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johnv
09-14-2007, 12:58 PM
I discovered some play in the final drive of my 07 R1200RT with 12750kms. After all the talk of final drive failures, I decided to check mine just for the heck of it. I was surprised to find some play. I grabbed the rear wheel at 6 and 12 oÔÇÖclock and tried to move it. There was definitely some play. I checked the tightness of the wheel bolts with my torque wrench and they were OK.
So I took it to my dealer yesterday to have it checked out. The BMW tech agreed there was some looseness but said it was normal clearances. He said that the final drive gets very hot when subjected to high speeds for long periods of time such as one would encounter on the autobahn in Germany. He said it was built in clearance. I said that I was always led to believe that any looseness at all was not normal and that my R1150RT never had any looseness. He said that was the old design and this is the new one. I asked if he had heard of the final drive failures on hexheads during this yearÔÇÖs Iron Butt. He said that these failures were on 2006 models or older and that the 2007 models were improved. Now I wasnÔÇÖt about to argue with him. I thanked him for his time, but I said that I was a bit uncomfortable with this and I was still going to keep an eye on my final drive.
Now this is the same tech that said that the final drive on a friend of mineÔÇÖs R1100S was OK after I told my friend it was shot. My friend ended up having to replace the final drive so he could sell it a month later.
So I am going to forget about it and just ride it. If it breaks, IÔÇÖll get it fixed. I could take this further and contact BMW Canada but I think they will stand by the techÔÇÖs diagnosis.
I have a favor to ask of any hexhead owners here. If you have a few moments to spare, could you please check your final drive for play as I have done and let me know if you felt any play at all? Thanks

Johnv

deilenberger
09-14-2007, 01:07 PM
Play is abnormal. There shouldn't be any noticeable play - and as far as clearances so it can run at high speed on the autobahn... well.. I've said it before - Take what dealers (and dealer techs) spout with a grain of salt.

The problem he may be referring to is where the wheel carrier (the part the wheel bolts on to) starts to loosen up on the splined shaft that comes out of the rear drive. There is an SIB on this - perhaps someone knows the number, or if you send me a PM sometime after 3PM EST - I'll try to find it at home.

ssls6
09-14-2007, 01:22 PM
The 1200 series of final drives can have some play (they use straight roller bearings on one side). The 1150 series should have NO play (they use tapered roller bearings on one side). If you're really worried, change the fluid and look at the condition of the magnet on the drainplug.

osbornk
09-14-2007, 01:41 PM
The 1200 series of final drives can have some play (they use straight roller bearings on one side). The 1150 series should have NO play (they use tapered roller bearings on one side). If you're really worried, change the fluid and look at the condition of the magnet on the drainplug.

What drain plug?

2bikemike
09-14-2007, 02:13 PM
What drain plug?

OH NO! BMW forgot to install a drain plug? ;)

dwestly
09-14-2007, 02:39 PM
I've been reading the FD failure discussion for some time now, and have to admit I'm more than a little concerned. My 07 1200GS is my first BMW, and one of the reasons I bought it, after owning nothing but Honda for the past 20 years, was the reputation of quality. My wife and I do a lot of distance riding, and the last thing I want in the back of my mind while on the road is the thought that the back end is going to fall out of my bike. Some are arguing that the percentage of failure is so low that there isn't a problem. I suggest that in fact whenever you get repeat failures in a single system to the point that it is statistically trackable (regardless of the number), that you have have a problem. If BMW isn't recognizing this issue and taking steps to address it, then I have a real concern. What happens when I run out my warranty and my FD fails 2 months later, despite doing all recommended routine maintenance? I have to admit this is making me seriously rethink my BMW ownership. I really like my GS, but not to the point of compromising either safety while riding, or in paying A LOT of money for a bike that may have a system design or operating flaw.

BFish
09-14-2007, 02:49 PM
I've been reading the FD failure discussion for some time now, and have to admit I'm more than a little concerned. My 07 1200GS is my first BMW, and one of the reasons I bought it, after owning nothing but Honda for the past 20 years, was the reputation of quality. My wife and I do a lot of distance riding, and the last thing I want in the back of my mind while on the road is the thought that the back end is going to fall out of my bike. Some are arguing that the percentage of failure is so low that there isn't a problem. I suggest that in fact whenever you get repeat failures in a single system to the point that it is statistically trackable (regardless of the number), that you have have a problem. If BMW isn't recognizing this issue and taking steps to address it, then I have a real concern. What happens when I run out my warranty and my FD fails 2 months later, despite doing all recommended routine maintenance? I have to admit this is making me seriously rethink my BMW ownership. I really like my GS, but not to the point of compromising either safety while riding, or in paying A LOT of money for a bike that may have a system design or operating flaw.

you could be struck by lightning as well living in florida. I sugget you to do more than just read posts on this forum and research the level of failure. the results may help you sleep.:D

redclfco
09-14-2007, 03:46 PM
you could be struck by lightning as well living in florida. you need to do more than just read posts on this forum and research the level of failure. the results may help you sleep.:D

Amen

FredRydr
09-14-2007, 04:39 PM
I've been reading the FD failure discussion for some time now, and have to admit I'm more than a little concerned. ... Concern is okay, but don't jump to premature conclusions (i.e., freak out). We are all watching BMW with interest. BMW needs time for their labs and engineers to do their thing.


I suggest that in fact whenever you get repeat failures in a single system to the point that it is statistically trackable (regardless of the number), that(sic) you have have a problem.... "Trackable" or "significant"?


If BMW isn't recognizing this issue and taking steps to address it, then I have a real concern. Damn right. I'll be angry and I will take steps to protect my interests if that's the case. But it is way too early to come to that conclusion.


... I have to admit this is making me seriously rethink my BMW ownership. You are freaking out. This is only a forum, and is prone to hype up crisis thinking and forum panic. Some people thrive on that.

Enjoy your motorcycle, and keep it maintained by the book at a BMW dealer pending BMW's inevitable announcement on this. (If there is no announcement in a reasonable period of time, see No. 3, above.) In the alternative, put the bike on the flea market so we can snatch it up. :)

Fred
'07 R1200R

knary
09-14-2007, 04:49 PM
you could be struck by lightning as well living in florida. I sugget you to do more than just read posts on this forum and research the level of failure. the results may help you sleep.:D

I take it you have some data other than the swelling number of stories of failures? :ear

BFish
09-14-2007, 05:11 PM
i see the stories, but iron butt failures stole the headlines. i don't have statistics, but of the 50 plus friends i have riding 2005 and newer BMW's not one has experienced a FD failure. even on other forums the failure rate is low.

my point to the gentlemans post was to not freak out over this issue. even if 50 out of thousands manfactured truly have defects the odds of your moto having one are low. no one has statistics yet. we all know or have read the ride reports of scores of folks who rode to alsaka and back this summer. can't recall any FD failures. i'm sure there were a few, but once again my point is to someone who just purchased a 2007 GS...ride the crap out of it the odds are it will last a long, long time.

johnv
09-14-2007, 05:37 PM
I've been reading the FD failure discussion for some time now, and have to admit I'm more than a little concerned. My 07 1200GS is my first BMW, and one of the reasons I bought it, after owning nothing but Honda for the past 20 years, was the reputation of quality. My wife and I do a lot of distance riding, and the last thing I want in the back of my mind while on the road is the thought that the back end is going to fall out of my bike. Some are arguing that the percentage of failure is so low that there isn't a problem. I suggest that in fact whenever you get repeat failures in a single system to the point that it is statistically trackable (regardless of the number), that you have have a problem. If BMW isn't recognizing this issue and taking steps to address it, then I have a real concern. What happens when I run out my warranty and my FD fails 2 months later, despite doing all recommended routine maintenance? I have to admit this is making me seriously rethink my BMW ownership. I really like my GS, but not to the point of compromising either safety while riding, or in paying A LOT of money for a bike that may have a system design or operating flaw.

Sorry, I really didnÔÇÖt want to start another final drive thread. Remember one thing. We are hearing pretty much one side of the story here. People with valid gripes write in to talk about the problems theyÔÇÖve had with their BMWÔÇÖs. We donÔÇÖt often hear from the majority who are not having problems.
This is my fourth BMW in approx 20 years. IÔÇÖve owned an 85 and an 89 K100RS, and an 02 R1150RT. The 85 K100RS had some minor teething problems at first that were fixed under warranty. The 89 K100RS and the R1150RT were both trouble free for as long as I owned them. I do my own maintenance and maintained them according to BMW specs.
My 07 R1200RT is the best BMW and the best bike that I have ever owned. It is all I ever wanted in a bike as far as performance, comfort and handling are concerned. Will it be reliable or will it leave me stranded somewhere someday, I donÔÇÖt know. Already, the rear shock was replaced at 1200 kms because the ESA stopped working. The final drive may or may not be on itÔÇÖs way out. Time will tell.
But I am not going to let all this detract from my joy of ownership. It still puts a big smile on my face whenever I ride it. If it breaks down during warranty, BMW will fix it. Once it is out of warranty, IÔÇÖll make the decision whether I keep it or not based on itÔÇÖs track record.
DonÔÇÖt let all this talk of final drive failures ruin YOUR joy of ownership. Ride it, maintain it and enjoy it. Chances are, you will not have any major problems.

Johnv

BFish
09-14-2007, 05:47 PM
great point and attitude John, hope all is well with the moto. :D

dlearl476
09-14-2007, 05:56 PM
I He said that the final drive gets very hot when subjected to high speeds for long periods of time such as one would encounter on the autobahn in Germany.

That is, without doubt, the biggest load of crap I've ever heard come out of a BMW "tech's" mouth, with the possible exception of the F650 Surging and Stalling being a "characteristic" of single cylinder engines.

dlearl476
09-14-2007, 05:59 PM
BMW needs time for their customer service dept. to gauge how much damage this bad press is doing.
Fred
'07 R1200R

figst :deal

ssls6
09-14-2007, 06:11 PM
What drain plug?

Back of the drive, you must swing it down to drain.

pgods
09-15-2007, 03:13 PM
I've been reading the FD failure discussion for some time now, and have to admit I'm more than a little concerned. My 07 1200GS is my first BMW, and one of the reasons I bought it, after owning nothing but Honda for the past 20 years, was the reputation of quality. My wife and I do a lot of distance riding, and the last thing I want in the back of my mind while on the road is the thought that the back end is going to fall out of my bike. Some are arguing that the percentage of failure is so low that there isn't a problem. I suggest that in fact whenever you get repeat failures in a single system to the point that it is statistically trackable (regardless of the number), that you have have a problem. If BMW isn't recognizing this issue and taking steps to address it, then I have a real concern. What happens when I run out my warranty and my FD fails 2 months later, despite doing all recommended routine maintenance? I have to admit this is making me seriously rethink my BMW ownership. I really like my GS, but not to the point of compromising either safety while riding, or in paying A LOT of money for a bike that may have a system design or operating flaw.

So I'm having my Wilber's shocks and Remus Hexacone installed at Heid's Hodaka/ BMW last week and right beside me is a ST1100 getting a tune up. I start up a chat with the owner and, in time, comes a comment about "a problem" he has with the bike shutting down at highway speed, but only when trailing a big truck or semi. Something about wind vacuum...blah, blah, blah. No Honda tech can figure it out. The owner says he's used to it and quickly starts her up while riding along! Paul Heid thru out some theories, but the bike was only in for a valve adjust and carb tuning, not a thorough diagnostic.

My point: no bike brand doesn't have issues now and then...even the ever reliable Honda brand. I too freaked a bit when reading forums about FD failures on the 12GS. I got over it. It's called FEAR, not a statistical imperative as yet.

Ride your bike, and be damned with possibilities. That, and maybe find a kick ass mechanic whole knows BMWs inside and out, but doesn't work for the "man".

cberry
09-16-2007, 01:17 AM
I just completed a 16,000 mile round trip from Melbourne, FL to Alaska in a fair amount of challenging hot weather, including a ride thru Death Valley. This was on my 2005 R1200RT. The possibility of a final drive failure never entered my mind.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This seems to apply in this case. However, prudence would suggest that when I do my 36K service next month I change the rear drive lubricant. Such a PM was not envisioned when the '05's were conceived, but is now called out on the '07's as I understand current thinking. No BFD...it's under warranty!:) (For a while)

Keep smiling, Brian!

The Real Chuck Berry (That old guy is an imposter)

BFish
09-17-2007, 11:24 AM
I just completed a 16,000 mile round trip from Melbourne, FL to Alaska in a fair amount of challenging hot weather, including a ride thru Death Valley. This was on my 2005 R1200RT. The possibility of a final drive failure never entered my mind.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This seems to apply in this case. However, prudence would suggest that when I do my 36K service next month I change the rear drive lubricant. Such a PM was not envisioned when the '05's were conceived, but is now called out on the '07's as I understand current thinking. No BFD...it's under warranty!:) (For a while)

Keep smiling, Brian!

The Real Chuck Berry (That old guy is an imposter)

glad your final drive survived the trip!:clap

vmi1991
09-18-2007, 12:33 AM
At least that is what I take from the service manual reference sheet

33 12 001 Measuring bearing play of rear wheel



put the bike on center stand
depress rear brake caliper
rock the wheel at several points arouf the circumfrence
Do you have noticeable play? Take it to the dealer and have them check it out unless you have the tools below.

36 3 609 - Dial gauge holder
00 2 510 - Dial gauge

That is from the repair manual. So if you notice play in the rear wheel, I would say it is a problem regardless of how fast you are going in whatever country.

George
1200RT '05

BTW at 52,000 my final drive seal has begun to seep oil, yet I have no play. I now have to figure out if I fell competent enough to drill a hole no deeper than 2.5mm into the seal, allowing it to be pulled or just take it to a dealer....hmmm.
http://www.vmi1991.net/images/Tire%20play%20spec.png

BigAdv
09-18-2007, 04:27 AM
Where is the play measured? At the wheel? At the rotor? Or the flange? Makes a big differance. One Mil. at the hub flange could be 5mil at the wheel. partial info can be a very dangerous thing.

sarmand
09-18-2007, 12:29 PM
What drain plug?

The magnet you seek is on the antiskid sensor, or fill plug. Just pull the wheel off and it's exposed. I check mine periodically, just for peace of mind.

vmi1991
09-18-2007, 01:40 PM
If you are going to use the gauges to measure, I would sure hope you are following the tech repair manual and the page I referenced, among others, which is where the 1mm and the table came from.

To test for play, you grab the wheel by the tire, where the tread is.

see below, another grpahic from referenced page above.
George
time to ride the Dragon again...

http://www.vmi1991.net/images/TirePlayCheckPicture.png

johnv
09-18-2007, 03:22 PM
[QUOTEto test for play, you grab the wheel by the tire, where the tread is.QUOTE]

I understand where to grab the wheel, but where is the 1 mm measured? At the hub, or at the brake disc, or at the sidewall of the tire? Inquiring minds want to know!

Johnv

rob nye
09-18-2007, 07:05 PM
Hey now,

FWIW, nobody except the folks at BMW know the ratio of bikes sold vs FD failures. To say that thay are all junk because four went **** up in the last IBR is no more valid than saying there is no problem because I know 50 owners and none of them have had a problem.

Also FWIW, I get a bit steamed when I hear stories of dealers saying the IBR failures are due to either overloading the bikes (my modifications come in at under 125lbs including all the gear I carried on the rally) or that they were run too fast for too long.

That only indicated that not only does the dealer not know jack about motorcycles but he doesn't know jack about the IBR either. :nono

Having said all this my RTP is a great bike. Sure I was absolutely crushed to have a FD Failure but I am not going to toss the bike for an FJR when Max will help me get this sorted out.

Also, the BMW service bulletin calls for a FD fluid change at 600. Max has been doing this well before the bulletin came out and may have had something to do with the change. The bulletin does not call for any follow up changes.

If you do change you FD oil I suggest sending a sample out for anaylasis *and* take a close look at the plug for shavings. Having said this if it is a seal issue oil samples will be no indicator of a pending failure.

soffiler
09-19-2007, 06:58 PM
...Having said all this my RTP is a great bike. Sure I was absolutely crushed to have a FD Failure but I am not going to toss the bike for an FJR when Max will help me get this sorted out....

Rob:

You must have told your story a gazillion times by now, but I've looked around (here, YB forum, a bit of Advrider) and I've not seen a concise version of it. Was it your bearings, or was it that splined-hub deal? How did you discover it - a noise, a flat-tire feeling, or just a hint of something amiss coming up thru the saddle? Did it spew its lube, and if so, do you know how much remained? you know, the basics... :ear

marcopolo
09-19-2007, 08:05 PM
Below, I've copied the text of the BMW Service Bulletin related to the issue of play in the rear wheel caused by wear in the two sets of splines where the wheel attaches: the axle tube, and the rotor flange. My '06 R12RT suffered this exact failue in Wyoming in July while I was in the midst of a cross-continent road trip. The Final Drive, rear rotor, and all lug nuts were replaced under warranty. This would have cost $2,000 if I had had to pay for it myself.

While the Service Bulletin was issued for the R12GS, the dealership where I took my bike quickly acknowledged its applicability. I think you'll find the Bulletin was issued before the RT, or other Hexheads, had been released for sale.

You'll note that the allowable play of 1mm is at the wheel rim edge. The play in my rear wheel was so bad that they didn't have to measure anything; they just gave it a quick shake, and agreed the FD had to be replaced. I mentioned my concern about damage to the brake totor, and they agreed that it too need to be replaced.

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

JK
09-20-2007, 03:14 AM
Below, I've copied the text of the BMW Service Bulletin related to the issue of play in the rear wheel caused by wear in the two sets of splines where the wheel attaches: the axle tube, and the rotor flange."

Hi Mark -

Thanks for the post. Clear, concise, and compelling.


J.K.

P.S. Checked and changed FD fluid at the 600 mi. and again at the 6,000 mi. scheduled Dealer Mx. With a history of sustained triple digit speeds and high ambient temperatures (along with the obligatory month of SoCal canyon carving :nyah ), inspections of my '07 R-12s showed no impending FD problems.

Went over 12K miles, last weekend. Needless to say, the bike and ride are just absolutely awesome!

johnv
09-20-2007, 12:01 PM
Thanks Mark for clearing things up for us.

Johnv

cjack
09-20-2007, 12:54 PM
The magnet you seek is on the antiskid sensor, or fill plug. Just pull the wheel off and it's exposed. I check mine periodically, just for peace of mind.

There is a new plug for the back of the drive...the plug that is exposed when the wheel in on. It has a magnet in it. If you don't have one, you can get one from BMW parts for a nominal price and it is easier to check than removing the wheel and pulling the ABS sensor.

cjack
09-20-2007, 12:55 PM
[QUOTEto test for play, you grab the wheel by the tire, where the tread is.QUOTE]

I understand where to grab the wheel, but where is the 1 mm measured? At the hub, or at the brake disc, or at the sidewall of the tire? Inquiring minds want to know!

Johnv

I would measure it at the rim of the wheel given the test instructions.

" allowable at the wheel rim edge is 1mm(maximum)"

jimvonbaden
09-25-2007, 04:33 PM
There is a new plug for the back of the drive...the plug that is exposed when the wheel in on. It has a magnet in it. If you don't have one, you can get one from BMW parts for a nominal price and it is easier to check than removing the wheel and pulling the ABS sensor.


Jack,

In my experience, if you pull the plug on the back of the drive you will lose about 1/3 of the FD oil. So I wouldn't pull it unless you intend to do an oil change.

Jim :brow

cjack
09-25-2007, 05:31 PM
Jack,

In my experience, if you pull the plug on the back of the drive you will lose about 1/3 of the FD oil. So I wouldn't pull it unless you intend to do an oil change.

Jim :brow

Ok. I see. That is not true on the K12 bikes. On the K bikes, the drive is on the left side and with the bike on the side stand, the oil falls into the outside of the drive and no oil comes out when you remove the plug. I guess you would have to lean an R12 bike over to the right to duplicate the easy check on the K12 bikes.

jimvonbaden
09-25-2007, 05:35 PM
Ok. I see. That is not true on the K12 bikes. On the K bikes, the drive is on the left side and with the bike on the side stand, the oil falls into the outside of the drive and no oil comes out when you remove the plug. I guess you would have to lean an R12 bike over to the right to duplicate the easy check on the K12 bikes.

Hmmm, now I have to go look and see if that is possible on an R1200.

I suppose if you lean it far enough, though the FD is about 2/3 to 3/4 full of fluid when properly filled.

Jim :brow