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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I had a very concerning issue on my way back from work today.
When entering the highway I shifted from 3rd to 4th gear to merge in the traffic when my bike downshifted from 4th to 3rd with a big hicup. :(

From then I was unable to stay in 4th gear. I soon as I turn the throttle the bike goes back to 3rd gear. 5th and 6th gears work fine tough.

I noticed during my last two rides that the gearbox was a lot less smooth than it used to be, but I didn't pay attention since it had recently been serviced and sometime the shifter calibration may be reset.

Now I'm afraid my gearbox might be beyonbd repaired and needs a replacement, witch is unfortunate as it is no more under guarantee and last scheduled service was not done by BMW (but in time and correctly).

Have you ever heard of such behavior ? do you have any clue what part may be responsible of the failure ?

In the case I have to replace the gearbox, are you aware of any tutorial ?

Thank you guys for your help.

The bike : 2015 R1200R LC with 33 000 km.
 

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Questions just to remove a few possible issues...

1) Are you shifting using ShiftAssitPro, and at what RPM?
2) At what RPM does it drop out of 4th when attempting to accelerate?
3) Have you tried running up fairly high in the RPM range, shifting manually from 3 to 4, and then accelerating further in 4th?

One other thing to try would be to go from 3 to 5 then down to 4, and see if it holds.

I have no idea what might be the problem, but a possibility is a bent 4th gear shift fork, which then doesn't fully engage 4th allowing it to pop back out. (This was a not uncommon issue in the Suzuki SV650 world with 2nd gear.)
 

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I had a similar thing happen to me with my Honda CB 550 F2, I think it was 4th but it could have been 3rd. Anyway when I took the engine out and stripped it down I found it was the three dogs on the side of the gear had sheared off. Replaced the cog and rebuilt the engine, bike worked fine for the next 8 years when I sold it. If that's what has happened you should be able to fix it up.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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As indicated by other posters, such behaviour is normally associated with either a bent selector fork or worn dogs on the gears. Neither is in any way typical for a Roadster of your mileage. The only other causes of shifting problems I have experienced on a bike have been:
  • when a countershaft output bearing on my Suzuki T500 collapsed and some of the bearing cage got caught in the selector drum cam grooves, and
  • binding gear lever shaft (although that normally affects more than one gear).
If it's internal, then unfortunately you're likely to suffer significant hurt to the hip pocket. Parts aren't cheap and you won't know what is needed until it is disassembled – labour costs will be very high just to get the gearbox out and opened up. I don't know about the availability of good used gearboxes.
 

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Hi,
Is there any way to prevent this kind of damage to the gearbox?

I was under the impression that these gearboxes were pretty robust.

But a bent? It must be something you would remember when it happened.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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They're as robust as any other bike gearbox I'd reckon, @jiganet. This is the first problem of this nature raised on this forum.

The Haynes manual covers removal of the gearbox and subsequent removal of the rear housing, which exposes the innards. It warns that no individual components are available but since publication, this has changed (as per the link I included in my earlier post).

The manual also shows how to remove the gearchange mechanism, which they say can be done with the engine in the frame. This could be a place to start, as it’s much easier than removing the whole drive-train to get to the innards.

The BMW Motorrad soft copy manual I have is dated 2015 and has nothing about gearbox refurb, just seal replacement. Later versions may have though, given that internal parts are now catalogued.

I’ve shown a couple pages of the manual for illustration- if you are going to do any work on the bike, a manual is a must in my view.

109990

109991
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Questions just to remove a few possible issues...

1) Are you shifting using ShiftAssitPro, and at what RPM?

Sometime, mostly for downshifting. around 5-7000 when going up and depends on the speed i'm going when downshifting.

2) At what RPM does it drop out of 4th when attempting to accelerate?

As soon as I touch the throttle

3) Have you tried running up fairly high in the RPM range, shifting manually from 3 to 4, and then accelerating further in 4th?

It happens even if I dont use the shifter.

One other thing to try would be to go from 3 to 5 then down to 4, and see if it holds.

Same issue

I have no idea what might be the problem, but a possibility is a bent 4th gear shift fork, which then doesn't fully engage 4th allowing it to pop back out. (This was a not uncommon issue in the Suzuki SV650 world with 2nd gear.)

It's one of the possibilities...
My answer in the quote.

Hi,
Is there any way to prevent this kind of damage to the gearbox?

I was under the impression that these gearboxes were pretty robust.

But a bent? It must be something you would remember when it happened.
I think there's nothing you can do. I ride smoothly and never mistreated the mechanic or the bike...

They're as robust as any other bike gearbox I'd reckon, @jiganet. This is the first problem of this nature raised on this forum.

The Haynes manual covers removal of the gearbox and subsequent removal of the rear housing, which exposes the innards. It warns that no individual components are available but since publication, this has changed (as per the link I included in my earlier post).

The manual also shows how to remove the gearchange mechanism, which they say can be done with the engine in the frame. This could be a place to start, as it’s much easier than removing the whole drive-train to get to the innards.

The BMW Motorrad soft copy manual I have is dated 2015 and has nothing about gearbox refurb, just seal replacement. Later versions may have though, given that internal parts are now catalogued.

I’ve shown a couple pages of the manual for illustration- if you are going to do any work on the bike, a manual is a must in my view.

View attachment 109990
View attachment 109991
thank you for these details.

I went to see my dealer and unfortunately theay ask more than 500€ ($600) just to take the gearbox appart and take pictures so they can send it to BMW customer service in oorder to see if I can get a discount on the operation, considering the low mileage of the bike. This is more than I'm willing to pay just for an inspection, whitout the garanbtee that further costs will be covered by BMW.

I've decided to take the engine appart on my own, open it and then bring it to the dealer so they can take the pictures they need for the request.

It will take me a lot of time, which is unfortunate considering this is my main vehicle , but If I have to replace it myself it will save a lot of money in the end.

Now I have to find a copy of the Haynes Manual (does it exist in pdf format ?) or the french RTM (Revue Technique Moto) that covers this particular bike.

Will keep you guys updated.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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Now I have to find a copy of the Haynes Manual (does it exist in pdf format ?)
This is the manual on the Haynes site. Either hard copy or online access (not pdf).

I’d go the online version (and take/print occasional screen shots as necessary) - navigation is easy and the photos are so much better in colour and on screen than the hard copy (the latter in mono and printed on cheap, coarse paper).
 

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The 2016 version of the BMW Motorrad Repair and Service (RSD) DVD that I have describes gearbox removal.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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As does the 2015 version, @sturgeon - it’s beyond that (removing the rear gearbox housing to expose the innards) where mine is silent
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I have a solid background in mechanical engineering and have worked on gearboxes before. Once the engine cracked open I should be able to figure out how to replace the damaged parts.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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We’re very interested in what you find. Worth checking the change mechanism first, but the focus on one gear (fourth) tends to indicate something inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
last update on the situation.
I finally bought the detailed documentation on how to dissassemble the gearbox aaaand decided not to do it my self !
There was nothing very complicated but the whole process was very long and difficult without the dedicated tools, not mentioning the parts that must be replaced once disassembled.
I figured out that the time would be much better spent at home with my family than in a cold garage by myself.

I took my bike to the dealer that diagnosed the issue (at a cost of approximately 500€). Verdict : the 4th-5th fork is damaged, and worn off, as well as the corresponding area of the input shaft, and both must be replaced. total cost of the operation : around 1600€ (which is very expensive, but not as much as I expected).

They don't know how it happened, but suggest I may have rode the bike with the tip of the foot pressing on the lever, which I'm absolutely certain I didn't as I ride with the tip of the feet on the pegs.
I guess (and hope) one of the 2 previous owners may not have be as careful with the bike as I have been...

They however submitted an official request to BMW France for them to partially cover the repair costs but it's not likely to be accepted for the last checkup was not made by an official BMW dealer.

I'll keep you guys updated on how it ends up.
 

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I have developed a similar problem with 2nd gear on my 2015 R1200R. It is a base model and does not have ShiftAssistPro. I bought the bike used with 1600 miles on it a couple of years ago and now have 39,000 on the ODO. When accelerating away from a stop and shifting from 1st to 2nd it drops back down to neutral. When it first started a few weeks ago, I thought maybe I was shifting it too lightly and not getting it all the way into 2nd gear. I've made a conscious effort to good positive shifts, but the problem is getting worse. Last weekend I started from all stops in 2nd to avoid it dropping into neutral during a shift. But this can't be good for the clutch. I may have to park it until I can afford to get it fixed. Not sure I want to take on removing motor and opening up transmission by myself.
 
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