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Old 01-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #61
Maniac Mechanic
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Several of the diesel truck engines I work on feature "cracked rods" now.

It's very cool when you torque the rod caps, that the "crack" just disappears. Looks as if the rod and rod cap are one solid piece. It is by far the perfect joint. Machined surfaces just don't compare.

Anyway, back on topic.

In case you haven't already get your local dealer involved. They might be able to give you some friendly insight at least. And if anybody has something at stake in this it's them. To the dealer in Lima you are just a couple of 'gringo's' riding through south america. To your dealer at home you are somebody who just purchased 2 if not 3 ( not sure where Naomi's Dad bought his?) bikes from and will potentially buy more in the future.

If they are willing they may be able to either speak to BMW or the Lima dealer on your behalf. It would be nice to see them at least help out in some small way with the cost of parts or service. Some dealerships have "goodwill" accounts set up just for these kinds of situations. To knock $500 off each bill would be very significant. Being able to buy the parts at wholesale somehow or something could achieve this. Let the two dealers talk to each other and see if they can work something out. They are the one's who have to deal personally with the customer's, not BMW. Two bikes that are practically brand new with such low mileage ( by bmw standards ) would make any customer unhappy. And they know that and have to deal with you.

Definitely doesn't hurt to ask at this point.
Good luck and let the adventure continue.

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Old 01-29-2011, 09:10 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Maniac Mechanic View Post
In case you haven't already get your local dealer involved.
Absolutely. We've given the BMW dealer in Canada all the relevant info for them to know what's going on.

After our last correspondence (we told them that the whole 'fuel re-mapping') they replied 'we are contacting the BMW headquarters in Canada and forwarding all the information. we'll keep you posted'

So we'll see
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:16 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by betitolara View Post
The dealer says that BMW Germany has concluded that the failure was caused by 'low-octane fuel'. Surprisingly, BMW Germany knows nothing about a 'fuel remapping' option that BMW in Canada offers to be able to use 87 octane gasoline on the F800GS.
I have a hard time believing that BMW Germany doesn't know about the fuel remapping, if that indeed is what the dealership reported. That option is specifically mentioned in my US owners manual. Now, a particular dealer might not be aware of that option unless they've done one or at least asked about it.

This past summer I had asked my dealer about that remapping option. The service manage said yeah, they were aware of that option but hadn't performed one yet. He'd have to look into what that involved. Since then I haven't followed up on it.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:15 PM   #64
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I have a hard time believing that BMW Germany doesn't know about the fuel remapping, if that indeed is what the dealership reported.
I agree, hard to believe but I personally read the correspondence between the representative from BMW in Germany and the Lima BMW dealer in Peru in which the representative wrote something like 'What is this fuel remapping about? is it a mechanical/physical change on the bike or is it software only? was this remapping done at a BMW dealer or somewhere else?'

Pretty clear to me that Otto Fritz is not familiar with the fuel remapping at all
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:20 AM   #65
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A BMW corporate representative with little knowledge of technical matters concerning their products?

No...It just can't be. Again?
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:05 AM   #66
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Bummer to catch up on you guys and read the bad news. But here's my take. I'd be lookin for a new crated engine outta the deal. And, really, in the long run? The time saved would probably equal the cost. And I believe you guys, same as me, have the Roadside assistance plan, right? Isn't it good for anywhere in the world? Save those motel and food receipts. You should be eligable for reinbursements. It took me a while but two summers ago when I blew out a tire in the Okanagan and had to stay over for a replacement, I got reimbursed.
Good luck with it all. I'll buy you both a beer at the Log House Pub when you get back here.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:33 AM   #67
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That's just terrible.

FYI: my 2010 F8 had a horrible knock problem coming off the lot. Service couldn't pin point the problem but it turned out to be fuel injection issues relating to a cracked air recycler connection (where excess fumes from oil etc are passed back into the mixture to be burned) that was hidden by a hose and causing the engine to run way lean (loss of power, terrible gas mileage, pinging in idle and at low rpms). They pretty much replaced everything associated with creating the fuel/air mixture piece by piece until they found the problem. The knock went away when the airbox was replaced but we had to pull it completely off the bike and go over it inch by inch to notice the crack.

I was told during the troubleshooting process by my service department that:
a) there was a fuel re-mapping process that would do what everyone on here understands it would do. Curious as to why Germany isn't aware of this.
b) that the F8 does have a knock sensor. However mine never showed a failure condition. Curious as to whether I was given incorrect information about the existence of the knock sensor or if it's really in there and no one seems to know about it.
c) they checked my pistons for damage from what was clearly a detonation condition and did not find any.

You may want to find out the particulars of what's involved in the re-mapping process. You may have inadvertently been the "Beta Testers" for this process. For all you know it could very well be the root of your engine failures.

In any case I can't imagine how this could not be covered under warranty. For BMW to say that the problem is solely related to the gas would be very unwise public relations move for them. Who has ever heard of an adventure bike that can't handle gas in the developing world? Not only would it isolate all non-super power riders this would eliminate the reason most of us buy this bike. I'd sell my bike immediately if they said that taking it adventuring would void the warranty.

Good luck and enjoy your holiday. Think of it as part of the adventure. Hopefully BMW will come through for you. They can be very good to their customers.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:07 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Flashback View Post
That's just terrible.

FYI: my 2010 F8 had a horrible knock problem coming off the lot. Service couldn't pin point the problem but with my fuel injection issues relating to a cracked air recycler connection that was hidden by a hose and causing the engine to run way lean, they pretty much replaced everything associated with creating the fuel/air mixture piece by piece until they found the problem. The knock went away when the airbox was replaced but we had to pull it completely off the bike to notice the crack.

I was told during the troubleshooting process by my service department that:
a) there was a fuel re-mapping process that would do what everyone on here understands it would do. Curious as to why Germany isn't aware of this.
b) that the F8 does have a knock sensor. However mine never showed a failure condition. Curious as to whether I was given incorrect information about the existence of the knock sensor or if it's really in there and no one seems to know about it.

You may want to find out the particulars of what's involved in the re-mapping process. You may have inadvertently been the "Beta Testers" for this process. For all you know it could very well be the root of your engine failures.

In any case I can't imagine how this could not be covered under warranty. For BMW to say that the problem is solely related to the gas would be very unwise public relations move for them. Not only would it isolate all non-super power riders this would eliminate the reason most of us buy this bike. I'd sell my bike immediately if they said that taking it adventuring would void the warranty.

Good luck and enjoy your holiday. Think of it as part of the adventure. Hopefully BMW will come through for you. They can be very good to their customers.
I'd say you guys had a cast iron case against BMW. They might cover it under warranty???? Ha Ha Ha. If they try that on I'd just issue a writ, no further discussion - they won't win and they know it. The bike's were remapped by a BMW dealer for the fuel you were using for God's sake! And don't forget to add in your consequential losses - accommodation, food, lost vacation time etc etc. Good luck with it.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:19 AM   #69
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Pissed Crazy!

That truly sucks, I can’t believe it! It figures BMW would find any possible excuse, even a totally obscure one to wiggle out of repairs which they could easily cover under warranty. I would have bet money on that. They now come across like health insurance companies that will find any possible excuse to deny a claim.

Can you imagine an adventure bike manufacture completely stranding 2 adventure riders while on an adventure? They should be ashamed.

The damage is related to bad manufacturing, nothing more, they should cover your parts under warranty. Even if there is a slight chance the damage to both bikes are your faults they should cover costs anyways just to prove the point that unless you are riding a BMW you will not go "The long way down" none the less "round"! Especially since the damage is so obscure.

I have not seen many (if any) ride reports from people riding from Canada to SA with F800gs's which was the main reason I subscribed to your RR. Your pictures and report ended up being fantastic and it was spectacular free advertising for BMW. This outcome on the other hand would be a PR disaster for BMW if they make you pay for costs.

I will definitely write BMW to voice my displeasure over your issues and would be great if all of you will as well. Ensure to include the link to their RR as well as a link to this thread in your e-mail and fax to BMW Germany.

Before I get flamed as a BMW hater I am not: I own an F60gsT which is fully loaded with BMW falrkles and I love the bike. The 20K I have given BMW should give me the right to call their bad decisions on behalf of another BMW owner.

Not being militant, just pissed off
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:47 AM   #70
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Unfortunately this is how warranty works, especially nowadays when the manufacturer's are still recovering from a recession. They have to tighten their belts as well. If it clearly is a failure due to bad fuel, we as rider's honestly have noone to blame but ourselves for trying to make the engine burn that fuel. BMW cannot be expected to cover that tab.

That being said, these two did attempt to put better fuel in as soon as possible. Unfortunately for them the damage inflicted was far more severe than anyone imagined.

As for one person at BMW not being aware of the remapping issue, that doesn't sound so unusual to me. When the tech's call BMW they have no idea who they are talking to and how knowledgable they are. I usually have to fight my way through the bureacracy(?) at Detroit Diesel when I call in for technical support to get past the level one tech's which have less training than I do as a mechanic to get the answer''s I require from the level 2 and 3 tech's. Just because one guy isn't familiar with it is just that. He in particular is not familiar with it.

Also nobody knows exactly what grade of fuel the engine's ingested. It could be far lower than 87 which would render the remapping useless anyway. Or like someone else on here suggested maybe diesel was mixed with gasoline. I could see Diesel causing this kind of damage on a wimpy little gasoline engine.

If, I repeat "If" this is the case BMW is not at fault. Alberto and Naomi can only hope for the dealer's to see their plight and somehow assist the financial burden. A good dealer is what can truly make a good product into a great product. At this time it's all about customer service. Let's wait and see what happens next week.

I sincerely wish you two good luck and I really hope you will be able to continue your journey on your bikes. Thoroughly enjoying your RR and would hate to see it end on a sour note.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:01 PM   #71
Flashback
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Originally Posted by Maniac Mechanic View Post
Unfortunately this is how warranty works, especially nowadays when the manufacturer's are still recovering from a recession. They have to tighten their belts as well. If it clearly is a failure due to bad fuel, we as rider's honestly have noone to blame but ourselves for trying to make the engine burn that fuel. BMW cannot be expected to cover that tab.

...

Also nobody knows exactly what grade of fuel the engine's ingested. It could be far lower than 87 which would render the remapping useless anyway.
Good point. I never understood the value of "screening" your fuel until I was unlucky enough to get gas at a station that had water mixed with the gas in an urban city in the USA. Trashed the engine of the car I was driving before I realized what had happened.

I'm much more careful about where I fill up now sticking to proven brands of gas when I can. My service dept recommends Shell above all others quoting independent fuel purity testing.

Understandably it's difficult to judge gas quality in many places of the world. Maybe someone should market a road test kit for gasoline for the ADV community.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:21 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Toadride View Post
And I believe you guys, same as me, have the Roadside assistance plan, right?

BMW Canada's roadside assistance AND warranty are only valid in Canada and the US, read the fine print. If indeed bad fuel is responsible for this, I hope they give you some sort of good will warranty coverage. And if it's not how do you prove it? Both bikes suffering the exact same fate at the same time is extremely unlikely. I feel for you and hope you get some satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matteo2 View Post
That truly sucks, I can’t believe it! It figures BMW would find any possible excuse, even a totally obscure one to wiggle out of repairs which they could easily cover under warranty. I would have bet money on that. They now come across like health insurance companies that will find any possible excuse to deny a claim.

Can you imagine an adventure bike manufacture completely stranding 2 adventure riders while on an adventure? They should be ashamed.


Doesn't your SuperTenere run on high octane premium fuel? What happens if someone sells you a low grade gasoline / diesel fuel mix and your engine fails... do you expect Yamaha to cover it? They won't.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:55 PM   #73
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Thumb Thanks for the support everyone!!

Since we've been sitting around all weekend waiting for judgement day I've had a chance to reflect upon my situation.

I fully agree that BMW can't be responsible for the fluids that a user puts into their bike (oil, gas ...) that would be an accountability nightmare. But given that BMW is no slouch in the engineering department (they blew the socks of the Japanese with their first attempt at a sportsbike) and that the company is currently celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their GS models [Unstoppable] I would expect the F800GS to be able to handle riding conditions all over the globe. Or maybe I was just dumb enough to believe their advertising.

We've been buying our gas at gas stations, not from some random guy in a dark alley. It's true that you are never safe (not even in cities in the US it would seem) but what does BMW expect their customers to do? I like the portable gas testing idea? Something like how you test the pH of your hot tub would be nice. An engine that would fail so epically from normal riding is a liability and in my mind unacceptable. It is not what I expected from my BMW.

Myself and Alberto are quite possibly the ideal customers BMW is trying to attract. We are young professionals who will be susceptible to buying overpriced motorcycles during our riding careers. Regardless of how this plays out I will be a little skeptical of the toughness of my F8GS from now on.

I like a bit of adventure to spice things up but waiting around for over a week to find out if your bike is toast or not is maybe a bit too much adventure for me I think I'll go ask the guy across the street if I can buy his Italika scooter, it looks reliable.

Fingers crossed BMW will step up and make this thing all go away.

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Old 01-30-2011, 05:59 PM   #74
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I'm not trying to start a fight, nor trying to offend.... please accept this post in the open manner intended

In an "around the world" tour, it is not clear to me how you could completely test for crappy gasoline ... octane, contamination, mixed with other fluids, etc ... it could be ugly...

I hope to do such a tour in the next year or two, and will probably carry a mason jar or similar to at least be able to look at the fuel before filling my tank if the situation is "questionable". A clear funnel with built int filter a stopcock on it would allow you to dispense some gas into the funnel look at it, and if "approved" open the stopcock and allow the tank to be filled thru the filter material.

I will probably also carry a siphon hose in case I want to "sample" or remove the gas from the tank, and always have a bit of spare fuel so that if things go badly I can drain the tank and immediately refill from my personal stash. Maybe octane booster as well?

I can not locate it right now, but IIRC, the original press release for the F800GS stated that it does NOT have a knock sensor. The MCN review states that there is not a knock sensor:

http://www.ridermagazine.com/output.cfm?id=1676917

The F800GS and F658GS engines have a static compression ratio of 12:1 this is NOT chump-change... As an engineer, I have no idea how I would be able to "protect" an engine with 12:1 ratio from damage if it was burning super-crap fuel or gasoline+diesel without a knock sensor, and even then -- in some circumstances the only choice even WITH a the knock sensor might be to disable the engine... I've never seen this implemented but I am certain it could be done...

Of course if you did this, you'd want an idiot light on the gauge cluster that would tell you this is why your bike shut down ...

With no disrespect to the adventurers, continuing to ride the bikes while they were making horrible noises certainly made the damage much worse. With the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, stopping immediately and dumping the "fuel" probably would have prevented damage if ... as some speculate the root cause was super-crappy fuel.

I am making notes here so that I can better prepare myself.

Again, no disrespect to any ADVRiders is intended!
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:00 PM   #75
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I don't understand how detonation could damage/ break the ring lands, yet not do any harm whatsoever to the piston crown itself.

In my professional diesel mechanic's opinion, it honestly appears like the piston's themselves are at fault.
+1 on both counts from me (automotive engineer who works in developing engines and knock control systems)

I've seen lots of detonation damage in the past all of which can be explained by understanding the process but I can't explain that one which tells me it's not detonation.
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