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'14 R1200 GS Adv "Freya"
2021 BMW R1250 GS Adventure
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Over 400,000 BMW GS for cardan check
Major construction sites in the BMW workshops: The cardan is to be checked and a vent valve retrofitted on a total of 440,000 motorcycles worldwide, especially on the R 1250 GS and R 1200 GS from 2013.



"In order to improve long-term quality", according to BMW Motorrad's official formulation, the authorized workshops are currently being prepared for a very extensive service campaign: the cardan shafts of a total of 440,000 motorcycles worldwide are to be checked over the course of the next few months, ideally as part of the scheduled inspections will. 72,000 of them in Germany alone. The campaign primarily affects BMW's most important model: the boxer GS. Specifically, the R 1250 GS and the R 1200 GS from year of manufacture 2013, both type K50, as well as the respective adventure variants, type K51. In addition, there is the official version RT, type K52.


Universal joint, articulation angle, corrosion

Background according to BMW, from a message to the dealers: "Service campaign during the next visit to the workshop - retrofit drainage in the swingarm and check the cardan shaft. Damage to the cardan shaft occasionally occurs, which impairs the function of the drive. In individual cases, propulsion can be lost Several factors contribute to the occurrence of damage.Corrosion effects, among others, play a role if they occur at functionally relevant points.Signs of wear caused by running time or particular climatic and dynamic loads can also lead to component damage. These effects can be caused by the geometric chassis design (kink angle of the universal joints in the swing arm) be reinforced."

R 1200 GS, R 1250 GS and official RT

Apparently, a conspicuous accumulation of cardan defects was found in the Boxer GS from year of manufacture 2013 (with water-cooled engine) and in the R 1200 RT and R 1250 RT in the official version. With the GS, the cardan is subject to greater stress due to the concept, because of the longer spring deflection and the associated articulation angle between the cardan tunnel and the rear axle drive. This is where the cardan's rear universal joint is located. In addition, depending on the user, there is more or less tough enduro use. In any case, the authorities' RT are subjected to above-average strain, for example when driving over high curbs.

Cardan check with special device

So that the cardan does not have to be opened on all 440,000 motorcycles concerned, every authorized workshop is to be given a special test device. Instead of the rear wheel, a measuring disk is mounted, and then the cardan is dragged over the rear axle while idling, that is, rotated. This stress test runs over various load changes and speeds, with sensors monitoring the forces and vibrations. If everything stays within the predefined normal range, the checked gimbal is considered "okay". If there are any abnormalities, a closer look is taken. In particular, the universal joint with its four roller bearings, but also the gearing to the rear axle drive is checked for rust and damage. Should parts then have to be replaced,

Vent hole with beak valve

In principle, a vent on the cardan tunnel is retrofitted during this service campaign. For this purpose, a small hole is drilled on the underside in the rear area, near the universal joint, using a prepared template. In order to avoid the formation of potentially harmful metal chips, the drill should be lubricated beforehand. A rubber beak valve is then inserted into this hole using a kind of piercing tool. This special valve is intended to seal the hole to the outside, but allow air and, above all, moisture to escape from the cardan tunnel. This ventilation is supported by the pumping movements during compression and rebound. If water runs out immediately after drilling, this is also a reason to inspect the cardan more closely.

45 minutes per motorcycle

A total of 45 minutes are allotted for the cardan check including retrofitting the ventilation. Of course, this campaign is free of charge - at least for the customers, BMW will incur some costs.
End Quote

A pain in the ass but Google Translate prevailed!

https://www-motorradonline-de.transl..._x_tr_pto=wapp
 

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Thanks for the heads up. Wow! That’s a seriously large service campaign. That must include most if not all GS’ produced since 2013.

When does this campaign start? Had my bike serviced last week but nothing was mentioned by the BMW service department.
 

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As far as I can tell, my 2022 GSA has the nipple installed and thus the recall doesn't apply. I just had my "first service check" and they stated that there was no recall work for my bike and when I asked about lubbing the rear splines they told me they'd be happy to do it for C$150. I said "no", the bike is under warranty so if anything major happens I should be covered.
 

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Wow, damn expensive program. As much as I've complained that BMW was being bone headed for skimping on spline lube this is a good step.

Almost sounds like a dyno of sorts to check the driveshaft. I feel a bit for the technicians though, 45 minutes to pull the rear wheel, mount this dyno and test then drill and install the vent...imagine doing 12 of those a day.
🥵

So if they suspect there is a design issue with the shaft I wonder did the part number/design change? (rhetorical question)
 

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… and there I thought shaft drive was less of a pain than chain drive 🙄.

I feel that doing a ‘stress test’ is not good enough. The shaft drive should be stripped down and a visual check made. Repairs then carried out if required.

Who pays for rectification if it passes the stress test now but thing go tits up several months/years later?
 

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If your dealer wants to charge you $150 to lube the drive shaft splines, pay up or just do it yourself, but get it done.
It is NOT part of the 600 mile first service. I asked my service department for a printout of what is done at 600 miles break in service and spline lube was not listed. I performed the service myself and lubed the splines liberally with molybdenum paste.
There was very little to no lube on the splines when I checked them at 600 miles. My bike is a 2022 and has the little rubber drain tube in the underside of the drive shaft housing.
There is another recent thread here on this somewhere.....pic shows driveshaft splines before
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Alloy wheel Hood
 

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Showing my mechanical ignorance here, but does the shaft slide on splines as the suspension goes up and down? If so, just at the front, just at the rear or both?
There is a circlip at the front so any movement would be at the rear. I would think there should be some slight movement through the full range of suspension travel, not a lot though.
 

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There is a circlip at the front so any movement would be at the rear. I would think there should be some slight movement through the full range of suspension travel, not a lot though.
Thanks for the information. Can I assume that the service schedule is necessary because moisture is getting into the shaft housing and then penetrating the bearings in the universal joints and has nothing to do with the splines.
 

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Thanks for the information. Can I assume that the service schedule is necessary because moisture is getting into the shaft housing and then penetrating the bearings in the universal joints and has nothing to do with the splines.
To simplify the statement above:
Several factors contribute to the occurrence of damage.
  • corrosion effects
  • particular climatic and dynamic loads
  • caused by the geometric chassis design (kink angle of the universal joints in the swing arm) be reinforced.
German words for "rust starts and it binds up and fails".
 

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1988 R100 RT, 2018 R1200 GS
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If your dealer wants to charge you $150 to lube the drive shaft splines, pay up or just do it yourself, but get it done.
Since my bike is part of this, I think I'll pay to have the dealer lube the splines at the time. That way the drive shaft tube will be open to clean out any shavings. It's probably more expensive to have it done this way, but I'll have the valve installed, splines lubed and any potential shavings removed.
 

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I’m about to do the 12,000 mile service on my 2022 GS. I stopped in the dealership today and asked the shop manager if I should inspect the driveshaft.

He kind of grinned and said yes. He went on to mention the above tech bulletin and said there shop will be drilling vent holes soon. He thought the 2022 models would be included.

He also said he expected BMW will finally include shaft inspection and lube as part of routine service.
 

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If shaft inspection and lubrication becomes part of routine inspection there will one less reason to buy a shaft drive BMW. With BMW charging what they do a chain driven motorcycle would probably be more cost effective.
 

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If shaft inspection and lubrication becomes part of routine inspection there will one less reason to buy a shaft drive BMW. With BMW charging what they do a chain driven motorcycle would probably be more cost effective.
With todays quality chains this is 100% correct. Some motorcycle owners would advocate doing zero chain lube and just replace chain and sprockets every 30,000 or so miles as needed. As maintenance free as a shaft drive, or even less maintenance.
 
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