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Thread: I broke down 250 miles from a BMW Dealer - what would you have done?

  1. #1

    I broke down 250 miles from a BMW Dealer - what would you have done?

    Just returned from a 6800 mile trip with my brothers.

    I blew a wheel bearing, but I misdiagnosed it and rode 250 miles to BMW of Denver.
    (They were awesome)

    What would you or have you done to get your bike moved that far? - there were not many tow options in McCook, and no one eager to work on my bike.

    I'm trying to be better prepared if this happens again.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  2. #2
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    I would have started with the Anonymous Book, which I always carry in my top box for local ideas/suggestions on how to proceed. From there, I also have the BMWMOA Platinum roadside assistance, so a call to that number. Beyond that, it would be renting a vehicle capable of hauling the bike or, if there is a local vehicle repair shop, see if I can contract with them to haul the bike to a BMW dealer. From there, it's also find a local dude with a truck that is willing to haul me and my bike for $XXX.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  3. #3
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
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    My first question would be : Misdiagnosed the problem as what??

    First thought - See what help is available close by in the anonymous book....
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
    R1200RT, F800GS
    '80 GL1100

  4. #4
    The question is unclear. If you had a wheel bearing fail, how could you ride the bike?

    If you got to a BMW dealer and they got you sorted out, then it sounds like all worked out.

    As others have mentioned, the Anonymous book is something that is worth carrying.

  5. #5
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Tom, as others have said, I think the answer to your question lies in knowing what you "believed" to be the problem, not what it actually turned out to be.

    Each of us will make decisions on what we believe is the situation/circumstances we are faced with. We each have different levels of diagnostic ability and accuracy. Whatever we "think" is the issue, what are the odds that we are correct and what are the possible consequences if we are incorrect?

    In the mid-70's I had a connecting rod go on my 1973 Norton 850 Commando. I had a little pre-warning (while on the highway) but the rod went while I was trying to diagnose the problem and pulling over, but with the engine running, in gear, with the clutch out. Had I hit the kill-switch and coasted to a stop in nuetral, or been quicker to diagnose the problem correctly, I could have saved the engine and perhaps only needed a new rod. As it was, the nut for the rod-bolt caught between the crank and the crankcase putting a star burst in the case and nessitated crating the bike up and shipping it 1,000 miles home to do a complete bottom-end rebuild over the winter. That was an expensive lesson for me at an early stage in my riding. It helped me be far more critical of how I diagnosed situations and ensured that I always factor in the potential for, and results of, a mis-diagnoses. YMMV
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  6. #6
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I'm glad your sorted out and ok.

    I've never had a wheel bearing go bad on me, can you describe the symptoms? I too am interested in knowing what you were thinking and your process to decide to drive to the dealer. My intent is not to ridicule, believe me I've done some things that I will only admit around a campfire after a few drinks, but to gain some education from the tuition you've already paid.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  7. #7
    Here is as short as i can make the story, then will describe what happens when the bearing is going.
    1) the story
    I replaced the brake pads a week before the trip. My front brakes went out (lever went to the bars) , so I assumed it was the work I had done.

    I did check for wheel play & didn't feel any, but it was on the center stand and the front wheel was on the ground.
    I did not see anything on the side of the wheel bearing at that time.

    We spent about an hour trying to line up a ship, tow, rental truck etc... also anonymous book was on then workbench at home

    By then, I found I could pump the brakes and get some front brakes, so decided to risk it. ( I don't recommend this )

    2) the symptoms
    I looked here in the forum and the symptoms are pretty well described -
    handlebar feedback and clicking when there there is nothing in the road surface lining up with the timing of the clicks


    The 3 of us were all on Sena's and heard a whack on my brothers helmet. He said " must have been a rock", but there was no gravel in the road and no traffic.
    We figured out later this was a ball from wheel bearing. Gives a new meaning to riding shotgun

    3) I can affirm that it is entirely possible to ride 250 miles will no bearings in the right wheel bearing (once)

    When I got to the shop - the entire service crew came out to take a look.

    Photo to follow soon... have to go for now..

    Tom
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  8. #8
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Glad everyone is fine.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  9. #9
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasspicker View Post
    ...We spent about an hour trying to line up a ship, tow, rental truck etc... also anonymous book was on then workbench at home ...
    For future reference, the Anonymous Book is now available as a downloadable PDF which can be stored on a smartphone. It can also be viewed online, but I sometimes find that in weak signal areas I do not have data access though voice calls are OK.

    Go here: https://www.bmwmoa.org/general/custo...=abook_digital
    You may be asked to sign in with your bmwmoa.org id/password.
    To save the PDF, just click on the download arrow in the upper left corner.
    Anon.png
    Last edited by lkraus; 08-06-2018 at 03:23 PM.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  10. #10
    Thanks for that - I will download the pdf
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  11. #11
    Pay attention to the click and vibration in the bars - don't let this happen to you

    There was plenty of time to get off the bike and address the problem

    BMW Denver had to overnight in a new wheel - looking back, I could have had that shipped to me in McCook.

    vMurrtT.jpg

    Back on the road in less than 24 hours.

    On a happier note, the trip was great...

    qDQso7u.jpg
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasspicker View Post




    What would you or have you done to get your bike moved that far? - there were not many tow options in McCook, and no one eager to work on my bike.


    Thanks,
    Tom
    Hertz truck rental.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  13. #13
    Allstate RV Roadside coverage will tow to the nearest "qualified service provider." So for a tire you are going to a dealer that has or can get a tire for your bike. But for most mechanical or electrical things you will be hauled to the nearest BMW dealer - no mileage limit. Living in the west where the nearest dealership is over 400 miles and riding a lot where even that is close the micky mouse 25 or 35 or 100 miles is a joke.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #14
    Thanks Paul, thatís worth checking out.
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  15. #15
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I got the Allstate plan when I was in Deese Lake BC and realized I was 1100+ miles from the nearest BMW dealer. By the way, when you call the BMW Roadside Assistance you will be talking to the same people who respond to Allstate calls.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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