Replacement for my '09 Wee-ABS - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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Other Motorcycles Forum for you to discuss anything about any other motorcycles. Good place for former (and soon to be) V-Strom owners to keep on the site even though they are without a strom.

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2011, 06:04 AM
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Default Replacement for my '09 Wee-ABS

Sometime in my life (ie, my riding life) I want to own a Guzzi and, since my clock is running, I'm expecting it to be my next bike. I've been to many Guzzi rallies, talked to hundreds of owners, test rode several models and have decided that the next bike for me is the current generation Stelvio.

The Stelvio was introduced in the US as an '09 model. It has gone through a couple of interations and is now a 1200cc, 4 valve head, shaft drive, Adventure Touring bike in competition with the GS, Tenere, the new Triumph, the new Suzuki model (if they're smart), etc.

The current generation (now available in Europe, in the US mid-to-late next year) has several changes (larger fuel tank, cast rims, improved engine mapping) that appeal to me.

The plan is to upgrade the suspension on the Wee and do the normal preventive maintainance stuff this winter, then change to the Stelvio when it becomes available here in the US.

At least, that's the plan.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2011, 07:31 AM
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To each their own. MG makes great bikes, no question of that, however their dealer (or more specifically "Service") network in the USA is too few and far between. Break down when riding a Harley or any Japanese bike and the nearest dealer with a service department is probably within 50 miles. Break down on a MG and you may well be looking at the nearest dealer being several states away.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCraig View Post
To each their own. MG makes great bikes, no question of that, however their dealer (or more specifically "Service") network in the USA is too few and far between. Break down when riding a Harley or any Japanese bike and the nearest dealer with a service department is probably within 50 miles. Break down on a MG and you may well be looking at the nearest dealer being several states away.
100% correct, but it is a classic Catch 22.
To have a large network, people need to start buying the bikes so there is justification for dealers/service to expand the network, but people won't buy the bikes since the network is not large enough...
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCraig View Post
MG makes great bikes, however their dealer (or more specifically "Service") network in the USA is too few and far between.
Scott, you're absolutely correct. The Guzzi dealer network in the US is sparse, about as thin as the BMW network. However, I long ago came to the conclusion that owning a Guzzi means doing my own maintenance/repair work, getting the necessary parts via UPS from a dealer miles away and relying on a shop manual and web site "technical experts" for answers when I have questions.

But, when I think about it, that's how I've managed owning my Wee for the last two years. Tires from AZ, some parts from Blaine, WA (actually one of the Four Corners of the US), others from UT, MI, WI, TN, FL, KY and other wide-spread locations. Technical assistance from my $100. shop manual, supplemented by the "experts" on this website. My closest two Suzuki dealers (one 20 miles, the other 60 miles) have little in stock for my bike (other than oil filters) and need to order most parts that would be needed for a repair.

My conclusion is there's really not that much difference in owning one versus the other, for me.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:53 AM
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I've always wanted a Guzzi as well. I've never ridden one, but that motor just looks like it's full of character and low down grunt. I just read a review on the new, soon to be released Stelvio, and it seems to be much improved. However, a friend bought the 1st generation Stelvio (09?) and had nothing but problems, it spent a lot of time in the shop. He sold it at the end of the season. Not saying they're all like this, but this was his experience.

If you're going to sell the Strom and buy a Stelvio next year, why bother spending money on suspension upgrades??
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by om28 View Post
If you're going to sell the Strom and buy a Stelvio next year, why bother spending money on suspension upgrades??
Good question. My Wee has 21K miles on it now, will have ~24K by the end of the year (still have a couple of 1000 mile weekend trips to Beemer rallies on the riding calendar plus some miscellaneous stuff). So, the suspension could use a good cleaning, reflushing and updating. Working with Sasquatch will cost ~$1000. New tires, brake pads(?) ~$400. Check/change valve clearances ~?? I'm not considering any other changes/additions.

I'm still expecting to ride my normal 12-15K miles/year next year, even before the Stelvio becomes available, so I might as well make it the best bike I can. Also, Piaggio, in their mighty wisdom, may decide to not bring enough of the new bike into the US to satisfy the market needs. (It's already available in Europe and the UK.) They have limited manufacturing capacity and we may not be at the top of their priority list.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:19 PM
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Piaggio, in their mighty wisdom, may decide to not bring enough of the new bike into the US
Will that engine meet U.S. and California emission regs?
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:36 PM
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I'm a lurker in some of the Guzzi forums, and more than the thin dealer network, I think a bigger problem might be spare parts availability. Hard parts, engine or electrics sound like they could put you off the road for weeks or months.

I'd love to own a Stelvio, but the scarcity of parts I perceive keeps me away.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kugeln View Post
I'm a lurker in some of the Guzzi forums, and more than the thin dealer network, I think a bigger problem might be spare parts availability. Hard parts, engine or electrics sound like they could put you off the road for weeks or months.

I'd love to own a Stelvio, but the scarcity of parts I perceive keeps me away.
I saw it happen, which was the reason for my original post.

A friend of a friend bought a new MG Norge a few years ago. Right after he got it they took a trip and coming back the oil pressure light came on. He checked his oil level and it was fine so he decided to ride it home. He never made it, a few miles later the engine seized. Another friend brought his trailer up and they hauled it back to the dealership where they determined that the oil pump had failed. Between ordering parts from Italy, returning and reordering the parts that were wrong, etc. it was a solid year before he got to ride that bike again.

This isn't a complaint against Guzzi's quality. MG makes some fine machines but all machines can and will break sooner or later. Had it been a Suzuki or a Honda or a Kawasaki the likelihood of being able to find parts in this country would have been much higher though.
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Last edited by SCraig; 09-19-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PTRider View Post
Will that engine meet U.S. and California emission regs?
PT,

It's certainly my understanding that the bikes Guzzi is bringing into the US meet our emissions regulations. They have a small product line that's available here on a continuing basis. The Stelvio is just one of their models.

I've demo ridden the 1100 Breva twice and liked it (good competition for the R1200R) but no ABS for the US market, although it's available in Europe/UK. Also demo ridden the Norge w/ ABS (their Sport Touring Model), but it's a bit more "leaned over" in riding position than I want to deal with.

I looked hard at the 1100 Quota, an Adv Touring/Dual Sport bike they imported into the US in the year 2000. Only about 200 or so in the US at this time, but sometimes they come up for sale. Actually, there were two at the Wisconsin Guzzi Rally and six different ones at the Guzzi Michigan Rally this year. Unfortunately, it's heavier than my Wee, older technology, no ABS and wire wheels (tube type tires), so I decided to take a pass on it.
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