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Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
2015 R1200R Exclusive
7,248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
At the ~100k service I discovered a bit of play in the front wheel bearings, so ordered a set of All Balls bearings and seals, then checked out a YouTube video to see if there were any specifics about the bike I needed to know.

The only extra tools I needed were a 25mm bearing puller and a heat gun that I previously didn’t have a strong need for, so good excuse to buy.

There’s nothing remarkable about the Roadster hub, so any YouTube video will illustrate the process. A few points I noted when doing mine:
  • The particular YouTuber used a large screwdriver to spread the bearing puller. I found that a small cold chisel gave a better result, allowing me to drive the blade in with more vigour and hence get better grip on the bearing. The second bearing is easy, being able to access through the wheel using a simple drift.
  • By his own admission (and blanked out swear words) he forgot to put the aluminium spacer in before fitting the second bearing. This is an easy mistake to make after faffing about for ages getting the first bearing out and finally getting a new bearing fitted. Being on a roll by then, I almost made the same mistake, despite reminding myself a hundred times not to. My suggestion is to hold the spacer in your hand while using the heat gun so you can’t forget (don’t put it back in the wheel while your applying heat as it will heat easily and expand more than the wheel).
  • I didn’t have a drift of the exact diameter required to tap in the new bearing so used one of the old bearings. I first ran it over the angle grinder to reduce its diameter to make it easily removable, and also relieved the inner face to be sure I wasn’t applying force to the new bearing’s inner race.
  • The seals fit pretty easily - I’d recommend placing something flat over them and pressing/tapping them in rather than using a circular drift.
  • There’s nothing special/magic about the BMW bearings and seals. In fact my bearings were made in Korea, of all places. If you didn’t want to buy a kit, such as All Balls, a bearing supplier would have them. The spec number is on the bearing in the photo as are the dimensions of the double lip seals.
  • EDIT. A further point, the surface of the axle was a little abraded/pitted where the outer lip of the LH seal runs - likely due to dust ingress as the seal wore. I dressed this surface, and that of the RH bushing, by turning it against some 1200 emery paper in my hand.
  • EDIT 2. A further point of finesse, when the second bearing is almost seated, check after each tap and stop once the inner race is up against the spacer tube. Otherwise, if the wheel has been machined too deeply, the bearings will be forced against the outer races for its (potentially shorter) life.

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Premium Member
659 Posts
I don't know that I'll ever get up to 60K miles, but it is so nice to know that an extremely competent do it yourselfer has been there before me and written up the details! Thanks!
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862 Posts
Thanks for posting this. I have done (did) bearings on my '94 RS, the only critical thing is get them seated squarely, but certainly a DIY service anyone can do...with good advice.

I always like that company name. ALL BALLS.

Sort of like "Total Bollocks" or "Yarbles Only".
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