Cost of owning BMW or Triumph

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by jason defilippis, May 12, 2018.

  1. jason defilippis

    jason defilippis Adventurer

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    Hi friends. I’m thinking of a second bike to keep in the city. Looking to go somewhat inexpensive. Considering a Tiger 800 around 2013 or 2004 BMW R1150R does anyone have opinions on which one is less expensive to own? Thanks so much. Love my 2014 GS, but they steel them now in New York City. Jason
    #1
  2. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motograffer

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    I think in terms of reliability between those two and not laying out a bunch of on-going cash to a dealer for service or for overpriced parts, the choice would be clear.

    Meow.
    #2
  3. 88Marine

    88Marine Adventurer

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    Valve adjustments are easier on the BMW. Check to see if the 04' Beemer has servo assisted brakes. If you loose a servo, you are looking at big bucks.
    #3
  4. jason defilippis

    jason defilippis Adventurer

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    Thanks guys. I realize I posted in the wrong spot. Deleting it, but thanks for the response. J
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  5. jason defilippis

    jason defilippis Adventurer

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    Can anyone tell me how to delete a post? Thanks
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  6. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    You can PM one of the FM mods or hit the “report” bottom at the bottom of your last reply and explain what you want.
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  7. rudolf35

    rudolf35 Warped & Twisted Mind

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    FYI, had a 1150 BMW and Triumphs both are reliable and cheap to maintain as long as you do your own maintenance. I never had a issue with either Mark. As to the servo ABS pump, yeah when it flames out it will be costly but one does not need it; just put a pice of tape over the ABS warning light and ride on.
    #7
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  8. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    One of the nice things about BMW in my experience is that BMW is such a well established brand that in a big city you can pretty easily find an independent mechanic who will be able to do maintenance at a lower cost. I paid under $400 for my last service which included valve adjustments, new tires (I bought the tires and brought them to him to install), new brake pads and a new quick disconnect for the fuel tank. This is on an 02 R1150R. It does have the servo/ABS but so far they have worked flawlessly and the bike has almost 70k on it now. If the ABS/servo brakes ever go out I'll just remove them.
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  9. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    They both may have one or two minor maintenance quirks that could crop up if you're unlucky, but they're both pretty solid. You can't go wrong either way.

    Triumph sounds cooler though. And it has the added bonus that as soon as you fire up that triple, every urban toy dog within a 1 mile radius will start barking its tiny head off -- apparently small yappy dogs once had some natural enemy that had three cylinders :)
    #9
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  10. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    Close to 100k beemer miles, my major expense by large margin has been tires. I do my own maint.

    ROD
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  11. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    This. Old BMWs of that vintage are pretty solid. I have an 01 with nearly 97,000 miles on it.
    I would look in to the valve checks. Every time I hear the phrase, "they hardly ever move or have to be adjusted," they are a serious pain in the arse to adjust. Use of that phrase and difficulty in checking/adjusting are directly proportionate.
    #11
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  12. allowishish

    allowishish Boof Master

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    I had the r1150r and put a LOT of miles on it below are a list of the issues I had:
    1st issue: @ 112,000 miles O2 sensor went out
    2nd issue: @124,000 miles fuel pump went out
    3rd issue: @ 158,800 miles the wiring harness died

    Traded the bike in with the blown wiring harness ($1800 part plus 10 hours labor to re-wire the bike) for $2,500

    for the record, I loved that bike. Bought it new and would still have it had the wiring harness not happened out of state and I needed to get home.
    #12
  13. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    BULLSHIT! You should absolutely stop giving dangerous advices on the internet, someone could be killed!
    The ABS- Integral used in the latest of the R1150 and the first years of the R1200 are NOT safe to use without the servo.
    #13
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  14. D R

    D R Been here awhile

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    If I recall correctly, the servo assisted brakes where added beginning in 2005 and discontinued with the second half of 2016. My 2005 R1200RT (the immediate follow on to the R1150RT) has them. The easiest way to check if you have the servo assist is:

    1. Turn the ignition on (don't crank up the engine)
    2. Wait for the electronics to cycle (about 10-15 seconds max)
    3. Squeeze the hand brake or depress the foot brake

    If you hear a humming whine commence with the application of the brake and the humming whine ceases when you release the brake, then the motorcycle has the servo assist.

    As for paying out big bucks if the servo goes out, that's absolutely true. Don't ask how I know.

    One thing to know about the servo. When you apply the brakes (handle bar or foot) you are not actuating the brake calipers. You are activating the servo, which then sends a braking input to the calipers. Think fly-by-wire in aircraft.
    #14
  15. 88Marine

    88Marine Adventurer

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    I have an 04' K1200GT and it has the servo assisted brakes. I know BMW only used this set up for 3 maybe 4 years. I like the stopping power, but I do sweat having a servo fail. I have read where the servo set up "was a solution for something that wasn't a problem". I have to agree with that. My local dealership in Nashville had a K1200LT in their used inventory and the rear servo failed several months after they received it on trade. I was told they have had the servos fail during brake servicing.

    Currently have 187,000 miles on my GT.

    I agree with norseXL's statement about the danger of riding the bike with a failed servo.

    As D R mentioned "One thing to know about the servo. When you apply the brakes (handle bar or foot) you are not actuating the brake calipers. You are activating the servo, which then sends a braking input to the calipers. Think fly-by-wire in aircraft."

    JB
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  16. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    My '02 has the servo/ABS brakes.

    As far as failure goes, my understanding (gleaned from this forum as well as elsewhere) is not that you can ride even if the servo fails (except for emergencies), but rather that if/when the servo fails, you can remove the servo/ABS system in its entirety and just ride the bike as if it had no servo braking or ABS.

    But it's a little more involved than just putting piece of electrical tape over the warning light - you have to actually remove the system.

    If you look in the R****R thread on the Road Warriors section there are several inmates here who have done it or have bought bikes that the previous owner did the "servo-ectomy" on (yes, it's so common it has a name.)
    #16
  17. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    Which Tiger were you thinking of?

    XC or roadie?

    The XC has bias ply tire up front, and a radial tire on the rear. The front wears out before the rear. Many riders have gone to Heidenau Scout tires for "all-purpose" tires, with decent results. Tube type rims on the XC.

    The Roadie has mag wheels and a 19" front tire. More options and tubeless.

    There isn't much that an XC can do offroad that a roadie can't do.

    OP~ go ride both before you decide.
    #17
  18. ddavidv

    ddavidv So money, but doesn't know it.

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    Two different bikes. You really should ride them and decide which experience you prefer.
    I don't like BMWs. I don't have anything against them, I've just never ridden one that made me feel it was something I had to have.
    I love my Tiger 800. It was everything the Hondas I tried weren't.
    I bought it used. The PO knew he was buying an Africa Twin and deferred some maintenance which was reflected in the price. I changed the air cleaner (dumb design to get to but not hateful, just time consuming) and did a valve check (monumental PITA but the dealer price is painful). At 20,xxx some miles none needed adjustment. Next interval I figure they will need something and will bite the bullet and let the dealer do it because shims.
    You'll read some complaints about the stepper motor gumming up but I've had no issue and I think if you spray them clean after riding in dirt they work fine.
    I bought the "Dealer Tool" that plugs in to reset lights and get codes. Easy to use and pays for itself after one use.
    Other than normal tires, chain adjustments, etc I've had no problem with it and it has over 32,000 miles on it.
    #18
  19. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    My 94 BMW R1100RS has been pretty cheap over the long haul (that being almost 190,000 miles), mostly tires, oil changes and a few batteries, all the maintenance done by myself. The 1150R can be found real cheap these days. But for myself I'd avoid the models with the servo-brakes. If the ABS is not exercised regularly (meaning you actually practice braking, you DO right?) the rear servo system tends to act up. Plus, I just don't like the wizzy brakes. Aside from that, keep it plugged into a battery tender, use ONLY non-ethanol blended fuels if you can. Or, keep Techron, Seafoam or fuel stabilizer in the tank. BMWs keep running best if regularly run and exercised for at least a solid 1/2 hour of highway speed riding when you do ride. Mine have all been as reliable as rocks, so I lean toward the BMW. I have seen nice 1150R selling for less than $3000, many include goodies like saddlebags and windshields.

    Another option, look for a R1100RS, 96 to 2000 model, that has the handle bar risers installed. These are cheap these days! The later models have the improved tranny and the good ol' earlier version ABS (none wizzy). But make sure to use a battery tender because they are sensitive to cool temps/low battery voltage starting for a bike that sits a lot.
    #19
  20. WindBlast

    WindBlast Recalculating........

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    My 2001 Triumph Sprint ST was the most trouble free motorcycle I ever owned. Besides my Honda. Oh, and my Kawasaki and Suzuki.
    #20