Australian Experience - BMW Roadside Assistance Program
Mixed results from two call-outs:
1) Found myself stuck in Sydney western suburbs with gear shift connecting rod sheared off (common fault) and in 1st gear. About 20km from home. Called Roadside Assist - 20 mins later specialised bike transporter collected my cycle and deposited her at dealer for warranty repair, and a taxi collected me to drive me home. Next morning BMW provided a taxi to the dealer, to collect my repaired cycle. Free of charge all.
2) A loud pop and some acrid smoke from under the seat announced the demise of my very last ever wet cell battery. The back of the battery completely blew off, exposing the plates and dumping acid all over the carrier and the bits and pieces around. Smoke was from the acid dripping down onto the exhaust. (EEEEEEEKKKKK!!!!) Diluted the corrosive solution with the only liquid to hand - must have looked strange to the passing motorists with me urinating INTO the smoking bike. Being in the middle of **nowhere** on a Sunday afternoon, on a Public Holiday weekend, things were not looking good. Jumped back on the girl to try and move to the nearest phone (Road Warriors Cafe Mt White Sydney for the locals) and incredibly, she started like there was nothing amiss. Got to the cafe and properly diluted the remaining battery acid, then phoned BMW. I swear the very polite girl on the other end of the phone said "Do BMW make motorcycles?", causing my flagging spirits to sink even lower. After much discussion, she sent a tow truck - a flat bed at that - and the driver cheerfully assured me that just tying the girl on, then compressing the bars down whilst tightening the ropes would be just fine.
Frequent readers of this board will know that the trail bike tie-down technique for box trailer transport will just not do for the LT, so I politely told him to do something anatomically difficult except for hermaphrodites, and the extremely well-endowed, and phoned BMW again. Their next advice was to 'leave the bike on the side of the road, and we will send a taxi for you. It will take you to the nearest train station' Now Mount White is Deliverance country, with a lot of banjo playing people that have hyphenated firstnames (you know- Billy-Bob, Ellie-May, Two-Dogs, Leather-face and the like). Leaving my pride and joy unattended and disabled overnight in the bayou was not going to happen either.
I decided to take matters into my own hands (not in the same fashion as I did when I was first diluting the battery acid) and borrow a mate's cycle at the cafe, to travel to the nearest BMW dealership. By the only stroke of luck due to me that day, the distance involved was only 25km or so. I shoehorned myself aboard his crotch rocket (VF1000 FireStorm) and took off. At the dealership I found that the bike guys had all gone home, and only two car sales guys were left to close up. They couldnt get into the store, so I seemed to be out of luck. I then spied the gleaming black 04 LTC on the showroom floor. A bit of quick talking and I had the gel-cell battery out of her, and back aboard the FireStorm I went. At this particular point, just to add insult to injury, something that I had eaten earlier in the day decided to start clawing it's way through my guts, towards the final inevitable conclusion. Now if you've ever ridden a FireStorm, you would know that one is hunched over - way over - the handlebars. This position is not conducive to comfort when one has every muscle below the waist clenched tightly, with a gel-cell battery inside the jacket, in a race with involuntary bowel movements for the toilet back at the cafe. To spare you, gentle readers, from the unpleasant details of the conclusion, I will only say that, in the words of Maxwell Smart - "I missed it by only that much" - or lets say, three steps away from the toilet and salvation.
Quite some time later, I staggered back to my bike in the fading twilight, clutching my gel-cell battery. After again washing down the acid soaked bits, I fitted her up, turned the key - and mercifully she fired into life.
A very thoughtful, slow and relatively uncomfortable ride home ensued.
Bottom line - BMW Roadside assist can be really, really helpful, but sometimes they just give you the shits.
Carool NSW Australia