BMW K1200 S/R/Sport Cam Chain Tensioner Install

Houston, we have a problem!


Seems BMW simply can’t figure out how to keep a Cam Chain under tension. I had this problem with a couple oil heads I’ve owned and I read there is (was) an issue with certain F bikes.

The symptom is that when you start your BMW motorcycle, especially if it has been sitting a few days, the right side of the motor sounds like a coffee can with marble rattling around in it. And NO, that isn’t the sound of a dry clutch like a Ducati or a Moto Guzzi. Now that sound is music to a lover of all bikes Italian. No, the sound you are hearing on your K “wedge” bike is the cam chain slamming around in the engine cover, doing its darn est to jump a sprocket tooth and send your pistons crashing into the now out of sync valves. Beautiful!

You’d think by now, after a few hundred million motorcycles have been built around the world, this little issue would be resolved. But nooooooooooo! You need to spend another $124.66 of your hard earned money to recitfy the situation.

Fortunately it is about the easiest upgrade you can possible do to your motorcycle.

You need to order BMW part #11317717287 (be aware, BMW has a habit of changing part number in mid stream. This is the part number for a 2007 K1200R Sport as of this writing)

The old Cam Chain Tensioner is shown on the top and the new unit, with the oil reservoir is shown on the bottom. The kit includes everything you will need.

On the “S” and “GT” you have some body plastic to remove. But once you do, on the right side of the motorcycle you will see a small steel cover held on by two bolts. That the Cam Chain Tensioner.

Using a swivel connector for a 1/4″ socket set, remove these two bolts

Be careful, the tensioner cap is under a little pressure. It’s not going to fly through space, but it could pop off and fling a bit of oil about.

Pull the old CCT out and discard everything. The new CCT has an O-Ring and a new plunger. Save the two bolts! Duh!

You need to pre-fill the oil reservoir and the plunger. I simply poured a half table spoon full of motor oil into the reservoir and inserted the plunger and actuated the device. I did this three times and it seemed it wouldn’t take any more.

Install the new CCT with the label facing the engine. Very important, the oil journals need to be positioned properly or the reservoir will not replenish properly.

Tighten down the two bolts to 9Nm torque.

Start the motor and shut it off immediatly. DO NOT BLIP THE THROTTLE!!!!! Do this “start-shut off” three times. This pressurizes the CCT.

Now start the bike. DO NOT BLIP THE THROTTLE!, let it run and check for leaks or any Ducati type noises.

If all is good, you are good to go.

You next mission should be to install a Cam Chain Tooth Jump Guard. See my other article on this wen site about that little puppy.

Lots more pictures here:

Hope you enjoyed this little article and you found it helpful!


See you on the road!


Roy B






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16 comments on “BMW K1200 S/R/Sport Cam Chain Tensioner Install”

    • David Lutton

      Very helpful, informative and simple-to-read advice Roy. Regards, David.

    • Roy Bertalotto

      No, I did not use the spring. But I still have not received 100% confirmation that this is correct. A fellow with a K1300 and the new tensioner reported that his bike did not have the spring. And another fellow suggested that the spring would block the oil fill holes for the reservoir. But it still seems to me, from an engineering standpoint, that the sping would make sense as it adds tension on start-up, regardless of the pressure and oil level in the reservoir. If you find out more, please report back….Thanks!

  1. Ross Reply

    great article, you could ad that the notch on the new chain tensioner should face in! I got paranoid about if they reversed the label placement! I couldn’t see what the I
    oil holes lined up with.

  2. Ross Reply

    the BMW service bulletin doesn’t show the spring being replaced. the pictures are very explicit.
    my 06 k1200s engine is Mitch quieter now! typically I would hear the cam chain from time to time,
    especially when decelerating.

  3. fadi raad Reply

    My bike has 30k miles on it. can I do the modification without additional changes? My dealer suggested changing the chain and tensioner rail as well.
    I added the jump guard as instructed. Thanks for the clear info.

    • Roy Bertalotto

      I would check with your dealewr. There are prohibitions on some bikes with over 18K miles. These bikes require cam chain and maybe sprocket replacement.

  4. michael booth Reply

    hi I’m having the same problem of excess noise, top of the engine. Tensioner has been done so not sure what else to do?
    the machine is k1200s 2006. Buggered if I know what to do now.
    Any Ideas please

  5. Fernando Reply

    My K1200S has only 8000 km and also makes the noise due to the tensioner at start-up.
    It still has the old tensor
    With the new tenser is the noise resolved in full?

    Thank you

    • Noise BMW Tensioner

      Has anyone opted, for a manual tuning tensioner on the K1200S?
      Much better than the new BMW tensioner?

  6. Joacim Boive Reply

    I’ve got a K1300S with 3300km on it and it has a ticking noise. It’s not like a bad noise, but it shouldn’t bee there (no it’s not the injectors, it sounds about the same – only louder). Changes with RPM but seems to go away above 4000rpm (or I can’t hear it any longer at least (might be due to my loud exhaust)).

    The ticking is’nt worse when cold, if anything it’s usually quit(er). A sure fire way to induce it is to let the bike warm up. Turn it off and let it sit for a few minutes and then start again. Then the ticking is at’s it’s worst.

    Doesn’t matter if I have the clutch pulled in or not.
    It doesn’t leak anything from the exhaust an everything around the enginen seems nice and tight.

    Can it still be the tensioner? Seems cheap and easy enough to replace to chance it, or any other ideas?



    • Roy Bertalotto

      Interesting problem. It could be the tensioner, but I’d have a BMW Tech look at (listen) to it. Noises like that don’t just go away. They usually get worse. Good Luck!

  7. Jeff Reply

    I just ordered all the parts to do this on my ’05 K1200S, but I’m wondering now wouldn’t the dealer do this for free? I usually hate letting anyone work on my bike, but many say the dealer should perform any recall/service bulletins for free.

  8. Andrew Reply

    Great article – photos and text were spot on!

    I will also be adding the Cam Chain Tooth Jump Guard when I remove the plastics from my K1200GT for the tensioner replacement, following closely your other fantastic article

    Thank you for posting ????

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