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Offline WF

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Touring Woes
« on: April 27, 2008, 07:01:20 pm »
Hi all !
Just returned from our Big 5 Tour through Botswana,Zambia,Malawi and Mozambique totaling 6000km.One 1200GT,2 120O Adventures and 1 1200 GS.
The reason for this mail is to raise 2 issues and seek your opinions.For us the most contensious issue always is the back-up vehicle.It adds a lot to the general tour price and many regard it as unnecessary.

The following is not intended as a bike bashing session but just as an insight as to what CAN and Does HAPPEN .

On day 9 the Adventures clutch starts to go,we battle with it for 2 more days and then it finaly gives up .The bike has 40 000km on the clock and this is a tar road tour, open road and no off-road.BMW assures me that clutch failure on these bikes is unheard of.Mine has 55000km and no hassles.

On day 11 just south of Tete the 1200 GS hits a really moderate size pothole and breaks the rear shock out of the swing arm. The bike has no luggage and is one up.

We arrange 2 replacement bikes in Inhassoro and continue.
On day 16 the replacement bike breaks an alternator belt but thankfully i have one.The bike has 38000km on the clock.

So we start with 4 bikes and 3 fail for various reasons,all are unable to be ridden and only the alternator belt is repairable on the road.

All the bikes appeared to be in good condition and i believe we just got unlucky !
So next time you tour think carefully about the back-up vehicle.We all do thousands of km without incident but when you are miles from home in another country and no BMW on line its going to cost you a fortune to get your bike back home.
Also on tour not all the participants are your mates, they want to continue to the next destination and the fact that your bike is down really can cause friction and frustration.

The second issue is that of bike warranties and BMW on Call.Many of us are venturing into neighbouring countries where we have no support from BMW or any other manufacturer so far as i know.
So when a clutch fails or you have any other warranty issue it remains your problem to get your bike home.
As a tour operator i had 2 foreign guests on a 17 day tour.When the clutch fails or a belt breaks due to no fault of theirs they have no recourse from the rental company or BMW.So from day 11 the client is expected to ride in the vehicle missing out on the rest of his tour. This after paying me and the rental company for 17 days of tour and bike hire.
Im not sure what we can do about it but it sure seems unfair.Imagine if you embark on such a tour with your new bike and it packs up,everyone shrugs their shoulders.

All credit to the rental company for bringing us 2 replacement bikes but the fact is it cost the clients a fortune.

Ill be interested to hear your comments.

WF
PS  No i dont want to buy a KTM and they dont rent out bikes !
Everyone dies, not everyone lives !
 

Offline Adventurer

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 07:45:58 pm »
What amazes me is the statement by BMW that clutches NEVER go on a 1200.....What KAK!!!!!
I replaced one the other day, 45000km, the bike could not be ridden up my driveway, someone else on this forum, GG I think, 40000km on a 1200GSA, clutch gone....
BMW need to remove their farking blinkers....
Every time a BMW gives kak they say this is the first time, ot we've never heard of this problem before.....WAKE UP and smell the roses, BMW management.....BMW's DO give shit sometimes.......
Another common problem is the crank seal, it leaks oil onto the clutch, rendering it useless, not always the clutch, sometimes the seal....
A quick fix to get you another few kilo's is to remove the starter motor, spray the clutch full of Coca Cola, or find a way of spraying it in with a syringe, on the 1150 model there was an inspection hole that you could spray Coke into, the 1200 doesn't have this hole.
It will get you going for a while.
If you can keep your head in the midst of all this confusion, you don't understand the situation!
 

Offline Colyn

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 11:23:40 pm »
Am I right ... all the bikes were RENTALS ?

If so ... I think it is not very wise to take bikes with such high mileage on a tour of paying customers without explicit guarantees from the RENTAL firm.

I have seen how some people can really fuck the bikes up in their endeavors to win their RAMBO stripes. Chances are that every GS in that fleet has been abused in some way or other.

Who is the "BMW" that assured you clutches dont fail ? ... dis mos a kak storie ... the mere fact that every dealer carries SPARES of clutches should be enough evidence that you were talking to a "A" Grade poepol.
Never underestimate the power of denial.
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Offline JourneyMan

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 11:51:45 pm »
Ride it like a rental!  :mrgreen:
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Offline Adventurer

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 07:16:56 am »
Am I right ... all the bikes were RENTALS ?

If so ... I think it is not very wise to take bikes with such high mileage on a tour of paying customers without explicit guarantees from the RENTAL firm.

I have seen how some people can really fuck the bikes up in their endeavors to win their RAMBO stripes. Chances are that every GS in that fleet has been abused in some way or other.

Who is the "BMW" that assured you clutches dont fail ? ... dis mos a kak storie ... the mere fact that every dealer carries SPARES of clutches should be enough evidence that you were talking to a "A" Grade poepol.

This seems to be becoming an ever increasing problem.......
If you can keep your head in the midst of all this confusion, you don't understand the situation!
 

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 08:02:57 am »
Am I right ... all the bikes were RENTALS ?

If so ... I think it is not very wise to take bikes with such high mileage on a tour of paying customers without explicit guarantees from the RENTAL firm.

I have seen how some people can really fuck the bikes up in their endeavors to win their RAMBO stripes. Chances are that every GS in that fleet has been abused in some way or other.

Who is the "BMW" that assured you clutches dont fail ? ... dis mos a kak storie ... the mere fact that every dealer carries SPARES of clutches should be enough evidence that you were talking to a "A" Grade poepol.

This seems to be becoming an ever increasing problem.......
These guys know what market they are in & their expectation should be that the bikes are ridden hard.....i would'nt have thought so though. If i was overseas doing a trip like that then the last thing i would want is a serious injury 'cos i'm riding like a hooligan! Far from home, medical cazavac etc. Maybe the bikes broke 'cos they just broke!
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline lecap

Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 10:05:03 am »
All credit to the rental company for bringing us 2 replacement bikes but the fact is it cost the clients a fortune.

Ill be interested to hear your comments.


Credit for the bike hire who supplies a replacement for a broken down bike and charges "a fortune" for this "service" ???

WTF?

Here's my comment: I had one of my bikes breaking down in February. Electrical problem, no spark, nada, finished. 25km out of Calitzdorp on Rooiberg Pass. Customer phoned me on Friday afternoon 15h00.
I organized someone from Calitzdorp to fetch the bike.
Alternative accommodation for the customer for the night.
Courier took my private bike from Cape Town (the only one available) to Calitzdorp and loaded the broken down bike.
Replacement bike for customer available in Calitzdorp at 7h00 Saturday morning.

Cost for customer: Zero.
Customer happy. Tells his friends or sometimes even comes back for a second or third tour.

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline lecap

Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 10:07:03 am »
Ride it like a rental!  :mrgreen:
Can I have your personal details please? Just to make sure that i never give you a bike
:evil6:
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline lecap

Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 10:20:10 am »
These guys know what market they are in & their expectation should be that the bikes are ridden hard.....i would'nt have thought so though. If i was overseas doing a trip like that then the last thing i would want is a serious injury 'cos i'm riding like a hooligan! Far from home, medical cazavac etc. Maybe the bikes broke 'cos they just broke!

From my experience you get 50% of customers who can ride, ride carefully and look after the bikes.
40% can't ride, ride even more carefully and also look after the bikes.
And then you have the remaining 10% of sh!+ - for - brains and hooligans. They think they can ride and "ride like it's rented". They find out how long it takes before an ambulance has made it to the place where they wiped out. Then they find out how comfortable an ambulance is on a dirt road. Next they enjoy some South African HOSPITALity until their comprehensive travel insurance has organized their sorry arses and broken bones evacuation.

In general I don't think that a hired bike has to work harder than a privately owned one. The bikes are not (should not be) used outside their capabilities. Contributing to the condition of the bikes is that they don't run short distances / no commuter trips and that they are in a tight service schedule.
The guys riding the bikes usually break easier than the bikes.

And BTW: Even when I'm riding at home the last thing I would want is a serious injury 'cos i'm riding like a hooligan!
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline LanceSA

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 02:10:04 pm »
I would have thought the answer is obvious..........
3/4 draw your own conclusion.  ;D ;D ;D
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Offline Goose

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 03:09:02 pm »
I think it all boils down to respect for other people's property.... very lacking these days?
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Offline WF

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 05:22:31 pm »
I take the point about rental bikes.Obviously i dont know how they were ridden before.During this tour they were ridden very well.The guy that hit a pothole i agree was his fault his expense.However the clutch going was not his fault , perhaps a previous rider but i still cant accept that he should cover all costs or lose out on his tour.An alternator belt is not rider abuse and it was before its scheduled replacement period.Bad luck maybe but again as the client its all his loss.
My point again is that perhaps someone can come up with a short term special insurance to cover such situations.The rental bikes are covered by BMW on Call and that does not work across our borders.
I do most of my km outside of SA borders and im sure many of you guys are riding outside of SA and its a concern that i have no recourse whether my bike is a year or a day old.
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Offline Adventurer

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 05:38:57 pm »
WF, you have a lot of valid points here, and IMO you should make this an issue with BMW, you are using their bikes because of their so called legendary reliability, they need to come to the party here.
If you can keep your head in the midst of all this confusion, you don't understand the situation!
 

Offline lecap

Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2008, 08:07:02 am »
BMW (like any other manufacturer) not interested. That's a deal between the bike hire company and TO.

Make the customers understand that they are riding in Africa, not hiring a car fom AVIS in Germany ot the UK. Make sure you don't have to pay for broken down bikes and the hiring co. supplies a spare at reasonable cost.

If you want roadside assistance everywhere and insurance for everything you're in the wrong business and / or on the wrong continent IMHO. Sorry.

Le Cap (estd. 1991)
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Offline Jack

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2008, 11:04:19 pm »
I have rented a bike in SA twice now, for my wife and myself. The machines both times were immaculate and low kilometre (less than 10,000km) The first time in 2005 was an 1150GS and was only fitted with 58 litre plastic panniers and nothing else, the second time was a 1200GS with standard panniers which I think are 75 litres? When I went to rent the last machine, I asked for it to have crashbars and a bash plate on it (2 week rentals both times)
At pickup, it had no protection bars at all. I felt that for riding in SA the machine should be better prepped, even a tip over off the side stand could render the machine unrideable. The cost to fix would only be a valve cover........the cost to recover?? Yeah well....a lot of money. The cost and problems even getting help.......who knows.
The rental shop believes its not worth the extra cost to add protection accessories to its machines.  My belief is that the ultimate goal is the keep a machine as rideable as possible in the cases of an unfortunate accident, however small.
I look after anything I rent......both times I took the bikes back washed and polished, as clean as I received them, we rode them and looked after them as our own. We do NOT want to have a problem and be stranded in the middle of nowhere, due to have so called fun...thrashing a rental machine.
Well, I soon worked out that 4 months rent bought a whole new machine  ;)
So......I bought one, and now I can fit it with every needed accessory so that I can go for mostly worry free rides in SA and after 4 months I could chuck the bike in the bin as IF I was renting, all that value would be used :-) Naturally, I would not do that but, for frequent rental costs.....its worth buying your own machine even if you only get half value back after 4 months use.
Yes, I can understand rental charges.....the shop was telling me a horror story of a group from overseas that did many thousands of dollars damage to the machines
including recoveries etc, yes they got paid OK, but the bikes were out of service while being repaired and could not be rented.
Don't blame bikes for failure.......there are some people I would not rent a pedal car to....
I just wished the bikes I rented were better prepped for the ride conditions in SA.

Jack

Just another old, washed up, has been, dirt bike rider...who can't ride for $hit!
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Offline luke

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2008, 08:24:20 am »
A responsible renter...eish, a rare find in this part of the world. Trust you enjoyed our amazing country, come back soon.
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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2008, 08:45:07 am »
Very interesting thread, but IMHO you will not get an insurer to cover this and no dealer will touch it either, the only place you can get something is to before hand negotiate a clause to protect you against this scenarios with the rental company, but still good luck with getting them to commit!!
 

Offline JourneyMan

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Re: Touring Woes
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2008, 01:46:36 pm »
Ride it like a rental!  :mrgreen:
Can I have your personal details please? Just to make sure that i never give you a bike
:evil6:

 :biggrin:
He who angers you, controls you.