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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings All,

Was enjoying an EXCELLENT ride to and orginally thru Death Valley NP yesterday.

All that changed when I stopped at the Furnace Creek Vistor's Center to pay the entrance fee. Guess what I discovered? See the (hopefully) attached files.

Here's the background data should anyone be keeping track of this stuff:

When Purchased: April 2008

Year: 2008

Model: R1200RT

Mileage: 29,000 (and some change)

Maintenance History: FD lube changed at 600 mile, 12,000 mile and 24,000 mile services. Motorcycle has been garaged when I wasn't riding, for the most part. Some 2-up rides, but mostly solo with side cases, tank bag and, once in awhile. top box. No flogging/raw-hiding type of riding, though I may have, on occassion, ridden in excess of the posted speed limits.

Please advise if there is any other data that might be useful.

The good news:

Discovered impending catastrophic failure BEFORE it occured. I'm guessing a rear wheel seizure isn't too pretty.

Discovered failing FD at a safe location that included mobile phone coverage.

It wasn't 120 F at Furnace Creek!

RT is still under warranty.

BMW Roadside Assistance works well.

So far, I'm only out the cost of a hotel room in Vegas, a taxi ride to the car rental place, and the cost of a rental car back to Twentynine Palms.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get back to Las Vegas from Twentynine Palms once my bike is fixed.

No real thoughts of "jumping ship." Like many of you, I'm not very happy that the FD on my bike failed.

(Incidentally, I apologize up front if the photos don't show up. It's been a very long time since I last posted any images.)
 

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Looks like a leaky seal to me. Was the bearing damaged?
 

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Photos made it through just fine.

As said before that looks like a rear drive seal is leaking. A small amount of gear oil makes a huge mess. I really doubt your drive has failed. You probably could have ridden it a really long ways before causing any damage. Glad to know that you are safe.


BCVBeck said:
Greetings All,

Was enjoying an EXCELLENT ride to and orginally thru Death Valley NP yesterday.

All that changed when I stopped at the Furnace Creek Vistor's Center to pay the entrance fee. Guess what I discovered? See the (hopefully) attached files.

Here's the background data should anyone be keeping track of this stuff:

When Purchased: April 2008

Year: 2008

Model: R1200RT

Mileage: 29,000 (and some change)

Maintenance History: FD lube changed at 600 mile, 12,000 mile and 24,000 mile services. Motorcycle has been garaged when I wasn't riding, for the most part. Some 2-up rides, but mostly solo with side cases, tank bag and, once in awhile. top box. No flogging/raw-hiding type of riding, though I may have, on occassion, ridden in excess of the posted speed limits.

Please advise if there is any other data that might be useful.

The good news:

Discovered impending catastrophic failure BEFORE it occured. I'm guessing a rear wheel seizure isn't too pretty.

Discovered failing FD at a safe location that included mobile phone coverage.

It wasn't 120 F at Furnace Creek!

RT is still under warranty.

BMW Roadside Assistance works well.

So far, I'm only out the cost of a hotel room in Vegas, a taxi ride to the car rental place, and the cost of a rental car back to Twentynine Palms.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get back to Las Vegas from Twentynine Palms once my bike is fixed.

No real thoughts of "jumping ship." Like many of you, I'm not very happy that the FD on my bike failed.

(Incidentally, I apologize up front if the photos don't show up. It's been a very long time since I last posted any images.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ted Shred,

Don't know yet.

BMW of Las Vegas doesn't open again until Tuesday. Once their mechanics figure it out, I'll be sure to let all of you know. That said, I was under the impression that the most likely cause of seal failure was/is FD internals going bad.

Thank you for the thought provoking comment :bmw: .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Patrick2000,

Thanks for your comment.

I suppose if I had been a hundred miles closer to Twentynine Palms, I might have attempted to ride it back.

Would have saved some coin.

FWIW, I did call my normal service guy and he recommended not riding the bike until the seal/FD condition was properly assessed. I imagine that's the only thing he could tell me, all things considered.

I am confident that it will all work out in the end. Have a great week!
 

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Bruce,

I had the same happen to my RT1200 about 4 years ago. Discovered in Spain right in the middle of a holiday. Made it home no problem. Leaky seal changed and the bike now has done another 40,000 miles or so no problem.

Kevin.
 

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No question you had reason for concern.
No question in my mind that you could have easily ridden home.
That's a seeping seal that's minor at best, not a final drive failure.

Unfortunately, all the hype about FD failures exacerbates the problem [it IS a real problem] unrealistically. When you have a known problem that gets blown out of proportion to the level this has, anyone that has any indication something isn't exactly right with the final drive is likely to believe they're having a failure when it's something "minor". This is exactly one such case.

The seal on my 2000 RTP started seeping. I kept it clean and monitored it until I had a chance to get over to my dealer in Tucson, AZ - some 3,000 miles later - simply because I couldn't make time/workspace to fix it myself. By that time, it had reached the "leak" stage and dripped a drop or three on the wheel overnight. It made a huge mess on the wheel, back of the right bag and rear fender, but it didn't really loose much oil at all. It just looked really bad.

All that said, you did the right thing if you're not sure what the problem is. Always err on the side of caution.

Sorry you're having this problem but I think you'll find it wasn't as severe as you think when it's over.
 

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You did the right thing.
It's easy to give advise over the internet but I can guarantee you if a bearing did fail because you took the advise that it's OK to ride, they wouldn't be sending you a check for the repair. You might get a, well, it worked for me.
 

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It will be interesting to see exactly what is broken.
I think you did the right thing by not riding it. Even if the gears are not damaged yet, driving it without the right amount, or no lubricant could have resulted in a lock up of the FD. Not worth it.
Thanks for the info.
Mick
 

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When you see accumulated dust on your FD, it indicates a slow leak. When the leak gets larger you will see shiny oil on the case. I wouldn't question your decision not to continue but if I was in the middle of nowhere with that leak it would get ridden home or maybe even the remainder of the trip as long as the bearings showed no looseness or grinding and the oil level was ok. On the other hand if you weren't comfortable riding it, you made the right decision.
 

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I think I may carry a container of FD lube on my trip this Summer, just in case.

Almost like the extra stuff I carry on my 36 year old Norton on extended trips. :)

Mick
 

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80W-90 gear oil is pretty common. Why drag it around?

If you're in cooler climates, maybe 75w90.
 

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My 00'RT had a leak and I was 900 miles from home. Easy to fill and used motor oil as that was all I had. Made it no problem.
My 08' looked just like the pic and I was in Indy heading out for a 3k ride. The dealer there said don't ride it, we will pick it up. Very nice service guy and they had it done asap. I wish it was easier to add oil to the newer models.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: In case anyone is actually keeping score... (Thanks Everyone!)

You guys rock!

Thanks for all of the feedback.

Have a great week.
 

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Re: In case anyone is actually keeping score... (The end of the Story...)

Greetings Again,

Picked up my RT from BMW of Las Vegas yesterday. Good to go. Apparently, as many of you pointed out, it was just the outer seal that was leaking. According to Casey, everything else checked out just fine.

Speaking of BMW of Las Vegas, they were excellent all the way around. FWIW, even the new seal was covered under warranty. How cool is that? Anyway, these guys were really helpful and professional in taking care of my RT.

Thanks also to all of you who took the time to share your experience with me.
 

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Re: In case anyone is actually keeping score... (The end of the Story...)

BCVBeck said:
Greetings Again,

Picked up my RT from BMW of Las Vegas yesterday. Good to go. Apparently, as many of you pointed out, it was just the outer seal that was leaking. According to Casey, everything else checked out just fine.

Speaking of BMW of Las Vegas, they were excellent all the way around. FWIW, even the new seal was covered under warranty. How cool is that? Anyway, these guys were really helpful and professional in taking care of my RT.

Thanks also to all of you who took the time to share your experience with me.
Glad it worked out for the better. I've been through 2 failed drives and 3 seal leaks similar to this one. It is the achilles heel for sure, but all machines have their weak spots. However, it seems that FD bearing failure is slowly becoming a rarity...thankfully.
 

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Re: In case anyone is actually keeping score... (The end of the Story...)

BCVBeck said:
Speaking of BMW of Las Vegas, they were excellent all the way around. FWIW, even the new seal was covered under warranty. How cool is that? Anyway, these guys were really helpful and professional in taking care of my RT.
Your 08RT with 29k on the clock does still have factory warranty on it and it most certainly covers issues like this. If you intend to keep this one a while, you might consider an aftermarket warranty/service contract. I have one for my 07 and have used it. I have one from Western Service Contract Corp., they're a BBB A+ rated company. It's worth looking into. DISCLAIMER: No interest, just a satisfied customer.

As to Las Vegas BMW, they run a clean, modern shop that's well stocked with parts and apparel and I found everyone there knowledgable, friendly and willing to help however the customer needed them. Las time I was through there, I had a headlight bulb replaced. Went to the counter and asked for the bulb - mumbling about having to replace one on the road - and the counter person asked if I wanted him to just pop it in for me since I was suited up. Well, yeah - if you have a skinny arm and don't mind - you bet! I'd have had to pull my 'Stitch" off the get my paw in there so that was a welcome offer.

Really happy to hear it was only the seal - regardless of who pays the bill. Ride safe.
 
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