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Thread: Overheating R1100 TR-P

  1. #1
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    Overheating R1100 TR-P

    Hello. Please have some patience. I have a bike problem and I have never blogged before. My 1999 R1100 RT_P overheated driving into wash DC with a fair amount of stop and go traffic. Then on my way home it again reached eight bars where it was even with the bottom of the red light. The light never came on but I know BMWs don't need to get that hot. I am pretty sure the P version has a fan added to the radater to keep the bike cool. Can someone suggest what is going on. Thanks.
    Now I tested it for twenty minutes in my driveway and again it reached eight bars.

    Don't know how to acknowledge the many helpful suggestions. Thanks I will try living with the eight bars.
    Last edited by Novicebmwlover; 06-08-2012 at 12:10 AM.

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novicebmwlover View Post
    Hello. Please have some patience. I have a bike problem and I have never blogged before. My 1999 R1100 RT_P overheated driving into wash DC with a fair amount of stop and go traffic. Then on my way home it again reached eight bars where it was even with the bottom of the red light. The light never came on but I know BMWs don't need to get that hot. I am pretty sure the P version has a fan added to the radater to keep the bike cool. Can someone suggest what is going on. Thanks.
    Welcome to the forum!. Generally the new members area is where a bit of an introduction is made. No worries, your bike is what's referred to as an Oilhead so I'll move your post over to that section for you. The gang over there should be able to fix you right up.
    As you mentioned you are new to forum activities, I'll also send you a private message confirming the move. You'll see this at the upper center of the screen. Feel free to reply if you want. Any questions-just ask. Enjoy the forum. Gary

    Edit- It looks like Kurt beat me to the move on your post. Still, if you need help-just ask.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novicebmwlover View Post
    Hello. Please have some patience. I have a bike problem and I have never blogged before. My 1999 R1100 RT_P overheated driving into wash DC with a fair amount of stop and go traffic. Then on my way home it again reached eight bars where it was even with the bottom of the red light. The light never came on but I know BMWs don't need to get that hot. I am pretty sure the P version has a fan added to the radater to keep the bike cool. Can someone suggest what is going on. Thanks.
    Did you hear the fan running?

  4. #4
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    hi

    I'll venture in just to welcome you to the club. Hi. welcome to the club.

    First check the obvious ie oil level. What was the ambient? Mine often goes to 7 bars nowin temps of about 75 and above since last year's service. Last year,the indep tech disconnected the RID while he worked. Since then, at hi ambient temps and slow speeds, it often jumps to 7 bars. What the BMW certif Tech at Cycle Werks said of it: as long as it doesn't go to red. I'd also heard on this forum that it's sometimes a matter of disconnecting the RID, cleaning the contacts and re-plugging.

    Here come a bunch more intelligent replies...
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  5. #5
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novicebmwlover View Post
    Hello. Please have some patience. I have a bike problem and I have never blogged before. My 1999 R1100 RT_P overheated driving into wash DC with a fair amount of stop and go traffic. Then on my way home it again reached eight bars where it was even with the bottom of the red light. The light never came on but I know BMWs don't need to get that hot. I am pretty sure the P version has a fan added to the radater to keep the bike cool. Can someone suggest what is going on. Thanks.
    I commute in DC, too. I have used an R11RT, R12RT and currently run an R1150RT-P.

    The RT-P's fan doesn't come on until at 7-8 bars, so running a bit hot is not fatal.

    The R11RT was the hottest-running of the three in commuting, but even on 105F+ days (ugh!), stuck on Constitution or K St. in traffic, it did not ever light off the overheating warning light (oil temp bars at/near the top of the RID). I'm not trying to deter you from fitting an RT-P fan, just suggesting you may want to see whether you actually ever get to the temp BMW's engineers decided is the "overheat" point. If you do, you can pull off to let it cool a while, then head home and start planning on installing a fan.

    FWIW, occassional runs up to 8 bars never caused any issues with my RT's.

    BTW, if you do want to install a fan and want a hand, I've BTDT.

    EDIT: I just realized you have an R11RT-P -- as long as the fans is operational, it should kick on when it's needed automatically. My RT-P's did today during a slow crawl on RT. 50 in Fairfax; didn't give me a moment's worry.

    EDIT#2: If you are still concerned, you can always wire in a switch to turn on the fan manually before the thermostat does -- somewhat a bit of over-kill (as proven by thousands of police R11xxRT's over the years), but if it helps you rest more comfortably, go for it!
    Last edited by mneblett; 06-08-2012 at 01:54 AM.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
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    Registered User Bmandiego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novicebmwlover View Post
    .....
    Now I tested it for twenty minutes in my driveway and again it reached eight bars.
    EEEK! Don't let it sit and idle in driveway, you'll melt all the fairings off. Even at 2-3- bars, it'll bubble the paint.

  7. #7
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmandiego View Post
    EEEK! Don't let it sit and idle in driveway, you'll melt all the fairings off. Even at 2-3- bars, it'll bubble the paint.
    Or worse, the bike can actually catch fire! There have been cases of RT's started, left idling while the owner went back in the house for something, forgot about the bike for 1/2 hour, and come back to a two-wheel torch. The R12RT doesn't have this problem -- look at the R12's fairing -- *much* less enclosing of the cylinders, and pulled back a lot away from the headers as compared to the R11xxRTs.

    You can make any R11xxRT send its oil temp high by excessive idling -- no air flow through the oil cooler, over the jugs, or around the crankcase will do that every time.

    That does not mean that there is a problem with your bike, just that this air/oil cooled bike (like most air-cooled bikes) wasn't designed to stand idle with zero airflow for really long periods.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  8. #8
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmandiego View Post
    EEEK! Don't let it sit and idle in driveway, you'll melt all the fairings off. Even at 2-3- bars, it'll bubble the paint.
    The paint bubbling is also a real issue for long-idling RT's -- my ex-CHP has some blistering by the shark fins, I would assume due to extended idling at a traffic scene sometime in its life.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  9. #9
    Why not? adooley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mneblett View Post
    I commute in DC, too. I have used an R11RT, R12RT and currently run an R1150RT-P.

    The RT-P's fan doesn't come on until at 7-8 bars, so running a bit hot is not fatal.

    The R11RT was the hottest-running of the three in commuting, but even on 105F+ days (ugh!), stuck on Constitution or K St. in traffic, it did not ever light off the overheating warning light (oil temp bars at/near the top of the RID). I'm not trying to deter you from fitting an RT-P fan, just suggesting you may want to see whether you actually ever get to the temp BMW's engineers decided is the "overheat" point. If you do, you can pull off to let it cool a while, then head home and start planning on installing a fan.

    FWIW, occassional runs up to 8 bars never caused any issues with my RT's.

    BTW, if you do want to install a fan and want a hand, I've BTDT.

    EDIT: I just realized you have an R11RT-P -- as long as the fans is operational, it should kick on when it's needed automatically. My RT-P's did today during a slow crawl on RT. 50 in Fairfax; didn't give me a moment's worry.

    EDIT#2: If you are still concerned, you can always wire in a switch to turn on the fan manually before the thermostat does -- somewhat a bit of over-kill (as proven by thousands of police R11xxRT's over the years), but if it helps you rest more comfortably, go for it!

    Ditto to what Mark said. I also have a R1150RTP and spent time in Wash DC traffic. My fan kicks in when the eighth bar lights up on the temp gauge. The fan was installed on the RTP models for that very reason, police doing traffic/parade/escort duty. Just keep checking your oil levels and change it regularly. Also, verify every so often that the fan still runs when it gets hot. You will be fine for the most part.
    Go with a smile!
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    1986 Honda Magna 700 - gone
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