Transmission seam final drive leak - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2007, 2:12 pm Thread Starter
 
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Transmission seam final drive leak

I'm a new member looking for a used K. I frequently ride 4,000 mile trips from the west coast to the midwest and have been doing this on a '99 F650 for several years, a lot of the time riding 12-hour days.

Needless to say, I'm in the market for a used K-bike, RS or GT but got a wake-up call yesterday.

I test rode an '01 K1200RS for a couple of hours. There was cosmetic evidence that the bike had been down but I was prepared to live with a few scratches (the price of a new K doesn't even pass the laugh-test). The bike in question had recently received a 24k service and it now has 25.5k on the clock.

When I returned to the dealership, the sales staff showed me their service records. Apart from noting the cosmetic bumps and bruises, there was a notation that said "transmission seam final drive leak". After a conversation, it was deemed a weeping problem, not a leak - hmmm... when you're going to drop $8-9 large on a bike, weeping and leaking is the same thing... right? :wtf

I was told the repair cost could be between $325 and $1000, but the service dept. wouldn't know until they looked at the bike. Good grief, er, why is it on the sales floor? :wtf :wtf

Being a DIY chain and sprockets guy, I went outside and started checking the seals on the drive shaft (not really knowing where to look but giving it a go anyway). I found evidence of a weeping seal on the shaft and, probably because I had ridden the bike for two hours, there was also a small wet-spot on the pavement. Needless to say, this killed the deal and I have to wait a little longer for my classic K.

Based on my limited knowledge of shaft driven machines, I managed to find some online information that sounded similar to my situation but I'm still trying to clarify a few things, so my questions are:

Could the use of synthetic oil damage the seals on an '01 RS?

Does this sound like a bearing problem, meaning is it likely the old 19 ball bearings haven't been replaced with 17?

Is it likely the whole transmission would need replaced?

Thanks, in advance.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2007, 3:23 pm
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You don't put synthetic oil in the final drive

A 'weep' is a leak to me, it becomes a leak after you paid the $$'s and rode it home.

I've seen bikes on the showroom floor where they say 'Oh yes sir' that will get fixed by the techs when they service the bike after you buy it' - I walked away from that Honda ST.

Oil leaks, seals, and bearings seem to be a fact of life you have to face one day - on a used bike I'd expect a minimum of 1 year zero defects and after that you join the club. What reputation does the dealer have on service competence and fair dealing, what's the price of the bike 'fit to ride' no defects? Can you get somebody else or another dealer tech to look over the bike? What's the deal on warranty?

Buying a bike may mean starting a relationship with a dealer. If you have any doubts, then walk away now. Being a newbie will take you longer to get up to speed on the issues and at the moment you could easily get brain dead assuming every bad thing you read about K bikes will happen to you.

The key is buy from a reputable dealer and factor warranty into the price you can afford. Then you can enjoy the bike with less worries. Sometimes a private seller can offer a really low price and declare defects, he just doesn't want to go through the hassle of repairs when he's bought a new bike. If you are a competent wrench you can come out good.



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2007, 3:55 pm Thread Starter
 
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Yup, you're right about seals

Thanks for the reply. I have a good relationship with the dealer but, over the years, have had hot and cold resolutions from their service department.

I have done quite a bit of wrenching on my old 6fiddy and realize what's involved with a used cycle and I'm ready to roll up the proverbial sleeves and work on whatever bike comes next. The thing that PMoff is the fact that I've given this dealership a lot of my hard earned money in the past, their reputation is good, yet they knowingly have a shoddy bike on display hoping some poor bugger will ride off on it.

I agree when you say that a used bike (from a dealer) should be at least good for one year after purchase - warranty or not. But I don't want this thread to turn into a wingeing session about dealerships.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2007, 5:10 pm
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Riders wrenching skills vary, personally if the right bike came up with issues to fix and I could get it for a steal (owner buys new bike), I'd go for something at a low price. I've done this on cages where I've used dealer rrp's to fix problems, then done the work myself for zero labor cost. Oil leaks are great, the parts are cheap, the problem is visible to the seller and the shop labor is horrendous on K bikes.

If you trawl the posts here you should find enough info on the weaknesses to downprice a bike with faults. I look at it as doing what the salesman does in reverse - just negotiation. Of course you don't let on you'll wrench it yourself or use boneyard parts.



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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2007, 12:45 am Thread Starter
 
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One more thing

While on the test ride, stopped at traffic lights, the engine sounded like a diesel. Is this normal?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2007, 12:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twempie
While on the test ride, stopped at traffic lights, the engine sounded like a diesel. Is this normal?
Uh... depends.
If you mean the clutch sounded like it was rattling in hopes to compete with a Ducati, yeah, that's normal. Should go away if you pull in the clutch. If part of the sound goes away, the rest may be the alternator drive making noises. Should go away when the engine is revved.

As for weeping? Sorry, semantics be damned. It's an oil leak somewhere, and oil shouldn't leak...



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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2007, 12:57 am Thread Starter
 
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...that sounds about right.

Yes, the diesel noise ceased when the bike was clutched and revved. Thanks, good call.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2007, 8:14 am
 
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I may be banned from the club for saying this but when I began investigating the RS/GT's I went to my guru at the best independent shop I know of here... here in SLC.

The word was that the RS/GT was a wonderful bike...(insert all all the things we all know here), but, he said, you are going to have to deal with two things. One is the rear main seal, and the other is the rear wheel hub bearing. Apparently they are going to need repair at some point- no matter what.

the seal typically will last to the mid 40k to 50k miles. the repair is a 9 hour job if the tech knows his stuff. If you dont catch it early, cound on re-building the clutch too since the engine oil will ruin the clutch.The part is trivial cost. Figure $900 to more depending on who does the work. The rear wheel is a lot less time but the parts costs a little more.

I joined the club knowing all this. Cost of doing business.

If your dealer did not mention something like this... I think you need either a good idea going into it, or walk away.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2007, 9:24 pm Thread Starter
 
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Sage advice

That fits in with what the shop guys were quoting at my local dealership. They didn't know how much it would cost until they pulled the bike apart. I like my dealership because of this type of disclosure (but still wonder why they put this bike on the floor). Thanks for the tip, much appreciated.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2007, 11:10 am
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I just had the rear main seal replaced, along with the clutch and the clutch slave cylinder. It ended up costing around $1k having a friend do it (mostly parts, a little bit of labor), I think the dealer would have charged around $1400. The leaking fluid from the case is usually diagnosed as a) clutch slave cylinder (which would be brake fluid), the cheaper fix, or b) the rear main seal (which would be oil), the expensive fix which requires the clutch removed. There was a question about replacing the clutch, since it seemed relatively oil free (I caught the problem early on), but since it was all apart and the bike was approaching 50k we opted to change lots of parts. It was long and expensive, but the clutch now works like butter.
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