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Posted by on October 19, 2020


While BMW is primarily revered for its luxury cars, the company also offers sleek, powerful motorcycles. While many Americans associate motorcycles with big power brands or sportier street bikes, BMW makes motorcycles that are on par with these more popular competitors. Known for smooth handling and balance, and high performance, a BMW motorcycle is the perfect vehicle for tackling the sharp twists and turns of the California coastline or simply moving from here to there on the packed freeway system. BMW motorcycles are also known for being very reliable.

Reputation for Longevity Depends on the Bike

Earlier model BMW motorcycles are known to go the distance. Some have logged between 175,000 and 200,000 miles, which should be expected from an expensive motorcycle. But BMW offers a wide and diverse range of motorcycles, from grand touring models to sleek street bikes that are built for speed and handling. Research by the staff of olive reveals that some are more reliable than others. While a traditional bike may give you 200,000 miles, for the most expensive racing model, BMW recommends replacing the engine every 3,000 miles for the best performance.

In general, many of the BMW Adventure bikes have a good reputation for reliability. The touring models and roadster models are known to be reliable as well, but like any vehicle, routine maintenance is key. While BMW motorcycles are generally reliable, the parts are expensive, so repairs can be costly, which is a well-known complaint about BMW cars.

Regular Care and Maintenance

Like their four-wheeled counterparts, motorcycles need to be serviced and maintained at regular intervals to ensure the best performance. This means routinely inspecting and replacing parts like the battery, spark plugs, drive chains, belts and brake pads. Since BMWs are manufactured in Europe, these repairs may be more expensive, but completing them on a regular basis will help to enhance the performance and durability of any model BMW motorcycle.

According to Consumer Reports, BMW, in general, had a 40 percent failure rate within 4 years of the initial purchase. However, along with routine maintenance, there are things that can be done to enhance the reliability of your BMW motorcycle. Make sure that you are riding your bike appropriately. Taking a touring model off-roading in the dirt and the mud is not the best use of the bike, and you are likely to break parts of the bike by using it in a manner for which it was not intended. Extreme temperature shifts can also cause early wear on parts, so park your bike in the garage when it’s extremely hot or cold outside. Most roadsters are made for commuting, but like cars, stop and go driving can cause an engine to wear out more quickly. Before you buy your BMW, figure out how and when you’re going to ride and find a model that fits your needs.

Commitment to Safety

For decades, BMW has been dedicated to safety, offering features that help to enhance performance and keep riders safe. All models include anti-lock braking systems that are configured for the purpose of the bike. Whether you’re driving a scooter or a grand touring model, the ABS will be made to help you maintain control if you have to stop short. Each BMW motorcycle also has stability control, which can make for a smoother ride, and contributes to the balance for which BMW models are known. These and other safety features make BMW motorcycles a good investment and a good brand for newer riders.

Buying an Extended Warranty

Motorcycles are also eligible for mechanical breakdown insurance. European motorcycles tend to have costlier parts, making the repairs more expensive. If you’re riding a BMW, look into an extended warranty. That way if you do have to fix a costlier part on the bike, you can simply hand over the deductible rather than shelling out the money for the entire repair. Before choosing a policy, read over your options to figure out what is covered and which plan fits into your budget. The full range of motorcycles from street bikes to dirt bikes can turn into an expensive hobby, and having coverage can help you ride with peace of mind.

In terms of reliability, BMW motorcycles are thought to be reliable in general, but they do have parts that break. With regular maintenance, smart riding practices, and an extended warranty, you can keep your bike on the road for a long time. Regardless of how and when you use your bike, it is an investment, and putting time and care into the investment will keep it working for you.


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