Should I get a professional 'check up' on a freshly inherited bike - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    nsseverson's Avatar
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    I recently inherited an F800GS (2013) and I absolutely love it. I've always dreamed of having a GS and I can't wait to get out into the parks/canyons/amazing roads nearby in SoCal.

    That being said, I'm concerned that inheriting a used GS comes with the need for mechanical skill-sets that I don't currently have.

    The bike is just at 14k miles. At first glance things seem in order: lights are all operating, tires have a decent amount of tread, chain/sprocket look good, idles great, brakes work, rides great....

    I don't have a detailed history on the maintenance of this bike - is it prudent to take this to a local shop and ask for an all-around check up? Should I instead venture over to a BMW shop and ask for a routine maintenance assessment? If so, what kinds of procedures should I expect, what about costs?

    Any help or guidance would be appreciated. Thank you!

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    If it was me, I would have the BMW shop perform a 12K-mile servicing. That will make sure that the valves are adjusted correctly, that the FI computer has the latest updates and that any chassis recalls have been addressed. After that servicing you can probably just perform normal maintenance at a local motorcycle shop that you have good relations with every 6K miles. Unfortunately, a 12K service at a BMW shop is likely to end up costing around $600, depending upon their labor rate. Expect the BMW servicing to take about three to four hours.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  5. #3
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    I agree with Richard. These bikes are pretty easy to work on when it comes to the basic service, but checking the valves is pretty involved. Just getting to the valve cover and getting it off is a not much fun. The good news is that they seldom need a valve adjustment. Starting off knowing all is well with valves and that you have fresh spark plugs and fluids (including brake fluid) will ease your mind. Take a look at the brake fluid in the rear reservoir. On these bikes the rear brake fluid tends to get dark very quickly, especially when the bike is low mileage. If that is clear then it indicates to me that the bike has been serviced to some degree. Buy yourself a Haynes Manual for the bike and consider starting to do your own maintenance. Just doing oil/filter changes, air filter changes and the inspections that are called for on most services will save you a good deal of money. I suggest you also findout about BMW clubs in your area. Most clubs have members who are willing to share their knowledge about maintaining their bikes. They may also have tech days where members get together to work on bikes. Good luck!
    Kevin
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana
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  8. #4
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Hola, Nss, There are a few independent trained mechanics locally too. Valdi in the So Bay area (Phone: (310) 320-7040) and Ryan Reva (https://www.advmototech.com/) in the Glendale area. Both are factory trained and worked at dealers before independent wrenching. There is another is another in the Riverside, Inland Empire, but I forget his name.
    There is also Pete at West Coast GP Cycles. He's in El Monte but the web site still shows Monrovia. He's at Century BMW in Alhambra too but not sure he'd be the one working on the bike at the dealers.
    If my '08 ST was any indicator, the engines don't need a lot of attention.

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  10. #5
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    I'll take the other philosophy and say to just ride it. You've looked at most of the wear items and if it seems to be running great, it is. What would you expect a mechanic to find? The engine runs. The bike rides well. If the bike doesn't appear to have been dropped or abused, it should be fine.

    The maintenance schedule says to inspect the valves, but I haven't heard of anyone who found they needed to adjust them. I waited till 25,000 miles and found mine were still good. I'd look at the brake pads to see how much is left, and watch the tires to make sure you get new ones before you head out on any long trips.

    You may not feel like a real mechanic, but many things can be done yourself. What I do, is to check out YouTube before trying something I'm not used to doing. In our case as F800 owners, we have an excellent resource created by (I believe) the founder of this forum. He's made an entire F800 Riders Service video series.

    Here's the full video:



    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  12. #6
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    Spousal Unit put over 50K miles on her 2011 F650GS (same engine) and never required an adjustment. That bike specified valve check at 24K miles but her 2014 F800GS specifies 12K miles. I wonder why the change. The 800 did have one exhaust valve out of spec at 36K miles.

    I'd have them checked now, then not worry about having them checked again for 24K miles. I want a known start point for any used bike I get. I suggest taking a close look at the chain as well. At 14K it should be okay, but maybe not.
    Kevin
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  14. #7
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    Thank you all for your replies and insight! I was able to do some detective work and figure out the BMW dealer the previous owner took the bike to. I gave them a call and they confirmed this bike received the 12k service about a year ago! That being said, they recommended oil and filter this spring.

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    Good to hear. I regret I didn’t think to say that any dealer can pull up the history of any work done on a BMW at a dealership. This includes recalls, service bulletins, warranty, scheduled maintenance and repairs. You could ask them for a complete history of the bike and they might do it.
    Kevin
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    nsseverson's Avatar
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    Yes they were able to confirm the work done on the bike, including the fact that they originally sold it. Glad I could track the information down. Now, on to planning my next ride!



    Nick
    Venice, CA 

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    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    I'll take the other philosophy and say to just ride it. You've looked at most of the wear items and if it seems to be running great, it is. What would you expect a mechanic to find? The engine runs. The bike rides well. If the bike doesn't appear to have been dropped or abused, it should be fine.

    The maintenance schedule says to inspect the valves, but I haven't heard of anyone who found they needed to adjust them. I waited till 25,000 miles and found mine were still good. I'd look at the brake pads to see how much is left, and watch the tires to make sure you get new ones before you head out on any long trips.

    You may not feel like a real mechanic, but many things can be done yourself. What I do, is to check out YouTube before trying something I'm not used to doing. In our case as F800 owners, we have an excellent resource created by (I believe) the founder of this forum. He's made an entire F800 Riders Service video series.

    Here's the full video:



    Chris
    Yes ditto just ride

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  23. #12
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigcraft View Post
    Yes ditto just ride
    I'm always amazed at the way we treat our motorcycles. I was on a trip to South Dakota and came across a R1200GS rider who was obsessed with finding a BMW place to change his oil since it was due now. We worry about valve checks and when the last time the fluids were changed. And I'm not saying any of that is bad...

    ...but when is the last time you did that on your car?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  25. #13
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsseverson View Post
    ...Now, on to planning my next ride!
    This looks to be in your neck of the woods...

    Favorite Ride: Mineral King and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks
    https://ridermagazine.com/2019/12/30...ational-parks/


    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  27. #14
    nsseverson's Avatar
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    I'm loving these route/ride recommendations. Thank you all very much!



    Nick
    Venice, CA 

  28. #15
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Daboo, I did the Mineral King road a couple years ago. It really sucks. Narrow, rough and pot holed. I imagine I was just about to the top when I gave up because I was in a residential area. Not sure some little alpine valley, even if Disney Corp wanted it, is worth the bother. Camping at the Azalea campground near the lodge was fine and some of the roads getting there were fun but the main road through the park is a PITA when the tourists inundate the park. Travel is just a parade of slugs.
    Like most Nat Parks, best during the week when school is in session and the families are not on holiday.

    That link to the Calif roads is a jewel, thanks for that.

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