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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read many of the forum threads about this issue; they seem to concentrate on over filling the crankcase or cracked pistons.

I have a 2012 K1600 GTL with 62K miles. Until 2K miles ago, it used all most no oil. 1400 miles ago the engine oil light came on. I rode 2 mile back to a town and added 4 to 6 oz to get it in mid range. Got home and noticed oil seeping from the air box drain hose (never had oil in it before).

To make the story shorter, I have been draining the air box into a one cup measuring cup after ever ride. In the last 1300 miles I have collected 6.5 oz. and checked the oil level immediately after every ride (it has been creeping down). At the last check, it was down to the add mark and I added only 4 oz so as to stay below the full mark. I have been changing and checking the oil as describe in the manual every since it was new and have never had a problem.

I do not see any smoke coming from the exhaust. Perhaps that is because I keep the oil drained from the air box before it get to high.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a possible cause other than over filling (which I know is not the problem) or cracked piston(s)?

If it is a cracked piston(s), has anyone heard of BMW stepping up and fixing this defect in recent history?
 

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Nope, no other suggestion from me other than piston issues. I doubt BMW would cover it, but it’s worth a try.
Did you get the ECU update back in 2014/2015, the one that gave you a green N on the dash when you’re in neutral? The original ECU tune had a gray N when in neutral.
 

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Seems to me that if a piston were cracked, you'd be seeing smoke, clean air box or not.
 
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The piston test is as follows:

  • Find a nice open area
  • get up to around 4K rpm in 2nd gear
  • nail it
  • at or close to redline, grab 3rd
  • at or close to redline, grab 4th
  • at or close to redline, chop the throttle completely and allow for sustained engine decel (don’t pull in the clutch)
  • look in rear view mirrors. If you have cracked pistons, you WILL see the smoke
 

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If it was mine there's a few things I'd check before digging in too deep.

I'd check the cyclone separator on the underside of the airbox and its hoses, the secondary air system switching, and dependent on what I find with those maybe look at the oil separator in the compartment that houses the oil level detector.

I can't find the thread now - one of our Brit members posted that cleaning the cyclone below the airbox cured his problem.
Edit: Found it - Sick Puppy 2 – Nothing ventured nothing gained | BMW K1600 Forum

Sick Puppy - What have I missed | BMW K1600 Forum

Mine was choked with emulsion, but didn't experience any issues.




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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies.
Yes, it had the ecu update long ago and has the green N when in neutral.
I was planing to take air box out and do some investigating. After these replies, I will do it ASAP.
Thanks for the replies, I will keep my fingers crossed that I will find something less costly than new pistons.
 

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I hope it’s not your pistons either.

But I don’t understand why you would go through all the motions and jump through all the hoops when you have a quick and easy (and fun!) way of knowing for sure

A/B. Black/White. Rule it in or out …

Post #4 is not just my opinion. Someone else brought that into the discussion years ago and it has proven to be 100% accurate
 

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I hope it is as simple as cleaning the box vent!
So detail the box like never before … and put a new filter in it if that helps to ease concerns … but then take it and and ride it like you stole it! 😁

If it passes the test (no smoke), then everyone is happy for him. Now he gets to troubleshoot and dig to his heart’s content

But if not, well … he won’t be wasting any more time. At least he’ll know
 

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Unless this proves to be the piston ringlands issue creating excessive pressure in the crankcase, only a few things have the potential to present this scenario - oil overfill, sumping/foaming (oil separator) or the breathing system.

Post #4 gives a simple check for piston problems, so it's simple enough to eliminate that from the fault find.

This somewhat historic link runs through the whole scenario ....... Condensate drain tube questions
 

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Williagw your K1600 will be ok. A damaged piston landing will cause pressure blow by and the oil will go into the combustion causing oil burn and smoke from the exhaust. This is a major concern. However it could be something more minor. A blocked crankcase breather tube in post #7 can send the oil under pressure to the air box where it will accumulate. The oil then gets vacuumed into the combustion with air causing oil and smoke thinking you have damaged piston landings. The blocked crankcase breather can get be caused by condensation not fully dissipating from the oil. For example only riding a short distance, I personally experienced this problem and think this was caused by the previous owner by running the engine a short time to charge the battery or showing to potential customers. It is a VERY easy fix by cleaning the crankcase breather and riding longer. Fortunate for me the smoke occurred one day before a major service and the above scenario was at fault. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I removed the "intake air silencer" and have found nothing suspicious yet. All of the hoses look clear and I can blow through them with no problem. What I would call the PVC valve works. I have not tested the "secondary air system" valve yet but will evaluate it the best I can. The "intake air silencer" basically is all glued together, making it like one piece. Thus checking down in some of its compartments is not easy. Given that only filtered air and oil vapor should enter it, there should not be any contamination to interfere with the cyclone oil separator. I will continue the inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I found no problem in the air silencer. Still no smoke in the exhaust after running up near red line in 2,3 & 4. Maybe I noticed the oil in the air box before there was must damage to the pistons. I would like to know if it is the pistons before the cylinders are damaged and new "short engine" (name form parts fiche) is required. Just replacing the pistons would be cheeper, but in the long run which is better?
 

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Maybe I noticed the oil in the air box before there was must damage to the pistons.
Its not that way around - the piston, piston ring, bore damage would result in blow-by, which would cause excessive crankcase pressure and start spewing oil out the crankcase ventilation system.

Its a fair undertaking on this bike, but I'd do a compression and leak-down test before writing off the engine.

Did you take any photos of the area shown in Post #7 ?
If that pipe in Post #7 were to get blocked preventing oil running back to the crankcase it would end up in the air box.
 

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What @1004ron suggests; e.g. compression/leak down test, makes since. But, I had an excessive oil use problem on my original K motor at about 45,000 miles (1 quart=600 miles). Leak down/compression tests were within specs. Tear down revealed nothing definitive. I'd take @1004ron suggestion but I'd take a close look at the spark plugs first. If oil is blowing by one cylinder the spark plug should be pretty fouled.

I'd ask the OP if he's SURE the oil is coming out of the breather box tube? You stated you first noticed the oil seeping out the tube. The breather tube has a plug is why I'm asking. But later you started draining the line after each ride.. Just a bit of confusion on my part...

Duane
 
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