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swingarm bearing failure?


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I've no doubt there's a thread on this somewhere in the archives but my searching skills couldn't find it, so sorry if this is a re-post.


I'm trying to tell how much play is permissible in the swing arm bearings (front of swing arm where it attaches by the center stand) on an 08 R1200RT. getting a "wormy" feeling going down the road, very slight, and feel the movement there, maybe 3/16 movement to the right at the back side of the rear tire (seems tension holds it to the left on its own) bearing play appears to be limited to the left side of the swingarm bearing. I also just had the flange recall done on it, not sure if they could have messed it up during that someway?


any advice would be appreciated!


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Afternoon Ark


The basic spec is no-movement (actually preloaded) & BMW doesn't give a wear or max-movement spec.


If yours is loose you can loosen the L/H nut then adjust the L/H stud to take the play out then re-torque the large nut.



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Usual symptom of swingarm bearing failure is what I can only describe as your bike feeling having a hinge between front and rear, especially in turns. GTR owners referred to this behavior as the "ball bearing dance". Experiencing it while overtaking a lorry is not plesant, that I can tell you! :dopeslap:


On all bikes I've owned (conventional and single side swingarm), specified swingarm play was always zero. I take BMW's are no different.

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that is an excellent description. kinda feel like I have to do some of my steering with my a$$ which I don't care for as I don't like to think of "steering" my bike.


does feel like the rear is trying to pass the front by going around the right side...



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Thanks! I'll give that a try before I commit to new bearings (found some pretty cheap but it looks like a PITA and takes forever to get parts to the island (dealer carries nothing in stock).

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Tightening the left side 3/4 of a turn seems to have fixed most of it. I'm not sure if I'm now experiencing phantom floating or if there is something else I can't find (neither I nor the dealer can induce any lateral movement in the rear tire/suspension assembly)

bearings are on the way, as is a Haynes manual. Will try to update later on.

thanks again!

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I had a similar problem on an R1100RT. I rebuilt the back end as it seemed obvious it was in there somewhere.


One day I happened to be bouncing the new front tyre to centre the axle and had my hand on the front lower ball joint. It was moving all over the place and that had been my problem all along.


The R1100 sits with the front wheel in the air on the center stand and bounces easily, the R1200 don't. Get someone to help bounce it and see if there's any play in that front ball joint.


Just a thought.

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