R100GS Driveshaft

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Jacubird, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Jacubird

    Jacubird Adventurer

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    It's time for a new thread on an old topic.

    I recently purchased a gently used 1989 R100GS. The driveshaft had been replaced at around 60,000 miles (maintenance records were included with the bike). The old driveshaft was provided. I felt the u-joints and they still felt good. I felt of the newer shaft on the bike (rotated the rear wheel with the bike on the centerstand), and felt nothing unusual. Just to be safe, I plan to rebuild the old shaft and change them out, but I'm at a bit of a loss about how best to accomplish this. My preference is to replace the u-joints and simply run the hell out of the rebuilt shaft.

    I've read several threads on this topic on this site and others, but the most recent was from circa 2006, and am a bit confused about what is currently available. I'm a cheapskate by definition -- I ride airheads, but want to do this thing right.

    What is the current wisdom on these shafts?
    #1
  2. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    They break too often.

    I'm not convinced that a perfect solution exists yet. The rubber damper seems to fail which puts the u-joints out of phase which may contribute to damage of the u-joints. Replacement dampers by HPN guy have failed but this may have been due to a leaky trans or rear drive.

    I'm not clear yet on what I'm going to do when I need to replace mine again.

    But for now, here are some more recent threads for you to read until others post more.

    Try Googling: r100gs site:advrider.com

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627904

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=640129

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=544843

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359678
    #2
  3. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    #3
  4. bikecat

    bikecat Long timer

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  5. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    Awhile back, Lornce was asking what I thought was a valid question about this unit that never seemed to get answered. The question was if the inside of that big cir clip and the mushroomed end of the driveshaft are a bearing area and if it wears over time. Given the constant motion at that point it seems that wear could occur.

    Has anyone used this unit and observed any wear? Any other observations?
    #5
  6. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    You are confused!! :evil Nothing cheap about parts for airheads.

    I don't know that there is a definitive answer for these paralever driveshafts. That rebuildable one is possibly the best of the ideas so far but I don't think it's been around long enough to have any good feedback on it. The Beemershop sells them, ask them. Though I'll guess they likely haven't sold a dozen of them. I have a friend who ordered one, haven't seen it yet. He'll have an opinion in a couple of years.

    My solution to all this was to sell the paralever bike and go back to monolever. Though I'm sure that's not everyone's idea of a solution. But it was the airhead solution, SIMPLE.
    #6
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Long timer

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    Hi,
    It may depend on where you live, but in Germany and Switzerland you'll find plenty of shops that specialize in driveshaft overhaul. Not just airheads, but all kinds - it's quite impressive to see a U-joint for a Truck sitting there and compare that to your own tiny ... euh ... parts that you just took out :lol3

    IIRC, cost was about 120 CHF per U-joint. You can get a version with (removable) grease nipples, or a permanently greased one (= similar to the stock part).

    I have such a rebuild shaft for my GS sitting in the basement, so that disaster hopefully never strikes :D
    #7
  8. chiefrider

    chiefrider Chrome won't get you home

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    Some weeks ago, I was about to pull the trigger on one of these through Ted Porter's Beemer Shop. They said it's back in development--clearance problems inside the swingarm.

    The promise of these, when I first saw them at the BMWMOA Rally last summer at Ted Porter's booth, was that they'll carry all replacement parts, rubber inserts, u-joints, circlips.

    Tom in Salem

    Tom in Salem
    #8
  9. Jacubird

    Jacubird Adventurer

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    and while it is cheaper than a new stock shaft, it is substantially more expensive than rebuilding my extra shaft -- or having it rebuilt.

    FWIW, I also have a monolever G/S. While I like its performance offroad, the paralever handles so much better. There is a reason the new GSes are all paralevers.
    #9
  10. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    As long as it's FWIW time, the monolever ST has long been noted as the best handling airhead. Add an ohlins rear shock to it or a g/s and a Toaster tan top brace and works springs to the front and I doubt if the paralever has much on it in handling and nothing on it in reliability. I'm not up on oilheads but I imagine they've improved the driveshaft some. It seems the driveshaft on the airhead paralevers wasn't up to the travel, and if there is a solution or fix to it I haven't heard of it yet.

    Aside from all that, airheads in my mind are about having a classic bike that is reliable, has available parts and is relatively easy to wrench. If I want fast or super handling or hell bent off road capablility, it's far easier and cheaper to obtain elsewhere. As nice as my r100gs was the driveshaft woes removed it from this arena. Like it or not that's a BMW foul up that hasn't been fixed.
    #10
  11. artman

    artman Been here awhile

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    I just redone my driveshaft on a 1990 GSPD, My Buddies said it can't be done!
    I put a u-joint in and aligned the u-joints pressed the slip joint with a 20 ton press. I can send you pictures from my I-phone. Note I had damaged to the driveshaft do to the u-joint came apart, I welded the damage grind down and was good to go. Artman!
    #11
  12. aerone

    aerone Apex Addict

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    I have been told that lowering the bike a little will reduce the angle in the u- joint and will result in less wear. My bike has 6049 miles. I want to head off the problem. I will use a shorter rear shock and drop the front a little, maybe that will work.
    #12
  13. cueball

    cueball should'a walked it first

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    where did you source the u-joints from???
    #13
  14. Jacubird

    Jacubird Adventurer

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    Since I've noted nothing wrong with either the shaft on the bike or the spare, I've got plenty of time to mull this over. I'm inclined to go with the fully rebuildable shaft from the Beemershop, but would only pull the trigger if I could be assured of a readily available supply of replacement parts.

    Has anyone thought about (or done) the conversion to the oilhead type paralevel setup? It seems to me a fairly simple process. The only difficult parts would be adapting that style driveshaft to the airhead tranny, plus adapting to the later style rear disk brake setup.
    #14
  15. euromotorcycles

    euromotorcycles Been here awhile

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    I first noticed this rebuildable driveshaft on the UKGSER website back in 2008. I thought it would be fully tested and sorted out by now. Anyone have a long term rider report on this driveshaft.
    #15
  16. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    #16
  17. Jacubird

    Jacubird Adventurer

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    Maybe this is the solution to the driveshaft problem. Anyone tried it?:clap
    #17
  18. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

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    #18
  19. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    Wow. Wow. Wow.

    That thread and the embedded thread on the Golem ReBirth are terrific. Fascinating people working on interesting projects and telling great stories about 'em. Although the lack of denouement is sadly disappointing.

    And no, that doesn't look like a bolt-on at all. :rofl
    #19
  20. jackd

    jackd Long timer

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    Any update on these Beemershop driveshafts?
    #20