Turns out that my tale of woe with a late model BMW last weekend was not a solitary one. Posted over on the “Parallel Universe” subforum at advrider.com in search of advice and found a fellow sufferer whose BMW’s stator has smoked in similar manner. Then over on the sidecar forum of advrider I heard mention of another smoked stator, for the third time, on the Hiawatha Rally’s GS ride. Then I check F800riders.org and find yet another stator smoked last weekend.

And just to prove that the F twins weren’t BMWs only lemon, another BMW rider headed to the same BMW rally I was headed for only made it as far as Omaha before his ’91 GSPD’s transmission failed… Yup, built in the era of the infamous “missing circlip” and fated for failure. And yet another dubious achievement in BMW’s long history of failed designs… The R100GS’s paralever U-joints, early K bike driveshafts, oilhead transmissions, F800S and ST rear axle bearings, and the flaming final drives of early 21st century oilheads and K bikes. Add it all up and over the last few decades BMW riders have had to shell out thousands to get their failed BMWs home and thousands more to fix chronic failures that BMW refuses to admit exist, never mind fix.

Now I have to admit some grudging admiration for the way the trial lawyers have managed to gin up VW’s cheating on one aspect of the emission regulations into a multi-billion dollar class action settlement that VW quickly surrendered to. Heck, my VW damn near earns me speeding tickets while getting 40 MPG, but for some strange reason I’m supposed to be all aggrieved while VW hands me a thousand dollars with rumors of another five thousand in “damages” yet to come. Damages, for what?

Takes a “hook” that’ll catch with the masses to make a legal haul like that, and the hook was pollution. In the case of BMW motorcycles, the lawyers and regulatory agencies don’t give a hoot that we’ve been laying out serious $$$ to drag them home and fix them… They figure we deserve that fiscal punishment for riding them “dangerous motorcycles”. But cannot a broken BMW transmission, driveshaft, or flaming final drive lock up the rear wheel and cause a crash? And is not the sudden loss of power from a failed charging system that BMW has not even provided with an “idiot light” to warn of it’s impending failure a safety hazard? Then there’s BMW’s penchant for “on the edge of instability” steering geometry that produced well documented tankslappers on the early airheads and oilheads, and may have contributed to the death of a veteran journalist testing the new wethead…

Sounds like enough damages to get the attention of more than a few trial lawyers… What are we BMW riders waiting for?