R1150gs Or Vstrom 1000?

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by RocketMan777, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    Hi, sorry if this kind of post existed, but I just want a more recent opinion on this. So I recently is looking into trying to buy an adv bike. I'm not some fancy guy with a huge budget, I want to ride on a budget and do my own maintenance, and not break the bank when I have to take it to the shop. Below is what I'm looking at right now, could I have your opinion on it? Thanks.
    1) BMW 2001 R1150GS: 85K miles, have wunderlich crashbars, factory tool kits and luggage, stainless steel brake lines. Clutch and final drive bearing recently replaced by dealer. Fresh oil change and valve adjustment within last 2K miles. New shocks just installed. New oil change and really new tires. Also extra touring lights installed on crash bars. Prices $2500 USD.
    2) Suzuki 2003 V-Strom DL 1000: 36K Miles. New chain and sprockets, clutch service with new seals and fluid etc, new rear brake pads. Prices $3000 USD.
    3) BMW 2004 R1150GSA: 46K miles, always serviced at dealers, also have crashbars. Priced $3200 USD.
    Which one do you think I should go for? Im trying to be a rider on a budget so not the guy with all the fancy gear and stuff. Plus I'm just 1.73m tall (or 5'8). Pretty okay with a wrench. I like the 2001 BMW but kinda worried about the high miles. The suzuki I heard is a reliable cheap all-rounder, best for riders on budget. The third one is in the best condition but I've heard too much horror stories about the servo-brakes failure and leaving riders half dead or scared shitless because of it. I don't really care about the brand, I just want to get the best value for my money, now and in the future.
    Thanks for the input!!!

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    #1
  2. Benjah

    Benjah Been here awhile

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    I've owned vstroms and an R1100GS which is quite similar to the 1150GS. Without hesitation I'd choose the vstrom. The GS feels is an ancient bavarian tractor compared to the modern feeling vstrom. Furthermore, the vstroms are legendary when it comes to reliability and don't have that trip ending final drive problem that plagues GSs from this era. At 36K miles the strom is barely worn in and should provide you with years of hassle free riding.
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  3. Stellmon

    Stellmon Adventurer

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    The Vstrom is overpriced. For the 1st generation, the 650 is the better bike and seems to hold its value better. Be sure to ride before you buy... I was planning to buy one before I rode a couple, I didn't care for them as much as I expected I would. Same height as you.
    #3
  4. flexfoot

    flexfoot Been here awhile

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    Buy the Zuki.
    BMW means “bring more wampum”.
    I have 400k miles on dozens of BMW’s and now riding Japanese.
    Another bike to consider than is super reliable and can be found CHEAP is a Honda CB500X.
    Heck, it ain’t no dirt bike........but neither is a 600 pound behemouth BMW monster 1100, 1150, GS pig.
    YMMV.
    #4
  5. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    So I actually am riding some 650cc bike now, the kawasaki z650, I'm looking to get something a bit more power so I can travel more comfortably long distance and on highway. And the Strom have lots of extras, engine guards, skid plate, aftermarket hard cases, aftermarket bigger windshield, headlight guard, and that nose like thing in the front, is it still overpriced?
    #5
  6. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    Check nadaguides and kelly blue book for your area - an average is a good starting point. Don't pay for farkles you wouldn't use. The VStrom isn't priced in ridiculous region - I'd be more interested in how well maintained and how much it was ridden hard and put away wet. I wouldn't kick 2 or 3 out of bed. Even the 1st one is in a reasonable range.
    #6
  7. menotknow

    menotknow always n00b

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    I had an 03 GSA, now have the 14 V2. Scratch the 01 from your list IMHO. Test the GSA and Strom. Strom is lighter and far more bang for the money bike. It is also a fill the tank, change the oil and ride machine. BMW will always have some $50 or more need pending. It does however have some unique feel to it. A well appointed GSA of that era if very fine machine to ride. Big, heavy, powerful! Don't read too much about the servos, it's kind of a lottery, if you happen to win you can just bypass that system. Strom is a cheep, reliable and simple in this comparison. Strom will be probably also far better get around bike. Test ride them both, worth giving it a try.
    #7
  8. realshelby

    realshelby FLAKE

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    I would go with the 2004 GSA. Those are the twin spark heads. There can be reliability issues with the final drive, and you certainly need to keep the brake system flushed properly. Braking and suspension on this is far better than the Stroms. The 2001 could not have had much work done and still only bring $2500. Hell, that won't cover a new clutch and final drive bearing installation!
    On the other hand, when I see "clutch service" on the 2003 V Strom I wonder what they actually done. New plates are a waste of money. If this bike did NOT have the clutch basket assembly replaced, it will need that done to fix the vibrations. There are things the V Strom will need to have checked too, such as rotor magnets. These are old bikes now, expect something needing done!
    #8
  9. gsboar

    gsboar springfield miler

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    before settling on one of those bikes, i would look for a 2014 vstrom (2 below 5k on cycletrader) & see how far you can negotiate the price down..... doubtful you could get one for less than 4k, but who knows - private sellers might need money for the holidays & dealers are often motivated to get rid of stock this time of year....

    i owned an '02 1150gs & loved every one of the 79k miles....well, except for the final drive failure....
    after a hiatus on an '08 vstrom 650 (that bored me to tears) in the UK & a budget forced purchase of an '08 klr (that i never bonded with), i now own a '18 vstrom 1000 & have found it to be more nimble & more fun to ride than the gs (even with allowances for differences in age)....the '14+ vstrom 1000 is a vast improvement over previous generations & would give you much greater bang for the buck...
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  10. zipweee

    zipweee Been here awhile

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    Make sure to test ride the dl1000. It's a heavy pig when you try to push/walk it around in a little sand or dirt (I'm guessing the bmw would be also) Will that fit your needs?
    #10
  11. mountain dave

    mountain dave Adventurer

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    I had a 2006 bmwgsa last edition that i put 145000 miles on. Spent over 6000 dollors in repairs during those miles. I bought a left over 2015 dl650 xt in 2017 for 7000 . I have put about 25000 trouble free miles on it so far and its been a great bike. I am 6ft 4 and weigh about 270 and after a few adjustments it fits me fine..
    #11
  12. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    Oh CRAP!!! $6000??? Wow that's a lot. I test rode the 04 BMW GSA recently, and I can say it's one hell of a ride, fell in love with it, but it seems the buying cost is just the entrance ticket, I'll be looking to spend thousands more in the future? I'm not looking for that. It seems like the most economically smart thing to me seems like the v-strom, with all the extra options and still just $3000. I'm looking at something that I'll maybe spend $1000 to go on for a 100K miles, not the price of a car. I guess the reputation of being reliable is supported by cash and not the machine itself.
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  13. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    Most of the road I go will be pavement roads, maybe less than 5% dirt, I'm a fairly well-built guy, so it shouldn't be a problem for me. I rode the 04GSA and the only fear i have is it's too tall for me and that increase the difficulty of lifting it for me
    #13
  14. racer

    racer Long timer

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    I had an 04 GSA and only kept it for a few months. Great bike, but it is of booby traps. The servo brakes are great until there is a problem and the cost to replace is around 2500 dollars, IIRC. Some with that problem resorted to taking the whole servo/ ABS system out completely rather than deal with the outlandish price. Then there is the well documented final drive issure that BMW insists is a wear issure. Plus the bike burned a quart of oil or more between oil changes. I summer in stop and go traffic the engine would start making funny noises, which were not so funny. Had a knocking sound to it. The motor also surged from the programed lean running condition. STAY AWAY FROM THIS BIKE.

    I had a 2002 Vstrom 1000 also. No problems other than the annoying "chudder" at about 3400 RPM, right in the range where you want to ride. Had the clutch basket replaced under warrantee which was supposed to fix the problem, an it did, for about 2000 miles.

    Look for a used 650 Vstrom. Bullet proof. Just my experiences. Racer
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  15. realshelby

    realshelby FLAKE

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    Like any BMW subject that comes up. There are always posts saying how expensive the BMW is to own. I will speak about the 2004 GSA mentioned. Yes, the brake ABS unit would be expensive to replace with a new unit. If you maintain that system properly, you won't need to worry about that. If it does need replaced, it can be REBUILT for a few hundred dollars! Try that with your Japanese ABS unit ( still waiting on a replacement ABS unit for our 2014 Super Tenere ). Then there is the final drive. 95% of the problem with those units is incorrect tolerance in the crown bearing when assembled. I fixed mine for about $150 in parts, it was still perfect when I traded it in. So once the BS about ACTUALLY OWNING a BMW is put straight, they can be the most satisfying ride around. Regardless, these are all old bikes and that means you had better know how to work on them or you will pay more than they are worth to have a dealer make repairs or even some maintenance items.
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  16. MonkeyBut

    MonkeyBut Fuel Whore

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    If you're still considering the Vstrom1000, look for an 2004 or newer. Beemers are great bikes. Don't forget about the Yamaha Super Tenere. As reliable as a Vstrom with better brakes, suspension, shaft drive, wind management (even though that is subjective) and solid build quality. Excellent bang for the buck. I've owned a 2004 Vstrom 1000 for 5 trouble free years and I put about 50,000 miles on a used model. Fun bike. Also, don't overlook the Vstrom 650. Don't let the smaller displacement fool you. Fantastic, reliable, lighter, great fuel consumption, and can be had a reasonable price as well. Research, ask questions and buy what makes you look back when you parked it or closed the garage door.
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  17. rickh123

    rickh123 Been here awhile

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    +1 on V Strom 650. For $3000 you should be able to get few years newer ABS model.
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  18. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Socially Distant Supporter

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    Things to look for in a used Gen 1 DL1000 -

    1) Clutch basket been modified to fix the "chudder" issue? If so then when and by whom?

    2) Charging system upgrades? Rotor magnets JB welded in place and a series-type R/R is the hot setup.

    3) Rear sprocket alignment fixed via the Master Mike modification?

    4) Eastern Beaver headlight relays installed?

    5) Stock suspension or upgraded?

    It's a good bike but it needs some extra work to make it an excellent one.
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  19. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    So now for me it boils down to the BMW R1150GSA 2004 and another Suzuki that I found, a 2019 V-strom 650xt with a price of $3800. And I'm thinking I should maybe pay that extra 800 to get a brand new reliable Suzuki instead, I just couldn't bring myself to buy the 2003 suzuki because it just look so boring, but the newer one however now that gives me a smile looking at it. Which one do you think is a better choice?
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  20. Stellmon

    Stellmon Adventurer

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    How many miles / how much damage to the 2019? Seems like a very good deal that I wouldn't hesitate on if everything checks out. You could almost certainly resell at a later date for about the same price you paid.
    #20