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Thread: Final Drive Boot Fire

  1. #1
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    Final Drive Boot Fire

    My '02 R1150r final drive boot caught fire on Saturday.
    It appears that the boot was trying to occupy the same space as the brake-disc. The boot is not clear back against the shoulder at the rear-end. Could this have deformed the boot enough to rub, and catch fire?
    I recently had an independent mechanic change the tires. Could he have bumped the boot and caused this?
    How much am I looking to spend, best-case scenario?
    Thanks.
    Jim

  2. #2
    brentde3
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    Perhaps the oilheads could provide you a better answer? I do hope you find some help.

  3. #3
    CellarRat
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    BTDT - melted oilhead boot

    Same thing happened to my used 2002 R1150GS with only 12,000 km on it. Swing arm boot melted; disc pads worn out; rear drive needed to be shimmed. Turned out the former owner had put lower footpegs on it, and perhaps had been riding with the rear brake slightly on -- or perhaps the brake was rubbing full time because of the poor shimming of the drive bearing.

    Once repaired, the problem did not reoccur -- but I made sure that the rear caliper was always free on its pins and I kept a close eye on pad wear.

    Now I own an Airhead again -- learned my lesson, for now.....

  4. #4
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    Cause appears to be external

    My brother-in-law, who has a keen mind for analyzing mechanical failures, mainly through a process of elimination, is puzzled by what caused this, but thinks that the cause was external. I had been riding a road which had been oiled-and-chipped not too long before, and he thought that a small stone may have lodged between the brake-disc and the boot and caused sufficient ffriction to heat the boot.
    We're going to pull it apart and replace the boot, brake-pads, final drive oil, and boot-clamps.
    Any surprises ahead?
    Thanks
    Jim
    [no smilies with fire....]

  5. #5
    Rally Rat
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    Did it look like this?


  6. #6
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    I doubt it

    since the pik is of an R12, and he has an R1150.

    but still an interesting to see.


    Quote Originally Posted by jfremder View Post
    Did it look like this?

    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  7. #7
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    who takes pictures while his bike is on fire!?

    Quote Originally Posted by sdpc2 View Post
    since the pik is of an R12, and he has an R1150.

    but still an interesting to see.
    I have pictures of the smouldering ruins, but the Infraview or whatever that is, is impossible for me to understand and use. Sorry.
    I ordered parts: boot, straps, brake pads, oil. $99.

    I may have been riding the brake, as the huge steep curve on the east side of South Mountain was oiled-n-chipped. Maybe that, and re-positioned caliper, having just had the tires changed, caused the disc to get very hot. I don't usually ride any brakes, just downshift, but it could happen....

    I think the proximity of boot-to-disc is too close, but BMW never does anything wrong...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 124081 View Post
    I think the proximity of boot-to-disc is too close, but BMW never does anything wrong...
    And neither do BMW's owners. Mine seems to work fine. No fires, uphill, downhill, level, graveled roads, etc. I don't think you can blame a freak occurrence on BMW when the overwhelming evidence favors the bikes whose final drives have not caught fire. Now if we suddenly get reports of a dozen final drives catching fire, then we can begin to wonder about other possibilities.

    Next time run in a lower gear and let the engine do the braking. In mountains, rule #1 is don't ride the brakes. Ever! That goes for cars, trucks and motorcycles. Use your lower gears and engine to provide the braking in long downhills. Let the engine rev. It can take it. Only use the brakes for hard, quick braking. Slow down more than necessary, then let them cool. Even pull off if necessary. If you smell hot brakes, you don't have much braking power left and what you do have is much diminished. Stop and cool down 30 minutes or so.

  9. #9
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 124081 View Post
    My brother-in-law, who has a keen mind for analyzing mechanical failures, mainly through a process of elimination, is puzzled by what caused this, but thinks that the cause was external. I had been riding a road which had been oiled-and-chipped not too long before, and he thought that a small stone may have lodged between the brake-disc and the boot and caused sufficient ffriction to heat the boot.
    We're going to pull it apart and replace the boot, brake-pads, final drive oil, and boot-clamps.
    Any surprises ahead?
    Thanks
    Jim
    [no smilies with fire....]
    Braggin' eh'. All my brother in law can do is borrow my stuff and drink all my beer!
    keep it light enough to travel.....
    2013 GL1800 Goldwing
    '81 Honda CB650 Custom

  10. #10
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    brother-in-law

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    Braggin' eh'. All my brother in law can do is borrow my stuff and drink all my beer!
    He's a gifted nick-namer, too.

  11. #11
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdpc2 View Post
    since the pik is of an R12, and he has an R1150.

    but still an interesting to see.
    So it didn't look like this either -->

  12. #12
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfremder View Post
    So it didn't look like this either -->
    Which came first? The crash or the broken axle?
    keep it light enough to travel.....
    2013 GL1800 Goldwing
    '81 Honda CB650 Custom

  13. #13
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    uh. no.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfremder View Post
    So it didn't look like this either -->
    Bad BMW owner. Bad, bad BMW owner.

  14. #14
    bunkyone
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    Hey all: Now THAT, by gawd, is a final drive failure!!! I'd like to be a fly on the wall of the service reps office when the owner comes in to file THIS claim!!. Vaya con Dios, Dutch

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    Which came first? The crash or the broken axle?
    i could be wrong, but the only axles in that pic look just fine. front wheels are firmly attached on both bikes, and thats the only axle location on an oilhead.
    the swingarm and driveshaft are not looking all that healthy on the foreground R12GS however.....
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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