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alekkas 03-29-2013 10:26 PM

DIY factor on maintenance?
Never had a boxer before. Finding some decent used GS prices. Mostly 1200s. However, from some things I read, the cost of proper maintenance and down time at the shop is not something I want to do at this time of life. Additionally, I know one doesn't need a lab coat to do good work.

I do most most most most my own maintenance on bikes and cars. What is the DIY factor for these bikes?

I have the competence and confidence to do most maintenance. For example, valves on my Connie, carbs clean/rebuild, cam chain extenders on vtwins, fluids, forks spring/valving, change/rebuild brakes, change tires etc... I also perseverate and read a ton before taking on a job. YouTube too.

Do these skills on japanese and american bikes transfer to what needs to be done on the 1200s? What are some of the "high cost" jobs and intervals?

So, many DIYers out there? Thoughts?

Multiplicity 03-29-2013 11:39 PM

IMO, the BMW Boxer is the easiest DIY machine :clap

a.c.s. 03-29-2013 11:39 PM

You'll have no problems doing the routine maintenance on the 1200. I can teach my most mechanicly incompetent friends how to keep the 1200 up to spec with only a little common sense. Throw in a JVB DVD and you'll be trained by "the Master."

alekkas 03-30-2013 12:10 AM

Well that's great news!

Most bikes I have known have one or two things that commonly crop up at certain miles - like Vulcan cam extenders around 30k miles. Versys staters around 30k. Etc...

Are there any fairly common things that come up ... Other than replacing wear items.

mercury01 03-30-2013 06:50 AM

A big difference I have found with the 1200 GS over the Japanese, etc is that the body panels fit - you don't end up screwing around trying desperately to line up invisible holes, then try to screw in cheap, nasty fittings. Also, it appears for the most part that the engineering department figured out where everything goes, not the marketing department. Most routine jobs are easy to get to and the tools can actually reach the fitting.

Hikertrash 03-30-2013 07:38 AM

One of the reasons I went with a boxer engine is because its so easy to do maintenance on.

MoodyGS 03-30-2013 08:14 AM

Are there any fairly common things that come up......

The routinely get muddy:D

MoodyGS 03-30-2013 08:15 AM

Are there any fairly common things that come up......

They routinely get muddy:D

chewnaut 03-30-2013 09:32 AM

Google this: JVB DVD. BMW is loosing tons of money because Jim has taught us that the boxer engines are rediculously easy to work on. Yes, rediculously:D

ragtoplvr 03-30-2013 09:40 AM

This is the easiest bike to work on I know of. That said, there is always something, the exact something is dependent on your skills.

almost anyone can do the liquid changes, spark plug changes. This is not true for all bikes.

A smaller group can add valve adjustment and brakes. There are many bikes, that require cam shaft removal for this, and that requires a much larger skill set!

A smaller still group can pull the tank and change the fuel filter.

Now beyond this point, there is little if any advantage to the boxer and some disadvantages, like clutch replacement.

jdub 03-30-2013 09:45 AM


Originally Posted by alekkas (Post 21067142)
Are there any fairly common things that come up ... Other than replacing wear items.

Some but certainly not all R1200GS/GSAs have had issues with final drives and some with driveshaft u-joints, and those are well documented on numerous threads. My bike has been very reliable, and I find it easier and more satisfying to work on than other brands I've owned. Even removing my DRZ's seized swingarm pivot bolt was more aggravating than anything I've ever done on my GSA. For reference, my GSA's maintenance history is detailed at the links at the bottom of my post. Good luck with your decision!

AviatorTroy 03-30-2013 11:38 AM

As long as nothing electrical goes wrong aka abs pump, you can fix almost anything yourself. Parts are still expensive tho

dfwscotty 03-31-2013 07:34 AM

In addition to getting JVBs vids read up on the GS related articles.

This is a link to the articles at teh bottom of every page here.

Anything you want to do to the GS is found on line. If not, someone has done the work and detailed the jobs in threads here.

bobbybeemer 03-31-2013 07:52 AM

I also find the BMW easy to work on. Just use good tools. call your local snap on dealer and get a good torx set. Invest once on a set and they will replace them for life.:D Get any special tools if needed for a job, many are online. Also don't freak out about the things you read on here and the little noises a boxer makes, just ride it like you stole it.

jsb223 03-31-2013 07:55 AM

Lot's of great info out there...

Procedures, patience and proper torque values.

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