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BMW vs. Competition - Things That Make You Go, Hhmmm....

Discussion in 'R1200RS Versus The Competition' started by RJC_BMW, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. RJC_BMW

    RJC_BMW Active Member

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  2. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    that survey is over 2 years old and they do not seem to have repeated it - what you would want to see is data from several years to see if things are improving or getting worse. A single report for bikes made in 2011 is not much use to me as my bikes were both made last year, although one was registered this year.
    My own seat of the pants guesstimate that led to me buying a new BMW last year is that quality was pretty good in the late 90s into 2000 and took a dip when the 1200cc boxer came out around 2003 as BMW started to outsource in a big way, having sub-assemblies made in China. They also fucked up the design of the new, lighter final drive which is hopefully resolved now. I owned a 2000 R1150GS but lost any faith in the brand by the time I was ready to change. A decade later things got a bit better and by 2016 I decided to start kicking BMW tyres again. Of course, the R1200RS was difficult to resist as soon as I saw a magazine report and then when the test ride happened I was smitten.
     
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  3. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Yeah - what a bunch of horseshit. I saw this drama reported in April as a way to market Consumer Reports.

    Doesn't BMW report some gigantic percentage of BMW motorcycles ever produced are still on the road?

    Limited to subscribers to consumer reports who replied to the survey....
    Anyone on the forum reply to this survey?
    I didn't subscribe to review the details of the report, but my interpretation - this statistic (40%) is based on replies sent in by 3 BMW owners who reported no failures, and 2 owners of Harley dealership who claimed to own BMWs and reported problems....

    But seriously, I believe they are looking at warranty repairs and calling them failures. See the report on the report from April http://www.motorcycle.com/top10/the-10-most-reliable-motorcycle-companies.html. "Interestingly, CR’s report found that, of all the motorcycles needing repair, 45% of owners paid exactly zero dollars for the repair – suggesting the work was done under warranty." Therefore, it seems likely that every time someone replaces a centerstand or luggage rack under warranty, it is counted as a "failure."

    Consumer Reports itself, has this telling statement, "We found that owner satisfaction creates a much different picture."
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  4. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    I'd concur with the survey, BMW is the only brand that I've had to call roadside assistance with (never had to do this with any jap/Italian brands that I've owned). Additionally, this has been my experience with cars as well - Audi has been my worst auto experience, Honda my best.

    Japan has western brands beat hands down in terms of failures per mile....but don't always feel like high quality...until you define it as "fitness for purpose", then they excel.

    But.........BMW bikes have delivered the best mix of character and rideability ..........so I kind of forgive them......and they do deliver on the long term (ie you can run them for years and years)
     
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  5. Bob Ain't Stoppin'

    Bob Ain't Stoppin' Member

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    Consumer reports provides good information for people who are ignorant of the subject at hand. But if you know anything about what is being reported on (be it motorcycles or washing machines) you quickly find out that they give a very biased picture, and don't offer much real world info.
     
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  6. PaulB_UK

    PaulB_UK Member

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    Reminds me of a very old joke. "95% of all Ducatis ever made are still on the road. The other 5% made it home just fine."

    Cheers

    Paul B.

    PS: I have nothing against Ducatis. You can change it to any brand you feel like.
     
  7. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    That's because they don't do big miles.......and BM's do.....but they still struggle against the Jap stuff..
     
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  8. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    I didn't read the full Consumer Reports article, but I don't think they differentiate between different kinds of failures. For example, a dead light bulb might be considered one failure, and a dead transmission might also be counted as one failure. Counting failures in this way doesn't really tell you much about the basic build quality of a machine. It also doesn't take into account differences in complexity of the machines. For example, BMWs tend to be pretty loaded with the latest electronic gadgets, such as traction control, cruise control, ride-by-wire throttle, etc. Many other bikes have adopted these things later than BMW, so failures of these features won't exist in those bikes. For example, many Japanese bikes are still available without ABS, which BMW has had for around 15 years (I think).

    Having said all that, it can't be denied that BMW has had its share of quality issues lately, including failed handlebar switches, failed rear struts on the R1200RT, failed stanchions on the new RT and GS, dripping water pumps etc. These things would have to show up in a survey like the one from CR, and would result in poorer results than any one of us here would like to see.

    What a one-dimensional report like that can't tell you is how many good qualities and features a bike has. That survey can't tell you how nice a bike handles, how comfortable it is, how good the suspension is etc. In other words, it can't tell you if a bike will make you love owning it, and if you don't love a motorcycle there is no point owning it, no matter where it falls on Consumer reports list.

    Personally, I am willing to put up with some minor issues to ride a BMW because BMW does so many things right. I have had a few minor issues over the years, although none with my RS, but BMW has always stepped up and fixed them. They have kept me a happy customer even when things haven't been perfect. That's why I don't ride around worrying what Consumer reports says. I love so many things about my RS, and about other BMWs I've owned, and if anything goes wrong I'm confident BMW will do the right thing.

    I would rather ride a bike I love than a bike that doesn't do anything for me, no matter what CR says.
     
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  9. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Being a longtime subscriber to Consumer Reports, I can tell you that motorcycles are not their favorite type of vehicle. :eek: I was really surprised that they even bothered to survey motorcycle owners. :confused: They really do a lot better with washing machines. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Scorch

    Scorch Well-Known Member

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    Edward's post for President!

    Perfectly put, thank you.
     
  11. Duckbubbles

    Duckbubbles Active Member

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    Edward- BMW introduced ABS on the '88/'89 K100's. Otherwise spot on.

    Frank
     
  12. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    Duckbubbles, wow, I didn't realize BMW had ABS that long ago! Thanks.
    Ed
     

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