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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At about 13K miles, I noticed some freeplay in the rear wheel of my '03 K12GT - together with some oil seepage around the rear drive boot.

The dealer that serviced the bike said that the pivot bearings in the rear drive were "notchy" and that they needed to be replaced along w/ the rear drive being re-shimmed. This work was done to the tune of $400.

According to the dealer, bearings are a "wear and tear" item, not covered by warranty.

I have a hard time believing that a 2 year-old BMW with 13K of mostly highway miles should have bearings fail as part of normal wear and tear.

Anyone else had this problem?
 

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no way is that wear n' tear

Complete BS - find another dealer if possible. REgardless, fight harder and get your way. I have 24k in a single year and the only major problems I have had was an ECU exchange and a bad clutch (I burnt it out treating like a wet clutch, I knew better).

ONON-
Mark
 

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MarkS said:
According to the dealer, bearings are a "wear and tear" item, not covered by warranty.
Mark, I would contact BMWNA and get the name of the district rep for your area and explain your problem to him. Seems like the dealer is not stepping up for you. Just noticed your from Stoughton, we're practically neighbors. :)
 

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It's a wear item...

You may not like it, but it is a wear item and not covered under the BMW warranty. This will not be the last time you'll replace them either, assuming you'll be putting a lot of miles on the K.

I lost my first set on my RT at 12,000. I have 16,000 on my KGT and so far all looks good, but it is only a matter of time. When they finally crap out I am going with bushings that you can purchase through this business.
 

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In the past I've known auto manufacturers improve the design of replacement parts which have shown early failure. BMW have the warranty data on bikes we buy. But then every item excluded from warranty which fails, makes their overall reliability statistics look great! When a manufacturer fails to warrant a key mechanical part that others riders have had fail, you can draw your own conclusions. It's only through owners discussing and sorting their own problem that the real picture can come out.

If your BMW warranty appeals fail, I'd definitely try an experienced engineer who can look at the problems and parts failure to do a better job than BMW, or admit their skills to make improvements are limited by poor oem design constraints they cannot improve on.

Years ago when we started to see Japanese autos, I asked a salesman friend about mechanical failures - compared to what I knew on home grown. I remember he said - 'They never go wrong' I dismissed the reply but in later years you learn that some manufacturers do actually aim high for reliability and low cost of ownership.



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I had the same problem at 18,000 miles. My regular dealer said "wear & tear" so I took it to another one (now my regular dealer) and he said, "no problem - warranty item" and booked the bike in for the following week and arranged a loaner for the day.

I know I'm perhaps lucky being within 30 miles of 3 dealerships but it really does emphasize the benefit of second opinions.

Worth a try perhaps?
 

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Bandera said:
When they finally crap out I am going with bushings that you can purchase through this business.
Holy Poultry! "This" business is Rubber Chicken Racing, the home of Tom Cutter. For those that may not know the name Tom was the head instructor at the BMW Tech school when Smith & Butler was the importer. Considered one the Guru Dozen of airheads. Now doing K bike stuff? Cool.
 

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RCR Busings

Posted on another site from Tom:

The one recurring failure I found was the Final Drive Pivot Bearings, anything from rough bearings to one set actually seized up from shattered rollers. All lubing and preload was per BMW specs.. I will say the
bike is not stock and goes where I point it. To my knowledge a roller bearing is designed to roll not rock back and forth, wearing a groove in the race and a flat on the roller. My Bushings are a direct replacement made from 660
Oilite Bronze that is oil impregnated and self lubricating, matched to a Timken Bearing race. They provide a Much Larger contact surface than the rollers since the Full Face of the Bushing contacts the race. I have developed and tested these for three years in my GS with great success, the present set has 15k miles with no measurable wear. If any wear does occur it will be negated when adjusting preload. I have also installed a set in my ' 94 K1100LT. These Bushings fit ALL Paralever Final Drive Pivots ' 87 to present. I am confident these Bushings are a one time investment and you will be happy with there performance. "
I have made arrangements to begin selling these bearings after a lengthy test on my own motorcycle and two others locally. The best feature about them
besides the reliability, is the ease of refitting the paralever assembly after any servicing. On the road this could prevent a trip-stopping failure of the OEM tapered needle bearings.

A complete bearing replacement kit is US $119.00. Orders may be placed through my website.

Thanks for the inquiry. I really believe that we BMW riders need this product.

Tom Cutter
Yardley, PA
I'm ordering a set next week and will swap them out when I do my first spline lube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The way I detected the problem was to grasp the top and bottom of the rear wheel (12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions) w/ the bike on the center stand. By alternately applying pressure on the top and bottom in a rocking motion, you should feel no play in the rear drive. Then repeat the procedure but with your hands in the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions - there should be no play here either.
 

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Mine finally went at 38-40k - apparently the "standard" life span of these bearings (there are 3)

I know for a fact that trailering cars with the suspension compressed causes bearing failure... perhaps trailering the bike also has a detremental effect?

Did ya trailer much in your 13k ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Trailing? Doubtful

Doesn't get trailer much - plus the rear suspension doesn't get compressed much when it's tied down anyway.

Good news is that BMW eventually paid for the repair
 

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I got 49,000 miles out of the first set of bearings and 23,000 out of the next set.
Drove 1200 miles home after I discovered the problem. They never made any noise or got worse.
 

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Pivot Bearing Failure

I have now detected loose pivot bearings on my '04 KRS with 18K miles. Upon showing it to the service mgr. at my shop he confirmed the problem. I asked about my chances of getting it warrantied, but since the 3 years ran out in February, he said BMW would never go for it - too far out. Unfortunately, it was probably bad back then, but I didn't notice it until I changed tires a couple of weeks ago. (Which I now do myself to save on the cost of the tires mostly!) In general, I've always considered the whole dealership to be a pretty good bunch so I talked more about the repair with him - he said the pivot bolts have loctite red on the threads and require a good deal of heat to remove. Therefore he cuts the rubber boot off before it catches fire! And it too has to be replaced along with the zip-ty like fasteners that hold the boot on. (and perhaps more - not sure)
My question is...... has anyone done this on their own and is it really that bad of a job or what? I have to admit that even though I thought I had a pretty good toolset, I find that I don't have an allen or socket to fit the pivot bolts. My largest is a 10mm. Of course I wouldn't mind investing it that, but is there more?
 

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help!
i went to the rubber chicken web-site and see no link to purchase bushings or bike parts.
only caps, tees, and other apparel.
 

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s2ride said:
help!
i went to the rubber chicken web-site and see no link to purchase bushings or bike parts.
only caps, tees, and other apparel.
just click the 'contact' link and email Tom, let him know hat you want. He is a one man show, but he will generally reply before the NBD.
 

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88x said:
I have now detected loose pivot bearings on my '04 KRS with 18K miles. Upon showing it to the service mgr. at my shop he confirmed the problem. I asked about my chances of getting it warrantied, but since the 3 years ran out in February, he said BMW would never go for it - too far out. Unfortunately, it was probably bad back then, but I didn't notice it until I changed tires a couple of weeks ago. (Which I now do myself to save on the cost of the tires mostly!) In general, I've always considered the whole dealership to be a pretty good bunch so I talked more about the repair with him - he said the pivot bolts have loctite red on the threads and require a good deal of heat to remove. Therefore he cuts the rubber boot off before it catches fire! And it too has to be replaced along with the zip-ty like fasteners that hold the boot on. (and perhaps more - not sure)
My question is...... has anyone done this on their own and is it really that bad of a job or what? I have to admit that even though I thought I had a pretty good toolset, I find that I don't have an allen or socket to fit the pivot bolts. My largest is a 10mm. Of course I wouldn't mind investing it that, but is there more?
I'm setting up for some rear end investigation including the rear bearing. Yes heat is needed but I just bought my first air impact driver wrench and I'm hoping if I need to remove the pivot bolts that and some heat will do the trick. I seem to remember the temperature is around the 120 degrees centigrade. You'd still need to be be careful with the boot and paint but I'd probably use a heat gun instead of Oxy-Acetylene! I've got some paint ready too, as my rear drive case is starting to look scruffy.



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