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R1200xx FD Failure Rate Poll. All R1200xx Owners Please Reply!

R1200xx FD Failure Rate.  

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Bud
'05 12gs/32k

'05 12gs/21k

'06 12gs/20k

'07 12gs/13k

 

Burned out 2 dip beam bulbs. Is the sky falling?

 

Heck no, with you buying all those GS's, BMW thinks the sky is blue. lmao.gif

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gtlloyd

2006 R1200RT 24k The FD oil has never been changed. It has that super duper lifetime oil...and an extended warranty. I may change it just for kicks this winter.

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aggieengineer

My final drive (R1200RT) was replaced at 3600 miles. Despite admonitions about the lifetime lubrication, I decided to change the oil. The magnet was covered in metal particles ranging in size from dust to about 5mm in diameter. At 9000 miles, the new drive seems to be doing fine. I changed the oil in it after 400 miles, and just checked it a few minutes ago.

 

The sky didn't fall, but it rained on my eighteen-thousand dollar motorcycle.

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AllanCook

Not yet, anyway. But I've only got 4,100 miles.

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Grassman

I have 50,000 miles on my 05 RT with no problems

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blob

2005 model; 1100miles, fluid changed at 3000miles. No problems - except for brake recall, temp gauge relocate, software update, fuel sensor probe recalibrate, oil level indicator fix and pulsing brakes fix (new discs)!!!!

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John in VA

Bought a used 06 RT. 4000mi so far and NPF.

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Dave Grinsel

2005 R1200ST with 35,000 miles. Original oil in FD. May change at 36,000 miles. No problems.

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BeemerLover

Over on the R1200C forum a member who is a trained BMW mechanic with his own shop indicates that:

 

"it really is unfortunate that BMW decided to "do away" with the breather on the rear drive for the 1200 series. This was probably the only real mechanical problem with these bikes.

 

Without a breather, when pressure goes up in the rear drive (by getting hot) the pressure has no where to go. What will happen is the pressure will find the weakest link and push itself out there (usually the pinion seal). Not just air get's pushed out but oil too (we all know what happens when you run a mechanical object out of oil).

 

Both crown seals and pinion seals have been been a problem because of not having a breather. I don't really think our rear drives are bad, just a case that has been poorly designed, without a breather."

 

Make sense? Does to me. Makes me want to drill a small breather hole somewhere......

 

Gael

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John in VA
Make sense? Does to me. Makes me want to drill a small breather hole somewhere......

 

Makes sense to me in theory, although I'm no mechanic. I would think, however, that there's such a small amount of air in the FD to heat up and expand that the pressure would be negligible, at least not enough to force oil past seals. Also, the heat level in the FD shouldn't get very high anyway. Again, I'm no mechanic.

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BamaRider

35k miles on my 05 RT, no problems but the jury is still out. In the realm of todays sport touring bikes, not a lot of miles. And 100k miles on 10 year old is not a bike under much stress.

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johnv

Well I was too quick to repond to the survey last week. I reponded that I had had no final drive failure. Just for the heck of it, I decided to check it this weekend. I grabbed the rear wheel at 6 and 12 o'clock postition and felt play. I can actually hear the play when I rock the wheel back and forth. I have an 07 R1200RT with 12700kms. I made an appointment at my dealer this week for further investigation.

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Ricoshay

17k miles on my 05-R12RT, no FD oil change, no failures to date. Though I still enjoy this bike, the fact that the warranty runs out in 4 months does give me pause. There are very few economical parts on this bike, but lots of great toys! wink.gif

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bobanddianne

7000 miles on an '07

 

No problems

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Col

Having just got a used 06 RT I read this thread and got worried that I had made the wrong choice. I rushed out to the garage to see if there was any lateral play in the rear wheel, there was not. Then I went over the reasons for buying an RT and they are all still valid. It is a really great bike does what I want and more. Yes, some people have had problems and BMW should be taking note. BUT it seems there has been a change in the type of oil used and the advice to change it more often.

 

All the vehicles I have owned over the years ( I came to BMW from Harley) have had both good and bad points. None have been perfect yet all have given me enormous pleasure. The RT is not perfect, it can't be. So, my plan is to be aware of the issues, change the FD oil regularly and keep an eye on things as much as I can. Most of all I just know I will have FUN riding the bike and smile every time I go out!

 

Colin

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exwingnut
I feel MUCH better after seeing this poll, even though I know its statistically useless. Less than 5% failure rate seems acceptable. I would assume (but might be incorrect) that it skews to higher mileage units, althoguh a 7 unit sample is pretty small to be inferring that.

 

While 5% is not negligible, its also not the near-guaranteed horror that the boards make it out to be.

 

JT

 

I would wager that, for a certain range of bikes, the failure rate is WAY higher than for the rest of the same model.

 

There are many instances where a small number of products are put together in a short period of time with bad (incorrectly assmebled or manufactured) parts. Skews the heck out of your data.

Edited by exwingnut

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jaytee
I feel MUCH better after seeing this poll, even though I know its statistically useless. Less than 5% failure rate seems acceptable. I would assume (but might be incorrect) that it skews to higher mileage units, althoguh a 7 unit sample is pretty small to be inferring that.

 

While 5% is not negligible, its also not the near-guaranteed horror that the boards make it out to be.

 

JT

 

I would wager that, for a certain range of bikes, the failure rate is WAY higher than for the rest of the same model.

 

There are many instances where a small number of products are put together in a short period of time with bad (incorrectly assmebled or manufactured) parts. Skews the heck out of your data.

 

Well, so long as it doesnt include ST's built around Feb of '05 I'm pretty happy! :P

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Don_Eilenberger
I would wager that, for a certain range of bikes, the failure rate is WAY higher than for the rest of the same model.

 

There are many instances where a small number of products are put together in a short period of time with bad (incorrectly assmebled or manufactured) parts. Skews the heck out of your data.

I don't know if one will find a range of dates where the bikes are at risk of failure - or if there is - it may be a fairly wide range.

 

In most heavy manufacturing - when building something like a rear drive - it's probably more economical to build a lot of them at one time, then switch production facilities to another product - especially if you're building them on a contact basis.

 

I would suspect BMW isn't manufacturing the rear drives (likely Getrag - possibly ZF) - and the manufacturer may then deliver drives to BMW in a "just in time" manner - effectively becoming the warehouse for BMW for the parts. This would tend to spread the failing drives over a wider range of bike production dates.

 

I also suspect that if the failure mode is known (and I think it is - probably bad seal installation leading to leaking, leading to bearing failure) - that any drives in the pipeline will have the issue addressed, and eventually drives on bikes will have the issue addressed (cheaper for BMW or Getrag to pay to have the seals replaced than rear drives.)

 

Most of that is simply guesswork on my part - so don't take it as gospel.

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echo7tango

13K miles on my '05 R1200RT, bought new in June '05; no FD problems to report.

 

Mileage =

• local commuting

• three 1,000+ mile trips

My riding style: quick-ish riding but not hard acceleration; I have a "personal problem" where I don't feel I'm getting anywhere unless I'm passing people along the way -- keeps the "action" in front of me.

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2004ret

Purchased bike in May 2005. At 27K miles, experienced alternator failure, fixed under warranty (dealer needed two weeks, as alternator shipped from Germany), and now have oil dripping behind the engine - will go to the dealer for investigation. Bike is a fantastic machine, but for the price, reliability issues should be less than 1% - a 5% failure rate is completely unreasonable in my view. Will have the dealer change the FD fluid, to confirm its condition.

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ka5ysy

R1200R: FD in great shape. Changed oil at 600 miles and 6000 miles to Mobil-1 full synthetic GL-5. It's to easy, I will probably do the change with every oil change anyway.

 

This is one fine bike, except the stock seat sucks.

 

Breakdown: Rubber insert on driver left foot peg tore off. I want a new bike lmao.gif

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SageRider

'06 R1200-RT 36K miles. Had a low beam bulb go out at 35K miles. Otherwise, no problems.

Final drive fluids changed at 18K and I will change it again at the 36K service as a final check.

 

IMO a 3-5% failure rate for the final drive assembly is ridiculously high. This is a critical assembly that the failure rate should be in the low fractions of a percent. Even if it's only the people experiencing problems who are posting, there are far too many of this type post...

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Don_Eilenberger
Bike is a fantastic machine, but for the price, reliability issues should be less than 1% - a 5% failure rate is completely unreasonable in my view. Will have the dealer change the FD fluid, to confirm its condition.
FWIW - Someone in the manufacturing business - pointed out to me - that a typical "quality" number - warranty free products - on what are considered high-end or quality products, typcially runs about 4-5% of the items requiring warranty work. They quoted Consumers Reports as one source for this sort of information (particularly for home applicances and electronics.)

 

4-5% isn't an awfully high number - that means 94-95% of the owners will not experience a problem.

 

It would be wonderful if BMW made a perfect machine every time one left the plant, but if they did, I suspect none of us could afford one.

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Don_Eilenberger
R1200R: FD in great shape. Changed oil at 600 miles and 6000 miles to Mobil-1 full synthetic GL-5. It's to easy, I will probably do the change with every oil change anyway.

 

This is one fine bike, except the stock seat sucks.

 

Breakdown: Rubber insert on driver left foot peg tore off. I want a new bike lmao.gif

I agree on the fine bike - I haven't had any warranty claims except one screw on the luggage that went missing, and one of the original tires (Conti) had a defect, which couldn't be laid at the foot of BMW. Today mileage just went over 7,600 miles (since the end of May..)

 

Oh - the stock seat works great for me now that I have a better suspension (the stock isn't awful - but it can be improved on..) Yesterday was an 8 hour in the saddle day, and got home with no butt soreness. I do have the low seat, which may be better than the taller ones.

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DaveCinNO

I have a 2006 1200rt with 13,000 - no problems with the FD but my local dealer changed the fluid at 6k and said BMW told them to change it once a year, even though it was suposed to be a life time lube...said bmw admitted it was a mistake to claim that, especially for the break in period. It made sense to me to change it annually/12k so I plan to do that just for a little insurance.

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gordiet

9200 miles and all is OK! FD oil has been changed twice and was clean both times. 2005 model. It seems reading this thread that the 2005 model is faring better then the others.

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John in VA
[4-5% isn't an awfully high number - that means 94-95% of the owners will not experience a problem.

 

... especially 4-5% of a totally unscientific survey. I'm no BMW apologist, and I'd be pisssd if my FD failed, but these are all anecdotal incidents, mostly regarding bikes sold in the USA. But how many total oil/hexheads have been manufactured in, say, the last 5 years? Way more than are represented here.

 

I'm wondering what failure rate people here would consider acceptable? 3%? 1%? Less? I'd think that in any manufacturing process with many parts and careful fitting, achieving that last few percentage points of perfection would be prohibitively expensive. Even from this small sample, 95% have had no problem. That would indicate to me that the FD DESIGN ITSELF is not flawed. Assuming the FD isn't assembled by robots and that 100% perfect assembly by humans is virtually impossible, one also has to throw in random probability of imperfection of individual parts (metallurgic or otherwise), I'd guess that if random assembled FD samples are pulled off the line and run through 100k miles of simulated use/abuse, those samples might get zero failures -- or they might get 100% failures -- but that wouldn't necessarily equate to the failure rate in the field under normal use (although 100% failures might warrant looking into!). Just my 1.5 cents.

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Don_Eilenberger
BTW - at 7,000 miles my R1200R drive seems just fine. Oil was changed as scheduled at around 450 miles (a tiny bit early 600 mile service - but I was leaving on a long trip..)
At 42,000 the final drive still seems just fine..

 

Thought I'd update it.

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Paul Mihalka
2005 R1200GS bought used with 9,000, now has 22K. No failure (of any kind)... liar, one headlight bulb...

Final drive update: This bike now has 120K miles. When it was at around 100K I found a opportunity of a drive with 3.000 miles and installed it. The removed drive showed no indication of failure. No extra play anywhere, no metal on the ABS sensor.

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Hall Vince

R1200ST

Bought used 3k

FD lube changed, at 6k, 12k, 24k

33,000, FD drive OK with less than 1mm play.

Bike Part ex'd for...

 

R12RT

Bought used 5k

FD lube changed at 12k, 20k, 24k

Large bearing went grumbly at around 20k

New Bearing (German)and roller bearing, now on 30k still ok.

 

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Dave_in_TX

07 R1200RT with over 97K and no FD issues.

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markgoodrich

53,000 miles on '06 RT. Nothing yet.

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Missusfinz

32,000 kms on 09 RT.

Sweet ride

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KDeline

2007 GSA, failed at 49000.

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pokorskij

2005 R1200RT, 66,000+ miles not problems.

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BOOCH

My 2005 R1200RT has 50,000 miles with no FD issues.

Steve

 

And the vast majority of those miles,have been two up!! I keep my fingers crossed though.

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RichardSpag

R1200rt 2005 - drive failed at about 36,000. Replacement still good at 87,000

 

Cheers

 

Richard

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BMWED

2007 R1200RT 41,000km no issues.

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Nice n Easy Rider

2007 R1200RT, 26K miles, no issues

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aggieengineer

2006 R1200RT. FD replaced at 3600 miles.

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bobbybob

07 RT with 30K, no problems....yet.

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Ken H.

'05 R1200GS with 76,000km - no FD issues

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lawnchairboy

46k on 06RT, FD oil changed every 12k roughly, no problems so far.

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chaparral

2005 RT 48K miles Bad read tranny seal @ 24k (warranty repair) No FD problems as yet. using 180ML on FD now

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Redbrick
2005 RT 48K miles Bad read tranny seal @ 24k (warranty repair) No FD problems as yet. using 180ML on FD now

 

'05RT with about 36M and no FD problems.....Rear trans seal leaked early (probably with about 12M miles) and was fixed under warranty...Using about 200 ml's Redline 75W90 gear oil and changing it at least with every tire change....180 ml's just isn't enough...4 or 5 thimbles full? :(. :P "He said as his retentive tendencies became visible".........

Edited by Redbrick

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Groanup

2007 RT.

No troubles so far...

But only 13k miles... (I had 7k in January when I found this site with all these guys who inspired me to go on long rides) :grin:

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SteveMc

06 RT, 62,000 miles, no FD problems.

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Svensk

'07 RT with 21k miles.

 

Rear transmission seal replaced at 18k under warranty.

 

No FD issues. FD oil changed at 12k miles.

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Swag

07RT 62,000 mile no problems with F/D

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malcolmblalock

05 RT 82,000 miles; FD failed

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