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Thread: Concensus on most reliable years/models

  1. #16
    Registered User easy's Avatar
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    Reliability doesn't matter so much if you're uncomfortable riding it. It seems they're both issues. Look for something still under warranty, and, or extended warrant, and you won't have to worry quite as much.

    E.




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  2. #17
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    It's pretty simple ...

    BMW are continuously improved.

    Generally the first generation of a particular model lasts ~5 years. Then it is "facelifted." This could mean new styling or even a major engine upgrade or both. An easy example is the transition from the "hexhead" (2005-2009) to the "camhead" (2010-2013). This was the same frame and transmission and basically the same engine, but with new fairing styling and new engine valvetrain configuration. And a few more things (switchgear).

    Within all this there can be more minor running changes ... an example being the transmission upgrade on the Wetheads for 2017.

    The answer to the question, then, is the newer the better. First year models can be a bit iffy.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #18
    Again, thanks LK
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  4. #19
    JohnWC
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Least troublesome - K75 from 1986-1995.

    Reliable - R1100 Oilhead models.

    Best late model bikes: R1200 "wet head" water cooled.

    Most troublesome = the more gadgets and gizmos to go wrong will go wrong.

    YMMV
    For what it's worth, I would second Paul's post on the earlier models. I can't speak about the newer bikes. Personally, I believe airheads are now simply putt-around-town, short ride display pieces. They are old, most need a lot of work to be reliable, and have too many disadvantages as far as safety goes. Poor brakes, no ABS, weak charging systems, usually worn out original shocks, and actual mileage often unknown due to odometer failure at some point. They have usually been through several owners, few of whom past the original cared to maintain them that well.

    The 1100s, of which I have to say I own one, have always seemed to be excellent on reliability. Very little fancy electronics, few input shaft problems that seem to plague the 1150s, no whizzy brakes, fuel gauge, heated grips, etc. I view mine as pretty much a greatly improved airhead.

    The k75 models are legendary in their durability, although they too are getting up there in years. But unlike the airheads, when overhauled, they will be pretty trouble-free.

    Everyone now wants the most gadgets possible on both their cars and motorcycles. It's the IPhone generation. Of course in both cases, no one can fix them except the dealer, making them rather costly to own. If I won the lottery and had money to burn, I "might consider" throwing $25,000 at a dealer for a new one. But probably not. Why bother? My 1100 runs fine.
    Last edited by jconway607; 04-19-2018 at 02:05 AM.

  5. #20
    Just another rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    Personally, I believe airheads are now simply putt-around-town, short ride display pieces. They are old, most need a lot of work to be reliable, and have too many disadvantages as far was safety goes. Poor brakes, no ABS, weak charging systems, usually worn out original shocks, and actual mileage often unknown due to odometer failure at some point. They have usually been through several owners, few of whom past the original cared to maintain them that well.
    Ooooooooooo, now you've done it. The Airhead crew are lighting their torches and searching for pitchforks.

    And I have a R90/6 (with odometer failure, I really gotta get that fixed).....

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