Has BMW been bad to you? Did you buy a New BMW lemon? Have you spent too long at the service shop, dealing with "technicians" who think you're an idiot? Did the electrics start failing? Did your beautiful New BMW start stalling? What about that transmission? Did BMW tell you it was your imagination? Did your sub-frame crack? Did they promise they'd call you soon to arrange something?

Don't worry you're not the only one who bought a BMTroubleU, but now you can tell the world your real "BMW Experience" by simply emailing your story and images to rayone2.3456 AT blogger.com you need to replace ' AT ' with an '@' cos I get too much spam (privacy statement)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Contacting BMW Customer Service

Monday 28 September 2009: Since my "dealer" told me in no uncertain terms to piss off I had only one option left and that was to contacted BMW customer service via fax and email with a description of the issues.

Thursday 01 October 2009: I received a reply from Scott Norman, where he recommended I arrange for an inspection with another authorized BMW Motorrad Dealer of my choice.

Friday 16 October 2009: I took the bike to Fraser Motorcycles for a 2nd inspection. They reported no issues or misalignment. I asked them if they could align the steering, if I paid them; their reply was that it was not possible to realign the steering as it was fixed in a predetermined position, like cogs in a watch.
On the ride home the misalignment was clearly noticeable.
Determined to fix the issue, I purchased the necessary tools to disassemble the steering and continued to loosen the steering bolts (see red arrows in the image) where I noted significant steering play (20 degrees approximately).

The only way to have the steering straight was to push the handlebars all the way to the left. But then the scissor type steering link was slightly off center which could impact on suspension compression.
Woohoo! after 2 months I finally had straight handlebars :)

Monday 19 October 2009: I informed Scott Norman of BMW that I had resolved the steering alignment issue.

Monday 19 October 2009: Scott Norman replied informing me that the bolts I loosened were micro-encapsulated (thread locked) and need to be replaced. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

K1300R 1st "Service"

Friday 18 September 2009: I did my usual warm up of the bike when suddenly from the engine I could hear a scratchy tick noise. I turn the ignition off and then started it again and the noise was still there... a little concerned about the noise I decided to take the car to work instead. And called my dealer for the 1st service.

Wednesday 23 September 2009I took the bike in to my dealer and explained all the issues. Later on in the day I called for an update and the service manager (Anthony) said it had been looked at, and it was all fine and perfectly aligned. I asked what equipment they had used to check the alignment and he said we took it for a ride. I told him I measured the steering before claiming it was misaligned; he proceeded to lecture me about how one of the best mechanics in Australia with many BMW awards said it was aligned and that's the end.

I asked if I could have a print out of the BMW diagnostic system... he said what print out!? I explained the tool you plugin to the bike to read error codes has a print function; he said "I can print it out if I want", and I asked him if he did... he then got aggressive and said “you ask too many questions, I don't think I can't help you any more with your bike don't bring it back”. I agreed I shouldn’t bring it back and left.

Friday, August 14, 2009

K 1300 R BadMotorWorks Wonky Bike Of The Year 2009 (Humor)

Over the past year BadMotorWorks has tried many bikes, some like the Harley Davidson V-Rod Shadow were expected to be wonky but the only finalist for BadMotorWorks Wonky Bike Of The Year 2009 is the BMW K 1300 R.

The BMW K 1300 R wowed BadMotorWorks with it's crooked handlebars and the 2 degree right lean.

We contacted BMW Motorrad Germany for an official explanation of the weight distribution/steering alignment issue, and received this reply:

Lieb Herr rayone.
Danke for your recent inquiry regarding weight distribution/alignment issue mit Ihrem neuen super BMW K1300R.

I had my number 1 Ingenieure examine your measurements. After many days examining he assures me das since der K1300R is so precisely engineered der real cause of it pulling to der recht is due to der riders anatomical imbalance.
It is der Kopf-Ingenieure view das your recht testical is larger than your left testical.

In Bezug auf der steering alignment, he also assures me das it must be das your recht arm is shorter than you left arm causing your Oberkörper to be closer to der recht handlebar giving der optische Täuschung das handlerbar is not straight.

Um Ihre Probleme zu lösen Kopf-Ingenieur empfiehlt Ihnen, besuchen Sie das nächste plastischen Chirurgen

Ich danke Ihnen für die Gelegenheit fur explaining the issue.

Wir hoffen, Sie auch weiterhin Ihre Präzision genießen entwickelt Motorrad.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen techincal Manager BMW Motorrad München

K1300R Wonky Bike poor customer service (Serious)

Friday 14 August 2009: I picked up a brand new BMW K1300R from Procycles Hornsby. I immediately noticed some steering misalignment to the right and I also noticed the camber of the bike not to be the correct 90 degrees but +/-88-89 degrees.

As the initial excitement began to fade and I had spent some time with the bike, the steering misalignment and camber began to disappoint me, so I decided to rule out my subjective observations and measure the alignment and camber.

  1. I remove the BMW emblem on the steering bridge.
  2. I aligned the bars/steering bridge with the frame and the rest of the bike using a string to make sure each handlebar tip was of equal length to the frame and the center of the bike taking a line from the steering adapter.
  3. I then placed a 20cm plastic rod in the middle of the bridge to mark the centre point in relation to the center of the bike.
  4. I marked the centre position on the instrument panel.
  5. Over numerous days I checked the steering angle, taking special note of the road cant / and any other surface features that could possibly influence the observations.

It immediately became clear that the steering was angled to the right. Being a brand new BMW I couldn't believe something so basic could be off and decided to reexamine my measuring approach, so I continued with the previous test and proceeded to carry out an additional alignment tests...

  1. As before +
  2. I purchased a 30cm oil spirit level
  3. Put a bolt through the steering adapter (the hole in the middle on the steering where the emblem was) so as to provide a level platform for the spirit level… this will prevent unevenness in the steering bridge influencing the measurement.
  4. I placed the spirit level flush with the bolt, centered with the bars/bike and flush with the handle bars.
  5. Over numerous days I checked the steering angle and camber, taking special note of the road camber / and any other surface features that could influence the observations.

Again it immediately became obvious the bike was leaning over on the right and the straight spirit level showed the bars were around 2-4 degrees off centre.

Fig A. is how the handlebars appeared relative to the front assemble frame mount.
Fig B. is an approximate representation of what the spirit level was indicating while riding in a straight line on a flat road.
Fig C. is an approximate representation of how the bike looks from the rear while riding in a straight line on a flat road.

I delayed contacting my BMW dealer until the bike was ready for it's 1st service, confident they would quickly remedy the issues.

Keywords: K1300R, Review, New, Test, Crooked, Misaligned, Scissor type, Steering link, Rear offset

Thursday, August 13, 2009

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