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Endurance test BMW K 1200 RS (engine damage)

A Munich man in heaven

Rejoicing was the order of the day. The deputy test department head of MOTORRAD and original Bayer Rainer Bäumel cheered on cloud number seven with the endurance test BMW K 1200 RS on the Autobahn towards Munich. An indignant "Zefix Luia" escaped him when the four-cylinder suddenly decelerated without any action on his part.

At 220 km / h a violent eruption followed, in which the engine spewed a huge oil cloud as well as hardware in the form of some steel and aluminum shares onto the roadway. Afterwards it went into the Bavarian motorcycle heaven.
The driver was only able to avoid the disdainful contact with the earth through a lightning-fast reaction. Major engine failure was already evident at first glance. Opulent holes in the engine case heralded disaster.
After dismantling the engine, the damage was also revealed. The connecting rod of the first cylinder had seized on the crank pin and then destroyed the piston, crankcase, valves and a few other small parts. The connecting rod bearing of the third cylinder also showed the first signs of seizure.
Diagnosis of the BMW development: insufficient lubrication, which the editorial staff caused by a lack of oil level control. As a result, the oil pump eventually sucked in air and the lubricating film was torn off. However, this must have been a few kilometers ago, since the exact oil level was available at the time of the damage.
A classic, but easy to disprove misdiagnosis: If the oil level sinks during surgery until the oil pump sucks in air, the motorcycle stops within a very short time with major engine damage, in which, in addition to the connecting rod bearings, other highly stressed components also show clear traces of a lack of lubricant. The damage pattern then looks completely different than in the present case. In addition, the components can be used to demonstrate that the operating temperatures were never in the critical range. Thanks to the logbook, MOTORRAD can also document seamlessly that the oil level was always correct.
After the initial inspection, the four-cylinder required half a liter of oil for the first time after 4,300 kilometers. Subsequently, several refill intervals with amounts between 0.3 and 0.5 liters were due. After the 10,000 inspection, 0.3 liters of the vital elixir had to be refilled for the first time at 14,500 kilometers, then 0.2 to 0.3 liters several times until the final death at 18,100 kilometers.
While the average consumption within the first 10,000 kilometers was 0.35 liters per 1000 kilometers, the K 1200 RS was content with an average of 0.16 liters until failure.
So there was always sufficient oil in the engine without any doubt, but the cause of the damage is less certain. However, it is very likely that a brief blockage of the main oil duct to the connecting rod bearings caused previous damage, which in the long term led to engine damage.
However, the consequences of the hasty BMW conclusion are fatal for the customer: Due to alleged maintenance errors, the claim to guarantee expires in the case of the MOTORRAD machine, according to BMW. A special form of displacement tactic, which, in the worst-case scenario, is carried out on the customer’s back: Without a logbook, as is done at MOTORRAD for the purpose of long-term test documentation, they will find it difficult to prove the maintenance status without gaps.
GObviously, BMW is still waiting for divine inspiration, at least when it comes to dealing with customers. However, earthly support is approaching: To support, engineer Rainer Bäumel will first switch to BMW in motorcycle pre-development on October 1st.

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