I really want a V-Strom, but cant find a dealer in DFW who'll let me test ride. I can rent a BMW R1200GS though. How similar are the 2? At all? Should I skip renting the GS?
thanks in advance.
i've ridden a GS. they are great bikes. here is some comparison impressions:
suspension ... i don't like paralever/telelever suspension technology on the BMW. it is very advanced engineering but to me the suspension, especially front forks, feel wooden on the beemer. i like the strom much better.
brakes ... much better on the BMW.
power ... equivalent.
handling on the road ... the BMW feels slightly more planted on the road. the strom requires some fine tuning, and even then it does not handle quite as good on the road in sport riding mode.
handling off the road ... i personally think they both suck offroad, but i think the strom sucks less. those cylinders poking out the sides of the BMW will really do a number on your shins.
easy to work on ... BMW is better, because the injectors, cylinders heads and other parts are easy to access.
reliability ... strom is much better. if you examine the BMW, it looks like it should be ultrareliable. bolts and castings are first rate. but the little niggling problem areas will drive you crazy, whereas the strom is pretty much troublefree.
cost of ownership ... if you decide to let the dealer do the work, the BMW costs literally an arm and a leg. easily double what the strom will cost.
purchase price ... do i need to go there?
there you have it ... my opinion. worth exactly what you paid for it.