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Thread: 2012 GS 1200 Adventure 5th gear drone sound

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  1. #1
    Bockscar
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    Question 2012 GS 1200 Adventure 5th gear drone sound

    My GS 1200 Adventure {4500 miles on it} makes a cyclic droning sound in 5th gear. It has since new. I havent been able to compare or ask anyone else if theirs does. Havent asked the Service Dept. yet. Thoughts? Steve In Edmonds Wa.

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    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    More probable this;

    I have used every tire there is on GSs through a very long run, from 1982 800GS to present GSA1200. Some tires "do this" much moreso than others and I figure your rear tire is the noise maker. Its a rare day to find a tranny doing this, BUT? You may be right, so don't dismiss anything YET! My current Metzlers(Tourances) are indeed noisier than my previous BS BattleWings of which I have run dozens of both. Droning CAN be the tires, so listen closely and I am "not sure" you could tell where its coming from, tranny or tire? IF I had any question in my mind as to my trannies health, I WOULD indeed drain it more often and look for telltale signs in the oil coming out of it! If its clean, no worries, I say. At 4500 milkes, you are still in breakin for a good while yet, so its good to keep a close watch and ask....Good luck, Randy

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    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Fyi;

    A tire drone will come and go with different speeds, so 5th gear is not top gear and you can investigate accordingly. It goes away in 6th, as soon as you hit 6th, same speed? Good questions!. Try 4th, same speed. Vary it and try to narrow it down to results. Maybe this is a good way to narrow the field of guesswork, tire vs. tranny drone. Your best end all, is the bike is still a warranty bike, so BMW is on the hook, although a pain in the heart. Randy

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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    The cyclic nature you describe is a possible clue.

    I had the same problem with my R1200R when one of my O2 sensor wires was intermittently grounding out to the transmission housing. The wiring harness had been installed so the bundle of wires that have the O2 wiring in it were pressing against a rounded corner of the transmission case.

    The cyclic/drone drove me nutty - and it only did it in 5th gear. Once I found the worn insulation on the wires (found it with a GS-911 by monitoring the O2 sensor output), the drone was gone.

    I suspect the cause was the lack of the O2 sensor on that side was causing the ECU to go to a default fuel mixture .. but the ECU probably kept trying to read the O2 sensor output voltage causing the mixture to go lean/rich/lean/rich.. Why it was only noticeable in 5th baffles me, but that's what happened, and it's been gone now for about 2-3 years and 30,000 miles or so.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  5. #5
    On a Ride sfarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbockelie View Post
    My GS 1200 Adventure {4500 miles on it} makes a cyclic droning sound in 5th gear. It has since new. I havent been able to compare or ask anyone else if theirs does. Havent asked the Service Dept. yet. Thoughts? Steve In Edmonds Wa.
    I had this with my '07 GSADV, at about the same miles as you note. Over a few thousand miles, as I approached 8-10K miles it started to vanish. For me, I believe it was just engine tightness. By 12K miles it was buttery smooth, and the cyclic droning sound has never returned.

  6. #6
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    I too;

    Still own a '07GSA but never heard the drone. The wiring thing is a wierd one. It may be a miles thing too, break it in, keep riding. The older R boxes had straight cut gears, 1 thru 4th and 5th was slant cut gear for this purpose, noise reduction. I do not know about the new trannies, if all gears are the same or what? YOU MAY wish to change the oil to a good synthetic, which it should have already in it, BUT! 75-140w is whats called for. You can also BUY a magnet plug for the drain hole and monitor it at changes, for debris. I know a LOT of owners doing this, including me. Randy

  7. #7
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Still own a '07GSA but never heard the drone. The wiring thing is a wierd one. It may be a miles thing too, break it in, keep riding. The older R boxes had straight cut gears, 1 thru 4th and 5th was slant cut gear for this purpose, noise reduction. I do not know about the new trannies, if all gears are the same or what? YOU MAY wish to change the oil to a good synthetic, which it should have already in it, BUT! 75-140w is whats called for. You can also BUY a magnet plug for the drain hole and monitor it at changes, for debris. I know a LOT of owners doing this, including me. Randy
    The owners manual for my 2012 R1200GSA says NO SYNTHETIC OIL for the first 12,000 miles. The manual says synthetic is too slippery to allow the engine to properly break-in. After the first 12,000 miles on dinosaur oil, you can switch over to synthetic oil.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

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    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    The owners manual for my 2012 R1200GSA says NO SYNTHETIC OIL for the first 12,000 miles. The manual says synthetic is too slippery to allow the engine to properly break-in. After the first 12,000 miles on dinosaur oil, you can switch over to synthetic oil.
    The discussion was about transmission gear oil, not engine lube. I believe, but could be wrong, that the transmission gets synthetic gear oil straight from the factory. Yes? No?

    As for the no synthetic in the engine... Doesn't your owners manual also specifically recommend Castrol GPS SAE 10W-40? That is a semi-synth oil.

  9. #9
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    The owners manual for my 2012 R1200GSA says NO SYNTHETIC OIL for the first 12,000 miles. The manual says synthetic is too slippery to allow the engine to properly break-in. After the first 12,000 miles on dinosaur oil, you can switch over to synthetic oil.
    As pointed out - that used to refer to engine oil, not transmission oil. It was my understanding that the new cam-head engines came from the factory with synthetic oil.. can you quote the owners manual exactly?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  10. #10
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    As pointed out - that used to refer to engine oil, not transmission oil. It was my understanding that the new cam-head engines came from the factory with synthetic oil.. can you quote the owners manual exactly?
    I thought I was in luck, as I rode the GSA in this morning instead of the RTP. I just looked through the "Rider's Manual" and discovered no mention of synthetic vs. dinosaur oil. Then I remembered my source - Mark Eddy, Service Manager at Ride West BMW.

    I attended a "new owner's orientation" shortly after taking delivery of the GSA. Mostly it was a pitch to have your service done at the dealer, but the techs were around to answer questions, the dinner was free, and there were free detailing kits and cargo nets for attendees.

    One of the new K16 owners was bitching about the cost of an oil change, as the new K16 bikes come from the factory filled with five quarts of synthetic oil. Mark began a discussion of the unique aspects of K16 engines vs. K13 engines vs. RR engines vs. boxer engines vs. G/F engines and how they all have different oil capacity and viscosity requirements - and that boxer engines break-in the slowest of all BMW engines, and thus to hasten the break-in process (that takes far longer than the first 600 miles), one shouldn't run synthetic in a boxer until the engine has at least 12k miles on the odometer.

    I apologize for the confusion, but I'm grateful I've remembered the source of my data - senility is dealt yet another set-back!

    P.S. All BMW motorcycle rider's manuals are available here for download as PDF files: http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/i...html&notrack=1
    Last edited by OfficerImpersonator; 10-09-2012 at 04:21 PM.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

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