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Old 03-20-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
Roadinator OP
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Buying my first GS! Is this the bike I want?

First post is long so sorry about that (and I am already looking for help).

Every man comes to a point in life where they do it or just think about it. Okay, I'm not sure what that means, but it sounded good and somewhat adventurous. Anyway, back to my question...

I am interested in getting back into motorcycle riding after 25 years. I raced some motocross and had a new Suzuki GS 700es in 1985 (only rode for two years). I have my eyes on a 2002 GS1150. My money is tight, the wife is on board and I can still stay married if I get it, and the price is right because it has 106k miles on it. The bike is a two owner with the first one working at a BMW shop (Bob's BMW in Maryland) and he put all the miles on it. The second owner is not riding it enough and does not seem to be too detailed oriented as he listed it as a GSA with 100k (the "a" is an adventure model isn't it?). Long story short, it looks in pretty decent shape and sounds good. No leaks, no smoke, no dents or big scratches. The options include a new back tire to pass current inspection (front tire good), BMW luggage, GPS (screen is not real bright, but I think usable), ABS, terminal for plugging in a heated jacket, small old tank bag, old cover (don't put it on hot he said) and it looks like small lower lights. He also is willing to throw in two hi viz jackets (winter and summer) and a Scorpion open face helmet. Everything fits as we are both about 6'3" Asking price for everything is $4k. He was selling it for 4k without the jackets and helmet, but since they fit me he will include it with full price.

I've read up on the GS bikes and know that they can take a lot of miles, just depends on how they were taken care of. The miles do not scare me, but should I investigate into more details this bikes past? Any tell tell exterior signs of bad things to come? Should I try to track down the person who would know this bike at the BMW shop? I would like to learn to do as much maintenance as possible, as I would stay with this bike for a long, long time, but not sure how easy that is to do.


One side of me is excited as a kid at Christmas, the other side says "John, you won't ride as much as you think, the wife won't ride with you either and something will break two weeks after you get it."

Thoughts on price and this deal from the ADV Rider family?

Here is the Craigslist add: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/m...689190315.html

Thanks for the insight and thoughts!
John
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:25 PM   #2
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That photo is not an adventure model. It has the smaller tank and what looks like a two piece seat. I could be wrong because these pieces could be switched out. I can't say anything about the milage--I'll let others comment on that.

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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Yeah, I know. Just like he listed it with 100K and it has 106k. That kind of stuff irks me. At first I thought maybe he is untrustworthy, but I think it is more of personality thing. He seems pretty straight forward, but not much of a bike guy (unless of course he is on this board and then - Jim you are a great guy!).
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Ad is incorrect,it's a regular GS.Has stock GS luggage with the narrow"city"lids
Aeroflow windscreen system is a plus to some if you plan long distance rides.
2002 had non servo assist brakes(good)

Can likely find a real GS Adventure for near the same money,or a regular GS with lower mileage.

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Seat is a two piece BMW replacement and in good shape (although seemed hard). The luggage seemed pretty small when I looked inside and almost useless. Maybe waiting till more bikes come on the market around here would be good (Washington, DC).
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR356 View Post
Ad is incorrect,it's a regular GS.Has stock GS luggage with the narrow"city"lids
Aeroflow windscreen system is a plus to some if you plan long distance rides.
2002 had non servo assist brakes(good)

Can likely find a real GS Adventure for near the same money,or a regular GS with lower mileage.

JR356
Actually, I've been shopping for the last 2 months, and a GSA for $4k is a rare to non-existent bird. $5-$6k seems to be the going price for a 70k mile or greater bike. $7k-$8k gets you a 40k mile bike. $8k-$9k gets you a 20k mile bike. GSs go for cheaper, and I've seen them as low as $3500, but $5-$6k is more common.

Aside from the flea market here, my main search tool was google. With this search:

site:craigslist.org r1150gs adventure

You can try a few variations like leaving off the "adventure" or using "1150gs" instead of "r1150gs". I'm happy to say that I'm picking up my 04 with 20k miles on Saturday. Fly and ride to CA.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
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I don't really need an adventure model. Probably out of my budget of $4k. I would go with more money for a bike, but I am not sure if I will be putting a lot of miles on it, but could still hit a couple of road trips a year and running around town.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:16 AM   #8
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4k for an 1150 platform bike is a good price.

service history can give you some info on the care given

as time passes parts for 1150's might become scarce.

how long do you plan to keep the bike

if you can do basic service yourself you can save a lot of money.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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Originally the "A" was for ABS
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:51 AM   #10
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Pass --- for a newer one with lower miles
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:04 AM   #11
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The "A" is for ABS.

The price sounds pretty reasonable to me. Two years ago I bought my 1150 with 95K miles on it. I have subsequently put another 40K miles on it. By now any manufacturors faults should have shown up and been fixed. It would be advantageous to investigate it's service history more for bargaining power than anything.

My wife and I love our 1150 and look forward to putting many more miles on.

Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #12
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Thanks for the thoughts so far. I feel better about the A being for ABS and not him trying to pass it off as an adventure. I am going to try and contact the BMW dealer and see if I can track down the previous owner or service history. If the service history is rock solid, I might make an offer and see if he will bite. I like the idea of getting decent riding jackets and a helmet that works for me. I would not need to drop a dime on starting to ride (except my motorcycle drivers license!).

The only other item that would need to be replaced would be the panniers. They were tiny and I need to haul some gear for work (plus clothes, etc). Would have to find a cost effect solution.

Like I mentioned before, 4K is about my max cash budget. A better bike with lower miles would be a loan, which is fine, but I am not sure if I will be riding enough to justify a payment. With something like this I can get in it for a year and see what it is like and how many miles I am putting on it (and if the wife is really riding with me). A year later, I could sell it and still not be out a lot of money - minus any repairs.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1w1t1m View Post
The "A" is for ABS.
That is correct.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadinator View Post
The only other item that would need to be replaced would be the panniers. They were tiny and I need to haul some gear for work (plus clothes, etc). Would have to find a cost effect solution.
Apparently that model pannier have different size lids that can be switched out, and that change the capacity. Finding a larger set might be a cheap way to increase capacity. Also check--the owner may already have the larger lids.

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Old 03-21-2013, 11:16 AM   #15
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If your budget is only $4000 and you intend to stick to that number I might suggest that you reconsider your bike choice.

The GS is a great bike. I have one. But it does need maintenance, with some scheduled maintenance every 6,000 miles such as valves in addition to the oil and filter. Plus at 100,000+ miles you will also be looking at quite a few wear items that tend to go south at around that time and none of them are cheap.

Yes, the basic structure of the bike and the basic engine components will last for 200,000+ miles but the following can be expected to need attention with 100,000+ miles:
Final Drive
Drive shaft
ABS Brake electronics
Wheel bearings
Rear shock leaking
Fork seals leaking
Stick Coils
Brake Rotors
Fuel Pump
Fuel Guage Strip
Various seals and gaskets
?????

Note, none of the above are cheap repairs! If you can do the work yourself you will save on the labor but the parts alone will be cause for concern.

So unless you are prepared to pump a few extra grand into your new to you bike over the next year or two, you should consider getting something else that may help to preserve your marriage.

Think V-Strom. Newer versions with moderate miles are available at your price and they are cheaper to insure and to maintain.

I don't want to burst your bubble, I don't want to give you the impression a high mileage GS is a bad idea, but you do need to know what you might be in for. I just want to give you food for thought.

Good luck,

Rick G
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