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I have a new to me 2014 R1200RT with about 11K miles. I have never owned a BMW or a bike with a driveshaft....so I am trying to figure out what is normal. I hear some occasional clanking noise when going down the road, usually at lower speeds. I originally thought it was just the nature of the beast and that I was hearing the movement of the driveshaft as the swing arm pivots over bumbs.

Today I had it on the center stand and threw it into first and am still hearing some clanking noises...hopefully you can hear them in the video....they are louder towards the end.


Now before I start tearing things down or taking it to the dealer who is an hour away......what is normal? Should I heard any clicking/clanking/ticking noises coming from the driveshaft? What is the best way to isolate what the issue is?

I feel no side to side movement of of the wheel if I try to twist it. If I have the bike off, on the center stand and in gear, I can roll the tire forward and it stops, I can then roll it backward and it stops. Probably about 2 inches of movement. Nothing seems odd with that.

Thanks
Matt
 

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I have a '14 as well. There's always some driveline lash in a shaft-driven bike, nature of the beast. However, when you have it on the center stand and put it in gear, there's no resistance as there is when the bike is moving along a road surface, so that will make things flop around a bit. I suspect that could be contributing to the noises you hear. Does it make those noises when you're riding? That might be cause for concern. Check the rear end gear oil level. Find out when it was last changed. Change it if you're concerned.

Go ride and enjoy it.

:)
 

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I also think it's just normal drive-line lash. Just OCD so I would change the fluids and then just ride it, but if it bothers you take it to your dealer. An hour away dealer is not an issue, mine is 275 miles from home.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does it make those noises when you're riding?

:)
It does make the same noise when riding....but not all the time. I will go ahead and change out the gear oil.

I found another YouTube video with a similar issue and from all the comments it seems to be normal.

I appreciate the feedback.
 

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mine a 2016 r1200rt make the same sounds when drive slow on the center stand , when driven normal on its wheels it is very smooth and no noise, my drive line is tight with almost no lash.:smile:
 

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I have a new to me 2014 R1200RT with about 11K miles. I have never owned a BMW or a bike with a driveshaft....so I am trying to figure out what is normal. I hear some occasional clanking noise when going down the road, usually at lower speeds. I originally thought it was just the nature of the beast and that I was hearing the movement of the driveshaft as the swing arm pivots over bumbs.
Matt
That is not a fair test of your drive. If you repeat the test but drag the rear brake it will get rid of the backlash. And, really that is all you can hear. It is not an issue at all. If you try this with any bike running on the centre-stand at low revs it will do it. You will notice as the revs go up, the noise stops. that is because the drive is pulling forward all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is not a fair test of your drive. If you repeat the test but drag the rear brake it will get rid of the backlash. And, really that is all you can hear. It is not an issue at all. If you try this with any bike running on the centre-stand at low revs it will do it. You will notice as the revs go up, the noise stops. that is because the drive is pulling forward all the time.
I was hoping it was normal.....it's just that being a first time drive shaft owner....I don't know what normal is. Do you occasionally hear it while riding as I do?
 

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I was hoping it was normal.....it's just that being a first time drive shaft owner....I don't know what normal is. Do you occasionally hear it while riding as I do?
My bike is a much older model, but what I say holds true for both. If you are riding in too high a gear for the conditions, this clunking will manifest itself there too.
 

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I have a new to me 2014 R1200RT with about 11K miles. I have never owned a BMW or a bike with a driveshaft....so I am trying to figure out what is normal. I hear some occasional clanking noise when going down the road, usually at lower speeds. I originally thought it was just the nature of the beast and that I was hearing the movement of the driveshaft as the swing arm pivots over bumbs.

Today I had it on the center stand and threw it into first and am still hearing some clanking noises...hopefully you can hear them in the video....they are louder towards the end.


Thanks
Matt
Matt

Mine had a similar noise on the center stand. I asked the dealer and thru post on this site the following conclusion.

On the drive shaft there are u-joints front and back. There is a slip joint on both sides to rear axle and other side to the engine. You are running the rear wheel unloaded by having it both on the center stand at full angle and no load from the ground. This will cause the drive shaft to lurch in and out of the spline joint and cause the noise you are hearing. It was advised not to rev engine in gear like you are doing. It cannot be good for the drive shaft,engine or rear drive.

That is the conclusion that I came to. If there are other opinions please let me know.

Gary
 

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My bike is a much older model, but what I say holds true for both. If you are riding in too high a gear for the conditions, this clunking will manifest itself there too.
Excellent point!! Newcomers to the RT generally ride them at too low rpm. Keep the rpm up north of 3k for most conditions!
 
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My 16 makes that noise on the center stand and if lugging the engine. If I have the wheel turning on the center stand and apply a bit of rear brake to add a bit of load on the drive line the noise goes away. I agree that it is drive train lash.
 

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Everything about this is being normal is correct for sure.

Also I know I am pretty fussy but I say this out of concern.

STOP running bikes in gear on the center stand. You are just setting yourself up for a disaster. Really these bikes are tipsy front to rear on the center stand and if the floor is off one way or another that will add to the ease of tilt.

A good question as I noticed it by turning the rear wheel by hand on the center stand when new and shiny and cleaning the rear wheel. I asked a friend who owns a Wet Head and ridden BMW for 40 years about it and he said normal and no worries.

I guess in the end it is your bike but I would hate to see a bike or person get hurt over a bike running in gear on a center stand.
 

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I have a new to me 2014 R1200RT with about 11K miles. I have never owned a BMW or a bike with a driveshaft....so I am trying to figure out what is normal. I hear some occasional clanking noise when going down the road, usually at lower speeds. I originally thought it was just the nature of the beast and that I was hearing the movement of the driveshaft as the swing arm pivots over bumbs.

Today I had it on the center stand and threw it into first and am still hearing some clanking noises...hopefully you can hear them in the video....they are louder towards the end.

Now before I start tearing things down or taking it to the dealer who is an hour away......what is normal? Should I heard any clicking/clanking/ticking noises coming from the driveshaft? What is the best way to isolate what the issue is?

I feel no side to side movement of of the wheel if I try to twist it. If I have the bike off, on the center stand and in gear, I can roll the tire forward and it stops, I can then roll it backward and it stops. Probably about 2 inches of movement. Nothing seems odd with that.

Thanks
Matt

Hi,

I have exactly the same issue/question.
I also have a R1200RT LC '14, bought a few months ago with 74000km.
Before i had a R1150RT from 2002, and never had heard this sound.
Now i know that the mechanics has changed a lot on the latest models, but did'nt expect this to be normal.

Here's how i discover it:

Driving the bike in 5e or 6e gear, with a constant speed arround 70km/h.
When you close trottle a little bit, you can hear a knock coming from the gearbox somewhere.
Again when you accelerate a little, the same knock.
It looks like the freeplay of the driveshaft.

I found some video's where they demonstrate how to test this freeplay and mine looks to be normal. (arround 50mm on the outside of rear tyre)

I also took the bike to a BMW service center to check, but they say it's normal, or they don't hear it like i do... (you start fixating on that knock sound ... :) )

So i'm still not convinced that it's normal.
I'm going to take a second opinion in another BMW shop soon.

Did you found more about this issue ?

Tom
 

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Hey All;

on the same idea.
I have 103k on my 2016.
pulled the driveshaft and all looks good. maybe very slight notchiness
on the FD side, but very slight. The trans side is near perfect
I blew apart a driveshaft on my LT at 120k.
What kind of driveshaft mileage are you guys seeing from this model?

BTW, 1300$$$$$$ from BMW, they truly are loosing their minds.

Zeke
 

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I have a 2012rt. Same thing. The play in the drivetrain is in the gearbox. If you ever pull the F/D off put it in gear then rotate the shaft back and forth. That's where the play or backlash is. You can check the F/D for play and it should be tight. Running it on the centerstand like in the video jas no forward load on the wheel so it will bounce back and forth and hence the clunking noise.
 

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Hi,

I have exactly the same issue/question.
I also have a R1200RT LC '14, bought a few months ago with 74000km.
Before i had a R1150RT from 2002, and never had heard this sound.
Now i know that the mechanics has changed a lot on the latest models, but did'nt expect this to be normal.

Here's how i discover it:

Driving the bike in 5e or 6e gear, with a constant speed arround 70km/h.
When you close trottle a little bit, you can hear a knock coming from the gearbox somewhere.
Again when you accelerate a little, the same knock.
It looks like the freeplay of the driveshaft.

I found some video's where they demonstrate how to test this freeplay and mine looks to be normal. (arround 50mm on the outside of rear tyre)

I also took the bike to a BMW service center to check, but they say it's normal, or they don't hear it like i do... (you start fixating on that knock sound ... :) )

So i'm still not convinced that it's normal.
I'm going to take a second opinion in another BMW shop soon.

Did you found more about this issue ?

Tom
43 MPH is way, way too slow to use 6th gear or even 5th gear. If you are running less than 3,000 RPM you are letting the power pulses from that big twin interact with the drivetrain lash. The solution is to run in 3rd gear at that speed.
 
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