Am I In An Abusive Relationship With My BMW?

By Jaco du Plessis | Published on 2020-05-17


Am I In An Abusive Relationship With My BMW?

What a lovely day it is. This morning I rode my BMW from Cape Town along Marine Drive, through Contermanskloof and back to Durbanville. The roads were clear and with my new road-orientated rear tyre it was ideal to enjoy the sport touring abilities of the big blue beast. With the quickshifter and Akrapovic exhaust, what more can you ask for?

During a trip through the Free State.
During a trip through the Free State.

After a nice relaxing braai I was just about to lay down for a rest when my mother called me over: "Your bike is leaking oil in my driveway."

Bloody hell.

Why does Mollie (my 2014 GS Adventure) always seem to make me love her one moment and regret having here the next? This beauty has been my replacement for a girlfriend since the end of last year. But unfortunately she has all the traits of a girl you're in an abusive relationship with.

Much like myself she enjoys a view.
Much like myself she enjoys a view.

Head-turner? Check. Sometimes I just stare at it a bit - her lines are so lovely. Down for fun? Check. She can go too fast, or take you deep into the woods. Expensive? Check. Chows through rubber like there's no tomorrow and services and repairs cost a pretty penny. Likes it rough? Check. Sometimes I throw her down but I think she likes it. Loves bling? Check. She has all the farkles and accessories you could possible put on a bike. She came to me like this.

Working up a sweat to please her. Notice how I had to scratch her tank before she was satisfied.
Working up a sweat to please her. Notice how I had to scratch her tank before she was satisfied.

We've had the most amazing adventures together. Last December it was a 10,000km road trip during which I even introduced her to my family. Long weekends we blast over thousands of kilometers exploring the best parts of the country.

She's also caused some of my saddest moments. I recall loading her, huffing and puffing, onto a borrowed trailer one morning and then driving through traffic to take her to BMW where she would stay for 5 weeks. There was the humiliation of towing her, intensely missing her while she was gone and finally the teeth-clenching while forking over the cash to go get her back again.

The ups and downs are taking a toll on my general well-being. Every day at look at other bikes on the internet (even naked ones). I dream about throwing my leg over them. But each time I park Mollie after a ride, I'm satisfied - nay - happy with what I have. My guilty thoughts about selling her cause me mental anguish.

She’s a bit heavy but only because she eats too many miles.
She’s a bit heavy but only because she eats too many miles.

The problem are these signs that things could go really, really wrong at any point.

A mechanic that tells me the clutch is nearing its end or the drive-shaft might need to replaced soon. A few months ago the stator coil just burned itself out - when will it happen again? And now today's oily mess. It might need a new seal or a whole new diff. I don't even want to think about it.

The engine is quite noisy - it sounds a bit like a tractor engine. When I'm idling at a traffic light I sometimes wonder whether another quick pullaway might cause some clacking piece of metal to just give up. Unlikely, but simply having the thought is a problem on its own.

There is just way too much thinking going on. Our relationship has moved beyond the point of pure, innocent joy, and each interaction is now a calculated one, where neither of us are certain which one will snap first.

Being fondled by another man during one of her fits.
Being fondled by another man during one of her fits.

This week BMW will come pick her up for repairs. I've asked them to give me a trade-in value while she's there. Maybe it's for the best - a new model comes with a 3-year, worry free warranty. I'll probably oscillate between wanting to get rid of her and keeping her about 5 times per day until I hear back from BMW.

One thing is for sure - these types of relationships are the ones you treasure most when looking back. It might be abusive, but it's wild and bloody fun while the going is good.


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