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lkchris
03-12-2013, 10:14 PM
See BMW CCA report at http://www.bmwcca.org/node/5522

jeepinbanditrider
03-12-2013, 10:35 PM
Does BMW not do any testing prior to selling a bike?

ragtoplvr
03-13-2013, 12:59 AM
When bikes are tested, they were built with perfect parts by the best of the best. They accelerate the testing as much as possible. Many many things are found you never hear about. Then they source parts. Sometimes things slip thru. It can be as simple as tolerance an oil hole is specified at 1MM+-.2 But 1.2mm or .8MM causes a problem. Maybe the development department machines cam bores one way, and the vendor did them another, causing a problem even though they met specs. They test the bikes every day. So they do not discover that the fuel pump will stick when it sits a month. Or an additive in American car washes causes problems with switches. Suppose carbon gets harder when it sits, and builds up, causing detonation and the engine is destroyed. The wonderful space age plastic will crumble in 10 years. Stuff fails when exposed too vapor off the engine even though it is no were near fuel. Maybe you park outside, then later start up and put in garage, 30 seconds running and it will not start the next day. Yes all these things have happened in the real world and caused expensive recalls and hurt reputations. The carbon thing put OMC out of business. Cam bores in the OHC vette years back. More than one company caught by fuel pump and car wash things.

These are the things that testing will not uncover unless you test for many years, and put out obsolete products. It happens to everyone putting out state of the art equipment

Transportation testing is hard. It gets worse when all the older experienced guys get golden handshakes. Not an excuse, just the way it is.

Rod

rguy
03-13-2013, 03:20 AM
Also you have new assembly lines with new people using new procedures and unfamiliar parts. Sometimes errors slip thru and aren't discovered until the units are out the door. Stuff happens.

kltk165
03-13-2013, 03:31 AM
Kinda what the whole idea of a 3/36 warranty is all about. Sucks not having your bike to ride, but, some things are gonna fail on new designs. It happens.

dwestly
03-13-2013, 12:55 PM
This is why I no longer buy first year models. I'm perfectly content with my 2012 GS Rallye and will wait until they get all the waterbugs flushed out...or maybe I'll just keep the Rallye. :)

mika
03-13-2013, 02:54 PM
No doubt BMW and every other interested party wish their product would pass with flying colors. Every manufacturer tests. Wouldn't testing by Transport Canada, NHTSA or any other certifying agency is a form of what in other arenas would be considered peer review before certification? The goal being validating the manufacturerÔÇÖs tests and or finding problems before certification.

I find it interesting that BMW is using (my assumption) as its first round of the certification process. I have not seen any recall information on any of the other sites I follow. If this is the case I wonder about the thought process that went into the decision and the length of time to certify the bike in other markets.

The advice not to buy first year models has been around for as long as I can remember. My budget has me buying used bikes so I can avoid the first year bugs and only have to deal with the ones inflicted on them by the previous owner(s). However, I am reminded of a recurring comment made by my father about ÔÇÿnew modelÔÇÖ cars and ones built on certain days etc. He put himself through college by working in a Ford plant. He held they built good and bad cars any year and on any day. Variations in parts suppliers to the plant for any part was more likely to affect the outcome than anything else. None of the technology involved with the new GS is revolutionary. It is largely a matter of new application of existing from what I can see.

All academic to me: as I said I buy used bugs.

ANDYVH
03-13-2013, 03:36 PM
One recall was for ASC program changes. Next recall was for a potential oil leak due to oil pressure buildup in the tranny. This third one is for a steering problem with the Telelever front end. So, it is apparent the issues are not directly related to the new engine design.

Certainly BMW tests, and tests, and retests. But like it was said, once a bike is on the production floor, supplier part issues, human errors, tooling issues, so many things can cause an issue. I used to work in chassis engineering at a large fire truck manufacturer. After all the testing, usually it was some human factor that caused any problems.

But given that, its not a bad idea to sit out the first year of a new model.

milo
03-13-2013, 03:52 PM
Discussion of handling issue here; http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=328788

....According to the test it was at 75mph on a flat straight road.
Wheel kicks off a "harmless looking imperfection in the road".
Photo shows the lockstop ripped clean off.

dbrick
03-13-2013, 05:10 PM
A complete and measured one-page discussion of the handling issue is contained in this post:

http://idratherberiding.com/2013/01/24/kevin-ash-dies-in-accident-at-the-2013-bmw-r1200gs-press-launch/

cited in the ukgser forum mentioned by milo.

Lots of folks have ridden the new bike and loved it. The tankslap issue has now been reported by several experienced test riders, which suggests that this nasty result - the machine tested by UK's Bike Magazine oscillated so severely the steering limit stops were knocked off - is real if aberrational.

kltk165
03-14-2013, 01:45 AM
I don't take these issue's to heart as most manufacturers with a warranty are pretty good about fixing problems. But, why does it seem that these types of things happen more sporadically with Japanese bikes? Japanese cars too for that matter. I can't imagine BMW's engineers are inferior.

easy
03-14-2013, 10:35 AM
From what I've read, which translates to what BMW wants us to know, BMW does indeed have a comprehensive testing program. But it looks like it has not been quite comprehensive enough. When have you seen a BMW model bike that has had three recalls prior to most of the bikes being delivered to the dealership? I think it's going to be a great bike and I can see myself getting one, but please don't think that corporations don't at times push a little to get the new product on the market to start getting a return on the investment. BMW like any other corporation is here to make money even if it means taking the logo off our patch. (Which puts a smile on my face and reminds me of an old TV series. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKmJPnAGUJk . ) :)

E.

Ken F
03-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Easy, that is a great analogy, and exactly the way it made me feel.

Ken

kantuckid
03-14-2013, 01:56 PM
In their new RIDER, April 2013 issue with an intro of the new GS you might read Mark Tuttle,the magazines Editor, wherein he interviews Hans Blesse,VP of BMW Motorrad USA, r.e., the new R 1200 GS.
Tuttle :"They turned to the automobile division for help with the bikes suspension", where Blesse replies : " What we have is great synergy between the two divisions. There's expertise on the motorcycle side that the car division doesn't have and vice versa. So we have in the Fiz( BMW's design facility in Munich) at any given time, 7,000 of the best engineers in the world doing what they do, in this particular case, the car side had lots of experience with semi-active suspensions on the M cars. So our engineers had a chat with them about how to do this,..." and of course if you read the above posted recall info you know that even 7,000 BMW engineers(the best in the world?) just might have screwed up a bit?:brow

acejones
03-14-2013, 10:09 PM
I don't take these issue's to heart as most manufacturers with a warranty are pretty good about fixing problems. But, why does it seem that these types of things happen more sporadically with Japanese bikes? Japanese cars too for that matter. I can't imagine BMW's engineers are inferior.


Why ?

TRJeff
03-15-2013, 11:39 AM
The bikes that we will get in the states are only now being built. the Canada bikes have been there for months and belong to BMW Canada, probably not in consumer hands.

pffog
03-15-2013, 12:52 PM
I don't take these issue's to heart as most manufacturers with a warranty are pretty good about fixing problems. But, why does it seem that these types of things happen more sporadically with Japanese bikes? Japanese cars too for that matter. I can't imagine BMW's engineers are inferior.

As a former mechanic/service manager and engineer, it really is not that uncommon, even with Japanese makes. All manufactures have problems, I was around the auto industry when Toyota launched Lexus, and you would not believe the issues they had, what was strange was the ES250 was just a tweeked Camry that they had built millions of them, and it had more problems than the all new ES400! Who thought that changing trim and some pieces to change the suspension would cause tons of issues. It was a big multi-line dealer, I was the Saab service manager, and while my mechanics fixed little annoying things, rattles squeaks etc, the Toyota service department constantly changed engines and transmissions.

But what the Japanese have is a GREAT PR department, remember when Lexus was the best, most reliable car ever made, and that was the perception BEFORE the first one was unloaded at the port! True story, the Lexus service department had a customer come in with about 25K on a Lexus with a motor knock. They pulled the dipstick an the oil looked like molasses, they couldn't find any service records, so they asked the customer where he was getting his car serviced, his reply was, more or less, I never had it serviced, that is why I bought a Lexus! All the company propaganda, and quality hype had this guy convinced that the car would never need fixing, which he interpenetrated as never needing service. The power of Propaganda (advertising)

As an engineering manager I always reminded my staff that "It's all connected" and one small seemingly innocuous change can cause a $hit storm of other issues.

I will just throw out one of a million possible scenarios on the oil seal issue. Prototypes and early production pieces worked great, but as production ramped up, the manufacturing engineers were looking to save a tool change on the CNC, to reduce cycle time. A change to the diameter of an oil passage was made which seemed innocuous, and tests looked like it was no problem........until.............. well you get the picture. "it's all connected"

kantuckid
03-15-2013, 01:10 PM
I don't take these issue's to heart as most manufacturers with a warranty are pretty good about fixing problems. But, why does it seem that these types of things happen more sporadically with Japanese bikes? Japanese cars too for that matter. I can't imagine BMW's engineers are inferior.

Two of my engr. son's supervise other engr's, some of which are not the best around & I doubt BMW has a lock on the only good ones to be hired as that defeats logic. -it's a real world out there as we all well know...:brow Remeber the old adage,i.e., "there is one, everywhere you go" & out of 7,000 , I'll stick out my neck & say more than one...
Toyota managed to screw up the simple floormats in my latest & 4th Tundra. They had a floor hook to retain the first 3 versions I owned then when they did away with that hook the floormats slid under the gas pedal-wow, some stroke of Asian(or USA?) genius so the fix is a thin version that cannot jam the pedal but has the quality of a flea mkt special! I hide the heavy duty ones from the dealers (I bought with the truck) as they will destroy them & install thin crappy ones in their place. There is a certain dose of incompetence present at most locations around the world & some of us(maybe most of us) have worked with those people.

kltk165
03-15-2013, 04:52 PM
Points well taken. Thanks fella's.

cycleman2
03-15-2013, 11:50 PM
I can see some of the engine/transmission related issues that don't show up right away, but then again I wonder how thoroughly they were tested. But the front end is a whole different story. That is not really anything new, yes modified and changed but it is still based on the front ends brought out with the R1100 series of bikes.

They are not off to a good start and it will hinder sales and their reputation. There are options out there and bad press is bad press. I agree with the stay away crowd on the first year of just about anything, especially something as expensive as a bike/car.

Omega Man
03-16-2013, 12:35 AM
The bikes that we will get in the states are only now being built.
Interestingly enough, I just got the e-newsletter from Max BMW and there is some kind of test rides of the new bikes at each of their dealerships tomorrow. I can't tell much from the picture on the differences :dunno OM

mika
03-16-2013, 05:22 AM
I don't mean to be an apologist for BMW, they pay people do that and the check is definitely not in the may to me. I am curious what larger context we put these three recalls and other motorcycle recalls and certification teething problems in. With apologies to Alex Trebek because I am not certain how to put my thoughts in the form of a simple question...

When most of us started riding and driving we did not hear about recalls until the letter hit our mail box or we walked into a dealership. Now each day I check my RSS feeds from several countries to see if any and which motorcycles made the recall list. The race for me is who is first to post BMW screwed up and gets the scoop credit.

BMW is having troubles along the way of getting a new bike combining existing technology past Transport Canada. Heck, if IIRC, it took Norton over a year to get a new bike based on an ancient simpler design past the same group.

In the time since I have began riding how much has the certification/recall process improved? Are the testing processes more rigorous; the testers more skilled?

When we read things how much of our discussion is a result of a greatly expanded context of information, declining quality over time of ___(insert your choice here)___, or just more of the same in a new package?

kantuckid
03-16-2013, 12:25 PM
or even the possibility of litigation? I just got a postcard this week from lawyers prospecting for potential "sudden acceleration" clients.

Polarbear
03-16-2013, 01:49 PM
Seems the new water'd beemer was a tad cheaper to buy and now, seems to get pricier? Issues crossing the Atlantic are sprouting, with Canada recalls and all, ouch. The 15000$+ MSRP will only go up:(. NJ is probably warehousing 100s of the new breed beemer as we speak and test rides are in the week to come, if not already. My CA dealer has mentioned this was the week to test ride'em. I am not a buyer, until the new GSA comes about. Once on a GSA, no looking back:). The extra farkles are worth waiting. My current GSA1200'07 is perfectly situated right under me a few more years:). Randy

racer7
03-16-2013, 01:56 PM
These types of problems are a symptom of what Rod noted in his comment and BMWs compartmented and matrixed organization where there are a ton of "experts" and no one person whose ass is on the line for getting it right the first time. You can bet Boeing has quietly fired or sidelined some folks over the battery issues on the 787. I worked with a bunch of euro companies before retiring and watched time and time again where screwups were accepted as a simple fact of rapid development and outsourcing and dealt with as they appeared. They don't do root cause analysis and prevention of similar issues in any serious way...

Year 3 or 4 is the time to look at new models. It took from 05 until 08 to get the hexhead bikes reasonably correct and some would argue it toook until the cvamhead appeared. There is no reason to expect anything different with the wethead because nothing has changed at BMW except who is in political favor and running the show...

ponch1
03-16-2013, 09:30 PM
Why ?

Because all the bad engineers went to GM. I have a 2009 Suburban that burns oil and sounds like a singer sewing machine because of AFM or active fuel management. It's a common issue with the all aluminum 5.3L v-8. You'd think they could do better than that. Luckily I got the extended powertrain warranty.

bicyclist
03-19-2013, 12:20 AM
Year 3 or 4 is the time to look at new models. It took from 05 until 08 to get the hexhead bikes reasonably correct and some would argue it took until the camhead appeared.

Agree with year 3 or 4. And then it's still a crapshoot. They're still running a fuel strip in the R1200R and we know how reliable that is.

ponch1
03-19-2013, 01:11 AM
It sounds to me the problem is that they don't test a production bike in the extended test. Testing bikes that are basically hand built isn't representative of what will come off the assembly line.

acejones
03-19-2013, 01:14 AM
If the fuel strip didn't work in the GS, then why would it work anyplace else ?

easy
03-19-2013, 02:37 AM
Agree with year 3 or 4. And then it's still a crapshoot. They're still running a fuel strip in the R1200R and we know how reliable that is.

I wonder if a BMW engineer or VP would put one in his daughter's bike. To me, that speaks volumes about BMW's biggest problem. Regardless of reality, they project a complacent attitude toward some of their most loyal customers.

E.

40624
03-19-2013, 04:30 AM
test rode it today at 70mph hit the end of the handlebar with hand hard- no head shake It is very stable

ponch1
03-19-2013, 04:44 AM
test rode it today at 70mph hit the end of the handlebar with hand hard- no head shake It is very stable

How was the giddyup?

40624
03-19-2013, 07:13 PM
How was the giddyup?

It is quick feels faster then my K1300GT for passing and quick accer. Think it is due to lighter weight and the throttle grip is 1/4 on to full vs GT 1/3 to full on no hesitation it is there

smross44
03-19-2013, 10:27 PM
I just ordered a '13 GS 1200 with the touring package. It is still in the inspection department in Berlin then on a ship. I have been a firm beliver in waiting a year on a new product. I waited until '12 to buy a new Ford diesel. Redesigned for in '10 for '11. I sold my '06 GS so now I am chomping at the bit for spring is in the air.
I do not mind a few kinks for I know BMW will take care of them. I am however concerned about the front end coming apart at 70 mph....that would not be good. This form is making me think twice....but I am a firm beleiver in moving Foward.

Sean Ross

davesbmw
04-18-2013, 09:13 PM
This is why I no longer buy first year models. I'm perfectly content with my 2012 GS Rallye and will wait until they get all the waterbugs flushed out...or maybe I'll just keep the Rallye. :)

Plus one on that, tired of being a BMW crash test Dummy.

I also have the 2012 Rally and quite like it, most issues with the old GS sorted out by now just got back from a 5,000 mile trip and love the bike.

Look forward to hearing reports on the new one though.


Dave

billy walker
04-19-2013, 12:00 AM
When bikes are tested, they were built with perfect parts by the best of the best. They accelerate the testing as much as possible. Many many things are found you never hear about. Then they source parts. Sometimes things slip thru. It can be as simple as tolerance an oil hole is specified at 1MM+-.2 But 1.2mm or .8MM causes a problem. Maybe the development department machines cam bores one way, and the vendor did them another, causing a problem even though they met specs. They test the bikes every day. So they do not discover that the fuel pump will stick when it sits a month. Or an additive in American car washes causes problems with switches. Suppose carbon gets harder when it sits, and builds up, causing detonation and the engine is destroyed. The wonderful space age plastic will crumble in 10 years. Stuff fails when exposed too vapor off the engine even though it is no were near fuel. Maybe you park outside, then later start up and put in garage, 30 seconds running and it will not start the next day. Yes all these things have happened in the real world and caused expensive recalls and hurt reputations. The carbon thing put OMC out of business. Cam bores in the OHC vette years back. More than one company caught by fuel pump and car wash things.

These are the things that testing will not uncover unless you test for many years, and put out obsolete products. It happens to everyone putting out state of the art equipment

Transportation testing is hard. It gets worse when all the older experienced guys get golden handshakes. Not an excuse, just the way it is.

Rod

Nice concept for the above. However, reality may be a bit different. I am unable to prove or disprove so I won't accuse outright. I have never worked on the OEM side and it is always easy to criticize without any real proof. I have 30 years in the motorcycle industry most of which has been metric. The 30 years also includes a number of years with BMW. I have worked with maybe 15 or so OEM's in all those years. I can tell you that in my opinion BMW NA is the most arrogant, most thick headed of the lot. In order to allow equal press I can also tell you BMW NA thinks I am wrong. I love much of BMW product from motorcycles to clothing to accessories. In fact, it is possible I may never purchase another Japanese motorcycle again due to how much I love boxer motors in particular.

Having said that I have also been amazed at the number of issues on newly released BMW's in particular although it certainly doesn't stop there. And I am the first to understand that mistakes can be made. It is a rare customer that will be as forgiving as myself. But BMW can do a very good job of introducing soon to be broken product. I do not believe the Japanese folks turn out so many problems. But rather than listen to my opinion lets put forth some facts.

BMW was fined millions of dollars a few years ago for failing to report recall issues in a timely manner. Now that's scary! The majority of violations were motorcycles on top of it. The following is a link to the story. Pay special attention to how recent these stories are as each story is dated:

Look towards the end of this story. Out of 16 violations one was automotive and 15 were motorcycle-related. Now you need to realize that recalls are always safety-related. So what happened with BMW here? Is there anyone minding the store? I can't prove it but I totally believe arrogance is at play here. BMW NA's refusal to think that anyone in the chain of events other than themselves could possibly have a point is a real life problem. When a BMW rep lies to your face that's a real problem. When a BMW rep lies to a customers face that's a real problem. When BMW expects the customer to pick up the costs of their blunders that's a real problem. BMW is excellent at attempting to offload the cost of their mistakes onto the dealer network; that's a real problem. How many times did BMW ask me for a dealer "contribution" for warranty work performed? A dealer contribution? Who do they think designed the product? The dealer network? The customer base? Someone once said to me there appears to be a few folks up there in the ivory tower dressed in suits that are actually thugs. Interesting comment.

Read the following link and pay attention to how many of those recall issues were automotive compared to motorcycle. You can find that information down towards the end of the article:
http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/02/10/bmw-to-pay-3-million-for-safety-violations/
Yes, folks you read it right: 16 total violations. And, 15 were motorcycle-related? How does that happen? Does BMW care about customer safety? Apparently the fed's think not. Your turn to decide.

A list of vehicles involved follows next:
http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/11/21/bmw-recalling-motorcycles-for-potential-fuel-leaks/


Having said all this I am a BMW fan although I skew heavily towards boxer motors. Sometimes I wonder if BMW is using the United States customer base as the last step in research and development. Not saying they are just wondering.

My final comment is this: I recommend BMW's frequently. I do however tell folks that sometimes BMW's will have issues that you wouldn't really anticipate in a $20k motorcycle. As long as you go into the purchase with your eyes open you may be better prepared for the product. Once the initial issues are resolved the bikes turns into quite an excellent product in my eyes. Even if the failure rate is higher than normal typically it is still a minority that will get the opportunity to experience the problem. Of course, with recalls everyone gets the experience.

Motorcycle owners can be a picky bunch. The reality is perfection will never be achieved. Because of having worked either in or with service departments for so many years I know I will experience quality-related issues frequently no matter how hard I reach for perfection. Especially so when you are creating thousands of repair orders a year. Your average customer is usually not quite that understanding. It may not stop my purchase of future BMW's but a potential buyer has the right to know the facts in order to make a decision for themselves. Shame on BMW for their handling of these issues. Arrogance will do that to you.

bruche
04-19-2013, 12:17 AM
All the afore mentioned thinking is certainly valid.My only sentiment is to make good on these mistakes.Its like the corporate way of saying I'M sorry.Don't place blame just fix it!

ponch1
04-19-2013, 01:17 AM
Nice concept for the above. However, reality may be a bit different. I am unable to prove or disprove so I won't accuse outright. I have never worked on the OEM side and it is always easy to criticize without any real proof. I have 30 years in the motorcycle industry most of which has been metric. The 30 years also includes a number of years with BMW. I have worked with maybe 15 or so OEM's in all those years. I can tell you that in my opinion BMW NA is the most arrogant, most thick headed of the lot. In order to allow equal press I can also tell you BMW NA thinks I am wrong. I love much of BMW product from motorcycles to clothing to accessories. In fact, it is possible I may never purchase another Japanese motorcycle again due to how much I love boxer motors in particular.

Having said that I have also been amazed at the number of issues on newly released BMW's in particular although it certainly doesn't stop there. And I am the first to understand that mistakes can be made. It is a rare customer that will be as forgiving as myself. But BMW can do a very good job of introducing soon to be broken product. I do not believe the Japanese folks turn out so many problems. But rather than listen to my opinion lets put forth some facts.

BMW was fined millions of dollars a few years ago for failing to report recall issues in a timely manner. Now that's scary! The majority of violations were motorcycles on top of it. The following is a link to the story. Pay special attention to how recent these stories are as each story is dated:

Look towards the end of this story. Out of 16 violations one was automotive and 15 were motorcycle-related. Now you need to realize that recalls are always safety-related. So what happened with BMW here? Is there anyone minding the store? I can't prove it but I totally believe arrogance is at play here. BMW NA's refusal to think that anyone in the chain of events other than themselves could possibly have a point is a real life problem. When a BMW rep lies to your face that's a real problem. When a BMW rep lies to a customers face that's a real problem. When BMW expects the customer to pick up the costs of their blunders that's a real problem. BMW is excellent at attempting to offload the cost of their mistakes onto the dealer network; that's a real problem. How many times did BMW ask me for a dealer "contribution" for warranty work performed? A dealer contribution? Who do they think designed the product? The dealer network? The customer base? Someone once said to me there appears to be a few folks up there in the ivory tower dressed in suits that are actually thugs. Interesting comment.

Read the following link and pay attention to how many of those recall issues were automotive compared to motorcycle. You can find that information down towards the end of the article:
http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/02/10/bmw-to-pay-3-million-for-safety-violations/
Yes, folks you read it right: 16 total violations. And, 15 were motorcycle-related? How does that happen? Does BMW care about customer safety? Apparently the fed's think not. Your turn to decide.

A list of vehicles involved follows next:
http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/11/21/bmw-recalling-motorcycles-for-potential-fuel-leaks/


Having said all this I am a BMW fan although I skew heavily towards boxer motors. Sometimes I wonder if BMW is using the United States customer base as the last step in research and development. Not saying they are just wondering.

My final comment is this: I recommend BMW's frequently. I do however tell folks that sometimes BMW's will have issues that you wouldn't really anticipate in a $20k motorcycle. As long as you go into the purchase with your eyes open you may be better prepared for the product. Once the initial issues are resolved the bikes turns into quite an excellent product in my eyes. Even if the failure rate is higher than normal typically it is still a minority that will get the opportunity to experience the problem. Of course, with recalls everyone gets the experience.

Motorcycle owners can be a picky bunch. The reality is perfection will never be achieved. Because of having worked either in or with service departments for so many years I know I will experience quality-related issues frequently no matter how hard I reach for perfection. Especially so when you are creating thousands of repair orders a year. Your average customer is usually not quite that understanding. It may not stop my purchase of future BMW's but a potential buyer has the right to know the facts in order to make a decision for themselves. Shame on BMW for their handling of these issues. Arrogance will do that to you.


So what brand(s), in your experience, are the most reliable and also best to deal with when there are problems?

billy walker
04-19-2013, 02:26 AM
So what brand(s), in your experience, are the most reliable and also best to deal with when there are problems?

I'm not sure there really is a "most reliable". Today's motor vehicle product is pretty darn good. Even Harley despite not being world class IMO is a far cry from decades ago. Despite being extremely picky in business and the need to do what's right I'm really not very picky in my personal life. Years ago I never would have touched a Harley. Today? Not an issue with me despite knowing their probably not the quality equivalent of metric or BMW. I'd rather custom build a fat front tire "Exile" type bike as seen here:

http://www.exilecycles.com/index.php?section=14

I love the looks of the Exile Bulldozer! Obviously not most folks cup of tea but the build is fun, the bike looks bad ass and sounds good. By the way, I have no issue with loud bikes up to a point but I prefer BMW whisper quiet.

Despite BMW recall issues my favorite bikes are as follows:
1) BMW R1200RT
2) BMW R1200RT (yes, again - I love the bike)
3) BMW R1200 RT or a GS (the nod would really go to the RT once again) (I know RT again - once I rode a boxer I fell in love with a boxer)

I truly wonder what the heck goes on at BMW with all their issues. I would still buy their product based on the following: once the initial problem or problems are cleared up the bikes have always been fantastic. Many people would not be willing to put up with that. Yes, you may end up getting stuck with some major repair such as a clutch issue or an ABS pump down the road. While I certainly don't want that to occur I'm willing to risk it because I'm convinced the RT is the finest touring motorcycle in the world for my needs. Can't tell you how much I enjoy touring on a boxer!!

Although I have no interest in Japanese I do believe any of the 4 majors make good stuff. I personally would give the nod to Honda and Yamaha as far as quality of paint and fitment is concerned. I rode Gold Wings for many years and they are a fabulous machine. I'm just not happy with that type of bulk anymore. Too big, too heavy IMO. But seemingly you really can't go wrong with one. I like the new F6B Gold Wing (http://powersports.honda.com/cruiser/2013/gold-wing-f6b.aspx) although I'm not sure I'd be a buyer. It looks a bit too much like some of the Harley's. If you want to look like a Harley I say buy a Harley. I would take the money and build a custom in the configuration discussed earlier. Then ride my RT most of the time and when I'm feeling bad boy hop on the custom.

The metric OEM's are known to have rep's that are far more accommodating than BMW ever dreamed of being. Given the price of BMW ownership that is a sad statement to make.

Triumph has a wonderful line of motorcycles from classics to modern day stuff. I prefer the classics. Triumph has gone out of their way a number of times in order to accommodate a customer. The exact total opposite of BMW and perhaps the best to work with of all when it comes to warranty issues. Except for dealer warranty reimbursement. If you're lucky you end up with approximately 50% to 60% reimbursement compared to what the repair is actually worth. But that won't affect the customer. If you're the dealer and you care about the customer the shortage is all part of the gig. They don't break often enough to really make it an issue IMO.

There it is... the world according to me, for whatever that's worth. Feel free to season to taste.

ponch1
04-19-2013, 02:55 AM
I own a RT. For the most part I love the bike. The only complaints I have are: What I would call a lot of driveline lash, a lot of throttle lash and I hate the mirrors, but that is easy to fix(seat too). I tried adjusting the throttle cables at the grip, but it didn't help much and it could use a quick turn throttle, if you know what I mean. I've heard the throttle by wire on the GS is a lot better. That said, the ergos on the new RT look more sporty and less adjustable, meaning look at the handlebars. If I ever get another BMW, it'll be a GSA. It fits me a lot better.

billy walker
04-19-2013, 03:13 AM
I own a RT. For the most part I love the bike. The only complaints I have are: What I would call a lot of driveline lash, a lot of throttle lash and I hate the mirrors, but that is easy to fix(seat too). I tried adjusting the throttle cables at the grip, but it didn't help much and it could use a quick turn throttle, if you know what I mean. I've heard the throttle by wire on the GS is a lot better. That said, the ergos on the new RT look more sporty and less adjustable, meaning look at the handlebars. If I ever get another BMW, it'll be a GSA. It fits me a lot better.

GSA's are great bikes. I tend to favor bikes that have a touring look. You can't beat the seat to footpeg relationship on a GSA. Lot's of room.

The only fly by wire I have experience with is the 6-cylinder. I really have no opinion on it as it felt a bit strange to me but again I have always been used to a throttle cable. I don't like the 6 as it is too low to the ground and it does have substantial drive line lash. We had a few customers complain about it so I contacted BMW to discuss. Their answer was the driveshaft is working as designed. I then asked why they designed lash into the system and what were the benefits in order to explain them to the customer. Of course, they had no answer and that ended the phone call. I am sad to say you cannot rely on NA's answers. They must all attend the same class because no matter who you talk to the denial is always the same.

ponch1
04-19-2013, 03:34 AM
GSA's are great bikes. I tend to favor bikes that have a touring look. You can't beat the seat to footpeg relationship on a GSA. Lot's of room.

The only fly by wire I have experience with is the 6-cylinder. I really have no opinion on it as it felt a bit strange to me but again I have always been used to a throttle cable. I don't like the 6 as it is too low to the ground and it does have substantial drive line lash. We had a few customers complain about it so I contacted BMW to discuss. Their answer was the driveshaft is working as designed. I then asked why they designed lash into the system and what were the benefits in order to explain them to the customer. Of course, they had no answer and that ended the phone call. I am sad to say you cannot rely on NA's answers. They must all attend the same class because no matter who you talk to the denial is always the same.

Similar with Apple. I have worked for independent Apple shops and they have a talking points training we had to do every year. The truth is, it is the way it is and they ain't changing it. May be they think that if there was no lash, there'd be more liability because it would be easier to wheelie. :) In any event, I am 6'5 with 34" inseam and my knees are starting to bother me after riding, even with a peg lowering kit on the RT.

billy walker
04-19-2013, 11:33 AM
Similar with Apple. I have worked for independent Apple shops and they have a talking points training we had to do every year. The truth is, it is the way it is and they ain't changing it. May be they think that if there was no lash, there'd be more liability because it would be easier to wheelie. :) In any event, I am 6'5 with 34" inseam and my knees are starting to bother me after riding, even with a peg lowering kit on the RT.

Yea, but you know what Ponch? Anyone involved in the industry is aware that drive line lash is not a desirable characteristic. You automatically know some within the customer base will complain about it. You need to get ahead of this issue. If there are benefits to having that lash you need to have talking points addressing the lash and then advise the customer through sales literature as to why it's beneficial. If there are no benefits to me it's called get it back to the engineers. Another shining example of BMW arrogance.

At your height my friend there certainly isn't much choice in the marketplace. R1200GSA with a peg lowering kit might be the ticket.

mpmarty
04-21-2013, 06:35 PM
Someday US riders will form a BMWNA (BMW National Alliance) and sue the pants off of BMW NA in Federal court showing their high handed practices and complete disregard for customer expectations of suitability for intended use and safety.

ponch1
04-21-2013, 07:03 PM
Someday US riders will form a BMWNA (BMW National Alliance) and sue the pants off of BMW NA in Federal court showing their high handed practices and complete disregard for customer expectations of suitability for intended use and safety.

And someday humans will be able to jump off cliffs naked and fly by flapping their arms. :violin

billy walker
04-21-2013, 08:10 PM
And someday humans will be able to jump off cliffs naked and fly by flapping their arms. :violin

Wow, very cool!! Would you please let me know when Salma Hayek is getting ready to take her turn :love .

ANDYVH
04-22-2013, 07:16 PM
Quite often all the development testing is great, and the the vehicle goes into production, maybe alternate suppliers are used for some component, purchasing decides on a lower cost part, the production personnel actually start building it at manufacturing rates, and a lot can change.

I agree with pffog. And the more complex the product, the more opportunity for issues. Producing any vehicle from concept to production is quite a task in itself. Unless you've been in engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, test/development, production, etc; for something as complex as a self powered vehicle you really don't fully understand the multitude of possible issues. Yes we expect a lot from our highly capable bikes right out of the crate, but humans are involved too.

billy walker
04-22-2013, 07:31 PM
Quite often all the development testing is great, and the the vehicle goes into production, maybe alternate suppliers are used for some component, purchasing decides on a lower cost part, the production personnel actually start building it at manufacturing rates, and a lot can change.

I agree with pffog. And the more complex the product, the more opportunity for issues. Producing any vehicle from concept to production is quite a task in itself. Unless you've been in engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, test/development, production, etc; for something as complex as a self powered vehicle you really don't fully understand the multitude of possible issues. Yes we expect a lot from our highly capable bikes right out of the crate, but humans are involved too.

Never been involved with manufacturing but I imagine it presents its share of challenges. What kind of humans ignore federal recall procedures I wonder...