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Old 08-04-2008, 10:18 AM   #1
Lopoetve OP
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How's BMW reliability (thinking 650/800GS) and maintenance?

I've been shopping for an adventure bike for a bit now, and a friend made me promise I'd at least give the new BMWs a try. So, as well as the Uly and Strom, I'll be traveling down to the BMW shop to take a look, but this is the question I don't know -

Buell reliability has always been a little questionable with a few design choices (rear wheel bearings?), but generally solid, and maintenance on those buggers is dead simple (yay air cooled twin).
The Strom, from what I've read, is dead reliable, and also easy to work on.

I'm passing on KTM because of the maintenance nightmare I've seen - but where does the new BMW twins fit in? How hard are they to work on, and how has longevity and reliability been (historically, since these are new bikes) for the company?
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
Dave92029
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Question BMW Reliability

I hope that the new F series bike are more reliable than the current R series bikes.

Some of the on going "issues" with R series bikes that come to mind are:

Final drive failure
ABS brake
Key ring replacement
Fuel guage readjustment
Clutch

All of the above items, which are not formal recalls, will cause you to call for road side assistance and a tow to your nearest authorized BMW dealer.

The quality and reliability of the current BMW bikes have caused many loyal BMW riders to buy other brand bikes. I'm one.

An other indicator is the semi annual Iron Butt, and the number of DNF or BMW's that broke down.

Buy a V Strom for a lot less money and the same amount of fun. You can spend your time talking about your rides rather than how the dealer fixed this and that under warranty.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
Lopoetve OP
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my only problem with the strom is just that they're, well, so soulless... :( No offense at all to them, they just never did much for me. Maybe the 1000, since I mostly rode the 650. Hows the 1k off-road? not single track, just fire-road/double track/gravel?
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:00 PM   #4
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Wink Depends on the rider

In the last Iron Butt there was a Victory Vison entered. I think that the stock bike weighs 900 pounds, but this bike was entered in the Iron Butt so it was carrying extra fuel and everything that might be need for two weeks riding any where in North America. Not the bike that most would choose to ride "off road".

There was a bonus location to Bristle Cone Pine forrest to vist the oldest living tree in the world. The road to the bonus is twelve miles of of rock, dirt and pot holes.

The fully loaded Victory Vision made the 24 miles round trip with no problems. It wasn't because this is a good off road bike, but because there was a real good rider on this bike.



This was a long way of answering your question about how "good" is the V Strom off road. My answer is it depends on how good a rider is on the V strom.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lopoetve
my only problem with the strom is just that they're, well, so soulless...
Spot on!

Ignore dumb-ass comments about final-drive failure. Some people obviously have a axe to grind; the 650/800GS are chain drive.

You'll love it.
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
Spot on!

Ignore dumb-ass comments about final-drive failure. Some people obviously have a axe to grind; the 650/800GS are chain drive.

You'll love it.
One man's souless may be another's epiphany, but the rest of your post is, as you say, "spot on"....
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:14 PM   #7
Lopoetve OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tallnwide
One man's souless may be another's epiphany, but the rest of your post is, as you say, "spot on"....
and I grant that - there's certainly nothing WRONG with the strom - it just doesn't do anything for me, at all. I tried riding a bike like that for a year. put 5k on a Ninja 650R. bike had no soul either, and it never felt right. Sold it, bought something else.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:02 AM   #8
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Was chatting to an F800GS owner at the fuel station the other day- he loved his bike- only problem he had was about to have his third set of steering head bearings on warranty.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:40 AM   #9
JRWooden
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3rd set???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guzzirider
Was chatting to an F800GS owner at the fuel station the other day- he loved his bike- only problem he had was about to have his third set of steering head bearings on warranty.
3rd set ... Holy moly..........

Have you got any deatails on that?
How many miles and/or what the failure was caused by?

Jim
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden
3rd set ... Holy moly..........

Have you got any deatails on that?
How many miles and/or what the failure was caused by?

Jim
Not sure- he was only using the bike on tarmac mainly for commuting. He had only had the bike a couple of months- not sure of the exact mileage.

These things happen I guess- maybe just a coincidence.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guzzirider
Not sure- he was only using the bike on tarmac mainly for commuting. He had only had the bike a couple of months- not sure of the exact mileage.

These things happen I guess- maybe just a coincidence.
I guess, but I really don't like the sound of that ... esp. from a tarmac-based rider... it's the 3rd set that gets me... replaced once would be OK... maybe some grit got in them at the factory or whatever... but to move on to the third set is .... mmmmmmmm ... "less excusable"

Ahhhhhhhhhhh no matter... we'll probably never see the dang bike here in the USA...

Seriously, thanks!
Jim
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman

Ignore dumb-ass comments about final-drive failure. Some people obviously have a axe to grind; the 650/800GS are chain drive.

Uh, he was referring to the R models, those with drive shafts... Who's the dumb-ass now?

BMW's cost more to maintain than Japanese bikes for sure. And BMW's suffer from some very weird engineering problems, something that seems very ironic to me. The fuel gauge problem is utterly bizarre. Helll, my $2,000 Yamaha Zuma had a more accurate fuel gauge than my big GS did.

As for the new twins - they're not a BMW motor (at least I don't think so - could be wrong). The older 650 had a Rotax engine, never heard about a problem with that motor. As long as BMW doesn't make it themselves, it seems to work.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:52 PM   #13
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The new 800 twin motors are Rotax design as well.

I've been lurking on a lot of different forums trying my best to learn as much as I can about the new F-GS twin motorcycles. I may have missed it but I've heard absolutely nothing about steering head bearing failres.

Here's what I've heard:
Stalling - some have been fixed by uploading latest software
loose hardware - comb the bike on delivery to verify all fastners are at least tight
A few EWS failures - ring and computer replaced under warranty

not seen too much else..
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:52 PM   #14
Wildman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey_Boy
Uh, he was referring to the R models, those with drive shafts... Who's the dumb-ass now? ...
Urm... you? The OP asked about the F650/800GS so WTF has R model shaft drive got to do with it?

Seems to me you're also talking out of your ass as you seem to know nothing about the new twins. You wanna bash BMW? Fine. It speaks more about you than it does the bike.
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Wildman screwed with this post 08-05-2008 at 01:58 PM
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
CrazyMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey_Boy
BMW's cost more to maintain than Japanese bikes for sure. And BMW's suffer from some very weird engineering problems, something that seems very ironic to me. The fuel gauge problem is utterly bizarre. Helll, my $2,000 Yamaha Zuma had a more accurate fuel gauge than my big GS did.
So if a BMW lasts longer than a Japanese bike (and I understand that some last longer than others on both sides of this equation), how do you factor that in on cost?
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