Preventative Maintenance--Higher Mileage Bikes - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 2013, 3:17 pm Thread Starter
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Preventative Maintenance--Higher Mileage Bikes

At 108K, the drive shaft on my '03 K1200GT failed (broke) without warning leaving me stranded. I see from other threads this is not uncommon on these bikes. Fact is, I had the same failure on a K100RT right at 100K. Shortly after that, the ECU gave up the ghost. This brings me to my question: Are there specific components (drive shafts, ECU, etc) that are known to commonly fail on K bikes at higher mileages (100K or so) or after 10 years? If so, preventive replacement would be preferable to a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. On the other hand, a new drive shaft runs about $800. I'd rather not pre-emptively replace expensive parts if my experience is not typical. It's not lack of maintenance-I've always met or exceeded the BMW recommendations.

Any thoughts/comments will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 2013, 5:35 pm
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Not sure if you have done the 108k or the bike was pre-owned.

I know the States is a big country and high mileages can be common, but from what I saw at 45K on my KRS, I would say 108K with not much else going wrong is very good.

At 45K I did a full teardown. Brake hoses perishing through age (1997), Clutch disc 2/3rds worn. Clutch O ring not leaking but hard and crumbling ready to fail, rear engine seal replaced as a precaution. Rear swingarm pivot bearings replaced, clutch slave replaced, Brake master cylinder replaced, rear drive bearing and seals replaced. Stock shocks wear out. An ECU failure is very uncommon, how do you know it 'failed'?

Personally, if I wanted peace of mind I would say you're lucky for 108k if those things have not been done and would go for the teardown. You do get a good reliable bike back after the hard work.

As for the shaft, when I last looked at mine it was good, but then the teardown allows you chance to look at everything. What do you mean by 'broke'? I can't imagine that, but bearings failing and the whole lot flailing around inside the swingarm could be an interesting experience. Recently I think riding with pillion there was some rear roughness that may be a driveshaft warning. There are people that will rebuild these shafts with new bearings and re-balance.



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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 2013, 7:04 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments, Vox. Yep, all 108K are mine, and I've been very pleased with the bike's reliability. Previous K100 was 10 yrs old with 56K when I got it. I have the bike at a shop and haven't seen the part that failed. Last time it was the U joint, as I recall. When it fails, it is a distinct feeling, like hitting what we call "rumble strips", accompanied by severe vibration and noise.

The ECU failure basically resulted in 2 cylinders not firing. I limped into a Quebec City suburb and found there were no replacements to be found in Canada. Waited for a used unit from my friendly U.S. mechanic, popped it in and off I went. Biggest problem was recalling the French I learned in high school 40 years ago.

I lack the skills for a complete tear-down, but can do specific tasks as needed. As you say, the U.S. is a big country and so is Canada. I would just prefer to replace parts known to be prone to failure before they fail.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2013, 12:52 pm
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If I had done your mileage and only got those problems I would be well pleased. You did ask about what could be done to avoid breakdowns. The clutch teardown usually comes with advance warning signs of oil leak and clutch slip. You could accept that one day you may have to go in and just wait for the signs.

Apart from the routine scheduled maintenance I cannot think of anything cheap that needs a precautionary change within your competence and pocket. If you want to stay riding safe, maybe get the oem rubber brake lines swapped out for a Spiegeler kit. If you have had the driveshaft changed, the shop that did it should have looked at the swingarm pivot bearings front and rear.

Sounds like one of the coil driver mosfets inside the ECU may have failed, but ECU failure is not common on these bikes.

Congratulations on the mileage and relatively few failures. You must be treating the bike well!



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