NHSTA Opens Investigation into BMW Final Drive Failures

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by rdcyclist, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    Not to sound like the devil's advocate here... But as compared to what brands?

    I'm honestly not trying to argue here, but certainly Honda has produced more Gold Wing's in the past few decades than BMW's entire, across-the-model-line production... And then there is all of Honda's other shaft-drive models. And of course there are all of Yamaha's shaft-drive models over the past number of years, and Kawasaki's... And what about Moto Guzzi's? Other brands?

    I can't honestly remember *EVER* hearing of a shaft final drive failure from any one of those brands (and I was a Honda dealer for a number of years), yet there always seems to be some discussion of BMW shaft final drive issues and failures.

    Intriguing, if nothing else. :hmmmmm

    Dallara


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    #81
  2. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    Honda's Goldwings had a few issues, as I was corrected on once, so I'll just pass it along.

    They fixed the problem.

    Other than that, not enough problems on anything really to generate any kind of complaints that I know of.

    In fact I would say that many people shy away from shaft drives because of 1 particular companies reputation in that regard.

    They shouldn't be an issue. They have been running shaft drives in cars for years, and other model bikes. Up until recently I don't think anybody cared. (except for power loss on sports bikes).
    #82
  3. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    Which Honda Gold Wing's are you referring to, GrahamD?

    I worked in Honda shops when Wing's came out in 1975, and continued there until 1977. In 1980 I became a Honda dealer and was until early 1993... During none of that time were final drives ever an issue, and not just on Wing's, but we had no problems with CX 500's or 650's, 900 Custom's, Magna's, Sabre's, Ascot's, Nighthawk's, Silver Wing's, Pacific Coast's, ST-1100 or 1300's, etc. or any other Honda shaft drive models I can recall.

    Just wondering...

    Dallara



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    #83
  4. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    I'll try and find the post one day. But it was definitely all the ones you didn't sell. :lol3

    I think from memory it was the model before last. It was a while back I was chastised. No mention of any other models, just Wings. So much chastising, so many topics :D

    [edit] Here is the culprit http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12297358&postcount=219

    You should drop him one of your "notes" and put him straight then.

    I'll move back to a safe distance.....
    #84
  5. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    People have made this assertion-- that Goldwings, for instance, never have a problem with final drives-- and it took an inmate about 15 minutes to cruise over to the Goldwings forum and pull up 7 (IIRC) instances of people complaining about their shaft drives dropping a bollock.

    I really wish BMW would drop the single sided swingarm sometimes and move to a solid axle.

    Not that I have had any trouble with my 1150's FD at 64,000 miles. I will probably have it rebuilt as I do see this as a wear item, not something that should be expected to roll for 100,000 miles untouched-- although it may.
    #85
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Hey Graham, you're a SuperTenere crusader! I see you everywhere there's an S10 thread... but you don't own one? How long will you resist!! :lol3

    Do SuperTenere final drives leak? :scratch

    Attached Files:

    #86
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    There was a good debate on the Goldwing forum about the odd FD failure and whether those who failed were pulling a trailer.. just about everyone listed was pulling a trailer and you know those trailers are bigger than the bike itself :lol3 The nice thing about Goldwing FD's is that new ones can be had for a $100 or so from trike conversions. At any rate, the GL1800's FD service interval is quite long and you see bikes with hundreds of thousands of miles without FD issues. I think the FD fluid change is at 24,000 miles for the first one.
    #87
  8. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    When they are pounded over 140Km of washboard, some comes out the vent. That one went on to complete his 2500Km journey, with a few cc added.

    His mates looked just the same.

    Nick Sanders bike did the same, did another 12,500Km after that, So it doesn't worry me.
    I wonder how how long before YAMAHA adds a tube, like the HP?

    It freaks ex BMW owners out when they look down and see that. :lol3

    I've owned one for two weeks now. Haven't you been wondering why we have all the floods at the moment in OZ. :deal

    Same thing happened last time I bought a bike :bluduh
    #88
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Congrats... :thumb I need some lessons in self restraint from you.. :lol3 I've gone thru 12 or 15 bikes in the last 10 years.. I've lost track! :shog Now have new lust for a high hp road warrior.. :baldy
    #89
  10. muskieken

    muskieken Been here awhile

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    they will just raise the price of bikes 5 grand to cover the replacement of the of past and future
    Final Drive Failures.
    #90
  11. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    2 out of 3 for me. My final drive went at 62,000 miles and my fuel strip right around the same time (both just before a cross country trip). So far no issues with the servo brakes in 72K.

    Rick G
    #91
  12. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    Again, not to be the devil's advocate here...

    But can anyone imagine the wailing fervor and furor there would be in the automobile world if BMW cars had rear ends that lasted only 60,000 miles, or often less, and that blew up with the same frequency as the motorcycle ones do? :huh

    As for the mention of Honda Gold Wing final drives failing... I don't have any experience, either as a rider or an owner, about the GL-1800's, but I can honestly say, without equivocation, that in my time around Honda motorcycle dealerships - as a mechanic, parts guy, salesman, or shop owner - I never saw a Honda final drive issue of any kind. And on Gold Wings never saw one through the GL-1000, GL-1100, GL-1200 fours, or GL-1500 sixes...

    Not saying none ever happened. Just saying after seeing literally hundreds upon hundreds, with all sort of wear, tear, lack of maintenance, etc. I never saw one fail. I also owned a GL-1000 and two GL-1200's (not to mention two standard CX-500's and a CX-500 Turbo), and had no issues with them, either. One of the CX-500's was endurance road raced for three seasons and never had anything done to the rear end other than fluid changes, and that bike was built from a wrecked one, and was breathed on to within an inch of its life! :lol3

    Dallara



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    #92
  13. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

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    When my Stroms clutch came a part, metal went though the whole motor resulting in my needing to replace the whole motor. My warranty was out by 3 months and Suzuki would not cover it:deal DEaler wanted $4300 for new motor. I found one on Ebay for $1K. Fixed the bike and traded it for GSA. BMW has fixed everything on my bike under warranty and I have over 50,000 miles on it! I broke a rear shock and they put an Ohlin on due to delivery delay for a replacement. The dealer then delivered the bike to my Door!!! 150 miles away....Don't believe any Suzuki or Honda dealer I have ever dealt with would do that! BTW...I broke drive shafts on both my V45 Sabre and my V65 MAgna...Had the center cyclinder seize on my CBX due to over heating issues.....Broke a swingarm on my YZ490...the only bike I have relatively few issues was my KLR:huh
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  14. A-Wind

    A-Wind Andreas RD07a

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    I think the failiure rate of Final Drives is still below that of silicone implants. And nobody. seems to make such a fuzz about those.

    Fun aside, there are tonns of final drive issues on all type of cars as well. The difference is that regular people usually don't post about such passionately like bikers.

    I think BMW is a bit of a "victim" of it's own success. After all on items that are sold by the millions, there always will be some failiures.

    How can anybody compare that to bikes that are sold only by the thousand and discontinued after a short time.
    #94
  15. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato Supporter

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    Catastrophic final drive failures in cars are very rare. Look at pickup trucks used for towing and carrying weight in the bed. Have you seen one fail? What's the fluid change interval on an four wheel vehicle? My Corvette has 130,000 miles on the fluid in the weak Dana 36 and the posi still works. I haven't been gentle to the car.
    #95
  16. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    Really? Can you name me any? Especially any that have been investigated by the NHTSA? Any recent recalls?



    Success? As compared to exactly who? Do they sell as many motorcycles as Honda? Yamaha? Do they sell as many cars as GM? Ford? Toyota? Nissan? Mercedes-Benz?



    Regardless of how short the product cycle may be for a particular motorcycle model auto manufacturers still introduce new models, and even the first few initial years of their product cycles you rarely, if ever, hear of final drive failures.

    No offense, but a shaft final drive is *NOT* rocket science, and lots of other manufacturers make 'em without having the the number of reported issues BMW has. Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc. make *MORE* shaft final drives per year than BMW does, yet you don't hear much about their final drives... Moto Guzzi makes far *FEWER* shaft final drives every year, yet you don't hear of their final drives blowing up, either. :evil

    Dallara



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    #96
  17. EJ_92606

    EJ_92606 Rider

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    They do...but its much more frequent than FD failures and occurs at much lower mileage...its the high pressure fuel pumps used in the latest generation of turbo BMWs.
    #97
  18. cardoctor1

    cardoctor1 Been here awhile

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    i disagree with that statement.
    chrysler products have had a huge problem with rear diff failures. on their rear wheel drive trucks. durangos ,pickup and jeep cherokees. my inlaw have a grand cherokee both diffs failed with under 20k on the odometer.
    fortunately for most the rear failure were cover under the drive train warranty 7yr 70k miles.
    #98
  19. witchdoctor575

    witchdoctor575 Adventurer

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    agreed. dodge had real issues with cummins equipped trucks. they tore up tranny's, drive shafts and rear ends.
    #99
  20. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato Supporter

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    Really? One brand in particular had issues? Imagine that.