Motorcycle guys; reliability of BMW bikes?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by vart, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. vart

    vart

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    Been looking at getting an adventure bike and wanted to stick with new and keep it around $8k or less.

    Was going back and forth between the KLR, the Versys, and the V-Strom.

    Then I discovered that the 2016 BMW G650GS can be had at my local(well, Spokane) BMW dealer for just under $8k.

    It seems to offer more off-road ability than the Versys or V-Strom, plus more power than the KLR with ABS and fuel injection for around $1200 more. Seems to be exactly what I'm looking for; a commuter bike that I can take on weekend camping trips into the woods on single-track trails. My buddies have KLRs, but the 35hp carbureted motor was the biggest concern I had. The BMW has 50hp and fuel injection.

    I know nothing about BMW bikes and finding reviews and such on the bike is challenging compared to info on the KLR/Versys/V-Strom...

    It's a beautiful motorcycle...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Deputy Doc

    Deputy Doc

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    I am a big BMW fan. Currently on a GS 1200 Adventurer. Incredible bike but you could buy 3 of the GS 650's for the cost of one. I have done Alaska, Yukon, BC trips as well as cross country trips. Downside is that it is a dirt road bike but not single tract bike, too big and heavy. The 650 is much better suited for that. The downside of the 650 is much less highway comfort. My 1200 is more comfortable then my Electroglide! As far as bang for the buck however you can not beat the V-Strom. My riding buddy has a 650 and goes everywhere I go on it. Now granted he is doing more downshifting and has no where near the power at highway speeds but seems happy with it. I will never buy another bike without ABS, BMW seems to make one of the best system and you need to be able to turn it off on dirt, trust me on this! I really like the shaft drive, no chain maintenance. Single sided swing arm is awesome. Of course none of this is provided on the GS650. The engineering in BMW motorcycles is incredible. Good luck.
     
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  3. crockett

    crockett

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    They are top dog in the category Adventurer bikes. While I have no experiences with that bike, I do with the S1000RR. The RR had some engine issues at first (con rod bolt) but those problems are gone. The RR was BMW first serious liter race bike and we all know what happened. It defeated the entire competition.

    BMW motorcycles had been around since the 20s. They know what they are doing.
     
  4. Climb14er

    Climb14er

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    Go to advrider.com. Also super tenere forum. I've been a member for years and there's everything you need to know there.

    650 V-Strom. THIS is the bike that does a little of everything and it does it reliably! BMW's... great bikes. However... it's the reliability issue that can make a nice bike... an expensive pain in the you know what.

    Suggestion... look for a low mileage, used, one owner Yamaha Super Tenere. 1200, nice on the streets, highway, off road on the forest service roads, shaft drive, twin, reliable... great bike, I've seen them now for under 8K. This is the time to buy a bike! Good luck.
     
  5. Old Army Guy

    Old Army Guy

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    There’s a reason BMW means (bring more wallet) The maintenance and parts cost are more than other bikes in the same class. You could buy a new Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS Adventure and have a warranty.
     
  6. clancy

    clancy Oh, for a muse of fire

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    I had a 1988 R100RT that I put 100,000 miles on. The only thing I did was basic maintenance, like oil changes. In all those miles I had zero issues with the bike, and just replaced tires and a few batteries. I wish I had kept it.
     
  7. milq

    milq

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    I own a KLR, it's a good bike but has its weak spots, HP being one of them as you mentioned. I don't use it for longer trips at all as it gets buzzy after awhile and road manners are a bit lacking really, a decent side wind makes it a chore to ride at highway speeds. I mostly ride it locally and down in Shawnee.
    On the upside, its low-tech and easy (and affordable) to repair. They'll run on just about any gas that's combustible I think and I get about 54mpg consistently. Parts and upgrades are plentiful, mine may even get a 685cc kit next year.
    On the other hand, I have a KTM 1190 Adventure that is exceptionally Road worthy and is an absolute riot in twisties, but can still tackle a dirt road and more if you're willing.
    I do hear good things about the V-Strom but have no experience with the 650. I also know a guy that has done amazing things (Alaska) on a Yamaha WR-250, that bike really impresses me but is just physically small for my size.
     
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  8. vart

    vart

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    Not sure what you are saying...

    A new BMW G650GS is $7995 and has a warranty.

    A new Suzuki V-Strom 650 Adventure is $10,049.

    I don't want to spend much over $8k on the bike since by the time I factor in all the gear(boots, jacket, Gloves, helmet) and upgrades(paniers, guards, tires) and license fees, I'll be over $10k.
     
  9. vart

    vart

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    The other issue is seat height; I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam. My last bike was a DR650 with a seat height of 34.8". It was perfect. The BMW has a listed standard height of 31.5" but optional 33.5". Pretty sure it is adjustable. KLR is 35" and Versys is 33.3". V-Strom is 33.4".
     
  10. Lazy R

    Lazy R

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    I had a BMW 650 Dakar for a short time. It's basically the same bike as the G650GS.

    The engine, Rotax single, is good. Makes good power and gets really good mileage. The bike is pretty comfortable on the road for a thumper. They have fairly wimpy forks but unless you get pretty agressive off road it won't make any difference.

    It feels heavier and more "street-bikish" than say a KLR or DR650. When I got the Dakar I'd been on my DR650 for a few years (I still have it) and the Dakar was something you more drive on dirt roads than really ride it--around corners I was more tentative with it. The DR feels like a dirt bike in comparison, slide this sucker on through!

    They aren't as easy to maintain as the Jap bikes. To change the oil you pretty much take the entire motorcycle apart, replace the oil, and rebuild the whole bike. I'm not joking all that much.

    If you will be doing single track, it will work. The bigger bikes are built well with good suspension now but on single track they immediately feel like what they are--big heavy bikes. I have a V Strom 1000 now as well as my DR650. Even the DR feels real heavy soon as you get on technical stuff.

    The newer model V Strom 650s can be bought cheap, around the same cost new as what you're looking at. The V twin engine is smoother and has a lot more power on road.

    It's about defining your riding. For heading down the Spiral and down the Rattlesnake a twin bike will be more fun. For more out in the woods a single will work very well.

    For several years my DR650 was my only bike. I've done 500 mile days on it, and the GS will allow you big days too. The GS is a good choice for a one bike garage---if you do more highway you'll soon look for more power, if you do more dirt you'll soon look for lighter weight. There's no perfect one-bike answer but you won't be disappointed in the GS.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. vart

    vart

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    Went there and found the G650GS thread. A few common issues with ECU upgrades and various other items such as water pumps, output shaft seals, and swing arm bearings.
     
  12. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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  13. vart

    vart

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    You must have a rear made out of pure leather; I couldn't do more than 15 miles on my DR650 without having to stand on the pegs to get feeling back in my junk... Worst seat of any bike I've owned...
     
  14. Lazy R

    Lazy R

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    Sargent.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Lazy R

    Lazy R

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    All set up for much less than your entry fee, just sayin'. 25,000 trouble free miles and faster than those piggy KLRs

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Old Army Guy

    Old Army Guy

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    You Can purchase a new Suzuki for about $6300.00 or a 2015 for about $5600.00
     
  17. vart

    vart

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    The new 2017 V-Strom 650 is looking like a serious contender; good balance between dirt and street. It also has the most fuel capacity, the best gas mileage, 70hp, and the best record for reliability. 2017 adds traction control and ABS. The only downside is the price at $8700... That's $2000 more than a KLR650 and $1000 more than the BMW...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. vart

    vart

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    Another thing I just realized is that my "local" dealers are all asking full MSRP for their bikes. I searched inventories of all motorcycle dealers within 80 miles and all of them are at full MSRP.

    I went to Cycle Trader and searched for new bikes within 250 miles and found several 2016 bikes for $1500 to $2000 less. Looks like when I am ready to buy, I'll be driving a little further but can save big bucks.
     
  19. Climb14er

    Climb14er

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    As mentioned, the V-Strom does virtually everything well. What it does lack for me, and I've ridden the bike a number of times, is out on the highway, I personally like a larger engine, especially here in Colorado with the mountain passes and large stretches of open road. For a 650, the Strom gets a B+ overall grade. More power and it would get an A.

    The KLR, some have ridden it all over the planet and that's ok... for them. The bike is light and again, on the highway... remember, you generally have to take highways or open roads to get to your adventure spot...the KLR with bags and baggage, doesn't cut it regarding power. Same with the 650 BMW.

    Having ridden for 45 years, I like to have balanced power under me. The 1200 engine on a BMW or Super Tenere is an ideal one for doing just about anything. The Yamaha is a proven bullet proof design. The BMW is a beautiful, smooth and balanced bike. However, I would not buy a BMW unless I had both a long, extended warranty and Roadside service. You read about actual horror experiences with the BMW'S electronics and shaft drive going bad and people get PO'ed . Great bikes when they're running well. They put a smile on your face.

    Like I said, I'd buy either a 650 Strom if you're sold on that one. Or... my first choice, a fully depreciated 2012 Super Tenere, loaded with extras, low mileage, one owner with a phenomenally reliable and low maintenance 1200 twin engine.
     
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  20. vart

    vart

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    I've found a couple of 2016 650 V-Stroms for $6800 to $7100 within 200 miles. 66hp for them compared to 36hp for the KLR. The 2017 V-Stroms have 70hp due to different cam profiles, plus the TC. But haven't seen any for sale around me.