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#723757 - 09/03/11 07:21 AM Wheel almost fell off!!
Moosedog Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 29
Loc: Upstate New York
A couple of days ago I suddenly started to experience some wobble that seemed to be coming from the front end. I was close to home and as it got worse I was able to get it to the house and on the center stand. It wasn't the front afterall, but the rear wheel lug nuts were almost completely backed out!! Two lugs literally fell into my hand and the other two were barely threaded in. The brake caliper was basically holding it on. I removed the wheel and caliper and after a very close inspection the only damage is some rubbing on the caliper where it sits over the rotor. No scoring on the rotor. I reinstalled everything and all seems well.

I drive this bike daily and felt no signs of the wheel coming loose until the wobble started. I was shocked that it got so bad so quickly. I removed the back wheel about 6K miles ago to install a new tire and tightened everything properly. Bike was in for service in mid July and they may have removed rear wheel, but not sure.

Looking for answers as to why they were all loose at the same time. Even if lugs weren't torqued properly seems like I would have felt something different before it got so bad. I do check both wheels periodically and had done so last weekend before a two up 750 mile trip to Lake Placid. I was in a meeting for several hours earlier that day so a possible but not probable explanation is that someone loosened them - but again, highly unlikely.

Big bullet dodged and grateful, but want to know why.
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Moosedog
02 R1150RT (Silver Bird)
01 VStar 1100 Classic (sold)
02 K1200RS (sold)
00 Concourse (sold)
99 Bandit 12S (sold)

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#723767 - 09/03/11 08:36 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Rich06FJR1300 Online
Member

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 921
Loc: New Jersey
wow, never heard of this one...boy that makes me feel uneasy though that someone would do something like that. You never know though.
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2006 Yamaha FJR1300 2002 Silver R1150rt IBA SS1000 (minuteman rally) Former Club Secretary Skylands NJ BMW Riders

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#723768 - 09/03/11 08:41 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
David13 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1896
Loc: Los Angeles, CA USA (Lomita)
The problem with motorcycles is vibration. And it vibrates nuts, bolts, screws, etc. loose regularly.
The only defense is regularly check all fasteners. Many people do not know (dealers) that is part of regular maintenance.
dc

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#723769 - 09/03/11 08:46 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Boffin Offline

Administrator
Member

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 8531
Loc: Leicestershire, UK
This is not the first occurrence of a loose rear wheel I have heard of on these bikes. Under or over-torquing can cause the problem. On over-torque the bolts can be stretched beyond their yield point and cause a reduction of clamping force.

As BMW specify the torque for clean dry threads and most people seem to like using anti-seize on the bolts, over-torquing is not unheard of.

The other thing is that the standard torque is a high-value. Some people cannot bring themselves to put that much pressure on the wrench and under-torquing results.

Andy
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Andy Long

2004 R1150RT : traded for:
2002 R850R SE
1986 K100RT
2013 Kawasaki W800

"No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself." Alfred Lord Tennyson

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#723777 - 09/03/11 10:22 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Peter Parts Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 1824
Loc: Toronto and Delray Beach, FL
My 2-cents:

1. ... and the good news is that you finally did notice it before a spill. So, maybe not as awful a thing to happen as sounds at first.

2. Terrible slur to say a properly under-load tuned BMW vibrates nuts off. 45 years experience says: not really. (People who think I only criticize BMW please take note.)

3. As Boffin discusses, I find it very wise to use anti-seize esp. for wheel bolts. But, as he points out, torque has to be adjusted lower. But since BMW's torque spec is CYA astronomic, I just use like 50-60 foot-lbs. For these (and most bolts), I always use a torque wrench. Torsion bar wrenches are cheap and every bit as accurate as high-tech illusion clickers.

The front wheel is, wisely enough, more fail-safe.

Ben


Edited by Peter Parts (09/03/11 10:25 AM)
_________________________
R1100S, 1999 (don't know much about other models)
Riding 52 years but only last 47 on BMW boxers
Bike writings: http://www.tinyurl.com/6bvt23
(includes a 6400 mile trip, 20 days, with wife to LA)

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#723785 - 09/03/11 11:26 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Danny caddyshack Noonan Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 2107
Loc: El Dorado Hills, CA
I had that happen not too long after getting mine and doing a tire change. Bad torque on me. Noticed it before it got that bad though.

Replace all four screws and their Nylatron cham-washers. Carefully, thread the new ones in, without the wheel, to verify no damage to the internal threads on the FD before putting the wheel back on.

Be very careful on use of anti-seize where the mfg did not originally apply it. The actual stress on threads can quickly become astronomic with the same torque when they are suddenly lubricated. The friction factor is a very important part of the load calculation on threaded joints. If there is experience base at a certain torque, that's better than pulling one out of the sky.
_________________________
Peter

God bless America!
Rule of rocketry #1: Pointy end up...stupid.
Danny, be the ball.
'12 R1200RT Midnight Blue.
99 R1100RT, KLR650 sold
TR6 (sold, wife can now park in the garage)

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#723800 - 09/03/11 12:34 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Danny caddyshack Noonan]
philbytx Online
Member

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 6891
Loc: Kerrville, TX
+1
This from the BMW CD-ROM :

36 20 Installing rear wheel
Attention:
The contact faces on the spacer (3), the rear wheel
drive and the wheel hub must be free from grease
and clean.
Do not scrape the wheel – mask it off if necessary.
• Place the rear wheel in position with spacer (3).
Attention:
Only use wheel studs with length code 55. Do not oil
or grease wheel studs
!
• Hand-tighten wheel studs (1) with taper rings (2).
• Tighten the wheel studs (1) in diagonally opposite
sequence.

Note that ALL Anti-Seize has lubrication qualities.
I just wire brush the threads of the bolt and re-use. Hand tighten then go 55Nm then 105Nm diagonally. Remember, in the case of the wheel studs and drive, we are NOT talking about dissimilar metals here (e.g. steel into aluminum).





Edited by philbytx (09/03/11 12:35 PM)
_________________________
Phil C.
2003 R1150RT "DaRTh"
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Diesel "Smiffy"
2011 Kia Optima EX "Meosjin Chalo"

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#723801 - 09/03/11 12:37 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
CoarsegoldKid Offline
Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 3103
Loc: Coarsegold, Ca, USA
Your bike is the second oilhead that I have heard of that this happening. The first was on a Southern California freeway after leaving a dealer that just did some maintenance or tire change on the rearend. Only his did fall off. Serious damage to bike and rider was the result. I have to believe that the tech screwed the fasteners in all the way, but didn't finish the job properly. A slight backoff of the nut or lug is all it would take for it to completely fall out. If you suspect someone is seriously upset with you check torque and check torque again frequently for a long time until you resolve the issue with the offender. Maybe someone tried to steel the wheel and was spooked off. I once had several exhaust port clamp nuts removed from the headers of my Kaw Z1 in an apartment parking complex. That's as far as they got.



Edited by CoarsegoldKid (09/03/11 12:38 PM)
_________________________
Joe
NorCal Meets SoCal in the Middle 2015 is April 24-26.

'05 R1200RT 107K miles, takes me down the highway.
'13 KTM 690 Enduro R takes me through the woods.

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#723802 - 09/03/11 12:40 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Mr. Frank Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 507
I always clean the lug threads and the spacer disc.Everything is clean and dry before I torque it down. Then I put a drop of nail polish on the top of each bolt so a visual inspection would reveal any movement. I have a little BMW roundel plug that goes in the center of the wheel. I orient the wheel with the plug right side up. Then I put the dot of nail polish on the top of each bolt.
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Mr. Frank Hattiesburg, Mississippi 2004 R1150RT

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#723819 - 09/03/11 02:21 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
azccj Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 218
Does anyone have a large life insurance policy on you? How about an ex-wife with an axe to grind or her new boyfriend? Have you pissed off anyone at work lately? Who has the most to gain if you were no longer around? Assuming that you properly checked the lug nuts last weekend I would say the logical answer is that someone loosened them up, either in the process of stealing the wheel or with the intent to harm you. And of those two motives I would think the second one most likely. One wheel bolt falls out, maybe, two bolts come on, three bolts no way, and four bolts it really seems obvious. I've seen a lot of strange things in my life but never have I seen all four lug bolts magically spin themselves loose.

Friends come and go but enemies always accumulate. I'm just saying.


Edited by azccj (09/03/11 02:22 PM)
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Current bikes

2005 K1200LT
2004 R1150RT
2007 Moto Guzzi Norge
2013 Suzuki Burgman 650, Ya it's a scooter but it will do over 100 MPH
1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

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#723829 - 09/03/11 03:38 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
schneeman Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Germany
wow, good nothing happened to you !
makes me want to go check my wheels smile
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'96 R1100RT
'00 K1200RS 'Orca'
Previous:
'94 R1100R
'87 Honda Transalp

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#723832 - 09/03/11 04:11 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
oldyam Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/10
Posts: 378
Loc: Ireland
Whatever the reason for the wheel bolts coming loose, I would remove and carefully inspect them ALL.

If as you say two of the bolts were out, and two were loose, then the loading applied to those bolts would have been much larger than they were desinged for.
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Nigel
EI4EOB
2000 R1100RT in Black, R100RT, Ireland

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#723844 - 09/03/11 05:10 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Alfred02 Online
Member

Registered: 05/12/11
Posts: 857
Loc: NSW Mid North Coast Australia
There is no way in hell that all four bolts would come loose even if tighten to best guess, like you do on a car.
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BMW 2014 R1200RT-SE/LC
BMW 2005 R1200RT-SE (Traded in 03-2014)
BMW 2004 R1150RT (Traded in 02-2012)

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#723847 - 09/03/11 05:17 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Shaman97 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: El Dorado Hills, California.
Same thing happened to me a few years ago.

In April, changed the clutch with the help of a few others. When putting the bike back together, I neglected to torque the rear bolts (as I would recollect later)

June - travel from Sacramento to Boise. After high speed transit om I80 through Nevada, then into Oregon. On the Idaho border at a small town, felt a wobble. A pedestrian said my rear wheel was wobbling. Found I could remove the lug bolts with my fingers. Luckily, someone with an air compressor and a pneumatic wrench drove past, and stopped to help. Three minutes later, and five bucks for ice crem for his son later, I was on my way. No further problems.

My guess is your most recent service was not properly completed.
_________________________
1997 R1100RTL

"Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard"

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#723903 - 09/03/11 07:06 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Shaman97]
ESokoloff Offline
MR. Sweet Pea
Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 5583
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Shaman97
.... Three minutes later, and five bucks for ice crem for his son later, I was on my way. No further problems.

...


One happy kid & an elated you!!!
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Eric

============

GM267

PM31613

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#723921 - 09/03/11 07:59 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Shaman97 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: El Dorado Hills, California.
The dad didn't want to take any $$ for his labors. When I mentioned ice cream for his five year old son, everyone went away happy.
_________________________
1997 R1100RTL

"Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard"

Want to be a British Secret Agent?

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#723926 - 09/03/11 08:28 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
David13 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1896
Loc: Los Angeles, CA USA (Lomita)
I refuse to believe anyone tried to sabotage this bike, or steal from it.
I have seen, and more recently experienced bolts coming loose from BMW motorcycles.
And the stories are legion of certain brand name motorcycles dropping parts.
I don't know if it is solely because of wrong torque, or just the vibration.
I think if someone has a problem with you, they would slash your tires, knock your bike over, or stick a nail in the tire.
Not hunt around and obtain a star pattern socket and loosen your wheels.
dc

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#724025 - 09/04/11 10:48 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
4wheeldog Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 2703
Loc: moved to Tijeras NM
I have seen this personally once......On a friend's R1100R. (It has only 3 lugs, by design).

I have never found mine to loosen at all......But I check 'em, anytime I work on the bike. After the R1100R incident, I asked a friend of mine that works at a large CA BMW shop......He told me that they routinely check the lugs on any bike that shows up for maintenance........Every once in a while, they find loose lugs......Even when the bike has not (Apparently) been serviced by anyone else.

So, I trust.......But verify!

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#724054 - 09/04/11 12:21 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: 4wheeldog]
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 8285
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
I have seen this personally once......On a friend's R1100R. (It has only 3 lugs, by design).----



Afternoon 4wheeldog

Sounds like he was already missing one wheel bolt. I haven’t ever seen a BMW R1100R with only 3 wheel bolts (only 3 spokes but 4 attachment bolts). I have owned a couple & worked on quite a few & all I have seen have 4 wheel bolts.

I bet I have 4 or 5 R1100R rear wheel spacers hanging on my shop wall & they all have 4 bolt holes.
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#724072 - 09/04/11 01:02 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Jerry Johnston Offline
Beemer Afficionado
Member

Registered: 07/19/00
Posts: 5415
Loc: Spokane, WA , USA
I had this happen to me about 5 yr ago while on the freeway in Montana. I had put a new set of tires on the bike before leaving and tightened the bolts with a star wrench just like I used to do with my cars. Though I had a flat tire but found two bolts out another almost completely out and the remaining bolt was out by at least 1/4". I put them back in, tightened them as tight as I could and used the torque wrench when I returned home. This happened on my second day out. You would think they would have come loose the 1st day. Since I've used a torque wrench I've never had the problem happen since.

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#724074 - 09/04/11 01:15 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: dirtrider]
philbytx Online
Member

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 6891
Loc: Kerrville, TX
+1

My R1100R "LeRoy" has 4 holes and 3 spokes wink .
Bolts cleaned with a wire brush and torqued in two stages...50Nm then 105Nm thumbsup
_________________________
Phil C.
2003 R1150RT "DaRTh"
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Diesel "Smiffy"
2011 Kia Optima EX "Meosjin Chalo"

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#724125 - 09/04/11 03:44 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: dirtrider]
4wheeldog Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 2703
Loc: moved to Tijeras NM
Well, not the first time my memory has let me down......It is the second thing to go.

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#724265 - 09/05/11 07:38 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Linz Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 686
Loc: Bulli, NSW Australia
To the OP. This happened to me almost exactly the same way. I was coming down a mountain pass at the time and could not stop. By the time I could pull over, almost all bolts were in by a thread or two. No one could have got to my bike as it's under locked conditions.

I replaced the bolts and tapered washers and torqued to 105Nm. I added a drop of red nail varnish to the top of each bolt so that I could do a visual at fuel stops. No problems since.

My issues happened direct from the dealer when I'd had the bike about a year. There was no warning prior to the dangerous wobble beginning. I suspect that the person who'd fitted the wheel, did not toque correctly.

Linz smile
_________________________
2002 BMW R1150RT
2006 Triumph Daytona 955i

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#724479 - 09/05/11 11:16 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
bodge Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 33
Loc: Australia
I once helped some mates, put together a car and we all thought the other person did up the wheel nuts. Guess what. None of us did. Wheel stayed on for 500 miles, finally came off. The disc hitting the road threw sparks into a dry paddock, and yep you guessed it, started a small fire. True story. No one will admit not doing up the nuts. But I agree as a mechanic, they never come loose on their own, bike or car.
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Regards
Bodge

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#724509 - 09/06/11 06:27 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
AndyS Offline
Member

Registered: 11/03/02
Posts: 3857
Loc: Somerset, Great Britain.
If threads are lubed, or dirty they can come loose.
Why people deliberately go against the advice/direction of a specific instruction is beyond me.
Clean dry threads, clean flange and spacer, correctly located - with correct bolts and correct torque surely is the only way to go.

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#724782 - 09/06/11 08:01 PM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
effexer1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 446
Loc: New Brunswick Canada
There are some important nuts and bolts that get removed occasionally for service. These include wheel nuts and bolts and brake caliper bolts.

After each reinstallation, I take a q-tip and put a drop of white paint on the edge of each nut or bolt, and a matching drop on a fixed part. That way, I can do a circle check of the bike in less than one minute, and be aware if any of those nuts or bolts has moved. Simple, quick and SURE!!!


Edited by effexer1 (09/06/11 08:02 PM)
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Steve

04 R1150RT (Red)
93 Harley FXR (sold)
73 Honda ST90

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#726066 - 09/11/11 08:09 AM Re: Wheel almost fell off!! [Re: Moosedog]
Moosedog Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 29
Loc: Upstate New York
I don't think anyone tampered with the bike. Looks like a torque issue. So far nothing has loosened up but now I'm focusing too much energy on the back end while riding. Guess that comes with the territory. Definately a disaster diverted and just glad it happened in town at low speed and not on the freeway or a mountain pass. It is amazing how long it took for them to loosen (over a month and 3000 miles)and then at how quickly the bolts backed out once I noticed the wobble.

After 40 years of riding and too many miles to count, another first for me.................

Ride safe and check your lug nuts!!!
_________________________
Moosedog
02 R1150RT (Silver Bird)
01 VStar 1100 Classic (sold)
02 K1200RS (sold)
00 Concourse (sold)
99 Bandit 12S (sold)

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