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so, i was shuffeling through my collection of MOTORRAD magazines the other day, and found one particular issue (from june 07) where they headlined: BMW buys engines from chinese manufacturer.

they are talking about xcountry engines (and only those, the other X- engines still come from Rotax in austria) that are now being made by longshen in china. truth be told, F650 engines where never made by BMW; not even the design - it's all Rotax, however with a M3 inspired head (WHATEVER that means, i guess it means at least $80 on top of the MSRP or so .....).

so MOTORRAD made a big deal out of this: how come BMW charges premium prices and has their stuff manufactured in CHINA where f**** WALMART gets their cheap stuff as well.

Lots of people got really upset and the official BMW response was of unspeakable arrogance and ignorance ( i can tell, i'm german).

having realized that there are enough folks around here that easily shell out more money than necessary just for having the pleasure to ride a K bike - would you still do so if your next bike or major components are mad in china ?

stay safe. cheers.
 

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flag2carrot said:
so, i was shuffeling through my collection of MOTORRAD magazines the other day, and found one particular issue (from june 07) where they headlined: BMW buys engines from chinese manufacturer.

they are talking about xcountry engines (and only those, the other X- engines still come from Rotax in austria) that are now being made by longshen in china. truth be told, F650 engines where never made by BMW; not even the design - it's all Rotax, however with a M3 inspired head (WHATEVER that means, i guess it means at least $80 on top of the MSRP or so .....).

so MOTORRAD made a big deal out of this: how come BMW charges premium prices and has their stuff manufactured in CHINA where f**** WALMART gets their cheap stuff as well.

Lots of people got really upset and the official BMW response was of unspeakable arrogance and ignorance ( i can tell, i'm german).

having realized that there are enough folks around here that easily shell out more money than necessary just for having the pleasure to ride a K bike - would you still do so if your next bike or major components are mad in china ?

stay safe. cheers.
With all the problems that the second generation, made in Germany, "K-bike" is going through. Maybe "Made in China" isn't such a bad idea!
 

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bad news

brucecha said:
With all the problems that the second generation, made in Germany, "K-bike" is going through. Maybe "Made in China" isn't such a bad idea!
The moniker Made in China will sound the death knell for all traditional products that we have known to be good

Remember the engineering is supplied by the parent companies, the Chinese just do the labor thing......

Sort of monkey see monkey do but somehow or other this dosn;t instill a lot of confidence in me. :teeth
 

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china manufactures a lot of fucking junk products for a lot of different countries world wide because of cheap labor. over the past couple years a lot of poor quality if not dangerous products have come out of china. i recall toy's r us recalling toys made in china because of lead paint, i also recall something about some type of harmful ingredient in tooth paste made in china. i also vaguely remember reading that some engine parts for the new K bikes were made in china and were of such poor quality they all had to be replaces.
 

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I stopped at a KTM dealer last week to look at an Adventure sitting out front. The owner had lots of comments on my Beemer including the bit about "BMW engines now being made in China", I think he said by some scooter maker. In fairness, though, he then said that KTM just signed a deal with a company in India for some undisclosed reason. He also said that "lots of BMW riders are switching to KTM's, especially the GS riders". I told him I would have to see the proof before I believed that............... He offered me a test ride on the Adventure but I declined. Just didn't feel right................

I know that outsourcing is a way of life now but I am most definately not in favor of anything on a motorcycle being made in China that I would be riding. No confidence.
 

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It's interesting how we got from concerns about workmanship standards to the nitty gritty of confidence in a machine, because your life depends on it being right.

China has a very big population and may be less safety aware, less tolerant to accidents and loss of life. That's not a good mindset to have when the 'monkey' forgets to torque down some critical bolt which then drops off.

But then they do have rather stiff penalties for getting things wrong.



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It isn't that simple.

I have seen products manufactured in China to extraordinary levels of quality, fit, and finish. It costs money to do that, and you must pay attention to your specifications and contracts. After that, you must audit the process to ensure compliance. (If your product requires a transfer of high technology, you also must ensure that you are compliant with export regulations.) You may have to work with your Chinese manufacturer to ensure that their employees are properly trained. By the time all is said and done, it may be more cost effective to have the work done domestically, or somewhere other than China, but not always.

After that, you have to find customers who are willing to pay a much higher price for quality, durability, and safety. That may be the toughest job of all.

Today's consumers have a Walmart mentality, where they base their purchase decisions on price alone, without regard to the total cost of ownership. Shopping for true value requires self-education and hard work, and they are lazy. Instead, they spend much more of their hard-earned money over time, for shoddy goods that they must dispose and replace multiple times. (There is also a "keeping up with the latest technology" mentality that drives frequent product replacement, too.)

It is depressing that so many consumer goods fail so quickly or come with product safety ignored. All too often, I find that product designs are totally focused on cost of manufacture, rather than value to the end user. The manufacturer saves a few pennies by eliminating repairability or consumer safety in the process.

Consumers vote with their dollars. Until they learn to demand better value, manufacturers will continue to give them exactly what they are currently asking for: cheap. In every sense of the word.

BMW motorcycles fill a niche market for consumers who want better motorcycles. Part of BMW's brand awareness is based on perceived quality and durability. If they don't perform good due diligence on their parts suppliers in China and elsewhere, they risk loosing customer confidence and brand value. A good example is the recent EWS antenna ring failures - as I understand it, the failures are caused by poor manufacturing quality.
 

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XMagnaRider said:
Today's consumers have a Walmart mentality, where they base their purchase decisions on price alone, without regard to the total cost of ownership. Shopping for true value requires self-education and hard work, and they are lazy. Instead, they spend much more of their hard-earned money over time, for shoddy goods that they must dispose and replace multiple times. (There is also a "keeping up with the latest technology" mentality that drives frequent product replacement, too.)
Amen, brother!

What gets me are people, who I normally regard as smart, who have this idiotic mentality when it comes to buying anything. They go to a local store, try things on, turn the nobs, put their hands on it, and rather than buying it there, they run home, get on Amazon or EBay and buy it for a few bucks less. And then they lament the fact that the local store has closed and they can't go see anything they want to buy. Duh!!!

Or those folks so wrapped up in the save the planet or expensive gas craze. They go trade in their paid for car or SUV to go buy a hybrid Prius or some other high MPG vehicle and claim they are saving money. I had a friend who had a paid off 2004 Ford Explorer that got 21 MPG. He traded it (got only $8k trade in value) for a Toyota Prius that he paid MSRP plus $5K (because that's what they're going for in Dallas) for $29K. He had $8K trade in, $2K cash, and financed the rest.

The Prius gets just a little over double the MPG of the Explorer. At $4.39 per gallon in Dallas, and if he drives the same 15K miles I drive, the Explorer cost $3135 per year in gas. The Prius costs $1531 per year in gas. So his gas savings is $1604 per year. That's nearly a 12 year payback. Even if gas goes to $8 or $9 per gallon, it would still be a 5 or 6 year payback. Hell, just drive the shit out of the Explorer until the real high MPG cars arrive (the 60-70 mpg cars that should be in the US by 2011), and bank the monthly payment you would have made on the Prius to pay cash for it in 3 years.

Remember, the best car in the world isn't one of these new high-MPG vehicles. It's the one that's PAID OFF.
 

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Not only is the payoff for the prius 6-12 years, the explorer is much more flexible vehicle. er it can seat 4 adults and get up to speed on the freeway in less than a minute on an incline, not that you have many inclines in Dallas.....

eljeffe said:
Amen, brother!

What gets me are people, who I normally regard as smart, who have this idiotic mentality when it comes to buying anything. They go to a local store, try things on, turn the nobs, put their hands on it, and rather than buying it there, they run home, get on Amazon or EBay and buy it for a few bucks less. And then they lament the fact that the local store has closed and they can't go see anything they want to buy. Duh!!!

Or those folks so wrapped up in the save the planet or expensive gas craze. They go trade in their paid for car or SUV to go buy a hybrid Prius or some other high MPG vehicle and claim they are saving money. I had a friend who had a paid off 2004 Ford Explorer that got 21 MPG. He traded it (got only $8k trade in value) for a Toyota Prius that he paid MSRP plus $5K (because that's what they're going for in Dallas) for $29K. He had $8K trade in, $2K cash, and financed the rest.

The Prius gets just a little over double the MPG of the Explorer. At $4.39 per gallon in Dallas, and if he drives the same 15K miles I drive, the Explorer cost $3135 per year in gas. The Prius costs $1531 per year in gas. So his gas savings is $1604 per year. That's nearly a 12 year payback. Even if gas goes to $8 or $9 per gallon, it would still be a 5 or 6 year payback. Hell, just drive the shit out of the Explorer until the real high MPG cars arrive (the 60-70 mpg cars that should be in the US by 2011), and bank the monthly payment you would have made on the Prius to pay cash for it in 3 years.

Remember, the best car in the world isn't one of these new high-MPG vehicles. It's the one that's PAID OFF.
 

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Amen El Jeffe. People too often overvalue the weekly hit to their wallets and under value TCO. If gas retreats to $3 gallon and the consumer acclimates to that, there will be a bunch of Priuses available.


China presents not only cheap labor, but also little to no regulatory hurdles. My company used to do supplier inspections and one of suppliers subbed some zinc coated stamped parts to China. We sent an inspector over to China to validate the supplier and process. He found a hole in the wall stamping shop with hundreds of workers hand feeding the steel into 50+ year old presses which produced about half the parts in tolerance. The plating operation was done in the basement of a house with the entire family working and living around the plating tanks.

We took the contract away from the supplier when they couldn't deliver the parts in tolerance. In the USA, the EPA, OSHA, and hundreds of other groups would have had a field day with citations.

I understand things are slowly getting better with better equipment being available from failed domestic operations, but ..

The difference in total cost is not that great when outsourcing.
 

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First off, I've had so many warranty repairs on both my 02 LTC and my 06 KS that I really don't know how BMW is making money, at least on my purchases. Not counting all the gear and stuff I get from the dealer :wtf: I've been off my bikes for months because of this stuff, but they dont' count that under warranty eh? :wtf:

I have found brand name stuff sold for cheep and wondered why..here's a story:

Needed a trampoline for the kids, I knew every kid in the sub was going to be on that tramp at one time so I needed a sturdy tramp (besides the SO :rotf: )

Went to Sams club (MI), looked at an American Trampoline, made in TX, for 200 bucks! great deal! so I thought. shook it a bit, seemed chinsy.

Hit the internet, found that American sells 3 spec tramps...the lightest gage metal with the least amount of springs was Sams, next spec was for Sports Authority, it had a gage higher steel thickness with more springs (about 325 bucks) and finally, direct from American Tramps for a little over 400 bucks, had nearly twice the number of springs and very heavy gage steel. That tramp lasted the whole time they were growing up, even with multitudes of kids jumping on it at one time, it never broke except for two springs, total.

So I watch what I buy, where I buy it and try to find out the real story.

and this is what concerns me regarding quality and also, deception by these discount companies.

If its cheep, its probably junk. If it fits your mission, great, but buyer beware. I do not trust much of anything coming from china, just because I get 1 of 10 products that are of good quality.

I worry about this with BMW, especially in light of 2 trans failures in less than 39k miles, final drive at 36k (might be acceptable for a final drive on the KS), etc. I mean, who the hell is buidling this junk RIGHT now, is it china? I dunno :confused:
 

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eljeffe said:
The Prius gets just a little over double the MPG of the Explorer. At $4.39 per gallon in Dallas, and if he drives the same 15K miles I drive, the Explorer cost $3135 per year in gas. The Prius costs $1531 per year in gas. So his gas savings is $1604 per year. That's nearly a 12 year payback. Even if gas goes to $8 or $9 per gallon, it would still be a 5 or 6 year payback. Hell, just drive the shit out of the Explorer until the real high MPG cars arrive (the 60-70 mpg cars that should be in the US by 2011), and bank the monthly payment you would have made on the Prius to pay cash for it in 3 years.

Remember, the best car in the world isn't one of these new high-MPG vehicles. It's the one that's PAID OFF.
Your numbers are off. Prius actually gets 3 times the mileage of the Explorer even with the new modified milage numbers (46mpg vs. 16mpg on the Ford V6 Explorer). See here: Governmental Mileage Comparisons: Side-by-Side

More over, the guy in the Prius still can get $20K for his used one and trade-in offers by the dealers are almost too good to resist. They want used ones and will move a 2-3 year Prius owner into a newer one (if they want to wait) for a minimal amount.

An Explorer? Maybe $5 on a trade. Used car lots are full of them things - as well as vans - and they can't give them away. Try and find a Prius in a used car lot. Hell, try to find one without a 3-month wait list at a dealer without paying a high-dollar "I want it now" fee.

Besides, Ford V6 is a really bad engine. Had one. It cost a small fortune to keep it running like a bent crankshaft (!), 3 water pumps, a radiator, camshaft drive, ignition computer, alternator failure, rear engine freeze plug requiring tranny removal, etc. and it only had 110,000 miles before I said "Enough! I'm sick of these $1500-$2000 repair bills every 5 months" (No joke!). People think the BMW motorcycle is high to repair, just visit a Ford dealer's garage.

Mack
 
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