Originally Posted by bibleman
OK, let's say I buy your argument, if the LT FD failure rate was a function of production assembly, wouldn't that have been an easy thing to fix? If it's in house, train them better. If it's farmed out, fire them, and hire someone else?
I have yet to hear a reasonable discussion of why it went on for years. The GLT will gobs more torque than the LT. And it's not like the LT was the only BMW with FD issues.
The LT fried FDs with very little torque..
Finally, the GLT will certainly fall into the category of a low volume product. Should I anticipate issues accordingly based on your last paragraph?
I can only guess as I am not privy to BMWs internal operations. Yes, it is easy to fix in principle, but not so easy in practice. For one thing, for a low volume product like BMW motorcycles, it wouldn't be unusual for a component manufacturer to make all of the parts for several years of final product during one component production run. So, it is certainly conceivable that all of the LT final drives for a given model series may have been made in a year or less by the component maker. Often it is cheaper to do this and warehouse the parts rather than run a production line at a very slow rate or have to set it up each year for a few weeks and then take it down for something else each year.
It isn't out of the question that by the time the problems surfaced and the cause determined, that several years worth of drives were in the warehouse already assembled. Then it becomes an economic decision. If the failure rate really is only 4% or even 10%, do you spend the money to tear down every FD in the warehouse to find the 4% that are bad? Or do you just quietly replace the bad ones under a silent extended warranty program? The latter is almost certainly more cost effective, but that doesn't factor into the cost of loss of reputation. That latter is hard to quantify by a bean counter.
I am still curious as to why you keep focusing on torque when there is zero evidence that torque is a factor. There are many shaft drive bikes with engines that both have more torque than the LT (Wing, V-Max, etc.) and that have more brutal "torque pulses" such as the large V-twins. I don't know of any other shaft drive bike that has anywhere near the failure rate of the BMW.
I don't think you should anticipate a higher failure rate based on volume alone. I would be more concerned about it given BMWs recent history with faulty final drives. History is a better predictor generally than is production volume.
Let's hope BMW has addressed this at the source and solved the FD reliability issue once and for all.