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grw
09-18-2006, 07:13 PM
My almost new R12RT is laid up at the dealer with a failed rear drive assembly. It's not clear to me exactly what failed because I have never seen the diagram of the rear assembly. The bike had 3500 miles on the clock and was new in June. Had to cancel my long planned September vacation.

Oddly enough BMW can't supply replacement parts to my dealer nor can they provide a date by which the parts will be available. The dealer has been great but there does not appear to be a solution in the near future.

I had a heck of a time finding a phone number to reach customer service at BMW NA and when I did the person would not tell me their full name or give me a direct number for reaching them. He did say he'd call me back in 48 hours with an update. My dealer is closed on Monday's so he can't touch base with them until tomorrow.

Is this a common experience? This is my seventh Beemer and my first after taking a break when my local dealer closed down. I switched to Harley's for nearly seven years, but missed having a Beemer. This is the first time I've had a serious failure with a BMW during warranty since 1987 (and then the dealer harvested the needed part from a bike on the floor to get me riding again).

There was little or no warning that the rear drive was failing and there was enough lateral play in the rear wheel by the time I found the problem that the wheel probably would have come off at some point had I continued riding.

Looking back two things should have warranted further investigation. I smelled a burning smell that I thought was the clutch a few times after long rides. On my last long ride before discovering the problem I felt the rear end slipping out on a few tight corners (racked it up to loose surface material). There was probably a third to half an inch play in the wheel by the time I discovered the problem.

I was washing the bike and a steady stream of black came out in the rinse water from the area of the rear axle. I thought it was oil but as it turns out the seal was intact. It was the powdered aluminum from some portion of the hub assembly that had been ground down over time (according to the shop). There was a lot of material and it took several minues for the water to run clear again.

Keep an eye on your wheel and test the lateral play! This sort of failure has the potential to ruin your whole day.

-Gary
Portland, OR

BUBBAZANETTI
09-18-2006, 07:23 PM
http://r1200gsa.smugmug.com/photos/95926763-M.jpg

over at advrider. i realize two failures can hardly be called a major issue, yet even 2 people reporting issues, out of what might be an active internet community of a few hundred, should signal something might not be right

Mr. Frank
09-18-2006, 07:27 PM
This was not supposed to happen with the new rear ends in the R1200 bikes. I have a friend with a R1200GS that had a rear end failure. One has to wonder about the new design and permanent lubrication.

grw
09-18-2006, 07:33 PM
This was not supposed to happen with the new rear ends in the R1200 bikes. I have a friend with a R1200GS that had a rear end failure. One has to wonder about the new design and permanent lubrication.

It's still not clear whether this is the oft sited rear end failure or another variant peculiar to this situation. AFAIK the rear gears did not fail nor did the oil seal fail. What seems to have failed is the hub assembly that holds the wheel onto the rear drive assembly. But again, I have no picture to refer to so I am at loss to explain it better.

-Gary

RIDERR1150GSADV
09-18-2006, 07:46 PM
I have heard about plenty of those FD's failing and last friday when my 1150 GS was in for it's annual, I saw a 1200 GS with a busted FD. The wrench there told me there are no servicable parts?!?! and a new one was on order. Well, after all the hoopla about how 'bad' the 1150's are, I'll stick with mine for now. I guess that all that's new isn't always an improvement after all.

grw
09-18-2006, 07:47 PM
over at advrider. i realize two failures can hardly be called a major issue, yet even 2 people reporting issues, out of what might be an active internet community of a few hundred, should signal something might not be right

I did note a burning smell when I stopped after long-ish rides. For some reason I thought it smelled like clutch material and figured it was my fault. In retrospect it might have been the rear hub. All that wear must have generated some heat.

By the time I discovered the problem the rear wheel would not turn easily by hand (with bike on centerstand). Disturbing. Nothing with flames, though! :-)

easy
09-19-2006, 12:16 PM
This is very concerning. Please keep us posted with the final diagnosis of the problem and the manner in which BMW handles it. There should be some engineers in the fatherland sweating marbles.

Easy
Big Empty, Texas :german
We ought not be over anxious to encourage innovation, in case of doubtful improvement, for an old system must ever have two advantages over a new one; it is established and it is understood.
C. C. Colton

121247
09-19-2006, 12:56 PM
Thank you for the heads up information. I will keep a eye on the problem area. At this point I have 8000 miles on my 05 RT and problem free.
CW
Chicago

soffiler
09-19-2006, 01:41 PM
A word or two about failures.

The electronics industry created a failure model that was ultimately dubbed the "bathtub curve" because it looks sorta like an old clawfoot bathtub (minus the feet). Time marches along the horizontal axis of this chart, and failure rates are on the vertical axis. Early-life failures (to the left-hand side) are high due to "infant mortality" where something is just plain wrong right out of the box. Then failure rates drop to a low level for the "normal" life of the product (whatever that is) and failure rates shoot upward again at end-of-normal life due to "wear-out".

What we got here at 3500 miles is infant mortality. Those of you with, oh, say 10,000+ miles shouldn't be concerned... with this particular failure mode that is.

cjack
09-19-2006, 01:48 PM
Thank you for the heads up information. I will keep a eye on the problem area. At this point I have 8000 miles on my 05 RT and problem free.
CW
Chicago

BMW is recommending a fluid change starting with the '07s at the 600 mile mark. And installing a new magnetic drain plug (with a new o ring) instead of the non magnetic one there now. The drives come with Castrol SAF-XO 75W90 synth extended drain gear oil. BMW supplies a synth 75W90 long drain gear oil made by Spectrol. I notice the factory stuff is black and full of molybdenum disulfide or the moly is added to it. Don't know, but it is black and will stain your fingers to the point of difficulty in cleaning them. The Spectrol is clearish and red. Oak has always recommended dino and a moly additive. I put the new magnetic plug in mine and went a couple dozen miles and found almost nothing on the magnet. Maybe some of the drives needed more cleaning after manufacturing.
If you drain your drive, it is recommended that you replace the nut you remove when tipping the drive 90 degrees to drain it. It's a lock nut type nut. When you fill it (with a measured amount of fluid) thru the ABS sensor hole (upright in place now) use a new o ring on that when replaced.
I checked with the BMW car side for the Castrol SAF-XO and they can get it but only in a big drum. Hmmm...a lifetime supply...and here I thought that the .22L in my drive was a lifetime supply.

sarmand
09-21-2006, 12:37 AM
How eerily remarkable. After all the final drive news, I decided to change my lubricant prior to a trip next week. 2006 R1200RT, 3600 miles. Look what I found besides oil:

This is the sheared-off end of a T40 Torx bit.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/ancientengineer/IMG_0430.jpg

nrpetersen
09-21-2006, 01:22 AM
Now THAT is an unmitigated quality problem. Has BMW been having labor problems?

soffiler
09-21-2006, 11:43 AM
That's a personnel problem. The schmuck on the assembly line that is driving T40 fasteners, undoubtedly with a pneumatic device, snapped off the driver bit. He/she might have, in all honesty, not known exactly where the broken piece ended up. The problem started the instant he/she decided the missing piece of the old bit was no big deal. Shoulda told somebody, stopped the line, found the piece.

Our bikes are still assembled by human beings. Was he/she just having a bad day? Fight with spouse? Money troubles? Hangover? Bored silly?

fracture
09-21-2006, 12:34 PM
No doubt every make of motorcycle has its share of mechanical problems, quality control, etc. However, I am becoming more than just a little concerned about what I have been reading lately regarding failures of BMW motorcycles. And, it is not just final drives. I hear about clutches, splines, brakes, etc. And it costs plenty to have them fixed if out of warranty. Even if you do it yourself, the cost of parts is very high.

I would like to get another bike. After looking around I have determined that for my riding style, ergonomic requirements, etc. something like an RT is what I need. Not many other makes have what I want so I am hoping BMW can figure out what is going on here.

Yes, there are BMWs out there with high miles on them that have not had any major failures. But that is little consolation if it happens to you. Are the failure rates really that high, or are they in the normal range?

I have owned other makes but I always came back to BMW. They were not perfect but they did everything well enough and with enough reliability. Now, I have started looking elsewhere. I am losing my confidence in BMW to produce a motorcycle that can be bought at a reasonable price and still provide the expected reliability.

GlobalRider
09-21-2006, 12:35 PM
This was not supposed to happen with the new rear ends in the R1200 bikes. I have a friend with a R1200GS that had a rear end failure. One has to wonder about the new design and permanent lubrication.

One has to wonder about the Paralever - single sided swingarm design in the first place...period! I wonder why the other manufacturers haven't gone that route, and some of their bikes even produce far more power than a BMW.

GlobalRider
09-21-2006, 12:45 PM
I notice the factory stuff is black and full of molybdenum disulfide or the moly is added to it. Don't know, but it is black and will stain your fingers to the point of difficulty in cleaning them. The Spectrol is clearish and red. Oak has always recommended dino and a moly additive.

I noticed this and posted my observations shortly after buying my 2003 oilhead. The rear drive lube drained from both my 2003 and 2004 R1150 GS Adventures came out pitch black. BMW has been adding a moly additive, no doubt. You're the first person to post the same findings...I was starting to wonder if I was the only one.

I've been using dino Bel Ray Hypoid 90 (red) and mixing in Dow Corning M Gear Gard since my 1000 km (600 mile) inspections.

cjack
09-21-2006, 01:19 PM
I noticed this and posted my observations shortly after buying my 2003 oilhead. The rear drive lube drained from both my 2003 and 2004 R1150 GS Adventures came out pitch black. BMW has been adding a moly additive, no doubt. You're the first person to post the same findings...I was starting to wonder if I was the only one.

I've been using dino Bel Ray Hypoid 90 (red) and mixing in Dow Corning M Gear Gard since my 1000 km (600 mile) inspections.

I've seen it in new transmissions also...but not all of them.

grw
09-21-2006, 05:24 PM
First of all I have to complement BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon (BMWOR) on the professional and courteous fashion in which they continue to handle this situation. After all I'm sure they find the situation frustrating albeit in a different way than I do.

Here's what happened since my original post:

I had a call from the dealer saying that they had recieved one part but were still waiting on the main part or parts for the repair. They promised to keep me informed as the situation changes and told me to call them whenever I want if I feel I'm not hearing enough from them.

A friend pointed me to the RealOEM.com site where I was able to look at the exploded diagrams of the rear end for the R12. This helped me visualize the relationship between the flange that the wheel bolts to and the final drive assembly. If the tech is right and the seal was intact then the failure was probably the splined interface of the flange and axle shaft. The shaft is steel and the flange is alloy. If the flange wore down for some reason it would have resulted in lateral play and ground oxidized aluminium alloy (perhaps the source of the black runoff; not moly as some have speculated). Maybe the only thing that kept me from having he wheel fall off was the retaining ring that holds the flange on the axle. Scary. Again this is not fact; this is speculation based on the little info I have.

I employed a little detective work to call BMWNA since their main number is hard to find. I had to use infospace.com to find a set of BMW numbers in New Jersey which I called until I got a person who pointed me at the main number. I was connected to a guy who identified himself as "Tony" (refused to tell me his last name or phone number) who was quite unconcerned about my experience and would not commit to do anything other than "look into it" and call me back in 48 hours. He refused to let me speak with a supervisor, tell me what BMW NA policy regarding parts availability is, or otherwise engage me in a supportive way. He did not give me a tracking number which leads me to believe they have no systematic way of handling customer issues. How very un-ISO of them. I was frankly shocked that this was BMW NA's support posture for motorcycle purchasers.

I called the Oregon DOJ and spoke to the consumer hotline person who gave me another number which they have used in the past to contact BMW NA (mostly for car things, but occasionally on a motorcycle issue). This got me an actual human being's phone mail. I got a call back during a meeting and got a message from, I think his name is "Marek", at BMW. I returned his call and he was a whole different person than "Tony". Marek was concerned about the problem, he has already investigated the issue, and had spoken with Tony. He promissed to find out what the parts situation was, speak with the dealer, and call me back the next day.

Marek has called me back twice since then with updates. First he thought the part was already on it's way to the dealer from in country distrubution. Today he says he was wrong. The part has shipped from Germany and is in transit. He believes it will arrive at the dealer mid-week (how un-FedEx of them) and he said he would call me on Wednesday with an update.

Seperately I filed a request for investigation with the NHTSA. They have a webform that you can fill out for possible safety issues. I see no reason not to have them look into this. I could have been killed and I'd hate to have that happen to someone else because I did nothing. If there is no underlying problem and this is a freak one-off then no harm done. If not it needs to be addressed in a serious fashion.

There is some chance I'll have the bike back end of next week. I am hoping the probablility is .5. I got the feeling BMW are going to offer to compensate me in some fashion for the downtime and the initially poor way my problem was handled. My sincerest wish is that they'll agree to tell me exactly what failed and how (if not why) for my own peace of mind. We'll see.

-Gary

PS - I hope there were no torx bits in my final drive.... Is that worse than finding a finger in your chilli at Wendy's (OK, that was a hoax, but you get the point)??

PPS - Random thought: Someone should pull the final drive from their hex head and send it off to a vendor in China for replication. That way we can stock our own spares at a low cost and (probably) equivalent quality. That first piece costs a bloody fortune though! I don't know if there is any protected IP in that final drive. Might be interesting to find out!

fracture
09-21-2006, 08:47 PM
All of this makes me wonder if I should wait a bit longer and take a close look at the F800 when it gets here. I used to have my doubts about belt drive but since my Harley-riding friends are not reporting any problems, and I am not hearing of any problems, I might reconsider a bike with belt drive.

In over 20 years on airheads, the only drive problem I ever had was an oil leak on one bike. Has the new drive system gotten too complex to be reliable?

cjack
09-21-2006, 09:15 PM
All of this makes me wonder if I should wait a bit longer and take a close look at the F800 when it gets here. I used to have my doubts about belt drive but since my Harley-riding friends are not reporting any problems, and I am not hearing of any problems, I might reconsider a bike with belt drive.

In over 20 years on airheads, the only drive problem I ever had was an oil leak on one bike. Has the new drive system gotten too complex to be reliable?

Years ago we never heard of the failures like we do now. Internet and all.
I was kind of struck by the thousands of bikes at the National Rally that went thousands of miles...and home again. Don't tell me about the 12 or so that broke. Thanks. Part timing at a dealer or reading the forum makes you think they are all broken and they aren't.

grw
09-21-2006, 09:16 PM
All of this makes me wonder if I should wait a bit longer and take a close look at the F800 when it gets here. I used to have my doubts about belt drive but since my Harley-riding friends are not reporting any problems, and I am not hearing of any problems, I might reconsider a bike with belt drive.

In over 20 years on airheads, the only drive problem I ever had was an oil leak on one bike. Has the new drive system gotten too complex to be reliable?


Having just sold my second Harley with belt drive I should let you know that all is not roses with belts. For twenty years I went down any damn road I pleased. I discovered the hard way that belt drive bikes should not be taken on gravel roads (exceptions may be bikes with elaborate belt guards).

I picked up a stone in 2005 on a 30 mile gravel ride and had to spend part of the winter disassembling half the bike to replace the belt. Nothing in Beemerdom prepares one for the stupidity of Harley's belt replacement process on the big twins (Sportsters may be easier). The belt itself is a $200 part plus you need about $45 in gaskets and locknuts. I did the work myself after discovering that two shops wanted around $700 to do the job.

OTOH the belt did not fail in service. It simply had a rock protruding through it about 2/3 of the way over to the edge. Rather than ride it until the belt unraveled or failed at that point I was told to replace it. I finally understood why Harley riders told me to stay away from gravel. Not good for the pocketbook!

I had to buy two special size sockets to remove the primary drive sprocket and clutch hub. There are a few steps in the process which are two person jobs (removing the swingarm and replacing same).

Good things about belts? No oil, no maintenance, quiet, well behaved, no driveline lash.

-Gary

Mudbug
09-21-2006, 09:24 PM
Good things about belts? No oil, no maintenance, quiet, well behaved, no driveline lash.

-Gary

. . . and cheaper to replace than an entire rear shaft drive.

grw
09-21-2006, 09:44 PM
Years ago we never heard of the failures like we do now. Internet and all.
I was kind of struck by the thousands of bikes at the National Rally that went thousands of miles...and home again. Don't tell me about the 12 or so that broke. Thanks. Part timing at a dealer or reading the forum makes you think they are all broken and they aren't.

True enough. I rode my R11RSL for around 40K miles without a serious problem. Not problem free, but nothing serious. I rode a R100GS before that for about 25K miles with no problems (the second owner bought the u-joints), My K100RT had one failure that affected operation over 55K miles. My other beemers were older bikes that required tinkering and TLC so I won't go by those except to say that they never stranded me, either.

OTOH when a bike fails at 3500 miles it is cause for concern. My friends in the LD riding community tell me that there is reasonable anecdotal evidence of a higher than normal failure rate for BMW drivetrains in late model bikes. By contrast there have been almost no failures of that sort in any of the other brands used by top finishers in IBA events.

There will always be random failures in manufactured goods. Question is was my experience the odd one-off or is it the canary in the mine shaft? Time will tell.

BTW I agree with cjack that worrying is not the right take away from this experience. The take-away is that there may be some parts supply problems with new bikes and BMWNA has problems with it's customer service operation. Both of these are potentially useful data points. Nothing more.

-Gary

Kbrick
09-21-2006, 10:12 PM
One has to wonder about the Paralever - single sided swingarm design in the first place...period! I wonder why the other manufacturers haven't gone that route, and some of their bikes even produce far more power than a BMW.

Triumph has a few bikes with a single sided swing arm, the Honda VFR I bought, instead of a K12S, has a single sided swing arm and oh yeah you can't forget the modern classic Ducati 916.

GlobalRider
09-21-2006, 11:22 PM
Triumph has a few bikes with a single sided swing arm, the Honda VFR I bought, instead of a K12S, has a single sided swing arm and oh yeah you can't forget the modern classic Ducati 916.

Yes, and all those designs have tons of room for bearings in the tail end of the cast swingarms.

BMW has to squeeze a crown and pinion gear set between a set of bearings.

I wonder how Honda would design BMW's set-up?

Kbrick
09-22-2006, 12:44 AM
Yes, and all those designs have tons of room for bearings in the tail end of the cast swingarms.

BMW has to squeeze a crown and pinion gear set between a set of bearings.

I wonder how Honda would design BMW's set-up?

I guess thats why they didn't!

I've owned a R80ST where the bearing went bad, fixed under warranty. The rear wheel was a tad wobbley but it got fixed and rode another 30k miles till I bought my sainted K.

Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the Roundel, and will purchase that R90/6 one day, but there seems to be a large number of failures for the machines produced. Perhaps no replacement as reported by some dealers is because a big fix is in the pipeline to retrofit these troubled machines.

I recall the first oilheads had some severe tranny problems back in the early '90s. The boys got it right and we ride on...

ultracyclist
09-22-2006, 12:52 AM
If there is a design flaw, is BMW going to issue a recall on all the "suspect" units?

I had a final drive drive support bearing failure at 36k miles on an '02R1150R.

raydar
09-22-2006, 02:57 AM
Gary,
I have a 2005 R 1200 GS that had a similar failure as yours. The wheel developed 3/16" lateral movement when the tire was grabbed at 3 & 9 O'clcok or at 12 and 6 o'clock. I did some research on ADV rider and found out that the drive flange that the wheel is bolted to by the lug bolts is splined to the crown gear and the slop happens when these two mating sufaces wear (mine was at 19,000 miles). There is a BMW service bulletin (included) that describes the two different types of failures and how they are to be addressed. Some dealers will attempt to heat up and install a new drive flange but the crown gear splines are also worn so there will still be some play. The service bulletin says to replace the entire final drive. My local dealer (300 miles away) tried to put a new flange on but relented and ordered a new final drive (which had to be shipped from Germany) Sorry for your failure hope this information helps out.

?® 2004, BMW of North America, LLC
BMWMotorrad
USA
Service Information Bulletin
Subject: Bearing play at the rear wheel drive
Model:
Details:
Aftersales
Solution:
Dealer Operation/
General Manager
Sales-
Motorcycles
Sales -
Used Motorcycles
Business Manager
(F&I)
Service Parts & Accessories Administration
Date: February 2005
Bulletin #33 001 05 (011)
Source: 33 74/2004
BMW Motorrad USA Service and Technical
Contact: Respective Aftersales Business Consultant
R 1200 GS
1: In the rear drive of the R 1200 GS the ring gear is supported by two types of bearings:
one floating bearing and one fixed bearing without preload. Inherent in this design
is a small amount of bearing play at the rear wheel. With all components manufactured
and assembled to stated tolerances it is possible that play in these bearings can be felt
and measured at the rear wheel. This type of bearing play has no effect on motorcycle
handling or on the durability of the bearings.
2: There is a possibility of play developing between the splined wheel flange (P/N 33 17
7 668 659) and the axle tube of some motorcycles manufactured prior to 08/2004, US
VIN# ZL 76187.
1: In the event of a customer complaint, an inspection and measurement of rear wheel
bearing play is to be performed as described below. With cold components the total
play (back and forth travel) allowable at the wheel rim edge is 1mm(maximum). Refer to
the R 1200 GS Repair Manual CD for measuring procedures as well as temperature definition
of "cold components". Replace the entire rear-wheel drive assembly if the play
exceeds specifications.
2: If the complaint is "bearing play at the rear wheel" you must first check that the
splined flange is secure before performing the measurement noted in point #1. When
rocking the rear wheel back and forth, you must first make sure there is no movement
between the wheel flange, the rear wheel and the axle tube.
If play is noticeable between these components you must replace the entire rear wheel
drive assembly (complete with flange). Replacing the splined wheel flange only will not
solve the situation, because in all probability the splines on the axle tube will have suffered
some degree of wear as well. If you are in doubt, you are requested to contact your
respective Aftersales Business Consultant.
Warranty: Covered under the terms of the New Motorcycle Limited Warranty.
Important Note: Screw 1 is a drain
plug for repair-related oil changes; it is
not for checking the oil level. When filling
the rear drive assembly with oil,
pour in the defined quantity (0.25 l for
initial fill, or 0.23 l for oil changes)
through the bore for the ABS sensor.
We highly recommend using BMW
Super Synthetic Gear oil. 75W 90, P/N
07 51 0 394 082

boxerkuh
09-22-2006, 03:13 AM
Sorry to hear about all your troubles. I am glad that BMW is at least picking up the tab... I had to wait for over 2 weeks for a part from Germany about 3 years ago... got to deal with customs. I have never figured out why they don't disassemble a bike from the floor, but that is ultimately left up to your dealer. I would suggest you find out from your dealer who the district/state/regional BMW tech advisor is. My experience is that the BMW Service Manager has to deal with him, and he deals directly with BMWNA,
because he is a BMWNA employee. He is a good person to get to know.
BTW, on my 99 RT I had rear end failure too, between 36K and 48K until they finally diagnosed and fixed it. The dealer claimed it was an isolated incident, which I found out not to be true. Hope you end up happier than I did, because I ultimately sold the oilhead and went back to an airhead for reliability and I was tired to giving BMW dealers all my money. :hungover

easy
09-22-2006, 04:06 PM
"Seperately I filed a request for investigation with the NHTSA."

Gary:

Thanks for the courage and good judgment to report the matter to the NHTSA. More of us need to be doing the same. The rear end problem has been troublesome for too long. If something is not done, someone is going to get seriously hurt or worse. After reading so many threads, I get the feeling that BMW is loosing touch with the average consumer, or their P.R. department is off track. Too many Tonys in this world. That's a shame since so many of us are loyal and committed Motorrads. The NHTSA has the clout to correct the situation.

The NHTSA is not perfect, but when they have the correct amount of data they are responsive. I seriously wonder if the correct information is getting back to them.

I'm saying this in hopes of correcting a situation that is getting serious, not to bash BMW. I won't be writing an. . ."I leaving"... thread. I love my bike and hope to be a loyal Motorrad for years to come. A number of large corporations get off track at times, look at Ford and GMC.

An earlier response suggested Harley may be the answer. Harleys have their own serious problems: cam bearing failure, horns that don't work, exaggerated tensioner shoe wear and a two year warranty to name a few.

In conclusion, I just want to encourage everyone who has Final Drive Failure, or other serious safety concern, to contact the NHTSA in a good faith attempt to resolve the issue.

Easy
Big Empty, Texas :german
Every man should be content to mind his own business.
Aesop (620 BC-560 BC)

GlobalRider
09-23-2006, 01:41 AM
I guess thats why they didn't!

Although the single sided swingarm came about as the Monolever shortly before the Paralever, the Paralever pretty well forces a single sided swingarm set-up.

And why? Because of jacking effect. Like who cares!!!! A GW and FJR 1300 has gobs more power and torque than my airheads and oilheads. I'll live with it...just give me a normal everyday rear drive that works and quit trying to impress me, BMW.

I honestly wish Honda would make a shaft drive GS.

77691
09-23-2006, 06:38 PM
So, I suppose that this is the worst possible time to be reading this thread since I -- yesterday -- signed up for a 2006 R1200GS...oh so shiny and new. On the other hand, my '95 R1100GS has been relatively trouble-free for 73,000 miles. I can only hope it will work out...and hope to remember to keep the service intervals and the guarantee intact.

easy
09-23-2006, 09:47 PM
I would not worry about it. I have an '06 RT and I'm enjoying it more than any bike I've ever had. If I had it to do over again, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. The GS is a great bike and I think you'll feel the same. We just need to keep an eye out for any signs of trouble. That's the good thing about a three year warranty.

Easy
Big Empty, Texas :german
"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
Oscar Wilde

77691
09-23-2006, 11:43 PM
...Like "Ride it like you own it." : )
Thanks for consolatory comment! --j

GlobalRider
09-24-2006, 12:47 PM
So, I suppose that this is the worst possible time to be reading this thread since I -- yesterday -- signed up for a 2006 R1200GS.

You should have read that "other" thread. BMW is going back to putting a drain plug in the rear wheel drive units for 2007. When I saw the R1200 GS at the show when it first came out, I wondered about BMW's reasoning for omitting one.

BTW, this is Kawasaki's version of the Paralever (http://www.motorcycledaily.com/23september06_concours.htm). Although not employing a single sided swingarm, we'll see if the new Concours has the same problems. Come to think about it, why do I even need a single sided swingarm? For easy rear wheel removal? Like how often to I take the rear wheel off?

cjack
09-24-2006, 12:59 PM
You should have read that "other" thread. BMW is going back to putting a drain plug in the rear wheel drive units for 2007. When I saw the R1200 GS at the show when it first came out, I wondered about BMW's reasoning for omitting one.

?

Not quite. Nothing has changed mechanically. BMW has always had a drain plug in the drive at the midway horizontal level. The drive has to be rotated 90 degrees to allow the oil to drain out. This is now recommended on the '07 bikes at the 600 mile checkup. The fill was and is done thru the ABS sensor hole with a measured amount of gear oil, after the drive is rotated back into position. I think .23L for a refill. The "drain" plug is to be replaced with a new one that has a magnet in it.
The recommended fill is BMW 75W90 synth which is made for them by Spectro.

GlobalRider
09-24-2006, 01:38 PM
Not quite. Nothing has changed mechanically. BMW has always had a drain plug in the drive at the midway horizontal level. The drive has to be rotated 90 degrees to allow the oil to drain out. This is now recommended on the '07 bikes at the 600 mile checkup. The fill was and is done thru the ABS sensor hole with a measured amount of gear oil, after the drive is rotated back into position. The "drain" plug is to be replaced with a new one that has a magnet in it.

If you have to rotate the rear drive 90?? to have the drain face downwards, then it really isn't a "drain", is it? Why would anyone design something so that one cannot easily change a lubricant?

Just reading this stuff makes me happy I bought a dual plug GS Adventure...and a second "spare" before they stopped making them. I won't be buying anything new for a looooong time.

cjack
09-24-2006, 02:04 PM
If you have to rotate the rear drive 90?? to have the drain face downwards, then it really isn't a "drain", is it? Why would anyone design something so that one cannot easily change a lubricant?

Just reading this stuff makes me happy I bought a dual plug GS Adventure...and a second "spare" before they stopped making them. I won't be buying anything new for a looooong time.

I've always wondered why we don't change the fluid in our cars nearly as often or at all. I think maybe they don't pick up moisture as much. So maybe BMW was thinking this drive to be somewhat sealed and doesn't require oil changing. BTW, they further state that the oil doesn't need to be changed after the 600 mile change, that changing at the 12K mile doesn't yield any additional benefit.

aaaaaa
09-24-2006, 03:40 PM
There's a couple things I'd like to comment on. The first is that the warranty is 3 years but only 36K miles. May of us put 15-30K per year. Personaly I often exceed that but there're not all BMW miles. That kinda does in the time frame unless I want to cough up the bucks for an extended warranty. The second is that although there are many thousands of bikes with many thousands of miles at the rally I disagree with the notion that since it was someone elses failure it's not a problem. Remember the driveshaft problem on airhead paralever GS's or the surging of older oilheads? It disturbs me when a service manager at a BMW dealership tells me that the internet is comprised of a bunch of malcontents who complain about non factual problems. The internet is an enabler that empowers us as consumers to compare experiences and act on information. :eat
Always hungry when riding,
robert

GlobalRider
09-24-2006, 03:47 PM
I've always wondered why we don't change the fluid in our cars nearly as often or at all. I think maybe they don't pick up moisture as much.

Most don't but I do. My Honda CR-V has 79,500 miles on it and both the manual transmission fluid and dual pump fluid in the differential have been changed at: 10K, 35K and at 69K miles so far. For under $25 in lubes and sealing rings, I can afford it.

BTW, the differential breather has a hose attached to it and runs up to a frame member above. I'd do the same thing to my BMW rear drive if I wear riding across rivers, etc.



So maybe BMW was thinking this drive to be somewhat sealed and doesn't require oil changing. BTW, they further state that the oil doesn't need to be changed after the 600 mile change, that changing at the 12K mile doesn't yield any additional benefit.

Somewhat sealed...means water can enter. And oil and sealing rings are so cheap, I can't afford to not change the lubes. Some years I might only put a few thousand clicks on my GS after I get back from riding overseas. Even at that, the lubes get changed before winter lay-away. Proper maintenance and care is the cost of ownership.

GlobalRider
09-24-2006, 03:58 PM
I disagree with the notion that since it was someone elses failure it's not a problem. It disturbs me when a service manager at a BMW dealership tells me that the internet is comprised of a bunch of malcontents who complain about non factual problems.

Exactly!

I once mentioned a very long time ago that a rear drive failure or any other failure that could cause loss of control of the vehicle, should be reported to the DOT - Safety Department. Sure enough, it has been brought up on an ADV Rider thread (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168888).

If these number of failures are common place, maybe the dealer can tell us why camshaft or valve seat failures aren't as common; in fact, you never hear about them...cause they don't exist in any numbers.

WooDmEn
09-24-2006, 05:57 PM
I had a rear caliper sieze up at 70mph, new R1150GS, and it caught the final drive on fire. Helluva mess. Fixed under warranty :violin

cjack
09-25-2006, 01:07 AM
snip
If these number of failures are common place, maybe the dealer can tell us why camshaft or valve seat failures aren't as common; in fact, you never hear about them...cause they don't exist in any numbers.

You weren't around in '81 thru '84 I take it...

lawman
09-25-2006, 02:24 AM
Mmmm, on second thought, I guess I'll stick with my (almost maintenance free) 1100RT, a bit longer...wj

flash412
09-25-2006, 04:41 AM
It is my understanding that the NHTSA has a "critical mass" number for reports. It may be five or twelve or some other number. Reports for identical issues are simply "anecdotal, isolated, anomalies" until the "critical mass" number is reached. In other words, if your BMW rear end breaks, camshaft, timing belt or some other part that is not a "normal-wear part" breaks, REPORT it. Not until the NHTSA forces BMW to make changes will changes occur.

Anybody remember the exact failure stats from the Iron Butt Rally before the past one. BMW motorcycles represented something like (pulling numbers out of my butt) fifty percent of the entries and ninety percent of the DNF due to motorcycle failures, mostly rear ends and timing belts (IIRC). Did anyone who suffered a failure during that rally report it?

Drag BMW's "qwality" department kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. Otherwise, the marque will go the way of the Dodo. (Which, the way things ARE, may not exactly be a bad thing.)

bigdelta
09-25-2006, 06:07 AM
Now THAT is an unmitigated quality problem. Has BMW been having labor problems?
they probably forgot what goes where! :hungover

soffiler
09-25-2006, 11:57 AM
Flash, one comment. I have a gut feeling the fault does not rest with BMW's "Qwality" department. Their job is (should be) to ensure the stuff coming in from external vendors meets all of the engineering specifications. I am afraid the rear-drive issue is a result of a flaw in the product-development process. Somehow, prototypes of these rear drives were not subject to the same stresses and environments now being seen in the real world - assuming of course they were failure-free and deemed perfectly acceptable during product development. (Either that, or problems were encountered and somebody signed off on them anyway... that's not the Qwality Dept either)

flash412
09-26-2006, 07:47 PM
Flash, one comment. I have a gut feeling the fault does not rest with BMW's "Qwality" department. Their job is (should be) to ensure the stuff coming in from external vendors meets all of the engineering specifications. I am afraid the rear-drive issue is a result of a flaw in the product-development process. Somehow, prototypes of these rear drives were not subject to the same stresses and environments now being seen in the real world - assuming of course they were failure-free and deemed perfectly acceptable during product development. (Either that, or problems were encountered and somebody signed off on them anyway... that's not the Qwality Dept either)Fair enough. But... shouldn't the quality department be involved in signing off all process documents for the engineering-design department? Clearly BMW has a rear drive differential design and release process that is 3rd-world class and has been for a LONG time. Even the F650CS had bad rear sprockets upon initial product release. Seems like somebody at BMW needs to fire their drunken brother-in-law and hire someone competent to do the job.

grw
09-26-2006, 10:52 PM
I have to say that things have gotten better since my initial interaction with Tony. :-)

Marek (or Mark if my ears are not working well) called last week to let me know the parts were in transit to the dealer. The dealer and I spoke on Friday and they were aware from BMW NA that the final drive was being shipped to them. It is supposed to arrive on or after Wednesday. You or I could ship something from Germany to Eugene, OR overnight if we were so inclined and for enough money, but this part will take five days to wend it's way to Eugene. Could be slow shipping or could be the need to clear customs in New Jersey before proceding to Eugene. Remarkably no one in a position to explain that has offered an explanation!

Anyway, replacing the rear end seems not to be a big deal and there is some chance the bike might be returned to me on Friday or Saturday of this week. However that's probably optimistic. My guess is next week is more likely. We'll see.

Apparently many hexhead owners are experiencing delays in obtaining parts to repair their bikes. The BMWSportTouring forums are filled with such stories. Weeks and weeks waiting for electronics, mechanical parts, and sometimes difficult diagnosis work. Even waiting for the second year of production has not helped many of us avoid the startup costs associated with new models.

I'll be sure to post a final update when I pick up the bike. Thanks again for all the kind words.

Those of you who think the new final drive is not working out well for the company or it's customers might be interested to know that the Germans have a word for such a situation. They call it, "Schlimmbesserung". Literally this is an "improvement that makes things worse." Let's hope the new parts are really besser unt nisht schlimm! :-)

-Gary

grw
10-05-2006, 05:30 PM
As promised the final chapter in the story is being posted here.

Last week a replacement final drive was supposed to arrive on Wednesday (9/27). The dealer had blocked out time based on information from BMW NA. The part never showed up. The tracking information didn't work. No explanation.

I called BMW NA to ask, "what next?" The reply was that another part was being shipped but would not show up until at least 10/5. So they authorized the dealer to canabalize the final drive from a bike on the showroom floor.

Unfortunately by the time they had done this the dealer had lost their time slot and was short handed for a few days. They finally got to it yesterday and called to arrange delivery. They were coming up to Portland to drop off and pick up bikes anyway and offered to drop my bike off at the house.

As of yesterday they still had not received the new final drive.

Assuming the bike arrives today the total elapsed time since failure of the final drive to having the bike back in service has been 3 weeks and 5 days (26 days). I had to cancel my long planned September vacation and have missed the last month of nice riding weather. The rains will start anytime now in Oregon.

I won't go into all the myriad details and explanations for the delays and lack of parts. Suffice it to say that the dealer was frustrated, too, would have been happy to have me back on the road much sooner. BMW simply doesn't have a working process in place to repair failed final drives. I understand they are working on a new approach to managing final drive failures, but until that process is in place and parts are inventoried it won't do customers any good.

Keep an eye on rear wheel lateral free play. There should be none. Pay attention to burning smells and evidence of oil on the rear wheel (like excess dirt adhesion). If you are unlucky enough to experience a final drive failure and run into the lack of parts for repair be sure to call BMW NA at 201-263-8233 (I had to get this number from the Oregon Attorney General's office).

Be polite and constructive with everyone you deal with and remember that your dealer can't make parts appear by magic, but rather is depedent on BMW to provide a repair solution for these failures.

If you do have final drive failure I recommend reporting this to NHSTA via their web safety complaint form. This is easy to do and will allow them to determine if there is a pattern of failures. There is a safety component to these final drive failures which can't be ignored. The URL for initiating a complaint is http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

Ride safe,

-Gary

PS - I suppose I had better update my .sig now...

jdiaz
10-05-2006, 05:49 PM
That's a disappointing story Gary.

sarmand
10-07-2006, 12:56 PM
This week I drained the final drive oil from my replacement. It had 430 miles on it. The oil was really dirty-lots of suspended black material, but only a small amount of fine steel on the magnet. Replacing the oil at 600 miles as BMW now recommends seems like a really good idea.

nrpetersen
10-07-2006, 05:17 PM
Where does the black debris come from? Is a shaft or axle seal wearing? I don't think it would be from bearing or gear tramp metal.

We need to start putting thermometers on these rear drives to spot impending failures. I have not found an appropriate one yet though.

GlobalRider
10-08-2006, 12:40 AM
Where does the black debris come from? Is a shaft or axle seal wearing? I don't think it would be from bearing or gear tramp metal.

Is it black bits of debris or is your gear lube black?



We need to start putting thermometers on these rear drives to spot impending failures. I have not found an appropriate one yet though.

Somebody already mentioned how hot the casting of their rear drive was after a ride.

I just felt mine after a 500 km (300 mile) day ride. It was no hotter than room temperature with an outside air temperature of 55 to 60??F.

Maybe a stick on unit as found on aquariums would work, but with a higher range.

cjack
10-08-2006, 12:55 AM
This week I drained the final drive oil from my replacement. It had 430 miles on it. The oil was really dirty-lots of suspended black material, but only a small amount of fine steel on the magnet. Replacing the oil at 600 miles as BMW now recommends seems like a really good idea.

That looks like molybdenum disulphide to me. How about having it assayed?

grw
10-08-2006, 03:21 AM
That's a disappointing story Gary.

You're right, Jon. I wish it were otherwise.

Good news! The bike was delivered back to my house right on time. It was good to see the bike again and to ride it around the block. Hopefully I'll get to go for a ride sometime this weekend.

BTW over on the BMW bulletin board at the BMW USA site there is a story by an owner of an F650 (late model) who is having the same sort of problem getting an engine controller. Sounds like an even worse flavor of my experience.

BOXERHEAD
10-08-2006, 01:54 PM
Has anyone addressed the idea that maybe an individual group or production run of rear ends or parts for assembly, made or assembled at the same time, might be the culprit? Even a bad torque wrench or torque setting on the assembly line could cause early failure, by an incorrect preload torque of the axle bearing nut adjustment. Maybe all the failed parts came off the same shelf, but at different times, for different assemblies. BMW should have a Quality Control that is out of this world for the price that they ask for their bikes. This is not an excuse, but maybe somewhere to start looking for an answer for the intermittent failures.

If it was a engineering design flaw, then shouldn't they all have failed? A few this year, a few last year and so on, even a few on different models, is one thing. Murphy's Law will always prevail. But it's a safety issue and needs to be reported by the bike owner, even if he does his own repairs!

Make a 'Personnal Safety Rule' for yourself and before every ride or so, while your checking your tire pressure, throw the ol girl up on the centerstand and check the rear for axle looseness by pushing and pulling on it from side to side, at the 9 and 12 o'clock positions. Also, rotate the wheel a few times and check for any drag or play from bearing failure. Have a friend sit on the back of the bike or just weight it down until the front tire just comes off of the pavement and check the front the axle the same way. It only takes about 2 minutes to do the whole PM check and if you find a problem, for your safety, park it until it can be fixed.

easy
10-08-2006, 02:20 PM
"Has anyone addressed the idea that maybe an individual group or production run of rear ends or parts for assembly, made or assembled at the same time, might be the culprit?..."

Gary:

When did you buy your '06 RT, or a better question would be when exactly was it made?

Easy :german
Kerrville, Texas

MOTOR31
10-08-2006, 03:26 PM
An engineering or design flaw does not have to be obvious or even failure prone all the time. It could have simply been a marginal mistake on component design or material composition that fails when the individual critical point is met. Not all riders might hit that point due to differences in load, riding style and mileage.

It should not be carried over to succeeding years once the item starts to fail. It should trigger an immediate investigation by the design team as to what the problem is and eliminate the design point that causes it. At least one would hope that would be the case.

nrpetersen
10-08-2006, 05:22 PM
Some thoughts from a retired mech engineer (having been there, done that, a few too many times....) -

It could be bad bearings - but there from what I read, there seem to be individual bad axle assemblies that won't stay fixed.

It could be underdesigned for the task - but then there would be many failures at very roughly (order of magnitude that is) the same mileages, because the likely loading spectrums can't be that different between drivers.

It could be a bad design - it is frankly unusual having a large ID ball bearing opposed by a tapered roller bearing, but I don't see that as necessarily bad providing the clearances & preloads are set up right.

It could be it needs a special lubricant - but then the primary variation would be miles-to-failure. The failures would generally be to the gears (when the anti-wear additives give out), not the bearings. The failure distances seem too varied for that & the benefits of exotic lubricants over more conventional antiwear oils are not that significant.

It could be oil breakdown or excessively viscous oils but the failures don't seem to be related to high (or low?) ambient temperature operations from what I can see of the poster locations.

It could be variations in assembly preloads - then manufacturing tolerances of the special parts would accumulate such that replacing the bearings (which are generally only fair at being identical) would have a marginal chance of success. The assembly includes shims to take care of this, but the shim selection would be critical. I sense that many shops just use the same shims assuming the bearings are identical. That is a mistake. The shim selection should be done using a dial indicator to measure clearance as individual bearings can and will vary in their thrust dimensions. The shim increment used (.002 inch?) does seem pretty coarse.

Bearings with an excessive preload will not roll noticeably harder. Forget about that check. Only if they are substantially overloaded will they even run hot, but it is the only preload indicator we have short of disassembly and measurement. Operating temperature rise might be another indicator though.

Gears are very critical on the locations of the operating centers and rotating axes alignment. This is probably why there is some preload involved. Get it wrong (i, e, loose) and they will get very noisy. But within limits, even noisy gears can last a long time.

It seems the initial failures are bearing related. The gears fail only when the bearing debris grinds the gears up (right?).

There has been some talk of "black stuff" that I can't explain except that fine metal debris can appear black. A magnet should establish what it is.


NRP

cjack
10-08-2006, 08:56 PM
Some thoughts from a retired mech engineer (having been there, done that, a few too many times....) -

It could be bad bearings - but there from what I read, there seem to be individual bad axle assemblies that won't stay fixed.

It could be underdesigned for the task - but then there would be many failures at very roughly (order of magnitude that is) the same mileages, because the likely loading spectrums can't be that different between drivers.

It could be a bad design - it is frankly unusual having a large ID ball bearing opposed by a tapered roller bearing, but I don't see that as necessarily bad providing the clearances & preloads are set up right.

It could be it needs a special lubricant - but then the primary variation would be miles-to-failure. The failures would generally be to the gears (when the anti-wear additives give out), not the bearings. The failure distances seem too varied for that & the benefits of exotic lubricants over more conventional antiwear oils are not that significant.

It could be oil breakdown or excessively viscous oils but the failures don't seem to be related to high (or low?) ambient temperature operations from what I can see of the poster locations.

It could be variations in assembly preloads - then manufacturing tolerances of the special parts would accumulate such that replacing the bearings (which are generally only fair at being identical) would have a marginal chance of success. The assembly includes shims to take care of this, but the shim selection would be critical. I sense that many shops just use the same shims assuming the bearings are identical. That is a mistake. The shim selection should be done using a dial indicator to measure clearance as individual bearings can and will vary in their thrust dimensions. The shim increment used (.002 inch?) does seem pretty coarse.

Bearings with an excessive preload will not roll noticeably harder. Forget about that check. Only if they are substantially overloaded will they even run hot, but it is the only preload indicator we have short of disassembly and measurement. Operating temperature rise might be another indicator though.

Gears are very critical on the locations of the operating centers and rotating axes alignment. This is probably why there is some preload involved. Get it wrong (i, e, loose) and they will get very noisy. But within limits, even noisy gears can last a long time.

It seems the initial failures are bearing related. The gears fail only when the bearing debris grinds the gears up (right?).

There has been some talk of "black stuff" that I can't explain except that fine metal debris can appear black. A magnet should establish what it is.


NRP

The fine black stuff looks and feels just like Moly additive. I have seen it in new BMW transmissions from the parts shelf as well as the drives. The new X1200X drives come with it inside from the factory and the ABS sensor and "drain" plug are installed. They are full of oil so I figure that's why all the holes are plugged. The black stuff is not magnetic and is the devil to get off your fingers if you rub it to see if it feels like moly. I guess it does. At least there is no perceptable grit to it at all. I have seen this same stuff in assembly lube as well when BMW was recommending it for splines in the late '70s.

ultracyclist
10-08-2006, 10:48 PM
I sent you a pm.

LORMANDB
10-11-2006, 09:09 PM
I was interested in wanting to learn a bit more about the whole subject of not being able to change oil on the final drive. I called my local dealer told them about what I have read here and wanted to know if I should change oil on my 05 RT. Here is what I was told. Yes, the dealers have received a service bulletin from BMW regarding final drives, and some units based on VIN number should have oil changed at 600 initial service. Reason for this is BMW stopped a "run in" process at the factory. As I understand on some 05 bikes were run at the factory, then oil was changed from motor and drive systems. I asked about my bike, my VIN is not part of the suggested fluid change, but as the service manager put it to me. Can't hurt to change the oil, we are more than happy to do it, and sure we have to charge you for the service. He also added that in his experience, you can't over change your fluids and I could not agree more.

Sure as a long time rider and owner of several bikes, most having final drives and yes looking forward to always changing fluids on a scheduled basis...BMW should have designed my RT with a user service option in mind.

raydar
10-15-2006, 02:44 AM
I have been interested in seeing what the new (<600 miles since replacement for Flange failure) final drive temperature is. I have a hand held infrared thermomoter and have checked the temp several times since I got the bike back. I have seen final drive temps from 102 -118 degrees F with ambient temps in the 55 - 70 degrees F. I will continue to check the temps throughout the next season so that I may be ablle to detect a failure if possible before it becomes catastophic, along with checking side play while on center stand (should be less than 1 mm {.040"}).

tomlombardini
10-16-2006, 02:07 PM
Hi Gary,

I too have a relatively new R1200RT and was interested in your post. At my 600 mile service, I told the dealer I thought I heard a rubbing/Friction sound coming from the rear end but since I'm new to Shaft drive, thought it might be normal. He gave me the bike back saying there was nothing wrong.

Yesterday, I did smell something briefly but haven't checked the play in the rear wheel since before reading your post, had no reason to. How "free" should that rear wheel spin on the center stand?

I have the tendency to overreact, (sort of like a hypocondriac when he hears symptoms, he all of a sudden has them) so I don't want to panic yet but would like to know I have a number where I can actually talk to someone who cares. Could you forward that contact info you had where you actually got results? (Marek) I've contacted BMW of NA on a number of occasions and no, they don't seem to customer oriented. (Hey, I can always make a personal visit to the Headquarters since they're about 20 miles from my house. <g>)

Thanks in advance.

Tom L.


.


First of all I have to complement BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon (BMWOR) on the professional and courteous fashion in which they continue to handle this situation. After all I'm sure they find the situation frustrating albeit in a different way than I do.

Here's what happened since my original post:

I had a call from the dealer saying that they had recieved one part but were still waiting on the main part or parts for the repair. They promised to keep me informed as the situation changes and told me to call them whenever I want if I feel I'm not hearing enough from them.

A friend pointed me to the RealOEM.com site where I was able to look at the exploded diagrams of the rear end for the R12. This helped me visualize the relationship between the flange that the wheel bolts to and the final drive assembly. If the tech is right and the seal was intact then the failure was probably the splined interface of the flange and axle shaft. The shaft is steel and the flange is alloy. If the flange wore down for some reason it would have resulted in lateral play and ground oxidized aluminium alloy (perhaps the source of the black runoff; not moly as some have speculated). Maybe the only thing that kept me from having he wheel fall off was the retaining ring that holds the flange on the axle. Scary. Again this is not fact; this is speculation based on the little info I have.

I employed a little detective work to call BMWNA since their main number is hard to find. I had to use infospace.com to find a set of BMW numbers in New Jersey which I called until I got a person who pointed me at the main number. I was connected to a guy who identified himself as "Tony" (refused to tell me his last name or phone number) who was quite unconcerned about my experience and would not commit to do anything other than "look into it" and call me back in 48 hours. He refused to let me speak with a supervisor, tell me what BMW NA policy regarding parts availability is, or otherwise engage me in a supportive way. He did not give me a tracking number which leads me to believe they have no systematic way of handling customer issues. How very un-ISO of them. I was frankly shocked that this was BMW NA's support posture for motorcycle purchasers.

I called the Oregon DOJ and spoke to the consumer hotline person who gave me another number which they have used in the past to contact BMW NA (mostly for car things, but occasionally on a motorcycle issue). This got me an actual human being's phone mail. I got a call back during a meeting and got a message from, I think his name is "Marek", at BMW. I returned his call and he was a whole different person than "Tony". Marek was concerned about the problem, he has already investigated the issue, and had spoken with Tony. He promissed to find out what the parts situation was, speak with the dealer, and call me back the next day.

Marek has called me back twice since then with updates. First he thought the part was already on it's way to the dealer from in country distrubution. Today he says he was wrong. The part has shipped from Germany and is in transit. He believes it will arrive at the dealer mid-week (how un-FedEx of them) and he said he would call me on Wednesday with an update.

Seperately I filed a request for investigation with the NHTSA. They have a webform that you can fill out for possible safety issues. I see no reason not to have them look into this. I could have been killed and I'd hate to have that happen to someone else because I did nothing. If there is no underlying problem and this is a freak one-off then no harm done. If not it needs to be addressed in a serious fashion.

There is some chance I'll have the bike back end of next week. I am hoping the probablility is .5. I got the feeling BMW are going to offer to compensate me in some fashion for the downtime and the initially poor way my problem was handled. My sincerest wish is that they'll agree to tell me exactly what failed and how (if not why) for my own peace of mind. We'll see.

-Gary

PS - I hope there were no torx bits in my final drive.... Is that worse than finding a finger in your chilli at Wendy's (OK, that was a hoax, but you get the point)??

PPS - Random thought: Someone should pull the final drive from their hex head and send it off to a vendor in China for replication. That way we can stock our own spares at a low cost and (probably) equivalent quality. That first piece costs a bloody fortune though! I don't know if there is any protected IP in that final drive. Might be interesting to find out!

vegasbeemerguy
10-19-2006, 12:40 AM
All those with the newer bmw type rearends. This includes all the new R and K models with the supposedly sealed lube free rear ends. BMW is now stating that the rear drive lubircant should be changed at the 600mi service. Most are saying you should change the rear drive oil at regular 6k intervals as in the past.
Most BMW dealers have received a bulletin on this subject.
My new ( just over one year old ) K1200S goes in for 6k service next week and I plan to change rear end oil then at every 6k service thereafter. It's not an expensive job and it beats getting stranded in the future. Only time will tell weather those of us who bought these bikes and didn't have the rear end oil changed at 600miles will suffer failure later on.
I was told that apparently there is some kind of coating on the internal components of the rear drive that comes off in the oil as it gets hot under normal operation and as a result this is why the rear drive should be changed at least at the 600mi. service.
Hope you are back on the road soon with your RT.

Have fun and ride safe,

Steve

LORMANDB
10-20-2006, 05:10 PM
On second thought...am I violating all kinds of copy write laws by posting a picture from my service manual? If so Moderator Please Delete...

BRADFORDBENN
10-20-2006, 10:55 PM
On second thought...am I violating all kinds of copy write laws by posting a picture from my service manual? If so Moderator Please Delete...

Sorry but yup, you are... thanks for asking us though
:clap

04R1150RS
10-20-2006, 11:09 PM
All this talk on diff fluids, I think I will change mine every 3,000 miles when the crankcase is being changed. Heck it's only about 8 oz (off the top of my head), what will it hurt. Oh well that's what I'll be doing

henzilla
04-02-2007, 07:06 PM
OK,
opening up this thread again...have done everything EXCEPT final drive fluid change on an '05 R1200RT...

Has anyone done one yet at the home shop? since the non -existent drain plug is the issue on this model, am I really going to have to drop the drive unit loose so I can drain from fill hole? I have seen some pictures somewhere and feel comfortable enough to tackle it...but what a PITA for something so possibly troublesome enough to put off "till later" Have had the bike since last May and this has not been done since. I have the records of the original flush/replacement on the service bulletin being done...I have added about 15K since then.

Sure is easier and no bother on the 1100 & 1150's!!

and hanging it from the rafters from the front wheel is LAST RESORT:laugh

kbasa
04-02-2007, 09:35 PM
OK,
opening up this thread again...have done everything EXCEPT final drive fluid change on an '05 R1200RT...

Has anyone done one yet at the home shop? since the non -existent drain plug is the issue on this model, am I really going to have to drop the drive unit loose so I can drain from fill hole? I have seen some pictures somewhere and feel comfortable enough to tackle it...but what a PITA for something so possibly troublesome enough to put off "till later" Have had the bike since last May and this has not been done since. I have the records of the original flush/replacement on the service bulletin being done...I have added about 15K since then.

Sure is easier and no bother on the 1100 & 1150's!!

and hanging it from the rafters from the front wheel is LAST RESORT:laugh

It's pretty straightforward. There are pictorials around the web and may be one here somewhere.

cjack
04-02-2007, 09:40 PM
It's pretty straightforward. There are pictorials around the web and may be one here somewhere.

Also there is a drain hole, it's the rear plug. The fill hole is thru the ABS hole with a measured amount.

henzilla
04-02-2007, 10:37 PM
Thanks guys, just needed a :thumb
been a MONDAY:bluduh Now I will put two items at top of this weeks list...and in this order!
#1- Change FD lube on RT
#2- File taxes
# 3 -go ride, to forget 2!

jimvonbaden
04-02-2007, 10:39 PM
OK,
opening up this thread again...have done everything EXCEPT final drive fluid change on an '05 R1200RT...

Has anyone done one yet at the home shop? since the non -existent drain plug is the issue on this model, am I really going to have to drop the drive unit loose so I can drain from fill hole? I have seen some pictures somewhere and feel comfortable enough to tackle it...but what a PITA for something so possibly troublesome enough to put off "till later" Have had the bike since last May and this has not been done since. I have the records of the original flush/replacement on the service bulletin being done...I have added about 15K since then.

Sure is easier and no bother on the 1100 & 1150's!!

and hanging it from the rafters from the front wheel is LAST RESORT:laugh

Check out this thread I did. It makes it pretty simple. http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=15342


Also, check out my sigline for a DVD on R1200 maintenance.

Jim :brow

henzilla
04-02-2007, 10:51 PM
Thanks Jim, ( aka the Kool-AidGuy:laugh )
Knew you were putting it together, I'm in!

henzilla
04-07-2007, 06:20 PM
Check out this thread I did. It makes it pretty simple. http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=15342


Also, check out my sigline for a DVD on R1200 maintenance.

Jim :brow

Raining here and another reminder we are still not far from you folks still enduring winter:stick ... actually supposed to freeze west/north of Austin tonight...I know...WAAAAA! All the peach trees in the western Hill Country have fruit on them...completely wiped them out in 2006 ,so hope not again! No fresh peach ice cream come June is not a happy thought!

ANYWAYS, got the final drive lube done this AM, not as easy as the 1100/1150's , but was done in under a hour and a bump. Check out this Wal-mart find for a funnel...the tip fit snug in the fill hole. It has a on/off feature and I hung it from the case mounts and let it fill...called a Hoppy , made in Kansas . Will be using it on transmission fills now also

hopkinsmfg.com


Thanks again for the tips Jim!

henzilla
04-07-2007, 06:40 PM
:doh

And, after 19K miles I added since June 06 when I bought the bike with 10K and the 600 mile change was documented, the fluid looked used like Jim's photo. It looked fine with no burnt smell ,just the lovely fragrance of used gear oil.:D You could tell it had Moly in it. My speed sensor had fuzz on it, but no shavings were found. YEAH!
I added the Moly anyways, since I had some using Paul G's ratio, Since it will be a regular piece of annual maintenance now, I will see what goes!

and a site to use for conversions for us non- math wiz's and measuring beakers with OZ's only in the shop:

http://www.sciencemadesimple.net/conversions.html

marcopolo
07-21-2007, 04:43 AM
Going back to the original topic of this thread, I'm sitting here in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, with my wife. My bike is at BMW of SLC awaiting parts from California after it suffered a final drive failure while I was in Wyoming. SLC was closest dealer -- five hour drive away (bike was loaded into pickup (friend's) and off I went. As pointed out in a BMW service bulletine, I experienced significant play in the rear wheel -- it was the splines on the axle tube, and the splines on the rotor flange. They were grinding, and leaving lots of residue, but the real sign was the wiggle in the rear end, which I first thought was my new Pilot Roads (after running Z6s). Fix is to replace the complete final drive assembly, plus the flange and rotor, along with lug nuts etc.

This has really screwed up my five-week cross-continent ride.

Check the play in the rear wheel is the message.

BTW, I have an '06 RT with 38,000 kms (about 22,000 miles), and it's 15 months old. No argument whatsoever abou warranty coverage.

dpmonk
07-21-2007, 03:02 PM
I am the happy (so far) owner of an 1150RT. I think I will keep it until it self destructs or just dies of old age. But unless BMW offers a lifetime warranty on their rear ends I am afraid that my next purchase may be a H1800GW.
I cannot imagine a motorcycle more fun in the twisties than the RT (I have to admit that I am kind of lusting after a F800ST for one up riding).
I just can't justify the paranoia associated with the Final Drive failure or dry splines when I next fork over a lot of money for a long range rider.

like I said, I am happy so far with my 04 RT, but a riding partner with an identical bike has already had the FD replaced and the ABS modulator went out just after warranty and destroyed a front caliper and rotor. BMW did pay for parts $1800+- but he had to foot the labor.

Imagine that, 32k valve adjustments.

Yuck.

twins4life
07-23-2007, 08:59 AM
You should have read that "other" thread. BMW is going back to putting a drain plug in the rear wheel drive units for 2007. When I saw the R1200 GS at the show when it first came out, I wondered about BMW's reasoning for omitting one.

BTW, this is Kawasaki's version of the Paralever (http://www.motorcycledaily.com/23september06_concours.htm). Although not employing a single sided swingarm, we'll see if the new Concours has the same problems. Come to think about it, why do I even need a single sided swingarm? For easy rear wheel removal? Like how often to I take the rear wheel off?


Holy trailing arm Batman! Look at the linkages on the final drive! And a "auto-compress on brake" front end.

And the engine layout is a marvel of simplicity, plus the added fun of pressurized water cooling. :lurk

Hmmmmmmmm

Mr. Frank
07-23-2007, 06:26 PM
At 615 lbs (dry) and a price of $13,800 with ABS and trip computer, it should do well.

deilenberger
07-24-2007, 03:50 AM
Moved to the Hexhead forum where it belongs..

dunromin
06-04-2012, 04:27 PM
It appears the NHTSA may not be as efficient as they could be. I've just posted the below comment on their web site. 6/4/2012
------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Strickland,

I've found a design problem in the way in which NHTSA gather's faulty vehicle information. It appears that filing the complaint by vehicle make, model,year, does not provide an accurate database of "component" failure. This is because a common component can be used in many makes, models, and years of vehicles.
Example: BMW Motorcycle's "final drive" assemblys.
ref: ODI - 10460182 or ODI - 10439549
Both of these are the same component failure but NHSTA would not see them as such because they are from different vehicles, years, and models. These failures I'm told are listed as ball bearing failure, crown or spline, failures, etc. None of which are cross matched in the NHSTA system and therefore NHSTA would not see the pattern of failure.

Secondly, a NHSTA representative told me that NHSTA notifies the manufactures and then drops the ball. In other words, there is no followup initiated on the part of NHSTA with the manufactures on individual complaints. This leaves it up to the manufacturer to respond, ignore the complaint, or simply trash it. The NHSTA would have no way of knowing if NHSTA does not incorporate a followup process on these complaints.

Thirdly I am including a post from the internet which describes this particular failure and the lack of resolve on the part of NHSTA with the BMW manufacturer:
===============
LINK: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=761531

After over 145 individual complaints filed between April 2001 and August
2011, the NHSTA has finally opened its first official investigation into the
failure of crown gear bearings on BMW models equipped with the Paralever
style final drive. NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered
on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now. But, if the findings are what we all believe
they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded. I found
the only way to get NHSTA to listen and focus was to pepper its director,
David Strickland, with repeat letters as well as inquiries from WA Senator
Patty Murray who chairs the subcommittee over funding for the NHSTA. If
you have had a final drive failure on your Paralever equipped BMW, and have
NOT already reported it to the NHSTA, I urge you do it now.



You will need your VIN, (est.) date of failure and mileage. State your
model as well. While they should be able to identify from VIN, their data
was wrong 50% of the time. Specify if gear oil leaked.



www.safercar.org



or call (888) 327-4236



or mail to:

NHSTA

Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
West Building
1200 New Jersey Ave SE

Mr. Strickland, I would certainly appreciate your response that I might include it with my writings to my congressman.

Thank you,
:violin