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Old 09-21-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
airansun OP
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Cry R1200GS Drive Shaft U-Joint Failure @ 58K Miles

Yes, I regret to report that my ‘05 GS has eaten its drive shaft’s front universal joint.

A recent 125 mile freeway trip persuaded me that something might be amiss: going over rises and dips, as the suspension unloaded and recompressed, I observed increased vibration in the pegs and bars. Pulling in the clutch made the symptom much less pronounced. I assumed that a driveline bearing was going.

I got home fine, although I rode slower than typical. The next day (a Saturday), I rode it up to a local bike hangout. On winding two lane narrow roads (under 50 mph), I did not notice anything significant. But, going across long, straighter sections at 60-70, the same symptom was present. I rode the bike home and parked it.

This past Tuesday, I rode the bike into the dealership. By that time, I noticed that there was a rubbing noise at less than 25 mph. Without an appointment, it took the shop a couple of days to get to it. Yesterday, I stopped by and was shown the drive shaft. The u-joint needle bearings were all gone or embedded in the metal. There was about 3/16" play and the metal was all heat colored and deformed. (I will post pictures when I get the part back from the dealer.)

Facts:
Bike has just short of 58,000 miles.
Very little dirt riding (less than 1,000 miles probably) and probably less than 25% freeway either.

At 54,000 miles, the transmission assembly tab on the bike’s frame was repaired. While the bike was split, we replaced the clutch. The input splines were almost completely shot, so the shaft was replaced at that time too. Here’s the link to that thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202388&page=2

Obviously, there may be a relationship between this previous problem and the drive shaft.

Just thought you all should know.

PS - The bike does have an extended warrantee.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
CheckerdD
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Oh Boy now I can look forward to something else going wrong. I am getting tired of the final drive failing. I demand greater variety. Dave
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
GsGrins
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mine tanked at 41,000 miles. It's a ~ $650. part, u-joint & driveshaft. I traded mine broken on a Sprint ST (ABS)....
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GsGrins
mine tanked at 41,000 miles. It's a ~ $650. part, u-joint & driveshaft. I traded mine broken on a Sprint ST (ABS)....
You must be missing it since you are on this site.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:09 AM   #5
GsGrins
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"missing it" ? No, not me. My early '05 was just a lemon from the get-go. I pushed it into Canada w/ 700 miles on the clock (faulty o-ring on fuel pump brain cover) , spent 2000.+ to have the motor resealed. 3 final drive seals in 3 months, clutch slave cyl (new, updated seal failed), then the u-joint/driveshaft failure @ 41,000 miles.

People visit sites like this to gather additional datapoints. I've had trouble free experiences w/ two previous GS's. If I were do do my MotoAmericas ride again the R12GS would NOT be on my list, short or otherwise, for appropriate bikes.

I wish you well w/ yours......
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:12 AM   #6
Just_Sean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheckerdD
Oh Boy now I can look forward to something else going wrong. I am getting tired of the final drive failing. I demand greater variety. Dave
At least he had some warning - my driveshaft went (the rubber dampener disintegrated) with no symptoms at 58,000 miles

Then the FD Big bearing at 58,600 (same trip )

Fuel pump at 61,000

Maybe I should sell it?


NOT!!!!!! I abuse it - it takes it,

So, when I hit 100,000 miles, (and about every 50,000 after that)I'll change the driveshaft, FD and fuel pump as preventative measures
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #7
ShaftEd
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Front u-joint blew up at 39,000 miles on my 07 12GS too. I noticed a very light pulsating vibe in 6th gear for a couple of hundred miles. Wasn't sure if I was imagining it or not, but it seemed some type of bearing might be going out.

Had an appointment with the dealer for new tires and thought I would have them ride it and see if they felt the vibe too. However, before I could ever get to the dealer, the front u-joint bearing blew up. Gouged the swingarm housing when it went. I'm out of oem warranty, but fortunately, I bought the extended warranty at time of bike purchase (Don't ride a late model BMW without it!). $1800 in parts and labor paid by warranty and she's back running fine. Haven't heard about too many of these, but I do know one other rider in town this happed on their 07 12GS too. Just another worry bead to add to the list.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:55 AM   #8
Wallowa
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A Dumb Question...But What The Hell...

Front U-joint...any possible link to not lubing the front drive line splines? Could that affect the angle while the u-joint was under load? Most riders [my guess] never lube the front spline on the drive shaft and if the splines do not have the correct movement could that incorrectly or excessively load the front u-joint?

Just askin'
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #9
ShaftEd
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Fas as I know front splines were never lubed other than at the factory. I had the dealer replace FD oil at the 600 service, and then again at 36k miles. No FD issues to report.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #10
Wallowa
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Front and Rear Splines..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaftEd
Fas as I know front splines were never lubed other than at the factory. I had the dealer replace FD oil at the 600 service, and then again at 36k miles. No FD issues to report.
Front and rear splines on the axles are service items...I use Moly 60 on them.....nothing to do with FD issues other than those of us with drain plugs at 8 o'clock on FD need to drop it when changing FD lube and that makes it easy to lube splines..
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:43 PM   #11
ShaftEd
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Wallowa, How often are you doing the spline lube. I'd imagine it's whenever you do the FD oil change too?

I've never known the 12GS to have a maintenance schedule for the splines.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #12
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa
Front U-joint...any possible link to not lubing the front drive line splines? Could that affect the angle while the u-joint was under load? Most riders [my guess] never lube the front spline on the drive shaft and if the splines do not have the correct movement could that incorrectly or excessively load the front u-joint?

Just askin'
This should have nothing to do with lubing the front splines since the splines are locked by the C-clip. The rear splines move just a tiny bit for any needed compensation.

If I had to guess I would suggest the front U-joints were improperly lubed at assembly which caused them to fail.

Jim
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:56 PM   #13
Desert Skies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden
If I had to guess I would suggest the front U-joints were improperly lubed at assembly which caused them to fail.

Jim
OK everybody, pull them puppies apart and see if they have enough lube in them.

You know BMW put "Lifetime" lube in these parts, just like the early FDs.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:27 PM   #14
Wallowa
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Right..I Forgot About Clip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden
This should have nothing to do with lubing the front splines since the splines are locked by the C-clip. The rear splines move just a tiny bit for any needed compensation.

If I had to guess I would suggest the front U-joints were improperly lubed at assembly which caused them to fail.

Jim
Yup I forgot about the front clip which will hold if not lock in the shaft on the splines....lube is to keep the splines from corroding..

SE...I do drain and change my own FD on an 8,000 mile schedule [Redline Heavy Shockproof lube]...excessive perhaps but I ride almost entirely in the dirt and through mud/water/snow so lubing the splines is part of the FD lube change protocol for me...

All this lets me check on wear and hopefully spot problems before they disable the bike or become expensive!
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:47 PM   #15
Anorak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa
Yup I forgot about the front clip which will hold if not lock in the shaft on the splines....lube is to keep the splines from corroding..

SE...I do drain and change my own FD on an 8,000 mile schedule [Redline Heavy Shockproof lube]...excessive perhaps but I ride almost entirely in the dirt and through mud/water/snow so lubing the splines is part of the FD lube change protocol for me...

All this lets me check on wear and hopefully spot problems before they disable the bike or become expensive!
Does BMW have some secret plan to make a shaft drive require as much or more maintenance than a chain? Perhaps they are trying to make the shaft obsolete?
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