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Thread: 2013 k1600 14,500 miles Cracked Piston!

  1. #1
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    2013 k1600 14,500 miles Cracked Piston!

    Hate to even write this one, but wanted to let people know about the issue I have with my K1600 and maybe get some feedback, thoughts.

    I bought a new 2013 K1600 last Nov. Have about 14,500 or so miles on it.. And On my way back from a rally in Rhode Island, about two mile from my house in fact, it started loosing power and Smoking Heavily. As soon as I noticed it I shut the engine off and pushed/coasted the file 2 miles to my house. Bike Fully loaded wide onboard.. Mostly down hill to my house so we did not have to walk far.

    I could not imagine what was up. I called the roadside they towed it to my Dealer Hermy's in Port Clinton. Few days later they called and could not really find out what was wrong, other than one cylinder about 100 pounds off in compression. They pulled the entire engine, took it apart, filtered the oil etc.. Could not find anything. Then they noticed hairline on piston.. Sure enough.. Crack in the Piston.

    So ok.. I suppose.. really bummed the process for creating a piston seems have failed me. Its been about a month.. And they Still don't have it fixed. I am told they are waiting on parts. Which I am sure they are, Hermy's has always taken great care of me and My Bikes.

    To say I am bummed at BMW is an understatement.

    Cause:

    Manf Defect. The bike just had factory service at 12k. All was good.. Ridding that weekend it started on the way home, in 5th gear the engine was cutting out a little at high RPM High Load. When I merged onto the highway, I noticed it and when I passed a few cars. I was hard to tell what was happening and No Engine Fault warnings.. Nothing...

    Now What:

    The bigger question... What to do going forward... I have faith in the guys are Hermy's, they have told me they see No Other damage, could not find anything in the filtered oil, see no cylinder wall damage (So No honing I guess??). Told me this are replacing the piston (I would assume rings not sure what else?

    But that to me is Major Surgery on a bike that is brand new basically... Should a New piston just cure it.. or is this now just the beginning of more issues to come. that really Concerns me... in owning around 10 new bikes so far, I have never had this serious of an issue this early on.

    Options:
    PA Lemon law I think applies to motorcycles, (at least I hope) They have had the bike now for over 30days.. If its not resolved within a week, I think I have a right to legal action?? Not sure though??

    Just wait until is fixed and ride my F800gs. This is likely the course I will take. Once fixed I am still less than 1/2 way through the factory warranty.

    Come 30K miles time to get a new one... That Really Bums me as I wanted to get 100K out of this bike.

    Go past 30k extend warranty. I think I will do this if the next 15k are trouble free.... if Not..

    What to Get next:
    I will get another K1600, that is how much I love ridding it.


    Look forward to comments, questions, Feedback...

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User bluegrasspicker's Avatar
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    Enjoy your warranty

    Get it fixed and enjoy your GS for awhile.

    I think they will do a good job, get you back on the road, and this will become a distant memory.
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  3. #3
    Registered User dmftoy1's Avatar
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    Sorry man! That really sucks. I love my K1600GTL (24k miles so far.). If they don't have it back to you in another couple of weeks I'd say to talk to the dealer about what they can do. If they fix it I'd ride it while under warranty and make a decision as you approach 36k/3years.

    Just my .02

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Most likely it was a defect in the piston out of the box, so to speak, but I would ask them at Hermey's whether there was any sign of melting at the edges of the piston crack. I ask this because a severe lean condition in one cylinder might get masked by the other five, and detonation could impose stresses the piston wasn't designed for.

    This is no huge deal but if there is a sign of melting also signaling a lean condition then that injector ought to be flow tested or replaced.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Expanding just slightly on Paul's good advice, it could have been that the "cutting out" you experienced was the cause rather than a symptom of the piston failure.

    By "masked" Paul indicates (I assume) also that the more cylinders you have the more difficult it may be to detect one acting up. Maybe especially with an engine as smooth as this one. The fact you apparently did might be meaningful.

    Not an owner of one of these but think I've read valve adjustment is checked at 18k miles. Might also be interesting to learn status of this adjustment, too. Not sure, but this also suggests dealer didn't do much at 12k miles in areas where misadjustment or connections knocked loose would be significant.

    I'd think BMW would send someone to your dealer to observe.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  6. #6
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    Think Paul's right bad casting or faulty injector

  7. #7
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    I would insist on a complete replacement engine and nothing less. I would never accept a repaired engine from a dealer under warranty. Dealers are simply not equipped to repair engines. I know of no dealer that can even properly clean engine parts for assembly. I have over $5000 in cleaning equipment at my home shop & it is barely adequate to clean engine parts for reassembly. The tight tolerances on engines require a very clean environment before you reassemble them.
    Dave
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    The Only Vehicles I Own

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    They do need to check the clearance on the piston when they fit the new one. Sometimes excess clearance can crack a piston. Also need to inspect combustion chamber for machine defects, a hot spot can cause detonation. And inspect the head and block for clear water passages, good thermostat. no leaks to put a bubble in the water. This is in addition to checking the injectors for correct flow and pattern. It would also be interesting to know which cylinder, and how the water flows in the block. Inline sixes that work hard, think boats, irrigation pumps, diesels are often machined with different clearance on the rear, since it runs hotter. This can be an issue before the thermostat opens. In short, usually it is a defective piston. But not always. If it is something else, then the failure will reoccur.

    Rod

  9. #9
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    When I first read this post I really didn't think much about it. However after I thought about this problem the more certain things came to my mind. First off it is highly unlikely that this piston was cracked from the get-go. It would never have lasted for 14,500 miles if it was, not in this engine anyway. I would think there is a much greater potential for something else to have gone wrong that caused the piston to crack such as a faulty injector or bad wrist pin or any number of issues including coolant and oil flow. This situation deserves some serious diagnosis and not just a casual "Oh the piston is cracked" response.

    As far as repairing just one piston, well that is being penny wise and pound foolish. At a minimum all the pistons should be replaced as well as the cylinder body. I would also request that the cam chain and tensioner be replaced along with the thermostat. I don't know your dealership but there is truth in that this is not a job for the unknowing or first timer. The K1600 is a complex engine that demands anyone doing a rebuild on it know exactly what they are doing. Anything less is unacceptable. I would also ask that a valve adjustment check be done as this is the time to do it based on what they have to take apart.

    Good luck on your repairs and please keep us informed of the outcome.

    Rick

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Again, I suggest the best bet is for the dealer to have help from BMW. Recall also that with a bit of help dealers were indeed able to "repair" the S1000RR engines with untightened rod bolts. Saw one under construction and it was a pretty major tear down.

    Most owners and forum posters are not qualified to determine whether a new engine or more than one piston is required. This isn't the same as bodywork and there's nothing wrong with repair.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
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    What can the OP "demand" from BMW in terms resolving this problem? Can he demand a new motor, that particular parts be replaced, an early valve adjustment? Or, must the OP accept only what BMW decides meets their warranty obligations?
    '14 R1200GS,
    Priors: '13 K1600GT, '08 R1200RT, '04 R1150RT, '05 R1200GS, '73 R75/5.

  12. #12
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I promised myself I would remain silent but changed my mind. I think what needs to be done in this case depends on what they find.

    First: what caused the cracked piston. Check fit, check piston, check for heat damage, etc. I think a good question and answer with the technicians that have it apart is where to start.

    I have mixed emotions as to whether a specific tech or group of techs at a dealership can do a great job at an engine fix requiring a new piston. I respect the fact that there are rebuild specialist shops that mike everything, machine a lot of parts, and build / rebuild a superior engine. But I have personally honed cylinders, reringed engines, assembled engines after machine shop head work, and stripped an R1100RS to bare case and reassembled the engine after a broken cam chain guide. Now this latter task only has 200,000 more trouble free miles on that engine so I probably did things right with sufficient cleanliness.

    In the case of the OP I don't really doubt the ability of the techs to put in a new piston. The critical factor is can they determine why it broke and fix it so it doesn't happen again.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailorlite View Post
    What can the OP "demand" from BMW in terms resolving this problem? Can he demand a new motor, that particular parts be replaced, an early valve adjustment? Or, must the OP accept only what BMW decides meets their warranty obligations?
    That's what the warranty contract language provides.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    customer support

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorlite View Post
    What can the OP "demand" from BMW in terms resolving this problem? Can he demand a new motor, that particular parts be replaced, an early valve adjustment? Or, must the OP accept only what BMW decides meets their warranty obligations?
    I called the customer support line, spoke to a rep who was not technical. I did try to explain what situation, but was not much help basically referring me back to the dealer.

    You asked the same thing I am trying to understand. What are the options.

    Lots of folks have asked great technical questions and provided great feedback. Speaking to the tech, they have told me bmw has been guiding them all along. So that is cool. But I am going to ask them more about the why and ask about valves, injectors and will also ask to see the parts replaced.

    The only option I guess is for me to have the dealer fix it.

    From the lemon law perspective here I am also not sure of any right to how they fix it....just that they do. Fails again...hopefully not....but I too think this may not be the end... well... then I figure that out then.... I just want to Ride!

  15. #15
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    customer support

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorlite View Post
    What can the OP "demand" from BMW in terms resolving this problem? Can he demand a new motor, that particular parts be replaced, an early valve adjustment? Or, must the OP accept only what BMW decides meets their warranty obligations?
    I called the customer support line, spoke to a rep who was not technical. I did try to explain what situation, but was not much help basically referring me back to the dealer.

    You asked the same thing I am trying to understand. What are the options.

    Lots of folks have asked great technical questions and provided great feedback. Speaking to the tech, they have told me bmw has been guiding them all along. So that is cool. But I am going to ask them more about the why and ask about valves, injectors and will also ask to see the parts replaced.

    The only option I guess is for me to have the dealer fix it.

    From the lemon law perspective here I am also not sure of any right to how they fix it....just that they do. Fails again...hopefully not....but I too think this may not be the end... well... then I figure that out then.... I just want to Ride!

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