2011 bmw g 650 gs fork failure

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by antiquewidow, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. astroguy

    astroguy Adventurer

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  2. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    Virtually no sign of any real accident damage other than the fork leg & as with others considerable miles on it

    Would be interesting to hear the circumstances of the failure
  3. Benesesso

    Benesesso Long timer

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    Couldn't find the closeups earlier. Now I can.
  4. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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  5. zig06

    zig06 Been here awhile

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    To me it looks like a very expected way to fail, if you look at it from the perspective of the failure starting at the base of the clamp (the lowest point) and then pealing upwards.

    Even more shocking about that eBay ad is that it's bidding is already up to the point of NADA value for a good running (and not broken) F-650. And an '01 in "Excellent" condition from a dealership is only $1,000 more...

    [​IMG]
  6. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    over torquing that pinch bolt?
  7. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair

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    Wack a set of KYB (YZ) forks on it, & jobs a good'un.
  8. Center-stand

    Center-stand Been here awhile

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    If the axle was in this position at the time of failure, it could be the cause of the failure. I think the axle should be flush with the boss, not sticking out. In that position, the lower fork tube would be in a stressed position between the axle and the fork brace. Possibly installed with wrong spacer??

    Another picture shows the fork brace broken as well. To me that's another indication that the failures are a result of stresses over a long period of time, not a one time strike.
  9. astroguy

    astroguy Adventurer

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    Well Centrestand...at first when I read your above comment, I thought...."nope, that is normal position". I just ran out to my bike and , yes, to my surprise, the attached images show the axel standing out about twice as far as mine does. Although my axel definitely does not sit flush with the slider either , it is about half the distance of standoff from the attached damage images. Could be that someone backed it out as well to investigate? Interesting.
  10. astroguy

    astroguy Adventurer

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    I don't know how to upload the images but though it interesting that the rear wheel chain adjusters were set as far forward as possible? Mine didn't look like that with a new chain and sprockets but also, it could represent recent work on the bike. Chain/sprockets/bearings? Just a big fat guess again but I wondered about the rear chain adjusters. My factory chain with new sprockets didn't not adjust out like this. Just another theory, but it is overall disturbing that it happened on the 'likely' rt side slider instead of the lt.
    Also, as WayneC1 mentioned.....the overall damage to the bike looks so minimal for this type of failure that it seems unlikely that the bike hit head on to something. Just looks like the bike fell over to the left.
    I've really tried to mask these images as I've cruised through my miles this summer, but I have to admit that I'm starting to feel less 'fine' with my bike after simpley stumbling into these images while I was cruising eBay for 'something neat' for my F650. Makes me wonder how many of these failures don't get reported.
  11. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    One person who did not report his failure because he believed he made a mistake has one of the best descriptions of a failure as it occurred. It is a high mileage machine which was well used

    Took me a while to understand his inability to turn into the corner as they ride on the other side of the road to us in the US. The thread is worth readiing

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7358728&postcount=14
  12. astroguy

    astroguy Adventurer

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    Thanks WayneC1....it is worth reading. Again the rt front fork. Seems clearly to have failed before the crash impact. Of note in the images is that the axle bolt on the rt does sit flush.....and mind doesn't?!
  13. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    How many other BMW right forks have broken, but while the rider was in traffic?

    If the rider didn't live to tell the tale, the report would read "rider lost control" even though witnesses might state that the rider was going along with traffic before suddenly veering and falling down in front of three lanes of cars and trucks going 65. The broken fork would just be viewed as part of the wreck damage and not as the cause.

    I wonder if it is possible to get the accident report for every 650 GS fatality and look at the pictures of the right fork leg at the axle clamp. I would think a good accident investigator could get the information but maybe that is only on TV.

    A hungry attorney might be able to put together a class action suit against BMW representing the families of those who died in addition to those few who survived whom we have read about.
  14. zig06

    zig06 Been here awhile

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    I've heard about some YZ forks getting installed on a F650, never seen any real details or pictures though. At the same time, why not just install a set of KLX650 forks?? They may not be as advanced but they do already use 41mm tubes, so the stock F650 triple clamps can be used and then you can either use the KLX front wheel & brake or adapt the F650 wheel to the KLX axle and now your ABS will still function.
  15. Center-stand

    Center-stand Been here awhile

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    I know I've said it before but I will say it again. If you are riding one of these bikes, check the front axle for straightness and proper spacers/position. Consult your manual to clarify the proper position as it relates to the pictures in this thread.

    There should not be any stress on the fork as a result of twisting or pinching the lower fork out of alighnment with the upper inner fork tube.

    Now that I have seen a broken fork brace I would also check the brace for any sign of stress. It is possible there are indicators of impending disaster.

    I know smarter people than me have stated different opinions, but I believe the failures are directly related to stress placed on the axle boss by either a bent axle or improperly installed axle, and the action of a rolling wheel.

    I would ride one of these bikes, but I would check it out carefully.

    [​IMG]
  16. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    The fork braces are known to fail under heavy usage without axle lug failures, all bar one failure had the brace broken in the same place
    The one which did not have a broken brace had the Wunderlich low guard which has an added fork brace, on it both fork legs failed

    Re the YZ forks the details are in the thread here on advrider

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=399113
  17. Center-stand

    Center-stand Been here awhile

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    I don't recall reading about the brace failures.

    If it is true that all the fork tube failures (except one) have been on bikes that also have a brace failure, it is even more disturbing.

    The probability of having two structural pieces failing from the same single impact and not having other significant damage seems less and less likely.

    In the picture on the previous page part of the brace crack looks dirty, like it might have been cracking over a period of time. Some say pictures don't lie, but they don't always tell the truth either. It could be a mixture of light and shadow.

    In the picture below the break toward the back looks clean,

    [​IMG]
  18. reenmachine

    reenmachine Rain or Shine

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    This is almost the worst thing that could happen for this thread...another bunch of pics of a failure with absolutely zero background information. Let the rampant speculation resume! :rofl

    It's interesting that they're always on the right side. I bet the left side has more wall thickness because of the brake caliper mounting and the braking loads carried there.

    It looks to me like the rider hit something and the fork broke at the weakest spot, which we all know and love. As others have said numerous times, it's unfortunate that the fork fails here when forced instead of degrading more gracefully, but I still think that's the nature of the old design vs. a manufacturing defect. I'm not calling it a design "flaw" either -- everything will fail somewhere when prompted to, and these forks seem to do it at the RH axle boss instead of somewhere else. BMW realized this was not optimal and reinforced the area on later forks.

    That still doesn't explain the OP's failure, but neither does anything else. I doubt we'll ever know. My problem is that I enjoy my G so much I apparently don't care. I did tell my wife that if I mysteriously stack it to make sure the front fork is scrutinized, and she's got the bookmark to this thread. :evil

    If it happens to me and I live I promise you I'll get a message through somehow, black helicopters be damned! My dying wish will be to see this thread closed once and for all. :rofl

    Oh, and that eBay listing makes me feel good about my resale value.
  19. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    Good thing for the rest of us that we never hit the bumps these F models do so our forks never fail.
  20. reenmachine

    reenmachine Rain or Shine

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    A troll if I ever saw one.