Things fall apart, that’s just the way the world works. However, when it comes to machines from big brands that cost tens of thousands of dollars, and are pretty much brand new, all of us would like to think that it’s in these brands’ best interest to make sure these machines don’t fall apart—at least not right away.

Indeed, this is where warranties come into play. And for many, if not all consumers, it’s a great thing to have. Well, as it would turn out, not always.

A recent video from the YouTube channel Motomillion tells quite a scary tale of how their BMW M 1000 RR suffered a “massive engine failure.” Interestingly, the moment of failure was caught on camera as the bike was undergoing dyno testing. And you can clearly hear something go wrong with the motor, after which it is clear that there was some metal-to-metal contact going on beneath the surface.

According to the video, the bike was being dyno tested after having an aftermarket SC-Project exhaust fitted—not something out of the ordinary, especially for a performance-oriented bike of this caliber.

So, what went wrong?

Top 5 Street-Legal Race Bikes - BMW M 1000 RR

BMW M 1000 RR

Well, it would appear that the bike was plagued with issues from the very beginning, with Manny from Motomillion claiming that the bike had a check engine light and a massive warning on the screen during its maiden voyage—not exactly a reassuring sight when riding a bike that costs north of $30,000. So of course, the next logical step was to have the bike checked by the dealer.

Just like a lot of us, Manny is particular when it comes to who he lets check out his bike. After determining that there were no dealerships trustworthy enough to take the bike to within his area, he decided to drive 19 hours to Sill’s Motor Sales, a Cleveland BMW dealership with whom he had previous experience with. Once there, Manny had his buddy Zack, the mechanic at Sill’s Motor Sales, take a look at the bike. Right away, it became clear that the issue was much deeper within the engine than just a faulty valvetrain.

Long story short, the BMW dealership opened a case for a warranty claim surrounding the engine issue, but BMW denied the claim after a seemingly hasty investigation which involved the oil pan being removed, and metal shavings being found in the oil. As such, the owner of the dealership decided to reach out to BMW, encouraging them to investigate the issue a bit deeper. After a bunch of back-and-forth exchanges between the dealer and BMW, it was finally agreed upon that the engine needed to come out for a more thorough investigation.

With the engine out, it was discovered that the connecting rod cap of cylinder 2 was loose, but the bearing wasn’t spun. Usually, a loose rod cap accompanies a spun bearing as a result of improper lubrication. However, in this case, it was just a loose rod cap with no signs of oil starvation—and on a very new and fresh engine at that. As such, Manny and the folks at Sill’s Motor Sales determined the issue to be faulty engine assembly.

Nevertheless, BMW refused to grant them a warranty claim on a new engine, citing findings like a slight 250 rpm over-rev and the premature removal of the bike’s 600-mile break-in rev limiter. But Manny states the rev limiter was removed within the 350 to 700-mile interval stated in the service manual.

So, who’s right and who’s wrong? It seems as though we’re splitting hairs here.

BMW M 1000 RR Engine

I decided to do a little digging myself here, and reached out to a friend of mine with connections to BMW Motorrad here in the Philippines. They explained that when it comes to major engine issues like this, they usually push for a complete and thorough investigation to make sure that the engine didn’t fail due to improper use. They did, however, mention that when aftermarket accessories like third-party exhaust systems and ECU remaps are thrown into the mix, it makes the whole warranty-claim procedure that much more complicated, as there are more variables to consider.

They further explained that there are a couple of hard-line reasons as to why they would deny warranty in a case like this. Firstly, the break-in limiter wasn’t removed by an authorized BMW technician. Secondly, the bike was fitted with an aftermarket exhaust system and ECU tune.

It’s worth noting, however, that these nuances in terms of warranty claims may vary depending on the region, and BMW’s rules here in the Philippines and over in the US could vary to a great extent. Nevertheless, what we can conclude is that yes, BMW’s warranty is indeed very, very strict. 

Warranties exist to protect the consumer from undue expenses in the event of malfunction. However, when it comes to super high-performance machines like the BMW M 1000 RR, the tolerances are much smaller and everything is simply so much more complex and high-strung than in other bikes. As such, you could say that the manufacturer accepts a bigger risk when it comes to ensuring their products can keep up with the abuse.

What’s weird here is that BMW seemed to grant warranty claims on other blown engines on both M 1000 R and RR models. Manny specifically cites the engine failure of his friend’s M 1000 R, which was promptly replaced under warranty. However, in Motomillion’s case, BMW seemed to come to the quick conclusion of denying warranty flat out.

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It goes without saying that cases like this sure suck, especially for enthusiasts looking to push the capabilities of these sportbikes and hypersports. But they also threw on aftermarket parts and a tune, so they already opened themselves up to this possibility.

Luckily for Manny and the folks over at Motomillion, they had the skills, tools, experience, and money to repair a bike like this. And that’s exactly what they did, spending $15,000 USD on a new engine.

So, what do you think? Should BMW have fessed up to the issue and granted Motomillion a warranty claim? Or was BMW right to deny warranty on the grounds of tampered electronics and aftermarket parts? Is removing the rev limiter and installing an exhaust and tune enough to cause this level of mechanical failure? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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