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    Question Decisions,Decisions

    First of all, I am a very frequent visitor of this forum and look here for expert advice. I have been motorcycle for over 40 years. In my earlier years I was a motorcycle mechanic for Honda,Yamaha, and Suzuki. I enjoy put-zing on my current bikes. A 2011 Harley Road Glide Ultra and a 2012 G650GS. I have been riding Harley over the past 20 years and this brings me to my question. I have the urge to try something different. I always have had the love for the boxer engine ever since my cousin bought one back in the early 70's. My Harley's have always been rock solid. The dealer support is everywhere. I live in SW Minnesota. My nearest BMW dealer is 90 miles and the next is 180 miles away. It seems like they are disappearing like flies. I am really interested in a R1200RT. I average around 12,000-14,000 a year touring. In Minnesota that is a lot for about a 6 month riding season. Should I be worried about the available dealers,worrying where maybe the closest dealer is on the road, parts availability, and going from my great experience with Harley Davidson to the unknown experience? I know this is a BMW forum so many answers may be bias. But lets hear it anyway. Thanks

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    No

    Get roadside assistance that will take you "to the nearest qualified service facility" without a mileage limitation. This is usually some brand of RV coverage.

    Then get to know the parts guy at your dealership and simply order anything routine you need. Or go for a nice 180 mile (round trip) ride. On an R1200 that won't seem like much at all.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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    Being a former mechanic, I don't think you'd have any problem doing routine stuff that arises.

    Get to know the local dealer guys as Paul says, or if not, there are plenty of mail-order dealers and places for parts. Beemerboneyard, A&S Cycles, Max BMW, Sierra BMW, etc.

    As a former H-D motorcycle cop and H-D owner who has now owned 6 BMWs since my H-D days, you will be amazed at the technological difference and lack of maintenanace and tinkering the BMW will need. Take the R1200RT for a test ride and I guarantee you'll be blown away.

  4. #4
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    Not to be dense, but I don't understand the question; you already HAVE a BMW (G650GS).
    87 K75S, bought new, now sold
    07 K1200GT Bought new, now traded in
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    Good observation

    Yes, I do have a G650GS. But it is my fun bike to buzz around on and short trips. My concern is can I feel confident on a week or two trip to not worry if something would happen, would I have to spend the rest of my vacation trying to find a BMW dealer to do any warranty work. I'm spoiled now with HD with their dealer support. I have the same concerns with my GS with the idea on taking it to Alaska.

  6. #6
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
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    What's a dealer?
    Mike Marr
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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbenstead View Post
    Yes, I do have a G650GS. But it is my fun bike to buzz around on and short trips. My concern is can I feel confident on a week or two trip to not worry if something would happen, would I have to spend the rest of my vacation trying to find a BMW dealer to do any warranty work. I'm spoiled now with HD with their dealer support. I have the same concerns with my GS with the idea on taking it to Alaska.
    Annie and I are coming up on the 20,000 mile mark for this year on our bikes. The tires keep wearing out; so far that's been our only 'problem'. They are machines, machines malfunction, but your odds are good.

    As recommended by PGlaves above, we have a roadside assist that has no mileage limit. Our plan takes us to the nearest facility capable of making the repair.
    Kevin Huddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbenstead View Post
    .......Should I be worried about the available dealers,worrying where maybe the closest dealer is on the road, parts availability, and going from my great experience with Harley Davidson to the unknown experience?
    I tour on BMW's and Harley's. I never worry but I am a bit less, let's say concerned, or the need to be aware of dealer locations when I'm on a Harley. HD dealers are *everywhere* and the bikes are every bit as reliable as BMW's.
    Offsetting BMW's thin dealer network is their bikes, which are lighter, better performing, while still being as reliable as HD.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

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    Noticing your from Minnesota. I live in the opposite direction in the state. I live up north a mere 150 miles from the nearest dealer. Been enjoying life with the dealer since 94. I believe this state has two very popular dealers that each has a following. I just did the four courners this year and thought about what if she breaks down. I think I had a better chance to get speeding tickets. No tickets and no break downs. Between my first (k75rt) and now second (r1150rt) I have about 180 thousand miles. So far so good. lost a fuel pump once but was by home. That was after running the tank all most dry a couple of times. I think operator failing to gas up more often may have been to blame for the fuel pump issue. Unfortunately out west there were too few stations. I seem to use tires. buy the bike.

  10. #10
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbenstead View Post
    ... In my earlier years I was a motorcycle mechanic for Honda,Yamaha, and Suzuki. I enjoy put-zing on my current bikes. ... I live in SW Minnesota. My nearest BMW dealer is 90 miles and the next is 180 miles away. ... Thanks
    Go for it. Judson in Lake Crystal has great service. Skip Leo's if you can and opt for Moon if you have to.

    I lived in Marshall area for three years with an airhead. I got some good advice and info from Skeeter in Olivia as needed and there's an Indy shop in Marshall that does good work if you're in over your head (which I doubt is going to happen given your level of experience).

    In fact, there's a guy here in central NE with an 04 1150 RT for sale if you're up for a road trip...

  11. #11
    Loading the Bike
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    cry...cry....cry...u sound like an old lady
    why are you even riding a motorcycle !!!!!!!!

    Decisions,Decisions
    First of all, I am a very frequent visitor of this forum and look here for expert advice. I have been motorcycle for over 40 years. In my earlier years I was a motorcycle mechanic for Honda,Yamaha, and Suzuki. I enjoy put-zing on my current bikes. A 2011 Harley Road Glide Ultra and a 2012 G650GS. I have been riding Harley over the past 20 years and this brings me to my question. I have the urge to try something different. I always have had the love for the boxer engine ever since my cousin bought one back in the early 70's. My Harley's have always been rock solid. The dealer support is everywhere. I live in SW Minnesota. My nearest BMW dealer is 90 miles and the next is 180 miles away. It seems like they are disappearing like flies. I am really interested in a R1200RT. I average around 12,000-14,000 a year touring. In Minnesota that is a lot for about a 6 month riding season. Should I be worried about the available dealers,worrying where maybe the closest dealer is on the road, parts availability, and going from my great experience with Harley Davidson to the unknown experience? I know this is a BMW forum so many answers may be bias. But lets hear it anyway. Thanks
    Last edited by csargent; 09-26-2012 at 02:17 AM. Reason: who my remark should go to

  12. #12
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    cry...cry....cry...u sound like an old lady
    why are you even riding a motorcycle !!!!!!!!
    Seems like the OP asked a legitimate question to me ... long time H-D rider, in a land far, far, away, wants to know if BMW motorcycles are sufficiently supported to warrant purchasing one.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  13. #13
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    Thanks Lew

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    Seems like the OP asked a legitimate question to me ... long time H-D rider, in a land far, far, away, wants to know if BMW motorcycles are sufficiently supported to warrant purchasing one.
    Thanks Lew, I thought it was too !

  14. #14
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    Think your way through the worst case scenario and see how badly it pisses you off.

    Could go like this

    1) Be one othe alleged 4% that have an FD failure on Sat in Canada, a remote town, or just leaving for a planned vacation
    2) Realize pretty much every BMW place is closed Sun and Mon so you lose 3 days before you can even begin to address it. (Note- there are a few rare exceptions and maybe you'll get lucky with the Anon. Book)
    3) Take another week minimum to get parts and rebuild or maybe 3 weeks if you need a whole new FD and there are none in the US because others already needed the inventory.
    4) Eventually get it back running in a week to a month but only after your planned trip or vacation is messed up, perhaps at significant extra expense.

    I doubt there is an equivalent issue with a Harley- hard to imagine anything on one of those that can't be found or done fairly quickly. But then, do you really want to ride an overweight, ill handling thing in twisties anyway??


    i don't let the worst case scenario bother me but then, I'm retired with plenty of time to do as I choose and a passable wrench when I need or choose to be. Doing all my routine work keeps me current on bike systems and construction and I carry necessary tools and info while touring plus a few critical spares (but NOT an FD! Way too heavy). I also don't leave for a trip without a careful examination of the bike to know eveything is OK at departure. And the bikes see routine use so there is plenty of other chances to spot and rectify porblems "at home". The only roadside fix needed on mine or the SOs BMWs in the past couple years has been an fpc on my RT, a very simple job if you know what to do- took longer to clean the corroded connections at the pump than to do the rest of the job..
    Last edited by racer7; 09-27-2012 at 01:20 AM.

  15. #15
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by csargent View Post
    Should I be worried about the available dealers,worrying where maybe the closest dealer is on the road, parts availability, and going from my great experience with Harley Davidson to the unknown experience? I know this is a BMW forum so many answers may be bias. But lets hear it anyway. Thanks
    Come out of the darkness and into the light ! BMW's are fine bikes capable of anything you care to do with them. I will tell you that, without exception, EVERY HD owner that moved over to BMW's I have either talked with or convinced to try a BMW have had an eye-opening experience and readily admit that the beemers are better machines in all respects. You can purchase a stock BMW and have a great ride with excellent performance that you will not have to buy Stage 1, Stage 2, Power Commander and whatever else to make it perform properly.

    The R bikes (boxer engine) are very easy to work on, even compared to anything HD makes. Many of us do most of our own work, and the availability of a tool called the GS-911 lets us play with the computers and reset maintenance alerts.

    If you join the MOA, you have access to the Anonymous Book that is a great resource should you nave any problems on the road and need assistance in the unlikely event you have a mechanical failure.

    Yes, there is life after HD, regardless of what the HOG's tell you. Your only real issue with going over the BMW is that your Harley buddies will think you have lost your mind. And there will be comments like "When are you going to start that thing?".
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 09-27-2012 at 12:13 PM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

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