What does it amount to?
[ Tuesday - July
27, 2010 ]
BMW goodwill ... what does it amount to? Quite a lot if you ask
me. However, I'm getting ahead of myself.
To start this article, let's turn the time machine back about 4
years. It's 2006 and I'm on that behemoth of a GS with wizzy
breaks (e.g. the blue '05 R12GS). I don't exactly remember
the date, but it was late in the afternoon if not dusk. I had
just finish my project support and I'm just about ready to leave for
As I sit there on my R12GS, getting ready to twist the throttle and
pick up my feet, I'm confronted by a fellow worker that I have never
met before. The facility I'm working at has some 10K people
working there. I'm just one among many. Still, I've been
singled out for a question. As the individual made his way to me
he popped the question, "How do you like your BMW?" I said, "It's
Really good. It's a bit much bike for me, but I'm managing so
far." He then proceeded to ask questions about Brown Motor Works
and BMW. I don't have any issues with Brown nor BMW so I have
nothing negative to say. He on the other hand, had a lot to be
disgruntle about. As luck has it, bad luck in this case, he has
purchased a used BMW K1200LT and is having an issue. In
particular, his dry clutch is blown with only 20K+ miles on the
bike. Attempts to get Brown and/or BMW to replace the clutch
under warranty failed. The reason for this... the clutch is
regarded as a wear item. Thinking to myself, I can agree with
that. I regard the brake pads, engine oil, oil filter,
air filter, chain, radiator fluid, throttle cable, tires, inner
tube, clutch, and similar items as wear items. It only makes
They're also labeled as consumable after all. In
his case, he didn't like the idea that he had to plunk down $2K for a
clutch job when the bike has relatively low miles. He was morbid
about the matter and persisted to mention setting up a website to bash
BMW. To alert the world of BMW's wrong doing and such.
OK... That's your prerogative buddy. I don't have a
problem so leave me out of the picture. When he was done ranting
and raving, I casually and
quietly bid him farewell and rode off into the sunset. A little
dazed and flustered from his tossing of words.
Dial the time machine forward to modern day... July 27, 2010.
I'm in the parking lot of Brown Motor Works picking up my 8GS that just
received another fuel injector set and a fuel pump change. I'm
standing there talking to the service manager and I'm floored.
Yes, I have purchased 4 BMW motorcycles from Brown over the course of
the last 6 years, but what I found out about the service done on the
8GS has me
humbly thankful to both Brown Motor Works and BMW NA. As the
situation has it, BMW is being extremely generous to me by replace my
FIs and FP twice on their dollars. Why? This is because it
is not BMW's fault that the FIs get clogged and the FP fails.
This is especially the case when the fuel is the cause of the
problem. BMW has no control over the fuel manufacturing.
I'm sure Eddie saw my jaw drop to the floor. As I'm listening to
this, "HOLY COW!" fired across the synapses within my brain.
is right. BMW doesn't have any means of controlling what fuel is
being put into these machines and are really not obligated to perform
this service under warranty. As yet they are
willing to flip the bill for the fuel system fix.
Hold that thought a minute. Let's deviate a little bit
here. Let's do
some basic math. Once I'm done, perhaps you'll understand why I
so much appreciate what has happened here. Let's tangent a
bit. We'll get back to the story soon enough.
F800GS fuel injector... $120 per fuel injector x 2 = $240. F800GS
fuel pump... $600. That totals to $840 for one fuel system
set. Now multiply that by 2 because I received two sets of fuel
system parts. That comes to a total of $1680 for parts. As
for the labor, let's WAG the labor rate at $80 per hour. The
of time needed to do the task? I approximate 10 hours, just to
make the math simple. 10 x $80 = $800. Now multiply that by
2 times for 2
sets. We have an approximated $1600 for labor. For
materials, let's say that it cost $50 for cleaning chemicals.
Done twice, that comes to $100. Now the grand total for
everything is $3380. Please recognize that this is WAG
city. For you folks that don't know what a WAG is, no it's not
what a dog does with its tail. instead it's a Wild Ass
However, I think I'm decently close on the parts cost.
Now back to the story at hand with the WAG amount taken into
consideration. That number up there ($3380) is what BMW did as
goodwill for a customer. Of course for BMW the parts cost is not
that much. Still that amount is the approximate amount I would
have to pay if BMW truly acknowledge it's not their fault because the
US ethanol fuel requirement itself is the cause of all the
problems. Now refer to the flash back above cross referenced with
my own BMW service experiencing. Do I believe BMW is cold,
calculated, and devoid of compassion? I think the facts speak for
itself. In fact, I'm not the only one experiencing this fuel
system problem. There are plenty of 8GS and 650GS twin owners in
the US mid west that are experiencing this same problem. In all
cases, BMW has elected to replace fuel injectors and fuel pump on BMW's
dime. If this is not good customer relation and service, I think
you need a brain MRI.
To the folks at Brown Motor Works and BMW NA, may thanks for your
unending support and service. Life would be just that much more
difficult if it wasn't for a large company's understanding of their
customers. Stay the course as you have proven time and time again
that BMW is up and above other motorcycle manufacturers with your
engineering and your service.
To the individual at work that complained endlessly about the clutch on
his K12LT, instead of complaining and crying like a baby, learn about
your machine. If you think 20K+ with a blown clutch is bad, look
at what happens to some of the Police officers out in the field with
R12RTPs. There are cases where the R12RTP has burn out a clutch
in less than 3K miles. Face it, it's time to learn about the dry
clutch and adjust your riding. Understanding is everything.
Deal with it and stop behaving like a 5 year old spoiled brat.
Written on: July 27, 2010
Last modified: July 27, 2010