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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
Yossarian™
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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
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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
bobivey
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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
The Kurgan
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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, 02:26 PM   #8
The Kurgan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
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.

I used to own an SV1000S. Great motorcycle, and a gem of a motor. But changing coolant and doing valve checks was a royal PIA.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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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   #10
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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, 07:20 PM   #11
Jim K.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhaz01 View Post
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?

honda
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jim K. View Post
honda
FJR1300, Concours14.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #13
MHaz01 OP
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Good advice, thanks.

A scooter is too small, and I'm pretty sure that the DL and Honda cruiser will be as well. I'm 200 lbs; my wife is 120. That's a bit much for the smaller bike.

The ST1300 is a sweet bike, from what I've read. Anyone doing long two-up rides on it? And by "long" I mean >5,000 miles.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:43 PM   #14
sraber
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Get a used 1800 Gold Wing. Buy regular gas and change oil every 8,000 miles. Bridgestone rears last 12-15 thousand mi. and fronts 18-20,000 or more. Be happy with your ride!
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:47 PM   #15
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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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