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Thread: 2012 BMW R1200RT Final Drive leak 27K miles

  1. #1

    2012 BMW R1200RT Final Drive leak 27K miles

    Hello all,

    I was out riding yesterday for a few hours and when I pull into my garage I notice fluid leaking from the final drive.

    The leak is not on the outside of the final drive but is located on the bottom of the final drive facing the wheel. No other leaks or noises. Could this just be an seal issue or is it time to do some bearing replacements?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by gtrider_texas View Post
    Hello all,

    I was out riding yesterday for a few hours and when I pull into my garage I notice fluid leaking from the final drive.

    The leak is not on the outside of the final drive but is located on the bottom of the final drive facing the wheel. No other leaks or noises. Could this just be an seal issue or is it time to do some bearing replacements?
    Sometimes seals fail. Sometimes bearings fail damaging seals, I think the way to tell is a thorough physical examination. Start by draining the gear oil and looking for metal bits.
    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/

  3. #3
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    When on the centerstand you can check the side to side play of the rear wheel, grasp at 9:00 and 3:00 o'clock positions and try to wiggle the wheel by alternately pushing and pulling, there should be no discernible side play detected, there is a factory acceptable amount of play of several mm if I'm not mistaken but I do not have the exact number in front of me. Please report back your findings. Are you sure it's not brake fluid or something you may have run over?
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  4. #4
    Krmugin
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    I believe that the wiggle test, described above, needs to be done on a cold motorcycle. From what I understand, many final drives that are in-spec, will wiggle when warm, but not when cold. The allowable play (when cold) is pretty small, but I can't quote the amount.

  5. #5

    Final drive inspection

    Hello all ... sorry for the delay in getting back to the thread, I was out of town.
    When I checked the wheel movement, there is no discernible movement. The leak is definitely coming from the lower part of the final drive. Not from the brake line. I do not see any other leak along the star plate except the very bottom.
    The fluid did not have any metal flakes when I checked and is a mixture of clear and dark black.
    CEA0CB2D-6C94-4D84-ACCE-F533F06C044B.jpg

    Is this simply a seal and if so what part or parts would I need to replace?

  6. #6
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    If it isn't dripping and leaving a spot on the floor, I would de-grease it and check after the next long ride.Be careful if brake cleaner is used on painted surfaces,including wheels...some brands will attack rim paint,not all do.

    It could be a failing seal, spillage from a service, the speed sensor o-ring, or the fill plug which has a copper crush washer. You have to pull wheel and caliper to check those two.
    Also, the drain plug o-ring can also weep lube if cut.
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and club tire changer

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  7. #7
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Steve's given some good advice, clean it up and run it and watch. If it's still showing signs of leaking pull the rear wheel and check for leaks at the fill port or ABS sensor hole, if none, you've got a seal leak. Not the end of the world if I'm not mistaken you can change this without even removing the final drive, will take a heat gun and you will need some sort of puller to get the wheel flange off but nothing more serious than that. Good luck, please keep us posted, pictures are always welcome.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Just to add - right after you get it cleaned up - pull out your "monkey butt" powder (or talc) and poof a cloud of it at the side of the rear drive that you suspect a leak on. Then put the wheel back on and go for a nice ride. The powder will leave a nice white dust film on that black paint - and the oil path will be clearly seen through that film of powder. You can wash it off once you find the leak.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  9. #9

    Seal issue

    Hello All!
    I finally removed the rear drive spline after stripping a torn screw, and I did find some areas where the seal was leaking. The splines on the star cover look great and so does the drive gear.
    Since Iím this far into it, should I go ahead and replace both bearings as well? Also where can I find another torx bolt for the star cover?

    Also any other suggestions on things I should do since I have the rear drive in pieces?

    Thanks for your help!

    RonFC5B5AF9-A3B4-4644-B7C1-DC92A4417FA4.jpg

  10. #10
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I'd get the replacement bolt from a dealer, if there are no bearing problems I'd leave them alone.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  11. #11
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    So you think the leak was just from the cover O-ring? That would be pretty unusual. I fix a lot of these and I've never seen a cover O-ring leak. Any kind of oil on the cover has always been from a leaking seal.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  12. #12

    Leak

    Thank you all for the Replies!

    Iíll get the bolt order ... probably a few of them.

    The leak is only coming from the bottom of the final drive where the metal shins come together.

  13. #13
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I wouldn't reassemble it without replacing all the seals. And that will require R&R of the wheel-brake-disk-flange. There is some guidance in a thread in the DIY section.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  14. #14
    i should be out riding! wyman.winn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrider_texas View Post
    The leak is only coming from the bottom of the final drive where the metal shins come together.
    the shims are outboard of the o-ring...not involved in sealing the case work...

    replace the o-ring and the right-side seal (the easy one)...
    ~wyman~

    2015 BMW S1000R - Duke - Black Storm Metallic
    2013 BMW R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic

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