PDA

View Full Version : BMW interstate vs. other interstate bikes


Desert Coyote
04-09-2009, 01:49 PM
Personally I think BMW has a great looking interstate bike and appears to be able to handle interstate travel nicely. I am considering taking up this hobby as well. I spoke to a buddy at the office who does several long trips a year. I asked him his opinion on this bike and he said he has owned two previous BMWs and has switched to the Honda 1800. He said the 2 BMW's had mechanical problems that he expected NOT to have and was unsatisfied with the amount of matenience and tinkering he had to do. He admitted he does not handle major mechanical jobs himself and eventually switched to the Honda, which he loves.

I am looking for other opinions on owning and maintaining a BMW over the others.

Any opinions would be appreciated

Manfred
04-09-2009, 01:57 PM
Having ridden Japanese bikes for 30-odd years, I bought my first BMW last December. What I've discovered is that, among BMW owners, there's lots of diverse opinions about reliability, rideability, handling, etc. Many BMW owners have become cynical about the once revered BMW reputation for quality. "Airheads" - older boxers such as my ride - are simpler and seen by some as "better". The "flying bricks" are great on the highways, not easy to work on. New boxers are great highway flyers as well.

Each bike carries unique characteristics that will attract some and repel others.

It gets back to the old question about buying a PC - the answer about which bike is best for you depends on how you intend to use it and what your preferences are. As I've gotten to know my airhead, I like it more and more.

kurt
04-09-2009, 02:01 PM
The Honda will have better reliability and more torque. The BMW will get better mileage and have better range. The ergonomics are subjective, but I find the Honda cramped for the pilot.

ben1364
04-09-2009, 02:51 PM
The Honda will have better reliability and more torque. The BMW will get better mileage and have better range. The ergonomics are subjective, but I find the Honda cramped for the pilot.

Ditto.

I currently have a GL1800 that took the place of a K12LT. The GL18 has more low end torque, a much better sound system and handles better at parking lot speeds. Other than that, I prefer the K LT though I freely admit to having ridden BMWs for a long, long time and am more used to the ergonomics. Having said the above, for one up touring the R1200RT is my preference bar none. What possessed me to sell my 2005 model, I will never know!

As regards service, a major rap against BMW motorcycles is the small number of widely scattered dealers. On the flip side, most have techs who know how to work on touring bikes and they stock service parts. This isn't the case with a goodly number of Honda dealers.

DaveC
04-09-2009, 04:17 PM
I test rode the Vision. Comfortable, good wind protection, handles very well, doesn't get upset with cross winds, low speed is a breeze and low seat height. It comes in three flavors of standard equipment. The thing I liked the most was the long floor boards, you can ride in the standard position (feet under ) to stretched out. Maintaince is oil, air cleaner and tires. I would have one but my job status precludes any purchase other than cash!
Same price range as the LT and the Wing, the new H/D is said to be well handling also.
Before you plunk down the big bucks do the maintiance math and do test rides.



http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery%20C/Victory%20Vision%20Street%20%201.jpg

Manfred
04-09-2009, 04:21 PM
But the Vision ain't a motorcycle - it's a scooter on steroids! And extremely UGLY! :eek2:






:duck:

sharkey
04-09-2009, 04:28 PM
Ok, I'm just gonna come out and say it - Burgman 650. :duck:

I guess it all depends on what you want. I liked my K75 but it was the first bike I ever owned. Honda Wing, ST1300, Yami FJR, Saki Concourse, BMW RT or LT series, Sprint ST, Guzzi all make some decent mile munchers w/ various strengths and weaknesses.

Only half joking w/ the Burgman, I like riding mine on the interstate. 550mi was most I've done in a day on it. Having floorboards is nice so you can move feet around. Range is limited compared to others. Heck, now that I'm thinking about it, my ZZR600 is a nice interstate bike. :mrgreen:

The Bruce
04-09-2009, 04:41 PM
I spent over a year pondering the same question you have. I rode them all and read as much as I could on the net. Lots of opinions out there. I'm 6'1" and the wing was too cramped. Knees were right up against the fairing. The K1200 was a better fit but just seemed too sterile. It didn't "move" me. I liked the R1200RT but my wife wanted more comfort back there. That was also a big factor. I finally test rode the '09 Ultra Classic and was hooked. The handling is soooo much improved. And the bottom line, it just felt right to me. Go try them all on for size and feel. You'll know when you've go the right one for you.

DaveC
04-09-2009, 04:49 PM
But the Vision ain't a motorcycle - it's a scooter on steroids! And extremely UGLY! :eek2:


:duck:

To be a scooter it must have a CVT or automatic. But what would a guy riding a mid century bike designed in the 20s know about ugly!



:duck:

:rofl:

ben1364
04-09-2009, 05:15 PM
But the Vision ain't a motorcycle - it's a scooter on steroids! And extremely UGLY! :eek2:






:duck:

You are one to talk! <BBG>

Manfred
04-09-2009, 05:18 PM
To be a scooter it must have a CVT or automatic. But what would a guy riding a mid century bike designed in the 20s know about ugly!



:duck:

:rofl:

You're fixin' to put this thread on lock-down! :lol2:

OK, so the vision actually has a manual tranny? Simply means it's confused - kind of half-way between being a man and woman, I mean between a scooter and motorcycle.

FYI - I ride a motorcycle wrapped around an airplane engine! :rider:

ben1364
04-09-2009, 05:23 PM
You're fixin' to put this thread on lock-down! :lol2:

OK, so the vision actually has a manual tranny? Simply means it's confused - kind of half-way between being a man and woman, I mean between a scooter and motorcycle.

FYI - I ride a motorcycle wrapped around an airplane engine! :rider:

I take it that the closest you have been to a Vision is a photograph?

Besides a smooth transmission, the Vision has an engine that can idle without shaking the entire machine and without overheating in 90 seconds.

Manfred
04-09-2009, 05:23 PM
You are one to talk! <BBG>

Must be a young kid who doesn't appreciate the classic style of the much vaunted boxer twin from Bavaria.:trust:

Certainly, you're not referring to my person? I'm nearly as good lookin' as my bike.:dude:

Manfred
04-09-2009, 05:27 PM
I take it that the closest you have been to a Vision is a photograph?

Besides a smooth transmission, the Vision has an engine that can idle without shaking the entire machine and without overheating in 90 seconds.

Wow! Didn't expect that one light-hearted comment of mine to strike such a chord! Of course I've not been closer than a photo - it's scary enough in 2-D.

Regarding shaking the entire machine, I ride a BMW Boxer, not a Harley.

As for over-heating - ain't happened yet.

My airhead has a dry clutch like a Duc, but it ain't like the dry clutch on a Duc.

Look, I have a friend who rides a Harley - I can tolerate a Vision, for somebody else. But I still think it's one of the ugliest, un-motorcycle-like two wheelers in history.

Texas T
04-09-2009, 05:29 PM
Look, I have a friend who rides a Harley - I can tolerate a Vision, for somebody else. But I still think it's one of the ugliest, un-motorcycle-like two wheelers in history. I think it's the motorcycle version of the Ford Taurus... it's something that just has to grow on you for a while and even then you might still reject it. I've seen one in the flesh and it was better looking than in the photos, but it's just not my cup of tea.

ben1364
04-09-2009, 05:32 PM
Must be a young kid who doesn't appreciate the classic style of the much vaunted boxer twin from Bavaria.:trust:

Certainly, you're not referring to my person? I'm nearly as good lookin' as my bike.:dude:

I was "appreciating" my own BMW airheads before you were born, I suspect...

My point was that beauty is subjective. The Vision is a bit "over styled" for my taste but it's a fine high end cruiser and certainly more appealing (to me) than it's domestic competition.

Manfred
04-09-2009, 05:36 PM
I think it's the motorcycle version of the Ford Taurus... it's something that just has to grow on you for a while and even then you might still reject it. I've seen one in the flesh and it was better looking than in the photos, but it's just not my cup of tea.

I kind if like the Ford Taurus :lol2:

I agree - it's a matter of choice. And I am thankful we still have some of that in this country.

Manfred
04-09-2009, 05:40 PM
I was "appreciating" my own BMW airheads before you were born, I suspect...

My point was that beauty is subjective. The Vision is a bit "over styled" for my taste but it's a fine high end cruiser and certainly more appealing (to me) than it's domestic competition.

Thank you for thinking me young. :sun: I'll remember your comment when my daughter comes home from college this evening and reminds me otherwise.

I agree that beauty is subjective and somebody MUST like that thing - or else the taxpayers would own the company. I don't like much in the way of new motorcycles. Glad to have owned some old Yamahas and my current ride - they appeal to me. :-P

Let each find what turns his crank and enjoy the ride. I only hope I don't get stuck behind a Vision. :eek2:

MotoMarkDFW
04-09-2009, 05:51 PM
I test rode the Vision. Comfortable, good wind protection, handles very well, doesn't get upset with cross winds, low speed is a breeze and low seat height. It comes in three flavors of standard equipment. The thing I liked the most was the long floor boards, you can ride in the standard position (feet under ) to stretched out. Maintaince is oil, air cleaner and tires. I would have one but my job status precludes any purchase other than cash!
Same price range as the LT and the Wing, the new H/D is said to be well handling also.
Before you plunk down the big bucks do the maintiance math and do test rides.


I have owned 3 wings including an 08 and ride with some BMW LT riders. I would not spend my hard-earned dollars on a a Harley Ultra, Victory Vision or any other bike with that style of air-cooled engine. I have to be careful with wording as I do ride an air (and oil) cooled bike now. It does have a better design for air flow, though.

I do not see the miles out of those like wings (which I would recommend) or LTs (which have some issues that keep me from recommending them). There are exceptions, but the majority of the wing riders put more miles on than the big V-twin tourers and do not have many problems. Except running off the road in Arkansas like I did and that was my fault.

kurt
04-09-2009, 05:52 PM
I saw a Vision the other day going down 183 during Napalm's test ride day. I can't say I liked it any better in person, but it appeals to a lot of people which is all that counts. If I were to look in that direction again, I'd be back on a Road King or Ultra Glide. I just can't love the LT and the Wing, as mentioned, is just too cramped.

Desert Coyote
04-09-2009, 05:54 PM
Great informaiton here guys... but bare with me please. I asssume "Boxers"
"Flying Bricks" and "Airheads" are a style of bikes..but please verify the styles..

And what do yall me by Ergonomics-:giveup:

kurt
04-09-2009, 06:00 PM
Boxer - BMW opposed twins of all generations

Airheads - older simpler BMW boxers produced up until the mid-90's(??)

Bricks - BMW inline threes and fours (lengthwise instead of cross-ways) with the cylinders across the engine http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/photos/mechanicalphotos/k%20engine%20cutaway.jpg

ben1364
04-09-2009, 06:50 PM
Thank you for thinking me young. :sun: I'll remember your comment when my daughter comes home from college this evening and reminds me otherwise.

I agree that beauty is subjective and somebody MUST like that thing - or else the taxpayers would own the company. I don't like much in the way of new motorcycles. Glad to have owned some old Yamahas and my current ride - they appeal to me. :-P

Let each find what turns his crank and enjoy the ride. I only hope I don't get stuck behind a Vision. :eek2:

My daughter has college age children!

I too like (to look at and play with) old (vintage) bikes, both Cherman and British. I wouldn't however look forward to touring on either. I would prefer to be behind a Vision as opposed to one of it's noisy domestic competitors. Wouldn't you?

Seriously, I doubt that I will ever own a Vision; though stranger things have happened. However, I am impressed with the bike after seeing, riding and listening to it. U S companies can indeed build modern (albeit vintage looking) motorcycles...

Manfred
04-09-2009, 07:30 PM
My daughter has college age children!

I too like (to look at and play with) old (vintage) bikes, both Cherman and British. I wouldn't however look forward to touring on either. I would prefer to be behind a Vision as opposed to one of it's noisy domestic competitors. Wouldn't you?

Seriously, I doubt that I will ever own a Vision; though stranger things have happened. However, I am impressed with the bike after seeing, riding and listening to it. U S companies can indeed build modern (albeit vintage looking) motorcycles...

You are indeed and old person! I pray I reach that age - good on you!

I've ridden my boxer 430 miles on bad tires in one day and, with the Corbin seat, got off with no aches or regrets. Ergonomics of my airhead are as if they were custom made for me - even though the leg and foot room is restricted. I do not like V-twins, period. I would rather ride on my BMW than any other bike I've been on, though I've gone long distance on several Jap bikes.

The current Triumphs do the best job, IMO, of building classic new bikes. But I also dislike chain drive and will not own a street bike with it.

ben1364
04-09-2009, 07:45 PM
You are indeed and old person! I pray I reach that age - good on you!

I've ridden my boxer 430 miles on bad tires in one day and, with the Corbin seat, got off with no aches or regrets. Ergonomics of my airhead are as if they were custom made for me - even though the leg and foot room is restricted. I do not like V-twins, period. I would rather ride on my BMW than any other bike I've been on, though I've gone long distance on several Jap bikes.

The current Triumphs do the best job, IMO, of building classic new bikes. But I also dislike chain drive and will not own a street bike with it.

Yes. I am indeed older than dirt! You must really be young to let someone sel (or give) you a Corbin seat...

One of the sweetest sounding engines on the planet (gospel as opposed to opinion :-) ) is the Moto Guzzi.

Manfred
04-09-2009, 09:04 PM
Yes. I am indeed older than dirt! You must really be young to let someone sel (or give) you a Corbin seat...

One of the sweetest sounding engines on the planet (gospel as opposed to opinion :-) ) is the Moto Guzzi.

I shall call you "Old Ben" :-)

The Corbin was installed on my BMW when I bought it this past December.

I've heard a Moto Guzzi - it's a sweet bike in many ways.

Where in hills do ye live, as few days as ye may yet have?

dukey33
04-09-2009, 10:37 PM
Honda makes excellent appliances.

That being said, if I was picking a luxo tourer without concern for the passenger seat, it would be the 'Wing rather than the LT (the SO tried the pillion on the wing and didn't like it, the LT was the winner for her).

But if you're just solo touring, that opens the door to a wider selection of machines. K13GT would be worth a look. The FJR, C-14 and ST lean a bit too forward for me (personal subjective assessment). R12RT would also catch my eye and there are some others.

After having the LT for over a year now, I am completely spoiled on the amenities. The stereo (albeit not great), heated grips and seats, powered windshield, cruise control, trip computer, luggage space. The quick handling (with respect to its tonnage) is also a very nice amenity.

What I don't like about the LT is some of the finickiness.
-There is exactly one model of radial tires that fit and only two choices for bias-ply tires.
-The long list of parts that are known to fail. It's bad enough, some owners carry certain spare parts on their trips. None of them will cause a catastrophic failure and cause you to immediately crash and die, but are annoying at the very least for a high end motorcycle
-The lack of dealer network. Know how to wrench on the bike yourself if you are going to remote areas. You will be the only one that knows how within a 3 state area.

So far I've had a great experience with the LT, but I've only had it about a year. I don't plan to sell it anytime soon so eventually, I'll have long-term owner experience with it.

hardybaker
04-10-2009, 12:15 AM
I had an LT for a couple of years. I sold it and one of my present bikes is a GL1800. The wings' weight feels to be not only lower, but also to be less. ( and its nearly the same.) Lt's torque can't compare to the GL1800. Yes, it burns more gas but it's worth it to me. Don't get me wrong, I'll never be without a beemer, but no LT's for me. Hardy

ben1364
04-10-2009, 06:09 AM
I shall call you "Old Ben" :-)

The Corbin was installed on my BMW when I bought it this past December.

I've heard a Moto Guzzi - it's a sweet bike in many ways.

Where in hills do ye live, as few days as ye may yet have?

Condolences on the Corbin seat. At least you didn't buy it outright. :-)

I live on the west side of Austin near Lake Travis.

The Bruce
04-10-2009, 09:22 AM
I would prefer to be behind a Vision as opposed to one of it's noisy domestic competitors. Wouldn't you?



My '09 Ultra makes less noise than the Vision I took for a test ride. Just sayin'.

ben1364
04-10-2009, 10:36 AM
My '09 Ultra makes less noise than the Vision I took for a test ride. Just sayin'.

Congratulations! <g>

Manfred
04-10-2009, 10:43 AM
Condolences on the Corbin seat. At least you didn't buy it outright. :-)

I live on the west side of Austin near Lake Travis.

You should make plans to attend the http://harvestclassic.org/ this October - they may bikes as old as you and it's not too far away from your hills. :lol2:

ben1364
04-10-2009, 10:46 AM
You should make plans to attend the http://harvestclassic.org/ this October - they may bikes as old as you and it's not too far away from your hills. :lol2:

Thanks. I intended to go the last couple years and something came up to prevent it. I will try again this year. Under the right circumstances I would consider buying an older airhead...

Gilk51
04-10-2009, 04:08 PM
To be a scooter it must have a CVT or automatic.

Not true - there are still some scooters with standard transmissions and a clutch.
The Allstate/Vespa I had 40 years ago was 4-speed on the left grip (it twisted) along with the clutch lever that rotated with it. The left foot had nothing to do, brakes were same as a MC. Bajaj and some "classic" Vespa models still have the same clutch/transmissions today.

:rider:

The Bruce
04-10-2009, 04:18 PM
Personally I think BMW has a great looking interstate bike and appears to be able to handle interstate travel nicely. I am considering taking up this hobby as well. I spoke to a buddy at the office who does several long trips a year. I asked him his opinion on this bike and he said he has owned two previous BMWs and has switched to the Honda 1800. He said the 2 BMW's had mechanical problems that he expected NOT to have and was unsatisfied with the amount of matenience and tinkering he had to do. He admitted he does not handle major mechanical jobs himself and eventually switched to the Honda, which he loves.

I am looking for other opinions on owning and maintaining a BMW over the others.

Any opinions would be appreciated

Oh, yeah. That's what this thread was about. ;-)

As far as maintenance, they all have quirks. The plastic clad bikes need plastic removed to get to basic things like oil and air filters. I was pleasantly surprised by the 5000 mile routine cycle on the HD with dino oil. The others are probably comparable. Maybe someone that owns one of the others will let you know. HD has hydro lifters so no valve adjustments. All have fuel injection now. More dealers for Harley and Honda than BMW and Victory. You'll find good and bad stories from all dealer shops on repair and maintenance issues.

Manfred
04-10-2009, 04:18 PM
Not true - there are still some scooters with standard transmissions and a clutch.
The Allstate/Vespa I had 40 years ago was 4-speed on the left grip (it twisted) along with the clutch lever that rotated with it. The left foot had nothing to do, brakes were same as a MC. Bajaj and some "classic" Vespa models still have the same clutch/transmissions today.

:rider:

THANK YOU! I am VINDICATED, baby! The Victory Vision IS A SCOOTER! :rofl:

hellcreep
04-10-2009, 04:52 PM
I love me some FJR.

I'd take the Vision over the batfairing triple-paisley Harley, personally.
Beauty is in the eye of the rider!

whitesands
04-11-2009, 01:34 AM
I was looking hard at a BMW and one of the things to consider is that the number of dealers kind of restricts you a bit if you need something...If you need a part and don't want to wait for internet shipping if the BMW dealerships in your area don't have it you're back to the ordering it routine...The chances of this happening are alot higher because the scarcity of BMW dealers in comparison to any of the Japanese brands....That was my only draw back with the BMW..And when you need something "now" it can be fustrating...


As far as reliability, a vehicle can be made with the highest quality components but suffer glitches from design issues...I don't know about BMW's reliability for sure but I've heard of the mechanical issues, but just by inspection BMW's appear to have a very solid build with each part exhibiting alot of attention to detail and this is what I really liked about BMW...But, this doesn't always mean there won't be issues with the function of the different systems...It's kind of odd that you can have high quality while at the same time have only o.k. reliability but this is not uncommon....

ben1364
04-11-2009, 07:09 AM
I was looking hard at a BMW and one of the things to consider is that the number of dealers kind of restricts you a bit if you need something...If you need a part and don't want to wait for internet shipping if the BMW dealerships in your area don't have it you're back to the ordering it routine...The chances of this happening are alot higher because the scarcity of BMW dealers in comparison to any of the Japanese brands....That was my only draw back with the BMW..And when you need something "now" it can be fustrating...


As far as reliability, a vehicle can be made with the highest quality components but suffer glitches from design issues...I don't know about BMW's reliability for sure but I've heard of the mechanical issues, but just by inspection BMW's appear to have a very solid build with each part exhibiting alot of attention to detail and this is what I really liked about BMW...But, this doesn't always mean there won't be issues with the function of the different systems...It's kind of odd that you can have high quality while at the same time have only o.k. reliability but this is not uncommon....

Having owned BMWs for 35 years, I can attest that we are an unforgiving lot and take the company to task for every little niggle. The bikes and cars are far from perfect, but riding/driving them is a pleasure. As far as problems go, the big bikes have had final drive issues for about 12 or 15 years affecting about 3 to 4%, which is far too high in my opinion. They could and should have eliminated the problem. On the other hand, the company has stepped up to the plate and made repairs even to very high mileage bikes that have been well maintained.

BMW needs more dealers without a doubt! The company (BMW NA) is very demanding of it's dealers and make it hard for them (dealers) to make real money. On the plus side, BMW dealers tend to have competent and well trained techs who know the entire line. They also tend to stock the parts necessary to keep folks on the road with minimal delays. There's also a large network of owners and independent techs who willingly provide assistance to club members.

In short, the problems associated with BMWs is, I think overblown, especially considering the fact that BMWs tend to pile up more miles, on average than other brands.

I like my GL18 a lot, but it isn't perfect either, in my opinion. The fuel consumption is, so far, atrocious and it doesn't handle as well as a K LT. I do like the low end torque and the sound system better. I also like having more dealers but note that some sell very few GLs and are consequently not always as prepared to provide service promptly.










mwsare

Skip Honeycutt
04-28-2009, 05:54 PM
I agree with everything Ben says. I'm currently on a BMW 1150RT and really like it. Maintenance comes around a little more often the on my former Honda but not a deal breaker by any means. The one big thing I've noticed is techs at the big 4 Japanese tend to be more experienced with watercraft and ATV's than bikes when compared to BMW dealerships (as BMW doesn't sell watertoys/ATV's). No solid stats, just my personal observations.

Another thing I've noticed is the larger displacement BMW's tend to fit larger people better than the Jap bikes. This can be good or bad depending on which side of the fence you fall on... At 5'10" I'm just (and I do mean just) tall enough to comfortably flat foot my RT whereas the Connie, FJR, and ST Honda all sit at least an inch lower.

Hemibee
04-28-2009, 08:46 PM
Some thing else you need to look at when comparing a honda to a BMW is who owns the company. Generally honda is a company from Japan where they want to make it and never touch it again. BMW is a Bavarian company where the folks like to tincker with their vehicles so it will have a little extra maintenance needed. Both companies produce a good product that will do what they plan for it to do, you just have to decide which is best for you.

With that said, forget both and purchase a HD Ultra Classic and headout on the highways.

The Bruce
04-28-2009, 10:13 PM
Some thing else you need to look at when comparing a honda to a BMW is who owns the company. Generally honda is a company from Japan where they want to make it and never touch it again. BMW is a Bavarian company where the folks like to tincker with their vehicles so it will have a little extra maintenance needed. Both companies produce a good product that will do what they plan for it to do, you just have to decide which is best for you.

With that said, forget both and purchase a HD Ultra Classic and headout on the highways.

:clap::rider:

ben1364
04-29-2009, 05:24 AM
Some thing else you need to look at when comparing a honda to a BMW is who owns the company. Generally honda is a company from Japan where they want to make it and never touch it again. BMW is a Bavarian company where the folks like to tincker with their vehicles so it will have a little extra maintenance needed. Both companies produce a good product that will do what they plan for it to do, you just have to decide which is best for you.

With that said, forget both and purchase a HD Ultra Classic and headout on the highways.

Hilarious!

Hemibee
04-29-2009, 08:19 AM
Hilarious!

Yeah, I know what you mean. It's hard to believe anyone would actually say the honda is a good bike.

Tx Rider
05-18-2009, 12:42 PM
I liked my HD on the interstate, clawed the miles right on down at great MPG.

h2000fb
07-05-2009, 10:24 PM
But the Vision ain't a motorcycle - it's a scooter on steroids! And extremely UGLY! :eek2:
:duck:

And it is not much cheaper. At least not enough to worry about when you are talking about spending this much money for a bike you will be keeping for awhile.

I think the Wing, the BMW LT, and the Ultra Classic are priced fairly close. And the Ultra's are as smooth as any. All three are great touring models and anyone who would argue a vibration issue on Ultras are the same ones who would worry about which is heavier, a yellow jacket or wasp.

Maintenance: There is not a bike company out there that is cheap IF you follow their scheduled maintenance and have all your service work done at the dealer. The one thing I don't understand is WHY put solid lifters in a touring bike when hydraulic is much more maintenance free?

Compared to cars, maintenance $$ for miles traveled, bikes aren't cheap - even if you do the service yourself. But, IMO - most of us do NOT do all the scheduled maintenance designated by the car manufacturers. In general, we just change the oil.

Just ranting... no real purpose. Just no one around the house will listen to me today!

Eric2Tex
07-07-2009, 11:06 AM
Having owned and ridden bmws exclusively for the last 30 years I guess my opinions may be a bit slanted, but frankly, my last and current 2; r1200gs and k1200s have been as reliable as the older bricks and airheads I put just as many miles on. Insurance is cheap, in spite of my spotty driving record, and I do almost all maintenance myself. Never had a FD failure, never check them or worry about them either. I know sooner or later it'll crap out and accept it for what it is. Considering i've spent $0 maintaining that part, I'm not gonna complain when it does go TU.

I'm always amazed that over the years and increases in displacement, fuel mileage has also improved as the engines get more efficent. My first airheads, r75 and r65, were lucky to get 40 mpg on the highway; however the new boxers can easily get 45mpg when cruising with nearly twice the displacement and 3-4 times the power. The r12 series are great highway bikes, with good ergos and lots of luggage space. Mine now has 70k miles. Although it stripped the tranny input shaft splines at 52k ($1100 covered by extended warranty) its been the most reliable of them all, never failed to start, even in sub freezing temps and had only 2 minor issues under warranty, a scratched tach bezel and minor fd leak.

Maintenance isn't much of an issue for me, change the oil every 6k miles, check the valves every 10k or so, replace tires as needed. Plugs look like new and have 50k plus, and i recently replaced the alternator belt, which was due at 36k. Hardest maintenance is the flushing\changing the servo brake fluid which takes an hour or so.

Both of my beemers were some of the first to roll off the line, aka as beta
testers, and i've been pleasantly surprised by their reliablity.

ben1364
07-07-2009, 12:35 PM
Having owned and ridden bmws exclusively for the last 30 years I guess my opinions may be a bit slanted, but frankly, my last and current 2; r1200gs and k1200s have been as reliable as the older bricks and airheads I put just as many miles on. Insurance is cheap, in spite of my spotty driving record, and I do almost all maintenance myself. Never had a FD failure, never check them or worry about them either. I know sooner or later it'll crap out and accept it for what it is. Considering i've spent $0 maintaining that part, I'm not gonna complain when it does go TU.

I'm always amazed that over the years and increases in displacement, fuel mileage has also improved as the engines get more efficent. My first airheads, r75 and r65, were lucky to get 40 mpg on the highway; however the new boxers can easily get 45mpg when cruising with nearly twice the displacement and 3-4 times the power. The r12 series are great highway bikes, with good ergos and lots of luggage space. Mine now has 70k miles. Although it stripped the tranny input shaft splines at 52k ($1100 covered by extended warranty) its been the most reliable of them all, never failed to start, even in sub freezing temps and had only 2 minor issues under warranty, a scratched tach bezel and minor fd leak.

Maintenance isn't much of an issue for me, change the oil every 6k miles, check the valves every 10k or so, replace tires as needed. Plugs look like new and have 50k plus, and i recently replaced the alternator belt, which was due at 36k. Hardest maintenance is the flushing\changing the servo brake fluid which takes an hour or so.

Both of my beemers were some of the first to roll off the line, aka as beta
testers, and i've been pleasantly surprised by their reliablity.

The internet "wisdom" says that you are lying through your teeth. Your experience is similar to mine so I guess that proves that I too am a liar. ;-)

Abby
07-07-2009, 12:57 PM
2009 H-D Ultra Classic The ultimate touring motorcycle. It has it all !

houstonmike
07-07-2009, 01:08 PM
The hd does have it all, except water cooling, doesn't shake it's parts off going down the road, and the monumental amount of superior engineering the Goldwing1800 has. Just kidding Tim. saw your post and couldn't resist. Ride what you love and love what you ride is what I say. I will say I have had Hd, Yamahas, etc. and I absolutely love my Wing. It is the best bike for me.:rider:

Abby
07-07-2009, 01:28 PM
Mikie, you aint right !!! Thats why you ride in the back, to pick up the parts.:lol2:

BigChiefWoody
07-12-2009, 10:26 PM
Here's another good option..have you looked at the Triumph Rocket III Touring yet? Then you could have the best of a lot of worlds..more torque than you'll ever need (unless of any great weight gain by you or your spouse), it doesn't look like a spaceship, you'll have a bike that's different and way cooler that all of your neighbors, and to top it all off....you won't have to dress like it's Pirate Day to ride it!

Down Under
07-15-2009, 09:21 PM
Over the past 19 years I've ridden mainly BMW work motorcycles. My current mount is the R1200RTP. If I was considering a tourer, BMW wouldn't be on my list.

The reason being (in Oz anyway): not enough BMW dealerships, it is not a myth about BMW bikes becoming unreliable - they are! I don't want to offend any BMW owners but I'm speaking in regards to our experience with them.

As an example, my current bike had the engine seize at 5000 k's, ignition barrel replaced x 2, fuel gauge only works when it feels like it, rear brake master cyclinder replaced, siren driver replaced x 3, blown 5 headlamp globes, rear extendable mud gaurd fell off, horn switch replaced. It's only 16 months old! As BMW don't stock parts in the country, a break down can see your bike off the road for up to 6 weeks while parts are brought in from Germany. If your unlucky enough to have a major breakdown, or need something repaired under warranty, you may have to travel a lot miles to find a BMW dealership.

My bike isn't an isolated example. Many of my colleagues have had similar problems with engines seizing and drive shaft failures and countless other minor faults. As a consequence, BMW are no longer contracted to supply our bikes, we are supplied exclusively by Yamaha.

The earlier model BMW's were very reliable, but it appears as their engineering has become more complex, proportionally their reliability has decreased.

The beauty of Jap bikes is that there are dealerships everywhere. Most bike mechanics can work on them. Parts are readily available, if not, are shipped quickly. Generally, Jap tourers are less expensive to purchase, maintain and perform as well, if not better than BMW bikes anyway. Hope this helps your decision.