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I'm on my fourth LT. Prior LTs, all purchased new, an 01 (53,000 miles) 03 (52,000 miles) first 05 (21,000 miles..deer totalled) current 05 (49,029 miles). No final drive issues with the prior four LTs. When the shop drained the final drive they found metal fragments on the drain plug magnet. Disassembly of the drive unit revealed a spun crown bearing. Obviously I was over on the mileage, but only 22 months into the time portion of the warranty. My shop, BMW of Grand Rapids, MI. called the service rep. Decision....BMW is sending out a complete, new final drive unit. My cost? $95.00 labor to install the new unit! A few people would have pissed and moaned to the dealer for having to spend $95.00 in labor. Not me. I was only too glad to pay the labor cost. A new unit would have cost me slightly over a $1000.00.

As with all my LT's, I switch to synthetic final drive lube at the 600 mile service. Thereafter I change it every 12,000 miles.

My glass has always been half full. Am I going to sell my bike because I no longer trust it's dependability? Not a chance. Am I going to carry around an extra final drive unit in the trip trunk? Nope. Am I going to just ride it locally, being worried about it breaking down? What do you think? 2-3% of owners have had issues with the final drive unit. If you're lurking on this site and thinking about an LT, don't let this issue slow you down on a purchase. I've owned four of them and for me, there's just not a better long distance bike out there. Anything mechanical will have issues from time to time and this issue is but a small hitch in my get-a-long!

Dick
 
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"My glass has always been half full. Am I going to sell my bike because I no longer trust it's dependability? Not a chance. Am I going to carry around an extra final drive unit in the trip trunk? Nope. Am I going to just ride it locally, being worried about it breaking down? What do you think? 2-3% of owners have had issues with the final drive unit. If you're lurking on this site and thinking about an LT, don't let this issue slow you down on a purchase. I've owned four of them and for me, there's just not a better long distance bike out there. Anything mechanical will have issues from time to time and this issue is but a small hitch in my get-a-long!"

What a great perspective and attitude. I'd "sticky" this if I could so hopefully all the hand-wringers out there would get a dose of "get a life" regarding this issue.
 

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pjessen said:
What a great perspective and attitude. I'd "sticky" this if I could so hopefully all the hand-wringers out there would get a dose of "get a life" regarding this issue.
+1
Great to see a good attitude when faced with a concerning issue! :)
 

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DRothermel said:
No final drive issues with the prior four LTs. When the shop drained the final drive they found metal fragments on the drain plug magnet. Disassembly of the drive unit revealed a spun crown bearing.
Dick
I don't think one owner here believes any bike including the LT is not without it's problems. It's the inconvenience factor of a final drive going when on a nice relaxed long distance vacation or after the warranty is long gone. A final drive failure is just not the type of mechanical issue an owner should have to fear. We love the bike and therefore we live with it's potential shortcomings.

I am happy for you that yours was caught while in the service department.;)
 

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Bearing Question

Did your dealer disassemble the final drive to inspect it, and did they identify the crown gear bearing as to whether it was a 17 or 19 ball bearing???? Inquiring minds would like to know.
 

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Final Drive Failure

I too have an '05. At 54,000 the clutch went out and when they were replacing it they discoved that the drive shaft was going out as well. I expected that the clutch would be my problem, although it seems like pretty low mileage, but thought that BMW would pick up the drive train failure. Not much impressed when there have been so many failures as such low mileage for a bike sold as being "the best". I'll take a good hard look at other bikes before I purchase another LT. I love the bike but enough is enough. BMW just doesn't get it!
 

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BMW just doesn't get it!

I agree. BMW reminds me of the Big 3 of the 70's. This has been my first and last BMW.
 

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I am in the group that would buy another LT, even though I had quite a few problems with mine. Three failed slave cylinders, failed transmission oil seal, failed final drive, and an exceedingly rare issue (only one ever?)that caused all four pistons to have broken ring lands.

Yes, these were certainly frustrating problems, and the failed final drive was on the way to CCR Gatlinburg, so the wife and I spent the entire time there in a cage. Still enjoyed CCR though.

However, the LTs just plain "FIT" me like no other bike would. I got 120,000 miles of great joy out of them, and above all, I enjoy this web group emensely.

Yes, I would buy another one.
 

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I've not had a problem with my 05 LT as yet with only 8000km I would have thought with 80+ years of making drive shaft motorcycles that they would have figured out how to make them reliable. Given the premium price of the bikes, it would be reasonable to assume it would contain premium parts ? :confused:
 

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DRothermel said:
When the shop drained the final drive they found metal fragments on the drain plug magnet. Disassembly of the drive unit revealed a spun crown bearing.
Dick
mechanical failure is inevitable, imperfect people can't make perfect machines.
In your case, changing the fluids did what it is supposed to do,
warn you of impending failure. That's as good as it gets.
Most of the earlier model final drive failures I've heard of (like mine)
resulted in the bearing itself disintegrating,
usually on the road in a most inconvenient time or place.

Having the shop find this problem can be compared to running out of gas at the top of a hill
with a gas station on the bottom
or having a flat in front of a motorcycle tire shop,
you say your glass is always half full, I'll say you're drinking "top shelf" :thumb:
 

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This is a great site. People will bend over backwards to help you sort out your bike's problems. However if you want to complain or just run down the brand, this is probably the wrong place to come if you are looking for moral support.
 

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ez_rdr55 said:
...This has been my first and last BMW.
Howdy Dave,

What year and model BMW do you own/ride? I noticed in your profile you mention KTM, but not BMW.


You seem not to be happy with BMW, would you elaborate a bit?

.
 

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Final drive woes

Me? not me! my old girl 'Amy' has a slight swooshing noise coming from the drive area when I lean into bends... nothing nasty, no graunching sounds like Triumph T140 gearboxes do when they're about to lose the plot.

Amy has over 196000km (122500 miles), she's a December 2000 registration lady, and suits me down to the ground (even seen over 72 mpg on one stint... 55mph, cruise control activated, cigar in mouth, coke can in dispenser, back-draughting a truck between Clermont-Ferrand and Millau on the A75 in France)

BMW dealers here in Brittany are a bunch of losers... imagine waiting four weeks for a simple part!! that's why I buy via the web!

Anyway if anyone wants to see what the 'old girl' has been up to, go see the piccies in the 'mrzippy' gallery!

PS.... anyone got a Moditec computer up for grabs... have all the special tools, except the ONE that MATTERS
 

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Bill "Omaha"

Hi Bill,

My BMW is a black '04 with about 35K miles. I'll update my profile to include this info. So far it's been the usual stuff: broken shift linkage, rear brake rotor, headlight ground wire & poor lighting, front end wobble, radio display, windshield motor relay, having to disassemble the bike to change the air filter, no dealer support, fairing rattles, buzz at 4500 rpm, the killer seat, and so many more I've forgotten about.
If not for this group I would have had to sell it a long time ago. When the thing is right I like it, but these problem are well documented and BMW has done NOTHING to correct them. There are a lot of things to like about the bike, but all these little problems are a pain to deal with when your 3000 miles from home.
 

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I'm sorry you're so unhappy with your bike. Mine has all the same potential issues you have, plus it is 4 years older and I'm not afraid to take it anywhere, including 3000 miles away from home. It is just machine and it will break. When it does so what, it will get fixed. :bmw:
 

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ez_rdr55 said:
... So far it's been the usual stuff: broken shift linkage, rear brake rotor, headlight ground wire & poor lighting, front end wobble, radio display, windshield motor relay, having to disassemble the bike to change the air filter, no dealer support, fairing rattles, buzz at 4500 rpm, the killer seat, and so many more I've forgotten about.
Ahhhhh..., yes. Your response reminds me that I had two linkage repairs in the first 1,000 miles... got so nervous that I bought, and still carry, an entire linkage in the saddle bag. But no problems with the linkage since then, the last 35K miles.

I agree with about the air filter. Seems ridiculous to design the bike such that the gas tank has to be removed to change the filter....but, I believe it was a requirement to "pack" everything into a small space. Hasn't bothered me because I change it when I've got the bike torn apart for 12K interval maintenance.

The "buzz" I kinda like....useful as a shift indicator.

You have my sympathy regarding dealer support in your area. Frequently I feel blessed to have a pretty good dealer less than a mile away and their competition is a 90 minute drive away in a pinch.


ez_rdr55 said:
If not for this group I would have had to sell it a long time ago. When the thing is right I like it, but these problem are well documented and BMW has done NOTHING to correct them. There are a lot of things to like about the bike, but all these little problems are a pain to deal with when your 3000 miles from home.
I hear ya, especially about this site!

I was fortunate enough to get all the stuff (HID's, custom saddle, comms, etc) done very early. It has made the last 35K miles of riding experience a good one.

Take care and good luck with resolving the issues.


.
 

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BillyOmaha said:
I agree with about the air filter. Seems ridiculous to design the bike such that the gas tank has to be removed to change the filter....but, I believe it was a requirement to "pack" everything into a small space. Hasn't bothered me because I change it when I've got the bike torn apart for 12K interval maintenance.
Every sportbike made in the past 15 years has the same "non-issue". And when I stop and think about it, EVERY bike I've ever owned has had the air box under the gas tank. Where else are ya gonna put it?!?!

So the real issue is the LT's Tupperware, isn't it? I loved working on my LT. But dealing with that dang Tupperware got old.
 

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ez_rdr55 said:
Hi Bill,

My BMW is a black '04 with about 35K miles. I'll update my profile to include this info. So far it's been the usual stuff: broken shift linkage, rear brake rotor, headlight ground wire & poor lighting, front end wobble, radio display, windshield motor relay, having to disassemble the bike to change the air filter, no dealer support, fairing rattles, buzz at 4500 rpm, the killer seat, and so many more I've forgotten about.
If not for this group I would have had to sell it a long time ago. When the thing is right I like it, but these problem are well documented and BMW has done NOTHING to correct them. There are a lot of things to like about the bike, but all these little problems are a pain to deal with when your 3000 miles from home.
Did you buy this bike new??
 

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messenger13 said:
Every sportbike made in the past 15 years has the same "non-issue". And when I stop and think about it, EVERY bike I've ever owned has had the air box under the gas tank. Where else are ya gonna put it?!?!

So the real issue is the LT's Tupperware, isn't it? I loved working on my LT. But dealing with that dang Tupperware got old.
C'Mon Messenger....Naked Bike in 30 Minutes...Cordless driver is the key...GT better? :)
 
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