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Old 08-25-2008, 04:48 PM   #1
flyingwasp OP
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Another Final Drive Failure - 05 R1200GS

I thought that I would share my story so here it goes. I have a 2005 R1200GS with 52,500 miles and I'm the original owner. The bike has been serviced regularly since day 1. I have been fairly lucky with the bike so far and have not really had any major problems... ...until yesterday.

A while ago I noticed some slight increased vibration in the mirrors and bars at highway speeds. It was very slight and difficult to tell if it might have just been the tires starting to cup. I didn't really think much of it since the bike was starting to accumulate some miles and figured that it could either be the tires or normal wear and tear.

During the first week of August, I left for a two-up trip from WI to WA / OR. It was a 5000+ mile trip. The bike had just had the 48000 service and a new rear tire. Over the whole trip (all pavement), the bike performed flawlessly. Upon returning I changed the oil, checked the tranny fluid, and cleaned the air filter. The bike started to have a very slight grumbly feel in the driveline right at the end of the trip. The feeling was only present off-throttle at city speeds. I checked the play in the rear wheel / final drive and everything was tight as usual.

The noise made me slightly concerned since I was planning on attending the Aerostich Rally the following weekend which would be another 1000 miles total. Well, that was the plan anyway.

I left for the Stich rally from Milwaukee to Duluth, MN. Put in the ear plugs and hit the road. We hit the freeway at roughly 70 mph for the entire trip. When we got to the rally sight I noticed the the slight grumble had gotten a bit louder and the vibes had started to come thru the footpegs. Definately not a good sign. I checked the play in the rear wheel again and didn't notice any issues. Regardless, I decided to let the bike sit for the weekend until Sunday, the day that I was planning on leaving. This meant that I would miss out on some of the daily rides but I figured it was probably in my best interest.

Sunday morning came around and we hit the road. The noise and vibes got worse. I think that we made it about 150 miles before stopping. The rear final drive had puked oil all over the rear wheel and outer case of the final drive. Plenty of metallic flecks in the oil which I assume is from one of the bearings. The play in the rear wheel was still tight but obviously the rock tumbler noise and the oil everywhere is a sign of a significant failure. I ended up calling for help and getting the bike trailered back to Milwaukee. It certainly could have been worse. I could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere. The oil all over the rear brake system and rear tire could have easily caused a major accident.

The bike was dropped off at the dealer for review and a discussion with BMWNA. I am hoping that they will cover this since it appears to be a significant issue with these bikes. I assume that most of you have seen the recent article from Motorcycle Consumer News on BMW final drive failures.

It appears that BMW knows that there is an issue with this since they changed the service requirement for the final drive from "no service required" from 2004 thru 2006 to "must change final drive fluid in 2007. They also re-designed the final drive for 2008.

Does anyone know if the 2008 final drive with the new bearing and the drain plug will retrofit onto a 2005 model? Is there any issue with the speedo pickup installation, fitment to the wire harness, or speed calibration? I'll upload some pictures shortly.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:05 PM   #3
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The 2008 final drive will not work on a servo bike from 2005. But they did add a filler plug to make it a bit easier to change the oil to their replacement drives. You have been changing the FD oil (with 75-90 Gl-5 synth) since they recommended it correct? Dave
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:25 PM   #4
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Since the service requirements changed, the final drive fluid was changed by the dealer so I assume that they used the correct fluid.

So the 08 & later final drive won't fit but the replacement 05 unit has a drain plug. That's good news and bad news I guess. The drain plug is good. Putting in a unit with the same bearings (same load capacity) isn't the best solution. If thats the case I am really hoping that BMW picks up the cost of this.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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I would stay on BMW to pay for it...they know there is a problem and it is certainly worth the trouble pursuing it. Update us when you find out, it will be interesting for others to know.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
2tallnwide
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Just out of curiosity how long would everyone expect

BMW to pay for a FD failure?

What are we shooting for here?

4yrs 60,000 miles?

6yrs 100,000 miles?

Lifetime?

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Old 08-25-2008, 06:28 PM   #7
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That's a good question, one I don't have a good answer to. It still couldn't hurt to pursue it...IMO the drive should last longer than 50,000 miles.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grad
I would stay on BMW to pay for it...they know there is a problem and it is certainly worth the trouble pursuing it. Update us when you find out, it will be interesting for others to know.
Like he said. Your not that far out of warranty. BMW replaced my ABS modual three months out of warranty, no questions asked.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grad
That's a good question, one I don't have a good answer to. It still couldn't hurt to pursue it...IMO the drive should last longer than 50,000 miles.
I agree 100% with pursuing it, (in his case)...

My '05 just turned 30K, the first FD service wasn't until almost 22K. So far so good, I'll be thrilled to get 50K out of mine though.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:04 PM   #10
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mine failed at about 6 months and 4000 miles out of Warranty. BMW paid for a new one. All the dealer had to do is call them. Dave
PS they added a filler plug not another drain plug which for the 05 model drives is still at the 9:00 o'clock position.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by flyingwasp
If thats the case I am really hoping that BMW picks up the cost of this.
did you buy an extended warranty?

I'm the last guy to stick up for BMW and BMWNA but this mindset of "they should pay for this" 15-50K miles out of warranty is a little unrealistic to say the least.

besides the fact that you ventured out on the freeway on the thing knowing the final was slowly self destructing. gimme a break.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:31 PM   #12
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You're kidding right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
did you buy an extended warranty?

I'm the last guy to stick up for BMW and BMWNA but this mindset of "they should pay for this" 15-50K miles out of warranty is a little unrealistic to say the least.

besides the fact that you ventured out on the freeway on the thing knowing the final was slowly self destructing. gimme a break.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:45 PM   #13
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheckerdD
mine failed at about 6 months and 4000 miles out of Warranty. BMW paid for a new one. All the dealer had to do is call them. Dave
PS they added a filler plug not another drain plug which for the 05 model drives is still at the 9:00 o'clock position.
got pics? mine (05) has 57,091 and the input shaft bearing is toast, maybe more than that. The OP sounds almost exactly what I experienced, the vibration, the sounds, etc.
My dealer tells me they have a replacement unit waiting for me, I'll take the bike in tomorrow and dump it out of my pickup on the cold hard ground, hopefully, it'll be raining to really set the mood
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