Originally Posted by Lumpy
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing the LT. I owned 3 GW's previously myself and I totally prefer the LT over them all. Yet I was told by a dealer tech that the bearing races he's seen on many failed final drives fell apart for reasons they could not determine. Personally speaking, I feel that two failures in my 68k miles is too many. It's super that many owners have not had to experience these failures on the road. But some of us have and I, for one, would appreciate knowing what goes awry with the bearing so that I can ride and enjoy the LT even more. Now, wouldn't anyone here want to know more if this had been your experience? Be honest, of course you would. But unless there is discussion on the failures, how else can we learn about them? And maybe it seems like a dead horse to most. But to others it's not. I signed on to the BMW community a year ago and before that I didn't even know there were other failures. Sure, things break all the time. Bikes break down. But more times than not you can relate the cause to something. In the case of the final drive, this doesn't seem to be the case. For many this may seem like whining. To me I'm just trying to figure out why the drive breaks like it does when I don't think that it should. I've been riding nearly 30 years and have owned 50 or more bikes and the only bike that has ever left me on the side of the road with a mechanical problem I couldn't fix is the LT. If yours had failed twice, wouldn't you want to know more? If I didn't like the bike, I wouldn't put up with it and would just get another. But I do like the bike and I really want to know more about why it breaks. That's just me, though.
I hear you... If I were in your position, I would want to know as well. But, the fact of the matter is, as a consumer, the best thing that I have found that I can do is take it a day at a time, indemnify myself against potential loss through an extended warranty and enjoy the machine.
I haven't had the final drive problem, but I have had other serious problems such as a rear main seal and other seals going bad which were costly repairs. I had an extended warranty that paid for it.
If you like the bike as you say, you must develop an ownership strategy that protects you from a negative outcome and then enjoy the bike. Since we don't know for sure the cause, BMW hasn't indicated that they have either, all we can do is just that.
Moving forward, here is my strategy with my '03:
1) I purchased the bike with very low mileage in early '05 with warranty left on it.
2) Purchased an all inclusive extended warranty to address potential problems. This was a 6 year policy that will expire 1/09 ..
3) I will renegotiate for the continuation of the policy. If I can not do that for an acceptable cost, I will trade in or sell the machine. At that time, I will either purchase another one and repeat the same strategy, or purchase another bike and follow that same protocol of ownership.
So far, the bike has had 2500.00 worth of repair work done in 33K miles in 1 minor repair and 2 more major repairs. My exposure has been 150.00 in deductables and 700.00 in the initial outlay of the warranty.
I have only been stranded for a short time once on a long trip due to my own stupidity. That was battery related. But I was able to resolve the problem since I had a battery tender with me.
I understand your longterm history of riding, but in reality, it really comes down to risk and the economics of owning the machine. If you can accept that risk, knowing what to expect from the manufacturer and the joy outways that risk to you, then go with it. If not, get rid of it and find another.
I wouldn't expect that much more from BMW on this issue for the following reasons:
1) They are loosing money in the US due to the horrible exchange rate with the Euro. This I believe accounts for the trouble that the US dealers are having dealing with them and profitiing.
2) We are a small market for them compared to just about everywhere else. And as Americans as a whole, we really have come to expect far better treatment from our vendors then many other cultures.
3) R&D is working on another LT -- Replacment for the existing model. This is where they are concentrating thier resources moving forward.
4) They are selling many more other models that they are concentrating their efforts on such as the GT, RT, GS (their best selling model), now the F800 series is a push changing focus of the public away from the current LT.
It all sums up to BMW not concentrating on the LT issue unless they are forced to.. It is a loosing proposition for them. That sucks for us, but, they are motiviated by what has the best bottom line for them.
Just my humble opinion.