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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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Bike vs Car reliability

Hi,

Just wondering.
I have a 1997 BMW 328 convertible which I have owned for over 3 years. It has over 197,000km, (based in Kuwait) and apart from replacing the air mass flow meter last year, it has been running like a dream.
Can I expect similar reliability if I was to buy a brand new BMW R1200 gsa.
How many miles are they good for?
I know that in the past I would stay clear of cars approaching 100,000 miles, and any bike with more than 20,000 miles. But it seems that technology has moved on. Does this mean that they are making more reliable and robust motorcycles? I would like to think that if I bought a brand new R 1200 gsa for a RTW that I'd be able to keep it for many years to come after the trip, or is this just a pipe dream, and will I have to sell it soon after 30-40,000km?

Appreciate your thoughts and knowledge on this matter.

regards
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  #2  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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It depends really on your willingness to work on a vehicle and technical expertise. The cost of labour in thew western world is the main reason most people throw away their cars at 100,000 miles or so...the minute any engine comopnent goes or suspension part is replaced...economically its cheaper not to pay for 14 hours labour and just to 'buy a new one'.

Doesn't mean the car is toast though...far from it and a short journey into some of the more third world countries people travel in will testament to this. Was in cambodia last year travelling on a bus with 646,000 on the clock...i then noticed it had stopped moving.

Your question is really...hwo long will i be arsed to hold onto it. You should easily get 100000 out of the BMW with a little TLC and care. I think i'm going to try and run my XT660 into the ground and see how many miles i can get out of it.
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  #3  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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Well my trusty Yamaha 250 Serow's now 2 years & 3 months old and has covered 60,000km's without a single fault.

The only work I've done has been totally standard servicing e.g. oil, filters, plugs, brake pads & tyres.

Cheap biking or what!

And she rides like there's plenty left to come.
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  #4  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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The bike vs car thing is not about reliablity, money, safety ..

It is a life style .. that is why most ride rather than anything else.
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  #5  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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The BMW R100RS boxer twin I owned in the 80's did over 225,000 miles. 200,000 of them with me on it. I didn't do any major work to it. The engine never came out of the frame. I changed the big end bearings and piston rings at 100,000 for safety not because they needed it and gave it a decoke. The only breakdowns I had were the alternator packing up and a carb diaphragm splitting. The only expensive part to wear out was the bevel drive. It was still running when I parted with it.
I wonder if the current BMW range will give such good service!
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  #6  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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BMW's with BIG mileages

I have owned 2 BMW K100's (ok its a 4 cylinder fuel injected lump not the same as an airhead i know) but they had over 300,000 miles on them when i sold them.
The last one I think went to a guy in Sweden, i sold it ( well my mate did, I had no internet) on ebay for 300 quid and he rode it back to sweden from Milton Keynes.
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Old 6 Jan 2008
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all about the oil

bike reliability comes down to servicing. If you keep on top of everything you could keep one going indefintely in theory. Admitedly it might end up a bit like trigger broom (only fools and horses), i.e the same broom, had 5 new handles and 6 new heads.

Things that help keep your engine going:
oil, oil and oil - keep it fresh and full
compression test - this will let you know early on if you need to service the valves, put new rings in etc.
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  #8  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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People have mentioned servicing the bike as being an important factor and that's right, but the 1200GS is a beast that can have problems you can not fix yourself, nor any moto repair shop other than a BMW shop that is properly equipped. Even then, they may need to have parts sent in.

The well earned, but now past reputation of the BMW GS being a first pick for RTW travel has flown by with all it's 'new and better' improvements. I would never chose this bike for RTW travel.

The manufacturer, BMW, earned their reliability reputation when other bikes were not reliable, giving them that edge. This has long since changed.
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  #9  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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Hi,

Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts on this matter.
How often is an oil change recommended on motorcycles and on cars, and is fully synthetic, grade 1 oil the real way forward in maintaing your vehicle?

regards
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  #10  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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went shopping with the wife today in her fiat panda 770cc engined car. I noticed teh tickover was a little fast. Should I check the tappets? as I have never had the lid off the motor. Change oil and filters regularly. Reason I ask is it turned over 101,000 miles on the way to teh shops.
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  #11  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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still a long way to go....

G·day all.
I took a ride in an old mercedes cab that had rounded 1.000.000 km·s!!!!
The driver, about 80 years of age,who had driven the car from new, died a month later and his family/friends scrapped the merc. Quite a petty really. Sounded like an old tractor but had kept on taxy·ing on!
Obviously this is only possible/legal in a little countryside area in the north of some laid back country like....Spain. Good and bad to be said about this.
Cheers ans Peace,
Dan
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  #12  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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Wink A thought or two

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rider View Post
The manufacturer, BMW, earned their reliability reputation when other bikes were not reliable, giving them that edge. This has long since changed.

In general, I go with Lone Riders' view on reliability; we will never know exactly what is happening with BMW motorbike reliability statistics, or any other manufacturer for that matter; they don't really like to discuss these things.

Car magazines do reliability surveys based on large samples (statistically significant etc) but I have never seen the same done for bikes, more the pity; the thread on here for KTM problems is a good attempt to gather information, but it is still a smallish sample and no one is analysing the data (I am not offering to do the latter!).

Cars: bikes have a 2 year warranty in the UK (& Europe I guess) and a 3 year warranty in the USA (BMWs anyway, not sure about the rest). Why is that? it is the same basic product - the answer will be consumer pressure.
So, for cars - well lots of new cars sold in the UK have a 3 year warranty, some have a 5 year, and one or two models of car have recently offered a 7 year warranty.
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Old 8 Jan 2008
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A warranty is worth nothing when you're stuck in the middle of Mongolia with a duff ABS system which prevents the bike from being ridden. I'd prefer the simple simpler mechanics of a previous age.
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  #14  
Old 8 Jan 2008
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Warranties are time, mileage and location specific

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavens angel View Post
Hi,

But it seems that technology has moved on. Does this mean that they are making more reliable and robust motorcycles? I would like to think that if I bought a brand new R 1200 gsa for a RTW that I'd be able to keep it for many years to come after the trip, or is this just a pipe dream, and will I have to sell it soon after 30-40,000km?

Appreciate your thoughts and knowledge on this matter.

regards

Totally agree harleyrider, and the same goes for Morocco:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ting-out-32094

I have put in the thoughts about warranties to contribute something to the question of "have bikes become more reliable/robust?".

Personally, I don't know; no firm conclusive evidence seems to exist because the manufs are not going to cooperate on that information. But, the warranty situation may show that the manufacturers themselves have more faith in their 4 wheel products than in their 2 wheels (a new van in the UK can be supplied with a 100,000 mile warranty for commercial use BTW, but you would be lucky to get that for a car).

On the other hand, warranties in Europe are of no use a 1/2 hour ferry journey away in Africa, and I would imagine that one from the USA would not be valid in, say, Europe - but they are the same products.

Warranties are limited by time, geographical location and mileage run, so maybe the manufs are not so confident of their products after all; it could all be a marketing device based on consumer pressure. More cars = more pressure = a better warranty?
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  #15  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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Hi,
Excuse my ignorance but I thought that vehicles' warranties were international, the same way that if you bought a Sony laptop, you get get it repaired underwarranty at any authorised dealer abroad.

So why is it not the same for vehicles?
What are the manufacturers worried about?
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