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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
which says that 40% of BMW encounter at least one major failure until the 4th year of ownership. This really bothers me because I was determined to buy a BMW S1000R next year. I know that such a statistic should be taken wit routerlogin h a grain of salt but really, why is 192.168.l.l BMW at the end of this list?
I let the dealership do the scheduled maintenances and everything that needs to be done with my bikes. I'm not rich but money is not a concern when it's about my bike so please don't tell me don't buy a BMW if you can't afford it. I own a Kawasaki (250R from 2010) and never had a problem in almost 6 years. I just hope that I can expect the same reliability from a S1000R. And now that I googled "BMW bi 192.168.0.1 ke reliability" I find all these negative forum posts and magazine articles. I just don't want a bike that has a lot of downtime and annoys me every few months with something that is not working properly.
 

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On The Road Again!
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I've owned four BMWs in the past, the newest being my 1974 R90.
Those OLD BMWs were reliable as all heck.
I put 172,000 TROUBLE FREE miles on the R90.
But the new ones? I wouldn't own one myself.
I ride a Goldwing now.
 

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97 CBR900RR, 98 GL1500C, 98 VFR800, 05 VTX1800
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the reliability lists are close to right. the big 4 are incredibly reliable compared to the rest. Yamaha is #1 and Honda 2, Kawasaki 3 and Suzuki a little further behind at 4. These other companies don't produce nearly as many bikes as those four so the production line isn't as lined up. check out kawasaki's human error proof system, it's incredible what these guys do and how many bikes they turn out.
most manufacturers outside of the big 4 are 25-40% of bikes seeing work in the first 4 years. Well get a 5 year old bike, then you know you got a working one, ha! With BMW, i wouldn't sweat it (so long as i had a 2nd bike) because it's a big company not likely to go anywhere in my first 4 years of ownership. smaller companies i'd be a bit more worried about.
that being said, part of what i like about owning motorcycles is tinkering on them. i've never bought a new bike though so i don't know what it's like to have one **** out in the first 4 years. just treat a BMW bike like a jaguar, always have two so you've got one to ride while the other is in the shop.
 

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Like said above depends on the BMW. My boss has an 02 BMW K1200RS which is as reliable as the sun, minus the ABS system, the "flying brick" engine is known to be very reliable. An S1000R on the other hand, well I would plan and expect it to break down periodically. I could probably "afford" to ride a S1000R as well however it would be very irresponsible of me to do so. Compare the price of a 15k service on that BMW to a Japanese bike then ask yourself if that BMW name is really worth it, I certainly don't think it is. Money is always a concern, if you disagree buy a Ducati 1099 or an Aprillia RSV4 or maybe even an MV Agusta, forget the BMW.
 

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I considered BMW. Actually went there first when bike shopping because gosh they are pretty motorcycles. Ultimately wound up with a Harley Davidson, while my spouse picked a BMW. It has had recall issues which went unresolved for months.

In our limitted experience, BMW motorcycle parts tend to go like this:


Spouse: I want a BMW Thingerma-doohicky for my G310-R.

Parts Guy: Okay, the order's in! Should be here in two weeks. Want to pay now or later?

-- Two weeks go by.

Spouse: Have you got my Thingerma-doohicky?

Parts Guy: Let me check. Hmmm. I don't see the order. Let me try again. Should be here in two weeks.

-- Two weeks go by.

Spouse: Have you got my Thingerma-doohicky?

Parts Guy: Umm, let me check. Yep, the order's right here. Looks like BMW hasn't filled it yet. Let me give you call when they update the system.

-- Two weeks go by.

Spouse: Have you got my Thingerma-doohicky?

Parts Guy: It's in the system, but its still in Germany. BMW only ships when the container is full. Right now they are projecting shipment in about... August!

Spouse: It's May.

-- September comes around:

Spouse: Have you got my Thingerma-doohicky?

Parts Guy: It came in almost a month ago! Wondered if you were gonna come by!

Spouse: Great. When can we have it installed?

Parts Guy: Let me ask service.... ... ... How about the week after next?


So, yeah, I agree with skant153. Buy two!
 

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97 CBR900RR, 98 GL1500C, 98 VFR800, 05 VTX1800
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HA! sounds kinda like when i went to get my forks rebuilt

me (on a monday): hey, you rebuild forks for a 97 cbr900rr?
tech: sure do! it'll take a couple days for the parts to get in so you wanna drop off in a week? It'll take 2 days.
me: sounds great, do i have to put a deposit on the parts?
tech: oh uh.. sure, that'll help get the order in tonight
me: great, here you go.
  • - next monday bike is dropped off
  • - wednesday
shop manager over the phone: hey, we've got your forks off but we need to order the rebuild kit. it'll take 2-3 days for it to get in so we'll have to start on monday
me: that's why i dropped it off 2 days ago, because you were supposed to order the parts a week ago when i left the deposit
manager: yeah, we only order when we've got the bike
me: ok, well put it back together and refund my deposit
manager: ok, how do you want to pay for the labor?
me: with a smile.. since you didn't perform a single thing for me...
 

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:unsure:
Griffin, I wouldn't worry about the reliability of the BMW S1000R, as in all probability, you will be dead before any problems arise with the bike:)

Kawasaki 250 with maybe 20 HP on a good day going to slightly less than 200 HP on the Beemer, one of the fastest bikes in the world.:)

Good luck!

I've had 5 BMW's and only had trouble with the battery on a new 1987 R65.

Sam
 

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I've never owned a BMW but if I were seriously considering laying out some big bucks for one, I'd be reading everything I could find about the bike I wanted to buy. Granted, people that don't have problems don't complain, but owners are on forums all over the internet.

If an owner is complaining about his/her bike on that brands forum, and there aren't 10 (random number, but you get the point) other owners saying they've never had this problem, I'd be paying attention.
 

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I took a BMW off the centerstand one time and nearly dropped it because I didn't know you had to put the sidestand DOWN to put the centerstand UP.
And that's all I needed, or wanted, to ever know about BMW from that day forward. (Long time ago, don't know the model).

S F
 

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Just remember, as a general rule, you'll hear or read about 25 complaints to 1 praise on any bike brand/model out there. 25/1 or 10/1 or 50/1, the ratio maybe be incorrect but the point is, there are always a lot more complaints than praises.
 

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i don't think he's looking at complaints, he's looking at reliability data. you can go to websites that collect data about warranty repairs and replacement parts by manufacturer to see how frequently a brand is in the shop. i believe that's what he's referring to.
 

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I test rode a BMW K1600 before I decided on buying my Goldwing in 2016. I liked the BMW but liked the Goldwing better. Part of what influenced my decision was the distance I would have to go to get to a BMW dealer. They just aren't as easy to find as a Honda dealer. I've also been told by my mechanic (all brands) that BMW parts are always much more costly than are comparable parts for any Japanese brand. On the other hand, when I was an active MSF Instructor, our State had 4 or 5 people at the next higher level of instructor, i.e., they could certify new Instructors. All of these folks rode BMW's. I took that as a pretty strong endorsement of quality by these high mileage riders, but that was about 20 years ago.
 
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I took that as a pretty strong endorsement of quality by these high mileage riders, but that was about 20 years ago.
I think 20 years ago they were better vito. My 88 K100 LT was a great bike that performed flawlessly for 66k miles. I would never have let it go but my wife crashed her K75 and was scared to ride anymore and every time I went out she was in near panic mode by the time I got back home. So to help her deal with life I sold it and stopped riding all together for a while. Well until not riding began to be a problem with me and I just up and got a VTX and started riding again. Until I crashed. So my time off attributed to that I’m sure. But I went right back to riding after recouping which shamed her into riding again herself. But I sure wish I had never got rid of that BMW. That’s when they were really good though and from what I’ve read recently they have changed. I don’t know if they started going downhill when they decided to go to chain drive or not but that seems to be about the time I started seeing complaints about reliability. BMW has always been drive shaft and then suddenly there were chains. Maybe those closer could say if there is any chance that’s when reliability issues started. I really don’t know but I was shocked to learn they had chain drive bikes and then started hearing about reliability. Just seem to coincidental to me.
 

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My 2000 BMW K1200LT-C, their top of the line touring bike was 20 years ahead of it's time. Aside from traction control and riding modes, it had practically everything the most modern bikes have. Looking back, it was the epitome of everything I wanted and still want in a luxury touring bike.

BMW dealers though are few and far between, whereas Jap and Harley Dealers are everywhere---just in case.

Sam:)
 

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The "oilhead" boxer bikes of the late '90's had shaft drive but problems with wiring of the crankshaft position sensor, problems with transmission input shaft splines stripping. The next generation (of which my '03 R1150RT is one) had those problems plus ABS issues. The next generation ('05 to '09) fixed the spline and wiring issues but have final drive bearing failures and fuel strip failures (for the fuel gauge). Starting with 2010 the boxer shaft drive bikes have been very reliable. Some believe that the 2012 R1200 bikes are the best boxer bikes BMW has ever made.

That's not saying anything about the other lines of belt and chain driven bikes (the "conventional" type of engine in single, twin, four and six cylinder). Every style and model seems to have some kind of systemic fault that affects a small but significant percentage.
 

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Yeah, the lack of dealers was and is a tough one. That was another reason I left mine go. I had several dealers to choose from in California but after riding it from there back to Texas in December in 91, finding a dealer here was near impossible. The one I did find promptly screwed it up on the very first service. And of course they claimed it wasn’t their doing. Well, they lost a potential buyer in the future as I was thinking about getting a K75 for myself. I loved my wife’s bike. Much more than mine. It was a hot rod compared to the 100. I might have been able to get her back on one but that’s water under the bridge now.
 

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The lack of dealers is a big one.
There used to be several BMW dealers in my area of New Jersey.
Now there are NONE that I know of.
 

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A disproportionate number of the BMW riders I encounter claim to do their own work. The OP indicates he is not that type, and even for those who do work on bikes at home, something as precisely engineered as an S1000R might be too much. The new BMWs are nothing like the old air-cooled oil heads. The flying brick engine seemed to have about 12 moving parts and the tolerances were pretty forgiving. Even I replaced a cylinder head on my R100/7, and I can't even reliably operate a Philips Head screwdriver.

Today's BMWs? Wouldn't dream of touching any of the internals.
 
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