Just another FINAL DRIVE nightmare....with a twist

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Englishmatt, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Englishmatt

    Englishmatt Been here awhile

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    Here ya go...feast on this.

    My bike is a 2010 GSA, my brothers is a 2009 GSA. July 2nd we left Atlanta, GA and ran up to Prudhoe bay.
    At the start of the trip my bike had 13K, his bike had 8K.

    After 11,500 miles, and in Memphis (400 miles from home)...BOTH Final Drives failed. I'm not talking about a blown seal....BOTH Final drive bearing failed on BOTH bikes within 100 miles of each other.

    Result is that BOTH bikes are at the local BMW dealer awaiting diagnosis. Is it just me, or is that a little ODD????

    Interesting note is that the dealer has only seen one other total FD failure on a late model GSA....and that guy went to ALASKA.

    I'm not prepared to rip into BMW just yet....but I'm preparing myself to do just that. To have both bikes fail at the same time tells me there's something common to both units with this failure.

    If I cannot take my "World Class", "Purpose Designed", "Adventure" bike to Alaska without fearing a trip ending breakdown...then I'd say BMW has a world of problems on a design that a.) Is not rocket science and b.) has been around for YEARS.

    Now then, for all you ADV'ers that will respond with "Well, it's under warranty..." I agree, but think about what it means and just how critical this failure is for BOTH bikes at the same time. Think about the message it portrays, and just what happened to BOTH bikes to cause the failure?

    If you've never done anything more than taken your GS/A on long touring rides, with occasional gravel road excursions, you'll not understand the beating these bikes took along the Alaska, Yukon and BC roads. You'll not understand how remote some of the places are in this country and just how unsettling a final drive weakness is when you are 400 miles from any town, not to mention cell phone coverage to even call for assistance.

    That being said, BMW themselves promote the "sherman tank" nature of the GSA and offer lectures, seminars and event(s) to promote more adventure riding.

    The most important thing right now is to understand "What caused the failure?". Then I need to know what BMW are going to do to get my confidence back in the brand...For starters I'd STOP the R&D on the new BOXER motor, it's excellent, reliable and simply works....they may want to shift focus on getting the f&%^&g drive train figured out!!!

    As a former KTM 990 owner, I've taken crap over the past year about the final drives...and I've defended it everytime. Now with both bikes coming home on a trailer I look like a chump.

    In our small group of GSA and RT riders (7 riders)....five (5) bikes (4 GS/A's and 1 RT) have had FD issues...

    I'll update this post as I know more, so far the dealer (Blue Moon Cycles) are handling the situation as well as they could be expected to.

    It was a sour note to end our month long adventure on the side of the interstate, with 50K in broken BMW motorcycles.

    Matt.
    #1
  2. jhansen

    jhansen Harley Rider

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    That sucks.
    #2
  3. OoPEZoO

    OoPEZoO Dirtball Extraordinaire

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    Tenere's started showing up at dealerships this week :lol3
    #3
  4. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    You need to keep the fact your going to Alaska secret. Don't talk about it if your near the bike.

    Also I am wondering, did the final drive oil get correctly changed at the 600 mile service? Were 180 cc's of 75-90 GL5 synthetic put in?

    When I bought my bike the service interval was lifetime. It took a whole bunch of failures at about your mileage before the new change interval of 600 then every 12k miles was created. Dave
    #4
  5. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    Heretic!! STONE HIM!! :lol2

    and Tenere12 techs will start showing up at dealerships in 2013 :lol3

    I sure like the possibilities, though....

    [​IMG]

    Don't those fork legs look small? Not the legs of the clearly orgasmic clutch-pawing model, you degenerates
    #5
  6. whisperquiet

    whisperquiet Long timer

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    "Tenere's started showing up at dealerships this week :lol3
    and Tenere12 techs will start showing up at dealerships in 2013 :lol3"

    Because................they won't be needed due to S10's anticipated reliability??? That's what I think. Final drive this and final drive that.............only hear/read about final drive failures on a routine basis on BMW forums.

    At least both FDs on the OP's bikes did not fail in BFE..........that would really suck.
    #6
  7. mcstark

    mcstark Living brappy...

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    Thank you Yamaha for making that bike. Now people will stop calling the GS-series ugly. A face only a mother could love.
    #7
  8. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

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    In our small group of GSA and RT riders (7 riders)....five (5) bikes (4 GS/A's and 1 RT) have had FD issues...

    Let me guess....the one thing you all have in common was the same dealer serviced your FD's? This is more than bad luck. :kboom
    #8
  9. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Were they both serviced by the same dealer? That might mean that the dealer made the same servicing error on both. :dunno
    #9
  10. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    It is such a nightmare, truly. 86K before the leak, tear down FD and find it spotless, fit the updated seal, and will turn 122K next week sometime

    I'll test-ride the Super-T no question
    #10
  11. Englishmatt

    Englishmatt Been here awhile

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    I serviced the bikes before we left, and have serviced them since new (mine and my brothers bike, not the RT).

    I only use the specified AGL5 75-90 Oil and I only use 180ml of Oil. The FD oil is replaced every 6K....because I get bored and it's so easy to change so why not. In addition I change it frequently because I am so damn paranoid about a.) looking at the oil to detect early bearing failure (small metal flakes) and b.) I've been wrenching on my own stuff for years and don't trust any dealer to do the job as thorougly as I do.

    With the 6 o'clock drain plug, there is no reason to ignore the FD oil.

    I used to be a Motorcycle Messenger in London, have done hundreds of thousands of miles on Shafty bikes (CX500 and VT500) so am a plenty a capable mechanic. I've never had an issue with the honda shafts...

    I agree on the early thoughts though....screams of not enough oil, or too much oil with too much pressure...but I can assure you it's not the case with these bikes.

    I'll update the post as I know more from the dealer and BMW Motorrad.

    Matt.
    #11
  12. NuckaMan

    NuckaMan Space Available

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    I remember your posts in the 2011 Alaska Trip thread.

    I'm glad to hear you did it and made it "almost" home without too much trouble. My trip got postponed until next year, after my current position finally expires.

    Please do keep us updated on your findings. I totally understand your frustration. And to me, while the die-hard BMW loyalists will defend their brand to the death, I feel there is too much noise about FD failures to be simply a bitcher's bitch and something to do with design and/or quality. Which even BMW Motorrad publicity admitted quality issues in their production in the past 5 years.

    At least your failures happened civilization, where services were easily accessible to you.

    Wish you luck.
    #12
  13. Redbull Addict

    Redbull Addict I need another one...

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    That really sucks! Some guys ride their bikes for years and never experience an issue and don't do any additional preventive maintenance on the final drive and you've been extra careful and this is what happens...that's very strange. Not just that it failed but that both bikes failed together for the same thing. What are the odds of that?? I really feel like there must be an obvious reason for this.
    #13
  14. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    Seems wonkey to me. I rode my 2010 GSA from Vermont to Texas to Vegas. Had the final drive serviced there (6k service). Then subsequently rode from Vegas to home (Alaska) via the Alcan Highway and spent an extra 2500 miles banging it around on way back roads that none of you have heard about and probably never will. Last weekend at 13500 miles I dropped the final drive and replaced the fluid. No issues with it, and the fluid smelled and looked like new.

    What gives? :ear

    Edit: my father rode an identical GSA on the same route as me, then upon arrival to Alaska, turned around and rode back to Vermont with no issues.

    Were your bikes built on a Friday afternoon or what?
    #14
  15. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    Englishmatt, just a question, how heavily laden were the bikes, including riders?




    Not really, but you've pictured the 660 not the 1200 that is coming out now. Here's another model for comparison:

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    I don't have a 1200 - yet, would plan to in the future but one glaring thing holds me back, that is that the 1200 FD is essentially NON rebuildable, bmw have no procedure for it, it's a matter of a new unit, ok if under warranty, what about for the rest of the bike's life? I've been saying for years that if the bike went back to a commonsense double sided swingarm we would not be having this conversation, single sided swingarm was a blatant case of style over substance imo.:*sip*
    #16
  17. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear about that
    I had on my 06 GSA all together 5 !!! final drives.Every 13k miles a new one.BMW paid for the first 4 and by #5 they said i was overloading the bike and refused to pay.
    Got a 09 now which is on 24k miles now and all is well,so far:eek1
    #17
  18. AfricaWim

    AfricaWim Been here awhile

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    Some things will remain mysteries...:dunno
    #18
  19. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    Come on you guys. I just got my head sufficiently buried in the sand, and now you're making me paranoid again. Lets hear from the 100,000 plus mile fd guys now.
    BTW, 04 Adv with 27000 miles, so far so good.
    #19
  20. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

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    Say.....this wouldn't happen to be you lads, is it? If so I think I can figure out what happened.:lol3

    Seriously though, tough luck there brother. Let us know what happened when you find out.

    Attached Files:

    #20