A recent post that queried if the GT is “more reliable than you think
” got me wondering how it stacks it against my previous experience. Is the GT especially unreliable, or just not as reliable as I would like for a high-end and high-priced machine from a maker with a reputation for reliability?
To address this, I counted the number of “durable parts repairs” accumulated over 92,000 mi for each of the four bikes I’ve rode at least that much. “Durable parts repairs” excludes tires, brake pads, and things replaced as part of scheduled maintenance such as plugs, fluids, and filters. It also excludes crash repairs. Don’t ask how many.
I know, a count of repairs is a crude metric, not accounting for the seriousness of repair. For example, trashing the engine with a cam sprocket jump (which has not happened to me) is counted the same as replacing a headlight bulb (which I’ve done five times on the GT). However, grading seriousness gets complicated (using monetary cost has issues IMO). Shockingly, I’d rather do something else on a Sunday afternoon. So I’ll assume a proportional distribution of seriousness across bikes. It looks that way to me.
’81 Suzuki GS650G: 21 durable parts repairs
’85 Honda VF700S: 30 durable parts repairs
’97 BMW R1100RS: 11 durable parts repairs
’07 BMW K1200GT: 24 durable parts repairs
The GT had more than twice as many durable parts repairs as my previous BMW, so the GT is well below my previous experience with BMW. Instead, its reliability is comparable to my 1980s-era Japanese bikes. I don’t think you’ll be seeing BMW use that in an ad.
By whatever objective measure you want to use, what has been the relative reliability of your bikes?