R1200 RT Drive line failures

Having Problems with your BMW R1200RT/R1250RT? or have some Maintenance and Service questions?
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Re: R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by Paggers »

There is no such thing as a perfect machine, and having owned four BMW motorcycles now I have no illusions on that front. But considering that the GS and the RT are the best selling machines in their class the number of 'issues' clearly represents a small fraction of the total number of units.

Even the famous 'six sigma' quality standard of 99.99966% allows for 3.4 defects per million parts manufactured - and that's known defects, not unidentified ones or design issues that will only become apparent through use. Scale that up by the number of separate parts that go into building a complex motorcycle like an RT and multiply it again by the number of motorcycles sold (around 64,000 in 2015) and you start to get into the sort of territory where defects are unavoidable, no matter who you are.

Having said all of that, the way in which BMW respond to these defects could definitely do with some improvement. I have had some sort of minor defect on every BMW I have owned (corrosion every time) and in each case BMW has declined to do anything about it.
2016 (2017 MY) R1200 RT LE in white and black. Find me on twitter: @2WheelSolo. Also posting motorcycle vlogs on youtube: https://goo.gl/iM7y6X

Re: R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by guest2360 »

I have had some sort of minor defect on every BMW I have owned (corrosion every time) and in each case BMW has declined to do anything about it.
I'm amazed that BMW never sorted out your corrosion problems.  Within the 2 year full warranty period I have never known anybody refused a fix even if it was a complete engine.
Or were yours outside the time.
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Re: R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by Casbar »

Steve F wrote: Ditto on the comments re being a good bike with extensive dealer backup. I'm often amused by some of the local Bloodbiker views on the LC RT who are very quick to condemn this bike (even though they seem happy enough riding them on BB duty!). When seeing that I own one, there is an instant criticism and litany of clutches failing, headlamps failing etc, etc, and that 'I'll be sorry I bought such a bike'!! What they forget to mention is the fact that their bikes are ridden by umpteen different riders with different riding styles/habits, all the bikes have very high mileages for their age (unsurprisingly),so is it any wonder bits are starting to give up/fail. An FJR is planned to make an appearance sometime in the New Year, so that will be interesting to compare the bikes on reliability etc.

Our new FJR suffers from electrical issues, something to do with the earths - Lucas electrics anyone. Switch the ignition on, dash lights come on but nothing else. Apparently a common problem and just needs the earths cleaning - really on a new bike, or don't take them out in the rain - priceless. Still like our RTP and my own bike better
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Re: R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by pkpilot »

Our Gee wrote: Be interesting to know which Phantom and Buccaneer bearings you are talking about Hodge. For those out there who are puzzled by the names which Hodgie is refering to, they are McDonnel Douglas Phantom and Blackburn Buccaneer, ie aircraft and not some far eastern motorcycle.
My Intruder was the same way!

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Re: R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by Hodge »

Well lets think. There is the undercarriage bearings (lots of them) engine bearings (they spin very fast ) and numerous others after allI left the Ark Royal in 78.
But you get the drift.  Some of you guys seem to back yourselves in a bit of a corner though as lets be honest all bikes have their  character.  But to suggest it doesn't have f/drive problems is like saying my KH250 never had a middle plug that shorted or my Z1 R never weaved.  !200rts have f/drive issues it,s a fact and we know it  but we just balance it with the rest of the bike and thats why i bought another and I,m very pleased with it. 

PS not sure where the Far eastern comment fits in though.    Shall we invite Major to Tewksbury, as i suspect from 10pm onwards it could be entertaining 

Re: R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by guest2360 »

Don't know who suggested there aren't issues with the shaft but no more than any other mechanical item on a bike. 
Now switch gear from 2009 up until about 2014 and fuel guage tubes from 2007 to 2014 that's issues. 
Since 1996 I have have had various models of BM shafts with a combined mileage of something like 150000 miles on them.  No issues.
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R1200 RT Drive line failures

Post by mcwhirtj »

I absolutely love my 05' RT and will buy another when it wears out.  I'm a high mileage, daily rider (~10-15k mi/yr).  And my wife's bike is also a BMW F800ST).  I belong to MOA. 

All that to say that I think it is obvious that BMW has had problems with the FD on these bikes - the scope of the problem may be contested, but it is hard to deny that there is a problem.  Original owner of my ride had the FD replaced at low mileage under warranty, and then went out on me at ~70k mi, despite meticulous service including FD oil change at or exceeding service guidelines, always using the recommended Castrol XO.  A perusal of forums clearly shows this to be a recurring issue.  And it is expensive to replace. 

But ... there are plenty of owners out there who have high mileage on their machines with no issues, so it is not like a done deal - like "if you buy this bike it is going to happen, and you will be hurt (from experience I can concur that you get plenty of advanced notice that something is not right)."  If it was, BMW would have issued a recall, like they did a few years ago with the RT rear shock, or more recently when they extended warranty on the fuel strip.  This would not dissuade me from buying again, and suggest the OP give the RT serious consideration and not write it off due to this known but not epidemic issue. 

I think this is a more balanced, fair message to send, rather than implying (as some of these post could be read) that a known issue doesn't really exist. And the input from people with less anecdotal (mine) input (e.g. current or former BMW techs or service managers) supports the conclusion that it is, statistically, not that common. 

(To the OP:  I rented an ST1300 for a day, at the time I was looking to buy a liter-class Sport Tourer.  Really loved it.  But in the end I choose the RT over the ST1300 and have no regrets, and ergonomics were big part of the decision.  And I was fully aware of the FD scare.  No regrets. Would love to try an FJR some day to compare).


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