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Old 12-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
giganova OP
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Is BMW doing the right thing?

BMW sales numbers seem to be solid, but is BMW doing the right thing in the GS market segment? Here are a few thoughts:

1) Too many models? 650GS, 650GS Sertao, 700GS, 800GS, 800GS adventure, 1200GS, 1200GS Adventure, that's 7 models in the GS market segment alone. Does anyone really care about the 700GS and why do they spend resources/money on this?

2) The 1200GS is a monster in terms of size and weight. Why don't they make a light and more nimble bike with a boxer engine (which is a beauty)? Something like the HP2, but not at the high price point of the "High Performance".

3) Why no 400 or 450cc model? I know every man is a macho and wants the biggest engine to boost their egos, but especially in the non-US market, smaller bikes are doing very well. Why does BMW not break into this segment? Their smallest bike is the 650 -- not a small engine by any standards -- and BMW only shows pictures with a girl on the 650 in all their ads. Why are they suggesting that "small" bikes are only for girls?

4) The 650GS produces 48hp, but Husqvarna uses the exact same engine and tunes them to 65hp. Why does BMW not try to squeeze out more power of their engines? Imagine the fun riding a small but powerful bike!

I guess what I am trying to say is: is big always better as BMW seems to suggest? Powerful "smaller" bikes can be an absolute thrill to ride but BMW seems to be going in the exact opposite direction.

Would be interested to hear your opinion!
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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1) For BMW its only 3 Models and a few modifications. I have seen quite a few 700s. As an Motorcycle for people without big off road ambitions, or if the 800 is too tall, the 700 seems to be somewhat popular.

3) BMW had a 450 not too long ago (2008 - 2011?):


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Old 12-01-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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why not?

One for every day of the week...and definitely one for each size and need. I went with the 800, fits me perfect, but my buddy went with the 1200, he needed something more. There are over 7 billion people on this road of life, I'm just saying.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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I was reading on the G450 not too long ago, and the areas it was lacking is the area that is lacking today on other BMW's.

IIRC, the articles and reviews talked about the soft fork, particularly the front, which was a 45mm marzocchi. The next complaint was the weight of the bike. Reviewers on Advrider and elsewhere were thankful for a 50 state dual sport bike, but the comparison's to the KTM were there.

I'd like to see BMW improve the suspension, or offer an upgrades along the lines with ESA/ASC/low-suspension options available today when purchasing a new bike.

So for me, the BMW brand is being relegated more towards the "street" side of things with less frequent excursions onto the dirt and the snow.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
BMW sales numbers seem to be solid, but is BMW doing the right thing in the GS market segment? Here are a few thoughts:

1) Too many models? 650GS, 650GS Sertao, 700GS, 800GS, 800GS adventure, 1200GS, 1200GS Adventure, that's 7 models in the GS market segment alone. Does anyone really care about the 700GS and why do they spend resources/money on this?
I wouldn't be riding a BMW if it weren't for the 700GS. I looked at the 800GS but that bike is just too big for my vertically challenged body and I have no need for it's off road capabilities. I also considered the 650GS but I felt that it's 5 speed tranny and thumper engine was too much of a compromise for my intended use. The 700 is an ideal blend of the 2 bikes for me.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SombraPiloto View Post
I wouldn't be riding a BMW if it weren't for the 700GS. I looked at the 800GS but that bike is just too big for my vertically challenged body and I have no need for it's off road capabilities.
Big +1 on this. I was in the same boat, and I love my F700GS.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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Had a second-hand 800GS (unfortunately a woman on a car crashed on it this summer) and now a new 700. It fits me perfectly with my 175cm height. I'm still riding the same off road spots that I was driving with the 800 and the bike is great.

Really happy that BMW sells this model.

A light bike with a boxer? Well, I'll buy it immediately ! I tried a 2010 1200GS before buying my 700 and just fell in love with the engine. But really too heavy for me to ride it off road and 2 up.
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SombraPiloto View Post
I wouldn't be riding a BMW if it weren't for the 700GS. I looked at the 800GS but that bike is just too big for my vertically challenged body and I have no need for it's off road capabilities. I also considered the 650GS but I felt that it's 5 speed tranny and thumper engine was too much of a compromise for my intended use. The 700 is an ideal blend of the 2 bikes for me.
BMW has to keep up with Triumph who has the more street oriented Tiger 800 as well as the 800 XC so the 700GS will most likely stay in the line up for some time. I'd take the F700GS over Kawi's Versy or Suzuki's V-Strom 650 or the before mentioned Tiger 800 (non XC version).

My closest dealer said they sold as many 700GS's this year as 800GS's and have ordered more 700's for 2014 than they did last year. They also said they could have sold even more of the lower suspension version of the 700GS had they had them.

There's a growing number of people who just like the taller and upright riding position of adventure type bikes. I'll call these people Street Adventure riders. They may not want the weight or price tag of a 1200GS or need the off road capability of the 800GS so the F700GS is perfect, plus there are a ton of luggage options for it for touring as well as lots of tire choices if you do indeed decide to head out for some light to moderate off roading which it is perfectly capable of.

Hell, there are those who purchase a 1200GS or 800GS and ride them 99.9 percent on the street and thats fine to. To each his/her own.

As long as all the GS models continue to sell BMW will continue to place them on the showroom floor. I dont see the F700GS going away in the near future, there may be updates or a name change to call it what it really is, a F798GS.
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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+1 on the 700gs
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeKat View Post

There's a growing number of people who just like the taller and upright riding position of adventure type bikes. I'll call these people Street Adventure riders. They may not want the weight or price tag of a 1200GS or need the off road capability of the 800GS so the F700GS is perfect, plus there are a ton of luggage options for it for touring as well as lots of tire choices if you do indeed decide to head out for some light to moderate off roading which it is perfectly capable of.
That pretty much sums up my needs for the bike and my reasons for buying it. I still absolutely love my Ninja 300 but I wanted something a bit more "all-weather" that I could easily hang panniers on and hit the road with for however long as I can manage.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by giganova View Post
BMW sales numbers seem to be solid, but is BMW doing the right thing in the GS market segment?
Your post shows a stunning lack of knowledge of recent history.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #12
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Also remember not too long ago BMW owned Husqvarna.. So if they wanted to try to sew up the 350/450/500 market they had a golden opportunity.. The 650 Terra/Strada and the 900 Nuda was the last big initiative by Husqy before they got sold to the parent group that owns KTM, but I doubt BMW was very involved with that.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
BMW sales numbers seem to be solid, but is BMW doing the right thing in the GS market segment? Here are a few thoughts:

1) Too many models? 650GS, 650GS Sertao, 700GS, 800GS, 800GS adventure, 1200GS, 1200GS Adventure, that's 7 models in the GS market segment alone. Does anyone really care about the 700GS and why do they spend resources/money on this?
Since you ragged on why I care about my F650 (e.g. 700) which now has 65K miles, I will provide you an equally silly response. Why not just sell all their bikes with the adventure tanks and remove two bikes from the lineup. In this scenario, if you wanted an 800cc bike, you would buy the F800GSA. Then put exactly 4.2 gallons of gas in, regardless of tank size.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #14
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Your post shows a stunning lack of knowledge of recent history.
Care to elaborate other than just insulting me? BMW saw a 14% increase in motorcycle sales numbers in May 2013 compared to May 2012, and even though the final numbers for the entire year are still not out, there seems to be a 10% increase compared to the previous year. This is a healthy growth, especially when compared to other bike manufacturers who experienced a significant hit this year. Based on this, I think my statement "BMW sales numbers seem to be solid" is correct.

I didn't mean to insult any 700GS riders (sorry if I did!), I was just thinking out loud whether BMW is 1) slicing the salami too thin, 2) why they put so much emphasis lately on heavy bikes and whether it would be a good idea to focus on lighter yet powerful bikes. That's all I really wanted to ask and hear you opinion.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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Also remember not too long ago BMW owned Husqvarna.. So if they wanted to try to sew up the 350/450/500 market they had a golden opportunity.. The 650 Terra/Strada and the 900 Nuda was the last big initiative by Husqy before they got sold to the parent group that owns KTM, but I doubt BMW was very involved with that.
I agree but always wondered why they didn't incorporate Husqvarna fully into the BMW brand and sell the smaller Huskies as BMWs and use their existing dealership network. This could have increased sales dramatically.
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