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02 RT grind grind grunch.... then coast off the highway


Redman

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am too upset to describe much at the moment.

(at least not in any polite terms)

 

SAM_1891_SideOfThe8_W1200_zpszulfxzpd.jpg

 

but can be thankful that we made it to the side of the road (I-8, San Diego)

 

By my appraisal; probably the dreaded clutch hub / input shaft spline failure.

 

Dealer to give my my options tomorrow.

 

My fist bike newer than an 86,

My first BMW.

Six Days.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

 

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Have hope! Although it sounds like the transmission splines, it is possible that it might be ONLY the splines of the clutch friction disk. There's a chance that the transmission splines will still be okay and only the clutch will have to be replaced. Happened to me in 2013 - only required a new friction disk instead of a gearbox rebuild or replacement. Good luck.

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Hey Dave, That stinks. Just looking at your bike up on the two truck gives me PTSD..

 

Probably a lot of riders will disagree, but I'd like to see a sticky at the start of the forum about the 10 things that an R1150 buyer should check with instructions on how to do it. Although the clutch hub/shaft failure isn't common, it isn't rare either.

 

My bike has already had two trips on a truck. Once the day after I bought it, for in tank vent hoses. And then a year later for in-tank fuel hoses. You might want to have the innards of your tank overhauled while the bike is down. Here's what happened when the hoses failed: Fuel Hose Failure.

 

biketow.JPG

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Hi Redman, I am so sorry to see that.

My heart goes out to you.

If it is the input shaft, that would be the first twin spark I have heard of failing.

Did you buy it privately or dealer?

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Have hope! Although it sounds like the transmission splines, it is possible that it might be ONLY the splines of the clutch friction disk. There's a chance that the transmission splines will still be okay and only the clutch will have to be replaced. Happened to me in 2013 - only required a new friction disk instead of a gearbox rebuild or replacement. Good luck.

 

This is the main difference between 5 speed and 6 speed transmission spline failures.

In cases where 5 speed input spline fails (usually at 100k miles or so, I am curious about your mileage)transmission shaft is slightly worn and will probably be fine for another 50k (conservatively).

This is due to the fact that there is complete engagement of the splines.

With the 6 speed transmission (with partial engagement) failure results in much more wear on the input shaft, making only the clutch replacement likely ineffective for any long term repair. It is one of those " repair and sell" cases. My theory is that with the complete clutch engagement, even on the partially worn input shaft (they all look the same) you would get the same mileage as on original parts (conservatively). Long term testing is the only way to know, everything else is just speculation.

Sorry about your situation, but if you are hearing grinding while engine running (even in neutral), and no motion, then it the input shaft splines that have failed.

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Assuming it is the dreaded spline problem, you can very likely get by with just replacing the clutch disk - and not the input shaft. Personally I don't think the possible slight addition to spline engagement length via spacers will help much (others will strongly disagree).

 

As an absolute minimum the alignment of the engine to the transmission should be suspect and checked.

 

It seems like any oilhead bike can be subject to this sort of thing.

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Hi Redman, I am so sorry to see that.

My heart goes out to you.

If it is the input shaft, that would be the first twin spark I have heard of failing.

Did you buy it privately or dealer?

 

I think Redman is on a '02, single spark.

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yep 02

 

46K

 

The "grunch" that I put in title is not a good description of the sound. That is more what I felt.

 

What I heard (once off the road) is more of a high speed ka-ziirr zirrr zirrr.

 

Owner and service manager did a real good job asking "Did it sound like ziirrr ziirrrr." And this was before they even went outside to look at it.

 

At that frequence of the sound, I can just envision the stripped out splines on clutch zipping past the stripped out splines on the shaft.

 

So I guess these BMWs are expensive to own.

Lets see, how many thousand dollars, divide by how many days I have ridden it, that works out to about a $1000 a day.

 

Anybody want to by an "02 RT, cheap, needs work".

If someone gave be several hundred dollars for it, that might lower my cost per day to $800.

 

Good thing I didn't pay $500 for the brake flush and $450 for the valve adjust & TB sync. That would have made it $1200 a day.

 

I am in mourning.

This bike was suppose to be a big part of my last few years of riding.

 

.

 

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Brother, that's freaking terrible. I was just sick when it happened to me. I don't think the dealer will be much help. They will replace the input shaft and clutch disc (at great cost) and the same thing will happen again in another 40K miles.

 

IMo your best option is to look for a used 50,000 mile transmission with known good splines. Put it in with one of cele's spacers and you should be good to go. There are guys who can measure the misalignment and make a set of offset dowels, then use the original transmission but that is an order of magnitude harder than a tranny R&R.

 

I've now heard of four of these in the past month or so. It just sucks. I really wonder if BMW knows how many new bike sales they've missed because of this.

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I really believe that modified clutch alone would do another 40k even on the partially worn shaft. There is substantial work involved in replacing the clutch, especially on the RT, but the cost with just the clutch plate would be under $300 (parts only).

 

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Owner and service manager did a real good job asking "Did it sound like ziirrr ziirrrr." And this was before they even went outside to look at it.

 

I really wonder how big is this problem. Big enough to be "known" issue at the dealership at least. Did you have a chance to ask?

 

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Brother, that's freaking terrible. I was just sick when it happened to me. I don't think the dealer will be much help. They will replace the input shaft and clutch disc (at great cost) and the same thing will happen again in another 40K miles.

 

IMo your best option is to look for a used 50,000 mile transmission with known good splines. Put it in with one of cele's spacers and you should be good to go. There are guys who can measure the misalignment and make a set of offset dowels, then use the original transmission but that is an order of magnitude harder than a tranny R&R.

 

I've now heard of four of these in the past month or so. It just sucks. I really wonder if BMW knows how many new bike sales they've missed because of this.

Agree - don't tear down the transmission to replace the input shaft. If your's is really that used up, get another transmission. Those input shafts are harder than the clutch hubs & if this is the first failure on yr bike, you can get by with a lot of shaft spline damage with a new disk and lube only. Adding the new spacer to engage more spline may help some too, but the clutch disk hub should be slightly relieved so the spline doesn't hang on disengagement and cause hard shifting.

 

Measuring misalignment and making offset dowels isn't that much work or $$ assuming the transmission is already disassembled, but it does also require a pretty skilled mechanic owner or machinist.

 

Before it is all put together, have someone teach you the simple details of monitoring the spline condition by occasionally removing the starter. Easy to do but you should do it maybe every 15K miles or so.

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Hi Redman,

 

Sorry to hear of the failure. Was there any sort of noticeable warning that it was about to let go...hard shifting or less than a smooth clutch feel or anything? I realize you only rode it six days and were probably still getting a feel for the bike.

Hopefully the repair goes well.

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Thanks for comments guys.

 

Never had any shifting problem.

Other than sometimes when first start engine with clutch pulled in and in netural, when go to put in gear it would not. Had to let out clutch in netural for just a bit, then could get to go in gear. But knowing a syncro gears and such, I figure that it not abnormal.

One time on last day, did hear a little growl when letting of the starter. Just real short, and not bad. I doubt that (starter mechanism needing cleaning) is related.

 

Dealer, just this afternoon, has pretty much confirmed the "spline striped" theory, and state a $3500 repair estimate including new shaft and rebuilding xmission.

(in which case I consider it a completed loss, and end to my BMW career.)

 

THey said that is a possibility of a used transmission, in which case I will consider that plan. But I suspect any available parts bike is a parts bike because of this problem.

 

Is interesting that before this happened, I meet the dealer owner/manager. And I meet a guy on a ride that turns out to be one of the salesman there. THey both recognized me when I came in (with tow truck). And both say they will do what they can to help me out.

 

Yes, bike is quite different from my '82 GS1100GK. I really enjoyed the RT. But, jeepers, looks like each day of riding cost me about $900.

 

And, no, I don't think getting a much newer one (like the 2012 the salesman was talking about). There are reasons why I didn't get a $15k bike, are reasons why I didn't get a $10k bike, are reasons why I didn't get a $7500 bike.

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Redman if I were you I would be buying the transmission that is currently advertised in the classified section.

 

On the other hand if I had to do the rebuild again I would do the spacer mod on a new clutch disc and button it all back up.

 

 

 

 

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I'd let this one sit in the garage until a used transmission came along. How are your mechanical skills? A tranny R&R is a big job, but it's very logical.

 

I don't think your used transmission theory is correct. Bikes crash. Engines blow up. Etc. a good used transmission will last a long time, hundreds of thousands of miles.

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There's probably a BMW guru somewhere near you that would help guide you through the difficult parts of a replacement for a case of beer or a bottle of bourbon.

 

Don't give up yet...

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Certainly a real bummer for ya redman, but jim is right.

My old girl has about 127k on the second trans (first was NOT splines, still have it, readyto re-assemble). Also. I doubt the PO installed a "NEW" replacement when 1st one went astray with 80k. So this one could have 200k on it

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Post a closeup picture of your input shaft spline condition and get a free opinion from a registered mechanical engineer (retired) if it needs to be replaced. It is too easy for a shop to simply do the whole job...........

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check the classified by eddd

Thanks.

Have found that classified by edd (dated just a few days ago).

His listing of remaining parts do not include xmission. Looks like he has been parting it out for some time. No major parts remaining. I suspect a xmission will be a high demenad part.... and xmission shaft failure is a likely reason that bike IS a parts bike.

 

Although I did PM him.

 

 

Redman if I were you I would be buying the transmission that is currently advertised in the classified section. .....

Thanks

Have looked thru several pages, not finding it.

Will look again. Want to find it.

 

.

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Actually, edd's 1150RT transmission has now sold, that's why it has been moved from Classifieds to Classified History.

 

Best of luck Redman, whichever direction you go.

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Since I am a big fan of putting my money where my mouth is ...

 

If you are willing to do nothing but replace the clutch plate (no transmission, no input shaft), I will give you the spacer free of charge. Honor system. And then in 40k miles we will know.

 

Esmir

 

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Bummer, bummer, bummer!

 

Maynard has 180,000 miles on the original clutch and input shaft splines (but just heard he ate a cam chain tensioner). The "Splinal Tap" quick lube might have bought some time, but I remember there was a batch of '02's that were all slightly misaligned and no amount of lube could prevent the inevitable (though it could about double the time to failure).

 

Sorry to hear you got a bum introduction to BMW's. :-(

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Sorry for the tangential post, but what changes were made to the R1200RT clutch/transmission, and did they effectively fix the problem? I should know this, but I've forgotten.....

 

Tks.

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Sorry for the tangential post, but what changes were made to the R1200RT clutch/transmission, and did they effectively fix the problem? I should know this, but I've forgotten.....

 

Afternoon Sam

 

Many changes between the two bikes. Same basic design but different engine, different transmission housings & different clutch parts. Most likely also a better assembly alignment procedure & parts alignment verification.

 

The 1200Rt isn't totally trouble free but very/very few problems in the clutch spline area. ( I personally only know of 2 1200RT spline failures & both were way over 100,000 miles.

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Bummer, bummer, bummer!

 

I remember there was a batch of '02's that were all slightly misaligned

 

 

This "fact" has been brought up over and over again but nobody knows where it came from, or actual data behind it.

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Bummer, bummer, bummer!

 

I remember there was a batch of '02's that were all slightly misaligned

 

 

This "fact" has been brought up over and over again but nobody knows where it came from, or actual data behind it.

 

I believe it comes from a poll on this forum sometime 5 or 6 years ago on clutch spline failures. The vast majority of failures was with the 2002 RT and then decreased yearly thereafter. My 2002 RT's splines crapped out at 42,000 miles, but I fixed it myself and sold the bike. It's still going strong and I wish I had it back.

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Lets see.....

 

2002

2003

2004 were the model years for US R1150RT's

 

Factors that should have been taken into account, but weren't:

Which year had been out the longest....

Which year had the highest mileages at the time of the pole....

Which year had the highest number of bikes on the road....

(hint on this last one, the '02 RT was sold for almost two years starting in March of '2001)

 

Stan

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Actually, edd's 1150RT transmission has now sold, .....

 

Yep, contacted him and he said a forum member bought it just the previous day, just to have on hand just-in-case.

 

Man, it thought these xmissions would be in short supply. But I didn't think I would be in competition with that ! !

 

 

http://marketplace.ibmwr.org/

 

there's an 04 here from Joshua buck for $550

THanks.

 

He also had an other one, from an '02 that was also recently parted. And he sent pics. Man, no perceivable wear on the input shaft. He said it was rebuilt by a BMW dealer, put back in bike, and then the engine failed at not too long after that, then entire bike parted.

 

I am proceeding with that one.

 

Then today the service manager (today, after dealing with this since Monday) at BMW dealer says the service tech tells him that also need the clutch replaced too. And that not in the estimate.

What? the service tech had to tell him that...?

I had thought we all assumed that from the start. And I think I mentioned it a few times.

 

It was fairly common knowledge to me (and I just got my first BMW recently) from reading about this potential failure on the 2002-2005 6 speed xmission, that the clutch hubs and the input shaft spines wear until the clutch hub stripps out completely.

Apparently I knew more about this 2002-2005 problem than service manager at BMW dealer with a few years experience (but not back 10-12 years). Other than that, I have been guite impressed with the dealership.

 

 

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This "fact" has been brought up over and over again but nobody knows where it came from, or actual data behind it.

As mentioned earlier there were a number of threads a few years back where careful measurements were made and an alignment problem confirmed. The other evidence that tends to lead in that direction is the propensity for early and repeat failures on certain bikes, whereas most experience no problem. There have also been records kept and the '02 model is often over-represented.

 

Absolutely conclusive? I guess not, but there has been a lot of investigation in the past concerning this issue and the misalignment theory is hardly a 'who knows who started it' sort of thing, in fact it's relatively well documented as such things go.

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Since I am a big fan of putting my money where my mouth is ...

 

If you are willing to do nothing but replace the clutch plate (no transmission, no input shaft), I will give you the spacer free of charge. Honor system. And then in 40k miles we will know.

 

Esmir

 

Spacer...? Tell me more.

(I think I can guess: something for more engagement between clutch hub and input shaft splines.)

 

I am pursuing replacing the xmission AND clutch with used ones that were rebuilt and rode for not too long (quessing les than 10k, show no sign of wear) before bike parted for other reasons.

 

.

 

 

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Just put a modified clutch plate and nothing else. If your transmission didn't have any problems, other than the obvious, why gamble and pay 500 on top of that?. But I guess it is at the dealership already, so it is not up to you

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As has been previously mentioned, the data on the 02s in particular is skewed because they were really 01s and 02s. For example, my "02" was made in February 01. I'd like to see some numbers as to how many produced. For example, perhaps the problematic 02s were all the early production ones.

 

And yes, in my case, at 66,000 miles, goodbye, Mr. Splines (and a vacation. And $3500)

 

Now nearing 100K, and she drives great. But beginning to get nervous again.

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As has been previously mentioned, the data on the 02s in particular is skewed because they were really 01s and 02s. For example, my "02" was made in February 01. I'd like to see some numbers as to how many produced. For example, perhaps the problematic 02s were all the early production ones.

 

You are forgetting R1100S 99+. That was the first bike to get that transmission, and they were eating splines (and still do) way before 02 production.

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True.

 

I realize at this point it's a moot pipe dream, but wouldn't it be interesting to be able to correlate data for all those years, to see if the 6-speed tranny-equipped-bikes actually got better?

 

If I saw proof of that, I'd consider buying a 2005 (rare) R1150rt as a replacement, as I never liked the 1200s' looks.

 

But my sense is that it was a crapshoot throughout the series of 6-speeds of that era, and that the reason the 02s (and 99+ Ss) fare poorly is that they are older and statistically over-represented.

 

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The shaft is too short !!!! Why is is so difficult for people to believe that the company made a 6mm error in design?

And I love the "It doesn't matter it is shorter" argument.

 

If anybody has an example of a hub where the splines do not engage fully other than bmw 6 speed transmission I would like to see it. As far as the misalignment theory I would like to say that perfect alignment does not exist. There is no 0.00000000000 match anywhere in the machine world. So, would it be possible to assume that tolerances for alignment were assumed for full spline engagement and due to lack of that engagement what should be " normal" misalignment becomes beginning of spline wear which is then positive feedback loop into destruction.

 

And best of all this is the only thing that is fixable at this point.

No, lets chase good transmission with medium mileage but not to young because those ..... Come on, really, this is the solution?

 

Lets measure misalignment with crazy jigs, all the while forgetting that crankshaft is actually not in the position it is when the engine is running, due to the fact that it moves up due to the oil pressure.(bearing clearance).

No, lets not worry about that, but find 0.0002 misalignment and go with that.

 

Anybody remembers when NASA shot the rocket way out into the neverland because somebody input the data in standard instead of the metric system, (or something like that)? That is possible. But BMW making an error in 6mm and not noticing, not possible. It must be some phantom misalignment.

 

 

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The shaft is too short !!!! Why is is so difficult for people to believe that the company made a 6mm error in design?

And I love the "It doesn't matter it is shorter" argument.

 

I think I have read every thread on this topic in existence on the WWW. You have your alignment theory and your short shaft/engagement theory. When you look at failed splines, it's obvious that there is a section of spline that is not engaged. Why not? This certainly looks to be a design problem. But if it is, why hasn't BMW fixed the design? Of course, if they do/did admit there was a design problem, they would be on the hook to fix every '02-'04 and some '05s. Right? So, instead, they deny there every was a problem? Maybe.

The alignment theory suggests that BMW discovered the problem sometime during the '02 production run. This theory seems to make sense if you factor in the "reported" number of failures of the different year models. It seems as though the '02, particularly the early '02 have the most failures. Obviously, this is still up to debate and I've never seen any real convincing data on this. Plus, it should be true that the '02s would have more failures since by age, they would have more mileage, on average. It's further complicated by the fact that the production run was longer on the '02s than the '03s, so there are more of them on the road? I'm not real sure of this, it's just a guess. But, I understand that the '04 was a longer production run as well and "reported" failures on the internet seem less. And everyone knows the internet doesn't lie.

 

Here's my problem with the short shaft/engagement theory. My '03s original clutch was replaced at 25K miles due to a failed clutch slave cylinder that blew fluid all over the disk. The PO that had the work done, saved the original clutch. Here are a couple pictures of the splines.....

spline1.JPGspline2.JPG

 

The splines are in pristine condition. You can't even see where the engagement of the shaft stopped. Why is this? Why are there examples like this? Why hasn't every '02-'04 had a spline failure at a somewhat consistent interval if partial engagement is to blame? It simply can't be the only factor.

 

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clip-- When you look at failed splines, it's obvious that there is a section of spline that is not engaged. Why not? This certainly looks to be a design problem. But if it is, why hasn't BMW fixed the design? Of course, if they do/did admit there was a design problem, they would be on the hook to fix every '02-'04 and some '05s. Right? So, instead, they deny there every was a problem? Maybe.--clip

 

Morning Mike

 

BMW has made a lot of running changes during long production runs.

 

The engine was changed from a single spark to a twin spark to reduce light throttle surging & improve runabilty. They weren’t forced to update all the old single spark vehicles. (this is something way more riders were effected by than a few spline failures)

 

They made changes to the final drives & didn't have to update those.

 

They made big changes to the I-ABS after mid 02 & didn't have to recall or update those.

 

Just look at all the transmission internal changes at 8/02 & none of those were forced to be updated on BMW's dime (unless a failure while still under warranty)

 

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The splines are in pristine condition. You can't even see where the engagement of the shaft stopped. Why is this? Why are there examples like this? Why hasn't every '02-'04 had a spline failure at a somewhat consistent interval if partial engagement is to blame? It simply can't be the only factor.

Because the spline is already adequate even if not fully engaged - but only providing there is no misalignment. If there is misalignment, all bets are off.
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So what do we know/suspect here so far?

 

The 2002 1150 was sold longer than the 03-05 models but we really don't know if more 2002 1150RT's were sold than the 03 or 04 models. (for most of late 01 to mid 02 1150RT's were very scarce in my area dealers but by 03 they were in dealer stock with little wait for delivery)

 

The 2002 1150RT seems to have far more trans spline failures (reported) than the 2003, 2004, or 2005 1150RT's.

 

On the 1150 boxer bikes, the trans spline to clutch plate interface is short of full engagement. (this is nothing new & has been known since late 2001)

If the short engagement interface is the problem then, as Mike says, why don't ALL 1150 boxer bikes fail, or at least all, or most, show unusual wear?

 

If it (the short spline engagement) was an oversight on BMW' s part then why wasn't it changed during the production run when BMW started getting field reports back of spline failures & paying for warranty spline repair? BMW field reps saw a number of spline failures (hands on) & BMW changed a lot of things over the full run of 1150 bikes but the spline shaft length or clutch hub length wasn't changed.

 

Given the short spline engagement why do most replacement input shaft & new clutch disk bikes fail at about the same mileage as the first spline failure but yet the very same bike with a different (later) transmission installed can go full life from then on with no spline failure? (not conclusive but sure makes you wonder)

 

Some say that how they are ridden has some effect on failure mileage--Probably so-- but if that is the case then why would a (specific) rider fail a spline shaft at 24k then again at 46K, then sell that bike & buy an almost identical 2003 or 2004 1150RT that goes well over 100K with no spline failure?

 

Does correcting the trans to engine alignment help or cure? Not really enough long term testing, on enough samples done, to confirm a for-sure answer.

What (I personally) know is that on every failed spline bike that (I personally) have measured the trans to engine alignment on they were far enough off to put up a large red flag.

What I also (personally know) is that on the few 1150 bikes that I have corrected the trans to engine alignment on the new spline shaft splines far exceeded the original failure mileage with no reported re-occurring failures to date. (again, not enough samples to be conclusive but enough samples to take note of).

 

 

The above is just food for thought & to promote further discussion on the subject as I'm not trying to sell anything so I don't have a dog in this fight.

 

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Partial engagement is the key that makes all the other variables come into play. There is tolerance on every part in the system (hub, splines, housing) but with the partial engagement you are already entering the game with one ( maybe two ) strikes against you. And , I can clearly see the parting line on your clutch hub. Maybe thereis no wear, but it is definitely shines.

 

As far at the 02 being affected more and other years less, if they really found the problem in 02 I would expect the failures to go away completely and not be reduced only.

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