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Thread: Final Drive fluid

  1. #1
    Kyle drummer12345's Avatar
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    Final Drive fluid

    I have a 2007 R1200S that was sold to me new with lifetime final drive fluid following the 600 mile service, which was a big selling point. I dropped off my bike yesterday for my 12,000 miles service and found out that not only do I need to get my final drive fluid changed at my expense, but failure to do this "optional" service would void my warranty.

    My issues to this are as follows:

    1) BMW advertised the bike as only requiring the final drive fluid to be changed one time at 600 miles and never again.

    2) BMW making the input port for the fluid so small as to require a syringe. This effectively keeps me from changing the fluid myself.

    3) Requiring me to pay for their mistake.

    Has anyone else experienced this frustration? What has been done to compensate you for the extra time and money this mistake has cost you?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Kyle

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer12345 View Post
    I have a 2007 R1200S that was sold to me new with lifetime final drive fluid following the 600 mile service, which was a big selling point. I dropped off my bike yesterday for my 12,000 miles service and found out that not only do I need to get my final drive fluid changed at my expense, but failure to do this "optional" service would void my warranty.

    My issues to this are as follows:

    1) BMW advertised the bike as only requiring the final drive fluid to be changed one time at 600 miles and never again.

    2) BMW making the input port for the fluid so small as to require a syringe. This effectively keeps me from changing the fluid myself.

    3) Requiring me to pay for their mistake.

    Has anyone else experienced this frustration? What has been done to compensate you for the extra time and money this mistake has cost you?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Kyle
    It might have been a mistake - but as so often happens, field testing by a lot of riders in the real world disclosed that changing the fluid went a long way toward the drives not failing. BMW "manned up" and decided changing the fluid was a good idea - exactly what we have asked for for years.

    As for how to change it - it isn't really hard. On the early models you have to remove a few bolts and a plug. On the latest models only a couple of plugs.

    To refill the thing is also no harder than, for example, filling a fork.

    I took an empty one quart gear oil bottle with the pointy ended cap. I stuck a piece of 3/8" clear tubing on the pointy end and cut out the bottom. I attached a short wire bail to the bottom. On the other end of the tube I stuck a pointed plastic vacuum line connector available at any auto parts store.

    Hang the bottle above the fill opening. Stick the pointed end of the vacuum tube connection into the fill hole. Pour 185cc of gear oil into the bottomless bottle hanging upside down. Go have a cup of coffee. When you get back from your coffee gravity will have done its work.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 12-11-2009 at 12:58 AM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  3. #3
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer12345 View Post
    2) BMW making the input port for the fluid so small as to require a syringe. This effectively keeps me from changing the fluid myself.


    It doesn't require a syringe, although I find the use of a syringe with about 12" of tubing cable tied to the end a pretty easy method for introducing fluid into the FD. You could also use a turkey baster. Or any bottle with a narrow tip. Or tubing cable tied to the end of a funnel. Or any of eleventy-seven other items.

    So how does that stop you from changing the fluid yourself?

    I find changing transmission fluid more of a hassle than FD fluid.

  4. #4
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer12345 View Post

    2) BMW making the input port for the fluid so small as to require a syringe. This effectively keeps me from changing the fluid myself.

    Kyle

    Kyle - this link will help you address how to change the fluid yourself

    Rear Fluid DIY Pre 2008
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
    2009 G450X White
    IBA #35651
    Rogue Moderator

  5. #5
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    It's too bad they made that claim, but it's not a big deal. It's easy to do and doesn't cost much at all.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  6. #6
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboRider View Post
    It's too bad they made that claim, but it's not a big deal. It's easy to do and doesn't cost much at all.
    My 3 series has "Lifetime" tranny and differential fluids.............
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  7. #7
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    THat doesn't look hard at all. THe only prep I need to do is pick up that nut & the fluid. The Moly paste looks like any other moly lube, what is the drive fluid? Is it somethign I could use a substitute for? Like Redline or Mobil 1?

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    I know many others along with myself use Mobil 1
    O8 R1200GS Adventure,R1150GS, 09 R1200 RT(GONE) 04R1150GSA....come to the RTB RALLY!

  9. #9
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    My 2009 R1200R has a drain plug on the bottom. Was that put back in 09?
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  10. #10
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    My 2009 R1200R has a drain plug on the bottom. Was that put back in 09?

    Very late 07 on MY 08 - there is a DIY for that style.
    2008 Rear Fluid Change

    Also note that on the 09 style rear drive you fill it at a different position you do not have to remove the speed sensor. SUPER EASY.
    2009 Rear Drive Fluid Fill


    You still have to drop the drive to lube the splines
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
    2009 G450X White
    IBA #35651
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  11. #11
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    I guess after BMW decided the rear drive does need to be changed periodically, they made it easy to do on the 09's. How about that.

    It is almost as easy as my 20 year old K75.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  12. #12
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    If you have never done it, you should grease the splines exposed when you drop the final drive down 90 degrees. It seemed to be the most required on the GS, but worth doing at least once a year or so.
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  13. #13
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Tire change intervals works:)

    My GSA gets an average 10000+ miles back there and its a good time to do my FD. The wheel is already off, so I move on and do all the back end work then. Yep, I agree, splines too are part of the service so do not forget them when changing the FD oil! Its messy and the splines need(should be) cleaning up a bit before slopping more grease on'em. It takes an hour or so. Ole BMW made another booboo, thinking the cars/mc's were similar and service could be similar! Many cars nowadays are with very long service intervals and BMW kind a started some of this phenom with theirs. Lets try this on the m/c's? NOT.... Randy PS; PAUL G., this would make a good 'ON article, comparing how BMW cars and the m/c's are on a same track regarding this service thing? Yes? At least it seems probable. Thanks.

  14. #14
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Cycle World Magazine had a good article on why Motorcycles need more maintenance than cars; I should have kept it. Valves for example were thought to be adjusted more often due to such high revs (valves slamming around at higher speeds and many millions of time more over the course of a given mileage). There were other compelling reasons, I just can't recall them now!

    Also, on the final drive, I know my BMW takes 180 cc of oil while my truck differential takes maybe a quart or more. That's a lot more oil to do the job and stay clean.

    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  15. #15
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    ...what is the drive fluid? Is it somethign I could use a substitute for? Like Redline or Mobil 1?
    BMW specifies Castrol SAF-XO for the final drive. That product is a 75W90 synthetic GL5 gear oil. The Castrol stuff is not readily available at U.S. BMW bike dealers, though it is in other countries. BMW Motorrad USA markets a BMW-branded 75W90 synthetic gear oil for this purpose. If you want you could try another brand that meets the same specs.
    Mark
    2006 R1200RT

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