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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, 07:00 PM   #31
Guy Jinbaiquerre OP
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First, thanks very much for all the advice, everybody. It really does help.

For example, I think I've learned that the key thing here is to forget about using the same bike to do "normal" riding as well as learning to do serious off-road riding.

With that in mind, the F800GS drops out of the picture since its main advantage (besides awesome looks) is its handling off-road. And as some people have said, for the same price as the F800, I could get one bike for most of my riding, PLUS a small, light dirt bike for the times I plan to really go off-road riding solo (and probably still have money left over!).

So now it is a question of which is the better bike for everyday city commuting 2-up, plus distance touring 2-up on pavement with the occasional well-packed dirt or gravel road thrown in.

The F650 is kind of pricey, too. Also, I don't trust the single-disc front brake on the F650 to stop me quick enough when the bike is fully loaded and carrying a pillion. So let's ditch the 650. That leaves only the Versys and Wee-Strom.

It sounds like the Versys is better for commuting, but the Wee is better for touring. At least now I am struggling to decide between two bikes instead of five...

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:15 PM   #32
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First of all I have a Versys, 12months and 7200 miles, and have not ridden any of the others on your list.

The strong point for the Versys is cost, and cheap farkles compared to the BMW! The handling is great and commuting is fun, but it would soon get old 2up unless you and your wife are like 230lbs together.

The Versys is short wheelbase which means adding a heavy pillion right over the back wheel will really make an impact on handling.

The uly is even shorter but has a heavy engine which better balances with SO on board, course it is more expensive.

I second the notion to get a dirt bike for learning on the dirt, YOU WILL DROP IT!
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamapacker
The handling is great and commuting is fun, but it would soon get old 2up unless you and your wife are like 230lbs together.

The Versys is short wheelbase which means adding a heavy pillion right over the back wheel will really make an impact on handling.
Heck, I'm 230 all by myself! A Versys owner knocking the Versys for touring? That has to be taken seriously.

Sounds like the Versys is really best only for commuting, then, whereas the Wee is more of an all-rounder.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:38 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cba191
stroms don't depreciate?
No they don't, when compared to the BMW.

Unless you put 50,000 miles on a wee in a year, you're only going to lose a thousand, and much less than that each year there after. On the BMW, you are going to take a huge hit at the end of the year just from the deep discounts BMW puts on all their models at the end of the year. Watch what happens when they decide to drop the model line. Kaboom!!

Even with 50K miles, a wee is still worth $3500. What do you think a F800 will be worth?? Take a look at used BMW with some miles on them. They are at half price or lower. That's a giant bite on a $9,000 to $17,000 bike.

I bought my Wee for less than I lost in three years on a BMW.

Even NADA gives the strom a $400 depreciation advantage over the F650GS. And good luck buying a 2004 Wee for $3200.






2004 BMW Road/Trail F650GS

PRICING
Low Retail Average Retail
$3,335 $4,385

Suggested List: $8,190 depreciation after 4 year $3805


2004 SUZUKI Road/Trail DL650K4 V-STROM
PRICING
Low Retail Average Retail
$2,415 $3,175

Suggested List: $6,599 depreciation after 4 year $3424
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:23 PM   #35
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Before you buy a BMW

Read all the problems people are encountering on http://f800riders.org

And how badly the company is addressing their issues.

I want the 800 GS but DAMN!
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:49 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donbcivil
Read all the problems people are encountering on http://f800riders.org

And how badly the company is addressing their issues.

I want the 800 GS but DAMN!
Yeah, someone told me never to buy a bike in its first model year. I'm surprised BMW isn't taking better care of its customers, though.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:13 PM   #37
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Look at what happens to a 2004 1150GS:

2004 BMW Road/Trail R1150GS(*)

PRICING
Low Retail Average Retail

$5,815 $7,650


Suggested List: $14,535


That's $6,885 in depreciation. I believe that's what the Wee MSRP is.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:26 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre
Yeah, someone told me never to buy a bike in its first model year. I'm surprised BMW isn't taking better care of its customers, though.
Aside from the first model year thing, they brought the same problems over that the earlier F800s had.

It's why I'll probably hold back from the F800 GS and go for a less sexy but more reliable DRZ or wee-strom.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:40 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre
Heck, I'm 230 all by myself! A Versys owner knocking the Versys for touring? That has to be taken seriously.

Sounds like the Versys is really best only for commuting, then, whereas the Wee is more of an all-rounder.
Good choice! As someone who's also been trying to choose between these bikes, I'm coming to the same conclusion - the Wee will probably be my choice too.

I've also read too many bad stories (some must be true surely) about the new GS twins. Nothing major, but I live quite a distance from my nearest BMW dealer and if I'm paying a premium price for a bike I expect a superior bike.

Good that the Transalp, F650GS and Versys are, for me the Wee is probably the best choice.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:49 AM   #40
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Pissed

Quote:
Originally Posted by beep
Good choice! As someone who's also been trying to choose between these bikes, I'm coming to the same conclusion - the Wee will probably be my choice too.

I've also read too many bad stories (some must be true surely) about the new GS twins. Nothing major, but I live quite a distance from my nearest BMW dealer and if I'm paying a premium price for a bike I expect a superior bike.

Good that the Transalp, F650GS and Versys are, for me the Wee is probably the best choice.
Only problem is that the Wee costs the equivalent of about $10,000 (out-the-door price) here in Japan, because it is a "reverse import" bike meant for the overseas market, but redirected to Japan. The base price is almost $9,000, and then the farking Japanese dealership mafia adds on about another 13% extra in bogus "inspection" charges, etc.


Same deal for the Versys and pretty much any other Japanese bike you'd actually want to own (Hayabusa, Vmax, KLR650, DR650SE, R1, B-King, etc., etc.). Here's the ugly reality (note that the URL says "used", but it's a new bike): http://used.suzukibikeshop.com/detail/view/19651?sbs
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:05 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donbcivil
Read all the problems people are encountering on http://f800riders.org

And how badly the company is addressing their issues.

I want the 800 GS but DAMN!
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:07 AM   #42
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Thanks for the tip. I guess I'll cancel my F800Gs order ASAP.
People complain on the net. It is the nature of the beast. All bikes have problems. My buddies new ST1300 had leaking base gaskets and a bad water pump. Doesn't mean that STs aren't reliable in general. Go ask a KLR dealer about the "doohickey" all you'll get is a blank stare. Looks like the main issue with the 800gs was a software update. My read on the bike from lurking on the lists is that it has a basically bullet proof motor and people love this bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by donbcivil
Read all the problems people are encountering on http://f800riders.org

And how badly the company is addressing their issues.

I want the 800 GS but DAMN!
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:32 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donbcivil
Aside from the first model year thing, they brought the same problems over that the earlier F800s had.

It's why I'll probably hold back from the F800 GS and go for a less sexy but more reliable DRZ or wee-strom.

Sweet, now you're whining in stereo, on two different boards. Your concerns were, I think answered over on f800riders.

DRZs and Wees are fine bikes, but not really comparable. If the 800 fits the bill of the riding you want to do, but your'e terrified by internet boogiemen, then go orange, either a 640 or 990 adv.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:48 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donbcivil
Aside from the first model year thing, they brought the same problems over that the earlier F800s had.

It's why I'll probably hold back from the F800 GS and go for a less sexy but more reliable DRZ or wee-strom.
have you gone over and peed in the cheerios at ukgser.com too? if you actually read posts, you will notice that the people who own the 800 love the 800. same goes for the versys and the strom and most other bikes. i'm obviously biased because i have an 800gs. but you make it sound like there has never been a problem with a drz, versys, or a wee. if you don't want the 800, don't get it. get something else. but please STFU!
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:36 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre
First, thanks very much for all the advice, everybody. It really does help.

For example, I think I've learned that the key thing here is to forget about using the same bike to do "normal" riding as well as learning to do serious off-road riding.

With that in mind, the F800GS drops out of the picture since its main advantage (besides awesome looks) is its handling off-road. And as some people have said, for the same price as the F800, I could get one bike for most of my riding, PLUS a small, light dirt bike for the times I plan to really go off-road riding solo (and probably still have money left over!).

So now it is a question of which is the better bike for everyday city commuting 2-up, plus distance touring 2-up on pavement with the occasional well-packed dirt or gravel road thrown in.

The F650 is kind of pricey, too. Also, I don't trust the single-disc front brake on the F650 to stop me quick enough when the bike is fully loaded and carrying a pillion. So let's ditch the 650. That leaves only the Versys and Wee-Strom.

It sounds like the Versys is better for commuting, but the Wee is better for touring. At least now I am struggling to decide between two bikes instead of five...

I have the 650 twin and I love it!

Was at first a bit hesitant upon reading all the naysayers sayings but I decided to go ahead and take the plunge anyway and have not regretted it one bit. Sure there are some niggly bits but they're no biggy and makes me pay more attention (aka become more attached) to the bike. Least but not last, it does BOTH road and dirt roads well! When you add up the upgraded bits (like stainless steel brake lines) on the 650 compared to say a Wee you'd see the price difference. Besides this is the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time, well maybe except for the Honda Cub....that is a TRUE go anywhere bike

Edit:
That single front disc works very very well...FYI even 2 up and loaded
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