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A burnt valve is not unheard of. Good luck with it.
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Jim Moore
Jax, FL
'01 R1100S
'07 CBR600RR
Old 07-08-2019, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadToTheBown View Post
OK, I would suspect one of the following:
1) burnt valve like depicted above
2) hole in piston
3) rings & cylinder wall destroyed
4) blown head gasket
5) cross threaded plug that finally let go

4 and 5 will usually provide an audible tick (leak you would hear), plugs are quick, pull them and see if threads come out with them, if not look at plug threads...if that all passes, you have to pull the head to verify the rest, although you can also check the rings/cylinder by changing the oil, there will be plenty of metal in the oil sump if you did and possibly some chucks if it's the piston...if this last option, remove the starter and buy the cheap plastic BMW tool to lock the flywheel at TDC when you find it, they will make much easier to take apart and put back together...
I doubt the head gasket is the cause. There are no tell tale signs of that. No oil and no discoloration of the silver paint around the area.

I changed the plugs after this happened just to be sure. All 4 go in and come out with fingers only. They all start to engage easily.

That leaves the other 3 things.

Is there something on the cylinder that would relieve compression if it comes loose that I am unaware of? Other than a spark plug?
Old 07-08-2019, 12:34 PM
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Personally, I think you need to pull the head...if you do, read up on finding TDC, pulling the starter, installing chuck...good news is the cam chain tensioner is much easier in and out on the right side than the left, also read up on torquing the head back on, setting clearances on sides of rockers and to valve stems and probably a couple of things I've long since forgotten about, best of luck...
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:52 PM
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unsafe at any speed
 
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I wouldn't pull anything apart until running a leak down test. That will tell you what is leaking.

You can get a cheap tester for $40 if you don't have access to one.



https://www.harborfreight.com/Cylinder-Leak-Down-Tester-62595.html
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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
1969 BSA StarFire

Last edited by wswartzwel; 07-09-2019 at 04:54 AM..
Old 07-09-2019, 04:50 AM
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presurizing the cylinder is a good test if you can,
R&R the head is simple on this just a few hours.
Old 07-09-2019, 06:25 AM
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The head is coming off no matter what the results of the compression test and leak down test, right?
Old 07-09-2019, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
the head is coming off no matter what the results of the compression test and leak down test, right?
+1
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for all the input. In my heart, I don't feel like taking this bike apart again. It has only been 5,000 miles since I fixed my clutch spline problem. I did all the work except for the transmission. I had Anton do it in Virginia.

I usually do all my own work, I just don't feel like it now. I bought a Honda VFR-800 to ride in the meantime.

If it was easy to get the bike to Virginia, I would let Anton fix the bike. I have a trust issue letting someone else work on my bikes. I was a motorcycle mechanic for a long time and take great care in everything I do.

I am going to try and trust Cross Country BMW in Metuchen NJ. I will let you know what they find. I have a feeling it might be the rings. If it is a burnt valve, I really don't know why at this point. The rockers are not tight at all.

I just got my Wilbers shocks and can't even use them. What a shame.
Old 07-11-2019, 03:01 PM
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Twitch! What year VFR? They are seriously nice bikes.

My 1998! Check the glass clutch housing, I got that done!


Old 07-11-2019, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitchy View Post
...have a feeling it might be the rings.
There's a couple of reasons the valves burn, usually when it's the rings, you're burning oil very noticeably (plugs and exhaust smoke) but bad valve guides also give you blue smoke, mostly at cold start until things heat up and close the gaps and it will usually still have compression, unless the valve is burnt because it could not keep the valve centered on the valve seat, good luck...
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:06 PM
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+1 on Badtothebown's post.

The sudden loss of power is an indicator. You can ride for quite a while with a burned (or burning) valve, usually its hard to start but still drivable for a while, you get some warning.

Rings usually the same thing, lots of warning. My bet would be on a valve head either gone or badly bent, or a piston with a hole in it.

My guess is nothing real pretty is going to be in there, but you gotta look. Good luck with it and there is usually a low mileage engine out there, actually there are some low mileage S bikes for cheap money these days.
Old 07-12-2019, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
Twitch! What year VFR? They are seriously nice bikes.

My 1998! Check the glass clutch housing, I got that done!


bykemike,
I just got this yesterday to use while I fix my R1100s. It is a 2014 and had 2,765 miles when I rode out of the parking lot of the dealer. It is one of those things in life after you buy it you realize it is nicer than you thought it was.

When I find out what is wrong with my BMW I will make sure I tell all. I would like to know myself.
Old 07-13-2019, 10:07 AM
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The VFR line up, 750s and 800s, are exceedingly nice bikes, they grow on you too.

They are stone reliable and handle very well right out of the box. They use one of the best engine Honda has ever built.

Nice bike Twitch, great color.
Old 07-13-2019, 12:14 PM
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Burnt valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by grizmo View Post
Had a similar problem a few yrs ago at 46000 miles on my 03 BCR
Looked like this
I spoke to Anton Largiader on the phone the other day. He rebuilt my transmission when I had my clutch splines fail.

I started to tell him what happened to me and before I finished he said to me, "You have a burnt valve". He then proceeded to tell me it was a pretty common problem with the 1100-1150 series oilheads. He has seen it quite a few times. He then told me why it happened. It was a manufacturing problem at the factory that left too little contact area between the valve and the valve seat.

So at the end of the day, what I am going to do is trailer the bike to him from New Jersey and let him do what he does best.

This is a motorcycle I have no intention of selling. I want to get all fixed and have it run like it was designed to.

Again, thank you for all you input. I will let everyone know what happens.

I feel very grateful I am in a position in life where I can afford to get this fixed properly and buy a used VFR 800 to ride while I am getting the BMW fixed.
Old 07-20-2019, 02:21 AM
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unsafe at any speed
 
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Great choice and I admire your positive attitude. Despite the problems and idiosyncrasies, the R1100S bikes are fun to ride, if you can keep a good attitude. The VFR's do everything well, and will make a great stablemate to have around. Keep a spare voltage regulator on hand though for the VFR, they were a common failure item on certain models. The gear driven cam whine, is intoxicating to listen to.
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1969 BSA StarFire
Old 07-20-2019, 03:46 AM
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