BMW not fairing well at this year's IBA - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 7:13 am Thread Starter
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BMW not fairing well at this year's IBA

I was reading some of logs from this year's Iron Butt Rally and found this comment disappointing. Has anyone else heard of issues as described below?

It makes you wonder if there really are problems of this magnitude in the current BMW line or if this "just happens" with excessive use of any complex mechanical device. If your normal rider takes their bike in for regular service and monitors it according to the maintenance schedule, are the number of catastrophic failures really that high?


The Tarnished Blue and White Roundel

A disproportionate number of the DNFs fall on the shoulders of BMW. BMW failed several riders, demonstrating that they are no longer capable of building motorcycles that can run 11,000 miles in 11 days without a significant fraction experiencing a catastrophic drivetrain failure of some sort. BMW of North America has requested contact information for the riders who experienced failures. The riders BMW should be more concerned about are the thousands of unsuspecting souls who will breakdown in the future because the company has lost its previous ability to either design durable drivetrain components or (more likely) adequately monitor production and assembly quality. It's way, way past time for BMW to fix its drivetrain reliability problems. A good start might be to acknowledge that there is a problem.

Marty S.
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200s
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 7:51 am
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Somewhere it was printed that BMW AG is taking its business from one of its Chinese suppliers and looking to Taiwan as they supposedly produce better parts, like crown bearings maybe?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 1:09 pm
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I'm not knocking the bikes, they work great for me in every respect.

However...I don't understand how BMW can make money on these machines with all the warranty work done, at least what I've had done on the 2 beemers I've ever owned in my life. Maybe its just my luck :wtf

The 2002 LTC had thousands billed back to BMW... on the 02 LTC, first thing to go was the shift linkage but that was an easy fix, nothing broke...then the rear drive at 17k miles, melted...when I had ohlins installed at the 24k service, the exhaust header was cracked and replaced, the rear latch of course, fixed in TX by lonestar...I can't even keep track. And thats all before you hit the 36k miles!

My 2006 K12S..the dealer told me they billed BMW for over 4K when they replaced my trans, clutch and clutch basket at 11k miles a few months ago.

Seems to me they could keep a lotta money in their pockets if they fixed these designs. I think the header cracked on my 02 LTC because the stock shocks were so bad!! Mixed with MI roads of course, bad combo there.

I have 2 payments left on my 02 and I own it It has 87k miles on it and runs better than new, although I had 2k worth of trans seals, etc done this year, out of pocket but worth it to me. My 06 K12S is due for the 24k mile service in 2 weeks and with all the fixes, it's also running better and faster and smoother than ever.

Anyways, money talks, bs walks...when they start running down on money, they'll fix the problems assuming they still have market share by then. None of the problems would make me return to another brand of bike based on my brand of riding at this time.

By the way, that LTC was a great investment at the 0 down, .9% interest rate...better than playin' the stock market!! Thats one loan I'd never pay off early, I wish they'd bring that rate back.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 2:33 pm
 
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4 of the top 5 were BMW's............. Doesn't sound to ad at all........ The clown who wrote the article hasn't a clue....None of the LT's had FD failure so there is another theory shot..
The blue and white roundel still shines brightly here at my house................Pete
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 3:09 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldbikin
...I have 2 payments left on my 02 and I own it It has 87k miles on it and runs better than new, although I had 2k worth of trans seals, etc done this year, out of pocket but worth it to me. My 06 K12S is due for the 24k mile service in 2 weeks and with all the fixes, it's also running better and faster and smoother than ever.

Anyways, money talks, bs walks...when they start running down on money, they'll fix the problems assuming they still have market share by then. None of the problems would make me return to another brand of bike based on my brand of riding at this time.
With the number of problems and expenses you've had with these bikes, I would have a hard time staying loyal. What brand of riding would make it impossible to ride a different brand of bike?

Disclaimer - this isn't a knock at BMW - but inquiring minds want to know!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 5:03 pm
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Well now since ya got me dreamin

If I had the time and place to ride it, I'd like to own the nastiest, fire breathing GP bike on the planet. And I really like those Agustas (sp?), they call to me :wtf mmm..let me restate that, I want one of everything!!

I've owned 3 Yamaha FZ1's, with a total of about 50k miles on those. It does everything the beemer does at a much cheeper cost. I started on a brand new 1972 K1, 500-4 cyl honda, put 12k miles on in the first 6 months, it was an amazing machine for 1972, just for background.

It (yamaha) also roasts the helloutta my legs, requires chain maintenance on a regular basis, didn't have the ergomic protection the beemers have...for the riding I do most of the time. And I'm gettin old so it hurts more than I'd like.

I own no cage so comfort, distance and lack of required on-the-road maint are keys. Oh, and did I mention more power and handling that I'll ever really need Not that I don't attempt to use it all here and there...

But...what I really like the most about the beemers..is the brakes!! daym those things can stop..they've saved my bacon plenty, ie, they let me live to try harder next time and live thru screw-ups! And the quality of the components, not counting failures, but overall machining quality..oh yeah, I love art, used to have carillo rods hanging on the living room wall, I appreciate those kinds of things.

It generallly appears to me that the overall BMW design was considered right to the end, ie, they didnt' stop somewhere in the middle like some other bikes (heat, comfort issues, etc). That happens when the engineering dept gold plates some stuff up front and runs outta funds before they are finished with the job and have to take shortcuts (thanks beancounters).

And it also appears that most of the work that had to be done did in fact, fail during the warranty period, so it was mostly a time issue rather than money.

Being a bit on the practical side, my ride has to meet my riding mission or I just won't buy it. Sure, the S add's more of who I am (ie, how I like to ride) to the equation, but the design allows me to do what I need to do with it, so I bought it.

aren't you sorry you asked now??
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 2007, 6:36 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldbikin
Well now since ya got me dreamin ...

...aren't you sorry you asked now??
Not at all! that was a well thought out reply. Beemers always have a had a feeling of quality about them that really isn't quantifiable - more of a feeling. However, when things start going south, you've got to take stock a little.

The German auto manufacturers have had the same issues for the last few years as well. If it's German - ya best have a warranty!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2007, 1:13 pm
 
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Originally Posted by petepeterson
4 of the top 5 were BMW's............. Doesn't sound to ad at all........ The clown who wrote the article hasn't a clue....None of the LT's had FD failure so there is another theory shot..
The blue and white roundel still shines brightly here at my house................Pete
You might want to look again. 40 BMWs were entered in the 2007 rally - far more than any other brand with Honda being closest with 29. Of all bikes entered, there were 6 failures. Two were electrical problems on FJRs (out of 14 entered) and the other 5 were all mechanical failures on BMWS. 3 of them were final drives!!!

Please note that I'm not slamming BMWs, but with these stats, I'd be demanding that the manufacturer come up with some answers!

Another interesting thing I noticed - but have no idea what it means: Thee were 5 DNFs for accidents - 4 BMWs and a Goldwing.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2007, 2:52 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffgunner
You might want to look again. 40 BMWs were entered in the 2007 rally - far more than any other brand with Honda being closest with 29. Of all bikes entered, there were 6 failures. Two were electrical problems on FJRs (out of 14 entered) and the other 5 were all mechanical failures on BMWS. 3 of them were final drives!!!!
Actually, there were 3 drive train issues on leg 2. There were 2 other issues on leg 1, and two other issues on leg 2. Total of 7 failures. 12.5% mechanical incident rate on the BMWs, with the main drive issue centered on new bikes final drive.

Yamaha had a incident rate of 14.28%. I didn't here the Tom Austin (the IBA writer) grousing on their poor reliability.

In my opinion, it is always poor judgement to punish a new machine of any sort with the type of riding you do at the IBA rally. There is an expectation that there will be some proving in of parts.

Most of us know that it takes a good long while to wear in a BMW correctly. These folks should have thought of that before they set out in their '07 bikes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by buffgunner
Please note that I'm not slamming BMWs, but with these stats, I'd be demanding that the manufacturer come up with some answers!
What, no thunder for Yamaha? I expect them to apologize for stinking up the roads with their rattling death traps!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffgunner
Another interesting thing I noticed - but have no idea what it means: Thee were 5 DNFs for accidents - 4 BMWs and a Goldwing.
From simple math...if you have more bikes in the competition, you will have more accidents. It also says that people and good bikes can make bad decisions, like riding too long without rest or decidng to ride your Goldwing up 200miles of gravel road in Northern Canada.

Finishing the IBA Rally is about riding smart. Riding smart covers a lot. Everything from choice of machine to do the job (well established, worn in, familiar to the rider) to your physical condition (rest, nutrition, fitness) and route planning. I think it was a big mistake to take out any new bike on a run like this, regardless of who made it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2007, 4:42 pm
 
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nmquigley, I sense you are getting a bit defensive and partaking in a bit of rationalization. First off, I made a math error - my mistake.

the FJR issue isn't really relevent. First off, 2 failures of 14 bikes is not statistically relevent - its too small. Moreover, the electrical failures could mean just about anything -and there is no widespread discussion going on about FJR electrical problems.

BMWs on the other hand, have been in discussion for quite a while over the issue of final drive failures. Its absurd to say that it's the owners fault because their bikes are too new. All that tells me is that you think BMW quality control is so poor that a new one can't be trusted. I could believe that about an Italian bike or an old AMF Harley, but not about the supposed best bike on the planet!
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