Monday, May 22, 2006

A "Conversation" with BMW Motorrad USA


Ushuaia, Argentina


Following my "Americas Trip", I thought it would be useful to contact BMW Motorrad USA to discuss issues I experienced with the new bike. Below is the full extent of the "conversation". (As the webmaster assured, no one contacted me to discuss these issues.)

-----Original Message-----

From: timtraveler@msn.com
Sent: 5/15/2006 12:00:00 AM
To: webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com
Subject: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor

Timothy Campion sent the following message from the site:

I just completed an eleven-month 46,000-mile ride around the Americas, from Prudhoe
Bay to Tierra del Fuego.

I was riding a 2005 R1200GS.

I would like to discuss my experiences, both good and bad, as it relates to this machine.

Who would be the appropriate contact?

Sincerely,

Timothy Campion
Kenwood, CA

timtraveler@msn.com



-----Original Message-----
From: Webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com [mailto:Webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com]
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 2:07 PM
To: timtraveler@msn.com
Subject: RE: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor
[1-393814275]

Dear Mr. Campion,

Thank you for contacting BMW Motorrad USA. We appreciate your interest in providing a testimonial of your adventures.

If you would like to submit your story, please visit http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/bikes/submit_testimonial.jsp. We look forward to hearing your story. Please note that these submissions are reviewed by BMW Motorrad USA management.

If you have any further questions, please respond to this e-mail or contact the Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-800-831-1117      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time.

Regards,

BMW Motorrad USA



-----Original Message-----

From: timtraveler@msn.com
Sent: 5/15/2006 12:00:00 AM
To:
Subject: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor [1-393814275]

It is part testimonial, part critique and feedback loop for engineers and designers.

Numerous issues plagued me early on:

Clutch failure
Output shaft seal failure
Clutch seal failure
Rear drive seal failure
Premature brake pad and disc failures (front and rear)
Rear mudguard failure (twice before removing altogether)
Fuel pump control unit failure
Speedometer failure
Electronics anomalies
Front fender design flaw (resulting in numerous falls!)
And more...

That said, the bike is still an awesome and outstanding machine!

But it is not such a simple story, or testimonial. I would appreciate having access to someone who would actually "listen" and respond. I am certain future riders would benefit.

Sincerely,

Timothy Campion



-----Original Message-----
From: Webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com [mailto:Webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com]
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 2:58 PM
To: timtraveler@msn.com
Subject: RE: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor
[1-393814275]

Dear Mr. Campion,

You may submit your details via this email string. I'll be happy to forward it on for review. While I cannot guarantee that someone will call you to discuss these matters personally, I can guarantee that your feedback will be heard.

Regards,
BMW Motorrad USA



-----Original Message-----

From: timtraveler@msn.com
Sent: 5/22/2006 12:00:00 AM
To:
Subject: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor [1-393814275]

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this feedback.

Please see the following link where I have detailed all the service and
repairs for my R1200GS during a 46,000-mile Prudhoe Bay to Tierra del Fuego
ride.

http://bmwr1200gsservicehistory.blogspot.com/


The following items are noteworthy for a new motorcycle:

6,000 miles: output shaft seal and clutch failure (replace both)

10,613 miles: rear mudguard sheared off from vibration (replaced, and that
one too failed at 31,000 miles.)

18,310 miles: clutch slave cylinder seal failed

19,192 miles: front brake discs warped (these discs had been installed new at 4,000 miles, when I changed the bike over to spoked wheels for the journey.)

22,735 miles: fuel gauge failure (fuel pump assembly replaced)

26,550 miles: fuel pump regulator failed (in Mexico. Pushed bike back to U.S.!)

31,000 miles; Rear mud guard sheared off again (weakness in mounting configuration)

35,600 miles: speedometer failure

37,700 mile: rear drive seal fails

38,420 miles: rear drive and brake rotor failed (rotor cupped)

38,420 miles: front discs warped again (for several thousand miles)

Quite a list, and several $1,000s more than I would hope to spend on a new bike!

The good news is that the R1200GS is a real work horse. I traveled fully-loaded for 11 months, through all kinds of weather and terrain.

And, for the past 15,000 miles it has required no repairs, other than tires and brake pads.

By the way: this bike really eats up rear brake pads (every 6 to 8,000 miles.) Other riders claim this is due to a loose rear drive that causes a slight shimmy in the rear end, resulting in the pads riding the disc more than they should.

I know the fuel pump regulator has been addressed in a recall. That was a nasty one: I was stranded in Mexico when it failed, forced to have the bike hauled to near the border, then PUSHED the bike eight miles (in summer heat) across the border into Brownsville, TX.

And even then, BMW Roadside Assistance could offer no assistance in the Brownsville area. The nearest service was in San Antonio, a towing cost of over $1,000!)(Needless to say, I repaired it myself in Brownsville, with parts shipped in at my expense.)

Another MAJOR problem for the R1200GS is (was?) the lack of front tires in Central and South America. I finally found them in Santiago, Chile, after beginning my search in Panama! (I had one flown from the U.S. to Peru for about $350 in shipping costs!) Dealers simply don't (or at least, didn't) stock them!

I would be very interested in feedback on these issues.

Sincerely,

Timothy Campion
Kenwood, California

The full story of my journey can be found at:

http://timtraveler.com



-----Original Message-----
From: Webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com [mailto:Webmaster@bmwmotorcycles.com]
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 6:30 AM
To: timtraveler@msn.com
Subject: RE: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor [1-393814275]

Dear Mr. Campion,

Thank you for the detailed feedback. I will forward this information to the engineering department here at BMW Motorrad USA.

Regards,
BMW Motorrad USA

Thursday, May 18, 2006

54,250 miles

Top box falls off


Within months of purchasing my bike, I began the practice of strapping the top box in place for added security. Despite the added security of a nylon strap, I lost the top box after hitting a small bump. The box, containing my laptop computer, bounced down the road.

At the California Adventure Rally last year, I spoke with another GS rider who said he had lost three top boxes! (That is why I began strapping the box in addition to latching it in place.)

Top box is now unusable. (New one is approximately $530!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

53,000 miles

Speedometer failure (intermittent)

Speedometer continues to fail intermittently. It usually will recover after a re-start, or even after a period of continuous riding.