What is that smell?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Richard2112, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Richard2112

    Richard2112 '00 R1150GS - RIP GhostRider!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi gang,

    A question for all you fine folks.


    Bike: 2000 R1150GS ABS
    Odometer 89000 Km

    The bike has been in storage (in a heated garage) for the last 5 years and ridden only once or twice a year (injuries stink).

    This winter opted to get her out of mothballs.
    New stuff included:
    • New Plugs
    • New Fuel Filter and in-tank hoses
    • New battery
    • New brake lines
    • New brake pads
    • All fluids replaced (clutch brake, engine, FD, tranny and clutch .. couldn't find the blinker fluid reservoir though, thinking JVB could tell me where it is ;) )
    Bike ran great - only problem: Burning smell.

    When the bike is hot there is a smell coming from the central tranny area that smells of burnt clutch.

    It isn't coming from the new brake pads, it is central engine area.

    The clutch is just fine - working flawlessly (not slipping and good engagement position)

    Thinking it may be a blown clutch slave cylinder, I removed the starter to find that the inside flywheel area was dry (no oil) and looked OK. I did notice a bolt connecting the flywheel to the clutch system was loose (half out and not even snug). I made sure they were all snug.

    The starter was filthy.
    I cleaned it out with a tonne of brake cleaner and can easily move and retract. Some very thin coat of machine oil on the starter bits and back into service. Works fine, and smoother startup.

    My thought is that if the starter wasn't fully retracting, it would spin, overheat and likely stink. Sure enough the starter did smell of that 'burnt' smell.

    So my question: Could that have been it? Could the starter's inability to disengage cause the smell? It has significantly lessened since I cleaned the started, so perhaps that was indeed the culprit.
    Should I be sourcing out a new starter or start considering ripping the clutch apart? Or do nothing and put my worry beads away.

    I am hoping that someone else out there may have an opinion or share their own experience.

    Thanks
    Richard
    #1
  2. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,037
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Every time I ask that same question..

    my punk niece/ nephew always answers:
    "It's your upper lip!"

    Hope this helps...
    #2
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  3. C3trevor

    C3trevor Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Calgary,alberta
    Dust burning off?
    #3
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  4. Richard2112

    Richard2112 '00 R1150GS - RIP GhostRider!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Oddly enough, the Mrs and I joked about that very thing :)
    However, the bike had been stored with a cover - so it was quite clean.
    The other option is that some fluid from one of the many changes, dripped onto something hot and stunk up the joint.

    Just hate not knowing, as it may come back to bite me if I ignore it.
    Richard
    #4
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  5. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,707
    Location:
    DC metro
    Beyond what you've already done, about all you can do is carefully & repeatedly check for any signs of leaks, oil, etc.

    Unless there's oily residue along a seam between major components, obvious leaks, or unexplained low fluid levels, it's probably fine.

    My vote: worry less & ride more!
    #5
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  6. The Fabricator

    The Fabricator I didn't know it wasn't possible so I did it.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    Petaluma, Ca.
    Possible leak from the clutch slave onto the Cat. Or oil leak from the rear transmission shaft seal onto the Cat. I had the rear seal fail on my 2000 R1150 GS. Oiled the clutch. Started slipping which is why I looked at the slave/seal area. Mine did not leak on the Cat because the slave has a gasket that did not leak. Maybe yours does. When replacing the seal, I slotted the gasket to allow leakage for an indication of leakage and a prevention of clutch oiling. The slave can be removed in situ with great effort. The wheel and shock must come off. [The seal can be replaced also.] There is a horizontal pipe in the way that CAN be removed, just have to tip the subframe up. THAT is a pain. [I didn't.]

    MASTER CONSTRUCTION PROJECT 003.jpg
    I would not think a non-retracting starter pinion gear would cause a smell. The implication is the starter armature is spinning at 20x [?] engine speed and creating a smell from heated bearings [?] brushes [?]. Nah. You would most likely notice a sound of a starter spinning 20k RPM.
    That the armature is SHORTING and drawing MUCHO amps is more likely. In that case, I would expect lazy cranking speed, 'battery troubles' and an armature turned blue and worn down brushes. And lots of heat.
    #6
    Richard2112 likes this.
  7. jmb711

    jmb711 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Dead mouse in the muffler? :hmmmmm
    #7
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  8. Coma

    Coma Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,369
    Location:
    The Emerald Coast
    One of my first clues to the sight glass seep was a hot oil smell. My first thought was I love engine smells second thought was hmmmm It did used to do that. Sure nuff, shiny by the glass then I could see the fins were grimy.
    #8
  9. PerazziMx14

    PerazziMx14 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    943
    Mouse pee!
    #9
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  10. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,652
    Location:
    Bradford, Pa
    Spider pee too! :nod
    #10
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  11. Richard2112

    Richard2112 '00 R1150GS - RIP GhostRider!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks everyone.
    I can confirm it isn't urine of any type - regardless of what photos you have purportedly showing me urinating on my bike :1drink
    Clutch slave seems ok, at least there are no other indication that it blew (clutch fluid was clean, no oil around the flywheel/clutch area).
    Sight Glass was replaced at Stealership some 30K ago ... new one is bone dry.

    I think I'm at the stage to just ride it and chalk it up to a few too many years of sitting and something burning off.

    Thanks again everyone for the great input!!! :clap

    Richard
    #11
  12. Welshman

    Welshman B.U.F.F.

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,642
    Location:
    Jo,burg dry and dirty.
    Best idea yet. :photog
    #12