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Thread: Lurking Wannabe

  1. #1
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    Lurking Wannabe

    Hello,
    I have a 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere...but I hear about how fantastic the R1200GS is so I'm really considering purchasing one. Here's the thing... I'm not the most mechanically gifted person, the nearest dealership is 150 miles away so the 6000 mile valve check is of concern. I've always loved the boxer twin design and will never ride anything with a chain again.

    Any words of encouragement or advice?

    Thanks folks?

  2. #2
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club. Great excuse for a 300 mile ride!

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    I would suggest looking at some of the how-to maintenance guides on the R1200. JVB productions that sells a great maintenance DVD actually has some helpful pictorial guides on his website.

    For most people, even those that may describe themselves as not mechanically gifted, the R1200 motors are pretty non-intimidating. I have a 2007, which is the hexhead, and it's a bit more simple to do valve adjustments on than the newer water cooled boxers. Since you mentioned 6k intervals you must be looking at a used R1200? Either way, don't let the valve adjustments intimidate you. The newer bikes use shims for the adjustment, and when actual adjustments are needed they are a bit more involved than the previous generations of bikes. Don't let that intimidate you though. I can pretty much guarantee you can find someone to show you the ropes the first time or two, or can find someone doing a shop day and demonstrating it. Once you have seen it done you will realize that it's pretty straight forward and simple. The few tools that you may need that you may not already have will quickly pay for themselves. With the boxers everything is hanging our there in the breeze and right in your face.

    Changing the lube in the trans and final drive is very straight forward and simple too. Most folks I know, including myself, change out the trans and FD every other engine oil/filter/valve adjustment on the hexhead and older bikes. I think the valve check/adjustment intervals on the WC bikes is 12k? If that is the case, with one of those I think I would do trans and FD every time.

    Where are you at? If you're anywhere reasonably close to where I am I would happily have you over when I'm doing a service on my bike so you can see how straight forward it is, and I'd happily walk you through it on your own bike. If you're too far from me, I can about guarantee you can find someone close by to give you a hand.

  4. #4
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    I'm in West Virginia (no BMW dealer in the state). Thanks for the words of encouragement. This is another reason I'm considering a BMW - the sense of community and the obvious love for the product. I hadn't realized the valve adjustments were at 12k for the newer water cooled GS. That makes a big difference. I do my own oil changes, brake pads, shaft drive and misc. maint. now - Just something about a feeler gauge that makes me queasy...

    Thanks again for your offer of help and the suggestions!!

  5. #5
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    q

    Quote Originally Posted by mafrano View Post
    - Just something about a feeler gauge that makes me queasy...

    !!
    A feeler guage is just that....FEEL....Get you one of those sets that has 4K little strips of metal in them with a bolt/screw on one end holding them together. REALLY, you will be surprised over your lifetime how many times you will actually use it. Simple to use really.....Get the strip of metal parallel to the gap that you are measuring. Insert it into the gap. If it will NOT go in, the gap is obviously to tight. If it just slides in and you feel NO friction, it is way to loose. Trying to describe just right is hard as it is a matter of 'feel". Maybe someone will come along with a better description.
    Get a hair maybe 6" long........Pull it between your thumb and index finger............Tighten up so that it almost breaks.....THAT IS TOO TIGHT......now open your fingertips so that it JUST SLIPS BETWEEN YOUR FINGERTIPS........THAT'S IT!!!!!!!! Nothing really to be bothered about. If you just try, you really won't go wrong as if it is to loose, you really will know. It's just sloppy and feels it. Ever go out with a girl that you had to tie that 2X4.....old story but appropriate here. And if it won't go in, .....I won't go there at all.......God bless.......Dennis

  6. #6
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mafrano View Post
    I'm in West Virginia (no BMW dealer in the state). Thanks for the words of encouragement. This is another reason I'm considering a BMW - the sense of community and the obvious love for the product. I hadn't realized the valve adjustments were at 12k for the newer water cooled GS. That makes a big difference. I do my own oil changes, brake pads, shaft drive and misc. maint. now - Just something about a feeler gauge that makes me queasy...

    Thanks again for your offer of help and the suggestions!!
    If you have a pick-up, rent a $15/day Uhaul trailer for when you have to make the dealer trip. They'll want the bike overnight, anyways.

    Until a dealership opened in State College, PA, most of rural PA was in the same predicament as you. Most all of Upstate NY is dealer-less.

    What part of WV are you in?
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  7. #7
    Cal
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    Don't sweat it. Five years ago I moved from Sarasota, Fl to Suches, GA. My dealer was 5 miles away now it is 100 miles, if I need service I call and arrange an appointment.
    Cal Garcia
    Suches, GA

  8. #8
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkruger View Post
    I think the valve check/adjustment intervals on the WC bikes is 12k? .
    A couple weeks ago I had a Tech tell me the interval was 18,000 miles between valve checks on the watercooled boxers, same as the new K bikes.
    Last edited by Lee; 07-23-2015 at 12:08 AM.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
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    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=36654;1004145]If you have a pick-up, rent a $15/day Uhaul trailer for when you have to make the dealer trip. They'll want the bike overnight, anyways.

    Until a dealership opened in State College, PA, most of rural PA was in the same predicament as you. Most all of Upstate NY is dealer-less.

    What part of WV are you in?[Central WV, a little town called Buckhannon]

  10. #10
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I'd like to take the ATV to Hatfield-McCoy recreation down Beckley way.
    Welcome to the forum!
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  11. #11
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    Don't worry about the distance to a dealer. I've never lived closer than a few hours to the nearest BMW dealer. If you learn to do your own maintenance the only thing you will need to visit the dealer for from a work standpoint is any warranty repairs. If you break down during the warranty/roadside assistance period to where the bike can't be ridden, they will get it to the nearest dealer for you. That's happened to me twice during trips, but even if you go out one morning and the bike doesn't start they will get you to the dealer. For most stuff you can ride it in.

    I wasn't aware the new valve check intervals were 18k, that is pretty sweet. Even if the shim design of the WC valve adjustment isn't something you want to tackle, you can save quite a bit of money doing the rest of the maintenance items yourself. I wouldn't hesitate to do the valves on one though and have no doubt you are capable of doing it.

    Some of it depends on your style of riding and travel. I can probably be best described as some sort of spastic wanderer. If I needed to be at a dealership on a particular day for an appointment during a trip I would make it, It might mess with the zen of my normal free spirited, do what moves me style though. If I had a WC bike I would note where the valves were at when checked, and get the shims most likely needed if they needed adjusted during a trip, and carry those with me. From what I have read, the WC valves are probably going to need even less adjustment after getting a few miles than the older boxers, which often didn't need much. A lot of it will just be checking with no adjustments needed after a while.

    I have done maintenance on a boxer during a trip many times. A disposable aluminum baking pan from Walmart to drain the oil into, bend a corner and put the used oil in the new oil bottles once they are empty and you don't even need a funnel. If I know I'm within a couple thousand miles of being where the maintenance will be much easier I will some times just do an oil and filter change and put the valve check off for a bit. I wouldn't do that under warranty though.

    I have done the maintenance on bikes like your Yamaha. The boxer is a whole different beast when it comes to ease of maintenance. I have friends that are pretty good wrenches that own KTM's, some do the maintenance themselves and curse it, and some don't even do it. If you're the type that likes to take care of something and keep it long term I think a boxer is tough to beat.

  12. #12
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    Welcome mafrano.

    I went through the same mental gymnastics when I started contemplating a purchase. My round trip to the dealer crosses two state lines and covers 600 miles. After the test drive, the smile on my face outweighed the common sense-o-meter in my brain and I took the plunge (late June).

    I pretty much drove it home, turned around and drove it back for the 600 mile maintenance. Not one single regret so far (knocking wood)!

  13. #13
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    Unless you are crazy.....

    More often than not, most folks have their bikes serviced once a year. At that time, they have the bike tuned up (which should include setting the valves), The Throttle Bodies balanced, perhaps plugs and or air filters and all the fluids changed. If you ride more than 6000 miles in a season, you can do your own oil/filter/fluid changes in between. I have been riding boxers for over 20 years and have found that they are not fussy or finicky. If you go an extra thousand miles before having the valves set they will not start acting up and become unridable (Unless there is something SERIOUSLY wrong) which there almost never is. The basic boxer design is rock solid and I was only stranded once when a fuel filter blew up inside the tank. Another thing to think about is finding a dealer who has loaner bikes. I do business with Hermy's in Port Clinton PA and if the bike has to be there overnite, I get a loaner. This should be negotiated before you sign the papers.

    All in all, my advice is to pull the trigger. If you keep wanting but never having, you will spend the rest of your life kicking yourself.

    Lastly, once you buy one and join the MOA, I guarantee that your life will change. You will ride more, travel more, and meet a great group of folks.

    Best,

    W.

  14. #14
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    Thanks Folks

    I have to say, your comments are thoughtful, insightful and very convincing. Motorcycles are a gateway to freedom and elicit so much joy, excitement, and an unparralleled independence. I live in the land of Harley's and have been looking for a community of likeminded riders. You folks are definitely convincing. Now I've just got to convince wifey of how cool you guys are and how complete my life will be with a GS

  15. #15

    And I hope everyone will learn from my mistake: I sold my '09 R 1200 GS and shouldn't have ever done that - worst motorcycle decision I've ever made

    To resolve the yearning in my heart, to fill in that void of grief, to replace what was missing, I only had one choice, so I bought another one

    And . . . if I ever trade the new R 1200 GS in on another, non-boxer BMW, then every one of you are welcome to line up and take turns slapping my face for being stupid

    So there ya have it
    2015 R 1200 GS

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