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What's the difference between


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From the BMW Motorcycle website....



© 2008 BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW North America, LLC


BMW North America, like BMW Germany, sells cars and motorcycles.


BMW Motorrad, whether over there, or over here, is the "Motorcycle Division."


Motorrad means "Motorcycle" in German.

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Interestingly enough, it seems the car and bike divisions share very little engineering between them.

On the contrary, my understanding is that the car division had a a great input into the design of the cylinder heads on the newer K series bikes - not that it was totally successful at first!

...and how about the CanBus wiring??

... and how about the electronic suspension?



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Having owned both bikes and cars from BMW during this period, I'd argue BMW's car division went through a renaissance of quality improvement near the year 2000 that didn't even touch the m/c division. I am only going on hope that my new R-RT is improved because there is little evidence of quality improvement in the years leading up to it, very unlike the e46 to e9x 3-series improvement.


Also, the many quirky choices of BMW motorcycle engineering was not echoed in their cars.

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Since we are just chatting...


I can also say I have experienced BMW North America from both the Auto and the Motorrad sides. My earliest BMW auto was a 1974 2002 and it was a great car. Honest, straight forward. Nothing fancy just an eager motor and solid performance.


That began a string of eleven other BMW autos in a row ending in the present with my X5. Obviously things have changed in the ensuing 34 years. They have gotten more expensive, more electronic, more tricks and bells and whistles. Used to be you could work on them yourself... like the time I removed the transmission from the 2002 in my driveway and took to a shop and had it repaired. Then reinstalled it a week later. Today you cannot even diagnose an issue without a proprietary computer and a stout heart as you await the bill. Is it progress? I suppose it is. Hard to say.


As for the car club relationship with BMWNA... I was a very active BMW CCA guy for decades. Notice the "space" between BMW and CCA? That is a result of BMWNA deciding that their very own , devoted, car club was violating copywrite of the North America operation and demanding the space to show that the Car Club of America was not really all that associated with them.


I suppose we are still arguing the point with Motorrad and wish that the BMWMOA had more influence with Motorrad. The more things change the more they remain the same.


BMW is obviously doing something right. At least they are profitable, so far. I just wish that the BMW owners of today had some greater level of support from the Mother ship. Maybe that is just not in the cards any longer.



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I am hopeful we will get more support. Was at my local dealer the other day talking to him about an experience I had at the local BMW car dealer and how I wish BMW treated its motorrad fans the same. The fellow I was talking to, who used to work for motorrad and is still quite connected from what I can tell, gave me wink and told me to be patient, that things are changing and the car and motorrad divisions will be moving closer in terms of customer care. I am going to keep my fingers crossed. Heck, all bikes can now be had in a lowered format thanks to the new boss that came from the car side. Who knows what else he has planned.

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Actually, I'd like to think the new lowered bikes are a result of my email to BMW Motarrad in 2004, please don't burst my bubble.


The original question that began this thread (What's the difference ...), came up as a result of a rather, interesting conversation I had the other night with a BMWNA (I think) representative who called to ask me whether I was satisfied with a recent service visit at my dealer.


The survey morphed into a rather long conversation in which I explained that the problem wasn't "fixed" on that particular visit, which was one of several for the same problem, and that yes, I think it might be fixed after my most recent visit, and that it took multiple visits to get the (warranty) problem "fixed." And a few other miscellaneous observations about my history with the dealer's service department. (I did point out that Service Manager No.4 since I purchased my bike in May '07 seemed to have caused noticeable improvement and that the service writer was a nice young man who refuses to call me by my first name (golly, he makes me feel old!)). I also told her that I wouldn't take my bike to the dealer for anything other than warranty work, because I was generally unhappy with the service department for a variety of reasons.


My nice conversation with the survey taker ended in her asking me for my email address so BMWNA could contact me about my concerns. I told her that I had emailed BMWNA about my problem several months ago and that they told me to "talk to my dealer," which led me to believe that they didn't really care whether I was a happy customer or not.


She then asked me whether I sent my email to BMWNA or BMW Motarrad USA. I said "Huh? What's the difference?"


Hence, my rather hasty post.







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Say, Sharon. I wonder if your dealer monitors these forums. I certainly hope so. I've suggested many times to them that they should send out a customer satisfation survey of their own. They could use their customer database and break it down into shop and motorcycle/non-motorcycle sales. They haven't done it. They probably don't want to know. What's that old saying? "Something never measured, never improves."

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Al, I think that our dealer might be on the right track with their new service manager (if he's still there). I would love to be able to unequivocally support them. ((I'm still trying to figure out why I am willing to purchase another new bike from them. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, or something along those lines???) I'd hate to discover that I'm really, actually insane; but if I'm lucky, I won't figure it out, right?) :grin:

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My dealer actually did send out a survey concerning my last service visit. Of course the comment boxes after each question was limited in response space, but I will give them credit for trying.


As for insanity, if my only contact with this dealer was through the service department, I would have a hard time buying a bike. The sales and parts department though are great and keep me going back. I just wish the service department would get their act together. I may try another dealer an hour away or go back to the one I was using 2 hours away.

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