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Thread: Drive shaft issues

  1. #1
    Registered User fishbmw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Drive shaft issues

    I have a '96 GS with 84,000 miles. Has anyone had drive shaft issues around this mileage or more? Just curious if I should be prepared or be preemptive and replace the shaft and u-joints now.

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    "Big Bend" TX
    Quote Originally Posted by fishbmw View Post
    I have a '96 GS with 84,000 miles. Has anyone had drive shaft issues around this mileage or more? Just curious if I should be prepared or be preemptive and replace the shaft and u-joints now.
    One of these days I would remove the driveshaft and check the U joints for looseness or binding. But I wouldn't be too concerned until it is over 100K miles. Most (not all) problems I have heard of have been in the 125K to 200K range, but I did hear of one at about 60K.

    Voni's RS broke one at 202K. My R1150 felt fine when inspected at 150K.
    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

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Northern Front Range, CO
    u-joint concerns are not nearly as great as trans input splines. so when you go in to lube your input splines (every 40-50K should be about right), you will have an opportunity to inspect your driveshaft at the same time (assuming that you remove the swingarm to do so).
    82K on my 11S, no driveshaft issues.
    if/when necessary to redo the u-joint, talk to these guys: about $160 for new u-joint, installed, with zerk fitting. (i have one sitting on the shelf, just in case)
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #4
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    between SanAntone & the Weird Place, TX
    Old post

    Had a friend call saying he was loading his 04 1150 GSA into a truck and headed towards my house Tuesday. Bike is at 102K and has been maintained regularly. It does play off road, but not abused.

    He said he was cruising along on the freeway, felt a buzz,heard a BANG and the bike lost momentum...never good right? Luckily he was near a friends house who came to his rescue with a truck& ramp. Told me the bike would roll, then lock up as they tried to roll up the ramp.

    We rolled one of my lifts to the high F-250 tailgate and after many back and forth rolls, managed to get it on the lift to lower to ground. Pretty much knew with the way it rolled/did not roll the driveshaft was suspect. We had done a spline lube about 20K back, no notchy-ness then, driveshaft phased...stuff just happens!

    Here's the mess from yesterday:


    The shavings and bits of needle bearings started falling out when the boot was pulled back. The paralever inside doesn't look as bad as the pile of shavings.


    Usually pops off with minor leverage...this one had gotten a little hot and took some sweet talking. The output splines look fine. Will look at the seal a little closer as it got the heat treatment as the u-joint prepared to fail. It's been replaced before.


    The fixed pivot pin was a little tough to remove..ya think?

    anyways, needless to say, not re-buildable! Off to find the # 303 driveshaft.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    I replaced my drive shaft at around 120K as preventive maintenance. It was notchy at both ends. As Paul said, failures tend to be at over 100K.
    Frank G.
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    2004 R1150RT

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