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Thread: Chain final drive is the only option now for mid-size BMWs.

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RadioFlyer View Post
    I think that shaft drive is highly overrated. The conventional wisdom on the most recent shaft drives is to periodically lube the splines - a procedure that pretty much exceeds the degree of maintenance for a modern chain. When I went through my two decades of BMW ON extracting all the technical articles worth keeping I noticed that Paul Glave's Bench Wrenching articles on shaft final drives far exceeded that of any other topic. No manufacturer ever had to recall 500,000+ chain drives!

    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk
    A properly designed and manufactured final shaft drive can be nearly maintenance free. Cars and trucks have been using shaft drive for over 100 years, and most manufacturer’s designs are nearly bulletproof. The reason used 40 year old Honda cx500 final drives are so cheap on eBay is because nobody ever needs a replacement, they last nearly forever.

    BMW shaft final drives were fairly reliable (except for wheel spline wear) until they came out with the double jointed paralever system. The paralever has handling advantages but has also had reliability issues directly related to the design. There were also manufacturing issues with K75 final drives that caused many repeated failures.

    Given the choice, I’ll take shaft drive any day, car or bike. The trick is getting one that is both well designed and manufactured.
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMTX View Post
    I recently got to ride 6 different BMW models on a tour, so I got the new bike bug.

    .....I do not have a need for a lot of power, and I like a lighter bike. Dreaming of a sport touring bike under 500 pounds with a belt drive.......
    Anyone else have the same dream?
    Yes and for those who are looking for something more like the above look at Moto Guzzi. V7 850cc series starts at 490# wet with the V85TT around 520# wet. Air cooled, shaft drive, many with tubeless wheels, cruise control, good MPG and large tank, and LED lighting. A modern R100 and still made, for now.
    21 V85TT, 93 R100R, 20 XT250, 22 Goldwing. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  3. #18
    Vera loqui ad potentiam
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    A properly designed and manufactured final shaft drive can be nearly maintenance free. Cars and trucks have been using shaft drive for over 100 years, and most manufacturerís designs are nearly bulletproof. The reason used 40 year old Honda cx500 final drives are so cheap on eBay is because nobody ever needs a replacement, they last nearly forever.

    BMW shaft final drives were fairly reliable (except for wheel spline wear) until they came out with the double jointed paralever system. The paralever has handling advantages but has also had reliability issues directly related to the design. There were also manufacturing issues with K75 final drives that caused many repeated failures.

    Given the choice, Iíll take shaft drive any day, car or bike. The trick is getting one that is both well designed and manufactured.
    You are quite correct and I have edited my post accordingly.

  4. #19
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post

    Given the choice, Iíll take shaft drive any day, car or bike. .
    That's good, a chain drive car might be hard to find. The last chain drive car was the Honda S600 back in the early 1960"s !!

  5. #20
    Registered User 41107's Avatar
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    The reason I bought a BMW back in the days was because it had a driveshaft and I will stick to it.In 1972 on my 750 Honda I had the chain snap on me and it jammed between the front sprocket and transmission case dumping all the engine oil.Sure chains over the years have gotten much better.It,s BMW saving money with a simple chain drive that's all.I was very happy when BMW only had so many bikes to pick from and they all had driveshafts plus much higher reliability.Maybe I am totally out of touch.Just my 2c
    Karlheinz
    1998 r1100 rt/p
    1985 k 100 rs
    2001 k 1200 rs
    99 740 il

  6. #21
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    I like the design of the drive shaft on my FJR compared to that of my R1100RSL. The FJR shaft has only one U-joint at the forward end of the shaft so I can clean and lubricate the splines by simply removing 4 bolts then I can remove the FD with the driveshaft all in one piece. So simple and easy to service and takes less than one hour. Hardest part is removing the rear wheel as the rear wheel is a boat anchor, no doubt. So, I clean and lube the splines when I do a tire change whether they need it or not. Both bikes have their pluses and a few minuses so I like them both about equally and they are for sure different from each other.
    Jammess

    '93 R1100RSL, '10 FJR1300A
    MOA # 50714

  7. #22
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammess View Post
    I like the design of the drive shaft on my FJR compared to that of my R1100RSL. The FJR shaft has only one U-joint at the forward end of the shaft so I can clean and lubricate the splines by simply removing 4 bolts then I can remove the FD with the driveshaft all in one piece. So simple and easy to service and takes less than one hour. Hardest part is removing the rear wheel as the rear wheel is a boat anchor, no doubt. So, I clean and lube the splines when I do a tire change whether they need it or not. Both bikes have their pluses and a few minuses so I like them both about equally and they are for sure different from each other.
    That single front U joint is what BMW used on the Vintage, Airhead, and Classik K75 and K100 bikes. Then they got fancy and made reliability worse.
    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/

  8. #23
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    That single front U joint is what BMW used on the Vintage, Airhead, and Classik K75 and K100 bikes. Then they got fancy and made reliability worse.
    Yes, I'll certainly go along with that and enter the need for proper U-joint phasing when re-installing. Also, I've never been a fan of the single sided swing arm. Oh, and now they seem to be having problems with drive shaft corrosion. There are times when I miss my airheads.
    Jammess

    '93 R1100RSL, '10 FJR1300A
    MOA # 50714

  9. #24
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Investment tip: restore some R65s.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  10. #25
    BruceRT
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMTX View Post
    Thanks for the feed back! It sounds like the level of chain service has droped a lot. I did like the F900XR I rode.
    I have almost 30K miles on my 2020 F900R and love it. I replaced the chain and sprockets at 21K miles. I am terrible at chain maintenance so I am sure I could have gotten more miles out of the chain if I had been better. I splurged for the low-maintenance chain and hope to get 30K out of it.
    This the the first chain bike I have had since 1981 and discovered that I had forgotten how to adjust one properly. A friend recently showed me what my chain slack should have been; I had been running the chain too loose.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  11. #26
    Registered User jnrugg's Avatar
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    For what I have paid for FD and spline repairs, I could have bought A LOT of chains and lube.
    I am picking up a 650GS twin (800cc motor) as my commute/2nd bike.
    My RT will stay as the long trip bike.
    I was looking at Guzzi 85TT with shaft drive, but got a pretty good deal on the 650.

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