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NHSTA Opens Investigation into BMW Final Drive Failures

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

  1. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    2001?
    Then I assume it must include the 1150, with a different (and inferior) design.

    Does not bode well for accuracy.

    [TaSK]
  2. Midnullarbor

    Midnullarbor Been here awhile

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    What is the proper definition of FD failure?

    It might well be simply this :-
    . . . A breakdown that causes a sudden major change of the rider's plans.

    (a) ~ like what happens when you are suddenly stranded at the roadside, with a "failure to proceed" . . . perhaps a small problem if you are only half a mile from Starbucks . . . but a much bigger problem if you are 100 miles from a mechanic who can repair it . . . and a very much bigger problem if you are on some dirt road 100 miles west of any habitation or cell-phone contact. [This last scenario is less likely in a Cadillac or Solstice . . . but then again, they weren't designed or advertised for such usage.]

    And/or (b) ~ like an obviously impending failure that requires so much diversion of time & money, that your trip / holiday plans get shot to hell.

    Obviously there are "degrees of severity" of Final Drive failure . . . but whether bearings, or bevel gears, or whatever . . . the end result is often rather similar in effect (plus or minus a $1000 or so).

    What is the NHSTA likely to do?
    Over the years, there have been various changes in Paralever design : often small, but potentially significant [especially to lawyers].
    Bmw has presented a moving target . . . and now the switching of sides [of the FD] for the very latest & upcoming models does indicate a desire to demonstrate contrition & the beginning of a brave new page [of problem-free FD's] . . . so what can NHSTA actually do, here?
  3. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato Supporter

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    In the three years I worked at a BMW dealer, I think we averaged at least one 1150 final drive rebuild a week. Highway patrol RT-P's usually needed a final drive before 50K miles. They had about 100lbs of gear plus the rider so, well within the limits.
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    IMHO BMW will not be forced to do anything. The actual numbers of final drive failures may or may not be revealed, but it is all relative. The average life expectancy of "most" motorcycles is FAR less than automobiles, and so long as the issue(s) are not safety related BMW will be off the hook. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A failure counts when? At 10K miles, 20K, 50K forever? How long "should" they last? Now back up your assertion with facts as to why! The reasons for failures will have to be identified as well. BMW riders ride a LOT more miles, on average, than do sport bike riders. Does that matter? Why or why not? BMW riders often overload their bikes, I know I have a lot, and that can't be proven, but is certainly a factor. The GS and the LT have a higher incident of failures for the overloading reason, as well as abuse by GS riders "off road". <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    IF there is an issue what would the fix be? Replace all 1.5 MILLION final drives on all BMW bikes using the similar FDs? How about extending the warranties, and if so, for how long? Forever? How do you handle the people who have already paid for a new/repaired FD out of their pockets, and how do you prove it if it was done by someone like Anton?<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This, if you can't tell already, is a very complicated subject. Not easily defined by simple righteous indignation!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Jim :brow
  5. Old Git Ray

    Old Git Ray Now retired...YeeHaa

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    Troll alert......

    Has anyone heard of a 1200 tenere failing to get home yet.....:wink:
    Sorry, just making up for the trolls in the few S10 threads ..:hide.. let the beatings begin...:hung

    BTW my ex 09 GSA didn't break down even though I expected it to do so. :D
  6. Old Git Ray

    Old Git Ray Now retired...YeeHaa

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    I agree, it is unlikely anthing will happen and the point about BMWs doing more miles than most other bikes is I am sure very true.

    With that in mind, perhaps the changing of the final drive should have been included in the maintenance schedule. I appreciate that it is a costly part of servicing but it would have prevented a lot of breakdowns.
    At the end of the day it is only a bearing and the more a bearing "bears" the quicker it will fail. Most bikes only bear the rider for most of their lives but BMWs tend to do a lot more work than that and for greater mileage.
  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I don't go to the KTM forum except once or twice to look. Do BMW riders Troll over there? How about Beasts? Honestly, I do not get that at all. I have nothing against other bikes, but not much current interest in them either. I certainly don't feel the need to bash them.

    :dunno

    Jim :brow

    PS I know you were messing around.
  8. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

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    :lol3 I have the exact thought from time to time.

    My GS has had the EWS, fuel pump flange, brake lines, and rear rotor replaced (I may be forgetting something) and am currently fighting a front wheel that refuses to be balanced while the KLR has never had a single issue.

    However, the KLR is not a GS and I really enjoy the GS. In fact I enjoy it so much my KLR has sat so long that I'm 'gonna have to go through a tank and carb cleaning to get it started again. :1drink
  9. monkeydad

    monkeydad Long timer

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    :nod
  10. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    Bollocks is anybody trying to pretend there isn't a problem, or deny there is one, when there so obviously is. You don't get hundreds upon hundreds of people on forums all across the internet saying they've had Beemer final drive issues without there being at least some basis for concern.

    And try reading what the original post said:

    "NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now. But, if the findings are what we all believe they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded"

    Right now the investigation is centered on just K1200LT's, which seems to imply that those 145 that the report is concerned with were all LT's. I doubt one would argue that the LT is one of BMW's lesser produced models, and certainly a very small percentage of the 625,000+ you mention.

    And we shouldn't forget that the NHTSA is an agency in the *UNITED STATES*. It's not an international entity, and it deals with only VIN's from the USA. This also greatly affects the ownership percentages involved as it relates to production numbers.

    You should also note I never said there were not ever any final drive failures on Honda motorcycles - only that during my over 20 years in and around the Honda business, and literally thousands of Honda riders I knew personally, I never saw one. On the other hand, I have only known a relative few number of BMW riders over the years - certainly less than a hundred - and yet at least 15 of those have had final drive issues, some of them twice. And note when I say issue I should say "failure", as I don't mean a leaking seal, but a failure that stopped the motorcycle in its tracks and left the rider stranded.

    If you want to be enlightened by searches, you should try ADVrider itself... Try doing a *THREAD TITLE ONLY* search for a Honda, Yamaha, or other brand "final drive failure" and see what you get. Then search "BMW final drive failure" and check your count. I guess all those people in all those threads (and those here in this one who have Beemer final drive problems) are all just making it all up... They are simply dreaming about paying a premium price for a motorcycle advertised and billed as being able to ride around the world without worry and then having a major component fail.

    Don't worry about apologizing to me... Apologize to all those BMW riders whose final drives have melted down. Especially since you are implying they are all dreaming. :evil

    Dallara




    ~
  11. qman8

    qman8 15 GSA / 16 WR250R

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    True....Everyone, I think, expects a chain/sprocket system to fail (need replaced) before about 30k miles. What should everyone expect from a shaft drive? Basically, the big differences are that there are two issues that suck worse than a chain/sprocket design:
    1. When it fails, you are done, and stranded without much warning of failure
    2. Cost. A decent set of chain/sprockets will set you back probably less than $250.
  12. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato Supporter

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    A chain drive system wears out. The wear is very easy to gauge. Apparently the F series twins have had chain failures. BMW has made chains less reliable.
  13. erkmania

    erkmania I'll take better everytime

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    There's nothing to worry about. As we speak, BMW lawyers are feverishly working on a solution .:norton
  14. pauljr

    pauljr Been here awhile

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    I certainly don't want to get in the middle of this but I must say my Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport had a final drive issue on the very day the new owner had been scheduled to pick it up. It was a well known issue on the Guzzi forums.

    I put 56,000 miles on an 1150GS before I sold it and had no issues, hoping the 1200 treats me just fine too.
  15. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    Judging from from your Avatar I think that you may relate to my point of view.

    Dallara and many others who have some experience with parts failures have commented on the FD issue for various reasons, but the big issues are really;

    1. BMW made their name by making the best motorcycles you could buy and cost was secondary.

    2. BMW either knows how to make a proper final drive or they don't; if they know how, but have a high failure rate, they are ripping you off by knowingly selling you an inferior product... if they don't know how to make a proper FD, they are ripping you off by selling you an inferior product. It's a "No Win" situation. The idea that BMW has to shave a pound or two by less strength in the FD on a bike as massive as a GS is ridiculous.

    3. Whether it's covered by warranty has nothing to do with it... Snap On tools have a premium price and a lifetime warranty, yet I have NEVER seen anyone break a Snap On hand tool! Chrysler started offering a long warranty to counteract the (accurate?) perception that it's cars were crap. In reality, long warranty coverage isn't that big of a cost if it only applies to the original owner or if (statistically speaking) a failure is quite rare. Hyundai/Kia have an excellent warranty and are very low priced vehicles, it's a great sales tool.
  16. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    And was a company who for decades produced *ONLY* shaft drive motorcycles, and often promoted over the years that their shaft final drive was the very best you could buy... As well as advertising over those years the low-maintenance, superior reliability, etc., etc., etc. of their shaft drive systems. :deal

    Dallara



    ~
  17. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

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    DAMMITTTTTT!!!! Everyone take a breath or a drink:freakyI have only seen one final drive "fail". It was on BigDaveGS 04 GSA at 68,000. He is religious about his oil changes with a FD change at EVERY oil change. His FD never leaked but while he was changing his FD he heard a strange kirplunk in the oil. He put a magnet in the FD oil and found 2 ball bearings and then called me. I have researched this and changed the crown bearing in my 04 GS. I told him to call Anton. I had talked to Anton about FDs sometime back and it seems even the best FDs will fail if not set up correctly. Dave sent his FD to Anton and is now back in business. I have had 5 BMWs with NO FD issues.I replaced the chain and sprockets on my Vstrom 3 times in 30,000 miles. Chains and sprockets to me are the same as bearing or seal replacement:deal
  18. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    So are you saying that the BMW final drives that do fail, say within 10 or 15,000 miles, are set up incorrectly at the factory?

    And given your thoughts above, at what mileage do you think it's time to rebuild a shaft final drive - i.e bearings, seals, etc.? Should they go only as far as a chain and sprockets, or as far as, say, wheel bearings?

    Dallara



    ~
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    So it isn't just BMW owners who complain about BMW motorcycles after all. Even non-owners love to jump in! :lol3

    Jim :brow
  20. roarin calhoun

    roarin calhoun Been here awhile

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    There's another catagory too---FORMER GS owners,like me. Now a happy Tenere owner. I hope new GS buyers have better luck than I did. Seriously.