[QUOTE=calnalu;879742]This happened at San Francisco BMW, where I've taken my ride for all servicing (since Marin BMW closed :() All my previous encounters with the service crew at SFBMW have been highly successful and I trust their group to provide quality and knowledgeable service. In this case, the bewilderment of the tech I was working with was genuine and, as Paul mentioned, it may simply be that since this is related to R1100 bikes only, he's just never seen it before.
SFBMW had my bike in their service area for a couple of days before it started again and another two days before I had time to pick it up. They didn't charge me anything and (if I'm unable to figure out how to replace the HES or its wiring on my own), I'll feel comfortable taking my bike back there. Not so comfortable wallet-wise but I need to get to the Salem rally without stalling out in the redwoods somewhere.
Thanks again, everyone, for the comments. If you'll be at the Rally in Oregon, I'll fill you in on what eventually happens!
If they didn't charge you, and you're comfortable with the service, then all obligations have been met.
And there's certainly nothing wrong with giving a high-end estimate and coming in lower. It's what I've always done when working with projects billed hourly. And it's entirely possible that if it had stayed for more work, a "level 2" (as we say in IT) technician would have looked at the tach and spotted the potential issue immediately. SFBMW is a big shop and presumably has a large service staff with a variety of experience levels.