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Old 09-12-2009, 04:23 AM   #1
woody's wheel works OP
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BMW F800GS rear wheel Bearing failures and solutions

FYI,,i was lurking in the new posts this morning,,,Ya'll have a serious problem going on so i'm posting this in the hopes it may help all of us getting to the bottom of the rear wheel bearing failures,,

there was so much speculation and mis-information and groping in the dark that i decided to help you all get a better handle /understanding of what you are up against...PLEASE remember there is nothing generically wrong with BMW's basic design or the 6204 bearing used...

On the outside possibility that it was a bad run of bearings,,[highly unlikely] we can better trace that by you all collating the following info ie:

A,,sprocket carrier bearing/brand
B,,inner bearing of hub/brand
C,,outer.disc side bearing/brand

then we can ascertain if bad bearings are the cause that yielded the chronicled effects...

FYI,,what i failed to mention in my PM to tmex was the incredible importance of the proper bearing bore size in the hub itself,,,the lil bit of info relating that the disc side bearing drops in partway and then needed hammering in the rest of the way after the hub was heated and bearing frozen,,get's my crap detector going BIG WTF TIME..properly dimensioned bores allow the bearing to BOING drop down all the way....tis a thing of beauty heat and cold...my favorite technique,,,,no chance of ruining your bearing

a rough rule of thumb i use in building my hubs is .0005'' per inch of bore,,so that would equate to circa .001'' for a 6204 bearing.. any smaller bore size would invariably yield notchy/crunchy bearings. hence ,,you could check this easily by taking a new nice n smooth turning bearing ,,,installing it per factory guidelines ,,letting the hub cool to room temp ,,turn the bearing with your finger,,, it should be smooth,,,if not you have located the problem.....,,realize there may be other issues as related below,,,

I just realized IF the bearing bore is the problem ie too small ,,ya'll have a major problem on your hand,,since there are NO wheels OR hubs available as of this minute,,, the Rx would be to re-bore the hub, a good machinist in your neck of the woods could possibly handle this on a mill.,,we routinely perform that service circa $60 per side plus parts and $20 bearing R&R...any guinea -pigs in the denver area,,,come on by and we'll check this out!!!

Some inmates have asked how much to do this: $99 Advrider special both sides speced to .001'' and a pair of doubles sealed bearings..will install yor stuff..ie pick up your parts from BMW or your favorite bearing house if it is important to you...

OK,,,here's a lil tip for you bearing installers,,,often after hammering/pressing in the bearings,,you test the bearing and WTF !!!!they are binding /notchy,,panic not !!!you may have a tiny bit of pre-load on them,,just insert the axle give it a slight rap with your hammer ,,do the same from the other side and VOILA 90% of the time your bearings will loosen and feel just like you had hoped for!!!

OK,,,here's the gist of a PM i sent to tmex and his thread; if this data doesn't make it over to his thread[i can not post outside of vendor forum],,,then possibly some F800GS owner could let the guys in that thread know we are working on a solution to their problem by getting a post or link established...this problem needs to be solved ASAP before someone gets injured!!!
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=499504

first i empathize for all you bmw riders with issues like these ...bmw motorad is notorious for sandbagging and not admitting culpability for fear of litigation and having recalls issued..it is a given with these folks..

ok,,here's what you need to keep in mind....

1. 6204 double sealed bearings regardless of manufacture have been used by everybody on front and rear wheels for a long time without any major issues...true some don't have as much grease as others,,,we know which brands are skimpy,,, and routinely repack them with upgraded hi-temp wheel bearing grease,,,and for dual sport adv riders even offer waterproof grease for the water-crossing species,,,so the odds are against you looking to the bearings as the culprit....

2.cocked bearings would be fairly noticeable and show signs of wrong installation in the hub...no one has noticed or reported that..so eliminate that too.

3,here's where it gets interesting,,,there are two basic approaches to wheel-bearing set-ups.,,,i'll call them:

type A,, probably the most common,,,uses precisely machined lateral flanges on the ID of the hub to locate the bearings....an inner spacer is used to prevent crush when tightening all the components /spacers on the axle... this spacer needs to be minimally .010''+.002-.000/steel or .020'' +.003-.000/aluminum to be effective.... so the hub essentially has a little bit of lateral float built in... a simple elegant fairly bullet-proof technique which fails only when :

a,,,the manufacturer uses too soft axle spacer BWOE KTM several years ago on the rear dirt bikes,,too much torque would crush them resulting in many blown up rear hubs

b,,someone specs a spacer the same size or smaller than the inner lip dimension.,,has happened,,,but highly unlikely!!

type B,,used by Kawasaki,Honda,BmW,Triumph etc, uses some means of retaining one bearing on one side [usually the side where the disc brake is on. ie to make sure the wheel consistently is spaced /aligned properly with the disc],,Kawasaki,KTM and BMW routinely use a circlip to retain that bearing in place,,,honda and triumph usually use a nut to hold it.,,,what usually happens next is that on the other side the bore in the hub often doesn't have an inner lip or the lip is usually bored far deeper than the width of the inner spacer...VOILA you have no worries about proper inner axle spacer dimensions because the bearing should self adjust....

FYI..notice this leaves the captured bearing be responsible for all the lateral loads imposed by that wheel,,,this technique is usually utilized for front hubs,,,although i have seen it on some honda rears BUT for lighter machinery dirtbikes the bigger stuff ussually had bigger/beefier bearings installed on that side...so this could be an outside probable cause for the disc side bearing going bad

Rx,,,,this would leave the following areas to be scrutinized in my estimation:
1..the simplest is to first ascertain if there is an inner lip on the side opposite of the captured bearing....if there isn't well we have to look somewhere else,,,,IF THERE IS,,,install the captured bearing first ,,,get your calipers and measure the distance from the bearing to the lip,,jot i down and then measure your spacer,,like i wrote above..it HAS TO BE LONGER minimally by those specs!!! if it's smaller or the same well you are on to another probable cause of your symptoms and their consequences.

2,,FYI i'm inserting this here as an edit .. the next probable cause has to do with too tight bore,which i discussed in detail above and IMHO is the first thing i would be checking!!

3,,the last probable cause is a matter of improper bearing installation...BWOE,too much pressure creating preload conditions symptomatic of some of the observations of the fellow who cut up the bearings ,,,or BWOE that if in type A the spacer was too big as well as type B...IF the bearing installer had his stops wrong and compressed the outer races beyond the inner spacers dimensions

hope this shines a little light on the subject,,i'll double check the next rear wheels i get and report back in....

OHHHh,,,heed the advice of the fellow who suggested you all get BMW to do the work,,he's ABSOLUTELY right,,until you get a work order written up by them....it just minimizes their number of ''problem cases'',, it' is counterproductive to fix their problem on your time and dime....

i can rest assure all i am on your side and will assist getting to the root of the problem...i'm fairly positive that the above info should put you on target .

woody
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woody's wheel works screwed with this post 11-06-2009 at 09:24 AM
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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BMW F800GS owners TAKE HEED regarding your rear wheel bearings!!!

FYI,,,it has been over a month and a half since tmex had his rear wheel bearing disintegrate,,he chronicled his adventure and search for the cause in his thread dated 8-24-09
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=499504

i just stumbled on it in the wee hours this morning and started a new thread on the subject immediately,,,,hoping to get this situation resolved ,,,,because dear F800GS owners you may not be as lucky as tmex was,,,his incident happened on a trail ride..here's his rear wheel bearing...



,,,not everyone may be so fortunate to be on a dirt trail,,in that thread there are over a dozen riders who have chimed in with similar or impending results....

like fellow advrider ChiTown...



it puzzles and pains me that based on the posts of the lucky souls sharing their data and experiences on this topic that BMW does not take this situation far more seriously....

i am almost positive that someone at BMW Motorrad knows about this and is probably trying to rectify it ...it would explain why there have been no hubs or rear wheels available from BMW for the last 4 months,,,we already speced a Superlite cush-drive version ala KTM 950/990 Adventure,,will be circa 1lb lighter then your stocker,,

FYI,,,replacing the bearings if BWOE there is a problem with the inner bore of the hub being too small,,,would just be a stop gap measure and invariably result in the same damages to the replaced bearings...unless you can spec very loose bearings circa C-3 or looser.

so all of you who have replaced your bearings even with better ones with better grease...

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR REAR BEARINGS EVERY OPPORTUNITY YOU GET !!!!...there is a cause and effect for most everything

Be part of the solution and resolution!!!,,,pass the word to your fellow riders,,,

take it to BMW for your repair so that they eventually will get it that this is not an isolated incident,,,there is a certain power in numbers

don't take on the blame that perhaps you got a little water on it in that stream crossing or power wash,,,these bikes were designed for that kind of activity,,

keep posting the incidents in these and other similar threads and forums,,thank god we have an internet,,,put it on you tube

use your crap detector to separate the wheat from the chafe in all the advice being bantered about,,,

If i had to give BMW Motorrad some advice based on their actions over the past decade in similar circumstances: The truth will set you free!!!

Inform your customers,,,''ooops we have a problem,,we will resolve it on our dime,,,please do not ride your motorcycle til we can rectify it'',,,,,or ''it's serviceable but come in for a quick check'',,something to that effect.

Honestly BMW MOTORRAD we want to trust you again!!!,,,,we can accept that s___ happens,,,let us know,,,we'll even help in the resolution and rectification

Just don't play with our lives because you have an image problem or are scared S___less by the throngs of litigators waiting in the wings...i'm positive juries will be far more harsh on you all if they realize you have been hiding the truth and facts..

'nuff said for today,,i welcome your thoughts on this matter,,,
laissez le bon temps rouler,,

woody
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woody's wheel works screwed with this post 10-15-2009 at 04:48 AM
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody's wheel works
[i can not post outside of vendor forum]...this problem needs to be solved ASAP before someone gets injured!!!
Ummmm OK...I'll just slide right by the can't post outside of the vendors thing to say I wondered how long it would take an expert to chime in (that'd be you, eh?). Thanks for chiming in here with detailed 411 Woody. I've gotta agree big time with the idea of taking the bikes to a BMW dealer for repair/replacement/checkup. If a bigger paper trail is established, BMW will be forced to fix this asap because if they don't and one or ten of us get hurt (or killed) the lawsuit would be HUGE. They will have less and less deniability as the number of repairs and replacements (both bearings and hubs) climb.

Once again thanks for your willingness to shed some light on this...I actually understood about 1% of it (the take yer bike to BMW part)!
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:51 PM   #4
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Woody; Thanks for chiming in. Your point of view based on years of experience is very valuable. The first thing I checked when disassembling the wheel was the length of the spacer. I removed the drive side bearing first, the spacer stuck out beyond the shoulder of the bore. This not anything I needed to measure as it was apparent.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info Woody.

Which after market replacement bearings would you recommend for the rear wheel?
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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F800GS replacement bearings...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Thanks for the info Woody.

Which after market replacement bearings would you recommend for the rear wheel?
Gadget Boy et al,,,amazingly,,i've used practically every brand with success,,,
generally i tend to use cost effective middle of the price range bearings,,,Koyo,SK,,,,i try to buy Timkens for all my Harley riders[politically correct],,,i check for how much grease if any they are putting in them and repack accordingly..a value added service i do not charge for,,,,

gadget,,,tempted as i am to take my destiny in my own hands and buy top-notch bearings AND install them myself;;;;in this F800GS rear bearing fiasco,,,i am inclined to force BMW to chronical the problem via a work order and pay for the parts n labor,,,we the consumer have already paid for their assumed/reputed/advertised superior QUALITY and workmanship....it is extremely counter-productive for us to fix it ourselves in this scenario,,we are essentially enablers. ,,,and IF as i suspect the bore is too small on the disc side,,,better bearings will NOT solve the problem,,,the hub needs to be bored out

i try not to buy chinese because i do not support their labor/business practices....although it has been getting ever harder to do that these days,,,

and i try to use the heat n freeze technique as often as i can,,especially on the hi end wheels we build and service,,,poor install/removal techniques i'd say shorten the life span of your bearings more than anything else.

happy weekend to ya
woody
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:50 AM   #7
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one less probable cause in rear BMW F800GS bearing fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco
Woody; Thanks for chiming in. Your point of view based on years of experience is very valuable. The first thing I checked when disassembling the wheel was the length of the spacer. I removed the drive side bearing first, the spacer stuck out beyond the shoulder of the bore. This not anything I needed to measure as it was apparent.
Cisco
kudos to ya Cisco,,,that's what i wanted to hear,,this technique is used by many manufacturers,,,by having the shoulder further away from the spacers end alleviates having to be extra precise in the set-up process and minimizes your bearings having too much pre-load on them,...they will essentially self adjust.
FYI,,it is essential with this style set-up that you double check how smooth your bearings rotate after installing them..because if you tap them via the outer races you stand the chance of too much pre-load,,hence the axle tapping trick i mentioned in my previous post.

OBTW some more kudos to ya for being one of the cool analytical contributors in tmex's thread on this subject.. a few others i want to acknowledge are docking pilot,,EnderThex,indy Unlimited,Bayner and tmex himself to name a few
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woody's wheel works screwed with this post 09-13-2009 at 09:09 PM
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:18 AM   #8
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any F800GS owner wanting to stop by shop for bearing check,,holler

hi,all you BMW F800GS owners in the denver area,,,,,i want to get to the bottom of this,,,so guinea pigs are welcome,,,,,,or mail your wheel in for an analysis,,,will take pics and measurements and share the results.....

FYI,,,this should have been brought to my attention along time ago,,,that's part of offering my services via this thread,,,remember that bearings are part of your wheels,,a forte of mine

'nuff said
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
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Woody, I have been wondering if maybe the bearings are meant to be tapered OD (no clue if that even exists)? If they drop in half way and need to be pressed the rest of the way it would make sense to me that the hub would be machined as tapered. What say?
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:03 PM   #10
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some more observations regarding your F800GS bearing failures

hi inmates,,,just got to the first hi speed computer in the last few weeks,,,wheeew what a difference some DSL service makes

perusing the recent posts in Tmex's thread makes me want to pull my hair out...ok,,,here's some more clarifying info...

1,,FYI,,a consistent rule of thumb for setting up/checking bearing/ bearing bore clearances is .0005'' of crush per inch of bearing diameter...

2,, so get the bore correct,,and then figure out the bearing race /ball clearances optimal for your application,,the majority of bearings used in the motorcycle kingdom are C-3...i do not think that chasing down extra loose bearings is the answer in this matter...IMHO correct the mistake ie too much crush and install the correct specifed bearing ,,that way we are back to the original game plan

3,,,i read the master machinists POV regarding man's ability to shave off .001-.003'' of aluminum... a good machinist can do that in a mill any day..and some one with experience can use alternative methods to remove the offending material...the trick is to do it concentrically AND laterally even.

4,,FYI most sheets of paper are .002''+/- .001'' so we aren't talking about a lot of material...having accurate gauges is paramount in not removing too much even by hand sanding/honing.. setting up the wheel in a mill shouldn't be a problem,,, and of course it can be even done in a lathe[unfortunately this requires unlacing and re-lacing/truing],,,,,the trick is getting ALL the way down in the corner and not developing a taper in the corrective process

OBTW,,,it is do-able if you have the tools and skill-set to attempt it!!!!,,me??? i just had a flash of an adjustable reamer we have in my other shop...the perfect tool for shaving off a .001'',
5,,when i read GJGSRider's post #731 form the Tmex thread i yelled HOORAY ATTABOY

Why,,because he took his time,,had the measuring instruments and coincidentally had the exact same anomallies and measurements that i came up with in my analysis several weeks ago...textbook...okay okay we had .0005'' difference on one measurement... i reprinted it below for your perusal

6,,,again,,,for your and every ones sake...
PLEASE,,,,for starters report these incidents to your dealer,,,I'm not a terrible big fan of recalls provided the manufacturer :
1,,steps up to the pump and shares what's going on with his product

2,,notifies his clients promptly

3,,tells them what to do,,ie ''DO NOT RIDE YOUR Motorcycle till we put the replacement parts in'',,,, or the appropriate warning/remedy

4,,fixes it ASAP with the least inconvenience/cost on the customers part

Here's my take on this whole issue,,,,

1,,i am convinced that you and me as consumers can appreciate that mistakes could be made in the millions of steps needed to get the products we buy exactly like the designers envisioned them,,,whether BWOE it's a material speced wrong or a machinist removing too little or too much off an item,,,

2,,i believe we would much rather have the manufacturer have the cajones to inform us of the problem and what he intends to do to correct it as well as the risk factor involved in continuing to use this product with the defect.
BWOE,,,"we've experienced riders complaining that their front axle is snapping,,PLEASE cease and desist from riding your motorcycle immediately!!!,,continuing to do so could result in a crash that could kill or injure you and others!!!!,,,make arrangements with your dealer to have it checked and repaired/replaced with an improved axle....it can be readily identified by this mark,,,there is no cost for parts and/or repair/replacement etc,etc

3,,i KNOW that i want to TRUST my manufacturer to have my safety be a higher concern than revenue losses or loss of image,,,being in a consistent state of denial is not conducive to developing trust and confidence amongst the believers in the marque when we bring our problems and complaints to the service department,,,and more often than not be greeted with the worn out mantra 'What problem????,,,there is no problem!!'

4,,i also know of the tremendo
us pressure that manufacturers are under when dealing with societies like ours that have certain elements waiting in the wings to capitalize on their mistake,,,i've written about it before and i'll say it again,,,,the pressure of litigation and being drawn into court scares the hell out of most of us....one is tempted then to weigh the cost of loss in revenues and your reputation against the costs of litgation or a recall

5,,i am convinced that in the long run we will want to be repeat customers of dealers and manufacturers that play it straight with us,,,that listen to our concerns,, and CREDIBILITY is one of our biggest concerns

6,,,i am convinced that the costs will be far greater should someone get injured or killed due to the recalcitrance of informing us of defects ,,,,the legal beagles are waiting in the wings for these kind of scenarios and our juries are especially benevolent when they hear that a manufacturer had the info and knowingly pretended all was well,,,then there is always the karmic debt that is incurred.....hmmmnnn we'll see how this plays out


woody



[IMG]images/statusiconCrash/post_old.gif[/IMG] 10-28-2009, 01:45 PM #731
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Rear Wheel Bearing Repair and Replacement BMW F800GS
Build date 07/08, 8800 miles

After following various forum posts and reading Woody’s description of the wheel he repaired. I removed the rear wheel of my F800GS motorcycle Sunday to check the wheel bearings. The left (disc) side felt rough and notchy. The right (drive) side felt notchy too, but less than the left. I couldn’t tell if it was transferring across the wheel through the spacer. The bearing in the drive sprocket hub felt smooth.
I disassembled the wheel and measured the bores and bearings and found a press fit of 0.003” tight, on the left (disc) side and a press fit of 0.002” tight, on the right (drive) side. Both bearings felt smoother after they were removed from their bores, however sight roughness was still apparent in the left bearing.

I honed both bores to achieve a press fit of 0.001” (N7) tolerance to new SKF 6204 2RS bearings, heated the hub to 200˚ F and installed the disc side bearing and snap ring and then repeated the heating on the drive side and installed the drive side bearing. When cooled and seated the assembly rotated smoothly and correctly with no feeling of roughness.
I filed a report with the NHTSB and received confirmation yesterday.
I haven't talked to my dealer yet.



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woody's wheel works screwed with this post 04-26-2011 at 04:53 AM
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:35 AM   #11
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11-22-09 latest up dates on the F800GS rear bearing problems

just got finished posting this in my parallel thread..

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...4#post11445224

there's daylight at the end of the tunnel at long last

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Old 09-20-2011, 10:52 AM   #12
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I just swapped my stock tires out last week and checked the bearings. Notchy and catchy.

Turned bike into dealership on Saturday.

Awaiting feedback.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:01 AM   #13
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My outer seals were toast. Bike has 33K and is on the factory seals and spacers. Both should have been replace 20K miles ago. Only the brake side bearing was shot, the other 2 were ok, not great but ok.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:16 AM   #14
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Just to chip in my experience.

I have a 2009 F8, owned since new and only ridden by me. I'm over 17 stone in my riding kit and routinely ride with full luggage. I generally ride very hard on the road. The bike has its fair share of being ridden offroad too. At 38K miles or thereabouts my rear wheel bearings wore out. They didn't fail catastrophically, it came on gradually and you could detect it by rocking the rims laterally when mounted to the bike, as all other wheel bearings that have just "worn out" I've seen have. The bike was still ridable. The bike was out of warranty so I got the local independent BMW specialist to replace them (with whatever the current official BMW part is) when it was already in there for a service. He also replaced the spacers and cush drive rubbers at the same time. The new ones seem fine.

I think the above is all perfectly fair, given the use (and intended use) of the bike and what I would expect.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:49 AM   #15
angrywhiteguy
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: left coast of Canda
Oddometer: 154
So....do all f 800 GS suffer this fate or is it a small run of hubs. I have an 09 with 17000 km on it with no bearing issues....shoudl i be worrying or are some fine?
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