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Thread: Vario Case Won't Expand (R1200GS)

  1. #1
    Registered User tmwilmotte's Avatar
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    Vario Case Won't Expand (R1200GS)

    Does anyone have experience with Vario side case that wouldn't expand? The bike is a 2011 R1200GS with only 23K miles. Hasn't been abused. I bought it used. Previous owner said he used the case (right side) occasionally, but that it's always been difficult to expand and contract. Fortunately, it stuck in the "contracted" position. When I try to flip the lever to expand it, the lever moves about 2 inches and the case expands about 1/2 inch and then gets hung up. I've sprayed some WD40 in the gear mechanisms on both sides -- doesn't help. It appears something is broken in there, or something has gotten in there to jam up the gear mechanism. I've removed the case and shaken it to try to hear anything rattling around. I've tried to expand it while the case is upside down, thinking maybe a piece of whatever might dislodge. No luck.

    Any tips on how to proceed? Has anyone repaired a side case and can offer advice? Local BMW dealer says one of the gear assemblies is about $62 and has to be shipped from Germany (of course). And then the labor would be about an hour. Not sure I want to pay about $200 for a dealer fix.
    Tom Wilmotte
    2011 R1200GS
    2009 R1200RT; 2004 R1150RT (Both Sold)
    BMWMOA, SABMWRA, IBA

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Vario Case Won't Expand (R1200GS)

    Had the same issue on a 2014 F800GS Vario case. I suspected it was a plastic to plastic surface hang-up caused by dust. Probed around the case all that i could with silicone spray and eventually worked it loose so that the case would expand/contract as it should. A trade for a R12GSA with the big robust aluminum cans took care of that issue. Never cared for those Vario cases that much.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    A couple of similar threads at bottom of page, most mention stuck gasket or the gears out of alignment after a fall.
    WD or silicone spray was weapon of choice.H had a set on her F650 and they required some serious tugging and silicone spray to loosen them up the first few times we tried to expand them after sitting awhile.
    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

  4. #4
    Registered User tmwilmotte's Avatar
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    Vario Case Won't Expand (R1200GS)

    Thanks, Steve & JD. I'll work on it some more. I didn't spray any WD40 between the two halves of the case where there would be friction from expanding. I'll try that. Also, BMWST forum member suggested compressed air blast in the gaps between inner and outer shell.
    Last edited by tmwilmotte; 11-19-2018 at 02:58 PM.
    Tom Wilmotte
    2011 R1200GS
    2009 R1200RT; 2004 R1150RT (Both Sold)
    BMWMOA, SABMWRA, IBA

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