Friday, July 15, 2016

Long Term Test: 2007 BMW K1200S post #7

Update #7
Mileage: 30,010

When people say BMW's are expensive to maintain, they certainly aren't kidding. This pretty much applies to both their motorcycles as well as their cars. While it has been a while since I have had to experience the bad taste of paying for repairs to a BMW, I did have to get maintenance completed on my K1200S earlier this year and the price tag was several times more than I anticipated, largely because of a few unexpected items.

First, the bike needed basic maintenance. That meant an oil change, inspection, and general check-up on electronic components. Typically, this costs around $150-$200. On top of that, I knew that the front tire was looking a little thin on tread after only 6,500 miles so I was expecting to need to replace that pretty soon. The low mileage is likely due to my tendency to ride with the preload set very high in the rear, resulting in greater wear on the front tire. It makes the bike handle better, but the trade-off is that the greater loading on the front tends to wear that tire down. Since I decided to go ahead and replace that tire, that added another $200+ to the tab for the tire plus the installation labor.

Brand new Michelin Pilot Road 4
front tire on the K1200S
However, within an hour or so of dropping my bike off at the dealer, they called and informed me that the rear brakes were worn and needed to be replaced while the battery was showing low voltage and needed to be replaced. That battery, which I had replaced just a few years ago, was apparently already out of warranty when the dealership in MA sold it to me. That dealership has a reputation for less than ethical treatment of customers so I suppose I should not be surprised when the Yelp reviews prove to be right. As for the brakes, the combination of linked brakes on this bike, where grabbing the front brake level also applies one of the rear caliper pistons, as well as my tendency to use the rear brake to stabilize the rear-end while doing low-speed lanesplitting, is the likely cause of the increased brake wear. The brake job was going to be another $300 while the battery added around $100 to the final bill.

With taxes and the cost of the rental bike, the total came to just under $1,000. What I save on gas and time with this bike likely gets made up with the increased maintenance costs. Fortunately, my enjoyment of the bike outweighs all of the cost factors and a few of the costs I can reduce by simply making minor adjustments in my riding habits.