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Old 09-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #16
Impulse 101 OP
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Treadmarks,
Thanks for all of that information. With the exception of the wheel bearings all of your problems seemed to be tire issues. Both bikes will get new rubber before the trip, and I'm not doing a lot of trails. If I was I would have different rubber waiting for me in Anchorage when I got there. The gas capacity sucks, there is not way around it. My SV1000 goes as far as the Uly does on a tank, 140 miles.

As for the bearings I am going to do some checking on what is up with that. Bearings are easily replaced and while I don't know how much they cost, it has to be worth it to either replace them or repack them at regular intervals. Buell may very well address the issue before I buy one. They are pretty good about recalling issues on the bikes.

Finally, you never know how abused a rental bike has been prior to your getting it. A

I plan on packing four bearings and a belt for our trip, if its on the Ulysses. I'm also going to make sure that I go over both bikes with the guys from Hal's H-D prior to leaving. Total field stripdowns so that I can fix anything that needs fixing on the road with a minimum of messing around. I also plan on putting a center stand on my bike or finding a solution that will be transferable between the bikes. My first priority on the trip is getting there since my children, mother and mother-in-law will be flying up to meet us in Anchorage. (We've done a lot of planning for this and I have plenty of time to save up money and vacation.)

I have the luxury of having a friend in Eagle River who also has a house near Talkeetna, ( just off the little su, very nice place) so I will also be able to send contingency parts up to them, just in case. Any trail rides will be done around those areas, no farther than 20 miles or so from the house or cabin.

While the Alaska trip is part of what I am going to do with the Uly, its not everything. Its certainly the most extreme test that I will put it through, but I don't want to get too far off of the subject of comparing the two bikes.

JT
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:29 PM   #17
ArmyMedic
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I feel ya on this one. I'm looking at both too; both are beautiful bikes. The GS is really nice but am I REALLY going to ride in more dirt than I already do on my Strom? or am I really looking at improved street performance and getting a Uly? I suppose I should be happy that my VStrom as it does so well on both. I just can't stand the performance in the wind with the strom. Too Scary.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:43 PM   #18
SkiFastBadly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulse 101
I may be from Milwaukee, a former Buell owner and I've met Erik a number of times, including a couple of Buell homecomings where we ended up talking guitars for the whole time. I even have a couple of aquaintences who work for him. But, my decision is not going to be based on proximity to the factory, color of the bikes or the taste of the cool-aid. I'm after the best bike, period.
Ok, my answer was a bit flippant, but I'm originally from Milwaukee myself, da sout side for high school and Whitefish Bay for most of my adult life. I didn't buy my Uly until I way after I moved to Utah though. I'd love to get back there and ride around central Wi, there's a lot of roads out there I've driven on that I think ..oh man, the Uly...

Anyway, back on point, agree with everything everyone's said, the BMW is probably a better bike for off road, but I've never had a problem with the ULY keeping up with my riding buddies, one of whom has a 1200GS and another with a 650. I've ridden both, and my opinion is that what you gain on the dirt isn't worth what you give up on the road. Unless you've had a Uly out on the twisties, it's impossible to truly evaluate this bike. I did actually touch the new F800GS in the Utah dealership the other day. Nice looking, but I'm just not a bimmer guy, I guess.

Good luck.

Go Pack.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:49 PM   #19
Impulse 101 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyMedic
I feel ya on this one. I'm looking at both too; both are beautiful bikes. The GS is really nice but am I REALLY going to ride in more dirt than I already do on my Strom? or am I really looking at improved street performance and getting a Uly? I suppose I should be happy that my VStrom as it does so well on both. I just can't stand the performance in the wind with the strom. Too Scary.
Funny thing is I'm not a fan of the strom, even though it has roughly the same engine as my SV1000S, which is really, really fun. I'm keeping the SV when I get the Uly, that's how much I like the engine. I don't think that the V-strom is a bad bike at all, but nothing about it inspires me personally to want to ride it.

Keep patch'in em up, I'm an army vet myself.

JT
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #20
Impulse 101 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiFastBadly
Ok, my answer was a bit flippant, but I'm originally from Milwaukee myself, da sout side for high school and Whitefish Bay for most of my adult life. I didn't buy my Uly until I way after I moved to Utah though. I'd love to get back there and ride around central Wi, there's a lot of roads out there I've driven on that I think ..oh man, the Uly...

Anyway, back on point, agree with everything everyone's said, the BMW is probably a better bike for off road, but I've never had a problem with the ULY keeping up with my riding buddies, one of whom has a 1200GS and another with a 650. I've ridden both, and my opinion is that what you gain on the dirt isn't worth what you give up on the road. Unless you've had a Uly out on the twisties, it's impossible to truly evaluate this bike. I did actually touch the new F800GS in the Utah dealership the other day. Nice looking, but I'm just not a bimmer guy, I guess.

Good luck.

Go Pack.
I wasn't trying to be overly stern either. I just sound that way on the internet. I've had the Uly in the twisties and it is awe inspiring. There are plenty of people on badweb with pictures of the Uly at the track, with one knee firmly down on the tarmac. Any dual sport that can do that is a better bike than I am a rider.

JT

PS My side gig is doing out of town radio remotes so I'll be working for visiting radio up at lambeau for a couple of games. It's a really cool experience.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:42 PM   #21
cycletlh
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Do not know about the BMW either.

16,500 miles on my 07 Uly in one year and one month. (7 months of ride time) Ride 90/10 as advertising suggests.

Likes: Riding position, performance, handling, versatility, comfort (o6 seat modified), carrying capacity (the mack truck of motorcycles), drive belt, fuel economy (average 50 mpg, worse 47, best 60, equals or betters my wife's wee strom, light comes on @ 180).

Dislikes: Wind noise! What can I say, I am a pencil necked geek. I ride with a neck sock and ear plugs and it still sounds like my head is in a jet engine. Problem is I have not taken time out from riding to figure out a solution. (Have read alllllllll the posts regarding this) Not a dislike, but it is tall and is top heavy when loaded with tank bag, rear seat bag, side bags, and full beer cooler on the rear tail. (note, all the ice water runs out of the beer cooler when it flips upside down)

Failures: Oil Cooler leak @ 8,000, Rear Wheel bearings @ 14,000, 1 flat rear (plugged and aired faster than the wife could go pee)

When I figure out a fix for the wind noise I will be able to ride in excess of 500 miles per day.

Not trying to sell you a bike, just giving you my experiences. In my opinion for this bike to fall into the "advertised" touring catagory it needs better wind protection as an "option" from the factory.

Hope this helps all who are considering.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FT BSTRD
Maintenance is virtually nonexistant on the Uly and is more expensive and more frequent on the BMW. Parts for the BMW are more expensive as are accessories.
The service interval on all BMWs is 6000 miles. The Uly beats that?
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:23 AM   #23
Hughlysses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulse 101
As for the bearings I am going to do some checking on what is up with that. Bearings are easily replaced and while I don't know how much they cost, it has to be worth it to either replace them or repack them at regular intervals. Buell may very well address the issue before I buy one. They are pretty good about recalling issues on the bikes.
The Uly rear wheel bearings are fairly easy to replace and are standard off-the-shelf industrial units (at least on 06-08 bikes). Some folks have gotten ~30-50k out of their bearings with no problems; others have gone through 2 sets in 15k or less. A lot of ideas were tossed around here and on Badweb, such as clumsy mechanics over-torquing the rear axle, low quality Chinese bearings, etc. Several of us replaced the factory NTN bearings with Toyo or SKF units. I know of at least one Toyo guy that had his new bearings fail in a few thousand miles, so that seems to rule out the OEM bearings or over-torquing as culprits. So far, I haven't read of an SKF failure.

Word at Buell Homecoming in July was that Buell had investigated the wheel bearing problems, determined the seals weren't adequate, leading to moisture getting into some bearings. A new, improved wheel bearing was supposed to be released by August. So far, there's been no confirmation of this.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:25 AM   #24
Hughlysses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis
The service interval on all BMWs is 6000 miles. The Uly beats that?
The recommended oil change interval for the Uly is 5000 miles; primary lube is 10000 IIRC. Of course, no valve adjustments, throttle body syncs or TPS resets are required.
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:24 AM   #25
Skyclad
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I am one of the folks that had the bearing issues. Replaced twice in the first 7000 miles. Second time I replaced the with the SFK bearings and have not had any problems with them since. I am at 11630 miles now.

I have had only two other problems. I ripped the belt at 11220 miles (warranties) and the exhaust valve seized. The shop did replace the exhaust valve actuator servo, but the check engine light has been coming on again. I am thinking the valve itself is getting gunked up and sticking. Should be able to fix it with a good cleaning.

I have not done many mods, but two that I highly recommend are changing the primary ratio to the XB9 and getting better tires. The lowering gearing (~11% lower) makes the bike better everywhere except really high speed highway. For tires, I am currently using Avon Distanzias. The rear is not the "correct" size, but the 160 width mounted easily and has caused absolutely no handling issues. I have about 4000 miles on the rear and will be replacing it soon. The front is good for another rear.

I have alos heard good things about the Pirelli MT-60R's. Although I have no official confirmation, I have heard Pirelli changed the rubber compound in the MT-60R to that of the Scorpion Synchs, so tire life should be much better than with the supermoto compound they did have. BTW, the Distanzias are listed as using a SM compound.

I use my bike at the far reaches of what Buell intended for the Ulysses. It is rather large and heavy for a dirt bike, but with my size (6'3", 320 lbs) and strength, that is not too much of an issue for me. If I had to get a new bike today, knowing what I know about the Ulysses and other rides, I would still get another Uly. Fabulous handling, comfortable on long rides and good versitility; what's not to love?
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:34 AM   #26
slide
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Well, you have an advantage over many in that you have that great Buell dealership near you. I spoke to another guy yesterday who said he didn't buy the Uly because of a sense he had that the dealership he visited hated the bikes and despised the owners. If you ain't riding Harley you ain't....

I think it has to be a test ride and a test look. You seem to like the Buell look which is truly unique. If that stirs you, then you need to go with it.

I personally have a great like for the BMW marque. I dunno why but I always shop BMW first. Like you and Buell, it works for me. So my commuter / daily rider is a BMW G-X. Best for the job? I dunno, but it's best for me.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:03 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
Best for the job? I dunno, but it's best for me.
And that is what it all comes down to.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:06 AM   #28
dan g
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bmw nice ride to

Ive riden the ully, the bwm, and owned the bmw 1150 and a bunch of ktms. The ully felt really glued to the road I like that. It has some great cornering its center of gravity is in a diffrent location that the bmw or ktm. I found the greatest stong point to be lean angle(fun in twists). The engine responce was very similar to the gs, but far more uncivilized but unfotunatly less felt power, It felt restricted (but you can uncork the ully for full poterntial) I would probably get a diffrent windscreen to. The Ully seemed eminitly modifiable.

The bmw is only a little lighter, but feels much lighter than the ully. The higher feeling center of gravity creates some more wind tublence. Odly enough the bmw is equaly fun in the turns. The bmw has some of bmws standard failings though, the power delivery is so slick it almost robs some of the fun out of the experiance, but the chain saves it. On the street it is a blast the front wasnt a problem. One big bmw draback is no modificatians alowed, you can get a aftermarket pipe but really what you have is it.

Alright im biased from my other rides though.

I've got a ktm640 very similar height and tire size to the 800gs
Ktm 950adv very responsive ride
Bmw 1150gs great highway machine

personally im probebly going to get a 800gs sometime next year, its hard to expain untill you ride them both. The beemer just feels like its had years more enginering put into it, in fact somtimes its so slick it sucks(hard to expain this phenominon).

PS The most uncivilized fun ive ever had on the street is still the ktm 950 adv, but it has had its issues.... (not even getting into it), they might have been fixed by now on th 990, or not.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:20 AM   #29
RedUly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FT BSTRD
Maintenance is virtually nonexistant on the Uly and is more expensive and more frequent on the BMW.
I think the truth of that statement depends on the mechanical abilities of the owner. Certainly if you're taking your Uly to the dealer for oil changes, it's going to be an expensive bike to own. If you're mechanically inclined, and can do all the service work yourself, both bikes are probably cheap.

I have heard that Buells are easy to work on. I've no personal experience with BMWs, so I can't personally attest that they are more difficult to service than Buells. Assuming they are, there will be people who could service a Buell but require a dealer to service a BMW. For these people, the Buell is cheaper. If you can personally service either bike or neither bike it's not so clear.

Again, I can't talk about the BMW, as I've no personal experience. Here is the maitenence schedule for a 2009 Ulysses.

Regular Service Intervals: 2009 XB Models
ITEM SERVICED
PROCEDURE
1000 MI.
1600 KM
5000 MI.
8000 KM
10,000 MI.
16,000 KM
15,000 MI.
24,000 KM
20,000 MI.
32,000 KM
25,000 MI.
40,000 KM
NOTES
Engine oil and filter
Replace
X
X
X
X
X
X

Air cleaner
Inspect, service as required
X
X
X
X

X

Replace filter element




X


Tires
Check condition and tread
X
X
X
X
X
X

Transmission lubricant
Replace
X

X

X


Clutch
Check adjustment
X
X
X
X
X
X
1
Primary chain
Check adjustment
X
X
X
X
X
X
1
Rear belt and idler sprockets
Inspect
X
X
X
X
X
X
1
Throttle, brake, clutch controls, sidestand, active muffler cable and active intake cable adj (if equipped)
Check, adjust, lubricate
X
X
X
X
X
X
1
Brake fluid
Check levels and condition
X
X
X
X
X
X
2
Brake pads and discs
Inspect for wear
X
X
X
X
X
X

Spark plugs
Replace


X

X

1
Electrical switches and equipment
Check operation
X
X
X
X
X
X

Front fork oil
Replace


X

X

1
Steering head bearings
Perform resistance test

X
X
X
X
X
1
Oil cooler fins
Clean
X
X
X
X
X
X

Brake system, oil lines, front forks, rear shock, exhaust system, exhaust system mounting, evaporative emission system (if applicable)
Inspect
X
X
X
X
X
X
1
Critical fasteners
Check tightness


X

X

1
Engine mounts, stablizer, and links
Inspect


X

X

1
Road test
Verify component and system functions
X
X
X
X
X
X

NOTES:
1. Should be performed by an authorized Buell dealer, unless you have the proper tools, service data and are mechanically qualified.
2. Change brake fluid every two (2) years.

From a quick glance down the 5k mile list, it appears that one would require a T-27 Torx driver, a 1/2 and a 9/16 wrench to preform these procedures.

The 10k list is a little harder because the fork oil is supposed to be changed. That is one of those things beyond my ability, so I currently take the bike to the dealer when that needs to be done.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:31 PM   #30
JamesG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlnance
If you can personally service either bike or neither bike it's not so clear.
Even if you can, what is your time worth for the extra maintenance chores required?
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