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2020 R1250R HP
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I inquired with my service tech about lubing the splines. He was super dismissive, insisted they were service free and there were zero problems now, all issues were on antique old bikes. I told him a friend's GS spun all the splines right off and it was a 2007ish. He advised that was an antique :cautious: while I'm not anxious to break it down, I'm starting to think it would be worth it. Grease is cheaper than anything BMW makes after all. And I am not afraid to ride in inclement weather.

Trouble is I don't want to do it in the cold, and when it warms up I can't ride it if it's in pieces:unsure: I bought a new bike so I could ride instead of wrench.
 

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I hear ya. Just keep in the back of your mind that my “antique” 2017 is about 40 months older than yours.... and both my splines were seized solid. With 6700 miles and I’m the original owner. If you get to yours now, it should be very straightforward.
Also I’m that rider that never goes out in bad weather. I did get caught in rain once, but my bike is kept cleaner than the showroom models.
 

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Hi
2016 R1200r lc 6000 miles I went to do a final drive service including lubricating the splines,Final drive will not pivot down i suspect rusty seized splines tried soaking the area in release fluid for several days no joy at a loose end now of what to do.
Ran into the same issue on my 2015 R1200GS and thought I'd share how I fixed it. Hope someone finds it helpful.
First, some backstory. I bought the bike in 2016 with 32,000 miles (20,000 km) from a private party with full dealer servicing records and a dealer inspection showed all services and recalls up to date. So far, so good.
Full dealer servicing until this year. With 49,000 miles (30,500 km) on the clock I decided to save some money by doing the regular services myself. Started reading the forums and see rusted splines are not uncommon. Watched a few videos, made sure I had the right tools and BMW lubes and got to work.
Unfortunately, rather than being preventative, the driveshaft and final drive splines had become one. This is where the fun started.
1. Removed the final drive
2. Hung the unit by the driveshaft and let it soak with penetrating oil (PB Blaster) for about an hour
3. Tried banging the u-joint/splne with a brass rod and mallet.
No luck. Time for the torch.
4. Cut the boot off for better access, put a wet rag beneath the u-joint and applied heat while turning the drive shaft
5. applied penetrating oil generously, hoping the heat would help pull it into the splines
6. tried the brass rod/mallet with no luck so grabbed screwdrivers and the mallet and began working them below the u-joint until a small gap opened
7. more heat and penetrating oil
8. switched to a ball joint separator/pickle fork (pic below)
After a bit more banging it finally released
Cleaned it all up with a wire brush and brake cleaner, applied the lube, did a test fit and put it all back together.
Unfortunately, I had to triage a makeshift boot from an inner tube, but I'll pull it all apart this weekend and replace it with a BMW boot.
At this point, I'm making this an annual task!
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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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I reckon if I found mine was seized, rather than use impact on the shaft (and hence potentially on the bearings) I’d just apply penetrant for as long as practicable, then a sticky hydrophobic grease to prevent further moisture ingress.

I’d only address the problem when and if either the shaft universal joints or final drive need replacing, in which case there’s little to lose banging around there.

If it ain’t (completely) broke, don’t fix it. The Cardan shaft is constant length so the splines aren’t sliding.
 
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Thinking more about PZs unfortunate failure of the cardan joint, I'm wondering if there may be a way to be forewarned of potential failure.

If the distance the rear wheel can be freely rotated from side to side by hand when the bike is in first gear - ie; from one end of free play to the other - and that distance is carefully measured, then my question to our learned colleagues is whether or not any increase in that amount of rotational free play may be a potential early warning of pending failure of the cardan joint at some time in the future.

My assumption is any change / increase in free play due to the cardan joint needle rollers wearing badly or being about to collapse would therefore generate an increase in the rotational free play of the wheel when compared to one in good condition.

I'm thinking of a stable vertical line placed somehow down from a suitable point on the frame and putting a pen mark on the outer edge of the tyre at one 'end' of the rotational free play limit against that vertical line as it crosses the tyre and another at the other end of the free play limit as the wheel is rotated to the other 'end' of the free play.

Carefully measure the distance between both marks on the tyre and check again at maybe every oil change perhaps to see if any change...

Thoughts?
 

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I reckon if I found mine was seized, rather than use impact on the shaft (and hence potentially on the bearings) I’d just apply penetrant for as long as practicable, then a sticky hydrophobic grease to prevent further moisture ingress.

I’d only address the problem when and if either the shaft universal joints or final drive need replacing, in which case there’s little to lose banging around there.

If it ain’t (completely) broke, don’t fix it. The Cardan shaft is constant length so the splines aren’t sliding.
Putting it back together was my first thought too, but when I initially pivoted the final drive down the top of the driveshaft released and even people with much more skill and experience than I have couldn't align the u-joint while the bottom of the shaft was stuck to the final drive. Thus, the decision to remove the final drive completely.

Also, before the brass rod, mallet, screwdrivers, torch, etc were applied a call was placed to our super friendly and helpful dealer's A-Level technician who told us the approach we were thinking about was the same one he's had to use multiple times in the same situation.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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any increase in that amount of rotational free play may be a potential early warning of pending failure of the cardan joint at some time in the future
I think you’re right Herdygerdy. And if you find an increase in free play, check the joints straight away. I’m sure my rear joint was running loose for some time before things got catastrophic. From a riding perspective, the increase in play sneaks up on you until failure, unless you swap between Roadsters and notice the difference.
Rather than measure though, I think you should be able to hear any looseness at the joint as you gently rock the wheel back and forth in neutral while on the centre stand.
 
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