Engine pre ignition - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Numbnuts57's Avatar
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    Are there any qualified BMW mechanics in this forum that can answer my question?
    I want to know why I get bad pre ignition (pinking)when accelerating in the lower rev range(below 5,000 rpm)
    I've had this 2013 F800R for 7 months. It was in mint condition and had only done 4100kms so hardly run in.

    I go to grab handful of throttle and it knocks like a bastard. If I apply gentle throttle there is no problem.
    I've tried higher octane petrol but it make no difference.
    Someone from work commented the other day that when I passed him he heard a dreadful knocking so it is not just me hearing it.

    Also I cannot understand why a company like BMW allowed an engine that acts like a personal vibrator/massager below 5,500 rpm be put in one of their bikes.
    This is what they say in their Promotion blurb. (I call bulls**t);

    The kinematics are designed so that the balancing con-rod moves up and down in the opposite direction to the two engine con-rods. Due to the guidance via the relatively long swing arm, the piston rod end moves in a virtually straight swivel motion. The distribution of masses across the piston rod end and swing arm have been chosen so that the mass forces from the swivel motion in each crank position counteract the relevant oscillating mass forces of the crankshaft drive (piston and con-rod share). As a result the mass forces of first and second order are eliminated virtually entirely, resulting in low-vibration engine operation. A further major benefit of this elegant design is the low noise level, since no typical drive noises are emitted by gear wheels or chains.
    2007 Triumph Rocket 111 Classic, Honda CRF1000 A/Twin, BMW F800R 

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  3. #2
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    For the first question, sounds like you need to do some troubleshooting. I'd hook up my GS911 and do some data logging to try and find the culprit. A 2013 with that little use can be cause for all kinds of potential issues.

    As for the engine vibrations, you do know that motorcycles are kind of known for vibration right? They all have a specific 'character', this is the character of a 360d parallel twin, it's what many of would call, tractor like. It's actually great for putting useable power down in poor traction conditions by keeping the power pulses evenly spaced, perfect for the GS variant that it was probably designed for while mimicking the exhaust note of the boxer that BMW is famous for.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numbnuts57 View Post
    Are there any qualified BMW mechanics in this forum that can answer my question?
    I want to know why I get bad pre ignition (pinking)when accelerating in the lower rev range(below 5,000 rpm)
    I've had this 2013 F800R for 7 months. It was in mint condition and had only done 4100kms so hardly run in.

    I go to grab handful of throttle and it knocks like a bastard. If I apply gentle throttle there is no problem.
    I've tried higher octane petrol but it make no difference.
    Someone from work commented the other day that when I passed him he heard a dreadful knocking so it is not just me hearing it.

    Also I cannot understand why a company like BMW allowed an engine that acts like a personal vibrator/massager below 5,500 rpm be put in one of their bikes.
    This is what they say in their Promotion blurb. (I call bulls**t);

    The kinematics are designed so that the balancing con-rod moves up and down in the opposite direction to the two engine con-rods. Due to the guidance via the relatively long swing arm, the piston rod end moves in a virtually straight swivel motion. The distribution of masses across the piston rod end and swing arm have been chosen so that the mass forces from the swivel motion in each crank position counteract the relevant oscillating mass forces of the crankshaft drive (piston and con-rod share). As a result the mass forces of first and second order are eliminated virtually entirely, resulting in low-vibration engine operation. A further major benefit of this elegant design is the low noise level, since no typical drive noises are emitted by gear wheels or chains.
    what octane fuel are you using?
    when were the spark plugs last changed?
    when was the last service done?
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

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  6. #4
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    Yes I know twins are known for vibrations but why do BMW as stated say" low-vibration engine operation" which is complete bulls**t. Saying that, My Africa Twin doesn't vibe like this but that is a 270 degree crank.
    Which GS911 do you use as I see there are many on the market. Trust BMW to have different OBD plugs. everyone else has a rectangular one whilst they have a round plug.
    Why should an engine that has not been used much have pre ignition under load, Surely that would only happen with poor fuel or bad timing.
    2007 Triumph Rocket 111 Classic, Honda CRF1000 A/Twin, BMW F800R 

  7. #5
    Numbnuts57's Avatar
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    I'm using 95 fuel(recommended) I have tried 98 but no difference
    As far as I know the plugs are original, and I changed the oil and filter when I bought the bike. It has now done 7,500 kms
    2007 Triumph Rocket 111 Classic, Honda CRF1000 A/Twin, BMW F800R 

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numbnuts57 View Post
    I'm using 95 fuel(recommended) I have tried 98 but no difference
    As far as I know the plugs are original, and I changed the oil and filter when I bought the bike. It has now done 7,500 kms
    I would start with changing the plugs. They will degrade over time and the gap will change.

    My bike/engine runs smoothly (2010 ST with 60K miles on it), if slightly vibey at some revs.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numbnuts57 View Post
    Yes I know twins are known for vibrations but why do BMW as stated say" low-vibration engine operation" which is complete bulls**t. Saying that, My Africa Twin doesn't vibe like this but that is a 270 degree crank.
    Which GS911 do you use as I see there are many on the market. Trust BMW to have different OBD plugs. everyone else has a rectangular one whilst they have a round plug.
    Why should an engine that has not been used much have pre ignition under load, Surely that would only happen with poor fuel or bad timing.
    You do know that Euro5 is the first time motos have been required to have an OBD2 connection right? OBD1 was brought in with Euro4, but your bike is Euro3. And FWIW, the 10pin round connector actually carries an OBD2 signal, but without the required standardization, they used the connector they wanted to use. As for which GS911, there's only one. It comes with either a 10pin round connector or an OBD2 type connector depending on the year of your bike, but they are identical and interchangeable with an adapter cable. I have a round connector from when I had my '13 800GS, now that I have the 900XR I use the adapter cable, same thing and works with pretty much every BMW for over a decade now thanks to their continued support and software/firmware updates. Don't buy a counterfeit one, just trust me.

    I'm sure they say it's low vibration because there are plenty of twins from that same time period that vibrated more, just because you haven't owned one doesn't mean they don't exist. Call it BS all you want, it doesn't make that statement incorrect. I actually thought my 800GS was pretty smooth, not as smooth as my new XR with the 270d crank and dual counter balancers, but smoother than my SV, or my wife's Vulcan S (same engine as the Kawi Versys 650 or Ninja 650). And a heck of a lot smoother than the some inline 4s and thumpers I've ridden from that time.

    It's not the low mileage, it's the lack of use, or the sitting doing nothing that is bad for it. Sure change the plugs because they're cheap, but the gaps don't open up without use. You haven't told us much about the history, did it sit for years on end without use? Sitting unused with fuel in it could cause a handful of things to gum up that would all lead to pinging. This is where the GS911 comes in. You can datalog fuel pressure, injector timing, O2 sensor operation, adaptations, etc. All of that should point nicely to where your problem is and you can go from there. The tool isn't cheap though and if you aren't happy with the bike, then why bother? Flip it and move on.

  10. #8
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    Welcome Fran.
    Its frustrating when you get a 'new' old bike and it has issues, and you are allowed a rant.
    Make your self a cuppa and have a look at what you have in front of you.

    So lets look at the facts: despite the 4100ks on the bike it is an 8 year old bike.
    Low mileage vehicles will have problems if it had not been used regularly and then you start using it things start to perish, yes fall apart.
    Have a full dealer service, clean out the full fuel tank and change plugs. Check the carbon filter, change air and oil filters.
    While you are at it the next to go may be your tyres - yes despite low wear - shelf life kicks in and rubber perishes. oh and the brake pads and the brake fluid so it does not cease up the pistons... and if you have ABS - do a fluid change quick smart and check the lines.

    Once you have done all that you have a decent bike and the you can resume rant when things go wrong.

    How do I know this - learnt it the hard way on one of my previous bikes

    take care buddy, and let us know how you go.
    "The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.” Robert M. Pirsig 

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  12. #9
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    There are already some good answers here, although you may not be convinced.
    In my experience, vibes are difficult to quantify. Different examples of the same engine vibrate different amounts, and the nature of the vibration varies too. Also, different people have different tolerances for vibes - I hate them so I'm probably like you. I had an R65LS that was really nasty. BMW thought it was me until they rode it, then they blueprinted the engine straight away without question.
    My GT vibrates more than I like above 80 mph and detonates at very low rpm so I ride round the problems. If it freaks you out too much, sell the thing and ride before you buy next time. I'm keeping mine for a while because it has other benefits that I like and I try to concentrate on them.

  13. #10
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    The vibration subject has been coved many times on this forum, with any number of solutions offered. As Blapper observes, some riders are more sensitive to them and some bikes seem to vibrate more than others (I have a 2015 GT and experience no vibes at all. Above OR below 5000 rpm). Yes, it could be something out of balance in the engine or just an engine put together at 4pm on a Friday afternoon. Finding the exact cause will probably be difficult and expensive. If you can't eliminate the vibrations to your satisfaction then sell it and move on. On the pinking issue. Not sure about the 800R, but GT really needs to above 3000rpm before cracking open the throttle, preferably nearer 4000rpm. Cracking open the throttle at 2000rpm uphill will cause mine to pink. Pinking is most usually caused by too higher compression ratio for the actane fuel being used (95 or higher should not cause pinking on our bikes), or ignition timing. On our bikes all these are controlled electronically, so unless there is an engine management fault ( a GS-911 or Motoscan should eliminated this). There are other causes though. Overheating ( I think you would notice this), carbon deposits in the cylinder head (this is highly unusual in modern engines, and an a low milage one like yours, most unlikely). Hope you get it sorted. Please let us know. Cheers.
    Last edited by Redned; 6 Days Ago at 05:20 PM.

  14. #11
    Numbnuts57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redned View Post
    The vibration subject has been coved many times on this forum, with any number of solutions offered. As Blapper observes, some riders are more sensitive to them and some bikes seem to vibrate more than others (I have a 2015 GT and experience no vibes at all. Above OR below 5000 rpm). Yes, it could be something out of balance in the engine or just an engine put together at 4pm on a Friday afternoon. Finding the exact cause will probably be difficult and expensive. If you can't eliminate the vibrations to your satisfaction then sell it and move on. On the pinking issue. Not sure about the 800R, but GT really needs to above 3000rpm before cracking open the throttle, preferably nearer 4000rpm. Cracking open the throttle at 2000rpm uphill will cause mine to pink. Pinking is most usually caused by too higher compression ratio for the actane fuel being used (95 or higher should not cause pinking on our bikes), or ignition timing. On our bikes all these are controlled electronically, so unless there is an engine management fault ( a GS-911 or Motoscan should eliminated this). There are other causes though. Overheating ( I think you would notice this), carbon deposits in the cylinder head (this is highly unusual in modern engines, and an a low milage one like yours, most unlikely). Hope you get it sorted. Please let us know. Cheers.
    I pulled the plugs and they are a nice sandy colour, the air filter is ok.
    I've never had this problem before, not even on carbureted bikes.
    It is not because of overheating as it does this all the time even from start up (allowing for warm up)
    It's just a shame that you have to rev this bike to get the best out of it.
    It goes well after the 5000rpm +/vibration period.
    I will have to get one of the GS-911
    Maybe I should try AV Gas
    2007 Triumph Rocket 111 Classic, Honda CRF1000 A/Twin, BMW F800R 

  15. #12
    Daboo's Avatar
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    It might be worth taking to a mechanic and seeing what he thinks is the cause.

    Chris
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