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Thread: Final Drive Failures

  1. #1
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Final Drive Failures

    I've read A LOT about FD failures on R 1150's. I plan to add another bike to my F650 for longer distance & two up riding. It seems some owners are frustrated with BMW for being in denial about a problem with the final drive failures. I read a high proportionate number of FD failures on the Iron Butt ride were on newer R models.
    My question is, am I better off buying a "K" bike or another model/year boxer to avoid this problem? It sounds like FD repair costs at least 2K.

    Thank You, KT

  2. #2
    bmwmick
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentuvman View Post
    I've read A LOT about FD failures on R 1150's. I plan to add another bike to my F650 for longer distance & two up riding. It seems some owners are frustrated with BMW for being in denial about a problem with the final drive failures. I read a high proportionate number of FD failures on the Iron Butt ride were on newer R models.
    My question is, am I better off buying a "K" bike or another model/year boxer to avoid this problem? It sounds like FD repair costs at least 2K.

    Thank You, KT
    bmw has used the same basic design since 1980 for that final drive. The new (since 2005?) have a redesigned final drive.
    I did just learn that the final drive deep groove ball bearing has come down in price from $129'ish to $61. Hmmmmmmm :/

  3. #3
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    check your numbers

    I had an FD failure on my '02 R1150R. Parts and labor were $300.
    I understand that same repair could cost as much as $500 depending on your location.

    $2,000 for an FD repair tells me that there was other damage besides the bearing.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Current bike: 2015 Yamaha TW 200, modified for road/street use with tire, sprocket upgrades. "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  4. #4
    ArthurKnowles
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    My understanding on the FD failure issue is that it is about a 4% faiulure rate overall among all years. That's not a high failure fate in my opinion. What I'd like to see is the failure rate by specific year/model and then maybe we could make a bit more sense about it.

    As for FD failures among model lines, take your choice. If it uses a shaft drive then the same basic FD issues remain. If you don't want to worry about a FD issue look at a belt or chainn drive. They have their own set of problems though and personally, I will never own another motorcycle without a shaft drive. My last two Honda & Yamaha both had shaft drives as well. No more chains for me.

  5. #5
    bmwmick
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultracyclist View Post
    I had an FD failure on my '02 R1150R. Parts and labor were $300.
    I understand that same repair could cost as much as $500 depending on your location.

    $2,000 for an FD repair tells me that there was other damage besides the bearing.

    Why should I check my numbers? Check the price yourself.
    http://www.webparts.com/diagram.php?...62&hg=33&fg=10

  6. #6
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwmick View Post
    Why should I check my numbers? Check the price yourself.
    http://www.webparts.com/diagram.php?...62&hg=33&fg=10
    Hey Mick, I don't think Ultacyclist is disagreeing with you, but with the OP, who said that a FD failure could cost $2k to repair.

    When my '02 R1150RS had the bearing failure, the entire service cost me $480, which also included a new tire and a new set of rear brake pads, which were both oil soaked.

    When I got home from the trip I was on, I found that Ozzie's BMW in Chico, CA, who did the work immediately upon my arrival at their shop, had sent me a $90 check from BMW for goodwill, even though my bike was well out of the warranty period.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  7. #7
    bmwmick
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Hey Mick, I don't think Ultacyclist is disagreeing with you, but with the OP, who said that a FD failure could cost $2k to repair. .
    Hi Darryl,
    You may be correct.
    That is one of the reasons I like quoting just enough to plainly identify the target of your post. :/
    How ya been?
    Mick

  8. #8
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for sharing!

  9. #9
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    Motorcycle Consumer News article

    Check out the September issue of MCN article by Bill Shaw."Tarnished Roundel.Final Drive Failures Taint BMW's Image".Best article on the topic I've seen.

    And having had two final drive failures,I agree 100%.

    Clark

  10. #10
    Jfixit
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwmick View Post
    Why should I check my numbers? Check the price yourself.
    http://www.webparts.com/diagram.php?...62&hg=33&fg=10
    My guess is the final drive costs and the spline failure on the transmission shaft has been crossed.

  11. #11
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    My bike ate it's final drive bearing. Not including the paralever bearings, the price was a bit under $500, if I did my math correctly. I let them do all the work. Am I happy? No. Has it changed how I feel about my bike? Sorta. I trust it more now.

  12. #12
    On the Road
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    dluxdlitz

    Just FYI...

    I read once where final drive failures on the BMW paralever can be due to the wilder folks doing wheelies. The extra load on the shaft from carrying the bikes entire weight is apparently not so good.

    Not something that I would do with a BMW, but there are those out there that do them (wheelies, that is). If you buy a used BMW, you could be in for a special time if the prior owner(s) abused the bike.

    Doug

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92247 View Post
    Just FYI...

    I read once where final drive failures on the BMW paralever can be due to the wilder folks doing wheelies.

    Yeah, all those guys on K1200LTs riding down the interstate on their rear wheel


  14. #14
    jduke
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    On my 94 R1100RS, I had one of the universal joints by the FD come apart. It took the driveshaft out, the paralever tube AND the FD. Mine ended up costing me almost $1500.

  15. #15
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    Talking Darryl

    Thank you for the support.
    Sometimes I do not come across on the net the way it was intended.

    I subscribe to MCN, and I am chomping at the bit to read the article on FD's. I should get my issue tomorrow.

    But I do wonder about something: Input shafts.
    I am not a techie, and I take my bike in for work.
    Is it possible that BMW may have inadvertently created the perfect storm of design failures with the FD and input shaft problems that I am reading about on this forum regarding the R1150R line?

    Good to hear from you,ride safe,
    Howard
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Current bike: 2015 Yamaha TW 200, modified for road/street use with tire, sprocket upgrades. "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

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