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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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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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Reality!

sincGT said:
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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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 doesn´t 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 doesn´t offer support to keep your bike healthy, they simply design the bike to don´t last, so, after 5-8 years you simply can´t 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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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.



Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!
 

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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.
 

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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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southerndude said:
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!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Built to Ride

33,000 miles on my 03 Gt and only the input shaft seal went bad. Was covered under warranty. Hardest thing to keep on the bike are tires. I bought this monster to ride far and often and it hasn't disappointed me . Would I trade it for a Jap bike or an oil slick Harley ?F----- No.
 

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No problems here! Of the Jap bikes I own, my K bike is the sweetest. Since all my bikes have relatively low miles, I have not experienced any problems so far. A minor ECU issue on the K bike, fixed and the bike has more personality.

Yes I did see the FJR, by looks and design, I preferred the BMW.
 

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K-Bike Reliability Issues

I have a 03 K1200-GT. Purchased in October 03 have put on 32,000 miles. Only replaced headlight bulb, Brakes and tires. I do my own service work. Never have needed the dealer to hook up his computer. I ride pretty aggressively, explains brakes and tires. Absoultly love the bike would buy another one. I was allso looking at the FJR but just could'nt see putting down money on a bike I could not ever sit on or see. Till it was delivered. I feel I made the right choice. I believe with anything you buy sometimes you get just products that you will have problems with. I really doubt that the guy with the FJR will 69,000 miles on the Odometer.
 

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How many old K-bikes with huge miles do you still see on the road. K75's and K100's. Sometimes over 200,000 miles.

Do you see old FJ1100s and FJ1200s?? Not many still in service daily.


My K100rs has almost 70,000 miles and has had only minimal problems. A spark plug cable failed, worn insulation on a wire harness that caused a short, and occassionally a cable connector needs to be cleaned up due to corrosion.


My 2004 GT has 18,000 miles and has been perfect. Personally I think the K bike motor is one of the most reliable motors you can buy. The Goldwing or ST1300 is probably up there too but a bike is also a heartfelt thing and I just don't like the land yacht look.
 

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I had my 99 K12RS for 67K miles, I flat out stomped on her, and I mean beat her, hit the rev limiters alot (riding with Milles and 996's will do that), top end runs all the frickin time, 2 up loaded trips at speeds deep into triple digits, the bike lived at least 75% of its life with me above 7k revs.

I am sure there were bikes that were ridden better than mine, but I doubt there were many that got ridden harder than mine for as long as mine.

I never ran a single tank of fuel through the bike without being well above the ton and parked on top speed numerous times a year out in west texas.
Hit five different birds with her in 1 year(the sixth a turkey buzzard was on my 900 sscr),Cardinals splat on your face shield at 110mph

Issues ----- Zero, Nada, nothing but reg maint. performed on called for schedules, nothing extra other than I changed the fuel filter every 6k miles instead of 12k because I saw a dramatic difference in performance with a new fuel filter after 12k miles which led me to believe a quicker interval would be better.
 

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oops did forget 1 thing at about 35k miles the steering dampner crapped out so I took it off and rode with out it for the last 30k+ miles --- no issues
 

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reliable

I had a 98 K12RS for 58K miles and had to replace a fork seal and one headlight bulb.
I wish all my bikes were this reliable
Now I have a K12S 6 K miles and no prbolems.
 

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My experience is based on my '98 K1200RS with 170,000. Reliability is poor. I've had problems constantly with the bike culminating in an engine/transmission transplant. The first '98 K1200RS I purchased had so many problems BMW replaced it free of charge after 12,000 miles! In spite of all the problems I've had, I like the bike and continue to ride it.

My new K1200S, by the way, is superior in most every way. It too, however, has had problems (clutch, brakes, transmission). I really don't think much of BMW quality control.

Having had only BMWs in the past 13 years, I can't compare quality with other bikes in a meaningful way.

Ken
 
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