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Old 10-14-2008, 08:52 AM   #181
redbaroness OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit
So what is happening here RedBaroness? Seems like a 1million+1 posts from various people lately (funny) but not much from you other than the comment about the nice call from BMW.

Where is the bike? Did you ever get it back or did it get totalled out and disposed off up in the Great White North.

Or are you prohibited from commenting further due to the terms of your financial settlement with BMW
As far as I know, the bike is still up in Destruction Bay. My insurance is planning to send a tow truck out to retrieve it and hold it for me. It is indeed a total loss, so I don't expect to see it again.

The fortunate part is that I managed to get hold of the front wheel, the severed forks and all the broken bits off of the bike. If nothing, they'll make for good wall art.

Anyone know a good metallurgist in the Seattle area who can look at them pro bono? :P
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:09 AM   #182
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Has anybody heard of this kind of failure happening to any other make/model of bike?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:18 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by skeptic
Has anybody heard of this kind of failure happening to any other make/model of bike?
I'm not aware of any failures (but I'm guessing there must have been one or more for the issue to have come up) but there was a recall for Honda Fireblade for fork parts, to do with a cracking issue...


Edit: Also a recall on the 2004 ZX10R front wheel for an 'undetectable casting flaw' - http://www.fireblades.org/forums/kaw...tml#post203338

As that one was reported, nobody actually had a catastrophic failure and got chucked down the road, although a couple of people had partial failures, but the good folks at Kawasaki did a global recall and advised people not to ride their bikes until the recall had been done!

I'm sure there have been loads over the years... to err is human, after all. To cover it up and try and get away with doing nothing about isn't fine, in my humble opinion...
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kwh screwed with this post 10-14-2008 at 10:33 AM
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:56 PM   #184
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>"Anyone know a good metallurgist in the Seattle area who can look at them pro bono?"<

If you can send the small pieces to Phoenix, I can look at them--no cost. But what is really needed is ~an hour in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The local lab. I use, for my metallurgical failure analyses at a nuclear power plant, is Metals Engineering and Testing Lab. (METL) in Phoenix. They have a very good SEM and charge ~175/hr. It will NOT take them (or me) over an hour to find out what happened.

You can PM me for more details.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:44 PM   #185
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X-ray needs a 2% density change and proper orientation in order to detect.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:04 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer
X-ray needs a 2% density change and proper orientation in order to detect.
again, yes and no.

X-ray as opposed to gamma can have sensitivity of 1-2%, BUT it depends on the charachter of the defect (hard, sharp edges etc) to be able to see that. When you say density it is problematic, if you are talking about film density, it's not measured in %. According the ASTM a trained eye, under good detection conditions can see a .006 change in density units. What that works out to be as a percent of thicknes depends on source energy, film charachteristics etc. This is called thickness sensitivity or contrast sensitivity and is diffrent than sensitivity (or the ability to detect a certian size of defect in plan veiw).

If your talking about material density, assuming a more or less homogeneous composition, it is irrelevant to the conversation.

Porosity is not a hard edged defect, and when shooting through a casting grain structure, of complex geometry (especially in the flange areas) it adds up to less than ideal detection conditions.

However your correct, it is possible to detect less than 10% changes in overall thickness, but I used that number as a safe rule of thumb from my experince shooting complex shape parts, being economically viable in the selection of film, number of shots taken etc.

At anyrate , I have an upgrade planned so when I get the chance, I'll drag the old ones into work and have a go at them with x-ray and maybe even ultrasonics.
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dwayne screwed with this post 10-14-2008 at 04:09 PM
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:15 PM   #187
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From looking at the photographs, looks like the crack started from corrosion/defect at the bottom of the fork and propagated during a catastrophic failure towards the top. There might have been cracks from the inside already. The smooth edges near the top indicate shearing of the metal during the final stages of failure.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:41 AM   #188
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A new failure

This thread from Sth Africa is another type of failure it seems

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/inde...topic=23426.20

two pics at the bottom of the page
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:05 AM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneC1
This thread from Sth Africa is another type of failure it seems

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/inde...topic=23426.20

two pics at the bottom of the page
That looks like something different, doesn't it. Although it's not a great advert for the quality of the casting to say the least. But I'll tell you what it does show very clearly - look what happens to the fork oil when the bike is being ridden if there is even a hairline crack open to the outside world from within the fork!

Neither Red-Baroness nor SGK3's forks are coated in fork oil, are they! In fact the fork oil seems to have all stayed on the inside until after the forks had self-destructed and then all came out through the big hole in the fork leg after the crashes...

This gives added credence to the idea suggested by a metallurgist in this thread that the cracks may have developed from the inside out and not been apparent from the outside at all, before the catastrophic failure occurred...
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:21 AM   #190
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Picture of giddyupgirl's forks from post

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=393785&page=3

Would like to hear comment from the metalurgists out there
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:43 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic
Has anybody heard of this kind of failure happening to any other make/model of bike?

No. Its never happened before

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Old 10-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #192
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You can always file a complaint with NHTSA: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

If they get enough, they they might start an investigation.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:29 PM   #193
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>"Would like to hear comment from the metalurgists out there"<

I offered to examine the pieces of RedBaroness's broken forks, but haven't heard back. I was at the lab. I use twice last week, and could have taken a look in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) for free if I had the parts.

Giddyupgirls photos are very good, but there is not enough visual evidence in them to allow me to draw any good conclusions. Given the nature of the loading on the fork (wheel pushing up), the fracture almost certainly has to start on the left side in the photo-the low point. I can't say if it started on the ID or OD, but the SEM exam would clear that up.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:55 PM   #194
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:17 PM   #195
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A new failure

The following is the text of an article written in 2004 for BMWCCA Magazine and published in BMWRA magazine "On The Level"

ALUMINUM FAILURE

I recently experienced a component failure. Although it is not with a BMW sedan, but with a motorcycle, I thought it might be of interest to BMWCCA members as more and more BMWs use alloys, and the failure of my GS650 motorcycle fork axle flange was likely caused by a poor alloy casting.
I was travelling east on a straight 30-mph road at normal speed when the bike suddenly fell over, taking the rider down, too. Thankfully, there were witnesses, but none so close that they would run over me. I am thankful that the failure didn't occur at 70 mph. I had just crossed over railroad tracks when I hit the ground; I believe the tracks were the final jolt that caused the weakening axle flange to fail. The bike was a 2001 GS650 with about 1,400 miles on it, and it is the bike they advertise as their Dakar endurance bike. You can see that the flange pulled away from fork, taking a piece of the alloy. As an engineer, I find this type of failure discomforting because it happens so quickly and without any warning. After the accident, I checked both the floor in my shop and the spot outside my office where I parked the bike, expecting to see shock oil drips, but there were none. The only clue I had before the accident was that the front brake lever was "stiffer."
I've been driving BMWs exclusively since I was seventeen, from my first 1602 to the current 530i, and this GS650 was my first BMW Motorrad-my forty-something birthday gift. Whether you are an owner of a 650GS, or driving modern alloy equipped cars, I would advise that you do a quick check of the vehicle before every drive, as this failure was unannounced. Be sensitive to new shudders, sways, or other unfamiliar vehicle actions, as it might save your life.
I'm also quite disappointed with BMW's response. The dealer said that it was impossible for this part to fail, and that I must have been doing something unusual.
BMW Motorrad hasn't responded since they got full pictures of the failure several months ago. I think they want to close their eyes and pretend it isn't a normal component failure, hoping that I was doing something strange with the bike like skydiving or some such. My friends have all grown tired over the years of hearing me sing BMW's praises. I've gotten a real earful this year as they have chided me about how the GS650 let me down. And now, with BMW not even trying to make right this failure, I'm having a tough time defending BMW.

So, be careful, be wise, and be aware of changed vehicle characteristics. I know I will.

Jim Tussey
Caro, Michigan
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