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Discussion Starter #1
Just ran across this:

The Tarnished Blue and White Roundel
A disproportionate number of the DNFs fall on the shoulders of BMW. BMW
failed several riders, demonstrating that they are no longer capable of
building motorcycles that can run 11,000 miles in 11 days without a
significant fraction experiencing a catastrophic drivetrain failure of
some sort. BMW of North America has requested contact information for
the riders who experienced failures. The riders BMW should be more
concerned about are the thousands of unsuspecting souls who will
breakdown in the future because the company has lost its previous
ability to either design durable drivetrain components or (more likely)
adequately monitor production and assembly quality. It's way, way past
time for BMW to fix its drivetrain reliability problems. A good start
might be to acknowledge that there is a problem.

For the entire article:
http://www.ironbuttrally.com/IBR/2007.cfm?DocID=45
 

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Well said Iron Butt assoc. !!!!!!!
 

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Unfortunately I'm with Joe on this one.

This would be a good subject for a poll..

"How many of you believe BMW will EVER do anything about their flawed final drive."


I for one don't think they give a rats a$$ about any of us.

It's been proven on too many occasions.


John
 

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I'm just wandering why there is not final drive failures on the older models and just on the newer ones when they jumped to 1200 cc's. Last year I put 9,030 on my 1100lt in 13 days and had no problems with the bike itself just my clutch cable started ripping, but held up from Boise, ID to home straight through. Of course I was skipping some gears when driving to baby it home. I'm still kind of debating selling my 1100 because it is so reliable. I've already lost a driveshaft seal on my 1200 and my rear drive is leaking oil at a seal. Not too difficult things to fix but my 1100 has 3 times the miles and no problems but using a bit of oil when revved at high rpm's. I still love my 1200. I got it cheap and can afford to put some money in to it.

Would it be possible at all to inclose a belt drive system? I was just pondering this idea. If they only negative is it slips in the rain.
 

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JPSpen said:
Unfortunately I'm with Joe on this one.

This would be a good subject for a poll..

"How many of you believe BMW will EVER do anything about their flawed final drive."


I for one don't think they give a rats a$$ about any of us.

It's been proven on too many occasions.


John
That was pretty much my opinion in this earlier post:

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showpost.php?p=220616&postcount=56
 

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There has been so much BS on this forum and others, like BMW MOA about the FD failure rate... One poll after another,, its enough to make ya want to puke!!!!!!!

A very,, very small number of people have had FD failure over the past few years but really...........

Any, and I mean any one of you with anything resembling a fact, post some information about how many FD have really failed..... Your 4% is pure laughable phony bull......

BMW sold a little over one hundred thousand bikes last year,,Now I know the 650's are belt and all that but there wasn't nearly 4 thousand FD failures on 06's........

In the last five years there would have to bee close to 20 thousand FD failures to reach your 4%......... That, I just don't buy........

These threads are really getting old when NONE of you have any facts about this subject unless you had a FD failure then your only sure about 1......

And if you have had yours fail more than once its because whoever repaired it didn't have the skill to do it right.....If you are unaware or don't know how to measure and adjust tolerances you will never get it right.........

Anyway someone show some 4% proof would ya????
 

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DaveDragon said:
... Since our collective voices aren't loud enough for BMW acknowledge the issues; who's voice do you feel would be loud enough to force them to acknowledge the issues? ...
I would hope that an organization like the IBR might just have enough clout to be heard. Obviously, we would all love for the FD problem to be acknowledged, given attention, and resolved -- whether the real failure rate is 4%, or any other percentage.

I'm not an engineer and have no claims of having any real knowledge on these subjects, but it seems odd that BMW can build a sophisticated collection of engineered components, one of which fails (OK, seems to fail) at a higher-than-expected rate.
 

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petepeterson said:
There has been so much BS on this forum and others, like BMW MOA about the FD failure rate... One poll after another,, its enough to make ya want to puke!!!!!!!

A very,, very small number of people have had FD failure over the past few years but really...........

Any, and I mean any one of you with anything resembling a fact, post some information about how many FD have really failed..... Your 4% is pure laughable phony bull......

BMW sold a little over one hundred thousand bikes last year,,Now I know the 650's are belt and all that but there wasn't nearly 4 thousand FD failures on 06's........

In the last five years there would have to bee close to 20 thousand FD failures to reach your 4%......... That, I just don't buy........

These threads are really getting old when NONE of you have any facts about this subject unless you had a FD failure then your only sure about 1......

And if you have had yours fail more than once its because whoever repaired it didn't have the skill to do it right.....If you are unaware or don't know how to measure and adjust tolerances you will never get it right.........

Anyway someone show some 4% proof would ya????
Ive pretty much avoided these conversations because it seems like a lot of strong opinions on both sides. Up until the IBR i pretty much felt the same way as Pete... like things were just getting blown out of proportion. But i gotta say that the IBR really swayed my opinion. Thats just too small of a concentration of riders to have that many of the same type of failures.

ive got 2 1200's and other than a seal going bad on one with ~40k miles i havent had any problems **knock on wood** but im really getting scared of my GS. I love the bike, and will take the FD failure with the grain of salt if it happens. But it does baffle me as to why BMW wont address the issue at all.
 

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Pete take a deep breath




and exhale slowly



repeat as necessary
 

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Torpedo said:
But it does baffle me as to why BMW wont address the issue at all.
THAT is simple to explain. Short of replacing a fair amount of FD's BMW has no option. Now the question becomes: Even *IF* BMW would own up. What to replace those FD's with? With the new and improved that has the same number of failures? Try to go down that path, that train of thought. If they have nothing to replace it with, they just CANNOT do anything other than maybe stop selling bikes alltogether. WHICH would fall into the category of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

So,,, in good corporate bahavior the problem gets ignored (at least publically) because even IF someone would get hurt paying that individual off (given that you can prove that a failing FD was the cause, and the BMW knew and knowingly did nothing) is cheaper than all the other alternatives.

Quite simple in the end, isn't it?
 

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andy said:
THAT is simple to explain. Short of replacing a fair amount of FD's BMW has no option. Now the question becomes: Even *IF* BMW would own up. What to replace those FD's with? With the new and improved that has the same number of failures? Try to go down that path, that train of thought. If they have nothing to replace it with, they just CANNOT do anything other than maybe stop selling bikes alltogether. WHICH would fall into the category of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

So,,, in good corporate bahavior the problem gets ignored (at least publically) because even IF someone would get hurt paying that individual off (given that you can prove that a failing FD was the cause, and the BMW knew and knowingly did nothing) is cheaper than all the other alternatives.

Quite simple in the end, isn't it?
But in the long run arent they losing tons of business because of it??? stuff like this IBR has to hit them in the wallet and the long term effects from this on BMW's long reputation of dependability has to be huge.
 

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Torpedo said:
But in the long run arent they losing tons of business because of it??? stuff like this IBR has to hit them in the wallet and the long term effects from this on BMW's long reputation of dependability has to be huge.
Still less damage than stop selling bikes. Right?

I am positive that a group of engineers is feaverishly trying to solve that problem in the fatherland.
 

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petepeterson said:
Any, and I mean any one of you with anything resembling a fact, post some information about how many FD have really failed..... Your 4% is pure laughable phony bull......
You are right - the 4% figure that is constantly being thrown around is from BMW - it was THEIR estimate.
 

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petepeterson said:
There has been so much BS on this forum and others, like BMW MOA about the FD failure rate... One poll after another,, its enough to make ya want to puke!!!!!!!

A very,, very small number of people have had FD failure over the past few years but really...........

Any, and I mean any one of you with anything resembling a fact, post some information about how many FD have really failed..... Your 4% is pure laughable phony bull......

BMW sold a little over one hundred thousand bikes last year,,Now I know the 650's are belt and all that but there wasn't nearly 4 thousand FD failures on 06's........

In the last five years there would have to bee close to 20 thousand FD failures to reach your 4%......... That, I just don't buy........

These threads are really getting old when NONE of you have any facts about this subject unless you had a FD failure then your only sure about 1......

And if you have had yours fail more than once its because whoever repaired it didn't have the skill to do it right.....If you are unaware or don't know how to measure and adjust tolerances you will never get it right.........

Anyway someone show some 4% proof would ya????
Pete, you have not been here when the FACTS were developed, and mostly from BMW reps mouths.

First of all, the 4% rate was for LT's ONLY, not BMW models across the board. There have certainly been FD failures on other models, but not nearly at the rate of the LT.

The rate for LT's is probably NOT that high overall now, as the failure rate seems to have dropped off considerably since 2003.

At CCR Santa Fe, the BMW reps stated that at that time a total of 7,200 LTs had been sold in the USA, with around 260 Final Drive failures. That is 3.6%. When mine failed on the way to CCR Gatlinburg, we had many discussions with the BMW Tech Rep, and he begrudgingly admitted that it was "around 4%" at that time.

The 4% rate has just been parroted since then, although among all the LT's sold since the introduction in 1999 until now the rate is probably less than that. Some may have stated that for ALL BMW models, but it was never stated for those of us in the know at the time to be for anything but LT's.

Now, if you can find a barn with a tall enough door, please ride your high horse into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I know the FD failure is scaring some people off. I've seen way too many comments on other boards about it and you just can't convince them it's really not that bad. Kinda like the cracked frame on the Wing a few years ago. That hurt Honda's sales, but Honda was forced to fix it.

What I like to hear is that BMW is going to those in the IBR and asking them about their failures. That shows they do want to do something about it - at least to me it does.

Andy does bring a good point. So what if they do a recall? What replace it with another poorly designed unit that will fail also?

I think it's a crapshoot. Buy the bike and see what happens. It may never fail.

What IS interesting is that I've never heard of one single FD failure on any other brand. You'd think BMW would grab one of those and tear it down to see how they differ.
 

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dshealey said:
At CCR Santa Fe, the BMW reps stated that at that time a total of 7,200 LTs had been sold in the USA, with around 260 Final Drive failures. That is 3.6%. When mine failed on the way to CCR Gatlinburg, we had many discussions with the BMW Tech Rep, and he begrudgingly admitted that it was "around 4%" at that time.

The 4% rate has just been parroted since then, although among all the LT's sold since the introduction in 1999 until now the rate is probably less than that. Some may have stated that for ALL BMW models, but it was never stated for those of us in the know at the time to be for anything but LT's.
David;

One slight correction....

Tom, the BMW rep attending at Santa Fe, gave the number of 260 as the total number of claims (LT only) filed by dealers for repairs related to the rear drive. If you remember he could not separate how many were actual drive failures as they could have been a mix of repairs, replacement, checks for noise, etc. 260 was not necessarily the number of actual failures. I asked him if a complaint of noise from the rear drive that was actually caused by a cupping tire could be written up as a rear drive problem, he said it depended upon how the dealer wrote the claim.

While you may have been given a number at Gatlinburg, I was never able to get any hard data out of that rep.

The reality is that we have no real numbers because BMW won't provide them. So far, while the newer style drive is failing, according to the few dealers I have spoken with and according to the natuional service manager for BMW Motorrad USA, the numbers are far fewer thatn we experienced in the early LTs. It also seems that the numbers of LT drive failures was reduced after the bearing change sometime in the 2002 model year.


I have not had one fail so far, so I guess I am a 96 percenter.
 

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dwsdad said:
What I like to hear is that BMW is going to those in the IBR and asking them about their failures. That shows they do want to do something about it - at least to me it does.
I agree. There has been a change of the guard and an apparrent change in attitude by BMW Motorrad USA during this year. I am hopeful that thius change will bear fruit in the next year or so.

dwsdad said:
What IS interesting is that I've never heard of one single FD failure on any other brand. You'd think BMW would grab one of those and tear it down to see how they differ.
They do fail in other brands, but very infrequently. The GL1800 has had a few according to the Honda dealer I visit with. They are a small dealer and have changed one under warranty. Obviously the units that are not single-sided will not have the same loading on the crown bearing and will necessarily be less prone to failure. Of those designs I would bet the failures are as infrequent as automotive differentials. While it is no excuse for the number of failures we experience, the average BMW gets ridden longer, harder, faster and probably with greater gross weight than most other brands.
 

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BFD
By the numbers people.
Who is the IBR in the world of motorcycling? NOBODY :eek: NOTHING :eek: MEAN NADDA :eek: .
While they mean something in this forum because of the large number of high milage riders, and we have a great respect for them. In the whole they are less than .001 of a % of riders.
BMW itself is a very small pool in the total number of motorcycles out there.
You want to do something that will get their attention, every person with a blog or web-site that has a BMW should advise not to buy them until the issue is addressed. Give links and stories of final drive failures etc.
The large number of riders on this site that have multiple BMW Motorcycles(self included) would make a collective voice that has weight behind its words, not just queef in the vagina of the mother company :bmw: .
Now if you really want to do something it is your move, get it started :cool: .

Rock
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Randy said:
They do fail in other brands, but very infrequently. The GL1800 has had a few according to the Honda dealer I visit with. They are a small dealer and have changed one under warranty. Obviously the units that are not single-sided will not have the same loading on the crown bearing and will necessarily be less prone to failure. Of those designs I would bet the failures are as infrequent as automotive differentials. While it is no excuse for the number of failures we experience, the average BMW gets ridden longer, harder, faster and probably with greater gross weight than most other brands.
While I can't speak to all the other brands, I can speak to the Concours. Having 125K on my, and knowing several others with that kind of mileage and higher, there have been no failures - not one. Now, it could be, and I think highly likely, that you are correct in that the single-sided swingarm puts more loading on the bearing. And granted the Connie doesn't weigh as much, but I can guarantee you they are ridden as hard as any bike out there. Now, what will be interesting is to see how Kawasaki's new design holds up under all that power and a single-sided swingarm.
 
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