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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a long time(1963) rider, touring on-road only. Currently I'm riding an 03 R1150R & considering a change to a 650 strom. I love the way my BMW rides but don't like the possibilities of a FD or spline failure, so looking for a more "mainstream" bike that gives me solid performance. I'm 28.5" inseam and my BMW has the low seat option & I have bar set back/risers too. I know my current bike very well. Would probably look at the lower mileage, latest mileage stroms, but never bought a new bike in my life either. I have never owned an ABS bike. As a certified old fart I actually am not attracted to the newer bikes in any brand but want long distance dependability as I ride to Mexico in the winter too.
Looking for your ideas,thoughts, esp. if you made the same switch from a sort touring naked BMW to a Strom.Thanks in advance!
 

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I own an '04 RT and a Wee....and a Vee. I don't think there is reason enough based on fact to fear a final drive failure. You will be giving up a LOT of road manners going to the Wee. By that I mean the ride of the Wee is a LOT rougher than the BMW. With or without ABS the brakes are not in the same class as far as feel and immediate response. Power is adequate on the Wee, but again, not the same as your R model. Fuel mileage is good on the Wee, seating position is good as far as legroom. BUT, you will likely have to make adjustments to the seat for comfort and will probably want to consider the lowering links as the Wee sits fairly tall. The Wee is not all that much lighter than your R model. If you like the R's smaller windscreen and limited protection from wind you will be ok on the Wee, just be prepared for a LOT of buffeting till you sort out what you want to do about the windscreen on the Wee. If you run heated gear and/or auxilliary lighting the Wee will show a lack of electrical output for accessories like that. The Wee is a proven performer with above average reliability. I don't think it is fair to compare it to the BMW R1150R, two completely different machines.
 

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Personally I prefer chains over shaft. Simpler, cheaper, lighter, and you can change the gearing. Maintenance? Spray occasionally and adjust once in a while. Modern O ring chains should go 20k easily.

Wee is versatile.

The new 2012 wee is supposed to be 'improved'.
 

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Personally I prefer chains over shaft. Simpler, cheaper, lighter, and you can change the gearing. Maintenance? Spray occasionally and adjust once in a while. Modern O ring chains should go 20k easily.

Wee is versatile.

The new 2012 wee is supposed to be 'improved'.
Simpler: Yes
Cheaper: Maybe at purchase of the new bike, not nearly as cheap as you ride away.
Lighter: Yes
Change Gearing: Yes..and NO. You can change gearing on some shaft bikes as there are sometimes several ratios offered over model lines that will interchange.

To qualify the "cheaper" debate, at 60K my BMW would have had to have two sets of chains and sprockets bought and installed. Plus numerous cans of chain lube. Maybe add a little for good degreaser to clean the crap from chain off rear of bike. At 52K I put a crown bearing and seal in my BMW. Cost $130 plus oil. Three final drive changes at least from quart container of oil ( 48K plus on first quart ). That is without a thought for what my time is worth to inspect/adjust the chain. At the cost of good chains and sprockets, rubber hub cushions, I don't buy the chain is cheaper program.
 

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My DL650 feels very much like my old R90S. Weight, horsepower and long travel suspension are about the same. The R90S wasn't as reliable though.

I did need to change the seat and windshield for decent comfort and a suspension upgrade was a good idea too. I'm 66 years old, have taken my Wee to all 48 contiguous states and put 75,000 miles on it. If I get another bike to replace it, it will be a 2012 DL650.
 

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My DL650 feels very much like my old R90S. Weight, horsepower and long travel suspension are about the same. The R90S wasn't as reliable though.
Huge difference in the R90S and the R1150R Greywolf.

Don't take my posts as knocking the 650 V Strom. I'll put it against anything in its class as an overall contender. I used to think a 500cc 4 cylinder Honda was all I could ever want to ride, size isn't the deciding factor. The refinement and engineering of the bigger bikes is sometimes hard to give up.
 

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Huge difference in the R90S and the R1150R Greywolf.
Absolutely, but I don't want that kind of size or expense in my bike. I had a Yamaha XS1100E when it was the premier touring bike around. I also had a Honda CX500 and the R90S. Unless I was traveling 2 up, the Yamaha stayed home. I have a middle weight preference and my Wee will do everything I like to do so well I don't desire anything else.
 

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Inseam will be your biggest hurdle.
maybe not. mine is lowered 1 1/2" in rear, 5/8" in front and I have bar set backs. works for me at the moment.
 

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maybe not. mine is lowered 1 1/2" in rear, 5/8" in front and I have bar set backs. works for me at the moment.
That much rear lowering can create contact between tire and fender. It's also aerodynamically unstable. Higher speeds will create lift and lighten the front end. Keep loads light and speeds reasonable.
 

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I switched from a 2006 BMW K1200GT to a Wee strom. quite a change but one I haven't regretted yet. It's a simple bike but very capable and a lot of fun to ride both locally and touring. You can buy a new one for less than a used GS...maybe now's the time to buy your first new bike.
 

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If you don't do the work yourself

Maintenance costs on BMWs are significantly higher than on the V or Wee, if you do not do the work yourself. Also, BMW does not have a very extensive network of dealers and getting a non BMW tech to work on your bike is taking a BIG chance. Even if you do it yourself, parts will be much more expensive and generally take longer to acquire. My last visit to a BMW dealership to have the 6K work done on my F800ST ran almost $500.00. I do love BMWs - I have had 4 of them, but there are definitely downsides to ownership.
 

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Inseam is pushing it...

I also have a 28 1/2" inseam. I have a seargent seat, which is close to the stock height. I can touch with the balls of my feet, but just barely. This bike is right at my limit for height. Unfortunately I have no experience with BMWs. I tend to not ride anything I can't afford... so I don't end up wishing I had something else.
 

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I went from an '04 R1150GS to the DL650 and I've never regretted it. I won't rule out owning another BMW, but right now I don't have a compelling reason to go back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the comments so far. I'll add:I do my own work but having spent the past several weeks doing some serious research into the spline issues on the oilhead BMW's such as mine, my worries are real, notome worry wart affair of mine. Many fail @ low K and all have pricey clutch parts along with a tranny that needs a new shaft which equals a pricey project no matter who does it. There is an alignment issue with some bikes tranny to engine matchup. The 04 RT above is a candidate. Some bike go into high K with no issues while others fail-meaning you stop going forward when the splines are toast. It is a tear out the whole rear end process. Not something I envy on a Mexican trip. Now, lets move on to the FD thing. I have already replaced a rear main seal on rear bearing in a R1100R at low K. The FD issues are well documented. I check mine via the grab the wheel & wiggle test often as do I change my FD lube @ every oil change to look at the magnet. I run dino in the FD to help avoid leaks from SYN lube.
I ride with a touring WS, BMW side cases and a large rear top case & a cloth bag on the pinion seat. I would suspect the Strom will not approach my BMW's ride comfort, with just how much I give up being the real question. I know for certain that I'm much closer to a road repair on the Strom then the BMW, USA or Mexico. I have also considered riding the BMW until I "age out", @ 68 my time will come. Maybe a bike then a scoot, time & health will tell the story. Several posters here know the gist of that story. I have actually considered a new Suzuki but not my style to avoid depreciation toward a great used price. Keep the ideas coming & thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And a bit more...I don't want or ride a GS-they are too tall & I ride on road. Also, my present R1150R is in the same price category as the Stroms. I bought mine used online in 05 and it will bring a similar amt$ to a strom-not the same but not lots more either. I have been reading the 2012 reviews listed above, makes it a tough choice really. All machines have there =/-'s.
 

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Very easy to remove the starter and inspect the splines for misalignment. Very few percent are having a problem.

I made a device for checking final drive oil for metal chips. Basically a unit that replaces the fill plug and has an hand removeable magnet that you can check frequently to look for the early signs of bearing failure. No reason to be caught stranded if caught early. Do a search for "final drive minder bmw" . The "wiggle" test is of little value, it will only show movement in the later stages of a pending failure.

I can say the Wee Strom will have the acceleration of your 1100, or very close at least. What you will have to get used to is the dropping a gear or two to get the power out of it. It also cruises at a lot higher rpm than you are used to, don't worry about wear and tear at those rpms. At extended high speed running they will suck a bit of oil into the airbox. Not a problem, just a characteristic that you need to be aware of.
 

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I think you may be surprised at how comfortable the ergos on the strom are....at least the match of the BMWs I've owned. Like someone else said above, I have nothing against BMWs and may own another in the future, but I see nothing that tempts me to sell the 650 at this point. I really enjoy the freedom from dealer service...I've put 11k miles on my strom and it's never seen the dealer. On a new BMW I would be approaching my third dealer service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I live in rural E.KY & there isn't & never will be a BMW dealer here for cars or bikes! Are you kidding me... I have been on them since 2000 & had never been inside a BMW bike dealer until this March in Mexico City while there with a friend buying parts-it was interesting but I have to tell you they were absolute snobs. I'll try your search for FD , but what does "it" do that my mag plug doesn't?
OK, I see that the idea is easy checks for metal. Has there been any additional info since 11/18? I am a natural skeptic, I suppose, as am a former professional wrench, but it seems that it would take knowing how fast a FD takes to bite the dust from early metal appearance (beyond normal) to failure point. Having read many of the threads about this failure , it seems to come quickly when it happens for some while others have done the wiggle test and "caught it". The tech guy for MOA, Paul Glaves recommends it. I will also suggest that Locktite makes some epoxies that are way beyond what JB can do.
As this isn't the place for a BMW discussion, I'll hush and join in the sport touring forum soon, while keeping an eye out for new info. Thanks for the heads up on the FD minder. Time will tell where I head next with latest bike fever!
 
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