New Honda Varadero (xl1000V) vs Old Bmw 1150 gs Adventure

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by adi.barda, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. adi.barda

    adi.barda Adventurer

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    Hello everyone,
    Recently I purchased a 2011 Honda Varadero 1000 (xl 1000V) almost new with 14,000 km on it. Do not have one bad word to say about the bike - it is really comfortable, relaxed and can also go fast if you like, fit great with a lot of equipment + pillon, excellent gearbox and excellent wind protection.
    My problem is that originally I wanted to buy a bmw gs 1150 adv and somehow ended buying the Varadero (which cost me a lot more by the way) and I keep thinking that maybe there is something great that I'm missing by not riding the gs. After all - it is the adv riding industry standard for years..
    So here's the question: Do you think I should exchane an almost perfect new honda motorcycle with a 9 years old bmw 1150 gs adv with 100 000 km on it? Are these bikes are so different in overall experience that justifies the replacement? and What about early years (2005-2007) 1200gs - should I consider it instead?

    Advantages of Varadero:
    1. Almost New bike
    2. More reliable from what I read online
    3. Stronger & faster engine

    Advantages of GS:
    1. Ability to ride in dirt (limited but exists)
    2. Local Friends Club actively
    3. More active international communities
    4. Easier Self-maintenance
    5. Much more after market parts online
    6. ABS

    * the 2011 varadero cost me 18250$ and the 2003 1150gs adv costs 13750$

    Summary: My brain says "stay with the Varadero". my Stomach screams "go for the GS"

    your Opinion is welcome, especialy people who actually rode both bikes

    Thanks

    Adi Barda
    #1
  2. adi.barda

    adi.barda Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Petah Tikva Israel
    Hello everyone,
    Recently I purchased a 2011 Honda Varadero 1000 (xl 1000V) almost new with 14,000 km on it. Do not have one bad word to say about the bike - it is really comfortable, relaxed and can also go fast if you like, fit great with a lot of equipment + pillon, excellent gearbox and excellent wind protection.
    My problem is that originally I wanted to buy a bmw gs 1150 adv and somehow ended buying the Varadero (which cost me a lot more by the way) and I keep thinking that maybe there is something great that I'm missing by not riding the gs. After all - it is the adv riding industry standard for years..
    So here's the question: Do you think I should exchane an almost perfect new honda motorcycle with a 9 years old bmw 1150 gs adv with 100 000 km on it? Are these bikes are so different in overall experience that justifies the replacement? and What about early years (2005-2007) 1200gs - should I consider it instead?

    Advantages of Varadero:
    1. Almost New bike
    2. More reliable from what I read online
    3. Stronger & faster engine

    Advantages of GS:
    1. Ability to ride in dirt (limited but exists)
    2. Local Friends Club actively
    3. More active international communities
    4. Easier Self-maintenance
    5. Much more after market parts online
    6. ABS

    * the 2011 varadero cost me 18250$ and the 2003 1150gs adv costs 13750$

    Summary: My brain says "stay with the Varadero". my Stomach screams "go for the GS"

    your Opinion is welcome, especialy people who actually rode both bikes

    * this question was also posted in the GS forum

    Thanks

    Adi Barda
    #2
  3. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    The GS is more fun to ride in the twisties and feels lighter. The Vara is more comfortable and refined.
    The GS(of)A is a joke of a motorcycle. No real benefit over the standard GS either on road or off but a lot less practical due to these 3cm of higher CG and gargantuan petrol tank when full. I had a GS and had many good miles with it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as it is a quirky bike. The only areas it excels are in carrying vast loads and feeling relaxed doing 100mph on the highway.

    The funny thing with progress is that a 650 vstrom smokes them both anywhere, anytime.
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Be happy with what you have... you don't want a 9 year old bike with 100,000 km on it.. unless you enjoy spending money on parts replacements.. You already have the Varadero... keep it and smile when you ride knowing it's reliable and a fairly new bike :D
    #4
  5. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    ask what maintenance costs on a gs at a BMW dealership. you'll be happy with yr 'dero from that moment on :)
    #5
  6. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

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    This is an easy question with an easy answer. It's not about the bike, its about your life.

    Your profile says you're a software engineer at HP and that your dream bike is a 1200 GS. You are here, posting on advrider.com. You have good, stable employment and a healthy motorcycle budget, go with your dreams. Twenty years from now, you don't want to be looking back wishing you'd lived another life.

    Sell the Varadero, buy an R1200GS. Live your life to the fullest.
    #6
  7. adi.barda

    adi.barda Adventurer

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    I like your reply Roger but let me just add: I also have a healthy wife which will kick my ass if I add 5K$ for a decent 1200gs. I'm asking this question to know if my dream GS bike is worth moving from a new Varadero. however, In general I totally agree with what you say about living your life to the fullest :)
    #7
  8. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    WOW. Where do you live? $13750 sounds like a huge chunk of change for an '03 r1150gs with 100000 km on it. Having said that, every time I get off of my '04 GS I smile and say how much I love that bike.
    #8
  9. mcstark

    mcstark KaTooM convert

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    So the Honda doesn't come with ABS???

    Here's my two pfennigs. Motorcycling is not about logic or convenience, it's about what stirs your soul. Life is too short to live with regret. Your brain wants the Honda, but your heart wants the Beemer. I would say the choice is easy. Just find a lower mileage Beemer - the one you're looking at is priced way too high.
    #9
  10. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    If the GS was newer like say an 08 or so, I'd say definitely. But an old GS, no thank you. Keep the Honda.
    #10
  11. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    No cross posting please, read the posted rules.

    In Canada, the Varadero was sold with ABS..

    Just ask the BMW dealer what a clutch replacement costs on the GS.

    Easier maintenance on the GS? Only vavle adjustments are easily accessible... Oil changes are easy but main seals, tranny input and output seals, final drive seals.. it's all labor intensive.

    If looking to buy a used GS, avoid 1200GS from 04 to 06 since they had servo assisted brakes, you don't want servo brakes.

    The ADV bike market has changed a lot, there's a lot of great choices now. If you want a reliable bike with a very long valve inspection interval, have a look at the Yamaha SuperTenere, as its first valve check is at 42,000km and it's a fun bike to ride too.

    Look at Vstrom, Honda Crosstourer, Triumph, to name a few. I'd stick to the 'dero!
    #11
  12. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

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    Very valid comments from GB.


    I own a 2005 1200GS and what I can tell you is its a marvellous bike. Touchwood, so far I have not had EWS, Final Drive, Main Seal or Servo brake problems and PRAY I hopefully dont see them in future.......

    Coming to the 1150GS, with the exception of being a little heavier, in my personal opinion its one among the best & most reliable GS bikes from BMW. But in your case with 100,000 kms already on its odo and an almost 9 year old bike, you are much-much better off on your 14,000kms 2011 Varadero...And being a honda, this is also a rock solid reliable bike that will last you a long time. As for the trade off on the chain drive Vs the shaft drive, after reading the drive failures/problems on the hexhead GS bikes, atleast in 'relative' terms the chain drive is easier to maintain/repair!

    Yes sometimes its a tough choice to make between the head Vs heart, but the Varadero is still a really good investment and fun bike. So just go out and enjoy it to the fullest.....and as for the 'adventure rider tag' rest assured a lot of GS riders you encounter on the road in their flasy BMW riding gear are the 16,000 dollars & 16 miles a week adv bikers.. so it does not make the Varadero less of a adventure bike:D

    Ride hard.
    #12
  13. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Kilroy was here

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    This reminded me of a new sign in a local dealership. It seems the dealer doesn't want to scare people with a sign that labor is $103/hour. The new sign Reads Labor: $53per half hour
    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    My local BMW dealer charges $110 / hour and does not work on bikes older than 2005. :huh
    #14
  15. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    don't have a problem with large petrol tank. the overall weight is a bother on any offroad though.

    just go testdrive some.

    would not pay 13k for an 1150 though
    #15
  16. Paulvt1

    Paulvt1 Long timer

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    Simple answer. No.

    The Varadero is built like a hammer. I had a BMW 1150GS, bought used with 33,000 miles on it. Corrosion was an issue and the FD had play come first MOT i had to try and get it through. I cut my losses and sold it.

    Buy a set of cans for the Honda and let rip! :D
    #16
  17. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

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    It seems to me you paid too much for the bike in the first place. You must have made the seller very happy. But, now that it's done I'd say it's a keeper. Being both a previous Honda and BMW owner, I'd say Honda on reliability and cost of service is the frontrunner. And, if your not fixing it yourself, that's what really counts.:D
    #17
  18. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    go to a dealership and ride one. hammer the gearbox and you'll know why you love the 'dero
    #18
  19. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    OP is not in North America (no 2011 Varadero here even in Canada). So we cannot compare prices with North American prices.

    You can get new 2010s here for around $11k plus taxes etc.
    #19
  20. johnny77

    johnny77 Adventurer

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    Same problem. :)
    I have a beautiful Varadero (2006 with FI and only ABS) with perfect condition. Odometer: 64000 km (40000 miles).

    The Dero is a gorgeous bike, reliable, powerful but boring (IMO) and so heavy. The bike is fit for me (I am 6'7 tall) but it is doing like a pig in heavy traffic (slow speed). And the Vara has poor running gear.

    The problem is I like the flat twin too.

    I am thinking of exchange my Honda with a ten years old R1150GS with perfect condition (ODO: 49000 km ~ 30600 miles). My friend's bike with verifiable past.

    Like adi.barda: "My brain says: stay with the Varadero, my stomach screams go for the GS". :)
    #20