Updating maintenance on a 2013 BMW C 650 GT


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Bought a 2013 BMW C 650 GT with 15,100 miles. I got it from a Ducati dealer in Pompano Beach, Florida. They took it as a trade-in and had little history on the bike. This is my 10th maxi-scooter since I treated myself to a 2003 Honda Silver Wing on Christmas Eve, 2016. I had four Silver Wings, three Suzuki Burgman 650's and this is my third BMW 650 GT.

With each bike, I like to update all the maintenance so I feel confident. Also makes it easier to sell down the line, especially if you keep it nice and clean. This thread is a record of what I'm doing to update maintenance; hopefully it will help someone in a similar situation. I'm far from a mechanic but pretty good with maintenance.

I like to address ....
  • Drive belt and rollers
  • Engine oil and filter
  • Coolant
  • Brake pads and brake fluid
  • Spark plugs
  • Air filter
  • CVT filter
  • Batteryd
  • Tires
First, two questions. I am going to start with the CVT belt and rollers ....

1. The 33mm six point, deep socket I bought fits the nut on the right variator perfectly. The nut on the left looks the same and I assumed the 33mm would fit, but no. It's larger, a 34mm, maybe 35mm. With a digital measuring tool I get 33.0 for the right and just over 34 for the left, like 34.4. Is this normal?

2. In videos of belt changes, one of the guys typically draws a black Sharpie line on the face of the variator, from top to bottom. Why? Are we supposed to line something up, or replace the variators back in the exact same position they were removed in?

Thanks. Just fyi, I am using a Mitsuboshi belt ($92 vs. BMW's $438) and Dr. Pulley 28-gram sliders. The bike and original belt are at 15,100 miles and the belt is in excellent shape. Probably would have been fine rolling with it but the bike is a 2013, which means the belt is 8-year old rubber, which I don't like.
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You got the service manual, what does it say? In general it probably is good practice to put things back the way they came out. I wonder if the line is to see how the belt is riding on the surface of the cones? Do you run the engine and watch the belt move without the cover in place? I did that with the silverwing for S&G's..


Do you have the BMW variator holding tool ? BMW part # 83302414987. This tool holds everything so you can loosen the 33mm variator nut, but also holds the clutch nut so you can use a 17mm socket to loosen . You have to loosen the clutch in reverse - meaning you turn CLOCKWISE , not to the left or counter clockwise. Strange but that's how it works. Without the holding tool you can't loosen the clutch nut.
Look up forum member "davidh" . he has a downloadable PDF file that walks you through how to change a drive belt


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I picked up the BMW brace tool today (photo) at BMW Motorcycles of Fort Lauderdale and it fits perfectly. That includes the larger-than-33mm nut on the left variator. So clearly it was engineered that way. The problem may have been my assumption that the left nut should be the same size as the right nut. Isn't that the way God designed nuts? ;o)

I know the Sharpie line on the variator face has to do with smoothness and/or positioning, I'm just not sure what I'm looking for, and the Service Manual and helpful pdf, which I downloaded awhile ago, don't expound on that. I eyeball the belt for smoothness without the cover, as I did with Silver Wings (the system here is very comparable to the Wing). Also think lining up everything where it was before is always a good idea. Machines probably like that.

By the way, the Silver Wing brace tool is a weird, three-legged contraption that screws into the frame. The BMW tool fits perfectly just by dropping it in place.



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Dr. Pulley 28 gram sliders. I tried them (lighter than stock) on a Honda Silver Wing and noticed improved acceleration, especially at lower speeds -- which 2012 through 2015 models need. Dr. P's are about the same cost as OEM. So why not live on the edge, right? ;o)


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"What part numbers are those sliders?"

Don't know the number but here's the link. You also need the variator slide piece (it says "piece," singular, but you get four. When you are choosing this part, choose the "AH" piece, not "AE").

Separately, here's a tale about how dumb one guy can be (and it's me) ....

After I tried my brace tool on for size to hold the variator and clutch, I left it in place, figuring I'd do the job later. A few hours after that, I was back in the garage and decided I wanted to drop the radiator and change the spark plugs.

Pretty straightforward tasks that went smoothly. I got the new plugs in place and torqued, hung the radiator, screwed everything down and turned the key to start the bike and behold the wonders of my work. But instead of engine roar, I got ... CLUNK.

Tried it again ... CLUNK. Dang. I figured I didn't connect the plugs or coil properly, so I made sure everything was tight. Same result, though ... one simple motorized CLUNK and nothing more.

Now I basically did the job again, pulling the coils out, loosening the plugs, torquing them to spec, putting the coils in place and locking in the connectors. I was 100% sure everything was tight as could be.

Same result ... CLUNK.

One remaining suspect was my battery. It was weak when I bought the bike, so I had ordered a new one and had it sitting on the garage floor, although I hadn't loaded the acid yet. I hooked up a battery tender to the current battery and it was charging but stayed in the red -- never got to the flashing green that shows progress. I decided to go for a run to take my mind off things while the battery would hopefully charge enough to start the bike (I was now hoping that was my solution).

Halfway through the run, I literally stopped in my tracks. UM, HELLO, I LEFT THE BRACE TOOL IN PLACE! The variator and clutch were locked down. They couldn't spin. OF COURSE the bike won't start. I finished my run, walked in the garage, knocked the brace tool off and pushed the starter button ... VROOM! It started up and ran smooth as can be. I expected that but still couldn't resist walking out of the garage, holding my arms up like Rocky and yelling "YES!"

Luckily, the only witness was me.

And now the entire universe via the internet.
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I keep notes after a maintenance job to quickly get myself up to speed next time I do the work, since some of this maintenance can be a year or two apart, like coolant and plugs. Here's what I wrote about plugs and coolant, hope it's helpful for someone ....

Installed new NGK plugs March 2021 at 15,100 miles.
TORQUE spark plug: 12 Nm (9 ft. lbs.)
NOTES: Drop the radiator by removing screw clips on top sides and bottom center of radiator and two T30 bolts just under radiator cap. Loosen the overflow tank and lift up the radiator out of its holders (top sides) and rest it on something solid. For spark plugs, the 14 mm. Prius spark plug socket is a perfect fit. Apply gentle pressure behind top of coils with 10” socket extension to push them gently forward and out. Remove coil connectors by pushing the front clip open and pushing up on lip of connector with tiny flat blade screwdriver while pulling up on the wires – be gentle It will come up and out. This is not a system like many others where you squeeze it to release it; has to be pushed and pulled out. Old spark plugs were dark at gap point but had lots of life left in them – BMW’s recommendation of new ones at 24,000 miles is solid.

Installed new BMW OEM coolant March 2021 at 15,100 miles.
Coolant capacity listed as 1.5 liters in the service manual (40% of a gallon)
NOTES: Drain the coolant pump and torque to 10 Nm (7.3 ft. lbs.). Drain the overflow tank, loosening the right bolt to tilt the tank down and pour every drop out. Drain the radiator. Exactly 1.5 liters came out, which is BMW’s listed capacity. Most of that amount poured directly back into the radiator cap and overflow tank. When both were full, ran the engine a few minutes to get coolant into the system and then added the rest of the 1.5 liters.


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Finished installing the new belt and glad I did.

The old belt had cracks all the way around on the interior. Definitely showing its age. I know people have said, "You can go 30,000 miles on a belt." Not this one. Maybe it's the heat and humidity of South Florida. That takes a toll on rubber.

And, miracle of miracles, I installed a new YUASA battery this morning and it didn't kill the electronic windscreen. Usually a battery change results in a trip to the dealer to get the ECU rebooted so the screen goes up and down again.

New Belt.jpg


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Don't know, but those cracks in the belt may not mean much. Nice going on the maintenance jobs. I make simple mistakes like that from time to time. But I am sure even professional mechanics sometimes do as well.


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"Nice going on the maintenance jobs."

Thanks. With a new bike, I spend several days up close and personal while updating all the maintenance. As motorcyclists, there's not a lot between our bodies and concrete, so I need to know what I'm sitting on.

My get-to-know-you maintenance for this bike ... a 2013 new-to-me with 15,100 miles.

NEW CVT BELT AND ROLLERS. Belt was cracked in every valley, as noted. BMW original rollers were fine and I could have rolled on with them. However, I've been pleased with a distinct improvement in pickup from the Dr. Pulley 28-gram sliders and new belt. Not as silky smooth as a Burgman 650 but definitely in that direction. This is not a complicated job. Get the BMW brace tool, 33 and 17mm sockets, the right grease and watch a few videos -- there are vids from Italy, South Korea and eastern Europe that show this process; very helpful visuals even if you can't understand a word.

NEW SPARK PLUGS. Described above. Didn't need to change these, but after dropping the radiator, try and stop me from putting in new plugs. Plug wrench is 14mm. If you happen to have a Prius spark plug socket, 14mm and very long, that is perfect.

COOLANT. Described above. Looked fine. Who can tell with coolant? At least I know what's in there now is OEM and fresh.

ENGINE OIL AND FILTER. Easy work. Although apparently BMW has TWO types of oil filters -- one has 12 flutes and the other 14. Which is maddening when you try to slip the oil filter wrench on the filter and find the filter has 12 flutes and the wrench has 14. I ended up with two filter wrenches so I'm covered in the future. But caveat emptor if you're buying an oil filter wrench, count your flutes! Also, DO NOT remove or re-insert the tubular oil screen without a screwdriver inside the tube, or it might fall into the oil pan below. Imagine the exits of two tunnels opening into a chamber with a pit of oil at the bottom. The oil screen is the bridge you create from tunnel to tunnel. On one side, it sits on a lip behind the bolt. On the other side, there is a lip in the metal where it rests in place. If it's NOT sitting in place on the other side, you can pull your screwdriver out of the screen tube and watch it fall into the oil pit. Apparently it's a hellish task to retrieve. I didn't line it up perfectly on the first try and when I began to extract my screwdriver, the tube started to slip away. I jammed the screwdriver blade back in and caught it, then had to jiggle and juggle for five minutes to get it back to horizontal, on the screwdriver, so I could use the other hand to extract it with tweezers (note: have tweezers on hand).

BRAKE FLUID AND PADS. UPS WAS ONE WEEK LATE WITH MY FREAKING BRAKE PADS!! They just arrived so I'm off to the garage. On the bike, access to the pads is typical and super easy. Unscrew the pin protector, then the pin, pull the pad pin out and the brake pads fall out. Mine had almost no metal left.

AIR FILTER. I pulled the dirtiest air filter I've seen on a motorcycle out of this bike. Black, oily, disgusting. It was like the previous owner didn't know the bike had an air filter. Brand new OEM filter in there now and the bike is breathing cleanly. The filter is located behind the upper right faring. Two bolts on the dash, one on the outside by the nose of the panel on the bottom, one under the open glovebox. The battery is in there, too, the most accessible battery I've seen on a motorcycle (as opposed to the mining expedition required on a Burgman 650).

CVT FILTER. Waiting for this to arrive at the local BMW dealer from Germany. It's a piece of foam inside the black CVT cover. Looks like the foam is integrated into the cover, so hopefully I'm buying the entire cover and not just the foam (it was $37).

CHAIN. You can check the tension of the timing chain be removing two bolts on the BMW black, oval plate on the swingarm. Chain is right there. You should have less than 1/2" of play, no more than 3/4".

Just for grins, I bought the hex bolt for the front axle and verified the torque on front and rear axle nuts.

Overall, the bike feels quieter, smoother and peppier with the updated maintenance. Very gratifying. I spent around $450 on parts, fluids and tools -- won't even begin to calculate what a dealer would charge, since this would have been a major service.

This is very unscientific, but it feels like the bike was stressed out, then it got all these new fluids and parts, and now it's relaxed again and running like it should. I've only had hints of rapid acceleration since I'm taking it easy for a couple days to break in the new rubber belt.

Pics of my spruced up baby at the beach this morning!


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Last task accomplished. The vehicle now has six new brake pads and BMW brake fluid. With Burgmans and Silver Wings, I remember removing the calipers, per the service manuals. Not here. Unscrew the pin protector and retaining screw and the pads fall out. I used EBC HH pads because BMW pads were three times the cost.

Removing the calipers looked complex in the manual, for both wheels, so I skipped that. But without it, you can't do much of a cleaning. I sprayed Brakleen on a microfiber towel and did the best I could. When I was putting in new fluid, I found some neanderthal knucklehead had overtightened the fluid release valve on the rear wheel and I couldn't budge it. Sprayed with WD-40 and let that sit. Felt like maybe it was on the verge of giving but I played it safe -- didn't want a brake fluid geyser on my hands and a guaranteed tow truck to the dealership. I have a minor recall on the bike so when I drop it off I'll see if they can get the nut loose. Disappointing finish thanks to Tommy Toughhands but overall I'm happy with the work and feel safe on the bike now.

UPDATE: I knew not bleeding the rear brakes would gnaw at me, and it did. I kept applying WD-40 to the nut, letting it soak in for several minutes, and trying to turn it with my usual combo wrench. It didn't move. After an overnight, I soaked the nut again in WD-40, let it sit for ten minutes and attacked it from overhead with an 8mm socket. A few gentle tugs and ... voila. It moved! Now I can finish bleeding the brakes and sleep at night.
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Delray getting the calipers off is not hard at all. Couple of bolts on each. The tough part on the fronts is there is only 1 position they clearance the rim and disc. It is maddening and you will swear there is no way it will make it off but it does. Once you find that certain position you can't unsee it and it's a breeze.


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Small addition to: "COOLANT. Described above. Looked fine. Who can tell with coolant?"
There are test strips you can find in auto parts stores etc that will tell you the condition of your coolant (and also brake fluid) that I use to tell me when it's time to replace.
Great write-ups with, I want to add, a pinch of great humor.


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"getting the calipers off is not hard at all ... The tough part on the fronts is there is only 1 position they clearance the rim and disc. It is maddening and you will swear there is no way it will make it off but it does"

Good to know! That is exactly what happend and I gave up. I took out two caliper bolts, tried six ways to slip it past the rim and thought exactly what you said, "No way this is coming out."

"There are test strips you can find in auto parts stores etc that will tell you the condition of your coolant (and also brake fluid)"

Also good to know! That might be very helpful with future bikes because I change the coolant as a rule, thinking not a lot of people do and I want mine to be good. Being certain with a test could save time and money. Brake fluid is a bit easier. The stuff I took out of the rear line this morning was dark yellow, even had some black specks in the early flow. It was light and clear when I finished.

Thanks guys.
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