Front wheel bearing life? - Page 6 - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #51 of 61 Old 01-24-2019, 07:12 PM
Senior Member
StephenV's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Minot, North Dakota
Posts: 1,679
Originally Posted by alstrickland55 View Post
If anyone wants a set of bearings, send me a PM. I thought I was ordering 2 bearing but I actually bought 2 lots of ten. I will sell a set (2 bearings) for $20.

U/I can be a real btch. Had an LPO on my first ship order 10 boxes of Kimwipes. He didn't realize that each box contained 100 cartons and each carton contained 1000 Kimwipes.

We had engineers coming up to the shop to look for rags for wiping down their equipment.
Gunnert likes this.

-Stephen! (The rider formerly known as smv)
There is NO need to tailgate me when I am doing 50 in a 35 zone... and those flashing lights on top of your car look ridiculous.
StephenV is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #52 of 61 Old 01-24-2019, 08:57 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 549
Originally Posted by rush21122 View Post
I nearly had a catastrophic failure on a highway 81 during a rain storm. ~50k on the bike when it happened. Since then I have vowed to change it every 12k out of an over abundance of caution. If I remember correctly was ~175 dollars to get replaced. I'll sleep better w/o the 175 dollars and with a new bearing. Different strokes I guess
25 dollars worth of bearings beats a thousand dollar headache.

I would be swapping them every 20k miles if not slightly less. They should be inspected often. If you live in or ride frequently in dirty, gritty environments bearing replacements should be often.

I had a similar experience with rear bearing failure on previous bike at 15k miles.
K16guy is offline  
post #53 of 61 Old 01-24-2019, 09:00 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 549
Originally Posted by StephenV View Post
Around 85k miles I started hearing a weird grinding sound coming from the front of the bike. It was very random and usually only a couple little bursts then silent... The first couple times I hear it was while riding through a gravel parking lot so I thought perhaps a rock was caught in the tread and scraping the inside of the front fender. With the fonr wheel in the air and while spinning the front tire, everything was smooth and silent. Since I was about 800 miles from home at the time, I just kept going.

When I got home I lifted the front wheel again and it was still spinning smooth and silent.

Then I removed the wheel.

This fell out.

My rear bearing failure was bad enough it had chewed through the retention ring and some if not most of the bearings.
K16guy is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #54 of 61 Old 01-24-2019, 09:01 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 549
Invest in a bearing puller and seating kit, it pays for itself and isn't that difficult although I've not tried it on this bike (yet).

Keep some bearing replacements on hand too!
K16guy is offline  
post #55 of 61 Old 01-24-2019, 10:05 PM
Senior Member
Meese's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: West Linn, OR
Posts: 5,915
I've had Beemers that have gone well over 100K miles with the original front wheel bearings. And I know of some that have failed far earlier than that.

Thus I check the front bearings at every tire change to ensure they're clean and roll smoothly.

Yes, these are a "wear item" but a properly deigned and properly installed sealed bearing should easily last for 100,000 miles or more, even in a harsh motorcycling environment.

I had three full wheel sets (front & rear & tires mounted) for the last IBR. Two of the front rims had ~20K miles, and one had well over 100K miles. All three front rims had brand-new bearings and seals installed by me prior to the Rally, using a special seating tool made in my friend's shop that set the bearings square and concentrated the force on the outer races only.

None of the old bearings felt bad on the bikes, but some of them were just starting to show some stiction when turned by hand. In that case it was worth it, as a bearing failure there could have thrown away the entire 11-day ride.

But changing bearings as often as tires is just kinda silly. And if they're not put in correctly and carefully, then you're likely hastening their failure...

Ken IBA# 366
'13 K16GTL & '09 K13GT-LD
Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full.
All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
Meese is online now  
post #56 of 61 Old 01-25-2019, 06:06 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 2,327
My K1600GTL front failed at around 35,000 miles. I started to feel some front end vibration only on turns. I would stop and check for vibrations or something out of place. Nothing... I initially thought I had picked up some trash because it was smooth when the wheel was straight and not under a load.
Qbird66 likes this.

2012 Grey K1600GTL
Tampa, Florida
DanDiver is online now  
post #57 of 61 Old 05-23-2019, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 34
My front wheel bearings today with 31k miles on them.

2015 R1200RT, Pirelli Angel GT II (A), Motul 5100 10W40, Mahle OC 306, V-Stream Z2463
Ed Harley is offline  
post #58 of 61 Old 09-30-2019, 10:56 AM
Junior Member
Chunky's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
This is a discussion that I read with great interest, now I am very analytical and I looked at the photos and the videos on YouTube. I am looking for a common denominator or similarity that may have a trend.

What I saw was that the lock ring on most of the photos or videos had rust on it and that some most of the bearings had rust. Now I am not sure if I am on the right track, but do you clean your bike with a pressure washer like a Karcher or Wap? Because this may explain to me how the water got in there for the rust to form.

Myself do not wash with a pressure washer and after a service at the dealers I specifically ask them not to wash my bike, I will do it myself. To date I have never had problems with bearings on any make of all the bikes I had so far.

My 2008 BMW R1200 GS Adventure's universal had rust on it and in my mind it got the water in from the wash after services with a pressure washer....
Chunky is offline  
post #59 of 61 Old 09-30-2019, 11:07 AM
Senior Member
RedCard's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: San Jose, People's Republic of CA
Posts: 1,458
I would consider the front wheel bearing to be a maintenance item that should be replaced around the 24,000 mile mark during a tire change and other maintenance.

Of the posts I've read over the years, the wheel bearings are pretty reliable to that point and probably further. But I think it's a safe bet they will have to be replaced at some point after that. So I would rather be ahead of that one and just replace them. That's my plan when I get to that mileage.
Gunnert, Qbird66 and Chunky like this.

2018 K1600 GT - Option 719 Blue Planet w/forged wheels

2014 K1600 GTL - Magnesium Beige (past)
RedCard is online now  
post #60 of 61 Old 09-30-2019, 11:42 AM
Senior Member
Qbird66's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 387
No pressure washer here, and I've had to replace bearings at ~25k and ~50k miles on my K1600. I just replaced front bearings on my XR at 24k.

The first set on the K1600 went from fine to nearly completely frozen in a couple hundred miles - destroyed the left side of the front tire and the right caliper brake pads. I was out on a day ride and started getting chatter in left hand corners, which got progressively worse as I limped the bike home. I change my own tires, checking the wheel bearings each time, so they were checked less than 2k miles before failure.

The others haven't been nearly as bad, as I caught them quicker, but one characteristic has been heavier brake pad wear on the side that wasn't starting to go, along with vibration / chatter / harder to hold a line in a long corner on the side that is starting to go.

Like @RedCard , I plan to change them every 24k from here on out. BTW, I've never had a wheel bearing issue on a non-BMW bike...
Gunnert and Chunky like this.

'13 K1600GTL
'16 S1000XR
Qbird66 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome