K1600GTL Maintenance Costs - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default K1600GTL Maintenance Costs

I have rode Harley's all my life, am now riding my 35th Harley. I average 23,000 miles per year. In addition to the current Harley, I have been interested in the K1600GTL for the advanced technology and comfort when my wife is with me on long trips. I located one at my nearest dealer, 129 miles one way, did a demo ride and was ready to purchase. I decided to first check the Service Dept for routine maintenance costs. I got the following information: 600 miles - $200., 6,000 miles - $250., 12,000 miles - $350., 18,000 miles - $750.00. So in my average riding season, maintenance costs total $1,550. I then checked at another Dealership, total costs for the same mileage was $1,746. I was in shock, cancelled the purchase, and will continue to ride the Harley. Has everyone experienced this? How do you justify this expense? Is the bike that great ?
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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Are you honest about the maintenance costs on your Harley if you had every service performed by your dealer AND don't have the extended warranty to cover the repairs? While I've never personally owned an air cooled Harley by father in law has and we calculated his annual expenses over the last 4 years and 60000 miles to be roughly $2000 / year. That's factoring in the new top end, rebuilt shifter bushings, replacement primary followers, routine oil changes, rebuilt fork lowers, brakes, wheel bearings...... His out of pocket is only about $600 / year but without the extended warranty, which is now gone, he would have spent close to $8000 in 4 years of ownership and his bike is 100% stock (a rarity in the H-D world).

I guess what I'm saying is the minor services cost the same and are at slightly longer intervals and you can perform them yourself. The 18k service includes a valve clearance check and adjustment so unless you are really handy that's a dealer item.

I don't see the maintenance on the K16 to be that much higher than most other bikes on the road, especially ones that require valve adjustments. If $750 every 18k miles is keeping you off the bike then it's your loss because it really is worth the expense.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BIKER01RED View Post
Is the bike that great ?
In a word: YES

Yes, cruisers and the K1600 are both motorcycles. Yes, they will both get you from here to there. The difference is in how they perform. Another difference is in the level of safety built into the motorcycle.

A tale of two Chevrolets:

Let me put it another way. My brother is a farmer. His farm truck (Chevy 1500) is easy to own. Low maintenance. As slow as he drives it handles great. His brakes never wear out because he never gets up to posted speed limits and coasts to every stop. A perfect truck for him. He enjoys the heck out of making farm trucks last for many years. To see him poke along the rural Nebraska roads would show his ear to ear grin because he is doing that which makes him happy.



Chevrolet makes the Corvette ZR1. A vehicle that costs much more to maintain than a farm truck. Both have 4 wheels and get you from here to there.



I have friends that race Corvettes in the SCCA national level competitions. They expect a vehicle to perform at the limits most people would find frightening. But, to look at the faces of the Corvette drivers, men and women, as they flash past and you will see ear to ear grins because they too are doing that which makes them happy.

It is a matter of what is important to you.

Ride slow because you are focused on enjoying the scenery, wind on your face, and camaraderie of friends. Focus on cost of ownership because you choose to be frugal. Nostalgic for antiques because it represents a time you consider "The Good 'Ol Days".

Or, as many BMW riders see the motorcycle experience:

Ride fast because it is thrilling to explore your personal limits. Desire cutting edge technology and safety, in addition to stunning performance. Willing to pay for the added maintenance to keep the high tuned machine in top performing condition.

We all make choices.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:20 AM   #4
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May cost more to maintain but it eats Harley's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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May cost more to maintain but it eats Harley's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I have a number of friends that ride cruisers. It took me years to understand that they are looking for an experience from their motorcycles that is completely different than me.

My issues with the cruiser experience is twofold: 1) They are usually noisy. and, 2) They often ride in parade formation slowing traffic, without any effort to allow other motorists to pass.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:51 AM   #6
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The true benefit of the K1600 is revealed at the extremes. High performance is expensive and has raw edges. Yes the engine is intoxicating, but only when you wind it up. If you don't ride at the extremes, you may find it difficult to appreciate what BMW have done with the handling, traction control, and braking. As one journalist put it, the K1600 is for the sportbike rider who wants more relaxed ergonomics.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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Funny, when I first heard what the maintenance intervals and associated costs were I thought there was a mistake! $800 to 18K miles? $750 for a major? I guess it's your perspective, what you've been conditioned to. (Compare that to an air-cooled Desmo engine needing valve checks every 6K to 7.5K miles, and don't forget to factor in sprockets and a chain...)

Fact of the matter, if you're changing fluids yourself chances are maintenance will cost somewhat less; For me, tires are an equal cost factor. Figure 3 sets of PR3's in those same 18K miles, ~$1300. Fuel ~$1800. I dropped in a K&N air filter and I'll be changing fluids myself, so I project ~$1400 in maintenance to those 18K miles. So it would cost about $4500 to travel the equivalent of Coast-to-Coast... five times. But by that time many other motorcycles would be considered "middle-aged", while the K1600 is just getting started.

But I don't think any of us are choosing our motorcycles because it's the cheapest mode of transportation. The point is, it compares with many other bikes, including many Japanese. On the other hand there's always pushrod engine technology, maybe Motus will require less attention (and parts available at any Napa parts store), if the price of admission ($30K - $40K) doesn't scare you. Seems like there's always tradeoffs!
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:39 AM   #8
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As one journalist put it, the K1600 is for the sportbike rider who wants more relaxed ergonomics.
BMW is experiencing a high number of conquest purchasers coming from other brands. The Harley riders crossing over to the BMW K1600 surprises me. Different worlds.

Is it a change in the riding desires of the Harley rider? A desire to upgrade safety and performance?

Is it something else? Are there expectations which will disappoint the conquest buyer?

Maybe the conquest buyers we have here can elaborate on their decision to switch from being a cruiser rider to a K1600 rider. Why? Has the change fulfilled their expectations?
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #9
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Nothing new here:

It ain't cheap, but most of the really fun things in life aren't. Life is short and you don't get to take anything with you when it's over. Enjoy what you have to the fullest....
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
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2) They often ride in parade formation slowing traffic, without any effort to allow other motorists to pass.
Every enthusiast needs to own one in their riding career. I opted for a Montauk as a part of my mini-stable for a couple of years. Superior brakes with that long wheelbase. It just didn't have the giddyup and didn't turn without scrapping appendages. A different kind of motorcycling experience, cruisers, but as someone here said, purpose built and one that has brought much enjoyment to many. Maybe not for me, but it still beats a cage!
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