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Old 03-24-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
dasher OP
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GS Broken rear suspension bottom bolt: anyone else seen anything like this?

Greetings, fellow GSers!
This weekend, washing my bike after a nice 180 mile ride through the twisties here in sunny Puerto Rico, I noticed the rear shock's bottom bolt, where it connects to the swingarm, was loose. Upon further inspection, it was NOT loose... it was broken!

See the attached picture.

Obviously, this is the one piece of the bike that should NEVER break, as it could be deadly if it comes out at speed.

I am having the bike picked up tomorrow by the dealer, and would like to contact someone at Motorrad so they can analyze this better.

The bike is parked in a garage, about 200ft. from the ocean, though, and it is subject to lots of salt air. Could it be rust??

This is one GS that sees lots and lots of beautiful, twisty mountain roads (soon to be written about in BMW ON magazine as no-one thinks PR has mountains and twisties), but 99% is on pavement. I haven't ever used the GS to jump over buses or anything like that, it has never even been dropped once in its four years.

Anyone ever seen this?

Thank you!
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:48 PM   #2
TomTom63
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Are you the original/first owner...? Anybody in the family who has access to the keys...?
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
Some-Young-Guy
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A failure analysis of the bolt will tell the story. Rules #1 and #2 of a failure analysis are don't touch the failed surfaces and don't hold the broken pieces together to see what it looked like whole. EVERYBODY does this and information can be lost.

I wouldn't suspect corrosion. What about over torqueing the bolt? If it was caused by bottoming out the shock, the the shock may be bent and/or the upper bolt may be bent.

Good luck...
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
dasher OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.REX63
Are you the original/first owner...? Anybody in the family who has access to the keys...?
Yep. Original and first owner. Nope. No-one else has ridden my GS. Except maybe the mechanics at the dealer...
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:06 PM   #5
dasher OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some-Young-Guy
A failure analysis of the bolt will tell the story. Rules #1 and #2 of a failure analysis are don't touch the failed surfaces and don't hold the broken pieces together to see what it looked like whole. EVERYBODY does this and information can be lost.

I wouldn't suspect corrosion. What about over torqueing the bolt? If it was caused by bottoming out the shock, the the shock may be bent and/or the upper bolt may be bent.

Good luck...
Good advice! Thank you, I will try to protect the piece. The end piece will be bored out, or however they get it out of its deep, deep hole in the swingarm, so no hope there.

The bolt MAY have been over-torqued, I guess, at the factory. I have never taken a wrench to it myself. I will look into the upper shock mounts. Again, thank you.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
Litre
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My front shock mounting bolt bent/broke. Dealer found it while they were doing the shock recall. Definitely surprised me. I have a feeling I know what caused my issue (damn gopher holes), though. Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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Damn glad you noticed it, very scary!
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:04 AM   #8
desert dweller
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seen it before..

yep, my r11gs has recently broken a lower shock bolt.
the bush is shagged out, meaning there was play in the bolt, so it broke. it's done a lot of dirt.
the design is different from the r1150. i am told i have to take out the swingarm to replace the bush, which seems stupid to me.
has anyone replaced the lower rear shock bush on an r1100gs?
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:46 AM   #9
dasher OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litre
My front shock mounting bolt bent/broke. Dealer found it while they were doing the shock recall. Definitely surprised me. I have a feeling I know what caused my issue (damn gopher holes), though. Good luck!
Ummm... Front shock recall? On the R12GS? Darn it, I hadn't heard of it! One more thing to worry about or a great excuse to upgrade to Ohlins...
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
Litre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasher
Ummm... Front shock recall? On the R12GS? Darn it, I hadn't heard of it! One more thing to worry about or a great excuse to upgrade to Ohlins...
I think it's an ESA recall, and only encompasses a very limited VIN range. It covered a leak that could occur, I guess. My bike didn't exhibit any of the issues, but I just figured I'd bring it in anyway. That's when they found the bolt. It definitely let me know that I need to take it a bit easier off-road.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:52 AM   #11
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Seen a few 1150 rear shock bolts broken.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:53 AM   #12
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I had it happen on my R1100GS. Fortunately I found it when I was washing it.

Jay
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #13
Joker_-_
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Rear shock bottom bolt broken

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
Seen a few 1150 rear shock bolts broken.
Mine did broke, twice. First time it broke flush with the swingarm, was a pain to take out (it had been over torqued).

Last time (2-3 weeks ago) it broke where the shock seats on the bolt, indirectly trough a bushing/sleeve (ohlins). The sleeve/spacer broke aswell, since it's only made of aluminum. Very, very scary. I took some pictures:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jrk9f0fr6ohah1r/VLnERVKFc5

The remaining of the bold was easy to get out this time, got it out with my fingers...

I am now looking forward to find something harder to prevent this from ever happening again. I'm not finding much information on that tho. I could find "harder" bolts, but some say it'll break even easyer since the metal has to have some flex wich prevent it from breaking.

*** FLASH NEWS *** The last bolt I've put on was already the strongest I could find (12.9). I've bought a spare but now I wonder what I should do...

Anyone has an idea?
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Joker_-_ screwed with this post 09-24-2012 at 04:19 PM Reason: Added information on the broken bolt
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:37 PM   #14
Strong Bad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joker_-_ View Post

*** FLASH NEWS *** The last bolt I've put on was already the strongest I could find (12.9). I've bought a spare but now I wonder what I should do...

Anyone has an idea?
A harder bolt is more brittle and as such is more prone to "snapping".
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:41 PM   #15
def
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad View Post
A harder bolt is more brittle and as such is more prone to "snapping".
Especially in those Canadian winters.
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