23 Feb 2013

6,000 mile service

I had my 6,000 mile service carried out at the beginning of February at BMW Battersea. Key items during this service include oil/filter change, brake fluid change and various checks/adjustments.

I prepared a list of minor items that I wanted looked at and dropped off the bike early on a Monday morning (read about my impressions of the F700GS that I was given as a loaner).

My list included:

  • Replace rear brake pads [result: carried out]
  • Verify correct charging/stator/battery function as heated handgrips won’t switch on when ambient temperature is low [result: this is due to my commute being only 2 miles which is not enough time to recharge the battery during the cold months—computer won’t allow heated grips to switch on when battery has a lower than normal charge]
  • Check starter as there is a noise like it is sticking/not disengaging quickly enough now and then when starting the motor on cold days [result: no fault found—doing some digging it seems to be a rattle from the timing chain which occurs on many F800s but does not cause any issues]
  • Verify normal engine sound [result: no fault found—this engine simply has a lot of mechanical noise, well documented on forums]
  • Verify steering head torque due to knocking over certain types of road imperfections [result: no fault found—knocking is due to fork design, well documented on forums]
  • Slight exhaust rattle at 3,000–5,000rpm during higher engine loads such as accelerating with a pillion [result: normal—a factor of the slip-on design of the silencer]
  • Change clock to 24h format [result: This would have been carried out but the software required to do this was unavailable, I was asked to bring back the bike at another time]
  • Repair minor stone chip on RHS fairing [result: BMW don’t make touch-up paint for the blue fairings on the Trophy (?!?!)]
  • Removing light surface corrosion from brake rotor fixing points [result: resolved with nylon brillo pad]
  • Enable distance-to-empty function of the onboard computer [result: BMW permanently disabled this function a few years back]
During the afternoon I received a call from BMW Battersea asking if I wanted them to give the chain a good cleaning (about 30 minutes labour) and I told them to go ahead. At the end of the day I have better things to do than be outside cleaning my chain in the dead of winter.

My bike was ready at the agreed time and I returned to BMW Battersea to collect it that evening. The bike was freshly washed when I arrived.

The cost—which included 30 minutes of labour for the chain, plus parts and labour for new rear brake pads—came in at a nudge less than £250. Without the chain and pads I would estimate the cost to be roughly £150.

This is quite significant, as Honda used to charge me £300–350 per service for my old Hornet. Honda used to clean the chain by default but, taking this into account, BMW are still 33–43% cheaper. Brake pads on the Hornet cost the same (around £50 installed), and Honda didn't wash the bike after the service (it’s the little things).

On top, Honda requires servicing every 5,000 miles and BMW every 6,000 so servicing is slightly less frequent. Over 30,000 miles this translates to quite a bit of dosh saved.

BMW don’t have a reputation for being inexpensive for anything, so this was a pleasant surprise. And as always, BMW Battersea provided excellent customer service—they were thorough and provided written responses for each item on my list. Cannot recommend them enough.