WHY do GS's break all the time

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Clodhopper55, May 26, 2012.

  1. hyena

    hyena Been here awhile

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    My 2005 GS was an October 2004 build. Right cylinder liner failed at 12K and took the piston with it. Transmission input seal failed. Brakes rotors warped. Gray seats had mildew form inside them. (All covered under warranty.) For reliability, it was a real piece of crap.



    So I showed BMW. I traded it in on a new 2009. :D
    #81
  2. turnerm

    turnerm Been here awhile

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    4 years and counting, no real issues.
    I had that dumb key immobilizer issue but thats about it, oh and the fuel gauge.

    Ive owned 4 other BMW's and the worst thing was a failed rear shock seal at 18k miles on my R1100S.

    Not saying BMW's don't break, but many don't.

    I bought a new Ducati 996. In the first 6 months (6k miles) it needed the following to be replaced:
    -crank shaft
    -camshafts
    -other valve gear
    -front brake discs
    -clutch pushrod 2-3 times
    -rear brake master cylinder

    Some other stuff but I can't remember.
    #82
  3. Eddy Alvarez

    Eddy Alvarez Long timer

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    It's true that reading any forum can make you very paranoid about your bike. I too have looked at the S10 and thought "maybe this is what I need. A reliable, much better value bike with a dealership every 30 miles!" but the truth is that I am still a "BMW guy" at heart. I'm on my 17th BMW, a 2005 GS, that I continually ride hard and beat the shit out of her with over 59,000 miles and I've never been left on the side of the road.

    Worst case scenario...my bike craps it's FD and the repair is $2000. It's still much cheaper than a 2013 Tenere! Besides, I would have a tough time treating a new GS or S10 the way I treat this bike.
    #83
  4. darmahman

    darmahman "Illogically Deluded"

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    All BMW's are junk, constantly seen on the side of the road broken down. Even tho I have never had of my 32 BMW's that I have owned over the years breakdown on me I know it will happen soon. Sigh... Buy a Tenare and avoid those POS BMW's and their poor reliability.
    #84
  5. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    +1:deal
    #85
  6. madleemark

    madleemark Restless

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    the bmw is unstoppable, :roflthe ads in the mags says so!
    #86
  7. HateRyder

    HateRyder Schtool

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    I have an 06 R1200GS Adv with over 25k on it. I ride it off road and very long distance, often doing doing 800+ mile days during my too few trips during the year, Only issue, rear shock seal started leaking after I took it off the center stand at -20dg. Replaced with Elka. I do all the maintenance myself. I love this bike.
    #87
  8. NJ-GS

    NJ-GS Been here awhile

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    In the many rides I've taken to Starbucks - and I mean many - my BMW has never broken down. I had to replace the battery once, though.
    #88
  9. BluNozr

    BluNozr Been here awhile

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    Brevity is clarity. Well put Signal.
    #89
  10. italiano

    italiano Been here awhile

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    Sometimes reliable does not mean that will not break, for me can mean that you can fall down and still be able to be able to ride home (not a duc)or spending thousand fixin it, sometimes can mean that you can hit a very large poth hole bent your rim and still get home (not with an aluminium a light weel), or hit a gravel road and not have your transmision breaking because a little stone fallen between the rubber tooth (yes a harley), or put gas with a so large quantity of unknow things inside that your gas mielage goes twice the normal and still get home. Somethimes it means that you can travel two up with fully gear to telegraph creek 15,000 thousand miles from home and do not blow down your fork seals (not in a japanese bike) I live in a paradise for motorbikes (mexico) were you can find the most interesting twisty roads, and still make home. This is the most reliable bike ever.
    #90
  11. OkieTom

    OkieTom Been here awhile

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    I'll try to keep this short and to the point, they don't.............
    #91
  12. nitsuj

    nitsuj Been here awhile

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    I think I have a unique point of view on this question. It's opinion backed up by experience. I've worked in the motorcycle industry for most of my adult life. I was a tech at a Harley Davidson and Honda dealership, and I was a service manager as a BMW (plus several othe brands) dealership. BMW's are absolutely less reliable than several Japanese makes. Not trying to make anyone mad, it's just how it is. When it comes to break downs, recalls, and various issues, BMW just has more of them than say Honda. Now, they also have a different ride and feel that some people feel is better than the Japanese makes. I happen to agree. I love the GS, I plan to buy one just as soon as possible. I'm aware that I'm not buying a Honda. I know about the higher cost of ownership, but I'm willing to live with that to get the bike I want. Same reason I bought a Duc 1098 instead of a CBR 1000. I was willing to pay the higher cost of admission to get the bike I wanted. And it's all quite similar to Harley. The Harley, much like the Duc and the Beemer, costs more to own. Higher service costs and a greater chance of a breakdown. But, there is nothing like it. The Japanese companies have build some really great twin cylinder cruisers, but none of the, rider of *feel* like a Harley. I'm not talking about the status of being on one, but the feel of riding it. A Honda Shadow will never be a Fatboy. And a KLR, while being a great bike, will never be a GS.

    I hope I'm getting my point across correctly. I don't mean to imply that a BMW is a lesser bike. Only that it can't be claimed to be superior to any other brand as far as reliability is concerned. That doesn't mean there isn't a lot of damn good reasons to own one. But if the most miles for the smallest service investment possible is the goal, GS is the wrong bike. So is Duc, Harley, Triumph, Vespa, or KTM. I guess my point is, the reason there are so many bikes is there are so many riders. No one bike is perfect for everyone. The RT is a gold standard of Sport Toruing, but it fits me terribly and I find it uncomfortable. But looks how many guys are putting huge miles on them happily. The LT is a terrific touring bike, but I prefer the Goldwing. And like the Harley Street Glider better than either of them, even though I can give you a long list of reasons the Wing is technically better than the Harley.

    To sum up, ride a GS. If its right for you, it is. If its not, you don't need a bunch of people on a forum telling you to buy one or not. Pick the bike that works for you without getting hung up on a love for machines from a certain country.
    #92
  13. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    these two peices of information just dont tally with me,i bet the money you lost on all those bikes would have bought a r 100 gs AND farkled it for the trip????
    #93
  14. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    See, that's where I got tripped up too.... :huh

    Well said! :clap
    #94
  15. angelo_balto

    angelo_balto his Royal Dudeness

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    I used to ride a Tiger 1050 before my GS. When I was searching at the websites, all I heard was about problem with the pistons and lookots of other issues.
    Instead, owing the bike for 4 years & doing numerous trips I have to say that they were ALL trouble free!!
    So, it's mostly rumors...:ear
    #95
  16. Ducmonza

    Ducmonza boob

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    Don't buy a Yamaha.
    #96
  17. GodSpeedRally

    GodSpeedRally Been here awhile

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    The GS comes with a pretty good warranty. Buy the extended warranty and its even better. If you breakdown just make more friends wherever you are at.
    #97
  18. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Been here awhile

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    If you want depenable get a Ural. It's quite dependable .....................

    Seriously though, I've had a half dozen UJM and 2 BMW's. BMW's required more attention but I've found them to be mostly reliable. Their quirks are well known and yes parts are expensive. I think they frequently made systems more complex because they could but what the heck, I knew what I was getting into when I decided to buy one, then two.
    #98
  19. backroadbob.com

    backroadbob.com Roads Scholar

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    They break because they're not Yamahas. I have a Yamaha street bike I've put 140000 miles on and it's never had the valve covers off. I had an RD 350 I put 50000 miles on and it had 180 psi on original pistons and rings when I sold it. I put 35000 miles on an XT350 and before I gave it to a friend I checked the valves and they showed no wear. Not even 0.001". When BMW makes a bike that will do any of these things I'll buy one.
    #99
  20. rattis

    rattis Long timer

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    DO NOT TRUST YOUR GS!!!!
    On several times I've had to put petrol in the tank and even oil in the engine, this must be a sign of bad quality if there ever was any.
    It's actually so bad that I had to buy a second one to verify this and it keeps going through vast quantities of petrolas well.
    The few things that can be said in it's favour are:comfortable, torquey engine, nice bike and sofar totally dependable.
    Ah yes it does very well what all bikes must do regardless of make and origen:
    IT PUTS A SMILE ON MY FACEWHEN I RIDE IT:clap
    PS I had to wash it once as well, POS.