BMW R1200GS wheel spoke problem - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-Nov-2018, 01:03 AM (293) Thread Starter
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Unhappy BMW R1200GS wheel spoke problem

Today I brought my 2018 BMW R1200GS (bought 2 weeks ago) to the 600-mile service at BMW of Concord before my thanksgiving trip. I thought it should be pretty simple one, and I expected everything in good shape, but I was wrong.

The technician told me they are notified by BMW recently to perform a check on the wheel spokes on R1200GS to find *loose spokes*. Unfortunately mine has 8 spokes that are loose which is far more than the acceptable threshold. The solution is they'll order a new rear wheel and replace it under the warranty, but the bad news is that the wheel will be shipped from Germany and shipping would take roughly 2 weeks -- which means my thanksgiving trip has ended even before it starts

I can find a very recent report[1] on the same problem, but there isn't a recall from BMW yet.

So R1200GS owners (esp. 2017/2018 models), maybe you also want to check your spokes just in case.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-Nov-2018, 05:19 PM (972)
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Why not tighten spokes to spec and check run-out? New wheel for loose spokes?
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-Nov-2018, 05:42 PM (987)
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Originally Posted by 60Aviator View Post
Why not tighten spokes to spec and check run-out? New wheel for loose spokes?
Couple of good reasons. First, keeping a wheel true while tightening multiple spokes can be an issue if you do not know what you are doing. It is a job for someone with training and experience. I doubt the average mechanic knows how to do it well, hence the replacement program that is underway. Second, tightening them yourself may void the warranty on the wheel. Suppose you strip a grub screw, break a spoke or get the wheel badly out I of true. A dealer may not be inclined to cover the wheel under warranty. Far better to let the warranty work for you.

Check the GSpot sub-forum over on ADVRider, there are multiple threads on this topic.

Last edited by Pterodactyl; 11-Nov-2018 at 05:44 PM (989).
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-Nov-2018, 04:15 AM (427)
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Sorry to hear the timing is terrible.

When I bought my GSA, the first mod I did was order a set of Super-lace wheels from Woody's Wheelworks. I was just hedging my bet as alot of the offroad places I ride can be very rocky and I wanted to be sure I had a very solid set of wheels. The stock wheels I checked the spokes like one of the Techs at Woody's showed me. Using a tool like a wrench (a tuning fork in the key of ... I can't remember what is ideal), but you tap each spoke and listen to it. If it's a dull thud, it needs to be tightened. If it's a ping it's okay. When I did this there were a couple spokes that did a dull thud which meant it needed adjustment. The ping from the rest of the spokes varied a little bit... While the stock set isn't too bad, I'm going to take it into Woody's and have them true it all up. BTW, they did say they actually do a couple things to help make sure the spokes don't come loose and are well seated on the stock wheels.

I know this doesn't help solve your problem but maybe in the future you can check you spokes with the "ping" test periodically

Last edited by Advart; 12-Nov-2018 at 05:01 PM (959). Reason: typos!
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-Nov-2018, 05:50 AM (493)
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If you have ever owned dirt bikes checking and adjustment of spokes in your rims part of servicing your bike. The manufacturer use to give a small tool kit with there bike and a spoke wrench was included. I check my GS spokes when during my service regularly, tap your spokes separately while off the ground you should hear a clear bell chime, if you hear a dull clank tighten that spoke 1/4 turn till you hear the bell chime. Pretty easy. Now lacing a new rim should be done by an expert with the proper tool for run-out but what the dealership is not doing is a simple adjustment while you wait on a new rim.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-Nov-2018, 10:12 AM (675)
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GS cross spoked wheels AIN'T like dirt bike wheels.

Highly recommend talking to the service manager of your local BMW shop. If he is like mine, he will tell you that chasing run out on BMW cross spoked wheels AIN'T the way to go.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 14-Nov-2018, 03:21 AM (389)
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I'm aware the design of the GS rim and spokes are quite different from a inner spoke dirt bike rim. From the original post I believe it was not about run-out of the rim but a loose spoke issue. I do agree to have the dealership to supply a new rim but spokes do need to be checked from time to time. If I have rim run-out let the dealership fix the issue, if I have a true rim with no run-out adjust the spokes and ride.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 14-Nov-2018, 04:57 PM (956)
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Here is Oz.. my June build GSA has the same issue.

10 + spokes loose in the back wheel.

I found out the hard way.. bike nearly tipped me off coming down a mountain range a bit on the hard/fast side.

Back wheel started to step out.. a lot.. thought I had a flat tyre.

Bottom line is that the bike has been off the road for nearly 2 weeks... and another 4 to go according to the dealer!

I had my auto club bounce BMW Australia (who have not respond to my 2 emails about this) and they finally have announced a new wheel late next week. Which means about 3 - 4 weeks off the road.

Piss poor effort from BMW.

This issue is dangerous... BMW Motorrad have a known issue here and should recall all suspect bikes before somebody dies.

As usual they are sitting on their hands and/or playing their cards close to their chest.. like the front end issues.

I would add that I had new tyres fitted at 3000 KM and there were some loose spokes that the dealer tightened at the time.

So from tight to 10+ loose.. 2500 km.

Not good enough BMW

It is not the loose spoke issue that is the problem, but their dreadful after sales service over the issue. They will still have new bikes on the dealer floor with this issue!

Last edited by Happy Snapper; 14-Nov-2018 at 05:01 PM (959).
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 15-Nov-2018, 01:37 PM (817)
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This is a little off the wall perhaps (depending on how important it is for you to take the Thanksgiving trip), but have you considered picking up a used wheel, probably a cast one, for this trip (and possibly to give you easy interchangeability between "street" and "dirt" riding in the future)? A quick perusal of eBay suggests GS wheels aren't as common or as inexpensive as R, RS or RT wheels, but they are available...
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 15-Nov-2018, 02:30 PM (854)
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What is the basic reason for the spokes to become loose? Is it low tensile strength of the spokes and they are stretching? Is the grub defective? Makes you wonder why only 10-12 spokes per wheel. I haven't seen a clear explanation on the Forums or from BMW
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