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Camhead Maintenance


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I just put an offer on a 2013 R1200RT 90 Year Special edition. :) I have a 2003 1150 that has served me well but the time has come to move to a newer bike. With my existing bike, I have done nearly all the maintenance myself except for the brake fluid changes. (the servo ABS system freaks me out) Is it more or less the same to the older oilheads? I like to do my own work as then I know it is done right. So many times with cars, boats and bikes I have had to fix what the "professionals" supposedly did. Are there any service manuals available online? I didn't find what I was looking for.


I am really excited. Took it for a drive on Saturday. Like the power delivery of the new mill and the sound. The lighter throttle and clutch will take a bit of time to get used to. Handling and ride are very similar, just crisper on the new bike.


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I have 2012 R1200RT and it is a snap to maintain. Getting the the valves & spark plugs is a 30 minute process.


The final drive is pretty easy to change the gear oil, just have to remove the rear wheel and pay attention to little O-rings etc.


Taking off the fairing takes a few times to get quick at (tranny oil, air filter - right side), but now I can do it in 20 minutes. Watch the Max BMW Dealer YouTube video on removing the fairing. It is very helpful.


I bought the GS-911 diagnostic tool and it analyses/adjusts all kinds of things. Including flushing the brake fluid out of he ABS unit, so when you do a bleed/flush you get out all of the old brake fluid. I share it with a few other buddies who have Camheads, it will do up to 10 VIN's for the amateur model.


You must tread tenderly when doing a TB sync, but I found it no problem. I only have average mechanical skills.


The JVB Camhead maintenance DVD is a must, best $30 I have spent.




There is a manual online in downloadable.pdf format. I forget where I found it. I also bought the Haynes Service Manual. Between the Haynes & JVB DVD, most everything is covered.


The only thing I will not do is replace worn out wheel/head bearings or the dry clutch. But that will be a long time down the road.


The few times I have had it in the Dealership, I did have to fix their shoddy work - not putting the fairing on right, over filling the final drive gear oil, parts left out/off/wrong, charged me for an oil change and never changed it etc... (when it was new for the mandatory services & switch gear recall)


Good luck!

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Thanks RSH. Really appreciate the advice. I remember the first time I took the "tupperware" off my oilhead. Took me forever but now I can do it blindfolded. :) I have a manometer for my oilhead. I assume this will help with the TB balance on the camhead? I don't have a diagnostic tool. Have one for the car and it has saved me lots. I take it that the motorbike codes are not the same as the OBDII?


I didn't realise that final drive oil could be changed. Thought it was a sealed unit.


Big lesson for me was missing half a boating season as the dealer had stuffed up the oil change on the lower unit of my 115hp Johnson OB. Hadn't cleaned the drain plug seal correctly and it unloaded all of the oil the first trip of the season leaving me stranded in the middle of the Ottawa River. Replacement parts took nearly 3 months to arrive. :mad:



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Great looking bike!


I think any manometer will work, but I use a CarbTune unit.


It has metal slugs that fluctuate with the vacuum and and for me it is easier to read & no oil/liquid to spill out. And will work on 2, 3 & 4 cylinder motors.


The OBD11 will not fit your bike, naturally the BMW bike has a propriety socket. I wonder if the BMW cars would use the OBD11?


Google GS911 for BMW and you will see all kinds of info about it.


I think around 2007ish the R1200 had a sealed final drive and they soon realized what a mistake that was.


Your bike has a vent on top of the drive to let pressure off the seal(s) and a drain plug at the bottom. To refill it you have to take off the rear tire and remove a plug, that (I think) doubles as a sensor (maybe ABS, not sure). There is an O-ring in there that is best just to replace for peace of mind. Don't need final drive gear slowly leaking out over a relatively easy replacement part.


Bummer about your boat, makes me want to double check everything a Dealer does on our various cars & recreational vehicles.


I think your bike may be a collectible item someday, might be worth more $$$ with some luck!


I know a fellow here in my home town who bought one and has it on display in his Ultimate Garage with his HP2 and other unique BMW bikes - he has too much money.


Ride Safe.

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Small world...deer totaled my 02 Rt a few weeks ago. There will be a 2013 RT Anniversary in my driveway in a few days. I have been buying parts to add to my new ride when it arrives. Photo blasters, led fork lights, GPS mount, and fluids, air filter for servicing. I do my own work to. You can download a free owners manual from A&S BMW, go to the R1200RT parts section and it will be 1st item...over 200 pages so I didn't print it out. Have fun on your new ride.

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Thanks for the link Froggy. I put the deposit down on it and will pick it up as soon as I sell my R1150... which I am hoping is soon. :) I really liked my test ride and love the paint job on the anniversary edition. I have a cradle for the Navigator V on this bike but no GPS to fit it. They seem to be crazy expensive.

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Picked her up today. My old bike sold very quickly... the first person that came to see her took her. :) The new bike is absolutely recognisable as an RT but crisper in almost every way. Really happy.


Where is the BMW diagnostic socket?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought after reducing the weight of the 02RT by about 20lbs the bike really felt peppy...until I started riding this 13RT I have now. It really is a drastic difference in get up and go...me likey.

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  • 3 weeks later...


I've got a '13 as well, and like it very much. Just did a few ticks shy of 2,000 miles in 6 days (to START, at START, and back), and she was nothing but frisky, agile, and a joy to ride. Still lusting after an RS, but I bet I'd miss some of the creature comforts & conveniences (wind protection, heated seats, electronically adjustable windscreen...). Still, 15 more h.p. and 60 lbs less (wet, curb weight) is mighty tempting and speaks in a seductive whisper to the reptilian part of my brain. Then I come to my senses, remember that the grass is always greener, and start thinking about a set of Wilbers to celebrate paying it off a year early come next May.


Anyone out there (coming from an RT or otherwise) who's bought an RS and had it for awhile care to share their thoughts?

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