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This 18,000 mile old BMW S1000RR is owned by a regular customer of ours who we’ve dealt with for years. It’s just come out of its warranty period (typically) and lunched its gearbox. His local BMW dealer wasn’t really interested in helping out so he came to us.

So we pulled the engine to bits – and you’ve never seen such a mess in all your life. Now (we reckon) BMW developed the S1000RR chassis using a Suzuki GSX-R1000K5 as a reference, but to keep the engine short they used a Yamaha type stacked gearbox. The clutch bearing goes into a housing in the crankcases – and it had spun in the crankcases, as had the other bearings and destroyed the gearbox.

We had to replace three damaged gears as well as a collapsed output shaft bearing. Now if this bike had been owned by somebody with no mechanical sympathy you’d say the chain had been drastically overtightened, stressing the gearbox. But that’s not the case here and whether a faulty bearing or other manufacturing issue is to blame we’re not sure (though we’re a little suspicious of the quick shifter, which isn’t very good on the earlier models…), but four bearings, three gears and a selector shaft later it’s fixed. Ouch!

The gearbox was toast... not good really, BMW!

The gearbox was toast… not good really, BMW!