My almost new R12RT is laid up at the dealer with a failed rear drive assembly. It's not clear to me exactly what failed because I have never seen the diagram of the rear assembly. The bike had 3500 miles on the clock and was new in June. Had to cancel my long planned September vacation.
Oddly enough BMW can't supply replacement parts to my dealer nor can they provide a date by which the parts will be available. The dealer has been great but there does not appear to be a solution in the near future.
I had a heck of a time finding a phone number to reach customer service at BMW NA and when I did the person would not tell me their full name or give me a direct number for reaching them. He did say he'd call me back in 48 hours with an update. My dealer is closed on Monday's so he can't touch base with them until tomorrow.
Is this a common experience? This is my seventh Beemer and my first after taking a break when my local dealer closed down. I switched to Harley's for nearly seven years, but missed having a Beemer. This is the first time I've had a serious failure with a BMW during warranty since 1987 (and then the dealer harvested the needed part from a bike on the floor to get me riding again).
There was little or no warning that the rear drive was failing and there was enough lateral play in the rear wheel by the time I found the problem that the wheel probably would have come off at some point had I continued riding.
Looking back two things should have warranted further investigation. I smelled a burning smell that I thought was the clutch a few times after long rides. On my last long ride before discovering the problem I felt the rear end slipping out on a few tight corners (racked it up to loose surface material). There was probably a third to half an inch play in the wheel by the time I discovered the problem.
I was washing the bike and a steady stream of black came out in the rinse water from the area of the rear axle. I thought it was oil but as it turns out the seal was intact. It was the powdered aluminum from some portion of the hub assembly that had been ground down over time (according to the shop). There was a lot of material and it took several minues for the water to run clear again.
Keep an eye on your wheel and test the lateral play! This sort of failure has the potential to ruin your whole day.