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New BMW owner 2004 R1150R Rockster with problems


deftone

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Hello, my name is Tony and i recently picked up an 04' R1150R Rockster for some long distance riding this season...i've owned several bikes from different countries and this is the first german(i have had a couple KTMs but that's the closest ;) )...i picked it up from a used bike dealer in WI and of course they told me it has been checked over and everything is great and sea foam was in the tank....got it home (in IL it was pretty cold) and it didn't start....pulled the plugs and they were toasted!!...called the dealer back and apparently the previous owner took the stock exhaust silencer off and was running just an exhaust tip (like a tuner car would have)...so i order new plugs(wow they are costly) and she fires up...it has been getting a little warmer around here so i have been able to get out a little...i've put 120 miles on it so far and here are my concerns...

 

1-idles very low when it doesn't die (600rpm)

2-back fires a lot especially on decel

3-seems to fall on its face around 3500-5500 rpm

4-is the annoying high pitch whistle noise when braking normal for the ABS

5-is the extra sloppy shifter normal...i actually trimmed the linkage threads a little just to get the lever higher

 

wondering if maybe it just needs to get through a tank of clean gas or if i need to run some fuel cleaner through the system or take the carb/TB apart and clean them??....I owned a Ducati monster that i took the pipe off and it ran poorly for 80 miles or so while the fuel management system figured out the new air mixture it needed for the new set up then it ran great....wondering if the BMW has a similar system and maybe it is getting used to the stock can back on it??

 

any help is appreciated....

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Sounds like the dealer told you a fib about checking out the bike. Were it me, I'd take it to an official, expensive BMW dealer and have them do a full tune-up and brake service just to have a good baseline of what the bike should run like. Might also ask them for a walk through of what you need to know as an owner. Things like the oil dance, tire pressures, regular service items, and secret hand shake.

 

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Evening Deftone

 

Welcome to the board.

 

With the bike having old gasoline in it your best bet is to ride it awhile to get the old gas out before doing too much.

 

Also with the previous owner playing games with the pipe you never know what else was messed with. Might even have a chip in the fueling computer.

 

1-idles very low when it doesn't die (600rpm)-----This MIGHT come up as the bike is ridden more and fresh gasoline is used. If not you will have to set it up then re-balance the throttle bodies.

 

 

2-back fires a lot especially on decel-----This is somewhat normal especially if the pipe or converter is not totally stock. Lots of popping on decel isn’t normal with a production exhaust. Again who knows what the previous owned did to the fueling system or it’s basic settings.

 

 

 

3-seems to fall on its face around 3500-5500 rpm---- A little sag here can be noticeable but falling flat isn’t normal. See if it gets better with new gasoline and riding it hard for a while.

 

 

4-is the annoying high pitch whistle noise when braking normal for the ABS----Depends on what is making the noise. I sounds good to me here on the internet. Might be the holes in the rotors singing or you are hearing normal I-ABS pump noise. You need to either have someone familiar with that bike ride it or go ride a like bike yourself.

 

 

 

5-is the extra sloppy shifter normal...i actually trimmed the linkage threads a little just to get the lever higher---- They aren’t precision by any means but shouldn’t be real loose either. Make sure the lever on the trans is tight to the splines.

 

If the bike doesn’t get better with some riding you will probably have to go over everything from valve adjustment to TB balance, to new fuel filter, to checking the TPS adjustment, to new air filter, to checking 02 sensor function to “well everything”.

 

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The brake noise is the servo assist brake system and it is annoying but normal. Turn the key on but don't start the bike and pull the front brake handle. You should hear the whine and again it is normal. You will learn NOT to turn your key off while coasting to a stop because braking is extremely diminished without servo assist.

 

I second having a reputable mechanic look at it then put fresh gas/oil in it, check your tires and ride the sh** out of it. These engines love to rev. Let us know how it turns out.

 

PS. Fill out your profile and tell us a little about yourself.

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Thanks for the responses....I like to work on my own machines so I'm looking for pointers on where to start first...

 

Update:

 

I checked and adjusted the valves...they were all a little tight but not horrible...air filter is a little dirty but not horrible...going to replace it and the fuel filter...i was told it had a service done around 24,000miles....it currently has 29,000 according to cleaner oil and air filter i'm kind of assuming they may have been telling the truth...after those filters are changed i'll check and bleed brakes if necessary...after all those i'll take it to get the carbs synced and go from there...i'll keep you posted...any other info is appreciated...thanks

 

it is a copper rockster...since i got it i've peeled off copper stickers(and re painting the black), p'coated headlight brackets, bar backs and bars, givi windscreen, rear luggage rack and passenger seat rest...i'll post some pics when she's not in pieces all over the shop ;-)

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cali_beemer

Being a 2004, it should be a dual spark. DOnt forget there are 2 sets of spark plugs. A bad coil can have some negative affects on the driveability as well. My 04 RT luckily just had a bad connection on a coil. Once the connection was made right, it changed the power, smoothness and fuel economy.

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Being a 2004, it should be a dual spark. DOnt forget there are 2 sets of spark plugs. A bad coil can have some negative affects on the driveability as well. My 04 RT luckily just had a bad connection on a coil. Once the connection was made right, it changed the power, smoothness and fuel economy.

 

Ah its a duel spark, these commonly go giving just that symtom, they tend to use more fuel as well, easy to check, pull one side of the lower plug at a time, if that side stops firing, then the center coil cap is faulty.

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1-idles very low when it doesn't die (600rpm)

 

Set up the valve gaps & timming correctly.

Remove the plastic intake stubs (they push rearwards into the airbox assembly). Using a cat compatible cleaner, start engine and spray your cleaner into and around the butterflies. (open the throttle and get the cleaner really worked int the intakes.

 

stop the engine, remove the BBS's from throttle bodies and using a cat compatible cleaner, clean the BBS's , the galleries they screw into. Spray your cleaner into and around the butterflies. (open the throttle and get the cleaner really worked int the intakes - again).

Replace BBS's and set up the idle.

 

 

2-back fires a lot especially on decel

Is your charcoal cannister blocked - if you have one? also (1) above may have sorted this a little.

Check the rubber bungs on the bottom of the throttle bodies are fitted and in good order.

 

3-seems to fall on its face around 3500-5500 rpm
You have a twin spark engine with stick coils. 1 or both of these coils may be playing up. The only real way to diagnose thes is by substitution. (Do you know anyone else with a late R1150 thay you could ask if you can borrow for a ride)? These are very easy to pop off and try.

 

4-is the annoying high pitch whistle noise when braking normal for the ABS
- Perfectly normal.

 

5-is the extra sloppy shifter normal

 

The lever connects via a couple of adjustable rose joints onto the splines exiting the gearbox. Check that the part clamping onto these splnes is good and tight.

 

 

...i actually trimmed the linkage threads a little just to get the lever higher

??? the linkage is adjustable via locknuts and an adjustable tie rod.

 

...wondering if maybe it just needs to get through a tank of clean gas or if i need to run some fuel cleaner through the system

Wouldn't do any harm.

 

... or take the carb/TB apart and clean them??....
You don't have to remove them, but clean them in situ. Don't screw with the electronics part on the left hand TB. (or even try to adjust it mechanically)

 

 

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UPDATE

 

valves adjusted, fuel filter and air filter replaced and grabbed some vacuum gauges and did the carb sync...also took andys's advice and pulled back the boots and sprayed seafoam throttle body safe cleaner in there to clean them up...not sure what rubber bungs you refer to on the bottom of the throttle bodies??...the rubber vacuum hose is fine...it fired up and idle great after all this...no backfiring sitting in the garage and revving up to 5k....so far so good...can't ride up here in IL as it's 34 and rainy all day...hopefully tomorrow i'll take her for a spin

 

shift linkage i referred to is adjustable but i took the lock not off thread it all the way in and i still couldn't get the shifter to a comfortable height...after further investigation as per your comments i have discovered the splines behind the left side cover and adjusted them to a more suitable lever height and everything is tight but it still feels sloppy to me...i think it might be a bmw thing...

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I removed the rubber hoses from the bottom of my throttle bodies and replaced them with a rubber stopper. Perhaps that is the source of the confusion?

 

Shifter linkage is not direct like I'm sure you're used to. Feels like an excessive amount of slop to me as well, but it works. If you're not missing shifts after a couple weeks, chalk it up to a BMW thing.

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Confusious says...loud shifts save lives, transmission bullet-proof!

 

Just shift with authority. Some people pre-load shifter but you'll figure it out.

 

 

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....

shift linkage i referred to is adjustable but i took the lock not off thread it all the way in and i still couldn't get the shifter to a comfortable height...after further investigation as per your comments i have discovered the splines behind the left side cover and adjusted them to a more suitable lever height and everything is tight but it still feels sloppy to me...i think it might be a bmw thing...

 

It may be worth removing the whole thing and check internal bore of item 11 is in good condition.

Also that the ball joint on the end of item 11 and item 3 are not too sloppy within item 5. (re grease them).

Check tighten bolt 7. If tight remove it and check its shaft is not worn.

Also check the bushings (8, 9 & 9)are snug within their housings and against each other (replace & regrease as required)

Regrease the pivoting element of the bolt.

Also, refit the locknut back onto item 5. Refit linkage and ensure item 11 is on correct spline to give comfortable lever position. use item 5 for fine tuning.

 

Andy

5509.jpg.21e0c24840c0f2efee892707d3ca6ba6.jpg

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Mark:

yes gurnee, is north of chicago by about 30 miles...

 

UPDATE:

 

So i took it out for a cold and drizzly test ride(34f degrees and drizzle)...i was geared up but road conditions were a little sketchy...anyways, she runs WAAAAAY better after all the aboved mentioned adjustment...not sure which was most effective or if it was a combination of all of them...still seems to be a lag between 4800-5800rpm but i'll sort that out in warmer weather as there is no sense fine tuning when it's 34 out ;-) ...leaving with camper for pigeon forge, tn sat. and taking the BMW and wifes rebel with to go cruise around deals gap and surrounding area a bit(i prefer the skyway)...now that the bike is running better i'm comfortable taking it with...

 

Andy:

i have investigated all the linkage further and had a nice adjusted set up in the garage yesterday...today on my shake down ride i found out i had lever #11 too high and i couldn't up shift because #1 was hitting the rear set mount...#5 is what i trimmed...i took the locknut off and trimmed 3mm off it and threaded it together all the way and i still can't the lever high enough where i like it...i really have to stretch my toe down to get under it...i'll be fabbing something up when i get back...ever thing is tight and in order i think it's a bmw thing i'm not used to...

 

today i've found the going from neutral to 1st gear is sometimes challenging...i push down but the gearbox doesn't seem to engage...i have to roll back and forth a little bit to get it to engage...odd or typical for an 04' with 30K??

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I get that too sometimes, but learned to live with it.

What I do is release the clutch and then pull it in again, works every time ;)

 

Dan.

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At a stop or when moving?

If you stop and put it in N it can be harder to find first.

Moving I wait until I'm about to stop and go to 1st.

Want it in gear at a stop.

If not stopping I'd just stay in 2nd unless walking speed.

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If you can find yourself a hands-on-mentor spend some time with him. These bikes and engines have their own personality which is part of their charm. We each have our own set of tricks passed from father to son so to speak.

 

What gear were you in at 4.8k to 5.8k rpm. If it was 6th that is an overdrive. 5th is your last pulling gear.

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My RT does the same thing going from N to 1st. Like dan cata says, just let out the clutch and re-engage. It will then go right into gear.

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At a stop or when moving?

If you stop and put it in N it can be harder to find first.

Moving I wait until I'm about to stop and go to 1st.

Want it in gear at a stop.

If not stopping I'd just stay in 2nd unless walking speed.

 

i noticed the lag in all gears...i shifted into 6th and noticed immediately it is an over drive gear so shifted back to 5th...i just need to fine tune the TB's a little more when it's warmer and i think it should clear up...

 

Thanks for all the help guys...here is a quick phone pic of my rockster...picked it up in Jan...p,coated the headlight mounting arms, bars, and new bar back risers i picked up...rattle canned the top triple black..added the tail rack and passenger seat back for daughter that i found on ebay with minimal damage (bent arm back, fixed upholstery and painted)....and a GIVI A603 windscreen...i think it will serve my needs well...once i get her out i'll snap some better pics with scenery ;-)

photo-21.jpg

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Lag?

Not quite sure what that means.

Are you saying it takes effort to find all the gear?

Or throttle response after shifts?

 

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