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Old 05-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
Tango67
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Default What is the REAL story about BMW and Triumph maintenance & Reliability?

I'd like to hear from current and former BMW and Triumph riders about the reliability and maintenance/repair costs associated with those two brands. I hear that they used to be maintenance nightmares, but are not any more, while others say they still belong in that category. I want to get back into riding a bike for leisure and don't want to worry about breakdowns while I'm on the road. Nor do I want to pay through the nose for scheduled maintenance. In a previous life I had a pair of in-line cylinders that I really liked. I'm not really enthralled with the V-Twin category. Any objective feedback?

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Old 05-21-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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Here's objective- Triumph and BMW come with factory warranties that will make Asia brands quake is there boots. I have owned a couple OLD BMW K bikes that were bulletproof. I've worked at a Triumph dealer and about the biggest gripe was that some of the pre 2005 bikes had fasteners that would rust and look unsightly. But they ran great if maintained. So, it's aa matter of what type of riding you would like to do. Pick a bike of the two models and tell us why you want that bike. Then we will get you the info you desire.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Default Great - here's what I'm looking for...

Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I want to do it all - cruise the streets, zip though scenic mountain ranges and take long trips across the US. I'm looking at the Triumph Thunderbird or the BMW R1200R. Can I rely on a used bike from a dealer to hold up well??? Or do I really have to pay the big bucks for a new one... thanks for your forthrightness
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango67 View Post
Can I rely on a used bike from a dealer to hold up well??? Or do I really have to pay the big bucks for a new one... thanks for your forthrightness
Life is a crap shoot.
Nobody has all the answers.
You take your best shot and pray a little.

Translation: Nobody can really answer that question........because regardless of what they say, it might turn out to be wrong.
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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Like the late 90's/ early 2000s Tbird with the Triple? Go for the sport model on that. The R1200R is a swell bike, but don't discount the 1100 models either. I would also recommend the Moto Guzzi Breva models for 2007-2008. There's a dealer in N GA that has NEW leftovers for under $7k. The Triumph Bonneville T100 is a nice bike that will do anything.
You can buy from a dealer and probably be alright, but a private party sale will cost you less and if you want to know about the bike just have the seller meet you at the dealer and have one of his mechanics do a once over. If you like the bike it's probably worth $50-70 to have them check it out.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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Thanks to all - am not looking for guarantees; just opinions from experienced riders. Have seen threads on other forums where this discussion quickly becomes "buy American" or "Harley is the only bike" versus the metric bikes.

I would like to buy from a dealer someone knows. I'm in Virginia, but would not mind at all travelling to GA to do business. I'm still a year away from buying a bike, but am really enjoying the game of finding the right bike, helmet, riding gear, etc.

It's been close to 15 years since I last rode, so I am going through the DMV motorcycle course (essentially the MSF Safety course) to get my license again. Did almost all of my riding in Europe, so riding in the USA will probably be a shock.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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The MSF course will allow you to skip the skills test in the USA. If I were you and since you have experience I would take the basic course, buy the bike and then sign up for the advanced course. You'll pick up more information, be able to use your purchased bike and get some new skills. It's worth it. If you need help on insurance questions just call the number on my avatar and I will tell you who to talk to in the insurance world. A roadster or sport-tour sounds like it may be what you are looking for. Not that there's anything wrong with cruisers, but handling may be your desired choice over all other aspects since you're in VA. Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:26 AM   #8
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Tango67, I have little experience with BMW's, but I can tell you the Triumphs are reliable as hammers.

There are various bikes and different engines, so as Kirk said - let us know which model(s) you are interested in and we can give you more/better information.

And, the Thunderbird of today is not the same bike as the earlier versions.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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I'm not at all familiar with Triumph bikes - when you say the T-Bird today is not the same as in the past - is that good news or a knock on the modern version??

Someone in the cycle world made the Thunderbird their cruiser of the year two years in a row - that SHOULD mean something...

Appreciate your advice.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:18 AM   #10
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BMW's tend to be rock solid, only if you buy one I highly recommend replacing the fuel quick connect with the metal version on the male side. They are about $30 and not too tough to change, other than that service costs about the same if not a little more than the rest and they run forever.
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