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seoul101 05-28-2012 07:16 PM

New R1100S - Bad fuel economy ?
Hi all,

I'm a new owner of a 2004 BCR so thought this was the right place to come and have a chat about stuff. It seems there are plenty of knowledgeable people here.

The bike seems to be running ok for the most part. However, there are a few things I'd like to ask you guys.

1. From a cold start it needs the choke for a few minutes to get the engine idling without dying out. Once warmed up it's not a problem. Is this normal?

2. Fuel efficiency seems terrible. I took note of my last two fill-ups and get about 105-110 miles before the light comes on. That turns out to be around 29 (US) or 34 (UK) MPG for a mix of highway and some city use, not racing it either.

The bike has just over 9,000 miles on the clock. It's in good aesthetic condition but I'm not sure what sort of maintenance it's had done to it. There's no abnormal tinging from the engine and no popping from the exhaust.

I checked the air filter. It's not too dirty. Battery voltage seems ok too. I will check the spark plugs when I get the chance.

Could it be valve clearances?

I'm hoping it's something I can take care of!

(By the way, here's what she looks like - )

eatthepeach 05-29-2012 03:51 AM

Nice '04. If it's stock it should get closer to 40 than 30 mpg. Do you know if a previous owner messed with the EFI? If the valves needed adjustment I suspect it wouldn't be running so smoothly. How's the tire inflation?

seoul101 05-29-2012 04:54 AM

Thanks for the reply. It all seems pretty much stock, but I can't say whether or not the EFI has been messed with - I'd guess not though.

Tire pressure is fine, new Pirelli's installed.

The engine runs smoothly at speed but nearer idling or when just starting it has a bit of trouble. If I attempt to adjust the throttle bodies and valves, would these articles be suitable for a 2004?

Adjusting Valves and Rocker Arms

Throttle Body Synch for Dummies

I'm assuming not too much has changes to the bike over the years ?

seoul101 05-29-2012 05:57 AM

Just to check with any air filter experts, here's a (bad) photo of the air filter. I took the filter out and it didn't seem too dark inside, but now I'm doubting whether it's actually ok... should I just change it?

Thanks in advance

nathanmargolis 05-29-2012 06:46 AM

I have an '04 R1100S, too.

Gas mileage is always in the 40s even when I run it hard.

I do hit the choke or enrichener to cold start, then turn off after the bike fires, feather the throttle for 10-15 seconds, and ready to go. Not a big believer in warming things up to engine temp before departing. I just run at low RPMs for a few mintues.

I have an '02 BMW R1150RT and it is a little touchier on start ups. Bikes are different.

Something is not right on that if you are getting up 20s or low 30s MPG for sure.

Does the S bike run fine?

If so, I think I would check the mileage a few more times with different brands of gas before being concerned. Remember one time one of the BMWs dipped down into the mid 30s and then the next tank of gas back in the 40s. Clearly a gasoline issue

Gas quality seems to make a difference.

S bikes are wonderful rides.


Nitro 05-29-2012 07:14 AM

First you might want to do the zero=zero TBS procedure, synch the throttle bodies, and set the idle to about 1500 RMP.

As for the gas mileage, you have not told us if the bike has stock cans, or other mods.

All the stock modern boxers run very lean by default and you might get around 40 miles to the gallon.

A properly tuned boxer, will run richer than stock, hence the mileage will drop in to the 30s but for a smoother, cooler, and better running engine, and arguably a longer life.

I get about 30 on my S.

SergioK 05-29-2012 07:38 AM

Check the CCP. (cat code plug)

jaytee 05-29-2012 07:45 AM

Do you have a PC3 or equivalent installed? Check your O2 sensors and see if they are plugged in. Fueling can have a dramatic impact on efficiency.


RBMann 05-29-2012 09:47 AM

Just to be clear, the lever on the left control is not a choke and does not make the mixture richer. It is simply a fast idle aid. You could leave it on all the time and not affect gas mileage. I also would not casually start changing the zero=zero setting. First thing to do is figure out what equipment is or is not on the bike. Is there a Power Commander, Techlusion box or some other mode to the fueling? What exhaust system is present? How about starting with a complete tune-up?

As a data point my stock 2000 S with a PCIII has always had mileage in the 30s around town with 40s and 50s on the highway. The PCIII does not seem to affect cruising mileage as much as in the city.

nathanmargolis 05-29-2012 11:12 AM

RB Manns Comment
I did not check MPG when right after purchasing my '04 R1100S as it seemed to run fine but had an iddle issue that would cause it to die at an idle or acutally have surging idle (not as you sat still but from red light to red light it would be different from 800 RPM to 2000 RPM).

Discovered there was a Power Commander on the bike. Disconnected and later removed. All problems gone. On my bike, the Power Commander was double sided taped to the battery.

I was not told the bike had a Power Commander at purchase. A reliable BMW dealer told me Power Commanders were not needed with after market exhaust because electronics are very good on this bike(my bike has full Remus) and another reliable souce who runs big Jap sport bikes said Power Commanders typically act up after 3-4 years because of exposure to heat and weather elements on a bike.

Check for that Power Commander and if one there, you may want to disconnect but make you reconnect factory connectors at throttle bodies.

Do know that people swear my Power Commanders so I am not knocking them, but the one on my bike was clearly bad and creating issues.

See if that makes a difference after properly disconnecting

I know you will figure out the MPG issue.


Guest24 05-29-2012 12:15 PM

About 43 mpg at Sea Level is a good average if you're not flogging it hard. If your gas tank neck has not been drilled to allow you to pack the tank, the reserve light should illuminate at approx. 143 miles plus or minus 5 miles. Both of my R11S bikes are alike in this.

JGard 05-29-2012 12:37 PM

I went through something similar when I first bought mine a few months ago. Fuel mileage was terrible and my idle was also really bad.

Turned out not only were the valves way out of adjustment, but the throttle bodies were, too. Adjusting those things did the trick.

The hardest part was syncing the throttle bodies. I didn't loosen the throttle cables enough at first. Make sure you REALLY loosen them up, then sync the throttle stops to get an even idle. Then you tighten the cables and adjust the sync cable a little to make sure things are even at some point on-throttle. Makes a huge difference in how the bike runs.

I went from low 30s mpg to low 40s mpg. Then I added the boosterplug and have dropped to high 30s... :\

Shorebird 05-29-2012 02:16 PM

I am a new(ish) to the list so will let all the wise old owls comment on fuel mileage - so my 2 cents is that is a pretty bike.

markjenn 05-29-2012 05:46 PM


Originally Posted by seoul101 (Post 6772776)
2. Fuel efficiency seems terrible. I took note of my last two fill-ups and get about 105-110 miles before the light comes on. That turns out to be around 29 (US) or 34 (UK) MPG for a mix of highway and some city use, not racing it either.

Have you computed the fuel mileage based on mileage and fuel used or are you just doing estimates from the fuel light? There is quite a bit of variance when the fuel light comes on. I recall mine used to come on between 110-125 miles and I was getting high 30's mileage hand computed.

- Mark

Meeni 05-29-2012 07:45 PM

The two guides you found are adequate for your model. Both are very easy to DIY, it makes a difference in how the bike feels. Don't do a 0=0 except if the bike doesn't run right, there are stories of fine bike being converted to the dreaded surging after that procedure, better not try it if you don't have a problem to start with.

First thing is to have the computer tell you what's wrong (if something is wrong), like out of range O2 readings, stochiometry, etc. The ECU can tell a lot of things.

You may find out that you have one of the many (small but annoying) issues with the ignition system. There is a recall on the ignition wire, which is mounted too close to the cylinder and receive magnetic interference (recall is free, you pay for parts only, a couple of dollars, have it checked). The hal sensor is another usual suspect, its easy to check, there are DIY guides available by searching this forum. Last, stick style ignition coils are notorious for dying early, you may have a bad one that works only half the time (hard to check without a known good one, do it last, these babies are pricey).

LorraineKerri 05-29-2012 07:45 PM

It all seems pretty much stock

seoul101 05-30-2012 12:44 AM

Hi guys,

I appreciate all the suggestions and info so far. I'm preparing to go ahead with a valve adjustment and TB sync as soon as I have all the necessary items.

A couple of questions about that..
- Can I make do with one set of feeler gauges or is it necessary to have two for a decent tune up?
- Should I purchase a TB sync tool or just make one myself? If I made it I'd probably go the 2-stroke engine oil in a long piece of tubing approach..

To answer some of the questions, the bike is stock and I haven't seen any evidence of modifications (Power Commander, etc.). I measured MPG approximately by using the fuel light and by working out how many litres have been used.. it's a rough estimate.

One thing I did notice that was amiss.. the engine timing cover plug is missing. There's an unblocked hole in the side just above the right cylinder. I suppose that needs blocking up!

Groceryrun 05-30-2012 07:54 AM

I also have a stock 2004 R1100S and all I get is 33 mpg no matter how I ride it.
I have tuned it and it's still the same.
I'm thinking maybe it's the CCP that's affecting the gas mileage....mine is white colored (30-86-87).
Did the earlier model (pre-2004) have a yellow CCP (30-87) ?

wiggledbits 05-30-2012 11:19 AM

I got from a low of 25 to a high of 35 MPG on my 2004 after installing a Techlusion. I tweaked it and tweaked it and got it running better than without it except for the stalling at idle when cold. Part of the reason I got the fuel modifying unit was to address that. I eventually brought the bike to a dyno tuner and good thing I did as it was WAY lean at low RPMs. Runs even better now, still have the cold idle stalling but I get a consistent 38MPG flogging her on the back roads. I haven't had a chance to slab for more than 5-10 miles but I do expect better MPGs.

I am interested in following this to see if I can get more ideas to chase down the idle stall short of removing the Techlusion. I suspect removing the 02 sensor has a big part...

markjenn 05-30-2012 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by seoul101 (Post 6775082)
I measured MPG approximately by using the fuel light and by working out how many litres have been used.. it's a rough estimate.

If you're going to complain about fuel mileage and ask for help fixing it, at least do the tiny amount of work to actually compute it. My guess is that you're probably in the mid-30's or higher which may be more/less normal, depending on how you use the bike.

- Mark

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