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Don Stanley; aka Chuy Medina "El Burrito Ballerina"
BMWMOA #24810; www.azbeemers.org/forum #89
Please don't take this to be rude as that is not my intent. But you have spoken as someone who has never worked in a dealership. None of what you discuss strikes me as odd. I too have seen some of the complaints on this very forum but complainers will typically post prior to happy owners so I don't see that as odd whatsoever.
I know pretty much zero about K16 issues or lack thereof. I do get a feeling by the number of complaints I have seen that the model intro has been pretty successful from a lack of failure point of view due to the relatively small number of complaints. Am I right? No clue. Just a gut feeling. My gut is right far more often than it is wrong. But that means a big fat zero. The question comes down to are these things selling in anticipated numbers or not. And, the answer to that is I don't know.
So far, every dealership I've been in has what to me look like "extra" 6 cyl bikes in stock and if I wanted one (don't, has no solid reliability record yet) I'd be bargaining for a good deal..
I wouldn't be surprised if the 6 cyl exists simply because the bean counters figured out it could be built for little more than wedge bikes and offered a higher margin product.
If its sales stall or don't meet targets I wouldn't be surprised to see it join the wedge on the (mostly) discontinued list in a few years. Despite margins, reviews and whatever, its not the brand core and never will be..
Despite BMWs enthusiastic wording of their current bike sales, the reality is it has finally returned to a little bit over the level of 8 (!!!) years ago and there has been a lot of inflation since then.
The new R GS has a number of what could be very nice design improvements if well executed so I'm looking forward to seeing the motor appear in other models- but I still won't think about buying one until we get to about the 4th model year..Getting too old to want to do roadside repairs even though I've done my share since starting riding in the 1960s and expecting help from distant dealers closed on two of the days you're most likely to need help (Harley dealers here are open every day) doesn't make it any better.
It's not just the motor that is the change to the GS. It's also the trans, the clutch, the alternator, the electronics and other items that give me pause and I may be in the minority and not want BMW to reinvent the RT. But I'm sure it's inevitible.
It is a fact that each of those components I mentioned is now more expensive to repair or replace, and less friendly for the do it yourself-er to work on. Just how high in maintenance and repair costs is too much?
I would bet the new wc bike requires less maintenance. That is the good part.
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The changes on the GS signifcantly reduce maintenance and the cost of inevitable long term R&R like clutch jobs etc and eliminate a few sources of seal failures and worn parts. IF the changes are well executed, there will be plenty of benefits but the track record on new models in their first years isn't thrilling, lately. It is in fact a lot like Detroit used to do but with better warranty..
Don't pine for airheads, don't miss carbs, points or other ancient stuff but do like reliable. The current R bikes are extremely easy to service and there is promise of even better with the new one. Current Rs take less work than oilheads by a good margin...The 6 is designed for those who live near a dealer or don't mind carrying their bike to one.
I've talked to two K16 owners this week. The first was local. He refused to travel far because he was waiting for his bike to fail (left or right handgrip?). Supposedly a known failure BMW won't fix until it fails, according to him.
Second was on the road from the RA rally. He was alone because his buddies didn't stop when his oil warning light told him to pull over. Nice guys! He had to stop to top up the oil because his uses oil when he runs at speed in hot weather.
I know two cases don't prove anything, but for me, they represent 100% of the K16 input I've received of late.