BMW is recalling around 170,000 examples of its best selling R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure over fears of a problem with the front forks collapsing.
The recall affects bikes built between November 2013 and June 2017 and comes after public campaigning regarding the issue. Almost 15,000 people signed a petition at change.org, urging BMW to ‘investigate and report publicly on fork stanchion separation issue’ while a website, www.bmwfatalflaw.com, and an active Facebook page had also been set up by concerned riders giving first hand experiences of problems, after several reports of fork breakages resulting in accidents.
BMW had been dealing with the issue through a ‘service campaign’ where individual bikes were checked at dealerships during standard services. By issuing a formal recall, which is recognised by international transport authorities like the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the manufacturer is actively advising riders to have their machine checked and repaired.
The issue appears to be that a component within the front fork can work loose when the bike is subjected to extreme bumps. When this ‘press fit’ part separates it can cause the front suspension to collapse, creating a total loss of steering. BMW is retrofitting new fixed fork bushes to solve the problem.
The full recall notice is as follows: “As part of a safety recall, BMW Motorrad is checking the fixed fork tubes R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure motorcycles from the production period November 2013 to June 2017.
“All affected bikes will be retrofitted with an additional fixed fork tube bush. If there is already any signs of preliminary damage, the fixed fork tubes will be replaced by modified new parts.
“BMW Motorrad has determined during ongoing field observations that 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.
“BMW Motorrad has therefore decided to recall all motorcycles that could be affected to retrofit the fixed fork tube bushes. The owners of these motorcycles will be informed by BMW Motorrad. The safety recall is carried out for free for the customer at approved BMW Motorrad service centres.” Any owners of affected bikes are advised to contact their BMW dealership as soon as possible to book their bike in for remedial work.