On January 18, 2023, BMW of North America announced a safety recall for all 2019 through 2023 R 1250 GS, R 1250 GS Adventure, and R 1250 RTP motorcycles due to the potential risk of a broken gearbox input shaft. In certain conditions, the gearbox input shaft could become overloaded, causing it to break. This could, in turn, block the rear wheel, which could increase the risk of a crash.
According to BMW, approximately 18,489 motorcycles are involved in this recall, which represents 100 percent of the population. This includes 6,812 R 1250 GS bikes produced between September 19, 2018 and December 14, 2022, as well as 9,401 R 1250 GS Adventure bikes produced between October 10, 2018 and December 14, 2022, and an additional 2,276 R 1250 RTP bikes produced between July 19, 2018 and December 2, 2022.
BMW’s chronology of this recall begins in October, 2020, which was the first time that a GS owner had complained of a broken gearbox input shaft that blocked the rear wheel. Two additional similar incidents occurred not long afterward. Although BMW began investigation after the first report, it was unable to identify a cause at that time.
By 2022, additional similar instances were reported—including two that involved crashes (one with an injury, one without). BMW intensified its analysis of the issue, and eventually determined that if there is an abrupt difference between the engine speed and the rotational speed of the final drive component, the gearbox input shaft could become overloaded, and break as a result. That’s why BMW decided to issue this recall.
Owners will be notified via postal mail that they should stop riding their affected bikes and contact their local authorized BMW dealer for recall service. The remedy involves an update to the engine control unit software on affected bikes, which will be performed free of charge by dealers under the terms of this recall. BMW has also issued a Stop Sale notice to its dealers for all affected 2019 through 2023 R 1250 GS, R 1250 GS Adventure, and R 1250 RTP bikes until recall service has been performed.
BMW North America notified its dealer network about this recall on January 18, 2023. It plans to notify owners of affected bikes on March 10, 2023. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov. NHTSA’s campaign number for this recall is 23V-011.