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Thread: Another one bites the dust

  1. #1
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyjs1 View Post
    Sent an email to BMW Motorrad USA. This is what i got in return:

    Thank you for contacting BMW Motorrad USA...blah blah blah
    I got that email, too.

    I was told to go fly a kite because of the following reasons:

    Bike out of warranty. Not all work performed by official BMW dealer service department (that one really made me mad). Bike had "excessive miles" at the time (32,XXX miles at time of failure).

    Luckily this happened a few months ago, so my disgust with BMW's corporate response has faded away with time. But it's plainly obvious that BMW runs away from this well-known and well-documented problem every time an owner contacts them with this issue.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  2. #2
    Rally Rat
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    I'll give you guys my update on my spline/clutch failure resolution here.

    I filed against BMW in small claims court in CT. If they have a business presence in the state, chances are you can initiate a small claims action. Call your state's court for details.

    I paid my $35.00 fee, and filed the paperwork (a one sheet form that took 5 minutes to fill out). BMW was given a deadline for a response to be submitted, and they failed to answer the charge. The court will contact me in the next few months, and I will either have a hearing with an arbiter to explain my grounds for the suit, or more likely be immediately awarded a judgement against BMW for all costs/damages.

    Apparently BMW couldn't be bothered to answer a $1,400 charge, so, I'd recommend all people who have failures resulting from a poor design/QC process file similar suits. Perhaps when BMW sees the magnitude of dissatisfied customers, it will prompt them to take some ownership of the problem and not contine to stonewall the customers who expected decent service from their "legendary motorcycle."

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  3. #3
    Registered User drrider's Avatar
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    beemer boneyard has a nice selection of transmissions on the cheap
    BMWMOA, BMWRA IBA
    99r11rt 206,K miles: no final drive or clutch spline failures moved on
    96 Ural turist (too much fun)
    11 R12rt (love at first ride)

  4. #4
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Is this problem inherent to the R1150 or all the newer oilhead models?

  5. #5
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    I'll give you guys my update on my spline/clutch failure resolution here.

    I filed against BMW in small claims court in CT. If they have a business presence in the state, chances are you can initiate a small claims action. Call your state's court for details.

    I paid my $35.00 fee, and filed the paperwork (a one sheet form that took 5 minutes to fill out). BMW was given a deadline for a response to be submitted, and they failed to answer the charge. The court will contact me in the next few months, and I will either have a hearing with an arbiter to explain my grounds for the suit, or more likely be immediately awarded a judgement against BMW for all costs/damages.

    Apparently BMW couldn't be bothered to answer a $1,400 charge, so, I'd recommend all people who have failures resulting from a poor design/QC process file similar suits. Perhaps when BMW sees the magnitude of dissatisfied customers, it will prompt them to take some ownership of the problem and not contine to stonewall the customers who expected decent service from their "legendary motorcycle."

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
    Best of luck to you. Please keep us informed as to your progress.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

  6. #6
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    That's a concern I have as well. I'll let you know how things are in another 32,000 miles.

    I've also seen it mentioned that the input shaft is about 20 mm too short. One owner posted that he had a new input shaft custom made to the "correct" length, which creates a greater surface area for the input shaft to mate with the clutch hub - and thus much more strength to the interface.

    But since BMW won't even begin to discuss this situation from the manufacturer's/designer's/engineer's perspective, we're forced to grasp at straws and speculate as to what's truly going on - and how many bikes are potentially affected.
    That was me. It's 6mm too short not 20.
    http://www.sunshinecoast.ca/bmw/InputShaft.pdf
    I needed an order for 10 and never got enough interest.
    Mine has been in my GS for 10,000 km now with no issues. I may pull apart this winter to get a visual, I don't know yet.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

  7. #7
    Registered User sunfire's Avatar
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    Spline?

    I have an '04 Rockster with around 16K miles, and last month while at a BMW dealer for an oil change, the service advisor noticed a leak around the rubber seal on the shaft near the wheel axle.

    Last week or so I took the bike back and asked them to also perform a throttle synch together with the leak repair. All work was performed under warranty, and they did an excellent job. All I got charged was for the throttle synch ($70).

    Is this what you guys are talking about? Or are there some other failures I should be concerned? I keep reading about "spline leaks" and I'm wondering if this is what I had.

    Paul

    ================================================== ===============


    Vent/Change of subject - SORRY!


    PS Just to vent a little bit, 2 months ago I took my bike for the 12K mile service, and other than an oil change, I don't even think they touched the valves or throttle synch. The rpm's were all off at idle and at startup, the valve chatter was still there, and I paid $600 plus! I've always taken my bike to the dealer where I purchased the bike (>130 miles away), but because of this poor service I decided to try another dealer much closer to my house (60 miles away) - well, I'm happy with them, so my next service will be performed there. I guess my dollars are not welcome there...

  8. #8
    johnnyjs1
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    Ok. so I trailer the bike to the shop. They take it off the trailer for me. I say "You wanna hear it?" "Sure", the tech says. He puts it on the center stand, turns the key, and cranks it. Sounds pretty good for the first .5 seconds. Then the racket starts, grinding, whining, yelping groaning you name it, it was heard. I can see both techs cringing at the sound coming from my baby. The tech says to me "Follow me, I want to show you something." He leads me over to another bike in the shop. Turns it on. Same exact noises coming from it. Then he says "C'mon over here." and leads me to a GS. Turns it on, yup you guessed it, same noise. I brought the response from BMW with me to show the tech guys. Dave, the manager, told me he would see what he could do, and that it was a good idea to write them, saying making first contact and getting a reply is a start. The sales manager also told me that their Rep/Engineer that handles these things will actually be at the store on tuesday. I am willing to bet, that all the dealers that say they have never seen this before, are lying their a$$es off. My dealer had absolutely NO PROBLEM showing me and starting 2 bikes sitting there with the same issue as mine. The tech said, he would break it down, figure it out, call bmw and call me with the results and see what i wanted to do.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyjs1 View Post
    Ok. so I trailer the bike to the shop. They take it off the trailer for me. I say "You wanna hear it?" "Sure", the tech says. He puts it on the center stand, turns the key, and cranks it. Sounds pretty good for the first .5 seconds. Then the racket starts, grinding, whining, yelping groaning you name it, it was heard. I can see both techs cringing at the sound coming from my baby. The tech says to me "Follow me, I want to show you something." He leads me over to another bike in the shop. Turns it on. Same exact noises coming from it. Then he says "C'mon over here." and leads me to a GS. Turns it on, yup you guessed it, same noise. I brought the response from BMW with me to show the tech guys. Dave, the manager, told me he would see what he could do, and that it was a good idea to write them, saying making first contact and getting a reply is a start. The sales manager also told me that their Rep/Engineer that handles these things will actually be at the store on tuesday. I am willing to bet, that all the dealers that say they have never seen this before, are lying their a$$es off. My dealer had absolutely NO PROBLEM showing me and starting 2 bikes sitting there with the same issue as mine. The tech said, he would break it down, figure it out, call bmw and call me with the results and see what i wanted to do.
    Sorry to hear of your problems Johnny, but sounds like you have an honest dealer. Gives a new meaning to the often used BMW phrase "they all do that!" I hope you get some satisfaction from BMWNA, but I wouldn't hold my breath. They seem to know they have a problem, and are playing ostrich.

    Please let us know what they say.

    George

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunfire View Post
    I have an '04 Rockster with around 16K miles, and last month while at a BMW dealer for an oil change, the service advisor noticed a leak around the rubber seal on the shaft near the wheel axle.

    Last week or so I took the bike back and asked them to also perform a throttle synch together with the leak repair. All work was performed under warranty, and they did an excellent job. All I got charged was for the throttle synch ($70).

    Is this what you guys are talking about? Or are there some other failures I should be concerned? I keep reading about "spline leaks" and I'm wondering if this is what I had.

    Paul
    Paul - the spline failure that these guys are talking about is the clutch spline, which is located on the end of the transmission input shaft. It is between the transmission and engine. On some bikes, the clutch hub and/or spline fail, which leaves you immediately stranded. It is about an 8 hour job to get to the parts and close it up again, not counting any transmission work that needs to be done.

    It sounds like your bike had a final drive input shaft seal let go, or a transmission output shaft seal. They are at either end of the driveshaft. They are a relatively easy fix, and are also fairly common leakers. I have had two R1150R's and both had those seals fail within 20,000 miles.

    I assume that you have some kind of extended warranty on your Rockster?

    George

  11. #11
    ArthurKnowles
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    Bike out of warranty. Not all work performed by official BMW dealer service department (that one really made me mad). Bike had "excessive miles" at the time (32,XXX miles at time of failure).
    I can't speak for the excessive miles, but the service work is why I tell people that have new motorcycles and a warrenty to let the BMW dealer do the work. Makes a heck of a difference if a claim needs to be filed with BMW corporate later. As you found out.

    it doesn't always go that way, but there is enough leeway that BMW can always contest teh compatency of your out of BMW Dealer service. You of course can contest that charge back, however, and then it is up to BMW to prove it. If you are still in your warrenty period.

    Out of warrrenty, however, means just that. You are on your own. Best you can hope for is BMW to help out. They have done that int he past for some people, but not all. Best way to get BMW's help in this area is to get your BMW dealer to stand behind you and talk to BMW corporate on your behalf. That's why you should cultivate your BMW dealer relationship.

    I have to admit I'm happy with my current dealer. Thier service/parts/dealer department has helped me out more than once. Just today I had them install my Smartire sensors. When they pulled the front wheel they found a bubble in the sidewall of an almost new ME880. The service manager's first thought was to have me buy a new tire. My first thought was OK, better now then have a blowout on my 3 day ride this month with the SO on the back.

    My second thought was ... hey don't these have a warrenty? I bought the motorcyle used at this dealer. I was informed at purchase time that all work on the motorcycle was performed by the same dealer. SO, they should have records of the purchase date if needed. So, I asked about a warrenty. Instead of just blowing me off like some dealer would, he turned and pulled out the Metzler dealer documentation and looked up the warrenty. Then turned to me and said "I can cover this under warrenty" and saved me at least $150.00.

    I don't think this same behavior would have happened at my closer BMW dealer. But BMW of SD is another dealership alltogether. I encourage everyone to find a similar dealer in thier area if possible. The closest, is not always the best.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles View Post
    I can't speak for the excessive miles, but the service work is why I tell people that have new motorcycles and a warrenty to let the BMW dealer do the work. Makes a heck of a difference if a claim needs to be filed with BMW corporate later. As you found out.

    it doesn't always go that way, but there is enough leeway that BMW can always contest teh compatency of your out of BMW Dealer service. You of course can contest that charge back, however, and then it is up to BMW to prove it. If you are still in your warrenty period.

    Out of warrrenty, however, means just that. You are on your own. Best you can hope for is BMW to help out. They have done that int he past for some people, but not all. Best way to get BMW's help in this area is to get your BMW dealer to stand behind you and talk to BMW corporate on your behalf. That's why you should cultivate your BMW dealer relationship.

    I have to admit I'm happy with my current dealer. Thier service/parts/dealer department has helped me out more than once. Just today I had them install my Smartire sensors. When they pulled the front wheel they found a bubble in the sidewall of an almost new ME880. The service manager's first thought was to have me buy a new tire. My first thought was OK, better now then have a blowout on my 3 day ride this month with the SO on the back.

    My second thought was ... hey don't these have a warrenty? I bought the motorcyle used at this dealer. I was informed at purchase time that all work on the motorcycle was performed by the same dealer. SO, they should have records of the purchase date if needed. So, I asked about a warrenty. Instead of just blowing me off like some dealer would, he turned and pulled out the Metzler dealer documentation and looked up the warrenty. Then turned to me and said "I can cover this under warrenty" and saved me at least $150.00.

    I don't think this same behavior would have happened at my closer BMW dealer. But BMW of SD is another dealership alltogether. I encourage everyone to find a similar dealer in thier area if possible. The closest, is not always the best.
    I agree that it is a good thing to establish a relationship with a dealer for warranty and other work.

    But the work that Officer Impersonator required was not part of any routine service on the bike. Failure of the clutch splines, input shaft and transmission bearings cannot be tied to 6K, 12K or annual services. They are due to design and/or QC faults that are built into certain motorcycles through BMW's ineptitude. And true to form, BMW refuses to take any responsibility for something that is clearly a manufacturing issue.

  13. #13
    johnnyjs1
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    Hopefully I will know more by tomorrow, the bike is at the dealer. Maybe they'll have it torn down and diagnosed by Friday

  14. #14
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyjs1 View Post
    Hopefully I will know more by tomorrow, the bike is at the dealer. Maybe they'll have it torn down and diagnosed by Friday
    When I took mine to the dealer for my new clutch input shaft/hub, they knew exactly what had happened when they heard those very same noises when they started the engine and tried to engage 1st gear.

    All the techs know all about this problem. None of the corporate muckety-mucks have ever heard of such a thing.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  15. #15
    ArthurKnowles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    I agree that it is a good thing to establish a relationship with a dealer for warranty and other work.

    But the work that Officer Impersonator required was not part of any routine service on the bike. Failure of the clutch splines, input shaft and transmission bearings cannot be tied to 6K, 12K or annual services. They are due to design and/or QC faults that are built into certain motorcycles through BMW's ineptitude. And true to form, BMW refuses to take any responsibility for something that is clearly a manufacturing issue.
    I recall the thread, but once again "out of warrenty" means "out of warrenty". There is no obligation for the previous owner or manufacturer to provide any support for it. Unless they choose to do so.

    I'll probably get a lot of flak for that, but it's honestly the way I feel about it. When you buy used, you are buying a pig in a poke (i.e. unknown state & status). That means, you take your chances.

    I'e had this same type of issue bite me before on buying used cars. Like suddently having to buy a replacement transmission because the original failed withiont a few hundred miles. Same with clutches. You buy used, you are the warrenty. You have to fix whatever breaks. Period. Regardless of how you feel about the design of the product, you are the responsible party. Complaining about it, or whining about it, isn't going to accomplish much. Persuing legal alternatives might, but that's about it.

    Best you can do in such a circumstance is to get the dealer to help. They have a lot more clout with the manufacturer than you do. But how many dealers (car or motorccyle) want to go to bat for you if you didn't buy it from them? Or if you don't use the dealer for service, why should they choose to go to bat for you? And as you know, going one on one with BMW NA isn't always going to prove successful. And in many case I understand their viewpoint completely (out of warrenty means out of warrenty - and where you get it services counts as well).

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