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Old 12-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
Domromer OP
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Why do BMWs' cost so much to run??

Ok not a troll or anything. I've had a vstrom for a few years, and every other little dual sport there is. I've wanted an 1150gs forever. Every time I talk to anyone on the vstrom forum they talk about how the BMWs cost so much to maintain and how things are always breaking. So I decided to ask people who actually own the any kind of post 2000 GS...do they brak a lot, do they cost a lot to fix, do they have a lot of known mechanical issues? I just sold a bike so I'm seriously considering getting a GS that's a few years old. Ideally I'd like to spend around 12k.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
Ok not a troll or anything. I've had a vstrom for a few years, and every other little dual sport there is. I've wanted an 1150gs forever. Every time I talk to anyone on the vstrom forum they talk about how the BMWs cost so much to maintain and how things are always breaking. So I decided to ask people who actually own the any kind of post 2000 GS...do they brak a lot, do they cost a lot to fix, do they have a lot of known mechanical issues? I just sold a bike so I'm seriously considering getting a GS that's a few years old. Ideally I'd like to spend around 12k.
Are you gonna do your own maintenance?
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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Are you gonna do your own maintenance?
Yes and no.

On the Vstrom I've done the oil, coolant, air filter, chain adjust, removed and replaced both wheels, installed steel brake lines, removed and installed new forks, and various other things I'm probably forgetting.

I would not feel comfortable doing my own valve check and adjustment. Since I'm a bit beyond the basics but not much.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
I would not feel comfortable doing my own valve check and adjustment. Since I'm a bit beyond the basics but not much.

The valve checks and adjustments on the 1150s are dead simple. Really. If I had to take the bike to the dealer every 6K for them to do it, I probably wouldn't own these bikes. The simplicity, of at least the routine stuff is a big reason I ride these pigs.

Now, if the ABS goes south on you, or you have a final drive issue, or any of the not so common things come up, then it can get pricey. Having ridden a few of the competition though, the other reason I ride this bike is that somehow it just feels better to me than the others. Sometimes you have to pay a little extra for what you want.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
Jim Moore
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Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
Yes and no.

On the Vstrom I've done the oil, coolant, air filter, chain adjust, removed and replaced both wheels, installed steel brake lines, removed and installed new forks, and various other things I'm probably forgetting.

I would not feel comfortable doing my own valve check and adjustment. Since I'm a bit beyond the basics but not much.
Brother, if you can do that stuff you can do a valve adjustment on an oilhead. It's dead simple.

Here's the deal on your original question. BMWs quality assurance program is crap. You either get a good one or a bad one. If you get a good one, it will run for hundreds of thousands of miles with very little maintenance. Literally. If you get a bad one it will cost you multi-thousands of dollars in repairs every 30K miles. Literally.

With that in mind, I'd trust a high-mile bike more than I would trust a low-mile bike. A bike with 75k miles can be had pretty cheap, and will probably run another 100K. A bike with 10K miles will be more expensive and can have several multi-thousand dollar time bombs ticking.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
On the Vstrom I've done the oil, coolant, air filter, chain adjust, removed and replaced both wheels, installed steel brake lines, removed and installed new forks, and various other things I'm probably forgetting.
You're over-qualified for doing a valve check on an 1150.

KellyMac's observations on chain/sprocket costs were an interesting counterpoint to the final drive "ghosts". I loved my 1150, and have since upgraded to a 1200. You'll find the 1200 to be much lighter and quicker than the 1150 you tried. I was a former KLR owner and there is definitely no comparison.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #7
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i dont really think BMW cost any more to run than any other bike if you take it to the shop.The best thing to do is find a shop that can service BMWs but arent a official bmw dealer.Any issue with 1150gs is very well known now.
If something breaks i think major parts are expensive.
I think the interenet over states reliability issues.Years ago in 2002 i bought a 1990 BMW e34 535.If you beleived the internet hype they are not reliable cars.I had it for many years and had 1 no start incident and had to replace some suspension/steering parts(well known)
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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Valve adjustments and checking is quite simple on a GS, much more than on a Vstrom. The heads are right there and easy to access. Lots of threads on how to do it.

TB sysncs are not hard, but do require a sync tool which is $150 or so and then it is pretty easy, again, lots of threads on how to.

Parts and shop time can definately be more than a Suzi, but not usually more often by any stretch.

The problem with asking the V-strom site is all they they ever hear and see is the negative side of people complaining.
There are literally thousands of posts in Ride Reports of people who travel RTW on Beemers with only standard service issues. Other have had some trouble.

There is the ever present final drive issue...a problem for some, not so much for others. Expensive if you have the problem and if you have it fixed at a dealership. But the balance is, once you have it done it will likely be a very long time before you need another one....many chains and sprockets on a Stromer between FDs on a BMW. I have no issue with chains, I like them, but to replace a set, I usually change them as a set of chain and both sprockets, and I always use a good X-ring so It requires less lube and last very well. Keeping it clean is more important than lube on an X-ring. But on my KTM a good X-ring and steel front sprocket and a Tri-metal rear sprocket is $200 or so. I get max a few thousand miles out of it...hard enduro use, maybe more in mixed use. That is alot of money over 100,000 miles. Even if you get 10k miles out of a set, that is 10 sets in 100k miles x $200 a set you are at $2000 and alot of time replacing them. A FD is not much different in the long run.

Alot of people pay alot of money for their BMWs and thus prefer to spend alot of money on the highest grade of oils and services right on schedule and they are willing to spend alot of money to upkeep theirs.
That does not mean a person HAS to do so.

Any good oil will work, extending service intervals is common practice once the valve settle in. Once TBs are set right they rarely go out.....

Some will have different opinions, but rear the Ride Reports not the repair sections....many more miles ridden than spent in service for 90+% of GS owners.

I had a few frustrating issues when I got my RT, but once sorted it has been great. Nothin but oil nowdays. I would have no issue hoping on and riding RTW today....my body might, but not my bike.

PS: Resale is good, if you buy and don't like it, resell it and buy another Stromer or go BIG service cost and buy a KaTooM....I love mine, but man, THAT is some service.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post

TB sysncs are not hard, but do require a sync tool which is $150 or so and then it is pretty easy, again, lots of threads on how to.
Or about $10,-- (wood, 5mm hose and some brake fluid) if you make one yourself. A lot more accurate also :)

I agree with something mentioned earlie r. I also would trust a higher mileage bike over a low mileage. My 1150 had a broken valve and a bad bearing in the paralever (not the main bearing) between 26000km (when I bought it) and 40000km. Not a real problem since then. Weak points often show quite early. When the weak points are wrenched out, they can go on forever.

Sold my 1150 GS in 2008, after 5 years. Next year I'll buy a late 1100GS. Still think that's about the best BMW ever made.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:32 AM   #10
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Or about $10,-- (wood, 5mm hose and some brake fluid) if you make one yourself. A lot more accurate also :)
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I used ATF. But, that was what I had....
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by johns View Post
Or about $10,-- (wood, 5mm hose and some brake fluid) if you make one yourself. A lot more accurate also :)

I agree with something mentioned earlie r. I also would trust a higher mileage bike over a low mileage. My 1150 had a broken valve and a bad bearing in the paralever (not the main bearing) between 26000km (when I bought it) and 40000km. Not a real problem since then. Weak points often show quite early. When the weak points are wrenched out, they can go on forever.

Sold my 1150 GS in 2008, after 5 years. Next year I'll buy a late 1100GS. Still think that's about the best BMW ever made.
I'm not sure my homemade manometer was more accurate than the tool I bought (the one made and sold by an inmate here) but I used it on several bikes, not just the GS, and I never had any trouble with getting a good tune.

One year I did a service on my machine, valves, fluid changes, and TBS, and then stopped by the dealer with an ace mechanic. We chatted and he pulled off my valve covers and checked my valve adjustment (a little on the loose side but the same on all 4) and my TBS was as good as he could get with his computer.

Now, find someone who has done a valve adjustment on a VStrom.I bet you won't find many and the shop charges about 500 dollars to do one. Pain in the ass, shim and bucket with loads of piss poor know-nothing Suzuki dealers out there with 19 year old counter help and 21 year old mechanics

P.S.
I used 2-stroke oil, coloured green and easy to see, if it gets sucked in won't do any harm and sufficiently damped to prevent jumping.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:41 AM   #12
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I'm not sure my homemade manometer was more accurate than the tool I bought (the one made and sold by an inmate here) but I used it on several bikes, not just the GS, and I never had any trouble with getting a good tune.

One year I did a service on my machine, valves, fluid changes, and TBS, and then stopped by the dealer with an ace mechanic. We chatted and he pulled off my valve covers and checked my valve adjustment (a little on the loose side but the same on all 4) and my TBS was as good as he could get with his computer.

Now, find someone who has done a valve adjustment on a VStrom.I bet you won't find many and the shop charges about 500 dollars to do one. Pain in the ass, shim and bucket with loads of piss poor know-nothing Suzuki dealers out there with 19 year old counter help and 21 year old mechanics

P.S.
I used 2-stroke oil, coloured green and easy to see, if it gets sucked in won't do any harm and sufficiently damped to prevent jumping.

Not sure why you colored it green when it's blue and easy to see in the clear tube as it is, but whatever works for you!
I use 2 stroke oil as well, works fine...
Doing any mechanical work at home we usually do a better job cause we're not rushing it out the door for the next job to make the owner more $$$.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #13
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Not sure why you colored it green when it's blue and easy to see in the clear tube as it is,

Not all two stroke oil is colored blue. Smaller bottles for pre-mix usually are died blue so you can see what fuel you have treated, but two stroke oil bought by the quart is rarely died any color. It just looks light and pale like most oils.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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If you have not ridden a GS do so. Then you will know why we ride them. Maintenance is the same for any machine. Valves are one hour every six thousand, another hour for oil, filter, transmission and final drive. We do not have a BMW at this cost for ego, nothing handles like a GS.

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #15
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If you have not ridden a GS do so. Then you will know why we ride them. Maintenance is the same for any machine. Valves are one hour every six thousand, another hour for oil, filter, transmission and final drive. We do not have a BMW at this cost for ego, nothing handles like a GS.

Terry

Maintenance is the same for any machine? A GS in the OP's price range will take 4 valve adjustments to his V-Strom's 1. A Harley won't take any, ever.

Also, I suggest that there's a fair bit of "ego" in the statement " We do not have a BMW at this cost for ego, nothing handles like a GS." as there are many bikes that handle better in one way or another. Dirt bikes, smaller dual sports, and KTMs are far superior in the dirt. Supermoto's excell on tight twisties, and sport bikes handle better on most mountain roads. Then there's the slab and touring bikes...

The GS does all of these pretty darned well, but it's not the best at any of them.

BTW; I have almost 30k trouble free miles on mine - nothing but routine maintenance.
And Yes, valve adjust is pretty simple. Unlike the V-Strom, you don't need to dissasemble half the bike, and there's no coolant to change.
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