Blew up my motor in Mexico - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1

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    With 213,184 miles on my beloved F800S, it has decided to take a vacation. I had just arrived in Cabo San Lucas, MX on Friday, and as I pulled into town, I heard a strange squeal, followed up a sound similar to the engine increasing in RPMs. The problem is, I had not moved the throttle! Almost at the same time, I started to feel something strange on my left side. Looking down, oil was covering my boot!!

    I immediately turned off the engine, and examined the motorcycle. I was frightened to discover a hole the size of a half dollar on the left side of the motor. Fortunately, I do have a spare motor back in California from my parted out F800S (I bought it used, for spares for my bike), which I am going to have shipped down here. I expect it to arrive by Wednesday, and I suspect I will be back on the road on Friday. I do need to find a place to work on the motorcycle here, however.

    Photos will follow as I investigate the cause, and do the motor reinstall. But as of now, I would venture to say that the life of the Rotax motor installed on our motorcycles is approximately 210,000 miles.

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  4. #2
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    One well used motor for sale, some reassembly required. Make offer.....
    Isn't it just luck that the breakdown happens in an inconvenient place?
    Best of luck and engine deliveries to you!

  5. #3
    Cascade Locks, Oregon, US Roadpizza is offline Volunteer Moderator - Global
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    210,000 miles? ... I mean I'm happy and all but, 210,00 miles?
    http://www.thefcconnection.com/pictu...the_week22.htm
    BMW F800S…….
    po tym jak zatwierdzę wiadomo¶ć

    Ezekiel 23:19-20 

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  8. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    One well used motor for sale, some reassembly required. Make offer.....
    Isn't it just luck that the breakdown happens in an inconvenient place?
    Best of luck and engine deliveries to you!
    I can think of worse places to have a broken motorcycle than Cabo San Lucas. I was down in Argentina a few months back. I am thankful this did not happen there!
    As they say here, que sera sera.

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  10. #5
    TelemarkTumalo's Avatar
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    If I get that many miles from my bike, I'll feel fortunate. Good luck getting the replacement installed. Meanwhile, the beer is cold at Cabo Wabo.

  11. #6
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    338,000 Kilometres! That's impressive out of the motor. It's 40,000 around the planet isn't it?

    Wow....

  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bry View Post
    338,000 Kilometres! That's impressive out of the motor.
    I'd be hedging towards super impressive

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  14. #8
    Centerville, Ohio, USA DH63 is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    I'm still trying to get mine over 21,000 miles. But the temp this AM is 21F (nice symmetry, that) so I don't think I'll be adding any miles.

    Will be standing by to learn what gave out.
    Dick
    1000 miles a month is simply not enough fun with this bike.

    So the job is going to have to go. 

  15. #9

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    So far, it appears that a chunk of connecting rod made a hasty exit. The question remains, WHY?
    I am working on getting the engine shipped here. So far, it looks like I may have a riding partner build a small crate for it, and package it up, and drive it to LAX. With it packaged like so, Alaska Airlines will fly it down on one of their non stop flights, and I can import it.

  16. #10
    Zelhem, Netherlands de100kb is offline Volunteer Moderator - Global
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    Sad to hear it's gone bad, but good to know for future reference. I hope you will be on the road again soon RiderLou!

  17. #11
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Actually sounds like a classic engine failure...hole through the crank, oil on the boots. A fitting death. Not some piston slap under warranty crap some have had.

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  19. #12

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    I have received an offer to rebuild my motor for me for free, if the company making the offer can keep it for at least four weeks to examine the motor after 200,000+ miles. They have offered to ship me a loaner motor in the meantime, if I cannot get my spare motor here. So far, this is looking like it is going to end really well!!!

    I can only assume they are a reader here, because I have not posted this dilemma elsewhere. How they got my phone number, I have not a clue

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  21. #13
    Zelhem, Netherlands de100kb is offline Volunteer Moderator - Global
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    Wow that sounds like an amazing offer! And we don't register phone numbers, so probably someone from Lone Pine who heard of your mishap?

    Anyhow: congrats on that offer, I hope they deliver.

  22. #14
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    This is getting more and more interesting. Yours is a much more extreme example of a mishap than I have had and wish you the best getting back on the road quickly. In my mishaps I have always been fortunate enough that things always turned out better than expected and I was able to meet some nice people and got some good memories and wild stories to tell from it. Seems like yours is going to be similar. Its funny the quirks of fate that happens isn't it.

  23. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiderLou View Post
    I have received an offer to rebuild my motor for me for free, if the company making the offer can keep it for at least four weeks to examine the motor after 200,000+ miles. They have offered to ship me a loaner motor in the meantime, if I cannot get my spare motor here. So far, this is looking like it is going to end really well!!!

    I can only assume they are a reader here, because I have not posted this dilemma elsewhere. How they got my phone number, I have not a clue
    Just make sure the sender isn't the Prince of Nigeria, and you have to pay for the new motor before they refund you for the difference of the freight!!

    Otherwise thats a sweet deal.

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  25. #16
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    Failure at 213,000 miles? Sounds like a warranty claim to me ...
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  26. #17
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    Amazing! I'm sorry to hear about the inconvenience, but you seem to be regarding it as a bit of an adventure, so enjoy the excitement!

    I'm looking forward to seeing the photos. Best of luck with whatever engine ends up going into the bike.
    Formerly on a Lahar Grey F800S, then after 47,000 happy miles it was traded in for a new Midnight Black F800ST, which was more or less converted back to an S. And now I'm on a brand new R1200RS, which is rather awesome! I'll still stick around if you'll have me, though, as my wife is now on the F800... 

  27. #18
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    Lou, you legend! The podium is yours.

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  29. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    Actually sounds like a classic engine failure...hole through the crank, oil on the boots. A fitting death. Not some piston slap under warranty crap some have had.
    Nice, old-school exit. Our Camry went out in similar fashion around 240K miles
    Last edited by TheMeteor; 01-22-13 at 05:57 PM. Reason: tired
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  30. #20
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    Metal fatigue ..... I get the same thing listening to Motorhead ...

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  32. #21
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    so probably someone from Lone Pine who heard of your mishap

    If the benefactor is who we think it is, Rider Lou was tracked down through his purchase. You don't think you are being followed and watched? They know where all of us are...and what we do!

  33. #22
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    Maybe they can help me find my missing sunglasses?

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  35. #23
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    That's pretty amazing! I don't think I've ridden 230,000 miles on all my motorcycles combined in the last 20 years.
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  36. #24

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    This afternoon, my new motor arrived. Thank you BMW/Rotax!
    Tomorrow I will start the process of installing the motor.
    so I can be prepared for the big day tomorro

  37. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiderLou View Post
    This afternoon, my new motor arrived. Thank you BMW/Rotax!
    Tomorrow I will start the process of installing the motor.
    so I can be prepared for the big day tomorro
    This is one of the best stories I've heard on any bike forum, let alone this one which has tended to veer slightly towards the doom side of the divide in the past.

    Reinforces what I was getting told while I sorted out a list of issues on my bike. . . . once sorted these are a sweet bike that will last as long as any BMW with their legendary longevity.
    Kinda intrigued as to who picked up the tab on this, but a double thumbs up to them whoever they are.

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  39. #26
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    I agree. Good on you Lou, for turning an obstacle into an adventure. Keep us posted!

  40. #27
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    "That's pretty amazing! I don't think I've ridden 230,000 miles on all my motorcycles combined in the last 20 years."

    Rob's a WEENIE.
    I put 217K miles on my R65LS, 135K on my 80/7 and lots 'o miles on the other beemers. Rough calculation says I've done 539K on beemers and have had a couple other brands during that time too. Trick is to not stop fur nuthin!
    Helps to have a destination though.

    What is really rare is for the Manufacture to come along and ask to see a high mileage failure. Anyone hear of them asking to do a swap of the rear drive when it crapped out? other than begrudgingly.
    I think they are astounded at the longevity and want to see what they over built so they can cut back in the future.

  41. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    I think they are astounded at the longevity and want to see what they over built so they can cut back in the future.
    ^ This.
    I do machinery design (construction vehicles) for living. NotA's assumption is spot on!
    The manufacturers would often try to save costs and increase profits in much more desperate ways and this golden opportunity is quite bombproof for them, they simply can not miss it.

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    If that's the case, I'm sure RiderLou would have refused the offer ...

  44. #30
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    Cause I'm sure they would tell him about it if that's what they were going to do.
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  45. #31
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    NotA's assumption is spot on!

    Great gobs of vindication! I'm right about something. Someone make a note.

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  47. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by joylesshusband View Post
    ^ This.
    I do machinery design (construction vehicles) for living. NotA's assumption is spot on!
    The manufacturers would often try to save costs and increase profits in much more desperate ways and this golden opportunity is quite bombproof for them, they simply can not miss it.
    Ahh yes, very likely but there's a fine balance between "cutting the fat" and keeping the mechanics operating for a specific duration while allowing the "extreme" ends not failing before a given expected life. Otherwise they risk massive lawsuits of under-design/etc and knowing about it (Engineer in me speaking, marketing/other people might say otherwise)

    Now, a very good sign of that would be if the next generation of bikes have a lower red-line limit while the engine is the same -- they trimmed the fat and made the parameters still work for the "extreme" side
     

  48. #33
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    Mind you while shortened product life equals a higher turn around of new bike sales, the brands reputation is built on history and longevity - factor in the steep parts prices and I'm not sure it would benefit them if they made their bikes last half the distance.
    Think of the Lexus factor, build them to last 300k miles and at half that virtually none will have had any issue whatsoever

  49. #34

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    The new motor is installed and I am up and runńing.
    Today I will ride the motorcycle around town a bit for leak check purposes.
    Assuming all goes well, I will start heading north tomorrow.
    The original motor is back in the shipping crate and will be going back to Rotax Monday for inspection.
    I have decided that I am going to run my F800S to 400,000 miles or more. The bike is high quality and has proven to be extremely reliable.

  50. #35

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    This is incredible and gives me amazing hope!

  51. #36
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    BMW should just give you a new for your advertising value...hehe

  52. #37
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    Good Luck Lou and happy travels.

  53. #38
    Gary is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    Lou , are you still part owner of a dealership ? Is that why this happened for you ?
    Last edited by Gary; 01-29-13 at 10:45 AM.
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  54. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiderLou View Post
    The new motor is installed and I am up and runńing.
    Today I will ride the motorcycle around town a bit for leak check purposes.
    Assuming all goes well, I will start heading north tomorrow.
    The original motor is back in the shipping crate and will be going back to Rotax Monday for inspection.
    I have decided that I am going to run my F800S to 400,000 miles or more. The bike is high quality and has proven to be extremely reliable.
    Great news. Good luck on the return trip and many happy miles on the way to 400K. Keep us posted, it is a great story.
    2009 F800ST (Night Blue Metallic) l 1999 SV650 (Naked & Red) l 2016 GSX S1000 (Naked & Blue)
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  55. #40
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Just thought of this and begs the asking, How many drive belts have you gone through?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

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  57. #41

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    congrats there for that kind of galactic mileage.

    while looking at information on other bikes to choose from, moving from my f800 found a french site where a guy had done 300,000 km on a cb500 and yes some of that was on one of the dakars!

  58. #42
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    I just want to know how you managed to change an engine so quickly. It takes me the best part of a day just to do a major service (including valve check) by the time everything is stripped off, then put back.
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  59. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokkybear View Post
    I just want to know how you managed to change an engine so quickly. It takes me the best part of a day just to do a major service (including valve check) by the time everything is stripped off, then put back.
    Remember, I had time to take the motor out while I waited for the new motor to come in.
    All said and done, removal and reinstall took me three days. Hardly a record!

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  61. #44

    Location
    Sussex
    Joined
    Sep 2009
    Online
    06-23-13
    Posts
    770 / 0 / 3 / 68
    Motorcycle
    '06 F800S
    so do you know what failed on the old motor?
    @ 6k service interval thats got to add up to quite a cost, did you do the servicing yourself and how noisy was the clutch?

    "its like the old saying is still the original shovel just had 4 new handles and 5 new shovel parts but still original "

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  63. #45
    Points: 6,128, Level: 53

    Real Name
    Rick
    Location
    N. California, USA
    Joined
    Dec 2011
    Online
    04-04-19
    Posts
    70 / 0 / 0 / 17
    Hey Rider, how about an update on the engine saga. How is the loaner engine working out? It seems like it might be easier all the way around if they let you keep the loaner. Any idea of what the background of the loaner engine is? Have you racked up a bunch more miles since we heard from you last?
    2008 F800ST
    2002 R1150RT (Gone) 

  64. #46
    HarrySpar's Avatar
    Joined
    Feb 2013
    Online
    06-29-15
    Posts
    56 / 0 / 0 / 8
    Hey RiderLou,

    It would be very interesting to us which happened exactly with your old engine.
    Have you received any information from Rotax?

    Harry
    2010 F800S red with black engine 

  65. #47
    VickyP's Avatar
    Location
    West Midlands, UK
    Joined
    Feb 2013
    Online
    04-05-13
    Posts
    60 / 0 / 10 / 46
    Motorcycle
    '08 F800 ST
    Only just caught up with this. What an amazing story. Please keep us updated with how things go.

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  67. #48
    savs1701's Avatar
    Points: 7,627, Level: 61

    Real Name
    Sylvain Savard
    Location
    Gatineau, Qc
    Joined
    Jul 2011
    Online
    09-16-19
    Posts
    239 / 2 / 1 / 45
    Motorcycle
    '07 F800 ST
    Lone, not sure if you ever made it back from Mexico since this post has been quiet for a while. But as the senior members (in miles) of this forum, I need to know if you were using synthetic oil or mineral oil for another post that is heavily emotional for some of us.

    Beside that, notacop is still waiting for your number of belt drive you change in the journey of this amazing achievement. Thank you for giving hope that we may reach that kind of mileage wit our bike!

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  69. #49
    Foobert's Avatar
    Points: 9,659, Level: 68

    Real Name
    John
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Joined
    Dec 2008
    Online
    06-02-18
    Posts
    187 / 0 / 60 / 91
    Motorcycle
    '08 F800ST
    And, to add to Savs's post, could RiderLou share some information about his bike: What was the build date (xx/yy number on the VIN sticker on the frame)? Did you ever have the pistons changed?

    We'd all appreciate hearing the details
    34.4K miles and counting. 54.9 MPG lifetime average. Chickened out on first belt @34K. Hope the engine rattles me right along to 100K...
    blog 

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  71. #50
    HarrySpar's Avatar
    Joined
    Feb 2013
    Online
    06-29-15
    Posts
    56 / 0 / 0 / 8
    Dear RiderLou,

    Please give us more information and details.
    E.g. how often did you check the valves? How long did you ride withe the tooth belt(s)?
    2010 F800S red with black engine 

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