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Re: BMW are you listening

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JamesW

Well, I would disagree with your time estimate to change out a clutch pack on an airhead or oilhead having had the experience.  Also, I have no idea what the alternator failure rate is on a wethead and I doubt you do either.  I have read on the forum that BMW has made changes to the alternator to prevent overheating damage.  I assume this is true but then the info came from the internet so really who knows for sure.

 

I have always thought that it is better to have the transmission running in its own lubricant rather than sharing the lubricant with the engine and that was once what BMW would have had you believe.  I'm not against wet clutch bikes.  My FJR has one and I have no issues with it and it is simple to service for sure.  I've had the clutch disks out for cleaning which did make for really smooth shifting.  I think the clutch disks were sticking together.

 

 

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JamesW

Well, I wish I owned a ModelT because it would be worth a lot more than any rolling stock I presently own.  I agree that technology has had a very positive impact on safety and performance.  I just question the need or wisdom to do things like place the alternator within the confines of the engine and not do your homework to make sure the alternator is up to the task.  Things like cam shafts with soft lobes that might cause the owner much financial grief should a failure occur out of warranty.  This is kind of like planned obsolescence.  

 

I would like to see BMW and others invest more time and money in improved quality control.  I understand this is a world economy with outsourcing becoming common place among manufacturers so quality control should be priority number one now more than ever.  I hope BMW is listening.  Oh, and dispense with the gizmos and gadgets,  please...at least until reliability and maintenance costs improve.

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AndyS
6 minutes ago, JamesW said:

Well, I would disagree with your time estimate to change out a clutch pack on an airhead or oilhead having had the experience.  Also, I have no idea what the alternator failure rate is on a wethead and I doubt you do either.  I have read on the forum that BMW has made changes to the alternator to prevent overheating damage.  I assume this is true but then the info came from the internet so really who knows for sure.

 

I have always thought that it is better to have the transmission running in its own lubricant rather than sharing the lubricant with the engine and that was once what BMW would have had you believe.  I'm not against wet clutch bikes.  My FJR has one and I have no issues with it and it is simple to service for sure.  I've had the clutch disks out for cleaning which did make for really smooth shifting.  I think the clutch disks were sticking together.

 

 

Hi James, You really think changing the clutch out on a pre Wethead bike is a quick job?

As to alternator failures, I suspect the count is VERY low otherwise we would have head A LOT more moaning on these dedicated forums about such things.

Anyhow, I can see this discussion diluting an interesting thread. For most of us on this particular forum, we are pleased with the decision we made but realise there is still WAY more that can be done to improve the lovely Wethead motor and even more that can be done to improve the chassis, as it isn't the most supple ride in the world.

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Bernie

It’s not just BMW that is modernizing their bikes and cars. Most of the Asian and American manufacturers use now batteries, electric starters and pneumatic tires. Some are even installing brake systems. The world is going to the dogs or dinosaurs. 

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JamesW

Hi Bernie,  True Dat.:)

 

Hi Andy,  You're probably right.  I'll shut up.  Enjoy your motorcycle and odds are you won't have any issues.  That's true for most motorcycles as well.  These forums are not visited by the vast majority of motorcyclists anyway.  Yup, changing out a dry clutch isn't a job for those without skills or the will to do it but if you have a good shop with the proper tools it isn't that hard and there is the satisfaction one gets from a job well done.  Odds are I'll never do my '93 R1100 because I'll most likely be shoving up the daisies before the bike ever needs a clutch either that or I will have ended my riding career..  It just turned over 10K miles and is 26 years old.

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Bernie
3 hours ago, JamesW said:

Hi Bernie,  True Dat.:)

 

Hi Andy,  You're probably right.  I'll shut up.  Enjoy your motorcycle and odds are you won't have any issues.  That's true for most motorcycles as well.  These forums are not visited by the vast majority of motorcyclists anyway.  Yup, changing out a dry clutch isn't a job for those without skills or the will to do it but if you have a good shop with the proper tools it isn't that hard and there is the satisfaction one gets from a job well done.  Odds are I'll never do my '93 R1100 because I'll most likely be shoving up the daisies before the bike ever needs a clutch either that or I will have ended my riding career..  It just turned over 10K miles and is 26 years old.

 

Good for you James. In over 300K miles on 3 different BMW’s I haven’t had to change a clutch, transmission or alternator  yet. The tires don’t seem to last very long. :4607:

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Marty Hill

We can only hope!

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longjohn

Good suggestions all, but I would add Horn-on-one-side-blinker-on-the-other.  

 

iPhone 11 pro fits into the "glove box", just barely.  A 90º phone plug would probably help.

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Ponch

How about a bike that doesn't require special tools for maintenance and less maintenance? It's one reason I haven't upgraded to a new(er) Beemer. Just can't be bothered with the added tools/procedures or paying someone else to do it.   I would if Mr Crow would give me and my compatriots a decent raise, but the million dollar plus civil servant won't. Oh well. I'll just have to keep the one I have for now. 

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AndyS

Oh, I've just thought of another couple of things i'd like.

1/. Swap the dip switch position with the horn, so that I get a push to dip, push to go on main beam. I can use my trigger finger for the horn, but I use the Dip switch A LOT more and the thumb a better tool for that operation.

 

2/. Revert the indicator switch, back to the traditional BMW position of a button on the left bar for left turn and a button on the right bar for right turns. Press either to cancel.

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Dave_in_TX
11 hours ago, Bernie said:

 

Good for you James. In over 300K miles on 3 different BMW’s I haven’t had to change a clutch, transmission or alternator  yet. The tires don’t seem to last very long. :4607:

With over 350k miles on three different BMWs, one of mine (2011 R1200RT) required a new clutch at 108k miles.

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dirtrider
2 hours ago, AndyS said:

2/. Revert the indicator switch, back to the traditional BMW position of a button on the left bar for left turn and a button on the right bar for right turns. Press either to cancel.

 

Morning Andy

 

Amen to this one!

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realshelby

Two....no make that THREE demerits for ANYONE that wants to go back to the %^&$ signal switches on both sides!!!

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longjohn
40 minutes ago, realshelby said:

Two....no make that THREE demerits for ANYONE that wants to go back to the %^&$ signal switches on both sides!!!

A Friggin’ Men!

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Paul De
4 hours ago, dirtrider said:
6 hours ago, AndyS said:

2/. Revert the indicator switch, back to the traditional BMW position of a button on the left bar for left turn and a button on the right bar for right turns. Press either to cancel.

 

Morning Andy

 

Amen to this one!

 

Ummm, you realize that the /5s had  a single indicator switch, so from my point of view the " traditional BMW position" was a single switch on the left side.  It was a multi function switch and button.   Flip up for right, down for left turn indicators and a press for the horn (by the way the horn was crappy then too)!

 

In any case, with all the gizmos that JamesW could do without, having multiple buttons is just too much space for a single function.  I'm with Realshelby a single compact switch on the left side was a good improvement. I just wish I didn't hit the wizzywheel and change the radio station when I really want to signal a right turn.

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Paul De

But that reminds me of an improvement for Skywagon's list.  Improve the self cancelling function on the indicators by allowing the rider to access and adjust time distance cancel numbers through the wizzywheel menu.    Maybe, if intellectual property rights would not be infringed, copy what HD did by also having the system sense lean angle for 90 degree intersection turns.  

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JamesW

I installed a Kisan Electronics Signal Minder on my R1100RSL now when I,  say, want to tap the right turn paddle switch to signal a right turn I can either cancel the turn indicator by tapping the right turn paddle switch again or wait for the self cancel feature to do it for me.  I can program the Signal Minder to self cancel after 10, 20 or 30 seconds.  I like 20 seconds.  Never have to use the awkward to use cancel switch unless I want to which I surely don't.  Another neat feature is when I apply brakes the brake light illuminates as usual and all 4 marker lamps flash brightly 3 times.  I wouldn't be without this cool relatively inexpensive device.  They also sell a headlight modulator which I also have.  The stock turn signal cancel switch is hard for me to use especially when my right hand is also trying to control the throttle position.  I felt like I was about to dislocate my thumb each time I canceled a turn signal.

 

For you folks that aren't familiar with Kisan check 'em out.  And it's plug and play.  Wish BMW had used this as OEM for all their bikes from the oilheads to 2013 model year when they saw the light and went back to the airhead technology.  

 

SIMPLE BY CHOICE by gawd!

 

 

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AndyS

Wow James, surely that Kisan Signal Minder is technology that you could do without. You say you like simple, but there we go, you also like the Gizmo's!

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Dave_in_TX
23 hours ago, realshelby said:

Two....no make that THREE demerits for ANYONE that wants to go back to the %^&$ signal switches on both sides!!!

+1

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Cap
On 11/6/2019 at 6:01 AM, realshelby said:

Two....no make that THREE demerits for ANYONE that wants to go back to the %^&$ signal switches on both sides!!!

 

I liked the old design because they were big enough, and placed properly, such that I could reliably use them without looking.  I also used the Kisan relay that allowed me to cancel by pressing the same switch. 

 

Sure, the current switch setup is an international standard, and so makes it easier to move between bikes of different manufacturers.  But that doesn't make it good.  The current design uses a switch of poor quality with a lot of play in it.  It is small, difficult to discriminate by feel when wearing gloves. It is located in a cluster of other controls that are also small.  The consequence for me is that I need to look at the switch when using it.  And the ultimate result is that I use the turn signal less frequently than I should, because it is a PITA.  

 

If BMW wants to stay with the international-style standard turn signal operation, then they should design their own switch that is larger, with improved positive tactile feedback, and positioned in a way that lets the rider find it unambiguously without looking.  

 

Cap

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AZgman
On 11/6/2019 at 6:01 AM, realshelby said:

Two....no make that THREE demerits for ANYONE that wants to go back to the %^&$ signal switches on both sides!!!

Then give me SIX demerits please!  :)

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AZgman
On 11/5/2019 at 7:54 PM, Ponch said:

How about a bike that doesn't require special tools for maintenance and less maintenance? It's one reason I haven't upgraded to a new(er) Beemer. Just can't be bothered with the added tools/procedures or paying someone else to do it.   I would if Mr Crow would give me and my compatriots a decent raise, but the million dollar plus civil servant won't. Oh well. I'll just have to keep the one I have for now. 

Ponch, having owned an oilhead, a hexhead (like yours), and now a wethead, I can say there are no special tools required. If you are referring to the cam phasing tools, those are optional, not required for maintenance, only to satisfy us engineers who want the cam phase to be "dead nuts" on. On the oil head and hexhead you do need a special tool, one to set the throttle body sync. That has been eliminated on the wethead.

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Ponch
14 minutes ago, AZgman said:

Ponch, having owned an oilhead, a hexhead (like yours), and now a wethead, I can say there are no special tools required. If you are referring to the cam phasing tools, those are optional, not required for maintenance, only to satisfy us engineers who want the cam phase to be "dead nuts" on. On the oil head and hexhead you do need a special tool, one to set the throttle body sync. That has been eliminated on the wethead.

 

I thought the tools were required to do the valves. I've also heard that the cams can be out of phase brand new. If you have to change the clearance, the cams have to come out, no? That's the thing about the K bike. I wouldn't want to do an adjustment on that or pay for one. I just think in this day and age they could design something that doesn't require valve work. Even the ZL1 Camaro and the corvettes don't require valve adjustments and they can rev a bit. I suppose it could be worse, like a Ducati, which I would never buy because of the maintenance. Not unless I got a nice raise. Toy stuff has to come out of my salary and there just isn't enough or even what it used to be before moving to AZ. The other thing is I want to retire in 5 years and I don't want payments at that time, so maybe it's time to reevaluate. The Beemers are going to be mid 20's out the door for a RT for sure. It's just a little more than I want to spend. 

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realshelby

The "special tool" to check valve adjustment is.....a straightedge! I use a stainless steel machinist ruler. 

 

Yes, some have dived into the cam timing. I haven't . No idea if it matters on mine. But it starts and runs so good I don't think so. 

 

 

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realshelby
3 hours ago, Cap said:

 

 

Sure, the current switch setup is an international standard, and so makes it easier to move between bikes of different manufacturers.  But that doesn't make it good.  The current design uses a switch of poor quality with a lot of play in it.  It is small, difficult to discriminate by feel when wearing gloves. It is located in a cluster of other controls that are also small.  The consequence for me is that I need to look at the switch when using it.  And the ultimate result is that I use the turn signal less frequently than I should, because it is a PITA.  

 

 

The "international standard" is on many, many more bikes than BMW every made. There is a reason it is still the standard. Compared to the Suzuki's and the Yamaha I have owned the BMW switch gear is just as easy to use. Never had to look at any of them to operate the signals. 

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sardineone

I guess it was too smart of a design to survive, but I'll petition BMW to bring it back as it is quite doable even with technology upgrades.  Remember the adjustable handlebars from the K1200GTSo effective by raising the bars and bringing them closer to the rider at the same time!

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ScottT

If BMW turned back the technology clock back, they wouldn't be making motorcycles. I for one, do not miss melted diode boards, stripped rear drive spines, gas soaked boots, bad coils, adjusting points, jetting carburetors, greasing wheel bearing every 20k miles, having to replace battery covers because the rubber band holding them in place broke, changing rear main seals, changing push-rod seals, and so on. I did love my first bike, a '77 R100/7 and my second, an '84 R100RS, but they had issues. Yeah, I did fix nearly everything myself, but on my old 2005 R1200RT I had to fix almost nothing. My current R1250RT has nearly double the horsepower on my old, dual-plugged R100RS, but it runs many, many, many times cleaner, gets better MPG, goes further on a tank of gas and doesn't pour gas on my feet. The new stuff isn't all bad you know. Yes, the new bikes have the alternator in a lousy place. I will give everyone that. 

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Ponch

How about allowing the customer to reset the service reminders?

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JamesW

Hi scott, 

Yes, I agree.  Funny how you seem to recall the good things until someone jogs your memory a bit.  I do recall those Bing carbs and their tendency to leak gas on my foot.  Seemed like I was always tweaking my points as well.  Nothing like a blown cam shaft oil seal when you're 600 miles from home and your points are soaked in oil.  But you could easily remove the front cover and throw some gas on the points then bungee the cover on the rack and head out for home stopping occasionally to repeat. Then take the bike to the friendly dealer with an expired 1 year warranty and have the mechanic say, "That shouldn't have happened" and then put in a new seal at no charge.  My first BMW was a new R75/7.  Those were the days.  The new bikes are far easier to service but man your wallet should trouble arise big time if expired warranty.

 

Reset your own service reminder?  No fun in that.  More fun to charge the customer to do that. Grrrrrr......

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LittleBriar

Back to the turn signal discussion: I bought an aftermarket self cancelling unit for my Yamaha FZ-07. It came with a little box that has accelerometers in it among other things. It can sense lane changes, turns, even round abouts. It works great. Since the new BMWs already have the sensors, seems this would be a fairly simple software development project.

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LAF
22 hours ago, LittleBriar said:

Back to the turn signal discussion: I bought an aftermarket self cancelling unit for my Yamaha FZ-07. It came with a little box that has accelerometers in it among other things. It can sense lane changes, turns, even round abouts. It works great. Since the new BMWs already have the sensors, seems this would be a fairly simple software development project.

Turn signal timing even set at it's lowest time is way too long. 

 

It is a Mothership Computer adjustment.  I can not get to it with my GS-911.  I HATE it!  I ALWAYS self cancel rather then end up dead!

 

I still think a class action suite should be started to be able to cancel the service nag.  I thought they did it in cars years ago and a class action stopped it. 

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alexp

Double horn for safety!  This moped horn doesn't cut.  The seat is a matter of preference.  I always use the DL ones. 

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longjohn

I miss the sewing machine sound of my hexhead. The wethead has a significantly louder exhaust, prolly to up the hp on the cheap. 

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Rob Nowell

You guys made a wonderful list.  I am still in love with this bike, which replaced an R1100RT.  There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for the seat quality.  My biggest peeve, though, is the hand angle on the new bike:  I get cramps because the handlebars are gripped a few degrees higher on the outside of the bars.  A slightly more "cruiser" angle would help (I never had the problem with the 2000).

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Rob Nowell

Oh, and let's keep the comments positive.  We're all on the same team here.  There's no need for sniping...

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Indy Dave
On 11/7/2019 at 9:42 AM, AZgman said:

Then give me SIX demerits please!  :)

 

On 11/6/2019 at 8:01 AM, realshelby said:

Two....no make that THREE demerits for ANYONE that wants to go back to the %^&$ signal switches on both sides!!!

 

 

Please Sir, could I have some more?!?!

 

The right and left side switches are/were the best. :5590:

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Rinkydink
On 11/10/2019 at 5:49 AM, alexp said:

Double horn for safety!  This moped horn doesn't cut.  

Has anyone added the BMW second horn on a wethead? Surely they are not still prewired for the additional horn. 

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Skywagon

I had a set of horns from an R1150RT.... you know the loud ones.  I could not find an additional wire so I made a bracket, mounted them both, spliced into the wiring for the horn it comes with....it didn't work.  It would honk for about 1/2 second and go off line.  Reset with key and repeat.  I tried them individually and they worked, but apparently the system doesn't like or recognize the current and it shuts down.  There was a thread on how to put in a relay and rewire but at the time the bike was new, under warranty, and I just stopped.  If anybody did it successfully I would be real interested.

 

My dual horns on the 1150 were awesome.

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realshelby
11 hours ago, Indy Dave said:

 

 

 

Please Sir, could I have some more?!?!

 

The right and left side switches are/were the best. :5590:

I managed to get the signal to come on and turn off just fine with them.........

 

Unless I had been riding another, not BMW, bike previously. No matter which way you push on the left paddle, only the left signal comes on! Same with going back to a bike with a single switch point.

 

But at least I still miss dimmer switches on the floor of my cars and trucks!:5223:

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LAF

It was easier to slide my foot over then  use a damn stalk to turn on high beams. 

 

The further ahead we go the more behind I feel.

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Ponch

To answer the original question, No. 

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Beech
On 11/7/2019 at 6:46 AM, AZgman said:

Ponch, having owned an oilhead, a hexhead (like yours), and now a wethead, I can say there are no special tools required. If you are referring to the cam phasing tools, those are optional, not required for maintenance, only to satisfy us engineers who want the cam phase to be "dead nuts" on. On the oil head and hexhead you do need a special tool, one to set the throttle body sync. That has been eliminated on the wethead.

Having several wetheads in the neighborhood that I do the maintenance on, Yes you need the proper cam phasing tools. Found 3 off at 12K mile check up. Some later. Two made a huge difference in engine running. Sorry for the hyjack.

:stir:

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Paul De

Accessory sockets rated to handle a higher current draw. 

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Ponch
13 hours ago, Beech said:

Having several wetheads in the neighborhood that I do the maintenance on, Yes you need the proper cam phasing tools. Found 3 off at 12K mile check up. Some later. Two made a huge difference in engine running. Sorry for the hyjack.

:stir:

 

And hence my reluctance in buying a new BMW along with the price increase since I bought mine.  You'd think they'd get the cam phase right at the factory. Gotta wonder why. 

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Indy Dave

It doesn't matter the model or year or manufacturer. I'm real good at finding things I don't like about a new bike - most I take out of context at the time. Some are real concerns. This goes for bikes I own and bikes I gawk at. In the end, most of these objections turn out to be ripples in a pool instead of a big splash. New bikes force me away from one comfort level to establish a new one, kicking and dragging all the way....at first. I'm trying to be less resistant to change and the differences changes bring - giving up the familiar.

 

Is BMW listening? Probably not to any extent we'd like to believe.

 

"What you got ain't nothing new. This country is hard on people. You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity.No Country For Old Men

 

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