first 10ish minutes. There doesn't appear to be any burnt electrical wires, and there doesn't appear to be major oil leaks (no oil drips on the garage floor even during the storage period).
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

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    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Maybe it was just a thin film of oil from around the bike that had seeped during storage. Not enough to really be visible or drop to the ground, but enough to coat parts of the engine, transmission, clutch. Barring any unusual noises or failures, I suppose if the aroma goes away with use, you're probably home free, but left to wonder what it was.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    I would suspect that it is something that lodged in or on the muffler during the 4 year period and will clear up as you ride. If the bike is running strong, I'd expect it to air out quickly. If a mouse crawled into the muffler and dies, or had a nest of babies in there, it will take some time to clear it out. I'd have a break down plan for getting the bike back home if needed, but ride it a couple hundred miles before getting too worried about it.

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    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Maybe

    Well, depending on as mentioned rodent infestation being ruled out, I guess I would have to ask was the bike covered in storage? Where and how was it stored? So, in my example over this winter, I had my two bikes uncovered in my garage while I converted one half to an insulted shop. Both bikes ended up with a fine coating of wood dust as well as everything else in the garage. I cleaned both bikes but even after a wash, I got a bit of wood smell for the first few minutes of my ride after the work was done. In the past, I used to heat the whole two car garage with a torpedo kerosene heater and despite being fairly clean burning, there would still be a kerosene smell on the bikes.

    So, unless, you get a very strong electrical smell followed by smoke or it persists in being strong, or you get a strong gasoline smell, or oil smell that won't go away, I wouldn't worry. Airheads are very good about not leaking if properly maintained. St.

  7. #7
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    The bike was uncovered in my garage. Funny you should mention wood dust. I'm in townhome and the HOA just completed exterior siding repair and painting. Yes, there was wood dust in my garage. Didn't even think of wood dust burning. I went out for a second ride and the strong odor was gone. Who knows what it was, and it had me worried a bit, but things seem OK now.

    Oh and yes...it felt very good to be back riding.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

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    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it

    I am glad to hear the good news you are riding. As I sit and write this, it is pouring rain out and has been for the whole day. Not that it matters, I am not riding this summer due to health problems. Thank God, I do have a 335i convertible, to drive or I would go nuts. I do miss the bikes but it is a lot easier in a car to pull off to the side of the road and heave if need be, kinda hard on a bike even with a flip up full face helmet.

    yeah, a lot of writing, a lot of nonsense, what can I say, I am bored. LOL, Ride when you can for as long as you can, and thank God for it. St.

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