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Thread: 2009 RT U-Joint Failure

  1. #1
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    2009 RT U-Joint Failure

    Most of the final drive failures I've seen relate to leaking seals. Today, at interstate speed I felt a vibration and smelled something similar to the clutch spell. Lasted a second. A few miles later another strong vibration and loss of speed. Pulled over to the shoulder and while the bike would restart it would not move forward. Center stand---rear wheel won't rotate.

    36,838 miles. Towed 300 miles. Awaiting dealer opening tomorrow.
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  2. #2
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    another photo
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  3. #3
    dude987
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    Was the bike purchased new? Just trying to get a feel for cause and effect. Knowing my luck it'll happen just after the warranty period is over.

  4. #4
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    not sure what diff it makes but bought it used with 249 miles on it. First owner's wife prefered the pillion seat of the RoadKing. Go figure.
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  5. #5
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    Be interesting to see what that one costs...
    You are lucky not have been dumped by a locking wheel, I think.

    Most of the planet seems to have no problems with making reliable driveshafts and differentials- except BMW.

  6. #6
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Did you remove the boot before taking those photos?

  7. #7
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    Of course my unshielded car U joints manage to work fine even when soaked. And they don't even fail on my track stuff when I more than double the power they were designed to handle and run them at twice the revs they would see in street duty.
    Why is this bike U joint so fragile?

    Last time anyone I know broke a car U joint was when my father killed one on a 51 flathead Ford in 55- so he bought a Rocket 88 Olds as a replacement.

  8. #8
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    Marchyman,

    I did not remove anything. I last had the bike serviced 2-3 weeks ago (dealer serviced) and it was fine. I believe the cover was there Sunday when I looked at the tires/bike in prep for riding home from Montana yesterday.

    I'm no mechanic....another rider came by and identified the problem while I was on the side of the road. I just knew the bike wouldn't move, called a tow truck after calling a friend to ID where the closest dealer was (300 miles away). Thank goodness for BMW Roadside Assistance!!!
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  9. #9
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    Drive Shaft failure

    Just a quick update. Dealer looked at it today....described it as a drive shaft that exploded. Caused significant damage to the paralever along with the boot. He was impressed I was still amoungst the living. The FD itself was fine, nothing wrong with it.

    He was not able to determine the cause of the failure. He's never seen this happen before, although my home dealer (who I asked to intervene with BMW) has seen this a couple times before. Sometimes having a dealer who personally knows you helps. That, and the pictures seem to impress.

    Parts are ordered, bike should be fixed tomorrow. BMW is taking care of it. Only costing me my time (which isn't insignificant). Wish I had brought my Kindle along.
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  10. #10
    D-Mac
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    Ouch! That looks bad. Glad to hear they're covering you and that it didn't cause you to crash.

    It's a bummer that BMW can't seem to get these things right. I contemplated selling my RT after my second FD seal failure, but at least that fix was quick (after waiting 2 days in a motel for the dealer to open ).

    The RT is such a wonderful bike......when it's able to move forward.

  11. #11
    jduke
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    I had the same thing happen to my 94 R11RS. Took the paralever tube out (swingarm), and left debris in the final drive. I wouldn't have found that except the independent mechanic decided to drain the FD just in case....
    I would have the dealer drain the FD and screen the oil, just in case. Or at least make sure they note on your work order your concern.

  12. #12
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    It's not an unknown failure - but it luckily is a fairly rare one. So far I've only heard of it on RTs, and there may be some correlation between this failure and two-up use (but the data set is very small, so take that as a WAG on my part..)

    Was out riding with a friend on his '07 RT with 43,000 miles on it. He's a BIG guy (not overweight, but BIG) who often rides with his wife on the pillion. He was riding solo with me that day. His bike started making a rhythmic vibration, he pulled off, we centerstanded it, and could feel a stiff spot when trying to rotate the rear wheel.

    Contego Direct came to the rescue. Provided a great motorcycle towing company, took it to our friendly local mechanic, and paid (minus deductible) without much fuss. Needed a new driveshaft and the rubber boot. Luckily the paralever arm wasn't damaged.

    I've heard of a few others with hexheads.. but as I said, it's not a frequent failure mode.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  13. #13
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    Don, I'm happy it's not a frequent issue but according to people I spoke to the U-joint should last forever and this shouldn't happen. My damage was significant. I'd urge people who have had this issue to report it to the NHTSA. The dealers do not inspect the u-joint and they don't believe there is any reason to.
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  14. #14
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    another....
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    Nancy
    '07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R1200RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R
    IBA# 37022

  15. #15
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemergirl View Post
    Don, I'm happy it's not a frequent issue but according to people I spoke to the U-joint should last forever and this shouldn't happen.
    Moving parts, including U-joints, will not last forever. Yeah, I know that was hyperbole and that by forever you meant a very long time. Most do. Just as most wheel bearings do. But sometimes they don't.

    You can always ask the dealer to check. I understand why they don't. I suspect most folks would complain loudly about an extra $100 or more to check something that should "last forever". Or you can check yourself. I did. But I've got lots of time to work on my bike enjoy doing so. Not everyone is in that situation. At 60K miles on my '05 GS my U-joints were just fine.


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