Final Drive Death

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by bemiiten, Jul 11, 2005.

?

How did your failure happen?

  1. No notice at all ,left me stranded on the spot.

  2. Noticed a problem ,but was able to ride back to civilazation

  3. Just checked and felt fine ,but died a few hundred miles later

  4. Noticed problem,rode bike hundreds of miles without total failure

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  1. drdata

    drdata R1200GS

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    OK, dumb question, but I'll ask. "Do the 11x and 1200 GS' use the same FD bearing"?


    I'd like to think that perhaps bearing is beefier on the 12.
    #81
  2. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    I'm pretty sure they are different. According the to the press releases from BMW durring the rollout the final drive had been "completely redesigned for improved cooling and reliability". I changed my R12GS final drive oil at 12000 miles and it looked perfectly clean like it had never even been used. I ran the oil through a strainer and came up with nothing. Not even the normal shavings from mold release that one would expect. I don't plan to do it again until about 50,000 miles. I can't see any reason to have any concerns about the R12GS final drive. There are basically not reports of any problems (besides that o-ring deal on the 500 pre-production bikes). BMW would have be complete engineering fools to do a complete redesign and still have the same problems that they had with the previous design. If I thought that, I would not have bought a BMW.
    #82
  3. Caribou Aqua Buddha

    Caribou Aqua Buddha Long timer

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    Anyone know if a 1200 GS has had a final drive failure? If they are not having problems, I would like to know the Industrial bearing number, to look it up and see the specs.
    I guess sealed up rear ends are the way of the future, cars have been doing it for years, at least some of them. Many people never change it on a car. Even my Jeep you have to remove the cover to dump the fluid.
    Of course the fluid should nearly go the life a drive. Generally fluid will stay clean untill a bearing failure. Seeing these low mileage bikes doing this, tells me it is certainly not a lubrication issue.
    #83
  4. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    I have a question, and I know nothing about bearing, most everything else of course, but not bearings.... :)

    My questions is; does the need to tighten the rear pivot bearings ( which I suspect that many bikes do not have done until it's been running loose for a while) have a negative effect on the rear drive bearings?

    In other words, if the rear pivot is run loose for a sustained time, will it screw up the final drive bearings??
    #84
  5. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    I would think cars would be imune to a failure similar to BMW due to using proper type bearings for the aplication and therfore may be more tolerant to shorcomings in lubrication.
    I have heard a few mention cryogenic treament to make the bearing more durable, any thoughts?​
    As far as the new final drive, BMW only list a complete assembled final drive unit for replacment , so I could not confirm if the bearing is different between models.​
    #85
  6. drdata

    drdata R1200GS

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    Lets hope you are right, RC...

    It started to seem like these FDs were made of glass. To the extent I fear a wheelie now and then. Pretty sure there have been r12 FD failures, but who knows, could be some assembly/contamination issues, or there might be aDr-FD out there drumming up a fever. Here are some links:

    http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25564&highlight=final+drive+failure


    http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43939&highlight=r+1200+final+drive

    A "dutchman incident", whom most hold in high regard:

    http://www.bmwridersscotland.com/bulletinboards/viewtopic.php?t=159&highlight=wheel+bearing
    #86
  7. Caribou Aqua Buddha

    Caribou Aqua Buddha Long timer

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    I am no GS expert, but if that rear pivot is what you are refering to, that would not have anything to do with the pinion in the final drive. That adjustable pivot pin allows the driveshaft housing, and final drive housing to articulate, and yet have the pivot bearing clearance taken up, (similiar to a swing arm pivot)
    The pinion (small bevel gear) probably has a nut pulling it tight in the housing, the large bevel gear is held in place by both bearing outer races being sandwiched between the final drive housing halves.
    As for gear contact pattern shimming, they must be shimming on the pinion end, because looking at the pic's posted above, there does not appear to be any adjustment lateraly on the large gear.
    Todays modern engineering/machining can allow for parts to all fit nearly the same, as opposed to yester year where each assy was an individule and required individual shimming. Or the lack of adjustable shimming may actually be the problem.
    But I still do not see how that design keeps axial load off that left side bearing, especially with wear.
    They make ball bearings that can take axial load, and radial load (angular contact bearing is one example), but I have never seen one in a final drive.
    #87
  8. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    It is shimmed -
    #88
  9. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    If you read those posts and look at the dates you will see they were all 2004 pre production bikes. The failures were caused by a faulty O-ring that was used in the first bikes off the assembly lines for the European market. It was later recalled and repaired. I'm not saying that the new drive is failure free there is no such thing. I'm confident that the failure rate will be drastically reduced with the new design. The proof is already there. All shaft bikes have had failures, I know a guy who is on his 3rd shaft on a FJR. I have heard of many Gold Wing failures. It’s just the nature of the beast. There is no such thing as a perfect motorcycle shaft drive.

    I'm sure I guy like Alex will jump on the FD failure band wagon as soon as he realizes that the servo brakes failures that he is hoping on the for are just not happening in any statistically significant numbers and that 99.9% of us love the brakes. :D
    #89
  10. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Hopefully this is right and the problem is corrected......how long has BMW made shaft drive bikes,,getting close to 100 years isn't it?
    #90
  11. ARRRGGGHHNUT

    ARRRGGGHHNUT ARRGH! Rider

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    Anyone know what the other beemers final drive ratio's are?
    Couldn't find the information anywhere...:dunno And would a K12RS final drive fit an R1150gs? Just wondering since the used 3.0 final drive I put on is about to go out... Might have to get another used one... Thanks guys :thumb
    R1100RT
    R1150RT
    R1100R
    R1100RS
    #91
  12. drdata

    drdata R1200GS

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    Crap. I always thought this was what made rebuilding a rear-diff such a bear. You get gear tension wrong due to lack of correct shims and either noise or premature failure. How does one determine the correct number of shims, is it based on grease marks to confirm mesh?

    Thanks
    #92
  13. drdata

    drdata R1200GS

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    No expert, but I think not. The 12's have a modified FD (hole though center, sealed for life). I suspect it is a different bearing, but this is not confirmed. Let me know if you hear otherwise.

    Regards
    #93
  14. ARRRGGGHHNUT

    ARRRGGGHHNUT ARRGH! Rider

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    Hey Doc, thanks for your help, but I never said anything about a R12 since I know they won't fit,
    but I believe the K12RS final drive will fit a R11XXX. And the R11XX drives will fit onto each others bike(w/o thinking of abs holes).
    #94
  15. BiG DoM

    BiG DoM African Adventurer

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    My rear wheel has no play in it or leak - but when rotated by hand it makes a slight rumbly noise and does sound dry. Spins easily. Am I right in saying that the sound should be virtually silent and smooth and I should as a precausion replace the bearing???
    #95
  16. drdata

    drdata R1200GS

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    I think this is nromal, at least it sounds like my bike. I did not detect this on any showroom models, however. Also, seems to be worse when cold. I desribe as sort of a flapping sound; the wheel itself rotates smoothly.

    Regards
    #96
  17. Red Roadster

    Red Roadster Roaming Redneck

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    03 23K noticed a slight vibration/noise while on a Sunday ride. Rode home and found play in the FD. Dealer fixed under warrenty. Oh, my bikes a R1150R, I didn't think they had a problem with these.
    #97
  18. BHumW

    BHumW so many roads...

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    "dealer A wouldn't have been Blackfoot in Calgary, by chance? They told me the same thing about mounting a tire. Medicine Hat HD fixed me right up.
    #98
  19. BHumW

    BHumW so many roads...

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    ...and if you adjust for speedo error you're still in warrantly by a long shot...
    #99
  20. BHumW

    BHumW so many roads...

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    '03 GS Adventure, 57k miles. Failed in Glascow, MT late Friday afternoon, July 29th. Nearest dealer 400+ miles in wrong direction. U-hauls busiest weekend of the year, no trucks available w/in 400 miles. Boeing in town to do some testing, rented all 50 vehicles. Had to buy old GMC pickup to get home to MN, $1600. Motel, gas, food and oil $300. Bike still in shop waiting for repair, estimated cost to repair $350, not warrantied. Pride in BMW ownership and premature end to vacation, priceless...

    As was noted earlier, wide range (mileage) of failures in the GS 1100 and 1150 series. Not so many in street oriented versions w/ the exception of the K12LT. Same bearing and same failures.

    It would seem this is part of the "BMW owner experience". And most don't seem to mind the added expense and inconvenience. Why is that? Is it that as BMW ON recently reported that the avg BMW owner makes $96,000 a yr. and owns 2 BMW motorcycles so paying $1000-2000 for towing and repairs is not a big deal? Fly home and ride the other bike. That's not my situation. Is it that we should consider this "normal" maintenance for a bike that is marketed as a global adventure riding motorcycle? When this happens in the middle of Africa, Mexico, South American, or Mongolia what does one do. My Honda Sabre went a lot of the same places the GS did, w/ no hint of final drive problems in 200k miles. I know for me I purchased the GS (dispite warnings and knowlege of these failures) because it is the only bike w/ all the features that I wanted-big DP, shaft drive, big tank, suspension, etc. I figured the FD failures were what happened to the other guys and was due to abuse or lack of maintenance or some such thing. Now I know that's not the case. Somehow it doesn't feel right that this has been allowed to continue for so long, not unlike the surging. It would perhaps be more tolerable if there was an upgrade offered by BMW (even for additional cost) or the aftermarket, or a recommended service interval but both of these would require BMW to assume responsibility for "design error". Instead it seems they have chosen to place the responsibility on the owner, that somehow they are operating the bike incorrectly. And have quietly fixed both problems on the 1200, as least so it seems...

    If I keep the GS I guess it means as suggested earlier that I will need to replace the bearing and seal at some regular interval and hope that it will be sufficient. This will have to do until Honda makes a large, V-twin, shaft drive Adventure touring bike and brings it to the US...