R1200GS Rear Drive Fluid Change

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Submitted: by Jim Bade (aka JimVonBaden) Updated: 13-Sep-2010

When the R1200GS came out, the rear drive fluid was said to be good for a "lifetime" (which, according to the REP-ROM manual means 100,000km or 62,000 miles). Thus the lack of a drain plug.

The 2007 R1200GS/Adventure apparently has a drain plug. After finding out that the 2007 R1200 series bikes will require a rear-drive oil change at 600 miles, I decided to change my '05 "permanent" oil now, at 20K miles, just in case. Here's how:

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Tools needed

Supplies

Step by Step Instructions

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1. Remove the small rear fender.

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2. Remove the rear wheel.

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3. Unbolt the Brake Caliper and hang it with some wire to the frame.

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4. Remove the rear speed sensor, both screws and the clip, and hang it with the brake caliper.

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5. Remove oil drain plug, and drain off the oil.

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6. Release the paralink at the rear and support the final drive with a strap (it's now flopped down, with the fill plug at the bottom) I didn't do this; I just held it in place for a couple minutes. The drive shaft comes out easily, but you may need to push it down a bit to get it to release.

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7. Clean the drive shaft and FD input shaft, then add Moly 60, or equivalent lube, to the shaft and splines.

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8. Install the rubber gaiter, pivot the rear-wheel drive up and introduce the bevel-pinion shaft into the universal shaft. If necessary, turn the FD gently back and forth to facilitate this operation. (This is made way easier if you have the bike in neutral. I took half an hour to figure this out, and it still took a few minutes)

Getting the driveshaft splines to line up with the input shaft on the final drive is the 2nd hardest part of this job. One BMW shop said to use a screwdriver, and stick it in the swingarm housing at the rubber boot where the final meets it. This allows you to hold the shaft in position while pivoting the final drive back up into normal position.

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9. Reconnect the paralever link. Install the bolt and torque it down to 43Nm (32 ft-lbs). [See Post-mortem Notes below!]

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10. Clip the gaiter back in place.

11. Put the drain plug back in, after you clean it and put some oil on the O-ring. You might be tempted to leave the plug out, and use it as a level gauge. Don't do it! It isn't an overflow, it's a drain. If you use it as a level you will not get the correct amount of oil into the rear drive. The proper torque value is 20Nm (15 ft-lbs).

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12. Fill the final drive with oil via the speed sensor hole, with .22 liters (220cc) of fluid. [BMW has apparently revised the quantity to .12 liters (180cc) — please verify which amount is correct for your model/year]. Do it VERY slowly. The oil will not go in fast, and will come back out the hole and run all over the place. (DAMHIK!) It can take up to 10 minutes.

This is the hardest part of the job, so take it slow, and be patient.

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13. Grease the speed sensor O-ring and put it in the final drive, followed by the greased speed sensor and then install the screw, the clamp screw, and the clip. Be careful, it only takes 4Nm (3 ft-lbs) of torque!

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14. Install the caliper, remember to reinstall the fender holder on the lower bolt. Torque the M8 x 25 bolts to 24Nm (18 ft-lbs).

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15. Install the wheel, torque bolts to 60Nm (44 ft-lbs) in diagonally opposite sequence.

16. Install the rear fender, and make sure to start all three screws before tightening them down. Torque values are 8Nm (6 ft-lbs) for the bolts, and 10Nm (7 ft-lbs) for the threaded bushing.

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Here is the old oil. It was definitely darker than the new, but not bad for 20K miles. There were no shavings in the old oil, and the little amount of fuzz on the speed sensor was negligible.

I am very glad I did it, and will be doing my GF's 12ST next week, along with a couple others at our local tech day.

Overall it should take less than an hour, and is not too bad. Just make sure you have all the tools you need, and plenty of paper towels!

Post-mortem Notes

Copyright © 2006, by Jim Bade & H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.