okay, here's where I'm at and let's try to keep this thing warm and fuzzy 'cuz I'm trying real hard! Took the GTL out for a 2nd ride today to make sure I had it set up like I liked and was familiar with changing options on the fly to evaluate. Much nicer experience, came back to the dealer trying to decide between a slightly used blue (1300 miles) or spring for a new silver contingent upon getting the most for my trades.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I do some more review searching and run across a couple of these:
harry says: November 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm
Got me a new k16gtl and a hand full of problems. Transmission is gone, need a new transmission it will take 4-6 weeks to get it from Germany. Oil leaks and water pump leaks. I am not the only one with a hand full of problems. My original bike is a harley. and yes thatís what I am riding now as the bimmer is resting at the dealer. Get the HD, You will not wait 4-6 weeks for parts.
My HD 2005 60,000 miles no problems, BMW K1600 2012 4000 miles big problems
mike says: January 19, 2012 at 7:20 am
I just traded my GTL in on an RT, I rode Harley Touring bikes for 30 years and have never had the problems I was having with the GTL. The GTL was my first BMW and I was very disappointed so I will see if I have any problems with the RT. The GTL started from day one
Ron Miller says: May 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm
I owened the 1200 touring BMWs, I went back to the Gold wings, I oreded the new GTL but took it out for a test and asked for my money back. Faster than a gold wing but not near as nice, stereo sucked compaired to a Wings, finish and comfort not even close to a wing, now if the wing was faster I would not even look at the BMW but they are not faster and may never be so BMW ever gets there bikes to be as dependable I will buy one, just for the power
I know they are but a few opinions but I've never encountered anything like these in any bike I've previously owned. Still haven't been able to ride a Wing due to the following responses from local dealers:
1)test ride it with one of our staff on a pre-designed route for 15 minutes with the presumption to buy if you can't find anything wrong
2) basically buy the bike and if you find you don't like it within 20 miles, bring it back and we'll buy it back
Both of these options turned me off so I'm in a bit of a quandry. Granted, I've never spent this much money on a bike (14k,twice,though), but is this common place nowadays for dealers to offer this type of "test ride?"
BMW dealer has been great and accomodating but still limited test ride to 30-40 minutes. Help, I'm getting a bike-research-overload headache!!!
I can relate to your concerns; I have had Japanese bikes for almost 40 years, with no factory problems that I can recall (I don't count the neoprene worm gear on my Rockford Taka). Reading this forum can definitely scare you; on the other hand it is a tremendous help.
I have had two of the problems mentioned - one being the squeaky front suspension and the other being a switch problem - the cruise-control resume (re-ZOOM?) button occasionally does not work in hot, humid weather.
The thing is, I just LOVE to ride this bike. I can't stay off it. It draws me like no other bike ever has. I wish it were better sorted out, I wish it were a couple hundred pounds lighter, I wish it had a side-stand indicator light (cause there aren't enough gadgets!), and I wish were 17 again. But I'd be afraid to change anything major on this bike, because it is so danged much fun to ride the way it is.
I would never try to tell someone else what they ought to like or dislike, or whether they should ride at all, but for my not-insignificant-money, the K1600 is in a league of it's own - in a good way.
No matter what forum you go on, you are going to find dissatisfied owners. HD, Honda, Yamaha and BMW, they all have problems from time to time. All bikes break and there are lemons. Pick the bike that you like to ride or look at (your choice) and quite worrying about it. Percentage wise, the K1600 has been extremely reliable. My guess is more so than the K1200LT when it first came out. The K1200LT had problems, but most owners felt that they were very reliable.
I feel we are going to find the same with the K1600, except even more so.
So, you going to make a decision or just keep posting what you've seen others post? It's almost as if you're looking for others to make the decision for you.
I suspect that most of us (like myself) who made the choice to purchase did so after a test ride or two and many of us researched as much as we could then made the decision without asking others to help us decide. Just do it already!
Actually, those of us who preordered this bike were flying by the seat of our pants. There were a couple of short BMW videos showing us the bike in the alps, some reports on performance, HP and the such but beyond that for the most part there were only pictures. Yes we got the opportunity to test ride, but that came months after we had laid out money, and by the time the test rides were available we had worked each other into a lather over this thing. For the most part I'd say the vast majority of us are tickled pink with our bikes. This bike unlike any other I've ridden takes a bit of time in the saddle to figure out, but man o man once you figure it out it is amazing. I'd say buy it ride it, and you will fall in love with it. You can compare it to any bike you wish, but really there is no comparison. This is a distinctly different machine, and stands on it's own.
"Not all who wander are lost". JRR Tolken
2012 K1600GTL the grey owl
2008 GSA Number seven
1973 R75/5. The hoot
I think you're ambivalent enough that every time something even minor comes up, you'll be miserable. I would definitely move on. Buyer's remorse is no fun. My 2c.
As a pre-order customer, I've logged 13k in one year. I commute daily, make work trips up and down the west coast, and have made 5-6 long trips (two with forum members, one with my wife). I think about the bike during most waking moments and have to make a trip to the garage to look at it before bed. There's not another bike made I'd trade it for, at any price. I don't think you're there.
You certainly can't live your life according to the forums. There are what appear to be horror stories but who can really know for sure. If you really have doubts about this bike, with what it costs, don't buy it. I have a GT and look for any opportunity to ride it as much as I can. No problems with it, no defects just a green driver who needs to learn how to get the most out of one of the most advanced machines ever made.
2012 K1600GT (Vermillion Red)
2008 R1200RT (traded for big red - great bike)
2002 R1150RT (sold but not forgotten - crazy brakes)
1999 R1100R (traded on the 1150 - my son's favorite)