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post #1 of 34 Old Aug 27th, 2011, 6:35 pm Thread Starter
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#647 D O A

So #647, Blue GTL, arrived at the dealer in late July and still is in the shop despite a valiant effort on his part and BMW to get it going. It arrived with a dead primary control computer (not the right terminology, but as close as I can come) and after a replacement that did not work and numerous attempts at a work around, the bike is still not able to see its own keys and can't start.

The dealer has a very experienced service staff and have done everything that they could to get this bike on the road. I give him full credit for taking the final action of declaring this bike unusable and requesting a replacement--to his credit, being four hours away, he and i agreed that we can't afford an ongoing round robin of computer problems.

The culprit here is that we are in the early part of the cycle on this bike and these kind of things are to be expected. The final judgement is not whether or not they happen, but how BMW responds. Let's see how they do this week in coming up with a replacement bike...


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post #2 of 34 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 8:05 am
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Re: #647 D O A

My dealer told me they were starting to build for the general public at the end of this month, they may already be building them. My dealer has only delivered two bikes, one GT and one GTL and their demo is dead with a bad dashboard that won't light up so no one can ride their demo, who knows if they know how to fix it, it's been sitting like that for a couple of month's now.
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post #3 of 34 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 4:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

I really think that the step up in technology on these bikes has challenged the ability of the entire network to come up with solutions on more difficult problems involving software and the digital control system components. This will improve with experience, but the early instances of problems like the one you outlined and the lobotomy on #647 makes it tough for dealers to deliver fixes.

It does make one wonder how these bikes left the factory without a fully functioning control system. In total defense of the dealer, he is doing everything possible to get a fix, but as the saying goes, you can easily tell who the pioneers are by the arrows in their chests. The test is not if there are problems because there will be. As i said in my last post, the test at this point is how the support network responds.

More to come on this situation, positive and negative, I am sure.

RB


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post #4 of 34 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 10:13 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketbike
I really think that the step up in technology on these bikes has challenged the ability of the entire network to come up with solutions on more difficult problems involving software and the digital control system components. This will improve with experience, but the early instances of problems like the one you outlined and the lobotomy on #647 makes it tough for dealers to deliver fixes.

It does make one wonder how these bikes left the factory without a fully functioning control system. In total defense of the dealer, he is doing everything possible to get a fix, but as the saying goes, you can easily tell who the pioneers are by the arrows in their chests. The test is not if there are problems because there will be. As i said in my last post, the test at this point is how the support network responds.

More to come on this situation, positive and negative, I am sure.

RB
Well, I am not sure how the system works on the GT/GTL but I can tell you how the similar system works on one of our new cars (Ford). There is a chip inside the key that is read by an antenna surrounding the ignition cylinder. The signal is read by the Body computer and then that computer tells the Engine computer it is okay to start. The Body and Engine computers are married such that if either gets changed the system is totally locked out until the new replacement computer is properly married. This is so the vehicle cannot get stolen by changing the Engine computer to one that recognizes an unauthorized key.

If you try to use a key that is not programmed; no start. If the ECU gets changed without re-marrying it to the Body computer; no start. If the Body computer gets changed without re-marrying it to the ECU; no start.

If the BMW K1600GT/GTL works similar then changing the computer without properly marrying it back to the system may be the culprit. I don't know for certain because I don't really know the BMW system but I am just mentioning it because it sounds like a very consistant symptom. Maybe the dealer has not been properly taught how to do this yet on the new system.

regards,
Dan

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post #5 of 34 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 10:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Dan--This sounds exactly like the symptoms I have been told this bike has. I think the struggle is that no one in the U.S. has the software keys to reset the interface with either the main CPU or the other controllers, much less the physical keys. Everyone is scrambling.

What worries me most is that the initial symptoms were an erratic response to the control selector on the left hand grip. It is possible that there was a faulty rotary switch just as much as a bad cpu. But once they start down the most complex path, it is a slippery slope to all the things you identified from your work at Ford. The big difference is that at Ford, all this is wrung out before the car goes into production. I am still mystified how this all got through the end of the production line tests if it really had a bad CPU???

RB


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post #6 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 11:06 am
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Re: #647 D O A

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Originally Posted by Rocketbike
Dan--This sounds exactly like the symptoms I have been told this bike has. I think the struggle is that no one in the U.S. has the software keys to reset the interface with either the main CPU or the other controllers, much less the physical keys. Everyone is scrambling.

What worries me most is that the initial symptoms were an erratic response to the control selector on the left hand grip. It is possible that there was a faulty rotary switch just as much as a bad cpu. But once they start down the most complex path, it is a slippery slope to all the things you identified from your work at Ford. The big difference is that at Ford, all this is wrung out before the car goes into production. I am still mystified how this all got through the end of the production line tests if it really had a bad CPU???

RB
I bet you are correct in that statement. The process of resetting the system and relearning the keys requires a strict software procedure to prevent would-be thieves from stumbling on it. If the GT/GTL is a new CAN architecture this could explain the issue. It is too bad the area Service Manager cannot even get an answer, unless of course the questions are not being asked properly.

It isn't too hard to believe the US market gets neglected with stuff like this. My 'new to me' 2006 K1200GT alarmed me on my 'shake down ride' with a stumble and rough running condition while cruising steady state at about 3,000 RPM. Luckily it is a known issue. Being an engineer involved in drivability evaluations and corrections I recognized this immediately as poor vapor purge calibration. When I found out that the canister is on USA spec vehicles only and the calibration was not changed from Europe it was a head shaking moment for me. Proper purge calibration is a major drivability and customer perception item. Could nobody from Europe calibrate the purge system to not cause a stumble?

The users on this site are wonderful at figuring stuff like this out and that is great, however, waiting until users figure out how to re-marry modules and program keys is not really an option. I hope this all works out for you and soon!

Edit: As a shot in the dark I wonder if the BMW techs at the car dealership would know. The system may use the same procedure as one of the new car models. Module design and CAN systems are rarely one-offs. They are way too complicated!

regards,
Dan

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post #7 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 2:12 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

This is sooooo BMW on first year bikes and the reason a lot of us pass on them. Field testing the glitches through customer purchases, little to no tech experience in CONUS, lack of accessories, dealers left in the dark, no color selection, and riders sitting at home with their $30K investment spending half their first year summer riding season in the shop.

Maybe they should take the computer out of the one with the dead dashboard and get you fixed up for a week or two before it starts to snow.

I love BMW and hope they eventually make a real LT version. Once they get it right, they're great. Oh, the other side of the first year axiom is to stay away from this model year when they start popping up used. (Like 1999 and 2005 LTs)

FYI: Ask all the R bike riders(mostly RT and GS) with failed ignition antennas stranded in BFE since 2005. This is "already" a BMW problem perhaps now exported to the K bikes.

Bob Morrow #4204
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post #8 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 3:54 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallyho
This is sooooo BMW on first year bikes and the reason a lot of us pass on them. Field testing the glitches through customer purchases, little to no tech experience in CONUS, lack of accessories, dealers left in the dark, no color selection, and riders sitting at home with their $30K investment spending half their first year summer riding season in the shop.

Maybe they should take the computer out of the one with the dead dashboard and get you fixed up for a week or two before it starts to snow.

I love BMW and hope they eventually make a real LT version. Once they get it right, they're great. Oh, the other side of the first year axiom is to stay away from this model year when they start popping up used. (Like 1999 and 2005 LTs)

FYI: Ask all the R bike riders(mostly RT and GS) with failed ignition antennas stranded in BFE since 2005. This is "already" a BMW problem perhaps now exported to the K bikes.

1 out of 1,000+ ! Seems pretty good to me for a first run. Maybe I'm being naive and ignorant of what you think is obvious, but you can wait forever for all of the perceived glitches to be fixed and by then the next generation will be out.

Sort of reminds me of the farmer with the mule pulling the plow and someone asking him if he was going to wait for the mule to die before he got a mechanical tractor?

I'm too old to wait and willing to trust BMW to fix what is wrong..... enjoy your wait!

Dano
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post #9 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 5:52 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by dceggert
If the GT/GTL is a new CAN architecture this could explain the issue. It is too bad the area Service Manager cannot even get an answer, unless of course the questions are not being asked properly.
The media info packet sent to pre-order customers contains these 2 items:

"The BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are the first BMW motorcycles to be fitted with the new 2010 vehicle electrical system. It is based on the previous system but features a modified partitioning of functions."

"The new BMW 6-cylinders feature the most state-of-the-art engine control to date. BMS-X is being used for the first time in the K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL."

Any questions?

Steve W
Canton, MI USA

2012 K 1600 GT (#901 from 8/6/2011)


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post #10 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 8:33 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by realworld51
The media info packet sent to pre-order customers contains these 2 items:

"The BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are the first BMW motorcycles to be fitted with the new 2010 vehicle electrical system. It is based on the previous system but features a modified partitioning of functions."

"The new BMW 6-cylinders feature the most state-of-the-art engine control to date. BMS-X is being used for the first time in the K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL."

Any questions?
Interesting... here is some info:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/67956984/The-new-BMW-Z4

Also, apparently this state of-the-art CAN is also on the new BMW Z4 Roadster. The BMW car dealers would also have some info as well.

regards,
Dan

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post #11 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 10:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Thanks for the suggestion to see a car dealer. Since I own a 2000 Z3M I have some good contacts at the local dealership.

This is the week we are to hear what BMW's plan is to recover the situation. Stay tuned.

RB


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post #12 of 34 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 10:55 pm Thread Starter
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Wink Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDiver
1 out of 1,000+ ! Seems pretty good to me for a first run. Maybe I'm being naive and ignorant of what you think is obvious, but you can wait forever for all of the perceived glitches to be fixed and by then the next generation will be out.

Sort of reminds me of the farmer with the mule pulling the plow and someone asking him if he was going to wait for the mule to die before he got a mechanical tractor?

I'm too old to wait and willing to trust BMW to fix what is wrong..... enjoy your wait!
All good advice unless you are the one out of a thousand...
RB


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post #13 of 34 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 5:02 am
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Re: #647 D O A


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post #14 of 34 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:12 am
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Cool Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketbike
This is the week we are to hear what BMW's plan is to recover the situation. Stay tuned.

RB
hope they are quicker then they were with the side stand issue on my 04 R1200 CLC. After I replaced the trashed 03 in April of 04, it took three attempts (which is what is stated in owners manuel) until September to work out exchange for LT. The CLC was discontinued.

Toby in New York
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post #15 of 34 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 2:09 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

The fact it is broken shouldn't be of great concern. Things break. The fact they can't fix it should be of GREAT concern. Reminds me of the first 7 Series that had iDrive. BMW simply couldn't get it to work and stay working. My friend's wife met a lot of nice people at the BMW dealer who had the same problem and brought in their 7s time after time after time....
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post #16 of 34 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 2:30 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketbike
All good advice unless you are the one out of a thousand...
RB
My condolences.

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post #17 of 34 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 11:50 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Heard today that BMW is working on a replacement plan (for the bike, not just the CPU). The good news is that they are responding (we think); The implication is that there is no easy fix. It will be interesting to see how this plays out...

RB


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post #18 of 34 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 11:21 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Waiting with you brother... Hang in there...

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post #19 of 34 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 11:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Replacement ships this week, to arrive next, I am told. I wonder whose bike I just displaced. I guess this just kicks the can further down the road. Dealer is still hanging in there, very much on top of this as my advocate with BMW.

RB


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post #20 of 34 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 5:47 am
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Re: #647 D O A

Excellent news!

regards,
Dan

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post #21 of 34 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 2:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

I think this thread has been a good overview of how the dealer network and BMW are responding to difficult issues with initial owners of the K1600's. The result is that, as a team , the dealers, middle tier support and factory support are doing a good job scrambling to satisfy their initial customers. In this case, there was no visible problem getting the message to BMW that they would need to do a reset and send a new bike to replace #647 D O A. I do suspect that the dealer had to go some distance in that conversation, but to his credit, if he did, I didn't see it, and that keeps the brand in tact. So bottom line, I have a new VIN and a delivery date for next week.

I add that to the following list of pre-sale goodies and my judgement is that BMW is doing an excellent job with the K1600 intro:
--Tech Literature
--Unstoppable book
--Rear brake light program
--Emails and correspondence
--Polo shirt

I think that if the product is as great as we think and support is there, as it is in this case, we have a winner...and I have a new GTL next week!

RB


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post #22 of 34 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 6:38 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Hi, Richard - gotta question for ya. The dealer you're working with and who has gone to bat for you, as well as himself, and has gained some valuable experience of interaction with the upper echelon here and 'over there' - where are they located. I guess closest would be K.C., or maybe St. Louis, or even Bentonville down south. I think it's great that you've been giving them 'typed' high-fives and I'm sure this community would appreciate knowing of the dealer that exhibits the traits your's has.

The forums do have a 'dealer experience' category that is a great place to park both positive and negative dealership reports/stories. Hopefully, you'll agree to highlight your experience there, after all is said and done and you're happy and satisfied on all accounts. Thanks loads for sharing what you have so far.
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post #23 of 34 Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 3:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Dick--I will do just that.

The dealer is Gateway BMW in St. Louis and Bob Honz is the GM there. There was never a time that I needed to "convince" him that we needed a fix, and a good one at that, for this situation. He has been responsive, has communicated with updates regularly, and taken ownership of the problem. I appreciate it when a dealer does not dump on the factory, but assumes responsibility and goes for a fix instead of pointing fingers. Wish we had that in Washington DC!

I have also had experience with the dealer in Bentonville, AR on a warranty issue on my '09 LT that needed very fast resolution before a long trip last year and I found them to be great as well. I can say the same about the dealer in Detroit whom I did business with for years ('99LT, 2001 R1200C, 2006 R1150GS). All have been first class people with nothing other than getting the customer going in mind.

I will finish this thread when I get the new bike back to Springfield late next week or early the following week. Honz and I have an agreement that there won't be any computer problems with the next one. Bottom line, for me at least, it is far better to work with the dealer instead of screaming and yelling--I get much more accomplished and don't get my blood pressure up in the process.

RB


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post #24 of 34 Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 9:14 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Thanks a lot for the good references, Richard. Always of benefit to the community!!

And right proud to have you as a member here - the way you've handled this situation, and the result therefrom, is really what all of us would like to experience. Unfortunately, we don't see that often enough.

Enjoy the new ride, and be sure and tell Bob Honz that we appreciate his being the 'git-r-done' fellow. Both you guyz have an abundance of patience, and it is noted.

Best always.
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post #25 of 34 Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 10:30 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

The problem with this 1600 makes the sale incomplete so BMW will do whatever they can to make this sale. See how BMW treats a problem similar to this after delivery is made and a few miles on a bike. Just look at the final drive on the LT to start with.
I hope they change their ways and improve customer relations but somehow I don't think they will.
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post #26 of 34 Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 11:55 am Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Don--I understand what you are pointing out and generally, I agree that nagging problems after the sale are harder to resolve than before the transaction is complete. In this case, I asked BMW to go beyond just fixing the original bike, which I believe they would have finally done. But I didn't want to start out with a fix on a complex system that had an unknown cause and therefore potential additional problems down the road, plus the possibility that the bike may not have gotten a final check off the line in Germany. It was really my preference that they responded to and since I am not connected to BMW in any way other than occasionally buying their products, they really didn't have an obligation to respond as they did.

And the point of the whole story is how the dealer hung in there, regardless. I truly believe that had this happened 500 miles down the road, I would have ended up with a good fix that we all agreed on, although probably not a new bike.

I do sympathize with the many victims of final drive failure on their LT's. Neither one of mine had that problem, but based on what you read on this forum and others, it is clearly a design issue that is made worse with out of tolerance parts or assembly adjustments-- just too many problems and too important an issue to go unresolved. I have talked with several dealers who preform the final drive repairs "under warranty"whenever they can, regardless of milage. And that is what we need dealers to do as our advocates--they are an important part of the equation for us, is really my point.

RB


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post #27 of 34 Old Sep 5th, 2011, 8:38 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Interesting situation and outcome. Thanks for sharing this situation for the gang.

Rob Nelson

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post #28 of 34 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 3:14 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDiver
1 out of 1,000+ ! Seems pretty good to me for a first run. Maybe I'm being naive and ignorant of what you think is obvious, but you can wait forever for all of the perceived glitches to be fixed and by then the next generation will be out.

Sort of reminds me of the farmer with the mule pulling the plow and someone asking him if he was going to wait for the mule to die before he got a mechanical tractor?

I'm too old to wait and willing to trust BMW to fix what is wrong..... enjoy your wait!
Well said

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post #29 of 34 Old Sep 9th, 2011, 11:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Replacement left N.J. by barge on its way to MO this past Wednesday. Dealer should see it next week. I will get it a week after that giving everyone time to check things out. It can't happen twice to the same guy can it?

RB


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post #30 of 34 Old Sep 11th, 2011, 7:22 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

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Originally Posted by Rocketbike
I think this thread has been a good overview of how the dealer network and BMW are responding to difficult issues with initial owners of the K1600's. The result is that, as a team , the dealers, middle tier support and factory support are doing a good job scrambling to satisfy their initial customers. . . . . I have a new VIN and a delivery date for next week.



I think that if the product is as great as we think and support is there, as it is in this case, we have a winner...and I have a new GTL next week!

RB
As I was reading this thread I looked in the dictionary/encyclopedia at the word 'Patience' and was referred to calm and level headed and next to it was a picture of you [Rocketbike].

But your display is what we all need even thought easier said than done. Just let me add we are all on this forum for one reason our relationship with BMW . . . we all have one. And all of us wish there were more dealers to go around OK good dealers. Plus their link with the parent company is also important. Bottom line we need to keep all lines of communication open. We need BMW and they need us.
While I am enjoying my LT I feel the pain for those who are still waiting before the summer ends. I will butt out now and rejoin the LT forum already in progress.
ride safe
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post #31 of 34 Old Sep 16th, 2011, 4:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

OK--We are moving forward. New bike is in at dealership, checked out and ready for pick up. Can't get up there until next Friday, so I asked the service manger to drive it home and back just to make sure everything is good. Looks like I get to start ordering a seat, horn, bags, engine guards, highway pegs, etc. Thanks to everyone on this forum, I know where to look for all that gear and how to install it..

Hopefully, this is the end of this story--I will post a final after I get the bike home 225 miles from the dealer's showroom next Friday.

RB


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post #32 of 34 Old Sep 16th, 2011, 5:02 pm
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Re: #647 D O A

I think I'd rather be in the F-4!

But this new bike will do as second place...

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #33 of 34 Old Sep 17th, 2011, 12:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: #647 D O A

Yes, but it is a close as i can come at this point.

RB


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post #34 of 34 Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 8:01 pm Thread Starter
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Talking Re: #647 D O A

All's well that ends well. With handshakes and smiles all around, #647's replacement was delivered today! I drove it 250 miles through rain, sun, tight turns and interstate highway traffic. I will add on to other threads about how great this bike is, but as I end this thread, I will just say it is everything I hoped it would be.

So everyone is happy but poor old original GTL #647. Alas, she has become a hangar queen (terminology for airplanes that never get fixed but are cannibalized for parts) with no prospects of recovery. But not in my garage, and that's a good thing. Thanks to Gateway BMW in St. Louis for hanging in there. You guys are super!!!

RB


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