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Smoke on start up

hdas9

New member
Hi All,
Been a member for a while, so thought I’d introduce myself.
Ive had bikes for nearly forty years, albeit with a couple of gaps. There have been many ( mainly road bikes) sports / roadsters etc.

The latest is a R18 FE - which will randomly smoke (a lot) from the left cylinder on start up. Hence the title.
I’ve read some of the other posts on this, and can relate to the fogging! also noted the replacement piston scenario. I wonder, will the original rings be used? Is the piston /ring design / specification / tolerances altered?from OE. Indeed, does anyone know, are the left / right pistons slightly different, given the flat engine layout / stand situation? Or is there another means of preventing the oil from collecting where it shouldn’t be?

The local Motorrad dealer now have the bike and have loaned me an R18FE, so they’re definitely looking after me. No news as yet, but it’s only been a few days and they did say it could be a while.
 

R2K

Well-known member
Elite Member
Welcome to the forum, sorry you got a smoker. I don’t have that problem nor any knowledge to help I am sure others will provide some.
 

Squeeps

Member
Hi All,
Been a member for a while, so thought I’d introduce myself.
Ive had bikes for nearly forty years, albeit with a couple of gaps. There have been many ( mainly road bikes) sports / roadsters etc.

The latest is a R18 FE - which will randomly smoke (a lot) from the left cylinder on start up. Hence the title.
I’ve read some of the other posts on this, and can relate to the fogging! also noted the replacement piston scenario. I wonder, will the original rings be used? Is the piston /ring design / specification / tolerances altered?from OE. Indeed, does anyone know, are the left / right pistons slightly different, given the flat engine layout / stand situation? Or is there another means of preventing the oil from collecting where it shouldn’t be?

The local Motorrad dealer now have the bike and have loaned me an R18FE, so they’re definitely looking after me. No news as yet, but it’s only been a few days and they did say it could be a while.
I will mention that I like to turn the engine off after a ride, then tilt the bike to the right for 10 seconds or so to give the oil a chance to drain away from the left side. I also ran my bike in with heavy loads (although not high rpm)

I don't claim to know anything important, and that may all just be pseudo science
 

hdas9

New member
Hi all
An update - the Motorrad dealer has changed the left piston assembly, so rings and gudgeon pin too.
only been out twice since, but no smoke !
 

Gerard

Well-known member
Premium Member
Regarding the number of cases, it should be useful to know the reason why the left piston fails on almost brand new engines .....:rolleyes:
 

hdas9

New member
I did ask some obvious questions regarding sizes / tolerances / ring detail / materials but wasn’t surprised by the ‘no information given by Bmw’ reply.
As always, the dealer staff were top notch.
Ill give the engine a couple of hundred miles to bed back in, then maybe look to get the oil changed - new parts mating together and with the (dis)assembly, in my mind it has to be worth it.
 

PhilBret

Member
Site Supporter
Elite Member
Oil Level could be a concern. Mine had the smoke prob as well . Oil level was set above the window level by the dealer at the 1000km maintenance , then i had to come back few hundred miles after for the pump wine issue . They played with the throttle quite a bit in the workshop to listen to the new exhaust sound and suddenlly completely fogged the whole shop ! oil over pressure ?
I noticed when i got the bike new the oil level was very low in the window and no issue then .
 

Gerard

Well-known member
Premium Member
I've had the smoke problem a few times on my R1200C Montauk.
But it was a matter of 30 second smoke, no piston issue.
It was after having the bike unused for a while, and resting on the side stand.
It doesn't happen anymore since I keep it on front wheels stand.
I do the same for the R18.
 

Rhondahonda+

New member
Hi you should not have a smoker. But a easy fix solution is I have a condor wheel chock I drive my goldwing into keeps engine level and super easy to clean and do maintenance
Jp cycles. $250.00. Handy piece of equipment
 
Hi All,
Been a member for a while, so thought I’d introduce myself.
Ive had bikes for nearly forty years, albeit with a couple of gaps. There have been many ( mainly road bikes) sports / roadsters etc.

The latest is a R18 FE - which will randomly smoke (a lot) from the left cylinder on start up. Hence the title.
I’ve read some of the other posts on this, and can relate to the fogging! also noted the replacement piston scenario. I wonder, will the original rings be used? Is the piston /ring design / specification / tolerances altered?from OE. Indeed, does anyone know, are the left / right pistons slightly different, given the flat engine layout / stand situation? Or is there another means of preventing the oil from collecting where it shouldn’t be?

The local Motorrad dealer now have the bike and have loaned me an R18FE, so they’re definitely looking after me. No news as yet, but it’s only been a few days and they did say it could be a while.
Well, I am having the piston and ring replaced this winter. I am just riding the bike. It’s not a super big deal. I used to ride airheads and you’d get some seep. It’s a big motor though and it’s a lot of seep. I’m getting less and less incidence which means it’s seating better probably. It’s nothing to worry about but BMW is replacing the pistons.

I have a theory all these bikes have sat for a long time. I pulled my battery the other day and there was what looked to me like storage grime all over the terminals.

Anyway, airheads do that. Giant airheads, if not built better can do it a lot. My new piston and ring is ordered and it doesn’t affect the bike
 
Regarding the number of cases, it should be useful to know the reason why the left piston fails on almost brand new engines .....:rolleyes:
I’m pretty sure this is not a piston failure. It is an issue where oil is seeping behind when the motor is on its side. IIf it wouldn’t have been soooo much smoke I would’ve remembered my airhead days sooner.

But. The new piston is a thing and I’m getting one.
 
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