Your thoughts- BMW Vs. Japanese dual sport for long hauls?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by kaspilo, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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  2. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    And where would the manuals for the 2014 models be?
    S1000RR shop manual?

    I can get every Yamaha service manual by buying it for a moderate price from Yamaha.
    Same for Honda, Suzuki etc etc.
  3. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    The clutch illustrates a serious issue.

    Not gonna need a clutch? Maybe. Did you buy your BMW new? What if you find yourself living or riding in a hilly city? Or having some sort of linkage problem on the road, that causes clutch wear?

    I see it all as a sort of tradeoff. Seems that in times past, the Japanese offerings would go half the distance, for lower entry price.

    And that's if they were used long enough to even go that distance. Twenty year old Hondas and Yamahas with under 5000 miles are not unknown; and often times they have weather damage enough to make them only suitable for parts.

    Now BMW...twice I was shopping for a used BMW. Sixty thousand miles and five thousand dollars is a hard one to swallow. Sure, the engine is probably still going strong.

    Probably. Assuming it had no overheating issues. What about clutch/trans/shaft and rear-end, and wheel bearings? Forks?

    I guess what the differences in mileage show...is that BMW customers are serious riders. And for that, I give them props...and they aim to get their money's worth out of their machine.

    But at half the price, the Japanese bikes were as good a value for half the service. And now, more than half the service.
  4. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Here ya' go: https://www.amazon.com/BMW-Motorcycle-Repair-Manual-S1000RR/dp/B00A7P2I62

    Tip: If you know exactly what you are looking for, Amazon is a great resource.

    If we are rating motorcycles by the ability to obtain shop manuals, the # of service and repair facilities available country-wide, and the ease of obtaining spare parts.... then the seemingly most reviled brand name seems like it might be the best!!:lol3
  5. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    I have that. It's a f@#king joke. You need Windows 2000 to run it and it's far from a service manual it's a bottomless maze that is barely indexed. Slow as hell..... even slower if you try to use VM (Virtual MAchine).
  6. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    Let me add one thing..... If someone really rides these bike in dirt your going to need to get a new clutch, maybe go through a few during the bikes lifetime.

    What is even worse is that all you need is an input shaft seal leak and the stock BMW clutch plate will rot as it's not oil resistant. You need to get a German made Siebenrock after market clutch to have an oil resistant clutch, or get the new
    BMW boxers with the wet clutch.
  7. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

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    As a guy that's had a few BMWs and hangs out on those forums...the complexity of the bike contributes to its rate of "failures." No trying to avoid it. Every new electronic doo-dad increases potential failure rates.

    Think about it. Let's say all makers have a 1% failure rate for a given component. (just guessing on the number for sake of illustration)

    My Honda CBR250R had...let's say...20 major systems/components.

    My R1200GS has...oh...40 major systems/components. Everything from ABS to electronic suspension to heated grips to a complex screen to report on all the above...the list goes on.

    The BMW will have twice as many problems over time. And...in reality...that's what we see. A surprising amount of little fiddly stuff goes wrong on these complex machines.
  8. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Hmmm....

    Are there any bikes that are seen as "low tech", with "75 year old technology", with "Engines that haven't changed in 50 years", and so on. What do the majority of Touring enthusiasts buy? Why?

    Maybe there is a reason for that? Maybe it is actually a positive Vs. a negative. Reliable, but in the odd case of a failure - easy to repair, easy to find parts for, Dealerships / Service Centers seemingly everywhere.

    In the end, it all depends on what the rider wants. Gadgets? Electronic Devices? Complicated (but seen as "superior") technology solely for technologies sake?

    In the end, the further we wander from "basic" the more issues we invite. We can still improve upon the basics, and make them stronger, lighter, more reliable, etc., but we need to question at times what is being offered as.... "better".
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  9. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

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    That's why I've decided I'm pretty happy with my '08 GS, without electronic suspension, heated seats or factory GPS. It's not as basic as the airheads I used to have...but it's also not that far off. As long as the odometer keeps working, I don't even worry about the fuel strip eventually failing!

    I thought final drive issues were the exclusive domain of BMW. But I learned that the same hand-wringing goes on in forums for other shaft-drive bikes.

    It's tough to make that part as durable as a car's. The car's weighs 50 pounds and is the size of a cook pot. Ours are a fraction of that, and the main gear assembly is barely the size of my fist. AND...in many of these models, the final drive is asked to carry nearly the horsepower of a compact car.

    I had this conversation recently with some friends that don't have bikes. I talked about valve adjustments, problems, rebuild schedules for my older bikes. They challenged me on that (those things must be built like crap!). I came around to the fact that much of what goes into a bike that is analogous to car parts is done in a sort of "miniaturized" way...our parts have to be small and light to make the bike even reasonably usable. A 4cyl Civic motor can weigh over 400 pounds! Just the motor...nothing else attached.

    An entire motorcycle with that much HP can weigh under 500lbs. Lots of compromises when building a motorcycle.
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  10. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    You sure got that right. My darn POS 2010 GSA only made it 92,000 miles on the original clutch, and that included getting it stuck in Florida sugar sand, and going on trails I shouldn't have been on. I should get my money back. :rofl
  11. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    An interesting point that I had not really formalized in my mind. The parts for the new oilheads/wetheads are about the same size as the airhead assemblies, but carry 2x or more the power.

    With regards to the earlier models, a friend recently bought a 1999 R1100RT, for $2950. It seems in good shape, but what struck me when I rode it was that it is like the slash 5 equivalent of the new series (1100/1150/1200/1200W). Pretty much the same basic bike, but at the beginning of the evolutionary process, and a lot simpler. It seems that one could do almost the same things with it as with a R1200RT wethead, for about 1/8 the cost. Kind of like back when my R75/5 was worth a dollar a cc, and new airheads were going for about $5000. Interesting thought.
  12. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    BMW is kind of hampered by having to build within that design for the GS. Much like Harley
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  13. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Huh? What about the 650GS (single) the various vertical twin GSs, and now the S1000RR-based GS-like bike, the S1000XR. Seems like they can break out of that box pretty quickly and easily when they want to. Not like Harley. At all.
  14. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    They have had that single for two decades but the hampered design is the one in numbers because that is the only bmw can sell to their kool aid drinkers. Harley has other bikes designs as well but has the same issue.
  15. dwizum

    dwizum Long timer

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    You've hit on yet another reason why comparing reliability across brands is hard (or perhaps, meaningless).

    Brand A is different from brand B. The functionality is different, the complexity is different. Brand A might have failures more often, but is that because it's less reliable, or is it because there's more on the bike to fail?

    When we talk about comparing reliability, we often think to normalize on obvious factors - things like miles ridden, age of bike, etc. We often don't think to normalize on complexity or features. I wonder how this would look if, instead of comparing one brand to another, you were to compare specific (similar) models from different brands? For instance, reliability of all multi cylinder touring bikes with electronic suspension and ABS - instead of comparing bikes with those features to bikes without them. This way, if someone knew what level of functionality they wanted, they'd actually be able to use the data to determine which bikes with those functions had the least failures.
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  16. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Other than the V-twin and a half-twin? Where are their inline four models? the true clean sheet single? The vertical twin? the inline 6? Somehow those innovative Harley models aren't in my local Wisconsin showroom. Aah. I get it. They are export-only. Silly of me to miss them.
  17. kaspilo

    kaspilo Adventurer

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    In general, you look at statistic (consumer reports and others) prior to buying a motorcycle. At the very least, that will give you an idea of what to buy or what not to buy... well, i didn't, not only once but 4 times.

    Once you screwed up that one, the next indicator should be the first bike you buy. What is the quality of the ride, its reliability (as defined by you), your "wrenching" activity Vs. your riding time, what is the cost of spare parts and/or the cost of repairs (if you are not mechanically inclined), The $$$ spent per 1,000 miles, the quality of the manuals, etc... well, I din't, not only once, but 3 additional times.

    Even now, after seriously considering selling my BMW's, I think I'll keep one, just because..!! However, I will NOT take it on a long trip, nor I'll ride alone...
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  18. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    If magazine reviews or online motorcycle site reviews were taken as slam-dunk deciding factors, every single "new" brand, and every existing brand offer that had 3-4 new features would sell like crazy. Magazines and Web 'zines all seem to jump on the bandwagon every time something discovered as 'new', or even slightly outside the basics is offered.

    If we recall, and if the numerous forecasts were correct:

    • Polaris Indian would have totally wiped out Harley Davidson, and drew them to their knees.
    • The "new" Buell would be absolutely thriving, and everyone would have one in their garage.
    • The Milwaukee 8 Harleys would be selling like mad.
    • Everyone would have an electric bike in their garage for short trips.
    Note: Journalists tend to exaggerate, inflate, and exploit the subject matter, in order to attract readers, and create excitement, impress the editor, etc. Merely because something is in print, or posted on the Internet, it may or may not be factual, or even remotely correct.

    And so on, and so on. Motorcyclists are a very fickle bunch, and Brand/model selection is impacted by a much broader and multi faceted spectrum of influences than many realize. I suggest that a LOT is directed by geographic location, riders age, education level, type of career, married/single, kids / no kids, overall physical condition, and of course personal taste. Some is handed down through generations, some are introduced to riding by a group of friends - hence they choose something similar to what friends ride. A LOT is likely influenced by appearance, and yes... sometimes "image" . I said "influenced", as in marketing and glossy advertising. Some folks rate some factors in a different order than others.

    Also taken into consideration is what the personal rider intends to DO with the bike. Race? Tour? Commute?, Pure weekend casual enjoyment? Pseudo-Racer? Pseudo Tough Guy? Off-Road Adventures? Bloviating Punk?, ??? And the list goes on forever.
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  19. dwizum

    dwizum Long timer

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    The problem with news periodicals is that they're periodical. They have no choice but to focus on what's newest; they wouldn't be able to sell the same stories covering the "stable" old stuff over and over.
  20. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Agree. But they tend to make elaborate predictions and .... dare I say "prophecies" (:-)) that are never challenged say one year later. Folks also tend to believe that because they are paid journalists, they MUST be experts, and their word is gospel. Granted, there may be 2 or 3 in the world that qualify for the expert badge, but the remainder are working stiffs just like us, with varying levels of expertise from zero to average. In the end, the reader has to take every word with a grain of salt, and learn to differentiate between solid facts, obvious bias, and flagrantly personal opinions. Get out the old black marking pen and cross out all that is merely the authors opinion, and what is left might be considered for thought. For the record, I've seen folks on this forum link to articles that are clearly the personal opinion of the author, yet the intent by the poster is to present a written, published "fact" as the deciding factor in the debate. That said, a certain percentage of people remain believing that printed or website/Blog words must be 100% true.

    A wide open mind, and a very strong sense of both humor - and pure B.S. - is required.

    FWIW, there ARE many successful "Classic" bike magazines and Websites that cover stable old stuff over and over!:D Different breed of reader though.