GT reliability - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 3:23 am Thread Starter
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GT reliability

Ok just have one question. I believe the new 1300 gt has a wet clutch. Shouldn't it be more reliable. and 2 Is the final drive beefed up to make it more reliable. I know only time will tell but what are the feelings right now?
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post #2 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 6:29 am
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Re: GT reliability

As you stated only time will tell. The only known problem so far is a bad "switch cluster" (the ones on the handle bars) on bikes built before Feb 09. The dealers are changing all of them out.

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post #3 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 10:49 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvfowler
Ok just have one question. I believe the new 1300 gt has a wet clutch. Shouldn't it be more reliable. and 2 Is the final drive beefed up to make it more reliable. I know only time will tell but what are the feelings right now?
Actually, you have 2 questions.

The new slant 4 motors (latest gen 1200 and 1300) do have multiplate wet clutches vs. the single plate dry traditional to earlier (and still in the R bike) configurations. Time will tell on reliability, but having had a number of bikes with the single plate config in both R and K bikes I would not call them unreliable by any stretch of the imagination. I think the multiplate will be better and it's certainly easier to shift smoothly with it.

As for the final drive, yes, some change were made, and after 1800 miles mine hasn't blown up. Of course, the previous rev on my 1200GT didn't blow up after 12,000 miles. And in the 160,000 miles on 6 other bikes/final drives I've had only one had a failure, and that was on a 99 LT that I regularly flogged beyond reasonable measures for a large touring bike. But I'm sure as soon as someone has any issue whatsoever they will decry the newest design as completely flawed and BMW as the worst company in the world, and they would be wrong.

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post #4 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 1:06 pm
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
But I'm sure as soon as someone has any issue whatsoever they will decry the newest design as completely flawed and BMW as the worst company in the world, and they would be wrong.
OK, my turn.

I've had two clutch replacements (36K & 65K) and two final drive replacements (63K & 73K) in two years on my '07 GT.

The multi-plate wet clutch is inherently a very robust design. It's what 90% of the bikes out there use. BMW has only been using it since 2005, so they're a bit new to the party. As such, they've had some teething problems related to poor oil flow, sticking clutch plates, and interference with other components. Most of these items simply mean the clutch is excessively noisy, but not necessarily prone to failure. Each year they introduce more minor changes to help fine-tune the clutch, and after riding a K1300 I think they've gotten pretty close.

BMW has been using the Paralever final drive for ~20 years, and it's their own proprietary technology. Because of an excessive number of failures on the LT's and RT's, they completely redesigned the Paralever for the 1200cc Boxer bikes in '04. The new Slant/4 bikes also have this newer Paralever, but mirrored to the other side due to engine layout requirements.

The newer Paralever is also experiencing a higher than normal failure rate. And BMW has made incremental changes for '08 and '09 to address these failures. In '08, they beefed up the input pinion bearings and added a drain plug. In '09, they changed the drive shaft to a 2-piece version. So theoretically, the newest bikes have the least chance of failure.

But when my factory-fitted '07 final drive failed last summer, they replaced it with the latest-greatest '08 final drive with all the improvements. Then 3 months and 10K miles later, that one failed as well. So much for incremental improvements.

As I said, the only evidence I can find between the '08 and '09 drives is changes to the drive shaft, not the drive itself. I want to believe that BMW has finally gotten it right, and I'd buy a K13 today if I knew for sure. But the fact is that we don't know for sure. So the best we can do is hope that they got it right, and wait until lots of folks start putting lots of miles on the new bikes and see how it all shakes down.

Note that I never said BMW was the worst company in the world, but they do have a few things to learn about reliability and standing behind their products. My dealers have been great, but quite honestly the factory should have found and definitely fixed the root cause of these failures long ago. Anything less is simply sub-par.

Note that I'm not telling anyone not to buy a new bike if you really want one. But you should be aware of the potential issues. At least as aware as we can be given the randomness of the problem and the complete lack of hard evidence here.

So as with everything else, in the end it's your choice.

Ken
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post #5 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 1:43 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Ken I knew I could count on you for the counterpoint. I just wish you would have thrown in, "Dave, you ignorant slut."

And I'm not discounting Ken's post, either. His comments are correct and his experiences are a matter of fact, not hyperbole. His last statement is the most truthful and the one with the most weight for anyone making a decision on a new bike - "So as with everything else, in the end it's your choice."

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post #6 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 2:22 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
"Dave, you ignorant slut."
What can I say, Dave, I can see your K13 grin from all the way down here.

Trust me, I want to believe the new K13 is the Answer to Everything, but somehow I'm still a bit gun shy . . .

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post #7 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 2:45 pm
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Re: GT reliability

OK come on Ken, we all know that the majority of the problems that plague your GT can be traced down to the nut that connects the seat with the handlebars.......

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post #8 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 4:19 pm
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by amarider
OK come on Ken, we all know that the majority of the problems that plague your GT can be traced down to the nut that connects the seat with the handlebars.......
Can't really argue with that conclusion, but the best answer I've been able to come up with is "too many miles."

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Last edited by meese; Apr 16th, 2009 at 6:09 pm.
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post #9 of 79 Old Apr 16th, 2009, 7:09 pm
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Re: GT reliability

I was thinking it had to be a short between the handlebars and the footpegs!

Ken, you put some miles on a bike. 10,000 miles in 3 months is remarkable. Thanks for your input and I appreciate your relating of your experiences with your GT. As your avatar says, I hope you don't have another failure.

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post #10 of 79 Old Apr 17th, 2009, 9:19 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
What can I say, Dave, I can see your K13 grin from all the way down here.

Trust me, I want to believe the new K13 is the Answer to Everything, but somehow I'm still a bit gun shy . . .
If I had been through what you've experienced I would be a bit gun shy, too. Don't forget how I ended up with a K13, so my path hasn't been all rose petals and playful kittens, either. While I am enjoying the bike immensely and haven't had any problems so far, I still have a couple of threads running in the background in my brain watching for issues. So I'm not completely blinded by optimism; I'm pretty much a realist on this as well as most other things.

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post #11 of 79 Old Apr 17th, 2009, 10:29 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
"Dave, you ignorant slut."

."
I thought it was "Jane you ignorant slut"..
I kept that brain cell loaded with that memory, hoping I would be able to use that one and dang it ya'll sorta beat me to it..


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post #12 of 79 Old Apr 18th, 2009, 12:49 am
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Re: GT reliability

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I thought it was "Jane you ignorant slut"..
I kept that brain cell loaded with that memory, hoping I would be able to use that one and dang it ya'll sorta beat me to it..


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post #13 of 79 Old Apr 18th, 2009, 11:12 pm
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
This isn't the weekend I go by Jane.
Alright, already! I'll ship the Jane suit back to you Monday. Sheesh!



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post #14 of 79 Old Apr 19th, 2009, 9:49 pm
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Re: GT reliability

I sold my '06 GT at the end of October ... still haven't replaced it. As much as I loved my GT (and former LT) I won't be buying another BMW until all these "silly rumors" of failing final drives go away.

Yea ... my final drive let go at 19K. But ... that might just be a rumor too.
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post #15 of 79 Old Apr 19th, 2009, 11:33 pm
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GT reliability

My dealer "Mama" INSISTS that the FD's that are failing are the "iron butt" guys. You know, riding 8 + hours at a time, etc. I don't think that is jiving with what the guys on this site are saying, however.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #16 of 79 Old Apr 20th, 2009, 12:49 am
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Re: GT reliability

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Alright, already! I'll ship the Jane suit back to you Monday. Sheesh!
Thanks, Sister! The Charo outfit I've been wearing is really throwing people off.

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post #17 of 79 Old Apr 20th, 2009, 6:38 am
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Re: GT reliability

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Thanks, Sister! The Charo outfit I've been wearing is really throwing people off.
NAAW looks nuthin like ya.

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post #18 of 79 Old Apr 20th, 2009, 10:18 pm
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
I sold my '06 GT at the end of October ... still haven't replaced it. As much as I loved my GT (and former LT) I won't be buying another BMW until all these "silly rumors" of failing final drives go away.

Yea ... my final drive let go at 19K. But ... that might just be a rumor too.
I hear ya bud. While I'm still head-over-heels in love with my FJR, I do want another (modern) BMW someday. But there is no way in hell I'm buying one until there's a marked improvement in both actual on-road reliability AND attitude from BMW.

I think it speaks volume that our own k-bikes.com GT forum has 4 sticky threads dealing with major flaws on the K12GT. That's just seems crazy.

My local BMW club has a huge group of R12GS riders. They too are plagued by trip-ending problems, several of them repeat failures on the same bike, others with more than one major failure on their GS. These are hardcore BMW guys that freakin' LOVE their GS's but they're near the end of their ropes. EWS, fuel pumps, fuel pump relays, FDs, fuel guages that can't be made to work after 5 attempts by the dealer, etc.

We had to trailer home one of these GS's just this weekend on day one of a planned week long vacation after the u-joint fragged.

I wish you guys many happy miles of riding but I'd make sure your tow plan is up to date and if I was you, I wouldn't ride one day or one mile past the end of the warranty.

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post #19 of 79 Old Apr 20th, 2009, 11:22 pm
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Re: GT reliability

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I think it speaks volume that our own k-bikes.com GT forum has 4 sticky threads dealing with major flaws on the K12GT. That's just seems crazy..
I did that. Makes sense now, eh?

I absolutely love my GT. It charges out of corners like satan is after it and leans till I freak out. I can ride it all day long comfortably and it's a breeze to work on. I'm even confident that I can adjust the valves now.



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post #20 of 79 Old Apr 20th, 2009, 11:23 pm
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by bmwhd
I hear ya bud.
And speaking of "bud". ;~)

I believe I owe you a 6-pack or something. You won the bet fair and square, and I need to pay up. I guess that GT's still costing me money.

PM me your address and beverage of choice. Or maybe just your address ... I'll send ya something worth while.
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post #21 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 5:16 am
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Re: GT reliability

Great, just days after I buy a 06' GT I find this thread...It's still under warranty but HOLLY COW, now I'm worried to death and I'm wondering if I made a hasty decision to buy this bike....The dealership said they went through this bike top to bottom and it is in great condition.
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post #22 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 6:55 am
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Re: GT reliability

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Great, just days after I buy a 06' GT I find this thread...It's still under warranty but HOLLY COW, now I'm worried to death and I'm wondering if I made a hasty decision to buy this bike....The dealership said they went through this bike top to bottom and it is in great condition.
The bike went thru some teething and recalls. It's a machine and this is the internet; those bitten scream the loudest. If you read all the bad threads on the LT you'd never buy one.

I had some real problems with the LT, to the point I replaced my engine on my dime. That was just one problem. I still loved the bike and rode it to lonely spots with confidence. The GT is twice the bike the LT ever was and I love it. You may never have one moments of problem. Enjoy the bike and if something happens, fix it.



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post #23 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 7:03 am
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by Motor2191
Great, just days after I buy a 06' GT I find this thread...It's still under warranty but HOLLY COW, now I'm worried to death and I'm wondering if I made a hasty decision to buy this bike....The dealership said they went through this bike top to bottom and it is in great condition.
The only bad part of this and any forum is you only hear about the problems people have with their bikes and not the many many folks that ride them with little to no problems. They say 4 % of final drives will fail that means 96 % will not. That being said there have been people with multiple issues with their bikes but so many more that don't. I have a 2000 LT with 54,000 miles and would jump on her anytime and go across country without worry. I say "Just Ride It"

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post #24 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 8:37 am
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Re: GT reliability

Up the towing insurance, pack extra food and a spare cell phone battery and ride the mutha wherever and whenever.

In my mid 90's Harley (fantasy bad "A") era I had a $650.00 towing bill topped by a $4,500.00 repair bill which put me on a BMW.

Other than one main seal leak, I've never had anything but fun since.
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post #25 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 9:36 am
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Re: GT reliability

I've been riding for 40 years now and rode my first Beemer (a R60/2) 30 years ago. The only problems I've ever had was my 2 R1100RT's, ('97 and 2000). Both of the had there clutches go at around 16k and 32k. Had them replaced under warranty and traded before the warranty ran out. Bought my LT in 2002 new and the only trouble I've had is my radio went out last year and I haven't bothered to fix it as I either ride short distances or listen to my MP3 player when I travel, left handgrip rubber wore out, and my center stand broke at the weld. So (knock on wood I don't have any real problems in the future) I'm very pleased with Beemers and their reliability. Considering the anti-lock brakes have saved my life more than once, I love what BMW has done for us. I've ridden just about everything else and have never had a trouble free bike. And if anyone remembers the AMF Harleys, those bikes had a real reliability issue.
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post #26 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 11:20 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor2191
Great, just days after I buy a 06' GT I find this thread...It's still under warranty but HOLLY COW, now I'm worried to death and I'm wondering if I made a hasty decision to buy this bike....The dealership said they went through this bike top to bottom and it is in great condition.
As they said, don't sweat it. Chances are very high that you'll never have an issue. Just not high enough for me to spend the kind of premium BMW charges for their bikes right now.

Seriously though, don't listen to me. I've been bitten badly by the car side of BMW recently as well and am a bit jaded at the moment.

Todd R.
Grapevine, TX USA

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post #27 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 11:23 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
And speaking of "bud". ;~)

I believe I owe you a 6-pack or something. You won the bet fair and square, and I need to pay up. I guess that GT's still costing me money.

PM me your address and beverage of choice. Or maybe just your address ... I'll send ya something worth while.
Well my friend, that would be Leffe Blond but that's the type of debt that can only be settled in person. Next time you're out Dallas-way, give me a shout and we'll toast each others health.

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post #28 of 79 Old Apr 21st, 2009, 10:45 pm Thread Starter
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Talking Re: GT reliability

Actually after reading all these posts I feel good so far about the 1300. I really don't plan on trading for a couple of years and just wanted some feed back of how it is going.
I feel confident I will end up on a 1300 when it comes time to do something but I hope that is a little ways away.

I love getting things stirred up!!!
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post #29 of 79 Old May 8th, 2009, 9:05 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
My dealer "Mama" INSISTS that the FD's that are failing are the "iron butt" guys. You know, riding 8 + hours at a time, etc. .....

You say that like it's a bad thing.

And by the way, no self-respecting "iron butt guy" would stop at 8 hours.

GB

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post #30 of 79 Old May 8th, 2009, 11:09 am
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Re: GT reliability

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Originally Posted by GBarnes
And by the way, no self-respecting "iron butt guy" would stop at 8 hours.
Well, maybe for breakfast.
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post #31 of 79 Old May 8th, 2009, 11:33 am
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GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBarnes
You say that like it's a bad thing.

And by the way, no self-respecting "iron butt guy" would stop at 8 hours.

GB
No, I'm just wondering if her theory holds any water? I say ride as far and as fast as you can safely do it! I know an Iron Butt would NOT stop at 8 hours, but if what she says is true, your F/D might!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #32 of 79 Old May 8th, 2009, 1:36 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
No, I'm just wondering if her theory holds any water? I say ride as far and as fast as you can safely do it! I know an Iron Butt would NOT stop at 8 hours, but if what she says is true, your F/D might!
I would say her theory does not hold water. Most of the reported cases were not from LD riders, although those may get more notice due to the visibility of that community.

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post #33 of 79 Old May 8th, 2009, 10:15 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
My dealer "Mama" INSISTS that the FD's that are failing are the "iron butt" guys.
What a load of crap. Let me translate that for you:

"We build and sell the finest quality German machines that money can buy. If your bike is failing, it must be your fault."

Have you ever heard of any car or even any other bike coming with a warning not to ride it more than 8 hours in a row? Hogwash.

As mentioned, the "Iron Butt guys" have a lot of failures simply because they put more miles on the bikes, so they're more likely to find these design deficiencies, or at least to find them first. Plus they're much more vocal about it when they do fail.

But as we've seen over and over again on this site, all BMW's are susceptible to failure, from a few thousand miles to tens of thousands. So no, it sure isn't the rider's fault and anyone who claims that is either deluded or just plain lying.

Can you tell that I've heard all this crap before?

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post #34 of 79 Old May 9th, 2009, 10:33 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
My dealer "Mama" INSISTS that the FD's that are failing are the "iron butt" guys. You know, riding 8 + hours at a time, etc. I don't think that is jiving with what the guys on this site are saying, however.
Jay,
I would be tempted to ask your dealer why the "iron butt guys", (and gals), are switching to Yamahas & Hondas and are not still having FD issues, (or much of anything else).

Just aske her, I'd like to hear the response.

GB

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post #35 of 79 Old May 9th, 2009, 12:28 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
I would say her theory does not hold water. Most of the reported cases were not from LD riders, although those may get more notice due to the visibility of that community.
Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
What a load of crap. Let me translate that for you:

"We build and sell the finest quality German machines that money can buy. If your bike is failing, it must be your fault."....
Yeah, guys, based on what I have read on this fine forum, I had a feeling you were gonna say that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBarnes
Jay,
I would be tempted to ask your dealer why the "iron butt guys", (and gals), are switching to Yamahas & Hondas and are not still having FD issues, (or much of anything else).

Just aske her, I'd like to hear the response.

GB
Yeah, I figure it would come down the something like this.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #36 of 79 Old May 10th, 2009, 9:47 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
Yeah, guys, based on what I have read on this fine forum, I had a feeling you were gonna say that!

Yeah, I figure it would come down the something like this.
Well, if that's what you expected, why waste your and our time with it then?

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post #37 of 79 Old May 10th, 2009, 11:01 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Well I rode the OR Rose City 500 yesterday and including from home to the start and back home after the finish it took me 10 hours since there was a lot of back roads/mt riding.

I hit a buck thirty a few times passing lines of cars and other than realizing the front Avon was a flat spotted POS causing massive vibration at speed, came home with the FD intact.

Did have some FI issues though, hanging idle, no roll off buffer, so back to the dealer Tue.

Great bike, great fun.
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post #38 of 79 Old May 11th, 2009, 2:05 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
Well, if that's what you expected, why waste your and our time with it then?
Huh? Don't know who's post you were reading, but it sure wasn't mine!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #39 of 79 Old May 11th, 2009, 7:04 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Can't really argue with that conclusion, but the best answer I've been able to come up with is "too many miles."
HAHAHAHA too many miles, that is funny!

I haven't heard of a FJR final drive letting go......

maybe we can make one fit a GT?

Tom

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post #40 of 79 Old May 11th, 2009, 7:20 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
My dealer "Mama" INSISTS that the FD's that are failing are the "iron butt" guys. You know, riding 8 + hours at a time, etc. I don't think that is jiving with what the guys on this site are saying, however.

what a joke, I would laugh so hard had they said that to me,

it would have to do with miles , not hours you ride each day, operating temps are reached FAR before 8 hours of riding, these final drives are still failing at low miles,

I actually had a similar conversation not long ago with a couple DIE hard BMW GS riders, they both commented they have never had a final drive fail and said basically were rude about it! said they have been buying new BMW's for some time now, key word NEW!, they trade them in around 36k miles on a new one!

No wonder they have not had any failures!, and they must have a TON of money because at about 8k trade in with 36k miles on a 18kish new bike is 10 grand every year! in reality I bet it really is between 9-11k loss

it's customers like that that keep BMW from spending serious money redesigning a drive that lasts! the few of us that actually put 100-200k on one bike are not a concern for BMW at all,

BMW builds the finest bike out there IMO as far as ride and handling at least in the touring bikes and off road large CC motorcycle, yes i include the F650 and new 800gs as well,

but it's time for them to fix the final drives

Tom

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post #41 of 79 Old May 12th, 2009, 11:11 am
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor2191
Great, just days after I buy a 06' GT I find this thread...It's still under warranty but HOLLY COW, now I'm worried to death and I'm wondering if I made a hasty decision to buy this bike....The dealership said they went through this bike top to bottom and it is in great condition.
Hey Motor 2191!

Good of you to post and welcome to the gang! As you can tell from my sig., I ran two K bikes for over six years. No one warranty problems at all. I wore out tires. I rode all over and went way too darn fast. My BMW experience has been trouble free. Some folks know that KTM has been my client. Now I am helping Yasuni, the Bareclona HP exhaust guys. Riding around the world is just so much fun! Certainly all brands have their issues and the training problems at dealerships is their #1 challenge for the store owners. As a new owner of a used bike, my only suggestion to you is keep a close eye on tire pressures and don't let the cell phone and TEXTING idiots take you out!

Rob Nelson

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post #42 of 79 Old May 12th, 2009, 12:51 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Being an old Harley/Triumph and now BMW rider I think you guys are forgetting the old adage, "Two tits or two wheels, either way you've got problems."

You've got all that horsepower and torque out in the elements under extreme stress, stuff happens. Just ride it and deal with it as it comes along.

One reason I'll always belong to HOG is their Road America towing program. For $29 a year they cover towing to a dealer, hotel room, car rentals and other expenses incurred while repairs are being accomplished, on any type of bike. They reimbursed me $1,000 in expenses when a charging system failed years ago.

Ride fast. Take chances.

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post #43 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 11:28 am
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Re: GT reliability

Hi,

Just logging in for the first time, and really, I guess this is not exactly where I belong as I ride a K1200R '06. But, as I use the bike mainly for touring or sport/touring just thought I'd add my 2 cents. When I was a kid I drove an R60/5 BMW from Berlin to Australia, so -- now all grown up -- decided a BMW would be a fun bike again, since my first one was flawless in lousy conditions. Heard about the FD failures and decided it was prudent to do a little research before buying. Forums turned out to be magnets for issues, of course, and the raw numbers really didn't seem excessive. But, I believed there had to be more to it than that, since everyone was saying the FD on modern BMWs was a real issue. I finally found a web page dedicated to documenting BMW FD failures. It covered bikes from 1993 - 2008, and basically stated it was proof of the legendary FD failures. However, it was clearly padded, having duplicate entries and entries that may or may not have been FD failures. Anyway, doing the math, it worked out to 8 bikes per year, all models, world wide from 1993 - 2008. So, I bought my bike, and it's been perfect.

But as this issue never dies, I recently asked a mechanic at one of the largest BMW dealerships in the US for his FD replacement rate. Now, since this is a huge dealership, I would expect the numbers to be proportionally large. He has replaced one air head, one hex head and one k rear. 3. He did, however say, that he felt the FD seals were marginal, and -- of course -- if you noticed fluid on the FD and did nothing about it, you would eventually waste the rear end. He recently said that there have been some upgrades on the K1300x rear, but not clear what. Had another chat with a recently retired mechanic at a much smaller dealership, and he claimed that in 20 years he had replaced one FD. 1. Just my 2 cents. (2)...

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post #44 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 12:43 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
OK, my turn.

I've had two clutch replacements (36K & 65K) and two final drive replacements (63K & 73K) in two years on my '07 GT.

The multi-plate wet clutch is inherently a very robust design. It's what 90% of the bikes out there use. BMW has only been using it since 2005, so they're a bit new to the party. As such, they've had some teething problems related to poor oil flow, sticking clutch plates, and interference with other components. Most of these items simply mean the clutch is excessively noisy, but not necessarily prone to failure. Each year they introduce more minor changes to help fine-tune the clutch, and after riding a K1300 I think they've gotten pretty close.

BMW has been using the Paralever final drive for ~20 years, and it's their own proprietary technology. Because of an excessive number of failures on the LT's and RT's, they completely redesigned the Paralever for the 1200cc Boxer bikes in '04. The new Slant/4 bikes also have this newer Paralever, but mirrored to the other side due to engine layout requirements.

The newer Paralever is also experiencing a higher than normal failure rate. And BMW has made incremental changes for '08 and '09 to address these failures. In '08, they beefed up the input pinion bearings and added a drain plug. In '09, they changed the drive shaft to a 2-piece version. So theoretically, the newest bikes have the least chance of failure.

But when my factory-fitted '07 final drive failed last summer, they replaced it with the latest-greatest '08 final drive with all the improvements. Then 3 months and 10K miles later, that one failed as well. So much for incremental improvements.

As I said, the only evidence I can find between the '08 and '09 drives is changes to the drive shaft, not the drive itself. I want to believe that BMW has finally gotten it right, and I'd buy a K13 today if I knew for sure. But the fact is that we don't know for sure. So the best we can do is hope that they got it right, and wait until lots of folks start putting lots of miles on the new bikes and see how it all shakes down.

Note that I never said BMW was the worst company in the world, but they do have a few things to learn about reliability and standing behind their products. My dealers have been great, but quite honestly the factory should have found and definitely fixed the root cause of these failures long ago. Anything less is simply sub-par.

Note that I'm not telling anyone not to buy a new bike if you really want one. But you should be aware of the potential issues. At least as aware as we can be given the randomness of the problem and the complete lack of hard evidence here.

So as with everything else, in the end it's your choice.
Hi Ken,given your final drive problems you would have been better off with a chain drive

BMW have been using wet clutches since the early 1990's as the F650 Funduro was so equipped, and yes I know it was a Rotax engine in an Aprillia assembled machine but BMW obviously had input in the design and later on took control of assembly away from Aprillia and into themselves.

I may be wrong but my understanding was the paralever was "stolen" technology from the 1985 Magni Moto Guzzi Le Mans,

http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/bikes/Magni.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swingarm

in the same way as DuoLever is "stolen" from Hossack

http://www.hossack-design.co.uk/php/page.php?p=5

and the Telelever was stolen from Saxon Motodd

http://jeffdean2.home.att.net/saxon-motodd.jpg

Seems they just wait until the patents expire than steal anothers ideas, maybe legal but morally it's contemptible really.

--
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07 BMW K1200GT SE
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post #45 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 1:43 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrannel
Hi,

I finally found a web page dedicated to documenting BMW FD failures. It covered bikes from 1993 - 2008, and basically stated it was proof of the legendary FD failures. However, it was clearly padded, having duplicate entries and entries that may or may not have been FD failures. Anyway, doing the math, it worked out to 8 bikes per year, all models, world wide from 1993 - 2008. So, I bought my bike, and it's been perfect.
Could you post the link to this webpage - thanks!

Ted

Camarillo, CA
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
2003 K1200LTC - Silver - Sold
IBA# 16554

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post #46 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 2:24 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Hey David, good to see you over here from K-Bikes.com.

But as I responded over there, BMW's final drive problem is very real.



As for your dealer, that's only one guy's opinion. Hell, I've had four final drive failures myself, so that single data point tells me the bikes are rolling time bombs. But obviously that's not true, just as it's not true that the final drive issue is somehow trivial.

It is a very real, and very serious problem. No, that doesn't mean that every BMW will fail, nor does it mean that BMW is somehow blind to it. And you may get lucky and never have an issue with the bike. Then again, you may not . . .



So if it makes you feel better about your bike to say "It's not a real problem" or "You must've done something to the bike" then go for it. But please don't try and tell us who know damn well that there is a problem that it is trivial. Because trust me, it's not.

Ken
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post #47 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 2:25 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
Could you post the link to this webpage - thanks!
You mean bmwfinaldrive.com? Most of those reports are from folks on this board, with a few LD Riders, ADV Riders, and BMW Sport Touring guys thrown in for good measure.

BTW, when you start typing BMW final drive in Google, the auto-complete automatically completes it as BMW final drive failure . . .

Now that's damning in a way that BMW will simply never truly understand.

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #48 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 3:11 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese

So if it makes you feel better about your bike to say "It's not a real problem" or "You must've done something to the bike" then go for it. But please don't try and tell us who know damn well that there is a problem that it is trivial. Because trust me, it's not.
Hey Meese, yeah a friend of mine over here asked me to comment because he thinks a sound "disagreement" would be good to look at. But, you know what, to paraphrase a famous (but boring) film: show me the numbers. That BMW shop was Max BMW, and they handle a huge number of bikes. The only way you can dismiss him (and the other one I quoted) is to say they are very lucky, or liars. But, from what I've seen, the numbers of failures do not justify the rap, any more than the supposed "legendary" FJR rear end failures... just to quote from one of their forums (where I was directed by a -- as usual -- non-BMW owner to see what a reliable FD was like). So, tell you what, most people on this forum seem to think the FD breaks down all the time? -- so, show us the numbers.

And, BTW, a fun place to start is at www.safercar.gov where you can actually search for complaints that may not have made it to actual recall numbers.

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post #49 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 3:57 pm
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Re: GT reliability

thanks Ken - I found that but wasn't sure if that was the site David was referring to.

btw - did you get an envelope from the IBA? Mine came Saturday .

Ted

Camarillo, CA
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2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
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post #50 of 79 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 4:13 pm
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Re: GT reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by slparry
Seems they just wait until the patents expire than steal anothers ideas, maybe legal but morally it's contemptible really.
Even if this is what they do (and FWIW, it's not -- my experience is that they are good engineers in the sense that they stay abreast of technologies the world over, and only invent new stuff if they have a need they can't satisfy), what's wrong with it?

The fundamental idea behind patents is it's society's bargin with inventors to encourage (i) the advancement of science and technology, and (ii) the making of new technologies available to the public. At it's most basic, it's society saying "we will give you a monopoly -- something we really don't like, so it's limited to a fixed period -- in exchange for you making your invention publicly available to all at the end of your monopoly."

With this system, the inventor gets up to 20 years to commercially exploit the invention (his/her incentive to participate in the patent process), and after the patent expires, the whole world can enjoy the benefits of the invention (society's incentive to tolerate a monopoly).

I don't know whether BMW started from the Hossack design when developing the Telelever, or whether some smart engineer came up with it on his own. But even if the idea started with Hossack, just because someone else thought of it first, is that a reason no one else should ever use the idea again??

My $0.02 is that rather than poo-pooing BMW's use of technology that may have been previously known (often in a novel new application), you should be thanking them for not reinventing the wheel for _everything_ and thereby driving the cost of the bikes even higher than they already are to fund the massive (and totally unnecssary) R&D required to support an "only new ideas" approach to business.

Mark Neblett
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