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Thread: FD Failure _Dealer Explaination

  1. #1
    Registered User SGTBORING's Avatar
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    Question FD Failure _Dealer Explaination

    If you are following the IBA you know that BMWs are experiencing final drive failure in droves.

    I spoke with my BMW service manager today and he states "There is no problem with normal use and loads. Its that those guys are weighing the bikes down past lbs limits and some are pulling trailers at high speeds and long distances."

    What do you think?
    SGTBoring

  2. #2
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    Pulling trailers in the Iron Butt?

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    I think you need to find a different service manager.........
    Bob Weis
    Bikeless! 2004-bmw-k12rs-hannigan-Sold!

  4. #4
    JWHITE518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobmws View Post
    I think you need to find a different service manager.........

  5. #5
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    My final drive failed on my K1200RS. But we had overloaded the bike by about 30kgs and driven up and down the Swiss Alps for three weeks - twice!

  6. #6
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    I don't buy it. IBR competitors may put a lot of stuff on their bikes, but it's not enough of a load to seriously push the load-limits (which are probably conservatively stated) of the bikes. Most manuals I've read say that the bike can take around 400-450 pounds, including rider, passenger, etc.
    2012 R1200GS
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad
    http://www.thethingaboutcars.com/

  7. #7
    What is it that is actually failing in the drive? Are all the failures the same?

  8. #8
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaleonard View Post
    What is it that is actually failing in the drive? Are all the failures the same?
    I think there are at least three quite different issues. Almost makes me think quality control at manufacture. One is the spline that the wheel attaches to which fits thru the center of the drive, getting loose. Another is the leak of the outside seal which has been addressed in a TB. And as far as we know, there are some internal bearing failures, although this can be the result of loosing all the drive fluid and overheating, etc. I doubt however that all the fluid could leak without detection. So I have to assume that it is an initial failure somehow, a bearing race, etc.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  9. #9
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtboring View Post
    If you are following the IBA you know that BMWs are experiencing final drive failure in droves.

    I spoke with my BMW service manager today and he states "There is no problem with normal use and loads. Its that those guys are weighing the bikes down past lbs limits and some are pulling trailers at high speeds and long distances."

    What do you think?
    I think that is a dumb response. I love BMW too, but I think with open eyes.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Jack..

    I try to think with an open mind,,

    I do find the current tempest in a teapot amusing...

    How many people remember the 2003 IB teapot? Failing alternator belts on R11 bikes? It sounded as if everyone in the world with an R11 would be having the problem - when in reality - it was a small number on highly stressed bikes.

    I think we're seeing the same thing.

    Do rear drives fail? Yes..
    In "droves"? No... I've heard of 2 hexheads, and 1 oilhead failure.

    Look at the results of the IB - and count how many BMWs finished.. and think about the conditions the ones that failed were under. It isn't something that keeps me awake at night.

    I'd be interested in chatting with Rob Nye - who suffered a failure on his R12RT/P.. and see if the same symptoms I've spotted on a club members bike and a few others I've heard of.. loss of all functions served by the rear ABS sensor. It seems when the bearing starts to go - it takes out the ABS sensor before it fails so the rider notices it. Sort of an early warning system. The club member rode another 2,000+ miles with his - and managed to get it home.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  11. #11
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    If I sounded like I thought it was a wholesale problem, I didn't mean to. I do think that it is a quality control issue for most of the failures, rather than passing it off to overstressed drives and pulling trailers. Although that would surely help toast it.
    Any idea what BMW meant by the manufacturing residue "binding with the oil" which requires a drive flush at 600 miles starting in '07? I was wondering if the issue is a chemical produced which is harmful or if it is a weakening of the additives in the original oil fill.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  12. #12
    wsteinborn
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    I just had my 6,000 mile service on my RT.

    The dealer replaced the final drive lube again.

    I suspect no one really knows what is happening, so they are taking a preventative action of replacing the lube (at my cost).

    I wonder if there is a good spot to drill and tap for a drain plug and fill plug so you don't have to pull off the wheel and drop the FD to drain it and don't have to pull the speed sensor to fill it?

  13. #13
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    I think there are at least three quite different issues. Almost makes me think quality control at manufacture. One is the spline that the wheel attaches to which fits thru the center of the drive, getting loose. Another is the leak of the outside seal which has been addressed in a TB. And as far as we know, there are some internal bearing failures, although this can be the result of loosing all the drive fluid and overheating, etc. I doubt however that all the fluid could leak without detection. So I have to assume that it is an initial failure somehow, a bearing race, etc.
    My FD failed in July on my R12RT -- it was, as you point out, a problem with the splines on the axle tube and flange which holds the rear wheel on the bike. It resulted in excessive play in the rear wheel -- much more than the 1 mm allowed by BMW. This exact problem is the subject of a Technical Service Bulletin issued for the R12GS (I believe no other hexhead models had been released when this TSB was issued). I presume there have been a few such failures to warrant a TSB. My FD and rear rotor were replaced under warranty, along with all the wheel nuts.

    I think the service manager's comments outlined above are BS, to put it kindly. My bike was well within the load limits specified by BMW, and was not being abused. Does this service manager think we buy RTs and GSs to go to the corner store?
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  14. #14
    I have 6100 miles on my '06 R12RT and just dropped it off at Atlanta BMW with a failed rear drive. I noticed the rear drive was making noise and that the rear wheel was dirty when rolling the bike out of the garage. I thought it might have been loose lugs. After ensuring proper torque I knew I had a failed drive.

    BMW of Atlanta was surprised by the failure and stated that they have never seen it on a bike with this low miles.

    This bike has not been overloaded or abused. Service Manager if full of crap!

  15. #15
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    Someone asked what type of failures people had - My failure was a total catastrophic failure of the rear wheel bearings.

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