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Old 09-23-2013, 06:57 PM   #46
VolInGA
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
In my experience, most people who really want a GS and go with something else are never really happy with their decision. It isn't the money, or the maintenance (for most), it is that itch they didn't scratch that eventually brings them back to the GS.

Now, with that said, some people are never going to be happy, no matter what they buy, and a few get a bum deal.

Jim
Yep, that covers it. I looked at the GS as I rode out of the dealership with 2 different K bikes over the years. Then owned a V-Strom, but I never really got over whatever it was that eventually made me go buy my GSA. I had a stupid grin on my face when I test rode it and still have that same stupid grin every time I ride it. It's big, ugly, heavy, expensive, looks better covered with bugs and mud and I love the damn thing!
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:02 PM   #47
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I have had Honda's, 3 Yamaha's and 3 BMW's and I loved them all. My 2011 GSA is the right one for the time and the bucket list with retirement in 15 months. I love camping and fly fishing. Just came back from looping Nova Scotia & PEI, one week with my wife on the back and all her gear. I have loved all my bikes and regret selling any of them. I have done the same amount of work, time wise, on all of them. Yes, I am a bit anal but those machines are what keep my butt off the pavement. I carried parts and tools on all of them, just different stuff. Buy the one that fits into your life, one that makes you want to get up early in the morning and take a breakfast ride. I was eating breakfast at Panera in Biltmore Forest this summer and when I went out to go back to the rally there was a 5 year old boy sitting on my GSA, his mom hadn't noticed. I stood and watched until his mom came running. priceless! He was only 5 but already knew what he wanted! Go with your gut, ignore your friends. Most manufacturers are putting out good machines. You just have to get the one that fits! Hope I have enough years to own 7 more!
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:39 PM   #48
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Like others have said the GS is easy to work on compared to pretty much any other bike. The online community of gs owners are always willing to lend a helping hand also which is cool. I just bought an 08 gs about 4 months ago and don't regret it for a second. I have a suzuki drz400 and a honda vtr1000f that are collecting dust because I usually go to the gs every time i want to ride now. I don't like working on bikes that much but I do all the maint on my gs at first because I didn't trust it with anyone else and now I actually enjoy it because the bike is built to be somewhat easy to service. Just my $0.2....
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:49 PM   #49
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Also, it is the only bike I have ever owned that if you ride it like a dirt bike it more or less handles like a dirt bike, ride it like a sport bike it handles like a sport bike and is comfy enough to do some serious highway miles on. It isn't the best bike at any one thing with the exception of being the best bike at doing many things better than one might expect.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:01 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
In my experience, most people who really want a GS and go with something else are never really happy with their decision. It isn't the money, or the maintenance (for most), it is that itch they didn't scratch that eventually brings them back to the GS.

Now, with that said, some people are never going to be happy, no matter what they buy, and a few get a bum deal.

Jim


I've ridden an ST1100 on a few day rides around VT, NY and the MA Berkshires and that bike doesn't even compare to a GS in anyway when it comes to riding. 2 completely different animals, sure both can tour, both have similar engine displacement and both have 2 wheels but that's about it.

I've had my 12GS for a couple years, and an 1150R before that for a couple years. Both bikes had final drive work, the 1150 had a bearing failure and the just a seal @ 40K mi. The Final Drive problem is real, but if you keep the oil changed and keep an eye on the seals I don't think it's an unreasonable expense.

The 12GS is a great bike and if it wasn't, it wouldn't have been BMW's best selling bike of all time.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #51
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FireDog45-
Wow, I feel like Deja Vu all over again. The song you are singing is very similar to the one I sang until about 6 months ago. I too have been riding a Honda ST1100 since 2001. Great bike but over the last 2 or 3 years the quirks of the ST for me that I had never been able to solve finally got to the point that I needed to make a change. And to be honest, I was wanting to make a change as well - just wanted something different. One of the things that occurred over the years on the trips I had taken on the ST was that I found myself in places at times (i.e.- Colorado, Big Bend, etc.) where there was an unimproved road or trail that I wanted to travel down and check out what was down that road but couldn't on the ST. That was a significant variable in formulating my decision to replace the ST with an Adventure bike so I could take advantage of those types of situations whenever I encountered them. Like you I had a few bikes that made my short list - Triumph 800, 800 XC as well as the Explorer, the Super Tenere and the GS. I checked them all out kicking tires at the IMS show in Dallas last fall and then managed test rides on all of them. I really, really, wanted one of the Triumphs to be my next bike. There is just something intoxicating about the Triumph triples. But the 800's just didn't fit me right and the Explorer, even though it sang to me it just didn't sing loud enough. I got to take a 200 mile ride on a Super Tenere that belonged to a friend who had it up for sale at the time. I liked a lot of stuff about that bike and he had it farkled out nicely. It would have been a good deal too. But I just couldn't get over the low end vibes of the motor. I knew that wasn't going to work for me. The GS was the last bike on my short list I got to evaluate. I rode a used 2011 GS with a certain amount of apprehension for some of the reasons you mentioned. My test ride was short but I liked the bike. So after much consternation I pulled the trigger and bought the GS still with a certain amount of apprehension. Fast forward 6 months to today. I love the bike. The more I ride it the more I like it. I love the way it handles, the way it rides and the character that it has. Its just flat out fun to ride! I never thought I would ever see myself on a BMW boxer, primarily because of my perceptions about it, but the boxer twin has become an acquired taste and I like it. And regarding maintenance, I wasn't a mechanic when I bought the ST but I became one, or at least a decent amateur wrench with the aid of Clymer, the Honda shop manual and all of the resources available online for the ST. I had no thought at the outset of ST ownership that I would do all of the work that was ever done to it, it just worked out that way. As for me personally regarding maintenance on the GS, well since thanks to the ST ownership experience I have had I have developed the mindset that I want to do all of my own maintenance that is within the scope of my limitations and I dont think that will be a problem. As stated previously a lot of the maintenance on the GS is very user friendly and with the resources of the online BMW community and the aid of Jim Von Baden's DVD's I feel pretty comfortable about working on the GS. Granted, I have only owned the GS for 6 months and not much has been required in the way of maintenance so far but I can already tell that the GS is going to be much easier to work on than the ST. And the single sided swing arm, wow, it was love at the first tire removal after the ordeal it is to remove and replace the rear wheel on an ST. If you get a GS I think the biggest thing you are going to have to overcome coming from an ST is getting used to having two less gallons of gas on board. I still haven't been able to get used to that yet. Definitely has me paying way more to attention to where the next fuel stop is going to be. Good luck with your decision.

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Originally Posted by FireDog45 View Post
I've been researching different bikes to replace my recently sold ST1100 and the R12 GS has been at the top of the list. The bad press these seem to get has me a little nervous and I wanted to get some feedback from the forum.

When I mention this choice to my riding friends I get responses like "if you love doing maintenance then go ahead", "I'm really concerned that your bike will break down during a trip", "aren't you worried about the (fill in the blank) conking out on you", "those are so unreliable/expensive/etc."

My budget is around $10k USD so MSRP is not considered as I'll be buying used. For this discussion I'm also considering the Tenere, Tiger 800XC and V Strom.

I'll be using it for commuting, day trips and extended trips. I won't be riding 2 up but would like to start camping from the bike at some point.

Are these fears overblown or do they have some merit?
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:48 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by ken h View Post

And the single sided swing arm, wow, it was love at the first tire removal after the ordeal it is to remove and replace the rear wheel on an *.

that is such a valid point. I think this every time I remove the rear wheel. and if changing tires yourself every * miles...

it's GREAT!
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:23 AM   #53
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one word.. shaft.

The bikes your are considering are good bikes. but, they dont have shaft drive. i owned a tiger and wee strom prior to settling on a gs. i traveled 500-600 miles every week during my commute. That means i had to maintain the chain every week. doesnt seem that bad. but, it becomes a real pain in the butt.

GS = worry-free, once-a-year shaft drive maintenance

plus, the gs is so MUCH MORE fun to ride. and it feels so much lighter even though its heavier.

maintenance is maintenance is maintenance. even ferraris have problems.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:15 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
In my experience, most people who really want a GS and go with something else are never really happy with their decision. It isn't the money, or the maintenance (for most), it is that itch they didn't scratch that eventually brings them back to the GS.

Now, with that said, some people are never going to be happy, no matter what they buy, and a few get a bum deal.

Jim

Yep, same kind of deal with the V twin. If you really want a Harley but settle for (insert Asian cruiser here) you will never be happy. Eventually you will have to scratch that itch.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:37 AM   #55
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Yep, same kind of deal with the V twin. If you really want a Harley but settle for (insert Asian cruiser here) you will never be happy. Eventually you will have to scratch that itch.
This really applies to any "dream" item that one wants.

Jim
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:06 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Donsesso View Post
one word.. shaft.

The bikes your are considering are good bikes. but, they dont have shaft drive. i owned a tiger and wee strom prior to settling on a gs. i traveled 500-600 miles every week during my commute. That means i had to maintain the chain every week. doesnt seem that bad. but, it becomes a real pain in the butt.

GS = worry-free, once-a-year shaft drive maintenance

plus, the gs is so MUCH MORE fun to ride. and it feels so much lighter even though its heavier.

maintenance is maintenance is maintenance. even ferraris have problems.
Well..a moderen O-Ring chain requires nothing more than a spray of water displacer if it's going to sit..D.I.D. and RK both warranty their chains for 20K miles with no "maintenance"...so that's a non issue. I've brushed the crud off the wife's 650GS once in 12,000 miles...and never had to adjust it..

What shaft maintenance are you doing? The u joints are non serviceable..and if you get a bad one..it simply goes out at 40Kish miles requiring an $800 replacement..or $300 rebuild..or, if a good one..it seems to last forever.

I can hardly believe that doing valves every 6000 miles versus the 25,000 most V Strom owners are using is a time saver over spraying WD 40 on a chain..maybe..guess it depends on how you do it..especially if you have certain brands of crash bars on, that have to be removed..it becomes a 2 hour job instead of 30 minutes..especially so with your commute miles..

The GS IS fun to ride..the GSA even more so...(you don't have to stop for gas as often..) I'm glad I scratched that itch back in 2005...

but realize..the BMW is easy to work on...cause you get to do it alot..still, there's nothing like the character of a boxer...it's just, different, and worth it to me..
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:22 PM   #57
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Well..a moderen O-Ring chain requires nothing more than a spray of water displacer if it's going to sit..D.I.D. and RK both warranty their chains for 20K miles with no "maintenance"...so that's a non issue. I've brushed the crud off the wife's 650GS once in 12,000 miles...and never had to adjust it..

What shaft maintenance are you doing? The u joints are non serviceable..and if you get a bad one..it simply goes out at 40Kish miles requiring an $800 replacement..or $300 rebuild..or, if a good one..it seems to last forever.

I can hardly believe that doing valves every 6000 miles versus the 25,000 most V Strom owners are using is a time saver over spraying WD 40 on a chain..maybe..guess it depends on how you do it..especially if you have certain brands of crash bars on, that have to be removed..it becomes a 2 hour job instead of 30 minutes..especially so with your commute miles..


but realize..the BMW is easy to work on...cause you get to do it alot..still, there's nothing like the character of a boxer...it's just, different, and worth it to me..
you're right. no real shaft maintenance. i was thinking more of an "inspection."

for me, it comes down to having more fun on the gs. the vstrom and tiger didnt do it for me. they were COMMUTER bikes for me. a way to get from point a to point b for the most part.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:35 PM   #58
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you're right. no real shaft maintenance. i was thinking more of an "inspection."

for me, it comes down to having more fun on the gs. the vstrom and tiger didnt do it for me. they were COMMUTER bikes for me. a way to get from point a to point b for the most part.
I often stand on mine..arms outstretched..."I'm the King of the World!!!!"

OK..maybe thats a stretch...
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #59
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Thanks to all who've commented here, I've learned a few things. I've found an 09 Adventure at a dealer a couple of hours from home. I'll be calling in the morning to get some info. Anything in particular I should be asking in addition asking the regular things like maintenance and options?

It has the dual heat troller, Garmin Street Pilot, panniers and less than 20000 miles.

The asking price is a little outside my budget but it appears I wouldn't have to add anything else to it so I'm considering it a wash.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:14 PM   #60
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Thanks to all who've commented here, I've learned a few things. I've found an 09 Adventure at a dealer a couple of hours from home. I'll be calling in the morning to get some info. Anything in particular I should be asking in addition asking the regular things like maintenance and options?

It has the dual heat troller, Garmin Street Pilot, panniers and less than 20000 miles.

The asking price is a little outside my budget but it appears I wouldn't have to add anything else to it so I'm considering it a wash.
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