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High revs needed from a stop?

Hi Guys. I test rode a 2004 R1100S yesterday. Beautiful bike and rode like a dream, however, it quickly became apparent that this bike needed significant revs from a dead stop to prevent lurching, say 2,500 to 3,000. Once underway, everything seemed great, with silky clutch & tranny action. I assumed that this engine would have tractor like torque from idle! Loved the bike but am concerned with the start procedure. Is this one of the many BMW traits (quirks)? T.I.A.!
Old 05-13-2012, 05:20 AM
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That doesn't sound quite right. Explain this lurching behavior below 2500rpm please.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
That doesn't sound quite right. Explain this lurching behavior below 2500rpm please.
When taking off from a dead stop, the bike needed what I consider a rather significant amount of throttle or it would buck. I killed it at one corner by not supplying enough throttle, but when revved up, it would pull away cleanly. It was like it had a very high first gear, and since I've never ridden a BMW before, I don't know if this is a particular trait of an R1100S. I've noticed on some threads that this bike is not known for it's low down torque, but I've never ridden a bike that needs as much throttle to pull away from a stop.
Old 05-13-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
this bike needed significant revs from a dead stop to prevent lurching, say 2,500 to 3,000
First time I heard it!

Quote:
with silky clutch & tranny action
LOL! The R series has the cluckiest, roughest trannies ever!!! I mean they are built strong but they are far, far away from silky smooth!

Are you sure you rode a R1100S and not a S1000RR?

Did the cylinders stick out like two sore thumbs?
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:04 AM
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Probably user error and unfamiliarity.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:12 AM
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Unlikely to be the R, but in case that would be an real issue:
1- Massive valve or even cylinder wear/non balance- lost enormous amount of compression
2- cylinders fire way ahead of timing required, higher revs needed just to get going, I'd blame some custom/faulty commander or spark plugs not working (too big of electrode gaps)
Old 05-13-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott02 View Post
When taking off from a dead stop, the bike needed what I consider a rather significant amount of throttle or it would buck. I killed it at one corner by not supplying enough throttle, but when revved up, it would pull away cleanly. It was like it had a very high first gear, and since I've never ridden a BMW before, I don't know if this is a particular trait of an R1100S. I've noticed on some threads that this bike is not known for it's low down torque, but I've never ridden a bike that needs as much throttle to pull away from a stop.
Sounds like you were in 2nd or 3rd gear. Sometimes to engage 1st you have to put pressure on the shifter then toy with the clutch a bit before it'll actually drop into gear.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:21 AM
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If Otto2 has never ridden a boxer before, I am not at all surprised. First time I got on mine on the test ride, I stalled it too. Coming from a Japanese 4 with the traditional wet clutch, the clutch on the R was very finicky: very abrupt and almost like an on/off switch compared to what I was used to. Add to that the rather long first gear of the S, and it takes some getting used to.

Once I got used to it, it was just as easy to modulate as any other clutch and I wouldn't even give it a second thought, but I can see how a first timer could get caught out with it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by throttlemeister View Post
If Otto2 has never ridden a boxer before, I am not at all surprised. First time I got on mine on the test ride, I stalled it too. Coming from a Japanese 4 with the traditional wet clutch, the clutch on the R was very finicky: very abrupt and almost like an on/off switch compared to what I was used to. Add to that the rather long first gear of the S, and it takes some getting used to.

Once I got used to it, it was just as easy to modulate as any other clutch and I wouldn't even give it a second thought, but I can see how a first timer could get caught out with it.
That's exactly the response I was hoping for. Since this was the only "glitch" that occurred when I rode it, I don't believe that the 17,500 mile bike has any obvious mechanical issues. It idled beautifully, and other than the one issue, the test ride went great. It sounds like the going concensus is "operator error" that will subside with familiarity.
Old 05-13-2012, 12:20 PM
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I always thought the S was a relatively easy bike to idle away from a stop.... appropriately-low 1st gear, nice clutch engagement, and good engine torque from low revs. If you're an experience rider, I would be surprised if you'd find a "normal" S to be abnormal in its departure characteristics. If you've never owned a twin before, you might find the low-RPM characteristics a little rougher than a four, but nothing dramatic.

Sounds like something is wrong. Has the bike been fooled with with respect to ECU, power commander, fueling, air filter, exhaust, etc.? A lot of guys "hop up" their bike to the point that they fuel miserably at low RPM. (They don't run much better at high-RPM either, but they're completely convinced they've added mega-horsepower.)

- Mark
Old 05-13-2012, 05:45 PM
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I always thought the S was a relatively easy bike to idle away from a stop.... appropriately-low 1st gear, nice clutch engagement, and good engine torque from low revs. If you're an experience rider, I would be surprised if you'd find a "normal" S to be abnormal in its departure characteristics. If you've never owned a twin before, you might find the low-RPM characteristics a little rougher than a four, but nothing dramatic.

Sounds like something is wrong.

- Mark
I agree. This ain't rocket surgery. Little throttle, ease out the clutch, off you go. There is no special trick to riding a BMW.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:29 AM
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If you ease out on the clutch so slowly that it begins to smell like an 18-wheeler at the end of a 7% downhill run, you may need to make some adjustments to your clutch technique. There is a French guy that has a mod for adding a digital gear indicator if you gear problem continues. Enjoy your ride.
Old 05-14-2012, 05:55 AM
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I agree. This ain't rocket surgery. Little throttle, ease out the clutch, off you go. There is no special trick to riding a BMW.
Nobody says it is. But for the very first time on a BMW boxer it is sufficiently different to make it not surprising someone stalls it a couple of times. The dry clutch of the R is not nearly as linear as a Japanese wet clutch.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by throttlemeister View Post
Nobody says it is. But for the very first time on a BMW boxer it is sufficiently different to make it not surprising someone stalls it a couple of times. The dry clutch of the R is not nearly as linear as a Japanese wet clutch.
The proper trainer for learning how to use the clutch on a 259S is to drive an old VW Beatle.
Old 05-14-2012, 06:51 AM
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it's beetle and i have one.
beatles were those guys who made records, or slowly eat your house.

you're right though. i've always thought that the two of them were very similar, yet it's still not difficult to get going with a small amount of throttle.

this might help. pro motocrossers hear it so often, most mumble it in their sleep:
"Practice your starts."
Old 05-14-2012, 08:39 AM
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I've found that this bike does require a little extra throttle to get going from a stop than any other bike I've ridden.

Also, however, if it's bucking and stuff, I feel like that bike is due for a tune-up, particularly a throttle body sync. It's amazing how rough the engine can run directly off-idle when they're out of sync, even though at higher ranges things seem "fine".

As for the transmission, despite what others have said, I also think this bike's tranny is incredibly smooth shifting compared to most. Just clunks nicely into each gear. More often than not I can't even feel it, which I can't say of most other bikes I've ridden.
Old 05-14-2012, 09:14 AM
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In the traffic I use 2 gear. Easyer than changing 1-2 gears all the time. So to move smoothly from 2 gear in the traffic it takes about 2000-3000 rpm
Old 05-14-2012, 09:24 AM
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I think you guys are making too much out of this.

Although, if we knew where Otto's bike was someone could go ride it...
Perhaps Otto can give more information...

But I doubt there's anything wrong with it....
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott02 View Post
When taking off from a dead stop, the bike needed what I consider a rather significant amount of throttle or it would buck. I killed it at one corner by not supplying enough throttle, but when revved up, it would pull away cleanly. It was like it had a very high first gear, and since I've never ridden a BMW before, I don't know if this is a particular trait of an R1100S. I've noticed on some threads that this bike is not known for it's low down torque, but I've never ridden a bike that needs as much throttle to pull away from a stop.
That's not normal... 1500rpm... maybe 2000 (on the extreme high end of the scale), but it should not require that high an engine speed to take off. I rode a wet clutch bike before I got my R1100S and it only took me two starts from a dead stop to figure out the dry clutch on the bike (my first dry clutch).
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by throttlemeister View Post
Nobody says it is. But for the very first time on a BMW boxer it is sufficiently different to make it not surprising someone stalls it a couple of times. The dry clutch of the R is not nearly as linear as a Japanese wet clutch.
Since I've had 40+ years of only Japanese wet clutches, I'm beginning to realize that the lack of dry clutch experience is the culprit. Thanks to all for the thought provoking commentary.
Old 05-14-2012, 10:20 AM
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