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Thread: Hot header pipe burning up the plastic. Help!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Hot header pipe burning up the plastic. Help!

    This issue is driving me nuts. I took my side panels off, sanded and repainted my crispy shark fins, and I also wrapped my headers. Got her all back together today I went on a 10mile mixed speed typical ride. The right side (if I'm sitting on the bike) seems to be the issue. I did not let it sit and idle, my oil temp was never above 5 bars, and it seemed to be running great. I got back home directly in the garage and shut her right off. Got off the bike and too that same side and the fin and the fairing next to the header was so hot I couldn't hardly put my hand on it. WTF is going on. I just had the valves and injectors done last fall. I replaced the plugs when I first got the bike. Went from Bosh R6 787 to NGK BKR7EKC-N. could that have anything to do with it? Switched back to the Bosch plugs with do difference. Opinions??

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  2. #2
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Please tell us the year and model that you have. That info might help.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  3. #3
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    Silly me

    My ride is a 2000 R1100RT with 24k on her. I bought her back in july of 2012. This started happening after I bought it.

  4. #4
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    If you've "had the valves done", then there is a distinct possibility that the valves are set too tightly - the factory spec is too tight, especially for the exhaust side. Spec is .006" intake and .012" exhaust; I always set 'em to the "sloppy" side of 007 and 014 - works great, very slightly noisier, but easier starting and easier spin-up.
    Also, has the Zero setting of the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) been verified? (and AFTER that, the .380 volts of the setting at Idle) Our bikes are already running lean; if the TPS is off, that could exacerbate this issue.
    Check out the Internet BMW Riders tech articles for specific details and how-to's. http://www.ibmwr.org/

    NGK plugs are fine, but I can't confirm the part number for the 1100 engine. Your number is right for the 1150s, though. A higher number (like 8) would be a colder plug, but just a plug shouldn't be enough to cause this much over-heating.

    EDIT - I just checked the NGK website, and your number is the right one. Verify the gap with a wire gauge, let there be a little bit of drag (the gap opens with wear). Be very gentle if you need to tweak the outer electrode.

    Another possibility is that there could be an air leak at the black rubber intake manifold. Make sure the clamps are tight, and that the manifold itself shows no cracks. (Take it off for a close-up inspection is best.)

    If the Big Brass Air Screws have never been replaced (or cleaned off), it's possible that the O-ring on them is cracked. These aren't available separately, so you 'd have to spring the $7 for the whole screw if that was the case. But that would affect the ability to set up a smooth balanced idle, so that's a slim possibility.

  5. #5
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    When you wrapped the pipes you reduced the clearance to the tupperware. The wrap gets hot and is too close to the plastic.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  6. #6
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    I had a 2000 RT and put 150K on it without any heat issues regarding the body work or paint (even in Texas in July!). I think MPMARTY might be right about the tape. The other question might be do you have any accessories mounted so that it might be blocking any airflow to the pipes?
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  7. #7
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    Unhappy I think I need a trip to the dealer

    I understand now how the wrap may be hurting instead of helping my heat issue, but it is not the cause. When I first bought the bike back in July last year no problem then blam it just started. I've made no changes so I think that maybe my local mechanic screwed something up it make this start. I had him do the valves and the injector sync. I trusted this local shop with many of my bikes in the past, and I find it hard to believe that's what happened. The dealer is 100miles away I'm afraid, but I'll have to bite the bullet and do it.....sucks
    Brian Dewey
    Syracuse NY
    35+ on the road
    2000 R1100RT Current

  8. #8
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    I can think of a few reasons why your exhaust might get extra hot:

    1) exhaust valve hanging open or exhaust valve timing

    2) misfiring resulting in unburned fuel and oxygen burning in the exhaust

    3) an air leak at the exhaust manifold to cylinder head allowing unburned fuel in the exhaust to burn at that point

  9. #9
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    I find it hard to believe that your mechanic did anything to screw it up, but I think I'd check a few things out first. You might try spraying some carburetor cleaner around the throttle bodies while the engine is running, to see if it speeds up. If it does, then you have an air leak somewhere...possibly the vacuum hoses to your carbon canister, the rubber manifolds, or the TBs are leaking air around the butterfly shaft. If that checks out, then I'd probably recheck the TPS settings. Things do slip and whenever my bike starts running poorly, I suspect my own work (screw ups?).

    You also might check the shark fins and make sure they are in the correct position. One of mine slipped during a tuneup and got scorched. But before and since, it's been fine.

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