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Thread: Why I won't buy another modern BMW...

  1. #1
    CTHalk
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    Why I won't buy another modern BMW...

    With just 43,000 miles on the clock, and 'dealer maintained', my 2000 R1100RT-P had shifting problems. So I prepared myself to do a spline lube. Took the tranny out. Egads, I don't need a spline lube. I need an output shaft! There are hardly any splines left! Other than that, it's a nice bike, lots of power, great brakes, good looks. But I don't want it any more. I'd trade it for a decent running R60/2. I'm going back to the dinosaur era where I belong......where I know what I have, and what it will give me. Hal in CT

  2. #2
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    I wonder if part of that could be its past life as a police unit?
    -=Brad

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  3. #3
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    75K on our RS and it's still strong.
    Dave Swider
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    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #4
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    It's a free country. You are free to choose whatever bike you want. Even a Harley
    Jeff Dean
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA -- http://bmwdean.com/r1200rtw.htm
    2017 R1200RT, 2019 R1250RT, 1967 R60/2

  5. #5
    pcsof8
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    CtHalk, you sound like an good candidate for Airheads. Sorry about your woes friend. Hang in there.

  6. #6
    Justpete
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    A friend of mine just had his go at 12,000 miles on an 02 RT........ he's seriously thinking of selling it now.

  7. #7
    Don't know about the /2, but the splines went on my 1976 R75/6 back in 1977 with less than 25k miles on the bike - stranded me 120 miles from the nearest dealer (naturally out of warranty as well).

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    spline lube and other tranny faults

    My '93 GS tranny failed at 42k due to a deleted circlip, one that was deleted by bmw engineers! My Buddys 22K 96 GS just ate an input shaft and clutch due to lack of lube, total repair bill $1600. I have recently left the bmw ownership world after owning many beemers for many years for a v-strom-although I lust after a new GS! I figure the new ones will sort themselves out in a couple or three years, hopefull the spline lube gig and tranny problems are a thing of the past. I spoke with many participants at a recent BMW rally in Panguitch, UT who were also expressing thoughts about leaving the fold, mostly over the same issues and ever increasing purchase prices. Granted, the resale of a BMW will recoup much of the purchase price compared to my V-Strom which will lose much of its original price upon resale, but during the meantime it is trouble free with no looming headaches due to maintenance and tranny/driveline repairs. I must admit that the whole spline/lube thing is a mystery to me, I have driven old Fords for many hundreds of thousands of miles with no problems in this area and the mechanics are the same so why do Beemers have an ongoing problem with dry splines? I also think that paying a dealer to lube these babys, to the tune of $550 to $700 is beyond ridiculous. Anyway, enough about me, I just want the new GS's to be trouble free so I can buy one and live happily ever after with is what is probably the nicest looking bike on the market! ( I am not a beemer basher or whiner, I am just presenting my thoughts so don't bash on me, I love the marque)

  9. #9
    CTHalk
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    Hey Jeff,

    I was riding an original paint 1964 Harley FLH before this BMW. It was an awesome original example of a 1960's highway cruiser. Sure, I had to plan my stops ahead of time because of the poor brakes, and high speed (anything over 48mph) corners were exciting due to the gyrating it would do...... and I had to have talk-time to spare when I stopped any place (because it was just so darned good looking). I could sit on that deluxe buddy-seat all day without discomfort. But it was always a bear to kickstart when it was cold. No button. With my bad knee and a desire to be safer with 'modern reliability', I sold it, put a new roof on my house, and bought myself a nice looking, 'reliable modern' BMW. The starting problem on my Harley? A casting flaw in the fuel bowl on the carb, which the float would hang up on. Sadly I didn't discover it until the buyer was on his way to pick it up. I fixed it, and it is a 'one-kick' bike now. still running. Original motor never opened. Original tranny never opened. Clutch and chains changed once. Still running. Forty-four years old. I have had many bikes, of many nationalities. Few have had the 'hand-grenade' like issues that I have read from many BMW riders. I really liked riding the RT-P (and it looks great too) but I can't believe the numbers of posts I have read by guys who lube their clutch splines each winter!?!? I've got an old Russion sidecar rig...the infamous Dnepr. It has a zillion miles on it, all of them hard, and probably not well serviced. It has 110 pounds in the left cylinder, 55 pounds in the right cylinder. It starts easily. It shifts flawlessly, smooth as butter. It still has clutch splines. I have never heard of a Dnepr having clutch spline issues. That's more than a BMW machine with far-superior engineering, materials, R+D and quality control can say? That is a sad testiment to BMW manufacturing. I'm just one of the un-lucky guys who got splined. By the way, I have a beautiful picture of (your?) RT-P on an Arizona roadside hanging up in my classroom. Great picture! Even my inner-city students think it is a good looking bike!

    A lot of guys on non-Harley sites knock the Harley machines, but maybe it is their resentment towards the attitudes that many new Harley riders have.... you know, the 'weekend badass' 'loud pipes save lives, look at me I have open pipes' attitude. I've been riding Harleys on and off since 1977, and I don't have HD stickers on my truck, I don't have tattoos, I don't call my wife my 'old lady' and I don't ride like a jerk. I don't scare car drivers by screaming past them, cutting lanes etc. Jeez, I'm scaring myself now...am I a...square ?-) When I ride with the HD guys, I forget that they can't corner with the RT-P, so I have to slow down a little so they don't get surprised (like in those decreasing-radius corners). If I could repair this spline problem and feel 100% confident that it wouldn't return, I'd keep the bike. But it seems that for so many it is a recurring issue. If I wanted a bike that I had to tear down every winter, I'd get..... a British bike!!! Wow, I've really gone on in this post. It's just a step in dealing with this whole issue of loss.... first anger, then disbelief, than acceptance, and then...recovery? Hal

  10. #10
    Rally Rat
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    I hate to say this but I have never had problems with my Harleys like I did with the BMWs. I just sold my 2006 1200GS. The bike let me down to many times. I purchased a 75/5 to rebuild and a new 650GS to ride around town. Thats the last tme a spend $18,000 plus for a new BMW that wont start.

  11. #11
    FatChance
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    I had an '83 FXSB (dual belt) w/Shovelhead engine and a '93 FLHS ElectraGlide Sport w/Evolution engine that I rode for about a decade all over the western U.S. The only problems with the '83 was when the coil (about $25) gave up the ghost in my driveway after more than a decade of reliable, original service and when I broke the jiffy stand spring mount on the FLHS (I just strapped the side stand in place until back in town) when I hit a rock on a lonely two track trail up in Montana between Big Timber and Sweetwater. I'm on my 5th BMW since the early 70s and I hope my current GS is as reliable as the two HDs I've owned. Hopefully all the extra time consuming and expensive maintenance required on the BMW will help its supposed inate Teutonic superiority over the lowly HD bikes I've owned...

  12. #12
    steviewonder
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    Sure, I had to plan my stops ahead of time because of the poor brakes, and high speed (anything over 48mph) corners were exciting due to the gyrating it would do
    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play ???
    Last edited by StevieWonder; 07-13-2006 at 03:05 AM.

  13. #13
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatChance
    . Hopefully all the extra time consuming and expensive maintenance required on the BMW will help its (supposed inate Teutonic superiority) over the lowly HD bikes I've owned...

    Well said----Good luck (Just in case keep this number handy)

    1-877-680-2176

  14. #14
    Rich Pelton Rich's Avatar
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    People can say what they want about Harley Davidson but I firmly believe that right now they are building bikes that are all as reliable as BMW. And they have a belt drive that I am told will last 100,000 miles. No lube required. Perhaps BMW needs to make all their bikes either chain or belt driven if they keep having spline issues. Or are they too proud to learn something from us Americans?

    With that said, I haven't had any issues with failures of any sort on my 04 RT. 18000 miles of fun and it's never let me down. I hope that continues. I need that to continue, I keep telling my wife how reliable these BMW's are.


  15. #15
    steviewonder
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    If the drive shaft is so unreliable why did the Japanese adopt it on so many of their premium rides?

    Sounds more like a manufacturing issue rather than a design issue. Maybe the tolerances aren't tight enough or a metallurgy problem?

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