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@st13phil, have you ever sat in one of those meetings with the bean-counters, where you tell them "this" is the right way to do it, and if you don't do it that way, it won't work perfectly, and then they tell you the company will lose money if they do it your way?
Yup, been there, done that, and have many T-shirts :)

Trouble is, after it's been done the bean-counter's way it often ends up costing way more both in terms of lost customer confidence and on-costs covering warranty (and goodwill) repairs and modifications. Wilde is credited with the quote, "The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing". Substitute "bean-counter" for cynic and you're 95% of the way there ;)
 

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Sir Robin’s Lead Minstrel
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Yup, been there, done that, and have many T-shirts :)

Trouble is, after it's been done the bean-counter's way it often ends up costing way more both in terms of lost customer confidence and on-costs covering warranty (and goodwill) repairs and modifications. Wilde is credited with the quote, "The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing". Substitute "bean-counter" for cynic and you're 95% of the way there ;)
Fair enough, but then the changes are made in the interests of goodwill and real value...and the bike costs $40k, $45 or so with factory options. You still a buyer? And even more to the point than just you, or people here who might reason that they'd farkle this one up to $40k, anyway (although remember, you're not getting Danalis or Clearwaters, even for that price), and maybe still buy one, do you think it's a good business decision to make this bike at all? The average engineer is not the average customer, even for a premium product.

As a paid cynic, this is one of my favorites, from comic and pundit Dave Smith:
Interviewer: Most people would say you're going to be on the wrong side of history with this one, Dave.
Dave: Most people? Why would I care what "most people" think? Have you met "most people"? Most people are idiots. I don't care what most people think.;)

I know the intelligence level on this forum is very high overall, and I'm sure the buyers of this particular motorcycle are smarter than your average Joe, but I'm still not sure many people who never bothered to register for this forum would ever get very far into the particulars of researching a base $40k bike; they'd just see the price, get sticker shock, and then move along.

The flip side of the famous Mencken paraphrase, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American (here, read "general") public," is that a LOT of people, almost certainly very smart people, DID go broke OVERestimating the intelligence of the general public.
 

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You have read my post presumably. We aren't talking about a brief period, which may be deemed excusable; this was a lengthy production run & the problem should have been picked up far earlier.
I've read it. You just don't understand the issue that caused the problem.
 

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International Man of Mystery
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Discussion Starter #126 (Edited)
If BMW has to recall a two years or more production run, it does not speak well for their internal QA programs and the way how they certify and manage their suppliers.IIRC some 15.000 bikes worldwide were affected by the recall and less than 10 % (info from my dealer, so take it with a grain of salt) showed wear of gear box components. Assuming that they have at the minimum two suppliers at 50% each and only one caused the problem means, that 1500 bikes of 7500 were affected and that is 20%, which is an extremely high failure rate for a component that important. Had they done basic random testing they would have caught it much earlier. This happens when you solely rely on supplier certificates..... in the relevant thread the troubled history of their main transmission supplier is very well documented. At some level at BMW alarm clocks should have gone off and triggered an on site supplier audit. Anyway, that is their business.
 

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Sir Robin’s Lead Minstrel
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If BMW has to recall a two years or more production run it does not speak well for their internal QA programs and the way how they certify and manage their suppliers.IIRC some 15.000 bikes worldwide were affected by the recall and less than 10 % (info from my dealer, so take it with a grain of salt) showed wear of gear box components. Assuming that they have minimum two suppliers at 50% each and only one caused the problem means, that 1500 bikes of 7500 were affected and that is 20% which is an extremely high failure rate for a component that important. Had they done basic random testing they would have caught it much earlier. This happens when you solely rely on supplier certificates..... in relevant thread the sketchy history of their main tranmission supplier is very well documented. At some level at BMW alarm clocks should have gone off and triggered an on site supplier audit. Anyway, that is their business.
I'm no engineer, but as a practical matter, this^^^^ is my opinion, as well, and it's my biggest gripe with them. To me, the easiest and cheapest thing to "fix," of all the issues mentioned here regularly, is simply better control over suppliers, which in fact would be likely to fix SEVERAL of the issues. Maybe it's not very "German" to lie on your certificate, and since they wouldn't do it to someone else they were supplying, they assume their suppliers wouldn't do it them, but that is an incredibly gullible and naive business philosophy.

For example, I'm familiar with a nearby drive-shaft manufacturer that supplies Toyota and Ford, and Ford will accept the drive shafts if the metal may be a bit scratched. Toyota requires they be painted to make it easier for their QC people to inspect them and see if anything happened in shipment, and I know for a fact they regularly send drive shafts back that only have paint flaws, and nothing else. I do own one Toyota product, but I'm not a huge fanboy. Still, knowing that did make an impression on me. And I promise you that factory knows they have to be more careful with the Toyota shafts than the Ford shafts.

To provide suppliers with a well-engineered and thoughtfully designed spec sheet and full set of CAD-CAM drawings and minimal tolerances, and then be asleep at the switch when it comes time to take delivery or not at the factory, just isn't good business, and is shocking, especially for a company that sells itself on its engineering. I promise you that if you just send a couple truckloads of non-compliant and/or out-of-spec parts back from whence they came, and in the EU, accuse them of negligently signing off on, or even falsifying those supplier certificates, you'll get the word out.

One last full disclosure: I've been there, waiting on a replacement part, when after promising availability by a date certain, the manufacturer tells you it'll be another 6-week or so wait because the first batch of replacement parts "did not meet with our stringent expectations," and you get mad, but you have to remind yourself that at least they didn't just send you another crappy part, and were trying to fix the issue.
 

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Finally, people are waking up. I‘ve been saying for years that BMW reliability is pathetic. And so many times in the past people have started threads that they’re done with BMW and then the Kool-aid drinkers reply to the OP with a “See Ya. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.

Finally, it looks like more people are realizing the truth. And if people keep buying the bikes and opening their wallet, why would BMW bother to attempt to improve quality & reliability?

Time to start accepting the facts and speaking with your wallets Folks.

How much sh&t did Mckeena catch for posting about his overheating issues? People attacked him like crazy for his posts. And there are dozens others that have complained in the past, and most forum members tell them to pound sand. Glad to see people are FINALLY coming around.

I still have my 2012 which has been decent, but I’m not going to roll the dice again.
true dat.
About 900 km on the new rig and about ready for the break in service on Wednesday. Like alway I look at the first 1000 km as a shake down ride to identify potential issues and there are a few I don't expect or will tolerate:

  1. slight left pull
  2. windshield not correctly aligned with dash
  3. implausible next service date on the info screen
  4. Several growing oil stains on the rhs heat shield

    Item 2 and 3 indicate sloppy set up inspection at the dealer, 1 and 4 are likely in the responsibility of the factory. Need the bike in good working order by Friday for a 2 weeks trip and don't like particularly item 4 on a brand new bike. View attachment 144639 View attachment 144640 View attachment 144641

Sorry to hear that you too been bit by Motorrad.

The way I see it, is that Germany too is suffering the consequences of decades of decadence. I spent my career as an engineer, and seen the evolution, or let's say devolution of vehicle production. And Germany is getting hit real hard. Where they never had trouble recruiting intelligent trainees, they now find it difficult to find someone to train who can pull up his pants and chew gum. Those recruits went off to University, eventually to graduate into pixel shuffling. And many old-hands can not wait to retire and are gone to some sunny spot. While meanwhile the bean counters and salesmen try hard to reduce cost and sell crap as ice cream. BMW Motorrad did not possess the management expertise to value Torqtek. Neither did Daimler Benz when they bought Chrysler and took a bath from which they never recovered. VW too went through this 20 years ago when they hired the whiz of purchasing, sourcing components from suppliers who had neither the capital nor the expertise to produce quality products. The conditions under which Torqtek produced the transmissions would have set off alarm bells with any line engineer, if one had bothered to look at the operation and had the ear of BMW Motorrad decision makers. Sometimes companies grow too big to manage, well. And technology can get too complex to be reliable.
 

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International Man of Mystery
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Discussion Starter #129
Not arguing, but they also have to hit a price point that consumers can swallow. I can build you an FDA or USDA approved pharmaceutical suite, but the four sided box of Time, Quality, Cost, and Safety will pull in opposite directions from each other. That requires some sort of compromise. I suspect third party vendors to be the culprit for the majority of lower cost and lower quality items. The assembly facilities I've seen in videos look efficient, safe, and QA/QC reliable. I wish no one had to have post-purchase issues with these bikes. And if that was the case across the board, I would probably be priced out of that market.
Fully agree with the impact of four sided box model and the need to strike a compromise that allows for a competitive price point. Fact is, that other manufacturers solve that equation with lot less moving around that quality side wall. I am involved in vendor management in my current job and if you don't check in person what they do in day to day operations and how they achieved their quality certificates you will one day run into an open knife. Quality assurance agreements purpose is to provide clarity who is at fault in case something runs off spec and little with actual quality control.
And I agree that most of the problems that surface on this or similar forums are not related to BMW engineering, but to inadequate parts quality and sometimes sloppy assembly in the overloaded Berlin plant. Both issues are squarely in the BMW's field of responsibility
 
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Fully agree with the impact of four sided box model and the need to strike a compromise that allows for a competitive price point. Fact is, that other manufacturers solve that equation with lot less moving around that quality side wall. I am involved in vendor management in my current job and if you don't check in person what they do in day to day operations and how they achieved their quality certificates you will one day run into an open knife. Quality assurance agreements purpose is to provide clarity who is at fault in case something runs off spec and little with actual quality control.
And I agree that most of the problems that surface on this or similar forums are not related to BMW engineering, but to inadequate parts quality and sometimes sloppy assembly in the overloaded Berlin plant. Both issues are squarely in the BMW's field of responsibility

Just the concept of a competitive price point needs to be reviewed, and many enterprises find that in-house production is better. BMW's problem are the unions, labor regulations, that make industrial labor in Germany prohibitively expensive. But the model is faulty, because the profit picture and cost of management overhead is never figured in. This management practiced killed many companies in the USA because they had to find out the hard way that outsourcing replaces one qualified labor unit that can be easily quality controlled with one itinerant laborer plus customer satisfaction management plus the labor units management structure plus the facilities overhead plus their profit to their shareholders plus.......
 

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BMW's problem are the unions, labor regulations, that make industrial labor in Germany prohibitively expensive.
I don't have intimate knowledge of the root of BMW Motorrad's quality issues, but I doubt it is German unions, labour laws or unit labour costs.
 

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International Man of Mystery
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Discussion Starter #132
Just the concept of a competitive price point needs to be reviewed, and many enterprises find that in-house production is better. BMW's problem are the unions, labor regulations, that make industrial labor in Germany prohibitively expensive. But the model is faulty, because the profit picture and cost of management overhead is never figured in. This management practiced killed many companies in the USA because they had to find out the hard way that outsourcing replaces one qualified labor unit that can be easily quality controlled with one itinerant laborer plus customer satisfaction management plus the labor units management structure plus the facilities overhead plus their profit to their shareholders plus.......
Agree with the true costs of outsourcing. Controllers don' t have the full picture because companies are not set up this way. If you create an organization where the true product costs are visible you could make much better decisions, but that is so much easier said than done.
 
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International Man of Mystery
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Discussion Starter #133
I don't have intimate knowledge of the root of BMW Motorrad's quality issues, but I doubt it is German unions, labour laws or unit labour costs.
If unions in Germany would be the root cause of it, many more companies would show similar quality performance issues which is not the case. Like many other automotive manufacturers they struggle with growth, extreme number of product variations (aka built to order which creates complexity) and rapid mergers and acquisitions. Add Corona to the mix and you have issues you never expected before. Many companies can handle all of this, some cannot.
 

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If unions in Germany would be the root cause of it, many more companies would show similar quality performance issues which is not the case.
My point exactly.
Like many other automotive manufacturers they struggle with growth, extreme number of product variations (aka built to order which creates complexity)
My gut feel is that BMW Motorrad's business model is based upon bringing new / updated models to market on a short cycle. This drives demand amongst the "must have the latest and greatest" market segment, and also gives them the opportunity to "step off the wreckage" of a variant that has exhibited less-than-stellar reliability with a cheery, "Yes, we know that, but look at this new shiny thing that's much better". Except it isn't and the cycle repeats.

The K1600 line is unusually long lived compared to many other models in their lineup, partly because it's a more niche product, partly because it's relatively expensive to build, and partly because recouping any major redesign cost would require sales well beyond the Euro4 / Euro5 fence - and I honestly don't expect that they intend to make it Euro5 compliant. Due to it being a relatively long-lived design, the ongoing faults and issues are well understood, and they can't suck the customer in with a "yes, but look at this new version that's much better" line. In other words, I have the distinct impression that the K1600 increasingly doesn't fit their future product portfolio.
 

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I think we’d all excuse BMW for the K1600’s durability/reliability faults if this was still a 1st or 2nd year model. But it’s not. The same **** problems from 2011/2012 are still plentiful today. BMW has done NOTHING to address the pull to the left, faulty water pumps, faulty shock seals in cold weather, overheating, coil failures, oil burning (granted the cause of broken piston ring lands was “fixed”, but now the oil burning has returned lately with a new, and unknown (to me) reason), and it took a NHTSB recall to make them address the troublesome plastic fuel pump fittings that they’ve known about for years. And there’s probably more, but these are what quickly comes to mind. I’m “only“ a victim of 4 of those problems, and I call myself fortunate. That’s sad.

That‘s what gets me fed up- these same problems are 9 years old and BMW ignores their customers.
 

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I think all you unhappy guys should sell your K bikes and go buy a Goldwing.......oh, wait......over there they bitch about their bikes too. Over to the HD forum......nope, bunch of unhappy guys there also. Let's see....Ducati..nope.......

If you are that unhappy with the brand and you think their engineering and manufacturing is flawed, then sell it, take the loss, buy something else and be happy. There is a reason I did not own a Chrysler product for almost 40 years.....the first one or two were junk. Life is too short to be complaining about your toys.
 

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Update 3
...

Response from the area sales manager: The coolant leak is a new problem that has nothing to do with the initial oil leak ... -
... -but this arrogant, logic defeating, intelligence- insulting behavior of the sales rep leaves me with littel options ...
  • sometimes ... - just sometimes, you have the feeling you just need to hit people with a wet newspaper ...
  • ask any kid 7 years old : whats the difference in a faulty waterpump ... and a faulty waterpump ?
- either way ... its a sad story for you ... good luck an hit hard !
 

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Well this is certainly an ironic thread as such. Back in 2012 when I had my first GTL I mentioned some "bad" things about the bike on this forum and was soundly beat up for doing so. It seems the worm has turned now some 8 years later and the voices of discontent are much louder now. This is all well and good, but much too late in the big scheme of things. The flippant attitude of BMW and especially its factory regional reps just drove me insane. Answer #1 in their book of responses has always been, "They all do that". Or answer #2 was "That's normal". Answer #3 was," Don't take your hands off the handlebars while operating the bike". So armed with those three responses the field rep could deal with almost any problem customer.

Unfortunately for me there simply was no other motorcycle on the market like the K1600, so I kept buying a new one every couple of years hoping against hope I would one day get a really good one. In all honesty they did get better as most long time K1600 owners know, but BMW just never got it right with the bike. Mickey Mouse could have done better. My advice is simple, if you like playing the lottery buy a K1600 cuz you just might get a good one, but probably not.

I turned 69 this year and have decided that I don't have enough time left to warrant buying a new K1600. The thrill of owning one is long gone even though my 2018 GTL is the best one I have ever had out of 4 purchased. So this WILL be my last one, but I must admit after doing some window shopping, the playing field for what I want in a new bike is severely limited. I have to laugh sometimes because what used to be a driving desire to ride whatever GTL I had, has now turned into I'll just take the truck. It's easier and I don't have to worry about not making it back home. Some may snicker under your breath, but just 2 days ago I took a Spyder RT for a test ride and it was actually fun for me, but they do have problems too, just not as severe as having to wait 6 plus months for transmission repair parts while it the bike sits idle eating up limited riding and warranty time.

So on this forum there are the pro-1600 people and the not so pro-1600 people. It used to be almost everyone was a pro-1600 person, but not so much anymore from the looks of it. That is really sad in a way because after almost 10 years of being on the market BMW should have been able to work out ALL the bugs with this bike, but they never did. Oh certainly some easy fixes were dealt with and incorporated in new MY bikes, but the tough, lets get back to the drawing board fixes have never been handled by BMW. In my almost decade of owning K1600's I have ebbed and flowed through positive and negative feelings about my bikes. The concept of the K1600 was truly an amazing feat by any standard and after 10 years this bike should be problem free for the most part and bullet proof, but alas it is not. BMW just never seemed to want to pony-up and fix the problems with the K1600. I still recall the days of putting wet towels on handlebar controls on hot days to keep the controls working. And while I really miss the rush of my 2015 throttle response I drew a line in the sand absolutely refusing to spend hundreds of hard earned dollars on a Bren Tune. Once again BMW dropped the ball on that one, or did they even have a ball to drop? Many excuses were made for that episode but none were acceptable in my book.

While I swore many years ago I would NEVER own a Gold Wing perhaps I will at least take one for a ride and see what they are really like. Or perhaps I'll just say screw it and buy a Spyder. Who knows, but after four K1600's I won't be buying a 5th. Patience is not a bottomless pit as some (BMW?) may think.
Rick H.
 

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Oh I forgot to ask the membership one critical question. How many customer satisfaction surveys have you received from BMW regarding ownership of your K1600 motorcycle? In all my time of ownership I have received one (1) survey. That fact should speak volumes.
Rick H.
 

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International Man of Mystery
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Discussion Starter #140
Update 4
BMW rep agreed to meet me end of the months to discuss the matter one on one. I am still ready for an amicable solution that could even result in me keeping the GT if I am sufficiently assured that I have no disadvantages of any kind if the prima donna decides to have her headache. And with that wide open playing field a lot of things can happen. If you look, you will see as they say around here.

And @Grevens I will stock a sufficient number of wet newspapers but will hide them until I really need them........
 
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