Final Drive Failure Research - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 1:00 am Thread Starter
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Final Drive Failure Research

I am researching the continued incidence of final drive failures and looking to identify a specific subset of BMW owners who have experienced one or more such failures. (Yes, I have talked to Jim Puckett about the Final Drive Failure registry he used to maintain.) I am looking to focus on a more narrow class of owner. Specifically, I am looking for ‘99-‘09 K1200LT owners who have had a final drive bearing and seal failure that resulted in oil leaking/seeping from the unit. The failure must have occurred on either the original factory installed unit or a unit previously repaired/replaced by a BMW authorized dealer. If it was dealer repaired unit, you must have been the owner at the time of the repair. I am not interested at this time in failures to units that were previously repaired by an independent, non-dealership mechanic or that occurred prior to your owning the bike. If you meet this narrow criteria, please ping me offline at [email protected]. When replying, please specify if the oil contaminated the rear brake and/or the surface of the rear tire.

Thanks.

Chris Cimino
Edmonds WA
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post #2 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 7:10 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

C'mon ... tell us the truth. Are you a lawyer?

- Joe
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post #3 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 9:40 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
C'mon ... tell us the truth. Are you a lawyer?
Good one Joe!

This must be one of those class action lawsuits where the attorney sues the manufacturer for a *claimed* faulty product. In this case the poor rider has slipped, fallen and can't get (it) up since oil contaminated his tire. Not only is his scooter ruined, his wife has left him since he is so traumatized he can no longer perform.

Attorney pesters the manufacturer for a couple of years until they finally agree to a settlement far from the $5 billion the suit demands. The attorney pockets 95% of the award for legal fees and the aggrieved each get a check for $5.00.

I've gotten several of these huge checks over the past 10 years or so, and even one from a Remington shot gun that I bought in 1990. Seems to me they are a lot more prevalent over the past couple of years.

I guess when it turns cold in WA or KS or wherever the (im)poster is from - hey, it's a long winter - you get creative!

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post #4 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 9:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Sorry to disappoint you. But, I am not an attorney. I am a writer researching the incidence of FD failures for a technical article. I don't frequent internet chatrooms (which explains why I haven't updated my location from Olathe to Edmonds a few years ago). I am a fellow LT owner who has had 3 FD failures. I am trying to keep the field narrowed to LTs with failures that resulted in oil escaping the hub to demonstrate the full scope of component failure. I also want to keep it limited to units that have not been worked on by any mechanic other than BMW factory or dealer staff in order to minimize assembly variables.

If you fit this description (failure with oil leak), please contact me offline at [email protected].

Thanks,
Chris
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post #5 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 10:01 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccimino
Sorry to disappoint you. But, I am not an attorney. I am a writer researching the incidence of FD failures for a technical article. I don't frequent internet chatrooms (which explains why I haven't updated my location from Olathe to Edmonds a few years ago). I am a fellow LT owner who has had 3 FD failures. I am trying to keep the field narrowed to LTs with failures that resulted in oil escaping the hub to demonstrate the full scope of component failure. I also want to keep it limited to units that have not been worked on by any mechanic other than BMW factory or dealer staff in order to minimize assembly variables.

If you fit this description (failure with oil leak), please contact me offline at [email protected].

Thanks,
Chris
Oh, OK - I get it. You are a fellow LT owner who joined in February of 2008 but never made his first post until July of 2011. Three and a half years later.

Especially having 3 final drive failures.... but never mentioned it. Right, sure.

If it quacks like a duck,

It's a troll!


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post #6 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 10:56 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Tort Lawyer, I;ll sue BMW,get $50 million out of it and, everyone on here gets $1. have a nice day...

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post #7 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 11:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Ron,
Sorry if my lack of participation on this site is making you skeptical. I'm just not one for frequent chatroom discussion, although I have learned a great deal about my bike from the other owner's experiences discussed on this site. I've owned my LT since new in 2001, purchased at Engle Motors in Kansas City. The LT is one of 10 different BMWs I've owned and my favorite. Replaced first bearing at 28,000 miles in 2003 (shudder in rear). 2nd at 60,000 miles in 2008 after finding flakes in oil. I found this site shortly thereafter, joined and educated myself. 3rd bearing failed about 3 weeks ago at 78,000 miles on a trip. Oil everywhere, stranded in San Luis Obispo (Coast Riders Powersports - great shop!)

I assure you that I am not a lawyer, never have been. I don't work for lawyers, never dated a lawyer, no lawyers in the family, never played one on TV. I also haven't engaged a lawyer and I have no interest in trying to sue BMW to recover any money for me or for you (sorry). I, too, have received my check for $3.58 as a member of a class action against Toshiba for a bad DLP television years ago. (Yes, I cashed it.)

I am, however, a freelance writer researching the process from manufacturing design flaw or defect through to factory recall. I limited my scope to the LT because that's what I know. I am also limiting the incidence to failures with oil leak as NHSTA requires a safety concern to meet its criteria for investigation. Sorry, my story is not sexier.

My name really is Chris Cimino and I really do live in Edmonds WA. Happy to buy you a cup of coffee and kick tires if you ever come to Seattle.

Not sure what else you need or want to know. But, I am happy to discuss offline if your experience fits my targeted research criteria.
Chris

Last edited by ccimino; Nov 12th, 2011 at 11:14 am.
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post #8 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 11:49 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Great prose.

Nice and concise, flows, easy to read and comprehend.

That alone should tell you he is not a lawyer.

I only remember one fellow posting his FD puked oil on his tire and rotor.

Course, it's been quite a few years since I stopped reading the details about FDs failing.

If nothing pops up, consider contacting El Jefe? or Dave Shealy? Question marks are for spelling.

Oh! It might have been on the original site?

Maybe it will ring a bell with Dick in Boerner TX?

I think it was before BMW tried to float the 4% figure past us?

Bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #9 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 12:08 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Contact El Jeffe ? Gonna be tough Bob, He's passed on to the big track in the sky...

The drives failed because they were overshimmed when assembled at the factory..

That's the bottom line... You haven't been lurking here long or you'd know that already..

Take out the thinnest of your shims when you rebuild your drive and it'll be a lot closer..

Or, Check out the videos in the HOW and learn how to measure the preload..

Then set the thing up correctly and it won't fail again..

Good Luck

John

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post #10 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 12:49 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccimino
.... I've owned my LT since new in 2001, purchased at Engle Motors in Kansas City. The LT is one of 10 different BMWs I've owned and my favorite. Replaced first bearing at 28,000 miles in 2003 (shudder in rear). 2nd at 60,000 miles in 2008 after finding flakes in oil. I found this site shortly thereafter, joined and educated myself. 3rd bearing failed about 3 weeks ago at 78,000 miles on a trip.......
Chris,
Your bike is a 2001 and had 3 FD failures all after about 20-30K miles. Was the FD rebuilt by the same shop both times? I don't think you should use them again.

I'm quite sure I don't understand what you expect to learn by focusing on early K1200LTs that had a FD failure which resulted in lube leakage at the hub seal. But press on, more power to you. What I think we know about FD failures is the result of many contributors on this site over about a decade. I for one have probably read all the posts on this site about FD failure over the years this site has been in existence. So press on and tell us what you learn.

Trying to get data from folks by asking original owners of early KLTs at this point in time is probably not going to yield much in comparison to what has already been posted over the years; many folks will have sold their bikes and moved on from this site. I suspect you'd get more information by just "mining the data" of old posts on this site. There are hundreds if not thousands of posts about the FD and its failure modes.

As far as making a distinction between crownwheel bearing failures that resulted in lube leakage onto the wheel and brake and those failures that didn't have a lube leak, the difference is just a matter of timing.

A few riders who experienced a FD failure first noticed lube leakage before noticing any other signs of failure, but I think they are in the minority. Some folks noticed something wrong in the feel of the bike which if they had investigated further would have determined that their FD was failing, but they kept riding to the point of loss of seal integrity. The crown wheel bearing failure follows a pretty well established sequence of events starting with spalling of roller balls and races, followed by breakage of the bearing retainer, the broken retainer then ultimately tears the seal resulting in lube leakage.

In most cases only those folks who are listening to the music too loud, riding rough roads, or are somehow not "one with the bike" keep riding unaware that their FD is failing to the point of seal failure. Most everyone else will realize that there is a problem by noticing the vibration and alteration in the feel of the bike during the stages of bearing failure prior to loss of seal integrity.

My point is that making a distinction between those who experienced loss of lube and those that didn't is a distinction without a difference with respect to the FD itself; the difference between loss of lube being the first sign or not is more likely to be a function of the rider, not the final drive. If the loss of seal integrity was a rapid occurance without warning signs we'd probably have heard of some serious accidents and there would have been lawsuits and recalls. I'm not saying that there never was an accident attributable to a FD failure, there may well have been. And yes, it is surprising to many of us that this issue didn't get the attention of some regulatory agency, but the fact seems to be that the failures just didn't generate that level of interest or concern.

Last edited by CharlieVT; Nov 12th, 2011 at 12:59 pm.
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post #11 of 22 Old Nov 12th, 2011, 7:47 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
C'mon ... tell us the truth. Are you a lawyer?
That was my first thought also.

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post #12 of 22 Old Nov 14th, 2011, 10:39 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccimino
Ron,
Sorry if my lack of participation on this site is making you skeptical. I'm just not one for frequent chatroom discussion, although I have learned a great deal about my bike from the other owner's experiences discussed on this site. I've owned my LT since new in 2001, purchased at Engle Motors in Kansas City. The LT is one of 10 different BMWs I've owned and my favorite. Replaced first bearing at 28,000 miles in 2003 (shudder in rear). 2nd at 60,000 miles in 2008 after finding flakes in oil. I found this site shortly thereafter, joined and educated myself. 3rd bearing failed about 3 weeks ago at 78,000 miles on a trip. Oil everywhere, stranded in San Luis Obispo (Coast Riders Powersports - great shop!)

I assure you that I am not a lawyer, never have been. I don't work for lawyers, never dated a lawyer, no lawyers in the family, never played one on TV. I also haven't engaged a lawyer and I have no interest in trying to sue BMW to recover any money for me or for you (sorry). I, too, have received my check for $3.58 as a member of a class action against Toshiba for a bad DLP television years ago. (Yes, I cashed it.)

I am, however, a freelance writer researching the process from manufacturing design flaw or defect through to factory recall. I limited my scope to the LT because that's what I know. I am also limiting the incidence to failures with oil leak as NHSTA requires a safety concern to meet its criteria for investigation. Sorry, my story is not sexier.

My name really is Chris Cimino and I really do live in Edmonds WA. Happy to buy you a cup of coffee and kick tires if you ever come to Seattle.

Not sure what else you need or want to know. But, I am happy to discuss offline if your experience fits my targeted research criteria.
Chris
OK, I believe you.

I just get suspicious when someone uses legalese like: "continued incidence", "narrow class", "specific subset", etc. I guess a technical writer could use terms like this...

You can call it my "Blink" moment.

But - why are you so interested to find out if "the oil contaminated the rear brake and/or the surface of the rear tire?" Seems like this is the whole gist of your post, no?

Anyway, more power to you and I look forward to getting my check for $6.83 in a couple of years. I'll use it to buy you a cup 'o joe. ...which is probably what a Starbucks will cost in 2014.


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post #13 of 22 Old Nov 14th, 2011, 12:18 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Some folks noticed something wrong in the feel of the bike which if they had investigated further would have determined that their FD was failing, but they kept riding to the point of loss of seal integrity. The crown wheel bearing failure follows a pretty well established sequence of events starting with spalling of roller balls and races, followed by breakage of the bearing retainer, the broken retainer then ultimately tears the seal resulting in lube leakage.
That's my two failures to the letter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
In most cases only those folks who are listening to the music too loud, riding rough roads, or are somehow not "one with the bike" keep riding unaware that their FD is failing to the point of seal failure. Most everyone else will realize that there is a problem by noticing the vibration and alteration in the feel of the bike during the stages of bearing failure prior to loss of seal integrity.
True for most -- I kept going both times *knowing* what the end result would be because I was in no-choice-but-to-keep-going positions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
My point is that making a distinction between those who experienced loss of lube and those that didn't is a distinction without a difference with respect to the FD itself; the difference between loss of lube being the first sign or not is more likely to be a function of the rider, not the final drive.
+1 -- totally agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
And yes, it is surprising to many of us that this issue didn't get the attention of some regulatory agency, but the fact seems to be that the failures just didn't generate that level of interest or concern.
I actually spoke with the guy at NHTSA who was responsible for forwarding identified issues up the chain for more formal investigation and potential agency action. We was keenly interested, as he was a BMW rider.

Bottom line why NHSTA didn't get involved: he could not establish an actual link between the failure and a substantial potential for serious injury or death. The logic: this failure never results in a sudden loss of vehicle control (no gear/wheel lock-ups, no oil-indiuced crashes), and it is unlikely to do so.

Before anyone starts waving the "oil leak on the rear tire wipe-out!!!" flag, the fact is that (at least up to that time, and AFAIK, never since) that just doesn't happen. The oil makes a mess on the rim, but there's not enough (a pint at best), it flows out relatively slowly, it flows to the wrong places (sidewall and side of the tread), and because it's a slow flow, gets scrubbed off by the road surface before any builds up to cause the tire to slide. That means there's no potential for sudden loss of rear wheel traction and a fall.

We further discussed the fact that In every episode of a failure, the onset of the event was gradual, and the operator had plenty of time to safely put off the road (I could not supply him wih a single example to the contrary). That put the problem into the category of a major inconvenience to the owner, i.e., a customer relations issue, not a NHTSA-level (serious injury or death) safety concern.

I still haven't heard of any actual crash or injury directly attributed to a FD failure that I could re-approach this gentleman with. So, until an actual hazard is shown, going after this issue as a matter of danger due to oil-caused slip-n-fall (whether Chris' "study" or elsewhere), i.e., pursuing NHTSA involvement in the previous generation FD failures on this basis, is a matter of liquid waste transfer up an elongated stranded fiber restraint device.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA

Last edited by mneblett; Nov 14th, 2011 at 12:53 pm.
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post #14 of 22 Old Nov 14th, 2011, 6:24 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

This has been really helpful. As one who registered a long time ago but did not frequent the list much until lately, I can understand everyone's skepticism about Chris not being a lawyer. My '99, which I bought new, suffered a FD failure within the first 18 months of ownership, as I recall (it's been a long time). The dealer fixed it, but forgot a circlip or something and it then failed again while I was on my way to the RA nat'l rally in Lima, OH. The dealer in Pittsburgh fixed her up for me the second time and now, almost 10 years and probably 20,000 miles later, all is well. No problems since.

My failure did not result in any oil leaks, as I recall it was just a wobbly wheel both times.

Love my LT. Will keep it until I'm too old to ride it any longer.
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post #15 of 22 Old Nov 14th, 2011, 6:56 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Good one Joe!

This must be one of those class action lawsuits where the attorney sues the manufacturer for a *claimed* faulty product. In this case the poor rider has slipped, fallen and can't get (it) up since oil contaminated his tire. Not only is his scooter ruined, his wife has left him since he is so traumatized he can no longer perform.

Attorney pesters the manufacturer for a couple of years until they finally agree to a settlement far from the $5 billion the suit demands. The attorney pockets 95% of the award for legal fees and the aggrieved each get a check for $5.00.

I've gotten several of these huge checks over the past 10 years or so, and even one from a Remington shot gun that I bought in 1990. Seems to me they are a lot more prevalent over the past couple of years.

I guess when it turns cold in WA or KS or wherever the (im)poster is from - hey, it's a long winter - you get creative!

Did I cash the checks? You BETCHA!
So funny. Just got my check today for $18.04 from the Foreign Currency Fee Litigation Settlement Fund. It was a class action lawsuit regarding currency conversion when using credit cards on foreign travel.

Did I cash it...YOU BETCHA!!

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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post #16 of 22 Old Nov 14th, 2011, 9:16 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

My 2000 lt final drive was repaired 4 times:
1st was at 43K kms (26k miles): main bearing repaired at BMW, no seal damage
2nd was at 73K kms (46 kmiles), main bearing repaired at different BMW dealer with seal changed but no oil slick
3 rd was at 105K kms (64 kmiles) repaired at BMW with severe slick noticed while stopped at red light en route to the dealer to check the noise in FD. (did not fall even though it was raining and slick was visible in water puddle!) Put the bike on a CAA towing for the last leg to the dealer. Replaced main bearing and seal.
4th was at 107K Kms after noticing metal flakes in drive oil 1000 km after repair, which the dealer dismissed as normal. Took the FD to CharlieinVT who took out an excess shim, replaced all bearings and main seal and gave me back confidence in the machine. Now have 116k kms and no sign of oil contamination. Thanks again Charlie!

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post #17 of 22 Old Nov 15th, 2011, 12:41 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

I appreciate the continued discussion, even if it is rehash for many here. I also appreciate the responses I have received offline. Please continue contacting me at [email protected] with your specific information.

Ron, sorry if my word choice raised your eyebrows. Guess I've been beaten up by one too many editors telling me to "be specific." I have no interest in a class action lawsuit. None of us are getting our money back.

Mark, interesting that the NHSTA guy couldn't link oil loss with potential for harm. After all, NHSTA required BMW to recall some 700 R1200GS HP2's because the o-ring in the final drive may have been installed incorrectly and could result in oil loss on the rear wheel and brake. I'd love to know who you were talking to if you wouldn't mind sharing that information, again offline.

Charlie, thank you for your detailed information. I may just have to send my FD to you for a preventative maintenance rebuild.

Pickerbiker (really??), i just got my check, too. $13.58.

I am still receiving replies from those here, plus members at LDRiders and Iron Butt Rally finishers. After another 7-10 days, I will have a better idea of direction.

Thanks,
Chris
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post #18 of 22 Old Nov 15th, 2011, 10:09 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccimino
I appreciate the continued discussion, even if it is rehash for many here. I also appreciate the responses I have received offline. Please continue contacting me at [email protected] with your specific information.

Ron, sorry if my word choice raised your eyebrows. Guess I've been beaten up by one too many editors telling me to "be specific." I have no interest in a class action lawsuit. None of us are getting our money back.

Mark, interesting that the NHSTA guy couldn't link oil loss with potential for harm. After all, NHSTA required BMW to recall some 700 R1200GS HP2's because the o-ring in the final drive may have been installed incorrectly and could result in oil loss on the rear wheel and brake. I'd love to know who you were talking to if you wouldn't mind sharing that information, again offline.

Charlie, thank you for your detailed information. I may just have to send my FD to you for a preventative maintenance rebuild.

Pickerbiker (really??), i just got my check, too. $13.58.

I am still receiving replies from those here, plus members at LDRiders and Iron Butt Rally finishers. After another 7-10 days, I will have a better idea of direction.

Thanks,
Chris
Ha! Yeah, not one of my more creative efforts and now I'm stuck with it. For reference, I play guitar and ride motorcycles...

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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1996 K1100 LT (sold)
1990 Honda Shadow (sold)
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post #19 of 22 Old Nov 16th, 2011, 5:23 am
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA
My 2000 lt final drive was repaired 4 times:
1st was at 43K kms (26k miles): main bearing repaired at BMW, no seal damage
2nd was at 73K kms (46 kmiles), main bearing repaired at different BMW dealer with seal changed but no oil slick
3 rd was at 105K kms (64 kmiles) repaired at BMW with severe slick noticed while stopped at red light en route to the dealer to check the noise in FD. (did not fall even though it was raining and slick was visible in water puddle!) Put the bike on a CAA towing for the last leg to the dealer. Replaced main bearing and seal.
4th was at 107K Kms after noticing metal flakes in drive oil 1000 km after repair, which the dealer dismissed as normal. Took the FD to CharlieinVT who took out an excess shim, replaced all bearings and main seal and gave me back confidence in the machine. Now have 116k kms and no sign of oil contamination. Thanks again Charlie!
Glad to hear the FD is going okay so far.
And thank you again for the FD tool you had the guys in your shop fabricate for me. I've used it many times now, and it is a superior tool over what I was using. Pretty good piece of metal with just the right bends and bores in the right places. I really appreciate it.
Charlie
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post #20 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2011, 9:33 pm
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Chris,
I'm sorry I didn't notice this thread earlier. I would have stepped up for you,(I, like you, don't hang out here too much).

To everyone else, I have known Chris for a long time, and he has never, to my knowledge, practiced attorneyism. He has, however, finished two Iron Butt Rallies, (the REAL IRON BUTT RALLY-11 days, 11,000 miles, not the entry level 1,000-in-24 hours).

Of course, knowing that Ron doesn't hold the IBA in very high regard, I'm sure that information will help very little.

Welcome Chris, and good luck with your article.

GB

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post #21 of 22 Old Nov 20th, 2011, 6:50 am
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Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickerbiker
So funny. Just got my check today for $18.04 from the Foreign Currency Fee Litigation Settlement Fund. It was a class action lawsuit regarding currency conversion when using credit cards on foreign travel.

Did I cash it...YOU BETCHA!!
I got my settlement check yesterday from "Yingling v. Ebay, Inc. Settlement Fund" (whatever that is) for $2.72.

But man I better jump on the bandwagon and get that bad boy cashed - It's void after December 22, 2011!

Come to think of it, by limiting the time it can be cashed to such a short period - why - that could just become ANOTHER class action lawsuit!


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post #22 of 22 Old Nov 21st, 2011, 3:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive Failure Research

Does anyone have a source for the total number of K1200LT manufactured in its production run?

Chris Cimino
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