Boulevard of Broken BMW Dreams

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cycles, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    In 35 years of owning and riding BMW motorcycles, with over 300,000 miles combined on these bikes, I have never been stranded on my BMW's. Maybe I have been very lucky but for me, they have been incredibly dependable bikes. But I also realize this is not the case for everyone. I presently ride a 09 R1200GS and it has been the best bike I have ever owned, but my 01 R1150 GS was also outstanding.

    My clutch failed at 24,500 miles, just past warranty and BMW barely helped with that issue. This was on my 01 R1150 GS. SO when you need Warranty work beyond their limits, it is a differrent story. They should do better....
  2. kingrex

    kingrex Been here awhile

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    Call me crazy but I think the whole thing started with the changing of the head lamp bulb. My daughter used to have a bmw 3 series auto. One evening the bulb in the vanity mirror refused to go out. She decides to remove it and it broke. She managed to get the remnants of the bulb out of it's compartment then she went to start the car and..............nothing. Absolutely nothing. We had the car towed to our local bmw dealer and it took them 3 weeks to get the car to turn over. I'm not sure to this day what occurred electronically and I'm not sure they really know either. It took help from Germany to get it figured out. One week later the car starts to exhibit electrical gremlins again leaving my daughter stranded. We were able to get the car started and running long enough to trade it in on a new car. I wasn't going to invest nearly $2,300.00 again trying to figure out what can't be figured out. That ended my interest in over engineered German Automobiles. I do, however, own a bmw motorcycle which has been flawless to date but I ride it with some degree of trepidation. Once you lose the faith..........you lose the faith.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  3. StuBob

    StuBob Adventurer

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    Still reading, on Page 7, but I had to throw in a comment that this may be the best line I've ever read on ADVRider!
  4. Dracula

    Dracula I don't want a pickle! Supporter

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    funny part is, it's not an adventure until realizing leaving all the safety nets behind is the only way to enjoy it :rofl
  5. RobN.

    RobN. A little Odd Supporter

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    Cycles,

    Professional lurker here, but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your story.

    As others have said your perspective and ability to describe it in words is fantastic.

    As of your last post in this thread, things seemed to be looking up. Please keep us posted on how it turns out.

    Thanks for sharing this chapter in your life.

    RobN
  6. 2eddies

    2eddies I'm not here.

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    Went for a ride this AM. It was gorgeous out. Came back for lunch and then the dog suggested a post lunch nap in the afternoon sun. I picked up my phone to check ADV before catching some Z's. Next I know I'm reading a ride report that is not a ride report with names mentioned that are not their names. Socks are discussed, there are few relevant pictures. The dog is pissed because every few minutes I'm laughing my ASS off and continually interrupting his sleep schedule. Before I know it, the afternoon is gone, the Sun is going down and I'm waiting to find out if BMW/O'Canada is going to do the right thing. Finally on page 34, I find out that all is good and Cycles has his faith restored, but not his bike....yet. This non-RR has everything...adventure, villains, disaster, lawyers, engineers, voyeurs, good women, friendly sales people who do nothing, innocent bystanders, FIRE, farce, great humor, great lines, laugh out loud fun, human tragedy, idle gossip, brand bad mouthing, curves and humanity. I loved it, my dog ...not so much. We are going out for a beer now ... I hope I see you and your good wife on the road sometime.
  7. GI_JO_NATHAN

    GI_JO_NATHAN Long timer

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    Nice.
  8. Abbotson

    Abbotson Been here awhile

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    After reading the entire post, it reminded me of a conversation I had with former employee of a now closed BMW dealer. :ear

    He told me that the BMW shareholders want to kill the motorrad part of the business. The majority-owned stock of the Quandt family will not allow the motorrad business to be shut down as long as it makes a profit.

    Poor motorcycle design, reliability and customer service may be a underhanded way of killing that division. Just a thought. :(:
  9. Dracula

    Dracula I don't want a pickle! Supporter

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    If this world will one day reach critical mass, become indeed all about the numbers and nothing else, the bigger profits, more concentrated into fewer and fewer wallets, then we would all eventually ride same make and even model, eat same exact foods and perhaps even have same exact artistic tastes and picture hanging on the wall :evil
  10. mneal

    mneal Adventurer

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    I stumbled across this and like many before me have said, what a fantastic read. Cycles, you write exceptionally and I thank you for sharing your tale. As a mechanical engineer and a guy that does failure analysis for a living I am super curious what failed first. Chicken or the egg. If I had to guess something in the rectifier/ regulator failed and caused an over voltage / over current situation. Why the system wouldn't be fused to protect against what wouldn't be a possible failure mechanism of a RR is a mystery. Statically it's an interconnect that failed and took the rest out , something like 85% all electronic failures are interconnect related. (Connector and solder joints lead the way) But without knowing the detail and electrical system interconnect I am guessing. What exactly " additional electrical gremlins" did the tech find? I apologize if it was stated and I missed it, I read all 38 pages but skiped some troll bullshit in the middle because I was waiting for BMW response like a kid on Xmas morning.
    Cycle your ability to write and entertain easily out matches my ability to trouble shoot for 3000 miles away, I am jealous . It's odd, I have never met you and still I feel as if I know you. If you get tired of twisty mountain roads and ever find yourself in the land of sand ,,not many turns and elderly drivers (florida) I would be honored to buy you a beer. In the meantime, enjoy your new socks and hug your wife, both are well deserved my good man.
  11. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    :clapA well written tale, very entertaining. Thanks for the effort.
    Hope the future rides don't involve quite so much adventure of this sort.
  12. husqvarna

    husqvarna Been here awhile

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    Well, as some gnarly adventurer wrote "a mishap is just an adventure wrongly considered". You made a mishap an entertaining adventure although I'm guessing you needed anxiety medicine know and again.

    I too have felt that apprehension of the unknown (and the known as I have had a trailer fail on me; but it led to an adventure).

    BMW, well even here in Southern Africa where the great dirt beasts are very popular and generally well supported there are pockets of Prussian rigidity that lead to unhappiness (a warped front brake disc comes to mind). They are all too big and heavy for my riding although I once vaguely considered an X. I stuck with my Luddite KTM 640 Adv and 525EXC.

    I have also had ongoing dealings with another Germanic machine supplier (who make very good equipment) and notice a similarity with how BMW treated you. If you deal with technical people who truly believe their product is the best, but if you have all the facts, they are mostly accommodating and see your point. The managers, salespeople and accountants are often just arrogant to the point of idiocy in the face having to admit technical liability. The more their technical limitations are shown up, the more they dig their heels in, often stupidly. It's then hard work.

    But, seemingly a bit like BMW, this company relies on the sales of spares at inflated prices to make money. They also like relatively complex electronics which can be painful.

    BMW seems to have this attitude but not so much KTM who seem to have way less management infrastructure and their salespeople seem to be mainly enthusiasts.

    I hope your re-built BMW meets your expectations. Just make contingency plans when you travel and, as luck has it, you won't have a problem:lol3
  13. ozmikl

    ozmikl Been here awhile

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    Hi Cycles, I feel (and have experienced) your pain, well BMW pain anyway but I was well out of warranty.
    Next time I buy a bike in the US it will be a Super Tenere. Not many threads of f&^#$d Yamaha's in here.
    Michael
  14. colemadad

    colemadad Adventurer

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    Figure it out (OFFS)- can we just move on. I think the author has...
  15. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    Maybe in the light truck class:D
  16. August West

    August West Wharf Rat Supporter

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    I read this incredible RR ignoring 98% of the posters not named Cycles. You know yourself well Cycles, a wonderful gift. You are very good writer and are loved. Thanks for sharing this saga.

    Enjoy the coast as that leg of your adventure unfolds. I have been on my way to Half Moon Bay, CA since 1980, only got as far as Western Montana so far.
  17. Mugwest

    Mugwest "You mean the REAL world!?"

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    :photog :rofl
  18. Cycles

    Cycles Adventurer

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    Epilogue September 8th, 2015.

    It was a little over a year ago that I set out on a ride to California on a BMW GS motorcycle.

    Yesterday I rode a GS across the Golden Gate Bridge.

    [​IMG]

    It took until December 2014 to fix my old GS. Insurance paid for most of the repair. BMW Motorrad paid the deductible. I've been told that the new wiring harness arrived but it went up in smoke too. Eventually it was determined that a short in the Garmin GPS mount caused the wiring harness to go up in smoke. I asked if the burning wiring harness might have created a problem in the GPS mount when it took out the rest of the wiring. They said no. Hopefully that bike fix is permanent. I will never know. I no longer trusted the machine so I traded it on a 2015 model.

    The new GS comes with a full North America Warranty. It also came with Dynamic ESA. Don't ask me what Dynamic ESA is. Just ask me if I wanted it. I did. There is also a BMW Navigator GPS. It has 16 squares of helpful information to distract me while I ride through California.

    Today I will ride through Big Sur.
  19. keithg

    keithg Been here awhile

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    CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!
  20. bross

    bross Where we riding to? Supporter

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    Glad you made it back.