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SGTBORING
08-31-2007, 04:24 PM
If you are following the IBA you know that BMWs are experiencing final drive failure in droves.

I spoke with my BMW service manager today and he states "There is no problem with normal use and loads. Its that those guys are weighing the bikes down past lbs limits and some are pulling trailers at high speeds and long distances."

What do you think?

mikeinpittsburgh
08-31-2007, 04:32 PM
Pulling trailers in the Iron Butt?

Bobmws
08-31-2007, 04:35 PM
I think you need to find a different service manager.........

JWHITE518
08-31-2007, 06:55 PM
I think you need to find a different service manager.........

:rofl :rofl :rofl

hass
08-31-2007, 08:19 PM
My final drive failed on my K1200RS. But we had overloaded the bike by about 30kgs and driven up and down the Swiss Alps for three weeks - twice!

The_Veg
08-31-2007, 11:48 PM
I don't buy it. IBR competitors may put a lot of stuff on their bikes, but it's not enough of a load to seriously push the load-limits (which are probably conservatively stated) of the bikes. Most manuals I've read say that the bike can take around 400-450 pounds, including rider, passenger, etc.

aaleonard
09-01-2007, 12:10 AM
What is it that is actually failing in the drive? Are all the failures the same?

cjack
09-01-2007, 04:09 AM
What is it that is actually failing in the drive? Are all the failures the same?

I think there are at least three quite different issues. Almost makes me think quality control at manufacture. One is the spline that the wheel attaches to which fits thru the center of the drive, getting loose. Another is the leak of the outside seal which has been addressed in a TB. And as far as we know, there are some internal bearing failures, although this can be the result of loosing all the drive fluid and overheating, etc. I doubt however that all the fluid could leak without detection. So I have to assume that it is an initial failure somehow, a bearing race, etc.

cjack
09-01-2007, 04:35 AM
If you are following the IBA you know that BMWs are experiencing final drive failure in droves.

I spoke with my BMW service manager today and he states "There is no problem with normal use and loads. Its that those guys are weighing the bikes down past lbs limits and some are pulling trailers at high speeds and long distances."

What do you think?

I think that is a dumb response. I love BMW too, but I think with open eyes.

deilenberger
09-01-2007, 12:52 PM
Jack..

I try to think with an open mind,, :wave

I do find the current tempest in a teapot amusing...

How many people remember the 2003 IB teapot? Failing alternator belts on R11 bikes? It sounded as if everyone in the world with an R11 would be having the problem - when in reality - it was a small number on highly stressed bikes.

I think we're seeing the same thing.

Do rear drives fail? Yes..
In "droves"? No... I've heard of 2 hexheads, and 1 oilhead failure.

Look at the results of the IB - and count how many BMWs finished.. and think about the conditions the ones that failed were under. It isn't something that keeps me awake at night.

I'd be interested in chatting with Rob Nye - who suffered a failure on his R12RT/P.. and see if the same symptoms I've spotted on a club members bike and a few others I've heard of.. loss of all functions served by the rear ABS sensor. It seems when the bearing starts to go - it takes out the ABS sensor before it fails so the rider notices it. Sort of an early warning system. The club member rode another 2,000+ miles with his - and managed to get it home.

cjack
09-01-2007, 01:24 PM
If I sounded like I thought it was a wholesale problem, I didn't mean to. I do think that it is a quality control issue for most of the failures, rather than passing it off to overstressed drives and pulling trailers. Although that would surely help toast it.
Any idea what BMW meant by the manufacturing residue "binding with the oil" which requires a drive flush at 600 miles starting in '07? I was wondering if the issue is a chemical produced which is harmful or if it is a weakening of the additives in the original oil fill.

wsteinborn
09-01-2007, 02:36 PM
I just had my 6,000 mile service on my RT.

The dealer replaced the final drive lube again.

I suspect no one really knows what is happening, so they are taking a preventative action of replacing the lube (at my cost).

I wonder if there is a good spot to drill and tap for a drain plug and fill plug so you don't have to pull off the wheel and drop the FD to drain it and don't have to pull the speed sensor to fill it?

marcopolo
09-01-2007, 08:29 PM
I think there are at least three quite different issues. Almost makes me think quality control at manufacture. One is the spline that the wheel attaches to which fits thru the center of the drive, getting loose. Another is the leak of the outside seal which has been addressed in a TB. And as far as we know, there are some internal bearing failures, although this can be the result of loosing all the drive fluid and overheating, etc. I doubt however that all the fluid could leak without detection. So I have to assume that it is an initial failure somehow, a bearing race, etc.

My FD failed in July on my R12RT -- it was, as you point out, a problem with the splines on the axle tube and flange which holds the rear wheel on the bike. It resulted in excessive play in the rear wheel -- much more than the 1 mm allowed by BMW. This exact problem is the subject of a Technical Service Bulletin issued for the R12GS (I believe no other hexhead models had been released when this TSB was issued). I presume there have been a few such failures to warrant a TSB. My FD and rear rotor were replaced under warranty, along with all the wheel nuts.

I think the service manager's comments outlined above are BS, to put it kindly. My bike was well within the load limits specified by BMW, and was not being abused. Does this service manager think we buy RTs and GSs to go to the corner store?

RRainman
09-02-2007, 03:31 AM
I have 6100 miles on my '06 R12RT and just dropped it off at Atlanta BMW with a failed rear drive. I noticed the rear drive was making noise and that the rear wheel was dirty when rolling the bike out of the garage. I thought it might have been loose lugs. After ensuring proper torque I knew I had a failed drive.

BMW of Atlanta was surprised by the failure and stated that they have never seen it on a bike with this low miles.

This bike has not been overloaded or abused. Service Manager if full of crap!

hass
09-02-2007, 09:36 AM
Someone asked what type of failures people had - My failure was a total catastrophic failure of the rear wheel bearings.

swall
09-02-2007, 11:56 AM
I was wondering if a suction gun could be used to drain out the rear drive lube? I.e. suck it out the rear filler/oil level hole?

cjack
09-02-2007, 01:45 PM
I was wondering if a suction gun could be used to drain out the rear drive lube? I.e. suck it out the rear filler/oil level hole?

It's not easy to get anything past the internals thru the hole. Might as well just drop the drive and drain. I hang the drive just down a little so I can get to the drive shaft and wiggle it off the splines with a lever which has a rubber sleeve so as not to mark the drive housing when leaning against it. And lube the splines with Honda moly 60 while you are there. And lube the rubber u joint cover with white grease. Then fill with the drive and wheel back in place and on the side stand to get the whole 230ml (BMW 75/90 synth) into it with a syringe. This only works when the drive is on the left side. Otherwise it is easier to use the ABS hole. Stock an o ring for it. I use a 100cc syringe and refill, with a long rubber washer on the snout so the oil goes in fast. You have to let the air bleed by cocking it a bit.

ALLANCOOK
09-02-2007, 06:44 PM
I was visiting my daughters in New England last week and popped in to say hello to one of my old dealers. I asked him if he had been following the IBA and told him of Rob Nye's FD failure. His take on it was that it is unreasonable to expect a final drive to survive being ridden at high rpms, 24 hours a day, for days on end. I'm not sure I buy it.

PGlaves
09-03-2007, 12:03 AM
I was visiting my daughters in New England last week and popped in to say hello to one of my old dealers. I asked him if he had been following the IBA and told him of Rob Nye's FD failure. His take on it was that it is unreasonable to expect a final drive to survive being ridden at high rpms, 24 hours a day, for days on end. I'm not sure I buy it.

Except for one variable I can't see why the gears or bearings care whether they turn X miles all at one time or turn X miles over numerous segmented time periods.

That one variable is temperature! He might have a point, but also maybe not.

tburk
09-03-2007, 12:13 AM
...it was that it is unreasonable to expect a final drive to survive being ridden at high rpms, 24 hours a day, for days on end. I'm not sure I buy it.

Yeah, 'specially on a BMW. They just weren't made for the long haul. Gimme a break!

easy
09-03-2007, 12:56 AM
If you are following the IBA you know that BMWs are experiencing final drive failure in droves.

I spoke with my BMW service manager today and he states "There is no problem with normal use and loads. Its that those guys are weighing the bikes down past lbs limits and some are pulling trailers at high speeds and long distances."

What do you think?

I think he still believes in the tooth fairy.

Lets face it, those folks make a living taking our money. Anything that stops the money flow, or causes pause is bad for business. Remember, these are the same people who told us there was no hesitation.

Easy :german
Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people.

dlearl476
09-03-2007, 02:34 AM
I was wondering if a suction gun could be used to drain out the rear drive lube? I.e. suck it out the rear filler/oil level hole?

yes, they work great. I have a Wurth one that runs off my compressor. (disclaimer; I dont have a sealed FD, but I've used this "sucker" on bunches of like stuff and it works great.)

cjack
09-03-2007, 03:01 AM
yes, they work great. I have a Wurth one that runs off my compressor. (disclaimer; I dont have a sealed FD, but I've used this "sucker" on bunches of like stuff and it works great.)

The sealed drive is tight to get in with a hose thru the "drain" plug hole. Maybe a really thin teflon hose would work so it doesn't hang up and can be pushed to the bottom. I would measure what I got out to make sure I got about 230cc if I did it this way.

The_Veg
09-04-2007, 05:16 PM
I wonder if there is a good spot to drill and tap for a drain plug and fill plug so you don't have to pull off the wheel and drop the FD to drain it and don't have to pull the speed sensor to fill it?

I *REALLY* wonder why they didn't put a drain-plug down at 6 o'clock to begin with. :banghead

Just did my own 600-mile oil-change in the FD and ran into no problems, and the oil that came out looked healthy. The recess in the drain-plug in which the magnet lives was maybe half-full of very fine, smooth-textured metal-paste.
I did find that there is a certain rotor-position in which the new oil goes in more quickly (but still not fast). In my case, it's when the little etched Brembo-logo is at the top, but I don't know if everybody's rotor is screwed on the same way relative to the FD-internals.

tburk
09-04-2007, 06:45 PM
I *REALLY* wonder why they didn't put a drain-plug down at 6 o'clock to begin with.

Because it's not a service item? I think they originally intended it to be a "lifetime" arrangement, but began requiring the oil change at 600 mi. Someone will correct me if necessary, but I don't think there is any further service requirement after 600 mi. unless it's recently been added.

cjack
09-04-2007, 07:12 PM
Because it's not a service item? I think they originally intended it to be a "lifetime" arrangement, but began requiring the oil change at 600 mi. Someone will correct me if necessary, but I don't think there is any further service requirement after 600 mi. unless it's recently been added.

That is what the BMW bulletin says.

The_Veg
09-04-2007, 07:37 PM
I'm still skeptical. My VW's manual says that coolant is a lifetime item and never to touch it, but the facility is there to drain, fill, everything you need. BMW obviously knew that SOME chance of having to drain was possible, or they wouldn't have given us a plug at all. While a half-ass-located plug is better than no plug, I still think that any engineer worth his lederhosen would have located that plug properly.

PAGoldsby
09-04-2007, 08:11 PM
If you are following the IBA you know that BMWs are experiencing final drive failure in droves.

I spoke with my BMW service manager today and he states "There is no problem with normal use and loads. Its that those guys are weighing the bikes down past lbs limits and some are pulling trailers at high speeds and long distances."

What do you think?Is this the guy?

http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/07-minister.jpg

FredRydr
09-04-2007, 08:46 PM
I found the IBA website, but nothing there about the droves of BMW rear drive failures. Would someone post a link?

Thanks.

Fred

henzilla
09-04-2007, 08:58 PM
I found the IBA website, but nothing there about the droves of BMW rear drive failures. Would someone post a link?

Thanks.

Fred

"Droves" = 3 this year... RT hexhead, 1150GS, and one more hexhead I believe

flash412
09-04-2007, 09:08 PM
I *REALLY* wonder why they didn't put a drain-plug down at 6 o'clock to begin with. :bangheadA bolt costs about a nickle and a washer costs a penny. The machining operation is about a quarter. Inserting the bolt with washer into the hole costs about another two cents. BMW "saved" about US$0.35 by eliminating that part.

Now, on the assumption that it is a rare bike that is ridden more than 24,000 miles within the warranty period, every failure outside of the warranty period represents parts sales for der Kraporation and service revenue for the dealership network. This is a win-win for dealers and the mother ship. No so much for the customers.

BMW's marketing department is not quite thrilled with the IBA "brand leveling" bonus (http://www.ironbuttrally.com/IBR/2007.cfm?DocID=42) proposed for the next Iron Butt Rally...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Any BMW Dealership in North America 1,000 points Available
Up To 3 Times

Pick up a copy of the repair order for the correction of a final drive
or transmission failure from any BMW dealership in North America. Your
motorcycle's vehicle identification number must appear on the repair
order. Have a glass of Kool-Aid while you are waiting. No
documentation is required for the Kool-Aid; we already know you drink
it.

1st Failure Time: ______ Odometer: _______ Code: BMW1
Approved:____________
2nd Failure Time: ______ Odometer: _______ Code: BMW2
Approved:____________
3rd Failure Time: ______ Odometer: _______ Code: BMW3
Approved:____________
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Please note, you can only earn the bonus three times during the 11 day rally. So much for the Legendary Motorcycles of Germany.

FredRydr
09-04-2007, 10:01 PM
So much for the Legendary Motorcycles of Germany.That's funny, but it tells me about Tom Austin, not drive failures.

Anyone have a link, or a realtime source on the droves of failures? I really want to know the truth, as I expect everyone else on here does.

Thanks.

Fred

PGlaves
09-04-2007, 10:32 PM
That's funny, but it tells me about Tom Austin, not drive failures.

Anyone have a link, or a realtime source on the droves of failures? I really want to know the truth, as I expect everyone else on here does.

Thanks.

Fred

The "drove" of failures was two. Glenn Pancoast and Rob Nye. Both R1200GS drives. (Yes, I know - Rob had an RTP, but it was a GS drive in the RTP, or so Rob told me.)

See: http://www.ironbuttrally.com/ibr/2007/html/2.html

The_Veg
09-04-2007, 10:42 PM
Flash, mine has those parts- just up at 9 o'clock (when you view the bike from the starboard side) instead of down where it's supposed be.

flash412
09-05-2007, 04:38 PM
Flash, mine has those parts- just up at 9 o'clock (when you view the bike from the starboard side) instead of down where it's supposed be.Isn't that one the FILL/level-checking plug? All my airheads had one plug at 6 for draining and one and 9 for filling. Maybe BMW lost the drawing.

The_Veg
09-05-2007, 06:31 PM
I don't know. Next time I change the oil I'll try it and see if it'll take the whole amount through that hole. I have doubts though, given the minuscule size of the housing.

dlearl476
09-05-2007, 06:54 PM
Flash, mine has those parts- just up at 9 o'clock (when you view the bike from the starboard side) instead of down where it's supposed be.


Is there not an article re: this procedure in last month's ON? Or did I imagine it? IIRC, it requires several things to be removed so the final drive can be rotated down and the 9 o'clock fill plug IS now at 6:00.

(Let me hear ya say "FLAT RATE". Hallelujah!)

henzilla
09-05-2007, 08:00 PM
Isn't that one the FILL/level-checking plug? All my airheads had one plug at 6 for draining and one and 9 for filling. Maybe BMW lost the drawing.

No, on the Hexheads the only threaded plug IS the drain that pivots down to 6 O'clock after removing strut and seperating u-joint... really not that hard of a task...and you can lube universal splines while you're there. Now filling iit back up thru the tiny ABS sensor hole is another issue. I warmed the lube first and had a flexible tube funnel...

2bikemike
09-05-2007, 08:31 PM
The "drove" of failures was two. Glenn Pancoast and Rob Nye. Both R1200GS drives. (Yes, I know - Rob had an RTP, but it was a GS drive in the RTP, or so Rob told me.)

See: http://www.ironbuttrally.com/ibr/2007/html/2.html

Is the RTP manufactured with a GS final drive, or did Rob Nye modify his RTP?

The_Veg
09-06-2007, 03:33 PM
Is the RTP manufactured with a GS final drive, or did Rob Nye modify his RTP?
The RTP has what looks like the same unit, but I have no idea if the gearset inside is the same.

MOTOR31
09-07-2007, 08:44 PM
There are multiple threads in multiple sections of the board here all dealing with the FD issue. Obviously it is a concern of the membership on the board. Since the magazine is almost entirely one way communication, who knows what the rest of the non electronically inclined membership thinks.

This was posted on the tarnished roundel thread in campfire. Since this thread deals with the same issue I am duplicating it here. The link indicated was for IBR entrants data including name bike info and finish placement. Here is what I did working with a few of the numbers.

Using the link that was provided earlier I decided to do a bit of checking. I am assuming the data on the linked site for the IBR data is correct.

First a proviso, that itÔÇÖs difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data as not all of the reasons for DNF entrants are known. Only in the case of a few BMWÔÇÖs and that number (4 vs. 3) is still in dispute. IÔÇÖll continue to use the 4 FD failures as confirmed by Paul.

Here are the bare total IBR numbers.
(all % rounded down)
97 entrants
33 DNF (all brands all reasons)
34% DNF rate

The Brand participation numbers in decreasing order.

BMW 40
Honda 29
Yamaha 14
Suzuki 5
HD 3
Kawasaki 3
Buel 1
Victory 1
Truimph 1
___
Total 97

Obviously BMW has the highest percentage of entrants at 41%

Of the total DNF there were 16 BMWÔÇÖs or .40% of all DNF all causes.

Only the 4 FDÔÇÖs, all 1200GS model FDÔÇÖs including the one I saw posted was installed in Rob NyeÔÇÖs RTP, are the ones I have any info on and gleaned informally from the BBS. There were a total of seven 1200GS (GSA) models listed. Adding RobÔÇÖs RTP FD to it indicates that of the eight 1200 GS FD equipped bikes 4 failed for a 50% failure rate. Even if it turns out there were only 3, that is still a 37% failure rate.

Other than for the FD issue with the 1200 GS bike there is no real info to draw conclusions from even with the numbers of total entered and DNF by brand.

IÔÇÖve seen things posted regarding a 10% failure rate and what not. Given the info I have seen, comparing only apples to apples (1200GS FD equipment) the failure rate far exceeds 10%.

JWHITE518
09-07-2007, 09:51 PM
This analysis shouldn't include all DNFs without regard for reason, because some people DNF'd for non-mechanical reasons. To get the true percentage you'd have to exclude the non-mechanical DNFs. To get really anal about it, you should also exclude the new GT's since they have a different FD.

deilenberger
09-08-2007, 12:46 AM
First a proviso, that it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data as not all of the reasons for DNF entrants are known. Only in the case of a few BMW’s and that number (4 vs. 3) is still in dispute. I’ll continue to use the 4 FD failures as confirmed by Paul.
I assume you mean Paul Glaves? Last I emailed with him (last night) there were 2 R1200## drives that failed - and one R1150xx.

Has this information changed somehow? It would seem counting 4 would be double the amount of hexhead FD failures I've heard of.. (and this is a hexhead forum) and in discussions with Paul - the reason for the drive failure was a loss of oil that went unnoticed by the IB riders. Paul's feeling, and mine also - is that most "casual" riders would have noticed the oil loss before drive bearing failure occurred.

This failure scenario agrees with the one drive failure I know of personally (a local club member.)

Just as an aside - I suspect the failure mode of hexhead drives is very much different from the well known bearing failure on oilhead drives. Nothing confirmed on this yet - but the new drive design is likely partly due to the failures in the old design.

cjack
09-08-2007, 01:34 AM
I assume you mean Paul Glaves? Last I emailed with him (last night) there were 2 R1200## drives that failed - and one R1150xx.

Has this information changed somehow? It would seem counting 4 would be double the amount of hexhead FD failures I've heard of.. (and this is a hexhead forum) and in discussions with Paul - the reason for the drive failure was a loss of oil that went unnoticed by the IB riders. Paul's feeling, and mine also - is that most "casual" riders would have noticed the oil loss before drive bearing failure occurred.

This failure scenario agrees with the one drive failure I know of personally (a local club member.)

Just as an aside - I suspect the failure mode of hexhead drives is very much different from the well known bearing failure on oilhead drives. Nothing confirmed on this yet - but the new drive design is likely partly due to the failures in the old design.

Well I was thinking that it might be possible to ride a few hundred miles and not know that you lost a cup of oil in the dark...maybe not. It would have come out of the outside big seal area of the drive. Not near the wheel. Just a thought.

deilenberger
09-08-2007, 01:45 AM
Well I was thinking that it might be possible to ride a few hundred miles and not know that you lost a cup of oil in the dark...maybe not. It would have come out of the outside big seal area of the drive. Not near the wheel. Just a thought.Jack - no argument there.. just if the experience of the local club member who lost his rear drive was typical - he went over 2,000 miles after loosing enough oil that the ABS/Speedo sensor melted down from heat before the bearings actually failed. And yes - it was the outside seal that failed.

dbrick
09-08-2007, 04:57 PM
...if the experience of the local club member who lost his rear drive was typical - he went over 2,000 miles...

At one regular service, my dealer drained and neglected to refill the final drive. The bike went almost 4K miles before the rear drive turned to crinkly.

MOTOR31
09-08-2007, 05:14 PM
I assume you mean Paul Glaves? Last I emailed with him (last night) there were 2 R1200## drives that failed - and one R1150xx.

Has this information changed somehow? It would seem counting 4 would be double the amount of hexhead FD failures I've heard of.. (and this is a hexhead forum) and in discussions with Paul - the reason for the drive failure was a loss of oil that went unnoticed by the IB riders. Paul's feeling, and mine also - is that most "casual" riders would have noticed the oil loss before drive bearing failure occurred.

This failure scenario agrees with the one drive failure I know of personally (a local club member.)

Just as an aside - I suspect the failure mode of hexhead drives is very much different from the well known bearing failure on oilhead drives. Nothing confirmed on this yet - but the new drive design is likely partly due to the failures in the old design.

Don,

This is the inormation I based the 4 FD failures on. It was a post in response to a question I posed about the confusion aboput the reported number of FD failures.


The two originally disclosed are not the only ones. In fact, there were four failures of R1200GS drives: Glenn Pancoast, as I originally reported and Rob Nye's GS drive in an R1200RTP. Also, lost in the fog - finisher in 55th position Rick Neeley had his final drive replaced at the dealership in Las Vegas. And, Gerhard Mennen Krueger's R1200GS was reported "GS broke", and it was originally reported as an engine seal. It was in fact the final drive according what Gerhard told IBR staff.

So - four R1200GS new style final drives failed during the rally. Unless there is another finisher with a heretofore unreported failure that is the correct total.

Interestingly, I don't think any of the older style Oilhead final drives failed this year.

I apologize for any confusion.


As you can see this was rather specific in information.

MOTOR31
09-08-2007, 05:38 PM
This analysis shouldn't include all DNFs without regard for reason, because some people DNF'd for non-mechanical reasons. To get the true percentage you'd have to exclude the non-mechanical DNFs. To get really anal about it, you should also exclude the new GT's since they have a different FD.


Before you levy criticism about it you might want to read the entire post. I only included the total number of BMW's entered as well as the total number of DNF as the percentages are the same 41% and 40%. That indicates a null issue specifically to the brand overall.

I noted that the data was incomplete and did not draw conclusions from it. I merely reported specifically on one model because of the numbers and info I was able to gain about it. The one specifically about the FD failures all being 1200GS bikes plus the RTP that is reported to have a GS FD installed in it. Here is what I posted about that.

First a proviso, that itÔÇÖs difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data as not all of the reasons for DNF entrants are known. Only in the case of a few BMWÔÇÖs and that number (4 vs. 3) is still in dispute. IÔÇÖll continue to use the 4 FD failures as confirmed by Paul.

I noted in it that I did not have the reasons for all of the DNF's and that I was not basing the FD stats off of that.

What I did find interesting is this:

Only the 4 FDÔÇÖs, all 1200GS model FDÔÇÖs including the one I saw posted was installed in Rob NyeÔÇÖs RTP, are the ones I have any info on and gleaned informally from the BBS. There were a total of seven 1200GS (GSA) models listed. Adding RobÔÇÖs RTP FD to it indicates that of the eight 1200 GS FD equipped bikes 4 failed for a 50% failure rate. Even if it turns out there were only 3, that is still a 37% failure rate.

Other than for the FD issue with the 1200 GS bike there is no real info to draw conclusions from even with the numbers of total entered and DNF by brand.

Only one particular model BMW had a reported FD failure, the 1200GS. I included the RTP as it is reputed to have the GS FD.

FWIW I DID exclude all of the other dnf's and models of BMW from this brief look and what I posted. I did look at all of the numbers including all of the other bikes, how many entered and how many finished. It appears that of all of the brand motorcycles that had multiple bikes entered only Suzuki had a zero DNF, all 5 entered finished. Not only did I not draw a conclusion about it, I didn't even mention it until now.

j-budimlya
09-08-2007, 05:42 PM
From this data, one might conclude that you can ride a 1200GS anywhere you want; if, you replace the GS final drive with an 1200RT final drive....

Somehow, I suspect my conclusion is flawed ..... :brow

dixonduke
09-12-2007, 07:59 PM
Someone asked what type of failures people had - My failure was a total catastrophic failure of the rear wheel bearings.

This was my experience as well.

http://r1200gsa.smugmug.com/photos/99075565-M.jpg

http://r1200gsa.smugmug.com/photos/95926766-M.jpg

Yes this was me in Sept of 2006 after owning my 1200 GS Adv for 4 1/2 months & 11,000 miles of perfect bliss. Had a bearing sieze and heated things up a bit. (you think?:brow )

It was replaced under warranty and I have almost 30,000 miles on the clock now with no more problems. This week I just returned from a 8,000 plus mile ride over the last 14 days and will say that I am still very confident in my bike.

I am also fairly confident that this is a quality control issue at time of manufacture, with either the seating of the bearing in the race or insufficiant lubrication. I am sure that some of my more spirited miles and my 250 LB butt, and another maybe 30/40 pounds of gear (panniers/camping bag/clothes & what nots) could have also contributed to the timing of it as well.

It is water under the bridge now, as reguarlly changing out the final drive lube is part of my maintenance schedule. Well I say reguarlly. I did it when I returned to Houston after my replacement FD was fitted in Grand Junction, CO; 1100 miles later. Then before I left on this years vacation ride to the the PNW via CO, 8200 miles ago. So twice since new drive installed in 18,000 miles. I guess that is regular, HUH?.

Don't know if I really have a point to all of this other than to say, enjoy the ride until if the unfortnate occurs. Then do your best to define within yourself if your still confident in the bike. For me I am truly confident that it is but of the rarest of occasions that lighting strikes the same place twice. (This is why I avoid Rock Springs, WY from now on :nyah)

Duke

rob nye
09-12-2007, 08:05 PM
Is the RTP manufactured with a GS final drive, or did Rob Nye modify his RTP?

The police bike comes with a lower rear end (same as GS Adventure) than the civilian model.

You need to remove the entire drive to check / change the oil which was done on mine at the 600 service.

My bike now has a rear drive from a civilian RT.

There was also a third drive failure in the IBR.

As far as hard running, I had been on the road for 18 hours of which four were sleep and gas. We were running with the flow of traffic on the Trans-Canada highway. Fully loaded I have less than 80 lbs of gear, clothing and extra fuel on the bike.



Best,

Rob Nye

2bikemike
09-12-2007, 08:22 PM
You need to remove the entire drive to check / change the oil which was done on mine at the 600 service.

My bike now has a rear drive from a civilian RT.

There was also a third drive failure in the IBR.

As far as hard running, I had been on the road for 18 hours of which four were sleep and gas. We were running with the flow of traffic on the Trans-Canada highway. Fully loaded I have less than 80 lbs of gear, clothing and extra fuel on the bike.



Best,

Rob Nye

On one of the other FD posts somewhere, someone mentioned that maybe some of the Iron Butt Riders were to hard on the FD's, ie: hard acceleration, running for hours on end.Those things are probably true but, I don't think that would be the cause for failure. Regardless, my hat's off to you and the other competitors.:bow

deilenberger
09-12-2007, 08:52 PM
I am also fairly confident that this is a quality control issue at time of manufactue, with either the seating of the bearing in the race or insufficant lubrication.
Snippage..

DukeThe thought of insufficient lube - or perhaps contaminated fluid - is an interesting one. The one drive in our local club that failed - had it's fluid changed about 4,000 miles before the failure occurred. The bike at that time had about 16,000 miles on it - with the original fluid. When the fluid was changed - the mechanic who changed it (a good friend, and independent mechanic) said the fluid was dark, smelled burned and had some metal chunks in it.

I have also heard reports of other people who have changed the factory fill fluid - and it came out black - as if it had moly in it (which I very much doubt..)

It leads me to wonder if some of the drives were contaminated in some way that caused the "lifetime" fluid to break down. That would explain why BMW has now added a fluid change to the 600 mile service.

A question for everyone: Has anyone who had the fluid changed at 600 miles experienced a rear drive failure?

I suspect not - but perhaps the reason being this change requirement is fairly recent. Mine has been fine, and the fluid drained from it at 600 miles looked clear. Anyone observing anything different?

cjack
09-12-2007, 09:01 PM
Snippage..The thought of insufficient lube - or perhaps contaminated fluid - is an interesting one. The one drive in our local club that failed - had it's fluid changed about 4,000 miles before the failure occurred. The bike at that time had about 16,000 miles on it - with the original fluid. When the fluid was changed - the mechanic who changed it (a good friend, and independent mechanic) said the fluid was dark, smelled burned and had some metal chunks in it.

I have also heard reports of other people who have changed the factory fill fluid - and it came out black - as if it had moly in it (which I very much doubt..)

It leads me to wonder if some of the drives were contaminated in some way that caused the "lifetime" fluid to break down. That would explain why BMW has now added a fluid change to the 600 mile service.

A question for everyone: Has anyone who had the fluid changed at 600 miles experienced a rear drive failure?

I suspect not - but perhaps the reason being this change requirement is fairly recent. Mine has been fine, and the fluid drained from it at 600 miles looked clear. Anyone observing anything different?

We have 3 K12Ses and the two '05s had sort of clear original gear oil in them after about 10K miles each. But there was some black in them. The magnets had really black magnetic dust in them. The '06 K12S had really black oil which looked a lot like moly. It also had really black metallic dust in it's magnet drain plug. Really stained my fingers, etc.
So I don't know. Was it black gear dust, moly, or both?
I have also seen brand new transmissions and final drives (pre 1200 types) come from the factory with black oil or oil residue in them. I assumed that they had moly or moly assembly type oil in them. These were units that were never run from parts depots. I have also seen them come in with clear oil in them.

deilenberger
09-12-2007, 09:17 PM
We have 3 K12Ses and the two '05s had sort of clear original gear oil in them after about 10K miles each. But there was some black in them. The magnets had really black magnetic dust in them. The '06 K12S had really black oil which looked a lot like moly. It also had really black metallic dust in it's magnet drain plug. Really stained my fingers, etc.
So I don't know. Was it black gear dust, moly, or both?
Well - moly isn't magnetic.. so the stuff on the magnet likely was steel. It makes me wonder what's used by the subcontractor (Getrag? ZF?) in machining the gear sets? And if it's ever cleaned off before assembly.

I have also seen brand new transmissions and final drives (pre 1200 types) come from the factory with black oil or oil residue in them. I assumed that they had moly or moly assembly type oil in them. These were units that were never run from parts depots. I have also seen them come in with clear oil in them.Be interesting to get a sample of drained gear oil that's right out of an untouched drive and have it analyzed by Blackstone Labs.. wonder what that might tell us..?

deilenberger
09-12-2007, 09:19 PM
Just re-read Rob's message. His bike had the 600 mile oil change on the rear drive (that later failed..) so guess that theory is out the door.

Damn, that would have been an excellent one.. :D

FredRydr
09-13-2007, 12:54 AM
Be interesting to get a sample of drained gear oil that's right out of an untouched drive and have it analyzed by Blackstone Labs.. wonder what that might tell us..?Don,

Good idea. An opportunity for the MOA to do some sleuthing for its members!

Fred

mrich12000
09-13-2007, 01:54 AM
Just lubed the spline on my K. Tube was soooooo dry. Simple job, did it the Anton way. and lucky I did this as I was off Friday for the Green at Ridon VM. for the weekend. on inspection I found the pinion nut had backed off and was 1-3 mm from the bearing. So pulled the unit off the bike re torqued the nut with red loc-tite (r) found a little bit of silver on the refill, put all back, road test all in good nick
so even a bike with 159890 on the clock can have a wheel siezing problem just like a new one

To Rob Nye good on you for your super effort in the Iron bum...:bow buy you a beer in Vemont :buds :buds :bikes And Paul .

dlearl476
09-13-2007, 03:26 AM
In absence of any real facts:

I was at the dealer yesterday and his take was this:

The FDs come with a break-in oil that HAS to be changed at the 600 mile service. Due to some poor communications and misunderstanding, this wasn't done on a lot of bikes and caused failures. Sounds reasonable.

I also gather from some of the posts that folks have had FDs repaired and the OLD shims put back in. I don't have any personal experience with these like Paul does, but this sounds incredible to me. Reminds me of some musicians I know who think their instruments were "tuned at the factory". (Sorry, it's a derogatory inside sound guy remark) The whole pupose of a shim, AFAIK, is to make up for slight variations in the manufactured parts. To accept that two different bearings are EXACTLY the same size and hence apply the exact same preload in an application is naive, at best.

Lastly, the seals. If, as Rob states, the proceedure for changing the fluid is to remove the FD, drain, refill, and re-seal the drive, that makes a lot of room for error, IMO. If this thing is sealed, the exact quantity and type of lubrication would be critical. Early on there was talk of "if it's thicker, it must be better" mentality causing folks to use 80W/140 gear lube when 89W/90 was spec-ed. I would think this would be catastophic given the app. If the lube cant flow into the balls, it's gonna overheat, which is gonna mean "someting's gotta give". Given that there no longer a vent on these drives, that "something" is gonna be the seal, IMO.

So here's my WAG: All the above. I'd surmise some failed from one cause or the other. Possibly even more failed from two, and combine all three and there's no way your drive is gonna last long at all. But that's just my guess. The flip side of the coin is get all three right and your FD will last forever.

IMO, if there is a real design flaw in this system, it is doing away with the drain and vent, making temperature and pressure variations possibly lethal which, in turn, mandates absolute perfection in the replacing of the seal, a job which now has to be done every time the fluid is changed.

deilenberger
09-13-2007, 03:55 AM
There are a few problems with your hypothesis - although in the absence of facts - it's probably as good as any..

- The drives which were repaired with new bearings were not hexhead drives. So far - in every case I've heard of - BMW replaces the new style drive as a unit. If there is a problem with shimming variances - it's coming right from the factory (which is likely a subcontractor - Getrag or ZF.) I think it's important to note that the design of the hexhead/new-K drives is really completely different from the older oilhead/K drives. AFAIK - not a single part is shared between them, including bearings, seals, casing, etc. The fact that they're being replaced as a unit make me guess (no knowledge - just a bit on how BMW does this sort of thing on the car side) - that they're kicking the problem ones back to a subcontractor who originally manufactured them, and the subcontractor is paying for the replacement drive. They've been known to do this with assemblies on the car side for years.

- The seal being replaced on some drives is the shaft seal on the outboard side of the drive.. the one under the nice little rubber cover on that side. This isn't normally removed when changing the oil. The only seals that would be replaced when changing the oil are one on the ABS sensor (an O ring seal) - which is used to refill the drive and one on the drain plug used to drain it.

- The story I heard - which was from a source that claimed they heard it from BMW - but I can't be certain it's entirely accurate - is the reason the oil is being changed at 600 miles is it may have some contamination left from the original machining process. I can't think of any reason to use any sort of break-in oil on a gearbox that has gears and bearings - "break-in" of either of these implies wear - and that's exactly what isn't needed or wanted.

But - in the absence of a drive that failed to take apart, or have analyzed - it's all guesswork on our part and the dealer's part. Or if someone who is going in for the 600 mile service could capture a sample of their oil in a CLEAN glass jar - perhaps we could have it analyzed and actually have some data to hypothesis about.

dlearl476
09-13-2007, 04:13 AM
There are a few problems with your hypothesis - although in the absence of facts - it's probably as good as any..

Point taken, absence of facts.


- The drives which were repaired with new bearings were not hexhead drives. So far - in every case I've heard of - BMW replaces the new style drive as a unit. If there is a problem with shimming variances - it's coming right from the factory (which is likely a subcontractor - Getrag or ZF.) I think it's important to note that the design of the hexhead/new-K drives is really completely different from the older oilhead/K drives. AFAIK - not a single part is shared between them, including bearings, seals, casing, etc.

I based that bit on posts here, that owners had had repairs made with the same shims used.

- The story I heard - which was from a source that claimed they heard it from BMW - but I can't be certain it's entirely accurate - is the reason the oil is being changed at 600 miles is it may have some contamination left from the original machining process. I can't think of any reason to use any sort of break-in oil on a gearbox that has gears and bearings - "break-in" of either of these implies wear - and that's exactly what isn't needed or wanted.



Simply passing on what the dealer told me yesterday. I'm no engineer, but a "break-in" oil makes sense to me. Something to "bed in" new parts, then get rid of the swarf. Triumph uses a dino, no friction modifier/surfacant additives added, "break in" oil in their engines for the first 600 miles. Helps in seating rings and such. I can see it helping to "finish" (polish) gear surfaces and bearings and get rid of machine tool marks but, once again, I'm no engineer.

deilenberger
09-13-2007, 04:31 AM
Point taken, absence of facts.



I based that bit on posts here, that owners had had repairs made with the same shims used.
I can't recall that being the case on any reported hexhead failures.. but it was quite common on the older oilhead design.


Simply passing on what the dealer told me yesterday. I'm no engineer, but a "break-in" oil makes sense to me. Something to "bed in" new parts, then get rid of the swarf. Triumph uses a dino, no friction modifier/surfacant additives added, "break in" oil in their engines for the first 600 miles. Helps in seating rings and such. I can see it helping to "finish" (polish) gear surfaces and bearings and get rid of machine tool marks but, once again, I'm no engineer.
As mentioned - you aren't an engineer (and think of that as a blessing..) Older engine manufacturing did use somewhat variable clearances - and part of breaking in an engine was to allow the parts to wear against each other to fit. I'm guessing that's what Triumph uses. BMW hasn't used a break-in oil on anything I know of in about 15 years or more. They machine the parts to tolerances they are expected to keep for the life of the bike. The only exception is the rings/cylinder interface. This still requires some 'bedding' in of the parts to achieve an effective seal.

Gear drives are considerably different from engines - and the gear mating surfaces are a hardened surface, precisely machined to mate correctly. Wear or polishing of the surface actually is wear - and is undesirable AFAIK.

One point - I think most dealers are as much in the dark on this as we are - but they usually feel they have to project some sort of expert image, so I take what a dealer says with a somewhat critical eye unless they are showing me something BMW sent to them. I've been told some amazingly wrong things by dealers and dealer mechanics through the years.. Not that they mean wrong - but they feel they have to say something.. after all - they're the experts.

Best,

KUTCHER
09-13-2007, 07:37 PM
http://www.designnews.com/blog/320000232/post/1700014370.html?nid=2333&rid=1512736146


Want to help save the environment? [How about your BMW?] Sure you do. And one way you can help, as an engineer/ [rider], is to take a hard look at the energy-efficiency implications of the motion components you specify.

That’s the message that came out during an SKF media event held yesterday in Philadelphia. The company later this year will start production on two new families of energy-efficient bearings that promise to reduce friction losses by up to 30 percent compared to conventional bearings of the same size, type and service life. The new bearings will initially be available in deep groove ball bearing and tapered roller bearing styles.

The reduced friction losses can add up to big gains in overall energy efficiency in many applications. Tom Johnstone, SKF Group’s president and CEO, noted that a typical windmill would save about 2,600 kilowatt-hours yearly through the replacement of a single tapered roller bearing with one of the new energy-efficient models. Replacing all the windmill’s bearings with energy efficient models would save about 20,000 kilowatt-hours per year, he estimates.

Better ball bearings could have a similarly large impact. Replacing all the ball bearings used in Europe’s and North America’s electric motors [and BMWs] with energy efficient bearings would roughly offset the energy used by 3 million Swedish households in a month, Johnstone says.

SKF achieved the efficiency gains by optimizing aspects of its existing ball and tapered roller bearing designs. “We worked hard on the internal geometry,” Johnstone says. The company also adopted new polymer cages and low friction greases for the new bearings.

The energy-efficient models will at first be available in medium and large sizes for energy-intensive transmissions, electric motors, pumps, compressors, fans, conveyors and [BMWs]. Eventually, SKF plans to extend its energy efficient technology to additional sizes and bearing families.

So can better bearings really save the planet? Obviously not by themselves. But the new products do exemplify SKF’s broad approach to sustainability, which has earned the company spots on the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good indexes for the past six years. The company already has programs that focus on the usual sustainability suspects–such as the CO2 emissions, materials, chemicals and energy consumption associated with its own production processes.

But SKF’s Beyond Zero sustainability program also accounts for the environmental impact of its products after they’ve been installed in customer applications. “We use energy at SKF. We emit CO2. So we develop products whose cumulative effect for customers is greater than what SKF itself uses,” Johnstone explains.


[Maybe someone should give these guys a call...]

2bikemike
09-14-2007, 02:24 PM
In absence of any real facts:

:

The FDs come with a break-in oil that HAS to be changed at the 600 mile service. Due to some poor communications and misunderstanding, this wasn't done on a lot of bikes and caused failures. Sounds reasonable.



Lastly, the seals. If, as Rob states, the proceedure for changing the fluid is to remove the FD, drain, refill, and re-seal the drive, that makes a lot of room for error, IMO. If this thing is sealed, the exact quantity and type of lubrication would be critical. Early on there was talk of "if it's thicker, it must be better" mentality causing folks to use 80W/140 gear lube when 89W/90 was spec-ed. I would think this would be catastophic given the app. If the lube cant flow into the balls, it's gonna overheat, which is gonna mean "someting's gotta give". Given that there no longer a vent on these drives, that "something" is gonna be the seal, IMO.

So here's my WAG: All the above. I'd surmise some failed from one cause or the other. Possibly even more failed from two, and combine all three and there's no way your drive is gonna last long at all. But that's just my guess. The flip side of the coin is get all three right and your FD will last forever.

IMO, if there is a real design flaw in this system, it is doing away with the drain and vent, making temperature and pressure variations possibly lethal which, in turn, mandates absolute perfection in the replacing of the seal, a job which now has to be done every time the fluid is changed.

The only problem I have with this, is the fact that Rob's bike was prepared by MAX BMW. I would certainly hope that even a lesser known dealer would know the proper service procedures. I've neve been in their shop but, they are highly thought of, at least on the MOA Forum. Just my 2 cents.

cjack
09-14-2007, 03:53 PM
Point taken, absence of facts.
Simply passing on what the dealer told me yesterday. I'm no engineer, but a "break-in" oil makes sense to me. Something to "bed in" new parts, then get rid of the swarf. Triumph uses a dino, no friction modifier/surfacant additives added, "break in" oil in their engines for the first 600 miles. Helps in seating rings and such. I can see it helping to "finish" (polish) gear surfaces and bearings and get rid of machine tool marks but, once again, I'm no engineer.

If this refers to the new drives and the subsequent bulletin advising the dealers to change the final drive fluid starting with the '07 bikes, there was no mention of "break in oil". The issue was that some manufacturing substance could bind with the initial fill of oil and it was recommended that the drive oil be changed at the run in (600 miles) service. Subsequent oil changes like at 12K miles would not be beneficial. Earlier bikes were not mentioned. There still is no FD oil change specified in any of the maintenance schedules for any service...600 or other. The drives came new with Castrol SAF-XO which is an extended drain synthetic 75W90 gear oil. It is not readily available in the States, so dealers are to use BMW's, made by Spectrol, long drain interval 75W90 gear oil.
That are all the facts there are at this time. In addition to acting on these facts, I personally would complete one oil change of any other new drive on previous year bikes I had regardless of mileage and put the BMW long drain synth or equivalent synth 75W90 gear oil in them and go for a ride.

dlearl476
09-14-2007, 06:15 PM
The only problem I have with this, is the fact that Rob's bike was prepared by MAX BMW. I would certainly hope that even a lesser known dealer would know the proper service procedures. I've neve been in their shop but, they are highly thought of, at least on the MOA Forum. Just my 2 cents.

That's kind of the point I was trying to make. I've had one of the best Triumph dealers in the country screw up a 6K service. Stuff happens. But in my hypothetical pondering, IF (and it's a big if) a dealership like Max could get the seal wrong, what hope is there the other 80 percentile techs won't?



If this refers to the new drives and the subsequent bulletin advising the dealers to change the final drive fluid starting with the '07 bikes, there was no mention of "break in oil". The issue was that some manufacturing substance could bind with the initial fill of oil and it was recommended that the drive oil be changed at the run in (600 miles) service.

Who knows, I'm just relating what the dealer said. I wonder if some sort of assembly lube/paste is used and that's what they want out of the mix. "Break-in Lube" could easily refer to either "the lube that's in there during break-in" as "a special lube to AID in break-in".


I personally would complete one oil change of any other new drive on previous year bikes I had regardless of mileage and put the BMW long drain synth or equivalent synth 75W90 gear oil in them and go for a ride.

To each his own. I think I'm going to go out to the garage and admire the beauty and simplicity of my $125 Motion Pro chain tool. :D

gened12
09-15-2007, 01:55 AM
I have just purchased a 2007 Rt and went for the 600 mile service where the dealer flushed and replaced the FD oil. Seemed that they were doing this as a standard (new) procedure from BMW.:thumb

YELLOW_S
09-15-2007, 05:14 AM
The reason my final drive went out isn't because I dragged a trailer with me, and/or over loaded the bike. Which I did neither. Mine went out at 36,000 miles because wonderful BMW didn't put enough grease in the darn bearings. So after 36,000 miles all the grease went bye bye... And also because of wonderful Gina's in Iowa City. They didn't take very good care of my bike in its first 24,000 miles. Before it was mine.

But hey, is it BMW's fault that they didn't put enough grease in the final drive.... nope, its MINE! Because I rode it wrong... ?!?!?

*sigh*

BUBBAZANETTI
09-15-2007, 06:33 AM
The reason my final drive went out isn't because I dragged a trailer with me, and/or over loaded the bike. Which I did neither. Mine went out at 36,000 miles because wonderful BMW didn't put enough grease in the darn bearings. So after 36,000 miles all the grease went bye bye... And also because of wonderful Gina's in Iowa City. They didn't take very good care of my bike in its first 24,000 miles. Before it was mine.

But hey, is it BMW's fault that they didn't put enough grease in the final drive.... nope, its MINE! Because I rode it wrong... ?!?!?

*sigh*

"grease in the darn bearings" :scratch

elaborate

deilenberger
09-15-2007, 03:17 PM
That's kind of the point I was trying to make. I've had one of the best Triumph dealers in the country screw up a 6K service. Stuff happens. But in my hypothetical pondering, IF (and it's a big if) a dealership like Max could get the seal wrong, what hope is there the other 80 percentile techs won't?
Again - I think you're confusing the seal that fails (the outside shaft seal) with the ones that are replaced at the oil service (the "drain plug" seal - O ring and the ABS sensor O ring seal.) Either of the drain/o-ring seals leaking would be quite obvious. One would dribble down the back end of the rear-drive (and it wouldn't be more than a tiny dribble with no seal at all) - the other would oil the rear brakes.

I can assure you - the problem wasn't a badly done seal by a dealer. It may have been a badly done seal by BMW's subcontractor for the rear drives..

Who knows, I'm just relating what the dealer said. I wonder if some sort of assembly lube/paste is used and that's what they want out of the mix. "Break-in Lube" could easily refer to either "the lube that's in there during break-in" as "a special lube to AID in break-in".
If that's what the dealer said (and I don't doubt it).. well, it's just not accurate (as kind a way as I can think of to state it..)

To each his own. I think I'm going to go out to the garage and admire the beauty and simplicity of my $125 Motion Pro chain tool. :D

FredRydr
09-15-2007, 10:34 PM
Is it true that if you shove whole bananas (with peels) into the gears, it will make it much smoother and quieter?

Fred
'07 R1200R

redclfco
09-15-2007, 11:02 PM
Is it true that if you shove whole bananas (with peels) into the gears, it will make it much smoother and quieter?

Fred
'07 R1200R

shhhshhh! Don't let out the secret!

2bikemike
09-16-2007, 02:15 AM
The reason my final drive went out isn't because I dragged a trailer with me, and/or over loaded the bike. Which I did neither. Mine went out at 36,000 miles because wonderful BMW didn't put enough grease in the darn bearings. So after 36,000 miles all the grease went bye bye... And also because of wonderful Gina's in Iowa City. They didn't take very good care of my bike in its first 24,000 miles. Before it was mine.

But hey, is it BMW's fault that they didn't put enough grease in the final drive.... nope, its MINE! Because I rode it wrong... ?!?!?

*sigh*

You've left out a lot of info here. How did you ride it wrong? Inquiring minds want to know.:nod

soffiler
09-18-2007, 06:15 PM
With the various final drive threads all over the forum, it took me a while to decide which I should post in. This one is definitely it. I am happy to hear some of the comments/theories about lubricant loss, made by Don, Paul, and Jack, among others. I've got a final drive story that might lend a data point...

My round-trip to the Int'l Rally this past July tallied 3200 miles in 7 days. Not exactly IBR stuff but we did some long-ish days with some inclement weather and some dirt roads. Arriving home, I noticed a very slight haze of lubricant on the lower right side of the rear drive, coming from the shaft seal (under the black plastic thing on the right-hand side). The quantity was almost trivial - a haze which had attracted some dust, maybe a couple square inches in size. Didn't even look wet. Close examination of the small gap around the perimeter of the "black plastic thing" showed a bit of wetness. Uh-oh.

I pulled the rear brake caliper and did the checks for play at 12-6 o'clock and 3-9 o'clock, plus tactile checks of the general smoothness. There was a tiny discernable play at 12-6, nothing at all at 3-9, and it spun very smoothly. Then I removed the rear wheel and re-checked smoothness - excellent.

I decided not to lose sleepover it, and keep riding to see what happened. I did a short 20-mile ride locally, low-speed and low-stress, and observed no change. Then I did a 55-mile round-trip commute to work, and upon arriving home, the right sidewall of my rear tire was substantially streaked with oil.

In short, it went from the barest hint of a leaky seal, to what I'd call a substantial leak, in 55 miles. I can't quantify how much lube I lost, but if each streak on the rear tire was a drop of oil, then we're talking 30 or 40 drops. (What percentage of .230 liters is that?)

My theory: that seal can fail quickly. In an IBR situation, with large fuel capacities and relatively long distances between opportunities to check over the bike (not that I would expect an IB rider to scrutinize his FD at every gas stop, anyway) the seal can go from good to very bad, and the quantity of lube that can come out is probably enough to cause bearing failure from lack of lube.

My GS was repaired by Max BMW under warranty, but the only action taken was to replace the seal (which can be done externally, with almost no disassembly required). They're dropping it off this afternoon, so I am still looking forward to the next chapter of this saga...

deilenberger
09-18-2007, 06:24 PM
Steve - thanks.. and an excellent data point.

What you said happened to you is what I suspect happened to the IB riders - and as you hypothesized - they may not have noticed the leak, or if they did - it was after enough fluid loss to cause bearing damage.

I do keep an eye on that side of the rear drive - it's easy enough to eyeball it when I do my weekly tire pressure check.

soffiler
09-18-2007, 06:38 PM
Snippage..The thought of insufficient lube - or perhaps contaminated fluid - is an interesting one. The one drive in our local club that failed - had it's fluid changed about 4,000 miles before the failure occurred...

Ah-HA, another data point from me: my GS had 14,500 miles on it when the FD seal failed. And I had the lube in the FD replaced... 4000 miles earlier. The occasion for the FD lube change was while the bike was torn down for another warranty service, this one for a failure of the transmission input shaft seal. That was done by our local shop (Razee in N. Kingstown, RI). It was this bike's first and only FD lube change... being an '05, it was far beyond 600 miles by the time BMW announced the FD lube change at the break-in service.

Now... I can't say for sure exactly what type of lube Razee put in at 10,500. I trusted them, and in fact instructed them, to put in whatever BMW Korporate was recommending at the moment. I wonder if we are possibly looking at some kind of material incompatibility between replacement fluid and seal?

cjack
09-18-2007, 08:37 PM
Ah-HA, another data point from me: my GS had 14,500 miles on it when the FD seal failed. And I had the lube in the FD replaced... 4000 miles earlier. The occasion for the FD lube change was while the bike was torn down for another warranty service, this one for a failure of the transmission input shaft seal. That was done by our local shop (Razee in N. Kingstown, RI). It was this bike's first and only FD lube change... being an '05, it was far beyond 600 miles by the time BMW announced the FD lube change at the break-in service.

Now... I can't say for sure exactly what type of lube Razee put in at 10,500. I trusted them, and in fact instructed them, to put in whatever BMW Korporate was recommending at the moment. I wonder if we are possibly looking at some kind of material incompatibility between replacement fluid and seal?

No. I don't think that's it. There were a number of '05 bikes that leaked out of the seal without being changed from the initial fill.

YELLOW_S
09-18-2007, 08:44 PM
You've left out a lot of info here. How did you ride it wrong? Inquiring minds want to know.:nod

I don't know... My dads final drive went out on his BMW R1150RT at 26,000 miles. And its wasn't BMW's fault it was his... Thats what BMW said... I guess BMW motorcycles just can't take everday use... make you wonder where BMW is going to be in 15-20 years.

So far I have 35,000 miles on BMW motorcycles. I'm the next generation of BMW, being 17 year old. Depending on what BMW comes out with in 5 years, and how reliable it is, I might stay with BMW, but right now. It isn't looking good. I love the bike, and the feel of the Boxer engine. But BMW has problems and they will not admit it, so they just keep building things that have glitches in them and don't give a damn. The only real thing BMW has going for them is the people who buy them, they are a great crowd, but there motorcycles aint so great.


"grease in the darn bearings" :scratch

elaborate

Its simple, BMW didn't do a proper greasing job when they build my final drive. So after 36,000 miles of riding all the grease disappeared.

cjack
09-18-2007, 09:10 PM
Its simply, BMW didn't do a proper greasing job when they build my final drive. So after 36,000 miles of riding all the grease disappeared.

This doesn't make any sense.

MOTOR31
09-19-2007, 12:11 AM
This doesn't make any sense.


If the bearings are sealed, they are pre greased and not user serviceable. In that case loss of grease failures are not BMW's responsibility unless they were used in in an application that it is not suited for, installed incorrectly or outside of the specs of the bearing.

cjack
09-19-2007, 01:32 AM
If the bearings are sealed, they are pre greased and not user serviceable. In that case loss of grease failures are not BMW's responsibility unless they were used in in an application that it is not suited for, installed incorrectly or outside of the specs of the bearing.

Well sure. But he said final drive. I'm assuming this was an R1100S. I don't know of any clean bearings inside any final drive. There are needle bearings in the pivot and tapered roller bearings at the front of the swingarm. They would have been greased at the factory, but 36K miles, although I would have liked more carefree miles myself, is not a trivial amount of miles for these somewhat exposed bearings without some attention. The maintenance schedule requires checking these swinging arm bearings every Inspection which is about 12K miles. It could be that this isn't often done or done well enough to determine the quantity of grease other than checking for play in the arm and rear wheel.

soffiler
09-19-2007, 01:32 PM
... Its simple, BMW didn't do a proper greasing job when they build my final drive. So after 36,000 miles of riding all the grease disappeared.


Yellow - Your final drive ('01 R11S per your public profile) uses GEAR OIL, not GREASE. Beyond that, neither grease nor oil will simply vanish into thin air. If there's leakage, there's always evidence left behind.

deilenberger
09-19-2007, 05:53 PM
If the bearings are sealed, they are pre greased and not user serviceable. In that case loss of grease failures are not BMW's responsibility unless they were used in in an application that it is not suited for, installed incorrectly or outside of the specs of the bearing.None of the BMW rear drives - for as far back as I know of - used sealed bearings. The bearings in all of them are lubricated by the gear-lube (GL5) used in the drive.

MOTOR31
09-19-2007, 06:20 PM
Don,

That's what I figured as I didn't see them using a sealed bearing except on the front wheel. I just put it in there as a continuation of the conversation from a couple other posts.

pgods
09-19-2007, 07:17 PM
In absence of any real facts:

I was at the dealer yesterday and his take was this:

The FDs come with a break-in oil that HAS to be changed at the 600 mile service. Due to some poor communications and misunderstanding, this wasn't done on a lot of bikes and caused failures. Sounds reasonable.

I also gather from some of the posts that folks have had FDs repaired and the OLD shims put back in. I don't have any personal experience with these like Paul does, but this sounds incredible to me. Reminds me of some musicians I know who think their instruments were "tuned at the factory". (Sorry, it's a derogatory inside sound guy remark) The whole pupose of a shim, AFAIK, is to make up for slight variations in the manufactured parts. To accept that two different bearings are EXACTLY the same size and hence apply the exact same preload in an application is naive, at best.

Lastly, the seals. If, as Rob states, the proceedure for changing the fluid is to remove the FD, drain, refill, and re-seal the drive, that makes a lot of room for error, IMO. If this thing is sealed, the exact quantity and type of lubrication would be critical. Early on there was talk of "if it's thicker, it must be better" mentality causing folks to use 80W/140 gear lube when 89W/90 was spec-ed. I would think this would be catastophic given the app. If the lube cant flow into the balls, it's gonna overheat, which is gonna mean "someting's gotta give". Given that there no longer a vent on these drives, that "something" is gonna be the seal, IMO.

So here's my WAG: All the above. I'd surmise some failed from one cause or the other. Possibly even more failed from two, and combine all three and there's no way your drive is gonna last long at all. But that's just my guess. The flip side of the coin is get all three right and your FD will last forever.

IMO, if there is a real design flaw in this system, it is doing away with the drain and vent, making temperature and pressure variations possibly lethal which, in turn, mandates absolute perfection in the replacing of the seal, a job which now has to be done every time the fluid is changed.

I have my recpt from May 06 for my 600 mile unning in service. All it says is "service completed as per BMW maintence sheet". So how do I know if the FD oil was changed?????

deilenberger
09-19-2007, 07:53 PM
I have my recpt from May 06 for my 600 mile unning in service. All it says is "service completed as per BMW maintence sheet". So how do I know if the FD oil was changed?????You don't. Ask the dealer. If they don't know or won't tell you (preferrably in writing) that it was done - then either DIY or have it done.

cjack
09-19-2007, 07:57 PM
I have my recpt from May 06 for my 600 mile unning in service. All it says is "service completed as per BMW maintence sheet". So how do I know if the FD oil was changed?????

Did you pay for the synth gear oil on the invoice? If not (about $17/quart) then I would guess that it hasn't been done.

easy
09-19-2007, 11:23 PM
I have my recpt from May 06 for my 600 mile unning in service. All it says is "service completed as per BMW maintence sheet". So how do I know if the FD oil was changed?????

If you have an '05 or an '06, it was not changed unless you requested it and paid for it. It's my understanding they're only changing the FD oil, on their tab, for the '07s.

Easy :german

cjack
09-19-2007, 11:28 PM
If you have an '05 or an '06, it was not changed unless you requested it and paid for it. It's my understanding they're only changing the FD oil, on their tab, for the '07s.

Easy :german

It's on the customer's tab just as the rest of the 600 mile service is on all BMW models.
Incidently, the service intervals in '08 are going to be just a yearly check and service when the on board computer determines it to be necessary. No more complicated service schedules to follow. This is after the 600 mile service.

pgods
09-20-2007, 02:16 PM
You don't. Ask the dealer. If they don't know or won't tell you (preferrably in writing) that it was done - then either DIY or have it done.

I called the dealer. I asked him if it was done ... he looked up my bike record and said " it looks like it was done".

Should I take his word and rest easy now - at least until mile 12K service?

deilenberger
09-20-2007, 02:39 PM
Should I take his word and rest easy now - at least until mile 12K service?Since obviously you aren't resting easy - I'd want it done again. Then you KNOW it was done.

"Looks like" isn't really an answer IMHO.

vmi1991
09-20-2007, 03:20 PM
Incidently, the service intervals in '08 are going to be just a yearly check and service when the on board computer determines it to be necessary. No more complicated service schedules to follow.

I wonder if there will be a software update for the '05-'07 bike computers to utilize this feature?
George

MOTOR31
09-20-2007, 05:12 PM
Will the computers be "insistent" about the maintenance schedule? In other words will they be putting the bikes into a "limp mode" until a service center updates the service data when the maintenance is done?

soffiler
09-20-2007, 06:05 PM
Regarding this computerized service schedule, it sounds to me like technology spilling over from the BMW 4-wheeled side. Anybody familiar with how those operate?

mcohen
09-20-2007, 07:14 PM
What a coincidence, my four-wheel BMW is telling me I need a service now. It works like this, the indicator starts off with several bars that appear during startup. The number of bars decreases according to some formula of starts, rev speed and distance. The last time I started up the car it had one bar and said "Inspection" (as opposed to "Oil Service"). If I ignore the warning I'll eventually get a red bar meaning I'm past the scheduled service but the car will continue to operate normally. I like the feature I just wish I didn't have to buy a tool or visit a dealer to reset the counter.

Michael

Tom K.
09-20-2007, 08:59 PM
What a coincidence, my four-wheel BMW is telling me I need a service now. It works like this, the indicator starts off with several bars that appear during startup. The number of bars decreases according to some formula of starts, rev speed and distance. The last time I started up the car it had one bar and said "Inspection" (as opposed to "Oil Service"). If I ignore the warning I'll eventually get a red bar meaning I'm past the scheduled service but the car will continue to operate normally. I like the feature I just wish I didn't have to buy a tool or visit a dealer to reset the counter. Michael

Actually, since about 2002 or so, BMW has dropped the bars and the service indicator consists of a mileage (kilometerage?) countdown to when the service is due. Initially, it reads approx. 15,750 miles as with OEM synthetic oil, maintenance is normally called for roughly every 13,000 to 18,000 miles. It then decreases according to how the car has been driven as Michael indicated. If the service is overdue, a negative number will appear - but the drivability of the car is unaffected.

Now for at least the past decade, BMW has included scheduled maintenance (coinciding with the warranty period) in the cost of the car. So for current models, all scheduled maintenance (including brake pads & rotors, but not tires) for the first 50,000 miles are free - if brought in according to the dash countdown indicator (or at least once a year for oil changes). Does this mean that 2008 and subsequent BMW motorcycles will also have free maintenance for 3 years/36k miles - and if so, how much will list prices be increased?
Tom

121247
09-21-2007, 12:24 AM
I have a 05 RT with 12,300 miles on it. I changed the F D oil a few weeks ago and it was good. I think we are beating a dead horse. One or two drives were bad for thousands of cycles.
CW

gulfcoastbeemer
09-21-2007, 12:14 PM
The simple solution would seem to be for all BMW Motorcycle owners to report the failure of there final drive -- or any other safety issue -- to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This organization maintains a database to which one can file a complaint (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/).

If there is a pervasive problem we owe it to ourselves as tax payers to use the system for which we paid.

If it is determined there is a problem, a recall could result.

So, my question is how many of you folks who have experienced a final drive failure have logged it on the NHTSA complaint system (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/)?

I think you will find there are several complaints within the NHSTA system thus far -- including one where someone reported a "failure" that actually hasn't happened, but he fears might happen based on internet "forum" chatter. Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/

deilenberger
09-21-2007, 12:38 PM
Regarding this computerized service schedule, it sounds to me like technology spilling over from the BMW 4-wheeled side. Anybody familiar with how those operate?Very. On the newest ones - the car's computer communicates with BMW via the built-in cell-phone interface.. and dumps service records, errors recorded to the BMW computers. The BMW computers then log this info - and send it out to the selling/servicing dealer - who contacts the owner and suggests they come in for service.

What it doesn't do is put the car in limp mode.. that would be dangerous (and piss people off big time..)

deilenberger
09-21-2007, 12:40 PM
Now for at least the past decade, BMW has included scheduled maintenance (coinciding with the warranty period) in the cost of the car. So for current models, all scheduled maintenance (including brake pads & rotors, but not tires) for the first 50,000 miles are free - if brought in according to the dash countdown indicator (or at least once a year for oil changes). Does this mean that 2008 and subsequent BMW motorcycles will also have free maintenance for 3 years/36k miles - and if so, how much will list prices be increased?
TomTom, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for free maintenance. That was done on the car side when the number of leased cars exceeded the sold-outright cars. Since BMW ended up owning most of the leased cars - they have an interest in them being re-sellable at the end of the lease.. hence - free maintenance. They don't have a real strong lease program for bikes (although they've tried..)

deilenberger
09-21-2007, 12:46 PM
The simple solution would seem to be for all BMW Motorcycle owners to report the failure of there final drive -- or any other safety issue -- to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This organization maintains a database to which one can file a complaint (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/).

If there is a pervasive problem we owe it to ourselves as tax payers to use the system for which we paid.

If it is determined there is a problem, a recall could result.

So, my question is how many of you folks who have experienced a final drive failure have logged it on the NHTSA complaint system (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/)?

I think you will find there are several complaints within the NHSTA system thus far -- including one where someone reported a "failure" that actually hasn't happened, but he fears might happen based on internet "forum" chatter. Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/This is a great idea - but - I think you have to define exactly what component (part) the complaints should be made under.. the categories NHTSA has don't lend themselves well to final drive failures. If the complaints are registered under different components - the number of complaints to trigger an action by NHTSA won't happen. And of course - complaints filed by people who haven't had a failure - well - that's just gonna make it less effective.

This idea has been tried/suggested already on other forums - and the same problem arose.. what to put them under.

BTW - the poll on BMW SportTouring - with almost 300 bikes reporting, ended up with 5% failure rate. It isn't clear to me that NHTSA will act on that low a rate, but I guess one could hope..

http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/920552/an/0/page/0#Post920552

gulfcoastbeemer
09-21-2007, 01:14 PM
This idea has been tried/suggested already on other forums - and the same problem arose.. what to put them under.

I looked at the NHTSA complaint database this morning. There appear to be the following final drive complaints listed:

Model Year
Complain #/ Model

2005

10197057 / GS
10202781 / RT

2006

10196837 / GS
10168560 / RT
10203344 / RT
10170189 / RT

2007

0 final drive complaints thus far (I did enjoy the horn complaint -- see below)

Look up these complaints and you will see that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where/how to list your final drive complaint. If you still have a problem, call their number, 888-327-4236, and let them figure it out.

I do like the officious twit who complained about the 2007 horn on his R1200 S as being barely audible because of the redesigned/CAN-BUS electrical system. Give me a break.

From the NHSTA complaint database, entry # 10195685:


TL*THE CONTACT OWNS A 2007 BMW R1200 S. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE HORN IS INADEQUATE. HE HAS NOTIFIED THE DEALER AND THE MANUFACTURER, BUT THEY ARE NOT TAKING ANY ACTION. THE HORN ALERT IS WEAK AND BARELY AUDIBLE, WHICH CAN BE VERY HAZARDOUS. HE STATED THAT THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM HAS BEEN REDESIGNED, THEREFORE THE VEHICLE IS ONLY EQUIPPED FOR THIS PARTICULAR HORN. THE POWERTRAIN WAS UNKNOWN. THE CURRENT AND FAILURE MILEAGES WERE 800.

Before I bought my R1200RT, I was told that Beemer owners are a big bunch of whiners. I'm learning there might be some truth to that. If we are going to be like the little boy who keeps crying "wolf", how do we expect to be taken seriously when there is a wolf???

Tom K.
09-21-2007, 04:44 PM
Tom, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for free maintenance. That was done on the car side when the number of leased cars exceeded the sold-outright cars. Since BMW ended up owning most of the leased cars - they have an interest in them being re-sellable at the end of the lease.. hence - free maintenance. They don't have a real strong lease program for bikes (although they've tried..)

Makes sense -and seems to imply that the new bike purchasers have greater resources that car owners - as they can more easily afford to buy, rather than lease.

But, Don, wouldn't the goodwill be worth it to BMW to at least include the 600 mile service in the price of the machine?

On the Bimmer side, many owners are complaining that the free maintenance was the result of the average 15k mile extended oil change schedule, or vice-versa. Personally I have no problem paying for a 7,500 "interim" change in between the freebies.

Tom

ghostrider1200
09-22-2007, 02:01 AM
I called my local dealer to schedule my 12k maintence on my new to me '05 RT (5k in the 6 weeks I have had it :D )
I asked to have the final drive fluid changed as well. The told me that BMW is now recommending that the fluid be changed every 12k and it is now considered part of their standard 12k maintence. They quoted me ~$225 for the whole job. Sounds like a step in the right direction to me.

Mark

vmi1991
09-22-2007, 04:12 PM
The told me that BMW is now recommending that the fluid be changed every 12k and it is now considered part of their standard 12k maintence. They quoted me ~$225 for the whole job. Mark



I hope that it is for the whole 12k service, but sounds low for that. If it is for the FD drain and change, it is way too high. I just had the FD outer seal replaced, which means the fluid needs changing as well. Fluid change + new seal =$87 labor+parts.

My fluid was changed at 600 mile run-in and not again until yesterday at 53,200 ( I think I incorrectly posted mileage on here somewhere else as 53,600 when it was really 52,600.)

Anyhow, the fluid was thick, black and nasty looking. However the FD is not shot, yet, phew. Every 12k is probably much better than every 50k.

marcopolo
09-22-2007, 07:36 PM
I called my local dealer to schedule my 12k maintence on my new to me '05 RT (5k in the 6 weeks I have had it :D )
I asked to have the final drive fluid changed as well. The told me that BMW is now recommending that the fluid be changed every 12k and it is now considered part of their standard 12k maintence. They quoted me ~$225 for the whole job. Sounds like a step in the right direction to me.

Mark

I stand to be corrected, but I thought the Service Bulletin called for the FD fluid to be changed at the 600 mile runing-in check, but mentions no further changes. That's not to say a cautious person wouldn't change it regularly, but where does it say BMW now recommends it be done every 12,000 miles?

PGlaves
09-22-2007, 08:06 PM
I stand to be corrected, but I thought the Service Bulletin called for the FD fluid to be changed at the 600 mile runing-in check, but mentions no further changes. That's not to say a cautious person wouldn't change it regularly, but where does it say BMW now recommends it be done every 12,000 miles?

The last I heard - but it may not be the last word from BMW - was to change at 600.

However, I have been told by two dealers that they also change every 12,000 miles because they think it is the smart thing to do. One of those dealerships has been doing this ever since the new style FD came out. I specifically asked what they were refilling the FD's with and the mechanic handed me a bottle of Mobil 1 75w90 full synthetic. They also use the BMW 75w90 full synthetic.

I specifically asked if there was a bulletin re 12,000 mile changes and he said he'd not seen one. Again howeveer, since they were doing 12K changes anyway that bulletin could have been filed in the book without much notice. I didn't paw through the book this trip.

cjack
09-22-2007, 09:08 PM
I specifically asked if there was a bulletin re 12,000 mile changes and he said he'd not seen one. Again however, since they were doing 12K changes anyway that bulletin could have been filed in the book without much notice. I didn't paw through the book this trip.

I see them all usually and there isn't one that I have seen. In the 600 mile recommendation one, they specifically said that subsequent changes, such as a 12K change, would not yield any additional benefit. And since the purpose was a flush of manufacturing residue, the 12K change does sound optional...in BMW's view.

Actually, in my view, I think a spline lube after dropping the FD down every 12 or 24K is more beneficial than a lube change.

MRMAICO
09-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Snippage..The thought of insufficient lube - or perhaps contaminated fluid - is an interesting one. The one drive in our local club that failed - had it's fluid changed about 4,000 miles before the failure occurred. The bike at that time had about 16,000 miles on it - with the original fluid. When the fluid was changed - the mechanic who changed it (a good friend, and independent mechanic) said the fluid was dark, smelled burned and had some metal chunks in it.

I have also heard reports of other people who have changed the factory fill fluid - and it came out black - as if it had moly in it (which I very much doubt..)

It leads me to wonder if some of the drives were contaminated in some way that caused the "lifetime" fluid to break down. That would explain why BMW has now added a fluid change to the 600 mile service.

A question for everyone: Has anyone who had the fluid changed at 600 miles experienced a rear drive failure?

I suspect not - but perhaps the reason being this change requirement is fairly recent. Mine has been fine, and the fluid drained from it at 600 miles looked clear. Anyone observing anything different?

Don, I changed mine on my 05 GS at 5000 miles (04-05 build date) as soon as I started hearing about the 600 mile change requirement from BMW. It definitely was black and after letting it settle for a few days it separated with a black layer on the bottom that sure looked and felt like moly to me (very slippery and stained your fingers). I took this picture at a later date after I had drained most of the clear lube off the top, I wish now I had taken a better picture before draining off the top layer of lube. So mine seems to have had moly in it from new but I've heard from others who said theirs came out as clear, gold colored gear lube.

I didn't have any metal swarf on my magnetic speed sensor (non-abs bike) at the first change or on the second change that I did to install the magnetic "drain plug" when it became available.

Barry

http://mrmaico.smugmug.com/photos/97167991-M.jpg

deilenberger
09-24-2007, 02:00 AM
Barry, I wonder if the black substance you had in the oil was the contamination BMW was trying to address with the 600 mile service. It could be some sort of assembly lube - or some pre-lube that was on the bearings prior to installation.

Interesting - wish we had a sample to get analyzed..

PGlaves
09-24-2007, 02:45 PM
Barry, I wonder if the black substance you had in the oil was the contamination BMW was trying to address with the 600 mile service. It could be some sort of assembly lube - or some pre-lube that was on the bearings prior to installation.

Interesting - wish we had a sample to get analyzed..

I have talked to several folks, including dealer techs who said the factory fill looked black (looked like moly but may not be moly) when they removed it. Nobody has said it looked tan, brown, red, clear, or any color other than black.

So getting a sample ought not be too hard, Don. Ask your dealer for a sample next time they do a 600 mile service on a bike.

Stopwatch
10-16-2007, 08:38 PM
Sarge,

IMHO, the GS is *the* platform for loading up a ton of maybe necessary and putting off the gawd-knows-where. If the R1200 GS series can't handle that, then BMW should rename the beast.

That said, becareful that the rear drive failures are on R1200 GS bikes, and not earlier models (as one friend pointed out to me). Lumping all failures together does a disservice to riders as they come to suspect their bike whether or not the problems actually applies to their model and year.

Some bikes fail; most don't. Ride until you're stranded ... and meanwhile pray that if the breakdown comes, the bike is still under warranty. ;->

Just my 2 cents.

Stopwatch
10-16-2007, 08:52 PM
My FD failed in July on my R12RT -- it was, as you point out, a problem with the splines on the axle tube and flange which holds the rear wheel on the bike. It resulted in excessive play in the rear wheel -- much more than the 1 mm allowed by BMW. This exact problem is the subject of a Technical Service Bulletin issued for the R12GS (I believe no other hexhead models had been released when this TSB was issued). I presume there have been a few such failures to warrant a TSB. My FD and rear rotor were replaced under warranty, along with all the wheel nuts.

I think the service manager's comments outlined above are BS, to put it kindly. My bike was well within the load limits specified by BMW, and was not being abused. Does this service manager think we buy RTs and GSs to go to the corner store?

Mark,

Good post, but could you be a bit more specific? Do you know the number of the Technical Serice Bulletin? Knowing would help me find it ... and talk with my Service Rep if necessary.

Also, is that 1mm of play in the spline or at the rear wheel? There's a lot going on at the rear wheel, and my R1200 GS has more than 1mm play, to be sure.

Any help would be appriciated.

Stopwatch
10-16-2007, 09:19 PM
Don,

Good idea. An opportunity for the MOA to do some sleuthing for its members!

Fred

Fred, not to be unkind about MOA getting a rear drive's fresh oil tested, but I'm sure the Toothfairy will bring you the report when it is finaliazed.

Stopwatch
10-16-2007, 10:03 PM
FWIW, I ride a March 2006 manufactured R1200 GS. I bought the bike in April. When I first heard of the final drives on 2007 GSs needing new fluids at 600 miles, I asked my dealer about mine, which had about 9,000 miles at that point.

My dealer's take was that as a 2006 model, NO final drive fluid change was required. Same for the 2005 models. He said that if the FD went out due to fluid issues, BMW would repair/replace per warranty.

I called BMW NA and they had no opinion beyond what their bulletins stated: No action for 2005 and 2006; change fluids in final drive at 600 miles for 2007 and later.

It didn't stand to reason that a mechanism that takes the wear put on a final drive could be "sealed for life." I sort of want mine to have a longer "life" than three years or 36,000 miles, which ever comes earlier.

I changed the final drive fluid on my GS myself. It isn't difficult. The fluid was BLACK and stained anything it touched. BMW NA and the dealer indicated that this is normal for what was used at the factory.

The dealer had some question as to whether 75W90 or 75W140 synthetic oil should be used as the replacement. After pushing for written documentation as to which, I bought the BMW 75W90 Super Synthetic., thinking that this should be easy knowledge at a professional, dealer service department.

There was some metal filings or dust on the magnetic ABS sensor, which I consider normal for a geared device.

No failures yet, at just 13,000 miles. Yes, I will change the final drive fluid at around 9,000 + 9,000 = 18,000 miles, just to see what it looks like and what kind of "dust" is on the ABS sensor and the magnetic drain plug at the silly 9 o'clock position. I'm curious.

If the fluid comes out at 18,000 miles golden and clear, I'll celebrate and won't worry about it for 12,000 miles more. Whoopie.

If the fluid comes out as black as the factory-installed stuff, I'll be in a deep funk, and change the rear drive fluid every 6,000 miles. And start a thread here.

Meanwhile, I'll load my GS as needed to do the job I bought it for in the first place. Of course, covering my brake and/or clutch with crossed fingers for luck is going to take some getting used to.

73986
10-19-2007, 11:39 PM
I was visiting my daughters in New England last week and popped in to say hello to one of my old dealers. I asked him if he had been following the IBA and told him of Rob Nye's FD failure. His take on it was that it is unreasonable to expect a final drive to survive being ridden at high rpms, 24 hours a day, for days on end. I'm not sure I buy it.

So what about the Hondas...Kawasakis...Yamahas?...I don't hear about catastrophic failures or even small oil leaks...Its a design flaw which needs to be admitted by BMW and fixed!...Its not IF your FD is going to fail.....its When!.....and it could be sooner than you would like to believe!.....I love my Beemers and live with the oddities..thats part of the joy...but this kind of shenangan at huge cost when out of warranty is just not acceptable. Recall?...Admit your faults BMW and copy the English or Japanese..why you could even put a Union Jack or Rising Sun on the cases!....Its a Global world after all!....

PGlaves
10-20-2007, 11:45 PM
So what about the Hondas...Kawasakis...Yamahas?...I don't hear about catastrophic failures or even small oil leaks...Its a design flaw which needs to be admitted by BMW and fixed!...Its not IF your FD is going to fail.....its When!.....and it could be sooner than you would like to believe!.....I love my Beemers and live with the oddities..thats part of the joy...but this kind of shenangan at huge cost when out of warranty is just not acceptable. Recall?...Admit your faults BMW and copy the English or Japanese..why you could even put a Union Jack or Rising Sun on the cases!....Its a Global world after all!....

Well, we do hear about broken frames, burned up stators, and other warts though.

I do think the BMW final drive issue is pathetic, but don't have rose colored glasses re other brands.

aether
10-21-2007, 01:05 AM
So what about the Hondas...Kawasakis...Yamahas?...I don't hear about catastrophic failures or even small oil leaks...

Go to the 650 CC&D forum on Delphi to read the many complaints over the years for Yamaha V-Star 650s having a high rate of failures in the splines on their final drives units.

-A

73986
10-21-2007, 03:28 AM
Well, we do hear about broken frames, burned up stators, and other warts though.

I do think the BMW final drive issue is pathetic, but don't have rose colored glasses re other brands.

I totally understand where you are coming from...And I have to admit my R1100R with ashamedly only 39000 miles has been no problem except for a replacement clutch assembly, replaced under warranty [supposedly installed incorrectly?].. but by the same token we all know...backed by pages and pages of "What oil do you use".....What viscosity?" and so forth....that there is an inherant design flaw proven with enough data and failed units that should make BMW take notice...Many have dropped BMW and switched brands and once over the stigma of owning an Asian or British M/C they seem to be very pleased with their choices....The many more thousands of "other" M/C produced compared to "our" brand are bound to have some design flaws, but that being said....it would seem that "They" admit to the problem areas and take care of the trouble spots in a timely manner.

sarmand
10-21-2007, 12:18 PM
"once over the stigma of owning an Asian or British M/C".....man, I had no idea how silly I must have looked riding my Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas and Kawasakis! I've got them covered up and out of sight until I can get rid of them.

Just kidding, I completely understand what you mean. But if they build a Concours with heated seats and grips, I'll probably have to have one.

TGA57589
10-21-2007, 01:10 PM
I just bought a 2007 R1200RT on the delivery date I asked the service rep if he knew of any problems the new bikes had. I specifically asked him about the final drive and he said they think it is resolved although with German engineering the backlash was was not enough in manufacture. I now have my 600 miles on my bike and they had asked to see it for it's once over and yes they change the final drive oil which being a mechanic tells me they must be looking for metal in the oil although depending on how low the drain is you won't see it anyway and as for the oild be used up so to speak that won't be the story either. I pretty much don't have a problem with changing my final oil with a motor oil change if need be because let's face it $7-8 bucks for oil is'nt going to break me since I've chosen a Beemer anyway. By the way I traded a R1100RT '96 on this new bike for no other reason than I liked the new whistles and bells of an '07. When I test rode a the GT and the RT I knew I would end up buying just for the way the brakes worked and how smooth it shifted. I'm 6'3" and I can sit and touch my feet well but I bet guys a little shorter are having a fit and even I had to get bar backs to give my old back a break. This is my 2nd RT having ridden Honda for some time and even a lapse of no bikes but I ride everyday now and often wonder how I got away for that lapse. I have never riden the bike of the large group although I have riden a couple Victory's and obviously I bought a new RT so I guess that say's something. I been an MOA for about 3 yrs. now and just look around here and thank all who post such good information.

gulfcoastbeemer
11-05-2007, 09:36 PM
Rob Nye,

Please excuse my ignorance if this was posted elsewhere.

I've seen photos of your IBR bike, so I'm aware of some of the IBR-specific stuff that you added, and some the differences between standard authority and civilian models.

But how did you come to select the R1200RT-P as the platform for your IBR motorcycle?

rob nye
11-06-2007, 02:23 AM
Rob Nye,

Please excuse my ignorance if this was posted elsewhere.

I've seen photos of your IBR bike, so I'm aware of some of the IBR-specific stuff that you added, and some the differences between standard authority and civilian models.

But how did you come to select the R1200RT-P as the platform for your IBR motorcycle?

The RTP is the best motorcycle to modify for the IBR.

The stock electrical system is more than up to the task with the second battery and all the brackets and such for the lights are also stock.

Best,

Rob Nye

RocketCowboy
11-06-2007, 03:55 AM
Rob ... did you have any problem purchasing your RTP?

When I inquired, I was told I couldn't buy one new, I had to get it used from an agency ... that the authority bikes weren't for sale new directly to non-municipal riders. As it is, I've been buying various authority parts to bolt up to my standard RT, but I'm starting to think it would have been cheaper to just start with an RTP if possible.

gulfcoastbeemer
11-07-2007, 12:49 AM
Rob Nye, I'm going to post this in hopes you might respond, given your technical wizardry.

Your IBR bike was outfitted with quite an impressive array of gadgets. I'm curious if you gave any consideration to creating a temperature readout for the transmission and/or final drive -- particularly the final drive?

Perhaps, a temperature display might have given you a little warning of the final drive problem.

I recall reading somewhere here that one rider experienced ABS failure warnings when the temperature of his final drive had risen enough to destroy the speed sensor found in the final drive hub.

I've gotten in the habit of inspecting final drive of my '07 RT whenever I stop somewhere -- including touching the hub in an effort to devine it's internal condition. It usually feels warm, but not hot. Creating some sort of surface-mounted temperature sensor might not be out of the question.

JREDFORD131730
11-07-2007, 03:17 AM
The service manager at Wild West in Houston says BMW scrapped its (what a crock) no maintenence req FD service. They are now recommending every 12k mi.

MurphyPeoples
11-11-2007, 03:22 PM
Okay - I plowed through about 8 pages of this post and never saw mention of what Paul Glaves October 2007 "benchwrenching" column touched on briefly - "Tread Lock Compound"in FD assembly. Now I don't have the article in front of me, but immedately my mind jumped to a Loctite type product "accidentally" being introduced into the bearing/gear assembly. If this did happen, the fine particulates in a Thread Lock could invariably scuff off a bearing, races, or gears outer metal overlay of Anitmony. Has anyone else postulated on this? Paul kinda touched on it, but here on the forum it's been all about seal failure. Once I see antimony apprear in a fluid, it usually migrates under the seal sealing surface and causes a small weeping.

I know in the Fluid Analysis practice, that once we see a spike in Antimony, we know that in the near future we expect a bearing or gear failure. This is typical of the type of testing I do in large Gearboxes at one of my accounts - where the gears are operating at 110% of their designed efficiency. You can't see a loss of Antimony on the components as it's usually a microscopic scoring of the metal. We continue to sample and trend the fluid until we unveil metallic matter from the second layer of the component - Stainless or Steel for Gears, Nickle for bearings or shafts - and so forth. Then we do a strip down of the gearbox and go on the hunt for the culprit - trying to salvage a ruining of other parts (sometimes to no avail as the damage has been done).

Anyone willing to send me a sample of Fluid from a Final Drive that has failed, I'd be glad to test for Antimony and Metal Particulates. Of course we'd need a baseline sample of virgin fluid that was the same type used in the OEM original fill.

And hey... I'm not trying to be some kind of genius here. I'm an average guy just taking an interest in the issue since I'm looking at buying a K1200GT in the near future.

Murphy

PGlaves
11-12-2007, 03:01 AM
Okay - I plowed through about 8 pages of this post and never saw mention of what Paul Glaves October 2007 "benchwrenching" column touched on briefly - "Tread Lock Compound"in FD assembly. Now I don't have the article in front of me, but immedately my mind jumped to a Loctite type product "accidentally" being introduced into the bearing/gear assembly. If this did happen, the fine particulates in a Thread Lock could invariably scuff off a bearing, races, or gears outer metal overlay of Anitmony. Has anyone else postulated on this? Paul kinda touched on it, but here on the forum it's been all about seal failure. Once I see antimony apprear in a fluid, it usually migrates under the seal sealing surface and causes a small weeping.

I know in the Fluid Analysis practice, that once we see a spike in Antimony, we know that in the near future we expect a bearing or gear failure. This is typical of the type of testing I do in large Gearboxes at one of my accounts - where the gears are operating at 110% of their designed efficiency. You can't see a loss of Antimony on the components as it's usually a microscopic scoring of the metal. We continue to sample and trend the fluid until we unveil metallic matter from the second layer of the component - Stainless or Steel for Gears, Nickle for bearings or shafts - and so forth. Then we do a strip down of the gearbox and go on the hunt for the culprit - trying to salvage a ruining of other parts (sometimes to no avail as the damage has been done).

Anyone willing to send me a sample of Fluid from a Final Drive that has failed, I'd be glad to test for Antimony and Metal Particulates. Of course we'd need a baseline sample of virgin fluid that was the same type used in the OEM original fill.

And hey... I'm not trying to be some kind of genius here. I'm an average guy just taking an interest in the issue since I'm looking at buying a K1200GT in the near future.

Murphy

The threadlock compound I referenced in my article was red Loctite applied to the threads on the paralever stub axle pivot pins. When improperly applied it reached the small roller bearings that the final drive pivots on where attached to the rear of the swingarm. This location is forward of the pinion seal - outside the final drive case. It is extremely unlikely that if slathered on in horrendous amounts that it could migrate past the pinion seal into the case. This is not the cause of ball bearing failures in these drives.

MurphyPeoples
11-14-2007, 01:46 AM
The threadlock compound I referenced in my article was red Loctite applied to the threads on the paralever stub axle pivot pins. When improperly applied it reached the small roller bearings that the final drive pivots on where attached to the rear of the swingarm. This location is forward of the pinion seal - outside the final drive case. It is extremely unlikely that if slathered on in horrendous amounts that it could migrate past the pinion seal into the case. This is not the cause of ball bearing failures in these drives.

Thanks Paul for clearing that up for me. Not being familiar with Final Drive Structure, I couldn't visualize where the threadlock was being applied. Thus the reason I asked the question. Always great to get an answer directly from the "horses mouth".... err... so to speak. :bow

Your opening paragraph in part one of your article really turned peoples heads in my neck of the woods. I've befriended an old BMW Guru Clanton Austell in Columbia SC, that theorizes the issue has roots in preloading a conical bushing. Again, his expertise (like yours) is WAY over my head. But I find the issue interesting and will continue to pay attention.

Sad to see the K1200GT place 4th out of 4 Sport Touring Bikes in a Shootout in this December's "Rider" magazine. I've not ridden one, but plan on checking out what they call "rough shifting" and "too harsh braking". I think after riding a 1980 R100S with rear drum brake for the past year, it will seem light years advanced.

Thanks again for responding to my question.
Sincerely,
Murphy

soffiler
11-14-2007, 02:42 AM
...Sad to see the K1200GT place 4th out of 4 Sport Touring Bikes in a Shootout in this December's "Rider" magazine. I've not ridden one, but plan on checking out what they call "rough shifting" and "too harsh braking". I think after riding a 1980 R100S with rear drum brake for the past year, it will seem light years advanced...

Murphy: it's a BMW - those are features. Seriously - I didn't read the article but I would hazard a guess that all four bikes are SOOOO good that they have to nitpick in order to create a ranking.

Sorry for the off-topic reply... now back to our regularly scheduled Final Drive Failure programming...

PGlaves
11-14-2007, 03:21 AM
Sad to see the K1200GT place 4th out of 4 Sport Touring Bikes in a Shootout in this December's "Rider" magazine. I've not ridden one, but plan on checking out what they call "rough shifting" and "too harsh braking". I think after riding a 1980 R100S with rear drum brake for the past year, it will seem light years advanced.

Thanks again for responding to my question.
Sincerely,
Murphy

Well, a magazine in Britain tested the same four models and the final rankings were reversed. BMW 1st.

It is interesting to read to learn features but the rankings are so subjective and by riders so unlike me that the final ratings are the meaningless part of the articles as far as I'm concerned.

milo
11-16-2007, 02:52 AM
Not wanting to highjack this thread but I had to chuckle at Rider's 2007 shootout ratings. The Gt was the most powerful, lightest yet had the highest load capacity, got the best mpg, had ESA, cruise, computer, heat wasn't an issue. Yet it came in last due to the shifting of the trannsmission and noisey servo brakes (they must have had a 2006 and didn't even know it). The vague feeling of the front end is merely a different feeling than the other three. I could see how when switching from one to another they would all feel similar except the BMW with it's Duolever.

1analguy
11-21-2007, 02:11 AM
Well, a magazine in Britain tested the same four models and the final rankings were reversed. BMW 1st...

Bike Magazine, Oct., '06. Rankings:

1) RT
2) Honda ST
3) Yamaha FJ
4) GT

IIRC, GT complaints centered on the engine/drivetrain. They couldn't understand why the GT, a sport-touring bike, would have been built with a crotch rocket engine (tractability issue), and also complained about excessive driveline lash and a noisy transmission. What struck me as really odd was that not one of their testers ever complained about the seat on the RT...:scratch

YELLOW_S
11-21-2007, 03:38 AM
Bike Magazine, Oct., '06. Rankings:

What struck me as really odd was that not one of their testers ever complained about the seat on the RT...:scratch



Everyone has there own comfort level. Like my dad has a R1150RT and could not stand the stock seat, but his best friend in Ames, IA has the same bike, same year just different colour and loves the stock seat.

henzilla
11-24-2007, 06:27 PM
Just picked up a late build '07 GSA...it HAS a drainplug!!! Still have to fill thru the speed sensor hole. I will still drop drive unit to lube driveshaft splines in the future, but nice to see a drainplug on the bottom of casting anyways. Left my manuals on the salesmans desk, so have not looked at maintenance info to compare to the '05's as to rear drive reccomendations.

soffiler
11-24-2007, 07:15 PM
Just picked up a late build '07 GSA...it HAS a drainplug!!! Still have to fill thru the speed sensor hole. I will still drop drive unit to lube driveshaft splines in the future, but nice to see a drainplug on the bottom of casting anyways. Left my manuals on the salesmans desk, so have not looked at maintenance info to compare to the '05's as to rear drive reccomendations.

Hi Steve:

Congrat's on the new ride, and thanks for posting about the drainplug. You mean it has a drainplug located on the bottom, correct? (In fact they've always had a drainplug but it used to be on the side.) Please let us know what your manual says about maintenance when you get a chance.

gec343
11-24-2007, 08:16 PM
I love BMW's, but just purchased a Honda ST1300, which will be my ride until BMW gets a handle on quality control, etc. I am amazed at the quality and reliability of the ST1300. Plus, I find it as fun to ride as my 04RT. I'll still be attending BMWMOA rallies, but will be riding the ST there.:)

henzilla
11-25-2007, 07:24 PM
Hi Steve:

Congrat's on the new ride, and thanks for posting about the drainplug. You mean it has a drainplug located on the bottom, correct? (In fact they've always had a drainplug but it used to be on the side.) Please let us know what your manual says about maintenance when you get a chance.

Thanks...still swapping stuff over..still rainy and 40 outside
Yes. a drainplug at the 6 o'clock position, seems to be same plug as "old" position 9 o'clock ,which is gone on this new casting. I'll get my book Tuesday to see schedule/viscosity info.