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CandyMan_ZA 01-03-2012 11:14 PM

2011 R1200GSA pre-ignition and pinging
Hi readers, I have a 2011 R1200GSA, it now has 5500km’s on the clock, this is my 3rd R1200GS, I had a 2004 and a 2007 standard R1200GS before that, all have been bought new. I have a most peculiar issue with this bike that I am not yet able to resolve, let me explain,

1. when the engine is cold, that is it has stood overnight and I start it in the morning it sounds like a diesel, there is a chatter that comes from the engine, it sounds like a timing chain or tappets that are vibrating, I leave the bike to idle for a few seconds before I pull off, under normal load while pulling out of my driveway the chatter is distinctly more noticeable, within about 30 seconds of pulling off the noise is gone and all is good. This is the one issue, I have another, whether they are related I don’t know :dunno (EDIT: this has been resolved by replacing the poly v alternator belt)

2. my riding style is to ‘blip’ the throttle when gearing down or when pulling away, for example from a traffic light, meaning, I give the throttle a quick twist to bring up the revs of the engine. I have been riding bikes for 30 years, this is what I do, despite advice that I should not do this? Occasionally when blipping the throttle the engine 'misfires', it is as if one cylinder doesn’t fire or fires at the wrong time, it is very noticeable, and worse, albeit less occasionally the misfire which is probably more like a backfire (without the noise) stalls the engine, this has happened to me a few times while waiting for a traffic light to change, it changes green, I blip the throttle (before I pull in the clutch or engage gear) and it just gives a ‘kick’ and stalls. This also happens while lane splitting in traffic as I blip the throttle to make motorists aware I am there, or when I am doing technical riding and feathering the clutch and throttle, all of a sudden it pre-ignites and the bike shudders, most times it continues to run but it has also stalled on me on occasions, not nice when on a slope or crossing a river.

I have discussed this with my BMW dealer and they are not aware of any reason for this behaviour. I am taking by bike in for a checkup next week but I have already been told there may not be anything they can do about the misfire or stalling. Damn, neither my 2004 or 2007 did this, it is very annoying, and dangerous, as I already almost got ridden over by a truck behind me at the traffic lights.

Any advice would be appreciated.

A video clip demonstrating this pre-ignition condition can be seen here:

Thank you

EDIT: As there has been a lot of talk and very useful information shared across these forums I am referencing them here as well fyi

CandyMan_ZA 01-04-2012 03:47 AM

While digging around I discovered this thread, interesting read, I will discuss with my dealer.

JimVonBaden 01-04-2012 04:17 AM

Sounds like two issues to me. The fist is the can chain tensioner seems to be sticking when cold. This is an easy warranty fix. The second is likely one of the lower stick coils is bad. This could cause a momentary misfire when blipping the throttle.

As you said, you shouldn't blip the throttle, it is not the best way to rev match, but it should not misfire either.

Jim :brow

CandyMan_ZA 04-13-2012 08:20 AM

Just an update, this pre-ignition still happens despite several visits and checkups at BMW, I have now requested it be escalated to HO. A simple Google search reveals this is a wider problem than I first imagined. The cold start tapping was the poly v-belt, this was replaced however the new belt has recently also started making this noise, at least I know it is not serious so I will leave it as is.

Schu 04-13-2012 10:32 AM

I have the same problem with my 2011 GS Adv. Took it in to the BMW dealer and they told me my TB's needed to be synced. They stated that my Twin Max and Carbtune tools were not sensitive enough to adjust the TB's properly. The dealer readjusted the TBs with their highg tech equipment and low and behold, the problem still persists! Supposedly checked all the sensors while they had the bike.Going to try another dealer. My bike also dies when downshifting. Very frustrating!!

CandyMan_ZA 04-25-2012 08:12 AM

Just an update, I have had my bike back again, also had a 10 000km service, the pre-ignition has improved however my fuel consumption has since gone up, I did almost 700km’s this weekend and the HUD indicator displayed an average of 6.5l/100km’s, it used to be 5.9l/100km's? I did 429km’s (with 9km’s remaining) on a full tank, I could get almost 600km’s previously?? My second tank went onto reserve at 389km’s and indicated 55km’s remaining. What could have changed? I also noticed last week for the first time while taking my son to college I had the throttle open to max, I have NEVER opened the throttle up to max before, I was doing about 160km/h with little sign there was further acceleration going to happen. When I returned to work I tried again, it gets to 160km/h and eventually it will go past if I hang in there but it takes its time. My previous bike(s) would easily get to 160km/h and way beyond. I also notice that the engine pings when I accelerate hard.

My BMW dealer has no idea what is wrong, all I hear is "there is no problem" or "they all do that" or "it is normal" :dunno

I am at a loss for words :baldy

slipknot 04-25-2012 05:41 PM

You have detonation, not pre-ignition. Very different.

Your changes since the service leads me to believe the ignition has been advanced. How or why is a mystery which makes me doubt that hypothesis. But an advanced ignition will give all of the symptoms you have now including the increased fuel consumption and loss of power. This could be an assembly/adjustment error at the factory (including improper cam timing or ignition timing) or a mechanic error or a failing ignition component.

You need to find a shop that will go through the bike and discuss with you what they find and not just give you the bill and bullshit routine. Which means looking for experienced mechanics not necessarily BMW. And this includes auto mechanics who have been diagnosing modern injected gas engines years before BMW adopted the newer stuff for their bikes. Even better for the long haul, buy the manuals and read up on modern gas engine theory. Whatever is going on here is going to be rather simple in hindsight.

blownaway43 04-25-2012 09:27 PM

How common is this? Should I be looking for a Pre 11' single cam model?

zoomdude57 04-25-2012 10:54 PM

None of these issues on my 2012, If anything fueling is slightly better then my 05 GS.

MrMike 04-26-2012 09:07 AM

'10 does it
My 2010 does it. I bought it as a Demo with 1500 miles on it and it has done it since I got it. Only stalls once in a while but does misfire quite often when moving off. Just happens for a fraction of a second but the bike kind of shudders a little. I thought like most things on this bike it would get better with miles. At 6000 miles it's still the same. I've started to blip the throttle just before the signal changes so if it does stall I don't get run over. Doing that it always moves off. I know "it's not a problem it's a characteristic".

bracky72 04-26-2012 10:08 AM

My '11 also occasionally does this.

Baknthsdle 04-27-2012 08:12 PM

My 2011 GSA has similar issues
The first issue ENGINE rattle on cold start up, I feel it's the starter bendix not disengaging from the ring gear after releasing the starter button. Mine did that several times from the day I bought it new Sept 9 the noise would go away if I blipped the throttle and it only did it when cold. I fixed mine by loosening the 2 starter bolts and pulling on the starter body (to gain a little clearance between the starter bendix and ring gear) and retightened the bolts. This simple adjustment cleared that issue up on my bike. The second issue stalling when blipping the throttle on down shifts my bike did that only once to me but it pissed me right off only had 3000 kms on it and I'm stalled in an intersection in traffic. It hasn't stalled since but I have quit blipping the throttle. The fuel economy issue is something that I have notice on my last trip April 6th not getting what I was last fall haven't had the bike out since then it turned cold up here in Northern Ontario so I'm not going to panic on that yet could just have been old gas even though I used lots of Stabil when I put it away last December. If I figure out anything else on these issues I'll post.

JKGREEN 04-27-2012 09:31 PM


Originally Posted by CandyMan_ZA (Post 18447675)
Just an update, this pre-ignition still happens despite several visits and checkups at BMW, I have now requested it be escalated to HO. A simple Google search reveals this is a wider problem than I first imagined. The cold start tapping was the poly v-belt, this was replaced however the new belt has recently also started making this noise, at least I know it is not serious so I will leave it as is.

Are you sure it is the belt? Mine did the same thing and turned out to the alternator. When turning the alternator by hand cw to ccw and back and forth there was a slight tapping noise - much louder when the bike was started up cold..

Bill the Bong 04-29-2012 04:49 AM

They have loaded the low octane map on yours to cure the pinging. Its motorrad sa's instruction to dealers when a client complains about pinging. They have done it to mine as well. It was removed after bitter complaints about the lack of performance. Mine would peg out at 180 kph, down from 205 :evil

The missing when blipping I feel is caused by the acoustic flap in the exhausting trying to react. It needs to close and open rapidly and when it doesn't react quickly enough, it cuts spark (assumption only, but seems to be feasible). Mine did it before I bypassed the flap. If you get inconsistent power when running on small opening through corners, your exhaust flap is likely to blame. The cables can stretch. You can also recalibrate it with a GS911 (or the dealer, obviously). Mine would just last for a couple of weeks before giving crap again, that's why I have removed mine.

It will impact on torque up to about 2500 rpm (butt feel), but the dip 4500 - 5000 rpm will be gone.

bracky72 04-29-2012 04:57 AM

Mine always accelerates strong. It's only when I snatch some throttle from idle that it occasionally cuts out for a moment. My response is to release then reapply throttle and off we go. It's very disconcerting but has only happened perhaps 10 times in 12,000 miles so it hasn't really concerned me much. But when I saw a post describing a similar problem I had to speak up. :)

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