Do headers void the warranty on a BMW?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by David Shapiro, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. David Shapiro

    David Shapiro Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Just bought a new K1600GT (yes I know, yea me). I've been searching the web, and replacing the headers with Cat removal seems to be a popular option, to improve mid-range torque. That would be great, unless it would void my engine warranty.
    So, does anybody definitively know, not just speculating, the answer.

    Thanks
    David
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    55,267
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I've never heard of it happening. They could, I suppose, void a part of your warranty if they could prove the mod damaged the bike. But, even then, it would only be on the part that was damaged, not the whole bike.

    Jim :brow
    #2
  3. mneblett

    mneblett Professional Lurker

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    151
    Jim's right -- the manufacturer would have to establish that there is some sort of causal relationship between the modification and the failure for which warranty coverage is requested.

    That said, the OE's aren't stupid. If they do decide to deny coverage, you can bet it will be for a "reason" providing the required linkage between the mod and the failure (regardless of how improbable the linkage). At that point, you face an uphill battle -- as a practical matter, the burden shifts to you to contest the denial and "prove" the modification wasn't the cause of the failure. (I didn't say that's the way it should be, just the way it is.) Most folks don't have the time/resources/desire/tenacity to fight the fight.

    So, if the tail light cluster fails, the headers shouldn't be an issue; if you hole a piston, headers likely will be cited as the cause (it would be easy for an OE to deny by asserting the headers caused too lean a mixture).

    In between? How's your relationship with the service manager and/or the dealer principal?


    p.s. -- I have a K16 as well. Given the additional torque/dollar gain ($2500+ headers and mufflers, for only a few more ft-lb.), I say put the bike in Dynamic mode and put the money into something you'll get a lot more real-world use out of.
    #3
  4. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,747
    Location:
    OR

    I would be skeptical about the mid-range torque improvements. It will sound better and it will reduce the heat... But Mid-range torque? I doubt it. :deal

    It is a 1600cc 6 cylinder. If you are worried about more power there is something wrong with YOU not the bike. :D
    #4
  5. mneblett

    mneblett Professional Lurker

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    151
    The REMUS headers have actually proven to deliver a bit more mid-range -- not much, but enough to be seen on a dyno (real or butt). But not near enough for me to lay out *that* kind of $$$. For a lot less $ I could gain more acceleration than the headers provide by dropping some of my excess tonnage.

    BINGO! 1649cc of GO whenever you want it -- I've had the stability control system kick in a number of times to keep the front end on the ground in lower gears.

    But don't worry, I'm sure someone will have a turbo kit out for it soon. :rofl
    #5
  6. David Shapiro

    David Shapiro Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    Northern Illinois

    You happen to be right. I plan to ride it for a year, and then see about mods. Of course, there is probably something wrong with me anyway. :d

    David
    #6
  7. sennister

    sennister Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Grant, MN
    I tend to agree. If your warranty claim is something like burned exhaust valves then you may have an issue. Who knows, it might be possible that exhaust modifications caused or were related. Not saying it is something to be concerned about but just trying to think of something exhaust related which could get you a warranty issue, of course if you still had your stock headers.....

    They will not be able to deny a warranty claim for something like a failed alternator because it would be a tough fight for them to claim that the modified headers caused something like an alternator to die.

    Actually the only thing I can think of is that with the cat removal, I would imagine that this bike has O2 sensors and something may change here. Does it have post cat O2 sensors as well like a cage? Any kind of warranty request related to the O2 and emissions would be likely void but if you had the OEM headers you could put them on before going in but that wouldn't help if you were on a trip and were having rideability issues due to a failed O2 sensor which is throwing off the fuel mapping. Odds are it wouldn't happen but if it did and I suspected that while on the other side of the country I would just buy an O2 sensor and not do the warranty claim. Again not saying it would happen or that there is any additional risk but that is the scenario I could think of where you may get bit.
    #7
  8. icebox

    icebox Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,168
    Location:
    West Yellowstone, Montana
    Every "header' I pulled on a motorcycle hurt, some real bad, and none of the damage incurred was covered under warranty. :rofl
    #8
  9. k1w1t1m

    k1w1t1m Kiwi

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    920
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    I believe it is the Magnuson Moss Act you should be researching. I think that's what it's called. I believe the onus is on the dealer/manufacturor to prove it's caused by the modification but as stated by someone else they turn it around on you.
    I would also take into consideration that the 1600s are a very new model with no history. Let someone else be the guinea pig.
    #9
  10. mneblett

    mneblett Professional Lurker

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    151
    Quite a few folks have already, with no issues reported. At this point it appears we are beyond the "let someone else try" stage.
    #10
  11. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,063
    Location:
    Western Orygun

    I agree with the above statements.
    I would think major advantage changing to a header and/or after market exhaust system would be weight savings. Stock mufflers are huge and most likely weigh plenty.
    #11