Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 1:27 am Thread Starter
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Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

BMW Owners News, the BMW MOA's monthly magazine covers the dreaded final drive issues that plagues R & K-Bikes on page 62-69 of the November issue. The story covers the history and to a small extent, critiques the cover-up by BMW Motorrad.

Bill Shaw goes into the differing design of the first generation Paralever that the K1200LTs still use, and the newer, EVO Paralever. The second generation Paralever has not had as many failures as the origional one, but is reportedly gaining fast.

Article states that BMW appears to have warrantied every final drive failure (not sure if that if everybody here would agree to that) but at the same time, has replaced the entire unit and sent every failed unit back to Germany, which contributes to the mystery surrounding the issue.

Seems the only thing BMW thinks can be done is to change the oil in the FD at the 600 Mi service. They also say that changing it again later is not effetive.

There were some anecdotal stats from Iron Butt rallys with 25% failure rates for old style drives and 33% for EVO style drives.

Frequent inspection for excessive play is the only known safeguard. They recommend putting the bike on its center stand and grabbing the rear whell at 12 and 6 o'clock and shaking. Then doing the same with hands at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. Head for the nearest dealer at the first sign. < But I would like to see that done with the tupperware in place on the LT. > That, plus inspecting for final drive oil on the rim / wheel.

The article concludes with "There is little doubt that BMW Motorrad has a serious and growing public relations problem. However, this appears to stem more from its refusal to acknowlege if there is a problem wth the final drive failure rate. Unfortunately, BMW is not as forthcoming on this issue as its customers would like." No duh!

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post #2 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 4:08 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Yeah, we've seen the article. Hell, some of us helped proof-read it.

But I can tell you that I still have my failed FD off my '07 GT. BMW wasn't giving me the bike back until I paid up in full, so I kept all the parts.

To be fair, they did later reimburse me for the cost of the part but it was a goodwill gesture, not a warranty claim. And I'm still stuck with the cost of the labor, shipping, taxes, extra hotel and rental car expenses, and a nagging feeling that I can't really ever trust this bike again, or any BMW for that matter, brand new or otherwise.

To me, that is BMW's biggest liability in this whole matter.

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post #3 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 7:39 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildBil
... The article concludes with "There is little doubt that BMW Motorrad has a serious and growing public relations problem. However, this appears to stem more from its refusal to acknowlege if there is a problem wth the final drive failure rate. Unfortunately, BMW is not as forthcoming on this issue as its customers would like." No duh!

Wild Bil
I think it was a year or more ago that BMW MOA had a lengthy article that reviewed their sit-down meeting with BMW execs. They came away from that meeting with a renewed commitment from BMW to work with the MOA on issues of concern to BMW owners. I wonder how this article in the ON will affect that. Can't be good.

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post #4 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 8:17 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Checking your rear wheel for side to side movement is about as useful as checking the air in a tire after it's blown out. By the time you can move the wheel side to side, the bearing has cratered so bad you couldn't possibly ride the bike. All you can do is spin the wheel and check for roughness. It'll show up long before the side to side movement in the wheel........

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post #5 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 8:18 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

We have this crusty old dude that hangs out at the local BMW shop from time to time. He's always been one of those guys will defend BMW until the day he dies.

So I walk into the shop today, and he's pacing around all agitated mumbling about all these crazy lies on the BMW websites. He's got his BMW ON rolled up in his left hand, waving it around. His right hand was shaking. The guy was visibly upset. He sees me and starts to get more upset. Starts going on how it's MY fault that these kinds of lies about BMW get started. He goes on about how the rear drive is perfectly fine, and these internet lies are hurting the brand. Because he knows I'm one of the admins here, he focused his rage for the next 5 minutes at me and "my kind".

I look at the owner and service manager, who both have known him for years, and ask if this guy is ok. I'm thinking he's worked himself up and is about to have a heart attack or some other thing. Everyone gets out of his way as he continues his rant in the service area. I look to the long-time mechanics, and they just go back to their work. At this point, I'm really concerned for this old guy ranting and raving. He storms off, gets in his car, and leaves.

It was such a surreal experience.


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post #6 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 8:51 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Next time you see that old guy, give him my contact info. Three brand-new BMWs, and 3 1/2 final drive failures (one LT had a seal go, then a bit later the whole bearing).

Not to mention 3 1/2 clutches (one was slipping pretty bad just as I got rid of the bike).

I'd be glad to fill him in on those "internet rumors".

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post #7 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 8:54 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

He's the kind of guy that would say something like it was your fault for causing the drive to fail. Seriously, he's of that mindset.


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post #8 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 9:05 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
He's the kind of guy that would say something like it was your fault for causing the drive to fail. Seriously, he's of that mindset.
Only if actually riding the thing was the root cause. Besides, I'm usually up for a good debate, especially with someone who's completely convinced that they're right and everybody else is wrong.

I know a lot of die-hard Beemerphiles that would have given this guy a run for his money in the day. Funny enough, most of them have now sold off their Beemers and gone to other brands. None of them claim the other bikes are "better" but the overwhelming response is simply that folks got tired of being stranded. Note that I didn't say "worrying about being stranded" but rather, actually "being stranded."

BMW may be aiming at a younger crowd with their lighter, sportier, go-fast machines and the new 450/650/800 ranges, but they're losing the die-hard fans who have been riding BMWs for decades. Courting a 20-30 year-old buyer is fine (if they can come up with the BMW premium), but losing the 40-50-60 year-olds who can actually afford to drop $15-$20K on a bike is gonna hurt them big time. Add in the current world economy and the rampant exchange rate fluctuations and it's not gonna be pretty.

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post #9 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 9:29 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

meese, I guess I missed the thread on your '07's failure.. sorry to hear that... was it not under factory warranty? or did they deny it for some reason?

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post #10 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 4:06 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopz
meese, I guess I missed the thread on your '07's failure.. sorry to hear that... was it not under factory warranty? or did they deny it for some reason?
The bike was under warranty by time (17 months) but out by mileage (63K miles). As a goodwill, they covered the cost of the drive itself ($1,600) after the fact, but left me with the rest of the bill and my trip interruption expenses. I appreciate their consideration, but still, this is a failure that should not still be happening.

The most annoying thing is that I was one fuel tank away from completing an 8,000-mile-in-a-week ride as part of an Endurance Rally. I had 1st place completely sewn up, and instead found myself calling for tow trucks at 2 in the morning. BMW can't give me back my lost win, nor can they cover the thousands I had spent to be part of this rally which just completely vanished in a heartbeat.

No, I take that back. The most annoying thing is that I just don't trust the bike anymore. Or any other recent BMW, for that matter.

Ken
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post #11 of 66 Old Nov 1st, 2008, 11:46 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
BMW may be aiming at a younger crowd with their lighter, sportier, go-fast machines and the new 450/650/800 ranges, but they're losing the die-hard fans who have been riding BMWs for decades. Courting a 20-30 year-old buyer is fine (if they can come up with the BMW premium), but losing the 40-50-60 year-olds who can actually afford to drop $15-$20K on a bike is gonna hurt them big time. Add in the current world economy and the rampant exchange rate fluctuations and it's not gonna be pretty.
Hi, Ken.

A couple of thoughts here. BMW and other manufacturers may think those of us over 40 are either riding Goldwings or Road Kings if not piloting wheel chairs and walkers. We are no longer relevant. Secondly, with this world economy in complete chaos no one not the least BMW has the least idea of what to do next so don't count on BMW having any idea of what their global marketing strategy is going to be if governments and markets can't figure it out.

Sidebar: The cause and remedy are not difficult to understand and are not partisan politics. But would be politically unpalatable to implement for politicians.

Living-In-Interesting-Times Karl

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post #12 of 66 Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 1:27 am Thread Starter
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Unhappy Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Karl - I assume you mean "Living in interesting times" in the context of that old Chinese curse, which comes close to fitting. We seem to be riding between the times when BMW's were the worlds most reliable machines and getting things like bad EWR antennas, final drives, and the ever disappearing list of LT "dealer farkles:

Since the 2006 model, LT's have lost the tools from the toolkit, passenger controls, the Comm unit and color choice. It makes one wonder what they will remove from the 2010 model.

Meese - thanks. It does not surprise me that the denizens of this site proofed the article. Some of the best minds and opinions in the BMW motorcycle industry frequent and administer this site.

And sorry to hear how close you came to being in first place only to have the FD go out and strand you. Unbelievable conduct by bmw.

Bil

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post #13 of 66 Old Nov 3rd, 2008, 8:57 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

>It makes one wonder what they will remove from the 2010 model.<

They will remove the LT (as we know it) entirely in 2010 with the model either being completely gone or replaced with a new model.

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post #14 of 66 Old Nov 4th, 2008, 10:10 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
He's the kind of guy that would say something like it was your fault for causing the drive to fail. Seriously, he's of that mindset.
Maybe a little sympathy and understanding here would help. The problem with old guys is that they become set in their ways and they have an old person's view of the world, which commonly is short on the acceptance of new ideas and high on reliance of those things which to them are both long-standing and self-evident truths.

That BMW's don't break down is probably a central pillar of belief for this old man. As a long-time believer in the supremacy of German engineering he needs a different answer to explain the rash of failed final drives he's been hearing about and so he concludes that it must be a conspiracy against BMW's good name and it's this he probably finds most upsetting.

He's old. He's wrong. We all get old.
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post #15 of 66 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 7:56 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

No, I take that back. The most annoying thing is that I just don't trust the bike anymore. Or any other recent BMW, for that matter.


That's the rub for me. I've never felt this way about a bike I've ridden. It's always in the back of your mind. It's like trying to regain trust in a spouse that has cheated on you. It robs you of some of the pleasure of riding, no matter how small. I ride anyway and I ride a lot but it's still there.......

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post #16 of 66 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 8:23 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Ya know....when I am going for a ride or on a trip...the last thing I EVER think about is my bike breaking down. It doesn't occur to me!
I have enough to do without worring about shit that I can't control.

No disrespect but...if you are all worrying about breakdowns...ya need a different ride or learn to wrench.

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post #17 of 66 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 10:39 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy
Ya know....when I am going for a ride or on a trip...the last thing I EVER think about is my bike breaking down. It doesn't occur to me!
I have enough to do without worring about shit that I can't control.

No disrespect but...if you are all worrying about breakdowns...ya need a different ride or learn to wrench.
Well, we all used to laugh at groups of Harleys that had breakdown follow vans. I'm wondering who is doing the laughing now ?

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post #18 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 7:16 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

When I loaded up my LT in Grand Junction to haul it home and wrench on it myself, I saw a lot of Harleys going west and I just laughed and wished I was still on the road like them. Nothing else has ever left me stranded away from home. I wasn't ragging on Harleys in that Penske van...............

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post #19 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 8:40 am
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Question Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

When I got the LT I almost made the mistake of selling my H-D. I didnít even think about needing a backup bike, but as it turned out Iíve needed that good old reliable H-D more than once. This is a great forum and without it I could not continue to own this LT, but I just do NOT understand the H-D bashing that goes on here. I know some of it is good natured, and a lot of it is from the rash of newbies that just donít know any better. I just cannot stereotype nor bring myself to bash any biker/motorcyclist no matter what he like to ride. Don't we get enough of that from the general public?

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post #20 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 12:58 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler50
It's like trying to regain trust in a spouse that has cheated on you. It robs you of some of the pleasure of riding.......
Quite a statement...

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post #21 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 1:03 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffCee
He's old. He's wrong. We all get old.
Good thing we didn't elect him, then. Oh wait, wrong thread.

Ken
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post #22 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 1:09 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy
Ya know....when I am going for a ride or on a trip...the last thing I EVER think about is my bike breaking down. It doesn't occur to me!
I have enough to do without worring about shit that I can't control.
Yeah, I used to feel that way too, when I was young and ignorant. Still, if it works for you, then go with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy
No disrespect but...if you are all worrying about breakdowns...ya need a different ride or learn to wrench.
No disrespect back, but your answer is still flippant and condescending. Some of us here can wrench with the best of them but still, having to put up with a clearly inferior design and a company that refuses to acknowledge the problem and just leaves its owners stranded really gets old after a while. I don't want a different bike. I want the bike I paid for to be as reliable as they promised, or at least as reliable as the majority of the bikes out there.

And therein lies the crux of the problem. We want to ride BMWs, but just don't trust them anymore. So the frustration boils over, because there's little that any of us individuals can do to make any real change here. Except maybe vote with our wallets, which still leaves feeling like we were forced to settle for something less.

Ken
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post #23 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 2:05 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

I feel in the same conundrum. I don't dread the direct bearing etc replacement cost of a field failure as much I would figuring out how to get the whole mess, including possibly my disgusted wife, home or wherever without a lot of yelling, finger pointing, car & trailer rentals, and air travel ripoffs just to finish a ruined vacation.

As a retired mechanical engineer with a lot of fatigue experience, I can understand how something like post-warranty random FD failures can still surprise a company even after design prototype testing. But the refusal of BMW to even admit to a problem, or especially to even create a field service alternative to me is unthinkable. It is ridiculous for us to individually be arranging our own service backup spares, as some have done.
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post #24 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 2:14 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

I just read the Nov 08 FD article in the ON. It is more than a little confusing to me in that it doesn't mention the need for spindle accuracies to keep the gear mesh quiet, nor are the bearing descriptions consistent. I didn't know there were needle bearings in a FD. I thought there were three tapered roller bearings (and that is way different from a roller or needle bearing) with one opposing a deep groove ball bearing. A cross section drawing would have helped too. I wish I could have proof read the article for technical accuracy.
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post #25 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 2:36 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
I feel in the same conundrum. I don't dread the direct bearing etc replacement cost of a field failure as much I would figuring out how to get the whole mess, including possibly my disgusted wife, home or wherever without a lot of yelling, finger pointing, car & trailer rentals, and air travel ripoffs just to finish a ruined vacation.
BTDT, three times now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
As a retired mechanical engineer with a lot of fatigue experience, I can understand how something like post-warranty random FD failures can still surprise a company even after design prototype testing.
The sad part is, the majority of these failures occur at well under 36K miles. Some are out of warranty by time alone, and some (like my latest failure) are on higher mileage bikes. If BMW admitted to an expected lifetime or set up a maintenance schedule for these drives, many of us would simply follow those guidelines in the interest of keeping our bikes in top shape. Doing a final drive rebuild at 50K miles would be an additional expense, but if it guaranteed me reliability of that component then I'd do it. But instead they claim the new design is lifetime maintenance free, when in reality we're finding the same failures as before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
But the refusal of BMW to even admit to a problem, or especially to even create a field service alternative to me is unthinkable. It is ridiculous for us to individually be arranging our own service backup spares, as some have done.
Totally agree. As a manufacturing engineer myself, I know damn well it all comes down to money. BMW figures it's cheaper to cover a few drives under warranty, and deny a few others, than it is to fix the problem properly and do a full safety recall. And I totally understand the concept of not admitting liability for legal reasons, even though I disagree.

But all that is assuming they can fix the problem properly, of course. So far, I haven't seen them having much luck there, either.

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
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post #26 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 2:37 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
I wish I could have proof read the article for technical accuracy.
Know any good failure analysis houses? I still have my failed drive sitting in the garage, and I'd love to get some real answers here.

Ken
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post #27 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 3:14 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Know any good failure analysis houses? I still have my failed drive sitting in the garage, and I'd love to get some real answers here.
Have you had it apart? Can you get pictures of the crown bearing races? Can you get an accurate measurement of the shaft diameter and the bearing outer race's bore? How thick is the shim? Too bad the original preload amount is most certainly gone so we can really only speculate on the amount of original preload.

How bad is it wrecked inside? I assume the races/balls are spalled/cratered, and that probably the bearing cage is wrecked too. Failures of this sort tend to propagate quite quickly (can you imagine feeding hard metal chips into a ball bearing!) so the initial failure reason is usually lost.

What I'd really like to find out is the remaining measured preload on an undamaged FD that has high mileage on it.
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post #28 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 4:17 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Mine is the newer style final drive, off an '07 GT. So no preload at all by design. Still, something its taking these newer drives out, with almost the same frequency as the older style.

It seems that so far, all the newer style FD failures have been returned to the factory unopened. We've been able to investigate several LT-style FDs from this site but so far, no one has done the same on the newer units.


Ken
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post #29 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

The most interesting final drive thread in a while.

Adam
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post #30 of 66 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 11:18 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

I think we are dealing with bikes with Titanium pricing that turn out to have pot metel reliability. Atleast our frames aren't cracking.

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post #31 of 66 Old Nov 7th, 2008, 1:00 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
" . . . the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

Cicero, 55 B.C.
Now that is an awesome quote.

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post #32 of 66 Old Nov 10th, 2008, 8:24 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Ken's point about untrustworthiness is well taken.

For those of us who enjoy LD rallies, seeing this whole canard unfold has been heartbreaking; especially in Ken's case, having lost out on a certain win in a premier multi-day event. The expense, effort, anticipation and preparation time required to be competitive is daunting..........and to have it all go down the crapper because of an unreliable bike is maddening; to have it happen on the final day of the rally, after pouring heart and soul into the ride, is crushing.

Whether or not BMW finds a solution for this problem, is, at this point, moot.

Amongst LD riders, BMW is now relegated to being "damaged goods"; sure, there will be BMW stalwarts, AND there will be more failures. Those of us who cherish the competition have, and will, speak with our checkbooks.

Rosie and I have a K-LT and an 1150GS, each with over 100K. On both bikes, I have replaced crown bearings religiously at 40K, thinking that this would give us the best chance in avoiding a failure; but we still got DNF'd during a rally that was very important to us, but we were "lucky"......it happened in the first 100 miles and it only cost us about $1000, by the time we dragged the LT home in a U-Haul and got it running again.

PS We finished the Spank Rally (where Ken met his Waterloo) in second place overall, on a new GL1800. We will not hesitate to return to BMW, if and when they get their act together, which doesn't seem to be likely during the lifetime of our new ride.

-tom

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post #33 of 66 Old Nov 15th, 2008, 6:21 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

BMW should look at subbing the final drives out to Honda, Kaw or Yamaha

I know Voyager 1200 owners with 200,000 on their bike and all they do is change rear drive oil every two years.

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post #34 of 66 Old Nov 15th, 2008, 8:03 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

If I had some more time and resources, I'd seriously consider engineering a dual-sided swing arm for these bikes. That would pretty much eliminate most of the problems right there.

I do like being able to pull the rear wheel easily, but saving 10 minutes every tire change just isn't worth breaking down in the middle of nowhere, or worrying about that possibility on every ride.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #35 of 66 Old Nov 16th, 2008, 9:31 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
If I had some more time and resources, I'd seriously consider engineering a dual-sided swing arm for these bikes. That would pretty much eliminate most of the problems right there.

I do like being able to pull the rear wheel easily, but saving 10 minutes every tire change just isn't worth breaking down in the middle of nowhere, or worrying about that possibility on every ride.
It is sad to me as a relative new rider to BMW to see you and others give up on BMW.

I mean it is obvious you Have enjoyed BMW for a long time but have hit the wall. This was my biggest fear after buying my LT and almost made me sell it very soon after buying. Still wondering if If I did make a huge mistake not selling it.

It did send me out on a FD quest and got a 08 Triked with 8 miles on it for a very reasonable price. I also purchased the 30MM socket. I have those boxed and ready to send in an emergency situation. But the nagging question is why should I have to do this?

I just love the bike and it surely is the one for me but as I have said before if it makes me mail that box, I will be on a Gold Wing within a week.

All the cliques of just ride it and all that is BS. No other bike has made me plan for an EXPECTED failure. Sure back in the day maybe carry some spare points, or some sand paper to dress them or other small issues, but never a major component.

Like the article said " Russian Roulette only ends badly 16.66% of the time" much better odds then the LT and it's FD in the very publicized events that were quoted.

Lee
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post #36 of 66 Old Nov 16th, 2008, 6:33 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by ez_rdr55
When I got the LT I almost made the mistake of selling my H-D.
I didnít even think about needing a backup bike,
but as it turned out Iíve needed that good old reliable H-D more than once.
This is a great forum and without it I could not continue to own this LT,
but I just do NOT understand the H-D bashing that goes on here.
I know some of it is good natured,
and a lot of it is from the rash of newbies that just donít know any better.
I just cannot stereotype nor bring myself to bash any biker/motorcyclist no matter what he like to ride.
Don't we get enough of that from the general public?
It sounds to me like you don't have any problems "bringing yourself" to bashing the LT?

I'm a "long ways" from being a "newby" so you certainly can't say "I don't know better"
I've "ridden" over a quarter million miles on Harleys and worked on hundreds of them,

If you have a "good old reliable HD" consider yourself very lucky
as you probably have "the only one"

Anything mechanical (that gets used) is going to have it's problems regardless of "brand name"


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post #37 of 66 Old Nov 17th, 2008, 11:11 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by HornHonker
I think we are dealing with bikes with Titanium pricing that turn out to have pot metel reliability. Atleast our frames aren't cracking.
True, but at least Honda understood the problem, corrected it (you may or may not agree with how, but they did so), and never denied that there was an issue or blamed GW owners for towing trailers thereby cracking the frames themselves. I still have never met or heard of a GW owner with a spare frame in their garage ready to ship when they go out on tour.

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2005 Triumph Rocket
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post #38 of 66 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 1:27 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Here is part of a 11 page topic on a GW site...seems they have their own problems building.

Another blown tranny, 2006 just turned 16028 miles had the same problems, down shift from fifth to fourth without any warning. A few miles later 3 maby total failure.
my new 2006 was in the shop from August 3 to September 24. Did I mention I was on the interstate when this happened, in the middle of no where. Lucky for me I have good friends. Any way it took that long to get over the near miss i had with a tractor trailer, Finley get the bike out of the shop and run a 400 mile break in period for all the new gears they replaced, had the oil changed as recommended. And guess what,
BAM! Blown Tranny again, my life was put in danger on the interstate, dealer says this time it was a mechanical problem over looked by the tech. that rebuilt the bike. I say send me a new motor and tranny from the factory, install it in my bike and send the old one back to R&D and let them find out what the problem is. I no longer have confidence in this product. This is not a $600 dollar scooter, this is the FLAG SHIP of HONDA!!!! This should not be happening...
Also has any one noticed a wobble in the steering, around the speeds of 38 to 40 mph. If you put your bike on cruse it is very bad. Let go of the bars and it will become a tank slapper. I heard the roller bearings need to be replaced with needle ones, I do not recommend you let go of the bars for any reason, but some of you seasoned riders may try it. Just be ready to recovery the bike.

2011 BMW 1600GTL
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post #39 of 66 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 4:23 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Not wanting to step on anyone's toe's here.
We all love and cherish our BMW's. I have purchased two since 06, and still riding both.
I am thinking that if it was something other than a final drive that was
defaulting on the bike it really would not even be much of an issue.
Like so many on here have posted, if it is mechanical, it might break, which is true I guess. You would like to think that after putting your hard earned money on a bike with as much as these little puppies cost that nothing would break down.
The problem with the final drive is that in each and every one's mind there looms the possibility of going down when the thing locks up. I will confess that it is in mine. I listen for suspect noise's all the time when I should be concentrating on the road and traffic.
I hate to say it, but I do not believe that bmw will ever do anything about it untill someone goes down and gets killed even if the 09's and even if the 10's continue to have the same problem. It will happen, if it has not already happened and no one on this forum has heard about it or has been told about it.
It would be hard to ride with a mfg. that has blood on it's hands, especially when they have been told and are aware of the problems.
Just my thoughts.

Richard Vogt
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post #40 of 66 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 9:50 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

You're right. I didn't think it would be much on my mind when I ride (even though I've had 2 failures). But recently, I did a SS1000, and every now and again (not consciously) I would think, "oh crap, I better check the rear wheel for oil." Interesting, since I was so preoccupied with finishing this ride and focusing on the details, even when I had the thoughts, I never did check while on the ride. Once I got home and got some sleep, then it was one of the first things I checked. Shouldn't oughta be that way...

Ideally, BMW is secretly trying to find a fix for this, and one day they will issue a recall allowing everyone to get a reliable fd... That is the "hope" that keeps me riding the blue/ white roundel vehicle and not actively looking for a replacement.

I'm beginning to consider going backwards some... to a later, more reliable model BMW (80's-90's).
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post #41 of 66 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 4:59 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

My Lt is a 2000 after buying it used with 23000 miles on it. I had it for about a week and started feeling looseness in the rear end. Upon taking FD apart I found that the ball cage hand failed meaning that the balls had wore though the bearings cage.I showed this to are companies bearing rep and he said that it was due to a cheap quality bearing.The rest of the FD was not effected the gears looked good and the inside taper bearing was not damaged.The lash on the gears still felt good with the provided shim pack so I installed a replacement bearing and seal provided at cost by the dealer . Using an induction bearing heater had no problems installing the C3 fit bearing on shaft and replaced the lip seal .I used Lucas gear lube after changing out bearing.I changed lube after a 20 miles to find some missed contamination in the gear lube so I pulled the FD back apart cleaned it a second time with a compressor and a spray wand with degreaser this time after a 20 miles the lube looked good after that is when I put the 6000 miles on the bike most of them two up.This work did not take much time but do you know a shop that would reassemble a bike run it take it apart inspect it the put it back together just to make sure they didn't miss anything? my question is are some of these return failures due to bad repair jobs.I was shocked to find contamination the first time around most of it was the old lip seal matierial .Back in the day did BMW rider always rely on a shop to do all of the wrenching.
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post #42 of 66 Old Nov 23rd, 2008, 9:29 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

When I replaced my bearing in the FD, I took it to the shop and washed it out in my solvent tank. I use an 8 gallon aluminum rectangular bean pot from the Army. It makes a great parts washing tank. I submerged the halves and blew them off under the solvent with a variable pressure blow gun. Then I took them out and blew them off with high pressure compressed air. I did this a couple of times and paid very close attention to the area around the input shaft. A lot of crud was collected in that area. I didn't want a repeat failure from some of the metal "hiding" in the FD when I put it back together................

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post #43 of 66 Old Nov 24th, 2008, 9:59 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by HornHonker
Here is part of a 11 page topic on a GW site...seems they have their own problems building.

Another blown tranny, 2006 just turned 16028 miles had the same problems, down shift from fifth to fourth without any warning. A few miles later 3 maby total failure.
my new 2006 was in the shop from August 3 to September 24. Did I mention I was on the interstate when this happened, in the middle of no where. Lucky for me I have good friends. Any way it took that long to get over the near miss i had with a tractor trailer, Finley get the bike out of the shop and run a 400 mile break in period for all the new gears they replaced, had the oil changed as recommended. And guess what,
BAM! Blown Tranny again, my life was put in danger on the interstate, dealer says this time it was a mechanical problem over looked by the tech. that rebuilt the bike. I say send me a new motor and tranny from the factory, install it in my bike and send the old one back to R&D and let them find out what the problem is. I no longer have confidence in this product. This is not a $600 dollar scooter, this is the FLAG SHIP of HONDA!!!! This should not be happening...
Also has any one noticed a wobble in the steering, around the speeds of 38 to 40 mph. If you put your bike on cruse it is very bad. Let go of the bars and it will become a tank slapper. I heard the roller bearings need to be replaced with needle ones, I do not recommend you let go of the bars for any reason, but some of you seasoned riders may try it. Just be ready to recovery the bike.
OK, but to be fair and balanced, how about another post from the GL1800 board which, BTW, matches my experience with the 2007 Wing both in mileage and experience:

**********************************

I was having coffee yesterday at my regular morning place when a gentlemen walked up and asked me if I was riding the Goldwing parked out front. I said "yes". He then asked, "how long have you had it"?, "two years", I said. He asked "how many miles"?, "just turned 32,000", I replied.

He continued to ask me questions about reliability, cost of ownership, maintenance issues, etc. I told him that basically all I had to do was change the oil and filters and put gas in it. After a little more discussion, I learned that he rides a BMW, and although he loves the bike, he is frustrated with the cost of maintenance and little issues that make him hesitant to ride cross-country.

It was after this encounter I started to really think about how fortunate we are that Honda has designed and built such a magnificent piece of machinery. I ride my Wing almost every day, in fact, I don't even own a car anymore and have not since 2005. The Goldwing is by far the most dependable and reliable piece of machinery I have ever owned, and I have owned a few. Last August, I hooked up my Bushtec and with SO on the back, we put over 6,000 miles on the bike in three weeks. Other than a burned out headlight bulb and an oil change in Colorado, she never missed a single beat. I don't even think twice about climbing on the Wing and heading off for a 2,000+ mile trek.

Are there changes I would like to see? Sure. I bitch and complain about the shortcomings of the Wing just like most everyone else on this board. But the fact is, the Wing is still the best bike out there for the money. You just can't put a price on dependability.

This is part of a Honda heritage. I bought a less-than-showroom condition 1975 Honda CL360 last year with 10,000 miles on it. The bike looked like it had been sitting outside for the last 5 years. There was a fair amount of rust and when I drained the oil it looked more like sludge than oil. But you know what? She started on the first or second flick of the electric starter, and she ran. She ran rough as hell, but she ran. And now, after a year of restoration, she purrs like a kitten.

The Touring Professor

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
2007 Honda Gold Wing
2004 Honda Rune
1999 H-D Dyna-Glide Conv.
1996 Porsche 993 Turbo
1991 Acura NSX

Gone But Not Forgotten:

2006 K1200GT
2005 Triumph Rocket
2001 K1200LT
2002 K1200LT
2003 Hayabusa
2002 1800 VTX
1999 HD Sportster
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post #44 of 66 Old Nov 25th, 2008, 10:18 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryP
BMW should look at subbing the final drives out to Honda, Kaw or Yamaha

I know Voyager 1200 owners with 200,000 on their bike and all they do is change rear drive oil every two years.
I owned a 2001 Voyager XII for three years. In that time it stranded me five times. I know the feeling of going out to the garage with the only thought in my mind "how far from home am I willing to be stranded today". That is not the thought that should plague the owner of a full-dress touring bike (of any brand).

I still have my 1977 R75 in the garage. That's a bike that I would expect to go a good quarter-million miles.

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #45 of 66 Old Nov 25th, 2008, 12:31 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringProf
OK, but to be fair and balanced, how about another post from the GL1800 board which, BTW, matches my experience with the 2007 Wing both in mileage and experience:

**********************************
Just to be fair and balanced,
how about you take one of our many positive posts,
touting how much we love the LT , GT or RT
and post it over at the Goldwing forums,
just to let them know that not all of us here are whiners!


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
BushtecGenesisTrailer
"Our preferred long distance carrier"



SilverBuffalo is offline  
post #46 of 66 Old Nov 25th, 2008, 1:36 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

I have an 02 LTC and an 06 K1200S. I've owned no cage for about 4 yrs now.

There's over 117k on the LT, near 50k on the KS now.

The FD failed on the LT around 17k miles (it melted) and I'm still on the same FD. Thats not too bad, 100k miles on that thing now. The bike is running better than new after the latest service I had (spent 3 grand on that one) in all respects. gotta do yer maintenance no matter what.

I've had 2 tranny's, an FD at 36k replaced on the KS.

Funny thing is, the only 2 times I've been stranded were due to a blown out valve stem on the LT rear tire (doh!) and a busted fuel QD in south Indiana, that was expensive (380 tow, 50 bucks to fix) at about 40k miles. I had the metal ones installed during a service. I always made it to the dealer with the KS, except for coil failures/tow (from my house), I attribute the coil failures to heat out west here (failed just out of warranty by about 3k miles).

I did have the LT towed from the house (in MI) because of the big oil dump but I made it home (came from a job in Boise, ID that time, drive started failing in west MI, made it to Utica).

I put 50k on yamaha FZ1's prior to and during the beemer ownership/use. I can say that every wekend, I had to spend more maint time on the FZ1, change sprockets/chain every 18-20k miles, etc. I do about 1000 miles/week so it doesn't take long before you need 300 bucks worth of (decent) sprockets/chain. I did all the labor on the yamaha's.

I dunno, its a tradeoff and for some of us, obviously a crap shoot. I don't wanna do chains/sprockets anymore, I'm old and lazy

I want to hit the bike show and all coming up here to take a look at whats out there, I like the FJR 1300 but its going to take something radical to remove my arse from my KS, even with all the problems/expense I've had with that thing. Can't get enuff of that bike

I just did another 800 miles on the LT this wekend (gawd, big sur is nice!!) on an oil change and new tires. Another 400 coming up to get back to AZ. Thats a lot of miles on anything. I like the LT but in general, I like sport bikes more, they just won't always 'do the mission' I'm on, thus, the LT for those jobs.

So all that hot air leading up-to this: It is expensive to maintain these bikes, no doubt. Some folks (like me) seem to get the 'lemons', others like Meese really get hammered.

I only know the answer for me STILL isn't a cage. I gotta ride, I'd go nutz in a cage. What hurts is the little stuff that keeps breaking, like my hatch latch (again), its getting a perm fix this time around but at a price of course.

So far, I'm not sure there is a perfect answer/bike out there, seems even if there is, my karma in the showroom ain't the best based on my 2/2 track record with these beemers (yamaha's were flawless but..naked too).

I guess we outta be glad these aren't airplanes
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post #47 of 66 Old Nov 25th, 2008, 2:33 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Well being relatively new to BMW I rejoined motorcycling from a long absense and my last bike was a Honda . I never thought about a failure of any kind and never experienced on before.

Starting out with a used Beemer I liked the bike and bought a new one this year. So now I hear about all these failures and while I know I'll be under warranty for maybe next two years or more I too would not like to be stranded. The history of the company and it's relative success and dedicated following was the direct result of one thing. Reliability and charm.
They still have the charm, at least for me. If the reliability goes so goes the desire to own one and predictably the resale could be adversely affected .

So I ride on with a wait and see attitude and when the warranty is up deciding if to re up for a new one or move on will be determined by one thing.Reliability. If I don't get it , I'm gone. I have no loyalty to BMW even though I own another of their products a "Mini" which BTW is dead stock reliable and has been flogged for three summers with absolutely no issues whatever. An 0 6 model I see no reason why the bikes are having this issue other than bad engineering , poor metallurgy , and sourcing bearings which seem to be inferior. IF they can't fix it re design it then have Honda make it.

BTW I'm not fond of the clutch or tranny on mine either. Clunky , balky and pops from one gear to the next so intermittently that you never know when and the dealer can't fix what ain't broke. So there you go . Catch 22.

I ride on as the bike is a joy to ride and handles like a rabbit with a coyote on his tail so Im' good for now , but anxious to say the least .

Seems the liability connected to a locked rear axle would be way enough incentive to get a fix on this . Like someone said, if someone pays the ultimate price for the problem it will be addressed. That would indeed be a shame. Or is it Sham the better word.

Here's hoping it is fixed, and soon.

No matter where you go , there you are.
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post #48 of 66 Old Nov 26th, 2008, 1:20 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Just to be fair and balanced,
how about you take one of our many positive posts,
touting how much we love the LT , GT or RT
and post it over at the Goldwing forums,
just to let them know that not all of us here are whiners!
Ahhhh. I was wondering when the professional apologist for final drive failures on BMWs would come out and flame away. Just FYI, I still own and love my GT, never had a failure of any kind on my two LTs (altho I have no experience having any totaled), and have posted on the Honda and FJR boards many time about the positive attributes of both the GT and the LT. I gave up my LT, as I explained in the past on this board, not because of any failures but because of the high COG and ergos. Having said that, FD failures that the company refuses to admit to and EWS failures that strand owners in their first week of ownership are just not acceptable; and neither is a matter of 'something mechanical just wearing out' (especially the EWS problems).

Unlike you, I understand that standing up for one brand or model does not require or imply slamming another.

The Touring Professor

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
2007 Honda Gold Wing
2004 Honda Rune
1999 H-D Dyna-Glide Conv.
1996 Porsche 993 Turbo
1991 Acura NSX

Gone But Not Forgotten:

2006 K1200GT
2005 Triumph Rocket
2001 K1200LT
2002 K1200LT
2003 Hayabusa
2002 1800 VTX
1999 HD Sportster
1988 HD Softail Custom
1975 Yamaha 100cc
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post #49 of 66 Old Nov 26th, 2008, 6:14 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringProf
Ahhhh. I was wondering when the professional apologist for final drive failures on BMWs would come out and flame away. Just FYI, I still own and love my GT, never had a failure of any kind on my two LTs (altho I have no experience having any totaled), and have posted on the Honda and FJR boards many time about the positive attributes of both the GT and the LT. I gave up my LT, as I explained in the past on this board, not because of any failures but because of the high COG and ergos. Having said that, FD failures that the company refuses to admit to and EWS failures that strand owners in their first week of ownership are just not acceptable; and neither is a matter of 'something mechanical just wearing out' (especially the EWS problems).

Unlike you, I understand that standing up for one brand or model does not require or imply slamming another.

Am I missing something?

Professional apologist? Flame away? Slamming another? I haven't had any coffee yet this morning but damn... That sure sounds like a Gold Wing board post.

Dave Hoogerland

'08 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS
'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
'08 Can-Am Spyder "???"

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post #50 of 66 Old Nov 26th, 2008, 9:11 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure - BMW ON Nov. 2008

I look at the situation this way:

Prior to my LT, I rode metric cruisers - Yamaha Virago, then two Suzuki Intruders (800 and 1400cc varieties).

In all the miles I put on those bikes, I only had one failure that left me stranded. The ignition pickup on the 1400 failed. Had the bike towed to a dealer and it was fixed under warranty. Being a tech myself, I knew it was just an odd failure, not a trend, and rode the bike for many more miles without ever worrying about breaking down again.

With the BMW, the final drive is always on my mind, especially on a long trip - which usually means I'm on vacation. While I am quite capable of wrenching my own bike, it's the last thing I want to do while on vacation. It's not just the repair - it's the fact that it ruins the trip, and possibly the entire week.

Should the FD ever decide to go out on me, I'll simply pull to the side of the road, douse some fuel around the area of the QD's, and light the sucker up. Collect the insurance and test drive a Victory Vision.....

Beautify America - Get a Tattoo!
2002 K1200LT (going, going, GONE)
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