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BMW Recalls 18,489 Motorcycles Over Gearbox Input Shaft That May Break

In the United States alone, BMW’s motorcycle division has recalled just under 18,500 vehicles to fix a rather peculiar concern. The Bavarian company became aware of said problem in October 2020, when it received a customer complaint alleging a broken gearbox input shaft and a blocked rear wheel from the owner of a GS manufactured for the 2019 model year.
BMW R 1250 GS 11 photos
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According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the aforementioned incident prompted BMW to initiate an engineering investigation. The company also initiated a parts return program. Musashi Europe GmbH, as in the supplier of the suspect gearbox input shaft, was contacted for a review of its production processes as well.

The review concluded with no suspicious findings. Everything from material property evaluations to x-rays, electron microscopy, and surface treatment examination didn’t result in any finding. Come July 2021, the German motorcycle manufacturer became aware of a different incident alleging a broken gearbox input shaft, albeit without a blocked rear wheel.

Because the root cause for the second incident couldn’t be identified, BMW decided to continue monitoring. Almost a year later, in June 2022, the company became aware of an incident that resulted in a crash and an injury. Two months later, another incident resulted in a crash without injury. Better late than never, BMW’s engineering investigation concluded that an overload of the input shaft could occur in certain scenarios. When those engine operating and riding conditions are met, the input shaft may sustain damage and ultimately break, which leads to a blocked rear wheel.

Rather than the motorcycle’s transmission or input shaft, the root cause is… wait for it… software. Owners will be notified by first-class mail no later than March 10th with instructions to take their bikes to a dealer to have the engine control module updated with an improved software version. BMW does not mention what parameters were changed, though.

On the other hand, we do know that the input shaft goes kaput due to an abrupt difference between the engine speed and rotational speed of the final drive component. The affected population of vehicles includes 6,812 examples of the 2019 to 2023 model year BMW R 1250 GS manufactured in the period between September 19th, 2018 through December 14th, 2022.

The R 1250 GS Adventure from October 10th, 2018 through December 14th, 2022 is called back as well. The final entry comes in the form of the R 1250 RTP touring motorcycle. Approximately 2,276 units are recalled.

A rather pricey affair, the 2023 model year BMW R 1250 GS is currently listed by BMW Motorrad at $17,995 sans taxes and options in the United States of America. The Adventure is an idea pricier at $20,345 at press time. Last but certainly not least, the RT kicks off at $19,695 stateside.

 Download: BMW Motorrad gearbox input shaft recall (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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