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R1200 Final Drive Vibration detection


davell

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Many riders on this forum have commented about feeling a different or new vibration coming from their footpegs just before or during the failure of their final drive. I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with vibration sensors on their smartphone to: (1) develop some sort of baseline or normal vibration pattern (running on centerstand in 5th or 6th gear, perhaps) and/or (2) the holy grail of capturing the vibration pattern of an about to fail or failed drive.

What say you fine BMW gearheads?

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Morning Davell

 

It could be done but you would need a GOOD baseline of your bike before it failed & few captures on bikes with failed or failing bearings.

 

Then you would have to keep a decent condition rear tire on the bike.

 

Even then it probably wouldn't be as accurate as a savvy rider with good feel for new vibrations/noises.

 

I can see a lot of false alarms from road surface coarseness variations or uneven tire wear.

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Thanks for your reply, dirtrider. I have been experimenting with an Android app called Vibrations! (Jeb!?) on various spinning objects like electric motors and my lawn tractor to get a feel for "normal" vibration and rpm patterns. I'm going to do all my motorcycle testing unloaded (on centerstand, idle rpm), but as you pointed out, I need a good baseline and many other good baselines, to boot.

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Many riders on this forum have commented about feeling a different or new vibration coming from their footpegs just before or during the failure of their final drive. I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with vibration sensors on their smartphone to: (1) develop some sort of baseline or normal vibration pattern (running on centerstand in 5th or 6th gear, perhaps) and/or (2) the holy grail of capturing the vibration pattern of an about to fail or failed drive.

What say you fine BMW gearheads?

 

Forget the app and trust your left foot: I know it's counterintuitive, but when I caught my crown bearing in the process of failing precisely because of increased vibrations on the left peg. DR had mentioned it in an old post so I dropped off the bike at the dealership and asked them to check the rear wheel play.

Sure enough, one hour later they called and told me my crown bearing was going south. :thumbsup:

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Dirtrider, Porsche Boxster owners sometimes install a device called IMS Guardian to detect metallic debris in their engine from impending intermediate shaft bearing failure. It is an oil drain plug with two permanent magnets embedded, and when enough metal is captured and completes the circuit, a warning light illuminates. Do you think a similar system on the plug at "9 o'clock" on the final drive, or the drain plug on newer drives, would be of any bearing failure detection value?

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Morning davell

 

Probably would not be effective on the 1200 final drive as the offending crown bearing DOESN'T operate in the gear oil (the bearing is remote using it's own grease).

 

It could be more effective in the BMW 1100/1150 but I would be willing to bet that you would get a lot of false alarms as the final drive gear set creates a lot of fine metallic particles & those would trigger the warning.

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Thanks for your reply, dirtrider. I have been experimenting with an Android app called Vibrations! (Jeb!?) on various spinning objects like electric motors and my lawn tractor to get a feel for "normal" vibration and rpm patterns. I'm going to do all my motorcycle testing unloaded (on centerstand, idle rpm), but as you pointed out, I need a good baseline and many other good baselines, to boot.

 

Afternoon davell

 

Problem with unloaded is the bearing is then not under load/weight so it (the bearing) would have to be pretty bad to detect anything operating on the center stand. Plus with the rear wheel spinning on the center stand forces the drive shaft U joints to run at different angles so you will be getting a lot of drive shaft disturbance to filter out.

 

Best way I know to keep an eye on the 1200 final drive crown bearing is to find the smoothest surface road that you can find-- then run the bike on that road at about 30 mph, then de-clutch, kick into neutral, & turn the key off-- then feel with your feet on the pegs as the bike coasts down to about 5 mph. (a bad bearing will usually show up pretty quickly that way)

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