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Motorcyclist
01-23-2010, 04:14 AM
I fear that BMW will abandon bikes totally or sell off the division, I mean how many $$ for BMW corp do the bikes make compared to cars. and what is the ROI?

Rod

I'm not sure what the ROI is, but on gross sales the Motorrad division is about 2% of the company's revenue. Interestingly, that is the same percentage as Buell was to H-D.

36654
01-23-2010, 12:35 PM
No surprise was the Honda ST's being relentlessly trouble free - though not as much data was available nor were they the object of the article.



Back in the day, when I started sending money to BMW, I was looking for reliability and long-term availability of parts. The panache of the tank badge and its potential enhancement of my human value weren't really significant factors.

If someone else offers reliability and long term parts availability at a lower cost, I'll kiss that little blue and white disk good bye.

alanrd
01-23-2010, 01:40 PM
Comparing the cost of service when one bike service is done by the owner and labor is not counted and the other bike is dealer serviced and everything is counted is not a fair comparison.
I adjust the valves on my BMW so it's free and you pay a dealer $500 to check your Connie doesn't make my bike a better deal.
The MCN article says it's not a fair comparison.

r11rs94
01-23-2010, 02:42 PM
Watch that front end wobble on the ST-1300. from a ST-1300 web site,"In Europe the ST1300 Police bikes were pulled off the highway for the same problem. It seems the top case w/ the radio equipment was the cause site "

tinytrains
01-23-2010, 11:56 PM
Watch that front end wobble on the ST-1300. from a ST-1300 web site,"In Europe the ST1300 Police bikes were pulled off the highway for the same problem. It seems the top case w/ the radio equipment was the cause site "

I wonder if that is the "problem above 100 mph" I have heard about.

JIMSHAW
01-24-2010, 03:33 PM
FWIW, and a slight hijack...
I wanted to buy a Kawa police bike without all the police gear on it from the local KAWA dealer about 6 years ago.

The sales manager told me in effect that " that bike is at a low price point and reflects the quality of that process" :scratch

If you can explain the above statement, please do given that the KAWA's in the MCN article were not all that bad.

It means that the competitive buying process and the bottomed-out market for motorcycle hardware allows a volume buyer like a police department to command a much lower price than you do, as one person.

To participate, all you have to do is write a detailed specification in legalese, advertise that you're going to buy N bikes at one time (N being a number greater than, say, 10-100), and show the financial strength to actually buy all those bikes. Put it out to competitive bid, all over your State.

You will probably be cantractually required to purchase the bikes from the low bidder - all of them. After you send your check for N times the low bid price, just sell N-1 of the bikes to others, and go ride the one left.

Oh, and don't be too surprised if your spec. was written for a particular BMW, but you end up with N Suzukis, or Hondas.

Let me know how that works for you.

Jim :lurk

rt1to3
01-24-2010, 04:06 PM
Just returned from trip to the Sacramento, CA Area and noticed many dealers are closed. Went looking for the Harley shops and they are gone. Did locate A&S Cycles in Roseville, CA. They do a business in parts, etc and had quite a display of bikes.
As for the article on the BMW vs Harley vs Kawasaki, I agree that it is gong to come down to maintenance costs. But for my personal riding, I still like my BMW's and the family of motorcycle enthusiasts we have. We ride just to be riding. Not to see how much we can outdo the other 'bikers' in chrome and accessories.

I will stay with my beemer.:

rt1to3
01-24-2010, 04:10 PM
I like the lighter weight even though I have had to put on lower shocks and raise my boots! My 1200R is much easier for me and lighter. We have a good dealer support in Bentonville BMW as well.:dance

kenk
01-25-2010, 02:35 PM
BMW motorcycles are marketed as a premium brand. To expect your parts and maintenance to cost the same as a Kawasaki, is unrealistic. If you owned a Mercedes or BMW car, would you expect the maintenance costs to be the same as owning a Chevy or Hyundai?

Frankly, I've always thought the RT was a poor choice for a police motorcycle. BMW Police motorcycles is nothing new. If you've traveled to Europe, you will still see some leftover K1100 Police Bikes that worked very well for many years. The K1100LT were sold to civilians with additional switch locations (four) on the fairing for government use.

When BMW discontinued the K1100LT in 1996, their was no logical K-bike replacement for official use. BMW did add a fan to the backside of the oil cooler. However, it provides very little help in stopped traffic. I have firsthand experience with this problem when I added a fan kit to my R1100RT while living in Washington DC. The fan simply can't draw enough air through the oil cooler to provide the same results as a water cooled bike with fan. BMW RT clutches are also not designed to be slipped the way law enforcement is trained to ride. My local BMW dealer in KC was replacing clutches on some of their police bikes with very low miles. IMHO, this is more of training issue than a maintenance issue.

I subscribe to Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) and read the article. IMHO, MCN is an overpriced, poor quality magazine that provides little substance or value. I will not resubscribe. However, on the issue of not using RTs for police work in Phoenix, I would agree. If a department has a Kawasaki trained mechanic, however has to pay BMW to repair the BMWs, its makes little sense to use the BMWs. If Phoenix had a BMW trained mechanic capable of replacing clutches and maintaining the drive trains, the BMW may be the right choice. However, with police departments experiencing cuts nationwide, using a premium brand of motorcycle makes little sense to me.

womanridge
01-25-2010, 02:58 PM
Burgenland, Austria 2009

21449

kenk
01-25-2010, 03:30 PM
The climate and law enforcement in Austria is certainly not Phoenix. Its certainly a very clean police bike. Show very little use.

108625
01-25-2010, 05:37 PM
I subscribe to Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) and read the article. IMHO, MCN is an overpriced, poor quality magazine that provides little substance or value. I will not resubscribe. However, on the issue of not using RTs for police work in Phoenix, I would agree. If a department has a Kawasaki trained mechanic, however has to pay BMW to repair the BMWs, its makes little sense to use the BMWs. If Phoenix had a BMW trained mechanic capable of replacing clutches and maintaining the drive trains, the BMW may be the right choice. However, with police departments experiencing cuts nationwide, using a premium brand of motorcycle makes little sense to me.

I agree with you on both counts there:
MCN has too many inaccurate 'scoops', and BMWs as police bikes are not the best option out there.
The fundamental issue is the taxpayer doesn't get the value for their money, which in the case of law enforcement and emergency services vehicles is readiness. The vehicle which requires the least maintenance, and is most quickly capable of being turned around when it does, is the one which keeps officers capable of responding when they're needed, and on patrol where they belong. Six officers on Hondas are more effective than five on beemers, for example. Many don't like seeing cops around until they need one, but when they need one, they don't want to wait for a longer response time because fewer are on patrol, or their vehicle is in the shop.

marchyman
01-25-2010, 06:55 PM
The fundamental issue is the taxpayer doesn't get the value for their money, which in the case of law enforcement and emergency services vehicles is readiness.

Part of readiness is keeping the riding officers alive and out of the hospital. BMWs were initially looked at and purchased because of ABS. They used to be the only choice for two wheeled authority vehicles with ABS. That is no longer the case, opening the choice to other brands.

ragtoplvr
01-25-2010, 07:24 PM
We can only hope that all these revelations are read my BMW corporate and acted upon appropriately. These bikes suffer as have many models of BMW cars, from poorly executed features,poor quality and high repair/maint costs. IMHO, judging from the BRIEF, as in I got the heck out, experiences I had with German engineers and managers. It was like arguing with my ex wife, rule #1 the German engineer is always right. #2 In case the German engineer is wrong, see rule #1. If they mend their ways, listen and concentrate on reliability, they can make world class bikes with the good old days charm. This may be happening, as the S1000 is a work of art! I like the styling, some don't, all should agree this bike has performance with a capitol P!

The launch of the 2010 RT and GS will tell. The motor has been out for a few years, they should have CAN buss, adjustable shocks, fuel pump regulators and final drive failures worked out, and hopefully as the years pile on the newer ABS will prove very reliable.

Rod

kenk
01-26-2010, 04:58 PM
It seems odd to me that folks expect a premium brand of motorcycle or auto to be as cheap to fix and as reliable as a basic car. If you want durability and reliability, go out an buy a standard Ford F150 pickup truck with roll up windows. They're manufactured for 260,000 miles; about double the average car and are abused daily by contractors, farmers and ranchers.

This certainly doesn't make this vehicle better than a premium brand of car that has more features than the space shuttle. Each technological improvement provides another point of failure. If you demand the latest technology in a vehicle, don't be surprised when it occasionally fails.

This hold true for BMW motorcycles. Few US police departments would consider using a Lexus, Cadillac, BMW or any premium brand of auto for a police car. Why use a premium brand of motorcycle with higher initial costs, parts and repair costs for a police motorcycle?

2bikemike
02-01-2010, 10:53 PM
It means that the competitive buying process and the bottomed-out market for motorcycle hardware allows a volume buyer like a police department to command a much lower price than you do, as one person.

To participate, all you have to do is write a detailed specification in legalese, advertise that you're going to buy N bikes at one time (N being a number greater than, say, 10-100), and show the financial strength to actually buy all those bikes. Put it out to competitive bid, all over your State.

You will probably be cantractually required to purchase the bikes from the low bidder - all of them. After you send your check for N times the low bid price, just sell N-1 of the bikes to others, and go ride the one left.

Oh, and don't be too surprised if your spec. was written for a particular BMW, but you end up with N Suzukis, or Hondas.

Let me know how that works for you.

Jim :lurk

Actually Jim, its simply means that the KZ1000P is built to a price point and the quality of said bike reflects that. ie: cheap.

108625
02-02-2010, 01:40 AM
Actually Jim, its simply means that the KZ1000P is built to a price point and the quality of said bike reflects that. ie: cheap.

Or that BMW charges by willingness to pay:stick

Keep in mind KZ1000P development and tooling paid for itself a long ago, keeping production costs minimal. Kind of like airheads did, except the price of those kept going up. I guess BMW had big windows... :bolt

darrylri
02-02-2010, 04:56 PM
Or that BMW charges by willingness to pay:stick

Keep in mind KZ1000P development and tooling paid for itself a long ago, keeping production costs minimal. Kind of like airheads did, except the price of those kept going up. I guess BMW had big windows... :bolt

Yes, I remember those days of the late 70s and early 80s. I bought my first house in 1983. Got one of those new fangled ARM loans, too. 11% interest rate to start, capped at 16%. I'm sure that inflation rates like that had NOTHING AT ALL to do with why BMWs got more expensive each year, in that period.

It's also the case that BMW did continuously upgrade the Airhead design, unlike the completely static KZ1000P. New charging system in 1974 along with disk brakes, bigger engines; bigger engines again in 1977, along with two integrated fairing systems; electronic ignition and nikasil cylinders in 1981; single sided swingarm in 1985.