2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance Leak

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2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance Leak

Postby Newportcycle » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:14 am

Well after sorting out the speedometer/ABS issue on my R, I noticed some weepage on the engine block just below the transmission, slight film of oil, just enough to dampen the dust actually. My diagnosis is a leaking seal. The engine has 26,100 miles. Has anyone experienced this same issue on the 2011 R? What was your experience? I was hoping to take off to the Beemers in the Bluegrass rally tomorrow, 2500 mile round trip, but I'm up in the air at the moment. I've got my Anonymous book, should the clutch decide to give it up. This is going to have to be a home repair as 2k is not in our budget for motorcycle repairs, looks like something to do in October.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby hjsbmw » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:08 am

Hi and sorry to read about your troubles. I may have had a similar leak with oil around the same place that you report. However, this was years ago on my '07, and I got it fixed under warranty at 10k miles. There is a picture of my leak on this forum here somewhere.

I don't know if this applies to your problem, but here is the list of seals replaced on my order:

-front input seal
-rear input seal
-output seal
-selector seal
-balance shaft seal

They also changed the clutch because it apparently had gotten oil on it.

Since I didn't do this repair I can't speak for the difficulty, time, etc. Best of luck and also fun with it.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby deilenberger » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:19 pm

Can you send a photo of the spot you're seeing the leak?
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby Newportcycle » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:08 pm

I don't have a camera good enough to show any real detail Don, thanks for asking though. The area in question is just below the transmission, centerline of the bike, there is a "shelf" for lack of better word created by the lower section of the crankcase right where the halves bolt together. Best seen from the left hand side of the bike.

I've cleaned the area off with brake cleaner, and dropped the oil level a bit, just at the "high" oil level. Striking for PA in the morning so time will tell. As I indicated before, the oil present is so slight that when wiped with a finger will not form a drop, only the slightest of film, enough to darken the dust though.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby roger l » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:36 am

You might want to look in the air box to see if there is any oil inside. If somehow the engine oil was over filled and oil got in the air box the oil you are seeing could be coming out of the air box.

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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby Newportcycle » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:22 am

Thanks Roger, I'll have a look.

I've canceled the balance of my trip and returned home early. Things were going fine Wednesday, the weeping had not progressed, by Thursday evening I had got to my camp site in Ohio and the leak was severe enough to warrant cutting trip short and returning home. I could ill afford a slipping clutch and being stranded 1100 miles from home. SO, I left Pike State Park in Ohio yesterday at 5:30 am and 1040 miles and 18 hours later I was home. I'll start tearing into things this afternoon.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby Newportcycle » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:34 pm

Looks like I've got a leaking transmission input shaft seal and counter balancer shaft seal. I've pulled both and have ordered new parts. The clutch shows couple blue spots but not serious. The friction disk is 6.21mm so I think that its fine thickness wise there are some shiny spots however. Does anyone know what the thickness is of a new friction disk? I'd like to calculate wear. I've cleaned the friction disk with brake cleaner seems like its come clean pretty well, does anyone have any experience just cleaning a disk and not replacing it? Couple parts on back order but should be assembling by mid next week. I've photos if anyone is interested, I can send via email. I'm a little disappointed to say the least that this repair had to be undertaken but EVERYTHING happens for a reason, so can't be all bad.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby deilenberger » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:03 pm

Was there any indication of slippage when it was leaking? If so - I'd use a buzz-palm-sander on the pressure plates and plan on replacing the disk. Consider the amount of work if you have to go back in to replace the disk later.. That said - I do know of cases where an oiled clutch disk worked just fine after being cleaned off - but that was with less HP going through it. I'm surprised there are two leaking seals. Are you certain the transmission input seal is leaking, or could it be oil transferred from the balance shaft seal? Does the oil around the tranny input seal smell like sulphur? If so - it's leaking. If not - chances are it isn't, but I guess the same "don't want to go back into it soon" applies. Cheap part compared to the work involved re-fixing it later on.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby Newportcycle » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:01 am

deilenberger wrote:Was there any indication of slippage when it was leaking? If so - I'd use a buzz-palm-sander on the pressure plates and plan on replacing the disk. Consider the amount of work if you have to go back in to replace the disk later.. That said - I do know of cases where an oiled clutch disk worked just fine after being cleaned off - but that was with less HP going through it. I'm surprised there are two leaking seals. Are you certain the transmission input seal is leaking, or could it be oil transferred from the balance shaft seal? Does the oil around the tranny input seal smell like sulphur? If so - it's leaking. If not - chances are it isn't, but I guess the same "don't want to go back into it soon" applies. Cheap part compared to the work involved re-fixing it later on.


There was no real slippage, however, I think I convinced myself there was a "chatter or shudder" under load, of course I was imagining all kinds of things. I agree there is considerable work to get back in to replace the disk and that is one reason I'm dreading the seal install and fearing messing it up. I think I will take your advice and order a new disk.

I was under the false impression that it would be simple to determine which seal was leaking, not quite as I picutured. As for the the transmission, there were two indications, the first was oil all down the face of the transmission and the felt wiper on the face of the seal was saturated with oil, under no scenario could I imagine oil getting up there to contaminate that area, and these wipers should not have any oil on them under normal circumstances. The second indicator was the oil level was down well below the fill hole, granted when I replaced the oil just prior to this episode I did not check it after a test ride to see if the level settled back, but I don't believe there is any place in the transmission where oil would not flow into during filling and causing false readings. The counter balancer shaft seal was similar, the felt wiper was saturated with oil, and the engine case was covered with oil that appeared was flung off the counter balancer shaft as the oil was only on the right side of the engine case.

Regarding sulfur smell, the gearbox oil was fully synthetic and smelled like nothing during fill up and draining, at least to my nose, so no luck there, nothing like black coffee and cigars to ruin the olfactory senses I guess. Upon removal the seals seemed very stiff, I wouldn't call them brittle but they had that "old plastic" feel to them, that maybe normal I'll have something to compare to when the new ones show so we will see, but they're not like other seals I've replaced.

Don I sincerely appreciate your replies and assistance, I've cross posted these questions on two BMW forums and your's is the first reply in either. Seems that if your interested in more than seats or oil, the experience drops off a cliff.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby deilenberger » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:22 pm

Newportcycle wrote:Regarding sulfur smell, the gearbox oil was fully synthetic and smelled like nothing during fill up and draining, at least to my nose, so no luck there, nothing like black coffee and cigars to ruin the olfactory senses I guess. Upon removal the seals seemed very stiff, I wouldn't call them brittle but they had that "old plastic" feel to them, that maybe normal I'll have something to compare to when the new ones show so we will see, but they're not like other seals I've replaced.

Don I sincerely appreciate your replies and assistance, I've cross posted these questions on two BMW forums and your's is the first reply in either. Seems that if your interested in more than seats or oil, the experience drops off a cliff.
No problem. I had to give up the cigars (MD's orders).. :) Interesting that the seals feel stiff.. that almost sounds like they got overly hot or something. Normal seals feel like seals - rubbery. Just be sure to tape up any splines these have to pass over (like on the input shaft) on their way into the bores and lube them with a bit of oil as you put them on. If you have the old seals - they're handy to use to help seat the new ones without damage.

It's just curious to me that both failed. You will feel better a new disk in there - peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby Newportcycle » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:10 pm

deilenberger wrote:No problem. I had to give up the cigars (MD's orders).. :) Interesting that the seals feel stiff.. that almost sounds like they got overly hot or something. Normal seals feel like seals - rubbery. Just be sure to tape up any splines these have to pass over (like on the input shaft) on their way into the bores and lube them with a bit of oil as you put them on. If you have the old seals - they're handy to use to help seat the new ones without damage.

It's just curious to me that both failed. You will feel better a new disk in there - peace of mind is a wonderful thing.


It was curious to me as well, my diagnosis of the counterbalancer shaft seal may have been inaccurate as my only indicators were a very wet felt wiper on the seal exterior and a lower crankcase level, but after a couple thousand miles my crankcase usually drops a couple of mm, so who knows. I'm quite certain the RMS is fine, so it will not be touched. Thanks for the advise utilizing the old seals to seat the new ones, I'll use that.

I'm a relatively young pup only a couple years into my 50's, and gave up cigarettes (my second favorite thing in life) 20 years ago but I will not give up the cigars.
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Re: 2011 - R1200r - K27 - Rear Main Seal or Counter Balance

Postby Newportcycle » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:01 am

Well, seals and clutch are installed, rear frame back on, swing arm installed and rear bodywork fitted. Took me six hours to get to that point, with disassembly, into things by 12 hours already. Of course there are a couple of "oh $hits" where do those screws go, and disassembly, ahh right there, reassembly, these have cost me probably one hour. Not a speed demon or master mechanic by any stretch.
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