Main areas of construction in BMW workshops: Cardan needs to be checked and air intake valve re-introduced for a total of 440,000 motorcycles worldwide, mainly on the R 1250 GS and R 1200 GS from 2013.
“To improve long-term quality”, according to BMW Motorrad’s official formulation, authorized workshops are currently being prepared for a major service campaign: the cardan shafts of a total of 440,000 motorcycles worldwide are to be checked over the next few months, in particular as part of a planned inspection will be. 72,000 of them in Germany alone. The campaign primarily affects BMW’s most important model: the boxer GS. In particular, the R 1250 GS and R 1200 GS from the 2013 production year, all the K50 variants, as well as the respective adventure variants, the K51 variant. In addition, there is an official version of RT, type K52.
Universal joint, articulation angle, corrosion
Background according to BMW, from the message to the dealers: “Service campaign during the second visit to the workshop – retrofit the drains in the swingarm and check the cardan shaft. Damage often occurs to the cardan shaft, which destroys the work of the car. In 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 in the appropriate functional areas. Signs of wear and tear caused by flight time or certain weather loads and force can also lead to component damage. These effects can be caused by the geometric chassis design (the kink angle of the universal joints on the swing arm) being strengthened.”
R 1200 GS, R 1250 GS and official RT
Apparently, a clear collection of cardanine defects was found in the Boxer GS from the 2013 production year (with a water-cooled engine) and in the R 1200 RT and R 1250 RT in the official version. For the GS, the cardan is subjected to great stress due to the concept, due to the long deflection of the spring and the relative angle of articulation between the cardan tunnel and the rear axle drive. This is where the back of the universal cardan is located. In addition, depending on the user, there is a more or less difficult use of enduro. In any case, the RT of authority faces above-average problems, for example when driving on high roads.
Cardan check with a special device
In order for the card not to be opened for all 440,000 affected motorcycles, each authorized workshop will be provided with a special test device. Instead of the rear wheel, a measuring disc is installed, and then the cardan is dragged over the rear axle during operation, that is, rotated. This stress test goes through various load changes and speeds, with sensors that monitor force and vibration. If everything stays within the specified normal range, the checked gimbal is considered “OK”. If there is any deficiency, a closer examination is taken. In particular, the universal joint with its four roller bearings, but also the gearing for the rear axle drive is checked for corrosion and damage. If parts have to be replaced, affected owners can hope for accommodation after the three-year warranty expires, depending on the age and wear and tear of the vehicle.
Ventilation hole and mouth valve
Basically, the vents in the car tunnel are reset during this service campaign. For this purpose, a small hole is drilled in the lower part in the back area, near the universal joint, using a prepared template. To prevent the formation of potentially harmful metal chips, the drill should be pre-lubricated. A ball valve is inserted into this hole using a type of drilling tool. This special valve aims to seal the hole to the outside, but allow air and, above all, moisture to escape from the cardian tunnel. This ventilation is assisted by the pushing movements during compression and resealing. If water comes out immediately after drilling, this is also a reason to examine the card more closely.
45 minutes by motorbike
A total of 45 minutes are scheduled for the cardian inspection including adjusting the ventilation. Of course, this campaign is free – at least for customers, BMW will incur some costs.
Cardan ventilation now in series
Since October 2021, the single-sided Paralever swingarms of the BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure have been fitted with old ventilation functions. As a precaution, from November 2021 all other models with paralever and cardan too. A second duckbill valve is also used in the front bearing area of the swingarm, so that the cardan can provide better condensation. In the case of water entry through leaks and / or the abuse of high-pressure cleaners, the drying space is at least more good and therefore less good for the formation of rust.
As a precaution, BMW has the crankshaft checked on 440,000 motorcycles and reset for ventilation. That’s great – and there’s no reason to panic. Affected owners should not go to the workshop immediately, they can wait for their next appointment.