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Anybody who rides an early F650GS needs to see this...

Published: 12 September 2008

A friend of mine was riding across the Canadian wilderness on the Alaska Highway when the front forks of her 2002 BMW F650GS fractured at the wheel spindle mount (apparently, the right hand mount went first) and the bike went into an uncontrollable tank slapper before bucking her off when the front wheel was ripped clean off the bike, smashing her arm to pieces.

For more pictures and details, along with contributions and pictures from other people who have experienced identical failures, including another who had the same thing happen only a week or so ago, see this thread.

What makes this particularly interesting and disturbing is that there are reports of this happening to the early F650GS from right back when the bike was launched. Worse still, BMW themselves redesigned the fork castings to beef them up significantly in exactly the areas that failed in this crash, and started fitting the heavier duty fork castings to all F650GS and F650GS Dakar bikes manufactured after June 2003.

There is no official explanation for this, but the obvious conclusion to draw is that BMW know about a situation where the the fork castings on early F650GS motorcycles were somewhat marginal in their robustness, but chose to fix the fault in new production without recalling the older bikes.

So, if you or somebody you love has one of these bikes, look at the thread and check your castings with a magnifying glass, and if you have had a similar thing happen, please add to the thread - any information and documentation you can offer will help to inform any campaign to get BMW to do the worldwide recall that I suspect they should have done when they first found this issue!