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The rating table gives an overview of the MOTORRAD endurance test machines from recent years. A maximum of 100 points can be earned, divided into five partial scores. The costs per kilometer include expenses for inspections, spare and wear parts, tires and chain sets.

Bilski

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Full program: cardan shaft and rear axle drive are the only components of the engine and drive train that completed the full test distance of 50,000 kilometers. Wear is not measurable in both.

Bilski

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Clearly visible tracks on the plastic rails of the timing chain tensioner.

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The plastic part is ready to be replaced even before the full test distance.

Hertler

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Serious faces: The BMW delegation discusses the reasons for the gearbox damage with the MOTORRAD editors.

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BMW R 1200 GS operating costs over 50,000 kilometers.

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BMW R 1200 GS: maintenance and repairs.

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Fuel cap: The fuel cap seals came off at short intervals (mileage 14,975 and 19,884).

wagner

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Air in the clutch hydraulics: Until the end of the test, the cause of the recurring air in the clutch hydraulics remained unclear.

mps photo studio

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Clutch pressure pin: A clutch pressure pin that was outside of the tolerance dimensions made a decisive contribution to the poor separation behavior of the clutch, which was first operated in an oil bath on the water-cooled boxer.

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Clutch pressure plate: An assembly error in the BMW workshop was the reason for replacing the clutch pressure plate. When the clutch was dismantled due to its poor switchability, the part was irreparably damaged during assembly.

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Exhaust flap: An annoying topic on many endurance test machines is the defect-prone mechanics of the exhaust flap. Deposits and heat also affect the technology in the exhaust gas flow in the BMW R 1200 GS.

Bilski

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The chatter marks on the clutch hub are okay for a mileage of 43,000 kilometers.

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Despite many discussions about the critical separation behavior, the clutch is in good condition.

Bilski

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The 2013 BMW R 1200 GS passed the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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After the gearbox input shaft (center) was only insufficiently guided by the defective ball bearing, the gear wheel of the sixth gear (center) no longer fully engaged with that of the drive shaft (right), jumped over and got rid of its tips.

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The pistons have only minor carbon deposits. There are also hardly any tracks.

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Only the selective detachment of the bonded coating on a piston disturbs the excellent overall impression.

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Both connecting rod bearings show an even contact pattern.

Bilski

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The breakout of the running surface (cavitation) is not critical with this mileage.

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Most likely, the grooves on the outer rotor of the oil pump come from metal chips that got into the oil circuit after the gearbox bearing defect.

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Hardly any pressure loss during the initial measurement, which is hardly surprising. Unfortunately, there is no final measurement after changing the engine.

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The wear is low, even considering the 7000 km shorter mileage. All the engine innards are in good condition and would probably have survived the remaining distance undamaged.

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After the engine was replaced almost 7000 kilometers before the end of the endurance test, the measured values ​​ultimately only reflect the minimum breadth of the series spread.

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Performance BMW R 1200 GS.

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Gearbox: A defective bearing on the gearbox input shaft interrupted
43,152 kilometer the endurance test spectacular. The consequence: destroyed gears and shift forks as well as metal chips distributed in the motor housing.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

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BMW R 1200 GS, built in 2013, in the MOTORRAD endurance test.

Endurance test final balance of the BMW R 1200 GS

Storage fever at the bestseller

New engine, new chassis – the long-term test of the completely renovated bestseller BMW R 1200 GS was the focus of interest last year – all the more so when a blocking gearbox bearing forced an extensive pit stop.

D.he message in MOTORRAD 12/2014 hit like a bomb: Gearbox damage on the long-term test BMW R 1200 GS. After 43,152 kilometers. What happened? The gearbox input shaft bearing blocked at high speed on the motorway. The inner ring overheated on the shaft, destroyed the balls, cage and sealing washer. The consequence of the inadequately guided shaft: the shift fork misused as a bearing, including the guide ring of the sliding wheel, also burned up, the gears of the sixth gear jumped over and got rid of their tips. After rolling out on the hard shoulder, the engine still ran perfectly with the clutch pulled, but the gearshift was stuck in sixth gear. Engaging the clutch was acknowledged with a loud crack. The driver, editor Robert Glück from the MOTORRAD sister magazine PS, can thank his guardian angel that the inferno in the control center did not block the transmission while driving.

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Endurance test final balance of the BMW R 1200 GS
Storage fever at the bestseller

R 1200 GS would not have been meaningful due to damage possibly caused by metal residues. Therefore, MOTORRAD decided – as it would have been done with a customer motorcycle – to cover the remaining endurance test distance of almost 7000 kilometers with a replacement engine installed as part of the warranty (list price: 7975.70 euros plus assembly costs). All wear measurements in this endurance test therefore relate to the mileage at the time the gearbox was damaged. So much for the status quo.

BMW R 1200 GS won test wins by a dozen

Ultimately, the spectacular damage to the MOTORRAD endurance test machine was only the highlight of the short, but troubled model history of the BMW R 1200 GS, which was completely redesigned for 2013. But one after the other. The BMW product planners had shown courage with the redesign of their bestseller. Although they skilfully preserved the familiar appearance of the GS, technically hardly a screw remained in place. Water cooling, less flywheel, lighter drive train and semi-active chassis emphasized the sporty side of the BMW R 1200 GS much more. Success should prove the decision right. The new GS cleared the test wins – not only at MOTORRAD – by the dozen, sales were brilliant. In Germany, with 7,831 units sold in 2013, the Bavarian seamlessly took over the role of bestseller from its predecessor.

But hardly in customer hands, there was resentment. With rear brake pads that wear out quickly, handlebar switches and fuel caps that are prone to defects, and a mechanically noisy drive train. Above all, however, through the gearbox, which can only be shifted loudly in the first three gears, and a clutch that is difficult to adjust. The endurance test GS was no exception in this regard. BMW blamed the clutch actuation pin for this. In some of the delivered BMW R 1200 GS – including obviously the long-term test GS – a non-dimensionally accurate pressure pin allows too much oil to flow into the clutch. The additional amount of oil could not be thrown out of the clutch pack quickly enough and thus prevent a clean separation, explained the Bavarians.

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Endurance test interim report BMW R 1200 GS (2014)


How does it look after 35,000 kilometers?


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GS with noisy switching behavior

The noisy shifting behavior did not prevent the BMW R 1200 GS from unwinding the kilometers at record speed and – apart from the transmission – from getting a lot of cuddles. Seating comfort, handling, suspension comfort, steering precision or straight-line stability are praised by the traveling editors as well as the lively engine, the smart Vario case system or the good wind protection. By the time the dimensionally accurate pressure pin was installed after three months, the GS had already covered 20,000 kilometers.

Although the replacement of the pen under warranty improved the switching behavior, the BMW R 1200 GS still did not switch silently. Especially since the pressure point of the clutch was constantly changing. Two vents of the hydraulic line brought only short-term improvement. A short time later there was air in the system again. The reason for this remained in the dark until the end of the long-term test. By the way: Even with the exchange engine, built in 2014, the switching behavior was no better than the original engine.

Apart from that, noisy transmissions have an inglorious tradition at BMW anyway. Even in the control centers of the noble six-cylinder K 1600 models it rattles and rattles to this day. But blaming the often criticized German BMW regular supplier Getrag for this does not work with the water boxer series. The gearbox is manufactured by the Japanese specialist Musashi, who also supplies Honda. The clutch also comes from Japan, from the renowned manufacturer FCC. Only the BMW mechanic came from home, who, while constantly searching for the reasons for the insufficiently separating and jerking clutch, twisted the clutch pressure plate at mileage 40,358 and destroyed it when tightening. The part was replaced without comment and on guarantee.

Brake pads with below average service life

After all, the problem of the initially detaching seals on the tank cap should have been eliminated. Since the second replacement, the part has remained inconspicuous. In contrast to the wear and tear of the brake pads. It took just 8,000 kilometers for the first set of rear brake pads to be sanded off. Although the BMW workshop initially provided a free replacement, the service life of just 10,000 kilometers remained below average. Only the set of pads used at a mileage of 31,000 made it to the end of the endurance test of the BMW R 1200 GS. It is conceivable that the thickened pads announced by BMW at an early stage were in reality only available at this point in time.

In general, the BMW R 1200 GS behaved more and more uncomplicated as the test distance progressed. Average consumption for a motorcycle of this size of 5.7 liters / 100 km was just as acceptable as the costs for the inspections, which are due in intervals of 10,000: 166 euros (1st inspection), 318 euros (2nd inspection), 490 euros ( 3rd inspection) and 488 euros (4th inspection). And not even the stuck exhaust flap – it was only noticed by a louder sound at low speeds and could be made workable again in home work – the GS would have screwed up a decent endurance test record. All measured parts are within the tolerance limits and in all probability would have survived the remaining 7,000 kilometers undamaged. In this respect, everything would have been good if the aforementioned bearing damage to the BMW R 1200 GS hadn’t thwarted the overall bill.

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BMW R 1200 GS No. 1 on the sales hit list

But even if the individual case proclaimed by the BMW managers (see “BMW comments”) of a defective standard part such as the ball bearing appears plausible in this case, a look at the MOTORRAD endurance test history casts a pale light on the previous balance of the Munich. Of the total of six BMW machines that have been driven over the long-term test distance so far, three models showed major damage. The BMW K 1300 GT caused several forced stops in 2010 with a burst clutch basket and possibly resulting connecting rod bearing damage. In the endurance test of the predecessor model of the BMW R 1200 GS from 2005, there are even striking parallels to the damage pattern of the current GS. A defective ball bearing also caused a gearbox damage after 38,000 kilometers. In this respect, against the background of the teething troubles of the current BMW R 1200 GS (clutch pressure pin, handlebar switch, fuel filler cap) and the recalls (side stand switch, battery, shaft seal), the doubts cherished back then about the quality control of the Munich-based company are still present today.

Nevertheless: It is well known that the conceptual basis of the BMW R 1200 GS covers much more than the tourist segment. With the livelier engine, the further improved steering behavior or the more nimble handling, the new GS has expanded its spectrum even more with a powerful dash of sportiness. Obviously, the attractiveness of this concept also outweighs the peculiarities of the Bavarian woman shown in the MOTORRAD endurance test and in some customers’ hands. Guess which motorcycle will top the sales hit list in Germany this year too.

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Pictures: Endurance test final balance of the BMW R 1200 GS

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BMW comments


Hertler

Serious faces: The BMW delegation discusses the reasons for the gearbox damage with the MOTORRAD editors.

… to the gear shift when engaging first gear and the noises when shifting gears two and three.

In order to do justice to the dynamic character of the new GS, the drive was equipped with an oil bath clutch. In addition to a higher load capacity, the wet clutch concept can also reduce manual force. The anti-hopping function also offers less experienced drivers another safety feature. The slightly poorer separation behavior for such types of clutch leads to a not completely avoidable noise development when engaging and changing gears, especially in the lower gears.

… on bearing damage and the resulting gearbox defect.

The gearbox bearing in question is a standard component that has proven itself thousands of times and is dimensioned for the life of the vehicle. We try to explain why the warehouse failed within the framework of
Laboratory tests to find out.

… to an insufficiently separating clutch.

Due to their design, oil bath clutches always have a certain residual drag torque. The separation behavior of an oil bath clutch is mainly influenced by the oil supply to the clutch disks. The clutch of the endurance test motorcycle shows an inconspicuous wear pattern. We will examine the components in the laboratory.

… to the roaring noise from the cardan area in push mode.

In favor of a low weight, the drive train has been designed to be stiff and with reduced damping. This requires concessions on the comfort side. The technical and completely uncritical rotational irregularities of the PTO shaft are practically not noticeable.

… on the accusation that BMW’s product quality is below the standard, especially of its Japanese competitors.

We test our vehicles very extensively and according to high internal standards. Nevertheless, deviations can arise in individual cases in the complex series process.

… to the question of how similar types of damage to the MOTORRAD endurance test machine are treated after the warranty period has expired.

As part of our goodwill, we would regulate such damage even after the warranty period has expired.

Balance after 50,000 kilometers *


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Hardly any pressure loss during the initial measurement, which is hardly surprising. Unfortunately, there is no final measurement after changing the engine.

Cylinder head: All valves close tightly, the valves and valve seats are in very good condition, there are only very few carbon deposits in the combustion room. The camshafts are visible on the cams, but they have not been run in critically. The valve guides show hardly any wear.

Cylinder / piston: The lubricating varnish coating has peeled off at certain points on a piston, otherwise hardly any running marks are visible. The cylinders and piston rings also show no abnormalities. The oil pump has heavy scoring, which was probably caused by metal chips (gearbox damage).

Crankshaft drive: The main bearings have inconspicuous tracks with a uniform contact pattern, one connecting rod bearing has a small breakout point (cavitation). The connecting rod eyes and piston pins are in very good condition.

Power transmission: The gearbox is largely destroyed by the bearing damage, the clutch shows hardly any wear apart from discolored steel disks. The cardan final drive is also in good condition.

Frame / chassis: The workmanship makes a good impression, there are hardly any signs of wear. Steering head and swing arm bearings are OK. Slight paint chipping on the front fender.
 
* Measured values ​​from the original engine after 43,152 kilometers

Readers’ experiences with the BMW R 1200 GS

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Jahn

BMW Motorrad complains. BMW arranged for the transmission to be replaced. After meanwhile 1000 kilometers with the new gearbox, I can report that the new gearbox shifts just as badly as the previous one. How it will go on in my case is open."

Defects in the test

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Fuel cap

The seals on the tank cap came off at short intervals (mileage 14,975 and 19,884). A problem that apparently only affected early production models. After the second exchange (warranty), the part did its job for the rest of the test distance without complaint.

Air in the clutch hydraulics

Until the end of the test, the cause of the recurring air in the clutch hydraulics remained unclear. The pipe was vented a total of two times. Although this measure ensured a better separating clutch for a short time, air had crept into the system again after a few thousand kilometers.

Clutch pressure pin

A clutch pressure pin that was outside of the tolerance dimensions contributed significantly to the poor separation behavior of the clutch, which in the water-cooled boxer was running in an oil bath for the first time. After replacing the original pen with a Maß-
containing part (reduced oil flow), the shiftability of the gearbox improved slightly.

Clutch pressure plate

An assembly error in the BMW workshop was the reason for replacing the clutch pressure plate. When the clutch was dismantled due to its poor switchability, the part was irreparably damaged during assembly. By the way: clutch linings and release mechanism were in good condition.

Exhaust flap

An annoying topic on many endurance test machines is the defect-prone mechanics of the exhaust flap. Deposits and heat also affect the technology in the exhaust gas flow in the GS. The permanently open flap was noticeable through a louder background noise at low speeds. The repair did not require any replacement parts.

transmission

A defective bearing on the transmission input shaft interrupted the endurance test spectacularly at 43,152 kilometers. The consequence: destroyed gears and shift forks as well as metal chips distributed in the motor housing. In order to avoid consequential damage, the remaining test distance of 7000 kilometers was covered with a new engine.

Technical data R 1200 GS (2013)

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Used BMW R 1200 GS in Germany


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The selection of used BMW R 1200 GS is enormous.

The icon among the travel enduros, the BMW R 1200 GS, is popular on the motorcycle market with its large selection of used specimens. Many R1200GS are already equipped with accessories and are therefore ready for the long journey. All used BMW R 1200 GS can be found here: used BMW R1200GS in Germany.

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