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I bought my LT last September. It was a new 2009 model and it is my first BMW. I really like it and can't wait to take some long distant trips this year. But after hearing so much about FD failure I'm wondering if I made the right choice. I was looking at a 2010 GW and a 2010 Concours 14. Too many GW's out there for my taste and I didn't care for the riding position on the Concours. The ride and handling of the LT is what sold me. Most of the bikes I've read about with FD failure are older models. Is there still a problem with FD failure on the 2009? Did BMW solve this problem? Do I need to look into drilling weep holes? Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening? I really like the big girl (top heavy and all) and would like to know if I should be concerned.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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Do like I do and keep a spare around just in case. Haven't needed it in the last 60,000 miles for my 05. I have loaned it to several friends with older bikes. There have been essentially no documented large bearing failures on the later models (when compared to the early bikes) and the few that have failed were spinning small taper bearings. I have some scary pictures of a gear spring clip deep in the bowels of a GW if you want to see a repair job just to get to it.
 

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Hey, not to be rude but...
I am really having a hard time grasping the concept that someone goes out and buys a brand new motorcycle, then is going to sit around and worry that something is going to go wrong with it. :confused: A motorcycle is a machine. Would you go out and buy a brand new BMW automobile park it in the garage, and not drive it for fear the brakes could fail or the engine might blow up??????? I don't think there is a machine as complicated as the LT in existance that is immune to some type of break down. It's like dying, it eventually happens to everyone, but why dwell on it....Live, Ride, Enjoy!!!! :dance: :wave
(I know this sounds kind of dark, but I work on an ambulance.)
 

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John
after watching the video's I changed the big bearing and seal at 87k now done 102k, I noted at the time that the small tapered brg was turning or loose but I didnt change it as I dont recall it getting much of a mention, are you now saying that it will also cause drive failure?
 

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Axle said:
....after watching the video's I changed the big bearing and seal at 87k now done 102k, I noted at the time that the small tapered brg was turning or loose but I didnt change it as I dont recall it getting much of a mention, are you now saying that it will also cause drive failure?
There is a mode of failure which involves the tapered roller bearing and not the crownwheel bearing. It seemed to be most common to 05 models and my impression that this failure is much less common than that of the crown wheel bearing.

However, there have been FD failures attributed to the tapered roller bearing, and unfortunaltely when it goes bad, it takes out the aluminum seat on the crowngear assembly along with the bearing. This then requires replacement of the crowngear assembly, which is only available as a matched set of crowngear/pinion gear from BMW and is both expensive and time consuming to rebuild. Consequently, replacement of the whole final drive with a used unit is a more cost effective option.

I have rebuilt a few final drives where I found the tapered roller bearing to be loose on its seat, i.e. no interference fit, and could be removed with fingers or gravity. As long as there was still a good fit, with no evidence of scoring or damage to the aluminum bearing seat I reseated the bearing using Loktite 660
http://www.loctite.sg/sea/content_data/93755_Loctite_660_Quick_Metal_Retaining_Compound.pdf

Under some circumstances a loose bearing like that will spin on its seat damaging the seat leading to failure. Whether a loose bearing like that will fail in a properly setup drive, I haven't a clue.

If that were my drive, I'd open it up, seat the tapered roller bearing with Loctite 660, and then recheck the preload.
 

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Romeo157 said:
I bought my LT last September. It was a new 2009 model and it is my first BMW. I really like it and can't wait to take some long distant trips this year. But after hearing so much about FD failure I'm wondering if I made the right choice. I was looking at a 2010 GW and a 2010 Concours 14. Too many GW's out there for my taste and I didn't care for the riding position on the Concours. The ride and handling of the LT is what sold me. Most of the bikes I've read about with FD failure are older models. Is there still a problem with FD failure on the 2009? Did BMW solve this problem? Do I need to look into drilling weep holes? Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening? I really like the big girl (top heavy and all) and would like to know if I should be concerned.
We post about final drive failures just to make newbies like you nervous and give you something to worry about. ;)
Your's isn't the first post that expresses the very same concern.
While there has been one 2009 K1200LT failure reported here that I know of, I think that they are extremely rare. FD failures of the crownwheel bearing were common enough on early models from 99-02 to get the attention of folks like us paying attention on this board.

I am an advocate of preemptive rebuilding of final drives for the early models just because I think it is cheap road insurance. The cost of a preemptive rebuild is less than an emergency road service, night in a motel, and ruined vacation. If you are an obsessive-compulsive worrywart, then you could do an open and inspect just to check the FD setup.

BUT your bike is at very low risk for a FD failure in my opinion.
While you are worrying about FD failure, you're gonna get a flat tire or run out of gas instead. :histerica

:) SO DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY. :)

In the oft repeated advice of folks on this board: " Just Ride It" and "Ride it Like You Stole It".
 

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+1 on what Curtis said. Good thing you cancelled at STC this year. They want a FD rebuild demo... Now if I can just find one to rebuild for 'em.
 

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More than 90% of even the early (99-02) models have never had a final drive failure. Sounds like good odds to me.
 

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Hey Jerome, take it from one of those Fishers out there, quit fussing and "Ride it like you stole it!" But if it still concerns you it can't hurt to change the Final Drive oil when you do your other oil changes just to monitor for any metal chunks. It takes way less than a quart to change. And then you have the overly cautious among us like John Z. and myself who like to have a spare FD on hand just in case! But mine is a 2000 with over 100,000 miles on it.

(Couldn't help but notice that you live in a township with a fine name!)

John
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, maybe worried is a strong word. I'm more or less concerned about this potential problem. But believe me, I won't be sitting around worrying about it. When you see me ride past you, you'll think I stole it because that's how I'll be riding it. She will have plenty of miles put on her. I was asking about the failure rate of the newer models because there seems to be so much talk about it in this forum. My question is more about being educated on the subject and if there is something I can do to keep it from happening. But you guys are more experienced with this big girl and you say don't worry, just ride. Consider it done. Thanks for all the comments.
 

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Romeo157 said:
...... My question is more about being educated on the subject and if there is something I can do to keep it from happening.......
The answer to that question is: "not much". Many accounts of FD failures indicate there is little to do in terms of prevention, and there are few indications of impending failure.

It probably doesn't matter what kind of oil you use as long as you have oil in it.
Changing the oil more frequency probably won't delay failure of a drive that is going to fail. What more frequent changing of oil MAY do is give you some warning by giving you the opportunity to see metal flakes in the oil. HOWEVER, there is more than one account of someone changing the FD oil and seeing it clear who then went on to have a failure in relatively few miles.

IF you want greater piece of mind, IMO the only thing that can be done is opening the drive by someone qualified (no, not your average BMW service dept. mechanic) and checking it for proper set up. I don't think it is worth doing on a 2009.
 
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