It sounds great.
BMW Motorrad has launched a website on which you can browse and buy anything that has the official BMW label on it. That means everything from a $2 countersunk screw for a C650 Sport scooter to a $2,000 doubleR racing suit. From soup to nuts and bolts, as it were.
You can search for the thing you need by part number, keyword, or VIN. The site includes diagrams and what they call an “in-page assembly viewer” with product assembly notes. Each product comes with fitment confirmation info.
So, for example, that $2 countersunk screw ($2.06, if we’re being technical) is for a scooter backrest. Here’s the info available to the buyer.
And here’s the installation diagram.
Pretty sweet. No more fiddling around at the dealer waiting for her or him to look up a part number. No need to go fishing for microfiches anymore. I found it works best for newer models, though.
I have a 2001 1150 GS and decided to search for the bolt that holds the tank to the frame on the right side. Now, I’m not what you’d called mechanically inclined, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe you can? Even though I narrowed it down to year and model, my search ended up showing me bolts for all years of all BMW bikes, fifty in all. It might be in there, but they didn’t make finding it easy.
But here’s the real reason why this new site isn’t Amazon for BMWs and why it won’t be hurting their dealers. All orders are fulfilled through their dealer network. That’s right, you have to pick it up from your dealer. No overnight to your doorstep.
Also, this thing is brand new. Not all dealers are signed-on yet. BMW expects that the entire USA network will be participating eventually. But until then, there are holes. Gaping holes. I live maybe 20 minutes from BMW-Ducati-Husqvarna of Atlanta. But when I tried to order that scooter screw, here are the dealer options it showed me for pickup.
No doubt that will change. But in the meantime, it’s something to be aware of.
Now, I don’t want this post to sound overly negative. Over the years BMW have routinely been accused of not listening to their customers. Launching this website (which can be accessed via computer or mobile device, and which will soon have an app that performs the same functions) is a huge step towards more customer engagement. Local dealers should like it because it spares them the time and labor spent looking things up for customers and makes them a pick-up point instead.
So, Amazon it ain’t. But it’s still a pretty cool idea and when (if?) the whole dealer network is onboard. It should be a more convenient way to get that BMW thing you gotta have.