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Discussion Starter #1
Got geared up for a ride to Malaysia today, but fired up the brute and she started smoking--white smoke from exhaust and engine area. I'm not a tuner but the engine sounds and rides normal and takes throttle well. A slow smoking continues from the exhaust for about 2 minutes after shutting her off. It does not smell of unburnt petrol. The top muffler opening is white now.

I've got a power commander in there (second from bottom led is lit when not in programming mode) and I've had the battery disconnected for a month (in December), but she's been riding fine since then.

Coolant is low but above min. Oil is due for a change but level is normal.

Is this normal? Or anyone with similar experience know what is going on?
 

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dearpix, sounds like oil is leaking onto the header. Check the oil filter and drain plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
drmasis said:
Check the oil filter and drain plug.
They are both firmly on and no leaks. Does oil make a white smoke?

From what I'm reading on the internet (on car engines) perhaps coolant is seeping into the combustion chamber via a leak in the head gasket. Hence the white smoke. What do you think?

Anyone know if brutes have a modulator valve? If this is torn/bad it would suck coolant into combustion. But what do I know; I may be on the wrong track here...
 

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The Dude
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i can't help much here, but oil does make white smoke.....

you got this week off due to CNY?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
TokyoLunch said:
i can't help much here, but oil does make white smoke.....

you got this week off due to CNY?
Yes, me and everyone else...the place is a virtual ghost town, which means, good luck to me getting this looked at anytime soon. Ha!

(CNY = Chinese New Year, major major holiday here and lots of folks take a good 10 days off)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
fazer6 said:
Was the coolant low before? You shouldn't really lose any.
Yes, I could have lost some (but never noticed any spillage ever) -- I'm pretty sure it was higher before.

There was a slight burning smell and a bit of smoke in my headlight beam last night, but the bike rode fine. Today, it was like plumes from the exhaust and some from the engine area too.
 

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Hate to say it but It sounds like a possible headgasket leak. White smoke = water or coolant. If you are running coolant (ethylene glycol) it will also have what I can only describe as a sweet smell. The white exhaust pipe residue is another tip off, along with the low coolant level. Best have it looked at by someone competent in these matters.

Also, the modulator valve I think you are referring to is a device used on older automatic transmissions in automobiles. When the diaphragm in the vacuum modulator ruptures, transmission fluid enters the combustion chamber and produces white smoke. No, the MV does not have such a device.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: Just fired it up again. Smoke from the engine area seems to be coming from a leak in the join of the mid-pipe and headers so I don't think this has anything to do with the cause of the white smoke which is probably coolant. The exhaust still smokes like mad. There is a smidgen of oil (but not even a proper drop or any old drips) on the left side topmost gasket where the gasket is shaped like a half-circle.

Any of this ring any bells, anyone?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Koop said:
Hate to say it but It sounds like a possible headgasket leak. White smoke = water or coolant. If you are running coolant (ethylene glycol) it will also have what I can only describe as a sweet smell. The white exhaust pipe residue is another tip off, along with the low coolant level. Best have it looked at by someone competent in these matters.

Also, the modulator valve I think you are referring to is a device used on older automatic transmissions in automobiles. When the diaphragm in the vacuum modulator ruptures, transmission fluid enters the combustion chamber and produces white smoke. No, the MV does not have such a device.
Thanks -- my feeling is that you are right. Will find out when the dealer is open (Chinese New Year holidays now) and get it sorted.
 

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Koop said:
Hate to say it but It sounds like a possible headgasket leak. White smoke = water or coolant.

I was gonna say the same, white smoke ususaly means a blown head gasket with coolant leaking into the combustion chamber.
 

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The Dude
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petevegas said:
I designed & developed this damper piece for my Brutale, with some help from Arrow USA. It adapts easily using a Ducati Monster mounting kit from Arrow. It works great, takes 10 minutes to install. I have 30 of them. $55 each, Arrow Damper & mounting kit $519.


But does it blow white smoke? :stickpoke


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
 

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dearpixel,
Keep a close watch on the coolant level. If there is a coolant leak such as a head gasket it would lower the coolant level a noticeable amount the more you rode it.
My Brutale 910 does the same thing though more so in cooler weather and white smoke continues to exit through the tail pipes after I shut it down; it looks like a double barrel shot gun after being fired. I have my own theory about the white smoke. I think it has something to do with the Catalytic Converter condensing moisture into water after it cools down and perhaps even while it is running. You’ll notice the same white smoke contrail coming from most new cars too especially when there is a lot of moisture in the air on cool days.
On the other hand if you notice your water level continually getting lower after repeated use, there’s definitely an internal leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone, I'll send it in next week as soon as the mechanic comes back from his holidays. Will post follow up in case that helps anyone. Again, thanks ever so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
UPDATE: Not been to the mechanic yet, but white smoke cleared up after 3 days. Will go on a proper ride later this week and if the smoking comes back I'll have it looked at.

So nothing is conclusive yet, but thanks again everyone for your help.
 

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Hope that's not because you're out of coolant. Ha. Ha...ok, not funny. Seriously, keep us updated. I've been wondering about this one. Maybe it was just condensation and paranoia. But better to stay alert than to ignore it and seize.
 

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I've followed this thread for a couple of days as I've checked my own experience. I just got the bike over the weekend and ridden it twice. Both times on start-up the bike sends white smoke out of the pipes. I've only ridden a 1/2 hr each stint out (low 40s here in Boston...couldn't wait for warmer weather to get on the bike!), and experienced no problems whatsoever, and noticed no white smoke. After returning, no white smoke on shutdown, and no smoke coming out of the pipes in a shotgun fashion. I have to get the bike inspected, so I'll ask the local dealer what he thinks. My experience could be due to the colder weather here and moisture in the air. I'll look for your updates, and post whatever I'm told. Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #18
manalagi001 said:
Hope that's not because you're out of coolant. Ha. Ha...ok, not funny.
You don't know how true that may be! My coolant level is close to minimum at the moment, and looking from the side of the bike it looks brownish. I'll have to look inside (and flush it out probably) maybe over the weekend because I'm pretty sure it was green when my mech topped it up at the 6000km service back in October.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update: Topped up coolant last week. Level has not dropped, and I've been through four tanks of gas. White smoke has disappeared completely. Will monitor the situation but everything looks, smells and sounds normal. Me mate has a theory -- he said he knows that some folks go around putting oil into exhaust pipes to freak out new car owners. Possible, but other than that or a bit of serious condensation, I have no idea why it smoked.
 

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My S and my R did the same thing in the winter. Mechanic says it is condensation from th cold. Weather warmed up this weekend, rode for 2 hours...no white smoke. Started it up, just for the hell of it, yestersay morning, 27 degrees F,,,white smoke.
 
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