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Old 05-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #16
drmajor
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Vibrations...

Typical BMW vibration in the 4200-4500 RPM range. That is why I tune the throttle bodies with a hot motor and RPM at about 4500. Really helps.

Some people tune at idle.... you can start there, but need to be at your cruising speed.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:55 AM   #17
Bluecomet
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Vibrations.....

I have an '07 1200 GS and have experienced similar symptoms twice. The first time was cured with new tires....both the front and rear were badly scalloped. Second time was when a local mechanic transposed the valve adjustment specs and did them backwards. I knew immediately that something was NOT RIGHT with very buzzy bars, pegs and seat. A correction cured the vibration.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #18
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I've had the same problem with buzzyness with my 08 GSA since day one and I've mentioned it before on this forum. Now with 23K miles on the bike it has smoothed out somewhat but still vibrates more than what I think it should. And I also firmly believe that it is ridiculous to expect to have to break in a bike over years before one has a truly smooth engine. Having said that, I've found several things which have improved the buzzyness somewhat even though it has never fully disappeared. Switching to a full synthetic oil truly imparts more smoothness. You'll be able to do that comfortably after 5-6k miles but others have different opinions and schedules. Making sure your bar end weights are absolutely snug tight will help as some can be a bit loose. Makes sure you're using good premium gas too as lower grades affect engine performance as the engine brain cuts back on ignition timing. Throttle body synch can help (I've had over five different TB synchs performed over the years with varying results by the way) but my experience indicates it just tones down the buzz but doesn't really make it go away. Making sure your wheels are not out of round has been mentioned and that's very important too although your ability to get your wheels "tuned" is quite limited for most owners without shipping them off for an expensive tweak. No, I'm concerned/afraid that the root cause for some of our bikes is that the internal components such as pistons and connecting rods are not closely enough weight balanced at the factory. Now I can't prove this but I know that there are weight tolerances that are used in engine building because not all pistons or connecting rods can be manufactured to the exact same weight. As a result, pistons should be grouped into similar weight groups as should connecting rods but even so these matchings are given acceptable parameters of differences. With a mismatch of a heavier piston and a heavier connecting rod on one side versus a lighter set of piston and connecting rod on the other side, this would set up a natural inbalance which cannot be tuned out. This is my idea/opinion of why some bikes just vibrate more than others. And unfortunately, there's really no good way to prove this is what's going on. I would love to have someone knowledgeable convince me that this weight mismatch of internal components cannot possibly be the case but the fact remains that some bikes are problematic is this regard to buzzyness while many others have no such problem. So, long story short, I share your buzzyness "pain".
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #19
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I'm really hoping its not an engine imbalance issue. Right now a throttle body sync, valve check/adjustment and tire/wheel alignment are on the list of things I want done, then I'll start looking into vibe-reducing replacements. My tide this morning also had me backfiring while downshifting and engine breaking in 2-3 gear; I wasn't doing anything extreme but definitely heard more backfiring than I wanted.

Someone somewhere mentioned a set of risers that dampened vibes, any links or brands there? I need risers anyway and I figure that's a decent place to start. The vibes are also affecting my feet now so maybe some pegs that are cushioned (and longer)? I'm disappointed - the test ride was in rush hour traffic and we never got above the in-town speed limit of 55 but I know I didn't feel these vibes at any RPM. I'll be heading to the BMw dealer tomorrow or Wednesday to see if they can look at it, and might take out the demo again just to see if it's just how the bike rides or if I have a (so far, still hoping some maintenance fixes the problem) factory lemon.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #20
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Something is wrong, you have to put up with that on a brand new bike. All the previous suggestions are spot on, i'd have the dealer check things in the following order... Tire imbalance, valve adjustment, rocker arm endplay, TB sync, wheel bearings, warped disks, etc, etc.

If it has Trail Attacks on it, I have heard a lot of people say they have gotten a bad front tire, which will do that.

You should NOT have to add risers, change grips, or any of that other stuff to make that bike go down the road smoothly.

Oh yea, mine backfires when I wind it up and let off, I think that's pretty normal.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
Something is wrong, you have to put up with that on a brand new bike. All the previous suggestions are spot on, i'd have the dealer check things in the following order... Tire imbalance, valve adjustment, rocker arm endplay, TB sync, wheel bearings, warped disks, etc, etc.

If it has Trail Attacks on it, I have heard a lot of people say they have gotten a bad front tire, which will do that.

You should NOT have to add risers, change grips, or any of that other stuff to make that bike go down the road smoothly.

Oh yea, mine backfires when I wind it up and let off, I think that's pretty normal.
It came with Metzler Tourance and I'm pretty sure it's engine problems as the vibes stop when I stop revving the engine. I'm trying to stay positive that it'll be fixed with a simple trip to the dealer, hopefully they'll listen to me and do the extra adjustments. I'm pretty happy with the bike so far but hoped my newest/first farkles would be fun ones, not something I needed to "live with" the ride.
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmajor View Post
Typical BMW vibration in the 4200-4500 RPM range.
This is also what immediately popped into my head when you mentioned the vibration issues. I have the same issue - I just finished 8 hours of classroom and track time at the Calabogie Motorsports Speedway where the engine was kept in the 5k-8k RPM range for most of the lapping. On every run my right hand would become numb within 10 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
My tide this morning also had me backfiring while downshifting and engine breaking in 2-3 gear; I wasn't doing anything extreme but definitely heard more backfiring than I wanted.
I suspect this is because of how lean the fuel injection system is programmed to run from the factory. You can invest $150 for a Booster Plug to fix this problem, or drop 3-5x that for the Power Commander, optional Autotune, and optional custom mapping. Both solutions will fix the problem, but the Power Commander can do more for you (so it is up to you to determine if the incremental functionality is worth extra $$$). Search the forum on both.

As someone mentioned, lead shot, or any similar dense, dry material that can help in reducing the vibration (such as silicon sand) .Just today I have ordered the Vibranator, and will give feedback next week. It is supposedly is one of the better solutions out there so no one is surprised.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Yeah this is going to be something I bring up at the first service. I'm planning on getting a factory manual and tool kit so I can eventually do my own wrenching but I'm hoping the gear heads at the dealer can give me some advice. It happens more at certain RPMs rather than speeds, usually 4k+, and I'm hoping a full check will fix it. I read here on AdV that they don't adjust valve clearances or throttle bodies in the initial check so I'll be asking for that specifically, or at least for them to check. I may not even wait for 600 miles but we'll see how the work schedule permits. Would be cool if I could watch the service to demystify the process.
Sounds to me like the classic 4k RPM buzz inherent to the camhead/boxer engine. Does the buzz come on around 4200 RPM and fade at 4800-5000 or is it constant once the engine hits a certain RPM? I'm sorry to hear about the problem with your new bike.... But if it is like I described above, it may just be the boxer. Mine had me concerned when i first started paying attention to it on my 2011. But it has faded somewhat over time. I'd still check with the dealer of course. Until then, google the boxer 4000 RPM buzz and you'll find it's a very common observation with many riders. Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:03 PM   #24
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buzz

Hi Sarah,

I've got an 07'GSA and I have the exact same issues. I've got about 75K on mine, so obviously, I've just lived with it. It probably doesn't bother my hands as much as it bothers yours, but yet it is a real issue.

Don't lose sight that IT IS the engine that is causing the buzz. When you clutch it while rolling along at 70 and it smooths out, that tells the whole story. Try clutching it, but with some throttle .............. i.e. keeping the rpms the same ........ but removing the "load on the engine". It'll run smoother .... but still not smooth enough.

Probably a sensor/TB issue if I was to guess. Mine comes and goes and has since new. I KNOW that it runs much smoother in wet weather. I told a few techs that, and I believe that they thought that I was off my meds or mental or something. This has to be a good clue ........ but I still I can't figure why that would make it more, or less, buzzy.

It is a frustrating problem. I'll shut down my bike to refuel, and it'll run noticeably smoother when I restart. Shut it down again, and it'll run rougher when I restart. Everyone always says that it is the TB sync, but I don't think that it is the whole story ....... and syncing them never has provided a permanent remedy.

Looking forward to following along and seeing what you find out. Good luck!

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Old 05-28-2012, 10:07 PM   #25
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The Vibe

I bought a brand new R1200GS last December and the engine ran smooth as silk, over the last 7000km the engine has got a little rough but nothing that bothers me.

I figure it's just bedding everything in and when the dealer does the 10,000km service they will balance the throttle bodies, adjust the valve clearences and she'll be as smooth as the day I rode her out of the showroom.

If I were you, I'd get the km's / miles up and get it serviced at 10,000km / 6,000 miles and see how it goes.

I once bought a bike with brand new tyres on it and the handle bars shook wildly, turned out it was a dodgy tyre right from the factory!! Maybe that's worth looking at !!

Cheers

Geoff.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:28 PM   #26
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I had a 2005 GS and it was smooth, even at speed. My 2010 GS is buzzie at 4,200-4,500, right where I like to cruise. My friends 2010 Advenure is the exact same way. In a magazine road test they mentioned the same thing. I would be very surprised if there is a fix for this problem. I still love the bike and plan on keeping it (until the water boxer is out?). If there is a fix please let us know.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:24 AM   #27
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I feel your pain.

I have a 2011 GS Adventure. 3000 kilometers on the clock right now, with the first service complete.

It's buzzy through the entire rpm range, but quite noticable at the 4k to 4.5k range. In other words highway speeds where you sit for extended periods. It's irritating to say the least to have your hands go numb in 15 minutes. It is not the tires, because pulling in the clutch at highway speeds turns the ride to butter. Also I am not prone to carpel tunnel. It's the engine, plain and simple.

I just got it back fom the dealer, who said he put it on the computer and everything is to spec. He also balanced the t/bs with another Bmw doodad. It's no better.

I agree that one should not have to suffer through this while waiting for it to "smooth" out at 10,000 k or more. It's a premium motorcycle. Should I have to put cheesy grip fatteners to ease the discomfort? I think not! You'd think that after 80 years or more they would have figured out this airplane motor thing. Dissappointing to say the least.

So, is it worth the investment to pick up a Twinmax and a GS911 and do this stuff myself? I have no problems doing this sort of thing. Just seems pretty stupid to have to put more money into "fixing" a 30 grand "investment".
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:57 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertKLR View Post
I bought a brand new R1200GS last December and the engine ran smooth as silk, over the last 7000km the engine has got a little rough but nothing that bothers me.
Try a fuel additive/injector cleaner. Mine (now 38,500 km) gets a bit rough between services and when it does I add some injector cleaner - makes it run like when it was new. Plus a Booster Plug.

Mine does tingle occasionally at about 4500 but I have Grip Puppies (big hands) on and hardly feel it. I am thinking that natural harmonics are the main cause, exacerbated by the quality (or lack of) of the factory balance. The balance shaft will take most of it out, but not all.

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Old 05-29-2012, 05:02 AM   #29
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It's a solid-mounted motor spinning at 4,000 RPMs, it's going to send some harmonics into the frame. A rubber-mounted Harley touring bike is a paint shaker at idle, smooth as glass when underway. It's the nature of the beast.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:26 AM   #30
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People that complain about vibration on a BMW twin either haven't ridden that many other bikes or have unrealistic expectations.

Anything that vibrates (all motorcycles fall into this category) will cause the the blood vessels in your hands to constrict. This can be exacerbated by smoking, carpal tunnel, medications, being cold, crummy health, etc, etc, etc... In the end it's not the motorcycle's fault so unless you want to buy an exceptionally smooth bike like a K1600 you just have to deal with it. All the tune-ups, TB syncs, or even a couple picograms difference in the weight of the con-rods in the motor can't change your physiology.

Break contact with the grips and your hands will go back to normal shortly. If they don't you should seek medical attention because there is something wrong with you.
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