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post #1 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 7:16 am Thread Starter
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PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

I added this to a thread called "little known facts"...thinking it would be about maintenance tips....hopefully you DIY's and techs will chime in with tips and tricks for pre -vent maintenance...I may be wrong here and maybe this is a well known fact by all but I do not recall this being in manual...or ever reading this in the forum...I learned the hard way...on my 2014 RT I had final drive shaft failure at around 85K miles...I do my own service and would change the final drive oil every other oil change...I am pretty sure that on models previous to the wet head to change the final drive oil you had to pivot the gear box down to drain the oil...on the newer ones the drain plug is in the bottom so easy peasy...well my drive shaft failure was due to moisture entering the housing at I would assume the rear flex gator...rust had destroyed that end of the drive shaft while the upper end still looked and felt brand new...so from now on I will drop the unit and clean dry and inspect the lower end...never did that before and the replacement shaft for the (non repairable shaft) is 1300.00 dollars!!!...so that inspection will be part of my routine...maybe a good rust prevent spray lube or something also....any ideas on that???....or any other typically overlooked or neglected maintenance that could be included in keeping our RT's trouble free....hope this helps someone out...thanks
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post #2 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 7:38 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

The prior models RT that requires you to drop the FD to change it's oil is 20015 - 2007 only. At the time, BMW figured that the FD is "permanently lubed", and therefore does not need any oil change. I think we know better, and BMW yielded and add the drain port in the FD from 2008 model onward.


U-joint failures of the drive shaft is the main reason why I personally discourage people from dropping the FD, when they don't have to! Water, or heavy moisture in the drive housing is your biggest enemy to cause this failure. Spraying rust inhibitor isn't going to do anything meaningful, because what fails at the u-joint is the needle roller bearing. Those things are supposed to be "permanently" lubed with grease, and moisture contamination can cause the grease to ball up into hard balls to jam the rollers. So, if you are going to disturb the rubber boot(s), the best thing that you can do is to make sure that it is well sealed when you put the thing back together again. Do everything you can to keep water, or moisture outside!
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post #3 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 8:45 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

Chieflonghair
What a lovely looking bike you have there...but, those exhaust down pipes look horrible. Is that dirt, some sort of treatment, or degradation?

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post #4 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 9:22 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Chieflonghair

What a lovely looking bike you have there...but, those exhaust down pipes look horrible. Is that dirt, some sort of treatment, or degradation?


Mine started out looking polished, and now starting to degrade, anyway to keep em polished looking?


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post #5 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 9:26 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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The prior models RT that requires you to drop the FD to change it's oil is 20015 - 2007 only. At the time, BMW figured that the FD is "permanently lubed", and therefore does not need any oil change. I think we know better, and BMW yielded and add the drain port in the FD from 2008 model onward.


U-joint failures of the drive shaft is the main reason why I personally discourage people from dropping the FD, when they don't have to! Water, or heavy moisture in the drive housing is your biggest enemy to cause this failure. Spraying rust inhibitor isn't going to do anything meaningful, because what fails at the u-joint is the needle roller bearing. Those things are supposed to be "permanently" lubed with grease, and moisture contamination can cause the grease to ball up into hard balls to jam the rollers. So, if you are going to disturb the rubber boot(s), the best thing that you can do is to make sure that it is well sealed when you put the thing back together again. Do everything you can to keep water, or moisture outside!


This is a brilliant post. I was beginning to worry that other than the final drive fluid changes at the recommended intervals, I was missing another service...btw what fluid are you using? My local bmw dealer used to carry a big enough bottle of the tranny/FD oil. Now they sell me Specto, said it’s what bmw used prior to producing their own


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post #6 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 9:41 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

The FD fluid that BMW specifies is the same one that Landrover uses for their differential, and that's what I had been using all along. Landrover LRN7591. It is made by Castrol, and the Castrol brand used to be hard to find, but they seem to be quite readily available, under the Landrover part number now.
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post #7 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 9:57 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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The FD fluid that BMW specifies is the same one that Landrover uses for their differential, and that's what I had been using all along. Landrover LRN7591. It is made by Castrol, and the Castrol brand used to be hard to find, but they seem to be quite readily available, under the Landrover part number now.


Is this the stuff

Castrol 06674-6PK Syntrax Limited Slip 75W-90 Gear Oil - 1 Quart, (Pack of 6) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B9XDOLO..._1u2hDbPFN7989


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post #8 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 10:04 am
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PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Originally Posted by PadG View Post
The FD fluid that BMW specifies is the same one that Landrover uses for their differential, and that's what I had been using all along. Landrover LRN7591. It is made by Castrol, and the Castrol brand used to be hard to find, but they seem to be quite readily available, under the Landrover part number now.

Amazon carries that Landrover brand as well $34 bucks


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post #9 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 11:38 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

This is the one that I was talking about: https://www.rmeuropean.com/Products/...1-MFG1137.aspx





Do a search using the LRN7591 term and look for the best price. Absolutely no points in buying a multi-pack, since you only use 180 ml for each FD oil change, every 12,000 miles.


BTW, just to be technically accurate. That Castrol oil is what BMW used to specify prior to the wetheads, and if I recalled correctly, it was also called out in the earlier release of the wethead's RepROM. However, the latest update of the RepROM calls out for "Hypoid Axle Oil G3" for the FD. I can see no reasons why I cannot use the Landrover oil that I mentioned, and still have.
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post #10 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 11:50 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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This is the one that I was talking about: https://www.rmeuropean.com/Products/...1-MFG1137.aspx





Do a search using the LRN7591 term and look for the best price. Absolutely no points in buying a multi-pack, since you only use 180 ml for each FD oil change, every 12,000 miles.


BTW, just to be technically accurate. That Castrol oil is what BMW used to specify prior to the wetheads, and if I recalled correctly, it was also called out in the earlier release of the wethead's RepROM. However, the latest update of the RepROM calls out for "Hypoid Axle Oil G3" for the FD. I can see no reasons why I cannot use the Landrover oil that I mentioned, and still have.


Ok. I seen this one online too, not amazon $18. I know this is for the FD, but one bottle of this takes care of tranny and FD at the 12k service. Are you using different oils in each?


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post #11 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 2:03 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Ok. I seen this one online too, not amazon $18. I know this is for the FD, but one bottle of this takes care of tranny and FD at the 12k service. Are you using different oils in each?


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Oh, you have a pre-wethead RT! In that case, this is absolutely the oil that is called out by BMW, and yes the same oil is used for both transmission and FD.
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post #12 of 71 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 2:18 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Oh, you have a pre-wethead RT! In that case, this is absolutely the oil that is called out by BMW, and yes the same oil is used for both transmission and FD.


Thanks, and yup a 2013. I wanted a new one, but my wife would kill me. Besides the 2013 was the last model I rode as a motorcop


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post #13 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 6:40 am Thread Starter
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Chieflonghair
What a lovely looking bike you have there...but, those exhaust down pipes look horrible. Is that dirt, some sort of treatment, or degradation?

Lol!!...yes they look nasty.....I was planning on total exaust swap...but with my previous stator failure then final drive!!!...well I think I will just paint them or something...save my money!!!!
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post #14 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 7:00 am Thread Starter
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The prior models RT that requires you to drop the FD to change it's oil is 20015 - 2007 only. At the time, BMW figured that the FD is "permanently lubed", and therefore does not need any oil change. I think we know better, and BMW yielded and add the drain port in the FD from 2008 model onward.


U-joint failures of the drive shaft is the main reason why I personally discourage people from dropping the FD, when they don't have to! Water, or heavy moisture in the drive housing is your biggest enemy to cause this failure. Spraying rust inhibitor isn't going to do anything meaningful, because what fails at the u-joint is the needle roller bearing. Those things are supposed to be "permanently" lubed with grease, and moisture contamination can cause the grease to ball up into hard balls to jam the rollers. So, if you are going to disturb the rubber boot(s), the best thing that you can do is to make sure that it is well sealed when you put the thing back together again. Do everything you can to keep water, or moisture outside!


This is a brilliant post. I was beginning to worry that other than the final drive fluid changes at the recommended intervals, I was missing another service...btw what fluid are you using? My local bmw dealer used to carry a big enough bottle of the tranny/FD oil. Now they sell me Specto, said it’s what bmw used prior to producing their own


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I have been using the bmw branded fluid...I may change to the Castrol alternative next time I order...on my bike it took less than 4 years and about 80K miles for the moisture to do its thing...up to that point the rubber boot had never been disturbed... I will make that inspection part of my routine and yes do a very careful job of reseal that boot...to me (and this is my first shaft drive motorcycle)...the thought of that u-joint coming apart while riding is not a pretty picture....I was about 90 miles from home when I noticed the squeak squeak sound that I thought was maybe a bearing going bad...when I discovered the problem and how that u-joint was basically about to fall apart...I considered myself lucky to get home...without locking up the rear wheel or something....not good at all...
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post #15 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 7:27 am Thread Starter
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Thanks to all that posted and I hope more interesting tips and tricks for maintaining our RT's will follow....ride safe!!
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post #16 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 7:34 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

Lucky that you had some warnings before the shaft failed! I had first read about the issue on AdvRider forum a few years ago, and in that case the u-joint failure was literally explosive, since it let go while the bike was traveling at fairly high speed, and the fragments blew right through the housing!

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post #17 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 7:43 am Thread Starter
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Holy crap!!!....that would not be cool at all...I hope the rider was okay
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post #18 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 7:59 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

Here is a link to all you would ever want to know about spline lube.

https://advrider.com/f/threads/r1200...orial.1129815/

JVB Productions shares a lot, and his maintenance DVD is worth every penny.

I did my 15 RT and wrote about. I did my 17.5 GS and wrote about it.

It is a very real issue. That said I think it is something that once addressed it only needs done every 24K or so. Unless you do water crossing on a GS/GSA then I would say once a year may not be enough.

Seating and sealing the rubber gator is probably one of the most important things you can do. However it is a poor design and does not allow water out once it is in.

As to the drive shafts if I get to the 70K mark I will install a new one. From everything I read about failed drive shafts 70K is a good time to replace.

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post #19 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 8:00 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

He was fine! It would scare the you-know-what out of me, if that had happened to me!


BTW, on the FD oil. I had just taken a look at what BMW called out for our wethead, originally, by running the original DVD, and there, the oil for the FD was called out as Gear oil (Castrol SAF-XO), which is identical to what is called out for all of the prior models 1200s. OTOH, I had made the RepROM installation onto my hard drive, which makes the program updatable, and the latest update specifies "Hypoid Axle Oil G3"! Interesting! I had been using that Landrover oil all along, but I knew that it is identical to the Castrol SAF-XO.

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2014 R1200RT (Quartz Metallic Blue - Returned to BMW)
2007 R1200RT (Sold!)


Once Upon a Time........
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1960 Triumph Bonneville (T120)
1960 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
1952 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Lol!!...yes they look nasty.....I was planning on total exaust swap...but with my previous stator failure then final drive!!!...well I think I will just paint them or something...save my money!!!!
I had the headers on my '06RT ceramic coated, both for some helpful heat reduction, and to eliminate the blue/brown discolouration and associated polishing... I removed the headers myself, took them in to the shop, and then re-installed them myself. Took a week, and only cost me $125'ish CAD. Plenty of colour options available - I went with a satin black to blend in with the darker bodywork down there.
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post #21 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 9:57 am Thread Starter
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Lol!!...yes they look nasty.....I was planning on total exaust swap...but with my previous stator failure then final drive!!!...well I think I will just paint them or something...save my money!!!!
I had the headers on my '06RT ceramic coated, both for some helpful heat reduction, and to eliminate the blue/brown discolouration and associated polishing... I removed the headers myself, took them in to the shop, and then re-installed them myself. Took a week, and only cost me $125'ish CAD. Plenty of colour options available - I went with a satin black to blend in with the darker bodywork down there.
That looks very nice!!!...I just picked up can of VHT high temp header ceramic coat spray bomb...will see how that works...satin black
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post #22 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 10:31 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Here is a link to all you would ever want to know about spline lube.



https://advrider.com/f/threads/r1200...orial.1129815/



JVB Productions shares a lot, and his maintenance DVD is worth every penny.



I did my 15 RT and wrote about. I did my 17.5 GS and wrote about it.



It is a very real issue. That said I think it is something that once addressed it only needs done every 24K or so. Unless you do water crossing on a GS/GSA then I would say once a year may not be enough.

Wow. This is good info, I log a ton on miles (about 500 per wk), and here in SoCal we don’t get much rain, but I’ve rode in it a few good times. I’ve logged 31k miles in 14 months (2013 had 19k when I got it last year). I just hit 50k last week! I spoke of the drive shaft/ FD failing at the rumored 60k with the service techs, and they said in essence nothing to worry about if it’s serviced (I’ve done every service since getting the bike myself). I’m thinking at the 60k service checking the splines, and adding lube, don’t look too hard.




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post #23 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 1:55 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Wow. This is good info, I log a ton on miles (about 500 per wk), and here in SoCal we don’t get much rain, but I’ve rode in it a few good times. I’ve logged 31k miles in 14 months (2013 had 19k when I got it last year). I just hit 50k last week! I spoke of the drive shaft/ FD failing at the rumored 60k with the service techs, and they said in essence nothing to worry about if it’s serviced (I’ve done every service since getting the bike myself). I’m thinking at the 60k service checking the splines, and adding lube, don’t look too hard.




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I wouldn't worry about the FD failing, nor about lubing the splines. No real reason to lube the splines, except perhaps to keep it from rusting, but if it does rust, it's an indicator of moisture inside! The most common issues with the FD of your vintage RT is blown seal, but your '13 RT has vented FD, and so it shouldn't be an issue for you. The main bearing do fail on relatively rare occasions.
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2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
2014 R1200RT (Quartz Metallic Blue - Returned to BMW)
2007 R1200RT (Sold!)


Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville (T120)
1960 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
1952 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
1932 Triumph 500
1952 BSA Goldstar

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post #24 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 1:55 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAF View Post
Here is a link to all you would ever want to know about spline lube.



https://advrider.com/f/threads/r1200...orial.1129815/







JVB Productions shares a lot, and his maintenance DVD is worth every penny.



I did my 15 RT and wrote about. I did my 17.5 GS and wrote about it.



It is a very real issue. That said I think it is something that once addressed it only needs done every 24K or so. Unless you do water crossing on a GS/GSA then I would say once a year may not be enough.

Wow. This is good info, I log a ton on miles (about 500 per wk), and here in SoCal we don’t get much rain, but I’ve rode in it a few good times. I’ve logged 31k miles in 14 months (2013 had 19k when I got it last year). I just hit 50k last week! I spoke of the drive shaft/ FD failing at the rumored 60k with the service techs, and they said in essence nothing to worry about if it’s serviced (I’ve done every service since getting the bike myself). I’m thinking at the 60k service checking the splines, and adding lube, don’t look too hard.




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I just can't believe that 60 or 80 K...miles is acceptable failure for that drive shaft...it's a 600 lb motorcycle with 125 hp...compared to a 3 or 4 thousand lb car pick up with maybe 250 hp...u-joint don't typically fail that soon...and they are exposed to dirt and grime and water...I think the problem lies in the fact that the moisture gets trapped in there and no airflow to dry it out....so might be crazy but leaving the boot off would actually allow airflow and dry time...but dust and grime would get in...I am about due to service that and will decide how to go forward when I inspect it...this will be the first service since replacing that over priced shaft...and will definitely drop it down and have a look see...I love my bmw but seems like they are in the parts business not motorcycle business....
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post #25 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 4:36 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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I just can't believe that 60 or 80 K...miles is acceptable failure for that drive shaft...it's a 600 lb motorcycle with 125 hp...compared to a 3 or 4 thousand lb car pick up with maybe 250 hp...u-joint don't typically fail that soon...and they are exposed to dirt and grime and water...I think the problem lies in the fact that the moisture gets trapped in there and no airflow to dry it out....so might be crazy but leaving the boot off would actually allow airflow and dry time...but dust and grime would get in...I am about due to service that and will decide how to go forward when I inspect it...this will be the first service since replacing that over priced shaft...and will definitely drop it down and have a look see...I love my bmw but seems like they are in the parts business not motorcycle business....


Yea, me neither...at the rate I’m logging miles, I’ll find out soon enough. I take it in to the dealership to have them reset my service light, they used to do my valves until I got tired of giving them $180. Took me less than 10 minutes to do em. Tell you what tho, they only moved shims around, I actually replaced them, and my MPG went up, and the engine is a lot smoother


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post #26 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 5:27 pm Thread Starter
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I just can't believe that 60 or 80 K...miles is acceptable failure for that drive shaft...it's a 600 lb motorcycle with 125 hp...compared to a 3 or 4 thousand lb car pick up with maybe 250 hp...u-joint don't typically fail that soon...and they are exposed to dirt and grime and water...I think the problem lies in the fact that the moisture gets trapped in there and no airflow to dry it out....so might be crazy but leaving the boot off would actually allow airflow and dry time...but dust and grime would get in...I am about due to service that and will decide how to go forward when I inspect it...this will be the first service since replacing that over priced shaft...and will definitely drop it down and have a look see...I love my bmw but seems like they are in the parts business not motorcycle business....


Yea, me neither...at the rate I’m logging miles, I’ll find out soon enough. I take it in to the dealership to have them reset my service light, they used to do my valves until I got tired of giving them $180. Took me less than 10 minutes to do em. Tell you what tho, they only moved shims around, I actually replaced them, and my MPG went up, and the engine is a lot smoother


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Yep...I will be checking mine this service...have yet to need anything...but in case is it best to shoot for the middle of tolerance or go to the tight side of tolerance range????
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post #27 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 6:13 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Yep...I will be checking mine this service...have yet to need anything...but in case is it best to shoot for the middle of tolerance or go to the tight side of tolerance range????
If anything I'd go on the "loose" side of the range rather than the tight side.

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post #28 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 6:38 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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I just can't believe that 60 or 80 K...miles is acceptable failure for that drive shaft...it's a 600 lb motorcycle with 125 hp
I agree--pretty unfortunate vulnerability. It seems to me the needle bearing cups must not be sealed sufficiently because if they were retained water should really not be an issue. If there is truly no way for water to get out that too is a sad oversight because even if the boots are properly set and sealed condensation in cold weather is going to occur to some degree. Perhaps there is enough room in the housing to store a silica gel reservoir? I'm planning on replacing the drive shaft at 80K if I and it make it that far. Not interested in having the bloody thing explode pieces out the housing when it finally decides to succumb to its vulnerabilities. I'll take a well-designed belt FD any day of the week on a street bike over the heavy, expensive, inefficient, maintenance-requiring shaft drive that explodes on occasion. I know I know most of the time it's fine. Just like most of the time you won't collide with another vehicle until you do.
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post #29 of 71 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 7:03 pm Thread Starter
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I just can't believe that 60 or 80 K...miles is acceptable failure for that drive shaft...it's a 600 lb motorcycle with 125 hp
I agree--pretty unfortunately vulnerability. It seems to me the needle bearing cups must not be sealed sufficiently because if they were retained water should really not be an issue. If there is truly no way for water to get out that too is a sad oversight because even if the boots are properly set and sealed condensation in cold weather is going to occur to some degree. Perhaps there is enough room in the housing to store a silica gel reservoir? I'm planning on replacing the drive shaft at 80K if I and it make it that far. Not interested in having the bloody thing explode pieces out the housing when it finally decides to succumb to its vulnerabilities. I'll take a well-designed belt FD any day of the week on a street bike over the heavy, expensive, inefficient, maintenance-requiring shaft drive that explodes on occasion. I know I know most of the time it's fine. Just like most of the time you won't collide with another vehicle until you do.
The actual u-joint showed a lot of deterioration from rust..the cups that hold the bearing caps was eaten away at the edges...as well as the bearings....yes I believe there is room for a silica pack...I am going to try some little plastic rust inhibitor plates I found on Amazon....not sure if it's a hoax..lol..it's supposed to create a cloud in that area and prevent any rust for two years...I am also going to seal the u-joint with T-9...maybe this is over kill but no harm I think..and possibly restore confidence so I don't have to inspect everytime I change the final drive oil...
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post #30 of 71 Old Jul 7th, 2019, 4:26 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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I had the headers on my '06RT ceramic coated, both for some helpful heat reduction, and to eliminate the blue/brown discolouration and associated polishing... I removed the headers myself, took them in to the shop, and then re-installed them myself. Took a week, and only cost me $125'ish CAD. Plenty of colour options available - I went with a satin black to blend in with the darker bodywork down there.


Just called a local shop for a price $180, and he wouldn’t say specifically if it was ceramic, just that the paint would hold up to 1200°. Where’d you have yours done?


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post #31 of 71 Old Jul 7th, 2019, 7:11 pm Thread Starter
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Just did the valve check at 98K...still in spec at 15 and 38...I would have thought they would need attention by now...cam lobes looked good...all is well...will do the final drive and u-joint tomorrow...also painted my exaust...VHT...rated for 1200 plus degree ceramic black in rattle can...looks good...no doubt a professional coated would be better...I guess we will see how it holds up...11 bucks...I will post a pic when I get it back together...had to remove crash bars a Tupperware to get the exaust off...used T-9 in the flapper exaust thingy......
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post #32 of 71 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 10:29 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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Just called a local shop for a price $180, and he wouldn’t say specifically if it was ceramic, just that the paint would hold up to 1200°. Where’d you have yours done?


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I live a short ferry ride away from the Lower Mainland (Vancouver) in British Columbia, so I found a shop there (https://www.koolcoatceramiccoatings.com/). There were dozens to choose from, and I phone or emailed 5 or 6 different outfits. This one was the easiest to deal with, provided loads of information, AND had the best price. Most others were in the $175-$200 ranges (CAD).
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post #33 of 71 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:45 pm Thread Starter
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Just did the valve check at 98K...still in spec at 15 and 38...I would have thought they would need attention by now...cam lobes looked good...all is well...will do the final drive and u-joint tomorrow...also painted my exaust...VHT...rated for 1200 plus degree ceramic black in rattle can...looks good...no doubt a professional coated would be better...I guess we will see how it holds up...11 bucks...I will post a pic when I get it back together...had to remove crash bars a Tupperware to get the exaust off...used T-9 in the flapper exaust thingy......
Update...so I painter the headers...pic below...also if interested I inspected my replaced final drive shaft after about 6000 miles couple of rainy rides and several car wash...no rust was found...but I believe the moisture problem other than getting the boot sealed lies in the end of the swing arm housing..looked cuddy in there and defiantly a good place to trap water if any gets in there...so cleaned everything up T-9 on the u-joint...molly on the splines and that little magic rust thingy laying in the housing...I drilled a weep hole at that low spot...so I believe the problem is solved....I am confident enough to not mess with dropping that differential every time I change the oil now...gonna skip that PIA of getting the splines lined up for a while..pics below...shows the angle of the drill....lemme know what you think...thanks
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post #34 of 71 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 3:49 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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....lemme know what you think...thanks
So are you blanking that hole off?

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....lemme know what you think...thanks
So are you blanking that hole off?
?????.....sorry not sure what you are asking
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post #36 of 71 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:00 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

I think what Andy is saying is that the hole will also let water/moisture in! The internal air temperature will rise some while the bike is running, and when it cool down, it will suck in (potentially) moist outside air or any water that may have accumulated around that hole.

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post #37 of 71 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:27 am Thread Starter
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I think what Andy is saying is that the hole will also let water/moisture in! The internal air temperature will rise some while the bike is running, and when it cool down, it will suck in (potentially) moist outside air or any water that may have accumulated around that hole.
Okay...I see...well it would be easy to put a rubber plug in that and just pop it out occasionally...see if any water comes out...that might be a good idea....and remember the u-joint failure at 70K...was absolutely not due to wear...simply corrosion...the upper end looked new...again I think it's crazy to plan for failure on this part at that range of milage...sure many people trade or might never put that many miles on....I am long term with this RT and intend on several hundred thousand miles...and I am a bit of a prevent maintenance nut....just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling I guess...but that spot in the housing is obviously a water moisture trap and why bmw had not addressed that is beyond me....I am willing to bet that many of the shaft failures have been because of rust....that's not acceptable...
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post #38 of 71 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 8:40 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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?????.....sorry not sure what you are asking
Pad has raised the issues I am concerned about. Putting a hole in there will do way more harm than good, unless it is blanked off. As you say, just un-blank occasionally to check for any fluids. , then pop the blanking plug back in.

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post #39 of 71 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 9:48 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

Now water has an unobstructed path to get inside the swingarm. I'm sorry but that's just a horrible idea implemented to fix a problem that doesn't really exist in large enough numbers to warrant it. I mean, if you do water crossings every day then sure but otherwise you are just introducing a new problem.
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post #40 of 71 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 9:50 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

Wait, you said "car washes" in one post. Are you using the high-pressure sprayer to clean your bike? That is a total no-no.
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post #41 of 71 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 8:33 am Thread Starter
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Wait, you said "car washes" in one post. Are you using the high-pressure sprayer to clean your bike? That is a total no-no.
Seriously!!...?...I find it hard to believe that our BMW'S are so fragile and sensitive that using a car wash is a no-no...I understand using common sense as to where you spray the water...of course.....when I use the car wash it's primarily for the front where all the bugs are....under the nose for the front shock....the radiators to clean the bugs out of there...and the engine area as well as the rear wheel...but yes I will spray off the swing arm....I have even on rare occasions removed both seats and the small side covers to gain access to the rear shock and get all that dust that accumulated under the seats...never an issue from doing this...I guess it possible that the small amount of washing the swing arm and the boots would allow some water inside due to the poor design of the rubber boots and how they seal...I also put a nice film of o-ring silicone between the rubber and aluminum at those boots to aid in the sealing....
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post #42 of 71 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 8:49 am Thread Starter
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Now water has an unobstructed path to get inside the swingarm. I'm sorry but that's just a horrible idea implemented to fix a problem that doesn't really exist in large enough numbers to warrant it. I mean, if you do water crossings every day then sure but otherwise you are just introducing a new problem.
Have never needed do water crossings with my RT...I wouldn't call it a horrible idea at all...that area is no doubt a water trap...with condensation or leak from the boots during ride in rain...that water needs a escape route..as far as water getting in there from that hole it would need to travel vertically about 3/8 of an inch up that little hole......but as suggested by another I will put a silicone rubber tapered plug in the hole and have a easy way to see if anything comes out....I am happy with my idea...and don't believe what I have done will hurt anything .....I know for a fact when searching for low milage replacement shaft from a salvage bike rather than paying 1300 for a new one...many of the salvage shafts showed rust at that end...so I do think it's a problem and something that bmw could solve easily if they would....if your bike is more than a couple years old and has some miles on it especially wet weather then I would suggest you take a look....thanks for your input
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post #43 of 71 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 12:52 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

It's your bike. Do what you want but I used to use car wash power sprayers back in the 80's and learned from that is, over time, a bad idea.

My bike is 6 years old with 15k miles. I bought it last April with 6k put on it by two other owners so I have no idea whether it was ridden much in the but I doubt it. It was maintained by the dealer, I have the records, so I'm guessing the other guys were not wrench twisters. I on the other hand ride rain or shine.

The pics are of my drive shaft taken this past March when I did the 12k service. To me, it looks like it's brand new. I see corrosion as a time, not miles, based phenomenon so this shaft has lived through 6 seasons here in the humid/very hot, then dry/cold mid-south.

I was lubing the splines which, as you can see, look fine (these are before lubing) and had some lube on them. I used the OEM-specified spline lube and sealed the boot, again, with the grease they specified. That's the best solution to keep water out of the swing arm.

Using a pressure washer is just a bad idea. That boot is not intended to repel water under 1000+psi pressure. I get that you're being careful but still, drilling a hole in the unit seems like a solution to problem that isn't there.
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post #44 of 71 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 1:00 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

...some car wash sprayers put out enough pressure to strip the skin off your fingers. No seal, hose, or wire harness on ANY motorcycle (I was on Hondas and Yamahas back when I was doing it) will hold up to that kind of pressure. I use a garden hose and sponge with soapy water to wash my bike and don't care about dirt under the seat enough to try to strip the paint off the frame to clean it.

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post #45 of 71 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 1:19 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

Final thought...

Moisture is in the air and will be inside the swingarm no matter what you do. The boots are intended to keep liquid water out (splashed from the road) and are not airtight. Thus, whatever moisture is in there, under the right conditions will condense until reabsorbed so there might then be a tiny puddle (what? 1 or 2 cc's?) in that area. Worst case is the air inside the swingarm is fully saturated with moisture (100% humidity) plus a few cc's of liquid.

I'm an engineer and not much of material scientist. Having said that, I'm not convinced that a steel shaft in fully saturated air at normal pressures and temperatures is automatically more prone to corrosion than one in air that's only, say, 50% saturated. This is what I mean when I say you're fixing a problem that doesn't exist.

There's no doubt that there are corrosion-related drive shaft failures but I'd be more willing to believe that the ones that are failing are defective in some other way (bad coating, bad bearings, overzealous staking of the u-joint bearing, etc.). If trace amounts of moisture in excess of what's normal in the environment was the actual cause of the reported failures then there'd be a thousand of us on here screaming for a fix.

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[QUOTE=

There's no doubt that there are corrosion-related drive shaft failures but I'd be more willing to believe that the ones that are failing are defective in some other way (bad coating, bad bearings, overzealous staking of the u-joint bearing, etc.). If trace amounts of moisture in excess of what's normal in the environment was the actual cause of the reported failures then there'd be a thousand of us on here screaming for a fix.[/QUOTE]

Please keep in mind my failure was at about 80 K..miles and almost four years...the top end still looked and felt brand new...the entire cause was of the lower end was corrosion...now what I am trying to do is prevent that from happening again...time will tell...take care
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post #47 of 71 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 7:34 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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.......
I'm an engineer and not much of material scientist. Having said that, I'm not convinced that a steel shaft in fully saturated air at normal pressures and temperatures is automatically more prone to corrosion than one in air that's only, say, 50% saturated. This is what I mean when I say you're fixing a problem that doesn't exist.

There's no doubt that there are corrosion-related drive shaft failures but I'd be more willing to believe that the ones that are failing are defective in some other way (bad coating, bad bearings, overzealous staking of the u-joint bearing, etc.). If trace amounts of moisture in excess of what's normal in the environment was the actual cause of the reported failures then there'd be a thousand of us on here screaming for a fix.
As an old mechanical engineer with lots of practical experience, and part of which had been in the heavy (very heavy) automotive field, I will tell you that the probability of commercial bearing being bad is extremely low. Another thing that I should point out to a fellow engineer is that engineer deals with facts and data. You have facts presented to you in this particular case, and if you do some research (I suggest reading multitude of threads on the subject on AdvRider forum, for a start) you will be able to "guess" with better accuracy!

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post #48 of 71 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 9:40 pm
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

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As an old mechanical engineer with lots of practical experience, and part of which had been in the heavy (very heavy) automotive field, I will tell you that the probability of commercial bearing being bad is extremely low. Another thing that I should point out to a fellow engineer is that engineer deals with facts and data. You have facts presented to you in this particular case, and if you do some research (I suggest reading multitude of threads on the subject on AdvRider forum, for a start) you will be able to "guess" with better accuracy!
Rodger that. Data and historical Facts go a long way in real world failures and prevention. I am of the thinking best to keep dry, that boot intact and no Pressure wash. Limited rain rides. The best I can tell BMW service interval is for Gear Lube and none for spline. If I were to open, I would use Belray saltwater proof grease on boot that does not rinse out. Many years of off road Bikes here . The photos of failures I've seen have been rusty splines. That would put higher side loads on the bearing. I rode 15K last year (bike now at 29k 2012)and hope my shaft runs longer than me..... EE in Ohio
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As an old mechanical engineer with lots of practical experience, and part of which had been in the heavy (very heavy) automotive field, I will tell you that the probability of commercial bearing being bad is extremely low. Another thing that I should point out to a fellow engineer is that engineer deals with facts and data. You have facts presented to you in this particular case, and if you do some research (I suggest reading multitude of threads on the subject on AdvRider forum, for a start) you will be able to "guess" with better accuracy! <img src="http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
Rodger that. Data and historical Facts go a long way in real world failures and prevention. I am of the thinking best to keep dry, that boot intact and no Pressure wash. Limited rain rides. The best I can tell BMW service interval is for Gear Lube and none for spline. If I were to open, I would use Belray saltwater proof grease on boot that does not rinse out. Many years of off road Bikes here . The photos of failures I've seen have been rusty splines. That would put higher side loads on the bearing. I rode 15K last year (bike now at 29k 2012)and hope my shaft runs longer than me..... EE in Ohio
BMW really should put information (caution) about rain...car wash..and cold weather riding in the owners manual...one of many of the reasons I bought mine was because of the longevity and durability reputation...I did lots of research and sat on and rode many different bikes...have had motorcycles on the road since 1973...I like to do my own service and repairs...I am not an engineer and consider myself a shade tree mechanic at best...lots of trial and error and do overs before I get things right...I have had the engine out twice on this bike and as usual the second time went much much better...that said the history of final drive failures that I found at the time were I believe related to the differential...and I was under the impression that was specific to a earlier year range...but to my shade tree brain this corrosion problem is something that exist and and probably shows up well beyond warranty weather the cause is car wash...wet weather..or condensation during cold weather riding but keeping that area dry is something we should address and BMW has dropped the ball on this problem...there is a company in California that sells re-buildable and serviceable shaft for pre wet head bikes it will be some time before they offer one for the wet head......below is a interesting link pertaining to the drive shaft....hope this helps and hoping for more prevent maintenance tips and tricks...thanks

https://riders.drivemag.com/news/her...m-time-to-time
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post #50 of 71 Old Jul 12th, 2019, 7:30 am
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Re: PRE-VENT MAINTENANCE

You don't have to be an engineer to be excellent at mechanical stuff. Actually, I noticed that for some, it is somewhat of a deterrence!!


Nothing wrong with shade tree mechanic either. I could call myself the same thing, since I'd started taking cars and bikes apart since I was in the mid-teen. Heck, some of the things that I had done in those days scares the daylight out of me nowadays. Imagine having a car up on a bumper jack, on the side of a fairly busy street, and me under it, dropping the sump, to get at the big-end bearings to disassemble, so that I could pull the pistons, with con-rod attached, from the top. Oh, yeah, one of the front wheel was taken off, so that I had better accessibility to the sump! I don't know how I managed to have lived to the present age!!!

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2007 R1200RT (Sold!)


Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville (T120)
1960 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
1952 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
1932 Triumph 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
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