BMW R and K Bikes 2003-2011 Recalled

Do not over-tighten the rear brak disc for this 2009 BMW K1300R 1 photo
Photo: BMW
Since we are drawing nearer to the end of the first quarter of 2015, hearing about a recall campaign aimed at bringing in a bike made in 2003 definitely sounds funny. Well, as hilarious as this sounds, we’re also dealing with a very serious motorcycle safety issue which could cause serious accidents if left unattended. One of my older friends laughed and said something like “if it held since 2003, I am pretty sure it won’t break down now,” but nevertheless here are the facts.
BMW Motorrad initiated a technical campaign recall which targets a LOT of motorcycles, even though the total number of bike potentially affected by the issue was not made public yet. Still, since we are dealing with R- and K-series motorcycles manufactured between 2003 and 2011 as visordown reports, you can figure out that we might be looking at a huge fleet which will be directed towards BMW dealerships.

Overtightened brake disc bolts may lead to a cracked rear wheel flange

The problem concern the rear wheel flange, which may crash under the excessive tension caused by over-tightened rear brake disc bolts. At the moment of writing, the information is still scarce, so it is unclear where the fault lies exactly.

Basically, several scenarios came to mind, with improper maintenance (i.e. over-tightening these bolts) being the most likely of them. The strength of the flange not being enough to cover such a scenario, a defect might occur when over-tightening these bolts. We thought that the torque values in the bike service manual are the right ones but the parts can withstand generous variations, exactly because some fellows would be overzealous.

“Based on ongoing quality analyses, it was found that in the case of incorrectly carried-out maintenance work excessive torque may be applied to the brake disk bolts or to the nuts when changing wheels, contrary to the values specified in the BMW Motorrad repair instructions or operating instructions,” BMW Motorrad officials reportedly declared, according to the same source.

No mention on accidents or injuries has made it to our ears, and BMW says that customers will be notified. Funny thing is that given the extent of the recalled vehicle pool, BMW should do more than inform whatever registered users they have from 2003 on.

Many of those bikes definitely changed hands more than once or twice, especially in the years before the financial crisis, and tracking them down is a rather impossible task but still the responsibility doesn’t dwindle. BMW dealers will replace the flange with a “more robust” part which can handle more torque.

We are still trying to fathom how much this will cost BMW. Eight years times two entire series… you dare do the math.
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