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Old 01-20-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
Priese OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Oddometer: 87
Cylinder Head gasket

Hi there
Im tripping through patagonia right now but im stuck because my cylinder Head gasket is damaged. This happened on the Careterra Austral and im happy that i found a mechanic. So while im waiting for the new gasket i wonder how this could happen. Its a New 2011 bike with 15000 km. Yes it was hot and yes i drove about 4 hrs gravel until my cooling liquid came Out like a fountain. I Talkes to another f 800 rider and he told me that he never checked his cooling liquid since 100000 km. Of somebody has an explantion for that and Knows how to prevent that this won't happen again let me know. Maybe its just bad luck but i dont want to get stuck on ruta 40 cause auf these issues.
Thanks for help
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #2
One Lucky Dude
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Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Rolling on the RTW
Oddometer: 326
Yipe, coolant was coming out like a fountain!??? No way this should happen unless your fan is toast. Heat gauge would have been at the top and warning light on the dash would have been on. As for the head gasket are you sure it's not the valve cover gasket? This gasket is well documented to leak on many bikes (mine included). BMW replaced mine with new version and different bolts I believe as well.

Sorry to hear of the woes, never nice out on the road.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
Priese OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Oddometer: 87
The Heat gauge was ok all the time. We stopped at a gas pump when i saw that there is some coolant at the box. I checked the oil which was max then i decided to proceed and then After 500 m the coolant came out like a fountain. THEN the warning light was on and the heat gauge was high. After the head gasket is replaced i'll do a test ride to check if the Fan is working properly.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
Priese OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Oddometer: 87
And Yeah its the head gasket...theres oil coming out.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:36 AM   #5
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: The great state of confusion
Oddometer: 4,312
The dealership replaced my water pump under warranty and did not get all the air out of the cooling system (which is difficult to remove on the twins) and this caused a problem very similar to yours, but fortunately I did not do damage to the bike.

Here's the thread, fortunately Joel Wiseman was able to give me a hand & some suggestions and I got it ironed out:
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
Outta Here
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Homeless Adventurer
Oddometer: 4,388
Cylinder head gaskets have NOT been a problem. Sounds like you have some manufacturing defect somewhere. Guess you'll see on the teardown. The Radiator cap is designed to release excess coolant pressure making it the path of least resistance rather than a gasket. If the gasket and mating surfaces are not the cause then they're just a result of something else failing.

Wish I was there to help!
Leaving it all behind 2014
Pura Vida my Ass.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
Priese OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Oddometer: 87
Thanks for that info guys.
The parts arrived today and i'll do a test ride tomorrow. If thats without issues i'll continue otherwise i have to look for other problems.
Hope the best
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Okiehoma
Oddometer: 2,773
Exactly where was the leak on the bike? Front, back, left side, right side....can you narrow it down?

There is an o-ring seal on the water pump shaft that is prone to leakage and/or failure. I thought I had a valve cover gasket leak, but it was coming out a weep hole on the upper right side which turned out to be this O-ring & shaft. I bought a valve cover gasket and O-ring for the replacement, as it was leaking a fair amount (not a fountain by any means).

But first, I swapped the oil from synthetic back to a standard grade and the leak dried up and stopped. Probably not same situation you have (especially since you said "Head Gasket" which is much lower on engine), but thought it might be helpful info to you travel along. Just in case you encounter that issue, as well.


p.s. my valve cover bolts were loose when I received my bike.....didn't realize it at the time. Or, at least, they vibrated loose over 10,000 miles of riding. I was seeing some oil leak from the valve cover until I tightened those bolts down firmly. Yours should be fine, if someone just replaced a head gasket.
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