Message from Oak (AskOak@aol.com)
No doubt all of you have been aware of the GS drive shaft failure syndrome and have probably followed the tech reports in AIRMAIL starting three or so years ago. One of the efforts was an attempt by ABC to procure a possible aftermarket solution using a constant velocity U joint and shaft design that would perform more acceptably and provide a more reasonable life span.
At this point in time, in spite of a virtual zero dollar budget, the objective has been at least partially accomplished. We have a company in Rockford Illinois who has been gracious enough to get involved and presently has produced a small amount of prototypes to retrofit into the R100GS models. The primary laison has been done by myself and locally there in Rockford, by Dan Anderson, a ABC GS rider who volunteered his machine for the experimental development needs.
At the moment I have several drive shafts to distribute at no cost to willing shaft evaluators. Jan Hofman suggested I contact the airmarshals for possible candidates as they might know their constituents best on who rides what and how extensively. Thus all the airmarshals in the lower 48 are receiving this request.
The obligation on the part of the shaft evaluators would be to install and evaluate the shaft as best possible, primarily running it until it needs removal or inspection for whatever reasons may arise. The task would essentially be the equivalent of a test pilot. What we can expect is anyone's guess but the manufacturer did their best to design a shaft that would better survive the rigors of the GS model usage.
Rockford Acromatic, who makes the shafts is in Rockford Illinois. This project got started several years ago. It has been a painstaking process, especially designing it to fit into the existing GW model housings, without any factory blueprints to assist. Not an easy task. Having dimensional blueprints of the design would of course have made things much easier.
Anyway, the testing of the shaft would require the user signing a disclaimer form. The form will be sent to the appropriate recipients later, with directions just how the form should be filled and signed.
The evaluation of the shaft would expected at times of course, to be under the worst possible conditions the machine would undergo, barring of course, intentional abuse. In otherwords, the habitat of a GS rider- back roads, sometimes bumpy, all weather conditions etc as you would normally ride the machine. We would perfer a high annual mileage rider to provide test results within a short a time frame as possible.
Instructions with pictures for installation will be written up soon, by our laison rider who lives in Rockford (Dan Anderson) Dan has been extremely valuable in the success achieved so far. He has volunteered his GS as the prototype study model and is getting quite good at taking it apart and putting it back together.
The usage reports should be directed to myself, and as they are collected I will forward them to the manufacturer, probably with a meeting involved. There may come a time when the test rider may be asked questions directly by the mfr people. I am not certain just how that will all happen as of now.
I am hoping the airmarshals can contact their appropriate constituents, perhaps sending them a copy of the text in this mail so they understand what is involved. If you find willing candidates, please have them forward their full name, street shipping address, E-mail address, phone number, year and model, anticipated miles to be ridden annually after the shaft installation etc-any information that may be deemed needed or adviseable. Althought basic instructions will be furnished, the recipient and shaft evaluator must have some knowledge and capability to change the shafts and inspect as may be necessary or desireable, or obtain local help from some who are knowledgeable and volunteering to assist if necessary.
Please advise if you have any particular questions. In view of riding season for most of us is just around the corner, we wish to get motivated as soon as possible. There is no need to respond if you have no prospects to submit, but you certainly may feel free to do so for any plausible reason whatsoever... Thanks for the cooperation........Oak