Relative reliability from personal experience - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2012, 12:06 pm Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: , MA, USA
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Relative reliability from personal experience


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?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2012, 1:59 pm
Join Date: May 2009
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In addition to the number of repairs another perhaps even larger factor is cost, i.e. not only how many times did you have to repair the vehicle but how much was the total cost of repairs over the term of ownership? The pricing on BMW (and other manufacturers, albeit usually not quite as bad as BMW) can be shocking, making the cost of repairs over the life of a bike (even adjusted for inflation) much higher than in the past. Alas, cost to maintain (price of parts, cost to maintain wear items such as ESA, etc.) don't seem to enter buyers' mind when in the showroom.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 2012, 8:14 pm
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Location: oceanside, ca, usa
Posts: 430
well for me it's alittle more simplar most the people i ride with ride the shit out of their beemers and some have 80-k plus on the clock and they still ride them like a raped ape ,me it's my 3rd bmw and my 8th bike ,by far the bmw's have faired way better than a few of my honda's and would'nt even consider putting a harley through my riding habbit's but i understand why the people get pissed when big shit happen's but dont call out the whole mfgr ,hell knowbody's perfect ,and if people think other maker's make a better bike then they should trade their beemers in for one and be like everybody else ,me i'm a rider and i prefer the ultimate riding machine!!!

i've spent most my money on bike's boat's and broad's the rest i've wasted..
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