|New Left Front Rotor|
For at least 6 months now I have been wanting to write a blog entry titled "What I Hate About My BMW RT". One of the reasons I did not post it is that I don't like to present a problem or issue without also presenting a possible solution to that issue. I now have resolution to my problem with my RT.
I have a 2010 R1200RT that I purchased new. I now have a little over 35,000 miles on the bike but a little over a year ago my bike developed the dreaded pulsating front brake. For those of you that have never experienced it you can describe it as rather minor problem... in a way. The pulsating is not felt until the bike is rolling very slowly - almost at a stop. I must use the front brake a lot because I felt it nearly every time I came to a stop. Soon after the bike developed the problem I took it to my dealer for evaluation.
I let the dealer take their time working on the bike because I was 100% sure that the issue would be identified and correct under warranty. Not so! The SM told me that they were within specs. I said how could that be because the front brake pulsated. He said they were within BMW specs. I argued that in over 40 years of riding motorcycles I had never had this problem. I added that the RT was by far the most expensive motorcycle that I have purchased but I had to live with the problem. I added that I purchased a used Cushman for $50 in college and the brakes did not pulsate. He said they were within specs and that BMW would not pay for the replacement.
Let me add at this point that when I described the problem to my independent BMW motorcycle mechanic he immediately said "The rotors are wrapped". I told him that the dealer had said no and that the rotors are within specs. He says "The rotors are wrapped". I didn't say anything but everything I know about mechanics told me that he was right.
Nearly a year later I decided to try the dealer again. One reason is that my bike is nearly out of warranty and two is that the dealer had a new SM. As it turned out the new SM was out for an extended period of time (months I was told). I nevertheless rode the 265 miles to the dealer since I wanted them to check out the bike before I hit the 36,000 mile warranty limit. Once there I decided to report the issue about the pulsating front brake and my cruise control switch acting up (again!). BTW, as it turned out the acting service manager was the owner of the dealership. I could not help but wonder... is this a good thing or a bad thing?
I had already resolved to try to correct the problem myself by first trying new pads and that failing I would switch out the rotors. I had to... I was already getting to the point that I was adjusting my riding habits by avoiding the front brake at slow speeds. I did not like that.
After the mechanic test drove the bike the SM (owner) walks into the waiting area and tells me that 1 rotor is wrapped and it will be replaced under warranty. I was a happy camper. I signed to work order that had a total of $540 for the work (remember - only one rotor and no new pads). Everything was done in less than two hours. The rotor was replaced (I'm lucky one was in stock) and the cruise control switch was ordered. I was anxious to try out the bike after having the issue for about 14 months or 13,000 miles.
I pull out of the parking lot and come up to a stop sign about 30 yards from the parking lot exit. I come to a stop and thought "WOW! What a difference". I drive to Willie's for lunch which is only about 2 miles away but this time I welcome every stop and stop light along the way. Yeap, the problem is fixed! The one issue I was having with my bike is now corrected. New sparks plugs, oil change, and no pulsating brakes made the bike feel awesome. I was riding alone but enjoyed the 265 mile ride back home. Conclusion... pulsating front brake can be corrected by replacing the brake rotors. Expensive - but a solution. Maybe after market rotors will be a better solution. I would consider them but for now my bike is fixed.