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Busting a BMW Myth

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by PatB, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. To counter the perception in some circles that BMW owners never admit to problems with their bikes, I've decide to chronicle any failures or breakdowns of my 2000 R1100RT right here on Netrider (assuming I remember). For the sake of the record, I'll also include parts costs where applicable too.

    I thought I was going to have to start today when my spiffy electrically adjustable screen refused to rise to its "touring" position, having been lowered to "race" on Saturday to get a bit more breeze on a warm afternoon.

    "Pain in the bum" thinks I. Fixing it would require a fairing strip which is time consuming. Not to worry, summer's on its way so the breeze hitting me at collarbone height rather than going over my head isn't a problem. It can wait until the next service.

    Imagine my delight when, on getting to work, a bit of a fiddle with the switch got things leaping up and down like a Jack Russell on speed. So no real need for this post.

    I suppose, for the sake of completeness, I'd better mention the other faults that have occurred in 15,000 kms of mixed riding.

    1. After starting on a cold morning, the ABS displays a fault indication (presumably due to low battery voltage). Cleared by swithching off after the engine has warmed a little and then restarting. Brakes still work in the interim, you just haven't got ABS.

    2. When the bike stood for a while the battery went flat, which triggered the horrible, cheapo aftermarket alarm that had been fitted. Took great pleasure in ripping out alarm speaker. Removal of the alarm units themselves revealed that it had been spliced into the wiring loom by an electrophobic moron with a roll of Sellotape. Fixed cretin induced damage as far as possible and smashed alarm with biggest available hammer. V. enjoyable. Not the bike's fault.

    3. Riding to work one morning, the handling went wobbly. Very wobbly. Stopping and inspecting the back end revealed the rear wheel bolts were hanging in by a couple of threads each. Retightened and got to work and home again, where I retorqued in two stages as specified in the manual. No further problems (crosses fingers). I speculate that the last bod to have the wheel out didn't torque up by the book. My old K100 had the same fixing and never gave problems in 80,000 kilometers in my ownership when torqued to spec. Not the bike's fault as such, although it would be nice if such a safety critical area was more foolproof. Doesn't affect me any more though, 'cos no-one but me lays a spanner on my bikes.

    And that's it so far.

    Costs about $140-150 bucks to do a major service including all fluids and filters, which takes me a short day, mostly because of the zillion little screws that hold the fairing on. Haven't needed anything else apart from tyres (~$500 the pair for Battlaxes) and some front brake pads ($80 the full set).

    Of course, this is the internet so I could be concealing horrendously expensive engine and gearbox failures, terrible parts availability and crap dealer/specialist service. You'll just have to take this on trust :grin: .
  2. Trust a BMW rider?!




    Bwahahahahahahahahaaaaaa! :LOL: :LOL:
  3. Mine's in bits at the moment...

    I have to say I like the setup for removing and replacing the shims with the the cams still in place and no disturbance to the timing.

    As for difficulty finding good support - Munich Motorcycles in WA are great. I mail order all my bits from them. Way cheaper than dealing with any of the other parts mobs locally.
  4. That's not a BMW problem, that's a problem caused by owning a 2nd hand bike previously owned by a complete muppet.
  5. It's scarcely a litany of hugely expensive disasters, though, is it?
  6. That's kind of my point :grin: .

    Dunno. Never had to do 'em on my K. Waved a feeler gauge at them every so often but they never moved, let alone going out of spec.

    An excellent outfit and always my first choice for stuff. Also kind of my point.

    Want to start the Dismantled K100 Owners Club? :grin:

    Fundamental law of the biking universe. All previous owners are complete muppets :grin: . Seriously, I suspect that both the sh*tty alarm wiring and the dangerous wheel fitting were the work of "professionals". Which is why I take the attitude I do to work on my bikes.

    I'm serious about posting a log of problems. I don't expect to be doing so that regularly though. It just occurred to me that, having said a while ago that I was happy to disclose any problems with my bike(s), I should start doing so, and this mornings lack-of-screen-going-up-and-downness prompted me to get my finger out and start.
  7. Don't see what it proves though - I had less problems with a 15 year old, grey-import, 250cc Suzuki over nearly 30,000kms of mixed riding. Gear lever fell off once and had to clean the contacts in the front brake switch but that was it.
  8. Mine has done just over 90,000km according to the speedo (but ref previous owner muppet comment) and I suspect these shims might be the originals. They were all on the tight side for the intakes, and the shims are pretty well polished up. Still, it's a piece of cake. There's a link I have somewhere that shows the size and shape of the required tools to do the compression and extraction of the shims. If you had the shims in hand, you could do all valves and be back riding in an hour.

    I'll pass. This is very much a temporary condition for mine. Back together and traveling for this weekend I hope. The old R65 restoration is taking more time...


    http://www.micapeak.com/reg/bikes/K100/ - this one is golden!
  9. Not really trying to prove anything, apart from making the point that at least one BMW owner is happy to admit it when his bike goes wrong.

    If you want a litany of expensive disasters, I'll tell you the story of my old CB400N. Or I would if my memory hadn't fuzzed out the whole episode in an attempt to preserve my fragile sanity :grin: .
  10. BMW= Big Money Wories at least the cars anyway.
  11. I've had my kwacka since new... the only major repairs required were self induced in the first place. :roll: Beyond that, it's cost a lot in servicing and tyres.

    Actually, I tell a lie, it did leave me on the side of the road once... luckily only 400m from home... it blew a critical fuse. I had thrown the brick sized mobile under the pillion seat... my guess is the mobil and the fuse box interacted somehow to cause a spike... I've never put the mobile there again and it's never blown a fuse again... fingers crossed.
  12. My repairs:

    I bought my second hand 1998 R1100S in 2001.
    The same battery is still on it which was added brand new at the time of purchase.
    There was a spot leak coming from the gearbox where the shaft leaves the body which I had the seal replaced. the Seal cost $10 the labour was $200. The problem was that the original seal wasn't stuffed, it just wasn't seated flush.:evil:
    I had an electrical gremlin which took a few weeks to pinpoint, this was eventually found to be caused by one wire leading back to the computer coming from the throttle position sensor which meant that at certain revs the engine would cut in and out like someone was playing with the kill switch at a rapid rate, very scary. The Mechanic bypassed the original wiring in order to make the whole wiring system leading from the throttle position sensor back to the computer clean.
    The cause? The original owner must have dropped the bike on its side at one point and battery acid leaked onto those wires and corroded them.
    Cost? 4 days labor diagnosis etc $500.00 so i can't complain as I included it in my service.
    Bike is running as sweet as always.
    Only thing it needs now is a set of front rotors as they are getting thin and there is a slight juddering through the bars when I apply the brakes.
    I think the pads were the originals from new.

    So, all up $700.00 in repairs for things that have gone wrong. for a 9 year old bike.
  13. Got my 1996 K1100LT SE in April this year. Had 3 prev owners, the last owner for about 9 yrs. He did nearly all servicing himself. He had a new K1200 GS to replace it. Paid $7,300 ish.

    Month or so later did big tour around Gippsland and went down Grand Ridge Rd on quite a bit of unsealed part. This buggered up the tracks to raise the screens. Also discovered only one of the heated grips worked on the high setting and none on the low setting. Parts were about $1,100 (screen tracks and guides were expensive) All up cost about $1700

    Month or so after this, stopped to get fuel near home and bike would not start after it. Worked out that the Stand isolator switch had gone. They also notices a small coolant leak so tightened hoses and topped up coolant. $100 to get the bike to mechanic and about $200 to fix

    Day after they fixed the coolant, bike blew the coolant hose in the city after coming in on the freeway. The slight leak had allowed pressure to escape as radiator cap pressure relief was seized. Pressure had no where to go so blew a hose. $120 to transport bike, $100 to fix.

    Finally, 2 mths ago front fork seals leaked. Had them replaced but as it had leaked on brake pads got new brake pads too. Another $300.

    Looking forward to repair free riding from now on!!

    By the way, I use BM Repairs in Ringwood and they have been really good and answer all my stupid questions without putting me down.

  14. +1 they are excellent
  15. I need to go see them about the K forks some time soon.

    Still waiting on mail order parts from WA before I can ride this weekend. I Hope to spend a night in the shed tomorrow and then have everything back up to speed.

    Meanwhile I have to ride a 250cc dirt bike in to town to see clients tomorrow. Should be interesting doing 40km of freeway on a 130kg bike with 20HP.

  16. Be careful. Any criticism of BMW may cause the brotherhood to de-tweed you.
  17. Too late. I was drummed out of the owners club years ago for "conduct unbecoming" when I was seen waving to a rider on something Japanese :LOL: .
  18. Well, time for a brief update.

    I now seem to have a permanent brake light. Appears to be a lazy/out of adjustment rear brake light switch but I'll know more when I have a proper look over the weekend.

    Hope I don't have to take the fairing side panel off 'cos it's a bit of a pain with several billion weeny screws.

    New switch is $80 from Munichs. Hopefully not needed, but bearable if the worst comes to the worst.
  19. BMW R1100R issues that i had in 9 months of ownership

    1. Complete rear brake hose failure (4 foot spray) due to ABS applying
    brakes at all times, boiling brake fluid and spilling on frame also wearing
    disks prematurely

    2. Complete front hose brake failure (fluid goes onto to hot exhaust.. lovely) looks like the bike is on fire... also failure due to ABS applying pressure at all times.

    3. Speedo failed when i replaced the cable nothing happened, the worm gear stripped in the hub due to friction in the spinning cable

    4. Complete headlight failure late at night whilst interstate( held thumb on high beam momentary make switch as normal high beam also failed)

    5. Random grabbing of front brake calipers when hot...OK if not used ??

    6. Clutch switch went open circuit and could only start bike when in hard neutral... with the light on, not recommended stalling at traffic lights with trucks approaching.

    7. Rear LH indicator fell loose

    8. Fuel leaking one drop per 10 seconds whilst in Broken Hill (great)
    meaning stripping bike in a gravel carpark to replace rubber breather
    hose inside fuel tank which includes a full removal of fuel pump.

    Note: ABS Unit parts only are $3200 if they fit & bleed it you will lose 4 grand.

    *Remind myself never to buy another BMW or an ABS bike ever again*
  20. That must hurt!