R1150gs Or Vstrom 1000?

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

  1. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    No damage, just 1500 miles
    #21
  2. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    I had a first gen DL1000 and a R1150 GS at the same time. And after pushing the Strom back and forth across the garage for months, I decided to trade it to an inmate for a single cylinder 650. I still own both.

    The 1150 GS has 97,000 miles on it and climbing (and I know this will make some folks here sad, but it has the same final drive). It has been to all the lower 48 and Baja, most of the Provinces. The single cylinder has 47,000 miles on it.
    Much of the talk about expensive failures are just that. The plural of anecdote is not data. The final drive failures were really more of a 2005 R1200 GS thing.

    The strom had chudder, sprocket issues fixed via magic mikes spacers, the single worst suspension I've ever had the pleasure of riding, awful steel bars made from chalk, a windscreen just far enough away to beat the hell out of you, those horrible cast wheels which have no place on a heavy, loaded bike that might see a goat trail. Once bent, they won't hold air. You can beat them back into round-enough with a rock. And they insist on placing the oil filter in the line of fire of any rock kicked up by the front wheel. The charging system was weak but I never mucked with it. But when anyone says, "you can run heated gear all day so long as you unplug one of the headlamps," beware. Speaking of headlamps, some of the best in the business.

    The fastners were as cheap a grade of stainless as I have ever experienced. The motor was reliable but what no one will mention is the valve adjustment on the Strom is a royal PITA and very expensive if you have it done. Don't listen to me, call the local Suzuki dealer and ask. Not for a valve check-- a real adjustment. Back in 2006 or whenever I had that thing, it was over $500 dollars.

    Now is where the loyal Strommers will say, "but they never need to be adjusted." Believe me when I tell you mine were out and I did the job myself and it S-U-C-K-E-D. It could be there valves never moved. It's metal on metal but whatever. Or it could be they have never torn the thing down to do the valve check because it sucks.

    They run a chain drive final drive which is dead simple.

    With the GS I can do the valves myself in an afternoon. Throttle body adjustments are a piece of piss on the GS but not hard slog on the Strom either once you have fabbed and added extensions.

    That being said they are generally a good value for your entertainment dollar. Look at a Strom with 75,000 miles on the clock (if you can find one) and an 1150 GS and compare the resale value-- it won't be close.
    #22
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  3. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    You talkin' about aesthetics with regard to a V-Strom?

    :uhoh
    #23
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  4. Glenn Tom

    Glenn Tom n00b

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    If you don"t want the 19 show your brother inmates some love and pass the info on.
    #24
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  5. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    Not to dispute anything that has been said, and I have a K1200LT with the same final drive everyone worries about, so I'm not anti BMW, but I am very pro Vstrom. I've had an 08 DL650 for many years now and it has served me extremely well. I know this is R1150gs vs DL1000, but you probably should consider the 650 instead of the 1000. The 1000 had it's issues, the biggest annoyance being Clutch "Chudder". This can be solved for ~$400, but it's a pain. They 650 is butter smooth and in reality has all the power most people really want or need. I've taken it loaded to the gills on multiple 6000+ mile trips and never *really* wanted for more power. Cruise all day long at 80mph if you want (I installed Cruise Control on mine, it's awesome).

    Now to be fair mine came from the PO with Racetech emulators up front and an Elka 3 way adjustable shock out back, so it is a great riding bike too. With regards to "horrible cast wheels", well I have tweaked mine and needed to get a replacement. Not because it couldn't hold air, because I rode the other 5000 miles of the trip on a wheel that felt like it had a bad tire on it, but because it was kind of annoying to ride on. The wheel took a pretty massive impact; I was riding down an old logging road that is comprised of that kind of soil that turns to stone when it dries. Well I was going a bit faster than I probably should have been, it was a very bright day and the soil was almost white when dried. So the shadows of the trees was causing brief moments of blindness as I road in and out of them and I didn't see an especially deep pot hole till the last moment. I was hard on the binders when I went in, so the suspension was compressed and the wheel took the whole weight of the impact. Me (250lbs), the bike and about 100lbs of gear, and the impact was so big it nearly threw me over the handlebars (I was standing up on the pegs). So for $300 I got a wheel off eBay and was am back in business.

    Anyway, I usually look at bikes on CL, but at the end of the day I can't find it in my heart to part with the ole Stromboli. Great bikes, cheap to own, hard to kill, with looks only a mother could love.

    Here's a pic of me (black one) any my buddies on the road heading into Polebridge MT a couple years back:
    DSC_1878.jpg
    #25
  6. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    Well I mean, apart from enjoying the ride I also want to look good riding. The old strom is really without doubt some of the ugliest looking bike i've seen, but the newer gens, the one with the long vertical one piece headlight and a beak is really aesthetically pleasing for me
    #26
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  7. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    Now that you put it like that it make me want it even more:jack
    #27
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  8. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    I've ridden both, the 1150 only briefly and it was a lot older than my gen 1 DL 650. In a straight out drag on seal the DL 650 was faster, on dirt a lot faster. The 1150 has more ponies on paper than the DL 650 but was quite a bit heavier as well and things like a really nice throttle response, power delivery and a smooth gearbox & clutch pushed things the DL's way WRT performance. (And the 1150 was an old bike, I doubt it made the stated HP, possibly never made them when new).

    If you really want the 1150 though, get it. I liked it better than the bikes that followed.

    The gen2+ DL 1000 is a faster road bike than either, no idea how it compares off road. (I have a 2014 DL 1000, it only does dirt roads by accident).
    #28
  9. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    Sadly, that was not the case for me. I installed a new, updated clutch basket (I believe it had been updated twice at that point) with new steels and fibres and guess what? It was beginning to happen again. The chudder was returning. That was the final deciding factor and off it went to the flea market. The rest of my assertions have been substantiated in one way or another: your suspension came upgraded because the stock was awful. Your rim bent because cast wheels have no place on a bike that will goat trails and must get through them. I have no idea the mileage of your DL but, but the couple of 60,000 mile + Stroms were pretty rough.

    [​IMG]

    This is coming down from Pryor Mountain in Wyoming with the wild mustang herd. This trail is not fit for man nor beast, but we managed to get down it, two up, loaded for camping. This was a 7,000 trip. No rims were harmed.

    I felt like the 650 was a buzzy mess. I know some folks find it 'smooth,' but that was not my experience. It was a lot of revs and it was missing something-- about 350cc worth of giddy up. And as I recall-- forgive me if I get this wrong-- but the weight between a DL1000 and a DL650 was fairly close. The motors were not far off and the rest of the bike is identical, so there was essentially one less exhaust.

    How many miles on the LT and how much?
    #29
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  10. rickh123

    rickh123 Been here awhile

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    And is the MSRP close?
    #30
  11. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    not at all close. I think I still have the paperwork for the newly purchased GS and it was 14k and change. I think you could pull a 1st gen DL for about 9k those days. The didn’t sell and in nearly every dealer I had to explain to them which Suzuki I meant. They had no real idea about what a V-Strom was and one dealer had one model on the floor. Of course ADV bikes weren’t much of a thing back then.

    they used to crassly joke that it was half the price and half the bike. Which was not true. I still feel it was less of a bike. But a better dollar for dollar value than the GS. it’s a very reliable motor/trans and it’s a chain drive. That makes it a no frills mile water in my book. I think mine had 36,000 on it when I traded it and had been on a couple 5,000 mile trips.
    #31
  12. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

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    @Schlug clearly you don't like the DL, I get it. It's a free country afterall. I like BMW's and the r1150gs is one of my favorite GS's. However, the BMW has many warts, it's no nirvana.

    I really like the telelever suspension, it's pretty much magic. My K1200LT is an 800lb sport bike. But let's be honest, the final drive issue isn't imaginary. Smoking the dry clutch is a legit concern. And when it comes time to swap that clutch be it from it being worn out, glazed from heat or contaminated from a leaky clutch slave cylinder I hope you have a few thousand bucks laying around you were trying to figure out what to spend it on. Maintenance on the bike is a massive PITA and expensive. It is what it is. I still love the bike, but it's not perfect.

    As for cast wheels being the reason a wheel bends, you do know that spoked wheels bend too, right? It's just that a spoked wheel can be fixed more cheaply (usually), just need a new loop and someone to relace it. A cast wheel normally needs to be replaced in it's entirety because it's not cost effective to fix it. Having said that I had a front wheel mailed to me for $300, so I doubt you could fix a bent BMW wheel for less.

    My DL has 52K on it, and it's in great shape. And I ride the piss out of it. It's awesome in the hills on and off road. And I've been in plenty of places people say you shouldn't ride a DL. I've also dropped it plenty, but the crash bars and sump guard have always done their job admirably. That road your GS is napping on looks like one I'd enjoy riding, TBH. I bought the bike for $4800 from another inmate several years ago, and have loved it. I've also ridden a first gen DL1000 with the chudder, super annoying, but rideable and a sub $2000 bike with very low miles. $400 and the clutch can be fixed from Werks Performance and totally resolve the issue. YMMV, and I have to take you at your word with regards to your issue coming back, but at the same time I have to take the dozens and dozens of people claiming their issue is fixed, many tens of thousands of miles later, over on the Stromtroopers forums. As for the 650 being buzzy, well let's just say not for me (or anyone else?). You are, quite literally, the only person I've ever heard say that. However, I do also own a Harley, sooo.....

    Oh, and the suspension thing, the stock suspension is what you would expect for a bike built to a budget. For $1500 you can get new parts and bolt them on and resolve the suspension problem. The Racetech Gold Emulators are amazing and are like sub $200. Anyone with basic tools can convert their standard forks to the Racetech and have nearly cartridge fork levels of ride. I did them on my old KLR and the difference was night and day. The front end stayed planted on gravel bends where it usually wanted to understeer because of piss poor dampening on the stock setup.

    I could sit here and go back and forth with you all day, but why? Both bikes are good bikes. Neither is perfect.

    As for how much for the LT, I'll trade your GS for the LT (124K miles). It really is a fantastic bike, but I can't seem to fit it right and I get upper back pain when I ride it. TBH I am getting it on almost all my bikes nowadays, but it's worse on the LT, I think because the bars are too far forward for my somewhat shorter than average arms, I guess? This causes me to lean a little forward and I get some back pain... But cruise control, electric adjustable windshield, heated grips/seats(driver/pillion), stereo system, Ohlins fore and aft, Russel Day Long, it's a great bike. Just do the maintenance, and Bimmers will last an eternity.
    #32
  13. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    A quick word count revealed something very interesting. :augie

    I want to keep my GS. But I might be talked into a high-mile, low cost LT.
    #33
  14. realshelby

    realshelby FLAKE

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    Schlug said he installed a "new, updated clutch basket". The new OEM clutch baskets have had a couple updates but still go back to chuddering like the old ones did. We went through that for years before modified baskets were available. Install a WERKS modified clutch basket and there is no chance of the chudder returning. It cannot as what is done internally means the basket would have to bust into pieces to have these modifications go bad. You can spend the money on a new OEM basket, or get yours modified. About the same price. One lasts longer than the bike will....

    BUT....there have and will be owners that claim chudder has returned. 90% of the time that is the front sprocket worn out and not releasing the chain smoothly under load/acceleration. Then the next 5% is the chain having a kink or frozen link(s) that cause the same feel.
    #34
  15. davesride

    davesride Adventurer

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    For the price..get the Suzuki.
    #35
  16. MonkeyBut

    MonkeyBut Fuel Whore

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    Any updates? Curious to what, if anything you ended up with.
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  17. RocketMan777

    RocketMan777 Adventurer

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    Well, the brand new cheap suzuki turns out to be a scam, too good to be true. Sadly both the GS is sold, but I found another GS, a year 2000 R1150GS. New clutch, rebuild throttle, PIAA lights? Adjusted valve, Lowered seats and a bunch of extra farkles, a bit high mileage, 98K miles, but seems to be well-maintained, final drive seems to have also been rebuilt, not sure. But anyway here i am, to the GS family, so far I loved the hell out of it. got it for $3000

    Attached Files:

    #37
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  18. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Congrats. I rode a '99 1100GS for several years and really enjoyed it except for the clunky transmission. Sargent makes a great seat for it if you don't like thstock one.
    #38
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  19. MonkeyBut

    MonkeyBut Fuel Whore

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    Great news and congratulations!!! I'm always happy for anyone that gets a new to them motorcycle, regardless of manufacturer or engine size. Now go ride the hell out of it and have fun.
    #39
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