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Thread: R1150RT Final Drive question

  1. #1
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    R1150RT Final Drive question

    Hi Yall. I have an R1150RT that I've put about 25k miles on in the last year and a half. Love the bike, but I've replaced it with a 1200RT. And now it's time to sell the 1150RT. I had the 12k service done, and they found some play at the rear wheel. This is indicative if a failing final drive.

    Question is -- do I have the final drive repaired? I've been reading the forums for options. I'm confident in my wrenching skills to get the thing apart, but not to rebuild it myself. Seems buying a used final drive is just as iffy.

    Or is some play in the final drive something I should try to sell the bike with? I'm honestly not sure how close to failure things are -- i'd guess its something that would just go completely without warning.

    Anyone have experience here who can edumacate me?

  2. #2
    Rally Rat
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    You should try retorquing your pivot pins before you tear your final drive apart. Can you see the movement? Does the entire FD move, or just the wheel? If the entire assembly moves it's an indication of bad pivot pins. If just the wheel moves it's more likely the big bearing.

    How many miles on the bike? The bad big bearing scenario usually crops up around 50K miles or so.

    Whatever the case, I would try to fix it. You are going to take a multi-thousand dollar hit to your resale value if you advertise it as "the final drive has some play and may be going bad."

  3. #3
    Nickname: Droid
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    Exactly! Confirm WHERE the rear wheel play is before assuming its a final drive issue. I had rear wheel play on my 94RS. But when I investigated a bit closer I found the play was at the final drive to the swingarm, not the wheel to the final drive. I replaced the failed swingarm needle bearings (VERY common failure) with bushings and the play was gone. That was about 40,000 miles past on my RS now with 170K on it.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys! The bike has just north of 70k miles on it. Pretty sure it's the wheel itself that has play, not the whole final drive. But I can do a more detailed inspection this weekend. I'm on the fence about just taking it back to the shop and having them do the work, or pulling the FD off myself and taking it in.

  5. #5
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    play

    A company that makes money off repairing final drives will often tell you the f/d is failing, and it isn't. F/d failures are NOT that common, but pivot bearing/pivot pin wear is VERY common. There is a little difference between doing proper research and getting a second opinion from a knowledgeable person and ending up with a $60 do-it-yourself repair and an unneeded $800 shop repair.

  6. #6
    Registered User bikedog54's Avatar
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    I'm also wrestling with the idea of rebuilding the final drive on my RS after finding small metal flakes in my fluid. I was referred to several previous posts which included the following link to the step by step procedure for replacing the big bearing. It's very detailed and takes a few minutes to watch. You might find it helpful in making your decision.

    http://www.bmwlt.com/uploads/lt_final_drive_rebuild.wmv

  7. #7
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedog54 View Post
    I'm also wrestling with the idea of rebuilding the final drive on my RS after finding small metal flakes in my fluid.
    If you don't mind, let me know when you plan to do that. I haven't done it before. I'd love to come watch / help.

    Thanks,

    JIm Moore

  8. #8
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    Finally got around to this project. The final drive wasn't too hard to remove. Took maybe an hour. Getting enough heat and torque on the hex bolts was fun



    You can see on the paper towel there the black shavings:


    After about 1000 miles since the last oil change i found evidence of more metal, but just the really fine stuff. I decided to take the final drive over to cal moto bmw shop to have the main bearing replaced. They still have it, but said that the bearing was on its way out.

    I'll update when I get it all buttoned up. Just need to sell it so I can start out on a road trip on the new RT

    Edit: Here's some helpful links I used:
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...ht=final+drive
    http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/ORDBBR%201.0.pdf
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234400

  9. #9
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Black dust on magnet is ok
    Silver flakes indicates the big bearing is failing.
    Very easy to replace the big bearing.
    Can actually be done on the roadside in an emergency with small tire irons if required without removing main housing from the Paralever.

    If yours failed at 25k Miles chances are your unit was incorrectly shimmed (many were)
    Get your repair shop to confirm that it is shimmed correctly.
    I have repaired quite a few now and found 50% were shimmed too tight and had too much preload. That includes my own. It took 2 failures for me to check the shimming which was too tight. On my 3rd now and all is good for many miles.

    If you are buying other than an OE BMW bearing be sure it has a C3 clearance spec.
    Last edited by GSAddict; 05-11-2013 at 03:48 AM.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  10. #10
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    I recently had a FD experience at 16.8K on my 03 1150RT, it took a while to figure out what the problem was. It turned out that the pivot bearings were loose. I took them out to have a look and one of the cages was pushed a part and a few rollers were laying in the housing.. Had to have been done by the previous owner or person that serviced the bike.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Mik...ature=youtu.be

    I found this two piece tool set on Ebay for setting the pivot pin torque properly. Cost me just over $28 including shipping from England to Ohio. A week later I had it.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/360352464286..._rdc%3D1#payId

    I want to add this is a great video on how to remove the final drive and set up the pivot pin torque. The language may offend some people. He also states that while at BMW tech school they were told NOT to use loctite on the pivots or lock nut.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0_j8SuiFQI

    If your going to order the tool set make sure its the correct size for your bike. They come in different sized sockets!
    Last edited by PAS; 05-09-2013 at 12:06 PM.

  11. #11
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Black dust on magnet is ok
    Silver flakes indicates the big bearing is failing.
    Very easy to replace the big bearing.
    Can actually be done on the roadside in an emergency with small tire irons if required without removing main housing from the Paralever.

    If yours failed at 25k Miles chances are your unit was incorrectly shimmed (many were)
    Get you repair shop to confirm that it is shimmed correctly.
    I have repaired quite a few now and found 50% were shimmed too tight and had too much preload. That includes my own. It took 2 failures for me to check the shimming which was too tight. On my 3rd now and all is good for many miles.

    If you are buying other than an OE BMW bearing be sure it has a C3 clearance spec.
    +1 on this.
    The failing bearing is just a symptom of the real problem.
    I went through this on a friend's RT where the bearing had been replaced and soon failed again.
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel". '05 Yellow KLR 650
    '00 Red Suzuki Bandit 600
    '65 Allstate/Puch 250 twingle
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  12. #12
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    Well you were right about the black dust not indicating that the bearing was bad. However, you were also right about the shims! Turns out they had spun around and broken up, which caused the bearing not be straight. I had the bearing replaced anyway. I'll put up pictures of the shims when I can.

    Anyway, bike is back together and running better than ever!

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