Why do BMWs' cost so much to run??

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Domromer, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Ok not a troll or anything. I've had a vstrom for a few years, and every other little dual sport there is. I've wanted an 1150gs forever. Every time I talk to anyone on the vstrom forum they talk about how the BMWs cost so much to maintain and how things are always breaking. So I decided to ask people who actually own the any kind of post 2000 GS...do they brak a lot, do they cost a lot to fix, do they have a lot of known mechanical issues? I just sold a bike so I'm seriously considering getting a GS that's a few years old. Ideally I'd like to spend around 12k.
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  2. Motorfiets

    Motorfiets Long timer

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    Are you gonna do your own maintenance?
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  3. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Yes and no.

    On the Vstrom I've done the oil, coolant, air filter, chain adjust, removed and replaced both wheels, installed steel brake lines, removed and installed new forks, and various other things I'm probably forgetting.

    I would not feel comfortable doing my own valve check and adjustment. Since I'm a bit beyond the basics but not much.
    #3
  4. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    i dont really think BMW cost any more to run than any other bike if you take it to the shop.The best thing to do is find a shop that can service BMWs but arent a official bmw dealer.Any issue with 1150gs is very well known now.
    If something breaks i think major parts are expensive.
    I think the interenet over states reliability issues.Years ago in 2002 i bought a 1990 BMW e34 535.If you beleived the internet hype they are not reliable cars.I had it for many years and had 1 no start incident and had to replace some suspension/steering parts(well known)
    #4
  5. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    The valve checks and adjustments on the 1150s are dead simple. Really. If I had to take the bike to the dealer every 6K for them to do it, I probably wouldn't own these bikes. The simplicity, of at least the routine stuff is a big reason I ride these pigs.

    Now, if the ABS goes south on you, or you have a final drive issue, or any of the not so common things come up, then it can get pricey. Having ridden a few of the competition though, the other reason I ride this bike is that somehow it just feels better to me than the others. Sometimes you have to pay a little extra for what you want.
    #5
  6. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Brother, if you can do that stuff you can do a valve adjustment on an oilhead. It's dead simple.

    Here's the deal on your original question. BMWs quality assurance program is crap. You either get a good one or a bad one. If you get a good one, it will run for hundreds of thousands of miles with very little maintenance. Literally. If you get a bad one it will cost you multi-thousands of dollars in repairs every 30K miles. Literally.

    With that in mind, I'd trust a high-mile bike more than I would trust a low-mile bike. A bike with 75k miles can be had pretty cheap, and will probably run another 100K. A bike with 10K miles will be more expensive and can have several multi-thousand dollar time bombs ticking.
    #6
  7. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Valve adjustments and checking is quite simple on a GS, much more than on a Vstrom. The heads are right there and easy to access. Lots of threads on how to do it.

    TB sysncs are not hard, but do require a sync tool which is $150 or so and then it is pretty easy, again, lots of threads on how to.

    Parts and shop time can definately be more than a Suzi, but not usually more often by any stretch.

    The problem with asking the V-strom site is all they they ever hear and see is the negative side of people complaining.
    There are literally thousands of posts in Ride Reports of people who travel RTW on Beemers with only standard service issues. Other have had some trouble.

    There is the ever present final drive issue...a problem for some, not so much for others. Expensive if you have the problem and if you have it fixed at a dealership. But the balance is, once you have it done it will likely be a very long time before you need another one....many chains and sprockets on a Stromer between FDs on a BMW. I have no issue with chains, I like them, but to replace a set, I usually change them as a set of chain and both sprockets, and I always use a good X-ring so It requires less lube and last very well. Keeping it clean is more important than lube on an X-ring. But on my KTM a good X-ring and steel front sprocket and a Tri-metal rear sprocket is $200 or so. I get max a few thousand miles out of it...hard enduro use, maybe more in mixed use. That is alot of money over 100,000 miles. Even if you get 10k miles out of a set, that is 10 sets in 100k miles x $200 a set you are at $2000 and alot of time replacing them. A FD is not much different in the long run.

    Alot of people pay alot of money for their BMWs and thus prefer to spend alot of money on the highest grade of oils and services right on schedule and they are willing to spend alot of money to upkeep theirs.
    That does not mean a person HAS to do so.

    Any good oil will work, extending service intervals is common practice once the valve settle in. Once TBs are set right they rarely go out.....

    Some will have different opinions, but rear the Ride Reports not the repair sections....many more miles ridden than spent in service for 90+% of GS owners.

    I had a few frustrating issues when I got my RT, but once sorted it has been great. Nothin but oil nowdays. I would have no issue hoping on and riding RTW today....my body might, but not my bike.

    PS: Resale is good, if you buy and don't like it, resell it and buy another Stromer or go BIG service cost and buy a KaTooM....I love mine, but man, THAT is some service.
    #7
  8. terryckdbf

    terryckdbf Pickles

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    If you have not ridden a GS do so. Then you will know why we ride them. Maintenance is the same for any machine. Valves are one hour every six thousand, another hour for oil, filter, transmission and final drive. We do not have a BMW at this cost for ego, nothing handles like a GS.

    Terry
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  9. Ken Fritz

    Ken Fritz Long timer

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    I bought my 2001 GS new in 2002. It's been a reliable bike. Only twice - 1: low battery, 2: flat tire - did it ever prevent me from going anywhere. The first few years I rode only about 5,000 miles/year. It has over 48,000 miles now - two XC trips put more than 20,000 miles on the bike. I have adjusted the valves, changed the oil & filter, and replaced an alternator belt (preventive measure) in campgrounds. That's no big deal. The tools are basic and simple. The access to the engine is almost unlimited.

    Besides tires and brake pads, oil, filters, and clutch/brake fluid changes (all normal & easy maintenance), I have replaced the shocks with Wilbers, replaced the brake lines with braided lines and I recently removed the charcoal cannister (in the way of some new side Hepco & Becker side case racks). There are plenty of farkles, but they are personal preference items. None were really necessary and none have failed.

    It runs, rides and looks great. It's been inexpensive to operate - I do all my own maintenance work and I know it's been done right, so I ride without worries. :D
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  10. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    I did ride one in 03. Felt great but all I could compare it to was my xt or klr. I'll need to ride one again here soon to compare apples to apples. I guess I'll need to schedule a test ride. Hopefully the 1200gsa doesn't feel that different than the 1150gs.
    #10
  11. jfslater98

    jfslater98 Been here awhile

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    You're over-qualified for doing a valve check on an 1150. :D

    KellyMac's observations on chain/sprocket costs were an interesting counterpoint to the final drive "ghosts". I loved my 1150, and have since upgraded to a 1200. You'll find the 1200 to be much lighter and quicker than the 1150 you tried. I was a former KLR owner and there is definitely no comparison.
    #11
  12. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    :huh
    Maintenance is the same for any machine? A GS in the OP's price range will take 4 valve adjustments to his V-Strom's 1. A Harley won't take any, ever.

    Also, I suggest that there's a fair bit of "ego" in the statement " We do not have a BMW at this cost for ego, nothing handles like a GS." as there are many bikes that handle better in one way or another. Dirt bikes, smaller dual sports, and KTMs are far superior in the dirt. Supermoto's excell on tight twisties, and sport bikes handle better on most mountain roads. Then there's the slab and touring bikes...

    The GS does all of these pretty darned well, but it's not the best at any of them.

    BTW; I have almost 30k trouble free miles on mine - nothing but routine maintenance.
    And Yes, valve adjust is pretty simple. Unlike the V-Strom, you don't need to dissasemble half the bike, and there's no coolant to change.
    #12
  13. dieselpete

    dieselpete Been here awhile

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    I agree, the issues with the Beemers are no more common than on other bikes. However major components can be expensive. I also purchased a GS due to the simplicity, saving on labor rates of shops, and limiting down time due to field failures.
    #13
  14. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud

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    Click on my second link below for the maintenance run down on my '07 R1200GSA. As stated above, with what you've already done to your Strom you're more than qualified to do valve checks/adjustments on a BMW opposed twin.

    Good luck in your search.
    #14
  15. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Does the 1150 have shim and bucket? Obviously the access is 10x easier than on a Vstrom. I never imagined I'd have to remove all the crap to just change the plugs.. Seat. Fairing. Tank.. Move radiator.... Ugh.
    #15
  16. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud

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    Nope, threaded adjusters which makes it so easy. Only the 2010 and later Boxer engines have shims.
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  17. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Thanks for all the info. I appreciate the feedback.
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  18. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Nope, NO shim buckets. Just need 2 feeler gauges in each size 0.15mm and 0.30mm, so 4 total, 2 for intake and 2 for exhaust, a 12mm box end wrench, a straight screw driver, a spark plug wrench, and a 6mm allen wrench.

    I think those are the correct sizes.

    Really easy.

    Look at some of the maintanace sticky's and links.
    #18
  19. Steveize

    Steveize Been here awhile

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    I had two friends sell their gs's with 70k miles between the two with little problem, and for great resale value...they may be a little more to get into, but hold their value better..

    Just saw a brand new Yamaha 250, brand new, 2 years old sitting in the crate.. That kills retail sales of any used 250 yamaha's around..as far as same model..

    Gs, dead simple, proven, and when the water cooled hits soon, watch the used ones get snapped up

    I don't think you can find any Beemer 2 year old sitting in a crate...get one and ride it
    #19
  20. terryckdbf

    terryckdbf Pickles

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    Comparing a "small dual sports" is not apples to apples. Yes, they are better in the dirt but that is where it ends. And "Supermotos" come on, take those off road. The GS(A) is not perfect off road, but very, very good. Great on the highway also. Very few bikes in its "do it all" class. He can probably do 4 valve adjustments in less time than the 1. A Harley won't hold a candle to a GS in the twisties or in the dirt. It is not a perfect bike but it is quite good at all things.

    I'm assuming yours with 30,000 trouble free miles is based on your preference and not ego.

    To the OP, the 1150 is not shim and bucket, nothing to buy just adjust.

    Terry
    #20