BMW Motorrad USA is recalling 2013 BMW R1200GS motorcycles manufactured from November 2012 through August 2013. According to the notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Pressure inside the transmission may cause the transmission output seal to be pushed out of place… If the output seal ring is pushed out of its proper position, oil may leak from the transmission onto the rear tire, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Sam Campbell, BMW of North America Safety Engineering and Intelligent Transportation Systems Department Head explains, “As a result of gear changing or load reversals, pressure peaks within the gearbox can occur. Due to production variance such as surface finish of the housing and the position of the sealing ring, the ring could be pushed out from its seated position. If this were to happen, oil could leak from the gearbox and onto the rear tire, which could increase the risk of a crash.”
BMW Motorrad had attempted to fix this problem before through a voluntary worldwide recall on January 23, 2013 (before any affected motorcycles were delivered to US customers). An oil restrictor which reduces oil pressure at the gearbox output was installed — the restrictor was installed on all 2013 R1200GS motorcycles delivered to US customers. BMW began receiving reports of leaking gearboxes outside the US starting in September 2013 including an accident in Italy in March 2014. BMW determined the restrictor was not sufficient and a bracket will also be installed to keep the seal from pushing out of place.
BMW will notify owners starting in June 2014 and dealers will fit a bracket to prevent the transmission seal from being pushed out of position, free of charge. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417 or the NHTSA Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number is 14V211000.