How could they get it so wrong?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by larlec, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. larlec

    larlec Been here awhile

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    I have a 2009 f650GS with fairly low miles on it, circumstances have just worked against my usual amount of riding. I bought the bike new in 2010 as a left over. Of the five BMWs I have owned this is one of the nicest riding and generally useful one I've had. However it is the first BMW that I am losing trust in and that's a bad thing for the owner of an "adventure tourer."

    It seems they blew the entire fuel system design. First it would not start so they replaced the injectors and while it was in they noticed the tank was cracked and replaced that. It immediately started stalling out so they replaced the fuel pump and now it stalls out when I downshift which is probably some kind of electronic sensor or controller that will have to be replaced. Not a very good track record for a bike I would like to ride to Nicaragua and more of central America, maybe not even good for a ride through Colorado where I live. I hate it when I cannot trust a machine. How can this be advertised as a duel sport bike when the fuel system is obviously unreliable even under typical conditions. What happens when the going gets a bit hairy like when you're crossing Oaxaca and buying gas out of a drum?

    They blame it on ethanol in the gas - bullshit. Ethanol has been around for 15 years and is extensively used in other countries. They say add BMW additive when you fill up, oh, and use premium even though the bike is speced for regular. It's like going back to two stroke days when you added oil to the gas at each fill up.

    When I ask if the replacement parts are upgrades to address the problem they answer, "I don't know, the part number is the same." as if this were the first time they we're seeing the problem.

    I know all this has been articulated in other threads but I needed to rant and get it out there. This is my last BMW and I may put it on the sale block which I'd hate to do because I really do like the bike and have farkled the hell out of it. What's a guy to do?
    #1
  2. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    If Colorado has a "lemon law" you can force the dealer to buy the bike back from you. Google lemon law in Colorado and see what the letter you have to send them looks like. The way you describe the problem, your bike is non conforming I.E. most bikes don't have your problem. I will say there is a germ of truth in what they say about ethanol. I was surprised how much better my f800 ran in Mexico where you get 100% gas from petroleum - including Oaxaca. But it runs well everywhere, unlike what you say about yours. Dave
    #2
  3. larlec

    larlec Been here awhile

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    I bought it in Kansas. Your post does give me hope and I hope it can be resolved. Thanks.
    #3
  4. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Several folks, including myself have trouble shot problems with the evap cannister. I would think this would be something to look at on the 2009 models as it was the first year it was imported. My case it seems like the cannister was sucking up water while riding in rain and then running poorly. There is a fix of putting a tee in the vent line or doing a cannister removal surgery.

    David
    #4
  5. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Ethanol absorbs water. If you let it set for long periods of time it turns acidic and attacks the fuel pump which is aluminum. The result is like fine grains of black sand. It gets into the injectors which have nozzles that are very small and plugs them as well as the acid causes pits in the metal bits. If the injectors are pitted, so will be the pump.

    Any idea where the bike comes from? Joel said BMW tracks the warranty claims and found that most occurances happen in high humidity areas as well as cold climes where bikes are stored in winter. The same happens in the tanks of service stations in remote areas that do not have a lot of traffic.

    If there is a design issue it is that the pump could be made of some other material that resist the acid better. Interesting that the pump and the injectors are the same as found in the later model singles. Anybody know if they have the problem?

    The pumps on these bikes are about $500 because they can only be sold with the controller. I found and posted what is supposed to be a replacement pump for around $100. I got 2 responses which made me wonder just how wide spread this problem is. Maybe every one is still under warranty.

    I just unplugged the passages in the pilot circuit of my 17 year old thumper. Probably not the first to do that. Nobody calls foul on that, because it is fairly easy to do and does not result in a new carb. So obviously other bike are not immune.

    The 2009 bikes were subject to recall to fix the hose from the canister to the atmosphere. Your bike should have it, but all it was is a T higher up that prevented suction at the bottom. Similar to the fix on a KLR.
    #5
  6. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    You are certainly justified to be disappointed. I recommend taking it to another dealer.

    The ethanol excuse is just that. All BMW have be designed to run just fine on ethanol. I believe some BMW car race on E85 (85% ethanol) not just 10%. FWIW I run ethanol gas and I'm in a cold humid climate and do not put stabilizer in my gas over the winter when my bike sits for nearly 5 months, my F650GS (2010) starts and runs just fine..as does my Z3 which i store all winter, my garden tractor, chain saw, generator(used the least) etc. You get the idea.... Most people do not have ethanol problems...

    The is something wrong with you bike...they have just not figured it out yet. Get it to another dealer, contact BMW, etc.

    My 2010 F650GS had the evaporative canister recall fixed, other than that, no problems in 30,000 miles....they can get your bike right if they work at it.

    Do not take excuses for an answer.

    Good luck
    #6
  7. larlec

    larlec Been here awhile

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    Actually the dealer, BMW of Northern Colorado has been pretty good so far. I guess my overall amazement is how many issues of this type people are having with this fuel system and how a company with such a long history in the motorcycle business mess up this badly. It has to be costing BMW a ton to do all this warranty work - they compensate the dealers for doing the work, all the diagnostic time, a team of service reps to approve all the work. My Subaru sits for months at a time when I work out of the country and I come back, hit the key and she runs perfectly well, no problem. I just think the engineering team on the fuel system missed the mark, at least on the early models. Hopefully the replacement parts and newer models take this into account. Rant over, I'll let you know how the story turns out after a few more tanks of gas. I really do love the bike and the way it handles when running well. And, yes, I do think it can be sorted out, if not, it's headed for Craig's list.
    #7
  8. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    You are entitled for your rant!
    Please DO let us know how/if it gets fixed.
    I think Gary is right ... the problem generally only seems to hit "specific situations" ...
    #8
  9. flatland964

    flatland964 Been here awhile

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    I was having some of the same problems with my 2009, although it seems not nearly as bad as you describe. I had some stalling on downshifting and very occasional problems that felt like a bad batch of gas.

    On the recommendation of a dealer, I started using just a few capfulls of BMW-labeled techron fuel system cleaner every 2 or 3 fill ups, and I haven't had any stalling or hesitation or similar problems for a couple of years now. And I still have the original bottle of cleaner, as I don't use very much.

    It may just be coincidence, but until you can get things otherwise worked out, you might try it.

    I also had to have my tank replaced due to cracking, by the way.
    #9
  10. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I had a laundry list of recalls and upgrades the first year on my 2009. I was very vocal about it. The one that really pissed me off, was a front axle recall that the dealer casually mentioned before I got the recall letter.

    I guess if I had not been at the dealership it was OK to ride another month.

    I had one incident of the bike stalling after a creek crossing. It did not start until 30 miles down the road. It cleared itself up and I blamed the canister.

    A second occurrence that a healthy dose of techron and 50 miles of pavement fixed.

    I used cheap Arco gas the first 2 years with no problem. I still do but get a tank of Chevron once in a while for insurance.

    My high mileage Ford pick up gets some Techron once in a while to clear the injectors.

    Posters rant about the BMW problem. There is a cottage industry that cleans injectors sonically. There are not enough BMW bikes to keep them all in business. It is a new tech problem.
    #10
  11. 9 X 19

    9 X 19 n00b

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    Down shifting staling (check), tank cracked (check) - My 2009 has had all these problems too, 25k on it now.

    First I thought the stalling was clutch related when down shifting, the stalling is erratic so it been hard to pinpoint a root cause.

    Reading this thread has got me considering other probable causes.

    (maybe related?) I just recently put some new plugs in and upon dissembling everything I found the boot that attaches the air box to the throttle body had been pinched in between the too last it was removed at the shop. There was a pretty good sized gap that that any amount of dirt and debris could get sucked into... Seems like every time I pick it up from the shop something was missed during reassembly? Like rear brake reservoir just dangling there, not screwed back on...
    #11
  12. EddieMac

    EddieMac Adventurer

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    Sorry for your troubles. I have a 2010 version of the same model and have not had any trouble with it.
    #12
  13. zumohamr

    zumohamr Adventurer

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    Go with your gut and sell it. These guys are wondering if they will make it back when they take off on their GS. Had injectors replaced, cracks fixed, fork seals replaced water pump..... Blown headlight bulb finally did it for me. I know....the bike brakes and turns really well. But really not worth it. BMW is NOT the answer.
    #13
  14. Bobo1167

    Bobo1167 On a different frequency

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    I'm gonna rant a little too........

    the f800 isn't perfect. what is? Why didn't you buy that?

    In 65K miles and four years alone in lonely places, I've made it home every time.

    Cut the fuel tank to charcoal can vent hose. BE LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD, VENT TO THE ATMOSPHERE.

    plug an airhead fuel filter in the vent hose to the gas tank (just to keep the bugs and rocks out).

    If you think you have bad gas, don't shop at that store anymore. I think I got bad gas in Utah a couple KK miles ago, I stalled a couple times at idle, next tank in Wyoming, all was good.

    bobo Generally I would suggest that we normal consumers have no way in advance to judge the quality of products we purchase.
    #14
  15. Bobo1167

    Bobo1167 On a different frequency

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    headlight bulbs.

    They are an H4. available at most any autoparts store in the civilized world. About $10, ymmv.

    Change out needs no tools.

    Ya might get your hand dirty if there is other dirt on the vehicle.

    Get a new mc, if there is an unacceptable amount of dirt, obviously the oem didn't allow for dirt.

    ride more, bitch less. bobo
    #15
  16. Ride-a-lot

    Ride-a-lot Been here awhile

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    If your sticking H-4 bulbs in a F800 then I imagine you would be replacing them often. Give a H-7 bulb a try, they might last longer since that is the correct bulb.
    #16
  17. DrRock

    DrRock Adventurer

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    I am 12,000 km into an NWT - Yukon trip. I fueled my near- stock f800 with all kinds of gas, from pumps to drums w ith no issues. I've slammed it up the Canol Road and down Caribou trails and no cracked tank.

    I think you just have an early lemon. My 2010 is solid.
    #17
  18. SugarDust

    SugarDust Kulia i ka nu'u

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    I know its all under warranty at Northern Colorado Euro (I bought my 658 from them too) but have you talked to the folks at Beemers and More Motorcyle Works up in Fort Collins? They are very good and may be able to help as well....
    #18
  19. PhillyTransplant

    PhillyTransplant Indiana Jones

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    FYI: Lemon Laws don't cover motorcycles or scooters.
    I tried when my brand new Vespa GT200 blew out it's entire electrical system and EFI on day 2/ 32 miles.
    #19
  20. larlec

    larlec Been here awhile

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    I know Steve and the crew at Beemers and More and use them whenever possible but they can't do warranty work. They are a great shop and store and I highly recommend them.

    As an update, the bike is running slightly better, so far only 2 stalls when downshifting on this tank. However it's still a bit freaky when it happens.
    #20