If you’re been reading overseas mags and websites you may have picked up on an issue that has been advised on BMW ‘R’ Series and ‘K’ Series bikes produced between late 2003 and mid 2011. It involves an aluminium rear wheel flange that may crack, potentially allowing the wheel bolts to loosen and, in extremis, the wheel to fall off.
The issue is the subject of what BMW term a ‘Technical Action’, requiring replacement. And, yes, it does affect owners in New Zealand. The good news is, there’s very little likelihood of a real problem happening and BMW New Zealand will be fixing it free of charge.
Here’s a statement from the importers clarifying the situation:
“There is a Technical Action in place for the Rear Wheel flange on a number of BMW R and K series Motorcycles. The technical action involves motorcycles fitted with an aluminium mounting flange on the rear wheel.
There is a very small possibility that cracks in the wheel flange can occur as a consequence of over-tightening of threaded fasteners with the incorrect torque settings used. In the course of a long service life the cracks can develop and, under worst-case conditions, lead to fracture of the bolted join.
In order to help ensure that vehicles remains in perfect condition, the wheel flange will have to be replaced.
We will be sending a letter to all customers advising of the situation in due course.
There has been only one instance of a major fracture and, with over 450,000 vehicles on the road and the huge numbers of kilometres travelled, this is only a very small possibility of any issues for riders, but we will be replacing the flanges for safety
The is no immediate need for concern, needless to say, this measure will be performed free of charge for customers.”
It would seem there’s only likely to be a problem if your bike has been subjected to ham-fisted maintenance and has spent its life touring the Road of Bones. BMW NZ are working with the factory to get new parts to dealers and you should receive a notice from them in due course. In the meantime, by all means check the flange for cracking but there should be no cause for immediate concern. If you have a K Series or R series bike that was made between 2003 and 2011 and have not been contacted by late May, it would be worth checking with your local BMW dealer.