I've said this previously but more recently even, BMW has been having quite a lot of social media blowback over their stanchion problems. I first noticed this in November of last year and posted on Instagram these three images, one of which I took myself and another from the same event I was at:
Now we have reports of injuries related to apparent failures of these fork stanchions:
Woody Witte (of Woody's Wheel Works) in his caption to this story above he shared on Facebook: "This is the sort of stuff that makes me MADDER THAN FUGGIN HELL!! I bet i can round up at least a dozen incidences in a few minutes Half of which have lefte the rider needing serious medical help !!MAN UP BMW & send an alert ir even product recall before it'll cost ya more in bad press AND COURT COSTS!!! Pass the word!!
I even had a reporter from Motorrad Magazine in Germany reach out to me the other day about this.
Just to refresh... these crimped forks have been found to be coming loose on the '13+ liquid cooled GS bikes. There have been a few injuries. To BMW's credit there is word of some new service bulletins out designed to address this (not yet confirmed as of June 23) and there's already a few after market solutions (see link at top).
Here's where it gets interesting though... So I read that the crimped fork solution was in an effort to reduce weight (and probably cost) from the previous generation GS (looking for source now). I had an '11 GSA and never had this problem. But as it turns out, this crimped fork solution appears to be an attempt to patch or correct an even earlier design that was found to have also failed ... coincidentally merely weeks after the fatal accident of journalist Kevin Ash at BMW's GS launch in South Africa on January 22, 2013.
According to an anonymous source (6/24 edit: this was actually public), barely two months after the accident (April '13), BMW Motorrad USA issued a service bulletin regarding a check of the front forks. The bulletin affected only a few handfuls of early '13 model bikes and their solution was a tool they provided to crimp the forks so there'd be no separation between the "slack plug" and the fixed fork tube. Their wording was such that they'd determined in rare cases the plug could work itself loose. It was after this that the fork tubes came crimped from the factory.
As to Kevin's accident, there is no implied or direct connection being made here between the fork stanchion issue and that. Reporter Florin Tibu of AutoEvolution.com felt that even a year after the accident, many questions remained. He characterized the fact that BMW retained the wrecked bike before a forensic mechanic could inspect it as "a bit bizarre" and that explanations are still due in the investigation. The Warwickshire UK coroner, Sean McGovern, says there's no verdict due to insufficient evidence. BMW never released the results of their investigation, even at the request of Ash's widow. Caroline.