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Old 08-11-2008, 09:22 AM   #61
kwh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueWrench
I know of a case where fellow BMW rider experienced a failure of the critical lower ball joint in the front telelever suspension on a brand new R1100S. He was running about 60mph down a smooth paved road when it sheared in half. Needless to say, both he and the bike took a serious tumble and it was a miracle that he survived. It's my understanding that BMW covered his expenses and promptly delivered a shiney new replacement bike to his house.

I would not be bashful about contacting BMW about this issue. It might save someone's life and it might set things right for you.
Just a cautionary tale about taking that approach...

Back in the 1980's, BMW had a problem with the cast (I think) front wheels on some of its R-series bikes from 1979 through 1982, with a few just collapsing suddenly and pitching riders down the road. I've no idea what the problem was, it was before I was into bikes at all, but whatever it was, it wasn't a widespread problem, though if it happened to you then it was about as serious as these things get. In fact exactly as serious as what happened to Red-Baroness. BMW didn't get around to issuing an official recall in the US or around the world until 1984, and indeed I discover from Goggling...

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/mo...r80/65635.html

Anyway, one morning a colleague of mine didn't make it in to the office, having been spat down the road by the collapsing front wheel of his new to him R80RS (I think), and he was carted off to hospital unconscious and with a severe concussion, while the trashed bike and the conspicuously broken front wheel were hauled off to a nearby garage.

Anyway, once my colleague had remembered his own name and worked out what had happened, he contacted BMW UK to ask them what they were going to do about it. "Where's the bike, we'd like to inspect it" they said. My colleague didn't forsee a problem at this stage, so he cheerfully told them and then it all went very quiet.

After a while he chased them and they eventually said that he had obviously crashed the bike into something and broken the front wheel on impact, so they were denying all liability and it was entirely his problem. Aghast, he pointed out that his girlfriend (who had been his pillion at the time and was the only witness) confirmed that he hadn't hit anything at all, and that the wheel had just collapsed. 'Case closed', they said. 'Right', he said, 'I'm going to get the wheel independantly analysed and come after you to get what I'm due!' he said. 'Feel free!' they said. So he went down to the garage where his bike had been towed some months earlier to retrieve the wheel to discover that it, along with the hub that had still been attached to the bike, had miraculously vanished, and that all he had left was a smashed up bike and to add insult to injury, a bill for storage.

The point of this tale of woe is that while asking BMW NA to stand behind their product and compensate Red-Baroness for her smashed bike, pain and medical expenses is a great idea, it's probably also sensible to ensure that the wreckage is secured and that an appropriate independant inspection necessary has been carried out first. That way, nothing can mysteriously dissappear and leave Red-Baroness holding the bag, as it were...
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:51 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaroness
I'm not sure if I can afford a lengthy lawsuit with a big corporation. :|
I'm not one to sue but, in this case you need to.......

Get a lawer NOW. Keep good documentation. Any good lawer will take his fee out of you earnings.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:14 PM   #63
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I hate BS lawsuits also... But if for no other reason, this thing needs to be fully investigated.

this is an outrage....
a quick google search shows more instances of similar situations.

Imagine all those not plug into the information age, that have encounter the issue and not reported...

Or all the others that have cracked thier skull, and no one ever knew the truth.

My opinion of BMW is quickly going to the toilet.

I hope you get well soon!!
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:15 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaroness
None at all. It was a well paved road. The bike did act like it went into a massive tankslapper though.
Does this look like a reasonably close approximation to what happened from your point of view?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUBwCX_Mv2Q
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:45 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh
Does this look like a reasonably close approximation to what happened from your point of view?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUBwCX_Mv2Q
FUCK.

Yes.

Yes, a lot like that.
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:30 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaroness
FUCK.

Yes.

Yes, a lot like that.
So congratulations are in order, that means you have first hand experience of an absolutely massive tankslapper. Treasure the experience... oh wait, no, that's your first kiss I'm thinking of, isn't it. Tankslappers... equally memorable, slightly less pleasant.

His name is Paul Orritt, by the way. Unlike you, his front wheel stayed attached before, during and after, though. He's interviewed in this month's "Superbike" magazine in an article about how to ride out a tankslapper. I'll save you the trouble of buying it, though - nothing in there about what to do if your front wheel falls off...

His was caused by a combination of a tuned Fireblade, cold race tyres, a full fuel load, a broken steering damper and riding absolutely flat out down a bumpy road, by the way. He earned himself a smashed hand, 6 broken ribs, a broken and dislocated ankle and two broken shoulder blades. Like you, wearing an Arai, like you head still in good shape.

I quote him from the article: "I've got loads of offroad experience and always dealt with slappers by gassing it. But I was already to the stop, doing 150+mph and couldn't give it any more."

I think there may be a lesson for him in there somewhere...

By the way, Red Baroness, in case you were wondering, this is what you SHOULD have done...

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Old 08-11-2008, 03:19 PM   #67
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Some useful info from out there in the internetland...

This incident is also being discussed here...

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sho...readid=2926197

...and the last post at present in that thread contains the following gem from user 'PlasticSun'...

Quote:
Edit: reading up on this more it appears that most of the failures have occured pretty early within a bike's lifespan. Out of the 8 that I've found so far 7 have occurred within 12K. This really makes me thing it's a issue with the metal or casting rather than a design flaw.
So, this guy has been able to find details of eight occurrences of this problem? I'd say that a recall was clearly indicated!

Edit: After all, if he can find eight, mainly documented by riders who survived the ordeal, how many didn't he find, how many riders didn't make it as a result of something similar happening?
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:58 PM   #68
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Wow Red, that's a pretty serious crash. I hope your doing ok. I too had my accident in the YT, but on the Alcan.

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Old 08-11-2008, 08:01 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtwin
Wow Red, that's a pretty serious crash. I hope your doing ok. I too had my accident in the YT, but on the Alcan.
Mine was on the AlCan too.

That looks bad. What happened?
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #70
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You ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtwin
Wow Red, that's a pretty serious crash. I hope your doing ok. I too had my accident in the YT, but on the Alcan.

Hope your ok man. That looks harsh!
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:05 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jerk
I would not necessarily say that a lawsuit is in order *yet* but you should at least do the right thing up front and provide the information to BMW about what happened and allow them to examine the failed parts to determine what caused the failure. I would not necessarily give them the parts as that's your evidence but on the other hand if there is some casting defect they may wish to issue a recall. You might also notify NHTSA as they can open an investigation and order a recall if necessary.

I might also have an independent metallurgist examine the failed parts and offer their opinion as to what caused the failure, i.e. whether it was a casting defect there since new or whether the previous incidents caused the failure, or both (i.e. a casting defect that was aggravated by the previous crash).

If it's determined to be a casting defect, then BMW should a) compensate you for your medical bills and b) issue a recall if it is determined that there were more faulty forks put on the road than just yours. If it is determined that it was a casting defect and BMW tells you to screw off, then I would say unleash the lawyers. At the very least, you should be made whole, assuming that there was a defect.

If the failure, through metallurgical analysis and not just internet speculation, can be traced to a previous incident or crash, then I wouldn't go after BMW as it wouldn't be their fault it failed.

If a defect was found to have caused the failure, then you could probably find a lawyer willing to take the case on contingency.

At any rate, that's a hell of a thing to have happen. Heal well.
This is all good advice. I wouldn't get a lawyer involved from the getgo.

It's going to be interesting to see how this pans out, has your insurance company appeared on the radar yet? Were you covered by your US policy at this point or did you have Canadian insurance? I mentioned filing a report with the NHTSA but the accident happened in YT, not sure how that would work.

The insurance company may be inclined to have it inspected by an adjuster in-situ and just total it out rather than paying the expense to have it shipped back to the US.

If it were me, I'd want to be in physical possession of the relevant broken pieces as soon as possible so they don't go walkies. I'd stress to them that you plan to file some kind of safety complaint and so you need access to the bike again. Curious if hear what their interest is, whether they have dreams of subrogating to recover their $$$ or just want to pay and get it over with.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:59 PM   #72
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Yeah you definitely want to hold on to the relevant bits (forks, front wheel w/ hub, etc). I would allow BMW to examine them but I would not give them to BMW to do so. They can send someone to examine them on your terms and while the parts are under your control.

They may tell you they need to take them somewhere for further analysis and that may well be true but before you allow that to happen you should have them examined by an independent expert (metallurgist) and get his professional opinion on what the issue is. Maybe you can make arrangements for the BMW folks to examine the parts using the facilities of your own independent metallurgist so they don't have to take possession of them.

You want to act in good faith but you also don't want to take the chance of someone at BMW acting in bad faith and destroying the evidence as related in the story above. That's a really douchey thing for them to do especially as the guy tried to do the right thing.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:03 PM   #73
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Right now the jury seems to be out on whether the forks broke because of my previous crash where the bike endo-ed. I suppose I should have replaced the forks then if I had known better.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:13 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaroness
Right now the jury seems to be out on whether the forks broke because of my previous crash where the bike endo-ed. I suppose I should have replaced the forks then if I had known better.
I'm not buying the previous crash being an issue. When I heard about the fork failure and knowing what happened (watching the video) at Trollhaugen I assumed that you had a catestrophic failure at the steering stem/frame, triple clamp area of the bike. Breaking the handlebars or bar mounts would point to an upper fork area impact not one down at the fork sliders. There was no damage to the front wheel from the initial crash, right? If you'd done damage to the lower parts of the fork I'd expect the front wheel would have shown damage also.

I wouldn't pay much attention to what the online-forum "jury" has to say. Uninformed talk (including mine) is cheap and is worth just what you pay for it. If you want to know what happened, you'll have to have them professionally inspected.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:18 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit
There was no damage to the front wheel from the initial crash, right?
Nope, none that we know of.

I'm working on finding out if there is any way to get my bike shipped here. I have a feelig that insurance will probably declare it a total loss and not pay for it to shipped and fixed.

Is there a snowball's chance in hell that someone on advrider lives in that area and can assist with this?
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