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Discussion Starter #1
What is causing all these FD failures? and what exactly fails?

Dang there's a bunch of them! [If] mine fails ?..I'll repair it, and sell the motorcycle...and that will be the end of my "K" days...........jus'sayin.

A motorcycle I can't depend on?......is dumpster bound...
 

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if you want cheap final drive problems you have to stick with chain/belt drive - even Yamaha final drives get very expensive if splines fail and you have to replace pinion (crown gear set) - not uncommon
 

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Someone at the factory (and more than a few service centers) have assembled or reassembled the final drives with too much preload on the crown bearing. The preload is determined on each FD by shim selection so a failed unit really should not have the bearing simply replaced, using the old shim system.

There are independent Gurus (and maybe a few BMW shops, but not many I suspect) that do a first class job of setting the bearing preloads properly.

When set properly, I've not read of any subsequent failures. If you have a failure, don't assume a dealer knows how to adjust the preload. Use a Guru. If you use a Guru, there's no need to sell the bike out of spite.
 

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niel_petersen said:
[...] there's no need to sell the bike out of spite.
because the only person you will be spiting is yourself.
 

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Keep in mind too that there are tens of thousands of these on the road. While the issue is more common than it should be, it seems to be pretty clear that the issue is simply too much shim in the housing. Any bearing will fail when overtightened. This particular design with a tapered roller on one end and a caged roller on the other is more susceptible to the problem than your front axle, as an example. The front axle uses two caged bearings and a tubed shim to keep all the torque on the inner races when the axle bolt is tightened so it can tolerate much more overtightening. On the rear too much shim causes the roller bearings to roll off center in the race and move around as the load varies on the rear wheel with bumps, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
gary45 said:
if you want cheap final drive problems you have to stick with chain/belt drive - even Yamaha final drives get very expensive if splines fail and you have to replace pinion (crown gear set) - not uncommon

LOL! I don't want [cheap] FD problems,..I don't want any!

I've owned BMWs since the early 80s, not to mention other shaft-drive motorcycles,...and I managed / serviced / maintained,.. a police motorcycle fleet......I have never experienced a drive failure , more than [one] broken chain. In over 40 years.
 

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Ron02LT said:
LOL! I don't want [cheap] FD problems,..I don't want any!

I've owned BMWs since the early 80s, not to mention other shaft-drive motorcycles,...and I managed / serviced / maintained,.. a police motorcycle fleet......I have never experienced a drive failure , more than [one] broken chain. In over 40 years.
Sounds like you need to sell.
What do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DanMartin said:
Sounds like you need to sell.
What do you have?
Right now i have a 2004 R1150R Roadster, the KLT [2002]. and two Kawasaki Vulcans. A 1999 Drifter & a 2000 Nomad. BTW..both of those are for sale....thin out the fleet :rolleyes:
 

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Ron02LT said:
Right now i have a 2004 R1150R Roadster, the KLT [2002]. and two Kawasaki Vulcans. A 1999 Drifter & a 2000 Nomad. BTW..both of those are for sale....thin out the fleet :rolleyes:
I am looking for a newer LT.
Most FD's that are setup improperly from the factory are going to fail around 40k.
If it bugs you as much as it sounds like, do a preemptive rebuild at 30-40k.
 

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DanMartin said:
I am looking for a newer LT.
Most FD's that are setup improperly from the factory are going to fail around 40k.
If it bugs you as much as it sounds like, do a preemptive rebuild at 30-40k.
So if I'm over 80K am good to go another 80K ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DanMartin said:
I am looking for a newer LT.
Most FD's that are setup improperly from the factory are going to fail around 40k.
If it bugs you as much as it sounds like, do a preemptive rebuild at 30-40k.

It's not that it bugs me, it just shouldn't happen, This one has 53000 and i just bought it a week ago, So yes I'll pull it apart, and if it's a set-up problem ? I'll correct it. and be done with it, as I intend to do some travel on it. I was under the impression it was a design flaw, and an on-going problem. I bought the M/C @ a price that i don't mind spending some $$$ on it. as then I'll know what I have. Did {BMW} do nothing for these guys under warranty?, I'm talking for original owner, first failure.

My Roadster is great, but I'm not as young as once was, and have a touch of arthritis. I'd heard about the comfort [of] the LT , and this one sorta fell in my lap, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.
 

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"... Did {BMW} do nothing for these guys under warranty?"

When my 02 let go (in the middle of nowhere, WY), BMW fixed it, paid the tow, and paid the rental car to get home. Plus mileage to retrieve the bike. Felt treated pretty well, all in all. Bike would still be running, except for the SUV attack.

I'd check it out, then decide if you want to keep it. It is a FABULOUS travel bike! Note the replacement for the 02.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
taylorjn said:
"... Did {BMW} do nothing for these guys under warranty?"

When my 02 let go (in the middle of nowhere, WY), BMW fixed it, paid the tow, and paid the rental car to get home. Plus mileage to retrieve the bike. Felt treated pretty well, all in all. Bike would still be running, except for the SUV attack.

I'd check it out, then decide if you want to keep it. It is a FABULOUS travel bike! Note the replacement for the 02.

Well then at least they did right by you, and I sure hope others?...as well.

That's my plan, ride it a-bit local, take a trip or two,...and see. As I said, my first "K" and my first full-blown tour bike...never know?...might fall in LUV first time I let the clutch out... ;)
 

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taylorjn said:
"... Did {BMW} do nothing for these guys under warranty?"

When my 02 let go (in the middle of nowhere, WY), BMW fixed it, paid the tow, and paid the rental car to get home. Plus mileage to retrieve the bike. Felt treated pretty well, all in all. Bike would still be running, except for the SUV attack.

I'd check it out, then decide if you want to keep it. It is a FABULOUS travel bike! Note the replacement for the 02.
My1999 K1200LT had FD 3 failures. First at ~45,000 miles. BMW covered the parts ...I paid the labor ($$$) . Second, @ 89,000miles and third @ 141,000miles. IMO, BMW FD's are performing good. Sold the 1999 in 2007 with 198,000 miles.
 

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patrick2000 said:
My1999 K1200LT had FD 3 failures. First at ~45,000 miles. BMW covered the parts ...I paid the labor ($$$) . Second, @ 89,000miles and third @ 141,000miles. IMO, BMW FD's are performing good. Sold the 1999 in 2007 with 198,000 miles.
Very likely this is one of those early failures that was fixed by service departments by just replacing the crownwheel bearing before BMW realized that just replacing the bearing didn't fix the underlying problem.

There are a number of folks who had multiple failures on the same FD fixed by a Service Department (whether or not BMW covered it under warranty). After a time, BMW would not have a Service Department repair a FD, rather they replaced it and the original failed one was shipped to Germany for evaluation.

It is these early years that give the FD a bad reputation. Later years have few FD problems.
 
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