It hasn’t been a good summer for BMW when it comes to motorcycle recalls. Already, we’ve reported on recalls for the R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure, C650GT and C Evolution scooters, as well as a recall on the police-spec R1200RT-P Authority. We can now add the R NineT to the list of recalled BMW motorcycles, to repair a problem with loose bolts on the swingarm pivot pin. The recall affects 3,368 units in the U.S.. As of this writing, only the R NineT is affected by this recall; the Scrambler, Racer, Urban G/S and Pure variants are not listed in the recall documentation.
According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Association, the bolts connecting the right-side swingarm pivot pin to the frame may loosen. BMW attributes the problem to a production process error by supplier Walter Automobiltecnik, where the chamfer cutting process in the frame was not performed to specification. As a result, the specified torque for the bolts may not provide sufficient clamping force.
A loose right-side swingarm pivot pin may affect the handling and stability of the R NineT, increasing the risk of a crash. Bikes with this issue may produce an unusual noise or rattling sound.
The problem was first reported in April 2016 with an R NineT in Turkey. BMW began field monitoring after this initial report. From May to November 2016, BMW received three more complaints regarding handling issues and a loose pivot pin. BMW received two more complaints from April to June 2017, one of which alleged lose of control to a loose wheel. These reports led BMW to conduct an inspection of pivot pin bolt torque on BMW’s internal stock. The review discovered varying degrees of loose bolts.
An analysis of engineering drawings, specifications and CAD drawings indicated the pivot pins may not be properly positioned due to a chamfer that was not cut to specification.
BMW dealers will remove the pivot pin bolts on recalled models, clean them and then re-install them with the correct torque and and adhesive.