BMW have issued a major recall for all R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure models manufactured between November 2013 and June 2017. BMW say that the fork stanchion can suffer damage if subjected to “momentary high stress”, which can result in the fork tube coming loose. In worst case scenarios this can result in the fork becoming completely separated from the yoke, resulting in an immediate front-end failure.
It’s important to note that there are no known instances of this happening as a result of normal road use, but bikes which have been used extensively off-road, or which have experienced high-impact shocks to the front fork, could have sustained damage.
All bikes covered by the recall period will be retro-fitted with an additional fixed fork tube bush which slides over the existing fork tube to strengthen it – unless there is evidence that the fork has already sustained damage. If that is the case, the fixed fork tubes will be replaced by modified new parts.
BMW Motorrad say that “during ongoing field observations, the fixed fork tube of the specified models can suffer damage, due to unusual incidents with momentary high stress, without the user noticing. Potential preliminary damage to the fixed fork tube manifests itself through a gap between the pipe and the pressed-in, top seal plugs.
“If the fit of the pressed-in seal plug has loosened, the gap may increase through longer, high-stress usage. This may lead to oil leaks and noise. If these signals are not perceived, or are ignored, and further high-stress incidents occur, the plug may become completely loose. Subsequently, critical driving conditions cannot be ruled out.” That critical condition could be a fork detachment.
Owners of affected models will be informed by BMW, and all remedial work will be carried out for free by a local BMW Motorrad service centre. BMW have further confirmed to MCN that: “All bikes built from June 2017 will have a modified design of fork fitted on the production line. There have been no incidents of any customer bikes suffering fork stanchion failures that have been reported to BMW Motorrad UK.”
However, bikes used at the firm’s supported off-road school have suffered issues, as BMW Motorrad UK concede: “The BMW Off Road Skills centre in Wales has experienced fork stanchion movement on some of their fleet of R1200GS motorcycles and, since the situation first became known, all of the school’s bikes have been checked nightly. There have been no fork separation issues at the BMW Off Road Skills facility in Wales.”
MCN’s own investigations support BMW’s claims, but have uncovered reported failures in other countries, and suggest that prolonged, or aggressive off-road use can cause the issue.
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