Finall Drive - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 10:09 am Thread Starter
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Finall Drive

Way more power, and (more importantly), way more torque.

What are the chances that that 6 tears up the FD?

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post #2 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 11:37 am
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Re: Finall Drive

I'm thinking if the FD is set up correctly in the first place, it should be OK.............I really have no information to base my SWAG upon however.................



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post #3 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 12:25 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

What final drive issue?
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post #4 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 12:41 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman
Way more power, and (more importantly), way more torque.

What are the chances that that 6 tears up the FD?
Love the bike! Hafta admit, I was wondering the same thing...?

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post #5 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 2:27 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Ya know shit happens !! Buy the bike, if it breaks fix it. Then ride some more.

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post #6 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 3:42 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

I do not know how the drive will be on the K1600, But I do know I will never buy another BMW model that has that history. Seems to me the only way it will get fixed is for no one to buy them. Now, thats incentive BMW needs to get serious about designing a good drive.

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post #7 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 3:50 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

The FD design on the K1600 has been changed. Look at the FD housing and you'll see the hole is gone, the drain has been moved to the 6 o'clock position and is visible in the press kit pics.

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post #8 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 4:11 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaun2
I do not know how the drive will be on the K1600, But I do know I will never buy another BMW model that has that history. Seems to me the only way it will get fixed is for no one to buy them. Now, thats incentive BMW needs to get serious about designing a good drive.
Spoken like a guy whose learned to use the gray matter. Sure beats the "all things break, so what the heck" philosophy. I know moving parts break, but I also know that certain should almost never break.
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post #9 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 5:35 pm
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Re: Final Drive

And what are the chances that BMW has thought of all this and beefed up the final drives accordingly?

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post #10 of 54 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 11:13 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
The FD design on the K1600 has been changed. Look at the FD housing and you'll see the hole is gone, the drain has been moved to the 6 o'clock position and is visible in the press kit pics.
And don't forget that the final is on a different side now, so seems like it has been redesigned to some extent.


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post #11 of 54 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 4:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
And what are the chances that BMW has thought of all this and beefed up the final drives accordingly?
Great question.

What are the chances that they saw the failures on LTs and changed it out a few years into the model run?

Oh wait...

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post #12 of 54 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 5:23 am
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Re: Finall Drive

It seems to me a few of you boys are harboring a perverse hope that the GT and GTL will have problems so you can feel better about continuing to ride your now obsolescent LT's. Sad.

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post #13 of 54 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 9:19 am
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Re: Finall Drive

I've refrained from discussing this new K1600 - until now. Until now that I've seen it!!!! Pictures anyway. Holy chit. I gotta have one, and I'd be willing to trust that BMW has the FD covered. At the very least, I'm going up to the Seattle motorcycle show in the hopes that I can throw a leg over one.
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post #14 of 54 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 10:08 am
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
And what are the chances that BMW has thought of all this and beefed up the final drives accordingly?
Well, since they *expressly* stated in the press materials that they *did* modify the final drive to handle the increased torque/HP of the 6, I'd say the chances are pretty good.

The problem with the FD speculation now is that everyone seems to be forgetting that BMW went to a fundamentally different FD bearing configuration, and the seal configurations are also different -- and that this new drive design has proven to be much more reliable than the LT's -- for several years now. Have new drives failed? Certainly. But not at the stunningly high rate of the LT drives (which BTW, appears to be an assembly issue, not a fundamental inadequate design issue).

When the new FD was introduced on the R12GS in /04/05, there was an immediate rash of problems -- not with the fundamental bearing/seal design, but with the interference-fit bolt flange piece. Once that was addressed, the only other issue of which I'm aware is an occasional outer seal leak (partially addressed by lowering the FD oil refill spec to 180 ml to provide more vapor space in the drive) -- and it seems that issue is now done too.

At this point, it appears the new design does not fail any more often than the airheads FDs failed (everyone seems to forget that airheads weren't bullet-proof, either). I'm of the mind that new FD failure rates are down to the "every part can fail, but the frequency is so low I'm not going to waste time thinking about it" level. The wedge K motors have had there share of cam follower/cam chain/cam sprocket failure issues -- that worries me more than the FD's.

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post #15 of 54 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 7:55 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

My God. About a 3-5% of FD's fail over the last several years under varying circumstances, and with changes from BMW along the way and it's a catastrophe?

This is a new FD as others have mentioned due to the prodigious torque the six makes, it's no surprise.
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post #16 of 54 Old Oct 17th, 2010, 5:16 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
The FD design on the K1600 has been changed. Look at the FD housing and you'll see the hole is gone, the drain has been moved to the 6 o'clock position and is visible in the press kit pics.

I missed the fact the hole is gone -- good! No more outer seal weepage issues.

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post #17 of 54 Old Oct 17th, 2010, 8:03 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Wonder if those Akras will have 3 holes like the stockers?

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post #18 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 10:39 am
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by eng943
My God. About a 3-5% of FD's fail over the last several years under varying circumstances, and with changes from BMW along the way and it's a catastrophe?

This is a new FD as others have mentioned due to the prodigious torque the six makes, it's no surprise.
No. Not a catastrophe. Just a major source of disappointment and frustration.

Mark makes the point that the new style drives have 'settled' now. Perhaps. Still, I know an awful lot of R12GS riders that have been sidelined with FD issues at some point or another. Our local BMW chapter keeps several spare FDs and a contact list so they can be mailed out to stranded riders.

My frustration with BMW is this - a major issue for well over 10 years with not one bit of acknowledgment. And for what benefit? I ride a lot. I've owned a bunch of bikes. I've never once needed to remove a wheel by the side of the road. Fix a tire? Sure. Plug it, not pull it.

I also change my own tires. Never done that by the side of the road either. In the garage, I can pull the rear tire off my FJR in under 5 min. About 10 on my airhead due to the bags being in the way. Neither is unreasonable.

All this frustration and heartache to gain a few min. time on wheel removal? A very questionable reduction in unsprung weight? I just don't see it.

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post #19 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 10:47 am
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Re: Finall Drive

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No. Not a catastrophe. Just a major source of disappointment and frustration.
+1

As one that has lived through 2 FD crown bearing disintegrations/major trip disruptions, I'm *completely* with you on BMW's horrific handling of this issue.

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post #20 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 12:15 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by eng943
My God. About a 3-5% of FD's fail over the last several years under varying circumstances, and with changes from BMW along the way and it's a catastrophe?
Not a catastrophe ... if 3-5% is the correct percentage. But I fully believe that it's a MUCH higher failure rate than that. Having said that ... it's the reason I don't have a Beemer in my garage currently. And I am far from alone.

But with the new GTL comes new hope. If the final drive proves itself over the first release year, my garage will most likely be sporting another BMW in 2012.
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post #21 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 12:26 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatson
Wonder if those Akras will have 3 holes like the stockers?
They do have 3 holes and look very sharp, pics have been posted from the display at Intermot
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post #22 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 2:18 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

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Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
But I fully believe that it's a MUCH higher failure rate than that.
It must take real faith to "fully believe" in something that is based on absolutely nothing but speculation.

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post #23 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 7:46 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

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Originally Posted by XTrooper
It must take real faith to "fully believe" in something that is based on absolutely nothing but speculation.
So, you've met Joe then?

Just kidding, buddy. Tell you what. You can buy my GTL in 2012. I'll give you a good price, as it'll only have about 60K miles by then . . .

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post #24 of 54 Old Oct 20th, 2010, 8:43 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrooper
It must take real faith to "fully believe" in something that is based on absolutely nothing but speculation.
Speculation? Umm ... hardly. This website came up with the 4% figure YEARS ago. Take all of the older bikes that have failed since then but yet went unreported, then add the bikes that members have had multiple failures and didn't report, and you've got yourself a fairly ugly failure rate. Far surpassing the 4% figure that this site endorses.

Hey Meese! How many final drive failures have you had? More than one? That's what I thought. Some of us just learn quicker than others. And that's OK. Fortunately, BMW didn't make the final drive that's at the rear of the short bus.
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post #25 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 4:09 am
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Re: Finall Drive

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Speculation? Umm ... hardly. This website came up with the 4% figure YEARS ago. Take all of the older bikes that have failed since then but yet went unreported, then add the bikes that members have had multiple failures and didn't report,
Did you read what you wrote? The "older bikes that have failed since then but yet went unreported, then add the bikes that members have had multiple failures and didn't report."

Went unreported?! Didn't report?!

Here's a newsflash for you. Counting your imaginary, unreported failures is the very definition of speculation!

And how about all the bikes that have been sold "since then" and didn't fail? Let's see some actual facts and figures or a more recent poll. Otherwise.......

Speculation? Umm......DEFINITELY!

P.S.- There is a poll running on the bmwsporttouring board currently that is indicating a 6% failure rate with 405 total votes to date. Though totally unscientific, it still holds more value than someone's imagination. In any case, a 6% result is statistically the same as the already established 3%-5% and is not the MUCH higher failure rate you are claiming.

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post #26 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 7:41 am
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrooper
Here's a newsflash for you. Counting your imaginary, unreported failures is the very definition of speculation!
You've been a member for all of one, whole year ... and I see that you're the resident expert. You haven't been around long enough to hear of all of the ride tales that were interrupted by final drive failures. And also the numerous reports of members that have had more than one failure ... on the same bikes ... or on several bikes. The list goes on & on. And many are UNreported. No imagination involved ... just experience from being on this forum since 2004.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrooper
P.S.- There is a poll running on the bmwsporttouring board currently that is indicating a 6% failure rate with 405 total votes to date. Though totally unscientific, it still holds more value than someone's imagination. In any case, a 6% result is statistically the same as the already established 3%-5% and is not the MUCH higher failure rate you are claiming.
If you knew anything about manufacturing, you'd know that a 5% + failure on any part as crucial as a final drive is nearing catastrophic. Oy vey!
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post #27 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 8:02 am
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Re: Finall Drive

The bottom line is that if you go to other bike forums, whenever the subject of BMW's comes up, there is a firestorm of responses pointing to FD failures on BMW's. True or not, its a widely held believe and it is costing BMW sales. BMW needs to address it with a stout warranty, and possibly even a free maintenance for three years program like they do with their cars - because maintenance costs in general are a common fear on non-BMW forums.

I am extremely interested in replacing my Goldwing with a GTL in a 12 to 18 months. Count me as one who thinks there is way too much evidence that these problems are real to ignore in my purchase decision.

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post #28 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 1:21 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
You've been a member for all of one, whole year ... and I see that you're the resident expert. You haven't been around long enough to hear of all of the ride tales that were interrupted by final drive failures. And also the numerous reports of members that have had more than one failure ... on the same bikes ... or on several bikes. The list goes on & on. And many are UNreported. No imagination involved ... just experience from being on this forum since 2004.

If you knew anything about manufacturing, you'd know that a 5% + failure on any part as crucial as a final drive is nearing catastrophic. Oy vey!

Oh, I see. So your concept of an "expert" is how long a person has been registered on an Internet forum? That would be funny if not for being so pathetic.

Just think. If you stick around just a few more years, you'll be a genius!

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post #29 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 1:40 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

BZZZZZZT!

Joe, Steve -- call a truce now (i.e., just don't further respond to this exchange, or take it off-line). This has been a useful thread -- I don't want to see it die from a descent into personal zingers.

And, Steve -- knowing Joe a long as I have (former mod here -- there's a number of reasons Joe's username is "ver. _2" ) I can tell you you won't ever get any sense of satisfaction in this wrestling match ...

Back to our regularly-scheduled K16 discussion

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post #30 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 2:19 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

BMW: "look over here, look over here. See this gizmo thingy?"

Possible consumer: "ooooh, aaaaah! How about that final drive problem?"

BMW: "Did you look over here? Check this whirly doo-hickey out?"

Potential Consumer: "oooooh, ahhhh!"


No thanks, I'll wait and see. They fooled me twice... Three times? I think not.
I love the LT's ride, but don't need the distraction of wondering if my repair kit is fully stocked for any possibility before any ride of any significant distance.

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post #31 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 4:01 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatson
Wonder if those Akras will have 3 holes like the stockers?





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post #32 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 5:20 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

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That looks fantastic! Two thumbs up!

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post #33 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 9:36 pm
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjscsix
Count me as one who thinks there is way too much evidence that these problems are real to ignore in my purchase decision.
Trust me, BMW knows this, even if they'll never admit it.

Blame it on German arrogance, or American liability lawyers, or Oktoberfest if you like.

The bottom line is that we now know exactly what caused the rash of LT final drive failures (and so does BMW) and we also know how to stop them (and so does BMW).

They did a complete final drive redesign for the Boxers and Slant/4 bikes, but still had some issues. Not nearly as many as on the LT in its "prime" period, but still an unacceptable number, mostly due to seal failures and weepage.

So now we see that the K16 final drive has been redesigned again to eliminate the outer rolling seal, and thus eliminate that possible source of failure.

Does that automatically mean the new bikes will be flawless and bulletproof? Of course not. But it does mean that BMW is paying attention, and making changes where needed.

But as is typical for BMW, you simply have to buy the latest model to take advantage of all those changes . . .

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post #34 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 9:47 pm
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Question Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
or American liability lawyers

?????

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post #35 of 54 Old Oct 21st, 2010, 9:58 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by hammick
?????
Having worked in and around many engineering firms, I can say that publicly admitting to a serious defect is basically handing the lawyers a blank check. And there are an awful lot of lawyers in this country that are always looking for just such a scenario . . .

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post #36 of 54 Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 1:32 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by meese
Having worked in and around many engineering firms, I can say that publicly admitting to a serious defect is basically handing the lawyers a blank check. And there are an awful lot of lawyers in this country that are always looking for just such a scenario . . .
Aside from the well publicized FD issues existing models have had, the 1600 may very likely be easier on it's FD than other BMWs. A six cylinder engine provides much less combustion shock to the driveline than a four or a twin. I would say it's very likely that there won't be an issue with the new FD unless BMW really fouls up the design. I can't see then doing that.... but it still pays to be cautious.

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Re: Final Drive

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Having worked in and around many engineering firms, I can say that publicly admitting to a serious defect is basically handing the lawyers a blank check. And there are an awful lot of lawyers in this country that are always looking for just such a scenario . . .
Sad but true. More lawyers per capita here than anywhere.

I've seen enough and been involved in enough Engineering decisions where the possibility of "Vulture Lawyers" weighed in our minds as to a direction or reaction to a problem.

No doubt this weighed in some amount in their (and all manufacturers) decision.

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post #38 of 54 Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 9:24 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by buffgunner
Aside from the well publicized FD issues existing models have had, the 1600 may very likely be easier on it's FD than other BMWs. A six cylinder engine provides much less combustion shock to the driveline than a four or a twin. I would say it's very likely that there won't be an issue with the new FD unless BMW really fouls up the design. I can't see then doing that.... but it still pays to be cautious.
I've not seen a lick of evidence that any FD failures have been related to shock from engine pulses. I don't think this is a factor at all. The issue appears to be improper assembly, pure and simple. The question is: is the new BMW design easier to assemble correctly and/or much more tolerant of assembly variability.

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post #39 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 1:44 am
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Re: Final Drive

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I've not seen a lick of evidence that any FD failures have been related to shock from engine pulses. I don't think this is a factor at all. The issue appears to be improper assembly, pure and simple. The question is: is the new BMW design easier to assemble correctly and/or much more tolerant of assembly variability.
My vote on that is when CharlieVT gets either the training session (yeh right) or the hands on after seeing the first failure appear....
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post #40 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 1:59 am
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
The issue appears to be improper assembly, pure and simple.
And I think that BMW knows this very well . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
The question is: is the new BMW design easier to assemble correctly and/or much more tolerant of assembly variability.
Yes. See above responses, including the part where they engineered out the potentially leaky outer seal . . .

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post #41 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:00 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
The issue appears to be improper assembly, pure and simple. The question is: is the new BMW design easier to assemble correctly and/or much more tolerant of assembly variability.
If the issue is assembly, and you are stating that the answer is whether or not the new design will be easier to assemble, would that be a Design Issue on the LT FD?

Shouldn't the design be such that proper assembly be easy and consistent?

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post #42 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 8:34 am
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Re: Final Drive

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If the issue is assembly, and you are stating that the answer is whether or not the new design will be easier to assemble, would that be a Design Issue on the LT FD?

Shouldn't the design be such that proper assembly be easy and consistent?
It is hard to say what is "typical" assembly difficulty, but when a high percentage (>1% is high by today's standards) of a product is not assembled correctly, then the workers are grossly untrained or unskilled, they have improper tools, fixtures and instructions or the design is poor. A good design should be able to be assembled correctly by the "average" production line worker with typical tools and methods. If the design requires unusual skill or precision for the type of factory in which it is being built, then either the design is flawed or the manufacturing engineers put the product in the wrong factory.

There is no simple answer here. Very complex things can be assembled well, but it may require a clean room factory with expensive precision tools and fixtures and workers who virtually have masters degrees in engineering, can play concert piano and juggle one-handed. The key is that the design must be suitable to the factory selected for assembly OR a new production line must be designed to make the product. Either way can be very successful. It depends on where you want to invest the money: in designing a simpler, more easily manufactured product or designing a more capable production line with higher skilled workers and more sophisticated equipment.

Generally, for high volume products it is much better to invest in the product design as you do that once whereas an expensive factory costs you more money all the time. However, for very low volume products, hand assembly by very skilled workers is often much more cost effective than is spending years simplifying a design for a product you intend to only make a few of.

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post #43 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:54 pm
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Re: Final Drive

Bingo, Voyager nailed it.

It is all too common for engineers to design something and send it out the door with little actual regard for the assembly process or maintenance issues. Anyone remember those old Triumph cars that you had to lift the engine halfway out to change spark plugs?

Assembly and maintenance issues should be part of the original spec and thus integrated into the design, but they're often only given cursory attention at best. Generally, the engineers would rather send the drawings out the door and get started on the next project, especially when working under a time crunch.

But I maintain that BMW is well aware of this issue, and has taken specific steps to deal with it and minimize the problems. They won't tell us exactly what they did, but we can see subtle changes in the newer designs that point to this evolutionary engineering.

Personally, I plan to pick up a GTL and ride the damn wheels off of it. If it breaks, then I'll take it back to BMW and bitch until it's fixed. But if it doesn't, then it'll simply be fill, ride, repeat.

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post #44 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 1:39 pm
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Re: Finall Drive

I'm not sure if this is relevent to the discussion at hand, but Voyager brings a good point which I'd like to demonstrate.

Most car manufacturers, GM being the big one that comes to mind, manufactures cars. They don't manufacture A LOT of car parts. Some of these parts can be more efficiently assembled by smaller companies. SOme of these parts require more precision then GM has in it's factories.

Differentials come to mind.

Most of those were made by Dana/Spicer. I don't think it's because GM was not capable...It's because they did not set up their factories with the precision required to set these up on an assembly line.


Maybe BMW should consider such a thing. Maybe there doesn't exist a company that wants to do it in such a small volume. Maybe...maybe...there's opportunity here.
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post #45 of 54 Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 9:31 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Maybe BMW should consider such a thing.
I think they've already been doing that for years.

But the problem is maintaing the level of quality that you expect (or demand) over all your small subcontractors. That can be as much work as just building the damn thing yourself, especially with small quantities.

In fact, I think a lot of the recent quality issues can probably be traced to some of BMW's contracted firms. Yes, that's still BMW's ultimate responsibility, but it's too easy to hand something off then ignore it until major failures start happening out in the field. And then someone has gotta get right in their face until it gets fixed.

Yeah, I've done that dance a few times in my career, including dragging the original design engineers into the manufacturing area so they can see exactly what is going on . . .

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post #46 of 54 Old Oct 24th, 2010, 8:03 am
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by meese
I think they've already been doing that for years.

But the problem is maintaing the level of quality that you expect (or demand) over all your small subcontractors. That can be as much work as just building the damn thing yourself, especially with small quantities.

In fact, I think a lot of the recent quality issues can probably be traced to some of BMW's contracted firms. Yes, that's still BMW's ultimate responsibility, but it's too easy to hand something off then ignore it until major failures start happening out in the field. And then someone has gotta get right in their face until it gets fixed.

Yeah, I've done that dance a few times in my career, including dragging the original design engineers into the manufacturing area so they can see exactly what is going on . . .
Nobody said it was easy, but this is what separates the men from the boys in the quality department.

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post #47 of 54 Old Oct 24th, 2010, 8:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by Voyager
It is hard to say what is "typical" assembly difficulty, but when a high percentage (>1% is high by today's standards) of a product is not assembled correctly, then the workers are grossly untrained or unskilled, they have improper tools, fixtures and instructions or the design is poor. A good design should be able to be assembled correctly by the "average" production line worker with typical tools and methods. If the design requires unusual skill or precision for the type of factory in which it is being built, then either the design is flawed or the manufacturing engineers put the product in the wrong factory.

There is no simple answer here. Very complex things can be assembled well, but it may require a clean room factory with expensive precision tools and fixtures and workers who virtually have masters degrees in engineering, can play concert piano and juggle one-handed. The key is that the design must be suitable to the factory selected for assembly OR a new production line must be designed to make the product. Either way can be very successful. It depends on where you want to invest the money: in designing a simpler, more easily manufactured product or designing a more capable production line with higher skilled workers and more sophisticated equipment.

Generally, for high volume products it is much better to invest in the product design as you do that once whereas an expensive factory costs you more money all the time. However, for very low volume products, hand assembly by very skilled workers is often much more cost effective than is spending years simplifying a design for a product you intend to only make a few of.
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?

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post #48 of 54 Old Oct 24th, 2010, 7:48 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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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.

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post #49 of 54 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 4:52 am Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
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.

Why wouldn't one focus on torque when discussing FDs? As you have stated, there are many others bikes that make more torque and their FDs lived. That the LTs FD failed with much less torque speaks volumes to it's flimsiness. BMW bikes, in general, were all high HP / low torque affairs until the announcement of the new bikes (and to a lesser extent the 1300GT).

I totally agree that you judge a brand on it's previous history - especially recent history - which is why I opened this thread. I also agree that once the problem is determined it becomes an economic decision - explaining why BMW allowed it go on for so long. I suspect they depend on brand loyality to keep the sheeple coming back.

I am quite intrigued by this bike, but will be riding on the sidelines for a good long time to see where the problems are before I jump back on the Bavarian Bandwagon.

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post #50 of 54 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 8:29 am
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Re: Final Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman
Why wouldn't one focus on torque when discussing FDs?
Because that's simply not the problem here.

We're not seeing stripped gears or twisted shafts. We're seeing bearing and seal failures, which have been directly correlated to poor assembly procedures, specifically in terms of allowance for manufacturing tolerances and incorrect setup procedures.

Torque just isn't factoring into the failures at all.

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