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Thread: Wheel mystery

  1. #1
    Scottish Transplant Picinisco's Avatar
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    Wheel mystery

    A friend of mine is in hospital right now after experiencing the rear wheel on his 98 RT coming off. There was no warning. Luckily he was only travelling at about 15mph so his injuries are minimal, if you can call cracked ribs and a collapsed lung minimal..

    He reports that when he picked the bike back up and examined the errant wheel, the little hub cap was still in place but 2 bolts and tapered spacers were lying in the space behind the hub cap and that the other 2 bolts and tapered spacers were still in place on the wheel. Looked like about the last 1/4 inch of thread in the hub is stripped.

    Has anyone ever experienced or even heard of this and does anyone have any explanation as to how this could happen with no warning.

    I would have expected wheel wobble of some kind well before total wheel separation.

    John
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  2. #2
    Unregistered user norton's Avatar
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    Unfortunately this isn't the first time this has happened. Here's some other discussion about it. http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthread...23757&page=all

  3. #3
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    I've seen a couple of instances over on Chromeheads site. If memory serves me, it was a cause of improper torqueing of the bolts. Not saying this was the case, here. In one case, the bike had been taken to a non-BMW shop and they just torqued the bolts on without knowledge of the pre-torque then final torque process.

  4. #4
    Registered User festes's Avatar
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    I know of two instances of the rear wheel coming loose and coming off on R1100S's. it's imperative that the lug nuts be torqued to spec.

  5. #5
    Left Coast Rider
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    Not a mystery. A wise man once told me, "Wheel nuts don't come loose by themselves."

    Barring simultaneous catastrophic failure of more than one component, my best guess is that the wheel bolts/nuts/fasteners were not properly torqued.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    , my best guess is that the wheel bolts/nuts/fasteners were not properly torqued.
    Maybe. But the rear wheel came loose on my 99RT on the way back from the Vermont rally several years ago. A good 1400 miles after the last time they were touched.
    I would think it should have shown faster if the bolts had not been properly torqued.

  7. #7
    Scottish Transplant Picinisco's Avatar
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    Maybe. But the rear wheel came loose on my 99RT on the way back from the Vermont rally several years ago. A good 1400 miles after the last time they were touched. I would think it should have shown faster if the bolts had not been properly torqued.
    It would seem from all the discussion that torque is the factor and vibration is what makes under or even over torqued bolts loosen. And I suppose the bolts could in fact back out one at a time until the last one or two came loose then boom!

    So now regular checking is in order. I like the nail varnish or white paint idea of marking fully torqued bolts to allow a visual before every ride.

    In my friend's case he had a new tire fitted in Denver on the way home from Sedalia from a very reputable wheelsmith but I guess everyone can make mistakes.

    John
    2004 R1150GS
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Maybe. But the rear wheel came loose on my 99RT on the way back from the Vermont rally several years ago. A good 1400 miles after the last time they were touched.
    I would think it should have shown faster if the bolts had not been properly torqued.
    depends entirely upon how far from 77.5 lb ft those bolts were. i had one almost let go on me after 600+ miles, following my first ever Oilhead tire change. all 4 bolts were loose, no damaged threads, fortunately.

    NOTHING else will lead to a wheel attempting to come off, as ONLY those 4 bolts hold it in place. if torqued correctly, no problem staying in place.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  9. #9
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    My 94 RS has 170K on it, all by me. All tire changes but one have been done by me. Given that I average 10K per tire that means 16 tire changes that I have done. Still using the original wheel studs. Never had even a single one come loose. So, based on my experience I would have to conclude improper wheel stud torque for a stud to come loose.

    Note also that "improper" torque as much means over-torque as under-torque. Once a threaded fastener has been over-torqued to metal "yeild" no amount of correct or excess torque will hold over time and load cycles.

  10. #10
    Registered User boxwrench's Avatar
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    shortly after buying my used 2000 RT I was on US95 doing over 90 and noticed the bike doing a slight wiggle and any friend behind me caught up and waved me to slow down. After we got off at a stop he told me the rear wheel was wobbling at high speed.

    A few days later I got new tires and was told at the dealer they had to tighten the rear hub bolts.
    Guess I was lucky
    2000 R1100RT opal blue "Millenium Falcon"
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  11. #11
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    My 94 RS has 170K on it, all by me. All tire changes but one have been done by me. Given that I average 10K per tire that means 16 tire changes that I have done. Still using the original wheel studs. Never had even a single one come loose. So, based on my experience I would have to conclude improper wheel stud torque for a stud to come loose.

    Note also that "improper" torque as much means over-torque as under-torque. Once a threaded fastener has been over-torqued to metal "yeild" no amount of correct or excess torque will hold over time and load cycles.
    Many times the "yield" has been destroyed by the unknowing "mechanic" lubricating the threads.

    For those that don't know already, the BMW manual specifies DRY THREADS - NO LUBE
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxwrench View Post
    shortly after buying my used 2000 RT I was on US95 doing over 90 and noticed the bike doing a slight wiggle and a friend behind me caught up and waved me to slow down. After we got off at a stop he told me the rear wheel was wobbling at high speed.

    A few days later I got new tires and was told at the dealer they had to tighten the rear hub bolts.
    Guess I was lucky
    Did the lugs back out after you tightened them at the side of the road, or did you not tighten them when you stopped?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  13. #13
    Registered User boxwrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    Did the lugs back out after you tightened them at the side of the road, or did you not tighten them when you stopped?
    I didn't tighten, was a few days later the stealer did w/ tire change. It didn't wiggle much unless when you firmly grabbed the tire and shook on the center stand. I didn't ride it much till the stealer appointment.
    2000 R1100RT opal blue "Millenium Falcon"
    2006 Suzuki C50 Boulevard blue/silver w/ DJ drive mod.
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  14. #14
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    Well, I would suggest that the next time you think about not tightening something that is clearly an issue.... think again, and do something about it. your life might depend upon it.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxwrench View Post
    I didn't ride it much till the stealer appointment.
    Really? You refer to the dealer as "stealer" yet he let you know that your lug nuts were loose? Something which you didn't even bother to look at after experiencing a high speed wobble?

    Seriously?
    Last edited by BC1100S; 04-28-2013 at 03:06 AM.

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