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Thread: New BMW Bikes- Are Warranty Issues Common

  1. #1
    SNOONE
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    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
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    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.

    Easy

  3. #3
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
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    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

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    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
    SNOONE
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    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
    petepeterson
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    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
    535IS
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    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
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    My second airhead, new in 1973, had the input bearing in the transmission go out at 500 miles.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  9. #9
    BUDDINGGEEZER
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    I was talking with the service manager at the local BMW store. We were talking about reliability and he said they work on the newer bikes more than the older bikes. More electrical alphabet systems=more potential problems.

    Ralph Sims

  10. #10
    This Space for Rent MTSweger's Avatar
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    Talking Reliability, Techniology and Instant Communication

    Quote Originally Posted by petepeterson View Post
    But now with the internet you hear about more problems...
    Indeed, the Internet does tend to amplify everything (good and bad).

    Technology is a double-edged sword. More complexity -> greater chance that something will fail. Easy access to instant, global communication -> more "noise" that must be filtered--like this diatribe, for instance.

    -MTS
    Mike Sweger
    Charlottesville, Virginia | 2004 K1200GT & 2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure
    "In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth. ~ Buddah

  11. #11
    charleshickman
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    Japanese vs. German

    I have about 100k miles in the saddle. About 40 on BMWs and the rest on Japanese bikes. My 02 r1150r had one warranty repair, a turn signal switch. My current ride is an 06 r1200gs wth about 19k. I have had one major fight with BMW over a problem they admitted. The front brakes pulsed. They replaced the rotors and 10k miles later the problem came back. Two months and a threat to excercise my rights under the lemon law were required to get them to address the issue.

    Never a single problem with a Japanese bike. Well once I bought a used ST1100 and had to have the carbs cleaned, due to the bike sitting for years before I bought it.

    I love my gs, but may go back to a Japanese bike for my next one. The issue with the front brakes left a bad taste in my mouth that hasn't gone away. Had they dealt with it promptly, I wouldn't have had a problem. But it required two day long trips to the dealer, two letters, a dozen phone calls and threats of litigation to get resolved. It appears to have been the regional service rep's refusal to authorize the repair that was the problem.

  12. #12
    GSMoto31 mtfrench's Avatar
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    Life is full of tradeoffs

    I find it interesting that most reliability complaints with BMW's start off with, "I love this bike, but...." And therin lies the rub. We absolutely love to ride these machines so much that we expect them to be perfect in all areas. After starting out on Japanese bikes, I purchased my first used BMW about 6 years ago. During the ensuing years I have owned 6 other bikes (some new, some used) and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Yes, I have experienced some irritating warranty issues, but nothing to significantly diminish my continued enthusiasm for the brand. Simply put, the sizeable benefits I derive from riding BMW bikes far outweigh the inconvenience costs associated with the infequent and unexpected repairs.
    2009 R1200R (Commuting)
    2008 R1200GSA (Touring)
    2009 R1200GS (Mountains)

  13. #13
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleshickman View Post
    I have about 100k miles in the saddle. About 40 on BMWs and the rest on Japanese bikes. My 02 r1150r had one warranty repair, a turn signal switch. My current ride is an 06 r1200gs wth about 19k. I have had one major fight with BMW over a problem they admitted. The front brakes pulsed. They replaced the rotors and 10k miles later the problem came back. Two months and a threat to excercise my rights under the lemon law were required to get them to address the issue.

    Never a single problem with a Japanese bike. Well once I bought a used ST1100 and had to have the carbs cleaned, due to the bike sitting for years before I bought it.

    I love my gs, but may go back to a Japanese bike for my next one. The issue with the front brakes left a bad taste in my mouth that hasn't gone away. Had they dealt with it promptly, I wouldn't have had a problem. But it required two day long trips to the dealer, two letters, a dozen phone calls and threats of litigation to get resolved. It appears to have been the regional service rep's refusal to authorize the repair that was the problem.
    So what was the fix the second time? I think they changed the rotor mounting at some point and also have heard of replacing the wheel if there was too much runout at the mounting points.
    BMW is really usually super about warranty, sometimes the dealers are more in the way than the customer realizes.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by BuddingGeezer View Post
    he said they work on the newer bikes more than the older bikes.
    Ralph Sims


    Thats probably because the older bikes never see the inside of a dealership as they are being lovingly wrenched on by faithful owners who know every nook and cranny of their mounts.

    And from the help of guys like Matt Parkhouse, it makes sense to continue ownership of an "older" bike.

    -I don't even own an "older" bike, but reading articles like his make me want one.



    PS: What is the official definition of "older"?...

    Is it like a 1:1 ratio? Age of bike to age of rider...?
    Last edited by Kutcher; 07-03-2008 at 12:30 PM.

  15. #15
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    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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