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johnlt

Another final drive trashed on the way home from the UN

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johnlt

One of my riding partners, Marty Mayer, lost his final drive near Sturgis on the way home from the UN/MOA. We attended the UN then rode up the MOA where he and Ted headed east to Cleveland and I went up to Seattle. Got a call from him today and he is at the BMW dealer in Sturgis (thanks to the MOA database of people who are willing to help). Not sure of the outcome but bad ending to a great trip.

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KDeline

Well you can add another final drive as we sit here in Seattle waiting for parts and that is after I replaced a seized drive shaft today.

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Marty Hill

John and Ken,

 

Sorry to hear this. Can't believe this crap is still happening to the new bikes.

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KDeline
John and Ken,

 

Sorry to hear this. Can't believe this crap is still happening to the new bikes.

 

 

Well not so new, but frustrating and expensive, and should not happen to a low mile "Legendary Motorcycle of Germany". At least if I had a Harley there would be a dealer every 5 miles.

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BeniciaRT_GT-GT

I'm surprised to hear this... I haven't heard of any other failures... :rofl: :rofl: :mad:

 

BTW, the laughing isn't about Y'alls failures, just what you might hear from someone else...

 

Ken, sorry to hear, but how much $$$? Now extended warr.?

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marty mayer

Hello all,

 

Yea that was me again! Ted and I were on I90 heading east about 40 miles west of Sturgis SD. We were in some road constrction, I radioed Ted that I had a strange vibration, He radioed back that he does too. It's the road surface, I'm thinking hope he is right. Well after getting back on smooth road it got worse by the second. I told Ted either I get off the next exit or I am going to be sitting on the interstate. Got off pulled into a parking lot, got off the bike. The whole rear half of the bike was covered with oil with oil running out of the final drive. Sent Ted to try to find a hotel. Meanwhile started calling numbers in the MOA Anonymous book. 5 calls later got ahold of a very helpful young guy named Jason. He said he would be there in 20 min. with a truck. He showed up, we loaded the bike and he offered to take me to Sturgis BMW about 40 miles away. We went up there, unloaded the bike, I parked it in front of their front door. It was now about midnight. Luckily there was a hotel across the street. They had 1 expensive room left. We took it. I was waiting at their door when they opened the next AM. After explaining my situation, that I was 1400 miles from home. I kinda of thought they would look at it right away. Not the case. The service rep sat there staring at his computer screen, seemed like forever. I thought he was looking up parts. I told him I would happily buy the parts from him if they had them, If not, I have them with me as I have come to know it is only a matter of time before it would fail. Typical of most shops now days they didn't have the parts. But they would install mine. I was very grateful for that. I told him what year it was, he said he's not looking at that but he is looking at their schedule. Finally he said they would look at it in the afternoon. I hung out all day between the dealer and the hotel. They took it in in the afternoon and closed the door behind them. Their service department was kinda of like Fort Knox. Couldn't even get a peak in there. I went back a couple of hours later, They showed me pictures of the inside of my final drive. Don't know if they already had it back together at that point or not. Seemed a little odd. Showed up again at 5:30 asked if it would be done that day. They said they hoped so. They closed at 6:00. Finally was told it was done. The tech was washing it, trying to get the some of the oil off of it. The rear tire looked like it had been soaking in A Armorall all night. I went and bought a bottle of rubbing alcahol,and went to work trying to clean the tire. It helped a little. Since the rear brake pads also had been soaked they pretty much were useless the rest of the way home. Since I had to get the room earlier, before they sold out. I spent the night. Got up early and headed home. 1400 miles 20.5 hours later I was home. When I was sitting there trying to get help I was so mad I said that I am done with BMW. I realize that I am a big guy that carries a pretty heavy load on my bike (camping equip and other things) Maybe that has something to do with with the final drive failures. But I still am not at the max load for that bike. So I don't buy it. It is A design flaw. That crown bearing is not designed to be used in that kind of application. There are alot of Japanese bikes that have more weight, more horsepower. and more weight capacity. I have never heard of a final drive failure. I really like my bike. I have no desire for a different bike. But I don't think I want a bike that I have to carry major repair parts with me in anticipation of failure. It's not a good feeling being stranded 1400 miles from home and having to depend on strangers for help. The only good thing about this where it happened. John, Ted and I spent most of this trip on two lane back roads often without cell phone coverage. If this happened somewhere out there I would probably still be sitting out there. Thanks for letting me rant.

 

Marty

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David in Tennessee

Hey Marty...I hate to hear that. Especially scary since I currently ride another brand and am thinking of switching to BMW.

 

What model bike do you ride and are the final drive failures skewed toward one model verses another?

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Twisties

All the BMWs with the shaft drive are at issue. There are no real numbers out there, but for current generation drives most people think something like 1-5% experience a premature final drive failure. We have had a fair number of folk on this board experience two on the same bike. There have been some attention grabbing clusters, such as 4 failures in the 2007 Iron Butt.

 

So far we have no reports of injuries associated with these. There was one report of a minor fire, when spilled oil got hot enough to burn. There have been some close calls, folks stopped where they shouldn't ought to be, etc. But mostly it is a time and money issue.

 

BMW of course warrants bikes to 3/36, and covers final drives beyond this period on a case-by-case "goodwill" basis... e.g. sometimes.

 

There are a number of failure modes, some involving lubricated parts, and others not. BMW has made several engineering changes but it is not known yet if these will prove effective.

 

Bikes will need to get to a dealer, wait for inspection, parts and repair. If no weekend or holiday is involved you could be on the road next day, but delays of up to a week are also not uncommon considering how sparsely spread the BMW dealer network is and where folk ride these machines.

 

Repair costs are typically between $1000 - $2000, however ancillary costs may prove more.

 

Most of us, obviously, feel the issue is not a show stopper, but it sure rankles. One way to look at it though is that the cost of chains and sprockets might well total more than an occasional FD.

 

Anyway, plenty of threads here on final drives. Give "search" a try.

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johnlt

Marty, what was the fundamental failure? Was it the bearing? Glad you made it back ok. You almost did a BB1500!! At least our "touring ride" went well. I really enjoyed being part of the group with you. Cheers,

 

john

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mbelectric

Find it hard to believe a Dealer would send you out the door with an oiled rear tire and junk brakes.

 

glad ya made it though.

 

MB>

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KDeline
Find it hard to believe a Dealer would send you out the door with an oiled rear tire and junk brakes.

 

glad ya made it though.

 

MB>

 

I have delt with them in the past, so I can easily believe it.

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KDeline
I'm surprised to hear this... I haven't heard of any other failures... :rofl: :rofl: :mad:

 

BTW, the laughing isn't about Y'alls failures, just what you might hear from someone else...

 

Ken, sorry to hear, but how much $$$? Now extended warr.?

 

The shaft and bearings with labor has cost us $1700.00, no extended warranty as I never have needed one until these bikes. IMHO you should not need one, it should not fail like this.

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tallman

Ken,

Perhaps he meant to ask if the repairs carry a warranty on them, which I think it does.

Like FB has said, an extended warranty is worthless, until it is needed.

That decision, is up to each one of us.

Jan is correct.

In some cases, the mileage on the bike at the time of FD failure and the cost to repair is often equivalent to or less than the cost of chains and sprockets.

NOt always.

Belts are different but when this topic came up there were plenty of examples of both failing.

The diff is obviously in the repair and dealership situations.

 

For many it is not a deal breaker, and I hope we don't have a spate of them.

 

I've always thought that one of the problems (and granted it should not be) is that in the USA we can motor for hundreds/thousands of miles with a loaded bike, almost non stop.

In Europe, that isn't possible due to road conditions, terrain, borders, etc.

I would like to see data comparing FD failure rates by geographic areas.

Yes, I've heard of low mileage FD failure.

But most of the one's I've known of involve bikes that are "ridden".

Not a criticism of the owner, that is what the bikes are for, just an observation.

Good luck Marty and Ken.

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Paul Mihalka

Comment on chain vs. shaft/rear drive: I prefer shaft drive to chain drive, but it is not only a question of money. Chain drive is a known maintenance item. If you replace it on time, usually no more problems. If there is, it is easy/cheap to fix. Shaft/rear drives are not a maintenance item except for oil change. If it fails it is a bad surprise usually in the middle of nowhere.

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marty mayer

David,

 

To answer your question, In 01 I bought my first BMW a R1100RT.I was getting back into riding and wanted the best bike I could buy. On my way to the first UN the rear drive failed with 25K miles on the bike. I was somewhere neat Limon Co. on a desolate two lane road. Wasn't a a very good feeling. Took about 6 hrs. before I was able to get any help. Finally had the bike towed to a dealer in Colorado Springs. It was still under warranty. Was told it would take a few days to get the parts and repair it. I rented a car and went to the UN. Upon getting the bike home the rear drive had considerable lateral slop in it. Took it to a dealer near home and was told they don't repair them they replace them. After a several week fiasco it was finally fixed. At the point I kinda lost confidence in that bike and traded it in on a 04 GS1150 Adventure. Actually thought I got a good one this time. Other than several stick coil failures. I never even had and sign of impending rear drive failure. I change the rear drive oil every time I change oil just to see the drainplug magnet. It was always clean. My bike had about 71K miles on it before this trip. In anticipation of going to the Un this year I actually bought a new crown bearing, seal and o ring just to have with me. Shouldn't have to carry major repair parts in anticipation of failure. As you read above it ended up being needed. Also now days at least to me it seems that most dealers stock very few parts. The dealer in Sturgis didn't have them, luckily I did. I might still be there waiting on parts.

 

John,

In answer to your question. It was the large crown bearing. The cage came apart in it. I brought it home with me.

 

Marty

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KDeline

The thing is, I don't consider the bike loaded with just my gear on it and no passenger, maybe BMW has a different take on that.

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hANNAbONE
Shaft/rear drives are not a maintenance item except for oil change. If it fails it is a bad surprise usually in the middle of nowhere.

 

 

pAUL - thank you for this...but something greatly troubles me when BMW, in its ignorance, didn't even put a rear drive drain plug in my '07 K12R.sport...and all the other RT's and such from '05 to '06 to '07 I believe.

 

I couldn't agree more that they need proper oiling/oil changes. But the BS that BMW shovels us for 3 years and then goes back to normal drain plugs in everything makes me wanna move to the next manufacturer.

 

After all these rear drives going south - and then to complicate it by telling the public, "they don't need the oil changed in the rear drives - we don't need no steekin' drain plug" ... well, it makes me wonder what other internals have they done to short change the public.

 

It just doesn't make sense to me...and I thought about it all the way home in the heat of Nevada.

 

MHO only.

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tallman
The thing is, I don't consider the bike loaded with just my gear on it and no passenger, maybe BMW has a different take on that.

 

Ken,

I agree.

What I mean by loaded is the bike has bags and extra gear on it, not that it exceeds the carrying capacity.

I think it has more to do with duration of the rides and cumulative miles under those conditions, not total miles, for the bikes that fail and that is why some go with low miles and some with high miles and most don't fail.

No rhyme or reason to point at a particular year/moodel.

Hope your trip still ends well.

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CoarsegoldKid

Paul, Tim, and others that work at BMW shops. Do your parts departments carry at least one of the appropriate part sets needed to affect a repair to the FD without requiring an overnight delivery? And one more question. How may failures have your shops seen on these bikes?

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tallman

When the BMW dealership was still open, we replaced FD, not repaired them.

I saw one '05 GS that had 4 replacments.

happened every 28-30k on that bike, something amiss with it but all replaced under warranty of new FD time periods.

Saw one other GS '05 (from same dealer up north) at 35,940.

Very few others.

I thpough initially it was something with the new 1200 as we didn't see 1100/1150 FD failures.

Since then, seen it in several diff models.

Wish I had some insight as to why/which ones/etc, but I don't.

None of our overseas members seem to post a lot about it, perhaps I just missed those posts, but that led me to conjecture about what is different wrt riding over here.

Long stretches of wide open roads?

I don't really know.

 

We used to pull a unit off of a similar floor model and get a traveller back on the road.

For otheres an order for a new FD was made and it took little to longer to get part.

 

 

So, no, not an "in stock" item.

I really haven't "seen" more than a handful of bikes involved.

Of course I've read of many more, and even though it is a very small percentage, it should be dealt with.

In most cases if the bike was over mileage but under 36 mos. the repair was goodwilled.

Best wishes.

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KDeline

Well now my final drive is starting to weep oil on the foot brake side. Am I losing this one to as I sit here in Whitehorse with the closest dealor more then 800 miles away? Do I need to head east and abort my attempt? When/if I get back home I am going to have a long talk with my dealer-salesman.

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tallman

Ken,

Take pictures, time/date.

Good luck.

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hANNAbONE

sO sORRY to hear it, Kenny.

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marty mayer

Ken, I know how you feel. When mine came apart last week I was surprised that there was still no lateral slop, side to side or top to bottom. Although the rear of the bike was covered with oil and oil was running out of the final drive. But when you would spin the rear wheel you could feel the rumble in it. I would be checking for both symptoms. Sorry to hear about your troubles, at least I was somewhat near a dealer.

 

Marty

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Twisties
Well now my final drive is starting to weep oil on the foot brake side. Am I losing this one to as I sit here in Whitehorse with the closest dealor more then 800 miles away? Do I need to head east and abort my attempt? When/if I get back home I am going to have a long talk with my dealer-salesman.

 

:S

 

Sometimes it might just be a seal. Keep oil in it, if you can, and check as Marty indicated for signs of deeper trouble.

 

 

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longjohn
Well now my final drive is starting to weep oil on the foot brake side. Am I losing this one to as I sit here in Whitehorse with the closest dealor more then 800 miles away? Do I need to head east and abort my attempt? When/if I get back home I am going to have a long talk with my dealer-salesman.

 

:S

 

Sometimes it might just be a seal. Keep oil in it, if you can, and check as Marty indicated for signs of deeper trouble.

 

Yep. Another member lost a seal coming home from Un and had if fixed in under an hour for less than $100 in Santa Rosa.

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KDeline

Then by my count there has been 4 final drive issues with just the folks at the UN, two with Kate and I alone? And this is not adnormal by BMW standards? Nice.

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tallman

And this may, or may not be, about what to expect.

4 instances, not all failed FD's out of 130+ bikes.

That is in the 3% range.

 

But, looking back at 10 El Paseo's and several BRR's I think the failure rate has been less than 1% at those and many times no instances of problems.

 

Maybe it's the "dry heat"?

 

Good luck.

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SageRider

... 10 El Paseo's and several BRR's ...

FWIW, these tend to be more regional events, so most riders do not put on the sort of mileage required by many to attend a left or right coast Unrally.

 

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rad
Then by my count there has been 4 final drive issues with just the folks at the UN, two with Kate and I alone? And this is not adnormal by BMW standards? Nice.

 

With all do respect, It may be time for you to move on. I have been where you are, final drive failure hell thousands of miles from home. I had to walk, ride, away from BMW for 5 years.

 

This final drive issue is way old news, same old, same old, for the last decade. You either accept the fact that the final drive repair is part of the BMW deal or you become a very unhappy man.

 

Good luck with what ever bike you pick.

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tallman

Yes, and no.

How many riders who came to the UN rode over 400 miles?

What percentage?

There were a lot of folks there from far and near.

 

At the EP's and BRR's there are many riders who do that.

Not arguing that the Un doesn't get more long distance riders, and in fact, that is part of my theory, that the long droning rides, which are UNcommon in Europe, may contribute to seal/FD failure.

 

However, at the first El Paseo, we had riders from over 1,000 miles west and north, plus plenty of 500-700 mile trips.

Then 3-800 miles of riding, then trip home.

Don't recall a FD failing.

Do recall 2 feet of snow and winds so bad bikes had to be parked by some.

 

There may not be any causal factors, it may purely be luck of the draw, some minor assembly difference, I don't know, but it anecdotally seems that maore report are made during long trips, particualarly out west with wide open distances between locales.

Makes me wonder.

Best wishes.

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SageRider

How many riders who came to the UN rode over 400 miles?

Over 90%

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Marty Hill

The only point is that there were not 4 final drive failures.

Do we now count a weepy seal as a F/D failure?

 

Anyone who is unhappy or afraid of the failure rate should really consider moving to a different brand.

 

Both Ken and Marty are friends of mine and I wish it hadn't happened to them. They posted their frustration and should have...but what is the point of of the constant piling on by others. Do you think BMW is watching and will suddenly change something?

 

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Paul Mihalka

"Do you think BMW is watching and will suddenly change something?"

 

They should.

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Marty Hill
"Do you think BMW is watching and will suddenly change something?"

 

They should.

 

Your right, but this saga has been going on for years and is would appear that nothing has been done.

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KDeline
The only point is that there were not 4 final drive failures.

Do we now count a weepy seal as a F/D failure?

 

 

I hope mine is not, so far it is holding, but we have another problem, posted in Hexheads. This is wearing us out.

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hANNAbONE
"Do you think BMW is watching and will suddenly change something?"

 

They should.

 

...bING...we've got another winnah..!

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UberXY
T

 

Anyone who is unhappy or afraid of the failure rate should really consider moving to a different brand.

 

 

 

Or try a different kind of BMW rear drive. I have a BMW belt, chain, and non-paralever shaft.

Edited by UberXY

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marty mayer

Just thought I would let you know how helpful BMW was after I sent them a lengthy letter explaining 10 yrs. of BMW ownership. Two different bikes 3 trashed final drives.Stranded twice. I was surprised that they even called me, although the call was useless. I was told that I should take my bike to the nearest dealer and let them go through the final drive. I told them that I just paid a dealer to do that, and they told me they think I will make it home. I am getting madder by the minute. I also have sent a letter to the NHTSA explaining just how dangerous this is. Next I think I am going to send a copy of my letter to Motorcycle Consumer News. To those that are in love with BMW I am sorry if this offends you. I no longer am feeling the love. I do understand that my bike has 75K miles on it. I told the BMW rep that we both know that there is a design flaw with their final drives but I am sure they would never admit it. His reply was that all he can say was that I wasn't the first person to call about final drive issues. Still trying to talk to them again, but so far they wont call me back. I figure if the first guy (Arron) cant help, I want to talk to someone who can. Just had to vent a little.

 

Marty

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Angel

GO Marty GO!!!!

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KDeline

Well we will be doing the same thing if we get home, so far $2200.00 in 5 weeks and 7000 miles to keep this thing on the rode. A shaft, rear bearings, clutch slave, and that is still leaking, and a fuel strip 3 days before we left. I have 700,000 BMW miles and Kate has 275.000. If that has no influence, the Honda Norge is looking pretty good.

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mbelectric
the Honda Norge is looking pretty good.

 

:eek:

 

didja mean Motoguzzi?

 

MB>

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Beagler

How about the new triumph Sprint GT? Standard ABS, nice hard bags. Chain drive, so no surprise failures, just a little more maintenance. Less than 14,000. Looks good too.

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OoPEZoO
How about the new triumph Sprint GT? Standard ABS, nice hard bags. Chain drive, so no surprise failures, just a little more maintenance. Less than 14,000. Looks good too.

 

That is most likely where my next motorcycle money will be spent. All it has to do is pass the Danielle test. I really hope she doesn't hate the pillion seat.

 

I love my bike, but I have pretty much got the sh*ts of wrenching on it and the newer bikes are not giving me any kind of confidence for a good replacement.

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Willie
How about the new triumph Sprint GT? Standard ABS, nice hard bags. Chain drive, so no surprise failures, just a little more maintenance. Less than 14,000. Looks good too.

 

That is most likely where my next motorcycle money will be spent. All it has to do is pass the Danielle test. I really hope she doesn't hate the pillion seat.

 

I love my bike, but I have pretty much got the sh*ts of wrenching on it and the newer bikes are not giving me any kind of confidence for a good replacement.

 

But Keith, pretty soon your bike will be completely new again :thumbsup: I think I'm with ya on the Sprint GT. Good reviews so far from across the pond. I'm spoiled with my adjustable windshield though. We'll all have to run up to the Triumph dealer and talk the Ladies into a test ride on a GT. Since this is a FD thread, thanks a ton for helping me out with mine. New bearings make the bike ride smooth as silk. Or else its from the bike being lighter from less weight in my wallet...

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rad
[That is most likely where my next motorcycle money will be spent.

 

If that is true, just consider buying used. I can't think of a marquee that has a worse re-sale value than Triumph. Don't know why, just is.

 

I like the Sprints, other than they still cook my right leg.

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OoPEZoO

Oh yeah.....no doubt. I wouldn't dream of buying a brand new bike, especially a Triumph. My local Triumph/BMW dealer consistantly gets 1 year old Sprints in with under 5k miles on them and has them listed in the ~$9-$10k range. Right now they have a leftover '09 demo w/ABS sitting there with ~3k miles on it and the full 2 year unlimited mile warranty.

 

One of these days I'll venture over for a test ride, but I don't want to start that process until I'm 100% ready to pull the trigger on something.

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