Originally Posted by itsatdm
My theory on quality on the 800 and the singles is that BMW farms out more componants on these bikes than any other. They are more BMW assembled bikes, than actually manufactured bikes. Sure they are spec"d by BMW, but I would guess the sub assemblies go to the low bidder. I am sure there is quality control but I don't know if BMW is the one doing that. Wheels come to mind, as I would bet BMW receives them already assembled. No way to check bore if the bearings are installed or heat treatment of rims either.
As more and more BMW (both car and bike) production shifts to China and Taiwan it will be interesting to see if BMW can maintain (or improve?) quality. It may be a low bidder problem or it could be a "cutting corners" issue as the Chinese subcontractors try to increase profits. If you come in with a very low bid, chances are you are operating in the red. The only way to recover is to cut corners. Nothing new here.
The Japanese face this same conundrum, the difference is they've been dealing with the Chinese and Koreans for 20 years, so perhaps understand the rules of the game better? They source many parts and assemblies from China, Korea and Taiwan but remain more quiet about it.
I've been riding a new Suzuki GS500F, the "upgraded" GS500 with a fairing. The forks, shock and brake calipers bear logos I've never seen or heard of .... and they are all clearly, low budget Asian market junk. (probably "low bidder" Chinese parts?) In BMW's case they also have Rotax in the mix. And Rotax means Bombardier. Both companies are at risk if too many repeated failures appear and become endemic with the brand.
Hard to "spin" your way out of reality if BMW and Rotax let things go that far. My guess is they will turn this around and do really well and the bikes will get better and better.