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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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  #31  
Old 26 May 2005
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Sam,

1100GS and 1000Strom both are good bikes, but a bit different purpose. Strom is more street oriented (better looks, lot of plastics, alloy wheels, nasty place for oilcooler).

On the shop i sat on the Strom first for few minutes, it felt good, then sit on the GS, it felt better, then siting back to Strom it felt quite ILL! Maybe additionally installed 35mm bar risers on GS had some effect, but for my size 182cm, 75kg, that wider seat just meld into one with my backside, legs were positioned perfect and those wide bars gave very secure and comfty feeling on the first impression.

Now to testride them:

The GS is one wide solid metal piece between the legs (sticy boxer cylinders) and Strom feels like riding on big plastic horse (the very wide tank area).
On higher near-to-redline rpms the japanese 1000cc engine really starts to fly compared with "farting" GS 1100cc. But revving your dual purpose bike is pointless in every day use, the GS "pulls" you considerably better on low than Strom. I say the GS gives you more relaxed dynamics - less gear changes due low-rpm character and engine braking is more powerful too, i.e. i hardly use brakes on twisty roads - just learn how to play with throttle and that beasty farting boxer does all the work. While Strom feels like really sporty city-enduro - engine begs for more revving, lot of gearchanges accelerating&decelerating lot of braking, for me - it felt a bit too exhausting character, for some others tastes, it may be better...

My Strom experience was quite brief, it didn't take long until i was fully sure it's not for my type, but i noted few other important things too: Strom feels "harder" to jump one to another side on fast twisties, while GS feels like bicycle-light to jump over the axle in quickly chaniging corners (low centre of gravity? or telelever effect?) and braking response of GS is exceptional due telelever and ABS cooperation which makes me quite a traffic maniac on many situations - you can push them to maximum on every situation if you like and the front end never dives.

Price - i considered 1100GS, not the newer 1150GS, which is considerably more pricy. The only difference between them is front fairing and the gearbox, the few horsepower difference is hardly noticeble even for more experienced GS riders. I'd go for low mileage later '97-'99 R1100GS if the GS reckons and not much money to spend, it's the most "ironed-out" oilhead GS out there currently.

As for not getting testdrive the 1100GS on your area - do long testdrive the 1150GS on your local dealer then, as mentioned before - the difference is only the looks and gearbox, 1150 has 6 gears (1100 has 5), 6-th is longer. The 1150 will pretty precisely give you the same thing you'll get from 1100.

Stroms - i'd go preferrably on later Stroms, due first ones had hydraulic cluch issues and recalls as i've read from Strom user forums.

On Stroms, check out: www.stromtrooper.com/forum
On GSes: www.ukgser.com/forums

Looks like you're leaping into 750+cc engines? If so, then also testdrive Honda Africa Twin and Triumph Tiger, which are competentive two-uping travel enduros too (Varadero and Capo Nord go pretty into the same class as Strom for me - more street orientation).

As what was my decision, i was looking for:
1) has to be proven reliability, flexible, comfortible and preferred bike by RTW two-uping people
2) some offroad ability
3) robust
4) bit soulful-different engine and looks character not making it boring to drive after years owning it
5) easy to maintain
6) extras options
... others

Only two bikes were on the line in final - GS and Africa Twin, almost fifty/fifty, all other "plastic road-pieces" were left out of game quite quickly. Africa Twin was more cheap and solid proven package, nothing special but as a typical Honda - hard to go wrong with it and it and can leave you pococurante. The GS had all i'd ever need, but was a bit more expensive (just wanted the later model of 1100), it leaves nobody pococurante, whether it's the bike you'll love or hate.

What i DO regret, is i didn't get a chance to testdrive the Triumph Tiger, so don't make that mistake. Try them all, twoup and most of all - do long testdrives!

Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 25 May 2005).]
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  #32  
Old 26 May 2005
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Margus,

Thanks for the lenghy reply!

I sat on a GS1100 and I could barely bring it up from the side stand! I am only 1,74m, so the overall height of the Beemer makes it hard for me to manage...the weight too seems a lot heavier compared to the strom...

Unfortunately, no africa twin or Teneree here in the US...Otherwise these would be on top of my list ...

The DL1000 seems plasticky, and cheaply built, espacially after riding quality built bikes like the triumph, and the aprilia...but it is also cheap...ya can't get a diamond ring for the price of zirconia...

To me comparing the Strom and the GS would be like comparing a Range Rover and a Suzuki Vitara...the only reason why we compare the bikes is because they are more affordable ...

Anyway...the GS looks fantastic, I here only good things about it and it makes me want one so much...I am very skeptic about their true reliability and the cost of maintenance and parts and insurance etc...

Basically I am concerned about budget overtime...

Yes, my aprilia is better built and more reliable than my SV 650 but, come to change a part, or do maintenance and the price are sky rocketing for the arpilia...same thing for insurance...

I want to stay away from that on a RTW...especially with my very limited budget...

but I 'd love to hear someone doing a RTW on a Strom...Anyone?

Heard too many bad things about the tiger...although I love the looks and the engine performance, I am staying away from the bike, too many issues to my taste...and very few dealers around the globe to manage the issues(i.e. surging, EFI problems, etc...)

Thanks for your words of wisdom...I am still looking/researching/loosing sleep over which bike...guess the test rides will fulfill my sleepless nights!

Cheers
Sam

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  #33  
Old 26 May 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sfajner:
I am only 1,74m, so the overall height of the Beemer makes it hard for me to manage...the weight too seems a lot heavier compared to the strom...
1.74m - no problem! My girlfriend is on that height and want's to take my GS to learning school - i say'd "no", until she's powerful enough to rise it up if it's fallen down You certanly had the seat on higher position. Have a dealer to put the rider seat into lowest position and see what it then is.

Quote:

but I 'd love to hear someone doing a RTW on a Strom...Anyone?
Unfortunately haven't heard yet... Surfing on Stromtrooper in the past i've seen people done 20 000km travels no prob. For sure it's RTW capable, as most of the bikes are.

Quote:

Heard too many bad things about the tiger...although I love the looks and the engine performance, I am staying away from the bike, too many issues to my taste...and very few dealers around the globe to manage the issues(i.e. surging, EFI problems, etc...)
Most of the bad things we hear are "tar drops in honeypot" usually. Don't take them that seriously, there just aren't any ideal bikes. All have cons and pros, and i'd be more concerned what would best suited for me. Tigers have done RTWs and even on Harley Davitson's which most of motorcycle people (jap users) consider one of the most unreliable bikes on Earth!!! All doable. Just get the one you really like to drive and feel it is the right one FOR YOU and for YOUR RTW.

Quote:

guess the test rides will fulfill my sleepless nights!
They'll certanly do! Long testdrive is the ultimate wepon choosing the right one for you.

Margus
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  #34  
Old 26 May 2005
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Thanks again Margus!
Thanks to all of you!
I am off to try some bikes...I will be back on other forums to pound you guys with questions!
Cheers
Sam
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  #35  
Old 10 Mar 2006
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...
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  #36  
Old 19 Mar 2006
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Nicholasville,Ky.U.S.A.
Posts: 91
On the subject of positve features it seems a little off that the cylinders sticking out and preventing the bike from falling all the way flat is considered such an up.
The 1st time I raced a Ducati twin in Michagan the Mad Dr. Burke got a great start and when I came to the spot where he fell I was treated to the sight of an airhead piroetting around the left head.Pretty cool but it would have been better to make the corner.
The head and cylinders of an air cooled bike are cover with delicate fins, for cooling not propping the bike up.Sure you could add bars to take the damage but you
can do that with any bike.

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  #37  
Old 20 Mar 2006
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Hey, Luckystriker, you should do your homework!
Rotax is not and never was a little known English manufacturer. Rotax is located in a small town in Upper Austria.
Cagiva also was not involved in the development of the BMW F650 engine. The Aprilia Pegaso 650 was the bike (together with the BMW F 650 Funduro) that got the original Rotax 650 as its power plant. But none of the two was really involved into the initial development of the 650 single. In the case of the Aprilia it was the original and really ingenious Rotax ConCam five valve engine whilst BMW insisted on using their own four valve head on the rump and barrel of the Rotax plant. (Probably to create a visible separation to the quite similar italian competitor). The BMW / Rotax engine was further (slightly) developed while the Funduro was in production (Drive chain sprocket instead of the lousy circlip) and got further modified for the GS / DAKAR.
The Pegaso and F 650 Funduro did not only share some of their engine components but also their production facilities as both came from the Aprilia factory in Noale / Italy. Only with the introduction of the 650GS the production of the BMW single went back to Berlin Spandau. While the Funduro was available many people in Europe joked about the tank emblem being the only thing from BMW on the whole bike. (Aprilia frame, Rotax engine, Showa suspension, Brembo brakes...)
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