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Author Topic: Revisiting BMW maxi reliability issues...  (Read 989 times)
Skutorr
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« on: July 08, 2018, 11:34:20 PM »

In the past I posted updates about all the "teething problems" (horror stories) of BMW C650 GT and 600 Sport ownership. Too many design flaws and failures to count, but BMW kept selling them and incrementally replaced most of the cheap/poorly designed Chinese throw away hard parts, bearings, electronics, etc. with "better" ones. The most recent redesign in 2017 cleaned-up the body on the Sport, lowered the gearing and variator ratios for better off-the-line performance, and made it not too bad. still has a cheap dry clutch that continues to be problematic, but now it's moved past Yugo quality and up to full Chevette. 

Enter one of the founding members of the BMW Maxi Forum. Got a new C650 GT in 2013, one of the first in the country. Had all the various recalls and repairs, and had to be towed home DEAD TWICE while on runs. Even so, he hung in there. Then, on the LAST event he went to, it DIED AGAIN.

And I Quote:

"I just got off the phone with the service manager at Max. I am so F**KING DONE with BMW. The timing chain (WHICH, by the way, was "fixed" under a recall notice shortly after I bought the thing) slipped and the motor is now damaged. About $4,000 in parts and service. Two years out of warranty.

I am DONE with BMW. They just SUCK. I am going to be writing to them right now, but I am never buying another new BMW as long as I live."


He then wrote them, as a loyal customer for 20 years, and this happened:

"My E-Mail to BMW North America seems to have gotten noticed. I received a call last night from someone named ďSeanĒ but I wasnít home. I called back and apparently BMWNA is going to look into the situation.

They took the information on where and when the bike was purchased, where I normally have it serviced, how many miles on it, and where it is now. I was told it might be a week before I hear anything one way or the other. I called Mike up at Max BMW to let him know that heíll likely be hearing from corporate.

Iíll keep everyone posted as things develop."



...and then:

"Just heard back from BMW NA. They aren't going to do SHIT for me. As soon as I am able, I am heading up to Max's with the title in my hand and wash my hands of that worthless piece of shit. I am SO sorry I wasted so much time and money on that ****ing thing. Then, I'm going to look into the Yamaha XMAX (unless, of course, Yamaha decides to bring back the TMAX for 2019)."

Finally:

"So long, Farewell!

Well, I signed that miserable piece of shit over to MAX BMW in Brookfield, CT. I am DONE with BMWs. I will keep the K1200LT because that seems to be the last reliable, durable motorcycle they made. Hope everyone here either has better luck than me, is still under warranty, or purchased an extended warranty. This year I DEFINITELY plan on replacing the Zero. Next year? If I get another scooter it'll be a YAMAHA.

Peace out, everyone."


As another guy on that forum put it:

"I am on the doubting side of thinking the mileage resulted in the catastrophic problem in the sense that at 35K miles it should have a plausible expectation of failure. That would be a devastating indictment of this model. Elsewhere on the website knowledgeable folks have estimated this motor should be good for a couple hundred thousand miles and more. Given the original cam chain recall it sounds more like a defect issue. It may be a small risk - but it is now a known and expected defect that totals the bike. And to make matters worse, how could you anticipate or take preemptive action to mitigate the risk? None I can think of especially after having the recall replacement done. That seems to be the worst part of all this: After a factory recall and correction, the same part failed on a bike with relatively few miles. Like I wrote earlier, I have an extended warranty and there is no way I'd risk keeping it without one. But then again, I'm a cautious fellow."

So, the point of this is just stay aware of what is waiting for you as part of the BMW Ownership Experience. You will STILL be Beta Testers who paid for the experience...

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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 04:00:33 AM »

Bummer
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Expat47
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 06:53:48 AM »

Bummer

No, Beemmer.
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2018, 09:06:32 AM »

While my R1100R is currently not running it hasn't been a nightmare over all and I'm hopeful I'll eventually figure out what ails it.  My GFs former 5 series was a different story.  We had lot of names for that POS and for BMW in general.  Here's some from the net:

What Does BMW Stand For: 
· Big Money Works
· Brutal Money Waster
· Beastly Monstrous Wonder
· Barely Moving Wreck
· Big Money Waste
· Breaks Most Wrenches
· Bring Many Wrenches
· Broken Money Waster
· Broke My Wallet
· Broken Monstrous Wonder
· Bumbling Mechanical Wretch
· Blasphemous Motorized Wreck
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2018, 12:07:36 PM »

Just a bloody minute, you. I had a Chevette, and just shy of 3 years of ownership, NEVER left me stranded.(YRMV) Now, meanwhile, I'm going to revisit earlier thoughts I had about the BMW scooter.
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Expat47
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 03:46:31 PM »

Break My Window
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I'd not buy a BMW or a Kymco... I don't like the importer.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 06:23:43 PM »

I almost ponied up the money for this overpriced scooter. When I heard they used the Kymco motor and did not produce a true BMW motor it was not worth the 12k.

After hearing the horror stories Ill just keep my  04 Honda Silverwing.
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 08:13:15 PM »


I am DONE with BMW. They just SUCK. I am going to be writing to them right now, but I am never buying another new BMW as long as I live.


I don’t get it. With all the problems he encountered, why only exclude new BMWs?
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 08:37:02 PM »

Well I use to think Kymco built these. Iím certainly leaning towards not now??
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 10:05:32 PM »

Break My Window
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I'd not buy a BMW or a Kymco... I don't like the importer.

I have a Kymco scooter.  I'd buy another one in a heartbeat if there was a local dealer.  I may buy another one anyway.  I also put 87,000 miles on a BMW R1100GS.  It was a great bike but had some expensive repairs and was expensive to maintain.  I'll consider buying another BMW if I win the lottery. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2018, 02:10:39 AM »

You can't beat Japanese quality and reliability.
Not in Germany, Taiwan or anywhere else.
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redeye
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 02:29:57 AM »

This year I DEFINITELY plan on replacing the Zero. Next year? If I get another scooter it'll be a YAMAHA.

Although far from the focus of the OP, a Yamaha scooter usually sounds like a good purchase decision. But I'm also curious about the rationale (granted, it has disadvantages) for parting with the Zero.
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 02:51:04 AM »

I bought my Kymco because they made Honda engines for years...
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2018, 05:38:49 PM »

KYMCO, SYM, PGO manufacture good quality scooters. Unfortunately, the US is stuck in the past. SYM used to manufacture cars for Honda, and PGO manufactured Vespa. The big four are great too.
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 08:14:05 PM »

Break My Window
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I'd not buy a BMW or a Kymco... I don't like the importer.

I have a Kymco scooter.  I'd buy another one in a heartbeat if there was a local dealer.  I may buy another one anyway.  I also put 87,000 miles on a BMW R1100GS.  It was a great bike but had some expensive repairs and was expensive to maintain.  I'll consider buying another BMW if I win the lottery. 

ClevelandMoto sells Kymco - you can buy one the next time you visit Ohio
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2018, 09:07:30 PM »

Break My Window
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I'd not buy a BMW or a Kymco... I don't like the importer.

I have a Kymco scooter.  I'd buy another one in a heartbeat if there was a local dealer.  I may buy another one anyway.  I also put 87,000 miles on a BMW R1100GS.  It was a great bike but had some expensive repairs and was expensive to maintain.  I'll consider buying another BMW if I win the lottery. 

ClevelandMoto sells Kymco - you can buy one the next time you visit Ohio

Max Motorsports in Pelham, about 2 hours away sells Kymco, Vespa and Piaggio scooters.  I'd probably buy from them.  I really like the new Kymco Like 150i.  It's a real hotrod for a 150cc scooter, looks like a Vespa and retails for $2599.  Maybe when (if) my Super 8 wears out.
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2018, 06:37:41 AM »

I don't think I've got anything against Kymco's machinery. Everyone I've ever talked to has been more than happy with them it's just that the importer here leaves me flat! I didn't like them in '73 when they charged me an arm and a leg for my "free" 1000km service on my 2002 and when I was in their showroom back in 2012 they treated me like crap.

In this day and age I don't generally believe that there is any really bad automotive product on our markets so after-market service is all that much more important. The clown I bought my X10 from lost my business after the sales staff kept telling me untruths (intentional or from ignorance) and the shop allowed some weenie install my top box in between his coffee breaks, smoke breaks, and phone calls.

I've got one hard, fast rule for any mechanic that works on my equipment: Focus on the job at hand and solve everyone else's problems afterwards! This may sound selfish but I watched many a "mechanic" do things they have no idea why they're doing them, attempt to work on several projects at once, and (as I mentioned above) treat my equipment like an interruption. I watched an authorized Kawasaki shop dismantle large chunks of my '99 Classic to adjust the rear mono-shock. I later saw some 17yo apprentice do the same thing in less than 5 min.

Ok, now I'm out of coffee...
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2018, 01:10:20 PM »

I don't think I've got anything against Kymco's machinery. Everyone I've ever talked to has been more than happy with them it's just that the importer here leaves me flat! I didn't like them in '73 when they charged me an arm and a leg for my "free" 1000km service on my 2002 and when I was in their showroom back in 2012 they treated me like crap.

In this day and age I don't generally believe that there is any really bad automotive product on our markets so after-market service is all that much more important. The clown I bought my X10 from lost my business after the sales staff kept telling me untruths (intentional or from ignorance) and the shop allowed some weenie install my top box in between his coffee breaks, smoke breaks, and phone calls.

I've got one hard, fast rule for any mechanic that works on my equipment: Focus on the job at hand and solve everyone else's problems afterwards! This may sound selfish but I watched many a "mechanic" do things they have no idea why they're doing them, attempt to work on several projects at once, and (as I mentioned above) treat my equipment like an interruption. I watched an authorized Kawasaki shop dismantle large chunks of my '99 Classic to adjust the rear mono-shock. I later saw some 17yo apprentice do the same thing in less than 5 min.

Ok, now I'm out of coffee...

This sounds like an issue with the dealer, not the importer.  Every brand has good and bad dealers.  My local Kymco dealer was great....until he stopped selling kymco's.  Now he's a KTM dealer but I still go there for tires or if I have major issue with my Kymco.

My local Honda dealer sucks, should I blame Honda USA?  Well I don't have a Honda so I guess it really doesn't matter.

Having said that, KYMCO USA does have it's issues.  They don't seem to be as well organized as most of the other major manufacturers.  Still, they don't seem to be as screwed up as Triumph USA.  Triumph makes some great bikes but I probably wouldn't buy one because Triumph USA is so screwed up.  Many dealers have dropped Triumph because of their policies.

Everything considered going with one of the major Japanese brands has it's advantages in that they fairly extensive dealer networks and good parts support.  Kymco can't match that that but they do have some nice products that the Japanese don't have here and their prices tend to be lower.  

Getting back to BMW, they changed their policies many years ago that drove away many of their smaller dealers.  As a result, if you don't live in a major city there is a good change you won't have a local dealer.  If you break down there is a good chance the nearest dealer will be hundreds of miles away.  I think BMW does make some great bikes but the lack of dealer network and high cost of ownership make it unlikely I'll buy one although I do like the new 310.
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2018, 05:29:48 PM »

After reading this thread I'm convinced....I'll never buy a BMW. Thanks for all of the candid information.
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2018, 05:29:54 PM »

As to the original topic BMW scooters, I do think what ever they out source to Kymco is some what irrelevant.  On the other hand their service records are less then desirable and that matters a lot.  I had a 2013 C 650 up to around 20,000 miles and it performed flawlessly.  Thatís not a be all kind of thing.  If it didnít die from a car rear ending it it might have Grenaded who knows.

On the other hand Iíve had two Burgman 650s that died at young ages 30,000 or so miles one from stopper bolt and one from main electrical burn out.  In addition I had to sue on a warranty.  So I wonít trust Suzuki.  Yet Yamaha has honored every promise theyíve made.  I think in general they donít make maxi-scooters to be ridden hard and put away wet.  Thatís what sport touring bikes and adventure bikes are for.
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2018, 04:47:20 AM »

I think in general they donít make maxi-scooters to be ridden hard and put away wet.  Thatís what sport touring bikes and adventure bikes are for.

I'm not too sure I agree with that last statement. I'd suggest that the majority of the world look upon their scooters as a daily and important piece of automotive equipment & rely on them to preform like it.

Since Nov 2012 I've put 25,000km (15,000mi) on my X10 and the vast majority are those killer short hops where the engine has very little time to heat up properly before being shut down. Just two days ago it was, butcher to super-market to ATM to bakery and back home in well under an hour but, had the need arizen I'd've expected it to hit the road run at 130kph for a couple of hours without giving me any grief.
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2018, 05:23:43 AM »

You are actually making my point.  I just didn't explain what I mean by ridden hard and put away wet.  There are just these "lunatic" people, which I'm one of that when we can make time we want to get on a bike and do a 2,000 mile three day weekend.  I bought my 09 Burgman 650 new and ten months later it had 25,000 miles on it  you put 15,0000 miles on in six years and I put 25,000 miles on in ten months.  If that's not enough I made that Burgman get both wheels of the ground, raced it at top end for extended periods of miles and pushed it hard.  That has nothing to do with anything good or bad about either one of us, it rather just says that we have different styles.

Burgman 650s don't do well with riders of my style.  I'm not the only one that has seen this.  Bruce has a Burgman 650 with a broken transmission in his garage.  The main difference between Bruce and myself is that Bruce is a much more capable mechanic and maybe he can re-build it.  Buffalo has rebuilt the transmission in his Burgman 650 and he's the best mechanic I've ever met.  The only maxi-scooters that can survive being ridden hard and put away wet are Silverwings and maybe TMAX.  Part of the reason I think this is true is that they have very traditional CVTs.  Burgman 650s and BMW C650s have, each in their own way, less traditional drive trains that can break easier.  Suzuki of America actually told me straight up that they wouldn't honor my warranty because (the warranty was 12 months and unlimited miles) and the bike was ten months old, I abused the bike by putting on 25,000 miles in 10 months.  That tells you what they intended the machine for.  They intended the machine to run for 30 to 50 thousand miles and thought that scooter riders wouldn't achieve 50k miles until ten or more years of ownership, then the manufacturer can say the issues are from old age.  Then the other problem is that on some of the highways where I ride 130 kph isn't fast enough to keep up. If my arithmetic is correct 130 Kph is just about 80 Mph.  If I'm right then I can safely say that on I 74 or I 65 in Indiana or I 75 in central Kentucky I'd get killed going 80 Mph.  To avoid cars trying to run me down I need to do more like 145 Kph (90 Mph).  That's a bit of a problem on the 09 TMAX.  It can do it, but it's running near to full out.  I think with no evidence to back up my thinking that running the engine full out of multiple tanks of gas a day over several days will cut the longevity of the machine.  Not to mention it's somewhat disconcerting to run a bike at full out for any length of time.  I know I have no reserve for an emergency maneuver.

On the other hand my TMAX is magnificent as a daily rider in Chicago and equally stunning in the two lane hills and turns.  It just may not be the good choice for the 2,000 mile 3 day weekend.

I've never had a major break down on an FJR and I've owned maybe five of them and put somewhere in the 200,000 mile ball park on them.  Somehow I think that the expression about the right tool for the right job comes into play.  I had a Piaggio BV 250 and it operated flawlessly.  On the other hand i bought it in LA and stored it in San Diego while I lived in Chicago.  So it had 4,000 miles when I bought it and maybe 9,000 miles when I sold it.  that doesn't really say that much about the bike one way or the other.  The did do a scooter shoot out type of thing in LA maybe about five years ago and if memory serves the brand new Piaggio broke down within 50 miles of the dealer who took three days to retrieve it from the side of the road.  I guess it lost the shoot out hands down.
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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2018, 04:03:17 PM »

Sorry, I forgot I was talking with a mad man, Richard. 

Yea, 130kph = 80MpH and it's pretty much the end of the world for my X10. I can get it up to 140 if I've got a few days and a sandwich to munch on if I get hungry. I've seen 156!! but that was down hill with a following wind and I had my coat open acting like a sail.
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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2018, 06:27:36 PM »

A little bit maybe.  On the other hand you need to experience I 65 going through Indiana or I 75 in central Kentucky.  The Indiana people seem to know that this is the highway to get to the Indy 500 race track and the Kentucky people are the breeders that raise the Kentucky Derby horses.  These guys have no clue of the existence of speed limits.  Last year on the Saturday before the Indy 500 I was going through on the FJR and doing maybe 105 Mph just to go with the flow of traffic when a sports car passed me on the left like I was standing still.  Immediately after five more went roaring by me.  They do get more carried away on race weekend, but the low price of gas along with the local mentality make for an Autobahn mentality.  I 75 between the south suburbs of Cincinnati and the north suburbs of Lexington is at least as much that way.  It has three and or four lanes going each way through rural country and it has every Kentucky race horse guy on it.  Those guys have a love affair with speed and political connections that keep the police from writing them tickets. To be in the center lane and not get run over I need to be going over 90 Mph.

This is the main advantage of the FJR.  It can be going 80 MPH and a flick to 4th with a twist of the throttle and 2 seconds later your doing 105 Mph, if insanity has really gotten a hold of you another flick back to 5th and 2 seconds later you're doing 135 Mph.  It just really allows you to go whatever speed you want without effort up to 140 Mph and then will struggle to get another ten to fifteen Mph.  Not only can no one run you over on the interstate, but you can run as a total hooligan if desired.  On the other hand there was an afternoon when I rode though the Missouri back roads on an FJR following EzMark and Darwin.  Mark had his TMAX and Darwin had a CTX I think.  At the end they were kind of commenting about the trouble I had keeping up, I had to drop a gear and open the throttle at each straight stretch to catch up.  The combination of the facts that their bikes are just better in tight turns, that they are just better then me and that they ride those roads all the time made me look like a slow poke.

But maybe you're just right that I need to consider the lunacy of those speeds.  BTW I've gone over a year without a speeding ticket.
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« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2018, 08:41:54 PM »

This year I DEFINITELY plan on replacing the Zero. Next year? If I get another scooter it'll be a YAMAHA.

Although far from the focus of the OP, a Yamaha scooter usually sounds like a good purchase decision. But I'm also curious about the rationale (granted, it has disadvantages) for parting with the Zero.

He got rear-ended on his Zero and it was totaled. After his broken leg heals he's getting another one...

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« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2018, 08:42:53 PM »

This year I DEFINITELY plan on replacing the Zero. Next year? If I get another scooter it'll be a YAMAHA.

Although far from the focus of the OP, a Yamaha scooter usually sounds like a good purchase decision. But I'm also curious about the rationale (granted, it has disadvantages) for parting with the Zero.



He got rear-ended on his Zero and it was totaled. After his broken leg heals he's getting another one...
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« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2018, 10:51:14 PM »

He got rear-ended on his Zero and it was totaled. After his broken leg heals he's getting another one...

Thanks, Skutorr. Sorry to read about the collision and the riderís injury.

From the original post, I wondered if dissatisfaction with the Zero was an issue, but apparently not. The Zero DS/DSR is the first and only model on my short list for a next motorcycle, and Iím always interested in thoughts from current/recent owners.

There are many excellent motorcycles out there, but havenít found any others that appeal more than the two I currently own.
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« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2018, 04:38:29 AM »

Sorry to hear about your bad luck with the BMW.

I've had, 2 Helix's, A Reflex, A Majesty & 3 650 Burgmans. All of which got rode pretty hard at one time or another. Never had any major problems with any of them. 
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« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2018, 10:18:40 PM »

Burgman 650s don't do well with riders of my style.  I'm not the only one that has seen this.  Bruce has a Burgman 650 with a broken transmission in his garage.  The main difference between Bruce and myself is that Bruce is a much more capable mechanic and maybe he can re-build it.  
Not to mention you're much better looking! I really like the Burgman, but having the transmission go out with not a lot of hard miles, was very disappointing-and I know that I'm not the only one to have this issue. Suzuki won't admit an issue even though it's a well known weak part. I guess they figure we're not supposed to keep them long or put a lot of miles on them. I really liked the BMW650 scooter, but the horror stories of the costs associated for required maintenance scares the stuffings out of me. I had to learn(and am learning) how to do my own work because:
#1- I'm not cheap, but I am frugal
#2-I like getting my hands dirty.
#3- It's a good excuse to buy more tools!
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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2018, 12:56:01 AM »


Max Motorsports in Pelham, about 2 hours away sells Kymco, Vespa and Piaggio scooters.  I'd probably buy from them.  I really like the new Kymco Like 150i.  It's a real hotrod for a 150cc scooter, looks like a Vespa and retails for $2599.  Maybe when (if) my Super 8 wears out.

I read you mention them before. I contacted them(Max Motorsports) on June 16 about a Xciting 400i. A guy named Andrew said he'd talk to the scooter guy named Mathew and call me back.
3 weeks passed. Maybe he lost my number. I called and Andrew answered again. I re-introduced myself and he said he remembered me.
Asked for my number again. It's been a week and he still hasn't gotten back with me.

I called and visited Hall's about the 400i. The sales lady said I'd have to pay an unrefundable $275 if they ordered the bike.

I can't get any Kymco dealer to help me (so far).

Back to the subject. I'm on ADVRIDER forum and it is strange how many of the BMW bikes are used for adventure riding and are always havinging problems.
The $$$ of maintaining them is a bit ridiculous to me. It seems it is a badge of honor to own one more than have a dependable ride.

Having read of them being troublesome, I've still not seen one broke down even riding coast to coast with 2 of them(the scooter versions).
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