I have three problems with my GT that I've been chasing for a bit, and finally had to get BMW Customer Service involved. Not because the dealer wasn't helping and willing to fix it (SJBMW, they rock
) , but mainly because BMW corporate has a very narrow diagnostic process they allow the dealer to use on warranty work. My three issues are -
- Check Engine Warning with red warning light, and in some percentage of those the bike will not start until power cycled via the key. This is generally followed by a "BMW Motorrad" splashscreen on the LCD, denoting a reset of the ECU and systems.
- Hesitation similar to turbo lag when opening the throttle slightly from a steady throttle state.
- Noisy/grinding/squealy clutch intermittently when leaving a stop.
We've opened 2 PUMAS tickets with BMW on the first, the dealer has 7-8 riders on K bikes with the second, and I know I'm not alone on the third. The dealer knows these issues exist, can reproduce them at times outside of the prescribed diagnostic measures, but when using the BMW dictated diagnostic methods no problem can be found, so therefore they do not exist. Needless to say, I'm a little frustrated.
I had an extended conversation with Katie at BMW customer service this morning about these issues specifically, but also about the fact that the processes they have in place to diagnose problems do not work in all cases (mine specifically), and it appears the company is more interested in following the process to the letter of the law rather than understanding the root cause of the bike's problem and resolving it for the customer.
Processes are tools; they are here to help us achieve a goal, just like hammers and saws help achieve the goal of building a house. When they don't serve that purpose then we either have the wrong tool, the tool needs to be modified, or a new tool needs to be devised to help achieve the goal. BMW Corporate seems to be (at least partially) in a mindset that they have all encompassing, omnipotent diagnostic tools for all issues on all bikes. This is not possible, at least not in a financially feasible way in most cases. So when problems exhibit themselves in the manner mine are and cannot be diagnosed through the process handbook, they need to step away from the GT-1, take off the white lab coat, and actually lay hands upon the machine, get a little dirty, and figure out what the issues are.
I did run into a stroke of luck. Martin (Corp engineer who was at CCR for the Ask BMW sessions) was on site doing a warranty audit. He was going to ride my bike to check out these issues but ran out of time. The shop could not replicate my issues according to the process so I went to get my bike, slightly dejected but in a civil mood anyway. I got on the bike and the check engine/not starting problem occurred with 3 techs standing there! I sent them to grab Martin and showed him the problem. He seemed very surprised that this was occurring, but told them to update the PUMAS with this and that he verified the occurrence, and will authorize further investigation and work to diagnose. We're starting with the EWS (I got the recall done way back) and if that doesn't resolve it he thinks looking into the harness/CANBus would be the next step.
Dont' get me wrong, I'm happy for this little victory. But it sure would have been nice to not go through the number of hoops I've been through so far to get it.