Originally Posted by tpulls
It seems to be popular opinion that BMW's hold a high cost of ownership. Are these folks that prefer not to take the 45 minutes and do their own wrenching? Or perhaps it's replacement parts that cost money? If routine maintenance on the 1200 boxer can be done with basic tools in my own garage I'm failing to see where the high cost of ownership is.
Go to any forum for any bike and you'll read tales of expensive woe. On any reasonably complicated bit of machinery, things can go wrong. As far as big, expensive things like crankshafts and gearboxes -- the boxer motor goes farther than anything else out there. What other used motorcycles still have a consistent resale market in the 100k+ mileage range?
Other hexhead maintenance -- alternator belt: 30 minutes and a cheap part. Gearbox and drive oil -- 30 minutes. And the usual wheel and swingarm bearing replacement that any bike needs after a big miles. That's about it. Brake bleeding can be a little fussy due to the ABS.
If the bike does need actual replacement parts then, yes, those are pricey. Same as with German cars.
In my limited experience, the cost of owning a bike is exponentially and inversely related to how much one is will to learn to do things. My airhead needed the entire block replaced (oil pump housing cracked). I could have spent $2500 to have a shop do it, but I spent $450 instead (mostly on tools) and learned some things.