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Sad Rear-drive failure on IBR-day 7


Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV

Everything has to go perfectly to get to Homer and back in six days. You can tolerate little or nothing in the way of bad weather, road construction zones, traffic congestion, bike problems, and encounters with animals on the road. Under the best of conditions, you aren’t going to get much sleep. It will take a really tough rider with really good luck.

 

I had just finished writing the above paragraph at 2:30 p.m. Central Time when my cell phone rang. It was IBR veteran Paul Meredith, who is getting periodic updates on Rob Nye’s progress. Rob is in Edmonton, Alberta. That’s 1800 miles from Chesterfield, MO, and the bonus listings were handed out only 34 hours ago. Rob has been keeping a pace that is sufficient to make it to Homer and back.

 

Unfortunately, Rob’s chances of scoring the Homer, Alaska, bonus have just vaporized. His BMW R1200RT, the one with the all-new, never needs maintenance final drive, is puking rear end lubricant all over Public Highway 16. Dammit! It’s bad enough that Rob’s valiant effort has to end this way; what’s worse is that I am going to have to listen to that cackling witch of a rallymaster reminding me of our side bet on the percentage of BMWs that would finish without mechanical failures. She will laugh about it later, but it’s not funny right now. We truly feel sorry for Rob because we know he was giving it his all.

 

bncry.gif

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Rich06FJR1300

i heard he's back on the road but they didn't get it done until 5 pm today...so it'll definitely put a damper on him finishing in the top 10.

Heard also that Dave Derrick (he won leg 1) is having major electrical problems in las vegas but not sure if he is out or not.

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I guess IBR riders need to carry 1 quart of FD fluid and a spare FD just in case. It's not too big.. it should fit in a side case.

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Bad. Very bad.

 

Rear drive failure? Are you kidding? How long has BMW been making shaft drives? This is not rocket science.

 

Is there any information about what exactly failed? Seal? Bearing? Seal then bearing?

 

In the run-up to deciding to buy my 1200RT, I looked at the first two IBR's and calculated the average miles per mechanical failure that resulted in a rider's exit from the rally.

 

While BMW is the most prevalent marquee, riders on Hondas were less than half as likely to suffer a mechanical failure that put them out of the rally. Now, Honda riders do benefit from a more extensive dealer network. This increases the likelihood that should the rider get into mechanical trouble they'll be able to get the parts/service they need without jeopardizing their chances for finishing. But if you're trying to get a picture of the chances that a mechanical failure will prematurely end your road trip, the dealer network must be taken into account. A strong community helps too, but there was little data on that in the IBR rallies I studied.

 

Of course, the IBR stats represent a very small sampling of the respective populations of Hondas and BMW's. And IBR riders are not a good representation of the total population of Honda and BMW riders. Serious long-distance riders wouldn't think of fielding a bike that's not in top mechanical condition, and IBR riders are nothing if not serious. It's safe to say that the bikes start the rally in a well-maintained condition.

 

In spite of the results I bought a BMW. My concerns about reliability were out weighed by a dealer network that, while sparse in comparison to Honda, treated me better by allowing test rides and just generally being more attentive. Honda dealers also have something of a spotty reputation.

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Rich06FJR1300

its posted on ADV rider...Rob says he felt the expansion joints when he was riding on smooth pavement...then the speedo went whacky and that was pretty much it. They took some pics and I saw oil all over the drive.

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You've just got to wonder if there's been any serious discussion of a redesign in the BMW boardrooms.
The 1200 final drive IS a total redesign!
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Jim VonBaden
You've just got to wonder if there's been any serious discussion of a redesign in the BMW boardrooms.
The 1200 final drive IS a total redesign!

 

And after the initial bunch of GS failures on the first 500, they have been pretty reliable overall, despite what some think.

 

Jim cool.gif

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Don_Eilenberger
And after the initial bunch of GS failures on the first 500, they have been pretty reliable overall, despite what some think.

 

Jim cool.gif

What I find interesting - BMW lists a specific oil for the R1200 rear drive in their service specifications (Castrol SAF-XO).

 

They don't do this for the transmission, which they list as a "Brand name hypoid-gear lubricant SAE 90 API GL 5"

 

It might make one think the oil for the rear drive IS something special. I know dealers who have been asked what should be used are saying "GL5" oil.. and are likely using that at the 600 mile service.

 

I can find very little on the Castrol oil using Google. It doesn't appear at all on searches on the US Castrol website.

 

This link: http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/technicaldata/F1CA2F1C585B3DF380256C4E005B8174?OpenDocument Appears to be a Castrol product information sheet - but it isn't on a Castrol website as far as I can see.

 

There is an interesting (somewhat old..) thread on the MOA website Hexhead forum on rear-drives, in a transcription of an SIB from BMW - where BMW-NA said "We highly recommend using BMW Super Synthetic Gear oil. 75W 90, P/N 07 51 0 394 082"

http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=12875&page=1

 

Anyway - long thread - but in my experience with BMW cars - they frequently use a very specific lubricant for parts they consider "lifetime fill".. and using a different lubricant (such as a standard GL5 fluid) may require more frequent changes of the fluid.

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...It's safe to say that the bikes start the rally in a well-maintained condition.

 

While I would agree on that point, it likely is also safe to assume that IBR bikes may have significant accumulated miles prior to the rally start. In any event, I expect this news will gather sufficient attention in Munchen to warrant a thorough review of the final drive issue.

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aggieengineer

From today's update on the Iron Butt Rally website:

"Glenn Pancoast is the second victim of a rear drive failure on the all-new, never needs maintenance final drive on his R1200GS. But he will apparently be back on the road tomorrow."

 

Ugh.

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Anton Largiader
...it likely is also safe to assume that IBR bikes may have significant accumulated miles prior to the rally start.

I think Rob said the bike had 18k miles on it. Basically a perfect amount IM0; new but enough shakedown miles to get past any infant mortality issues. Or so we would think. frown.gif

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