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Thread: New BMW Bikes- Are Warranty Issues Common

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  1. #1

    New BMW Bikes- Are Warranty Issues Common

    I happened to be at a local BMW dealer yesterday for routine service and I met a gentleman that rode a long way in from where he lives in Long Island.

    He had a pretty new 1200 GS Adventure .. He went on the explain that he owned many bikes, BMW's and non BMW's and that of all his bikes, the 1200 was by far his favorite ride.. except that the reliability in his opinion was less than stellar.

    That being said he went on to say in comparison to his Japanese rides, he has never seen the amount of warranty related visits back to the dealer as he has with this bike. First the heated grip went faulty then the right switch gear then the fuel gauge and then the battery was a lemon. In his six months of owning it it just seemed to have problem after problem.

    What do you think? Has the reliability factor in these new bikes gone south and has quality control of the product gotten out of hand or is this an isolated instance with this bike. On your new BMW how many times did you have to return to the dealer unnecessarily to take care of small or large warranty issues?

  2. #2
    Registered User easy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Texas Hill Country
    Battery problems must be a common issue on 1200 GS Adventures.

    I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago and sat in the waiting area for my bike to be serviced. While there, I met another gentleman who had his new 1200 GS in for a battery replacement. He didn't mention any other problems.


  3. #3
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    More complexity = more concerns.

    There is just a whole lot more to go wrong as the bikes evolve. At some point the riders are going to either have to accept the increased complexity and the potential problems it represents, or vote with their $$ for older, simpler, used bikes.

    As much as I like the idea of the current model's performance, I expect I will buy another used 1150 when I buy next. Even with the final drive questions that people have about the 1150's, the problems I have heard about with the new bikes (EWS for instance) deal with the more arcane (at least to me) world of high tech gadgetry and electronics. If I wanted to, I could replace a final drive myself. If the final drive fails, the diagnosis and repair is easily understood. Most of the new electronic gizmos require diagnostic equipment and electrical and computer knowledge I don't have, and I don't even want to go there. I guess the upside to this is the actual repair, once you have a good diagnosis, becomes a matter of component swapping.

    Having said that, are the new ones less reliable? I think the R1200 series needs a few more years in the field to really make that determination accurately.
    Steve Marquardt

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern WV
    It seems like it's often a combination of more complexity and maybe more out-sourcing of components. The complexity is affecting the reliability of BMW's cars also. Generally the more expensive 7 series (more complex) are the worst while the basic 3 series experiences less problems. Same with Mercedes. The out sourcing undoubtably saves cost but they sometimes, unknowingly until the claims come, give up quality.
    The failure issues that are hardest for me to accept are not the latest high tech components, but something like rear drive, U-joint, clutch, etc. that may occur year after year.

  5. #5
    I think this is an interesting topic as it will affect my judgement as to whether I want to invest in a new BMW while keeping my 2002 GS or start to investigate a more reliable machine or maybe just buy an airhead...

  6. #6
    I think BMW's are as reliable as they have ever been...... Also I think Japanese bikes are as reliable as they have ever been also.....

    But now with the internet you hear about more problems,, A few years back you would have only heard about the ones like at your dealers,,, or VERY few...
    Buy what you like, NOT what WE like Makes life allot smoother...............Pete

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by snoone View Post
    or start to investigate a more reliable machine or maybe just buy an airhead...
    You say that as if those are two different things ...

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Central Illinois
    At around 12K miles on my 1200GS, the right cylinder lining failed, and took the piston and rings with it. The warped front brake rotors were replaced at the same time, as was a leaking transmission seal. Last summer, mold appeared under the seat, which you could see through the fabric because it's gray. (Bike is garaged, and never under water.) BMW covered it under warranty. (Thanks, Pete at Chicago BMW.) Early this year, at around 25K miles, and a few weeks over 3 years old, the input shaft seal on the transmission failed, ruining the clutch plates. I believe the dealer also replaced a faulty clutch slave cylinder at the time. All covered under warranty. (Thanks again, Pete.) That last bout would have cost me around $1600. As mtfrench said above, "I love the bike, but...." the quality has been terrible. At a little over 30K miles, based on history, I'm concerned another failure is coming, and this time I'll be paying the bill. I've been riding BMW for 28 years, but there's a lot of other good bikes out there, with larger dealer support networks. I wish you could go to Consumer Reports for motorcycle reliability data as you can for cars. I'd like to see how BMW compares to others before my next purchase. No mattrer what, I'll always keep my first BMW, the faithful R75/6.
    Howard Edwards

    2014 Road King; 1975 R75/6

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