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Old 03-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
MHaz01 OP
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Touring Bikes With Low Maintenance Costs

I'm going to have service work done on my BMW K1200LT this Spring. I don't have a facility or the time to do most of the work myself so I'm looking at a prety big bill for work done by the BMW dealer.

I don't understand why it costs more to buy, mount and balance two tires on my Beemer than it does for four tires on my car, and the car tires last six times more miles.

I don't understand why replacing the front and rear suspension costs twice as much as a set of fout top-quality shocks/struts for my car.

In short, I'm getting really sick of the costs to maintain my Beemer.

I ride mostly two-up and take long trips, sometimes longer than 10,000 miles. I need a good, comfortable bike for us, and one the has reduced maintenance costs. And I don't want to break the bank buying it.

What say you, panel of experts? Which bikes are worth testing with the criteria above in mind?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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Motorcycle parts and tires cost more than their automotive counterparts, in great part due to the fact that there are so many more cars and trucks than motorcycles.

Obviously, there are also design differences, etc.

But the economies of scale favor the four-wheelers, at least where you live.

Go to SE Asia and buy a scooter; they're cheap, tires are cheap, etc., because there are so many of them.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
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Not sure if you would consider this a touring bike, but I got rid of my expensive-to-maintain '01 BMW K1200RS for an '01 Honda CB750 Nighthawk. They are worlds apart in terms of maintenance. Brutal vs Simple.

With a tall windscreen, a butt-buffer seat cover, and soft luggage and/or a sissy bar bag, you're good to go for light touring. Fun bikes to ride.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Have you tried out a DL650?

The rear cylinder is kind of a bear to get to, but otherwise it is cheap to maintain and there are plenty of luggage and windscreen options. I'd suggest a 2012+ if the money isn't an issue.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
RaY YreKa
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Aren't the Guzzis cheaper to service/maintain than BMW?
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:22 PM   #6
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In the past 10 years I have owned a BMW K1200LT, Honda GL1800 and a HD Electraglide. The maintenance costs on the BMW were twice the other two.

I won't mention which one still remains in my garage.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobivey View Post
In the past 10 years I have owned a BMW K1200LT, Honda GL1800 and a HD Electraglide. The maintenance costs on the BMW were twice the other two.

I won't mention which one still remains in my garage.
I suspect its the HD ;)
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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I have an ST1300 with about 18,000 miles on it. In that time I've replaced the tires once, had the valves checked once (in spec) and changed the oil. I don't recall exactly what all that cost but I do remember it being a whole lot less than other touring bikes I've owned. I'd never really been a Honda fan, I am now. If you want a touring bike that doesn't break or cost a great deal to maintain, I'd take a look at either the ST or the Wing, depending upon your needs. They just sort of work with a minimum of drama. 'Quite capable too, who knew?
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider33 View Post
I have an ST1300 with about 18,000 miles on it. In that time I've replaced the tires once, had the valves checked once (in spec) and changed the oil. I don't recall exactly what all that cost but I do remember it being a whole lot less than other touring bikes I've owned. I'd never really been a Honda fan, I am now. If you want a touring bike that doesn't break or cost a great deal to maintain, I'd take a look at either the ST or the Wing, depending upon your needs. They just sort of work with a minimum of drama. 'Quite capable too, who knew?
+1- What he said.

St's and Goldwings last forever if you do just the basic routine maintenance on them, so you don't necessarily have to buy a new one.

Find a one or two owner ST or Wing that has been cared for and it will carry you as far as you want to go without issues.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaY YreKa View Post
Aren't the Guzzis cheaper to service/maintain than BMW?
Nothing is cheap to maintain when you're paying a dealer to do everything.

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #11
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My experience with my '02 K1200LT is why I'll never own another BMW.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:51 AM   #12
mousitsas
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FJR1300
As maintenance free and inexpensive to run as a (big) bike can get.

mousitsas screwed with this post 03-16-2013 at 04:36 AM
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:08 AM   #13
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I prefer sport tourers to be at most 525lbs or there abouts. I've owned a Ducati ST3 as well as my current BMW R1200ST and ridden many others. The Honda ST1300 is over 200lbs heavier. Yuck. It did nothing for me. As far as maintence costs, if you can't work on an air cooled boxer you can't do anything yourself. All dealers are about the same.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:46 AM   #14
RaY YreKa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
Nothing is cheap to maintain when you're paying a dealer to do everything.

I hear ya (and you are the expert here on the Guzzi angle) but even when I priced up service costs between BMW and Guzzi main dealers, MG were coming out 50-60% cheaper.

edit: except the F800 series, but the OP is talking about 2up.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:41 AM   #15
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have had GL1800, ST1300, FJR1300, Guzzi Stelvio NTX - put many many miles on each.

The FJR and GL1800 were the cheapest to maintain by a large margin - if dealer involvement is a key part of your maintenance program.
The 26,600 mile valve adjust interval on the FJR and 32,000 mile interval on the Wing took the expensive stuff off the table for long periods of time.

The Guzzi can be considered cheap if you do your own valve adjustments - which are quite easy.
I had the FJR valves checked at 30,000 miles and none were in need of shims - all pretty much dead nutz on.
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