15RR Engine Ticking . . . . - BMW S1000RR Forums: BMW Sportbike Forum
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post #1 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 15RR Engine Ticking . . . .

I have read all the posts and threads on this ticking noise from the engine. A lot of horror stories indeed. it's got me seriously worried that out of the only 3 BMW Dealers in my area that they are going to just be lazy and not investigate it properly and worse still, tell me its normal.

After my 1st service it got louder, I'm on 6,500ish kms. The ticking sound is unbearable and embarrassing now, i also knew since my 14RR that these BMW's were loud mechanically and accepted it. At the time knowing that those front butterfly valves are probably mostly responsible for the most part.

But now my 15RR is sounding like a time bomb. Much worse than my 14RR ever sounded.

I have been riding around testing it and trying to figure out where exactly its coming from. I have removed both side and belly fairings to expose the ticking sound better.

I know it can be either one or more of these following problems:

1) Exhaust Header Butterfly Valve in the balance pipe.
2) CCT - Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioner.
3) CAM and Rockers on the intake side.
4) Clutch Rattle.
5) Valve Clearance.

At around 3,000rpm the sound is very loud.

When I pull the clutch in and play with the throttle gently and hold it on about 3,000rpm the sound is there getting faster and slower with rpm. You can hear it good even when the bike is in neutral in my shed by holding the rpm around or on 3,000rpm.

Sounds to me like a combination of that front exhaust valve and the cam adjuster side.

The worrying thing is that the engine is idling a bit rough and is not as smooth as it use to be from new. Something is seriously wrong and getting worse i just know it.

My worry is that when I take it into the dealer, they are going to do nothing to help me. It's still under warranty and I want them to check out the Cam and if possible replace the exhaust headers and cam chain plug.

Some guys on here complain about the ticking even after they have installed a whole exhaust system, which for them would rule out that annoying front butterfly valve.

I should not have to be outta pocket for any of this mess, but am also worried the dealer/stealer will try and make me pay for inspecting it.

I read a post about a guy having his exhaust headers replaced by BMW Australia.

I have found on the forum that BMW have replaced the Timing Chain With a modified screw plug.
PUMA - 54380454
PART No. 11318534849
I believe I need that part. I don't want to put in a manual plug. the new plug sticks out further in its resting place than the stock oem plug. I guess its kinda like adjusting a manual plug so that it puts more force on the cam chain.

I imagine most members are fairly up to date with this annoying ticking sound as this forum alone has educated me above the so called BMW mechanics, so it seems at times. They seem to just go to work and clock off at the end of the day, its just a job to them is my personal impression. In other words they don't care and they make that pretty clear in their demeaner.

Some of these BMW managers are just as bad if not worse. They seem to play dumb and hope you go away. i have had a few run-ins with these morons.

I have to book my bike in for this inspection on Tuesday but have already been told by a salesman that they won't see it for a week or more at Daisy Hill as they are busy, I went there Yesterday to ask to start-up and listen to some S1's so I could compare the sound to mine, but they had sold them all bar one new 16RR - which sounds smooth as silk as its got like next to zero kms on it. mine was as smooth new to.

I've had the bike for about 5 months from new and it is stock. I got the HP wheels and the special white/blue paint job, I paid $27,000 for it. I'm sick with worry I have a lemon and that no one is going to help me.

I'm leaving the fairings off it so they can hear it better when I finally get it booked in. I can't ride it and won't until its fixed. All my money goes into paying this thing off, as at the time of purchase I believed in the brand. now after educating myself and reading so many peoples stories revolving around this ticking sound I'm sick with worry for good reason.

It seems that some people in different parts of the world get looked after at some dealers while others get done dry by other dealers. This is so WRONG of BMW to allow this to happen to so many while only a few get it resolved.

It seems that so many dealers are lacking the education and the up to date recalls and so on within their systems.

I don't want to be another soul like Macca whose engine blew up. we both bought from the same dealer.

So who has any FRESH news about this serious ongoing issue with these bikes of ours.

Come on BMW look after US ALL.
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post #2 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 06:55 AM
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My 2015 has a distinct ticking around 3000 RP pretty much like you described, it can be a bit annoying but I have been assured it is normal and nothing to worry about. So I just ride it hard and enjoy it...a lot . But it sounds like it is really upsetting you, I really hope that your dealer can give you peace of mind either by fixing it or explaining what it is. All the best...
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post #3 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 08:50 AM
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Mine ticks as well but not at any specific rpm, most of the time i don't notice it but its more apparent at startup. Just sounds like a mechanical rattle really.
Sounds like yours is much louder than mine though.
Have you made a video/soundclip of it?
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post #4 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 09:27 AM
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@Colers if you bought from the same dealer as @macca_779, I would be extremely confident all is well.

The reason why, is he was at a trackday which the dealer was also present for, when his engine grenaded. The whole experience from memory (granted not a slam dunk on accuracy) was other than the engine expiring, the whole process for Macca_779 was easy. I'm sure he would have preferred not to have had any of that experience, but it was resolved expediently and thus far, almost a year later, he hasn't shared any further issues regarding the new powerplant.

One question.......do you wear earplugs 100% of the time you ride the bike? If no, for your own sanity, I encourage you to buy disposables in bulk, and wear them without fail. Wearing them, all these peculiar noises aren't as much a prominent source of attention, allowing you to enjoy the ride.
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post #5 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 09:34 AM
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There is some ticking expected from these bikes. However, you know bike better than us. It's hard to say what's normal or not without seeing or hearing the bike.

Go with your gut.
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post #6 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Colers View Post

I have found on the forum that BMW have replaced the Timing Chain With a modified screw plug.
PUMA - 54380454
PART No. 11318534849
I believe I need that part. I don't want to put in a manual plug. the new plug sticks out further in its resting place than the stock oem plug. I guess its kinda like adjusting a manual plug so that it puts more force on the cam chain.
The PUMA report says:

"The threaded plug in silver is only
approved for installation once a milage
of 15000 km has been reached."

I actually talked to my dealers service department yesterday about the same PUMA case because I saw it on Real OEM website.

We both agreed that it is likely being replaced because the original part appears to be plastic and the superseded one is metal.
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post #7 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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The good thing about these forums is that, its so nice to know your never alone on these paths that make you feel so worried at the time your travelling down them, as I am with this ticking time bomb so it seems and feels to me. my gut is never wrong but I hope it is this time round.

I read these replies and realised with a feeling of confidence that things will work out just fine, and if it is difficult to solve then i know there are folks on here that are willing to point me in the right direction or at least try and offer good sound and experienced advice.

I don't know Macca personally but was informed by a sales rep that his blew up at a BMW ride day which is kinda amazing, considering it could of happened anywhere really. glad nothing happened to him as he seems like quite the character.

I am very much worried that if mine does blow that i may not be so lucky, I have seen a youtube video of a guys S1 blowing up while a race track straightaway, oil had sprayed out covering his rear wheel. but he managed to simply pull up on the over run area, the fella was reving his engine and spraying more oil out onto the track which is kinda dumb. If this had happened on a public road in a corner then its the kinda thing many don't walk away from, like for example sliding under a Truck.

imagine if this guy was just about to enter the corner at the end of the straight. can you say Hospital or worse. oil and wheels don't mix. broken bones hurt like crazy. the track is one place to crash but the open road, that can kill and theres no kitty litter or onsite ambo for immediate response.

The noise I have is getting worse and this is my Gut telling me so on top of it actually getting worse. The engine doesn't sound right at idle, it's intermittent where it will idle ok then kinda skip a beat ever so. it's not the typical tick we all have come to think is normal for a BMW motorcycle, which I still think is not. My 14RR ticked but never like this new 15RR, It's not smooth and kinda sounds like the cam is catching every now and then, I have seen many pics from you guys on here of your cams all chewed out and I really think this is what is happening to mine. I want my cam inspected as I feel it could be the issue. But what if the BMW Head Tech/mechanic says its normal and doesn't want to investigate further, that leaves me with only 2 other dealers togo see, which is stupid really.

So many of you have had to visit other dealers that are always so far away and not to mention so annoyingly inconvenient and all because one dickhead in charge who makes the big decisions says he can't hear it or took it for a 10km ride and never really tried to diagnose it. then theres the fact that the helmet he wore may have great noise reduction, which would have him believe it doesn't need to be put in the shed for a more serious investigation, like checking the cam. so worried I am that i am going to get a clown who should not be working on these missiles of a bike. Why is it that people in positions of slight power treat customers according to how they feel on the day, Mood should never come into it.

If a customer has an issue than protocols should be followed, not because the mechanic is feeling moody or says he can't hear anything or worse tries to tell you its normal so that you go away. my tail is never between my legs and I will not accept the go away explanation what so ever, this is my life here.

I have made a video clip of the bike from cold and will make another of it hot so you can hear the noise more, But after watching the vid in cold start up, it really doesn't do the ticking sound any justice. I will try and get it up tomorrow but feel it really doesn't do the evil sound any justice what so ever.

I really hope that my dealer looks after me well and fully inspect my bike. Surely they will investigate this properly as i really don't want togo down the legal road with the department of fair trading and so on.

I hear a lot of you in reply to similar threads and you encourage others facing these issues to Not give up the fight, its that fact about myself i am most concerned about, As i never back down and its just better for everyone to do their job correctly as i will fight very hard and would rather not go through that. As i burn bridges and know its not right, i am working on this personal issue about myself but seriously know myself and know that if its a fight they want then its a fight they will not forget.

Fingers crossed they take this concern of mine seriously and investigate it properly. i should not have to drive all over trying to find a BMW dealer who will listen properly, no one should have to do this, its a joke.

I am worried and with so many horror stories just on this forum alone, I have every right to be so concerned.

I will get back to you all when i have spoken with BMW and get it booked in.

I can't believe some of the horror stories I have read in here, some of you have found good dealers who find major issues like chewed out cams, what if on the way to that helpful dealer after leaving the crap dealer who did not do his/her job correctly your engine blew and you ended up under a truck or something horrible like that. If that 1st dealer/your dealer helped you out then you would still be alive or not in hospital.

These BMW bikes and any bike manufacture really all have issues but this thing about unhelpful BMW dealers is not good enough, I'm hearing it all to often. it's basically putting your life in the hands of one guy who if he's in a bad mood that day you take your bike in could have you riding to the next BMW dealer so many X miles away, and not to mention the horror of something bad happening while making that trip, As most of us don't do anything until we know something isn't right with our bike. Like putting up with this ticking sound until it gets worse and we start to have that gut feeling that something is seriously not right.

It works any which way really, could happen at any moment. you get told by a lazy mechanic its a normal noise and maybe your lucky enough like so many to keep riding your pride and joy putting up with a **** noise and nothing bad ever happens, so the greater % of people don't have a blown engine. the greater % of people also ride at the speed limits and keep their bikes well under the higher rpms which would help prolong the underlining issue of a possible bad batch of cams. only time will tell for that crowd, for those who ride hard we will accelerate any underling issues much faster.

It's only luck that has kept those who have had the blown engine to still be alive and here today to talk about it. I do not want to become the unlucky one. I do not want any of us to be that one.

It takes a special kinda person to ride any bike, we do it because we love life. luck plays her part and skill improves and helps. we ride with our guts and some ride to see another day because of this feeling deep in our gut.

I reckon there are a lot more horror stories to come from the cams being chewed out because BMW them selves have apparently said that the metallurgy in some of the cams is soft hence the horror pics on this very forum of chewed out ones.

How many of you accept this noise and ride under 10k rpm 90% of the time, the day you ride hard enough to start to chew that cam because your bike is part of the bad batch, could be your last. Percentages really do play a big part with this ticking engine sound. We all know some of the engines in the S1's are perfect even the stupid flappy/rattle of the front exhaust valve doesn't happen for some.

Some one like Macca who as far as I can tell rides hard has had his blow, for most of us here, we fit into the percentage of people who stay under 10k rpm most of the time and never wear the cam enough to cause failures, and the whole time being told the tick is normal. Not all cases are the same some change the entire exhaust and install manual cam plugs and still get that tick. in those cases its most probably the cam getting chewed.

How many bikes I wonder are having their cams chew out. Some of you believe its a normal sound this ticking, some of you replace the exhaust system and that certain rattle goes and all is good, others replace the cam plug and all is good. None of us ride the same. Some of us have perfect working bikes. But for those who do everything except have their cams inspected, well its a ticking time bomb in my opinion, and how you ride is everything then.

Tick Tock so to speak.

BMW's top flight bike ticking like a bomb. is it normal. NO. even if it was just a exhaust valve or a cam plug or whatever. It's a BMW. it should be silky smooth. and we should not be made feel like a fool when we question this tick at any BMW dealer in the world. Treat us with care BMW. we bought these bikes because we wanted something better. these issues regarding this ticking are caused by a number of things, some are easy fixes some are not so serious and for the unlucky ones it a matter of life and death. chewed cams, every BMW dealer should know about this and not act so dumb, if it ticks they should inspect it starting with the front butterfly valve and going down the list.

I do not accept the : "It's a normal sound." and either should anyone else in my opinion. BMW dealers should properly investigate not just say it's ok. peace of mind is everything when you own something as powerful as these S1's.
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post #8 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Colers View Post
The good thing about these forums is that, its so nice to know your never alone on these paths that make you feel so worried at the time your travelling down them, as I am with this ticking time bomb so it seems and feels to me. my gut is never wrong but I hope it is this time round.

I read these replies and realised with a feeling of confidence that things will work out just fine, and if it is difficult to solve then i know there are folks on here that are willing to point me in the right direction or at least try and offer good sound and experienced advice.
Couple things - @macca_779 is the only engine I've ever read that completely expired. This community by no means includes ALL S1000 engined owners in the world either. Having said that, good news travels fast, bad news much faster. If there were more engines that have grenaded, (especially in this 3rd generation, with this chassis issue some seem to have), it seems more than likely it would have been announced by the amount of owners who were affected. Yet Macca_779 is the only one, and he wasn't even disgruntled about it, or at least didn't seem so, to me. If grenading engines were a "prominent issue" I'm certain, those affected would have found this site through Google, or whatever other search platform, joined the forum, to rant and rave how much BMW sucks donkey balls, much like one fella did, with the chassis issue.

Number next - Why have you not PM'd the King Kamehameha himself @bennymx? No clue how far apart in travel time, but at least you have a member such as him, in the same country. If I were as upset/unsettled as you seem, it would have been done long before someone mentioned it to me on the internet. Not trying to come off as a D ick but c'mon, I can't be the only person in here who hasn't had that very thought cross my mind.

Number after next - This is THE MOST powerful, mass produced (when in RR spec) inline 4 cylinder, 1 liter naturally aspirated, streetbike ever, it's probably going to have some unfamiliar quirks.

Number after that - Could be worse, Yamaha is only replacing transmissions in their top tier performance model, AT THE DEALER LEVEL. Having met SOME (they're not all idiots, but how would you know if a competent/caring tech did the work) of those blokes over the years, I'd have the fear of doom and gloom, well after that campaign were completed if I owned an R1, and without doubt immediately sell it as quickly as possible.
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post #9 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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The amount of chewed cams are enough to concern anyone, they eventually would cause a disaster like a blow. I am worried and i am concerned.

I have PM'd Bennymx and am awaiting his reply I wanted to see what you out there in this community have to say.

I am concerned for those who accept the status quo.

Chewed cams can cause engine seizures. those that have had it discovered early are lucky.

I hope my story ends well. i am ready to fight though.

Like I said percentages rule. A lot of guys don't use these forums because of some people on them who have ego problems who nest in here and attack others because they are weaklings in real life...

Google may put those looking for answers in here sometimes, but many don't bother. Every BMW staff member across 3 dealers I have spoken to especially the older guys almost laugh when you mention that you googled something or read these forums. it seems to be the young guys that are switched on. and a lot of the very people who make the big decisions like inspecting a problem on these bikes like chewed out cams are of the older type.

thanks for your reply mate. all considered.

I am UPSET. yes.

Internet or not - i would be upset as it is not feeling right to me. i am acting as per it is feeling **** now, not because i read it on the interwebs. did I understand you correctly mate.

Last edited by Colers; 05-01-2016 at 02:34 PM.
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post #10 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 02:47 PM
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It sounds like you are half venting, half may have a relevant issue.

Can you record the ticking sound? Preferably at idle - 3k , then 3k-6k, then greater than 7000?
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