K-Bike Reliability Issues... - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 2005, 10:02 pm Thread Starter
 
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K-Bike Reliability Issues...

So I've been having a little argument (over the net) with a couple of guys over whether or not K-bikes have reliability issues. One of the guys owns or owned an 02 RS. Apparently he's had lots of problems with it. He's had problems with his heated grips and turn signals and I believe he said a tranny or driveshaft seal of some sort gave out at 69,000 miles. I think he may have also had tranny problems.

The other guy...a devout FJR owner said his buddy, who has, or had a K-bike, had problems, and in fact it was well known there are reliability issues with K-bikes. I replied that I haven't had any problems (mind you I only have 5000 miles on my GT) and I wasn't aware of any reliability issues with the K-bike (actually I was under the impression that these bikes were built to last). I also might have said that FJRs are ugly, lack quality, many of the creature comforts provided on the GT, a sixth gear, and to top it off cooked the rider (things started to get a little ugly at this point). I also managed to squeeze in the fact that many owners report strange ticking sounds emanating from the engine. I guess I just get a little tired of FJR owners thinking their bike is the "high water mark" when it comes to Sport Touring bikes when we all know it's the GT

Later I started thinking it wouldn't be hard to find a few FJR owners that have had problems by the time their bike hit 69, 000 miles.

Comments?
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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 2005, 11:33 pm
 
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Talking Challenge

The first challenge in your search is to FIND an FJR that has hit 69,000 miles. I am not even sure it is possible.

cycle_gator
aka Tim
'04 K1200RS -- Orient Blue
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post #3 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 2005, 11:52 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sincGT
So I've been having a little argument (over the net) with a couple of guys over whether or not K-bikes have reliability issues. One of the guys owns or owned an 02 RS. Apparently he's had lots of problems with it. He's had problems with his heated grips and turn signals and I believe he said a tranny or driveshaft seal of some sort gave out at 69,000 miles. I think he may have also had tranny problems.

The other guy...a devout FJR owner said his buddy, who has, or had a K-bike, had problems, and in fact it was well known there are reliability issues with K-bikes. I replied that I haven't had any problems (mind you I only have 5000 miles on my GT) and I wasn't aware of any reliability issues with the K-bike (actually I was under the impression that these bikes were built to last). I also might have said that FJRs are ugly, lack quality, many of the creature comforts provided on the GT, a sixth gear, and to top it off cooked the rider (things started to get a little ugly at this point). I also managed to squeeze in the fact that many owners report strange ticking sounds emanating from the engine. I guess I just get a little tired of FJR owners thinking their bike is the "high water mark" when it comes to Sport Touring bikes when we all know it's the GT

Later I started thinking it wouldn't be hard to find a few FJR owners that have had problems by the time their bike hit 69, 000 miles.

Comments?
I don't want to rain on the K-Bikes parade but, They do have issues. I have a 2004 GT that I have just turned 20K in a year. It is now showing a slow leak from one of the seals. That, in my opinion is just not right, and I'm not the only owner that has had this problem. Here is the crazy part of what your saying, The K-Bike is a flying brick! Guess what, I bought the GT because my 2001 GS with 39K on it blew an input shaft seal. So it's that flying brick reputation that got me interested to change. Quite frankly, I'm pretty disapointed. I'm dissapointed because I love the way BMW motorcycles look, ride, and are different from the main stream. I love to ride. But I'm losing some faith here in BMW's Product. I don't have an ego about what I ride. Well, maybe a small one! So reliability is what I want.

I may be going back to a new GS or a new GS Adventure. I'd like to be able to put a 100k on a bike with out any major problems. Especially, with the cost and freaquent maintenance that is required. I Hate, Love Hate relationships!

But everytime I get on me GT, which is at least every other day I just say, man I love this bike! I somehow feel like a prison bitch!

Leon
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post #4 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 12:05 am
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Hey, this is my first post to this forum, I hope is not the last, my name is Martin, From Barcelona, Spain. the forum is great. Hello to all members.

Answering your email: Never Mind, I have a K bike since 1989, I just swapped my old K100RS by a GT past May 2005.

I put on my K100 125.000 miles on 15 years...reliability ? you simply can't put these miles on a Japanese bike.

I had 2 Yama for 5 years before BMW, you need to simply waste the complete bike after 30k-50K miles (Plastics simply broke, electric components simply doesnīt resist -wires are not properly isolated, connectors get wet when raining, ), engine, mechanics...simply forget, the engine lost the whole adjustment, start with a lot of noises, loose power, lacks oil...and the worst is that the manufacturers doesnīt offer support to keep your bike healthy, they simply design the bike to donīt last, so, after 5-8 years you simply canīt find part replacements to repair critical parts (I experienced personally all this issues with a Yam XT600, with 50K miles on it, and previously with a Yam DT80).

Regarding the K Bike, of course is not free of maintenance and some issues, but nothing that is not due to the regular usage (Change Tires every 7.5K, Change Batteries every 3 to 6 years depending on weather, some lack of oil, shaft renew at 100K and many other small things, all due to a daily high usage, with the bike always on usage winter, summer, etc...) but the good thing is that BMW design the bike to last and provide parts to renwe all these parts after 15 years owning it. So, engine perfect, frame perfect, plastics, electrics, etc... I just sell the bike to enjoy a new GT model but it was perfect !

By the way, the 2005GT is great, with just 3K on it, is amazing!
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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 4:02 am
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I don't think there is ever a 100% reliable bike, riders come in different flavours as well. Some ride hard, others soft. It doesn't take much reading of the posts to find out the weaknesses.

My main criticism would be that weaknesses seem to repeat themselves more frequently than expected and I don't hear owners of new bikes saying they have improved design and the repeated problems have gone away.

I to have owned Japanese shaft bikes where the power and drive chain has been faultless to 70,000 miles. However annoying electric and paint finish problems (easy and cheap to fix) have ocurred. My conclusion was they must design and test the power and drive chain to death.

I remember when Japanese bikes and cages first hit the scene here, that the market was slow to buy them for fear of things going wrong with the cost/hassle of sorting out problems. They concentrated real hard on reliability to the extent some manufacturers were confident to offer very long warranties in the new price. A friend who worked in the business at the time said 'we rarely see serious mechanical faults on Japanese vehicles'

Quality control starts with design concepts and I sometimes wonder if our bikes just provide jobs for the service workshop and parts industry. A manufacturer with a tight dealer network should use the data it collects to improve future designs and and reliability to the extent they make themselves redundant.

How much more reliable, increase in service intervals and cost of ownership can I expect from a new 2005 model, compared to my present '97? How do you feel about the real cost of owning your K12 after you paid for it? My experience has been fair but not brilliant. I wondered if the 'R' bikes that go all round the world are a lot better.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Dec 21st, 2005 at 4:04 am. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 10:09 am
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Welcome Martin. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities and I have visited it several times.
My 89 K100RS had 78,000 miles on it when it was struck down in it's prime. The only thing that was ever done to it was tires and routine maintenance. That is why, I did not consider buying anything else, when I bought my GT this year. I did not even have my heart set on a GT, I just knew it would be a BMW.
Our FJR friend has joined this forum, just to try a rationalize his poor taste in bikes. Come on, what do you expect for engineering from a country that can't grasp the concept behind a fork and fire for cooking. The guy really has a delusional ego, but it is Christmas and we should care about the handicapped.

Richie
04 K12GT
89K100RS (Gone, but not forgotten)
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post #7 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 11:15 am
 
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Anything mechanical can and will have problems. It's just a matter of mileage and or time. I've had lots of bikes over the years and all of them have had problems; Cushman, BSA, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Harley, Yamaha, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki.

When I bought my '92 ZX-11, I loved the bike so much that I thought I'd keep it until the wheels fell off. This one was going to be the first bike that I didn't get rid of after two years or less.

At the first service, the tech called called and told me there was a problem with the valves and they were going to pull the head. Two exhaust valves starting beating the valve seat into the head. Work was done under warranty but I was wondering what else would go wrong while the Mighty ZX was under my watch.

During the next few years I had to replace the fork seals and I put Gold Valves in to correct the harsh front end compliance. I seem to remember replacing some dash bulbs and a headlight or two.

Then the bike reached 80,000 miles and one day it wouldn't shift into second gear. You could put the gear selector in second and decelerate all day but as soon as you gave it power the gear would disengage. Uh oh, more problems.

Since I'm not into taking the engine out and splitting the cases, I took it to the dealer and asked them to look into what was ailing my bike. A couple of days later they called and told me they'd found the problem.

I went to the dealership and looked at what they'd found. The transmission didn't have one singe roller/ball/caged bearing to be found inside. Kawasaki used brass bushings inside the transmission and almost all of them were worn. This is on a bike that religously had it's oil changed at the 3K mile mark, plus the filter.

I had them use a micrometer to measure all the gears, and shafts and then had them replace everything but the two mainshafts. $2k later I had my Mighty ZX back. It would have been totally worthless without a tranny so my only choice was to fix it or take it in the shorts and walk away from it.

Now I know that this bike wasn't meant to be kept for the long haul, as it wasn't engineered to make it that far.

At 99,500 miles I got an offer for my bike I couldn't refuse and there was this '98 Taxi that I'd seen for sale that intrigued me so I let the Mighty ZX go.

The Taxi wasn't without problems but during it's 120,000 mile time with me I replaced two fork seals, one left side radiator fan, two clutches, one rear main seal, one front tranny seal, clutch slave cylinder and a headlight assembly (the assembly was under warranty).

When the transmission came out of the Taxi, and I saw inside, I knew the bike, or at least the transmission, was made to go the distance and I would probably be able to get parts after years of service, or at least another from a wrecked bike.

Now I'm on my second K1200RS, it's on '02, and I've put all my aftermarket stuff from the old bike on it. My health is keeping from enjoying it right now, along with the winter weather (I'm in Carson City, NV) but come spring time I'll be out and about putting more miles on it. And I'll live with having to fix it occasionally because, just like me, it sometimes breaks down.
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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 11:37 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southerndude
I don't want to rain on the K-Bikes parade but, They do have issues. I have a 2004 GT that I have just turned 20K in a year. It is now showing a slow leak from one of the seals. That, in my opinion is just not right, and I'm not the only owner that has had this problem.
Leon
20,000 miles....slow seal leak......disappointed?.....man, you're hard to please!

'04 GT...Orient Blue...Staintune...Ohlins...Power Commander
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post #9 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 2:47 pm
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32000,03 GT,Low beam bulb went out, I have never had a bike this reliable,except my 02 LT,34000,High beam went out. 66000 miles and I have had to replace two bulbs.Seem to be pretty reliable so far.

Enjoying The Ride. Eddie Layton
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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2005, 2:47 pm
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I've got almost 36,000 on an 03 GT. Not one single problem. Have seen threads where others have had problems (handling, small seal leaks etc.), but I guess I'm lucky. I still think of the bike as "new". Of course, I also get the required service(s) at or before the recommended time. In short, great bike.

Thor Anderson
K1200GT
R100GS
Africa Twin
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