KLT Ball-joint Failure - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 3:09 pm Thread Starter
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KLT Ball-joint Failure

Anyone heard of this happening before?
In late July, I was in AZ and over halfway thru a rather lengthy ride. Stopped to put on rain gear. Put my '05 KLT on center stand. When taking it off, the ball joint sheered and the bike's front end fell like a ton of bricks all the way to the front fender. The lower headlight was crushing the front fender, rendering the steering inoperable. It was sitting so low that neither the side stand nor the electric center stand would work. I was totally screwed. Couldn't even dismount the bike for a look-see.
Towed it 120 miles back south to a Scottsdale BMW dealer. Found that the threaded spindle had sheered.
I don't know how long the part had been compromised, but I am extremely grateful to not have had it break while moving. And at the speeds and aggressive cornering I had done in the entirety of the 11400 miles, it could have been catastrophic.
At this point, I'm just trying to understand the forces at work on a 900lb bike with 100,000 miles on it.

Thoughts?

Bob

2005 KLT Graphite Gray
2003 F650GS Black
*Too slow for fast women
*A little adventure is good for the soul
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post #2 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 4:36 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by want2tour View Post
Anyone heard of this happening before?
In late July, I was in AZ and over halfway thru a rather lengthy ride. Stopped to put on rain gear. Put my '05 KLT on center stand. When taking it off, the ball joint sheered and the bike's front end fell like a ton of bricks all the way to the front fender. The lower headlight was crushing the front fender, rendering the steering inoperable. It was sitting so low that neither the side stand nor the electric center stand would work. I was totally screwed. Couldn't even dismount the bike for a look-see.
Towed it 120 miles back south to a Scottsdale BMW dealer. Found that the threaded spindle had sheered.
I don't know how long the part had been compromised, but I am extremely grateful to not have had it break while moving. And at the speeds and aggressive cornering I had done in the entirety of the 11400 miles, it could have been catastrophic.
At this point, I'm just trying to understand the forces at work on a 900lb bike with 100,000 miles on it.

Thoughts?

Bob
Funny you should have this problem right now. jzeller had just commented on another post where he has seen 4 cases of this sort of breakage.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...ml#post1614489

post #7

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #3 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 5:32 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Funny you should have this problem right now. jzeller had just commented on another post where he has seen 4 cases of this sort of breakage.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...ml#post1614489

post #7
Yes and Bob's was #4 in my post. I looked at one of them when the owner sent me the failed (sheared post) part. I could not decipher the root cause as there was no evidence of stress corrosion or impacts. But I suspect that the nut was not torqued fully at assembly. That could cause a hammering effect which in turn could generate a stress crack. With the low incidence I don't recommend we all pull ours apart and get them inspected by an NDI lab. But if the occurrence increases it might well be worth the effort.
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post #4 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 7:29 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Yes and Bob's was #4 in my post. I looked at one of them when the owner sent me the failed (sheared post) part. I could not decipher the root cause as there was no evidence of stress corrosion or impacts. But I suspect that the nut was not torqued fully at assembly. That could cause a hammering effect which in turn could generate a stress crack. With the low incidence I don't recommend we all pull ours apart and get them inspected by an NDI lab. But if the occurrence increases it might well be worth the effort.
I haven't taken my front end apart yet so by your statements, I suspect that unless you do, there is nothing you could see in a visual inspection unless you pulled it out.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #5 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 9:43 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

Page 2 second and third items, ball joints for half price (plus postage from Europe adds about 50$):
Ersatzteile BMW K 1300 S (K40/K12S) 2009 175 PS, 129 kw - Suchergebnisse - "" - Seite 2 - Motorradteile Service
Wunderlich ball joints for a few dollars more with with no postage:
K1300 S Suspension & Steering | Wunderlich America
Not a particularly easy home shop job to replace but it can be done in about 5 hours. You need the DVD for torque specs of various bolts. There is a thread out there on doing it with out removing the wheel carrier from the bike. I'll try that next time.
And for sure a good thing that did not happen underway. It would take a lot of skill to keep control.

Beech
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post #6 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 10:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

It was an exciting moment, driving a busted LT up onto wet, extremely steep, tilted flatbed, in the rain. Then, just before I go for it, the truck driver says "watch out for the spilled brake fluid". I think I fractured my sphincter at that moment.
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post #7 of 11 Old Aug 19th, 2016, 10:51 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

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It was an exciting moment, driving a busted LT up onto wet, extremely steep, tilted flatbed, in the rain. Then, just before I go for it, the truck driver says "watch out for the spilled brake fluid". I think I fractured my sphincter at that moment.
Any pictures of the broken part? Would like to see where and how it sheered

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #8 of 11 Old Aug 20th, 2016, 4:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

No pics. Actually, in my haste to makeup lost time I completely forgot to ask to see the part, so decided to instead call the service dept and get the mechanic to describe the failure. Was told the threaded spindle was completely sheared off.

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post #9 of 11 Old Aug 20th, 2016, 1:54 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

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Any pictures of the broken part? Would like to see where and how it sheered
Hopefully, Bob understands that you mean the ball joint, not his fractured sphincter.... He was fortunate to be stopped when his ball joint failed!

Dave Beck
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post #10 of 11 Old Aug 20th, 2016, 2:21 pm
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

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Hopefully, Bob understands that you mean the ball joint, not his fractured sphincter.... He was fortunate to be stopped when his ball joint failed!
Agreed, I would have no desire rectumfy that or to try and fix it or inspect it after the fact.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #11 of 11 Old Aug 21st, 2016, 2:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: KLT Ball-joint Failure

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Agreed, I would have no desire rectumfy that or to try and fix it or inspect it after the fact.
the cast comes off next week so they tell me.
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2005 KLT Graphite Gray
2003 F650GS Black
*Too slow for fast women
*A little adventure is good for the soul
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