Need help on a possible purchase - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2013, 9:34 pm Thread Starter
thataintworkin's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Franklin, TN, USA
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Need help on a possible purchase

Hello, I am considering purchasing a 2008 K1200GT and need some advice.
I have owned many bikes of different manufacturers, mostly Japanese but have never owned anything German so I am not familiar with the hardware. After a test ride I REALLY like this bike but there are a couple of things I need advice on. When first taking off from a start I hear two clunks. Nothing really loud or alarming but it does seem pretty consistent and nothing I have ever heard from my Japanese bikes. It is an audible sound only and you can't feel anything mechanically that seems wrong. Never hear it again after leaving first gear. The owner indicated this was clutch chudder and just normal BMW stuff, nothing to be alarmed about. This bike also has the ABS alarm indication (Break Failure) warning light on and the owner said he just rides without ABS and ignores this. It looks like this could be a significant cost item to repair and it appears that a lot of these bike suffer from this problem. Is there any easy way to determine if this is a serious fault and can this bike be safely ridden without relying on the ABS but assume the brakes will work properly otherwise?
It has 13,500 miles on it and is indicating the need for service is due soon. What items are due for service at the next interval, I believe he said that was at 15000 miles and is this a costly trip to the dealer? He is asking $10,500 so while this seems like a fair price to me, it may not be if the service interval and brake issues will be costly to repair. I am open to any input or advice here. Thank you.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2013, 11:09 pm
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As for the ABS issue, you can safely ride without ABS if you want. I did for many miles until I got mine fixed. To get it fixed you have 3 options;

1 take it to a BMW dealer and let them install a new one for a crapload of money (BMW does not consider the module to be a serviceable part. They will charge you for a new one to the tune of $1600 and then charge to install it.)

2 disconnect the ABS module yourself and send it to Module Master who will fix the issue, give you a guarantee and ship it back fast, all for $285. When you get it back you will need to reinstall it and bleed the brakes but that's it.

3 attempt to fix it yourself if you are mechanically inclined (and want to) for free. Do a search and you will find the process.

The clutch issue (if that is in fact the sound) sounds like it could be normal IF there is no slipping anywhere. I wouldn't worry about it if pulls fine throughout the band with no other noise or felt bumps.

ANY trip to the BMW dealer is a costly trip to the dealer. It sounds like you have intentions of taking the bike to the dealer. Which is fine if that's what you want to do. Be forewarned it will be pricey
Many people here, myself included, do their own wrenching and save a lot of $$$. But saving the money is only part of it. After you do the work, you know exactly what's "in" the bike.

They do have their known issues but they are great bikes.

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Last edited by moymurfs; Aug 14th, 2013 at 9:17 am.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2013, 12:30 pm
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You have some negotiating leverage on that bike given that the ABS is in failure. That's a $2,000 repair if you want it fixed by a certified dealer.

Work him on the price now that you know how much it would cost to repair, and then do the repair yourself and save the $$$.

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Bought it with 2,055 miles on the clock - June 2013
Rode 1,100+ miles to get it home
Current miles: 10,350+
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2013, 6:49 am
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Not sure about the US, but in the UK the 18k mile service is the big one and costs nearly £500. The 12k is about £250ish. If it hasn't got a dealer warranty, do the service yourself.

The clunk could be the slop in the shaft drive/hub being taken up. They all do that and it takes a bit of getting use to if you've only had bikes with chains.

If it is the clutch, don't worry, they all do that too.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2013, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by thataintworkin
After a test ride I REALLY like this bike
heh heh. Yeah.

$10,500 might be a fair price for a low-miles 2008 GT in perfect working order, but he's going to have to knock a fair amount off if he wants to sell it with a failed ABS unit. Ditto the clutch noise, a light rattling sound at idle in neutral from the clutch/transmission is normal, but I'm not sure what the two clunks mean. They may or may not be serious but they are not normal. Plus as mentioned you have an expensive service coming up (if you have a dealer do it.)

A lot depends on your mechanical abilities and desire to DIY. If the most common fault is causing the ABS issue then it can be fixed inexpensively by an owner with some skills (BMW's only answer will be $2,000+, or no ABS for you.) Same with the major service, can be done by a reasonably skilled home mechanic in a day but expect to pay BMW at least $800 to do it for you. These bikes are incredible performers but you have to pay to play, in either dollars or your own time.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 2013, 8:46 pm
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The Brake Failure light might also mean the speed sensor at the front wheel is not communicating. Replacing it is significantly less $$ than the ABS module.
It can be damaged if you are not careful when changing the front tire. (I have only myself to blame for this one.)
Mine went bad and a quick read with the GS911 told the story. The GS911 is a very useful tool and many of us have it. Even if I have the dealer do the repair its nice to know what needs to be done.

Does the owner know what the Brake error is pointing to?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 2013, 8:58 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Franklin, TN, USA
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Thanks for all of your responses. I decided to take my chances and purchase this bike after some negotiating. I can do some wrenching myself and actually enjoy learning about the machines that I ride.

So far I've been riding it and ignoring these issues just to get used to it and have a little fun.

What I have learned so far from researching is that I may need to purchase this GS911 device. Also, the term I used for the clutch problem is incorrect. What I referred to as a clunk is really more of a squeal. I was able to find some limited info on this but nothing I perceived as absolute in terms of the problem or the resolution. Still looking though. I also now have a brake howl from the front that did not show up during my two test rides. Sound like a drum brake noise and does this almost always. The pads look good both front and rear so not sure what's up with this? Any ideas, I'm listening?

Thanks for the input, greatly appreciated.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2013, 10:53 pm
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The clutch squel, sometimes accompanied by a shudder when pulling away has been well discussed on this site. You can ride the bike with this noise for years without harm, just noise. A few have had early clutch wear, not me. Some may just have abused theirs. There USA company called module masters who may fix your ABS for "only" $250-500 instead of BMW's $1200-2000....

Enjoy your great new machine.

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