On July 6, 2023, the European Commission’s Safety Gate, which bills itself as “the European Union rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products,” issued an alert for all 2023 BMW R 1250 GS, R 1250 GS Adventure, R 1250 RT, R 1250 R, and R 1250 RS motorcycles produced between March 2, 2023, and March 16, 2023. The issue is a manufacturing defect that could cause a fuel leakage on bikes produced during that short time period. 

It’s worth noting that the EC classifies this recall as environmental and not safety related. According to the official notice, the leak could pose a risk to the environment, and is noncompliant with existing regulations. It’s unclear how many motorcycles may be affected worldwide, as all the bikes in the R 1250 lineup roll off the assembly line at the Berlin-Spandau factory. So far, known affected bikes have been located and recalled in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Slovenia.  

What was the temporary problem, and how was it resolved? A pressure sensor in the fuel rail had a defective part that was supplied and installed on bikes in those lines during that approximately two-week period, according to Motorrad. Correct versions of the affected part were used on the assembly line both before and after that two-week period, and bikes assembled before or after that period are thus not affected by that European recall. 

What About These Bikes in the US? 

As of July 14, 2023, the only currently open recall for 2023 BMW R 1250 GS bikes that is listed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dates from January 2023, and relates to the possibility of a gearbox input shaft break on all 2019 through 2023 R 1250 GS bikes. Additionally, zero investigations are currently open for this bike, according to NHTSA’s database. 

What Should You Do with This Information? 

Upon identification of this issue with the affected bikes sold in Europe, BMW Motorrad issued recall notices to registered customers who had purchased these bikes. The population was relatively small, since the issue only occurred during an approximately two-week timespan, with two bikes in France and 25 in Germany confirmed to be affected.  

However, it’s worth noting that affected bikes may have a slight smell of fuel emanating from the leak. According to Motorrad, riders will likely not see a visible leak, such as droplets of fuel forming and slowly leaking out. Instead, the defective part has evidenced more of a sweating problem—very slow and gradual, but still enough to produce a smell of fuel if you are near enough to the bike. 

For European riders, it’s worth keeping an eye on and phoning up your nearest authorized BMW dealer if you feel that anything is amiss.  

For non-European riders who aren’t living in the region where this recall notice was issued, it’s also worth keeping an eye on, as we should all do any time we go out to ride our bikes. If you end up having service performed on your bike to address an issue that relates to something like this, it’s also a good idea to hang on to your paperwork from the service. That way, if a formal recall is issued in the future, you’re ready if reimbursement for valid service claims performed prior to the recall becomes available. 

Pre-ride inspections aren’t sexy or glamorous, but they do help keep us all enjoying as much time as possible on good, functioning motorbikes. As always, we’ll be sure to keep you updated with recall information as it arises. Ride safe! 

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