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Update on final drives


ProfessorHD

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ProfessorHD

I've been away from BMW's for a while and thinking about getting back into an RT. I have a concern about the final drive issues. Are they as common in the 2012 RT's as in previous model years? Has BMW resolved this issue? There seem to be a number of posts on this but I am having trouble discerning if the problem is still a major issue.

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CoarsegoldKid

I have it on good authority by dealers I've spoken to that there is no drive line issue. Unless of course one happens to your motorcycle.

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Afternoon ProfessorHD

 

No, not as common but not nonexistent either. The positive side is that on the few that fail most 1200RT failures seem to fail while under warranty. The bad side, there seems to be some re-occurring failures on a few that do fail early.

 

My personal 1200RT had 2 successive large bearing failures early on. The dealer then installed a complete new final drive & it has been trouble free ever since.

 

Don't let the very slight possibility of a final drive failure keep you from buying or enjoying a 2012RT.

 

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Speaking as someone who's just had a new FD at 51,000 miles - why worry?

It's mechanical and sometimes things fail.

It's not ideal, obviously, but nothing is infallible.

I have seen more than one, nearly new, Rolls Royce by the roadside broken down

(not many Cadillacs in the UK to compare with)

My 'cage' is a Saab which originally had a sensonic semi auto gearbox.

That failed at 7 years old, and no spare parts were available worldwide, either new or used.

Ended up having to have a complete conversion to manual at upwards of $2,000 (7 or so years ago)

Still have the car in spite of that, and have no intention of getting rid of it.

 

As the saying goes - you pays your money and takes your choice.

I'm happy with mine, inspite of the FD failure.

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Don't let the very slight possibility of a final drive failure keep you from buying or enjoying a 2012RT.

 

Agreed. I took delivery of a 2012 R12RT yesterday, knowing full well about the potential for FD failures, and as one who lived through two failures on a K12LT.

 

My conclusions after following this issue for many years are:

 

-- Most (but certainly not all) of the issues have been outer seal leaks, with actual crown gear bearing failures happening much less frequently.

 

-- Most of the failures are on earlier RT's -- rare to hear of one after ~'09.

 

-- Three changes seem to have made a big difference:

 

(i) BMW's abandonment of the originsl "lubed for life" approach;

 

(ii) doing FD oil change at the 600 mi. service to flush out manufacturing debris; and

 

(iii) BMW's lowering the fill quantity from 230cc to 180cc to reduce internal pressure (and thus reduce the frequency of outer seal leaks (the recent addition of a vent should eliminate this issue completely).

 

At this point I'm going to assume the new bike's FD is as "solid" as any other component on the bike (engine, trsnny) and just enjoy the ride. No sense expending worry on something that is not likely to hsppen (FD failure, dropping a valve, rear subframe fracture, etc.), and depriving myself of the enjoyment of the ride. If/when something does happen, I'd deal with it and then get back to riding.

 

DR is right -- the FD is no reason to not consider a new RT.

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The very embarrassing (to the extent BMW is ever really embarrassed by such things) spate of failures seemed to be related to the earlier models. As DR noted there still are occasional failures but seems to be much less common these days. BMW increased the size of one of the bearings (pinion I think), not sure if this helped or BMW perhaps just made some other quiet changes on the production line. There was also the extremely ill-advised 'no maintenance' recommendation by BMW on the early final drives (which was later rescinded and now regular fluid changes are required.) I wouldn't be surprised if that helped as well.

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Guest Kakugo
The very embarrassing (to the extent BMW is ever really embarrassed by such things) spate of failures seemed to be related to the earlier models. As DR noted there still are occasional failures but seems to be much less common these days. BMW increased the size of one of the bearings (pinion I think), not sure if this helped or BMW perhaps just made some other quiet changes on the production line. There was also the extremely ill-advised 'no maintenance' recommendation by BMW on the early final drives (which was later rescinded and now regular fluid changes are required.) I wouldn't be surprised if that helped as well.

 

From what the dealer told me the bearing changes were part of some "quiet changes" to the final drive implemented around late 2007/early 2008. I suspect these "quiet changes" had more to do with improved QC and/or a change in supplier than with the part design itself. German manufacturers have a history of outsourcing parts to the lowest bidder no matter what and having to live with the consequences. ;)

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As mentioned above--

 

On the 1200RT in late 05 (about the start of 06 production) BMW lengthened the pinion bearing about 2mm. There were a few reported rear pinion bearing failures on the 05 GS/RT's. Later in 1200RT production they lowered the final drive fill level to allow more room fluid expansion & that all but eliminated the gear oil seal seepage problems. That also kept the higher internal pressures from wearing the seal lips.

 

They still had an occasional loosening of the wheel flange on the spool splines so that was addressed with a better press fit & better flange spline control (not sure when that was fully phased in but well before 2010).

 

That primarily left crown bearing failures & an occasional wheel drive flange cracking through the rotor or wheel attachment holes. The wheel drive flange issue was addressed by going to a steel wheel flange & spacer ring. (done sometime after 2009 production run & as replacement parts for earlier bikes with failures). Problem seems long gone by 2012).

 

Then sometime in 2010 or a bit later BMW added a vent to the final drive to completely eliminate internal pressure build up & therefore seal seepage. Time will tell if that stopped the seal seepage at the expense of water/dirt entry.

 

So now about all that is left to fail is an occasional defective part, or defective bearing, or defective seal, or poor quality on the assembly of the final drive. AND the ever remaining crown bearing failure. That occasional crown bearing failure is probably going be with BMW until they re-design the final dive to a different bearing design. To keep the drive narrow, & single sided with a hollow rear swing arm they are pretty well stuck using that large diameter fairly narrow deep groove crown bearing. Problem is, that is very difficult use of a bearing in a mass vehicle assembly environment. Seeing as the bearing has a press fit on both the OD & ID that means the tolerances on the center spool, the hole in side cover, & the bearing itself must all be well centered in the nominal specs to assure the bearing doesn't' run too tight & overheat or grossly too loose & beat it's races to death. With hand built one or two of a kind final drives no problems as the bearing press fit can easily be controlled. When the machines are kicking out 30+ per hour the tolerances start to slip a bit. Same with the bearings themselves those must be about perfect as received. Very few motor companies will (or can afford to) pay to have custom sorted & selected bearings supplied so the bearing can show up to either far side of nominal.

Just mix a side cover with a tight (but in spec) bearing hole with a center spool with an in-spec but to the large side of spec axle, then throw in a crown bearing that is on the tight side of nominal spec & you are setting up for a good chance of an early-in-life bearing failure. Due to the few failures they (BMW) still have in this area they are probably watching this area very closely at assembly but they just can't make them all perfect so the line has to drawn somewhere on what to let through & what to scrap then address the ones that are outliers & fail under the warranty program.

 

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I had a 2006 R1200GS (28K Miles) and now my 2005 R1200RT (35K Miles)and thankfully have had NO issues with either FD.

I'm just curious...how are the FD's on the OTHER brands out there holding up? Are there any issues with Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki types?

Inquiring minds want to know!

<:-))

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Guest Kakugo

There were a few issues on early Kawasaki C14/1400GTR final drives with a couple of widely publicized catastrophic failures (bits of the shaft shattering the housing).

I am also aware of some issues on the old Suzuki VX800 twin.

 

Old Honda shaft drives seem to be quite solid: I haven't heard of a single failure on ST1100's, Deauville's, XLV750's or CX500's. The new shaft drive fitted to the VFR1200F and overweight GS wannabe is a bit of unknown but so far the only problems seem to be electronic in nature.

 

No idea about Yamaha's but the FJR1300 seems to be pretty trouble-free.

 

Bear in mind apart there are tens of thousand of Hexhead out there. They are the best selling shaft-driven bikes sold in the past decade or so and it's inevitable there will be more problems in absolute numbers.

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Nice analysis. My theory has always been that the design engineers don't communicate as well as they should with the assembly line engineers. If built perfectly, a BMW FD will last a long, long time. If it's not, it's a grenade.

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ProfessorHD

Wow! Thanks for insight. I appreciate all of this information. I feel better about the FD based on the changes I read--fill volume, etc. Mechanical stuff breaks. I'll keep tire kicking but will probably go with a new one. See ya' on the road and thanks again.

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If you add up the money belt drive bikes need in new final drive belts, etc.. a FD failure after 60K isn't any more expensive. Sh*t breaks...

 

I know a lot of things irritate guys about BMW's.. and I'm not trying to downplay some of these things (FP failure, fuel sensor) etc..

 

But some things.. I just chalk up to: "You wanna play, you gotta pay"

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If you add up the money belt drive bikes need in new final drive belts, etc.. a FD failure after 60K isn't any more expensive.

 

While I don't acrually KNOW what a new drive belt costs and what's the service interval, I do agree on the general principal.

Belt and chain drives cost money through more frequent scheduled service, the BMW shaft FD costs come in larger un-scheduled surprises.

 

But that's also the problem.

 

I'd much rather spend say $200 a year, at the time of my choosing, to service a belt/chain rather than have the FD fail on me as total surprise at the most unfortunate time. Even if the chain/belt maintenance costed a bit more.

 

--

Mikko

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If you add up the money belt drive bikes need in new final drive belts, etc.. a FD failure after 60K isn't any more expensive.

Unless belt maintenance up to 60k miles costs more that $1,870 + labor (cost of a new final drive if yours grenades) then a failed drive is perhaps a tad more expensive.

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My neighbor is on his third (one was not his fault) in 50K miles... I believe it is a $300 for the belt and 4 hours labor!!!

 

So do the math....

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Morning Seth

 

Depends on the bike-- Some you just buy the belt & slide it on with little in the way of parts removal (other than a couple of covers) to install or adjust (10 minutes max). Belt sure beats the crown bearing here.

 

Others like the Harley dressers can be an intensive operation (over 3 hours), bike jack & lots of tools.

 

I have no idea what a Harley dealer charges to put a rear drive belt on a Harley dresser but the belt costs more than a crown bearing & the labor is pretty intensive on the big Harley's.

It takes me longer by quite a bit to install a Harley dresser drive belt than to install & shim a BMW crown bearing. On the big Harley's, part of the engine has to come apart as well as the rear swing being removed to get the belt around the swing arm. As on the BMW's there are ways to cheat a bit & not totally remove the swing arm but the labor rate at the dealer never reflects those short cuts.

 

Depending on the belt tooth count, width, & who you buy it from the Harley dresser belt can run anywhere's from about $110.00 to well over $250.00.

 

Drive belts are strange creatures. You can put a new drive belt on & 10 miles later toss a stone up & punch a hole in the belt, or ride 50,000 miles & never damage or break a drive belt. It also depends on a riders comfort level. A drive belt with a hole punched in the center can go thousands of miles with no issues but one with a hole punched on the belt edge might not get you home. I have punched a few holes in drive belts over the years & while I will ride the bike locally for many months on a belt with a hole punched in it I usually install a new belt if planning a longer trip away from civilization.

 

Then you have the belt pulley wear issues-- dirty gritty road water, sandy roads, or just lots of miles can wear the belt drive & driven pulley's enough that they need to be replaced (not cheap by any means).

 

Let me put it this way. If given my choice of failing a BMW crown bearing or a Harley Electra Glide drive belt while on the road away from a repair shop I would much rather have the BMW crown bearing to deal with. On the other hand same bikes same failures (Crown bearing or Harley drive belt) & having a shop do the job then it would be the Harley. I don't know about cost (probably not much difference) but Harley dealers are all over, lots open on Sundays, in & out in about 3 hours, drive belts are cash cows for the tecs so usually same day service even if the place is super busy.

 

The older (wide belt) Harley's even had a bolt together emergency belt to get you home & could be put on while on the road (not easily but doable).

 

Drive belts that go around or outside the swing arm or on single sided swing arms are a piece of cake (minutes to install). Dive belts that are trapped in place by the swing arm are a real pain to install (hours to install).

 

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To me the biggest issue with the BMW FD is that if one has a failure, its likely to be on the road a long way from any shop that can assist- and given that I've never seen any BMW dealer open on Sun/Mon (unlike our local Harley shops), it will cost you a whole bunch of time. And because many shops don't do rebuilds, way too many $.

 

That possibility is a tradeoff against the constant nuisance / periodic costs but simple and ubiquitous servicability of a chain drive. But to me the chain is the worst part of any motorcycle that has one- I've avoided chain drive road bikes in my garage since my first Honda V-4 in the early 1980s (after almost 20 years of chain drive bikes)

 

I just monitor my FD carefully (fluid change and serious inspection at rear tire changes, for example) and hope that I can spot a developing failure early enough for a convenient rebuild rather than as a roadside failure. Can't say I know that will work though..

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----

 

I just monitor my FD carefully (fluid change and serious inspection at rear tire changes, for example) and hope that I can spot a developing failure early enough for a convenient rebuild rather than as a roadside failure. Can't say I know that will work though..

 

Morning Racer7

 

Unfortunately you probably won't spot an early 1200RT final drive failure through the gear oil or even with the wheel movement test. Very few 1200RT "internal" drive parts failures so that means mostly crown bearing failures or oil leaks. Unlike on the 1100/1150 on the 1200RT the crown bearing is remote from the gear oil chamber (sealed using it's own grease). That means at or just before failure there is no gear oil leakage or metal pieces in the gear oil.

 

I have failed a couple crown bearings on my personal 1200RT & the wheel was still tight as new during the movement test (actually probably why they failed). Gear oil was clean & like new (not even whiskers on the ABS wheel sensor or magnet.

 

What you need to watch for (at least how mine & couple of others I have diagnosed early showed up) is a rumbling or newly appearing disturbance in the riders foot pegs. It starts out very soft & subtle with a pronounced growl or rumble as it gets worse. When it is getting real bad you should hear the bearing roar when listening to the rear wheel area (a lot like failing automotive front wheel bearing) .

 

The good news on the 1200RT is (IF) you are astute enough to feel & sense that bearing starting to fail you have some riding miles before it gets too bad to ride. On my first failed 1200RT crown bearing I rode it about 700 miles thinking it was my rear tire starting to cup (I push my tires pretty hard on the edges so really didn't give it much thought). Next morning on bike inspection (I was on the road at the time) I ran my hand over the rear tire & it wasn't cupping. So I started paying more attention & pretty quickly determined it was internal to the rear drive. Cut my trip short & headed straight home (a bit over 500 miles) then next day took the bike in for warranty final drive work. Dealer originally said nothing wrong (used the wheel shake test). I became a bit miffed & they then paid more attention to the growl. When the drive was disassembled the bearing was obviously overheated & the grease was pretty much gone from the race & ball area. Lots of pits in the races & the balls looked like the surface of the moon.

 

New bearing installed under warranty & another 4000 miles later another crown bearing failure. This time I knew it well in advance as I could start to feel it in the foot pegs again. Upon bearing removal bearing looked overheated again but balls were not too bad but outer race was brinelled pretty good. Dealer said just a defective bearing but I pretty well insisted they install a new final drive.

 

So far many miles & no problems but I did use a mechanics stethoscope to listen to the newly installed final drive's crown bearing area. Now once in a while I will re-listen to be sure the bearing noise hasn't changed. The original bearing failure sounded real pronounced through the stethoscope.

 

What you might catch early with inspections is the rear wheel drive flange cracking across the rotor mount holes or wheel bolt holes. That would be nice to catch well before the brake rotor disconnects itself from the drive flange.

 

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Maybe BMW should include a stethoscope in the underseat toolkit.

 

But first they'd have to include an underseat toolkit, in the underseat toolkit bag !!

:rofl:

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I like the stethoscope idea and am generally sensitive to small noises, vibrations and tire pressure changes- comes from a lot of track time. So I guess I've got a good shot at spotting it with time available to rebuild.

 

So far, checking it dropped (disconnected) in addition to the shake test and fluid changes is all I've done and it shows nothing out of ordinary.

 

Appreciate the input and tips- sorry you had to go through a pair on yours to learn it...

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There were a few issues on early Kawasaki C14/1400GTR final drives with a couple of widely publicized catastrophic failures (bits of the shaft shattering the housing).

I am also aware of some issues on the old Suzuki VX800 twin.

 

Old Honda shaft drives seem to be quite solid: I haven't heard of a single failure on ST1100's, Deauville's, XLV750's or CX500's. The new shaft drive fitted to the VFR1200F and overweight GS wannabe is a bit of unknown but so far the only problems seem to be electronic in nature.

 

No idea about Yamaha's but the FJR1300 seems to be pretty trouble-free.

 

Bear in mind apart there are tens of thousand of Hexhead out there. They are the best selling shaft-driven bikes sold in the past decade or so and it's inevitable there will be more problems in absolute numbers.

My son has a 2006 FJR 1300. ~ 50,000 miles. He had a leaking final drive and bought a replacement on ebay. Last month he had to replace part of the wiring harness.

All bikes have issues.

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Dewayne Harkov

Dirtrider, The vibration you were feeling through the pegs, was it constant or certain RPM / speed? Om my new to me R1200GSA I have a rumble but only when I'm decelerating from about 30-25 mph. I thought it might be the tire but changed tire and it's the same. If the bearing is bad, it should be rough all the time.

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Dirtrider, The vibration you were feeling through the pegs, was it constant or certain RPM / speed? Om my new to me R1200GSA I have a rumble but only when I'm decelerating from about 30-25 mph. I thought it might be the tire but changed tire and it's the same. If the bearing is bad, it should be rough all the time.

 

Evening Dewayne

 

No, not RPM or engine load sensitive at all but low speed vehicle speed sensitive. You should be able to feel a bad final drive bearing in the foot pegs at low vehicle speeds coasting to a stop with clutch pulled in (even with engine turned off).

 

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My son has a 2006 FJR 1300. ~ 50,000 miles. He had a leaking final drive and bought a replacement on ebay. Last month he had to replace part of the wiring harness.

All bikes have issues.

 

I've got an 08 FJR and follow a couple of their forums closely. FD problems on the FJR are almost nil.

 

Regarding the harness, that was part of a recall by Yamaha to address grounding issues some owners of 06-09 models reported. This was also done on an ignition switch issue some owners/dealers reported. The difference is that Yamaha admitted there was an issue and eventually stepped up with the recall (free fix).

 

In my experience in BMW ownership (4 bikes), BMW has definitely been lacking in the ability to admit (and fix) some serious issues that could have (and have) left their owners with an inoperable bike, sometimes many(, many) miles from help.

 

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Kevin-RT1150

Well, I have a '02 RT1150 with 53K on it. When should I start to be concerned? And how can I check it out?

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The difference is that Yamaha admitted there was an issue and eventually stepped up with the recall (free fix).

 

In my experience in BMW ownership (4 bikes), BMW has definitely been lacking in the ability to admit (and fix) some serious issues that could have (and have) left their owners with an inoperable bike, sometimes many(, many) miles from help.

How many people got stuck miles from help until Yamaha "eventually" stepped up?

 

BMW did a recall on the brake lines on my 07 1200RT and also did one on the EWS antenna. Both replaced free. Both before I had an issue. But yes, the fuel sensor is an issue (replaced one already under warranty) and the FD may or may not be a problem down the road.

 

Really though, all manufacturers have issues and when they don't do what we want, they're unreasonable. In the end it comes down to whether you get enough of something else from the transaction to make up for the things you don't like.

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markgoodrich
Maybe BMW should include a stethoscope in the underseat toolkit.

And a monkey paw to replace the headlight bulbs.:)

 

Naw, you need the whole monkey. This one works for cigarettes. Takes him about two minutes to change the bulbs. Be sure to buy the right brand of smokes, or they'll throw poop at you.

 

smoking_monkey.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

i-sqVhSv6-M.jpg

 

Normal or not? No chunks. Very fine metal paste. 48k miles. FD oil changed every 12k miles. I usually see some metal paste, but this looks to be more than I remember on previous services.

 

I also found noticeable play when rocking the wheel at 12 & 6 o'clock. No play when rocking 3 & 9 o'clock. No noticeable growling or vibes from FD.

 

If my FD is on its way out, what is the cheapest fix? Repair what I've got? Buy a new complete FD and install myself?

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Morning Scott

 

That is a lot of debris for 12k. So start by running that stuff between your index finger & thumb. If anything sharp felt then I would be worrying a bit.

 

On the 1200 hexhead the crown bearing is isolated in it's own chamber so that definitely isn't from the crown bearing (usual place of final drive failure)

 

You didn't give us a bike year or what you are working on but I see you have a 2005 listed.

 

If an early 2005 then that much debris m-i-g-h-t be indicating the rear pinion bearing is starting to go. The early 1200 hexhead final drives had a smaller rear pinion bearing that caused some issues early on. The later final drives address that by going to a larger rear pinion bearing.

 

I'm really not sure what to tell you. If that stuff is sharp feeling then a definite worry. If it feels smooth between the fingers then keep monitoring it next gear oil change. If you keep getting that much at the 12K mark then personally I would be looking inside the final drive for the reason.

 

On the wheel movement issue-- A little wheel movement on the 1200 hexhead is normal so just having a bit of wheel movement is not alarming.

 

You really need to isolate the actual wheel movement & define the final drive bearing movement from the swing arm bushing movement. Total wheel movement means nothing, it's the final drive bearing movement that really matters.

 

You finding " found noticeable play when rocking the wheel at 12 & 6 o'clock. No play when rocking 3 & 9 o'clock" usually points to swing arm bushings but you really need to make sure that is what is happening.

 

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Thanks for the info. Yes, I think it is an early 2005. Glad you mentioned swing arm bushings, I was thinking some of the play might have been in the suspension linkage.

 

I don't travel extreme distances, so if its on its way out it won't happen in the middle of nowhere. I think I'll keep riding and just pull the abs sensor at the next 6k service and see what she looks like.

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Afternoon Scott

 

If it doesn't have one already you might get a magnetic drain plug in it also.

A magnetic drain plug will also catch some of that debris. On your 05 the plug should be on the back so you can remove it easily as often as you want to check it.

 

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Paul Mihalka

Is there a magnetic drain plug available for the 9 o'clock drain plug? I'd love to have one.

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Afternoon Paul

 

I have seen magnetic plugs in the high holes so there is one that will fit.

 

You can probably take yours in & match it up to an existing one that will fit your drive.

 

Or try calling Dimple, they make magnetic plugs for may applications.

 

DIMPLE

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I'll second the Dimple- those guys use powerful magnets that are better than others.

But you can also easily make your own like I used to do. Just drill a plug for a proper size magnet and epoxy it in place.

access to a full machinists drill set will let you pick a close fit and any of the normal epoxies are oil resistant.

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sardineone

Dirt Rider, I found the Dimple website, but couldn't buy with my US Master Card. I don't do PayPal. Any US dealer that you know of, sells the rear end plugs for the BMW Hexhead 1200's? Looks like a (M12x1.0).

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Afternoon sardineone

 

At one time Max BMW carried them. You can call but make sure it is fits YOUR final drive as some of the early bikes have had the COMPLETE final drive replaced under warranty.

 

For the high (9:00 o'clock) fitment you really want a hollow type plug with a recessed magnet in it due to the very close fit of the plug to the ring gear (very close).

 

That pretty well precludes just drilling your original & inserting a magnet as the original plug has that deep hex indented into the plug from the outside so no meat left to drill into it or even less recess the magnet.

 

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Beemer Boneyard

 

For clearance issues, there are magnets in almost any size you can imagine and you can always drill a bolt and use a stop nut if you need more depth in whatever you use for a plug provided you can make a seal with the o ring or whatever is in that location. The Dimple is the easy and preferable way but will likely run about $30-40. Any time you roll your own its wise check depth for clearance even if you think you've got plenty of space- should have said that originally..

 

BTW, a prototype mag plug for the upper hole on older (pre big hole) drives was made avialalbe for a while by an indicidual who machined a specific length item that was easy to use manually for inspections. Its being used by a group of folks to see it one can capture the bearing race flakes on it that accompany failure of earlier design drives so it can be predicted earlier when they need a rebuild. Not applicable to big hole drives with external bearings..

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sardineone

Thanks Dirtrider and Racer 7. You guys are all right. A bit more piece of mind just ordered from the Beemer Boneyard. My hand grease gun with a needle adapter will be going after my rear universal joint the next time I drop the rear end for a fluid change too. Many good insights from this site help alot! :thumbsup:

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Just remember to back up looking at what's on that plug with inspections of a disconnected drive periodically (as, for example, when you're already doing something else back there like a tire change, spline lube, FD fluid change, etc.)

There is a limit to what bits on a plug can tell you re a big hole drive while race flakes one could find from an earlier drive type are a clear indicator its time to pull it apart. With big hole drives you're looking for a quantitative change in whats in the plug rather than the apperance of a new type of material (eg those bearing race flakes)

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Acknowledging the universal truth that the cheapest thing on a BMW is in fact the rider (LOL), I "created" my own magnetic FD drain plug.

I had a SUPER powerful 3/4" long cylindrical ceramic(?) magnet that fit the drain plug perfectly and will in no way come off by itself. It basically turned the entire OEM plug into a strong magnet.

The plug will remain magnetized while unscrewing it for an oil change.

Works fine.

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Acknowledging the universal truth that the cheapest thing on a BMW is in fact the rider (LOL), I "created" my own magnetic FD drain plug.

I had a SUPER powerful 3/4" long cylindrical ceramic(?) magnet that fit the drain plug perfectly and will in no way come off by itself. It basically turned the entire OEM plug into a strong magnet.

The plug will remain magnetized while unscrewing it for an oil change.

Works fine.

It was probably an NIB (neodymium, iron, boron) magnet. See here: http://www.kjmagnetics.com/neomaginfo.asp

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Thanks for that, Longjohn, I believe you're correct.

This sucker is unbelievably strong considering it's size.

If you're not careful, you might be sporting a very pretty but painful blood blister.

DAMHIK

 

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Maybe BMW should include a stethoscope in the underseat toolkit.

 

Or a sensor like the one that supposedly listens for pinging.

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I have a 2005 RT (25k) and no problems to report beyond internal seals which were replaced with BMW picking up the material cost tab. I'm still concerned through when on long distance rides I realize that the nearest dealership is hundreds of miles away.

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