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Looking for opinions - distance to BMW dealership from home.


chasR

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Hey Folks, I live in Savannah GA with my beloved R1200ST. Roughly 200 miles to the closest dealer. (Lets exclude the Charleston SC BMW-Honda dealer.)I am trying to decide if I am being a wimp or practical in considering selling the bike in order to buy something much easier to service. Planning for the regular maintenance requires some thinking, but my biggest concern is a major mechanical issue, and then having to truck the bike, etc. Doable...but practical?

 

I am not sure if some of you are in a similar situation and just deal with it or if you would see this as a major factor in ownership. I do ride often. Comments?

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If you do the work yourself then dealer location isn't a factor but if you depend on the dealer for maintenance then it is, or at least if I were in the latter camp I wouldn't be willing to have the nearest service center 200 miles away. Depends on your tolerance for such things I guess. Has the situation you're in been a hassle thus far?

 

Also wondering what you mean by 'easier to service.' If you mean dealer proximity then yeah, you could do better. But if you mean self-service then it doesn't get much easier than with the oilheads/hexheads.

 

Edit: Of course Michael's point is good too... grin.gif

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PhillyFlash

Many from Phoenix go to Ironhorse BMW in Tucson for their service, 200 miles round trip. Yes, it takes some planning, but you can usually ride in early in the morning, get some breakfast, maybe see a movie, and the bike is done. 200 miles each way is a bit more of an effort, though, and either requires a long day or an overnight stay. Certainly doable, if you want to. But when you're home, all of this can be planned; although it can be an inconvenience. In terms of a major failure, it often happens when you're away from home, and often far from a BMW dealership. Many of us have started using KOA/Allstate RV Roadhelp (customer service 1-800-786-2277). They cover motorcycles, and provide unlimited free towing to a dealer capable of repairing your bike. In most cases of major failure (or even many minor ones), that means a BMW dealer. Again, an inconvenience, but at least it will get you where you need to go.

 

Having to travel a long distance for routine maintenance is a pain, but if you really love that bike, learn to do as much service on it as you can, and try to think of all the good times you'll have by keeping it.

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We're only 20 miles away from a dealer.....How about asking here if there are any recommendations for an independent BMW tech nearer to you at least for some of the service.....And start collecting necessary tools (we are) to do some of the work yourself....Watch for somebody holding a Tech Daze in your area or host one yourself...

 

Phil........Redbrick

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This very issue has been the deal-breaker for a number of bikes that I otherwise really like and those dealers are all within ~50 miles. So if you decide that you're a wimp for selling, you're not the biggest one. Good luck.

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Hey Folks, I live in Savannah GA with my beloved R1200ST. Roughly 200 miles to the closest dealer. (Lets exclude the Charleston SC BMW-Honda dealer.)I am trying to decide if I am being a wimp or practical in considering selling the bike in order to buy something much easier to service. Planning for the regular maintenance requires some thinking, but my biggest concern is a major mechanical issue, and then having to truck the bike, etc. Doable...but practical?

 

I am not sure if some of you are in a similar situation and just deal with it or if you would see this as a major factor in ownership. I do ride often. Comments?

 

I live 350kms from my dealer, I get to "ride" the bike there. What is the problem.

Ian smile.gif

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Is the dealer at least on the way to somewhere interesting? Can you make it a two day trip? Say service and sightseeing? Can you get a girlfriend in town? Looks like that's far enough not to get caught by the neighbors.

 

I'd also have to spend some big bucks to get a good trailer if I were expecting to haul it myself. Even then, the above caveats would apply.

 

Yep, it would probably be a deal breaker when the alternative could be a Honda or Yamaha with local servicing available. Other bikes may not be as much fun, as dependable, etc., but you never know about the path not taken.

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I own a 2007 RT. As far as BMW's I've owned a k75s and an 1150rt previously.

The dealer I use is 150 miles one way. There is a dealer about 20 miles closer but I don't use them for various reasons.

I tried hard to like another brand before I bought the new RT for the reason you stated. I rode a lot of bikes and dealt with a few dealers of other brands much closer to home. I quickly discovered 2 things. First, for the way I like to ride, the RT is undoubtedly the best bike for me by a huge margin. Second, at least in this area, the other dealers were not nearly as knowledgeable about their products or as friendly and accommodating.

The good thing about scheduled maintenance is that it's an excuse for a ride. The bad thing is that it means a day off work ( I'm self employed so that means no pay) and a night in a Hotel. For me it is worth it every time I fire up the bike.

As far as major breakdowns, that's going to be a hassle no matter where you are. When I first got my 1150 and discovered this sight, the first thing I noticed was all the people writing about major problems. I half expected to wake up in the morning and find that my final drive had spontaneously combusted while I was sleeping. I no longer worry about those things. I just enjoy the bike and ride the crap out of it. I've added motolights, hyperlights, and crashbars by myself with no problems. I also do all my own oil changes.

I expect to start doing the smaller service by myself within the next year and take it to the dealer once a year for the major service. ( I average about 13,000 to 15,000 miles a year.) I did have to trailer my k75 to a dealer once. I rented a motorcycle trailer from U-Haul for $18.00 a day, strapped it down and drove it to the dealer. Was it a hassle? Yes. But in the scheme of things not that big a deal.

 

Bill

2007 R1200RT

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I have 49,000 on my 04 RT, with not one problem of any kind. My nearest dealer is 150 miles one way, but I have used the one about 210 miles away. I make an overnight trip of it or part of a longer trip and so far actually look forward to it. It helps that I am semi-retired. That being said, if I had found a bike I liked close to the RT, I would have opted for a brand with a dealer nearby. I will be taking a hard look at the new FJR and Connie in the next year. If I like them well enough, I may make the switch in the next year or two to have a dealer only 10 miles away. If I did not have a bike at this point, I would go with one with a closer dealer if the bike was close to the RT in what I wanted. I do not do any maintenance because I don't know how (other than changing fluids) and don't want to learn -- I do not enjoy mechanical work.

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My closest dealer is about 280 miles one way. I have no plans to ever have to take my bike there as I plan to do my own maintainence and repair. That is not to say I'll never need the service of a dealer.

 

More to the point...what guarantee do you have that you will be near a dealer if you experience problems on the road?

 

Just ride the bike and stop worrying about all the "what ifs".

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bakerzdosen

My thoughts:

 

Get the KOA insurance and do your own maintenance. Trust me, as someone who had never done any mechanical work (beyond oil changes, wiper blades, and a starter in my car in HS) on a vehicle, the routine maintenance is pretty easy. Get to a Tech Daze or get Jim's how-to service DVD. Try doing the service (or watch it being done) before you make your decision.

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I live in Charleston, SC and deal with Touring Sport BMW in Greenville, SC (225 miles) - to me, it is worth it to deal with people I like, who have treated me well over the years.

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Kudzu - interesting that living in CHAS, why you dont use that dealership? Maybe same as my observation- I walked in there a few months ago while in town for business, walked out about 5 minutes later - it felt like a Honda shop with some BMWs in stock...

 

I appreciate the maintenance recommendations, but 2x already I have had to hit the dealership for ECU mods, couple other small recall items. That is the type of work that requires some proximity to a dealer IMO. I just have to decide hassle factor vs. the ST long term.

 

But most other brands I probably wouldnt think as hard about this.

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