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I'm doing my research about the R12R before buying one and have read numerous posting with reference to a fuel strip problem. After searching the site and can't find anything specific about the issue. Your input will be appreciated.
 

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+1 yonderbob & las comments NOT a deal-breaker.
Don't let a freckle over her lip stop you from kissing a wonderful girl that can do almost everything well.
 

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Mine had to be replaced at around 200km & working fine now. Fingers crossed...I've only done 1300km on the bike :p
 

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Fuel strip replaced once before I got the bike at around 18k miles.
24 k miles, strip goes out. no biggie. replaced under warranty (2 year unlimited mile repair and replacement for free)

3.5k miles later, fuel strip is faulty (again).
another replacement.

As long as they fail within 2 years, it's warranty work and no cost to you. If it goes out, just use your odometer and fill up between 160-190 miles (depending on driving conditions/habit). It is more of a risk for us since running out of fuel/dry can damage the injectors and we dont' have a reserve to switch to when it starts to stutter, but we do have an odometer. Just be mindful if it goes out.

But as Clem said, this one minor drawback is not worth overlooking the bike. The motorcycle is fantastic. The fuel strip can go out, and i think it's a ~$270 replacement if you have to pay. (at least for my dealership). one of the caveats, but not a dealbreaker. Could have worse qwarks.
 

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I still can not believe Beemer hasn't find a solution to this well known problem, I'll send a letter to them, may be if we all do they'll work on a better solution.
 

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Saw a posting on the K bike forums that point to sulfer deposits being the culprit. Chevron fuel with Techron or Techron as an auto store additive is being claimed to prevent and sometimes even heal bad fuel strips.
They convinced me...I bought a bottle today and will use it along with non-ethanol fuel (boat gas) for my newly acquired (used) R1200R...It has 26,000 miles with no failure so far.
 

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Saw a posting on the K bike forums that point to sulfer deposits being the culprit. Chevron fuel with Techron or Techron as an auto store additive is being claimed to prevent and sometimes even heal bad fuel strips.
They convinced me...I bought a bottle today and will use it along with non-ethanol fuel (boat gas) for my newly acquired (used) R1200R...It has 26,000 miles with no failure so far.
The mechanic at the BMW dealer I got my bike from told me the same thing. Wasn't sure if I should believe it or not. I guess I will try and use Techron or Chevron gas stations and cross my fingers. Where do you find boat gas? And how much more/less does non-ethanol or boat gas cost? Don't remember ever seeing that at a gas station..and since I don't have a boat I never bothered to look for it either I guess.

It will be a little while still before I have to gas up, since we just got snow I am STILL not able to ride my bike around town or out of town. So far I only drove it out of the storage unit and in a circle around the parking lot there (with patches of snow and ice) and then take it back to it's cozy little warm room.
 

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the techron, chevron, ethanol "causes" are all pretty bogus. Those are all arguments put forward, and techron may be a good additive, I don't know, but it does NOT prevent them from failing. Nor does SeaFoam. Chevron gas, same thing. Ethanol, naahhh. It happens (with less frequency) in countries where ethanol is not used.

And "boat gas" is always free of ethanol? why? what is so different about a marine engine that the farmers' ethanol lobby spares that fuel? And, geez, I mean, you are willing to fill up at a dock? What happens if there's none around?
Maybe that will work for you, but I live in New Orleans, surrounded by water and boats. I am not about to take time out to fill up solely at a marine source. Life is way too short and V Stroms are pretty nice also.

And not to be a down, but when I bought my 12 with 14k miles I asked specifically if the strip had ever failed. I was told no and he "just filled up at 180 miles."
That strip failed within a month of purchase, and with 180 miles on the odometer, I ran out of gas. The second one failed after two more months, showing 119 miles to go on the tank and 202 on the odometer. I was planning on filling up within 6 miles, not believing the optimism of my obc, knowing I had another failed unit.

If you have one that works, great, but if you don't it is way more than an annoyance. It is enough of one that people are reporting them to the NHTSA as a defect/safety hazard. Oh, and the low fuel warning light is tied to the strip, so when the strip fails so does the low fuel light. Nice design.

In short, there is no rhyme or reason as to why they fail. People have collected failed units and tried to analyze with marginal success and no cure.

If your bike is out of warranty and yours fails and you choose to have it replaced, it is a $300 charge, but you get a two year unlimited mileage
warranty that restarts with each subsequent replacement.
The strip has been replaced with a float on newer RT s and Gs s, but still exists on the roadster...a real shame in an otherwise fine machine.
 

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the techron, chevron, ethanol "causes" are all pretty bogus.
Agreed. I am a loyal user of Techron in cars and bikes. Advised to do so by several mechanics. I use it at oil changes only. My understanding is that all of that stuff is basically mineral spirits... Anyway, I know (or I am convinced) it works to clean injector systems because when I tried it in my last bike at 40k miles I noticed an immediate improvement in fuel mileage. But, for the lack of it to cause a failure of an electo-mechanical device in the tank - on a brand new bike? Mine failed when I left the dealership with 3 miles on the clock! Now, it had been sitting on the showroom floor for six months and maybe that had an impact?
 

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It would be kind of cool to have a reserve switch just in case on the bike.


(I had to remove all the inflammatory comments from my post, that's what is left:cursing:)
 

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Thanks for the info drStrangelove .. Wonder
if anybody did some real studies on that.. BMW should! The scientist in me wants to buy a bunch of new fuel strips and do some experimental research on that. But if one costs about 300$ then I don't think I will ever do that.. Just frustrating that BMW is not taking this as a problem for their reputation of superior engeneering and does something about it. Will keep my fingers crossed that this doesn't happen to my bike. But if it does I hope it does before the warranty expires..
 

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The whole repair is around 300. The part itself is somewhat over 100. And some people have done what you suggest, withoug any clear answer to the cause or the remedy.

I did write an email to customer service at BMW motorrad last evening listing links to many of the threads on the various fora on this issue. No response. But when i get one, if I get one, I will post it verbatim.

The closest I saw as an answer was on ADVrider. There was a guy there who thought he had the answer and was willing to perform CPR on the dead strips, but saw no followup, and no takers, and that was about a year ago or more. He was in St Louis. He was shocking the strips with a jolt of electricity iirc, shock therapy of a sort.
 

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This is why I am going to wait a few years before thinking about a water boxer.
 

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I am about to buy my first R1200R and I DID have concern about the fuel strip, but what are the odds of a problem? Reading the above it sounds bad and I recently met someone who currently owns his third R, currently with 50K and previous ones with 60K plus miles without one bad one.
 

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No problems yet. The closer to empty the more accurate my guage is.


The guy on ADV was using a grill lighter on the strip. It worked on some or even most. I don't know how long it lasted.

This is what he did.

Check resistance with Ohm meter between the two center wires on the tank unit. Infinate resistance.

Hook grill lighter to those two terminals and Zap it
Check reisitance again should be ABOUT 2.4K ohm.
Assemble.

He did them in the tank. I would pull the strip out. To each his own.

Like I said no problems yet with mine.

I read the threads, there are many on fuel strips.

I have learned a lot. My R1200R has a strip, I can see it in the tank.

The new strip is $144.00 from BMW. Then there is the question of to (re)calibrate or not.

Crossing my fingers on this one. If mine goes and its out of warrenty, I will try the grill lighter trick first. Then spring for a new strip.

I don't think a bad fuel guage would stop me from buying such a fine bike.

I have been using my trip meter for 40 years.

David
 

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Don E did a poll over on BMWMOA and the failure rate (of those responding) was definitiely in double digits % and the multiple failure rate was significant also. Search around and you can find the numbers, maybe on the r1150r.org forum.

David, if you do that PLEASE take pictures. I remember there was lots of talk about how to "spark" it, and I don't remember the grill lighter as the stimulating device, but maybe I just missed it, or there was another thread about it. That would sure be a neat way though.

There was discussion about whether to do it with the strip in the tank or out. Reminds me of:
What are a redneck's last words?
---Hey! Watch this!

The pro argument was that the amount of oxygen was too low to allow combustion. The con argument was Ka Boom.

If I knew I would be having this problem-allowing that my third strip is still functional on it's first tank of gas--I am not sure if I would have been moved to get something else, but I know I would have looked more. Short list would be an RT with a float, or something Japanese, or maybe Italian???

It is a fine bike, but so far, after 5k miles, I cannot feel confident that I am not going to run out of gas, so much so that I am carrying extra gas with me on all rides until this gets sorted out, or the bike goes. That has been the only real issue. Sticks out like a sore thumb in my copy.
If you do decide on the r12r, I hope you get one that works.
 
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