Jump to content

Stupid, stupid, stupid


Selden

Recommended Posts

I decided to warm up the RT this afternoon, went out to the garage, and started it, then back into the house, and promptly forgot it was running. Twenty minutes or so later, I heard an engine running and realized what I had done. Fortunately, it was 45 degrees out, but the shark fins are pretty much toasted, although the rest of the body work is in good shape. Does anybody have an idea what shark fins cost? I'll pull the body work tomorrow, and plan to repaint the shark fins, but I'm not sure how stable the plastic will be -- the paint is blistered and black.

Link to comment

Don't be afrraid to do the repaint. I crispied the bottom of my right side tupperware while waiting at the Mexican/U.S. border once. It painted pretty nicely.

Link to comment

Thanks for the reassuring words. Does anybody know of a reasonably close auto parts store color match to Boston Green? Fortunately, the damage is mostly out of sight (unless on your back under the bike), so a perfect color match isn't essential.

Link to comment

Sorry for that little mishap but sounds like you pretty much dodged the bullet there. Lucky you.

The oilhead bikes are not happy at all left idling at standstill for extended periods. Even worse if left on the fast-idle, then real damage can, and do, happen.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about the paint on those fins, they are barely visible to anyone but a person really "checking up" the bike.

 

What I WOULD do is replace the engine oil. For sure if you had dino oil in there. Good chance the oil got bit cooked up.

 

And the next time you do service on your bike it might be good idea to check the wiring into the HAL sensor under the alternator belt cover. Those wires have tendency to go bad on their own even in normal use and elevated temperatures resulting from "I forgot it on idle..." can greatly accelerate the decay of the insulation on those wires.

 

--

Mikko

Link to comment
I decided to warm up the RT this afternoon, went out to the garage, and started it, then back into the house, and promptly forgot it was running. Twenty minutes or so later, I heard an engine running and realized what I had done. Fortunately, it was 45 degrees out, but the shark fins are pretty much toasted, although the rest of the body work is in good shape. Does anybody have an idea what shark fins cost? I'll pull the body work tomorrow, and plan to repaint the shark fins, but I'm not sure how stable the plastic will be -- the paint is blistered and black.

 

 

Selden, you sure aren’t the first person to do that.. Sometimes even results in a bike fire..

 

I am very surprised that ONLY the shark fins were damaged as it usually also burns & puckers the lower side fairings where they curl under (right above the exhaust pipes).. Very lucky you didn’t damage those..

 

The good news is: it seldom happens twice.. Kind of like sticking your finger on a hot stove,, sticks in your memory for a long time..

 

 

Twisty

 

 

Link to comment

The oil had only 1000 miles on it and was semi-synthetic, so I think I'm in pretty good shape there, but will change it anyway. HES sensors were replaced about 10,000 miles ago, and since the air temp was 45 degrees, the engine never really overheated; the RID was showing normal oil temperature (5 bars). But, without air moving, the pipes radiated enough heat to blister the paint.

Link to comment

I unfortunately had the exact same thing happen as well. I ended up sanding the bubbled areas smooth, and instead of painting the shark fins, used the advice of another here on the forum, and covered the surfaces close to the exhaust with adhesive silver heat reflective material, which is sold at many auto parts stores. Not the exhaust heat tape, but instead used a fiberglass reinforced adhesive backed silver material. An extra advantage is that it prevents the same occurance again

Scott

Link to comment
Shark fin????

 

Pray tell, where/what is that?

 

puzzled '04 RT owner wants to know! :lurk:

 

The "Shark's Fin" is the small piece of tupperware inboard of the exhaust header. It is seperate to the side panel and stays in place when the side panel is removed. It is the shape of an inverted sharks fin. You would need to remove the LH one to remove the alternator belt cover.

 

Andy

Link to comment

Thanks for the pointer to Colorite, and I had been toying with the idea of putting heat reflective tape over this area -- it's nice to hear of someone else who has thought along the same line.

 

It's going to be unseasonably warm today (sorry you folks in the north), so I'm going to pull the bodywork, change the oil, and assess the damage. I was planning to pull the bodywork anyway to check the water level in the battery cells (which was why I started it yesterday). I was just hoping to wait until after Christmas, but now I can't stop thinking about it.

Link to comment

A lot of local auto paint stores can now custom mix your color in a regular aerosol can in a single stage paint, which means no clear coating afterwards. Dave

Link to comment

Yeah, the idling beemer.

 

Last night I stopped to assist a stranded motorist on the highway. Since he was in a very bad postition I placed the bike behind him, hit the emergency lights, grabbed a flashlight and made for the shoulder.

after about 20 minutes the tow truck showed up and we loaded the car onto it. I then walked back to the still idling bike and found a temp gauge 1 bar from the top, in 6C celsius weather..

 

Then again, my shark fins were toasted a long time ago by the previous (police) owner, so no worries there :D

 

Glad the damage is somewhat minor,

 

Regards, Daniël

Link to comment

I changed the oil, which looked pretty good. No new noises from the engine. I don't know what sort of plastic BMW uses for the shark fins, but it's pretty tough stuff. I think I'll just scrape off the bubbled paint, sand the plastic smooth, and stick on some Aerostich reflective heat tile. I haven't been able to find anything comparable at any of the local auto parts stores, although I'll check some others on Friday.

 

Since I had the plastic off, I checked throttle body balance, which had drifted a tiny bit since the last check. But, to get a balanced reading at idle, I've got the left at about 1.4 turns and the right at .6 turns. General wisdom is that the two should be within a half turn, but no matter what I do, I can't get them any closer and still have a balanced idle reading.

Link to comment

Try Krylon colors in a rattle can. I found an almost perfect match for Piedmont Red at my local Ace Hardware store down the street. It is certainly worth a look.

Link to comment

There's no way to salvage the damage you've done. Your bike may be a total write-off.

 

Probably the best thing to do is to sell your bike at a very low price to someone who used to have a Boston Green 1100 and misses it terribly.

 

Gee, I wonder where you could find such an individual?

Link to comment
There's no way to salvage the damage you've done. Your bike may be a total write-off.

 

Probably the best thing to do is to sell your bike at a very low price to someone who used to have a Boston Green 1100 and misses it terribly.

 

Gee, I wonder where you could find such an individual?

 

I wonder if librarians can read between the lines. :lurk:

Link to comment

Look into the front of the bike through the fairing around where the headers come out of the cylinders. They are the fins that hang down in there to direct airflow. They're painted the same color as the rest of your fairing.

Link to comment
There's no way to salvage the damage you've done. Your bike may be a total write-off.

 

Probably the best thing to do is to sell your bike at a very low price to someone who used to have a Boston Green 1100 and misses it terribly.

 

Gee, I wonder where you could find such an individual?

 

I wonder if librarians can read between the lines. :lurk:

Nice try. The bike is fine.

Link to comment

Update. Considering the possible outcomes, things have worked out well. I sanded the charred plastic on the shark fins, then covered the damaged area with JB Weld. After some sanding, painted with multiple coats of generic rattle can truck and van acrylic lacquer that is almost a perfect match for Boston Green; a little more metallic, but in this location, almost all the new paint is hidden. Not sure how lacquer will hold up to heat, but I'm planning to add some Aerostich heat tile -- none of the local auto parts stores had anything like it.

 

My original question remains unanswered: How much do new shark fins go for, and do they come pre-painted? Looking at Beemer Boneyard, they seem to do a brisk traffic, so if I become dissatisfied with my repairs, prices there seem to be reasonable.

Link to comment

Selden,

 

I'm glad you sort of lucked out and no serious damage was done. And I'm 110% sure you learned a lesson on this one as others mentioned, but just for the edification of others who may still be reading this thread years down the road...

 

Every BMW mechanic I've ever talked to (and even sales person for that matter), as well as the owners manuals I've seen all recommend NOT to warm up your bike. Start it and drive off. Here's what the manual for my 04 R1150GSA has to say on it:

 

"WARNING: Don not allow the engine to idle unnecessarily or for prolonged periods.

-Risk of overheating or fire. Ride away emmediately after starting the engine. To avoid overheating the air-cooled engine and possible damage as a result, avoid even short warm-up periods at a standstill. Avoid high engine speeds after a cold start."

 

So if stuck in traffic on a hot day, you should also shut it down if you're not moving any air over the heads.

 

Again, I'm only bringing this up as a reminder to all, not to focus on your specific incident.

 

 

Link to comment
My original question remains unanswered: How much do new shark fins go for, and do they come pre-painted? Looking at Beemer Boneyard, they seem to do a brisk traffic, so if I become dissatisfied with my repairs, prices there seem to be reasonable.

 

Can't answer your questions specific to the fins. You need to pull the "on-line" fiche available at one of several dealer web sites (A&S BMW, Max BMW, others), to ID the part numbers. I had to replace a front fender, and yes, all plastic parts I've seen have both a "painted" price and "primed" price, with color-specific part numbers. However, I'm not sure if they'll have Boston Green (a limited edition). If I recall, there were about a half dozen standard colors offered, but not all colors). Chicago BMW seems to have the best discount prices, but delivery times and customer service are generally considered to be a problem (by most BMWST owner comments I've read, and my own experience).

 

+1 for Michael at BMW Boneward. Send him an email with what you're looking for, and he'll send you a note when it's available.

 

If I were in your shoes, I'd settle for used parts when they become available (check Ebay too), and pick up a can of matching spray paint per factory color code, and repaint the used fins myself.

 

Good luck.

 

Scott

Link to comment
Dave in Doodah
I decided to warm up the RT this afternoon,

 

 

Why do people feel they need to do this?

 

+1 :thumbsup:

 

I am relatively new to oilheads, but do not see the need to ever 'warm up' my boxers. I never did it on my old airhead either... the fuel enrichment/choke works fine and the bike runs great as soon as I start up and ride off. The only time I've ever felt the need to warm up an engine was when I wanted hot water for the car's heater core to keep me toasty...

Link to comment

I guess I'm confused... a relative newby... why not warm up the bike for a few minutes.

 

I have had a '04 RT for years and always need to use the choke in the mornings... until the bike has gotten going for a few minutes. Otherwise, it will stutter and stall out at my first stop sign. Letting the engine warmup for 1-2 minutes helps prevent prolonged use of the choke.

 

It is fine after a 1/2 mile or so... but what is so harmful about letting the oil and fuel flow for a minute or so? Okay, I agree... prolonged periods could be bad though...

Link to comment

The only reason I was "warming it up" was to get the engine and exhaust system warm enough to burn off the moisture of combustion. Unfortunately, I'm easily distracted, and forgot that the engine was running. As you say, a few minutes of warmup are fine; prolonged periods are not so great. My heat tile kit is supposed to arrive from Aerostich tomorrow.

 

I tweaked the throttle body balance after this incident, and seem to have hit the sweet spot; the engine is even smoother than at the last checck -- being spot on with the throttle body sync really makes a difference with a boxer.

 

On the other hand, it would be nice if BMW had come up with a design that didn't require doing this at relatively frequent intervals. I balanced the carbs on my Pacific Coast at about 20,000 miles; they were barely off, and I decided that it wasn't worth the effort to do it again.

Link to comment
Dave in Doodah
The only reason I was "warming it up" was to get the engine and exhaust system warm enough to burn off the moisture of combustion.

 

Duke - I agree that we all need to use the choke to START the engine in the morning but, once you start with full choke and hold for a few seconds, doesn't she run fine at half-choke all by herself - at idle and when riding down the driveway? And then, when we see one bar of 'warmness' showing on our display, we can turn the choke off completely when riding and everything still runs fine - even at idle for a stop sign. That's what my owners' manual tells me to do and it works great.

 

Seldon - Why do you need to burn off 'the moisture of combustion' while idling before you start to ride? It's gonna burn off either way while you ride - even more quickly with riding loads, IMHO. I have ridden a carburated '83 airhead for years and never needed to let her warm up for a ride - even in 30-degree weather. I just do the choke dance. And these new fuel injected oilheads are even more sophisticated, so I am sorry - I don't see the issue. Start and ride. The R1150 rides great in 30 degrees - right out of the garage.

 

PS - This heat issue is also the reason we need to be careful when we do carb or TB synchs... the aircooled cylinders will get too hot if they are not getting the airflow from the passing air as we ride down the road... that's why folks need to use fans on their bikes when they spend much time tuning their carbs/TB's....

 

EDIT: Mods or other experts, please step in if I am missing something. I do not want to steer anyone wrong... thanks.

Link to comment
I guess I'm confused... a relative newby... why not warm up the bike for a few minutes.

 

I have had a '04 RT for years and always need to use the choke in the mornings... until the bike has gotten going for a few minutes. Otherwise, it will stutter and stall out at my first stop sign. Letting the engine warmup for 1-2 minutes helps prevent prolonged use of the choke.

 

It is fine after a 1/2 mile or so... but what is so harmful about letting the oil and fuel flow for a minute or so? Okay, I agree... prolonged periods could be bad though...

 

The RT does not have a choke. It has a fast-idle lever which opens the throttle slightly - it is connected t othe throttle cable junction box under the tank. Leave that set for a mile or two - once off of idle it does nothing anyway.

 

BMW specifically state not to warm up the bike - on an aircooled engine allowing rapid warming of the top of the engine whilst the bottom is still cold can damage components. The effect on the fairin gis well known and there have been MANY instances of these bikes catching fire whilst idling with the fast idle set.

 

Just do what the owners manual says - start the bike then ride off. Close the fast idle after a few miles - or when you stop at a set of lights and wonder why the bike is idling at 2000 rpm....

 

Andy

Link to comment
The only reason I was "warming it up" was to get the engine and exhaust system warm enough to burn off the moisture of combustion.

Moisture (water vapor) is always a byproduct of combustion. From the moment you start it until the moment you shut it off.

Link to comment

Okay, good feedback guys... my RT does eventually accept being "awake" and I can eventually let down the "choke". However, unfortunately, it still stalls without some helpful high revving to keep combustion going and keep the fuel mixture/spark alive... otherwise, I do stall out at a stop sign a few hundred feet from my house...

 

As I stated, after a 1/2 mile down the road, I eventually let things go back to normal idle. I just did not understand the earlier part of the message string that indicated a VERY negative of never, never, never warming up.... besides 'cause the manual says so' and letting it run for four hours and letting parts fry... is there really any bad to a few minutes of run time? Not trying to start a negative string... just not sure why you would not let ANY engine warm up and reach idle speed (fuel, air, and temp) before hard use... as long as you do not let it sit and run excessively...

 

Thanks for the good discussion...

Link to comment
russell_bynum
I guess I'm confused... a relative newby... why not warm up the bike for a few minutes.

 

I have had a '04 RT for years and always need to use the choke in the mornings... until the bike has gotten going for a few minutes. Otherwise, it will stutter and stall out at my first stop sign. Letting the engine warmup for 1-2 minutes helps prevent prolonged use of the choke.

 

It is fine after a 1/2 mile or so... but what is so harmful about letting the oil and fuel flow for a minute or so? Okay, I agree... prolonged periods could be bad though...

 

The RT does not have a choke. It has a fast-idle lever which opens the throttle slightly - it is connected t othe throttle cable junction box under the tank. Leave that set for a mile or two - once off of idle it does nothing anyway.

 

BMW specifically state not to warm up the bike - on an aircooled engine allowing rapid warming of the top of the engine whilst the bottom is still cold can damage components. The effect on the fairin gis well known and there have been MANY instances of these bikes catching fire whilst idling with the fast idle set.

 

Just do what the owners manual says - start the bike then ride off. Close the fast idle after a few miles - or when you stop at a set of lights and wonder why the bike is idling at 2000 rpm....

 

Andy

 

Yep.

 

I ALWAYS go easy on my engine (any engine...in all of my vehicles) until it comes up to normal operating temp. That means low revs and small throttle opening.

 

After that, anything's game.

 

About the longest I'll let a bike "warm up" at idle is as long as it takes me to put my helmet and gloves on. I'm talking about sitting on the bike with the helmet on the tankbag and my gloves inside the helmet....not "start the bike, go inside, look for my helmet, go to the bathroom, refinance the house, repaint the living room, read war and peace, then wander back outside to inspect the pile of molten aluminum and ash that used to be my motorcycle. :) I figure that works out to 2-3 minutes tops.

Link to comment
russell_bynum
Okay, good feedback guys... my RT does eventually accept being "awake" and I can eventually let down the "choke". However, unfortunately, it still stalls without some helpful high revving to keep combustion going and keep the fuel mixture/spark alive... otherwise, I do stall out at a stop sign a few hundred feet from my house...

 

As I stated, after a 1/2 mile down the road, I eventually let things go back to normal idle. I just did not understand the earlier part of the message string that indicated a VERY negative of never, never, never warming up.... besides 'cause the manual says so' and letting it run for four hours and letting parts fry... is there really any bad to a few minutes of run time? Not trying to start a negative string... just not sure why you would not let ANY engine warm up and reach idle speed (fuel, air, and temp) before hard use... as long as you do not let it sit and run excessively...

 

Thanks for the good discussion...

 

First of all...nobody is saying jump on a cold bike and do a max-power burnout with the motor on the rev limiter. We're just saying there's no reason to let the bike sit and "warm up"...and with an air-cooled motor there are reasons to not do it.

 

Just start the bike and ride away gently , leaving the fast idle on halfway until the bike doesn't need it anymore. Once you're up to normal operating temp (the fast idle should be off long before that unless the bike is really in a poor state of tune), then toss that "ride gently" stuff out the window and have some fun. :grin:

Link to comment
  • 2 years later...

US $148 per each, painted, from A&S.

 

The ones on my cop bike are also fried and will get replaced as soon as I figure out how to get the fried ones off without

disassembling the crash bar sub frame (to which they are attached on the RTP).

 

They appear to have been attached before the engine was installed at the factory, and there is barely enough room to get a flat ratchet w/phillips driver attachment in there. Might need to make a custom "shark fin removal tool"..

Link to comment

It took 30 minutes with a flat ratchet and an old Phillips bit to remove both of them. Wedged the bit into the ratchet with a couple of strands of wire. Ground the bit in half to make it as short as possible. Nose fairing and tank left on the bike. Just give the tank a tug upwards to get the LR top screw out. Theres about a 1/4 to a 1/2 of an inch of slack in the front tank mounts if you tug really hard. Saved me from draining a nearly full tank. Suprisingly the rubber grommets could be saved. They look suspiciously like the ones used in the nose fairing.

 

Of course why worry about a part no one sees? I just had to have

new matching Alpine White ones!

 

 

 

Link to comment

Starting a cold gasoline engine requires two things:

 

rich mixture

extra air

 

The "choke" control on an R1100 is a fast idle control, nothing more. Rich mixture is handled by computer, reading temp sensor.

 

Those from old days remember fast idle cam and most FI cars today have automatically controlled idle control valve--both are ways of providing the extra air.

 

On the R1100, the fast idle control does it, simply opening the throttle a bit.

 

On an Airhead, in contrast, the choke lever operates enricheners. Extra air is provided by operator (you) cracking throttle open a bit. Nice to have that "cruise control screw."

 

Neither the Airhead control nor the R1100 control can properly be called "choke," as neither restrict (choke) airflow. "Choke" is only a carburetor term, as the restricted airflow increases vacuum forcing idle jets to flow richer.

 

If your R1100 is a police version or otherwise has the oil cooler electric fan, the fast idle control would be nice for getting more alternator power to run the radios while the bike is stopped.

 

Extra air is electronically provided on R1200 and there's no operator interface. Don't know the details.

Link to comment

Shark fins are what BMW uses inside tupperware to flow air around heads and pipes.

Aircraft paint stripper from orileys auto works well.

use gloves, paint bubbles off, clean, scuff and paint it black. Noone will notice.

Link to comment

besides 'cause the manual says so'

What a shame, you can make a man read a manual, you can't make him understand it.

Probably a lot of the stalling is on bikes that are owner maintained too. Just because you do the work yourself doesn't mean it's done right!

I always love the posts that state, I just tuned the bike now it doesn't run right.....

Link to comment
besides 'cause the manual says so'

Just because you do the work yourself doesn't mean it's done right!

 

Don't know about dealer services in your area, but around here, it means that probably you do the work way better than the dealer ;)

 

Dan.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...