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Thread: 2010 R1200RT Drive shaft splines

  1. #1
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    2010 R1200RT Drive shaft splines

    Just wondering if people are still taking the shaft out to lube the splines, as in the earlier model years?

  2. #2
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Not as far as I know. Only the rear spline needs to be lubed and that is done by dropping the final drive down just like the prior years had to to drain the lubricant.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

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    I lube both sides of the shaft, it does the same thing on both ends. you can remove the cable tie on the rubber boot at the transmission
    and carefully pull it back and lube the splines with a small brush pretty simple. just be careful not to pull the drive shaft out all the way
    you can get it back in if you do but there is not alot of room due to the rubber boot. if you ever decide to remove the drive shaft completely
    to inspect the universal joints you'll have to remove the swingarm the shaft only comes out on the transmission side. don't forget to put a new cable tie on the rubber boot.

    Joe,
    2010 R1200RT

  4. #4
    Registered User britturk's Avatar
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    I have also been trying to figure this out myself as to if this should be performed periodically and if so, how often ?
    Been going through the BMW shop software and haven't seen an area related to lubrication of the input shaft or rear drive splines (not suggesting this says much)

    I imagine this is good practice to check for leaks that could be coming from either end in any case.
    Sorry if the question is a bit trivial, still trying to understand the rear drive structure and components. (Toddler mechanic)

    thanks
    2012 R1200GS Rallye

  5. #5
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    As best I can determine, spline lube was a concern for the 1100 and 1150 models, but is not an issue on the 1200. There was apparently a design change to the pivot geometry that eliminated fore/aft movement to zero, so there is no movement along the spline. Spline lube is not on the maintenance schedule, and I've seen pictures of high mileage splines with no lube and no appreciable wear. Drive shaft assembly instructions do call for Optimoly TA paste on the splines, though. On the theory that it can't hurt, I renew my rear spline lube when I change the FD oil, but then on my '06, I have to drop the FD drive anyway.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  6. #6
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Just a note: spline lube has not been on the maintenance schedule since 1981. That means absolutely zero about whether experience has shown it to be needed or not.

    As for the 1200s, I have not heard of any significant number of failures. But I also vividly recall the folks who claimed it wasn't needed on K75s or K100s, then on R1100s, then R1150s, etc.

    I am not saying that I know it is needed. I don't. But experience has taught me to take with a huge grain of salt claims that certain things aren't needed.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  7. #7
    Registered User wyman.winn's Avatar
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    i agree that lubing the splines on the 2010+ RTs is not in the service schedule...nonetheless i will be pulling the swingarm/driveshaft on my 2013 at 50k miles (only 8k to go) for kicks and giggles....and to lube the splines and inspect the universal joints...

    wyman
    ~wyman~
    2013 R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic
    2002 V-Strom DL1000 - sold
    2008 KLR650 - sold

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    Quote Originally Posted by wyman.winn View Post
    i agree that lubing the splines on the 2010+ RTs is not in the service schedule...nonetheless i will be pulling the swingarm/driveshaft on my 2013 at 50k miles (only 8k to go) for kicks and giggles....and to lube the splines and inspect the universal joints...

    wyman
    I've been thinking about a prophylactic swing arm remove/inspect myself. If I remember correctly, torquing that swing arm lock nut takes a special socket cut away to allow a hex wrench to hold the pivot bolt. Anyone found a source other than the dealer for that?

    JayJay
    ******
    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

  9. #9
    Registered User wyman.winn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
    I've been thinking about a prophylactic swing arm remove/inspect myself. If I remember correctly, torquing that swing arm lock nut takes a special socket cut away to allow a hex wrench to hold the pivot bolt. Anyone found a source other than the dealer for that?

    JayJay
    i fabricated one JayJay....for just such an occasion...

    wyman
    ~wyman~
    2013 R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic
    2002 V-Strom DL1000 - sold
    2008 KLR650 - sold

  10. #10
    Registered User britturk's Avatar
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    I thought removal of the pivot-bolt was only required to remove the entire rear-drive assembly and not for dropping it to inspect the spline on r1200 series...is that not the case ?
    Was watching one of the Chris Harris videos on an R1100 or R1150 and he wasn't particularly happy about the amount of loctite that was apparently used on those bolts at the factory...not sure if same applies to all models.

    Bugra
    2012 R1200GS Rallye

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyman.winn View Post
    i fabricated one JayJay....for just such an occasion...

    wyman
    Thanks, Wyman - that's what I'd pretty much decided to do. Harbor Freight is a good thing, sometimes.

    JayJay
    ******
    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

  12. #12
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    So far I can't recall seeing a report of a driveshaft spline failure on the hex/cam heads.. and I've been on this forum (and some others for R1200R's) for a while now. And some of the bikes have accumulated some considerable mileage now (going on 10 years old..)

    I have heard of U-joint failures though, so IMHO still a good idea to examine them when you lower the rear drive to change the oil (or on the newer ones with a rear-drive drain plug - just lower it to check the U joint.) While it's apart it's trivial to put some new grease on the splines (I'm using Wurth-3000, it seems to stick around a long time.)

    A good U-joint moves smoothly through it's range of movement with the same amount of effort. It shouldn't flop - it should have a tiny bit of resistance to movement. One of those things you learn when you have done a lot of automotive U joints (and at one point - I did.) One that moves real easily in the center of it's range is actually worn. Perhaps not enough to need replacing yet, but I wouldn't leave on a 6,000 mile trip with one like that.

    It is more difficult to examine and check the splines on the front U-joint to transmission spline - since on most models (apparently not the GS though) removal requires removing the entire swing-arm. Not a totally trivial exercise, but not impossible either. I'd save that for major services - like 80,000 mile ones. The failures do seem to be primarily the rear U-joint, although I can recall 1 front U-joint failure report here.

    And IMHO - what's really important - make sure on reassembly that the rubber boots are in the correct position, with the plastic expanders where they belong and some white-grease on the rubber-to-metal surfaces. If they are in place - they keep water out of the swingarm assembly, meaning rust is much less likely to start and cause a failure.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  13. #13
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    So far I can't recall seeing a report of a driveshaft spline failure on the hex/cam heads.. and I've been on this forum (and some others for R1200R's) for a while now. And some of the bikes have accumulated some considerable mileage now (going on 10 years old..)

    I have heard of U-joint failures though, so IMHO still a good idea to examine them when you lower the rear drive to change the oil (or on the newer ones with a rear-drive drain plug - just lower it to check the U joint.) While it's apart it's trivial to put some new grease on the splines (I'm using Wurth-3000, it seems to stick around a long time.)

    A good U-joint moves smoothly through it's range of movement with the same amount of effort. It shouldn't flop - it should have a tiny bit of resistance to movement. One of those things you learn when you have done a lot of automotive U joints (and at one point - I did.) One that moves real easily in the center of it's range is actually worn. Perhaps not enough to need replacing yet, but I wouldn't leave on a 6,000 mile trip with one like that.

    It is more difficult to examine and check the splines on the front U-joint to transmission spline - since on most models (apparently not the GS though) removal requires removing the entire swing-arm. Not a totally trivial exercise, but not impossible either. I'd save that for major services - like 80,000 mile ones. The failures do seem to be primarily the rear U-joint, although I can recall 1 front U-joint failure report here.

    And IMHO - what's really important - make sure on reassembly that the rubber boots are in the correct position, with the plastic expanders where they belong and some white-grease on the rubber-to-metal surfaces. If they are in place - they keep water out of the swingarm assembly, meaning rust is much less likely to start and cause a failure.
    I was thinking of leaving mine alone until 80k. I was just contemplating if I wanted to mess with any of that as my 48k service will be approaching soon. On my last bike, I used to clean and lube the rear splines every time I'd change the FD fluid (since I had to drop the FD anyways). My friend's '07 RT had a U-joint failure with apparent rust which led me to believe all that servicing led to the boot not being properly sealed at some point and letting water in. Since I have a 5 year unlimited miles warranty and I am averaging 30k a year, I figured it's best to just leave the boot alone for the time being. I think when I hit 80k or so I will pull the whole swingarm to inspect the drive shaft and final drive and replace anything if necessary. That will be my first spline re-grease and boot replacement.

    If I'm all wrong on this, then the warranty may get put to use! As was said, it's not in the maintenance schedule so I assume if you had all maintenance done at the dealer, they would never lube the drive shaft splines until after something had failed and been replaced.
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - 41k - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast" - 28k - sold
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - sold

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