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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm test riding an RT tomorrow and fear I may come home with a big loan. I have been reading a ton and have come to these conclusions.

BMW sells a ton of motorcycles and people ride the piss out of them so the occurrence of mechanical issues is naturally going to go up.

BMW owners are very loyal and are willing to put up with a few problems here and there because there's nothing like owning one.

BMW riders get their money's worth out of the warrenty.

Proper maintainence is critical and probably better performed by yourself as long as you know what you are doing.

BMW's have more random and unpredictable issues than and other make

The last one is the only one that is stopping me from getting a BMW. I am more than willing to look after my final drive and common issues, replacing parts on my own dime whenever I have to. What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation.

Whadda ya think?
 

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RyanW said:
What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation.

Whadda ya think?
Then don't buy a motorcycle. Or an automobile. Or an airplane. Or a motorhome. Or a .......
 

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RyanW said:
The last one is the only one that is stopping me from getting a BMW. I am more than willing to look after my final drive and common issues, replacing parts on my own dime whenever I have to. What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation.

Whadda ya think?
I think... If you like the motorcycle, you should buy it, and not worry about it. Contrary to how things sometimes seem, all mechanical things sometimes break. I can't say that I've ever had a BMW strand me (20k on a 2010 F800ST, 110k on a 2005 RT, and now 10k on my 2011 R1200RT.) Others have not been so fortunate, but many have stories just like mine - no problem, in literally hundreds of thousands of miles.

People come online to vent, so naturally, forums (for ANYTHING -- motorcycles, cars, household appliances, etc) are going to read like the product is excessively problematic. It's quite rare for someone to come online to tell others how much they love their motorcycle, how reliable it is, and how happy they are with the whole ownership experience.

My opinion - If you love the RT when you go ride it (and btw, it's an acquired taste; at least it was for me. With each subsequent ride, I loved it more and more), then buy it. If you don't, then don't buy it.

As the saying goes, ride more, worry less.

Good luck with your test ride, and please post a message about how it goes!
 

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RyanW said:
BMW's have more random and unpredictable issues than and other make
Not sure where your info is coming from on this one but in 7 years of owning BMW motorcycles I have NEVER heard of BMW's having more random and unpredictable issues than and other make or even any random and unpredictable issues than and other make.
 

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I agree with SPVDR. Many people go online to vent. And many more go online looking for help with an issue. So, you read alot more about problems and issues than you do about the good things. Not many people come hear to post they have just gotten 100,000 miles out of their final drive when they figured they would only get 60K out of it.

If everyone that owed a BMW came here, you would see how small the % of issues are....in my opinion.

Buy one and ride it like you stole it!!

Alaskan
 

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I think you are trying to find reasons to not buy the RT at the wrong place :) You are going to end up with a big loan. It hurts a little initially, but after that you will be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Point well taken.

I've got a blackbird right now. They have three problems. The R/R, the CCT and front wheel bearings. That's it, they are as reliable as tack hammers. The price you pay for Japanese engineering is lack of everything that makes a BMW special and I acknowledge that. I am looking for more than the Japanese are offering right now, which is pretty embarrasing for the most part (caugh...VFR1200?).

I completely agree about people coming online to vent, however you have to admit BMW's are a fairly controversial make. It makes things a little scary for a first time BMW owner. Of all the bikes I've researched the BMW's seem to have the most problems but like I said there a lot of them out there getting a lot of miles put on them. Jap sportbikes are often wrecked, stunted or not used enough for problems to even present themselves.
 

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Well if it's new you get 36,000 miles and 3 years to decided if you are unhappy, or you can buy an extended warranty.

There are lots of parts and bells and whistles on the BMW so a lot of little things could happen. Most are easy to diagnose, lots of info available, a GS911 will get you access to the error codes and the control boards so there is a good chance you will see what the issue is, but unless you put tons of miles on it the dealer will take care of any glitches the first 3 years. If you are happy with the dealer then I would not worry about it and would ride the heck out of it.

-JT
 

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RyanW said:
BMW sells a ton of motorcycles and people ride the piss out of them so the occurrence of mechanical issues is naturally going to go up.
I can only speak from my personal experience. This may or may not be true, but I have over a million miles on BMW motorcycles since 1956. One motorcycle of 70's vintage went 387,000 miles on two top ends and one bottom end. This one:

1973 R75/5

I sold it a few years ago and it is still on the road.
BMW owners are very loyal and are willing to put up with a few problems here and there because there's nothing like owning one.
Again, that may or may not be true. However, in my personal experience, any problems were all minor and not related to the quality of the motorcycle.
BMW riders get their money's worth out of the warrenty.
First, it's warranty, not warrenty. Second, I have used warranty - remember, this is since 1956 - exactly three times. Once to replace an aft crank seal in 1974. Once to replace a seat that was torn on delivery in 1989. Once to replace the fuel level sensor in my current 07 RT. [Two replacement sensors were bad and also needed replacement but that's still the same warranty issue].
Proper maintainence is critical and probably better performed by yourself as long as you know what you are doing.[
that's true in any vehicle.
BMW's have more random and unpredictable issues than and other make
Bullshit.
The last one is the only one that is stopping me from getting a BMW. I am more than willing to look after my final drive and common issues, replacing parts on my own dime whenever I have to. What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation.
If you have so little confidence in the bike, don't buy one. This kind of crap is nothing more that trolling to get a rise out of people.
Whadda ya think?
I think you're a troll. If you're not, do some serious research on your own that's NOT trolling on a motorcycle forum.
 

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I can see what he means. I bought a R1200RT this spring and spent a lot of time before buying reading up on BMWs on the net starting in October of last year. I was a bit concerned about all the stuff I read about reliability, warranty issues and especially the concerns about competence of BMW dealers. In 1999 BMW was one of the bikes I seriously considered but decided on Honda. This year I took the plunge and I think that Wolf BMW in London Ontario is a first class operation and not one of those outfits that tries to up sell and nickel and dime the customer, I trust them. The bike has been issue free, the dealer gave me a bottle of oil and told me to keep an eye on oil consumption. The bike did need a slight top up at about 400 km but from there to 3200 km I haven't needed to top up again and I have been paranoid with checking the level. So far the experience has been 100% positive. Next week I am leaving on an extended trip and I am confident that it will be problem free. My previous bike a Honda ST1100 gave me 13 years of service with nothing more than tires, brakes and scheduled maintenance got my fingers crossed that this bike will be as good.

Gerhard
 

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RyanW said:
So I'm test riding an RT tomorrow and fear I may come home with a big loan. I have been reading a ton and have come to these conclusions.

BMW sells a ton of motorcycles and people ride the piss out of them so the occurrence of mechanical issues is naturally going to go up.

BMW owners are very loyal and are willing to put up with a few problems here and there because there's nothing like owning one.

BMW riders get their money's worth out of the warrenty.

Proper maintainence is critical and probably better performed by yourself as long as you know what you are doing.

BMW's have more random and unpredictable issues than and other make

The last one is the only one that is stopping me from getting a BMW. I am more than willing to look after my final drive and common issues, replacing parts on my own dime whenever I have to. What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation.

Whadda ya think?
I read up extensively on the R1200RT before buying a new 2011 I found in Salem, Oregon. I have to say that, like others, I find it an amazing machine and well built. I love it more each day, and I dread those days where I can't get out on it due to other priorities. To date no issues at all. It's been absolutely trouble free. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you bought one, but that's just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One way, and I repeat ONE way to determine motorcycle build quality and manufacturer commitment to reliability, is recalls. Here is what I found after doing "some" research

Between 2006 and 2012 the following is the total number of recalls

Harley/Buell 176
Ducati 83
Kawasaki 85
Honda 83
BMW 75
Suzuki 52
Yamaha 28

All right, so Yamaha and Suzuki prefer good lawyers. Harley's suck and I owe Steve an apology, they clearly have the most unpredicatable failures along with Ducati.

The numbers are pretty consistent across the board. However, BMW has had only a single recall since 2010. Very nice. I'll let you know how my test ride tomorrow goes :feedtroll

And sorry I didn't know how to spell warrenty, I've never had to use one :dance:

http://motorcycleviews.com/recalls/motorcyclerecalls.htm
 

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katnapinn said:
Not sure where your info is coming from on this one but in 7 years of owning BMW motorcycles I have NEVER heard of BMW's having more random and unpredictable issues than and other make or even any random and unpredictable issues than and other make.
If anything, the issues are idiosyncratic, like fuel strip, fuel pump controller, etc and that's if you have a problem at all. My biggest complaints are the stupid service indicator, not enough dealers (the closest good dealer from where I used to live was 120 miles away) and ergonomics. The last is the easiest to fix, but the most expensive.
 

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RyanW said:
So I'm test riding an RT tomorrow and fear I may come home with a big loan. I have been reading a ton and have come to these conclusions.

BMW sells a ton of motorcycles and people ride the piss out of them so the occurrence of mechanical issues is naturally going to go up. NO

BMW owners are very loyal and are willing to put up with a few problems here and there because there's nothing like owning one. No more issues than any other bike

BMW riders get their money's worth out of the warrenty. Huh?

Proper maintainence is critical and probably better performed by yourself as long as you know what you are doing. No

BMW's have more random and unpredictable issues than and other make Son, put the crack pipe down and step away from the keyboard.

The last one is the only one that is stopping me from getting a BMW. I am more than willing to look after my final drive and common issues, replacing parts on my own dime whenever I have to. What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation. Get a vespa

Whadda ya think?
...
 

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RyanW said:
I owe Steve an apology
You owe me nothing. I only have a problem with the way you approached your post. It's ludicrous at best to lump any motorcycle into any group based on numerous biased reports on forums - especially with the number of "me toos" that don't even OWN the motorcycle - one of whom I outted a few years ago. Certainly, your original post appears to have been written to disparage the motorcycle more than to simply ask reasonable questions - from the way I read it.

The other part of this relates to the "number of recalls". It's important to consider the level of the recall. For example, is it a voluntary recall or a forced recall? Consider the brake line recall on the RT - voluntary. Has there been a single failure because of that brake line routing? Not that anyone I know can find. It's a prophylactic recall - a preventive measure, as are many recalls for various manufacturers, not just BMW.

Exactly how much motorcycle riding experience do you have? One, five, ten, twenty years? How many miles do you ride a year - one, five, ten, twenty thousand miles?

You see, there are a lot of questions that come up when you start a thread the way you started this one.
And sorry I didn't know how to spell warrenty, I've never had to use one
;) That's a good thing. However, related to the questions above, it may not be germane to this discussion. If you don't actually put *miles* on the previous bikes you've owned [we presume] - it's not.

Lastly, and most importantly, if you RIDE one - you will OWN one. Your banker has been warned!.... :wave
 

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RyanW said:
BMW's have more random and unpredictable issues than and other make

The last one is the only one that is stopping me from getting a BMW. I am more than willing to look after my final drive and common issues, replacing parts on my own dime whenever I have to. What is not acceptable to me is completely random failures no one has ever heard of stranding me on my vacation.

Whadda ya think?
I'm at 18,000 trouble free miles on my 2011 that I've owned for 13 months. If a failure eventually happens, so be it. If it is under warranty , it's covered. If it's not, I'm prepared to shell out some cash every now and then. The bike is definitely worth it. I'm not rich, but I'm capable of keeping up with some basic maintenance and paying for an unforeseen repair every once in a while. If I wasn't, I should not have purchased a $20,000 bike.

If you're the least bit mechanical, buy a maintenace video and do the work yourself. You'll only need a GS-911 and a few hundred dollars in basic tools to do most anything required. You'll have the peace of mind knowing it was done right...or if it was done at all.
 

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:) Bought my 07RT in 09, haven't has a bit of trouble with it.The more miles I put on it

the better it rides.Due to work the first two years didn't get to ride it much,just 18,000 or

so.Now that I have retired,I plan to burn the roads up.The new 1600 and the RT's look

good,but mine is fixed up the way I like it and it's paid for... :D
 

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Your initial premise is wrong.

If you're going to get hung out by a failure (and unlike Harley, there are zero BMW dealers open on Sun or Mon, not to mention one will be at least 100 miles from your problem) it will be a one of the well know issues. All the usual stuff and what to do about is well known to many..

Some, like the fpc, sidestand switch, or EWS are easy roadside fixes/workarounds so all you need to do is travel prepared. Others, like a catastrophic FD or driveshaft failure can sometimes be spotted and repaired by doing good periodic inspections. But for sure you can get stuck someplace where it will take over a week to get the thing back on the road- but those events are not common for well educated owners who do their own careful maintenance..

On my 40K mile RT, had only an fpc failure. Yeah the fuel system design on an RT is stupid and the most poorly engineered thing on the bike (outsourced by BMW to a German supplier) but at least the fuel pump is reliable and the fpc bypass only takes 10 minutes to do. A minor inconvenience, not a big deal. I would go cross country on mine any time with no special prep but I am old school- tool kit on board and the knowledge to use it, a habit from many years ago when bikes were far less reliable and only a fool went a distance without tools / knowledge because problems were common....
 

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When you see people doing around-the-world, "pole to pole" or any one of a number of truly epic adventure rides, what are they usually riding?

A BMW R1200GS(A).

Good enough for me and my 50 mile commute and the occasional 1,000 mile weekend.
 

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four12 said:
When you see people doing around-the-world, "pole to pole" or any one of a number of truly epic adventure rides, what are they usually riding?

A BMW R1200GS(A).

Good enough for me and my 50 mile commute and the occasional 1,000 mile weekend.
Depends. Some have support vehicles. :D
 
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