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Thread: Post here if you've had prematurely worn cam lobe(s) in your wethead

  1. #46
    Registered User dlong's Avatar
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    Bike #1 ('18 RT) needed new cams at 800 mi and was traded back to the dealer.

    Bike #2 (also an '18 RT) getting new cams and followers at 24K mi. at this time. This was detected at the 24K service. Only minor scratching noted at 12K service. The fact that I had done all maintenance on the bike since new was not raised as an issue.

    Has anyone had to have an out-of warranty cam replacement? Curious to learn how BMW will handle those claims, as they will certainly continue to arise. My parts guy quoted me 3500.00 in parts for the repair.

  2. #47
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    I have a '18 RT and popped the valve covers off the other day. Roughly 7,000 miles and the cams look like new. I got a good one!
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  3. #48
    Registered User Sticky Throttle's Avatar
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    2014 gs

    Took my 2014 GS in for its 24k service in Sept 2018. I had noticed a slight degradation in performance, but not enough to complain. It was, as I recall, very subtle.

    The bike was produced in late 2013 and was out of warranty.

    During the service, the tech noticed abnormally worn cam lobes. Service Manager got BMW to pay for the replacement (parts and labor).

    Performance had obviously decreased over time, making it almost imperceptible. The repair made an immediate difference.

    Disappointed this problem existed but pleased with my dealer and BMW. Problem solved, bike runs like new.

    Dealer: Harrison Eurosports, Salt Lake City
    2014 BMW R1200GS
    2020 BMW S1000XR
    2020 BMW R1250RS

  4. #49
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    I have a '18 RT and popped the valve covers off the other day. Roughly 7,000 miles and the cams look like new. I got a good one!
    Not to be unkind but you can not say that. These can go bad from 100 miles to 80,000 miles as has be documented all over. It also can affect LC 14 to a LC 18 with no rhyme or reason.

    This has been ongoing.
    The above is worth what you paid for it..........
    Lee 2017.5 R 1200 GSW

  5. #50

    Cam Lobes

    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    We're hearing more stories about this issue in R bikes so post here if you're needing to replace camshaft(s), include year and miles if you will. Also, a word about how you discovered the issue, be it running behavior or as an incidental finding on a valve clearance check.

    Thanks
    Maybe BMW is using the same cam manufacturer that Moto Guzzi used. Same issue. Guzzi is replacing with roller cams. Enter the bean counters. BMW automotive managers came to the motorcycle side to "improve profits."

  6. #51

    Looks like more work to own one of these

    I have done lots of work on my bikes for years. For me a motorcycle is my primary transportation. My last two motorcycles averaged a bit over 200,000 miles each. I always buy the extended warranty, for gold wings it was 6 years unlimited mileage. They did have some warranty work done over time, I wore out a rear end on one at about 150,000 miles replaced under warranty, an alternator and a fork tube on another, replaced under warranty.

    I bought an eight year warranty, 5 extra years on the BMW unlimited mileage. Reading threads like this one makes me glad I did. I am planning to do lots of the work on this new bike, my first BMW. In doing all the research I have done the bike looks to be very well designed and quite capable. It appears the only issues seem to be with quality control types of things.

    I am also thinking that being aware of potential areas for trouble thanks to this forum and the good discussions will make the membership fee money well spent. Tip of the hat to all of you for sharing your experiences.


  7. #52
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fog820 View Post
    I have done lots of work on my bikes for years. For me a motorcycle is my primary transportation. My last two motorcycles averaged a bit over 200,000 miles each. I always buy the extended warranty, for gold wings it was 6 years unlimited mileage. They did have some warranty work done over time, I wore out a rear end on one at about 150,000 miles replaced under warranty, an alternator and a fork tube on another, replaced under warranty.

    I bought an eight year warranty, 5 extra years on the BMW unlimited mileage. Reading threads like this one makes me glad I did. I am planning to do lots of the work on this new bike, my first BMW. In doing all the research I have done the bike looks to be very well designed and quite capable. It appears the only issues seem to be with quality control types of things.

    I am also thinking that being aware of potential areas for trouble thanks to this forum and the good discussions will make the membership fee money well spent. Tip of the hat to all of you for sharing your experiences.


    "Only?" Seems to be the ultimate concern one could have.
    '17 RT
    MOA #46783

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    I wouldn't expect doing 100% inspection for camshafts but I would expect a program of randomized destructive inspections or whatever is required tied to source batches etc according to some smart algorithm. What's weird about this issue w/ cam lobes is that it very apparently spans the full lifespan of wetheads and I guess more. It's not like it was one bad batch presumably, or maybe it was I don't know. We also have to factor in the true cost of their Good Will repairs against what a better QC program might cost. Compared to their competitors, how does BMW stack up against other brands of high end motorcycles?
    As to Honda, the goldwing is a fairly complex machine. Similar features, GPS, anti-lock brakes and shaft drive, solid lifters that use shims to adjust. Initial warranty for Honda 3 years unlimited mileage. I have been pleased with the quality of Honda and will comment on the much longer service intervals. I believe it is 32,000 miles on the valves and I have not needed them to be adjusted with less than a 100,000 mile interval. Spark plugs also last a very long time. Quality control for those is great. The thing was very reliable. I have a bit over 400,000 miles in total on two gold wings.

    I bought a BMW because I wanted a sport touring model and liked many of the features the BMW RT has, like removable luggage, and the very large fuel tank and range. The BMW was not my first choice but was second in comparison to the Motus, alas they were not able to make a go of it so BMW. I compared the BMW to many other bikes in the type and the 1250 rt looked to me like a very good machine in comparison to the others with regard to features and performance. After a few years and several thousand miles I will see if I still feel the same way.

  9. #54

    Cool reply

    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    "Only?" Seems to be the ultimate concern one could have.
    Actually, for me a design defect is much more of a concern.

    A quality control issue is something that can be replaced with a non-defective component, a design issue is forever. My name might be a clue to a bit of my background. Fog, stands for fat old guy, I have been a motorcycle rider for more than 45 years. As such I can remember the hinge in the middle kawasaki frames as they were called, harleys that had their owners wearing shirts that said I would rather push my harley than ride a rice burner, I saw a lot of them pushing. Engines that wold self destruct at around the shocking mileage of 25,000. There are lots more issues. Many things would be improved from model year to model year as it seemed the owners were the R&D department, we squawked enough and changes were made and we eventually bought the next version. My first motorcycle for street use cost less than 1000.00 new.

    Even with all the challenges we face today when buying high priced complex machines and dealing with problems some serious we are far better off than in days gone by. I also wish quality control was closer to perfect than it is.

    My reply was not intended to be rude, just to answer your comment, and I do see where you are coming from and believe your point is quite valid.

  10. #55
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    Sent you PM on this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by LFarling View Post
    Not to be unkind but you can not say that. These can go bad from 100 miles to 80,000 miles as has be documented all over. It also can affect LC 14 to a LC 18 with no rhyme or reason.

    This has been ongoing.
    Sent PM on this issue.

  11. #56
    Following is a short, but interesting video illustrating a method of hardening cam lobes by induction heating followed by quenching (fairly rapid cooling) -


  12. #57
    Induction heating can very rapidly and locally heat a component. It sure looks like magic Following is a short video that illustrates the general principle of induction heating -


  13. #58
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    Cam problems in 2013 LC motors

    Quote Originally Posted by LFarling View Post
    Not to be unkind but you can not say that. These can go bad from 100 miles to 80,000 miles as has be documented all over. It also can affect LC 14 to a LC 18 with no rhyme or reason.

    This has been ongoing.
    You mentioned the problem exists in LC14 - LC 18 engines. I'm currently considering purchase of a 2013 GS which, for that model,was the first year of the LC motor. Did you just happen to omit that year or do you have information that the problem does not exist in engines built in that year?

    Any other feedback you can offer for the 2013 LC would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  14. #59
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    2018 RTW - RH Front EXH cam lobe @ 33k miles

    Mine just had 'updated' cams put in due to failure at 33k miles. Engine clatter started to worsen after a couple days, out of nowhere. Worse part, (dealer un-named), the nasty black metallic ridden oil was never changed and returned to me low, without moisture even on the site glass after an hour on the center stand upon arriving home 70 miles later. Let's just say there are other issues at hand
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by onlyrt4me; 02-12-2020 at 07:40 PM.

  15. #60
    Registered User dlong's Avatar
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    First time I have seen such a varying amount of wear on the lobes of a single cam shaft. In some views, it appears the material came off in chunks! FWIW, I noticed nothing metallic on the drain plug when I discovered my issue. Hard to understand. Could there be other issues at play, such as variable rate in the valve springs or variable material in the followers? I doubt we will ever learn.

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