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Discussion Starter #1
I live in SoCal and commute 170 miles/day. My BMW K1200S is fantastic at it, especially lane sharing with factory bags on, but tires and services are spendy.

Looking for a "better" commuter.

Here's what I know
- wee gets appx 50mpg average, Vee in the low 40s
- No consistent mechanical issues (e.g. Clutches on k's are a soft spot. Te 170hp doesn't help I suppose. ;) )

How I ride
- corners - i wear out the entire tire from edge to edge - some good corners on my commute (PR2s).
- lane sharing - all the time, every opportunity. My TE610 husky's bars are at a bad height for car mirrors. The K is awesome, and with bags in their smallest setting, they are narrower than the bars. Way better than on the loaner RTPs my dealer has. ;)
- average speeds can be in the mid-80s+ for much of the highway ride. I just go with the flow. 90 is not uncommon in LA.
- hills. I have to come up some big ones
- I doubt the MPG numbers I've listed above apply to my ride. I get 36-38 on the K, and many other K riders get in the low-mid 40s.
- tire longevity - I get 5-6k out of a rear Michelin PR2
- I'm giving up shaft drive, do I have to give up ABS too?

Any and all input or comparisons welcome!!
 

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I love my Vee, but if I had to ride in your traffic the Wee is the better choice.

The Vee is only happy above 3500 rpms. Wee has ABS.
 

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I commute daily on my Vee, albeit here in the woods of Maine, Not Cali.
I know Coming from 15 yrs of riding big-bore sport=bikes I would not have
been happy with the power of the Wee. Ive ridden the big BMWS and they pull
pretty strong.
Go with the Vee ,IMO
 

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Running 80 plus mph for extended periods eliminates the DL 650. You are starting to run out of steam around there and working it that hard negates the big fuel mileage advantage it has at lower speeds. Don't plan on 40mpg with the Vee, especially at those speeds. If you leave it stock I suspect you will do well to match what you are getting now. It is not available with ABS and neither the Wee or Vee will feel like it has brakes after riding the BMW.

Not sure if you will be saving money over the BMW on service, just the chain and sprocket replacement will add up with your mileage. I have an R 1150 RT and while service may be easier on it than the K bikes I find the BMW easier and cheaper to operate maintenance wise than the Vee.
 

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FJR. I had one, and it's an awesome bike. Just didn't ride enough two-up or highway miles to justify keeping it.

Takes regular gas, maintenance is so infrequent it's damned near optional, good gas mileage, plenty of power for highway and passing, the second gen (2006+ if i remember correctly) has the saddlebags tucked a little in so should make lane splitting a little easier.

And tons of them out there to find a used one at a good price. Right now on fjrforum.com, there's a 2007 with about 30k, FULLY FULLY FULLY loaded for about 8300.

Alexi

PS - Oh yeah, and I think all the second gen as ABS as well. double check that one though. Also, (if you're interested), comes in a clutchless variety and there are some dealers that couldn't get rid of the clutchless one. Pushbutton shifting OR you could use the shift lever with your left foot like usual, just dont need to use a clutch. Should be plenty of $$$$ off cause it'll be something like a 2007 or 2008 old-stock at a dealer.
 

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I commute almost daily in LA traffic on the Wee. Not as long or as fast as you do, but for me it's a great commuter bike. I navigate a lot of traffic on the 10 freeway, and the maneuverability of the Wee makes it a breeze. I wouldn't want to do 80mph for hours on end, though 70mph for me is pretty good. Changing your sprocket ratios might help bring down the RPMs enough to make high speeds more comfortable long range. Also handguards are a great addition, I have them on my Wee and like the wind and grit protection. Good luck let us know what you end up choosing!
 

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Wee Every Day

I have done the Southern California commuting on the Vee, the Wee, the C-14, and more recently, the new Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200. Of all of those, I would recommend the Wee. Narrow, light, likes the revs, ABS, good gas mileage. I run it at 80-90 every day and it doesn't complain. Tires may last longer too. Not as much of a smile factor as the other three, but very utilitarian.

BTW, i agree the FJR can be a good choice if the ergonomics work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the thoughtful responses, everyone.

Couple quick thoughts and summary of your gracious inputs.

-FJR is a nice bike, but bags are wide, affecting lane sharing. City lids would help a lot. It competes directly with my K, and I checked it out before going BMW.

I'm reading
- 80+ as yes and no on the Wee.
- lane sharing goodness on the Wee
- Vee mpg may not satisfy
- Wee has ABS as option
- hey Eric, don't forget sprockets and chains get replaced!

I'll start doing my maintenance cost homework on the Wee'and see if having a 3rd bike is cost-effective.

I could do like the guy going South on 5 every day and ride my Dual-sport (Husky 610). he's on a KLR. (props to the guy/gal). Those are cheap to maintain! LOL

Wee seems to be a favorite choice.
 

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My vote is wee! I commute daily on mine and love it. The only adjustment I'd recommend (because of your higher speeds) would be to switch up the sprockets to drop your rpms a bit. My wee has stock gearing but I also at fastest go mid 70's on my commute and occasionally get into the 80's and know that if my commute was more freeway than highway, I'd have taller gearing.

Good luck!
 

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Burgman 650
I had one, great little (big...) scoot/bike for touring and commuting.

With a top case, you have plenty of space! (I had a V46 and used to have two E42s on the side but having those big cases on the side you lose lane splitting capabilities)
 

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I did a little bit of riding in Cali in January on a rental ST1300. My traffic part was leaving LA and returning the bike to LA. Both were in traffic and didn't seem any different than riding in Toronto on 401 apart from the lane splitting.

It seems to me that a DL650 would have no issue with the traffic. My normal commuting is about 40 miles each way. Half should be interstae type roads although I found some secondary roads that let me bypass most of it. I spent three days riding back from Utah to Toronto area last September with speeds being in the 80 to 95 mph range and that was on my old 06 DL650.

..Tom
 

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I could do like the guy going South on 5 every day and ride my Dual-sport (Husky 610). he's on a KLR. (props to the guy/gal). Those are cheap to maintain! LOL
I have ridden a pre-07 KLR a lot and owned a 2008 DR650. I have to say they were both somewhat miserable for long or high speed freeway work. The Wee is much better.
 

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My vote is for the wee.

Since you are talking about commuting and lane splitting, the wee will be much happier and easier at those slower speeds. In any kind of stop and go traffic in low RPM's, the wee is much smoother and easier to handle.

Yes at 80+ the wee is wound out more than the Vee (mostly because of the vast difference in gearing between them), but its certainly capable and won't hurt it. I can cruise at an indicated 90mph (about 82mph by GPS) without issue). As someone mentioned, a 16t front sprocket makes it much more enjoyable as it drops the rev's below that 6k RPM mark.
 

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The Wee sounds good to me. I don't see much point in changing sprockets. 90 mph indicated with stock gearing puts you around 6750 rpm, very close to peak torque on the dyno chart. MPG will suffer some at that speed, but surely your average speed will be much lower in commute traffic. One reason to go with another bike might be better wind protection, and the Vee will not help with that.
 

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The Wee will easily handle the task. The only time I wish for more is riding 2 up in the twisties. My '08 ABS gets 47-49mpg commuting at 70-75 with a 16t front sprocket. Oddly seems to get about the same in the twisties running much higher rpm. If high mpg is a big concern I'd look at other bikes.
 

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I was a lurker on this site for 3 months before I made up my mind and bought my 650 Adventure. Since I planned to use the bike as my primary mode of transportation and put on about 1000 miles a week in all types of driving conditions I struggled with the final decision but 3 months later I couldn't be happpier with this bike. I regularly get over 50mpg and that's with the panniers. At 6'2", 220lbs ergonomics are great, I'm even finding that the stock seat isn't that bad after 4,000 miles. As far as performance goes, it may not deliver that surge of exhilleration racing through the gears that you get from a liter bike, but I've yet to find myself disappointed when I wanted or needed a response from the speed dial.
Best of luck with what ever you decide.
 

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I consider the Wee a great urban bomber. I have a fork brace on mine and if I were planning a lot of 85+mph while commuting, I'd put a steering stabilizer on it.
 

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Unless I am badly mistaken, the bags pop off the FJR almost instantly. I don't know what your storage requirements are, but you may be able to get by with a top case instead of the side cases.

My wee is wonderful and everytime I get "THE ITCH" for an FJR I just go for a ride. I still want an FJR, but that'll have to wait. No, the Wee is not the same bike, but I'm riding and the price of the Wee is thrilling.

Good luck.
 
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