I write things here.

The archive.

The story of a broken BMW bike

As i may have hinted at last time, I’ve been having a couple of issues with my motorbike. It serves a very useful purpose in my life, specifically allowing me to get to work in under an hour and for only £20’s worth of petrol a week. Contrast this to the train which is £20 per day, and takes 90 mins each way.

Therefore, when it decided to suffer from total and complete engine failure about a month ago, I was a little stuck. There were many things that were annoying about this situation, but the most annoying aspect was the total lack of help that BMW appeared to want to offer me.

The fact that the engine failed about 10 miles after the dealer had carried out the 18,000 mile service was annoying. The fact that I told the dealer when they serviced it about a strange new noise it was making and their advice that I should just “ride it and see what happens”, was annoying.

The most annoying part was BMW themselves. They offered to pay for half of the cost of new engine, which on its own sounds generous. However, a new engine is £4,500 and labour for fitting it is £500, so they basically offered to reduce a ludicrous bill for £5,000 down to a mere £3,000 to get back on the road again. The fact that a 3-year-old, 18,000 mile engine shouldn’t have failed in the first place seemed to fall on deaf ears. They appeared to genuinely think that having me fork out £3,000 on a bike that would only be worth £3,500 once it was repaired was a good idea.

Naturally, I explored other options.

Specifically, I had three options:

  1. Break the bike for scrap, buy a new one
  2. Get a secondhand engine from somewhere and get the dealer to fit it
  3. Get a secondhand engine, and fit it myself

Realising I wouldn’t get a lot for a broken bike, and not wanting to spend more money on the dealer, I opted for #3. The good people at Motorworks managed to source me a low-milage engine for a bargaintastic price of £950. They were amazingly useful at helping me sort through my options and choose the best way forward.

After turning up on the back of a lorry, sitting in my shed for two weeks, I found a free weekend to do the work:

Bike in bits

It only took around 10 hours to do, and everything seems to work perfectly after it’s been put back together. I do have one or two bolts left over, I’m sure I’ll find somewhere to put them….