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Old 12-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #3646
Toadride
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Design Flaw?

Couple of points here. Having just gotten my bike back with a forks rebuild I have been making a daily routine out of checking them very carefully. As far as I can see Danny at Fasttrixx did a more than adequate job on the rebuild and they should be good to go for a long time to come. But looking at the pinch bolt positioning has me thinking that a stronger setup would have been to have the axle run thru a block on the bottom side of the fork rather than in front. I can only imagine that they needed the shorter space for longer fork travel (perhaps) but it seems to me that this sets up metal up for sheering action as opposed to compressing action if mounted on the bottom. As a matter of fact there is precident for this with the GS650 single BMW that has a similar setup and has had many failures.
I also had my exxhaust gaskets redone as the bike was missing the header gaskets and the y pipe gaskets had blown out. All thru this process I have noticed the pipes going into the Y had worked their way out a good 3/4 inch each. I litterally had to thump them into place. I mentioned this to Danny and he said he had to also use a lot of muscle to make the bottom out. To my glee (glee? Ya, gle will do) after a thousand miles everything is holding up well. Now, my point here is that when I started out I had a lot of vibration. As the miles added up it smoothed out considerably. I'm just wondering if having to cinch up the exhaust to fight against the way it should naturally lie could cause excess vibration and if my constant long distance riding has, with the metal being heated up, allowed it to relieve some of the strain and vibration. I dunno, just spitballin.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #3647
KMC1
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Ok, so if not "billions", how much? Nothing? Keep making excuses for the forks snapping and pretend that's ok?

As far as I know the BMW's don't just let the whole fucking wheel pop off when the rear drives let go - I've actually heard of people riding a while on them without even realizing it was going on - and I'm NOT arguing that's ok either, just pointing out that there's a noticiabke difference between the front fork snapping and loosing a read drive - one causes you to instantly play lawn dart and the other screws up your vacation plans or whatever.

And to be honest, hearing about the one instance causes alarm bells to ring, but then when people chime in that they've seen this a bunch that signals a major red flag. I wonder how many we don't know about?

Still not sure why you feel the need to defend it - but whatevs.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #3648
X1Glider
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Been a lot of questions over the maintenance and what prior abuse my Stelvio has been through.

The bike was 2 months old at accident time. Bought from MPH in Houston. First service also done at MPH the week before leaving for the trip. The top case was installed by MPH too.

Within that 2 month timeframe, I made a point to retorque (per specs in the service manual) the whole rear upper half of the bike since it was loose as discovered on my first break-in ride. The top case, being a SW-Motech item simply used little fingerlike piceces of metal to clamp around the square bars of the rack. Would've been better to use the tapped holes on the bars instead. So it vibrated loose and slid off the back. As for the side case and how they are retained by the case locking latch, you can still actally lift up and wiggle back and forth and pull the cases off the rack. The locking latch is the only thing keeping it in place and isn't very good. The Trax cases are just crap and leak like a sieve. Not MGs fault other than specing them as standard equipment. The Toy Box in St. Johns "did" torque the pinch bolts to MG spec because I gave them those numbers. Non-issue. I even did and oil chance before the ferry ride to Newfoundland.

While there are a number of things I did like about the Stelvio (looks, comfort, ergos and lighting) there were many more things I believe my prior R1100GS did better (power wasn't one of those things). I believe the R1100GS was a true 50/50 adventure bike and 140,000 trouble free miles proved it, especially since it went the same places I took a true enduro bike and fuly loaded too. The Stelvio is more of a 95/5 bike. Great for long distance roadwork and a dirt and gravel driveway going up to a hotel. It just looks the adventure bike part, nothing more. They should advertise it as such.

In the end, it's my fault selecting the Stelvio, based on other owner's comments, thinking that I could use it in the same manner as my prior GS. Trouble is, I never got to do those same things. The Trans-Lab hardly qualifies as 50/50. I don't hate it. It just wasn't the right tool for the job I wanted to do.

That said, it was taken care of as well as should be expected for a 2 month old bike. Short of MG sending me a crate full of parts and me assembling it myself, there really isn't anything else that should have been expected of me as an owner. I took it in to the MG pros during the honeymoon phase. That should be enough.

The sig line will stay, for a while. MG faithful Blakebird will have to get over it until I decide on a suitable replacement. In the meantime, I'm not slagging the MG. I found out where the problem was with the help of a firm that does this stuff day in day out for thr automotive companies and the USDOT. It was a simple mistake and I'll leave it at that.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:33 PM   #3649
X1Glider
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KMC1, you're sweating it too much. I got an improperly machined piece, It doesn't mean they are all like that. Mine wasn't even pinch bolt related. Still, thinking that 0.6 lbs-ft of excess torque is going to crack this part is absolutely absurd. I've done the math and validated it with FEA on this and determined you can put an extra 55 lbs-ft more into the part without issue other than stripping the threads,

Move on, I have. I'm only around here simply to rebutt false accusations made on my part, not slag MG.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #3650
soldierguy
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I'm with Blake...lots of negativity on this thread lately, so I haven't been posting much.

But I'm also here today to say that I am no longer a Stelvio owner.

Here's the story: I've got the opportunity of a lifetime to live in a great place about an hour north of Tahoe, for free, as long as I need or want to. Perfect, because I'm about to retire from the Army, and needed a place from which to search for my next job/career. The free part is a HUGE bonus. The place I'll be living is on a dirt road (or mud, slush, snow, or dust, depending on the season), and there are a million other unpaved roads & trails in the immediate area that will be begging me to explore them. There are also thousands of miles of great twisty blacktop in the area that will need to be ridden. And while I'm doing the job search, I'll be taking some time to do some much-needed traveling...definitely the west coast (with lots of pauses inland to see old friends), some runs around various western states, and the gears are turning upstairs for a trip to Alaska. Basically I can go wherever I want to, and take whatever roads I like to get there, with no real timetables.

Because my dirt riding will increase exponentially, I started thinking about getting something smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable. But I still need something that will be fun on twisty back roads and will enable comfortable highway cruising, at any altitude, loaded with my fat a$$ and gear. Thought about a KLR, but the highway portion of my needs would take a hit. But as I walked into a dealer to look at a KLR, I stumbled upon a used Triumph Tiger 800XC. At first it was too tall...lower the seat, and it's perfect. Took it for a spin...nice engine, good handling, and the seat seems good, although the standard windscreen is an abomination. Did a tight figure-8 in the parking lot to check maneuverability...too easy to maintain balance at low speed. Got home, did some searching, found no real problems with the 800XCs, and also found all the farkles I'd need.

I didn't get the used one I was looking at. Instead, I picked up a leftover '12, and the farkling has begun.

I'll definitely miss the Stelvio. Fantastic bike. But not the right tool for what I've got cooking in my head.

I'll stick my head in here now and then. But in the meantime, please try not to kill each other.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:19 PM   #3651
KMC1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
KMC1, you're sweating it too much. I got an improperly machined piece, It doesn't mean they are all like that. Mine wasn't even pinch bolt related. Still, thinking that 0.6 lbs-ft of excess torque is going to crack this part is absolutely absurd. I've done the math and validated it with FEA on this and determined you can put an extra 55 lbs-ft more into the part without issue other than stripping the threads,

Move on, I have. I'm only around here simply to rebutt false accusations made on my part, not slag MG.
Appreciate your input.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #3652
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldierguy View Post
But I'm also here today to say that I am no longer a Stelvio owner.

Here's the story: I've got the opportunity of a lifetime to live in a great place about an hour north of Tahoe, for free, as long as I need or want to. Perfect, because I'm about to retire from the Army, and needed a place from which to search for my next job/career. The free part is a HUGE bonus. The place I'll be living is on a dirt road (or mud, slush, snow, or dust, depending on the season), and there are a million other unpaved roads & trails in the immediate area that will be begging me to explore them. There are also thousands of miles of great twisty blacktop in the area that will need to be ridden. And while I'm doing the job search, I'll be taking some time to do some much-needed traveling...definitely the west coast (with lots of pauses inland to see old friends), some runs around various western states, and the gears are turning upstairs for a trip to Alaska. Basically I can go wherever I want to, and take whatever roads I like to get there, with no real timetables.

Because my dirt riding will increase exponentially, I started thinking about getting something smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable. But I still need something that will be fun on twisty back roads and will enable comfortable highway cruising, at any altitude, loaded with my fat a$$ and gear. Thought about a KLR, but the highway portion of my needs would take a hit. But as I walked into a dealer to look at a KLR, I stumbled upon a used Triumph Tiger 800XC. At first it was too tall...lower the seat, and it's perfect. Took it for a spin...nice engine, good handling, and the seat seems good, although the standard windscreen is an abomination. Did a tight figure-8 in the parking lot to check maneuverability...too easy to maintain balance at low speed. Got home, did some searching, found no real problems with the 800XCs, and also found all the farkles I'd need.

I didn't get the used one I was looking at. Instead, I picked up a leftover '12, and the farkling has begun.

I'll definitely miss the Stelvio. Fantastic bike. But not the right tool for what I've got cooking in my head.

I'll stick my head in here now and then. But in the meantime, please try not to kill each other.
Best of luck SG!

You got a great bike in the lil' Tigger. Not my cuppa, but glad you found what will work for YOU and your riding. And 1hr N of Tahoe? First, is there anything but mountains, mountains, and more mountains N of Tahoe? And second....I'm jealous as hell! I lived in the coastal mtns of Oregon for a year and had tons of riding right out my door. Frickin' awesome. Very happy for you man.

-SM
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:37 PM   #3653
pyoungbl
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[QUOTE=soldierguy;20321827I'm about to retire from the Army,.....

I didn't get the used one I was looking at. Instead, I picked up a leftover '12, and the farkling has begun.

I'll definitely miss the Stelvio. Fantastic bike. But not the right tool for what I've got cooking in my head.

I'll stick my head in here now and then. But in the meantime, please try not to kill each other. [/QUOTE]

SB, there is life after a career in the Army and it can be damn good. Congratulations for sticking with the challenges of a tough career choice. As for the Stelvio...you are doing what any rational person would do, picking the right tool for the job. Please drop in from time to time just to make sure we are not going off the deep end. On my next trip to CO I'd love to finally meet and say Hi.

Peter Y.
37 years in the Army
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pyoungbl screwed with this post 12-24-2012 at 04:08 PM Reason: grammer
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #3654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadride View Post
But looking at the pinch bolt positioning has me thinking that a stronger setup would have been to have the axle run thru a block on the bottom side of the fork rather than in front. I can only imagine that they needed the shorter space for longer fork travel (perhaps) but it seems to me that this sets up metal up for sheering action as opposed to compressing action if mounted on the bottom. As a matter of fact there is precident for this with the GS650 single BMW that has a similar setup and has had many failures.
Toad,
I suspect the axle is placed ahead of the fork axis more as a matter of handling than anything else. As you look at other bikes you will see that lots of them put the axle ahead of the forks. I "think" it's to speed up the turning response. I have a 650GS and followed the fork failure thread pretty closely. In the final analysis it turned out to be one bike, just one. It looked like a bad casting. BMW re-engineered the fork tube to put more beef at that spot but the basic design has not changed. You will get the same design on the '12 model so the design itself is not at fault. This is not to say that a broken fork is OK, even one, just that no mass produced machine is ever 100% failure free.
It's good to know that you are back on the road and your problems seem to be resolved. Hope you have a great holiday season...in Texas, is it now?

Peter Y.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:56 PM   #3655
Sock Monkey
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Originally Posted by KMC1 View Post
Ok, so if not "billions", how much? Nothing? Keep making excuses for the forks snapping and pretend that's ok?

As far as I know the BMW's don't just let the whole fucking wheel pop off when the rear drives let go - I've actually heard of people riding a while on them without even realizing it was going on - and I'm NOT arguing that's ok either, just pointing out that there's a noticiabke difference between the front fork snapping and loosing a read drive - one causes you to instantly play lawn dart and the other screws up your vacation plans or whatever.

And to be honest, hearing about the one instance causes alarm bells to ring, but then when people chime in that they've seen this a bunch that signals a major red flag. I wonder how many we don't know about?

Still not sure why you feel the need to defend it - but whatevs.
It is absolutely NOT OK that X1's bike broke the way it did and he got hurt (and could easily have been killed). We all wanted to hear "the end of the story" with regards to the failure so we could all stop guessing "was it the pinch bolts, was it this, was it that". We now have that answer, and I thank X1 for 1) posting up about the incident, and 2) chasing down the true cause. It adds extremely valuable info into the collective wisdom here. The final chapter, IMO, is what will he do next? Filing a claim with the NHTSA is what I would do so they could look into it with MG/PGA and see if this was a one-off or if there is a systemic problem with the Marzocchi forks.....but that's me.

As for your BMW comment, do a Google search. There is at least one very famous (infamous?) case where a guy riding his GSA down a graded dirt road had his final drive snap in two and he was hurt pretty bad, and guess what....when the final drive snapped, HIS WHOLE F*CKING WHEEL POPPED OFF.

Anyway, sh*t can happen to any bike, and as riders we all truly hate to see it happen for a lot of reasons, not the least of them being machines can be replaced, people can't. I think any one of us would have been pretty peeved if our bikes did what X1's did. I know I sure would have been. I think the difference is in how it was handled, but again, that's just me. Everyone does things in their own way.

Ride safe everyone, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! And for all of you boys and girls who have been naughty.....well, be better next year.

-SM
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:17 AM   #3656
hngngnthr
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If you drop your Stelvio?

Since I ride alone most of the time and without the side bags, I'm hesitant to be very aggressive off pavement because I am paranoid about dropping the bike and not being able to get it back up.

Has anyone been able to pick their dropped Stelvio up without assistance from someone?
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:18 AM   #3657
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Several times. Once in the snow.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:44 AM   #3658
KMC1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sock Monkey View Post
As for your BMW comment, do a Google search. There is at least one very famous (infamous?) case where a guy riding his GSA down a graded dirt road had his final drive snap in two and he was hurt pretty bad, and guess what....when the final drive snapped, HIS WHOLE F*CKING WHEEL POPPED OFF.

-SM
I think you're overlooking all the testimonials regarding knowing the marzocchis are prone to snapping. The rear drive failure in this case you mention, I think does fall into the "shit can happen" category since so many rear drives are in service and don't have that issue. The big bearing failure is well documented, and frankly I agree that it does reflect extremely poorly on BMW that they have not corrected the design and instead just call it "normal". But the rear wheel doesn't just pop off suddenly.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #3659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyoungbl View Post
Toad,
I suspect the axle is placed ahead of the fork axis more as a matter of handling than anything else. As you look at other bikes you will see that lots of them put the axle ahead of the forks. I "think" it's to speed up the turning response. to be resolved. Hope you have a great holiday season...in Texas, is it now?

Peter Y.

The main reason is to get the trail back in line, they bring the rake back to 25 degrees to get it to handle like a dirt bike, but then the trail is out of whack and you'd get death wobble if the axle was under the fork, so they move the axle forward of the fork to trick the trail into thinking there is less rake...walla...a good handling bike.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #3660
hngngnthr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
The main reason is to get the trail back in line, they bring the rake back to 25 degrees to get it to handle like a dirt bike, but then the trail is out of whack and you'd get death wobble if the axle was under the fork, so they move the axle forward of the fork to trick the trail into thinking there is less rake...walla...a good handling bike.
Plus, when you hit an obstacle like a rock you already have some bending moment in the forks to counteract the opposite bending moment from contacting the obstacle. There are several advantages to this geometry especially in dirt bikes. The other obvious one is lengthening the forks.
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