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bru
03-16-2009, 02:13 AM
New member to BMW MOA. Purchased a 2005 R12RT last fall. Moved from Honda ST1300. Nice bike but riding position too far farward. RT much more comfortable. Had a few nice riding months then started reading about these final drive failures. I'm really not mechanically inclined, I just love riding. So what's the deal? Should I look at trading this bike on a later model or would it make any difference? Loving this bike but worry everytime I'm out on it now that I'll be stranded. Have the tow insurance but who wants to be towed somewhere?
Thanks guys.
Bru:dunno

greenwald
03-16-2009, 02:24 AM
Welcome bru. I too enjoy an '05 R1200RT, so hopefully we'll both get a lot of trouble-free miles out of them.

Funny you mention moving away from an ST1300. Just today, I swapped mounts with my son (he has an '07 ST1300), so he could see for himself how noticable the Hyper-Lites we installed last week appear. You're right - seating position pitches you forward more than the R1200RT. If I went with an ST, I would install handlebar risers to get me sitting more upright.

As for 'trading up' in models, that would not accomplish anything. There has been no acknowledged re-engineering to the final drives of the R1200RT's since their inception in 2005.

As for getting stranded, therein lies the rub with BMW. Many have spoken up on this forum about how BMW will 'most likely' cover the costs of repair to a well-maintained FD that pukes, but you're still stranded. A ride ruined, expenses that will not be covered and confidence shaken, just for starters.

I suspect they cover such a mechanical catastrophe to keep any acknowledgement of the problem 'off the grid.'

Maintain your bike well, watch for leaks and consider an aftermarket warranty program (I went with Contego) to protect yourself against any substantial monetary burden of unfortunate repairs.

Then go out and enjoy yourself - not because BMW will come riding to your rescue should you fall victim to an FD event - but because it's a super-bike worth owning and pounding on the miles.

Ride Safe!

redclfco
03-16-2009, 02:30 AM
New member to BMW MOA. Purchased a 2005 R12RT last fall. Moved from Honda ST1300. Nice bike but riding position too far farward. RT much more comfortable. Had a few nice riding months then started reading about these final drive failures. I'm really not mechanically inclined, I just love riding. So what's the deal? Should I look at trading this bike on a later model or would it make any difference? Loving this bike but worry everytime I'm out on it now that I'll be stranded. Have the tow insurance but who wants to be towed somewhere?
Thanks guys.
Bru:dunno

Bru,

Don't let these guys scare ya, Many, Many of us ride trouble free, no FD problems, we just don't spend any time here lamenting about it! We are too busy out riding.

Now, just so the lamenters in the crowd don't get their undies in a bunch, I am very sorry it happened to you. No fun, not right, very bad, bad thing to happen to anyone. I feel your pain. You got right to cry all ya want in your soup; but not mine!

Enjoy your bike, Bru! Chances are WAY better than not you will ride it to your too old to ride it!

Have fun!

Red

mistral
03-16-2009, 05:34 PM
Ha Ha Red, actually Bru my final drive went out on me at 5,500 miles. I just got back from Colorado. I am very glad I made it back. I have a concern, and I check it regulary.

However, I love the bike and there is nothing that I can replace it with that I would like better. I plan to put at least 100k miles on it. I say ride it, and and fix it if it ever breaks. Anything can break so relax and enjoy the bike.

Ron

MrGrocer
03-16-2009, 06:01 PM
it's a motorcycle, things break. However, I think the number of FD failures vs. production figures are worth takin a chance. Ride it like you stole it; I have yet to be stranded by a Beemer.

hlothery
03-16-2009, 06:36 PM
I've said it before, I'll say it again. The RT is the finest road bike I have ever ridden. If it breaks, I'll fix it and ride away. I feel just as confident on it as I did on my HD Road King, which reportedly has the propensity to snap drive belts if a rock gets between the belt and the sprocket (and I'd much rather change a final drive than a Road King drive belt!). Everything put together, sooner or later falls apart.

marcopolo
03-16-2009, 11:57 PM
Personally, I believe you're over-thinking this (and I had a FD failure that left me "stranded" in Wyoming on a long ride. It was replaced under warranty in Salt Lake City. It was a bit of an adventure). I wouldn't lose sleep over it; just change the FD fluid on a routine basis and also check the rear wheel for free play (bike on centre stand obviously). Now go riding.

bru
03-17-2009, 03:45 AM
Thanks for the thoughts. I do have a tow package in place so if it happens get it towed, fixed and ride off.
I did find in my searching the web that the new final drive that BMW replaces the failed ones with, does have the drain plug added back. Interesting...which leads one to believe that fluid ought to be changed more often than never.
Thanks happy riding.
Bru

marcopolo
03-18-2009, 12:15 AM
Thanks for the thoughts. I do have a tow package in place so if it happens get it towed, fixed and ride off.
I did find in my searching the web that the new final drive that BMW replaces the failed ones with, does have the drain plug added back. Interesting...which leads one to believe that fluid ought to be changed more often than never.
Thanks happy riding.
Bru
All hexhead FDs have had drain plugs from the outset. BMW changed the location of the drain plug from the 9 o'clock to the six o'clock position, meaning the newer drives no longer have to be dropped to drain the FD fluid.

ctyankee
03-18-2009, 12:45 AM
...which leads one to believe that fluid ought to be changed more often than never.

Yes, you should change your final drive fluid... Searches here or on BMWRT.com will provide a wealth of information on how to yourself.

Ride well.:dance

bru
03-18-2009, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the help guys.

cjack
03-18-2009, 09:21 PM
I did find in my searching the web that the new final drive that BMW replaces the failed ones with, does have the drain plug added back. Interesting...which leads one to believe that fluid ought to be changed more often than never.
Thanks happy riding.
Bru

They do recommend fluid change every 12K now.
Do you have a link to where some FDs were repl. with the new ones?
In the subject of not dropping the FD, I think it is much more important to grease the splines at the input to the FD than it is to change the fluid in it.

MRMAICO
03-18-2009, 09:40 PM
I thought I'd read that the 05-06 bikes have a different abs/speedo sensor ring inside the fd compared to the newer ones meaning the older bikes can't use the newer, 6 o'clock drain style fd?

Anyone heard different?

cjack
03-18-2009, 09:54 PM
I thought I'd read that the 05-06 bikes have a different abs/speedo sensor ring inside the fd compared to the newer ones meaning the older bikes can't use the newer, 6 o'clock drain style fd?

Anyone heard different?

That is most likely true. I do know there is a warning in the repair manuals in regard to changing the FD out, that the compatibility of ABS type must be observed.

brianm
03-19-2009, 05:22 AM
bru- I too traded my ST1300 for an '05 R1200RT. While the Honda seemed more reliable, the BMW is a much better ride. In 22K miles, Final Drive issues have not been a problem for me or 2 of my friends (one RT one GS). You have a great bike. Just keep up the maintenance.
BTW I didn't feel the Honda was stable at high speed, so I launched it before it launched me.

bru
03-21-2009, 12:04 AM
I have the ST for sale now. I find the R12RT a much more comfortable ride. However I rode many years/miles on Hondas with out doing anything but changing tires and oil/filter. At this point in my life I'm willing to give up abit for a more comfortable ride.