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  #1  
Old 04-01-2012, 12:45 AM
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Default R1150GS to a Wee?

Hi all,
Noob here...

I started out on a BMW F650 "Classic" a dozen or years ago then migrated to the BMW R1150GS series for quite a long stretch. Bike-less at the moment I still love the big old GS's, but I can't help but see there's a LOT of the Wee and Vee's out there. As I age, the concept of a lighter bike is somewhat appealing.

Talking with an owner of a Wee today who recommended I stop by StromTroopers, I'm somewhat curious about the Wee should I decide to go smaller. A couple requirements right off the bat would include heated grips and ABS. An upright seating position is preferred as is good wind protection. An alternator big enough to run some aux lights, the heated grips, a GPS and heated vest also is in the mix.

Ease of maintenance, cost to operate and dealer support are in there too as well as a variety of after-market options.

90% of my riding is on the slab, I'm not opposed to commuting as I'm a year-round rider, and an occasional gravel road or three will happen.

Thoughts on this are always appreciated.

Thx!


.

Last edited by M38A1; 04-01-2012 at 01:26 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2012, 01:02 AM
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I suppose a couple other things to consider would include:

Tubeless tires
Engine/fairing protection
Skid plate
Centerstand
Preferred panniers

Again, looking forward to hearing some thoughts.


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Old 04-01-2012, 01:23 AM
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If your question is "Who has gone from a 1150GS to a DL650?" then I can answer "I have, glad I did, don't see me going back." From what I can tell, you're a prime candidate for a DL650.

Things you'll like about the Wee2 over the 1150GS: Almost 1/3 the price, more dealers, much cheaper service, lighter and more nimble, better wind management, and a few other things that I can't think of right now. You'll miss a few things about the GS like the heated grips, but you can add them. The ABS brakes are probably not a good as the GS, but they'll be more than adequate.

But you'd better make up you mind quick because 2012 models are getting tough to find right now and word is that you might have to wait until Fall before dealers are re-stocked.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:31 AM
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Yes, that was my question and I apologize if it was not clear.

I've just heard so many positive things about the Wee/Vee in general it's worth more than just a casual look at this point. And I'm thinking something lighter than the liter class bike would be good for a change.


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Old 04-01-2012, 07:51 AM
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I went from a GS1150 Adv to a Vee. I am happier now and I would be happier if I would have moved to the Wee.

No knock against the GS, I just like the DL better.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:49 PM
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I've had an 1150gs along the way as long as an '05 Wee, Tiger 955i current 1050 Tiger and just purchased 2011 Wee.
Many people find the Wee comparable to a GS, in my mind its not for a number of reasons.
1. I like the way the telelever front end on the GS works, lack of brake dive makes the bike more controllable.
2. The GS has flat out better brakes than the Wee, the wee brakes are adequate, not any more.
3. The GS has a much more powerful alternator. The wee is weak in this area if you have intentions of running many accessories.
4. The GS is a flat out better designed package. For example, the bags are keyed to the ignition. The heated grips are integrated to the bike.
5. Given a choice a shaft drive is a potentially nice thing. If it matters to you then you know what your choice is.
6. The tubeless spoke wheels on the GS are trick, potentially better in rough areas.
7. The GS runs easier at highway speeds than the Wee. Its not a big deal but it does.

The Wee has the advantage of being a lot less money, they are toughly made and the 650 twin is a jewel of a motor. It is also somewhat lighter.
Suzuki saved saved a bunch of money on lower end brakes and suspension components.
I'm not sure about maintenance costs. i hear people bitch about bmw costs all the time but I am of the opinion that if you took any bike to a dealer for service and had it done by the book they are all expensive. If you are doing most of it yourself then it comes down to whats easier in the garage. Most BMW maintenance isn't especially hard, valves are simple.
So having said all that why don't I have a GS? Largely because I am not especially enamored of the local BMW dealer and I do really like the local Triumph dealer. Being on my second triple I really have an appreciation of that engine design. The wee entered the picture as a low cost back country bike that I wouldn't be all upset about when it falls over. I have no intetntion of taking it on a ride lasting longer than a few days (although I know I could).
I think that you really need to analyze the most important things to you, then go out and get in a good test ride.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:06 PM
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Joe,
First off, thanks for the reply. You make some very good points, all of which are in the back of my mind. And having that experience on both really helps.

A big part of me just loves all the things you mention about the GS. Yet part of me wants to go smaller, lighter but still have all the stuff the GS does. The Wee seems to be a logical choice and that's where I'm at trying to figure that part out.

I've found a pristine 2011 model, low miles and nicely farkled I may see if I can take a test hop on this evening. I'm just trying to gather as much input from others as possible. Having been on the BMW's since '99, I'm sort of brainwashed.


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Old 04-01-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M38A1 View Post
Joe,
First off, thanks for the reply. You make some very good points, all of which are in the back of my mind. And having that experience on both really helps.

A big part of me just loves all the things you mention about the GS. Yet part of me wants to go smaller, lighter but still have all the stuff the GS does. The Wee seems to be a logical choice and that's where I'm at trying to figure that part out.

I've found a pristine 2011 model, low miles and nicely farkled I may see if I can take a test hop on this evening. I'm just trying to gather as much input from others as possible. Having been on the BMW's since '99, I'm sort of brainwashed.


.
I completely understand the idea of lighter and smaller, especially if you're really going to do any rough stuff.
In my case a lot of it was cost. You can see from the sig line I suffer from the mutli bike syndrome, I basically wanted an inexpensive mule and with Suzuki offering 0% for 5 years and a discount on a new 2011 it seemed logical. My DR650 will probably go on the block since the only reason I am not using it as the mule is the amount of road travel involved in our back country adventures, the DR just doesn't do it comfortably enough for me.
Now, if we wiped the garage more clean and I didn't have the 1050, the Strom or the DR and wanted a bike capable of some adventuring but less girth and so on of the big GS I'm pretty sure I would have ended up with a Triumph 800 Tiger. It appeals to me a lot, the main reason it didn't make the cut this time was it would have been another $3000 that I just didn't want to spend at this time.
Good luck on your decision, let us know what you end up doing.
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2012, 11:09 PM
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Default Some Subjectivity

Quote:
Originally Posted by joes4570 View Post
I've had an 1150gs along the way as long as an '05 Wee, Tiger 955i current 1050 Tiger and just purchased 2011 Wee.
Many people find the Wee comparable to a GS, in my mind its not for a number of reasons.
1. I like the way the telelever front end on the GS works, lack of brake dive makes the bike more controllable.
2. The GS has flat out better brakes than the Wee, the wee brakes are adequate, not any more.
3. The GS has a much more powerful alternator. The wee is weak in this area if you have intentions of running many accessories.
4. The GS is a flat out better designed package. For example, the bags are keyed to the ignition. The heated grips are integrated to the bike.
5. Given a choice a shaft drive is a potentially nice thing. If it matters to you then you know what your choice is.
6. The tubeless spoke wheels on the GS are trick, potentially better in rough areas.
7. The GS runs easier at highway speeds than the Wee. Its not a big deal but it does.

The Wee has the advantage of being a lot less money, they are toughly made and the 650 twin is a jewel of a motor. It is also somewhat lighter.
Suzuki saved saved a bunch of money on lower end brakes and suspension components.
I'm not sure about maintenance costs. i hear people bitch about bmw costs all the time but I am of the opinion that if you took any bike to a dealer for service and had it done by the book they are all expensive. If you are doing most of it yourself then it comes down to whats easier in the garage. Most BMW maintenance isn't especially hard, valves are simple.
So having said all that why don't I have a GS? Largely because I am not especially enamored of the local BMW dealer and I do really like the local Triumph dealer. Being on my second triple I really have an appreciation of that engine design. The wee entered the picture as a low cost back country bike that I wouldn't be all upset about when it falls over. I have no intetntion of taking it on a ride lasting longer than a few days (although I know I could).
I think that you really need to analyze the most important things to you, then go out and get in a good test ride.
The GS is around 80 pounds heavier than the current Wee.

The GS only has 15 more HP and a shaft, HP to weight is close

The GS torque is more in raw number and to weight ratio

I had an R1150r, same engine and frame as the GS, but a few pounds less.

To me, the BMW was more top heavy and more buzzy at highway speed. This was my impression of two R1150's. The best mileage on that bike was around 46 mph combined, the Wee is a little better.

In the end, it was maintenance costs.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:20 AM
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The bike prior to my 09 Wee was a 2000 R1150GS.

Actual on road performance is very close to the same.

The Wee does everything the GS did, the only downside is a little less ground clearance.

In Australia the Wee is around 2.5 times cheaper than a GS.

From my own personal experience the servicing and repair costs are at least 40% cheaper to do on the Wee.

And the Wee is so much more reliable than the GS ever was.

Shaft versus chain is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned [BMW shaft drives in more recent years have become unreliable].
The option to change ratios from road biased use to more dirt oriented [say if you are doing an outback/bush trip for a week or two] needs by changing the front sprocket is a big advantage.

35,000km+ out of a chain and sprockets these days is not uncommon on modern bikes so it is cheap compared to blowing a shaft drive [it cost me $1500 just to get the shaft bearings done on my GS].

Buy a Wee, lift the suspension a bit and add a bash plate and crash bars and it will do everything the GS does while leaving you with a bucket of spare money.
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