R1200RT drive shaft failure

How to; Why did it do that?; What do I do now!...

R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:55 pm

Or munted at Muntadgin :shock: http://forum.bmwmccwa.asn.au/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3178

A sad story of BMW R1200 RTP drive shafts (Up to model year 2007).

One perfect day, sun shining on that perfect Western Australian day, no wind, flat wide open country, wheat fields just harvested to ankle height... just the right mix of ingredients to exercise the 'Go handle' 8)

However, all the goodness in the world combined, does not necessarily guarantee a pleasing outcome...

Or for all those coming home from the Munty Pub weekend and noticed a white RT on the back of a truck...

First note: When the glorious sound of speed and foreign loud unfamiliar noises suddenly combine in concert, don't reach for the volume knob to turn up the music!

Stop, and look around your machine. If the noise seems to be coming from the rear, poke around the rubber gaiters on the swing arm.

If you notice that one or the other of said gaiters is mysteriously damaged, STOP. Do not keep riding.

Drive shaft universal joint as viewed through the rear gaiter
Image

Get on the phone, hitch a ride, put the bike on a trailer/truck. Do not ride it...

Or in the words of that famous robot, "Danger Will Robinson".

Once at home, in a safe warm location, disconnect the final drive from the swing-arm/drive shaft.
If what you see looks like this... Sit down and mumble a prayer or two to who-ever you think is looking after you :roll: You're still alive, so someone is...

Drive shaft universal joint as viewed with final drive disconnected
Image

Drive shaft as viewed disconnected from the gear box and partially withdrawn
Image

Discovering that the blasted drive shaft won't come out of the paralever arm
Image

Right now you are thinking? Can't pull out the drive shaft? It's bent; the paralever arm might be damaged ; big $$$$$$$$$$$$...
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:12 pm

A bit of research on the internet highlights the following issue...

It's seems to be fairly common for the BMW R1200 RT and RTP model years to 2007 to have early drive shaft failures. This one has around 80,000 kilometres.

Owners with R1200 GS/GSA will be familiar with withdrawing the drive shaft directly out of the paralever arm, once the gearbox end of the drive shaft is popped-off of the spring circlip (with a screwdriver via the front gaiter).

Second note: BMW R1200 RT / RTP model years to 2007 are fitted with a much wider rear tyre than the GS/GSA models. So trusty BMW engineers had to modify the paralever arm to fit this wider tyre, and in the process shrinking the size of the tunnel that the drive shaft runs in.

Third note: To remove the drive shaft from BMW R1200 RT / RTP model years to 2007, the swing arm must be removed and the drive shaft withdrawn from the front!! :shock:

Internet research
Image

It would appear that this piece of engineering was fixed on the 2008 onwards models, fixed in that the drive shaft can be withdrawn from the rear without dismantling the rear of the bike.
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:25 pm

Options...
  • New drive shaft: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  • Rebuilt drive shaft: Requires a rebuild-able drive shaft to exchange... NO, this one is cactus :x
  • Rebuild this drive shaft: eg. http://www.dbsperth.com.au/... NO, this one is cactus :x
  • New Emerald Isle rebuild-able drive shaft: Per http://www.sabmwra.org/Nov_DEC_2016.pdf
  • Find a used low milage drive shaft.

Any other suggestions, feel free to contribute :P
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby Bozo » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:38 am

For sale:

2006 1200 RTP Single Seat (built 5.9.2006)
93,000 km
Runs well
Full service history
Serviced by BM Bikes 9.2.17
Overhauled Drive Shaft and new Final Drive bearings at 85,526 km on 22.09.15
New front tyre 91,528 km
Recent AGM Battery 18.7.2016
Recovered seat

Thorsten picked up that the drive shaft was a concern during a routine service. I got a second hand 1200 RT drive shaft from Italy but it was a later version and did not fit. Ended up going the reconditioned route. Very happy with outcome.

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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby Digger » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:06 pm

I am a firm believer in preventative maintenance...probably a throw back to managing big fleets of trucks back in the day. Like Bozo, if you get the gear serviced regularly by the guys who know their shit then a lot of potential problems can be avoided. I see it as an investment in trouble free motoring. Most times it pays off but there will always be exceptions. I guess if you outlay the high cost of owning a BMW then you have to accept the high cost of parts and repairs.
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby wightman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:55 pm

Another solution is to buy a complete bike at an auction (Pickles or so), with a good drive shaft......then you suddenly inherit a whole swag of other spares
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby theape » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:58 pm

Well said Digger - Preventative Maintenance pays in the long run for sure.
The Universal joint physical size in a 1200 is the same as those in an airhead, they are not so strong..
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:38 pm

Couldn't agree more, however...

My 2008 GSA has 160,000 km on it with the original drive shaft. I do inspect and lubricate the splines at either end occasionally. A 2008 GS I know of has 140,000 km with the original drive shaft. Riders of both these machines are fairly demanding on their ride. Again both final drives were overhauled at circa 100,000 km.

The R1200 RT / RTP models up to 2007 seem to have non-common failures on the drive shaft. That's what this technical message is all about.

Preventative maintenance is good practice, however it pays dividends to intimately know your machine. It will let you know when things go awry. But you have to feel the 'force' 8)

Actually, from my perspective, this 2008 R1200 GSA is the least expensive bike to own that I have ever had. That's why I love it so :roll:
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby Digger » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:52 pm

spacey1 wrote:Couldn't agree more, however...
Again both final drives were overhauled at circa 100,000 km.

Excactly my point....it was overhauled before it failed...a classic example of preventative maintenance.
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:29 pm

Of note, after removing the swing-arm on the BMW R1200 RTP, check the swing-arm bearings.

On this particular machine, the LH swing-arm bearing was corroded badly, yes, corroded from water / rust.

These are tapered roller bearings, one on each side.

Image

Ergo: Another item to pay attention to. Remember the BMW RTP is not an off-road machine, it is a highway bike. The LH bearing was worn quite badly. The surface hardening was starting to wear/corrode on the area where the rollers move. In time, this bearing would have created some rather interesting handling issues.

Will post the FAG bearing identifier, once found.

Good things to do:
Clean and inspect the swing-arm / drive-shaft tube thoroughly.
A clean assembly will make it easier to identify the source of an oil leak. Either from the top at the rear of the gearbox, or from the front of the final drive.
Now that all the plastic is off the machine, clean it.
It's a good time to change the gearbox oil and air filter.
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:39 pm

While we're on the subject of preventative maintenance, I reckon I got a full life out of my rear brake pads.

Changed them according to the preventative maintenance 'JIT' (just in time) method :lol:

Image

No metal contact, just using them to the last. I've got a bit of scottish blood, hey Noel :P
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby Bozo » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:41 pm

Nev
In terms of maximising brake pad life, looks like you scored well.
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby bwanainoz » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:11 pm

spacey1 wrote:While we're on the subject of preventative maintenance, I reckon I got a full life out of my rear brake pads.

Changed them according to the preventative maintenance 'JIT' (just in time) method :lol:

Image

No metal contact, just using them to the last. I've got a bit of scottish blood, hey Noel :P


och aye the noo
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby BillB » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:38 pm

Reading all this about bearings, universals and swing arms and the possible consequences of failures, I had my K 1200 LT in for a service at BM Bikes on Tues. I asked Thorsten to have a look at my shaft drive set up. Diagnosis : deteriorated bearings and splines on shaft, bearings and universal with preliminary signs of a failure about to happen. 2 weeks for parts and ? costs. Probably has saved me from a similar Richard experience, so quite appreciative. Probably caused by riding on gravel and corrugations as bike has only done 51K and been serviced regularly.
When these things go it can become quite ugly.
Bill
BEWARE .... I'm looking at your teeth .....
R1200 GSA 2009, K1200 LT 1999, Suzuki DR 650 2012, C650GT 2016
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Re: R1200RT drive shaft failure

Postby spacey1 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:50 pm

Good to hear you've been saved from a long stay on the side of the road somewhere BillB 8)

It's good to air these technical issues so all of us benefit.
Not a good idea to bottle 'em up and keep those little secrets to yourself.
Himalayas Royal Enfield Tour 2017; Camp Cook-Off Winner 2017; Kennedy Ranges; Three Oceans Tour Australia; Hyden-Norseman Breakaways; R1200 series final drive repair; Mt Augustus; Bimbijy Station; Around Oz
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