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Any data for that statement?

>Any DATA for this statement?

Well, you don't have to look too hard in the BMW CCA editorials to find
someone who's had some nasy experience with a major component failing on a new
BMW car.

>I always get a kick out of seemingly blind
>trust in German engineering superiority.

I'm not speaking from blind trust of anything.   My '95 M3 has been driven
very hard on a lot of race tracks and has required little servicing at all.
Runs like a top.   I had an 89 M3 that was built even better and had much
better paint (Thanks, Green Party & EPA!) although it required more service.
(Solid lifters, two cams, older FI etc.)

I can vouch for the German education system.  Far superior to ours.  They
think things out and have built a great peacetime society.   The exchange kids
I've met from there are the best.  It's startling and scary to talk with kids
from around here and kids the same age from Germany.   Kids from the US are
illiterate and ignorant by comparison.   Worrisome, for sure.

Since the EC, however, things are beginnning to fall apart for the German
economy.   Companies, like BMW, are moving out of there because of the high
cost of German labor and the new ease of importing parts with single currency,
less restrictive borders and regulations etc.   The high investment in trying
to assimilate East Germany is also taking a huge toll on the German economy.
BMW has a design studio in LA, which may partly explain the stupid Bangle car
designs.  These designs attract a dumber audience, but there seem to be more
of them than there are of us.   The company is experiencing record sales in
spite of making some really dumb design mistakes.   The way the newer cars
handle and perform is a leap forward from the older stuff, but it's less
reliable.  Not good, for me at least.   It's possible the same design guys are
being let loose on the bikes.   Save us!!!

>Don't forget there were more >Mustangs
>doing victory rolls over Munich than Messerschmitts doing victory rolls >over

Well, that was quite a while ago.   We've invested a lot in war reparations
over there since then.   They've spent the money wisely and they've
re-invested in their own infastructure and education system.  Blind trust in
American engineering superiority isn't smart either.

>When an OEM sources parts from a vendor they specify what level of
>quality is desired  You can buy high quality or mediocre components from >any
>number of countries.

Well, first you have to define what "quality" is for your components, then the
vendor has to actually supply the superior quality you ask for.   Sometimes
they do, but many times, as in recent faulty K-bike valve train components
etc, they don't.   Ask anyone who's tried to source stuff from China about
quality issues.   I'm sure they'll have 3 or 4 hours of amusing antecdotes.
Bring aspirin.

What I do like about BMWs is that each part underneath the car is obviously
designed with great care.  They're just nicer to work on than almost anything
else.  Cars from Japan and the US, for the most part are pretty on the
outside, OK with the interiors and really not for people to look at under the
hood or under the car.   Cost cutting is so evident and rampant that sometimes
I marvel that these cars ever work in the first place.

 What I don't like about the new BMW is that they are beginning to be designed
or assembled in a way that often doesn't work well.

It may be exactly the BMW engineering staff that's falling on it's ass.   I
don't know for sure, but their quality ratings are dropping like rocks.  They,
especially, but not exclusively, seem to come up with bleeding edge ideas that
solve problems that really don't exist for the consumer while abandoning some
of the vital component design and build details that make Honda and Toyota
products so useable and tough...although they're often a bit boring to look

I don't think another BMW car is in my future, unless it's something lightly
used, but I do like my new BMW bike.    I'm pretty sure the bike guys are
listening to our bitching about their products.    The final drive is
supposedly improved on the 1200s.    The surge is gone.  The balance shaft
does a pretty fine job of lowering the vibes on these big-inch twins.  I
haven't heard of any engine or transmission seal leakage problems with the new
bikes.  The system cases can be opened without unhooking them from the bike.
They can be opened without a key if desired.   The bike's weight, a continual
bitch from the motorcycle world, has been lowered considerably.  Handling is
sharper, although stock shocks still leave something to be desired in my
opinion.  Seat is better, although I'll eventually replace mine, I can live
with this for a year or so.  Windscreen is better, although I replaced mine
anyway.  Power is up.   Consumption is down.  Emissions are down.   These are
good things, right?   I've not noticed a single build or reliability glitch in
13,000 miles of riding my new RT.   Brakes require dealer attention but they
frikking work great and they're much improved over the 1150 brakes - Less
grabby, independent rear brake, stronger when servo is off.

I think we're in a golden age of BMW bikes.  If they become as popular as the
cars, we're all in trouble, but for now, I'm going to enjoy mine and look back
on these years as some of the best for BMW.    Wish it burned regular gas like
Honda products do.

That said, I got a chance to ride an 1800 Gold Wing for 30 miles or so on my
last trip.   I have to say, I loved the thing and didn't want to give it back,
but there are obvious trade offs.  Higher consumption, less ground clearance,
no power windscreen, really long wheelbase and more road-hugging weight make
it hard to U-turn and consipire to keep this bike out of the running for me,
but for what it is, the fabulous engine, remote adjustable rear suspension,
comfy seat, electronic cruise and really nice road manners are very seductive.
I can see why so many love this bike.  Honda has had their share of quality
issues with it, but the basic design is really fantastic.

You won't believe how nice they are if you try one.   By the way, this GL1800
used no oil, not a drop, during the entire 5600 mile trip.  The fact that it
runs on regular gas makes actual fuel cost per mile about the same as the RT.
I'd love to get hold of one of these and redesign the bike part of it to be
more RT like in terms of ground clearance, frontal area and flexibility and
less Winnebago like in terms of styling.   They've already made a power
cruiser out of it.   The drive train is really great and should be put to
other uses.   Power is just everywhere, it's smooth all through the power band
and the sound it makes is the best of the best.

- -TB


End of oilheads-digest V2 #196