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R1200RT Backfire Scares Harleys at Americade


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Hi All,

My R1200RT just got out of emergency service at Max BMW in Troy NY. On Tuesday, it had a massive backfire on startup, and it blew the throttle body out of the intake plumbing.


Fearing greater issues, I gave BMW roadside assistance a call, got a tow/pickup down to Troy from Lake George, and spent the day mulling over various magazines while the problem was diagnosed. Apart from some minor mixups on getting the bike locked into the dealer compound, all went well.


Kudos to Ben, Tony and the gang at Max's for getting me back on the road again. Bike's running fine now, except for a lumpy idle.


I'm hoping tomorrow (thurs) the weather will break long enough to get some serious miles done as I need to get back to Toronto and home tomorrow.


Wish me luck smile.gif sb

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The only fault codes indicated a TB intake issue -after- the TB was ejected. So nothing much to go on.


The circumstances around the failure were, i rode back from downtown Lake George about 2 miles. There was some stop and go, but not a ton. I didn't see the oil temp over the half way point, but i did hear a few minor 'burble-type' overruns on throttle-lift on the way home. I wasn't doing any kind of kamikaze impersonation or anything, just cruising back to the motel at about 40-50 mph. I parked the bike, gave it about 15 minutes, then rode it to a level spot to let the oil level settle. I'm checking every couple of days as I'm only 3k miles into breakin. The oil level was about 1/4 glass, so i let it sit on the sidestand for a while, confirmed the level, then filled to about 3/4. I put all my gear away, turned on the ignition, let the self-test finish, then hit the start button. BANG!


I then let it sit a while, and checked for any holes, oil, smoke, bullets etc. Nothing clearly out of the ordinary, so i cranked it again. It tried to idle, but the TB being yanked out, kinda made the idle very poor, feeling like a one cylinder. I shut it down at that point.


I neighbor at the motel riding a Yam, noticed the TB wasn't in the manifold anymore, and thought he felt pressure escaping when i cranked. At that point, fearing valve damage, i gave up and called BMW.


After Max BMW fixed it back up, they ran it for a while and confirmed no further fault codes.


I ran 40-90 mph home for about 12 hours straight, and it's running fine now.


Max BMW said this was the first backfire issue they'd heard of for R12RTs, although they noted it was a common occurance on r1150's and very common for cruiser riders to ride it in on one cylinder (!)


Anyhow, it was a very wet ride home, raining for about 10 of those 12 hours. I have alot of cleaning to do this weekend !


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I recall there were some reports about this happening on the 1200GS some while ago on the UKGSer forum though I haven't been able to find the thread.


From memory, it was rumoured (but not finally confirmed) that this could happen if the throttle was open or opened when starting.

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We had member here with an R1100RT that did the same thing. Happened once, we don't know why, and it never happened again. ... go figure



Chris (aka Tender Vittles )

Little '77 KZ400 in the Big Apple

Black '99 RT for Everywhere Else, such as ...


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Hmm, don't normally twist the throttle on start-up as I'm out of that habit, having two bikes now with auto-choke / injection.. but ya never know, I might have..

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