Problems With BMW Motorcycles

Written by david mcguffin
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Although BMW has a reputation for producing quality products, there are always issues associated with any high-tech machinery. BMW motorcycles will have recalls from time to time. Along with recalls are other problems that customers have discovered, whether maintenance or safety issues, that BMW has not recalled. As with any other piece of equipment, knowing these issues will help you become a more educated rider.

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BMW motorcycles have had recalls from time to time. Recalls are officially announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The brakes and hydraulics in the 2007 through 2009 BMW R and K 1200 series experienced such a recall. BMW discovered that possible vibrations, while riding, could cause strain on the brake line that could lead to the brake line splitting and leaking. Ultimately, this could lead to complete brake failure. Other recalls included the R1200 GS series for model-years 2006 through 2008 for insufficient sealing around the fuel pump control unit. BMW notifies owners of recalls pertinent to their models.

Hand Guard Problems

The BMW R 1200 GS has an issue with hand guards rotating freely, regardless of how much they are tightened. The problem has been narrowed down to most R 1200 GS and GS Adventure models from 2005 through 2007. As a result of this issue, the hand guards may rotate enough so that they apply slight pressure to the clutch and front brake levers. The newer 2007 GS and GSA models have two-piece hand guards with an updated mounting bracket that prevents rotation. According to, the issue has been presented to BMW, but there has been no recall.

Oil Use

BMW motorcycles have a reputation for taking at least 20,000 miles to break in the engine. Therefore, switching to a synthetic or a synthetic-blend oil will prolong the breaking-in period for the engine. It is suggested to wait until after 20,000 miles to switch to a synthetic blend. BMW also recommends only oil that is manufactured by BMW, available directly from the dealer. It has also been found that putting synthetic oil in the final drive of motorcycles manufactured prior to 1991 results in the oil leaking through the final drive seal onto the swing arm. Staying with non-synthetic oil will eliminate this problem.

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