V-Strom 1000 versus BMW 1200GS - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
V-Strom Modifications and Performance The brag page, good and bad.

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post #1 of 40 Old 03-02-2005, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 85
V-Strom 1000 versus BMW 1200GS

Had the opportunity to switch bikes with a riding buddy of mine this past weekend. He rides a BMW 1200GS. Being both Adventure Tourers, the “feel” is similar. Although I felt the Strom’s suspension on the street was much smoother over the rough roads. The motors are also very different. The Beemer feels more like a tractor. It doesn’t have the front wheel lifting thrust of the Strom. Six gear feels like fourth. I can feel why this bike might work better in the dirt, less wheel spin. But on the street, my humble, biased opinion has the V-Strom way out in front on the fun factor. The 1000 Strom has much, much more personality. End result was that I enjoyed riding the Beemer, and could probably live happily ever after on it. But knowing the cost of the BMW and having the ability to compare with the seat of the pants, the Strom rules. Even if the two bikes cost was the same, the Strom wins. It provides a bigger and longer smile on the face when riding. The switch made me realize what a great choice the Strom really is. I don’t know if my Beemer friend would ever admit it, but he was even riding more briskly aboard the Strom, and had a big smile on his face. Now if I can just get to ride a Tiger and a Caponord to further my comparative research findings…

Lencho - Blue DL1000K5

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post #2 of 40 Old 03-02-2005, 08:49 PM
Joe S.
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Interesting impression.
I've not ridden an R1200GS but I did own an R1150GS for three years and I have not ridden a 1000 strom, just my 650.
I could see how you could find the Strom motor a lot more fun, My SV1000, which is somewhat similar to the 1000 strom, is a dynamite motor.
What I do think needs to be taken into account is that BMW has done a better job of developing the GS package than Suzuki has. By that I mean hard luggage that is actually designed for the bike instead of generic tacked on looking stuff that Suzuki has contracted for. Heated grips from the factory, a large enough charging system to power electric clithing for two plus some accessories, power outlets standard, The GS also has abs and shaft drive which may be a debatable point but nevertheless is not available on the strom at any pricei.
I am not a particular defender of bmw and certainly not a loyalist but the bike has some extremely desirable traits that the Suzuki simply does not have or that have to be grafted on. Whether they are important issues or the relative value must be determined by the buyer
post #3 of 40 Old 03-03-2005, 08:10 AM
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Belmont, NC
Posts: 7
I considered a 1200GS before I purchased my Vstrom. The ABS and shaft drive were the 2 things I would really like to have. They are also the 2 things that scared me away from the GS. Reports of brake servo and final drive failures concerned me. It's a new bike and I'm sure it's just teething pains but I couldn't bring myself to pay almost 2x the price of the Vstrom and risk being stranded or embedded in the back of another vehicle. That being said, I LOVE the looks of the new GS.
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post #4 of 40 Old 03-03-2005, 11:05 AM
Joe S.
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Sporadic final drive failures are nothing new on several BMW models, including the older R1150GS. Whether they are actually likely to fail or how often doesn't seem clear to me, my impression is that it a 'here and there' kind of thing.
The servo brakes are troubling to me. Personally I think they went about one gadget too far with that system. The ABS system on my R1150GS worked well and I really don't see the need for a servo assist. Just how many actually fail is again, unclear to me.
Another point often overlooked is how much the Telelever front end assists in controlling the bike under hard braking, virtually no front end dive. So far as I'm concerned it is quite an advancement over the telescopic fork.
In general I expect the R1200GS to be a reliable and durable machine. One thing I've learned in haunting internet boards over the last few years is that problems tend to be blown out of proportion so i tend to regard a lot of reported failures as isolated instances until they really prove to be an issue.
An example of this in the SV1000 world is the infamous 'knock' often thought to be out of spec main bearings. If one went on the
SV1000 Portal and read about this you might think practically all of them do this, when in fact the opposite is true.
Similarly, my dl650 had a bad coil right out of the box, presumably a one of a kind failure since I've seen no other reports of it. It also has a 'knocky' sound, most pronounced at idle. I could worry and fret about these things or ride it, I'm thinking ride.
Motorcycles are complex machines and all machines can have failures. it stands to reason that if you build say, 10000 of anything there will be a certain failure rate. Beyond a certain percentage it becomes clear there is an actual design or manufacturing flaw somewhere. Fact is though, nobody has yet built an unbreakable motorcycle.
post #5 of 40 Old 03-03-2005, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 85
I thought the telelever front end on the Beemer would/should be impressive, but unless it was just not adjusted right, it did not feel real smooth over some rough TN back roads. I'd rather have a little dive with compliance over no dive and no compliance. You literally felt each bump with the GS. The owner is probably about 100 lbs lighter than me too. He must feel like he doesn't have any suspension at all : )

Don't get my post wrong, it was about praising the Strom's peformance and value. Not bad mouthing the Beemer. After reading about the GS, with all the praise it has received, I assumed it was the standard for the class. I liked having the opportunity to compare the Strom to that Adventure Tourer "standard". But after riding it, in my humble opinion, it's established standard is more like the Harley-Davidson "standard" for cruisers. Is the price really worth what you get? Only the buyer can truly justify that answer. And I am sure the GS makes a lot of people quite happy. But me, personally, I would nver pay the price for a GS or a H-D. Not when there are bikes out there giving the kind of performance and value that the Strom, and others, give.

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post #6 of 40 Old 03-03-2005, 01:02 PM
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The Caponord & V-strom are so simuler its hard to tell the Difference. back to back rides, and the bikes feel VERY VERY simuler. The Strom seems to fit me slightly better as i am tall, but this one is a toss up...
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-03-2005, 10:42 PM
Joe S.
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I certainly didn't take your post as bad mouthing anything, you rode it, you gave your honest impression, fair enough.
I will say I am surprised that the R1200GS did not give good compliance in the forks as I felt this was definitely a strong suit of the 1150GS. I had 25k on mine when I sold it and always felt it rode superbly. The 650 Strom seems good to me for what it is, but its a long shot from premium suspension components.
I've not ridden an R1200GS, I hope to at some time as I'm curious how it compares to the R1150GS I had.
What a motorcycle is worth is always in the eye of the beholder. Obviously I do see some value in Harleys because I own two of them. Its never been about what performs better than anything when it comes to those bikes for me. Quite simply I wanted a Harley Davidson and I could care less if Honda, Kawasaki or whoever builds a bike that performs better in hard numbers or costs less.
However there is one aspect of Harleys that people tend to forget. I bought my first Sportster in 1993. I rode it for a year and sold it for what I had in it after 6k miles. I bought a 1994 Electra Glide and rode it for two years and then sold it for what I had in it after 12k miles. I don't see how something can be much better value than that. Truly, that is beginning to change and their resale value is not quite what it was then, but its still better than anything else I can think of.
The other aspect is similar to so many things. A Harley is a Harley, everything else is not a Harley. I had this discussion with a friend over the relative value of a Colt Single Action Army revolver vs. some imported clones. He was of the opinion that they were better value because they are cheaper and looked as well finished to him. Perhaps so, but the difference is one is a Colt and one isn't. Maybe that makes a difference to a person and maybe it doesn't. In some cases, on certain items, it does make a difference to me. I would never criticize someone who sees it differently and buys a VTX (for example) because its entirely possible I could flip flop in my attitude and be doing the same thing myself. I think what it really means that a given object is worth exactly what you can get someone to pay for it.
You are correct I do believe in saying the little Strom is a great value for its cost. Like everything else it has its limitations and places where compromises were made but taken as a package it is very well done.
post #8 of 40 Old 03-03-2005, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: washington
Posts: 275

On one of these V-Strom forums I saw a guy post...

He refered to his DL 1000 as

"The 1-Litre Beamer Eater" :twisted: :P

I just cant see why the BMW is SO expensive.....
The arguement that BMW has presented the GS as "A Better Package"

Sure V-strom accesories might be a little lite.

But when you look at all the maintenance stuff on a GS and all the documented problems... Thats a "Package" I dont want any part of...

I love my Strom

Love it more every day

04 DL-650
Have a good time, ALL the time !
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-04-2005, 09:47 AM
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I say to each his own. The guy I bought my DL1000 from went out the next week and bought a new 1200GS. It was a good deal for both of us. I got a "ready to go" Strom with bags and centerstand and PCIIIusb. And he got the bike of his dreams and is happy. Same thing with Ducatis. The only Duc that is faster than my RC is the 30 grand 05 999R. But all those Ducati owners who get dusted at the track on their megabucks bikes are still happy campers and the Ducs have more poser power thats for sure. These days almost all bikes are very good machines.
post #10 of 40 Old 03-04-2005, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 85

The Harley marketing machine is impressive, no doubt. Their re-sale is all tied to that "desire" they instill in A LOT of people. I also agree with you that that re-sale advantage is faltering. I have two friends that have a Fat Boy and a sweet Deuce for sale, but they are not getting any bites because the market here is so saturated with H-D's. They are sitting on consignment at one of the most popular H-D shops. You see later models advertised with less than 4000 miles on them. Spending that much for a bike and not riding it, is a piece of the H-D mystic that I will never understand. I sold my 2002 V-Star 1100 Classic, with 15,000 miles on it, for $2,400 less that I bought it for. Even with all the cruiser chrome goodies I had added on to it, I got a 60% plus re-sale value on a Japanese H-D clone. From what I see with my two friend’s situations, they may have to take around 15K or less on bikes that they have invested at least 22K in. I think the very popular cruiser segment in general has an overall good re-sale value tied to it. As for ride, I have switched bikes with my H-D buddies, and the V*, except for chrome, chrome, chrome, more chrome, held it's own with them, in both power and handling, quite nicely (again, in my humble, biased opinion). It's all about marketing perception. Maytag does it, Coke does it, Harley does it, and darn well. Since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, marketing and selling that image is huge. But I give my kudos to Harley. They are an absolute marketing giant (to bad I didn’t invest in them back in the AMF days!), and not only with bikes, but also in accessories and clothing. Non-motorcyclists buy and wear their stuff all the time. Even PetsMart carries dog products with that famous H-D emblem on them, amazing...

But back to my original post: The V-Strom 1000 rules in both performance and “value”!

Lencho - Blue DL1000K5

A former Motocrosser living in a middle aged, creaking body
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