BMW Motorrad Australia today officially joins a worldwide recall of all water-cooled R 1200 GS and GS Adventure models over a potential fork fault.
The recall affects 185,000 bikes worldwide and 2500 in Australia where 1000 have already been inspected. “We are not finding a huge number that are faulty,” a BMW Motorrad Australia spokesperson told us.
BMW says there is potential for the fixed fork tube top seal plugs to be damaged in a bit hit.
While the issue has been discussed via online forums with several owners claiming they have crashed and been injured, BMW says there are no “conclusive incidences that we are aware of”.
The company had been writing to owners to ask them to bring their bike in for inspection, but now joins the worldwide recall.
A day after we originally ran our original article on July 7, BMW Motorrad Australia issued a recall through the federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD), Vehicle Safety Standards division (VSS).
However, it has only been officialy posted by the Australian Consumer and Competition Competition Commission today. We asked the ACCC what caused the delay, but they have not yet replied.
BMW Motorrad Australia boss Andreas Lundgren says the fix involves crimping a collar to the top of the fork tube and adding a covering collar.
The company had been sending notices to owners they knew of, but now joins the recall so the registration details of subsequent owners can be supplied to the company and all owners contacted.
The ACCC notice says the fixed fork tube “can suffer preliminary damage when unusual incidents with momentary high stress occur”.
“Prolonged usage with high stress may cause the pressed in top seal plug in the fixed fork tube to loosen, leading to oil leaks and increasingly imprecise drivability,” it says.
“If this is not noticed or ignored and further high stress incidents occur, the plug may become completely loose, posing a hazard to the rider and other road users.”
The original in-service notice to owners said:
As part of a service campaign, BMW Motorrad is checking the fixed fork tubes of the front forks on motorcycles of the R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure models for the production period November 2013 – June 2017.
BMW Motorrad has determined during ongoing field observations that the fixed fork tube of the specified models can suffer preliminary damage due to unusual incidents with momentary high stress without the user noticing the damage, e.g. through changed drivability. Such high stress can be caused e.g. when driving over an obstacle, during a fall or when driving through deep potholes with unvarying speed. Preliminary damage to the front wheel rim is also not unusual in such cases, but need not be necessarily present.
Potential preliminary damage to the fixed fork tube manifests itself through a gap between the pipe and the pressed in top seal plugs. For the check, the rubber grommet mounted in this position must be pushed down.
BMW Motorrad has therefore decided to check the above-mentioned vehicles and repair them if required. The owners of the affected motorcycles will be informed by BMW Motorrad. The service campaign is free of charge for customers.
Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.
Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, only a handful have been mandatory. All others have been issued by the manufacturer.
While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.
If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.
To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites: