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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, dear fellow-Stromtroopers!

I'm near of buying V-Strom or R 1150 GS. But before i got a question that sets the very final decision between BMW R 1150 GS or Suzuki V-Strom 1000.

Is the new V-Strom the same reliable as R 1150 GS is? Can V-Strom 1000 be taken to RTW trip on two-up and fully loaded? How about maintenance of V-Strom - how often it needs it every 6000 miles some valve adjustment needed, how long the chain lasts on 1000cc V-Strom?

Hope anyone who does long distance on and off-road tours with V-Strom and has experience also with 1150GS with exteremely long trips can help, i'd really appreciate your opinions.

Kind regards, Margus
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Howboucha Margus!
I can input a bit on your question. I had a BMW R1100RS before I bought the Strom. Now the RS is street only, I did overall like the machine. That motor was known for it's surging around 3-2.5K RPM but no biggie. I was looking for a cross between that BMW and my KLR's and the V-Strom was the perfect machine, and I do not regret the purchase.

My "dirt time" on the v-strom is minimal, but I do log some miles on gravel and nasty "chip and seal" roads that are littered with potholes. I fly on those roads with the greates of ease.

I did log many miles on a R100GS, and loved it. If money were no object for me, I would buy a GS. When I was in the market for a new bike (when I bought the strom) I was seriously considering a GS, but realized that I could almost buy 2 v-stroms for 1 GS and gave the V-Strom a chance. Again, good decision, but i would like to have a GS in my stable next to the v-strom

Oh, I sold my KLR a few months after buying the v-strom because it was just sitting. I didn't think she deserved to be sitting so she went to a new home.

Either way, you are making a good decision between two fine machines.
Brendan
 
C

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RE

Margus,

I don't have a Strom (yet) but one of my good riding budies has the R1150GS. It's very tall, he's on one foot when stopped. I just don't see $15,000 worth of bike there, unless you spend a good deal of time on dirt trails. I really don't care for the air cooled motor when stuck in summertime traffic. Who wants to have to pull over on the shoulder to prevent cooking the oil and damaging the motor.

-cos
 

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reliability

I can not speak for the BMW other than I had an R11RS that I traded in on the V-strom. My bike has 18,500 miles on it and I'm still on the original chain. Valves need to be adjusted or at least checked every 15,000 miles. My bike has been very reliable and does long distance ride just fine. I do not go down gravel roads too often but it has handled them okay when I have been on them. I think the GS might be a better gravel road bike as the V-strom's suspension is stiffer. The brakes are better on the GS. The seat height is higher on the GS and I'm only 5'8" so have never felt comfortable seating on one. Both bikes tend to surge some but the motor on the V-strom is so much fun to use. The bike is like having two bikes in one. You crank the motor up over 5,000 rpms and it just sings. When my friend rides it all he can say when he gets off is how he would like to have the motor in his R11RSL. I have to agree, I like the ride of the BMW better but the motor is so much more fun on the Strom.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
100+k miles...

I like Strom pretty much more than GS too in most aspects. But my problem is that i'm worried about that can DL1000 engine run 100 000+ miles with out any engine rebuild, gerbox replacement or such serious things???

I'm possibly planning to do a round-the-world (RTW) trip, so i don't want to imagine myself somewhere in the middle of Africa or Asia and the bike is completley broken down and the engine needs replacement or complete rebuilding...

BMW boxers are knowns as bulletproof engines and capable of performing RTW trips with out any serious problems. Cardan (shaft) drive is a very good pro for GS too - i don't have to maintanence the chain that often and to replace it every 25 000 miles or so.

But still i like the ergonomics and engine of Strom better than GS. Thus maybe can someone tell who has done near or more than 100 000 miles with V-Strom - will the bike and engine suffer some serious problems then or the bike runs fine after 100 000 miles too??? (i'm taling about normal riding in normal on and off-road conditions, not like the ride style "i've stolen it!")

Thanks a million for your answers, Margus
 
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Discussion Starter #6
V-Strom verses BMW GS

I have a man trying to sell his 2002 GS Adventure, so he can buy my V-Strom. He put 22k on the Adventure this year, but wants a Strom. The V-Strom is lighter, quiker, CHEAPER, smoother, better brakes, handling... And did I say CHEAPER.
 

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V-twin Reliability

While I can't speak for the V-Strom, I can tell you that the SV 650 with it's V-twin motor has been a damn reliable engine. There's a guy that has over 80000 miles on it and he's had NO problems. He has it serviced regularly by a dealership and that's it. It's a 99 model. There are lots of SVs with 30000+ miles and running as strong as they were @ 2000 miles.

I guess you'd have to look at the TLS and maybe even the TLR to see how they've been reliability-wise.

FWIW.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
RE

Dual-Sport,

Why are ya sellin' your scoot?

Like Kidder said, I too have a SV650 and am impressed with the design, build quality and reliability, then there's the whole :twisted: factor when you open up that twin.

-cos
 
M

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Discussion Starter #9
DL650 then?

If SV 650ccs have been that reliable, maybe it's better to pick up a 650cc model against a 1000cc V-Strom model of in aspects of long mileage reliablity?

As we know the chain lasts much longer on 650cc too - less torque and horsepower to bend and kill the chain. 650cc should have better miles-per-gallon ratio too (fuel consumption)(?)

Does anyone know: is the new 650cc V-Strom same comfortible and has the same adequate suspension as 1000cc model?

But still, what i'm worried about is that DL and SV engines have quite high compression ratio - 1000cc model has 11.3:1 - goosh!!!, even my sports bike 600cc Katana has 11.3:1 - it seems a quite high level for a 1000cc, just to pull more horsepower out and to beat competitiors such as Varadero, Multistrada, Caponord and GS.

Theorethically high compression ratio means engine dies faster, altough it has more horsepower. But seems like practice is a bit against it, if we already have completely working DL engines post-80k miles... Lets wait if someone hots 100k miles with VS, then we can be sure.

Also 650cc model looks better in ratio: 11.5:1, quite adequate for 600cc class sporty engine.

Thanks, Margus
 
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Discussion Starter #10
The BMW’s have a well earned reputation for reliability. However it seems that the 1150’s have been having rear drive problems. I’m not sure what exact part’s failing but I do know that the Modesto CA dealer had or has 3 in the shop waiting on the same part. (One’s a friends). The replacement parts are back ordered and there are none in the states as of 2 weeks ago.
Just a FYI.

I tried to call him just now to ask about it, but he’s out goofin off somewhere.

I also rode another friends 1150GS yesterday (we traded) on a very twisty road and we both like the V-Stroms motor and quickness. He’s about my height 5’10” 32” inseam and he’s reluctant to take the GS off road 2-up because of its height. I’ve had mine on gravel roads but have yet to do it 2-up.

Stinez
03-1288 < In the process of stealing the idea from the Yahoo guys. LOL

I should add that the V-Strom REQUIRES regular gas and the BMW requires premium.
Oh and the part that's failing is a needle bearing in the rear shaft housing (He just called).
Good Luck either way.
S.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I've had a couple of freinds affected by the rear end failures on the BMW's this year. BMW is handling it but it takes time for the parts. I've got over 32,000 miles on my Strom and suspect this motor will be pretty bulletproof. The lower octane need is a plus, especially in remote areas. The recent advances in electronics have allowed the manufacturers to get the higher compression ratios for improved power and efficiency without the drawbacks we knew 20 years ago.

I did an Iron Butt 100CCC a month after I bought mine and only lubed the chain three times duing that over 5,000 mile ride, half of which was in rain. That probably led to the OEM chain being toast by 10,000 miles. The replacement DID X ring lasted 18,000 miles, also with minimal maintenance. Valves do need to be looked at every 15,000 miles, that is my only complaint about the bike.

You are right, the 650 should be easier an chains and will make as much power as any of us really need. How much power we want is another question.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
There is a guy in my area whom has more than 55000 Miles on it!!!
He changed his chain a few times and that's about it.

I was very impress when I saw that kind of mileage on it :D


Mike
 
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Discussion Starter #13
There is a guy in my area whom has more than 55000 Miles on it!!!
He changed his chain a few times and that's about it.

I was very impress when I saw that kind of mileage on it :D


Mike
 
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Discussion Starter #14
55k is certanly good prove fror V-Strom's reliablity. Has anyone gone beyond that too? Waiting seriously someone to hit 100k barrier with VS and to know what problems the bike has. If the history is clear, I'd pick then it up for sure VS against GS.

But talking about premium or usual gas, R 1150 GS Adventure should have code plug available that can set the engine to use usual gas too(?) Don't know if GS model has it, but GS Adventure model should have that plug available as a extra.

That is a good pro for all Japanese bikes - they work well with usual gas too.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Gas

Since the topic of gas has come up, will someone enlighten me on why there is a requirement for 91 octane (premium) gas in my (Canadian edition) manual? That is what I have been using, because of what the manual says and also what the dealer told me. Yet, I have seen several references to use of regular gas, in the USA. I doubt very much that there is any difference in the engines between the USA and the Canadian models.


If no one has an explanation, perhaps someone else in Canada who uses regular gas will speak up. Is there any problem with using it?
 

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Guest, I have been running 87 Octane in my 2003 V-Strom pretty much since new. I ran about 2 tanks of 91, but quickly moved down. I'll scan the page from the manaul, but I am pretty sure mine states that regular gas (87) is fine....
 
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Discussion Starter #17
on the frame of my 2003 V-Strom it is writen Octane 87.

It works fine for me.

have a nice one 8)
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Not sure the octane rating is measured the same way in the US and Canada.

Back to the original question. I'm not sure about the 'Strom for a RTW bike because of the difficulty of fitting a good bash plate. Roads with fist-sized rocks make me nervous. Dr Gregory Frazier did a series of articles for (I think) Motorcycle Consumer News on outfitting a KLR for a RTW trip. His choices and mods were very informative. (Hope I have the reference right!)

Have you considered the DL650? Same drawback as the DL1000 so far as under-engine protection, but based on the SV650 engine. Should be bulletproof, easier on gas, and easier on chains.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Mo-Tech,
Do your RTW trip on a V-Strom - it'll be a first, putting you in the history books without a challenger - can't beat 'first person...' 8)

Seriously though, as with any machine, there are no garuntees. If you like the V-Strom, get it, learn about it mechanically, be prepared to carry tools and spare parts required for anticipated and scheduled roadside maintenance, and familiarize yourself with the international dealer network.

...and most importantly, don't forget your camera :D

-Jack
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Mo-Tech, when are you planning your trip? I know Al Jesse of Jesse Luggage has been planning to build a bash plate and now has the tooling to do it. He just needs some requests to get him motivated.
 
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