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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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  #1  
Old 22 Jul 2006
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GS Reliabilty ?

Hi all

I'm currently looking for a new steed to take me to foreign lands and have decided on a big trailie, probably a GS. I had a good look on the ukgser site and more than a few of the posts seemed to be slating the reliabilty of the 1200 which has really put me off. Obviously the GS is a popular option so it cant be that bad. I'm thinking more 1150 anyway but just looking for a little reassurance from some impartial people that they are in general a decent bike and worth the extra money.

Any opinions appreciated.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 22 Jul 2006
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If I had a choice of big GSs to do RTW, it would be pre-2 spark 1150. Like an '02.

You'll get many opinions, I'm sure
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  #3  
Old 22 Jul 2006
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A decent bike, but worth the extra money? Hmm...
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  #4  
Old 22 Jul 2006
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Final drives !
The thought of having to rebuild one of those buggers in the middle of nowhere makes chains and sprockets look very appealing .
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  #5  
Old 23 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
Final drives !
The thought of having to rebuild one of those buggers in the middle of nowhere makes chains and sprockets look very appealing .
If you know your machine, a failing final drive will talk to you well before it becomes crispy toast.

I put the 4th rear drive bearing in my 1150, but now the motor is fked with a broken left cam chain rail at 155k miles.

The rear drive bearing and seal can be changed at most any type of mech shop. Just need to carry the spares with you.

The 1150s really don't have tranny probs, relatively speaking. The 2 spark and servo brake 1150s have their own slight issues.

The 1200s have various new bike issues that have not all been resolved yet. This bike is still an open can.
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  #6  
Old 23 Jul 2006
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-- " If you know your machine, a failing final drive will talk to you well before it becomes crispy toast " --

I know,
-- but I can slap new sprockets on my bike without special tools and be on my way with a chain sourced [ perhaps] from an agricultural dealer in less than an hour . Without having to go looking for a mech shop .
I love the IDEA of shaft drive , but BMW 's single sided swing arm [ IMHO ] puts too much stress on the bearing and is instrumental in it's short life expectancy .
Great for short trips , but heavily laden RTW ?
Maybe they have cured the problem with the 1200 GS - and I really hope so !
But I wouldn't choose one for RTW myself .

Now - that new and much awaited F 800 GS well that might just be the bike to tempt me to buy German .
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  #7  
Old 23 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
-- " If you know your machine, a failing final drive will talk to you well before it becomes crispy toast " --

I know,
-- but I can slap new sprockets on my bike without special tools and be on my way with a chain sourced [ perhaps] from an agricultural dealer in less than an hour . Without having to go looking for a mech shop .
I love the IDEA of shaft drive , but BMW 's single sided swing arm [ IMHO ] puts too much stress on the bearing and is instrumental in it's short life expectancy .
Great for short trips , but heavily laden RTW ?
Maybe they have cured the problem with the 1200 GS - and I really hope so !
But I wouldn't choose one for RTW myself .

Now - that new and much awaited F 800 GS well that might just be the bike to tempt me to buy German .
No, the problem hasn't been fixed. And more probs are there than before the 1150s.

I do not disagree with your post.

I wouldn't touch any of their new bikes until they've been proven.
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  #8  
Old 23 Jul 2006
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Belt drive ?

> The new BMW will be belt drive.
The new F800'es have belt drive but I was told by my BMW dealer the F800GS will have chain drive.

> I love belt drive on the Buell's I've ridden.
So do I. And modern beltdrives are strong. I have been riding on my uncle's Harley Lowrider in South Africa. His belt drive was replaced at 100.000 km of hard use on paved and dirt roads in Zimbabwe and South Africa so reliability is no problem. ( I made a testride on the Buell Ulysses and it was a great bike. Just a bit to high for me. I could barely touch the ground.)
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  #9  
Old 23 Jul 2006
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Belt drives are great ,provided they are perfectly aligned and you can keep small stones out of them .
It will be interesting to see what BMW can come up with for the new GS .
As far as weight is concerned a magazine article about the F800 S and ST mentions 402 lbs which is only a little bit more than an F65O Dakar .
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  #10  
Old 24 Jul 2006
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BMW's

If you're going solo, at least consider the smallest GS, the F650GS, probably the Dakar. Chain final drive, great mileage, reliable and proven. Opinions vary widely, ride one for yourself and see what you think. I currently have my Dakar loaded for a trip to AK. I rode it this morning to scrub in the new tires and with the full load it still handles quite well. I am not a small guy, 6' 200lbs. With the weight of the panniers, rack, and all my gear, everything added to the bike, it's 78lbs. That includes a lot of water and enough food for a week, and full camping and cooking gear. While it's not a speed deamon, even with that load the bike has adequate power to accelerate, climb, etc, quite adequately, all the while getting tremendouns mileage. For solo adventure touring, especially if any real amount of offroad or sand will be encountered, it's not a bad choice for some folks.

I know several folks with 12GS's. Some have had problems, some of the problems stop the bike dead. The 07's will have different, non-servo brakes. Personally, for the money I'd rather have an 1100 or 1150 outfitted with the 41 liter TT tank and other goodies from TT. They're heavier than the 12's, but much more simple.
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  #11  
Old 24 Jul 2006
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Lightbulb GS ! which one ?

I don't understand why nobody mention HP2 as a RTW horse?
It needs a large fuel tank, a new seat and that's it.
It looks much more better option than 1200 gs.
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  #12  
Old 25 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
.......... Junk, basically. Expendable............Its junk......
I busted out laughing..

Well written. Love this stuff....
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  #13  
Old 25 Jul 2006
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I have BM's however thinking of going Japanese

My wife and I got a couple of old airheads for our trip from London to Russia. Halfway across Russia the drive shaft goes on my R100. 10 days wait for a new one, plus Russian and not much to do. BM's are great when you can get spare however Japanese bikes are more common in Russia and most of Asia, so it's Japanese from now on.

Ken
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  #14  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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so you waited 10 days...

having the remote scenario of waiting 10 days is still to me far better than carrying spare chains/sprockets or constantly worrying that your current chain will last until you get to a town that stocks them. It is amazing how few places stock chains for big bikes. as for belts, they are less reliable than shafts and much more prone to failure.

Essentially nothing goes wrong on the BM's. The 1200GS just works, as does the F650GS. They (well the F650GS I know at least) work even when incessant torrential rain gets into the black box and shorts everything out. The bike switches into default mode (fuel consumption drops, abs is out) until the black box is dried out.

on the F650ST (carbs) I worried about tires, chains, and my speedo cable went.
on the F650GS I worry about tires and chains. it does not use oil.
on the 1200GS/GSA I worry about tires.
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  #15  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y_kiwi
.............
Essentially nothing goes wrong on the BM's. The 1200GS just works.........
...ok...

I know of a great deal on some beachfront property....
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