Why BMW Released Bike With So Many Problems? - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Why BMW Released Bike With So Many Problems?

I’m Not Bashing! I know the good out ways the bad and I plan on buying one in 2013, or 14, After BMW fixes all the problems.

BMW had several of these bikes road tested for 10's of thousands of miles before releasing them to the public so how could they have possibly missed all of these problems?

I have owned several bikes over the past 20 years and bought my first Harley in 2009. The handful of problems I have had with it has me doubting Harleys quality control and has me moving on to another brand. I am now concerned I would be switching from one problem bike to another by leaving Harley for BMW.

The GTL is the frontrunner but Im realizing it has 3 times the problems my Harley has and makes me glad I didnt purchase a pre-order model. Lots of jokes on here about being BETA testers and talk about current owners wanting to buy a 2013 in hopes it will be better.


Did they release this bike knowing it had all of these problems? Am I making a mistake switching to BMW?


I have been in the auto industry for 20 years and fully understand how things are designed, built and tested and know that BMW could have corrected 99% of these before it released them to the public "if" they wanted to.
  • Ipod
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Cluster Fogging Up
  • Headlamp Spotting
  • Switch Failures
  • Water Pump
  • Software Updates
  • Radiator Cap
  • Dipstick
  • Pull To The Left
  • Chrome Trim Falling Off
  • Windshield
  • Crooked Handlebars
  • ABS
  • Squeaky Suspension
  • Trunk Delamination
  • Etc….
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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Default No Worries

I've also owned a lot of bikes and driven hundreds of thousands of miles over the past 25+ years, and my experience has been that you buy what makes you feel good, not what is fault free. HD is not fault free, but where I live, it is the main brand that people buy. I believe that is because it makes them feel good, look cool, or whatever; but I know that they didn't buy it because their primary concern was to buy a bike they never had to take to the shop.

I bought the GTL because I wanted the creature comforts for my wife and me, a smooth and quiet ride and long range while getting 50+ MPG. The Wing is a nice bike (I've owned three of them), but they get nowhere near 50 MPG.

I work to pay my bills and put food on the table, but my mind is always thinking about the next adventure on a motorcycle. Both me and my wife live to be out in the open air, flying smoothly down the road. If I have to deal with a little issue every now and then, so be it. I can also tell you about a terrible hurricane-like rain storm that I had to drive through on the GTL not too long ago. Even with my many years of experience, I was scared, but the GTL was sure-footed and got me through it without any close calls. Going through something like will make you realize just how little all of the small issues are that we deal with (like a USB issue) really means. My GTL took care of me when I really needed her; so I'll take care of her when she needs me to I should also mention that out of your list, I have only experienced one thing (a switch failure). Some of the things you mention, I have never heard of, and one is resolved by changing tires (not a problem of the K1600).

Honestly, for someone that has never owned a K1600, and with all of the concerns that you have, I recommend that you purchase a different bike, because if you did buy one, and you ran into any issue with it, I can see you talking badly about the bike to others; trying to make people who own one feel bad about their purchase, and giving the wrong impression to those looking to buy one. None of what I say is meant to blast you either, but rather to help you from making a purchase you will regret later. Also, I'm not a fortune-teller, but I'm certain that a 2013 or 2014 model isn't going to make a difference for you, as you will always find people experiencing issues with every year of every bike. If you love to ride though, you really should do yourself a favor and get on a bike and enjoy doing something that can bring so much joy. Never put off tomorrow for what you can do today, for tomorrow can be taken away from you.

Ride Safe,

Texas
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Last edited by Texas; 04-03-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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Metaphorically, when did you last visit a doctor that looked for what is "right" with you?
Similarly, it seems forums tend to discuss problems, no matter how isolated...or trivial.

My observation has been BMW riders seem to hold the Bavarian Brand to a much higher standard. But the majority of us have not experienced the laundry list you mention.
Of the bikes in my garage the K1600 has -far and away- the best build quality. It is a remarkable achievement. And it has the best warranty in the business.

Is it "perfect"? 45 years riding has taught me there's no such thing.
Like the five-year old sign outside the tavern says: "Free beer tomorrow."

To paraphrase the old Lee Iacocca commercial: "If you find a better motorcycle, buy it!". In the meanwhile I am...
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasnusc View Post
Im Not Bashing! I know the good out ways the bad and I plan on buying one in 2013, or 14, After BMW fixes all the problems.

BMW had several of these bikes road tested for 10's of thousands of miles before releasing them to the public so how could they have possibly missed all of these problems?

I have owned several bikes over the past 20 years and bought my first Harley in 2009. The handful of problems I have had with it has me doubting Harleys quality control and has me moving on to another brand. I am now concerned I would be switching from one problem bike to another by leaving Harley for BMW.

The GTL is the frontrunner but Im realizing it has 3 times the problems my Harley has and makes me glad I didnt purchase a pre-order model. Lots of jokes on here about being BETA testers and talk about current owners wanting to buy a 2013 in hopes it will be better.


Did they release this bike knowing it had all of these problems? Am I making a mistake switching to BMW?


I have been in the auto industry for 20 years and fully understand how things are designed, built and tested and know that BMW could have corrected 99% of these before it released them to the public "if" they wanted to.
  • Ipod
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Cluster Fogging Up
  • Headlamp Spotting
  • Switch Failures
  • Water Pump
  • Software Updates
  • Radiator Cap
  • Dipstick
  • Pull To The Left
  • Chrome Trim Falling Off
  • Windshield
  • Crooked Handlebars
  • ABS
  • Squeaky Suspension
  • Trunk Delamination
  • Etc.
I guess they did not run into these problems. I know I haven't on my GT.
Ken
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken6217 View Post
I guess they did not run into these problems. I know I haven't on my GT.
Ken
You must not have ever used the Bluetooth with an ipod.

Of the things on the list, I've had 6. Now that the ipod problem and fog light problem have been fixed I have hope that maybe the left pull can be fixed with new tires. If the bike proves to be as bullet-proof as a Goldwing then I'll probably ride it to my grave.

My previous Goldwing didn't have any problems other than weight and cornering clearance.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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Just a thought...BMW Motorrad assembled the K1600, but how much did they actually build?

Typically vehicles are assembled with parts from several sources, some of which may not have met BMW's initial QC or design criteria.

Hopefully these problems will be properly addressed as production continues, and they will continue to honor their warranty.

Gary
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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if they wanted the fog light to turn on and of with the key,,,they wouldnt have put an on off switch.Instead of having to scroll through all the screens looking for various things, most of them should be perm. displayed...tire press. miles till empty,temp. avg. speed,mpg,total miles left on tank of gas
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasnusc View Post
Im Not Bashing! I know the good out ways the bad and I plan on buying one in 2013, or 14, After BMW fixes all the problems.
that'll be when the successor is launched ...





Pfff, you don't have one, only read the bad experiences of the minority of owners and you already are negative about the bike. My advice: don't buy one, because the slightest issue will only confirm your negative feelings and you will NEVER enjoy any of it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasnusc View Post
Did they release this bike knowing it had all of these problems?
I agree more of the problems could/should have been worked out before release, but IMO most of those on your list were likely *not* recognized before release.

(Before the cheap shots about being a BMW apologist come winging in, save 'em -- I call things as I see them, with a fair bit of experience on both the OEM and consumer sides as to what happens in development processes).


My $0.02:
  • Ipod - should have been identified/corrected; inadequately thorough testing? (betcha the test riders were not running around with iPods on all the time)
  • Bluetooth - Alpine BT sound quality should have been found/corrected (same as above)
  • USB - duplicate listing; same as iPod issue
  • Cluster Fogging Up - unlikely this was encountered, given how few incidents have been reported
  • Headlamp Spotting - unlikely this was encountered, given how few incidents have been reported
  • Switch Failures - either not encountered (actually possible given a limited number of prototypes, or if it was experienced, incorrectly assumed to be a "freak" manufacturing defect, not a design flaw)
  • Water Pump - either not encountered (possible given a limited number of prototypes, or if experienced it was experienced, incorrectly assumed to be a "freak" manufacturing defect, not a design flaw)
  • Software Updates - name me a car or bike made in the 10-15 years which has *not* had software updates to tweak the firmware; totally normal and expectable -- in fact, we'd be even more upset if BMW *wasn't* issuing updates, as there's *always* something that can be made better or a missed issue to correct
  • Radiator Cap - unlikely this was encountered - I'm hard pressed to believe that BMW knew ahead of time that they would be receiving a defective run of radiator caps, and chose to incur the greater expense of post hoc fix the problem
  • Dipstick - unlikely this was encountered - I wouldn't expect the testers to have had any reason to think twice about whether the dipsticks were improperly marked, or that BMW knew about the mismarked marked dipsticks and chose to fix the problem post hoc (and frankly, it's a nit of an issue in the first place!)
  • Pull To The Left - should have been identified/corrected -- too many test and demo bikes for this to not be noticed, given the high frequency of occurence in the bikes sold to the public
  • Chrome Trim Falling Off - should have been identified/corrected
  • Windshield - what issue? it doesn't work great? it's BMW's choice to supply a windshield which is styled to complement the lines of the bike in a way they want; particularly where there's never been an OE windshield that makes everyone happy (some want more protection, some want less, some want style, some want functionality) -- the OE screens strike me to be a reasonable compromise, and there's always the aftermarket
  • Crooked Handlebars - duplicate issue -- same as PTTL
  • ABS -- ?? what issue? an outstanding system, IMO
  • Squeaky Suspension - unlikely this was encountered given how few incidents have been reported - more likely a manufacturing or assembly defect
  • Trunk Delamination - unlikely this was encountered given how few incidents have been reported - more likely a manufacturing defect.
You forgot the seat - another design choice I can't fault BMW for making; I'd like a *much* more comfortable saddle, like a Russell Day-Long -- but the reality is in the showroom, the type of saddle BMW provides on the K16 (soft, narrow so it's easy to reach the ground) sells bikes much better than a saddle an experienced long distance rider would choose. A fact of life.

Back to your original question, yes, you should still make the leap (assuming you've done a test drive and concluded this is the "right" bike for you at this point in your life).

No new bike is problem free; you need to do a bit of wheat/chaff separation here to see that as a new (beta) bike, this bike isn't much different from any other new bike or car model -- and that not everything being *itched about on the lists is either BMW's "fault" or something under their control in the first place. Again, I'm not aplogizing for them (they make enough mistakes on their own!) -- but I am trying to make a "fair" assessment as to where they did/didn't do a good enough job before release.
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Last edited by mneblett; 04-03-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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