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#718925 - 08/14/11 01:43 AM Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough?
Michael B Offline

Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 103
Loc: Ohio
Greetings from a new member to your organization. This forum looks like an excellent source of information, and I look forward to it. Now, my question:

I just sold my old 81 Honda Gold Wing to buy a new 2011 BMW r1200 RT this past week. After much consideration, I purchased a demo with 1908 miles on it with the assurance that it was broken in correctly by the guy who breaks in all new demos for the dealership, and it came with a six-year warranty.

This new BMW boxer engine is a radical change from my Gold Wing. It seems rough by comparison with a lot of vibration. I never lug the engine. I shift between 3,500-4,000 and keep it above 3,000 rpm except in 2nd gear. When I rev up it seems especially rough 4,000 to 6,000 and then seems to smooth out above 6. Regardless of the gear I'm in, I can hear the engine load up even with the slightest hill.

So is this just the way a two big cylinder boxer airheads runs, or is my engine running especially rough? Does the vibration go away with the miles piled on? Advice please!!

Michael B

#718943 - 08/14/11 02:50 AM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
BerndM Offline

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 770
Loc: Orange County, Kalifornia
Welcome Mike!
You need to remember that you're used to an engine that has 6 power pulses per cycle compared to the Boxer's 2. Having 6 pulses, one every 60 degrees, will most assuredly give a smoother engine run than the Boxer's 2 pulses spaced 180 degrees apart.
Try a K1600GT(L) which would offer a much better comparison to your GW.
You'll quickly get used to and fall in love with the Boxer.
05 BMW R1200RT
12 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
86 Kaw KLR250

05 BMW F650GS
06 BMW R1200GS

#718949 - 08/14/11 03:23 AM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
ryan_a1982 Offline
Cover Boy

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 289
Loc: Rancho Cordova, CA
Michael B

I too had to get used to the boxer a little bit because I came from a honda V-4. I remember the first time that I felt the boxer kick to the right a little bit while stopped and revving the throttle. Mentioned that to the salesmen and he said "that is character and people pay a lot of money for that character."

You'll get used to it. Enjoy the new ride.

- Ryan

#718957 - 08/14/11 05:42 AM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: ryan_a1982]
PhilipJCaputo Offline

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 117
Loc: Granada Hills, CA
It had been a couple of years since I had ridden. Last bike was an 03 ST1300. I didn't really notice anything odd from the RT... but while my bike was a a dealership getting an oil change, I took a K bike out... I really noticed how smooth it was.

Chances are its all good, but you are likely to find some other Ohio riders that you could meet up with and have them check out your bike.

I just move from Ohio to California. I was in the Dayton area.

#718982 - 08/14/11 12:13 PM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
99Roadster Offline

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 717
Loc: Ohio
Michael, with 1900 miles the bike is still new. It will smooth out a bit as the miles count up but as mentioned it won't compare to a 4 or 6. They can be sensitive to proper throttle-body balancing.

Send me a PM if you would like to meet up and we can compare.
2007 R1200RT
1999 R1100RA

#718992 - 08/14/11 12:59 PM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: 99Roadster]
lkchris Offline

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 1021
I think you should be able to "feel" a boxer twin, but the feeling should be like a massage and not something that buzzes.
Kent Christensen
'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

#719000 - 08/14/11 01:34 PM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
dwightm Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 47
Loc: Geauga, Ohio
Hi Michael,

Yes you will notice a difference in pulses compared to the 4 cylinder Honda and the boxer twin. There is some shake at idle on my '10 RT and the motor is not happy at 2.5k or lower. I noticed that things smoothed out as the mileage increased and a cam sensor was replaced due to a recall for my VIN serial number. The bike is as smooth as a K @ 4k and above now. grin

Where are you located in Ohio?

If you want maybe we can meet up and compare notes...

(Ohio MSF)

#719007 - 08/14/11 01:49 PM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
David13 Online

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 2005
Loc: Utah
They are known as tractors.
Yes, they are rough. As the salesman said to me, they seem like they will stall, but they don't.
They are sensitive to valve adjustment and throttle body sync, but even when well tuned, vibrate like crazy.
I think you will get used to it.
If not, sell it, and go back to Honda.

#719011 - 08/14/11 02:18 PM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 12997
Loc: Ohio
Morning Michael

Your complaint is pretty normal for a rider moving from a multi cylinder motorcycle to a 2 cylinder large piston opposed boxer engine.

You can pretty well feel ever firing pulse on every stroke at lower RPMís. Then at higher RPMís it turns into a basic buzz.

It will get a bit better with added miles, at around 10K-15K it will be about as good as it gets.

Even though the 2 cylinder BMW boxer is an inherently balanced engine (the pistons move in & out at the same time so piston weight cancels) just keep in mind that BOTH those LARGE pistons COMPLETELY stop & start twice per revolution. You just canít have that much mass stop & start without some engine disturbance being felt.

The other thing about the basic BMW boxer is due to the rather large pistons, they are not directly across from each other so when their mass starts & stops it imparts a rocking motion on the crankshaft that is called a rocking couple. Just enough to make the engine shake & buzz a bit (called a busy engine).

The BMW 1200 boxer engine is also solidly attached to the chassis (no rubber engine mounting).

On the 1200 BMW boxer BMW added a single balance shaft to address that rocking couple , unfortunately the BMW boxer is a basically balanced engine by design so in effect that single balance shaft adds itís own disturbance at higher RPMís in itís attempt to remove some rocking couple.

So for a while just try to ignore the engine shake at idle & the buzz at higher RPMís. It will get a bit better with accumulated miles & more importantly you will get use to it & if like most of us boxer jockeys you will even miss it when you get back on a multi cylinder motorcycle. After riding the BMW 2 cylinder boxers for a long time I find the smooth multi cylinder motorcycles lack that character & uniqueness of a basic boxer.
D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!

#719027 - 08/14/11 03:31 PM Re: Is my new 1200 RT Engine Running Rough? [Re: Michael B]
deevee Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 15
Loc: Nev, USA
I've really grown to enjoy my 1200RT, coming from a ZX14.
The RT is more laid back and not so 'frantic'. But for a while it seemed like I was driving a farm implement.

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