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Therapy needed


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Even though I make my living as a mechanic I still find myself feeling insecure about working my BMW motorcycle. I adjusted the valves and installed new plugs last month but didn’t get the TB’s synced due to my failed attempt to make a manometer. I made a manometer that works this time (thanks to DirtRider!) and gave it a whirl yesterday. A little history: I bought the bike (04 1150RT) with 4000 miles on it late last summer. It seemed to me that the idle was always a slight bit rough, especially after the bike warmed up but then I’m not sure what’s considered normal for these engines. Should it be absolutely silky smooth or is a little “warble” at idle normal? There are no noticeable flat spots in the power curve. I always use ethanol free gas. Anyhow, I removed the BBS’s and cleaned them and their bores with cat safe carb cleaner. I got the idle set at 1100 rpm and got the TB’s synced. I then increased the rpm’s to 2500 and synced them at that speed using the right side cable adjusting barrel. I went back and forth until both were pretty much on the money. What I noticed was that as I increased the rpm’s over 2500 the TB’s would start to become unsynced but were fine between idle and 2500. After the fact I read that some folks sync the upper end at 4000. I checked for vacuum leaks around both TB’s and their plumbing, all was tight. I thought I got the valves pretty good. Wouldn’t you expect them to stay synced throughout the range? Hope this isn’t a dumb question….

After syncing it did seem to run smoother at idle (but not silky smooth) and had noticeably less buzz at higher rpms. So I fretted and laid awake thinking about whether something is wrong here. I’ve read many threads on the topic but before I get too worked up and go through more tests I need to figure out what “normal” is! I really need to compare mine to someone else’s! All my riding buddies have Hondas and Harleys. I’m thinking about checking out our local Beemer riding club.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I should probably just quit worrying and go ride…which is exactly what I’m about to do!


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Your bike sounds about normal. My 04 1150rt was smoother with 30,000mi on it than with 20,000mi. Depends on how they are broken in or ridden I guess. Slight handle bar wiggle at idle warmed up is also normal. imo.

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