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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have problem with the final drive.

On a trip from Denmark to Italy and back, my final drive broke down In Austria.
There was a sound from the rear wheele that sounds like the bearing inside the final drive was gone. :-(

I drained the oil in the drive, and metal parts came out with the oil. After changing the oil still the same sound. Called road assistance and let them bring the bike back to Denmark.

Poul
 

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:cry: I hope this is an isolated case. I just switched from BMW and all their FD reliability issues to the ultra reliable GL1800 with its supposedly bullet proof final drive.

Let us know what the diagnosis is.
 

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Could you please tell us how/when you serviced it. At what mileages and what fluid(s) you used.
There have been a few failures noted here.
We have many who seem to think the fluids need to be changed almost weekly(exaggeration)! Honda calls for the 1st service of the rear end fluid @ 24K. There are claims of some special molywhatevers in the original rear end fluid:)?:)
Just wondering if there may be any correlation of changing fluid to often or type/weight of fluid used to the failures or going the 24K before changing.
Do you tow a trailer?
 

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If you do a search, you will see it is not uncommon.

Sorry for your troubles. I hope you get it worked out and are jack I'm the saddle soon.

Hector
 

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:cry: I hope this is an isolated case. I just switched from BMW and all their FD reliability issues to the ultra reliable GL1800 with its supposedly bullet proof final drive.
It's one of the weak links in the drive train with the GL1800.....some have gone 150K miles or more and others have failed at 48K miles. There have been many rear drive failures reported here over the years. Honda should have redesigned the rear drive years ago to increase it's reliability, but like with most of the issues with the GL1800, Honda just ignores it. Rear drives from trike takeoffs are cheap and plentiful though. With some parts with the GL1800, like the alternator and rear drive, it might be a good idea to replace at around 100K miles just for piece of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Could you please tell us how/when you serviced it. At what mileages and what fluid(s) you used.
There have been a few failures noted here.
We have many who seem to think the fluids need to be changed almost weekly(exaggeration)! Honda calls for the 1st service of the rear end fluid @ 24K. There are claims of some special molywhatevers in the original rear end fluid:)?:)
Just wondering if there may be any correlation of changing fluid to often or type/weight of fluid used to the failures or going the 24K before changing.
Do you tow a trailer?
Service two times a year, about every 7.000 miles. Tow a trailer about 8.000 miles every year.

Fluid MOTUL HD 80W90
API Standards:API GL-4/GL-5OEM Approvals :MIL-L-2105D
 

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When compared against the reliability of the rest of the drivetrain on this bike, it is probably the least reliable part. But when compared against how many Wings are out there, it's a stretch to call it a common problem.

We do see reports of failures from time to time. But it is a far cry from the chronic BMW failure problem. And I wouldn't say that this is a problem that Honda refuses to fix, because it really hasn't been common enough for it to be a problem that requires their attention. On the later model bikes, reports of failures have dropped considerably. So who knows. Honda may have changed vendors for the bearing that fails. They aren't exactly obligated to come here and tell us about improvements they make.

Tom Finch did a poll awhile back. There were about 25 failures reported, a very low number considering the size of this board. There was no difference between using Honda, Amsoil, or Mobil oil. although those that used a brand other than those three were about 2 tiimes less likely to have a failure.

The interesting part is that those who change their oil the most often are the ones who are most likely to experience a failure. (based on the poll) So either a lot of people are fibbing, or you are better off just following Honda's oil change interval.

Don't fret about it. If you are out of warranty, get a new rear end from a trike take off. In all likelihood, it will never happen to you again.
 

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Are there more failures among those that tow trailers?
 

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It's one of the weak links in the drive train with the GL1800.....some have gone 150K miles or more and others have failed at 48K miles. There have been many rear drive failures reported here over the years. Honda should have redesigned the rear drive years ago to increase it's reliability, but like with most of the issues with the GL1800, Honda just ignores it. Rear drives from trike takeoffs are cheap and plentiful though. With some parts with the GL1800, like the alternator and rear drive, it might be a good idea to replace at around 100K miles just for piece of mind.
I agree with this post only partially,its hard to call a part that wears out at 100 k a weak link,esp since many other brands who shall go unnamed need cams and a valve job by 40 to 60 k,its just that the gl1800 engine runs forever,way longer than the sum of its parts.i tow a trailor and changed my final drive at 108 k and now am waiting for a alt from hdl to also install as a maint item to avoid being stuck out somewere,i am currently at 132 k.i changed the final drive as a maint item,it had not failed,i used mobil one and amsoil in it over its life,OLE YELLER MBG PA
 

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Don't fret about it. If you are out of warranty, get a new rear end from a trike take off. In all likelihood, it will never happen to you again.
:agree: Probably get one for around $125 plus shipping.
 

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It's looking more and more like pulling trailers is a common denominator for failing final drive units and I can understand how this can happen by the following observations.

It is not uncommon for any of us to abruptly decelerate while out of engine speed sync causing a sudden backlash and over stressing the drive train. It has happens to me (usually when I lose concentration and I have my head up my a***) I allow the throttle grip to slip my grip and abruptly close while under load conditions and I can feel the pain of the little pinion gear trying to ride up top of the ring gear. :eek:4: ugly, very very ugly...

I do not pull a trailer either but I am sure when this happens while pulling a trailer that it only enhances final drive stress and at times exceeding design conditions and causing catastrophic and/or premature final drive failures.

Just my .02 worth.
 

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It is certainly a problem that comes up from time to time here, but as some have said you probably couldn't call it common or chronic. Look at all the variables over several years and 60,000+ miles. How hard do you drive, do you pull a trailer, how much weight do you put on that bike, a lot of 2 up riding, etc. etc.. On some of my trips I have run into some riders who really put a ton of baggage and extra weight on. I bought a brand new final drive 3 or 4 years ago on eBay on the cheap, got lucky. That alone probably insures I will never need it!!
 

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I bought a brand new final drive 3 or 4 years ago on eBay on the cheap, got lucky. That alone probably insures I will never need it!!
Hope you're right. I bought one off this board last year. :thumbup:
 

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My guess.

I think it's possible that final drive and tranny problems may be caused somewhat by the way some people ride. There are those that never learn to shift down, (or up, for that matter) without a jerk or a clank. If that happens regularly on a bike of nine hundred pounds, damage could occur.
 

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There's so many varibles in the way people use their bikes that it's hard to know if the thing was abused or was it a premature failure.

I see people running 80 mph two up with a fully loaded trailer in tow and who knows when the oil has been changed or if it even has any. To me, if it fails under conditions that are out of the normal operating recommendations by Honda, it is not a premature failure but simply a failure from abuse. Just my opinion.
 

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It's looking more and more like pulling trailers is a common denominator for failing final drive units and I can understand how this can happen by the following observations.
It would be natural to assume that pulling a trailer would increase in instances of a failure, but numerous threads and polls over the years have shown that there is no correlation between failures and pulling a trailer.
More than twice as many failure reports are from riders who don't own, or rarely pull a trailer.

I have not had a final drive fail, so I have to go by the investigating some of the guys here have done. From what I have been able to determine from the posts I have read, it's not the gears that are failing, but rather a bearing that grenades, which then chews up the seal and gets all sorts of metal parts down in the gears.

That would mean that the problem is not being caused by a final drive that can't handle the load, but rather a single bearing that is poor quality. If you got a rear end with a good bearing, the final drive will probably outlast the bike. If you got one with defects in it, it will fail prematurely.

I really don't think there is anything riders are doing as far as oil changes or pulling a trailer that is causing it. It is simply a single failed part.

I'm not saying this is fact. It is speculation based on a summary from years of reading troubleshooting results of members here.
 

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I think it's possible that final drive and tranny problems may be caused somewhat by the way some people ride. There are those that never learn to shift down, (or up, for that matter) without a jerk or a clank. If that happens regularly on a bike of nine hundred pounds, damage could occur.
In most cases when loaded and abrupt situations occur when carrying standard or precious beloved cargo, the back wheel will slide and relive some of the pinion stress but when loaded with extra tong weight coupled with mass inertia is when over stressing can occur.
 

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You guys could be right that some of the failures could be caused by abuse. But I don't think that would blow out a bearing. It would tear up the ring and pinion, and that has not been a problem.
 

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It would be natural to assume that pulling a trailer would increase in instances of a failure, but numerous threads and polls over the years have shown that there is no correlation between failures and pulling a trailer.
More than twice as many failure reports are from riders who don't own, or rarely pull a trailer.

I have not had a final drive fail, so I have to go by the investigating some of the guys here have done. From what I have been able to determine from the posts I have read, it's not the gears that are failing, but rather a bearing that grenades, which then chews up the seal and gets all sorts of metal parts down in the gears.

That would mean that the problem is not being caused by a final drive that can't handle the load, but rather a single bearing that is poor quality. If you got a rear end with a good bearing, the final drive will probably outlast the bike. If you got one with defects in it, it will fail prematurely.

I really don't think there is anything riders are doing as far as oil changes or pulling a trailer that is causing it. It is simply a single failed part.

I'm not saying this is fact. It is speculation based on a summary from years of reading troubleshooting results of members here.
You make a very good point and is well taken. My observation and "speculation" is based purely on forums observations and feedback from folks with with final drive failures. Trailer pulling failures outweighs overloading or two-up riding and perhaps better training and/or awareness for trailer pulling is needed. :shrug:
 

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Fluid changed per Honda, no problems.

Trike takeoff installed at 180k to avoid any issues.
 
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