Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free new front wheel courtesy of BMW

In 1984, BMW recalled their front Snowflake aluminum wheels because they may "develop cracks and fractures from operating on rough roads". Today, 26 years later, BMW still honors this recall.


  1. Really nice rebuild you have there.
    Out of curiosity, how did you know the BMW recall on the front wheel effected your bike ? and you didn't already have a replacement, given it's age I mean, a previous owner could have already changed it. thanks

  2. Just for your interest: in 1980/81 my courier business, Cycle Courier (based in Guildford) bought 14 R100s from Park Lane.. after only a few months a rider phoned in to say his front wheel had collapsed.. luckily as he slowed for a pedestrian crossing. We inspected the fleet and found hairline cracks is several others. Its too long a story here so just in brief:

    1. BMW send field manager who claimed we were using unsuitable tyres and would do nothing.
    2. I went to the HQ in Bracknell and was treated with contempt: nobody would see me and the main man simply swept me aside say ing he was going to lunch.
    3. I took the broken wheel to Surrey University metallurgy dept who were more than interested and spent several weeks making miniature test models and stress-analysing them. They sent me a very comprehensive report station that the wheels were manufactured from an unsuitable material and in fact the overall design, flex and strengthwise was completely unsuited to motorcycle application!
    4. I sent the report to MCN and the following week the front page headline and double-page centre-spread covered the whole affair.
    5. BMW ended up with a full recall which may have been handled a lot better if they had not been so arrogant.

    The bikes that year (I think the first with the light flywheel) let us down in many other ways including 14 dropped inlet-valves which, again, BMW would not admit as a problem so we repaired them at our own cost.

    Graham Koster