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maintenance records to cover warranty

Steve Kolenda

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Steve Kolenda

I have a 2011 R1200RT and plan on doing all of my own standard service. I want to be sure to have enough documentation to cover any warranty issues that may arise. How detailed do my records need to be? I previously had a 2000 R1100RT which over the past several years I have done all of my own maintenance but the bike was well beyond the warranty period and I wasn't concerned whether or not my documentation was good enough.

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Jerry Duke

I think by law you have to prove you bought the "correct" parts and document that you did the work. It would seem a simple log where you keep notes, by miles and dates, of what you do to your bike would work.

BUT, I wouldn't give BMW any excuse to deny a warranty claim. By doing your own work you're not spending money with your dealer and they are the main gate keeper when it comes to warranty claims. They can either fight for you or leave it up to the Regional rep and he wants to save money.

Take it to the dealer for anything except oil changes.

It'll be out of warranty soon enough.

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Steve Kolenda



Thank you for taking the time to reply but for reasons that I do not wish to debate here, I will be doing my own maintenance when possible.

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Afternoon Steve



The key here seems to be your dealer & their want to help you if the need arises.


I’m not sure there are any specific laws that say you have to have this or that to force BMW to honor their warranty commitment. All they really have to do is say (no) then it’s up to you to take them to court and force them to do what they promised in the warranty documents.


Personally I have a good relationship with a couple of dealers so have no issues doing my own work & getting easy problem free warranty service.


I still keep all my recipes on oil & filters complete with dates & specifics on what the oil used is. I do buy BMW filters while the bike is under warranty as in my opinion that makes it more difficult for BMW to blame non OEM parts for any engine damage.


I also document every service (except oil changes) with a digital camera showing current date then add the mileage on the saved picture. When I did my first service I even marked the cyl head nuts with paint then showed the before & after re-torque position of the head nuts to prove the head torque was done (you won’t need to do that on your 2011).


On every valve adjustment I document the before & after lash on all valves by position then add a note on if the valve stayed the same or tightened up or loosened up.


I even stamp my riders book with a rubber ink stamp that I had made up years ago with my name & saying BMW service after the name. Then date the stamping.


You can go online then download a service sheet for your motorcycle year/model so I suggest you do that then fill out all & check all the boxes that pertain to your mileage/date of service. Or have your selling dealer print out the service sheet(s) for you including your VIN number (this is what I do)


My take is the more receipts and documentation you have the less chance you will need to go to court if a BMW warranty denial should occur.


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If you plan to have Max do your warranty work, I doubt you'll have any issues. Although the warranty work they did for me wasn't directly related to any routine maintenance, they always went the extra mile without ever questioning my maintenance.


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I have the BMW repair disc, when a service is due I print it off the disc and follow it. I'll check off the items and make spec notes as I go. I use BMW filters, oil, etc purchased from the selling dealer that I attach to the paperwork. I imagine it's more then you will get from the dealer as far as paperwork and specs. Not sure cuz my bike has never been to the dealer. I also did the running in service myself, I have the tools for angle torques.


Warranty is warranty and is set by the manufacturer not the dealer. What you will loose by DIY is good will after the warranty period and from what I've read that's hit or miss anyway.


I worked for a 13 car line dealership and we couldn't be bothered by looking for a way to stick it to the customer, for us it was work, warranty or CP. I can't imagine a BMW MC dealer wanting to waste their time pissing off customers but I guess they can and do.

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Hey Steve-


Regardless of whether you use Max or Second Wind, they are both good dealerships and will always try to work with you and not hold it against you that you are doing your own wrenching. I do think it behooves you to consider having one of them do the first service at 600-1,000 miles (run-in), then you do all the wrenching from there. Also, investment in a GS-911 would be pretty much mandatory in your case (about $300-$350) from Hexcode. DR is right that using your dig camera to record the events is proof positive that you have done everything required in the time required.



Dave R.

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Steve Kolenda

Thanks, Max has already done the 600 mile service and I have a GS911. I am confident that Max will take care of any warranty issues but just want to have all my i's dotted and t's crossed.

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