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Thread: I have a question

  1. #1
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    I have a question

    I have heard much talk on forums about the effects of aggressive throttle and shifting practices on BMW engines. Phrases such as "they were built to run hard and need it" and "it was broken in passively and it didn't seat properly (I'm not sure what didn't seat, perhaps rings) crop up.

    The inference I think I'm supposed to draw from some of this is that I am not treating my R1150R well if I don't periodically redline it or if I continually operate at close to posted speeds.

    My question is, is this true? I understand the proposition that an engine can be built to withstand high rev's and high speeds (if it has proper lubrication). But, does that mean that such an engine needs to be subjected to these forces to stay healthy?

    Paul or Antoine, if you have the time, I'd like to hear your comment(s).

    John

  2. #2
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    'Old Wives tales'. Just my 2 pennies
    But interested in responses from Paul and/or Antoine
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
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  3. #3
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    well as far as i know

    there is no documentation or formal test results anywhere to support the theory that a bike should be 'broke in hard'.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  4. #4
    Cave Creek AZ 85k100lt's Avatar
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    Do not lugg down engine

    One thing I have seen posted multiple times in the Airhead fourm- Do not Lugg engine - ( ie: put load on at low RPM )


    These engines like to rev The older airheads have a heavy flywheel and do pull right through the RPM range just off idle ~ 1500 RPM all the way up to 6000 RPM.

    But most Airheads reccomend not lugging engine ie: heavy load at low RPM.

    BMW built them to run at higher RPM but yours will last forever if it stays in the 3 to 4 K RPM range. Never needs to see redline.

    Older BMW bikes also ran higher than normal oil pressure ( compared to other bikes, Same goes for BMW cars) not sure about the newer ones, but higher RPM means faster turning oil pump keep the fluid flowing.
    1974 R75/6 W Sidecar
    1989 R100GS


  5. #5
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    the motoman break-in procedure.

    it works.

    (it's not riding hard, it's not redlining, or anything like that. it's just a disciplined way to break in engines)

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlaban View Post
    I have heard much talk on forums about the effects of aggressive throttle and shifting practices on BMW engines. Phrases such as "they were built to run hard and need it" and "it was broken in passively and it didn't seat properly (I'm not sure what didn't seat, perhaps rings) crop up.

    The inference I think I'm supposed to draw from some of this is that I am not treating my R1150R well if I don't periodically redline it or if I continually operate at close to posted speeds.

    My question is, is this true? I understand the proposition that an engine can be built to withstand high rev's and high speeds (if it has proper lubrication). But, does that mean that such an engine needs to be subjected to these forces to stay healthy?

    Paul or Antoine, if you have the time, I'd like to hear your comment(s).

    John
    No, your masculinity is fine just as it is.

    These "theories" come from those with worries about theirs.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  7. #7
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    If I remember right from physics class the centrifugial forces increase by the square. So a 3,000 rpm guy gets theoretically a 3 times longer life time out of his engine than a 6,000 rpm guy (YMMV ).

    "they were built to run hard and need it"??? ...sounds out of a sado-maso movie.

    /Guenther

  8. #8
    Bluenoser
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    The only engines I've ever seen that run at redline are racing engines. They only have to last for a short distance.

    The harder you drive your bike, high revs etc. the shorter is its lifespan. Having had lots of experience with fleets of vehicles if you have staff that are agreesive drivers the repair bills are much higher than if you have a group of drivers that drive less agreesively.

    Lugging can be hard on an engine if its overdone. Rattling on timing etc will happen which raises cylinder head temps. Oilheads seem to run better if you keep them above 2500 rpm if you are just loafing along in traffic. If you stay in the 3-4000 range you have much better response. That's part of the problem with bikes that surge as this rpm is where surging can be the worst.

    Using redline on an engine is like emergency braking. If you are doing either more than once a year maybe you should adjust your riding habits.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

  9. #9
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    my sense is the happy medium is best- no need to redline, but important to avoid lugging. however, a side benefit of higher rpm speeds (for some of the time) is that airheads & oilheads will upshift more smoothly if the shift happens above 5000 rpm. once i learned that trick (1982, from a LD R90S rider), the "farm implement" connotation disappeared, and the bike happily joined the world of smooth shifting motorcycles. running speeds between 3500 & 5000 are about right for most circumstances.
    the admonition to run at higher rpms came about (imo) from observations of those more genteel BMW riders that would putt putt putt along at under 3K, lugging the engine and causing detonation damage while simultaneously draining their batteries (earlier alternators did not put out full charge levels unless running above that 3-3500 range).
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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