2008 BMW R1200GS Final Drive
NOTE: Recent posts now have the fill level at 180ml not 220ml for 2005 and later 1200 FD. Also, now BMW recommends change at 12K miles. June 21, 2009.
Questions arise about the need to and the time to change the fluid in the R1200GS Final Drive [FD]. Since I have a 2003 R1150RS with easy access to the final drive fluid change, I don’t know why BMW decided to go for a lifetime design in 2007 on the GS [and others?] that didn’t work, so BMW added the drain on the bottom again in 2008 [But glad they did]. Having the 600 mile check done at the dealer, accepting that was to be the last change it would ever need was a hard one to swallow. I was spending too much thinking about and decided to just do it and take a look at the fluid. I am glad I did.
Since I did not find out any FD change information for the 2008 spelled out, I thought I would document what I did and maybe it will be useful for others. I do have the JVR Productions and other notes on FD fluid, but none on the 2008 GS that satisfied me.
Before changing the FD fluid, determine if you will be filling via fill plug or the ABS speed sensor.
Be sure to have, Gear Oil [I used BMW 75-90 Synthetic], a spare O ring for both the ABS speed sensor and/or washer for fill plug, and O ring for drain in case they need to be replaced. The crush washer should be replaced. Being “lifetime” designs, I think the O rings could be reused for at least 2 years or longer. Remove the ABS speed sensor before removing the drain plug, to assure you have access to fill up the FD.
With bike on center stand, remove rear wheel. No need to remove back plastic mud guard. Use T-50 in cross pattern method in loosing the wheel. [Bolts ccw to remove]. No need to remove rear brake.
Figure 1. Rear Drive Assembly with rotor, brake, etc.
Figure 1a. View of the Fill plug and ABS speed sensor.
Figure 2. Enlarged view of Speed Sensor by rear brake caliper.
ABS speed sensor.
Figure 3. ABS Speed Sensor with wire retainer and clip.
Remove T-25 screws to ABS speed sensor and wire retainer. Also a clip holding the wire should be pulled off the frame to allow movement of ABS speed sensor to the side and away from the rotor.
Place catch pan under the drive, then use T-45 to remove drain bolt on bottom.
Figure 4. FD Drain plug with magnetic insert
Attached are photos showing fluid at 6067 miles with a 600 mile change [per dealer]. The fluid was dirty, a little bit more than I expected.
Figure 5. FD gear fluid drain.
Figure 6. FD Gear Oil.
Figure 7. FD Gear Oil with side light on fluid
Be sure to clean drain plug as it has a magnet inside of it to collect metal. All metal particles in my drive were very fine, but did fill the drain plug’s cavity. I used Q tips and paper cloth to clean all of the metal particles.
Figure 8. < dirty
Figure 9. < cleaned
Both the O rings on the ABS speed sensor and drain plug looked ok. So I decided to reuse them. Be sure to put some fluid on the O rings before re installing the ABS sensor and drain plug.
Tighten Drain plug to 20 nm or 14 # ft.
to Final Drive
thru the hold where the ABS speed sensor is. A bottle from Sally beauty supplies works [mentioned in other year’s article]. This take time, take a few breaks and move the rotor to move the fluid around within the FD.
Figure 10. Sally beauty supply bottle, about 2.00 US $.
Note: I did a check on the fluid that came out and it looked like about 220 ml. The side of the container near the dent was the level.
Figure 11. Old fluid in empty container for fluid quantity check.
Install the ABS speed sensor and wire retainer, 2 screws, torque to 4 nm.
Be sure the clip on the wire is reattached to the bike frame [swing arm].
Figure 12. Note clip on wire.
Figure 13. Assembled back into bike arm.
Replace the rear wheel. Leave the threads dry [no anti seize required]. Tighten to 60 nm or 44 #ft. Tighten in cross pattern evenly with hand felt torque, till torque wrench time. Done.
I hope this is useful to the owners of 2008 GS models. I plan to change my Final Drive
fluid every 6000 miles or every year.
As a disclaimer, your net liability claim is limited to what you paid for this information.
If you would like a better document, a word file, with better images PM me.
Note: the earlier post had red x's. I did not see them with Firefox, but was able to edit them out with IE.