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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI ya'll!
Remember the thread that I posted about What bike would you like to own?
I said the BMW R12s. Well, today I took the candystriped R12 for a little ride! Store located in North Houston in the Woodlands. OMG! It is so smooth and Torque!! Effortless power/acceleration in any gear! There weren't any curvy roads to test on, but I'm in love with this bike!! The seating position is ultra comfortable and I'm sure I wouldnt mind taking a little trip on it! The handlebars are just high enough, but not to high to take away from a semi aggressive sportbike position, and the footpegs are also at a comfortable spot, no leg cramps! Red line I think was 8500. Cruising about 70ish felt like I wasn't moving keeping the RPM's below 4500rpm as requested by Jim.
It will more than likely be my next bike, but not for about a year; that's only 365 days!!
Just wanted to share this moment with you guys!
denee'


 

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Sounds like you need one:thumbup
 

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Nice, I didn't think I'd like that color scheme from the sounds of it but I do like it.

Of course we all know you and know you'll opt to get the +5HP Yellow Paint job right? :devious
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mine would YELLOW, but I'm sure ya'll already knew that!!
 

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I rode BMW's for 28 years and over 500,000 miles.....
I never ever had one let me down.
They are probably the most comfy sporting motorcycle I've ever ridden.
I'll forever have a soft spot in my heart for BMW motorcycles.
Regards Sonny
 

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Well, I still have a soft spot in my heart for my '88 R100RS... but it DID let me down - damn electrics. My uncle still razzes me about legendary german engineering :laugh (he was still riding his old goldwing at the time) Cool bike though.

I do like the S, Denee. Nice balance of sport and mile eating comfort. Some of the electronics they are building into some of their new bikes make me nervous though. Power brakes on a bike? :coocoo
 

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Man, what the heck Electrics in a 88 BMW RS malfunctioned? Even my old 73 model with over 100,000 on it never hiccuped....Paper fuses and basically a nail for a key:laugh. Yours had to be something really Freaky! Speaking of old Goldwings, I have seen quite a few of the old ones "dead" because the rear drive splines all wore out. I guess everything gets old and breaks sometime.
Regards Sonny
 

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My dad's 85 R100RT craped out all the time till he eventually ended up putting in all aftermarket charging stuff and an aftermarket front fairing section to generate more air flow. It seems this is a major issue with airheads of the era according to my dad and bmwmoa. Even my dad's 68 left him stranded a few times (ignition coils mostly). He was a die hard BMW guy till I got a honda. My $600 1985 honda proved drastically more reliable than his BMW's ever did, dito for the TL:)

You should read the BMW section at advrider, they go through final drives more frequently than I do chains. Seriously, they seem to think 30k out of a ($2500) final drive unit is great:dowhat

I like the old BMW's (like my dad's '68), but the days of BMW's being ultra reliable are long gone imho. I'd say that now they are much worse than the jap bikes, probably similar to a ducati or harley:O
 

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Actually the only time the drive splines on BMW's go out is when they havn't been greased at the prescribed interval.
I've heard more problems here with BMW's then I've seen in almost 30 years of riding, going to BMWMOA rallies,
and working at shops!
Having owned a 1973, 1976, 1977,1984, and 1998.......the first 4 being air cooled,
I can attest that they run much cooler then my TLR could ever think about in hot weather.
....1973 (102,000mi) 1976 (56,000mi), 1977 (276,000mi) 1984 (92,000mi), and 1998 (39,000mi).
.....Total list of problems that needed immediate attention:
1 Oil sending switch on the 73 at 61,000 miles
1 Gas cap,(malfunctioning key) in the 1977 at 15?,000 miles


I changed my oil and filter at every 3,000 miles, adjusted/checked my valves,
at every 6,000 miles, Changed Trans, final drive, and drive shaft oil at 12,000 mile intervals.
Output splines were greased once per year, along with wheel bearings.

Equally maintained, Honda's will be no more reliable then a BMW. Ducati's and Harleys
don't even stand a prayer. Go to a BMW shop and check out the average miles on their used bikes,
then go to any other brand shop and compare, and see what you come up with.:laugh

Can things break or go wrong, sure, they do with every man made item ever made.

Regards Sonny
 

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Its not so much the splines, but the tapered bearing that go on the newer BMW's, the GS's anyway.

Seriously, I know the old ones did well (mostly), but with equal maintance a newer model isn't very likely to last half as well as a honda. Tones of final drive failures before even the 20k mile mark. Again, this is with the GS's because that's what I like and read up on. Go poke around at G-spot on advrider and you'll see what I mean!
 

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You have to watch the bearing on anything off road more, and especially the single sided swingarms.
People tend to run the crap out of GS's. A bearing that's gone in 20,000 is a bearing that hasn't been serviced!
I'll stand by my statement....equally serviced a Honda won't outlast a BMW,
the mileage numbers Vs repairs don't back up the Honda's ability to last any longer.
I've ridden with a fair amount of "wingnuts" most are long time riding buddies,
they have their woes just like anyone else.
Regards Sonny
 

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The bearing is in oil bath and not ment to be serviced!
 

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BikePilot said:
The bearing is in oil bath and not ment to be serviced!
What bearing are you talking about? I'm not aware of any Oil bath bearings in the rear of BMW's
....are you talking about the Pinion bearing?....................
If you have a link to this problem, I'd be interested in seeing it.
I'm at a loss as to what it is exactly that your talking about.
Regards Sonny
 

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Yep, I think its the pinion bearing. I've not actually seen one in person, just read lots of failure reports at Advrider. I fancy a adv type bike and have been researching GS's for years as I've always liked them (growing up on BMW boxers and all). After researching them I've come to the conclusion that they are terrible in terms of reliability. Sure there are lots of them with a hundred thousand miles, but it seems that more often than not you could have bought a new bike for the amount spent on repairs. I'll post a link shortly
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wish I could edit this post and remove that large picture! It screws up what everyone writes! Why when you post two or more pictures, the first comes out normal and the rest are too large!!?
Keep talking Bike Pilot, I want to hear everything bad about this/these bikes before I would dish out 18k! Does it matter if one just doesn't take care of the bike; maintenance you think? or it's just poor design?
denee'
 

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Denee, I don't know anything about the bike you test rode, everthing I've mentioned has been about the 1100, 1150 and 1200 GS series bikes. I do fear that the bike you test rode probably has a lot in common with the 12GS though.

I don't know what's up with the picture - usually photobucket will re-size them for you. You can always re-size the pics before uploading them to be on the safe side if you want (plus the upload won't take as long) or use postwhore with click for biguns:devious

I started out really likeing BMW's, after all the first motorcycle I ever rode on (passenger) was a '68 boxer I think, followed by a 85 R100RT. The are interesting bikes to be sure, but the more I look into them the less I like them.......

Basic things to look into are:
Final drive issus
Hall sensor failures
Brake Failures (especially the ABS bikes)
Oil Sight Glass poping out and causing a fire (not to mention loss of oil).
Transmission Issues

For SonnyD

New 12GS failures
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163762

General final drive heartburn
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164831

More final drive failures
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94164&highlight=final+drive+failure
Recent poll
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163776

Transmission issues - seems to be less common than final drive failures, but way more common than it should be.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164443


Folks actually trying to carry spare final drives with them:dowhat
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163956&highlight=final+drive+failure

Brake Failure, also not so bad as final drives, but still over 10% on the poll (I know, not scientific, but scary none the less).
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50373&highlight=final+drive+failure

Random dude with a troubled 12GS
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134604&highlight=final+drive+failure

This dude went through 3 FD's in 32k miles (chains last longer than that!)
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119002&highlight=final+drive+failure

More FD troubleshttp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95417&highlight=final+drive+failure
 

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I don't think I'd be too concerned about the failure. About 40 forum members had problems, out of the 1000's of bikes sold. Kind of like here and broken frames, and the Yamaha forum and R6 tranny problems, and probably every forum you can find. Forums are notorius for drawing disgruntled people. I wouldn't let it stop me from buying the bike.
Regards Sonny
 

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Yeah, there's definately a sampling issue to be considered, but when you look at the forums for DL's, Capro's Tigers etc you don't see a similar level of noise about failures, no where close actually.

Its far from certain that one will have problems but its also far from certain one won't. Its worrying that several folks seem to think it normal to replace a final drive every 50k or so and that many have had to do it more often. Worse, a guy I know with a GS has been through 3 final drives with just relaxed street riding/commuting in less than 40k miles.

Then there was they guy who left his bike idling and came back to find it on fire. Turns out BMW says that's normal, your not supposed to let it idle (obvious on an air cooled motor, but fire:dowhat). It seems that at some tempature the sight glass pops out on the new hex heads and oil shoots onto the exhaust header....

Overall, just too many things to worry about for me to seriously consider one as compared to the alternatives. No bike is perfect to be sure, but some are a heck of a lot less work to keep going than others and I can't stand when things break.
 

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well let me put in my 2 cents here. I dont often bring up my dad, but i have to let you guys know about his riding history. He is now in his late 50's and has settled with a kawasaki vulcan classic( and one old non-running indian that is begging to be lit on fire and put out of its misery). Big harley looking thing. He loves the way that bike fits him ( hes a big big dude) and thats what keeps him on that bike. In his youth he raced dirt and flat track. Private rides and sponsored rides. He at one time had 12 motorcycles in his garage. He has had everything from a bultaco to a royal enfield. He has done all types of riding; from long distance touring, trials riding( not trail riding- but he did alot of that as well) ,racing- you name it hes done it. He even rode an 83 yamaha XT250 from florida to washington state (WTF). We dont see eye to eye on many things and we are not as close as i wish we were, but when it comes to bikes, i trust his advice.
When I told him about my discomfort on a my recent 600 mile plus day on the tiller, he suggested the BMW k1200rs to me. He has had several beemers over the years and has a definite soft spot for them. I dont know all the models he has had but he found them to be very reliable with proper maintenance habits. He doesnt favor them for nostalgic reasons, he favors them for the reliablitly that they showed him. He has ridden just about everyday since he was a child and i think his opinion matters when it comes time for me to buy something else.
Alot of the FD issues with bmw's i have read about seem to be GS related. And thats not concerning me as that isnt the model i am interested in. Unless something really grabs my fancy between now and next spring, my next scooter will be a beemer. Itll be nice to keep the tiller and still have it for a hot rod, but i need to find something more humane to take on the long rides that i am prone to taking.
Another thing i have noticed, is that when i am at the big bike events( bike week and biketoberfest in daytona) i get to talk to lots of people on all sorts of bikes. With no other brand do i find such owner loyalty. Beemer guys( and gals) always say that they LOVE their bikes. Im sure every brand has its problems, but i think a properly cared for beemer will last you much longer that most other bikes on the road. As i have started shopping around, i have seen several 1999 or newer models with well over 60k on the clocks. Those miles didnt get there by sitting in the shop. And as far as that goes, i havent seen many of our type of bikes with near that mileage.
I say go for it, that bike is hot.
 

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Very Sound reasoning. Your Dad and I are practically the same age, I'll be 57 in a few weeks so I'll call that late 50's. You have to look at the BMW yearly mileage awards, it's not uncommon to see 40-50-60 thousand miles....and for those that don't know, those are tabulated for 6 months, not 12! Back in 1980 I put 61,000 miles on my 73 R75 in 12 months, which was nothing compared to the mileage winner that year.
I'm a very loyal Beemerhead, my next bike would be another one if I hadn't already spent close to 30 years on them. But if you gave me my choice of any bike made to go from coast to coast, it would be a BMW.
Regards Sonny
 
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