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View Results: Which bike should I get?
Versys 22 14.67%
TDM 900 10 6.67%
F650GS (parallel twin, not single) 17 11.33%
F800GS 50 33.33%
Wee-Strom 42 28.00%
Something else 9 6.00%
Voters: 150. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:38 AM   #16
beep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
True, there's a lot of subjectivity as well as objectivity in there. You've got to make your own mind up; it ain't gospel! The F650GS is better (IMHO) than the Versys for 2-up touring as there's more space and I couldn't bring myself to put the Wee first. 21" spoked front wheels, a hard, narrow and high seat, 'perky' power delivery... the F800GS has to come last out of the four, doesn't it?

If it helps, a German magazine this year rated them for touring ability:
Strom: 90%
F650GS: 80%
F800GS: 80%
Versys: 60%
From my limited experience of the bikes (testrides only), I'd agree with German magazine, with the TDM at the top with the Strom. Also, in the unlikely event of me ever being a pillion, I'd much rather be on the Vstrom or TDM, instead of the BMWs and Kawasaki. As a solo rider, my personal picks would be the Vstrom or F650GS - both great bikes.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:44 AM   #17
Guy Jinbaiquerre OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
21" spoked front wheels, a hard, narrow and high seat, 'perky' power delivery... the F800GS has to come last out of the four, doesn't it?

If it helps, a German magazine this year rated them for touring ability:
Strom: 90%
F650GS: 80%
F800GS: 80%
Versys: 60%
That actually does help a lot! It (and all the other comments) tells me the Versys is not the best of the bunch for 2-up touring, while it's a closer call among the others.

I have test-ridden an F650 and didn't have any problem with the seat. I need to get my hands on a Wee and get some first-hand (first-ass?) experience of its seat by comparison.

If I can't feel a big difference with the Wee, my heart is telling me to go for the F800, because it's so damn cool. Still, the Wee-Strom actually sounds like the best all-rounder and also the best deal.

I guess a test-drive comparison is the only real way to tell which is better for me. Too bad BMW won't be selling the F800 here in Japan until early 2009...
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:44 AM   #18
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Not the Vstrom

I love my VStrom. But not great in the dirt or mud. Too heavy. But GREAT for a commute or 2 up fun. 50 MPG. Very reliable. Very quiet. To me, it handles great in the turns as well.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:47 AM   #19
Guy Jinbaiquerre OP
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I just read Beep's post... sounds like maybe the Wee-Strom is the best all-round pick after all, and a great deal vs. BMW.

The 800 still looks like the coolest bike, but "coolness" is not one of my criteria here.

--- AAACK! and now I read robsuzuki saying the Strom is "too heavy" for dirt or mud! I thought Wee riders love the dirt?!
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:50 AM   #20
Wildman
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The full verdict from the German Magazine:

F800GS
Street: 80%
Trail: 90%
Touring: 80%
Accessories: 80%
Price/Value: 70%
Overall: 80%

V-Strom
Street: 90%
Trail: 60%
Touring: 90%
Accessories: 80%
Price/Value: 80%
Overall: 80%

F650GS
Street: 90%
Trail: 30%
Touring: 80%
Accessories: 80%
Price/Value: 70%
Overall: 72%

Versys
Street: 90%
Trail: 30%
Touring: 60%
Accessories: 70%
Price/Value: 80%
Overall: 66%

Many will argue!
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:55 AM   #21
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Hmm... that is a pretty low rating for "Trail" riding on the Strom... yikes.

I guess you really have to choose which is more important to you, touring comfort or trail ability, huh?

In other news, I am no longer a noob! (According to the forum software, at least.)
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:21 AM   #22
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Some additional elements...

Hello everybody, may I add my comment ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beep
I've ridden all of these bikes except the F800GS, but I've a reasonable idea about that since it shares a lot of components and seat with the F650GS (twin).

If I ignore your requirement for offroading (3), I'd say that the choice would be between the TDM and Vstrom, both would make good tourers/commuters - either solo or two up. The BMWs' seats are pretty hard, tiring I'd have thought over long distances and neither are brilliant for pillions. The Versys, good that it is, might not be that great for pillions - it felt quite a short bike to me, not a lot of room for rider and pillion to move around. Bewteen the TDM and Vstrom, the TDM has the best brakes but the Vstorm would probably be better offroad (I haven't ridden any of these bikes offroad).

The F800GS certainly has the best credentials for going offroad, but the idea of using such an expensive new bike to learn to ride offroad fills me with horror. Even if you're a brilliantly gifted natural, you WILL drop it! But if you don't mind a few scuffs on your new bike (get some crash bars), then this may be the best compromise or possibly the F650GS (with more offroad tyres fitted). So these would be my "money no object" choice, if you weren't too bothered about maximum pillion comfort.

But if I was wanting to fulfil 1,2 and 3, I'd buy a good secondhand Vstrom or TDM and spend the money I saved from not buying a new F800GS, on a used "proper" dirtbike or trailbike (a 125 would be a good choice if you just want to play around offroad and learn some basic offroad skills more cheaply and less painfully than using one the bigger bikes mentioned!) Or go on an offroad riding course and then buy the BMW ;o)
I quoted this because I think if you want to improve your off-road skill, you must use a bike you can prevent from dropping (a light one) or let go if you can't (a cheap one).
You won't learn very quickly if you can't allow yourself some mistakes.

As a Wee owner, I'd just like to say it's my best bike ever.
But I also am a fan of the 800 GS, and a friend who tested the 650 GS loved it.
So, it's all about your feeling, but I think you should try and estimate the price of the additional equipments required. I mean the Wee will need more accessories to be able to go off-road, and I don't think it will reach the 800 GS level.
By the way, the Wee is probably the best bike to add or change stuff. For instance, Corbin offers a choice of two saddles, and Suzuki itself a choice of three, plus the standard one. Not to mention Sargent, etc... The same for sump guards, crash bars, luggage, anything. Have you had a look at the Odyssey II from Jesse Luggage ?
The F800/650 will need time to rival the Wee on the gadget marketplace.

regards,

Michel

AluBoxesAddict screwed with this post 10-08-2008 at 12:09 PM
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #23
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I think a major factor that has not been mentioned by any of the posters is your inseam and the relatively high seat heights of some of these bikes. Are you comfortable riding with a pillion if you can not flat foot the bike at stops? I am the same height and inseam as you, and I had a Wee. I could not come close to flat footing the Wee at stops, and as such, I was uncomfortable taking a pillion on my Wee, and I've been riding 35 years.

If this is not an issue, the Wee makes an excellent two up ride with a very comfortable pillion seat and accomodations. It is the best fit for your needs and the best bang for the buck of everything you are looking at.

As far as off road ability, none of these bikes are the right tool for true off road riding. The Wee does fine on gravel and dirt roads, not so good on trails. If you really want off road ability, you need to look at nothing larger than a single cylinder dual sport bike, like a DR650. Of course, then you sacrifice two up riding. Everything is a compromise to a certain degree.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:56 PM   #24
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If cost is a factor to you, you can't beat the Versys.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:23 PM   #25
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Versys

Buy the Versys and ride. If you want to do more dirt you will have enough money left over to buy a dirt bike. You will love the Versys for 90% of your riding.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:41 PM   #26
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not sayin' you aren't, but do be honest with yourself

about your actual requirements. To learn to ride dirt, you really should use a dirt bike. A used KLX/KLR/DR/XR is pretty cheap, and would be a much better intro to dirt than any bike on your list.

Speaking for myself, I love the idea of being a real ADV rider, but really I am a married father of 2 with a full-time job, mortgage, 3 weeks / year vacation, and my bike mostly gets used to rip around the countryside on weekends, with a few 3-4 hour each-way weekend trips to the cottage thrown in. Sometimes when it is too beautiful to resist, I ride to work, but the commute is so short it takes longer to change into and out of riding gear than the actual ride (7 kilometers / 4 miles). For my 2-wheeled adventures, for now I live vicariously through this forum.

For the ADV lifestyle I see in my minds-eye, the 800 GS might be the perfect bike for me if money were no issue, followed by the imminently practical, and more affordable, farkled for adventure touring, 650 V-Strom.

On the other hand, for what I really do with my bike currently, the Versys probably makes the most sense. (plus some not on your list, like the ER-6N, naked SV-650, Monster 696, Street Triple).

In Canada we get the CBF1000, which, along with the 1050 Tiger and 1250 Bandit, is on my short list for when cash is more plentiful. One of these, along with the '09 KLX250S for light dirt duty would be the perfect duo!

Being a practical, function over form guy, I'll probably end up (and be quite happy) with a 650 V-Strom ABS, which does everything except real dirt pretty damn well, and would allow me to keep my fantasy of being ready to take off on short notice for parts unknown, with no return schedule.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:48 PM   #27
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Budget? Or is cost no object?
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:36 PM   #28
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Sorry, I lost the thread a bit.

budget, from your list = Wee or Versys

cost no object, limited to 1 bike from your list = 800 GS

cost no object, more than 1 bike, straying from your list = Tiger (Uly/CBF/Bandit) for the street, XR or similar dirt-oriented machine as a 2nd bike
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:46 PM   #29
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With a wife and kids and a mortgage, you better be making $200K+ to afford the BMW.

If not, buy the strom, put $3000 down and finance the rest for 3 or 4 years.

Both the strom and the F800 require all the same upgrades and farkles, so it's a wash on that. So the only question left is do I want to drop $6,000 on a bike that will barely depreciate or $11,000 on a bike that will massively depreciate and will cost 3 times as much to maintain.

If you are a novice dirt rider, get a used Drz or something similar. Do no try anything more than a dry well packed dirt road until you get some miles and more importanatly, some crashes in on a lighter bike.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:25 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osii
With a wife and kids and a mortgage, you better be making $200K+ to afford the BMW.

If not, buy the strom, put $3000 down and finance the rest for 3 or 4 years.

Both the strom and the F800 require all the same upgrades and farkles, so it's a wash on that. So the only question left is do I want to drop $6,000 on a bike that will barely depreciate or $11,000 on a bike that will massively depreciate and will cost 3 times as much to maintain.

If you are a novice dirt rider, get a used Drz or something similar. Do no try anything more than a dry well packed dirt road until you get some miles and more importanatly, some crashes in on a lighter bike.
stroms don't depreciate?
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