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As mentioned earlier, I have a 2018 that was bought new in 2020. On storage I change oil and final drive and found final drive much below spec. My drive was disassembled by Honda under warranty and inspected.

I am a long time Honda customer:

1978 GL1000
1995 VT1100C2
1999 VT750DC
2003 Honda Accord
2006 Honda Lawnmower
2009 Acura TLX
2017 Honda CRV
2018 GL1800

My blind faith in Honda is such that I still own all of the above and all in good working order. Upon retrieval of my newest bike, I asked Honda for documentation regarding the low final drive oil and they provided a letter stating the problem was isolated and that there was no concern. I am OK with that.
 

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When I had my new 2015 F6B it was low when purchased. Topped it off as soon as I found it low. Changed the rear diff fluid every other oil change because fluids are cheap insurance against breakdowns on the road and a diff failure could be a really bad day!
 

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Discussion Starter #83
I only know of one instance where a final drive failed and that was on a Honda Rune. Do others know of any failures or just low oil?
 

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2018 Honda Gold Wing
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I only know of one instance where a final drive failed and that was on a Honda Rune. Do others know of any failures or just low oil?
There have been many rear drive failures with the old wing over the years...lots of owners would pick up rear drives from trike conversions to replace failed rear drives and to have on hand just in case.. I still have a brand new 2004 rear drive and drive shaft from a trike conversion that I picked up over 10 years ago sitting in my garage. I planned to use it with my old wing at 100k miles, but never did before moving to my 2018.
 

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Spurred me to go take a look at my 2020 bought a couple months ago, with ~2500 miles on it. Sure enough, it was low. Not empty, but it took ~100mL to fill it up level with the hole, with the bike level on a stand. The oil in there was pretty dirty looking(no metal, just very dark brown), so after a brief ride once topped up to warm things up and mix it around, did a change. So at least as of 2020 models, they still seem to be leaving the factory quite low on oil. Especially if you ride a decent amount (even say 10k a year, which I know is nothing special for Wingers), by the book you'd have 1/3 the correct amount of oil in there for 30k+ miles before doing a scheduled service, as the interval is just "3 years", not a certain mileage? That sounds seriously no bueno. Being 3 years is also the warranty- could potentially leave the owner holding the bag for a new final drive.

Drive failures among Valkyries weren't unheard of, although it usually wasn't the actual ring-n-pinion, it was the input cup from the driveshaft. Boot on the swingarm gets old, hard,cracks, allows water into the tunnel from rain or washing, and it gets trapped in there, rusting the splines out. Supposedly, oil from the final drive was supposed to be "pumped" up there by these holes drilled at an angle to blow mist into the splines, but it's a coin toss if that happens. Some bikes the splines are always soaked in gear oil. Others, they are always bone dry, and must be manually greased periodically. My '98 was always bone dry. Buddy's 01, was dripping with oil. Couldn't find any rhyme or reason as to why. There were also 3 fairly hidden o-rings designed to seal grease on the drive/wheel splines, which are fairly easy to damage during tire changes, and on older bikes are frequently missing entirely. Allows grease to dry/wash out and accelerate wear, eventually leading to them stripping out.
 

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Well, after reading about all the people who have had low or no differential oil in the case, I figured I'd go check mine....I have a 2018 I bought leftover last Summer and guess what? Very little oil in the differential, I pumped 4oz in and I could see in the fill hole, the ring gear, and the teeth had a rust color on them. I drained and refilled with fresh 80wt but that's 8k of unnecessary wear. I guess I'm calling to tell the dealer what I think of their PDI process:)
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Well, after reading about all the people who have had low or no differential oil in the case, I figured I'd go check mine....I have a 2018 I bought leftover last Summer and guess what? Very little oil in the differential, I pumped 4oz in and I could see in the fill hole, the ring gear, and the teeth had a rust color on them. I drained and refilled with fresh 80wt but that's 8k of unnecessary wear. I guess I'm calling to tell the dealer what I think of their PDI process:)
I asked my dealership and they said it was NOT on the list to check. I used to work at a Honda shop in the late 70's putting bikes together. It was always assumed to be okay, same as oil, radiator fluid, brakes and so on. We expect the same on our cars and trucks. It is only an issue for us because we are enthusiasts, the average person could care less...ie 10 minute oil change drive throughs...
 

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Previously another member posted a Canadian Honda PDI checklist and Final Drive Check was on it. Perhaps ask your dealership to provide a copy of the PDI used.
Motorcycle Assembly & Preparation Check List (honda.ca)
Well Honda...apparently you have a problem at your dealerships...As a consumer we expect to receive a car or motorcycle that is safe to operate. A final drive is a part that needs lubrication to operate and one without will eventually overheat and fail. And suppose this unit fails while the operator in on the highway at 70 mph. Its probably not going to end well for that rider. There have been many riders on this forum which have had varying levels of low fluid in their drives. You may need to address this soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #90

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Doesn't matter, we should be checking if we're concerned ...I check the oil in my vehicle when I have it changed.
So if the PDI doesn't matter, did you drain and refill battery, coolant and brake fluid when you got your new bike? Many owners dont do maintenance so would have no idea how to do an oil change let alone Final Drive oil inspection that is not due.
 

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So if the PDI doesn't matter, did you drain and refill battery, coolant and brake fluid when you got your new bike? Many owners dont do maintenance so would have no idea how to do an oil change let alone Final Drive oil inspection that is not due.
Agreed! I think the point is if you are being charged for a service then the service damn well ought to be performed. The saying “trust but verify” is because of situations like this. You should not have to check fluid levels on a brand new machine. Unfortunately nobody does there job anymore.


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Discussion Starter #93
Easy, Easy...I did not say the PDI does not matter....It matters to us to confirm. I said the rear diff is NOT part of the PDI, just like the other levels I mentioned. I will say this...Since 2000 or 2012 how many rear diffs have FAILED? Low oil absolutely, failure no. Go to the thread I started about my rear diff...AND I KNOW BETTER. If the rear diff fails under 3 years you will get a new one and if enough are replaced Honda will start checking ...maybe. Have a good night.
 

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After all the posts warning of low levels, I checked mine today on my 18dtc. It was maybe half ounce low but far from empty. Went ahead and changed it while I was there. Bike is three years old but only has 1,500 miles on it - bought a dealer hold over in June. Glad I checked - hate worrying about these things.
 
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