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Old 08-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #76
Englishmatt OP
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Update!!!

Just heard from the dealer. In BOTH cases, on BOTH bikes, BOTH Crown bearings and Axle bearing fell apart when they removed the housing. In essence the entire FD units imploded, yet the gears looked like new. Parts order has been sumitted and we will now wait for the parts to come from Germany. Very wierd.

Now, the obvious culprit(s) are a.) Total overload of the bearing or b.) Wrong oil type used.

A.) Total weight allowance of the GSA is about 440lbs for Rider and Gear. My brother and I wiegh in at 260lbs with gear and carried 140lbs (maybe slightly less) of gear. As the trip went on, we ate food that we bought with us and bought a few t-shirts, but nothing big. So I'd suspect the the average load didn't change. 260lbs + 140lbs = 400lbs and under the posted limit (which would or should be conservative) of the bike.

B.) Both bikes started the trip with Royal Purple 70-90w GL5 rated, fully synth FD oil. One of the bike had that fluid flushed half way into the trip and replaced with BMWs FD oil. So no common denominator there.

I'll post the full list of part and parts numbers shortly (dealer is sending).

Oh...BMW warranty is paying for everything.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:17 PM   #77
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Don't forget the bike is not equipped with factory saddle bags so you have to add the weight of the bags as well as any extras like big skid protection, driving lights, electronics, spare tires on your trip back, etc. You didn't specify that your 140# of gear included such, so forgive the devil's advocate. Many folks don't take this into consideration when calculating their GVWR.

Hopefully you'll be getting the new 2011 vented back plates on both bikes as there has been a change on '11 over '10 and older final drives. I'm of the opinion that they should have always been vented to begin with, however running a vent line up to the battery location would be my prefered fix vs a rubber vent cap at the backing plate.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:33 PM   #78
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good point regarding bash plates, lights, etc...it all adds up.

The 140lbs does include the actual boxes, I wieghed then once packed.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #79
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Thanks for the info on the load-out. Don't forget the weight of your gear as well. Boots, back armor, Gore-Tex and Cordura add up. Even so, I'm betting BMW is similar to most manufacturers in that they under-list the GVWR in order to protect themselves

I'm still thinking this is a tolerance stacking thing. It sounds like you were not over the load limits, but were close. You didn't ride to the extreme of what the bike can handle in an off-road situation but it was close. You didn't ride to the very extreme of heat or wet or dust but I'm betting it was all close. All those "close" issues just stacked up on both bikes. Not that it should happen, but I can see how everything just conspired to lead to a warranty issue.

On a related note, I'm very glad to hear BMW is doing the right thing without any hassle.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:50 PM   #80
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Its an interesting story and there may be a correlation there but, my 07 GS was bought new in Anchorage, went to the Circle 2x and now has 40k miles on it. Original FD is doing fine, knock on wood.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:52 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishmatt View Post
Here ya go...feast on this.

My bike is a 2010 GSA, my brothers is a 2009 GSA. July 2nd we left Atlanta, GA and ran up to Prudhoe bay.
At the start of the trip my bike had 13K, his bike had 8K.

After 11,500 miles, and in Memphis (400 miles from home)...BOTH Final Drives failed. I'm not talking about a blown seal....BOTH Final drive bearing failed on BOTH bikes within 100 miles of each other.

Result is that BOTH bikes are at the local BMW dealer awaiting diagnosis. Is it just me, or is that a little ODD????

Interesting note is that the dealer has only seen one other total FD failure on a late model GSA....and that guy went to ALASKA.

I'm not prepared to rip into BMW just yet....but I'm preparing myself to do just that. To have both bikes fail at the same time tells me there's something common to both units with this failure.

If I cannot take my "World Class", "Purpose Designed", "Adventure" bike to Alaska without fearing a trip ending breakdown...then I'd say BMW has a world of problems on a design that a.) Is not rocket science and b.) has been around for YEARS.

Now then, for all you ADV'ers that will respond with "Well, it's under warranty..." I agree, but think about what it means and just how critical this failure is for BOTH bikes at the same time. Think about the message it portrays, and just what happened to BOTH bikes to cause the failure?

If you've never done anything more than taken your GS/A on long touring rides, with occasional gravel road excursions, you'll not understand the beating these bikes took along the Alaska, Yukon and BC roads. You'll not understand how remote some of the places are in this country and just how unsettling a final drive weakness is when you are 400 miles from any town, not to mention cell phone coverage to even call for assistance.

That being said, BMW themselves promote the "sherman tank" nature of the GSA and offer lectures, seminars and event(s) to promote more adventure riding.

The most important thing right now is to understand "What caused the failure?". Then I need to know what BMW are going to do to get my confidence back in the brand...For starters I'd STOP the R&D on the new BOXER motor, it's excellent, reliable and simply works....they may want to shift focus on getting the f&%^&g drive train figured out!!!

As a former KTM 990 owner, I've taken crap over the past year about the final drives...and I've defended it everytime. Now with both bikes coming home on a trailer I look like a chump.

In our small group of GSA and RT riders (7 riders)....five (5) bikes (4 GS/A's and 1 RT) have had FD issues...

I'll update this post as I know more, so far the dealer (Blue Moon Cycles) are handling the situation as well as they could be expected to.

It was a sour note to end our month long adventure on the side of the interstate, with 50K in broken BMW motorcycles.

Matt.
I haven't read through this thread, but you just explained precisely why I do not own a BMW anymore! And, I owned 3 over the years. BMW reminds me of my college girlfriend. She was perfect when she wasn't screwing someone else behind my back
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I haven't read through this thread, but you just explained precisely why I do not own a BMW anymore! And, I owned 3 over the years. BMW reminds me of my college girlfriend. She was perfect when she wasn't screwing someone else behind my back
yet you still go to the same places (forum) to see if she's changed, is nicer now, is doing fine and asks about you from time to time We've all been there. I still surf the Orange Crush forum too.

I'm residing myself to Cliffy109's thoughts....perhaps we were close to all the tolerances and it's just added up to cause the failure.

The broken parts are being handed over to BMW for review and a failure analysis. Perhaps the bearings simply are not big enough to handle the job at hand.

I know everyone rides differently, changes gear differently, rides to different extremes. I would imagine a manufacturer designs his product based on the 80/20 or even 90/10 rule. It just sucks to be in the 20 or 10 percentile.

Anyone one aware of any upgraded/uprated bearings, OEM or otherwise to replace OEM?

Matt.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:11 PM   #83
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Should also do failure analysis probability

I am going out on a limb here, but bear with me (no flame, please).

Notwithtanding that everyone wants to find a common thread between the two bikes because if is "such a coincidence" that they both failed at the same time, a complete investigation should (IMHO) include a statistical analysis as well. IF there are known failure rates, then it should be possible to come up with the probability that "some pair of bikes should have FD failures at the same time" (somewhere in the world during the month that it happened to you). It may be that that probability is not so small after all (that out of all of the GS in the world a pair somewhere would fail at the same time), and that your two bikes happened to be that pair.

When viewed in the context of "my GS", then it seems very unlikely. When viewed in the context of "all GS to which it might apply", the numbers are very different.

-ceej

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As an example, you are in a room with 23 other people. What is the probability that someone else in the room was born on the same month/day (not year) that you were. That number is fairly small. However, what is the probability that "some pair" of people in the room have the same month/day of birth? That probability is about 50%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffy109 View Post
Thanks for the info on the load-out. Don't forget the weight of your gear as well. Boots, back armor, Gore-Tex and Cordura add up. Even so, I'm betting BMW is similar to most manufacturers in that they under-list the GVWR in order to protect themselves

I'm still thinking this is a tolerance stacking thing. It sounds like you were not over the load limits, but were close. You didn't ride to the extreme of what the bike can handle in an off-road situation but it was close. You didn't ride to the very extreme of heat or wet or dust but I'm betting it was all close. All those "close" issues just stacked up on both bikes. Not that it should happen, but I can see how everything just conspired to lead to a warranty issue.

On a related note, I'm very glad to hear BMW is doing the right thing without any hassle.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:31 PM   #84
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Pissed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishmatt View Post
Just heard from the dealer. In BOTH cases, on BOTH bikes, BOTH Crown bearings and Axle bearing fell apart when they removed the housing. In essence the entire FD units imploded, yet the gears looked like new. Parts order has been sumitted and we will now wait for the parts to come from Germany. Very wierd.

Now, the obvious culprit(s) are a.) Total overload of the bearing or b.) Wrong oil type used.

A.) Total weight allowance of the GSA is about 440lbs for Rider and Gear.

Oh...BMW warranty is paying for everything.
There is no way that a rider and a passenger wearing full gear, the accessories mounted on the bike and all the kit for 3 week camping trip will weight in less than 440 lbs. So BMW wants me to tell my wife she has to stay home or we have to motel it for 3 weeks in order to not overload my 09 GS Adventure. Most couples touring 2 up and camping are over that weight.

I have never had a final drive failure on any of the 4 GS's that I have owned, but I fully believe it will likely happen one day. When I see BMW recommending Castrol SAF-X0 differential oil at $47 per liter (Canadian price) I have to feel that they are trying to mask a design problem with some sort of super oil instead of building a final drive that is hearty enough to allow the use of the same $9 a liter gear oil that goes in my truck's differential.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by MANXMAN View Post
There is no way that a rider and a passenger wearing full gear, the accessories mounted on the bike and all the kit for 3 week camping trip will weight in less than 440 lbs. So BMW wants me to tell my wife she has to stay home or we have to motel it for 3 weeks in order to not overload my 09 GS Adventure. Most couples touring 2 up and camping are over that weight.

I have never had a final drive failure on any of the 4 GS's that I have owned, but I fully believe it will likely happen one day. When I see BMW recommending Castrol SAF-X0 differential oil at $47 per liter (Canadian price) I have to feel that they are trying to mask a design problem with some sort of super oil instead of building a final drive that is hearty enough to allow the use of the same $9 a liter gear oil that goes in my truck's differential.
Here in the USA where people are really fucking fat, I mean healthy, you could have a 300lb dude and his 250lb wife on the bike. That's 550lbs in fat without gear.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:31 PM   #86
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Can you just plan for FD failure and carry parts with you like 990 guys do with water pumps and fuel pumps. Geez, in 2011 you'd think they would have figured this out...
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:12 PM   #87
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Can you just plan for FD failure and carry parts with you like 990 guys do with water pumps and fuel pumps. Geez, in 2011 you'd think they would have figured this out...
Funny you should mention this since I did both to my KTM 990. The nice thing (can't beleive I'm hearing myself type that) is that both the Fuel Pump and the Water Pump are just a few minute(s) repairs on the side of the road. They are more of an inconvience/annoyance that anything and one of the reasons I moved over to the GS...reliability, robustness, etc...

I do hear of people carrying FD bearings etc...with them on these long trips. I even had a Final Drive outer seal with me...just in case!

I'm sure you could replace the crown bearing or the axle bearing (both failed on both our bikes) but I'm not sure how you would do it since either one or both of them are supposed to be pressed on.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #88
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Hopefully you'll be getting the new 2011 vented back plates on both bikes as there has been a change on '11 over '10 and older final drives..
Would you please post a pic of the new FD?
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:59 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by MANXMAN View Post
There is no way that a rider and a passenger wearing full gear, the accessories mounted on the bike and all the kit for 3 week camping trip will weight in less than 440 lbs. So BMW wants me to tell my wife she has to stay home or we have to motel it for 3 weeks in order to not overload my 09 GS Adventure. Most couples touring 2 up and camping are over that weight.
You saying you want to put more than 440 pounds on a 540 pound bike?? Yeah that sounds safe. That's 81% of the bikes weight. Not even a heavy duty pick up can handle 81% of it's weight on it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:15 AM   #90
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You saying you want to put more than 440 pounds on a 540 pound bike?? Yeah that sounds safe. That's 81% of the bikes weight. Not even a heavy duty pick up can handle 81% of it's weight on it.
I don't see where the GS' weight factors in. I put 170 pounds on my 20-pound bicycle all the time. Trucks, rail cars, ants, lots of things carry more than their own weight.

Heavy duty pickups are a joke in this comparison. They're not designed to be light and around here they just have to carry their fat owners to the grocery store or school.
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