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post #1 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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BMW or V-Strom

I am looking for some informed opinions out there. I recently sold my Roadstar and am looking for a new bike that I can tour around with. I am planning commuting and riding 2-up a fair bit but am having a tough time deciding what to buy. I have read tons of great things about the V-strom but am wondering if the BMW (RT or even LT) might be a better fit. I doubt I will use the bike off road and just want to tour around and see parts of the country I have never seen before.

Any thoughts??

I posted this originally on the wrong thread. Just a newby mistake.
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post #2 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 04:55 AM
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I don't know the road going BMW's well. DL v GS though is no-contest in favour of the DL.

Even if the reliability of the GS was as good as the DL's they still aren't worth twice the money - if you care about image though, go with the BMW's.

The road going versions may be more reliable, but the 1200 GS's my friends have owned were never worth the grief (That's not even bringing cost in).

Pete
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post #3 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 11:30 AM
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I just sold my 08 RT, it had about 24k miles on it. I have an 09 Wee with about 3500 miles on it, and put 400ish miles on a rental Wee before I bought mine. I don't know that I'm 'informed', but I am 'experienced', mostly with the RT. I've never ridden an LT. I rode a GS when I bought my RT, but had zero off road intentions so I went with the RT. Most of my RT comments apply to the GS as well.


My observations on RT vs Wee...

* Purchase Price

An RT is going to be near 20k. Mine was just under 21k. Yes, they start much lower than that but it can be difficult to find one without all the options. A Wee is nearly a third of that, coming in around 7k depending on ABS.

* Insurance

My RT with Progressive was $425 annual, with State Farm, $280. The Wee with Progressive was quoted at $850, State Farm $260. Likely not a big deal, but you might check if money is a factor.

* Depreciation

Using MCN values, an 07 ABS Wee (7499 MSRP) is worth 5105, 68% of it's original value, an 07 RT (~19k MSRP) is worth 11755, 62% of it's original value.

* Warranty

Wee, 1yr unlimited miles, RT, 3 yrs, 36k miles.

* Service

The RT has 6k mi service intervals. My actual costs for dealer service were $342 @ 600 mi, $249 @ 6k, $334 @ 12k, $268 @ 18k, and $639 @ 24k.

I don't have comparable numbers for the Wee, as I'm doing most of the service myself. Both bikes are very user maintainable for the most part. The BMW requires the dealer computer for reading and resetting codes as well as bleeding ABS brakes. There is an after market solution, I don't know if it will handle the brake bleed. The Wee from 07 on needs the dealer computer for doing a Throttle Body Sync, my local dealer quotes $90 to do it.

In the summer time it can take as much as 4-6 weeks to get a routine service appointment at my local BMW dealer. The local Suzuki dealer seems to be days out most of the time.

If you service your Wee by the book you'll clean and lube your chain diligently every 600 miles. The BMW shaft drive needs lube changes every 12k, other than that no maintenance is required.

* Consumables

OEM Brake Pads are nearly $300 for front and rear on the BMW. I went through my first set in 12k, was getting close to due at 24k. The Wee is about half that.

I replaced tires on the RT at about every 6k. They were pretty much toast at that time. The rear would be approaching wear bars, the front would be cupped very badly. I tried three different brands, the 6k experience is typical. I see Wee owners at 6k, some at 12k, some beyond.

I typically got high 40s for fuel mileage on the RT. I typically get low 50s on the Wee, it burns regular.

* Aftermarket support

You can spend a lot of money on farkles for the RT/GS and/or the Wee. All of them have great support from many vendors.

* Dealer Network

There are five BMW dealers in Oregon, seventeen Suzuki Dealers. There are major parts of the US that are very sparse from a BMW dealer perspective.

* Riding in Town

For me, this a hands down win for the Wee. It's lighter, feels *much* lighter, and is *much* easier to maneuver at low and slow speeds. The RT has a very tall first gear which can be challenging at times. The dry clutch on the RT was more difficult for me to smoothly operate than the Wee clutch.

* Riding in the Twisties

Again, for me it's the Wee, but I'll emphasize that most of my twisties are <60mph and I'm on the conservative side. I have just as much fun on the Wee, but it seems to be less effort. I also find the power on the Wee to be more useable.

* Riding on the slab, or riding more than 60mph

This goes to the RT. It has superior wind protection and more power. It will cruise comfortably all day at 85mph and likely beyond.

* Riding two up

This goes to the RT, it has more room and more power. I weight 300 lbs, my pillion is about 150. Add the gear and that's a lot to haul around. The Vee would be better than the Wee from a power perspective, but not as roomy as the RT. I have an HD Electra Glide we use for two up, my Wee is 100% solo. The HD suits us, it's very comfortable, and an easy ride, which is what I'm looking for two up.

* Brakes

The RT brakes are incredible. The Wee not so much. :-)

* Suspension

The RT suspension is better, the Wee can be improved with aftermarket parts, but it will not every be as good as the RT.

* Engine

I find the Wee engine to be smoother, more predictable, and more useable than the RT. The power that the RT can produce when necessary makes freeway speed passing and steep climbs easier. Vibration is more pronounced for me on the RT.

* Reliability

Every motorcyclist has a friend that knows a friend that had a bad BMW experience, or so it seems. I hear a lot more about BMW issues than I do about V-Strom issues. I'm not convinced there is a huge difference. I suspect BMW owners have high expectations, and as a result make a bigger deal out of any little thing.

* Finally :-)

I think you need two bikes. A wee for the commute and *fun* solo riding, and something else for the two up touring. You can tour the country quite nicely two up on an RT, LT, Gold Wing, HD, FJR, ST1300, etc. If you and your pillion aren't large, then a Vee might be a good all around choice.

I'd also encourage you to ride as many as you can. Ideally for a weekend, and as close to back to back as you can. Then decide what you like. And from a touring perspective, spend a weekend on an HD touring model and a Gold Wing. You might be surprised what works for *you*.

Kevin

2009 R1200GS Adventure
2009 Wee ABS (for sale)
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post #4 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 11:33 AM
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Forgot, be sure to check out

http://bmwsporttouring.com

for more details on all the BMW models. It's the best 'feature' the BMW bikes have to offer.

Kevin

2009 R1200GS Adventure
2009 Wee ABS (for sale)
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post #5 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 11:53 AM
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Did some riding over the weekend, including some "Cadillac Gravel" with a few guys.

A '09 DL1000, '07 DL650 (37,000 rock solid miles), '08 DR650 and a 1984 Honda Nighthawk 700s (mint!).

There was one no-show, a fellow with an '08 GS1200 Adventure. It wasn't because of his leaking final drive, he's learned to live with that with kitty litter. It was because of the failed fuel pump. He got the recall notice the day after it failed.

Kinda reminds me of Harley Davidson under AMF.

Get the BMW, you'll get to tell heartwarming stories of people across America eager to help stranded motorcyclists.

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post #6 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 12:00 PM
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Did a fail to mention the friend's '09 F650GS . He was taking it to the dealer to fix a problem with the steering. He should have trailered it. Fortunately he wasn't hurt and the bike will not have the opportunity to hurt anyone else.

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post #7 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krussell View Post
//

* Suspension

The RT suspension is better, the Wee can be improved with aftermarket parts, but it will not every be as good as the RT.
//
Interesting statement as the GS I rode felt great: then I found out he'd installed an Ohlins rear. That actually clinched the deal for me as I bought a new DL650 w/ABS and then put Intiminators, Sonic springs, and an Elka rear shock on it.

The front suspension layout of the BMW > conventional forks but the DL650 can 'git 'er done with those upgrades.

All that said, for pure touring two-up wouldn't you also look at some of the big sports tourers ala ST1300, FJR, and Concours as well?

2005 DL650 (sold) | 2009 DL650A (sold) | 2008 Tiger 1050 ABS | 2012 WR250R | 2008 CRF100F

Last edited by garandman; 10-05-2009 at 03:03 PM.
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post #8 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 02:55 PM
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Vstrom or RT

[QUOTE=boco707;472974]I am looking for some informed opinions out there. I recently sold my Roadstar and am looking for a new bike that I can tour around with. I am planning commuting and riding 2-up a fair bit but am having a tough time deciding what to buy. I have read tons of great things about the V-strom but am wondering if the BMW (RT or even LT) might be a better fit. I doubt I will use the bike off road and just want to tour around and see parts of the country I have never seen before.

Any thoughts??

I had a 2000 R1100 RT sold it and bought my first 2005 VStrom. I Sold it during a move and bought a 2006 RT once I got settled, sold it and just bought a 2009 DL650 Vstom. As you can see I always go back to the Vstrom.

You're not really comparing apples to apples because the bikes are designed for different purposes, Adventure riding Vs. Touring. Two up on the RT is comfortable, two up on the DL is fun. BMW Dealers are pompas arrogant A'holes, what few there are. If I had to do it all over again, I would never purchase a BMW, Id rather walk.

2009 DL650 VStrom - Orange Wee member #75
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post #9 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 04:22 PM
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I wanted a BMW, test rode a GS, loved it, however, when the salesman took me through his service area, he had a lot of expensive bikes sitting everywhere with dust on them in various stages of disassembly? I asked why, he told me most were in for routine maint. Yea--right, I'm talking about 20-25 bikes with dust on them so thick you could write your name on them anywhere! That plus a couple of BMW forums I visited told me I really didn't want one, not to mention the fact the next closest dealer is over 100 miles away(Indy), the one in Cincinnati went out of business. Good luck with your choice! BB

2012 Wee
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post #10 of 103 Old 10-05-2009, 05:39 PM
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I sold my 07GS to buy a Vstrom DL1000 07,
the Vstrom will do everyting a GS can only for half the price,
as has been mention in an earlier post, the only big difference I have noticed is the brakes on the DL do need pad replacing and bleeding to get them working other than that my wife loves the DL as the seat in more comfortable than the GS
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