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Thread: What is Surging???

  1. #31
    Rally Rat RTdavey's Avatar
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    So, basically the gist of it all is: to eliminate surging, (if you don't have it now, you will evetually on an RT bike) is to sell the RT and buy something else?????

  2. #32
    My dealer (knowing how unhappy I was at one time with the surging) strongly suggested that I sell or trade my '03 RT in on an '04 RT.

    I'm so happy knowing that my dealer is always looking out for my best interests.

  3. #33
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    Motorcycles are a very personal experience. I would never suggest that someone trade a bike for a different one on someones suggestion. If you ride an R and like the experience, then enjoy and just ride. Matters not what others say. But if the surging annoys you, I suggest you are going to have quite an adventure trying to sort it out. Some folks like the adventure. I have to admit that at first, it was interesting for me. I just couldn't believe that a BMW, which I thought to be the ultimate motorcycle, could have so many issues right out of the box. And even more amazing was how so many folks in every magazine and every internet forum acknowledged these issues and yet BMW simply denied they ever existed. Whole industries were formed to deal with them (techlusion). But after a while, and when I started to long distance tour, the vibration and surging became more than I could stand.
    I think BMW is caught between a rock and a hard place. Like all air cooled motors it is very tough to meet emission standards without water cooling (see VW, Porche, HD). Moto Guzzis next series of V Twin motors will have a radiator and water cooling. BMW certainly has the engineering to build a superb motor. Witness the "K". But the BMW motorcycle masses want a boxer. And they don't want a radiator. So BMW has done the best it possibly can with an outdated powerplant layout. And I say good for them....it's smart business to accomplish what they have done. And who knows, maybe with the 1200 series they will sort it all out.

    I have a friend that bought a BMW on my advise last year. I tried to get him to go with a K bike, but he went with an R1150R. Here is the email I just received this morning as he picked up his K1200GT yesterday.....

    "I picked up the bike yesterday‘«™WOW! This is what the K has in common with my old R: The gas cap, the system bags and the key is the same shape‘«™outside of that this bike is a different animal! Smooth, fast, loves the twistys; this fulfills the promise of buying a BMW.

    Nuff said.................Ride well!
    RoyB....
    2007 BMW K1200R Sport (abs),2007 Suzuki dl650 V Strom (abs),2004 Honda VFR (abs),1972 Honda Trail 90,
    2001 Moto Guzzi V-11 Rosso Mandello

  4. #34
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride4j
    I have a 04' RT, and have read several post's about surging. What is it , and how do you tell if you have it?
    Well by now, you know what surging is.

    Now for the fun part.

    Long before I considered buying an oilhead, being an airhead owner, I had fun reading all the "surging" threads and came up with groups for oilhead owners.

    - those whose oilhead never surged, because it just didn't.
    - those whose oilhead actually surged.
    - those that couldn't tell if their oilhead surged even if it hit them in the head.
    - those that couldn't admit their oilhead surged because it was too embarrassing.

    If they didn't surge, someone would have never come out with a little black box to help fix the surging issue.

    I think the surging was due to an uneven and inconsistent burning of the mixture causing the oxygen sensor to continuously correct the mixture. The twin flame fronts now help to produce a more complete combustion.

    BTW, neither of my two 2 Spark oilheads surge and I'd know if they did.

  5. #35
    Rally Rat JCBR1150R's Avatar
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    Surging

    I always thought that surging was a "just off throttle" blip where fuel delivery didn't meet up too good with timing of the engine. I've read somewhere that tuning a boxer twin is basically like trying to get two completely separate engines to work together seamlessly. I must take talent to do this.

    When I tested out a used R1100R it had a "surge," but in my opinion, it was because I didn't know how to feather the throttle (and clutch) to bring the engine "on" smoothly. The same surge was present in the Buell Lightning I rode a week or so later, although I attribute this to it having a slightly over square powerplant.

  6. #36
    coolmg
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    Is their really a fix for surging, probably so.

    I just purchased a 03 RT and you guessed it surging is their. I'm sure someone in the aftermarket line has figured a fix, does anyone know what it is?

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by coolmg
    I just purchased a 03 RT and you guessed it surging is their. I'm sure someone in the aftermarket line has figured a fix, does anyone know what it is?

    Techlusion Inc., makes an after-market "component" that supposedly works quite well. How it works exactly, I'm not sure of, other than it recalibrates the air / fuel mixture to some degree.

    Some owners have pulled plugs under the seat in the fuse compartment. I did at one time (the pink one I think) and my RT did seem to surge less, but the bike seemed to have lost it's "edge" (responsiveness).

    Still others say all that is needed is a "good" valve adj. / TB synch.

    My RT is an '03 and I just turned 17,000 miles.....and I've learned to live with the surging.

  8. #38
    On the Road Camshaft's Avatar
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    Is surging isolated to any MYs or production dates? I'm considering an oilhead (moving from an airhead), and this surging issue dosen't sound fun.

  9. #39
    My suggestion, would be to ride the bike you are considering buying. I've heard of '03's not surging, and then again, some that do (like mine). Even the degree of surging can be debatable to some degree.

    I rode an '04 that surged, but not as bad as my '03. I've talked to guys that own '04's, and they swear that theirs don't surge.

    Bottom line.........RIDE the bike before you buy.

  10. #40
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    If there was an easy fix for surging (whoops, I mean "hunting") BMW would have done it years ago. It's not a simple problem, because the fuel management system is much less sophisticated than needed. (similar to early auto fuel injection systems when they weren't very good, I'm told) One major problem is positioning the O2 sensor to read just one cylinder. So, one sensor tries to signal both sides to adjust mixture--without sensing the output from the other side.

    The Techclusion box simply fools the system into a slightly richer mixture--which seems to help. That's about the only fix that seems to work.

    IMO, the single plug RTs seem to be the biggest culprits. The later dual plug RTs seem to be much smoother. And, for reasons unknown, some RTs surge badly, some don't. Some GSs surge, some don't. My 2003 GS surges a bit, but not so badly it causes me grief.

    YES, do ride the bike before you plunk down your money. Trouble is, many of us take a test ride on a similar model--then buy one out of stock that we didn't actually ride. If at all possible, once you're prepared to buy, make the sale contingent upon actually riding the bike. If it surges when new, it's likely to keep on surging, and even get a little worse as things wear. There are some really good BMW techs who can make most of the surging go away, but I suspect that most shops just can't afford to take the time to do it--even if they knew exactly how.

    In other words, it's a huge embarrassment for a factory that wants to be seen as the technical wizards of motorcycling. They attempt to blame it all on the EPA (those horribly tight air pollution restrictions, you know) but the fact is, the Germans just don't know how to solve the problem. I've got four BMWs in the garage, but my '03 could be the last new one, if BMW follows the trend of more complex, more "stylish" bikes that aren't functional or reliable. And you know what? BMW apparently doesn't care.

    pmdave

  11. #41
    On the Road Camshaft's Avatar
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    So, am I to assume that all oilheads could be afflicted with this condition? Or is there some correlation to production date/model year (besides just RTs) that anyone seems to have noticed? Is a first year single spark oilhead as likely to hunt as a 2003?

    Thanks.

  12. #42
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    RTs are the worst culprits for surging.
    some years seem worse than others.
    S's don't seem to surge at all.
    surging happens at steady state throttle applications.
    RT's ride at steady speeds, S's are either accelerating, or decelerating, but rarely are they in static throttle mode.

    or something like that.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Luftman
    So, am I to assume that all oilheads could be afflicted with this condition? Or is there some correlation to production date/model year (besides just RTs) that anyone seems to have noticed? Is a first year single spark oilhead as likely to hunt as a 2003?

    Thanks.

    As far as I know, or have heard, there is no certain production date / code and / or model or year, that surging is limited to.

    Or....as I had one BMW service tech tell me......"they all do that".

  14. #44
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    How about a report from owners here? I've only ridden a few different models. Perhaps owners could report in, giving the model/year of problem machines.

    "Surging" is that annoying bucking that is most obvious at slow in-town speeds, say 30 - 40 mph. The engine pulls for a second, then slows for a second.

    What's your's do?

    pmdave

  15. #45
    My RT is an '03. I bought it brand-new.

    It surges in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gear......at rpm's from about 1,000 - 3,500 or so.

    Once I get to 4K rpm, it starts behaving itself........

    During the course of what is now about 17,000 miles ridden, I have perfected the "right hand steady as a rock" syndrome.

    It helps.........

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