Friday, August 01, 2008

Review of the First 100k Miles


Tail of the Dragon

Over and above normal maintenance and service items, and apart from any damage caused by accidents, I've had to replace the components listed below. (I include brake components, since this machine seems to eat them up. As I write this, my front brake discs and rear brake pads are again in need of replacement.)

The list is surprising, considering I'm a fairly conservative rider, have rarely taken the bike over 90 mph, avoid hard braking and, unlike Charley Boorman on all his GS adventures, I've never done wheelies with this bike. I intend to hold on to it a long time (if I can afford it!)

New, the bike cost $18,610, including panniers and top box. The "extraordinary" costs below, if paid out-of-pocket (a number of them were covered by warranty), would run another $15,000 - 80% of the cost of the new bike. (Parts, labor and tax rates vary widely, however based upon my first-hand experience, this is a fairly reasonable estimate.)

I think it's time for another "conversation" with BMW of North America. What I would like to ask them: "is this considered normal 'wear and tear'?" If so, you might want to budget a bit higher when considering the purchase of a new BMW R1200GS (and check if the new "extended warranties" cover the following items.)

Battery
Brake disc, front (6)
Brake disc, rear (3)(1 probably replaced unnecessarily)
Brake pads, front (3 sets, 12 pads)
Brake pads, rear (6 sets, 12 pads)
Charcoal canister
Clutch assembly (2)
Clutch cable
Drive shaft
Drive shaft boots
Fuel pump regulator (fuel pump electronics)(2)
Fuel gauge (replaced fuel pump assembly)
Seal, clutch input shaft
Seal, rear axle, inner
Seal, rear axle, outer (2)
Seal, speedometer pick-up
Seal, transmission, rear
Speedometer (replaced instrument cluster)
Splash guard rear (2)(Did not replace after 2nd one broke)
Spring strut, front
Spring strut, rear
Starter
Top box (inadequate fastening system)
Transmission

I see on-line that many GS owners have complained of corrosion, especially of the front engine (or alternator) cover. Some had the cover replaced under warranty. I noted this very early on, but simply considered it cosmetic and have never bothered.

I'm (now) told that problems are common with any new design. The Germans refer to the new model gremlins as kinderkrankenheiten.

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