Replacing CVT air filters

Delray

Active member
Yes, "filters," plural. I learned this morning there are two CVT air filters in the GT.

BMW calls them front and rear.

Rear = the round filter on the inside of the black hood covering the metal belt case.

Front = a rectangular filter about three inches in front of the rear. It's like a skinny drawer hidden above the right side of the CVT case. Click down to release and slide it out. I'm glad I found it. There was a fair amount of garbage on it and a lot of black dust in it.

Both were original and had been through 15,000 miles and eight years of wear. I've seen worse (an old Silver Wing filter crumbled at the touch). BMW specifies replacement every 12,000 miles for the two CVT filters and air filter inside the upper right faring.

The old round filter was dry and brittle. It broke apart as I slipped it out of the case housing. I cleaned it a few weeks ago when I put a new drive belt and sliders in, so you don't see all the garbage that was on it.

The new round filter was solid and pliable enough to gently wedge into place. It's easiest to insert a new one from the inside of the black hood. When you replace the exhaust vent on the outside, there is an arrow on top that should point to a vertical line next to "GT" on top of the black hood (photo).

For the front filter, I used my handy tire inflator unit to generate compressed air. This worked well; a lot of dust flew out. I removed bigger pieces of debris with tweezers.

A little PITA in that you need to take ALLLLL the lower tupperware off the right side. But hey, it's worth the effort. Three new filters and the machine is sucking in nothing but fresh Florida air.

Part numbers:
  • Round CVT filter: BMW 11157729526, $21.50 (had to wait three weeks for this to arrive from Germany. Probably the most expensive piece of foam in history, but it's BMW foam, what did I expect? I'm sure there are good DYI substitutes.)
  • Top/front pull out CVT filter: BMW 24807729844, $19.50
  • Portable tire inflator for compressed air cleaning: priceless (actually, around $20. I went through two Slime brand units and they were disappointing. My current HyperTough from Walmart is durable and works well).

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slant911

Member
Great info. I will plan to check and probably just clean these once I get my scooter apart for the Dr. Pulley bits. My scoot has just 1600 miles on it so probably not time to replace yet.
 

Delray

Active member
Probably a good idea to check given the dusty desert. I think there are solvents for cleaning but I have no idea what they are. I kept the old filter to experiment. I know water destroys them.
 

EvilTwin

Active member
Good post. As for an air compressor, the little pancake units from HF aren't bad for the bucks and would do a lot better for blowing out dirt and dust and filling tires too. This one is 40 bucks.
 

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Delray

Active member
I may pick up one of those little pancake units. In this case, I preferred the weaker tire inflator unit because the skinny drawer filter looked a little weak in spots. I didn't want to blow a hole through it and then have to wait three weeks for the German replacement.
 

Delray

Active member
"So has the bike been sitting all this time waiting for parts?"

Oh, Lord, no. I cleaned the main CVT filter when the bike was naked for new oil, belt, coolant, plugs, etc. It was good enough for a couple hundred more miles. I finished all the other work, put the tupperware back on and have been thoroughly enjoying the ride.

After updating, the bike feels fresh. Even little things cleaned up. Example: when I first got the bike I could set the hours on the clock but not the minutes; the clock wouldn't switch over to minutes. With a new battery, the minutes function worked again.

The sketchy rear-tire TPMS now functions well enough to make me question spending $$ to fix it. Every ride starts with no reading on the rear, just two dashes. But after 5 minutes, the rear registers for the rest of my ride, however long that is. And it seems to be getting better, reading more quickly during each ride.

After ten maxi-scooters since Christmas 2016, four Silver Wings, three Burgman 650's and now my third GT, I am seeing the BMW scooter with new eyes. It's flat out the best handling, best looking, easiest to work on, most fun ride I've ever experienced.
 
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slant911

Member
Delray have you been on a kymco? The 2021 550 looks enticing to me. Appears like a straight up knockoff of the Beemer with fancier electronics. Trying to get a test ride in the next couple of weeks.
 

Delray

Active member
I have seen a few new 550's for sale in Miami. I imagine it is super reliable and updated technology is exciting. For now, I'm a GT man -- can only love one motorcycle (and woman) at a time!
 

EvilTwin

Active member
After ten maxi-scooters since Christmas 2016, four Silver Wings, three Burgman 650's and now my third GT, I am seeing the BMW scooter with new eyes. It's flat out the best handling, best looking, easiest to work on, most fun ride I've ever experienced.

Hmmm. Looks down the previous bikes list. Guess time will tell...:whistle:😉
 

Delray

Active member
"Hmmm. Looks down the previous bikes list. Guess time will tell..."

Haha, fair point. Especially considering twice -- once with a Wing and once with Burgman 650 -- I bought THE SAME EXACT BIKE I owned before.

Still, after four Silver Wings, I knew I'd never buy another. The last one was a sad goodbye. The emotional attachment to "my first girl" was forever overruled by the low tech and small tires. The windshield will never go up and down. The grips will never be heated. It will always understeer in corners.

Pretty sure it's the same with the Burgman 650. My love for the big, silky-smooth ride is permanently outweighed by the bathtub-like handling at low speed. I hate that. I owned three of the beasts and STILL can't turn around on a two-lane road without putting my feet down. That's no problem with the BMW. The Burgman also carries the dark spectre of CVT failure. I read about another one today on a well-maintained bike, 29,000 miles and the transmission goes kaput ... several thousand bucks to repair.

The BMW C 650 GT feels just right. And with 2020 models out, I'll be able to find late-model, low-mileage units for years to come.

I don't see other intriguing options on the horizon, but that can change. The BMW C 400 GT and Burgman 400 have 2022 models coming but both seem too small for my body. The Kymco 550 is interesting -- I watched an oil change video today and it has the same oil screen filter tube as the BMW -- but it also seems small for my frame and, well, it looks a little boring, design-wise.

With that, I am going to fire up the GT and head west on this glorious South Florida day. The town of Wellington is ten minutes away and it's horse country, filled with gorgeous ranches and natural vistas. Bruce Springsteen bought his daughter a multi-million dollar home there so she could ride ponies during the winter. Good for her, and him. I'd rather ride a BMW.
 

Delray

Active member
"Clearly you never lived in Las Vegas..."

"There's a thousand pretty women waiting out there, they're all living the devil-may-care, and I'm just a devil with love to spare ...." (Elvis, "Viva Las Vegas").

Absolutely LOVE the low humidity of the desert. Used to visit my mom in Scottsdale several times a year. One of the most jaw dropping sights my eyes ever witnessed, right up there with a miracle from dad, the birth of my kids and my naked girlfriend in high school, was gazing up at the stars from the top of Kitt Peak west of Tucson, home to the U.S. National Observatory. The stars are so vivid you can actually perceive depth, some are closer than others, and it feels like you are floating among them. Unforgettable and cosmic, literally.
 
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Ceesie76

Member
I've always thought the BMW C scooter engines are made by KYMCO, so it'd be no wonder the KYMCO 550 scooter engine would be very similar to the BMW one.
 

EvilTwin

Active member
I've always thought the BMW C scooter engines are made by KYMCO, so it'd be no wonder the KYMCO 550 scooter engine would be very similar to the BMW one.
The twin 650 engines are. Then shipped to Berlin to be installed. The c400 is completely Chinese built. And from what I have read, they have more than their fair share of issues.
 

davidh

Member
Rear = the round filter on the inside of the black hood covering the metal belt case.

Front = a rectangular filter about three inches in front of the rear. It's like a skinny drawer hidden above the right side of the CVT case. Click down to release and slide it out. I'm glad I found it. There was a fair amount of garbage on it and a lot of black dust in it.

I'm not clear where the "front" filter is. I've been in my CVT a bazillion times and there's the big round one and a smaller one at the back (left side) of the enclosure right by the clutch. Are you saying there's one at the variator end?

Of course, it could be a design change that happened in later years (I have a 2013).
 

Delray

Active member
You can look at the case 100 times and not see the front filter. Peek into the "V" shaped area above the CVT case, below the black electrician's tape. You'll see the plastic tab I'm holding in my fingers. It clicks down to release the filter, and you slide it out like a skinny drawer. I have a 2013 so I can't imagine yours is different. It's just hiding from you!

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davidh

Member
Well I’ll be damned! I just looked (have the plastics off that side already) and there it was! How have I gone 65k miles and changed unpteen belts and the clutch without seeing that or referenced in the manual. Yeah it was pretty dusty so thanks!!!
 

Delray

Active member
That was, verbatim, my reaction when I found it. "Well, I'll be damned."

Neither CVT filter is listed in BMW Motorrad's maintenance schedules for 6k, 12k, 18k and 24k. I only knew because I always review the service manual process before a maintenance job, and noticed "Replacing front CVT filter."

Impressive and encouraging that you've arrived at 65,000 miles! Looks like I have the same bike, right down to the same (ghastly) Platinum Bronze -- would have much preferred red or black, but the bike was super clean and running well so I went with that.
 

davidh

Member
Impressive and encouraging that you've arrived at 65,000 miles! Looks like I have the same bike, right down to the same (ghastly) Platinum Bronze -- would have much preferred red or black, but the bike was super clean and running well so I went with that.

Thanks and yep, I've been pretty happy with it. Most of the issues have been with my dealer but I just found an independent shop that I'm super-jazzed about it.

The bike has been partially torn apart since last spring due to a stalling issue (posted somewhere on here). The dealer charged me $540 to replace an O2 sensor but the problem persisted. I dropped it off at the new shop this morning and while I was there, started it up and he said (after hearing all the symptoms and listening to it), "sounds like an air leak..." Well, he called about hour later and said, sure enough, there was a split in one of the two idle actuator hoses (p/n: 01 13 71 7 725 265). It's only a $21 part and would explain all the other clues, including wonky readings from the original O2 sensor. I don't want to get too excited yet but pretty amazing that somebody with skills can take under an hour to watch the real-time readings from the sensor and determine that it's reacting a certain way because of an input (too much air) and not a bad sensor.

Fingers crossed but hoping to be back in the saddle soon!!!
 
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