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ADV NewsBMW Issues Service Action On 440,000 Bikes Including R1200/1250GS

BMW Issues Service Action On 440,000 Bikes Including R1200/1250GS

Owners of 2013-2021 boxer GS models to be offered preventive driveshaft fix.

Published on 07.27.2022

If you own a 2013 to 2021 model year BMW R1200GS, R1250GS or GSA variant you’ll want to know about the service campaign BMW will be implementing via its worldwide dealer network. 

This is not a safety recall, but rather a preventative upgrade that will be performed free of charge the next time your bike is in for service, so no need to rush to your dealer. It involves the cardan driveshaft that is housed inside BMW’s Paralever single-sided swingarm unit. According to Germany’s Motorrad, BMW says the work is being done “in order to improve long-term quality” of the unit, and is not an indication of imminent malfunction. 

BMW Issues Service Action on R1200GS R1250GS models

It turns out that since the liquid-cooled GS was introduced in 2013 with refinements from beak to mudguard, including a major redesign of the Paralever, there have been a mounting number of instances where condensation within the hollow swingarm unit has caused corrosion to accumulate on the drive shaft and/o rear u-joint, creating issues that can include loss of power to the rear wheel. 


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Water doesn’t easily enter the closed Paralever unit, but prolonged exposure to inclement weather, lots of water crossings, or even the unorthodox use of a power washer can evidently invite enough moisture to cause a problem. The fix is installing a one-way, beak-style vent valve to the low side of the Paralever, toward the rear where the universal joint is located. Swingarm movement will work as a pump to help expel any moisture that has entered the housing. 

This service campaign will also apply to 2014 and later 1200RT and 1250RT sport touring models, though the adventure models would be more likely to take on water due to a greater likelihood of exposure to mud and water crossings. BMW has also noted that damage to the cardan shaft can also be caused by high mileage and/or aggressive riding, again something the adventure models are more likely to encounter due to steeper operating angles of GS u-joints. 

BMW Issues Service Action on R1200GS R1250GS models

BMW has been aware that condensation within the swingarm can cause invasive corrosion long enough to have started adding not just one, but two vent valves to Paralever assemblies built beginning in October 2021. 

While the addition of the one-way rubber vent should prevent moisture build up in the future, an even more important aspect of this free service will be the stress test that’s performed to evaluate the condition of each drive unit. BMW has devised and will be supplying dealers with a special device that negates the need to open each casing, a wise move considering up to 440,000 registered boxer-powered motorcycles from the specified time frame are eligible for the inspection and modification.

During the service, said to take around 45 minutes, the stress test will reveal whether a bike’s drive system is performing within a set range of force and vibration standards. If it passes muster, the vent valve is retrofitted and off you go. If the mechanism registers signs of stress, there will be a more in-depth investigation and repairs or replacement of parts, as necessary. 

BMW Issues Service Action on R1200GS R1250GS models

Since this service is not a recall, but rather a voluntary action on BMW’s part, this post might be as much of an announcement as you’ll see regarding the issue and the German maker’s intention to address it. Authorized dealers have been informed of course, and the process of supplying them with the necessary diagnostic tools, parts and valve templates is underway. Had you not read about it, your dealer might simply ask when you make your next service appointment if you would like to have the free additional procedure performed. 

You should answer in the affirmative of course, since the action could not only address a potential problem, but will also help increase the lifespan of your drivetrain. And if you’ve spent a lot of time playing in the mud or water with your GS or GSA you might even want to be proactive and contact your dealer to ask about Service Action number 0033130000. You can also check your bike’s VIN number on BMW’s website to see if it is part of this Service Campaign.

Again, this isn’t a safety recall or even an indication that future damage is inevitable, so no need to panic. It’s just BMW taking accumulated data that points to a design flaw and doing its best to make it right. 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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