Used BMW vs New Strom

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by alnmike, May 8, 2013.

  1. alnmike

    alnmike Adventurer

    May 1, 2013
    Hi guys, Ive got a decision to make in the coming weeks. Whether to buy a Wee-strom or a Beamer. I have done my due diligence in searching this forum and the internet, and have found a whopping 2 threads, the most helpful of which is 8 years old :)

    The dilemma is this: A used BMW 1100/1150/1200 that is 8-10 years old and has 40-60k miles cost the same as a brand new Weestrom with comparable farkles.

    Heres my history: Last summer I bought an '02 Vee and rode it for a month before a minivan ran a stop sign and turned left... From the moment I got on the Vee, I decided that was the bike for me. My first bike was an old shaft drive Suzuki GS650.

    My next bike must have ABS, and be the kind of bike that can handle a 85/15 on/offroad mix. My brain is telling me to buy a used Wee (searching, but not finding something I want to jump on) and let that be it. But I want to be riding soon, and everything I'm seeing are used BMW's for 10-13k, or non ABS Stroms, so I might as well buy a new one and another 2-3k on farkles.

    Im familiar with the Wee's lack of problems and maintenance, but what are the concerns coming from BMW's side? I've heard of final drive issues, but mostly from a Strom bias. I also loved the power of the Vee, and know that the BMW gets me closer to that than the Wee. Also, what would be the re-sale in another 5 years give or take. New depreciation on the Wee should hit harder than a used bike, but I don't know to what extent or if even true.

    I would love to discuss the pros/cons of both lines of bikes and what is going to be the most reasonable/enjoyable next bike experience. Thank you in advance for your help. :amazon
  2. reubenRN

    reubenRN Been here awhile

    Jan 16, 2009
    Buford, Georgia
    Tell us more about yourself:

    do you like to do your own maintenance or do you like to take it in?

    do you want way more performance with a little less reliability or the other way around?

    Coming from a Vee myself, the 07 1200gs was a big improvement all around. I did mind the price difference initially, but after a while I realized that it's better to cry once.


  3. alnmike

    alnmike Adventurer

    May 1, 2013
    Thanks for the response
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    If reliability is an issue, the DL hands down.

    As far as power goes, the DL 650 is on a par with the 1150. Yes, the 1150 has more paper ponies, but more weight, so the DL 650 has near identical performance one up.

    In theory the BMW has better suspension, but at that age, unless it's been refurbed or updated the DL's is probably better.

    Not arguing the BMW's have more character, but the DL wins if you want a bike you just ride.

    I could possibly live with a BMW as a second bike or if I was just a weekend rider , but not as a primary means of transport. (That's essentially why I sold my BMW and got a DL, I needed something that was always working).

    Oh, and if you want WORKING ABS - avoid the older BMW's, the ABS went bang with notorious regularity.

  5. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    May 5, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    If DL1000 was your bike, but you want ABS, there is a new DL1000 with ABS + traction control coming up for -14. Price will depend on a lot of things, and vary from country to country, but my wild guess would be roughly half-way between DL650 and R1200GS.
  6. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Mar 12, 2009
    I am currently working out the same issue. I had a GS and loved it. But sadly rode a few Wee's and found them as fast as my GS was. I ultimately decided to get the DL1000.
    In my case I am a huge fat ass who likes to travel heavy. I figure in the long run I would rather work the big motor lighter then ring the piss out of a small motor pulling 350lb me with another 50 plus lbs of gear up and down the big hills here. The V and Wee are so close in physical size, it seemed like the right choice for me.
    Another factor was price. A clean DL1000 will not break the bank. And be super dependable. As much as I loved my GS, it had its issues. And adding farkles to a GS costs a lot more then a Strom. So as much as I loved the GS, the strom made more sense for me and my finical situation. Maybe down the road I might go back to a GS. But it will be when I can afford it without issue. Affording to buy one and own one are 2 different things.


    And done right, they can be anything you want.....
  7. Goldburg

    Goldburg Been here awhile

    Mar 24, 2009
    Eastern NC
    I found quite a few 1200GS models of various age out there in the $9-12k price range and while I was shopping for the new Wee I kept thinking about the BMWs.
    Obviously some of the folks on this thread went with the V, but I went with the 1200 ('07) and have not regretted it once. It's a superior bike in every way. YOU can do almost all the regular maintenance yourself easily. It's much more comfortable...
    No regrets.

    LONG DONGER Been here awhile

    Jan 19, 2012
    Northwest Ozarkistan
    quote "The Vee was absolutely PERFECT for me"

    Looks like you have your answer! If the Wee is perfect, then buy it! I bought a new Wee for a ride to Alaska, farkeled it all up, and put about 15K miles on it. I liked the bike, but something was just not appealing to me with it. While the dependability was un-questionable, seemed like the bolts were "soft" and the overall quality was that of a $6000 bike.

    Then i found a good clean R1200GSA. Love the GSA, but i am about 95% street, some dirt roads. The GSA is bigger, better fuel range, and better overall quality and engineering.

    My 2 cents....but i think you have your answer!
  9. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

    May 6, 2007
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Having owned both bikes I would pick either one. The older BMW, that's 02-06 BMW's with ABS have Servo Brakes, if the unit goes out the cost is around $3000 to have it replaced. This is usually not a problem if their owners have done the maintenance on them, which is replacing the fluid and checking the system on a regular maintenance intervals. But they do go out, so I would look at the 2007 or newer models just for that reason. The 1000 Suzuki's do not have ABS brakes so that bike is out for you, but the 650 V-Stroms added ABS in 2007, but not standard until 2009 on all models, hope I got the years right. That said, picking the right BMW will be where the choice for you begins, but most BMW owners do the proper maintenance on their bikes, it's a BMW thing. The Suzuki's just seem to run regardless how you ride them, but there are many well cared for ones out there. Don't forget a used Tenere, probably going to be one of the best bikes out there over time.

  10. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

    Oct 6, 2008
    Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada, eh
    I just entered the world of Vee ownership. I previously owned a BMW G650 X-Country, it was a good bike, but had it's share of issues, that thankfully were settled under warranty. I love BMW's, but like a lot of others on here, didn't like the extra cost of maintenance. $600 for a 6000 mile service. I don't mind doing an oil change, but the rest I leave up to service department.

    Anyway, I have ridden a 1200GS, great bike, but it never stood out as anything really special, not double the price of Vee special. I just picked up a 2006 Vee with 17K, for $6000 at my dealer, it already had all the farkles I was looking for, so it saved me another $1500 in accessories. They also had a 2006 1200GS, but it was $11500. I couldn't justify the cost. I can live without ABS, but that's me.

    Does your dealer have any good deals on leftover Wee's with ABS?

    BMW's will cost you more to purchase, and more to maintain in the long run, whether or not you do your own maintenance or not. Five years ago I would have told you to get the BMW, GS's are cool, and Charlie and Ewan rode them, but I guess I am getting more practical, or cheap in my old age and cannot justify spending all that extra money on a bike that can do the same job. My 2 cents.
  11. icebox

    icebox Long timer

    Sep 22, 2008
    West Yellowstone, Montana
    Had a wee, sold it a picked up a 05 1200GS on this forum for $7500 over two years ago, the bike has been trouble free. And is actually easier to maintain the wee WHERE I live. Have put over 30,000 miles on it. It is over a hundred miles to a Zuke dealership, over 250 to a BM. But the BMW I can do the valves in half an hour every other oil change, the final takes about the same and the transmission is easy. There is a vendor that rebuilds the servos for around $300 with a warranty. buy what you want, or go demo a GS and see. You can get out of a used bike for almost what you bought it for if you ride it a season and decide to move on. Either is a great ride. On this side of the aisle you will get a different view than over in the BMW side. I kep coming over here hoping for more rumors of a litre shafty that weighs less than my GS. The HP race with the added weight is not what I want. At 63 these bikes aren't getting easier to pickup.
  12. stevie88

    stevie88 That's gotta hurt

    Jan 29, 2005
    Texas, I know, right?
    Most of us by bikes for the visceral feels they impart. It's not quite like buying a new refrigerator, etc. I've had a big V and the motor is pretty sweet, it's got much more punch than the BMW but.....the bike itself feels and looks cheap compared to the BMW. The V just never really hit all my buttons like most other bikes I have owned.

    I played with it a few years, then traded it for a new 05 BMW RT. I though that was the bees knees until I test rode a new 08 GSA. It fit me better and the longer, plush suspension was nice so I bought it and sold the RT. That was the bike for me for almost 50k miles until I bought a Moto Guzzi Griso last year just because it was so damn pretty and relatively rare too.

    The Guzzi experience was a revelation. Such a fun bike, quality components and a rockin exhaust note even in stock form. After a summer of playing with the guzzi I sold my beloved GSA and ordered a Stelvio to replace it. I've put 6500 miles on the Stelvio in the 4 months I've had it and I have now found motorcycle nervina.

    Of course your experience may differ. My rambling point is this. Buying a bike isn't rocket surgery and it isn't "until death do us part.". You can always swap it off, if you are buying a used bike in the first place you might even come out ahead when you sell it.

    Get the bike that torques your nutz and don't look back.
  13. runrider

    runrider Humble Adventurer

    Aug 21, 2010
    Northeast Tennessee
    Absolutely loved my '08 matte black wee and returned from Afghanistan late '09 with "making memories" high on my list of priorities. My 10 year old son and I did 10 days and 2000 miles of Smoky Mountains, BRP, Gettysburg, all the way up into the Finger Lakes Region of NY. In mid 2011, we attended a BMW rally in PA and I was convinced I "must have" a GS and within a few months, had sold my Wee (which is for sale on this site again) and was busy searching for a "good used" and reasonably priced GS, preferably a GSA. Long story short...after many offers and rejections and tire kicking ceremonies, I abandoned my search because I became frustrated with the "asking" price of the GS versus "new" VStroms. After a short term and "one ride" specific mission with a KLR, I renewed my efforts this spring and found a wonderfully discounted...brand new...wiz bang gadget and feature laden...Super Tenere! Leftover '12s being heavily discounted...check it out!
  14. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Jul 23, 2010

    How many threads do you read about people in a panic cause they are having Vee Strom trouble?


    Or not many.

    Some folks will yawn at the sight of a Wee, but if having a bike so reliable and versatile in many applications makes it "boring", than so be it. At an eventual age, one is more concerned about the destination, getting there will all your shit, and having a good time with friends.

    Standing at the parts and service counter and shucking out greenbacks for an oddly quirky bike not my thing.

    I don't even own a Strom. But will say good things about them from my experience with them at work, etc. They simply never come back for service. We see them 60,000 miles later when the owner trades them in on another new one and they still fetch several grand for the old one. The trade in's as tight and reliable feeling on test drives as the new ones.

    Great "value" bike for the money. All just my opinion. A new GS would be a riot, but I don't think it's a great "value" if you get what I mean.
  15. surlywill

    surlywill Adventurer

    Jan 21, 2012
    Why I bought a Wee. For me its all the bike I need. But than I love my KLR also :clap
  16. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

    Jan 23, 2006
    put something on and stay in that position.

    I have owned a DL1000 and a BMW 1150 GS-- at the same time.

    There is no comparison between the power of a Wee strom and an 1150 and certainly none between the 1200 and the Wee. And that's not debatable. Sure the 1150 is heavier but not that much heavier and the power available for two-up, loaded for touring travel is more than enough.

    For the record a BMW R1150 is about 500 lbs. A Wee is 490, wet. So much for that weight difference.

    The suspension on the 1000 was not good. I don't mean boring or so/so, I mean crap. And the suspension on the Wee is worse.

    True, the servo-assisted ABS on the BMWs goes bad from time to time, but the non-servo ABS bikes have trouble so rarely it isn't worth mentioning.

    I'll relate a story from the days when the DL-1000 actually saw some time. I swapped bikes with a DL-650 rider for a bit, riding down rough dirt roads/two track/goat trail every now and then. The KTM in front of me made a dramatic move sideways, roosting me, and then I saw a large washed out, square-edged cut in the track. I bottomed that crap suspension out and dented the rim of the Wee so that it wouldn't hold air. We spent the next hour and half beating that wheel back into some sort of shape with a good sized rock just so we could get the tire to stay.

    And I got the joy of buying someone else a new front wheel for their Wee strom. Good times.

    That DL 1000 sat for years, and eventually I traded it for an F650 Dakar with an inmate here. The 1150 just ticked over 68000

    When talking about maintenance, talk about doing a valve adjustment on a Strom. All that plastic, all the coolant, the radiator, 4 major cable connectors, the covers, the cams, they all have to come out. Then it's a shim-and bucket system. This is a weekend job for most guys, a shop gets 500 dollars for it. Every 15,000 miles. If it takes me 2 hours to do my valves on the R1150 GS, check me for a fever or slide the beer cooler a little further away.
  17. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

    Jan 30, 2011
    California Central Coast
    I was doing the exact same thing, comparing used big BMW's to a new Wee. I chose the new Wee, and brought it home yesterday. I did that for the following reasons:

    Potential for pricey problems and expensive service. Yes, some ride big beemers for years with no problems. But I've also looked at service costs, and in my research the Wee will likely be far less expensive.

    Weight. I used to have a Stelvio and an 800xc. The Wee feels lighter and easier to handle than either. The Wee is nowhere near as visceral or passionate as the Stelvio, and the Wee's engine is not as exciting as either bike. But given my medical history, it's either get a bike that is light and feels it, or don't ride at all.

    So for me, the Wee just made too much sense to pass up. Your mileage may vary.
  18. Rackemcrackem

    Rackemcrackem Unsafe at any speed

    Sep 6, 2009
    Wherethewildthingsare, AK
    Many worthwhile points have previously been made in discussing the merits of Stroms vs. BMW.

    For the sake of accuracy, though, published weights are as follows: DL 650 @ approximately 427 lbs dry and 472 lbs wet ( varying a few lbs, depending on year and ABS or non-ABS). The R1150GS numbers are frequently published at approximately 500 lbs dry and 550 lbs wet.

    Of course, these numbers are for stock configurations and I don't know exactly what the dry weights include (battery, fork oil, etc.). Start adding accessories and your weight will vary, maybe by a very large number!

    Whether the weight difference matters is entirely up to the rider and the rider's needs/expectations.
  19. alnmike

    alnmike Adventurer

    May 1, 2013
    Always good to wake up with more information, thank you all.

    So to summarize:
    • Before 07, BMW's might have an extra $300 brake repair.
    • BMW's have much simpler valve jobs.
    • Wee's dont get ABS till 07, and get a 400W alternator in 08. Which I think leaves about 150W headroom. BMW's have 600+Watt alternators.
    • 75 more lb for BMW, but extra 30 HP or so.
    • Wee is fine highway, just add a 16 tooth front sprocket.
    • Look at Tenere's. How do they handle the odd trip to MOAB? (Never been, but its on my list)

    As far as maintenance goes, what are the intervals? 12k for Wee Valves, not sure BMW. Oil/Coolant/ShaftOil/Filters are all essentially the same cost between the bikes as far as I can see. Ive already done a throttle body sync on my Vee, so thats not a huge turn off, anything similar to a BMW, or just make sure to check more thoroughly for problems when servicing/every morning?
    Speaking highly generalized, how many times a year would I have problems or have to replace something $50+ on each bike?

    Im trying to get on a rotational shift as a petroleum engineer, so I would love nothing more than to work 2/3 weeks then ride 1/2 weeks all over the country for a year or so.
  20. T800

    T800 Adventurer

    Apr 25, 2010
    Nuevo Mexico
    Don't let the "potential" problems of the GS scare you off. While things can and do break, these issues are usually overstated - as is the KLR dohickey and the airhead circlip.

    I love my 'strom and my GS. If I could only have one I think I'd stick with the BMW.

    Good luck