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I took my bike in to the dealership last week for its 30k mile service. Normally I do my own work but here in Germany the warranty laws require you to have the bike serviced at the dealership or you lose your warranty. Thankfully this nonsense was litigated away in the US years ago. But I digress.... The bike is a US spec 2021 R1250GS that now has 29,500 miles on the clock. When I dropped the bike off they told me about the service bulletin and said they would do the work.

However, when I called them to see if the bike was ready for pick-up, they told me it had failed the "test" and would require a new drive shaft and did I want to leave if until Wednesday this week when they get the parts. I asked if it was safe to ride and they said yes so I picked it up and scheduled an appointment for when the weather will be crap (November).

I just went out to see if they had drilled the hole and it is there. I messed with the rubber "valve" and easily pushed it into the hole. After a moment of panic, I grabbed a mirror and needle nose pliers and got the sucker back in position. Frankly, it is a sketchy situation. It is very easy to push that rubber piece into the housing. If you are doing water crossings, this could be a serious problem and make matters worse than they were to start with. I don't go off road but I'll still be checking on that rubber thing often. Washing the bike it would be incredibly easy to inadvertently push that thing in and never notice. Take care with that valve. Just my $0.02.

So it appears that there are two issues that do not appear to be related. 1. The water accumulation and response to that (drill hole, insert rubber thingy). And 2. A test of the drive shaft assembly for some kind of wear via vibration or run-out or resistance or all of above? Information on "2" is fairly hard to come by. All I know is mine failed. The question is, will this happen again and will it be on my dime next time? One article I read said "aggressive" riding could contribute to this failure. I tend to spank this bike pretty hard so that worries me a bit.
 

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Got my 2021 back yesterday and the old shaft. Just under 32,000 miles on the shaft. After checking the U-joints it is obvious to me that the bearings at the ass end are shot. No doubt they failed the “test” due to excessive vibration. I can feel the wear in the form of not-smoothness that is not observed at the transmission end.
As before, my concern is that this will occur again. This failure is clearly not due to moisture. It is something else entirely.
Door Household hardware Wood Tool Gas
 

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If by knackered, you mean abused, not at all. A few paint scrapes. The tech said those were probably from the removal.
He means the bearings, not the paint. The shaft removed from my bike looked the same as yours but the universal joints were eff'd. As I said earlier, visual inspection is meaningless. Gently pivot the u-joint. It should offer smooth operation. If you feel an stuttering in the movement the bearings are toast.
 
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