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  #61  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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How very true! Most of what I read before I bought my GSA was hearsay. There's also a very biased attitude towards BMWs on this forums based largely on the buzz that Ewan and Charlie have created doing their LWR and LWD movies. I always wonder what would've happened if they would've done the trip on KTMs...
Nice summery. Yup, rule #1 has major impact...
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  #62  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Ted, what you said there is very true. That sort of behavior is not only limited to motorcycles tho. As an IT guy I experience the EXACT same behavior at work every day. People absolutely convinced they need product A because of reasons b), c), and d) and think it's absolutely superior to product F. In most cases it's friends and the internet that has told them what they absolutely have to get because it's the greatest invention since sliced bread. Once they have it they will adamantly defend it even if they are uncomfortable or unsatisfied with it.
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  #63  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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I have a 2005 1150GSA,which I have just taken to italy and back to the UK, I drove 800 miles in one day, really solid bike and 270 miles on one tank.
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  #64  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I really don't understand why people keep repeating this point over and over and over and over...the simple fact is that R1200GS (and other BMW bikes) are very good bikes, and I expect that is why most people buy them.

And saying that BMW sells the most lifestyle products/accessories is laughable, since they've got, what, 1% of the bike market? At least in the US, Harley Davidson is way, way, way out in front on the lifestyle products.
Good bikes? Well, I'd argue that.
But more to the point of this thread "... are they worth it?" In the USA BMW's are relatively more expensive compared to other bikes. In Europe, the gap between BMW, Japanese, Austrian and Italian bikes is far smaller. In the USA we get Japanese bikes very cheap ... but BMW's are very expensive. So the whole "is it worth it" idea is more relevant here due to the added expensive a BMW represents.

The life style aspect mentioned is accurate IMO. Come to California to see this. In the UK too I suspect. In the UK probably largely due to Long Way Round/Down et al. UK sales of GS's went off the chart as a result of these popular films. Are all these new BMW GS owners going round the world? No, it's a fade, a trend ... here today, gone tomorrow. BMW are the lucky recipients of this wind fall.

Here in California its clearly a lifestyle thing ... but its relatively new ... only about 5 years old or so when the new R1200GS really took off sales wise. You rarely see an owner without a Twat suit, bags and tons of expensive Tourtech farkles. So, like HD, the BMW guys trick out their bikes. Huge profits here for BMW .... and HD too. I see no harm in this ... if you've got it, flaunt it! Life is too short to worry what others think about such trivialities.

The HD life style (RUB:rich urban biker) phenom here is the USA has faded drastically in the last couple years, not just in bike sales but the $$Millions$$ in accessories sold every year. It's dead. Thousands of HD's up for sale.

But its almost like the BMW GS's and KTM's have taken their place. But yes, in smaller numbers. HD had a huge market share in the USA. Dropped 46% last year.

BTW, BMW sales are typically about 3% of USA sales, not 1%. The GS line in the US represents over 65% of BMW total sales. (R1200 and F800/650) California sell more GS's and BMW's in general than any other state. So here, figure about a 8% to 10% market share. Very affluent state. That can be a pretty significant number in a state of 30 million people with something like 3 to 5 million registered motorcycles. Big business.
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  #65  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Good bikes? Well, I'd argue that.
On what basis? Do you have one?

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Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
But more to the point of this thread "... are they worth it?"
Sure, you can get more bang-for-the-buck with other bikes, no question about that. But the fact that you can buy 3 KLRs (or whatever) for the price of a GS is disingenous, I think--after all, you can only ride one bike at a time.
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  #66  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by mj View Post
How very true! Most of what I read before I bought my GSA was hearsay. There's also a very biased attitude towards BMWs on this forums based largely on the buzz that Ewan and Charlie have created doing their LWR and LWD movies. I always wonder what would've happened if they would've done the trip on KTMs...
So all the things you read were lies? Or inaccurate? Made up? I find that hard to believe. Most owner reports are positive with only about 25% having problems. Significant but not a death sentence. A friend who works for BMW NA owns the '09 GS too. He agrees its the best yet. You got a good one!

Ewan and Charlie were a huge boon for BMW. Sales went off the charts as a result of the series. If they had taken KTM's they would have had a much easier time in Muddy Mongolia ... but would probably have had more breakdowns. Really, their GS's did quite good, but were just too overloaded for some of the terrain and they were inexperienced riding off road.

They only got screwed by a dumb guy trying to Arc weld on the bike and burning out the computers. NOT the fault of BMW.

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keep the pillion happy. You can have the best bike ever, one that never breaks, is light as a feather and reliable as a Russian tank but the joy you will have on any given trip is reciprocally proportional to how miserable your pillion is.
Too true. If your ride is all about pleasing your wife ... well, so be it. The GS is a great two up bike, not much competition. The Vstrom DL1000 isn't bad, half the price in the USA (not in Germany as Jap imports are taxed heavily to protect BMW) and more reliable. Not bad for pillion but the GS just pips it. Aprilia Capo Nord: No longer made but good two up, great , motor but not perfect. KTM Adventure: Good bike, bit smaller than GS for two. More fun and capable off road by a long way.
A few more like the Multistrada and Tenere'. I just tested the new Multi S.
Not a two up friendly bike, IMHO. Weird seat, too small.

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Originally Posted by mj View Post
I did hairpin turns with it in the Alps in which a Yamaha XJ900 Diversion and a KTM 950 Adventure had to reverse and take it in two turns!
This is simply a case of inexperienced riders.
No fault of those bikes ... trust me on this. The KTM is superb on tight switchbacks. Better than the GS, IMO. Don't judge your bike against bikes ridden by amateurs.

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Originally Posted by mj View Post
The truth is that every new bike you buy has more technology and electronics built-in than the moonlander so it's not a problem specific to BMW. I did the research on that topic and was shocked.
The bikes I listed above (Vstrom, KTM ADV, Capo Nord) have very little electronic gadgets. No ABS, No traction control, No power mode choices, no electronic Ohlins suspension. BMW has all these things (available as options) Lots to go wrong. I would buy an extended warranty.
Don't know if this is available in Germany. Most friends here buy an additional 4 years. So they get 7 years total cover. Only way to buy a BMW.
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Originally Posted by mj View Post
Would I buy it again?
Too early to tell. If BMW continues to blame me for the rust (first time I tried I was told it was totally my fault
This is typical BMW. If you really knew their history ... going back to the 60's you would be rather shocked at the long standing patterns of denial/blame here. This is nothing new. David Robb has tried to turn this around but its still going on.

But in your case ... they may have a point. I'd keep those rusted areas coated with WD40 or other anti-rust product. Try some light steel/Alu wool to take rust off?? Or, take them off, sand them down and repaint them with good rust proof paint?

But you're getting off easy. So far you've avoided the more common failures these bikes can have. ABS fault codes, electrical gremlins, Shaft/bearing/U-joint failure, transmission failure.

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Originally Posted by mj View Post
Yamaha has already recalled all first generation Super Teneres (in Germany at least) and is replacing most of them with revised editions because there's just way too many things that went wrong.
Wow! That's quite a shock. Do you have an English language link about that story?? That's first I've heard of these problems.
Maybe Yamaha can go back and take off 20 kgs. and lower the price by $3000 USD too!
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  #67  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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If you want to see rust !! Get a Suzuki ! Worst finished bikes to come out of Japan !!

Everyone I've had looked like the Titanic. Just as well their engineering makes up for it !

Back to the point, "ARE THEY WORTH IT"... Of course they're not ! They're definately over priced and over complicated ! Its a BMW, they don't make family run abouts do they. They have a name to keep "reassuringly expensive". Its a "prestige" brand isnt it... Do you think their cars are "worth it"?? You pay over the odds for those too but you get that flashy badge and keyfob to flash about at Starbucks.

As for LWR... Their subframes broke on the LWR and didnt the rear shaft bearing go on one of them ?? Didnt the shocks go too ??

LWD.. All their shocks collapsed and failed and they had issues with electrics as simple as side stand switches etc

Why should you spend £12000 on a GSA then have to spend £3000 on suspension just to make it cope with Africa ??? Just not Cricket is it !
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  #68  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Good bikes? Well, I'd argue that.
...
Don't mean to pester, ...but, as earlier posted, ...do you have a BMW?
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  #69  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Don't mean to pester, ...but, as earlier posted, ...do you have a BMW?
I don't think you need to own one to know about them !!

Have you owned a 1960's Italian sports car ?? Probably not, but I bet you already know that they're very expensive and break down a lot !! (and that wasnt a metephor for a 1200GS)
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  #70  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
I don't think you need to own one to know about them !!

Have you owned a 1960's Italian sports car ?? Probably not, but I bet you know already know that they very expensive and break down a lot !! (and that wasnt a metephor for a 1200GS)
Well, I beg to differ . Yes, I know of expensive Italian sports cars and I am VERY happy for anybody who can afford and enjoy one.

...and no, I didn't know that they break down a lot, because I don't own one.

IMO, hearsay is just that, ...hearsay! I know THAT, because I currently own and have owned a few BMWs over the years. Heck, I basically grew up on them .
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  #71  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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In other words: your opinion of BMW is completely based on hearsay without ever having owned one? I'm actually with T.REX on this one - it's bollocks. I wouldn't dare to judge Suzukis because I've never owned one. I wouldn't dare to judge Touratech equipment because I've never owned anything made by them. And I wouldn't dare to judge Italian sports cars because guess what: I have never owned one. You can obviously have an opinion about something based on hearsay - if two BMW owners approach you and tell you what a piece of crap their bike is then yes, you'll think pretty badly about BMW. However, I cannot understand how you can openly criticize and badmouth a brand in public, warning others who dare to ask what bike to get based solely on hearsay with no personal experience whatsoever!

But, just like before, I'm not going to touch this one with a five foot pole. If you're happy with hating BMW with a passion and telling everybody their bikes are crap then so be it. I know some people who have owned Beemers for years and never had a problem and some people who've had nothing but trouble (a friend of mine with a first edition F 800 GS comes to mind). I know people with Yamahas who've had no trouble whatsoever and some who have spent more time working on their bike than riding it, as well as two KTM 950 Adventures who couldn't be more different - one is on its second engine already and caused its owner nothing but grief, the other is absolutely carefree.

As always - your mileage may vary
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  #72  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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So all the things you read were lies? Or inaccurate? Made up? I find that hard to believe. Most owner reports are positive with only about 25% having problems. Significant but not a death sentence. A friend who works for BMW NA owns the '09 GS too. He agrees its the best yet. You got a good one!
All lies? Inaccurate? Made up? Can't tell. Every bike has it's flaws and I think we can all agree that the perfect bike has not been invented yet. I am very aware that it's still too early to judge and I might still run into heaps of trouble in the years to come. I promise to keep you up to date

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Too true. If your ride is all about pleasing your wife ... well, so be it. The GS is a great two up bike, not much competition. The Vstrom DL1000 isn't bad, half the price in the USA (not in Germany as Jap imports are taxed heavily to protect BMW) and more reliable. Not bad for pillion but the GS just pips it. Aprilia Capo Nord: No longer made but good two up, great , motor but not perfect. KTM Adventure: Good bike, bit smaller than GS for two. More fun and capable off road by a long way.
A few more like the Multistrada and Tenere'. I just tested the new Multi S.
Not a two up friendly bike, IMHO. Weird seat, too small.
I never said it's all about pleasing my wife but have you ever tried to travel long distances with a pillion that is uncomfortable and miserable on the back of your bike? It's living hell and far from enjoyable, and it makes absolutely no difference if that pillion is your wife, your girlfriend, your boyfriend or just a friend. As the driver you're always comfortable - why wouldn't you be? You're in the open road, you're on a motorcycle and you're possibly in the middle of nowhere. Passengers are a very different topic - I know I could never do what my wife does and sit through thousands of miles on the back of a bike.

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The bikes I listed above (Vstrom, KTM ADV, Capo Nord) have very little electronic gadgets. No ABS, No traction control, No power mode choices, no electronic Ohlins suspension. BMW has all these things (available as options) Lots to go wrong. I would buy an extended warranty.
Don't know if this is available in Germany. Most friends here buy an additional 4 years. So they get 7 years total cover. Only way to buy a BMW.
Noone forces you to get all the electronic bells and whistles on a BMW. Infact, the base model (in Europe) comes with pretty much nothing on it - no ABS, no traction control, no power mode choices, no ESA, no onboard computer, no tire pressure meter, no heated grips, no nothing. Most owners choose to order one or the other for various reasons - I had to get pretty much everything on my GSA because when I purchased it in November 2009 they weren't building the 2009 model anymore. Thus, it was either a prefabricated 2009 model with all the bells and whistles one can possibly imagine or a 2010 model which I didn't want (again: I don't trust the engine yet). I'm glad I didn't get the 2010 model because it's supposed to be a lot louder and apparantly suffers from a pretty serious case of vibrationitis.

As for warranty: you only get three years in Canada and the USA. In Europe we only get two years warranty (with every brand, not just BMW). I might purchase an additional two to five years depending on how happy I'll be with the bike once the original warranty runs out.

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Wow! That's quite a shock. Do you have an English language link about that story?? That's first I've heard of these problems.
Maybe Yamaha can go back and take off 20 kgs. and lower the price by $3000 USD too!
I'll look around. This bit came from my dealer who happens to sell both Yamaha and BMW (which is how I ended up with a BMW - I went there to get a brand new XT660Z Tenere and ended up with a GSA ). He's had nothing but trouble with the Super Tenere and told me that every single one he's sold has been back with minor or major problems.
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  #73  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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I've ridden, bought/sold most of the BMW range along with most other brands !!

I trainded as a motocycle tech and also worked in a very large chain of motorcycle dealerships in the U.K..... Bmw's were in and out all day long.

I've dealt with them more than most of their owners infact !!

Also, while on the road (especially South America), BMW's keep the Overland workshops in business there. Just ask Javier at Dakar Motos ! I was staying there for a few months and it's one BMW after another needing repair. It's not hearsay, it's fact !!

I have to say, with absolute honesty, the only bikes I saw broken down in South America (bar a DR350 with no oil and a Chinese Scooter) were BMW's

!! THAT is where I base my "biast" opinion.

Maybe it was coincidential ??? Maybe it wasn't !!

I have to admit, these were mostly F650's (no need to ask my opinion of these) but there were a couple of 1200's too. Starter motor failed on one guy and the other guys shock (new bike) has collapsed. In 6 months, seeing hundreds of other bikers (on some really old high mileage hacks), I didnt see any other breakdowns !

ALL bikes have their problems, of course they do !! But in MY EXERIENCE (and my experience only) the stranded bikes are usually BMW's !! Maybe because they're impossible to fix without a high tech workshop, an Electrical Engineer and a suitcase full of electronics that are more suited to a space shuttle than an overland mile muncher...

I'm sorry (and I may lose friends here), that you only have to watch the threads on horizons to see "My bmw is broken here, my bmw is broken there"

I DON'T HATE BMW'S ! IM NOT ANTI GERMAN ! I DON'T HAVE A PERSONAL VENDETTA !!

It's just in your face and obvious if you can see through your LWR branded tinted spectacles !

They aren't SH*T bikes... If I was riding around Europe, I'd have one myself if it was reasonably priced. The 1200's are great bikes for handling, power, comfort !! I've done distance on one !! I would just never trust one on a RTW.

So getting back to the point.. .IS IT WORTH IT ??? To me, NO ! For many reasons... Its just too expensive, heavy, over complicated and difficult to repair.


Well, rant over !! Feel free to ignore it
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Last edited by *Touring Ted*; 27 Aug 2010 at 11:24.
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  #74  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Hi Tour@Ted

Is there any make of bike that you like? You say you don't like Suzuki, BMW, Honda,(you slagged off Africa Twins but bought 3 of them!) as well as Italian cars etc. I could have missed some other makes you don't like, which you are entitled to do of course.

Hey, that's fine actually, for bikebashing posts are ten a penny, but to dislike so many makes of bike maybe devalues your opinion.

What I'm asking you is, tell us what make of bike you do approve of?

You've said you are a bike technician - does that mean a motorcycle mechanic who served an apprenticeship, or something else? Can you clear that one up, please?

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Old 27 Aug 2010
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Hi Tour@Ted

Is there any make of bike that you like? You say you don't like Suzuki, BMW, Honda,(you slagged off Africa Twins but bought 3 of them!) as well as Italian cars etc. I could have missed some other makes you don't like, which you are entitled to do of course.

Hey, that's fine actually, for bikebashing posts are ten a penny, but to dislike so many makes of bike maybe devalues your opinion.

What I'm asking you is, tell us what make of bike you do approve of?

You've said you are a bike technician - does that mean a motorcycle mechanic who served an apprenticeship, or something else? Can you clear that one up, please?


My dear Caminando.. You are the master of exageration !

I don't hate any bike nor do I ejaculate over a particular brand just because it happens to be in my garage !

I see bikes as machines/tools/piece of engineering ! I don't get particularly excited about lawn mowers, electric smoothy makers or inkjet printers either !!

I didnt "slag off" the Africa Twin. I just pointed out its failings which are fact. The dude asked, I told him !! I'll tell you about my DRZ's failings too if you'd like ?? If I didnt like them, I woudn't of bought three of them lol.

If you don't just concentrate on the nagatives, you will hear equal or more praises for most bikes than critisisms !

Just caus I say Suzukis rust, doesn't mean I dont like them, does it ??? They do rust, the finish IS poor. Again, its just fact my friend !

What do I approve if ?? Does it matter ??? People are free to take on to ignore information at their lesuire...

Last time I checked this was an OVERLAND motorcycle forum, aimed for people who like to travel overland on their bikes, so for me I'd say any bike which is:

Simple for the average rider to maintain, affordable to buy and have readily available spare parts, reliable, economical, have a sturdy well built chassic to hold luggage, be built of long lasting components and be simple to convert into a good overland machinne.. Branding has NOTHING to do with it !!

If you're asking me which bike id recommend for a track day, trip to the pub on, or posing outside starbucks on, surely thats for a different forum altogether.... Like visordown etc ??

Moto tech: I did 4 years F/T in college, C&G 1 & 2 and IMI 1, 2 & 3.. Used to run my own wreck - restoration Ebay business too. Also worked in the largest multi francise dealership in North of England in sales and occasional tech (better money). I didn't do an apprentiships as I prefered to be taught properly and not be someones "bitch" for pocket change.

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MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




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