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Author Topic: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm  (Read 5833 times)

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Offline Kolie

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BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« on: June 01, 2014, 10:31:32 pm »
A friend of mine owns a 2012 GS 1200 which has 15 000km on the clock by now. On a recent trip in the Tankwa Karoo near Ceres he ended up with a broken swing arm. It happened on quite a good gravel road(road between Ceres en Calvinia). We were 8 bikes in total, of which 5 were BMW's and no one had any problems accept his bike. Is this a common problem on a GS or was he just unlucky?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 05:23:43 am by Kolie »
 

Offline Dewie

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 06:11:57 am »
Did the whole swingarm break/crack or just bent the paralever arm?

A bit more info, or maybe a pic or two will go a long way....
 

Offline Brandt

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Re:
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 06:12:59 am »
Common problem. Someone I know although a 2006 model also broke the swing arm. The are usually 2 weak points, where the shock is bolted onto the swing arm and then in the middle of the swing arm.

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Offline Brandt

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Re:
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 06:15:04 am »
Being a 2012 model BMW will maybe replace it for free as a good will gesture.

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Offline K-9

Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 10:50:32 am »
mine broke on my last GSA, it had about 5500 kms on the clock, repaired no questions asked. 

Breaking the bolt is more common than the swing arm braking itself.  swing arm breaking in the middle is normally from hitting a rock or something. 

at the time (2011) I goggled it, it is not that common world wide, but fairly common in south Africa, possibly due to our roads and how hard we push our bikes.  corrugations and hard tyres, that constant jolting must do the damage??  my bike was not over loaded, but we were two up with cloths in the boxes.

mine appeared to crack a few weeks before and one small bump in the road finished it off, you could see by the different colour of the crack.

the new GSA LC has been strengthened at that point.
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Offline Kolie

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 05:29:50 am »
The swing arm broke where the schock fits onto the swing arm. As a result the schock ended up bewteen the swing arm and the tyre en damaged the tyre as well.
 

Offline Sprocketbek

Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 06:26:03 am »
Quite common, they do that regularly.
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Offline ceasar

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 01:07:17 pm »
Can this at all be avoided? I've seen the breaks in the past, and is still wondering how it happens? Last guy it happened with told me the garage told him its because of play happening in that bolt that holds the shock. If its loose it starts to hammer that lug and it breaks off. doesnt have to happen on a rough road. But its severe. One guy it happened with had a brand new bike. Not even had his forst service.... :o

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Offline roxenz

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 03:53:32 pm »
Geesh, now you guys tell me AFTER I bought a 1200GS?!    :biggrin:
 

Offline AntVan

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BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 08:32:30 pm »
Dude, don't worry. Before you snap your swing arm you will kill yourself a hundred times in all of the following ways simultaneously:
1. Sliding the rear brake
2. Meerkatting while riding
3. Completely breaking the frame
4. Deadly head shake
5. Bike will fall on you and crush you into the general shape of a panini
And then, after you are dead you will be forced to dig your own grave with the poop scoop that will fall off your bike, after your suspension collapsed, while 2 stroke disciples shout at you that you are not a real biker, you are a poser, and your bike should never have left the tar, and why is it larger than 50cc in any case?

My one GS has 8something thousand on the clock
My other one has 17 thousand

I'm happy.
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Offline nielvn

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 09:01:59 pm »
My theory, this is  weak point on 2012 onwards, in my presence we had two on the same spot in the road, GS and GSA 2012 models, check closely where the bolt joins the swing arm it is thinner than on the older GS's. BMW repairs it, but what happens when the warranty expires I know of three, personally, but have heard of quite a few more where this happened..........
 

Offline Kolie

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 09:40:02 pm »
Thanx to all of you for your input. I'll print all your posts tomorrow and forward it to him. He will be glad to hear he is not the real Cowboy we made him out to be.
 

Offline Kameel

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 09:48:19 pm »
Like this? Currently replacing the shaft and swingarm.

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Offline Kolie

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2014, 01:08:54 pm »
Hi There.

No, in the attached pic you'll see what happened to his GS's swing arm. Looks different from what happened to yours.
 

Offline nielvn

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Re: Re: Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2014, 06:12:04 pm »
Hi There.

No, in the attached pic you'll see what happened to his GS's swing arm. Looks different from what happened to yours.

Kolie that is breakage I am talking about, the bump does not have be serious, something like this or even less will do.



Only on 2012 and 2013 models.

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Offline Kolie

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2014, 04:20:13 am »
Excactly the case with my friends GS as well. After two months it looks if BMW is start looking to help him. Bike still in Stellenbosch since 28 April but they had to give BMW AG a report of what happened. According to Sbosch BMW it'll cost between R60-70K to repair. Strangely BMW now appatently advertising the new liquid cooled GS with a 'stronger' swing arm as a new feature.
 

Offline Fudmucker

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2014, 05:44:47 am »
I have the 2008 (Facelift) GS - no problem at this time (60k+)
Compare the lower shock mount on the swing arm with the 2010 model.
You will see a difference - definitely less metal in the later model.

Yes that is only a superficial glimpse, but it shows BMW changed the design.

I haven't compared with the LC model as I am unlikely to buy one.
I'm getting too old for 100+ horsepower.
My 50hp R80's are just fine thank you.  :sip:
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Online ClimbingTurtle

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Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 07:13:02 am »
Common problem? I would have to say no - based on the number of GS/A's around vs the frequency of the breakage.

It does however happen - and probably more in SA than Europe because we use the bikes off-tar, and possibly harder than our European designers? Can't speak for the USA, but they probably have a health & safety warning that we ignored......
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Offline nielvn

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Re: Re: Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2014, 11:54:33 am »
Common problem? I would have to say no - based on the number of GS/A's around vs the frequency of the breakage.

It does however happen - and probably more in SA than Europe because we use the bikes off-tar, and possibly harder than our European designers? Can't speak for the USA, but they probably have a health & safety warning that we ignored......

You might be correct this might be common, I am not clear on the quantity of 2012/2013 gs gsa's sold in sa. I personally know of four which broke. I have heard of atleast three more, common problem or not, the fact that this happenes is a problem.

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Offline lecap

Re: BMW 1200GS Swing Arm
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2014, 11:16:07 am »
There are underlying reasons for the shock mount breaking out of the swing arm:

Firstly the increase of compression damping with an increase of compression speed of the rear shock. This is a standard feature of a hydraulic damper. It's worst in a simple bleed hole design, not as pronounced in a more sophisticated damper valve using a shim stack and the least of a problem in a shim stack damper valve with a blow by valve.

Put simple: If you ride fast enough over an obstacle big enough the suspension will have to compress very quickly to absorb the bump. At some stage the damping forces increase to the point where they exceed the strength of the mounting.

The breakage does not necessarily happen immediately after a heavy impact. Damage could have been done previously and caused structural weakening by deformation or cracking of the mount.

A part appearing visibly weaker does not necessarily have to be weaker. Material and manufacturing processes have to be taken into account.

Secondly:
Failure of a component is not necessarily a design flaw but might just as well be caused by exceeding the design envelope of the bike.
Components of a system are often (should be) designed to improve the chances of survivability of failures:
In the case of the R1200GS: The initial failure on exceeding the design envelope of the rear suspension would be the control arm bending. This is survivable without question.
Pushing harder, the next, more severe failure would be the shock breaking out of the swing arm. This will most likely collapse the suspension and lock up the rear wheel but still leave the wheel attached to the bike and the rider might with a bit of luck walk away shaken but unscratched.
Now assume our engineer has reinforced the control arm substantially and added material to the shock mount to prevent things from absorbing destructive energy by bending and breaking. If you club an obstacle hard enough your rear swing arm will snap in half and instead of you riding your bike you will have a collection of bits and pieces and your sorry self tumbling down the road. Ouch!

It's up to you to decide if there is a problem or if the breakages are caused by abuse.

I'll only tell you: You can even break an anvil.
Easily.
How easy only depends on the drop height and the composition of the surface it's dropped onto.


Remedies for the R1200GS:
Don't over - inflate your tires.
Don't turn in your shocks compression damping too high.
Don't ride like a monkey.
If all this does not help get a more expensive rear shock.
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