Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Final drive failure

  1. #1

    Final drive failure

    2003 1150RT with 99,300k. Bought this bike new and we've been to some amazing places, but maybe it's time to part ways. Two years ago the dealer replaced the rear main seal on the engine, and a seal on the final drive, to the tune of almost two grand. Now I have massive metal fragments showing up on the final drive magnet. Dealer says some kind of bearing may have gone, and estimates a $1500 repair. I have always changed my own fluids yearly, and switched to Amsoil synthetic GL5 about five years ago, a highly rated oil. Is this normal to lose the final drive after just 99k? My Dad had a Mercedes with 550k miles when he sold it,on the original rear differential. This may be the final straw for this bike, thinking of selling and reevaluating brand loyalty.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by tatonka View Post
    2003 1150RT with 99,300k. Bought this bike new and we've been to some amazing places, but maybe it's time to part ways. Two years ago the dealer replaced the rear main seal on the engine, and a seal on the final drive, to the tune of almost two grand. Now I have massive metal fragments showing up on the final drive magnet. Dealer says some kind of bearing may have gone, and estimates a $1500 repair. I have always changed my own fluids yearly, and switched to Amsoil synthetic GL5 about five years ago, a highly rated oil. Is this normal to lose the final drive after just 99k? My Dad had a Mercedes with 550k miles when he sold it,on the original rear differential. This may be the final straw for this bike, thinking of selling and reevaluating brand loyalty.
    Some will say failure is "normal". A lot of that generation final drive failed for a variety of reasons. The best estimate of the failure rate is however somewhere in the 4% to 5% failure rate meaning 95% to 96% haven't failed. That statistic is absolutely meaningless to everybody who has had one or more final drive failures. Yet most owners do not suffer the failure. A 4% failure rate is, from a manufacturer's standpoint an embarrassing disgrace. But still, many more than most don't fail.

    If you like the bike contact Tom Cutter at the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage (http://rubberchickenracinggarage.com/contact.html). When Tom fixes a final drive and the owner follows the specifications and his recommendations for lubricants his repairs do not fail.
    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 6322's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Riggins, ID
    Posts
    517
    Sorry to hear of your impending final drive failure. Not sure if there is a common problem but I've had no issues with my '00 R1100RS, with 115,000 miles on it. I've only ever used Castrol 80/90 dino, gear oil with 10,000 mile changes, which I've done for all of my BMWs since '71. Rather than a rebuild you might try to find a good, used replacement and change it yourself in a half hour. Good luck sorting out your dilemma. Ride easy.
    Gary Phillips - #6322
    Wildland Firefighter, Retired, Riggins, ID
    Heartland Moto Locos BMW Riders
    '77 R100/7 Dirt Hack, '83 R80ST, '85 K100RS w/EML, '93 K1100LT, '00 R1100RS

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 6322 View Post
    Sorry to hear of your impending final drive failure. Not sure if there is a common problem but I've had no issues with my '00 R1100RS, with 115,000 miles on it.
    My R1150R had 189,000 miles on the undamaged final drive when I sold the bike. Voni's R1100RS is a bit north of 412,000 miles on the original final drive. Part of the 95% or so that don't fail.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 10-30-2020 at 10:39 PM.
    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/

  5. #5
    Appreciate the responses, Paul and Gary! (Paul, met you briefly at the Panguitch rally I think in '07). I will explore the rubber chicken guy, but this is so disheartening after final drive oil changes in the 2200 to 4500 mi range, and using Amsoil synthetic.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tatonka View Post
    Appreciate the responses, Paul and Gary! (Paul, met you briefly at the Panguitch rally I think in '07). I will explore the rubber chicken guy, but this is so disheartening after final drive oil changes in the 2200 to 4500 mi range, and using Amsoil synthetic.
    Be sure you use only 80w90 or 75w90 gear oil. The XXw140 weight oil is too thick.
    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/

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    968
    Plenty of them on Ebay for $100-$300. Relatively easy to change out.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  8. #8
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Trinity, NC
    Posts
    1,062
    Quote Originally Posted by tatonka View Post
    Appreciate the responses, Paul and Gary! (Paul, met you briefly at the Panguitch rally I think in '07). I will explore the rubber chicken guy, but this is so disheartening after final drive oil changes in the 2200 to 4500 mi range, and using Amsoil synthetic.
    You will find out that Tom Cutter recommends only 80w90 GL-5 gear oil in these final drives. The repair is not very expensive and not that difficult. It can be done in a home garage.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  9. #9
    Really appreciate the responses guys. Yes, as I said, I have always used GL-5 (75W-90). BMW brand until about 70k, then switched to Amsoil synthetic GL-5 because I wanted EXTRA protection for my final drive. I read about other folks losing the FD and wondered if they had hard acceleration habits before the bike was warmed up, so I always babied her until hot. Changed it every 2500 to 4500. Have wanted a water boxer since they came out, so think I'm going to part ways with this RT. Just wish I could've gone another 700 miles and see the odo turn over 100k. 🙁

  10. #10
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    2,227
    Throw a good used FD on that and drive it over 100k. Then you can sell it as a functioning bike. I totally get wanting a newer bike, but selling your current one would probably be easier if it wasn't broken.

    The $1500 quote is not surprising for a dealership. At independent shops like mine the typical cost is in the $750 range, and then you have some R&R time. Dealership costs are always higher but you have BMW standing behind the repair.

    I don't think it's the oil or the acceleration. It just lasted that long. I have a few bikes with over 150k on them and the only one that had a FD failure was a K75... the least likely of all of them to have that problem. It just happens. It happens a lot more, though, on the 1995~2005 bikes because they're heavier and more powerful, and (I suspect) because they were assembled with less care. I find some pretty massive shimming errors in them.
    Anton Largiader 72724
    Tech articles - YouTube
    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  11. #11
    JohnWC
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    681
    Sorry to hear about your final drive failure. It sounds like you take meticulous care of the bike, so it would seem to be very unfair that you would be one of the few with the problem. Just bad luck, I guess. Not that that helps. I go along with others suggesting a used drive and self installed. You will never unload it broken, except for "parts", and about $500. Even putting a reasonable $750 or so having Anton do the work would seem problematic. I have an 1100rt, in beautiful condition, and from what I see, it's only worth about $2000, or $1000 LESS than a new Honda Grom. I'm baffled what has happened to the 1100/1150 bikes from a resale prospective. At this rate they will soon be in the same hopeless class as trying to sell the dreaded K1200RT.
    Last edited by jconway607; 11-03-2020 at 08:21 PM.

  12. #12
    Sorry to hear about your final drive woes and your dealer wanting to stick it to you on the price of the repair. My RT needed a final drive when I bought it. Discovered it before closing the deal and therefore got the bike for a really nice price. What I did was remove the drive myself (took me about an hour & a half) then took it to my local indy shop (Re-Psycle in Lithopolis, OH). They charged me $400 for parts and labor. I reinstalled the repaired drive myself and had the bike ready to ride within an hour. I've put 18k miles on the bike since the repair last June and have full faith that it will last many more miles.

    Cheers!
    Art

  13. #13
    Gerard jagarra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    415
    There are final drives on e-bay for around $ 300 and under. I would check with seller to verify mileage and gear ratio, solve the issue and keep the bike you have.
    1994 R1100RS-(5/93)-,1974 R90/6 built 9/73,--1964 Triumph T100--1986 Honda XL600R

  14. #14
    Registered User slime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    US129, Louisville,Tennessee
    Posts
    99
    I like the new water boxers too. If you love the bike, keep it and fix it. If not, buy something else.
    Ride fast, take chances.

  15. #15
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    S.Florida
    Posts
    1,316
    IMHO it is just bad luck to have the big bearing fail at 100K miles, but it does mean that the FD was shimmed properly. If it had failed sooner the issue would have been different as shimming would be suspect.

    Personally I'd get it repaired and keep on riding the bike unless you're jonesing for a new ride... YMMV
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, 17 R1200RT

Similar Threads

  1. Final drive failure?
    By stevestubbs42 in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-06-2011, 01:48 PM
  2. Final Drive Failure
    By gator in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-26-2010, 05:03 AM
  3. Yet Another Final Drive Failure
    By grw in forum Hexheads/Camheads
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: 06-15-2009, 11:05 PM
  4. Final Drive Failure
    By shoeman in forum Campfire
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-29-2007, 02:37 AM
  5. Final Drive Failure?
    By Fr8dog in forum Flying Brick K-bikes
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-19-2007, 02:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •