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Thread: 2002 R1150R overheating and bad engine clatter

  1. #1

    Angry 2002 R1150R overheating and bad engine clatter

    Hi all! I'm new to the forum as well to my recent purchase of a '02 r1150r oilhead and although I have been up on 2 wheels for 35 yrs, this is my 1st bmw oilhead. I love the way it handles and rides however I'm having an overheating and engine clatter problem. Stuck in traffic yesterday morning and idling for about 5 minutes, the engine clatter progressively got worse to the point it sounded like it was going to blow. At cold start up its smooth with very little valve noise but this didnt sound like valves. It sounded like rods or piston slap. Is this normal for this particular bike? I hope not ....and is there anything I can do about it? Please help!

  2. #2
    The engine relies on air flow both through the oil cooler and past the cylinders to cool the engine. They will overheat when left idling for more than a few minutes without airflow. The best thing to do in such stopped or stop and go situations is to turn the engine off and/or get out of the traffic situation. It is an air cooled engine with circulation of oil through a cooler and around the hottest parts of the heads. But there is no fan and a flow of air is required to cool the motor.
    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/

  3. #3
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    What Paul said but one thing to confirm is the oil viscosity.
    More than 1 noisy oilhead I've seen had the wrong viscosity oil in it.
    Use 20w50 non syn or 15w50 syn for conditions over 40f
    They sound horrible with 10w30.

    BTW - welcome to the forum!
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

  4. #4
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    Noises are so subjective. Finding an answer on a forum is a moonshot.
    My 1997, first BMW, is the noisiest bike I"ve ever ridden! I've had it still short of a year, and just getting used to it. Dry clutch makes noise, two piece disks make horrible noises. I was freaking out the first month!! Adj. the valves, got the new cam tensioner, inspect my brakes constantly.... it is just a noisy rascal. Also, if you are new to R boxers, 'smooth' is a relative thing. its not smooth in my book.
    Take short trips, ride without a helmet around the block, try to get an idea of where/what/when the sound is. Find a buddy to listen. (I did) Visit the dealer and see if a rider/salesman will give you 5 minutes to listen.(I did. Nice guy.) All the time I spent initially on this forum just put more fear into me, with 'issues'. haha! As it is, now, I think my bike is in a high state of tune and running great. BMW's are weird

  5. #5
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    Also, what about overheating? Any description of gauge or other observations?

  6. #6
    The original post clearly describes both the cause and the effect of the overheated engine. The cause = stuck in traffic. The effect = overheating and a clanky noise caused by the overheated condition. It will happen every time that model bike is idled or run with minimal airflow for more than a very few minutes. The only real question is whether the engine was damaged. I suspect not but only time will tell.

    If now that it is not overheated it doesn't make rattling or clanking noise there probably is no problem. Ride the bike and when stuck in traffic shut it down and/or get off that road.
    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/

  7. #7
    Thanks for the response guys! The bike was parked and cooled minutes after the "overheating" experience and upon start up it sounds fine. Just freaked out over how bad it sounded. No temp gauge on this model but would be helpful.....I wonder why bmw decided not to equip? My last motorcycle, 88 ci harley, air cooled, never did this even in the most extreem heat condition. I have ordered a 20/50 Amsoil exchange and hope that this high priced oil might help because in hotter ambient temps this summer I'm afraid I might get discouraged with it. The bike handles and performs like a dream tho and I'm already looking for another to make some long trips on with the wife....any suggestions?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bradramsey70 View Post
    Thanks for the response guys! The bike was parked and cooled minutes after the "overheating" experience and upon start up it sounds fine. Just freaked out over how bad it sounded. No temp gauge on this model but would be helpful.....I wonder why bmw decided not to equip? My last motorcycle, 88 ci harley, air cooled, never did this even in the most extreem heat condition. I have ordered a 20/50 Amsoil exchange and hope that this high priced oil might help because in hotter ambient temps this summer I'm afraid I might get discouraged with it. The bike handles and performs like a dream tho and I'm already looking for another to make some long trips on with the wife....any suggestions?
    I absolutely don't believe that an air cooled Harley, or any other air cooled bike didn't overheat when idled stuck in traffic for a prolonged period of time. Maybe it didn't make funny noises but I would absolutely be certain that the engine and the oil both got hotter than they are supposed to be. That is the simple physics of air cooling. Air flow is required. Now that you know how the BMW sounds just avoid abusing it by allowing it to run and idle when stationary or in extreme stop & go congestion. Just don't do it.
    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/

  9. #9
    Thanks Paul....have you heard of anyone installing an after market fan on these models? Yeah, the harley never made any clatter noises but it didnt have a temp either. I used 2/50 synthetic oil in it also...

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bradramsey70 View Post
    Thanks Paul....have you heard of anyone installing an after market fan on these models? Yeah, the harley never made any clatter noises but it didnt have a temp either. I used 2/50 synthetic oil in it also...
    I know that the BMW 1100 and 1150 Police bikes had fans installed because the police often dismount leaving the bikes idling for a period while they direct traffic or write tickets or whatever. I have read some comments about getting the police bike parts from a dealer and installing a fan. I have read some other comments about other sources of generic fans but never paid a whole lot of attention to the details.
    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/

  12. #12
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    Use dino oil.
    These don't need syth.
    Others have suggested that using synth oil in these engines can actually lead to oil leaks in some cases.

  13. #13
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    Must...resist...urge...to...respond.


  14. #14
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    Must...resist...urge...to...respond.

    Down boy. Down!
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

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