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Old 8 Sep 2003
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Location: Geelong, Vic, Australia
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thanks Phil thats a good idea,to get to Lavers Hill i would of course need to go down the GOR.....hehe....dont need a reason for that!thank guys i think i'm gonna organize a test ride and see for myself

see you on the road
cheers Jason
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Old 10 Sep 2003
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Location: Utrecht Netherlands / SF USA
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Change the plugs to Brisks, this helped with mine. Just rode from Europe to Asia on 1150 GSA, without a single hickup. Ok, a couple of flats in India!

RTW on the road now! Jan 2003-?
RTW on the road now! Jan 2003-?
currenrtly in south america
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Old 13 Sep 2003
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Location: Chicago, IL, USA
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Surging in oilheads does happen. That's a fact. It seems to effect higher compression motors more though, RT's for example. My R1100R which has basically an R1100GS motor/tranny has over the past 70K miles had surge-free times and surge-ful times. Most (but not all) surging can be eliminated by very careful valve setting and throttle body adjustment.

From what I've gathered, surging seemes to be a manifestation of the closed loop FI system hunting for the correnct fuel/air mix. Earlier oilheads like mine ('96) were sold in the US with closed loop control and a catalitic converter. These can be converted to open-loop. European models were not. However, now I believe all models sold throughout the world are closed loop: Now you Europeans can experience the surging too! 'Course you may have a better network of m/c mechanics that can set the system up than we do in the US. According to BMW, the dual plug heads was to improve emmisions. As far as I know BMW has never officially aknowledged the surging as inherent, only mechanic/rider error. Some bikes exibit it more than others.

In my opinion, the surging is a huge problem (even at minor levels). For the money that BMW is asking of thier machines, they should not due this. The current FI system is not adequate, especially since Harley Davidson can come up with a FI system that is nearly perfect on an engine that's much more difficult to control (inline V twin).

BMW has concentrated research money on power assist integrated brakes yet left a crappy FI system out there. To me, this is the wrong way to go, especially when considering what a dual purpose world touring motorycyce should be capable of. Perhaps attracting less experienced older riders with lots of extra cash is what they are after (won't they notice the surging too?)

I'm now thinking of replacing my R, but the possibility of a new BMW is out: No electric brakes for me, thanks. Other options: Older BMW's (but even airhead GS's are fetching top dollar) or maybe a Triumph Tiger, hmmm and only $11K US. Or how about the big KTM? BMW should think about that.

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Old 15 Sep 2003
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After the surging experiances I had with two GS oilheads (see post above) I have abandoned BMW and returned to Honda.

I've owned several new Honda's including Transalps and an Africa twin. All of them proved reliable machines over many thousands of miles, one Transalp had covered 87,000 miles when I sold it on. I had seriously abused this bike and the only money I had to spend on it were service items, oil, filters, brakes, chains and sprockets. I have also owned a VFR800. Whilst I didn't do a huge amount of miles on this bike, it was equipped with fuel injection which worked faultlessly, with no hint of surging.

Prior to my latest purchase I rode tested an Aprilia Caponord. I was particularly interested in the new Rally Raid version, but couldn't get hold of one, so tested the standard model. This bike has a fantastic fuel injected engine. The power is seemless with no hint that the bike even has fuel injection.

What I'm getting at is that all these bikes cost significantly less (other than the Aprilia} than the BMW. For the price BMW charge for "Ultimate riding machine" I would expect perfection and faultless reliabilty. For the money the Aprilia is several steps closer to perfection than the BMW.

When choosing a bike as an overland or serious travel bike, the availability of spares is another issue. Throughout europe, whilst not quite as numerous as the Japanese, BMW certainly beats Aprilia. Once outside europe and into Asia workshops catering for the Japanese manufacturers are far more widespread. Jap bikes being Jap bikes though tend to be more reliable so the need for spares is less.

[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 14 September 2003).]
\"Bon Chance\"
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Old 28 Sep 2003
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OK, my other half has a '94 1100RS, not the same as a GS, but similar enough. Here are my two cents worth:

For supposed fixes to the surging problem see here: http://www.ibmwr.org/r-tech/oilheads...ng-fixes.shtml

Her bike surges, too, but a good sychronisation helped. She says it's still not perfect, so I may have to try the above procedure myself. Interestingly, I hardly notice this surging myself, but I'm 15kg heavier, so maybe that helps.

One other major consideration for trips through third world countries, though, is that the bike should be easy to fix. The 1100/1150 BMWs AREN'T:

@ 25000 km her clutch died (a known problem with that model year). To remove it you first have to remove the entire rear end of the bike, rear frame, wiring, then the gear box. Count two days work. Now, on an 1150 you have a single-piece frame. That probably means you'd have to remove the entire frame fron the engine/box assembly.

@45000 km a gear box bearing failed. (Another known problem, but for ALL flat twins at least since 1969 until '94) The same job as above, but we had to remove the final drive unit and the swingarm. The bolts are glued into place, so you have to heat them. I had to buy €400 worth of tools just to do that part of the job. Repairing the gear box itself is so complicated on any BMW twin that even as a bike mechanic I don't try this at home. Don't take my word for it, take a look at the tech tips for BMW on this site, there is a description of how it's done on an older twin.

Contrast this to, say, my old Honda CX500 that took me from India to Europe: I can remove the engine in 30 mins with the tools I normally carry.

My wife loves her BMW. but when we travel back to NZ we're going to use simpler bikes.

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Jenny & Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 27 Oct 2003
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rockhampton, Queensland Australia
Posts: 22
Originally posted by Slugnugget:
Hi all

i am interested in the R1150GS,i would like to know how good this bike is,i have read all the reveiws and they sound great but i want to hear from owners who have lived with them,tell me all good and bad.

cheers Jason
I test rode a new standard twin spark GS and was impressed with the performance of it, no surging etc, comfortable too.
Placed an order for one with ABS. Have to wait until December '03 for it to arrive, apparently the "standard" model is being discontinued in AU, to be replaced by the new 1150GS SE model. I did not want the new SE black coloutr scheme for engine/transmission.

Rockhampton, Australia
Jack Chomley
Rockhampton, Australia
OR, somewhere in South Africa!
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Old 28 Oct 2003
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i have a 2001 1150gs and the surging only started after it had been in for its 6000mile service - at high speeds it is not noticable but in the lower gears it is a pain in the ass.

i have a house in the north of england where the roads are great for recreational riding - the surging is not noticeable as your generally accelerating thru the problem.
but when i got a job in the south east of england 18 months ago(shite roads, heavy traffic etc)i brought the bike down and have done approx 350miles since - driving on a constant throttle and up and down thru the low gears it is a pain.
my dealer suggested one of the problems is that they run lean to pass emissions tests but removing the yellow gizmo in the fuse box can help (richens the mixture), ididnt notice a vast difference.

i will ask them to pay particular attention to the throttle set up on the next service.

if your buying it for recreational riding on good open roads then there are few bikes around that are better, handling is excelent especially two up with luggage.

if your buying it as a workhorse(for which bmws use to be famed) in not such a fun environment dont bother get a jap bike they are still the most reliable bikes available.

also dont just test ride the dealers demo bike with a couple of thousand miles on it ask to test drive one of the used bikes in the showroom, this will give you a better idea of what the bike will feel like in a years time.

also dont expect a bmw to be problem free either however the dealers are very good generally.

having said all that im still going to india and beyond on it with the wife next year
Richard and Gunac
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