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Thread: 2012 RT 6K Service Experience

  1. #1
    Registered User liv2ride's Avatar
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    2012 RT 6K Service Experience

    Bought the RT, my first BMW, back in July 2012. Prior to the purchase I performed extensive research to include renting the bike to make certain this was the bike for me. Prior to the purchase I determined that I would be performing all routine service not just to save money but to also bond with the bike.

    Yesterday I began the journey of performing the 6k maintenance, all but the throttle body sync. I need something to help lock the throttle position to simplify this process and haven't yet figured this out. I do have the harmonizer for when I do this service.

    I did accomplish the following:

    - FD fluid change, managed to accomplish without wheel removal or exhaust repositioning. I haven't measure the amount taken out yet but intend to do so. Fluid was very dirty and had grease in the drain plug but didn't see any "fuzz" or anything unusual. This fluid was not changed at the 600 mile check, the sheet the dealer used from that months DVD did not call for it.

    - Transmission fluid change.

    - Engine oil filter and fluid change.

    - Valve check (Left Intake: .18/.18, Left Exhaust: .35/.35, Right Intake: .20/.20, Right Exhaust: .36/.36). These measurements are better than anticipated and were left alone.

    Now the question. What is the best process to perform this maintenance? It appears I spent an extraordinary amount of time accomplishing the above. There must be a proven sequence to ensure efficiency with accomplishing these routine maintenance tasks. Keep in mind; I don't have access to a bike lift so I spent a good amount of time on the ground.

    Also, if there are any suggestions on keeping the throttle steady while performing the sync maintenance that would be helpful as well.

    Loving this bike more each day.

    Thanks in advance.

    Scot

  2. #2
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    I've not felt a need for any sort of throttle positioner or lock for this procedure. You only need to check at about 1500-1800 rpm, just off idle. Wider throttle openings are less sensitive to throttle opening differences than small ones - if it is balanced off idle it will be balanced at all other positions. I check the existing balance, and then, if needed, loosen the cable lock nut on the right side, adjust with one hand while operating the throttle with the other. Retighten the lock nut and re-check the balance.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  3. #3
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ride View Post
    ......................
    Now the question. What is the best process to perform this maintenance? It appears I spent an extraordinary amount of time accomplishing the above. There must be a proven sequence to ensure efficiency with accomplishing these routine maintenance tasks. Keep in mind; I don't have access to a bike lift so I spent a good amount of time on the ground..............
    Given the fact you will probably not be doing these services often enough to possibly ever be efficient don't worry about it from that point of view. Over the course of time you will become more knowledgable and faster however. Just enjoy the time doing something you love and knowing you're doing it with quality.

  4. #4
    Registered User liv2ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    I've not felt a need for any sort of throttle positioner or lock for this procedure. You only need to check at about 1500-1800 rpm, just off idle. Wider throttle openings are less sensitive to throttle opening differences than small ones - if it is balanced off idle it will be balanced at all other positions. I check the existing balance, and then, if needed, loosen the cable lock nut on the right side, adjust with one hand while operating the throttle with the other. Retighten the lock nut and re-check the balance.
    I actually thought about doing it this way before I buttoned her back up but then decided to seek guidance on best practice. Isn't it best if you tighten the locknut while the throttle is locked at the desired check RPM? From what I understand tightening the locknut can affect the end adjustment.

    I am not in a rush since the bike idles fine and also seems to run smoothly at all throttle positions. I guess I will give this technique a shot next weekend.

    Billy,

    Good point. I am only wondering what the sequence is that others have adopted to make the best use of time.

    Thanks.

    Scot

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ride View Post
    I actually thought about doing it this way before I buttoned her back up but then decided to seek guidance on best practice. Isn't it best if you tighten the locknut while the throttle is locked at the desired check RPM? From what I understand tightening the locknut can affect the end adjustment.

    I am not in a rush since the bike idles fine and also seems to run smoothly at all throttle positions. I guess I will give this technique a shot next weekend.

    Billy,

    Good point. I am only wondering what the sequence is that others have adopted to make the best use of time.

    Thanks.

    Scot
    Different tech's will handle the exact same bike differently but most would drop all fluids as one of the first things done as you can continue on with other work while the fluids drain.

  6. #6
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ride View Post
    I actually thought about doing it this way before I buttoned her back up but then decided to seek guidance on best practice. Isn't it best if you tighten the locknut while the throttle is locked at the desired check RPM? From what I understand tightening the locknut can affect the end adjustment.

    I am not in a rush since the bike idles fine and also seems to run smoothly at all throttle positions. I guess I will give this technique a shot next weekend.
    While I haven't done a CamHead (the OHC model) - on my '07 Hexhead, I finally had to tweak the throttle balance. This was the first time in 64,000 miles (despite my writing the TB balance for the DIY - it actually didn't NEED it when I did the writeup..)

    If the valves are adjusted correctly (and mine haven't changed now for the past 18,000 miles) - the throttle balance generally seems to remain dead-nutz on. I suspect the reason I needed to do it this time was about a week ago I removed the left/port side throttle-body in order to gain clearance to the port side timing chain tensioner. Mine had gotten noisy at startup, and I replaced it (and the noise went away.) Doing so requires R&R of the throttle-body for clearance. I suspect I probably upset something when doing the R&R. It wasn't off much (about 2 divisions at max sensitivity on my TwinMax, which is VERY sensitive), but enough that I could feel it in the bars at around 3,700-4,000 RPM. A small adjustment to the right (starboard) side cable and all is well again.

    As far as your question on the order to do things, I generally do my service in this order:

    Engine -
    1 - Valve adjustment, and plug replacement (if needed)
    2 - If alternator belt is due - do it before putting the plugs back in
    3 - Engine oil change
    4 - Fully warm engine and check throttle balance - do readout of all modules on the bike with GS-911, and use GS-911 to ZERO the idle steppers (and if you like to - to lock them for the throttle-balance, IMHO not really needed.)

    Transmission -
    1 - If required - drain and refill while it's warm from the engine service.

    Rear drive
    1 - If required - drain and refill

    Brake fluids
    - Due every 24 months starting from production date. FLUSH (do NOT drain) with DOT4

    Thats pretty much is the order I'll do it in.

    I may do the rear drive first (I did for the 64k service I just completed) because it doesn't have to be hot to do, In the case of this service, I did rear-drive first, went for a ride for a day, then did the transmission while it was still warm from the ride, then finally did the engine service a few days later after enjoying some more riding. Being retired lets me schedule it as I want to - so this made for a very relaxed service interspersed with rides just because I could.

    On the transmission - remember to always loosen the filler plug before pulling the drain plug.

    32K intervals for me are the "Service-II" - where I do ALL the fluids, the plugs and the alternator belt. On this service I also did the 24 month brake fluid flush (a bit early) since I was replacing the rear rotor (and pads) which was under spec. I'm planning on some long rides this summer, and wanted to get everything I could out of the way so I don't have to service it (besides perhaps an oil change) during the rides.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 04-23-2013 at 03:45 PM.
    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

  7. #7
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Different tech's will handle the exact same bike differently but most would drop all fluids as one of the first things done as you can continue on with other work while the fluids drain.
    When working on my bikes I do the exact opposite. I do all of the cold stuff (valves, tire pressure, brake bleed if needed, various inspections, etc.) then take a test ride to get the bike to FULL operating temp. Back in the garage I check/adjust throttle bodies at operating temp. Then, while the bike is still warm, I drain fluids. Tranny and FD fluids are changed every 12K (about once a year, maybe a little longer). Lastly I take a final test ride after everything is buttoned up.

    It is probably slightly slower the way I do it. That's OK. I'm not trying to make a buck and I (mostly) enjoy working on my bike. The key is having another bike to ride should the service take longer than planned.

  8. #8
    Droptine1968
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    Live2ride,
    How did you refill the final drive without removing the rear wheel?
    2005 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Registered User liv2ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droptine View Post
    Live2ride,
    How did you refill the final drive without removing the rear wheel?
    I wouldn't say it was simple but involved patience, a color bottle, fuel tubing and a bit of creativity.

    Once the fill plug was removed the rest was easy. Passed the fuel tubing through the rear wheel, held the bottle above the exhaust and squeezed. Learned early I had to squeeze slowly. Dripped a little initially then I paid a bit more attention and all was good. A tip for next time will be to duct tape the fuel line to the bottle tip.

    I hope this helps.

    Aloha.

    Scot

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ride View Post
    I wouldn't say it was simple but involved patience, a color bottle, fuel tubing and a bit of creativity.

    Once the fill plug was removed the rest was easy. Passed the fuel tubing through the rear wheel, held the bottle above the exhaust and squeezed. Learned early I had to squeeze slowly. Dripped a little initially then I paid a bit more attention and all was good. A tip for next time will be to duct tape the fuel line to the bottle tip.

    I hope this helps.

    Aloha.

    Scot
    Aloha... ? I just realized.... isn't it against BMW law to trap a BMW R1200RT on such a small island? Doesn't it want to break free and does it not yearn for long stretches of lonely highway? Highways such as the Loneliest Road in America (a.k.a. Highway 50 in Nevada)?

  11. #11
    Registered User liv2ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Aloha... ? I just realized.... isn't it against BMW law to trap a BMW R1200RT on such a small island? Doesn't it want to break free and does it not yearn for long stretches of lonely highway? Highways such as the Loneliest Road in America (a.k.a. Highway 50 in Nevada)?
    Billy,

    It is truly a matter of perspective. I have been riding for a long time and I am passionate about motorcycles. That being said I find BMW to offer some of the finest machines. Sure, it would be great to own this bike while living on a larger land mass but I still enjoy every day I swing a leg over and set off on this bike. I have lived here in my paradise for 18 years and I couldn't imagine living in a better place, at least while I am in the working stage of my life.

    I still get to enjoy the bikes speed, handling, features, comfort, weather protection and character while not having to invest in a new seat because most of my rides are < 3-4 hours. When I commute on the bike I change up my route, rather than ride the 7 miles I take the 25 mile scenic route and no it is not bumper to bumper in both directions. Besides, I can ride just about any day of the year since temperature and snow/ice will never be an issue here.

    Scot

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ride View Post
    Billy,

    It is truly a matter of perspective. I have been riding for a long time and I am passionate about motorcycles. That being said I find BMW to offer some of the finest machines. Sure, it would be great to own this bike while living on a larger land mass but I still enjoy every day I swing a leg over and set off on this bike. I have lived here in my paradise for 18 years and I couldn't imagine living in a better place, at least while I am in the working stage of my life.

    I still get to enjoy the bikes speed, handling, features, comfort, weather protection and character while not having to invest in a new seat because most of my rides are < 3-4 hours. When I commute on the bike I change up my route, rather than ride the 7 miles I take the 25 mile scenic route and no it is not bumper to bumper in both directions. Besides, I can ride just about any day of the year since temperature and snow/ice will never be an issue here.

    Scot
    I'm sure it's beautiful riding there.

  13. #13
    Registered User liv2ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    While I haven't done a CamHead (the OHV model) - on my '07 Hexhead, I finally had to tweak the throttle balance. This was the first time in 64,000 miles (despite my writing the TB balance for the DIY - it actually didn't NEED it when I did the writeup..)

    If the valves are adjusted correctly (and mine haven't changed now for the past 18,000 miles) - the throttle balance generally seems to remain dead-nutz on. I suspect the reason I needed to do it this time was about a week ago I removed the left/port side throttle-body in order to gain clearance to the port side timing chain tensioner. Mine had gotten noisy at startup, and I replaced it (and the noise went away.) Doing so requires R&R of the throttle-body for clearance. I suspect I probably upset something when doing the R&R. It wasn't off much (about 2 divisions at max sensitivity on my TwinMax, which is VERY sensitive), but enough that I could feel it in the bars at around 3,700-4,000 RPM. A small adjustment to the right (starboard) side cable and all is well again.

    As far as your question on the order to do things, I generally do my service in this order:

    Engine -
    1 - Valve adjustment, and plug replacement (if needed)
    2 - If alternator belt is due - do it before putting the plugs back in
    3 - Engine oil change
    4 - Fully warm engine and check throttle balance - do readout of all modules on the bike with GS-911, and use GS-911 to ZERO the idle steppers (and if you like to - to lock them for the throttle-balance, IMHO not really needed.)

    Transmission -
    1 - If required - drain and refill while it's warm from the engine service.

    Rear drive
    1 - If required - drain and refill

    Brake fluids
    - Due every 24 months starting from production date. FLUSH (do NOT drain) with DOT4

    Thats pretty much is the order I'll do it in.

    I may do the rear drive first (I did for the 64k service I just completed) because it doesn't have to be hot to do, In the case of this service, I did rear-drive first, went for a ride for a day, then did the transmission while it was still warm from the ride, then finally did the engine service a few days later after enjoying some more riding. Being retired lets me schedule it as I want to - so this made for a very relaxed service interspersed with rides just because I could.

    On the transmission - remember to always loosen the filler plug before pulling the drain plug.

    32K intervals for me are the "Service-II" - where I do ALL the fluids, the plugs and the alternator belt. On this service I also did the 24 month brake fluid flush (a bit early) since I was replacing the rear rotor (and pads) which was under spec. I'm planning on some long rides this summer, and wanted to get everything I could out of the way so I don't have to service it (besides perhaps an oil change) during the rides.
    Hey Don,

    I just have a few questions regarding your post.

    I have not yet acquired a GS-911 and was hoping to put the purchase off until later this year. I have read opposing views on the throttle balance; some indicate "parking" the steppers is necessary, others say it is not. Is this truly required? If the GS-911 is not used to accomplish this what will be the impact?

    In regard to the brake fluid maintenance you clearly indicate to flush and not drain. Can you explain further? I did see your post in DIY as well as the other posted by Semper-Fi for the newer models. I am not clear on why these two processes are different. On previous bikes I have always done the manual bleed without a mighty vac or similar device.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Scot

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ride View Post
    Hey Don,

    I just have a few questions regarding your post.

    I have not yet acquired a GS-911 and was hoping to put the purchase off until later this year. I have read opposing views on the throttle balance; some indicate "parking" the steppers is necessary, others say it is not. Is this truly required? If the GS-911 is not used to accomplish this what will be the impact?

    In regard to the brake fluid maintenance you clearly indicate to flush and not drain. Can you explain further? I did see your post in DIY as well as the other posted by Semper-Fi for the newer models. I am not clear on why these two processes are different. On previous bikes I have always done the manual bleed without a mighty vac or similar device.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Scot
    Hi Scot,

    Good questions. Is the GS-911 worth having - I give it a resounding thumbs up. Is it needed for throttle-balance? IMHO - no. The stepper motor circuit is designed to put the two air bypass passages to the same setting as soon as the bike comes off idle. If you have a GS-911, it has the option of monitoring live data, and one thing it can monitor is the stepper openings. The steppers may wander a bit at idle as they respond to the idle RPM control circuitry. Once off idle - they seem to lock "in-step" and at a fixed opening. The other factor is "big-hole vs small-hole" - once you start opening the throttle (ie - coming off idle) you are opening a much bigger passage then the stepper/air-passage could possibly be. That makes the stepper position insignificant to the throttle balance you're doing with the cables.

    One other point - the GS-911 has a "ZERO" function, to zero out the steppers and reset the counters (we won't get into how stepper motors work, but suffice it to say they can lose steps, and get a bit lost, so they aren't actually open the amount the computer thinks they are.) The zero function uses a built in function of the ECU to bottom out the steppers (fully close them) and then reset the position in the computer to ZERO steps. This is a good thing given the simple design BMW used. The thing is - the ECU also does this function whenever you start the bike and allow the instrument dance to complete. If you put a finger on one of the steppers and just turn the ignition on (without starting the engine) you can feel this happening. The GS-911 repeats the cycle several times, so you're certain it's been zero'd out. But it should be zero'd out if you allow a slight delay before pressing the starter button.

    The difference between a "flush" and "bleeding" (not so much a "drain", although "bleeding" will be needed if you do drain them) the brake is - when flushing the brakes no air is introduced into the system. Enough brake fluid is kept in the reservoir so no air is drawn into the master cylinder(s). Bleeding the brakes is - eliminating any air in the system. It is needed if you didn't keep the reservoir full enough, or you've replaced a component or opened the system in a manner where air got into it.

    In general - unless you're doing a repair to the brake system beyond pads (say replacing a line, or a caliper, or master-cylinder) the brakes should never need bleeding. The flush is called for every 24 months from the date of manufacturing.

    Many people use the terms interchangeably.. but they are different terms and different techniques are used to do each job.

    HTH,
    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

  15. #15
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    Maintenence DVD

    Might I suggest the DVD by JVB to help you see how easy it is to do all this. Try http://www.jimvonbaden.com/. It sure helped me do the 6000 maintenance.

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