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  #1  
Old 9 Dec 2013
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Rear wheel bearing

Hi Guys,
I'm currently in Tanzania heading from Europe to cape town.
I have noticed the play in my rear wheel has gotten worse. I'm riding a 2009 GSA with 90,000km on it. I had the bearing replaced at 20,000 before. Its now moving about 3 mm in the 6 o clock- 12 o clock position. I could feel it while riding yesterday. I know that a 1 mm tolerance is acceptable but how about 3 mm. The wheel seems fine when rotated just a very minute noise.
My question is, would anyone know if this will get me the 6000 km to cape town or am I dreaming?
What would happen if it goes totally, am I going to end up on my ass? I'm really short on time and having one sent here and replaced could take a month at least.
Thanks in advance for the advice guys.
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Old 9 Dec 2013
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Bearing

Hi Kev

I have been working for BMW for 3 years and we saw plenty of GS going through our workshop.
The free play in the rear wheel bearing is a well known issue with these models up to the 2010 model. We changed plenty of final drives (BMW did pay for this) but we never changed bearings. This because the model you are driving has mechanical design flaw when it comes to the bearing. That's why BMW opted to get faulty final drives replaced with a new version but only if the customers complained and the bearing had too much free play.
To be honest, only twice I actually saw a final drive fall to pieces because of a broken bearing. But much more we had customers driving thousands of Kilometers with 3mm play without any issues. They wouldn't even realize it and only saw the problem when we pointed it out to them.
So IMHO, I wouldn't worry too much. The roads from Tanzania to Cape Town are all Hard Surface (Tarmac) and therefore the stress on the bearing somewhat smaller than on the Moyale strip.
Continue the trip and enjoy the scenery
I'm convinced the bike will get you to Cape Town.

Greets

Claudio
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  #3  
Old 9 Dec 2013
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Hi Kev
Oh dear- another gremlin- bad luck

Bearings becomes increasingly rough as they begin to fail- It is unlikely to be instant-

The 1st sign wheel is roughess and noise when the wheel is spun while engine off, in neutral and up on centre stand.

You could also get weepage of oil on back of hubb - oil can drip or spray so that's worth looking out for.

Bottom line- the noise of the rumble increases as the bearings begin to fail. How long they will hold is virtually impossible to tell.

Avoid all corrugations/off-roading etc and stay on tarmac.

Shed any unnecessary weight

Reduce speed to 40/50 mph max- the faster you go, the more heat you generate.

Check back wheel regularly

If you have the opportunity to obtain a pair of sturdy straps- I'd buy them just in case of having to put your bike in the back of a lorry.

Finally, be aware of your position/location in case you have to stop/park up and walk to get help and keep an eye on your drinking water.

Bearings can be posted quickly via a carrier - IF you need bearing, be sure to have your bike's log book for engine and frame numbers.
P.M. me if you need contact numbers.
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Old 9 Dec 2013
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Hi Guys,

Thanks very much for the advice. I'll just ride slowly and keep an eye on it. Here's hoping I get there. I got about 6000km If I head directly to Capetown. I'll try and stay off the dirt roads even though I enjoy them so much. I'll reduce weight if I can(not sure I'll be able), Keep the water supply up and go for it. I have only 4 weeks to get there so I'll be going pretty much direct anyway. Tanzania, Zambia,Botswana,Namiba and south africa.
Thanks again guys.
Its been a hell of a ride for sure

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Old 9 Dec 2013
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Fingers crossed for you- take it easy and you should be 'Kev-OK' !!
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Old 9 Dec 2013
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There are very few 1200GS's riding around WITHOUT play in the rear wheel drive bearing...

1mm is acceptable but IMPOSSIBLE to measure without a lot of bother. How do you know it's 3mm ??

I would be more inclined to listen for rumbling and grinding.

You can change the bearing but BMW often tell us to change the whole RWD if it's under warranty/goodwill. However, I doubt you have either in your location..

I would just keep going and checking for rumbling or grinding. Endure your bevel oil is changed and kept at the right level and make sure there is NO leaking from the outer seal.

Ted (BMW Tech)
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Old 9 Dec 2013
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Hey Ted

I'm just guessing its about 3. There has been play in it for 2 years but it just got worse yesterday. I had it fixed when the bike was under warrantee. Well they changed the bearings thats all. I went back for another service a year later and they told me there was play in it. I told them fix it under warantee but the declined saying I had put too much miles on the bike since the last fix ( (40,000) Alaska to Patagonia). They then said it should be fine when they discovered they were liable.
How much oil do you recomend putting in the FD? I changed it about 10,000km ago and put 180-190ml in.
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Old 9 Dec 2013
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FD volume 0.18 Litre
If it all goes pear-shaped, you'de be much better off with a replacement FD- easy fix under an hour to replace-
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Old 9 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
FD volume 0.18 Litre
If it all goes pear-shaped, you'de be much better off with a replacement FD- easy fix under an hour to replace-
.

The cheap option... £1500 or something ??? Plus rear paralever bearings.

Might as well swap the shaft too while you're in there
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  #10  
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No , without VAT as it will be exported, Motorworks reckon about £420 ish.
Anyway fingers crossed Kev (and his bearings!) will be fine.
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  #11  
Old 9 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
No , without VAT as it will be exported, Motorworks reckon about £420 ish.
That certainly is cheaper than main dealer prices... I wouldn't change it without also doing the paralever bearings. I bet the shaft is notchy as hell too.
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  #12  
Old 10 Dec 2013
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Are you 100% that the problem is bearings?
I am at the moment in Australia where flange (where rear wheel and brake disc are attached) failed from final drive.
I was able to see that centre axle did not move, but rear wheel was moving around 3-4mm.
Only solution for that was to replace complete final drive (new flange had a slack too). Broken down in southern Australia | Where is Hemuli?
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  #13  
Old 10 Dec 2013
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My advice: Change your plans, fix your bike and enjoy rest of the trip. You have a lot of interesting places to go before you reach Cape Town.

Shit happens, don't let it make your trip to a cramped "I have to reach Cape Town before my bike explodes" experience.
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  #14  
Old 12 Dec 2013
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Thanks for the advice guys,

I've done 1700km since the first post and it hasn't got worse. 3500km to go. I'm not changing my plans I ride 600 km on average a day anyhow.
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Old 12 Dec 2013
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Consider the postage stamp...
it secures success through its ability to stick to one thing till it gets there!
Keep going! but enjoy the travel Kev
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