F800GSA whining engine noise 8 sec after cold start - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    I just purchased this 2017 F800GS Adventure with 7500 miles. I get a whining noise from the engine that is always there, no matter what gear (or neutral), idling or riding. I first thought that's normal, until I realized that it does NOT whine for the first 7 sec when the engine has been sitting over night. If I start again then the sound begins immediately, engine cold or hot, as if it starts making that noise when oil pressure is up. Does anybody have any idea what could cause this sound and if it is a concern?

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  3. #2
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    Weird...
    Take the seat off and put your ear over the fuel pump unit... I heard one bike that sounded somewhat similar and it was the fuel pump whining ...
    didn't sound exactly the same but ... would be interesting...?
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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    Thanks for the quick response and the interesting idea.
    I just tried and even listened with a mechanics stethoscope, and the fuel pump "sings" nice and quiet.
    The noise comes more from the engine top, but cannot pinpoint.
    The engine bottom and gearbox sound all fine.
    Any other ideas?

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    Your motor has a hydraulic timing chain tensioner. If it sits long enough it bleeds off and after you start the engine the oil pressure exerts the tension on the timing chain. No clue what could cause the whining though.

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    It is a 2017 so it is throttle by wire. Maybe a throttle body servo or something like that 🤔

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    I don't like the sound it's making, not normal, even for these rattly motors. Have you run your hands over things like the skid plate, crash bars to see if you get a change in tone? It almost sounds like a hollow / traveling noise. It could also be in the valve train/cam chain system. Stock exhaust?
    I think I'd be pulling the cam cover off to check the tensioner and chain and guides. I wonder if it has been run low on oil, although hard to imagine that could even happen at this low mileage.
    Sorry not to be more helpful but I do think you have an issue that needs to be dealt with.
    Greg

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    Thanks again for all your input and ideas.
    Additional tests revealed that it has nothing to do with skid plate, crash bars or exhaust (FYI: all stock)
    When the engine does very small rpm quick adjustments (e.g. 200F hot Fan on/off, etc) then that "hollow" sound has immediate small pitch changes, too.

    Is there anything else that could explain the 7 sec delay when cold, or is there only the hydraulic chain tensioner idea?
    How can I EASILY test it, or any other experiment suggestions?

  10. #8
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    Here's a stupid idea...
    I don't think I would do it, but maybe it will stimulate someone else to come up with a better idea?

    right next to the cam chain tensioner is either an oil pressure sender unit or a plug (apparently on later year bikes they decided we didn't need an oil pressure sender unit)

    In either case if you pulled out the sender/plug and fitted a nipple there to "divert" the oil away from the top end of the engine ...
    (in the pic below it is just inboard of the cam chain tensioner)
    it would (I think) prevent the cam chain tensioner from pumping up AND starve the top of the engine for oil ... not an ideal situation.
    but you could probably get away with it for 10 - 15 seconds to "test" things?

    Again I very likely would NOT do it ...
    "Kids don't try this at home ..."

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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    I have a better idea...
    Can you temporarily borrow a mechanical cam chain tensioner...

    You see where I'm going here right?
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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    At the end of the video I see the instrument light flickering. Is this only in the video?
    2017 F700GS - I wish it had a drive shaft 

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    Thanks again for all the input.
    2 local motorcycle mechanics (not BMW) listened to it and also don't know what it could be, but suspect that some electronics "switch it on".
    FYI: There is no flickering of the instruments, it must be the video or lighting from my garage.

    Yesterday I took some of the fairing apart and could not isolate the "hollow sound" any further, even with a stethoscope.
    But it's definitely from the engine top / throttle body area.

    And this morning the sound was there immediately at first start (after sitting all night), that's the first time!
    The more I hear this the more it starts to annoy me ...

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    I would immediately get it to a BMW mechanic. You might be talking to the seller real soon….

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    The sound reminds me a bit of the sound of the crankcase breather valve on my old airhead which was varying in sync with the RPM.
    2017 F700GS - I wish it had a drive shaft 

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by guenner View Post
    The sound reminds me a bit of the sound of the crankcase breather valve on my old airhead which was varying in sync with the RPM.
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    could it be that stupid breather thing in the valve cover or the control valve in the upper air-box?


    Do you have stock headlight bulbs? Some of the aftermarket units have little tiny built-in cooling fans?
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

  17. #15
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    Thanks again for the help, the "breather valve" and "control valve" in the air-box are great new ideas!

    I thought you might be interested to learn this:

    A bunch more testing gave more clues
    - if I shut off the engine as soon as that sound starts and start again then I get the sound delay again, but this time already after 3-5 sec
    - the sound delay after first startup in the morning seems to vary based on outside temperature (60deg: 7sec, low 50's: 10sec), and yes, I used a stopwatch!
    => this means it's NOT oil pressure related, etc

    Suspecting a solenoid or other valve I started "pinching" some hoses ...
    ... and now I can make the sound go completely away when I totally squeeze the “Hose for secondary air injection system” (#19)

    So this makes the “Switching valve, secondary air injection” (#17) a strong suspect.

    Or could it be the "Reed valves" that are mounted on the valve cover and connect to the other end of that hose?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Maybe there is a tiny hole in the hose?

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    Have you tried unplugging #17 the solenoid?
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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    With my R100GS it was the reed valve.
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  22. #19
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    I agree, the Reed Valve is now my No 1 suspect, too.

    So I bench tested the solenoid, and it seems to work as it should.
    With the solenoid and air hose disconnected and running the engine the sound is clearly "traveling up" inside the hose from the Reed Valve end.
    When I use my finger to "plug" the hose end then the sound is gone, just like the first 7-10 seconds before the solenoid opens the air from the air box.

    So it's time to clean or replace the Reed Valves ...

  23. #20
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    What a weird problem ...
    I'm glad you finally got it identified...

    I've been following this engine design since 2008 and this is the first time I've heard of this issue..................
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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