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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    Or just *FORMER* BMW owners, like me... :evil

    I didn't own a G/S, but I was a former Kool-Aid drinker myself. :lol3

    Dallara



    ~
  2. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

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    I feel bearings and seals should last more than 15,000 miles, but I do accept that anything manmade to be capable of failure. I can tell you this. I am 6'5" and weigh 325 so I am not petite by any means, as to how I ride...I ride a lot of dirt and I ride hard. I have blown 2 rear shocks on my GSA FROM CATCHING AIR! By golly I should be contender for a failure if anyone is from playing hard:evil I do change my FD fluid every oil change and check for slack regularily in the wheel. So in answer...my bearings on all of my BMWs have lasted longer than any chain bike I have EVER owned. When I changed my crown bearing on my 1150, it was for peace of mind at 78,000 miles. It looks good and could be used as a spare if needed.
  3. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    What kind of cheap-arse chains are you using? Most people get 20,000+ miles on chain and sprockets. I have 30,000 miles on the current chain - one chain, not three... Admittedly it's shot, but as long as I get around the changing anytime in the next 5000 miles it's highly unlikely it'll leave me stranded. That is, if it does it's my own stupid fault, I had plenty of warning. Same can't be said for your final drives.
  4. Dallara

    Dallara Creaks When Walks...

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    But the question - especially in this case - is what is an *ACCEPTABLE* rate of failure, and what is an *ACCEPTABLE* mileage to failure? At what mileage do you expect the crankshaft to require rebuilding? Or replacement? The connecting rods? Pistons? Rings?

    I accept that anything made by man will rarely be perfect. But when any manufacturer claims their products to be of the highest quality, and charges prices that reflect that, one would think that its component quality and reliability would reflect such... Especially when the company literally built its reputation on its choice of final drive design.

    I'm a big boy, too, and ride at a pretty good clip. It's rare anyone is waiting for me on- or off-road. And I never had a final drive failure on any shaft drive bike I've owned. Like you, I use only the finest lubricants I can source and change my final drive fluids at every oil change.

    But you and I are not the owners in question. Those are the ones who have *HAD* a final drive failure on their BMW's, and why do those BMW final drives seem to leak, fail, break, explode, burn up, or whatever term you want to insert her, so often. Some can ignore the evidence... Or choose to deny it... Or simply claim that somehow it's all *normal* wear and tear (which is exactly what BMW has been saying all along)... But sure seems to me that "where there's smoke there is often fire", and there sure seems to be an awful lot of folks out there with Beemers who have had final drive's toast for whatever reason. And no matter how anyone chooses to paint it, apparently they occur with enough frequency that the agency responsible for mandated manufacturer recalls in the USA has decided the problem is bad enough to investigate the problem. :deal

    Personally, I hope no one ever has a final drive failure on any bike, period. But that's the problem... Seems too many people have with one brand.

    Dallara



    ~
  5. bigdave-gs

    bigdave-gs Been riding longer than a lot have been alive !

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    I used a EK 530 ZZZ Gold Racing chain on my 2004 DL1000 (yes I did the 520 to 530 conversion), a $200 chain and only got 17000 miles out of it. Ghostrider and I ride together and we ride very hard. Both bike were riden on and off road and the chains took one hell of a beating off road. While we don't recommend riding the V-Strom as hard as we did off road, the chains of the best quality don't hold up to that type of abuse. If you only ride street, then you will get more miles out of a chain.
  6. bigdave-gs

    bigdave-gs Been riding longer than a lot have been alive !

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    Oh I hate to be the bearer of bad news but almost every brand has had it's issues with final drives. It's just with a new design (1200's) one company said "Maintenance Free" and the public went nuts when the first one broke. Out of the total production run of total final drive bikes, year to date, what percentage of final drive have failed. I would bet it's a small number. Only the folks that have had a failure bitch, while the ones that have not, don't ! ! !
  7. MANXMAN

    MANXMAN Overlander

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    You didn't factor in the lads from Club Tenere.:lol3
  8. Wallowa

    Wallowa Diver Down

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    #1 OK...yet again...NOBODY knows how many BMW FDs have failed before "they were expected to"...so stop already with the "I will bet only a small % of BMW FDs fail" or for that matter [which nobody has said] "a high % of BMW FDs Fail". That guess work does nothing to further a meanful discussion and frankly is nothing but hot air.

    #2 Stop with the comparisons! That is pure smoke. Stick to BMW FDs and why they are failing; yes Virginia some FDs fail much sooner than later.

    #3 I could care less how much you weigh or how may wheelies you pull. If you exceed the BMW GVW then shame on you but again NOBODY knows if that is killing FDs.

    #4 Anton is in my mind the only BMW FD expert with credibility. If he can or has put together a 'cause and effect' reason for failed FDs that he has seen, then he should be listened to. The rest of the speculation does zero good.

    #5 For BMW to remain mute about FD failures is complete BS. In the final analysis only BMW knows how many and why the FDs have failed. Their silence about any weaknesses in their [our!] bikes is deafening.

    #6 Until this forum and this thread gets verifiable numbers of how many FDs have failed and an analysis of why they failed all this Blah-Blah-Blah is just pissing in the wind.:brow


    But hey, I could be wrong! Excuse me while I go crank up my GSA....
  9. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    Fixt:


    You said your bit.

    You don't like BMWs (anymore), you think their final drives are crap, you think BMW are being dishonest, you think you know how many FD's have actually failed, and you think that we're all idiots who will fall on our swords for the brand.

    You haven't added one bit of helpful information, perspective, anything interesting or even humourous.

    Now, bog off.

    Trolling isn't allowed here.
  10. icebox

    icebox Long timer

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    SnapOn tools break all the time, I have two shops and two real big roll arounds full of them, they do however have an iron clad warranty. 3/8 drive metric and SAE allens are the worst. But they are used almost every day. Socket failures are real uncommon, but they do happen especially on ball drive impact flex sockets. Wrenches are bullet proof. More than one screw driver has been snapped using a wrench on the hex PROVIDED just for that.Ratchets are the best in the business.
    The point is almost everything breaks.

    As to how that relates to BMW final drives, well everything breaks. As to BMW ripping people off, thats an asumption best descibed by the first three letters of the word. Very few manufacturers deliberately build a product to fail. German engineers expertise, attention to detail, and arrogance are legendary. A lot of time was put into making the 12 as light as possible. And as to "a few extra pounds" not really making a difference, well I guess you don't understand the concept of unsprung weight. I have personally repaired two BMW finals for folks traveling through Yellowstone, both had over a hundred thousand miles on them and were on K LTs. the design appears fine, but requires spot on measurements of the castings to determine the proper shim sizes for pre load, and it still is a guess without use of blue, and dissasembly of the final.. Truck and auto manufactureers do the same thing but weight and size is so grossly oversized as to not matter. My guess is that engineering assured someone that the design was good, and pride and arrogance took a few years to wear thin enough to admit a mistake, at least within the corporation. And for a German engineer to change a design must be tough, I have heard enough of the "this cannot be" shit from Mercedes Benz Industrial.
    After owning a Wee and a F650GS it was with some trepidation I bought a 12GS, and used at that. I like Airheads, the simplicity, the overall design of the bike, easy to live with compared to a overhead cam four from Japan. All that withstanding, the 12 is a fabulous MC, light for it's size, easy to work on, and fun to ride. It crushes a airhead in the power and brakes department. And it is still light enough for a almost 62 year old 158 LB. guy to pick up. That is a pretty important consideration for me, as I generally ride alone, and SW Montana and BFN Idaho can be pretty lonely compared to a lot of other places. So for me the lighter than it should be, slightly fragile final is worth the trade offs. Probably wasn't worth the time to post, but the "experts" who don't even own one alluding to purported shoddy design work probably have never designed or built anything themselves. It's hard to be perfect, just look at Honda and Toyota automobiles the last five years, more recalls by percentage than Ford or GM, who would a thunk that? Or better yet try and build a race car or bike sometime, betcha something breaks no matter how much time and thought you desk chair geniuses put into it. Till then go for a ride,you lucky SOB's, I'm waitng for the snow up here to melt. And I look forward to the glacial pace of a Gov't investigation, when we will ALL find out the truth. But then some folks will wail that "oh nooooo, it was really way worse than that" it must be a coverup. Gee, wish I could hate Harley, or Yamaha, or somebody, but then SnapOn tools never break.
  11. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    Very well put.
  12. svennoly

    svennoly Banned

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    ^ What He Said^
  13. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

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    I hope Club Tenere really stacks up for ya. If we ever meet in the field and your Yamihami is kerpluck I promise to never get in what ever forum you Tenere guys hang out in and troll:lol3 I promise you, it will happen. I already know a guy that sold his GS to get a Tenere and now regrets it:deal I have owned almost every brand but Ducati and Moto Guzzi. I really don't give a shit if you ride a bike or a skateboard:rofl I ride for me and ride what I like:1drink Shit breaks Get over it:poser I rode my bike since I posted earlier...did any of yall:wink:Some of you folks spend way too much time in front of your monitors...get your ass out and ride the damn things before they turn to rust buckets:rickyRANT OFF...think I will drink me a couple of dogs and call it a night:beer
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    But, again, if you no longer have an interest in BMW, why come to G-spot to stir the pot? Smacks strongly of trolling to me! :dunno

    Jim :brow
  15. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

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    A troll is a troll is a troll:lol3 Seen em before huh JVB:1drink
  16. MANXMAN

    MANXMAN Overlander

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    :wave ghostrider1964

    I don't think the lads at Club Tenere will let me join. You need tuning forks to get through the front door, and all I have is a spinning propeller. It was humor son. Awesome rant though.

    [​IMG]
  17. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

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    I have my moments:lol3 Nice pic by the way...keep thinking I need a red one to keep with my Magnesium Metallic:evil
  18. scottie boy

    scottie boy Homebrew Guru

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    No trolling here, just facts as I know them.

    The final drive on my '04 RT failed at 30k miles. Not a smoking burning failure alongside the road. The rear wheel had excessive play so I took it to the dealership. Upon investigation, the bearing was obviously shot, the seal was leaking, and the u-joint in the drive had excessive play. $1000 plus repair bill and it was NOT reported to the NHTSA.

    I won't mention any names but there is a certain gentleman here who rides a lot. He purchases a new GS every year or two. He told me to my face that he didn't trust BMW's after their warranty expired which is why he changes bikes so frequently. Yet he has been on this thread saying that Beemers are indestructible. Are they bullet proof or not?

    There is not a perfect bike or brand out there. I currently have a Honda and a Yamaha. They are great bikes but once again they are not perfect. What I'm saying is that BMW builds some very nice bikes but they do have final drive issues. Some of the faithful here have gotten very defensive and claim that this is only an urban legend. Let's at least be honest.
  19. bigdave-gs

    bigdave-gs Been riding longer than a lot have been alive !

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    Scottie : how many miles do you have on the Tenere' ? My final drive big bearing gave it up at nearly 70,000 miles of hard riding. I had it rebuilt and it will more than likely go another 70,000 + miles. When ever there are as many Yamaha's, Honda's and what ever other bike out there that had a Final Drive on it have the miles that all the BMW's have on them, then you can come back and tell me what a superior bike you have. Until that happens, you have no valid data to support anything your saying. Do BMW final drives fail, yes, some early for unknown reasons and some last 100,000 miles+. Point is, all makes and models have had some sort of issue, but we still ride motorcycles. Why ? Because we love our sport. I've had 3 Harleys. Will I buy another one, hell no, had too many problems with them, but do I go to a Harley forum and bitch about them, do I tell other Harley rides they ride a high break down bike, no. If you spent half as much time riding as you do bitching about my bike, you'd be amazed at how many miles your bike would have on it, so go ride somewhere. :1drink
  20. Willie B

    Willie B Been here awhile

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    Scottie, If you amuse yourself by stirring up things, may I suggest you find an Apple forum somewhere and start a thread about how awesome your Droid or Crack-Berry is. I'm also curious why you designate yourself as a Home Master Brewer? Is this an awarded honor bestowed by others or self afflicted by the all knowing?
    If it's got tits or wheels, it's definitely going to have problems.