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Thread: 2012 chain tensioner failure

  1. #16
    Hey Rick I sent you a private last time on did you get it?
    OK so here is the latest. Bob the GM at BMW of Denver was great and actually got me a new bike. Lots of headaches for him and myself with little to no help from BMW NA. I picked up the new bike yesterday and rode it 150 miles home. Rick same noises. Same clickity clack noise at 1800-2500 rpms dying off at 3000. Still there at 3000 but sounds less severe as the harmonics of high RPMS mask the sound. I can't even bring myself to contact Bob. I think he might kill himself. I just don't know what to think. I feel especially bad as he is having a hard time getting bikes from BMW and he would rather have sold this new GT to somebody else I'm sure. Anyway I saw you being pretty bashed
    by a few less understanding people on a different forum. Ouch tough crowd. I guess you and I have to decide if we can live with that noise. I guess for me more then the fact that the sound does indeed bug me is that it just sounds like it's doing damage. It sounds like metal hitting on metal. I see people talking about the two noises. The tranny lash when getting on and of on the the throttle doesn't really bother me. It's the clickity clack that makes me a little COO COO. Can anyone out there tell me what is even causing it? On my old bike it got so bad sometimes it felt like someone was hitting on the foot pegs with a ball peen hammer not hard but hitting them. I'm with you in the fact that we shouldn't have to adapt so drastically to ride a bike that cost just barely south of 30 K. Anyway I'm just going to sit on things for a while. My perfectly good 2010 RT was still sitting on the show room floor and I could have gotten it back but I do love the 1600. The other thing that bugs me is 2 different gentlemen in service rode my old bike and agreed that it didn't sound right. So long story short I just don't know what to think and I am now going to put my helmet on as I'm sure I too will be bashed for not loving my new BMW as much as I could and I will have to decide. Live with it or move on. Most of all someone tell me what that noise is and why didn't the GTL demo bike make that noise. Good day all

  2. #17
    Just reread my prior post. I meant to say is can anyone tell me what that noise is and why DIDN'T the GTL demo make the same noise?

  3. #18
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Fairbanks, AK
    As an experiment try a thicker M/C approved oil...10W-40 or 10W-50. See if the noise abates.

    If using 5W-40 now it may help. My 2012 GT has some engine noise that increases as the engine warms up. It's not objectionable. Clutch drive gears, cams/tensioners, slipper clutch, etc. While spec'd at a 5W-40, the thicker oil won't hurt but may cost some minor fuel efficiency.

  4. #19
    Hi Damon84: Small world, I am out in Parker, CO teaching a LEO motor class. One of the students JUST bought a GTL from Denver BMW. I haven't had a chance to ride it on the road yet to see if his bike makes the same or similar noise as mine. I am more than a little surprised that your new 1600 makes the same noise as your old one. Mine is at my dealer back home for further diagnosis of the engine noise. Somehow I bet if and when they find out about your situation there will be some real head scratching....myself included because I have been on other 1600's where the noise was no where near as loud as mine. Replacement of the cam chain adjuster on mine was also partially based on what was being done on yours here in Colorado. Soooo I guess I will have to see what my dealer has to say when I get home. Can I assume that the techs or service people at your dealership here in Colorado heard the noise for themselves and agreed that it was not a "normal" noise? Thanks, Rick

  5. #20
    I'm wondering if this noise isn't just a natural sound in the new engine. Before reading this thread, I noticed an unusual sound at low rpm and no load, for example, in a 30 mph zone at about 2500 rpm. I thought to myself, "That doesn't sound right." But maybe there is nothing wrong. Maybe it's just different than the sounds of my RT or my LT simply because it's a totally different engine with different internal bells, whistles, chains, etc. Maybe the mechanics say it sounds unusual because they don't have a lot of experience with this engine either. Or maybe it's falling apart inside and I'm just in an advanced state of denial.

    Why didn't you hear the sound in the demo? Maybe you didn't duplicate the right conditions on that ride. I demoed on the same bike that I bought - right off the showroom floor. I never heard the sound on the demo ride even though it was the same bike.

    The engine sounds fine except in that one warmed-up, low-rpm / low-load situation: Add a little throttle - the sound goes away. Increase the RPM - the sound goes away. Maybe we should just down-shift and keep the engine speed higher which totally eliminates the sound. Has there been any actual evidence of damage? Has any dealer looked inside the engine and seen unusual wear or other problems. Is the chain tensioner idea a theory or a fact?

  6. #21
    Hey Rick and Professor. Would love to hear back on your student with the new GTL. I am going to go on a little ride today and record my bike. If I can figure out how to post it I will. I also wander back and forth on being in denial about the bikes issues. One minute I
    say I'm just going to ignore it and enjoy the bike. Hey it's got a warranty I tell myself. Then the other side says hey it's almost a 30K bike and it's not right. Also in the back of my brain is with that metal on metal noise I worry about some catastrophic failure and the rear wheel locking up or something in the middle of a turn. I just hope BMW is aware of it and is at least thinking about it. I just want someone of authority and mechanical prowess to say that noise your hearing is the fetzer valve engaging with the whirly gig when your throttle is on lightly. Its not doing damage and we're working on the problem. As of today I've heard only speculation as to it's cause and boy has this subject been talked about. Pretty much since the release of the bike to the original preorder group. I wonder if any mags or consumer products have done a long term product review on the 1600? I am going to wait a few days and call BMW of Denver and see if they have done any diagnosis of my old bikes. I think they would like to get it figured out and maybe use as a demo bike. So in the mean time I'll just sit on the fence..

    Rick how long are you in Parker for and do you use your own bike for the class or do you use a loaner of some type when your on the road. Just watched a cop in a LEO course doing the cone test on youtube. Pretty impressive on a big old cop bike.

  7. #22

  8. #23
    OK I'm no tech guy and my attempt to load the recording was not possible with my small brain size. I don't think the web site likes apple attachments. Tried loading it as a quick time movie and as an iTunes file. Anyway if anyone really wants to hear it I did figure out how to email it. So drop me your email address and I'll mail it.

  9. #24
    Hi Damon84 and Professor: At this point I am not sure what to think. It may be possible that this is some kind of weird engine harmonic noise unique to the 1600/6 cylinder engine, but I would be surprised if that were the case. If I didn't know better I would swear that I can almost feel something in the engine when the noise is at its worst. Some have said this noise is related to the slipper clutch but I find that really hard to believe. There is no noise at all in mine when the engine is cold but once hot it sounds for all the world like a bad tappet. It would be interesting to really dig into your old engine Damon84 see if there is anything out of sorts. I keep thinking back to one K1600 owner who took his bike in for an 18000 mile checkup and they found a bad valve that was worn and had to be replaced. So for the time being I guess I will just have to wait till I get home and see what my dealer has to say about this matter. I didn't say anything to the student that just bought his GTL a week ago but after I drove it I could hear a similar noise in his engine, but much subdued compared to mine. If I didn't know better I would think I was hearing things, but even my dealer agrees that something isn't right.

    So Damon84, have you decided to call your dealer or are you going to stand down and see if others have problems? I will send you a PM with my email address so you can forward the audio recording you made. Thanks...


  10. #25
    Rick, your description of it sounding like a bad tappet is exactly right. But other than that one situation, the bike sounds fine and runs like a bat out of hell. I'm going to just quit worrying about it for now. If it gets worse, I'll have it looked into before the warrantee runs out. The more I ride this bike, the more I love it. It is the finest motorcycle I have ever owned - or has ever owned me.

  11. #26
    Hey Professor: Glad you can just ignore the noise, I could not. It just drove me nuts listening to it. Perhaps it is my reduced or changed hearing in my old age and it's possible that certain sound frequencies just affect me differently than others. All I know is the rattle noise in my engine drove me absolutely nuts. After a couple hours on the bike listening to it I just HAD to get off it for a while or I would have beaten it to death with a sledge hammer. Good luck with your bike and I hope you two get along for now.


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