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Thread: Topcase fell off?!!

  1. #1
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    Angry Topcase fell off?!!

    Hi, all, I just found the BMWMMOA and joined today - bought a 650GT 6 weeks ago and love it (2700 miles so far, and that's just weekend riding - I use my Vespa 300GTS for weekday runabouts).

    Anyway, I am writing because I purchased the bike with the BMW top case, which ended up falling off the back of the bike the 2nd day I had it. I mean the entire thing - case and rack, just broke off the back of the bike!

    So I took it to Long Beach BMW where they saw that the bolts in the rear handles actually broke internally; they had to order the parts from Germany. I wasn't concerned about the extra couple of weeks delay, but last week I got an e-mail saying that while they now have the parts they cannot install them as BMW corporate told the dealers not to replace said topcases and rack - apparently they realize it's an engineering flaw. Geez, you'd think a company that's been making bikes for half a century would know how to engineer a rear rack!

    I wonder if anyone else here has heard of this issue. I am still awaiting the letter I was told I would receive from BMW when they figured out how to fix this, but given the grand it cost and the fact I have been without it for 6 weeks I am getting a little annoyed. Has anyone heard of this happening to others?

    TIA, and I look forward to learning from the group!

  2. #2
    Registered User davidh70's Avatar
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    Not cool at all! Can you take a pic of what broke???

    I have a Shad SH48 case and had one of the three screws (the ones that attach the bracket to the grab rails/center) come out. I replaced it and used LocTite blue on all three. I'd definitely be freaked if the internal sleeves or even the grab rail broke!

  3. #3
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    Bought my wife's c650gt at long beach in November, great dealer by the way, demo bike had top case. It looked kinda sketchy hanging way back their. Glad we opted not to get it, even with the BMW suggested weight limit the mount doesn't look sturdy enough. We went with luggage from saddleman that fits over pax seat

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    Er, that's not good. So apparently I should not put delicate or difficult to replace items in the top case, and should expect a recall? (An engineering flaw is a different story than a bad batch - this suggests that all of us who bought the top case are at risk at this point, but if I should remove my top case, someone needs to tell me that!)

    I've got over 3000 miles on mine, most of it with the top case installed, and am leaving for L.A. in the morning from S.F. with my clothes in the top case!

    Did you have a bunch of weight in it when this happened? I was shocked but have been pretty careful with mine when I read that it's only rated to carry something like 12 lbs, and the liner is probably 1/3 of that if you use one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob@fately.us View Post
    Hi, all, I just found the BMWMMOA and joined today - bought a 650GT 6 weeks ago and love it (2700 miles so far, and that's just weekend riding - I use my Vespa 300GTS for weekday runabouts).

    Anyway, I am writing because I purchased the bike with the BMW top case, which ended up falling off the back of the bike the 2nd day I had it. I mean the entire thing - case and rack, just broke off the back of the bike!

    So I took it to Long Beach BMW where they saw that the bolts in the rear handles actually broke internally; they had to order the parts from Germany. I wasn't concerned about the extra couple of weeks delay, but last week I got an e-mail saying that while they now have the parts they cannot install them as BMW corporate told the dealers not to replace said topcases and rack - apparently they realize it's an engineering flaw. Geez, you'd think a company that's been making bikes for half a century would know how to engineer a rear rack!

    I wonder if anyone else here has heard of this issue. I am still awaiting the letter I was told I would receive from BMW when they figured out how to fix this, but given the grand it cost and the fact I have been without it for 6 weeks I am getting a little annoyed. Has anyone heard of this happening to others?

    TIA, and I look forward to learning from the group!
    This is a tough pill to swallow for sure. Not just BMW but all OEM's will sometimes discover engineering flaws. Doesn't matter how long they have been in business or what product it is. Mistakes can, do and will forever occur. Obviously they need to be as infrequent as humanly possible. I forget what year it was, maybe 2002 or 2003, Honda had a recall on GL1800 frames! A frame!! Can you imagine that? And, there may be nothing motorcycle-related that is more complicated than replacing a Gold Wing frame. It's just proof in the pudding that an engineering flaw can happen to anything whether we like it or not. So, you do need to accept the reality that engineering flaws do occur no matter how many attorney's are on Planet Earth. To put it bluntly It Sucks but you're never going to eliminate flaws.

    Engineering flaws are typically not corrected overnight. After all the flaw was not anticipated. The OEM (or, more likely a 3rd-party vendor) now needs to go back to the drawing board and re-create the product although safer this time than the first go-around. And, this takes time. After all the revision will need to be tested as well. A top case represents a serious potential safety issue. You really don't need to have it before its been proven to be safe unless you're trying to off your wife or girlfriend. $1k for a case is a lot of money no doubt about it. But the retail value really has nothing to do with the flaw needing to be corrected. It is extremely unpleasant to be caught in one of these scenarios but they do happen. Presumably this is not an example of a corporation intentionally peddling junk. Sorry to say but your patience will probably be tried. You just need to hang in there for an unknown period of time. Or, if you feel it is justifiable ask for a refund. Possibly install a GIVI case.

    BMW top case quality is excellent, probably beyond excellent. A hiccup has occurred here and they'll get it corrected. Hang in there the best you can. Once you have a top case again you'll be a happy camper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiminsf View Post
    Er, that's not good. So apparently I should not put delicate or difficult to replace items in the top case, and should expect a recall? (An engineering flaw is a different story than a bad batch - this suggests that all of us who bought the top case are at risk at this point, but if I should remove my top case, someone needs to tell me that!)

    I've got over 3000 miles on mine, most of it with the top case installed, and am leaving for L.A. in the morning from S.F. with my clothes in the top case!

    Did you have a bunch of weight in it when this happened? I was shocked but have been pretty careful with mine when I read that it's only rated to carry something like 12 lbs, and the liner is probably 1/3 of that if you use one.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiminsf View Post
    Er, that's not good. So apparently I should not put delicate or difficult to replace items in the top case, and should expect a recall? (An engineering flaw is a different story than a bad batch - this suggests that all of us who bought the top case are at risk at this point, but if I should remove my top case, someone needs to tell me that!)

    I've got over 3000 miles on mine, most of it with the top case installed, and am leaving for L.A. in the morning from S.F. with my clothes in the top case!

    Did you have a bunch of weight in it when this happened? I was shocked but have been pretty careful with mine when I read that it's only rated to carry something like 12 lbs, and the liner is probably 1/3 of that if you use one.
    Luckily, the case was empty when it fell away from the bike - though I did have my helmet in it on the way up from Long Beach to the Valley where I live, so I guess it could have been worse (plus on the 405 no doubt the case would have smashed into a following car's windshield - it would not have been pretty). I agree LB BMW is a great dealer - Robyn has been nothing but supportive. And I agree it seem obvious that the very short arms designed to hold the rack that extended so far back led to the problem - probably normal vibration of the case was leveraged up to break the bolts or something. I have attached a photo to show where the entire rear rack was essentially torn away, bolts and all.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    What are they hanging back there a 21 litre box? I opted not.
    Agreed it appears that it "hangs off" the back end which would increase the lever effect on those bolts but still man . . . glad no one was hurt.
    I have strapped gear to the rack but no box, passengers use the rack for grips. Somewhat comforting to see the rack itself did not fail.
    Hope all works out well.

    Now I imagine the finger pointing will begin.
    "It's the design" (poor)
    "It's the install" (over torqued)

  8. #8
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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1372962076.317310.jpg

    I got this from BMW Motorcycle discussion group on Google. There is indeed a recall on top-case.

    Paul Mann

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    Hope this image is clearer than the one in my previous post.


    Paul Mann
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Jeff Wilson life member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulmann View Post
    Hope this image is clearer than the one in my previous post.


    Paul Mann
    What good is that when the date on the paper is June 12 2013 his date has come and gone.
    A recall is a recall and should have no date to expire
    Jeff
    A bad day on the C650 GT scooter is better than the best day at work

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 43362 View Post
    What good is that when the date on the paper is June 12 2013 his date has come and gone.
    A recall is a recall and should have no date to expire
    Jeff, this is a BMW NA bulletin directed at Parts and Accessory Managers at a BMW dealership, not BMW end users. Dealers need to return applicable inventory by that date if they wish to receive credit. If you note down towards the bottom the memo is for BMW Parts and Accessory Managers and is not directed at the end user.

    Apparently Paul received a copy of an internal memo.

  12. #12
    Jeff Wilson life member
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Jeff, this is a BMW NA bulletin directed at Parts and Accessory Managers at a BMW dealership, not BMW end users. Dealers need to return applicable inventory by that date if they wish to receive credit. If you note down towards the bottom the memo is for BMW Parts and Accessory Managers and is not directed at the end user.

    Apparently Paul received a copy of an internal memo.
    Funny I just got off the phone with the dealer here and he said the same thing that it was an internal bmw memo.
    When were we as the consumer going to find this out, when the girlfriend was laying on the highway with the top box she was leaning on. I am glad we have the Internet.
    The dealer has informed me that the rack is and has now been on back order since May 29 of this year and when will they get them in.

    From looking at the picture in the previous post, if it is the bolts that failed why could they not get bolts with a different sheer rating or tensile strength. I guess that would be to easy.
    Last edited by 43362; 07-04-2013 at 11:25 PM.
    Jeff
    A bad day on the C650 GT scooter is better than the best day at work

  13. #13
    Le Motard du Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob@fately.us View Post
    Hi, all, I just found the BMWMMOA and joined today - bought a 650GT 6 weeks ago and love it (2700 miles so far, and that's just weekend riding - I use my Vespa 300GTS for weekday runabouts).

    Anyway, I am writing because I purchased the bike with the BMW top case, which ended up falling off the back of the bike the 2nd day I had it. I mean the entire thing - case and rack, just broke off the back of the bike!

    So I took it to Long Beach BMW where they saw that the bolts in the rear handles actually broke internally; they had to order the parts from Germany. I wasn't concerned about the extra couple of weeks delay, but last week I got an e-mail saying that while they now have the parts they cannot install them as BMW corporate told the dealers not to replace said topcases and rack - apparently they realize it's an engineering flaw. Geez, you'd think a company that's been making bikes for half a century would know how to engineer a rear rack!

    I wonder if anyone else here has heard of this issue. I am still awaiting the letter I was told I would receive from BMW when they figured out how to fix this, but given the grand it cost and the fact I have been without it for 6 weeks I am getting a little annoyed. Has anyone heard of this happening to others?

    TIA, and I look forward to learning from the group!
    Do you know why the case fell off. Did the rear bolts breakas well or just got loose?

    When I ride, I look the scooter over before I get on it.

    One morning, I found the case had gotten loose. Looking closer, the two nuts on the rear bolts that held the rack had fallen off and the other two front bolts were loose.

    I had assembled the rack myself. This happened about a month later. I use the scooter to go to work, two or three times a week.

    I got bolts of the same length and nuts at the hardware store and replaced everything. I used lock washers. I have checked that the bolts have remained tight a couple of time.

    I do not use a torque wrench for small bolts. I would say they were pretty tight, but the bolts were not stretched.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 43362 View Post
    Funny I just got off the phone with the dealer here and he said the same thing that it was an internal bmw memo.
    When were we as the consumer going to find this out, when the girlfriend was laying on the highway with the top box she was leaning on. I am glad we have the Internet.
    The dealer has informed me that the rack is and has now been on back order since May 29 of this year and when will they get them in.

    From looking at the picture in the previous post, if it is the bolts that failed why could they not get bolts with a different sheer rating or tensile strength. I guess that would be to easy.
    Better yet, how would you as a consumer find out to begin with? This is true of most anything made as most purchases do not contain serialized inventory and many times we don't have names or telephone numbers on the invoice. Although technically possible it would be difficult to track everything sold in the world and who bought it. Do you have suggestions?

  15. #15
    Jeff Wilson life member
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Better yet, how would you as a consumer find out to begin with? This is true of most anything made as most purchases do not contain serialized inventory and many times we don't have names or telephone numbers on the invoice. Although technically possible it would be difficult to track everything sold in the world and who bought it. Do you have suggestions?

    I just got off the phone again with one of my local dealers and he was telling me he just got the memo on Friday. The way he originally found out was he had a scooter in for service earlier in the week and it came up on the computer system. This is how all the other scooter riders will know is if they take the scooter in for service it would be corrected. (the key word is IF)

    What he also told me is that what is happening is 2 of the 4 bolts are coming loose and the other 2 can't hold the weight. He also told me that if I am going out to the scooter to lift the back end of the rack and give a shake this would tell me if I am in trouble or good shape. He is also going to set up an appointment for me to come in and check it himself. The fix from BMW is still not known to him yet, it may be new bolts and or some lock tight on the bolts we will know soon (maybe)
    Jeff
    A bad day on the C650 GT scooter is better than the best day at work

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