Gearbox damage

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Gearbox damage


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Gearbox damage

Gearbox damage – what to do?
Case study on a BMW HP2 Megamoto

Gearbox damage outside of the guarantee and how to deal with it – as a person affected, as an authorized workshop and as a manufacturer. A practical case is presented here by all three parties involved. Some tips can be gained from this.

Ralf Schneider


Anyone who buys a motorcycle must make an important decision after the warranty and guarantee period has expired at the latest: Will they continue to have the prescribed inspections carried out by an authorized dealer, do they hire an independent workshop or do they even do the work themselves? This decision not only affects the condition of the motorcycle, but also has a formal legal component.

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Gearbox damage – what to do?
Case study on a BMW HP2 Megamoto

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That’s what the owner says

Gearbox damage


Uwe Merten, BMW HP 2 Megamoto owner.

Uwe Merten from Cologne bought the BMW HP2 Megamoto, built in 2008, used from the first owner. At the time of the transmission problem, the motorcycle had run 27,500 kilometers. According to Merten’s research, every boxer BMW was equipped with the relevant gear shaft between 2008 and 2011, and the flange has now been changed.

I bought the BMW HP2 Megamoto second-hand in December 2010. Basically she is my dream motorcycle, but a nightmare started with her on a tour in September 2012. Before a bend I wanted to shift down from fourth to third gear, but the gear shift blocked. Shortly afterwards, the gear change worked again, but the error reappeared on one of the next trips.

That’s what the dealer says

Gearbox damage


Frank Stute, service manager of the two dealers Honda Stute and BWM Hengst.

Frank Stute is the service manager of the two dealers, Honda Stute and BMW Hengst, who also share a building in Cologne-Kalk. The owner of the BMW dealer is, however, no Mr. Stallion – the idea of ​​the hippological double name “came about over a glass of wine”.

In September 2012, Mr. Merten called us because he had problems with the shifting of his BMW HP2 Megamoto. With our employee Gerhard Heymann, who drives an R 1200 R himself, he arranged a test drive, but everything worked without any problems.

That’s what the manufacturer says

Gearbox damage


Manfred Grunert, press spokesman for BMW Motorrad.

Manfred Grunert, press spokesman for BMW Motorrad, makes no secret of the fact that the problems with the breaking flanging of the shock absorber are well known. However, calculations and tests have shown that the soft sheet metal of the sleeve does not block the transmission.

BMW Motorrad very much regrets that the transmission input shaft of Mr. Merten’s BMW HP2 Megamoto has been damaged. In the case of cost-intensive repairs in particular, we try to provide our customers with goodwill support even after the warranty period has expired. This kind of goodwill is limited in time and depends on various factors such as age, mileage and proof of all services provided for the motorcycle at one of our authorized dealers or at a BMW Motorrad branch. A goodwill participation relates exclusively to repair invoices from a BMW Motorrad partner. For reasons of guarantee and liability, a goodwill participation in the sale of spare parts is excluded.

“I was speechless”

I then took the motorcycle to the BMW dealer, Hengst, who supported me as far as he could. During the test drive, the gearbox worked perfectly – typical demonstration effect. A workshop employee offered to dismantle the gearbox. That would have cost me about 1,300 euros. Too much, that’s why I expanded and opened it myself. What I found left me speechless: Three large metal parts of the shock absorber on the input shaft had broken off and were hanging on the magnet together with a lot of metal shavings. The dealer could not explain this defect, but a query at BMW revealed that it was a known problem. The flanging of the shock absorber is too weak, meanwhile a reinforced version is being installed, as you can easily see on the new shaft.

That’s why I wanted to install a new shaft as a goodwill gesture, which BMW refused, as did a goodwill service as part of a repair in a BMW workshop. At first I was quite angry about that, but now I’ve understood that goodwill is generally not granted when a dealer sells spare parts “outside the home” and that I didn’t get them when I repaired “in house” because I had the last two I did inspections on my Megamoto myself. Since I work as a technical employee in product development for brake pads and have an apprenticeship as a car mechanic, I can do that too.

In retrospect, it was cheaper for me to do everything myself. The new gear shaft cost around 400 euros, with new bearings, shaft seals, oil and other small parts the costs added up to around 600 euros. Of course, my working hours are not counted there. But the working hours in the workshop alone, which BMW would not have taken on even if there was a goodwill, would have been twice as expensive. I still find it worrying that thousands of others are still driving around with the old gear shafts. I cannot understand the statements made by BMW on this subject; I find them outrageous.

BMW has rejected the goodwill application

In such a case, you have two options: keep driving until the problems reappear, or remove the transmission and look inside. In order not to take any risks, we offered Mr. Merten to dismantle the gearbox. Then we could have made a reliable cost estimate. But then Mr. Merten took it into his own hands and later came to us with the dismantled gearbox. Our workshop foreman Jorg Kinne took a look at the gearbox and found damage to the flanging of the shock absorber; some metal shavings had spread in the gearbox.

We then decided to submit a goodwill application to BMW. When Mr. Merten handed in his service booklet, it turned out that only the annual inspections of 2009 and 2010 had been made at the official BMW dealer; he carried out the inspections for 2011 and 2012 himself. After weighing all the factors, BMW rejected the goodwill application. After learning of the rejection, I phoned Mr. Merten and discussed his case with him in detail. He had researched and received information about the improved flanging of the shock absorber. He was therefore of the opinion that BMW had a special obligation to make improvements here. Our customers are really very important to us, but unfortunately we couldn’t do anything more for Mr. Merten in this particular case.

“There is no risk to safety”

In the event of a defective flanging of the shock absorber sleeve, the driver is made aware of the damage by a characteristic noise development. Failure to observe this noise development can lead to problems later when changing gears. If, in extreme cases, segments of the sleeve come loose, calculations and tests have shown that the soft sheet metal of the sleeve does not block the rotating gear. The design of the gearbox shaft and shock absorber have not been changed. However, the manufacturing process for flanging the sleeve of the shock absorber has been optimized.

In this case, there is no risk to the safety of our customers if the gearbox is defective. There are also no instructions to the trade organization for a special inspection. In the event of a defective gearbox, offers BMW motorcycle Even outside of the warranty, the opportunity to regulate the costs for the repair (e.g. replacement of the gearbox) as part of the goodwill.

Have the inspection plan processed precisely

Motorcyclists who do not trust themselves to maintain their machine, who do not have the time or the inclination to do so, ideally behave so correctly that they can even teach their manufacturer’s in-house lawyers lessons on warranty issues. Not possible, of course, but you should have the inspection plan processed precisely, keep all repair invoices and HU test reports and also ensure that your machine is otherwise in good condition. In the event of damage, this does not give you a legal right to goodwill, but it does give you a solid negotiating position.

And drivers of BMW boxer models built between 2008 and 2011 would do well to listen carefully now and then when their motorcycle is idling. If you hear a clacking noise that disappears when you pull the clutch, you should have your transmission examined to be on the safe side.

Authorized workshop also has no blessed oil

First about the maintenance condition: if you work at an independent workshop or lend a hand yourself, you can save a lot of money without the motorcycle having to be poorly maintained. An expensive diagnostic device is not necessary for every inspection, and care and special commitment to one’s own self are not a bad substitute for the inspection routine of an authorized workshop. And even if recommendations suggest something else: Even authorized workshops do not have blessed oil that prevents damage in a critical case. Those who adhere to the specifications and fill quantities given in the manual can make oil changes just as well as a two-wheel mechanic.

However, anyone who cannot show an official stamp in the inspection booklet in the event of damage forfeits any goodwill. If the damage is due to a known problem, as in the case described here, many manufacturers are willing to provide such voluntary services, but make this dependent on a complete maintenance history of the motorcycle concerned from authorized dealers. What every manufacturer rejects is the handing over of spare parts “over the counter” as a goodwill gesture. The reason is clear: Nobody can guarantee that the new parts will be installed properly.

The better your own manual skills and the more reliable the motorcycle, the sooner you can allow yourself to take care of it yourself. A little research in relevant Internet forums and reading MOTORRAD endurance tests give you a fairly reliable impression of the reliability of a model. And if you ask the dealer about the weaknesses of your dream motorcycle and look your contact person in the eye, you will usually get an honest answer. Or know when he’s being tricked.

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