Is BMW uber-wasteful or is this just m/c's in general? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2010, 4:21 pm Thread Starter
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Is BMW uber-wasteful or is this just m/c's in general?

Over the past nearly two months, I'm going through a transmission failure and timing chain failure on my K1200R. When I hear of the parts involved to fix it, I am amazed how a "little" thing blows up to be a big thing.

Two cases in point: I lose second gear on the transmission (popping out) and BMW states to replace entire transmission, even though I just *really* need a couple of gears and maybe a fork replaced. In the second instance my cylinder head has a couple of valve guides that were damaged as a result of the unfortunate meeting of the pistons/valves. Again: BMW's procedure is to replace the ENTIRE head.

There's no core charge for the majority of the component that is good, there's no refurbishment or remanufacturing of parts, and it seems an awful waste and expense to the end user. I'm curious, is this the law of the land for all motorcycles or is this just a BMW thing? I just hate the fact that thes big (and pricey) items have to be replaced for what otherwise is fine less a fraction of it being damaged.

Just kinda curious I guess. Might be a hella opportunity for a machine shop to get into!

Edit: well with some googling around I think I may have answered my own question that it seems to be the way all bike makers work and there seem to be only a few shops out there properly equipped to do head or transmission work on bikes.

Last edited by EvilGenius; Nov 20th, 2010 at 5:27 pm.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2010, 6:22 pm
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I'm with you on this. The piston started freezing up on my 2000 KRS, ABS and they wanted $2700 to fix it. No way.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2010, 6:51 pm
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Simple...
Most, if not all, BMW service centers are not equipped to do those sorts of repairs. Therefore, there is no need to include repair instruction of that extent in the repair manual since BMW sees it as a job for their in-house machinists. I think that BMW sees it as more of a safeguard to replace the entire assembly as opposed to replacing one part and possibly missing another failed/failing part that would cause the same overall failure in the near future.

I would imagine that the heads/transmissions are rebuilt? Or maybe because of the aluminum, those parts simply cannot be rebuilt?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2010, 7:30 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aznatama
Simple...
Most, if not all, BMW service centers are not equipped to do those sorts of repairs. Therefore, there is no need to include repair instruction of that extent in the repair manual since BMW sees it as a job for their in-house machinists. I think that BMW sees it as more of a safeguard to replace the entire assembly as opposed to replacing one part and possibly missing another failed/failing part that would cause the same overall failure in the near future.

I would imagine that the heads/transmissions are rebuilt? Or maybe because of the aluminum, those parts simply cannot be rebuilt?
Agreed on all fronts: it is best for a BMW machinist to do the work, and do it to specs. In the old days this would make a part, say, the transmission, have a $3000 price which included a core charge, and swapping the new out with the failed one, the return of the failed part would get that core charge credited back, and BMW would remanufacture that transmission for sell again. They dont do this though. The transmission that came out of my motorcycle is now worthless. It's mine to take home, or pitch in a dumpster, or leave it in the corner of the bike shop with the 3 others that are already there.

The head that I looked at has just a couple of guides that are damaged. Replacement of valve guides does require some special equipment that I wouldn't expect a regular shop to have. It sure would make more sense that I pay a few hundred dollars net for a remanufactured head than it is for the $2.5K for a new one, and saving my otherwise pristine head from the destiny of the scrap pile.

It's too bad that BMW doesn't do this. It would certainly go a long way on lowering the cost of ownership of our bikes.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 12:49 pm
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The better BMW's become, the more I like the older models.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Rest assured you got a remanufactured tranny dropped into your bike, and your tranny will wind up in some one elses bike

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 5:50 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2008-K1200GT
Rest assured you got a remanufactured tranny dropped into your bike, and your tranny will wind up in some one elses bike
Not to disagree, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the case. I do not believe it is legal to sell parts as "new" when they are, in fact, remanufactured or refurbished. And by the nice collection of K1200 transmissions decorating the corner or my dealer's shop, the old bodies they pull out of bikes aren't going anywhere to get a new life.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2011, 8:43 pm
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the parts retention squirm

Simple solution, inform dealers you want all of your old parts back before they begin the job. If they are charging for entire assemblies they have no right to retain anything that is salvageable. This also gives you the parts in hand to investigate further for defect in material and workmanship, and to potentially prove the manufacturer responsible.

BMW does not have an exclusive on pricy parts; to replace the fuel filter on my 4RT, I would need to order the entire fuel pump assembly with cost in excess of 1100$ The rare single spark plug is special order, Honda NGK CR6EH-9 and the lowest price I have found them is 18$ each.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2011, 4:40 am
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I don't think that's true if it's a warranty repair?

If it's warranty, the manufacturer usually won't rely on repair shops to carry out 'investigations'. The results they want from getting back failed components are too important, since they could affect expensive modifications or recalls.

Another issue is the secrecy they want. Consider how much they spend marketing a new model and painting a picture of excellence. The last thing manufacturers want is the end user going off to independent service shops with no legal restraint on disclosure and publishing the results of design failure. It's all stacked up against the buyer, you only want to hear good news and that's what you get most of the time.

Try to find statistics on new model warranty repairs before making a purchase decision and you will have a hard job. The nearest you can get is to read customers experiences here, but it can be a relatively small sample of a bigger picture, takes a while for feedback to get posted and sometimes failures may be due to other causes or abuse.

Whenever I read 3 or 4 posts of similar bad experiences I ask myself 'What if anything has the manufacturer done to prevent this in future' I am not terribly re-assured and plastic quick disconnects is a good example where riders should not have had to find their own solution to ride safe.



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2011, 5:56 am
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keep em

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I don't think that's true if it's a warranty repair?
If it's a warranty repair who cares, that means they paid for it.

If you have your frame replaced make sure the dealer replaces it with one that has a VIN# too. Otherwise they will build a bike around your repaired frame, register it with your VIN and one day you will go to renew your plates and be informed that your motorcycle has been sold twice and you can't plate your bike until it's all straightened out.
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