Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 16 Old Mar 6th, 2019, 9:18 pm Thread Starter
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Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a 1999 K1200LT.

The videos I seen is only about changing them out.

Please advise me.

Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 16 Old Mar 6th, 2019, 9:28 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Grab the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock and rock it. There should be no play - if there is then you need to determine if the drive is moving in the swing arm or the the drive is moving within itself. First one is common second is not common. But the very best way is to change the oil at every engine oil change. Then inspect the magnet in the drain plug. Gray fuzz is normal anything shiny is NOT normal.
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post #3 of 16 Old Mar 6th, 2019, 9:36 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Without doing a crown bearing replacement and setting it up properly from scratch, the next best thing you can do is keep an eye on the magnet. The FD holds a small amount of oil so checking it a couple times a year is not expensive and if you are fast enough, you can get the magnet out and put your finger over the hole to have a look and not lose too much. Order a stash of crush washers for your tool box. Some reuse them if they are not overly distorted but best to just replace it. A fine paste on the magnet is OK but if you start seeing stuff floating in the oil ( non ferrous ) or more than a fine powder on the magnet, then it very likely would need a closer inspection and rebuild before a total failure of the bearing happens. You can do the wiggle test ( not conclusive ) on the rear wheel. Any play side to side or top to bottom is not good. If you do find play, you need to discern if it is coming from the crown bearing or is it the FD and or the swing arm pivot bearings that are loose allowing that entire section to wiggle.

There is much more to a FD than just replacing the crown bearing and main seal but with doing nothing else, you should expect to hopefully see a similar mileage before the next failure keeping in mind that you did not remedy the issue that caused the failure which would likely be over shimming causing metal fatigue and bearing failure.

Gordon
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post #4 of 16 Old Mar 8th, 2019, 8:24 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Honestly, the days of high mileage riding is over for me. I pull my plug every 1000-1500 miles. Takes 5 minutes and very little oil. I decided against pulling mine now for rebuild by saddleman for two reason's. If I did I would assume it already needs bearings and secondly I have a spare here. When I see the signs of failure its coming out. I just hope it not like my first one back in 2001........almost left me stranded 4 hours away from home. I changed the oil before I left with no apparent signs of imminent failure.......
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post #5 of 16 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 8:31 am
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

You never say how many miles are on your final drive. I assume a 1999 model may have quite a few miles. It will fail eventually without a rebuild. I was lucky and got 65,000 miles from mine before it failed. All of a sudden you hear a noise in the final drive you pull over and oil starts coming out. All of the drives in the LT were built with too much pre-load. This causes the metal to fatigue and then the crown wheel bearing begins to come apart. The pieces get ground up and puncture the seal and get trapped by the magnet.

If you are going to keep your LT, plan on rebuilding the final drive sometime in the future. As others have said change the final drive oil every time you change oil and pay attention to the magnet on the drain plug.

Alex

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post #6 of 16 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 8:47 am
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

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Originally Posted by acuningham View Post
You never say how many miles are on your final drive. I assume a 1999 model may have quite a few miles. It will fail eventually without a rebuild. I was lucky and got 65,000 miles from mine before it failed. All of a sudden you hear a noise in the final drive you pull over and oil starts coming out. All of the drives in the LT were built with too much pre-load. This causes the metal to fatigue and then the crown wheel bearing begins to come apart. The pieces get ground up and puncture the seal and get trapped by the magnet.

If you are going to keep your LT, plan on rebuilding the final drive sometime in the future. As others have said change the final drive oil every time you change oil and pay attention to the magnet on the drain plug.

Alex
I disagree with this statement above:
"... It will fail eventually without a rebuild. I was lucky and got 65,000 miles from mine before it failed."

There are many cases documented here (of K1200LT models) and on the K1200RS forums and on the R1150 forums (other sites) of rear-drives with more than 100,000 miles without a rebuild. Mine has 95,000 miles - bought the bike new in 2002 and do ALL of my own maintenance.

These evidences do not mean that BMW did NOT have a quality / assembly control problems with these rear-drive - of course they did and they never admitted it. But please do not make a blank statement that all these drives will fail before such-or-such mileage. Quite a few have been properly done at the factory (properly shimmed).

I agree that if you buy a used K1200LT with unknown maintenance history, it is good prevention to have the rear-drive rebuild by competent tech such as Dave (Saddleman). However, to say that these will all fail is stretching the truth (or available stats / facts).

Another very good option: An owner needs to keep an eye on it with regular gear-oil change - a 20 minutes job that requires only 0.25 liters. Inspection of metal shaving on drain plug AND opacity of the old oil wlll give advance warning in most cases.
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post #7 of 16 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 12:22 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

I have seen the FD's go over 300,000 miles that were properly assembled at BMW.

Dave Selvig
2004 Black LT
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post #8 of 16 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 12:59 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by acuningham View Post
You never say how many miles are on your final drive. I assume a 1999 model may have quite a few miles. It will fail eventually without a rebuild. I was lucky and got 65,000 miles from mine before it failed. All of a sudden you hear a noise in the final drive you pull over and oil starts coming out. All of the drives in the LT were built with too much pre-load. This causes the metal to fatigue and then the crown wheel bearing begins to come apart. The pieces get ground up and puncture the seal and get trapped by the magnet.

If you are going to keep your LT, plan on rebuilding the final drive sometime in the future. As others have said change the final drive oil every time you change oil and pay attention to the magnet on the drain plug.

Alex
Not “all” FDs were built with too much preload. Clearly, far too many were, but there are many stories of factory FDs that ran a long time without failure.

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post #9 of 16 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 3:50 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

I agree, not all FD units will fail. I guess I am guilty of generalizing. I am sure they built some correctly. It is my understanding that BMW subcontracted the assembly of the final drive units. My bike is a 2008 model and they did not build it correctly. So, IMHO, BMW had plenty of time to get this right. Any model year after 2002 or so should never see this type of failure.

Just saying,

alex

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post #10 of 16 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 12:31 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

There are a few "expert wrenchers" on the forum that can inspect/rebuild your final drive.

I just recently purchased an 09 (05 LT had too many $$ problems) and had Dave (Saddleman) check it.

Dave has rebuilt many drives. He checked the preload on my 09 and no worries. He also has some already rebuilt if you want a swap out or ship it to him. Typically has all the necessary parts in stock.

If the wiggle test of the back wheel doesn't tell you what you need, a piece of mind by having it checked may be worth it to you.

My paranoia had me buying a spare drive JIC for my 05. I put 85K on the original and it was still fine.

My take was there was some variability in the assembly over the years. Like in the old days, don't buy a car built on Mondays or Fridays, maybe the same with an LT final drive?

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post #11 of 16 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 12:47 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Just traded my LT for a new R1200RTW.

However, I have a completely checked out spare Final Drive for a 2000 which is the same as your '99 with a new crown bearing installed by a "famous" forum member from New England's Granite state. After the "surgery" he told me the original bearing was in spec except that it was over-shimmed. He installed the new bearing to the OEM Spec.

I had it in reserve if I needed it while on the road. My 2000 had 65K on the clock with no FD issues.

If you are interested in a "deal" PM me.
Paul

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post #12 of 16 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 1:15 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell View Post
Just traded my LT for a new R1200RTW.

However, I have a completely checked out spare Final Drive for a 2000 which is the same as your '99 with a new crown bearing installed by a "famous" forum member from New England's Granite state. After the "surgery" he told me the original bearing was in spec except that it was over-shimmed. He installed the new bearing to the OEM Spec.

I had it in reserve if I needed it while on the road. My 2000 had 65K on the clock with no FD issues.

If you are interested in a "deal" PM me.
Paul
So how do you like the RTW? I am intrigued by the new 1250, but will probably keep my LT a few more years since I just bought an RDL seat. The lighter weight, easier maintenance and more power of the new 1250 is sure tempting though.

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post #13 of 16 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 1:31 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

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So how do you like the RTW? I am intrigued by the new 1250, but will probably keep my LT a few more years since I just bought an RDL seat. The lighter weight, easier maintenance and more power of the new 1250 is sure tempting though.
Had multiple k's of miles on my trips overseas and for two-up it was my choice when I decided on a new ride. I've been collecting threads on RT for the past couple of years and lit the fuse when I sold my residence of 38 years. Even without the extra cash I was probably going to get a new RT. Never had a new ride before as well.

I've only put about 150 miles on it due to the weather but plan lots more this riding season. The farkeling has begun and the $$$ are flying out of the checking account but that's the fun of getting what you need for the immersion into the riding experience. The local dealer suggested the 1250 but it was going to be about $4k more for the last '18 on the floor. Not a tough decision.

Loved the LT and the relatively easy maintenance, but it was time for the Alpine White R1200RTW! Traffic does slow down especially on rural roads having a white Shoei helmet as well

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post #14 of 16 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 8:18 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

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Had multiple k's of miles on my trips overseas and for two-up it was my choice when I decided on a new ride. I've been collecting threads on RT for the past couple of years and lit the fuse when I sold my residence of 38 years. Even without the extra cash I was probably going to get a new RT. Never had a new ride before as well.

I've only put about 150 miles on it due to the weather but plan lots more this riding season. The farkeling has begun and the $$$ are flying out of the checking account but that's the fun of getting what you need for the immersion into the riding experience. The local dealer suggested the 1250 but it was going to be about $4k more for the last '18 on the floor. Not a tough decision.

Loved the LT and the relatively easy maintenance, but it was time for the Alpine White R1200RTW! Traffic does slow down especially on rural roads having a white Shoei helmet as well
Relatively easy maintenance on an LT? Man, what are you smoking? And can I have some??!!
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post #15 of 16 Old Mar 24th, 2019, 10:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

I can pm you yet. I am not at (15 post) yet.

My email is [email protected]

1999 BMW K1200lt
1996 Honda Heilix CN250 scooter

Past motorcycles

1995 Kawasaki 750 Vulcan
1985 Honda 1200 Goldwing
1986 Honda 1200 Goldwing
1984 Honda 1200 Goldwing
1993 Honda 750cb Nighthawk
1984 Honda V42 (VF700C) Magna
1983 Yamaha XJ 750 Seca
1976 Yamaha XS650C Speical
1978 Yamaha DT175 Enduro
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post #16 of 16 Old Mar 24th, 2019, 11:34 pm
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Re: Still a newbie, Anyone knows how to check the final drive on a K1200LT

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I can pm you yet. I am not at (15 post) yet.

My email is [email protected]
Well, keep posting!!

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
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