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How much of the maintenance DIY

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are arguably 9 items on the "maintenance schedule" on a 2016 R1200R. The price for this work is a known money suck by BMW, so what can I DIY?
My question to this forum is:
  1. Vale clearance checking
  2. Telescopic fork oil change
  3. brake fluid flush
These items will take more than a GS-911 to do, and the cost from a "non"-dealer repair shop is $900 +/-. Might there be some wisdom out there to get this done without breaking the bank?
 

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Let me begin by saying I think a GS-911 is a must have tool for any BMW bike, whether you do your own maintenance or not. It allows you to troubleshoot your bike on the road. It really hurt to pay $400 for it (they were offered for sale on black-Friday/cyber-Monday, so you know), but should get back about 3/4 of that (or at least 2/3s), if you sell it with 9 VINs left, so you can consider about $300 of that, as an interest-free investment. Ha ha.

On the maintenance front, you didn't put oil changes, which are the easiest by far. Next easiest is brake fluid flush, which can be done with just a piece of clear tubing and a glass jar (I use a vacuum fluid extractor, and only do 2 to 3 lever pumps at the end). Next would be valve clearance IMO, also requiring minimal special tools... but some extra ones make the process easier. A torque wrench is a must. I haven't seen a Youtube video of my 1250 yet, but I assume there's no need to mess with the shift-cam 2nd lobe, although not sure about that. My guess is as long as the main lobe wear (compared to the rarely used 2nd one) is not more than the clearance, everything should be fine. Just hope my 2020 doesn't have the 'soft' cam issues of the previous 1200 motor. We'll see, I guess. Finally, the hardest maintenance item is the fork oil change IMO. Not looking forward to that AT ALL. Ha ha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good feedback... I do have a GS-911 and agreed that tool is "table-stakes" for owning a BMW bike. I'm a DIY guy but the three items I mentioned were not a thing on my Kawasaki. And yes this bike is not a Kawasaki.
Brake Fluid Flush $188.00 / Front Fork Oil Change $430.00 / Vale inspection $126 + 87.50 X2 ($175.00) Kit? $ 301.00 (prices for Non dealer)
 

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Android phone with Mototune app and Bluetooth OBD reader works fine. I have been able to reset the service indicator, calibrate and lock the idle actuators during TB sync and cycle the ABS pumps. It can also read the various sensors and error codes and change certain settings like the turn signal auto cancel delay, although I haven't used those features too often. Cost about $150. It's not as polished as GS911, but so far has worked well.
 

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Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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A Haynes manual covers all the regular maintenance items and more, so is a good investment. All are readily achievable by the competent home mechanic, but if you’re ham fisted or not particular about how you go about things, I can imagine you could get yourself (more particularly, your bike) into trouble. There are also guides posted on this forum.

From my recollection, the only specialist tool you need in addition to a GS911 or Motoscan is a hold-down tool and locking washer for the fork springs when changing the fork oil. Both are easily fabricated.
 

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A Haynes manual covers all the regular maintenance items and more, so is a good investment. All are readily achievable by the competent home mechanic, but if you’re ham fisted or not particular about how you go about things, I can imagine you could get yourself (more particularly, your bike) into trouble. There are also guides posted on this forum.

From my recollection, the only specialist tool you need in addition to a GS911 or Motoscan is a hold-down tool and locking washer for the fork springs when changing the fork oil. Both are easily fabricated.
I’ve done all the maintenance on my 2015 since new. I’m only an average DIY guy. The bike is easy to work on. Valve clearance checks are not complicated. After three valve checks the clearance hasn’t changed so no actual adjustment has been necessary. I changed the fork oil using the Haynes manual and Panzermanm’s excellent interpretation of it. Brake flush is just the old fashioned way. I do have a GS-911wifi but so far have only used it to reset service reminders. My local dealer wants $60 to reset service reminders so with 2 bikes I’ve used it 12 times so far. It’s paid for itself twice and is fun too fiddle with. Of course having a bike that hasn’t had any issues makes it easy. Also check out “JVB productions” DVD on 1200 maintenance.
 

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There really needs to be more options in the poll. Not quite 100%, but way more than 50%.

For me, shop work is the result of lacking skills or proper tools (if not both).

I’d change my own tires, but this isn’t often enough (until BMW) to do my own and buy the equipment. Mostly, BMW is 2 hours away…even as a “carry in” service, and I likely am not getting the best prices. I’ve done one tire change myself, with help, and it was not worth it. Had to bring the wheel into a tire shop for a high pressure air blast to proper seat the tire. I’m still hesitant to do it myself, though.

Fork service is another. Fluid change is easy, but removal, disassembly, etc. requires the right tools. I’m “due” for this now (17K miles), but the collective wisdom is that it’s not critical. I neither race nor ride aggressively, so any diminished performance from not replacing the oil now likely won’t be an issue. I did this before for my XX, but I had a spare pair of hands and my dad’s know-how to make sure I did it right.

Then there is cost. For the tire change, the tires were somewhat competitive in price, and labor was discounted as I brought the wheels in off bike. It looked like there was a price adjustment for one of the tires…which listed way above what competitors would have sold it for. For the forks, it’s almost $400…but it’s something I could put off for many years/miles and I’m paying for a professional to do the job right and quickly compared to DIY.

Grumpy Goat has many videos on YouTube walking you through procedures. I even dismounted the final drive and driveshaft to lube and inspect it…something I feared would be too complicated, but it wasn’t. Short of having compression issues (bad piston rings), most things on a motorcycle are easy to DIY if you have a decent manual and proper tools.

Fortunately, the R/RS is easy to service on pretty much all standard maintenance issues. My XX was an in-line 4, and doing valve clearance checks was a PITA. The engine ideally should be dismounted, but I managed to wrestle the rocker arm cover off and remove it with the engine in frame. Had to dismount the coolant system to make space to work with, and trying to put the cover back on without the gasket slipping off or out of alignment made it a one-time service.

Sorry for going long on this. I did my research about the RS before buying it. I wanted to know how easy it was to DIY on standard maintenance issues and how likely it was to break down and need a visit to BMW. I got good reports on both.
 

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I don't do tires anymore, but always take them separately. I'd do the same with the forks... if I could watch the entire time how the tech does that. But since I can't, no way I'd trust a dealer with that. As mentioned, much rather leave it alone... unless I feel the need for it. We'll see when the 17K miles come. Ha ha. With my trailer now, that should take me several years.
 

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  1. Vale clearance checking
  2. Telescopic fork oil change
  3. brake fluid flush
I'm not much of a mechanic but checking valve clearance and brake fluid flush is not difficult for me.
If I ever need a valve adjustment I may take it to the dealer.
Using this bleeder makes the brake fluid flush easy for one person.
Motion Pro
Also available at Amazon

Product Cable Auto part Wire Jewellery
 

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As Zer0netgain mentioned "Grumpy Goat" videos on YouTube are very useful; there are a couple of other sites I find extremely helpful and by very competent mechanics. The videos are very well made and precise and well explained. "The Old Mechanic" and "Box Flyer" have some very detailed maintenance videos; and Panzermann has a very detailed fork oil change set of instructions on this forum; though I think we should all chip in and buy him a GoPro as instructional manuals pale to video demonstrations.
PS. The Motoscan Ultimate phone App coupled with an inexpensive OBD is a less costly alternative to the GS911.
 

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There are arguably 9 items on the "maintenance schedule" on a 2016 R1200R. The price for this work is a known money suck by BMW, so what can I DIY?
My question to this forum is:
... Might there be some wisdom out there to get this done without breaking the bank?
I assume you have already seen/read related technical-DIY posts on this forum, but just in case you have not - it might be worth to do a forum-search on each entry of interest,
e.g. I remember reading @Panzermann 's post on 90,000 km service completed, including fork oil change which I personally find useful whenever I am in a (re)search for any tips and pointers whenever I approach a task I have never done before (or even for the future)
 
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