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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 6 Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post

Dont make jokes like this. In other forums you can read more and more about the F800 is having serios engine trouble with only very little kilometers. When you go to change the oil on a japanese bike you have to change the engine on F800

800GS.de - Motorschaden an meiner F800GS mit 17.000km
F800-Forum.de - F 800 GS - F 800 R - F 800 S - F 800 ST • Thema anzeigen - Motorschaden an meiner F800GS
Motorschaden F800 GS

The 1200GS seems not to be much better. Its engine even broke down with less then 50.000 km while a magazine took it for a test drive:


Its not that i think BMW cant make good bikes i think they just dont want anymore. The old bikes like R80 etc. were really good. Now I think its like with the bulbs when they specialy reduced the live of a light bulb down to only 1000 hours to sell more of them:

Obsoleszenz – Wikipedia

Even TV stations start talking about companys who specialy reduce the live of there products now (just a quick google search):

Kaufen für die Müllhalde 1v5 - YouTube
'Verfallsdatum' für Konsumartikel und -geräte - Plusminus 29.03.2012 - YouTube
Kalkulierter Ausfall (Obsoleszenz) - was! 25.04.2012 - YouTube
Obsoleszenz: Elektrogeräte eingebautem Verfallsdatum - YouTube

I would only take a new bmw if i would get it for free like in long way round/down

Hope all your "only transport" bikes reach more then 150.000 km too, Tobi

For many of the reasons I will not buy a BMW motorbike.
Japanese every time.
I could go as far to say, that the reliability of almost all the Japanese bikes would be better than any of the BMW bikes.
Sure there are exceptions to every rule, but in the general run of things, the Japanese bikes win hands down.

Now the Africa Twin is sold, I have a hankering for the Varadero.

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Old 6 Jan 2013
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I have been owner of few BMW (K75,K100,gs100,900,115GSA,1200GSA) and many more jap bike and even KTMm , triumph and ducati , I love all of them but for ease of maintenance and reliability my jap bikes were the best of all . as far as price/reliablity/maintenance you cannot beat them . Sure my BMW looked better and have a better ground clearance , but they were also heavier and way more expensive . for my next RTW I will most likely choose Suzuki or Honda .
Hendi Kaf


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Old 7 Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post

Dont make jokes like this. In other forums you can read more and more about the F800 is having serios engine trouble with only very little kilometers. When you go to change the oil on a japanese bike you have to change the engine on F800
That problem was solved back in 2008 with new pistons, and also this problem didnt really affect the gs just the s ans st models which really suffered. All of which providing you have a full service history you are very likely to get bmw to pay for most or all of the repairs.
If there is a problem with their bikes and you support the network by using aftersales for servicing then you are likely to be treated very nicely if a problem arises.
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Old 7 Jan 2013
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Old 12 Feb 2013
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Horse power to weigh ratio. I bought a new BMW F650GS in 2007 and rode to Tierra Del Fuego from the USA. That bike is single cylinder, chain drive, tube tire machine that gets 25km per litre, 62 mpg, at 100 kmh day in and day out. It has a 400 km range with no extra tank needed. It comes with heated grips, abs, and a good saddle. I rode it stock, including the chain. 52 hp, single disc brake, 380 lbs +/-.

In 2011 I bought a used BMW F800GS. I am short ( 30 inch inseam) so I lowered it myself. Had all the cool stuff on it. After 5000 miles I had a tank slapper wobble at 75 mph on the flattest, straightest, smoothest piece of asphalt in the world on the interstate at Lexington, Nebraska and destroyed the bike. I survived because the bike had crash bars and I wear all the gear all the time. The next day I went to the see the bike. It started right up and was rideable - barely. I had bent the frame - so I junked the bike. It was smooth, got 50-54 mph (so not good for RTW distance), stock saddle was comfy! I do not know what caused the wobble. It could have been the knobbies in wind. It could have been wind shear. It does not matter now.

I have purchased a new 2013 factory lowered F800GS. It arrives here shortly. I have kept my old F650GS single. They take money to maintain - but I am emotionally attached to a pile of metal and rubber. The F800 bare is 82 Hp, 415+ lbs. So I have voted with my pocket book. It still amazes me that I rode 18K miles to Ushuia Argentina without a scratch, but got dumped in Nebraska 5 miles from a hospital.

I live by these rules on adventure travel. Simple is best. One gets exactly what one pays for. I saw a lot of Honda transalps in Argentina because the rental agency rents transalps. Lots of BMW's in Chile, because they have a dealer in Santiago and the tour companies all use BMW. One should look to see what bikes the tour companies use for their guests. My observation is that BMW is used because they are durable and dependable.

My BMW's have broken from time to time. And I am not always happy with service or dealers. But the fact is that the bikes are tested, reliable, and German. Nuff' said.
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Old 15 Feb 2013
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My bike of choice for the big tour was the Suzuki DR650SE. Why?

First of all I sat on it and had fun. And there are other reasons which compelled me to try the bike in the first place. Things like:

-the bike couldn't be any simpler. No electronics. Single cylinder. Carburetor. Tubed tyres. If you find a way to start her, you don't even need the battery.
-she's in fact so simple that even I can maintain and service it. Which means everyone can
-her design hasn't changed since the mid 90's. So she's well proven and weak points are all pretty much known and figured out.
-lots of aftermarket stuff is available to make her even better
-it's one of the cheapest 650ccm bikes to buy brand new
-she's one of the most light weight 650ccm bikes available...
-...but her frame can still hold up with a lot of luggage weight
-she runs even with crap fuel (85 octane) and cheap motoroil
-she can cope with pretty bad roads and even some off-road, even with me as a newbie rider.

The DR650 is only the second bike I've ever owned. On her I went all the way from Australia to Africa to Europe. And brought her back to Australia. And she's still running well. Apart from the regular service bits to replace every now and then the only extra replacement of parts she needed were new fork seals after 40000km.
no risk - no fun
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