Originally Posted by AliBaba
I’m not sure how many bikes who have had this problem (eight was mentioned on Adv-rider but I guess it’s more).
BMW have used a lot of Showa shocks and they have been a mess so I have no idea why they have used Showa on the old 650GS. Well I guess it’s because they are cheap..
Anyway it’s not interesting that Showa made the forks, BMW has the responsibility for the final product.
The current known
tally (note: known to a small group of folk in a small corner of the English speaking interweb, not known to BMW) looks a bit like this. In the beginning there was 'Gertarg' who had his front wheel come off on Ruta 40 in Argentina and nearly died - broken neck, months in hospital, etc etc. He sued BMW and apparently from what he posted on Chain Gang, during 'discovery', BMW coughed to knowing of three other identical failures before they redesigned the parts. BMW settled the lawsuit. So that makes 4.
Meanwhile, just around the time BMW were switching production from the old fork castings to the new ones, in 2003, Wayne Carruthers had a fork leg on his day old Dakar fall apart at low speed and dump him head first into the ground down in Australia. That's 5.
Fast forward to 2005 when we know that Advrider user 'Giddyupgirl' hit a dog that ran under her front wheel at 40mph and was chucked off when the right hand fork apparently failed in the same recognisable way on impact. She paid for a new fork leg and carried on riding the bike for a few years. That's 6.
Then last year we had Loud Al, also off Advrider, who suddenly found that his Dakar wouldn't turn left any more in a left hand bend on a tarmac road at about 45-50mph - which could have been rider error but might well have been his right hand fork leg failing - and he then straightened up and braked to ride off into the adjacent bumpy but clear run off, whereupon he was chucked on his head and found that his fork leg had failed. Again, when it was bodged back together with wire the bike was rideable, wheel was still round, etc etc. That's 7.
Those last two never reported anything to anybody until they saw the thread on Advrider, by the way, but the pictures and their contemporaneous accounts tell the story.
Then there was an anonymous individual who works for a motorcycle related business in the US whose personal Dakar suffered the same failure last year (photos have been seen by myself and the lady whose bike is pictured at the top of this thread) but bloke is keeping his head down to keep his job). That's 8.
Then there is Red Baroness, whose bike features at the top of this thread. That's 9.
Then there is SGK3 on Advrider, who had the same thing happen to his Dakar a couple of weeks after Red Baroness had hers. Again, all documented with pictures. So that makes a nice round 10.
If there was a statistician in the house, it might be interesting to consider that six
of the bikes that we know this happened to were definitely US bikes. Others may have been, but six were definitely bought from dealers in the US. Numbers that I've seen from recall notices would tend to suggest that approximately 10% of Global F650GS & Dakar production in earlier years went to the US, and I believe that there were approximately 43,000 bikes with the early pattern forks shipped wordwide, give or take the odd couple of thousand. So that would mean that there were approximately 4,200 F650GS & Dakar bikes sold in the USA.
Put another way, one in 700 US early F650GS or Dakar owners are known
to have had a catastrophic fork failure (wirth pictures or a witness statement as corroboration).
What percentage of US F650GS owners do we think are on the internet? What percentage do we believe are active on the Advrider board? What percentage of accidents involving an F560GS suddenly veering out of control and impacting something solid or fast moving with fatal results were never attributed to a fork failure after the motorcycle was obliterated by an impact?
If you think that half the F650GS/Dakar owners in the USA are on Advrider, and have read that thread then I think
that means that you 'only' have a 1 in 350 chace of your forks failing if you ride an early F650GS/Dakar in the US. If you think that only 10% of American F650GS/Dakar riders are on the US Advrider board, that might
mean that you have a 1.5% chance of having your forks collapse during the life of the bike.
However, I freely admit that stats aren't my strong point.
If that is
correct, though, then that would put the worldwide fork failure numbers from the 40,000+ machines with the older forks in circulation at something like 600!
If the KSI rate mirrors the rate in our Advrider sample, and we go with our worst case '10%' derived figure of 600 total, then there will be a hundred people suffering only a wallet injury, 200 slight injuries and 300 KSI.
At this point I start to doubt my maths, because if the global magnitude of the problem is that great, BMW can surely expect to be sued back to the stone age in due course, can they not?
Scary stuff if I'm right, though...