I previously posted the first part of this story under a different thread, but decided that this needs a new thread.
The first part of the story:
On the way to the MOA rally in NY last summer, I had a final drive failure while on the way to the Rally. The bike had about 35000 miles on the odometer. The final drive had been serviced annually and never showed any sign of problem except a small amount of metal in the oil at the previous oil change. The failure was quite sudden. I was traveling on the turnpike near Pittsburg when I noticed a strange vibration. I thought I might have a flat tire. There was a lot of vibration oil covering the rear tire and brake, but I managed to get off the road safely. Fortunately European Motorcycles of Pittsburg was fairly near and I was able to have the bike towed there. They were great, moving me to the front of their line and getting me out the door and on the way more quickly than I thought possible. They turned what could have been a really bad experience into a fairly good one. My trip was delayed a couple of days, but I made it to the rally and home with no problems. I didn't do a lot of riding the rest of the season due to other non motorcycle travel and obligations, but everything seemed to be working well.
The second part of the story:
Fast forward to December. When I drained the oil from the final drive as part of my winter service, there was a lot of metal in the oil. The pile of flakes on the magnetic oil plug completely covered the magnet. Thinking (hoping) that the metal might be left over from the previous failure, I refilled the final drive and drained it several times, to see if I could flush out the rest of the debris. By the third flush, I was still seeing a lot of metal. The bike had been ridden less than 2000 miles since the final drive repair.
At this point I emailed European Motorcycles of Pittsburg through their web site and explained what had happened, asking for some feedback. I happened to be leaving on another non motorcycle trip for about a month shortly thereafter. When I returned there was still no reply from the dealer, so I contacted the service department by telephone. The person I talked to agreed that there was something wrong, and told me that the service manager would be getting back in a day or two.
In the meantime I studied up on the final drive and decided to remove it and take a look inside. I found a pile of metal flakes around the drain plug and spread around inside. With the axle assembly out, I could feel a bit of notchiness in the bearing when I turned it over. On closer inspection, I saw that the retainer inside the bearing was broken in one place with one of the rivets missing. I also noted several other places around the bearing where the retainer was cracked at the rivet hole but still held in place. The shim was also kind of chewed up, and there were some dings in the main casting, maybe from debris moving around inside as pieces of the bearing broke loose, or maybe from the previous failure. I was glad I had taken a look as it is clear that the bearing was in the process of breaking apart.
At this point about a week had passed with no callback from the dealer, so I called them. The person I talked to again agreed that something was wrong. When I suggested that the cause of this new failure had to be either a defective part or defective installation, he agreed. I offerred to send pictures to document the failure but he was not interested. When I asked if the dealer stood behind its work, he did not answer. In the end he said that there was nothing they could do short of bringing the bike to them for repair, that any warranty claim had to be done by the dealer and that this required that they do the disassembly. I expected him to ask me to send the final drive to him to take a look, but he did not. At the end I thanked him for the information and told him I would take it from there.
At this point I decided that I wasn't going to let this interfere with my riding season, and decided to proceed with the final drive repair on my own and follow up with BMW, etc. separately. I have the parts and a couple of new tools on the way.
Has anyone out there had any experience with the BMW parts warranty? In this case the part was installed by an authorized BMW dealer, but a lot of us do repairs on our own. Is there no warranty there?
I would appreciate your feedback and or suggestions.