And on the 8th day…
Having intentionally not phoned the service department of my local BMW dealer on Thursday to see if they might call me with an update (they did not), I finally rang them up at noon on Friday. The service manager answered the phone this time instead of the service advisor and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he actually knew the status of my bike right off the top of his head: they couldn’t find anything wrong with it…. ?!?
They’d finally gotten to the bike and despite two 10-mile test rides and just letting it heat up beyond normal operating temperature at idle, no engine knock and no low oil pressure light. So, lacking any symptoms, there really wasn’t much they could do.
It’s truly a mystery to me; I can’t believe the oil being just 1/2 a quart low could have caused that much rocker knock or the low engine pressure light to come on. Oh well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep a closer eye on the oil consumption to make sure it doesn’t drop below a 1/4 low from now on. Oh yeah, these oil head motors definitely consume oil. Similar to a lot of Harley-Davidson engine issues, BMW oil cooled boxers “All Do That”. Not exactly what you think of when you think of precision German engineering but it is what it is. The same is true of the oil level measurement system: the dreaded sight glass. Being able to get an accurate reading is like an arcane art form lost to modern man, where the guidance originally provided to owners (at right) had to be re-addressed in a more detailed service bulletins.
Since the bike was sitting in the shop and the service ticket was still open I asked them to go ahead and do a throttle body sync / adjustment. I’d made the mistake of trying to do that myself using the Haynes Manual and knew that I’d gotten it screwed up and needed to let the professionals who can do those adjustments in their sleep take care of it. As suspected, the word coming back from the technician was “it was all screwed up.”
I still need to change out the alternator belt — yes, the BMW uses a non-integrated alternator that sits on top of the motor and is driven by a belt, just like your typical car engine. 22k is the recommended replacement point so I’m definitely at that point. I’m also toying with the idea of replacing the left-side cam tensioner as the stock ones are a bit problematic. However, getting to it requires the removal of the left throttle body and I certainly don’t want to screw up my fresh throttle body sync now that the bike is finally sorted out. So, I may or may not do that right away.
That’s about it. It’s nice to have all of the bikes back in the garage. I’m still pondering the future of the BMW. I think I’d like to keep it through the winter just because it provides more protection from freezing wind blast and rain than either of the two Harley’s. Of course, that assumes this would be my last winter working ahead of a possible early retirement at 55 next year… hence the reduced need for an all-weather commuter bike.
Then again, I’ll probably secure some other type of post-retirement employment — doing something that I’ve always wanted to do but that doesn’t compensate as well as my primary career has — so that may also require the commuter scooter. Of course, if I’m either piddling around in the bicycle or motorcycle industry the BMW may not be the right tool for that job. Time will tell. What with the rising cost of health care and other unknowns, I may just end up sticking with my primary career until 57… just to let me build up a little more in my war chest and to allow Debbie to retire so we can see how we do on he first step down in 1099-based income.