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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a few bikes - my ZX14 2008 Special Edition and my 2006 K12S that I just picked up a little while ago and I have a 2006 Honda ST1300 ABS.

I'm thinking of trading in or selling my ST1300 and getting the R1200GS 2008. They have it in a lowered version which is just unbelievable for me. I have short legs and I've always wanted to ride one of those bikes. I recently took out a 650 WeeStrom and was very impressed with the bike - haven't had fun like that since I was a kid.

So I figured that the V-Strom is a great bike but is still a little tall in the saddle for me and I would like to have all the goodies that a GS has and if I tried to do that on the V-Strom, I really wouldn't save any money.

I haven't been able to ride one yet because I haven't been able to find a low version that I could ride but the new one that is at the dealer is all set up. They told me that if I was to buy the regular one and had to customize it to lower it, that it would cost me almost $1,700 for the suspension and shocks, so getting it from the factory is definitely the way to go.

Is there anyone out there who has the low version and has my same personal problem with short legs and how do they like the ride and do they ride agressively and do they go off road or stay on trails and pavement?

Would appreciate any input before I take the big plunge.
 

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Sat on one at the motorcycle show, and again at the BMW dealer. I'm 5'9", 30" inseam. Flatfooted the bike, even had my knees bent a little.
Would be fine for fire trails and most green-diamond single track, but anything more gnarley and I think you'd be cussin' at yourself. Just one of those limits, I guess.

Good luck with the search. You might try calling some of the other BMW dealers in SoCal; it would be worth the trip if you can find one to try out a little.



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You can lower a VStrom for about $30. You can also equip a Wee Strom with anything that you can equip a 1200GS with and still have a bike 1/3 the cost and certainly more rugged and reliable. If fact you could buy a new VStrom 650ABS (Good luck finding one) on what you lose in the first year of the GS’s depreciation.

There is a reason these T-Shirts are sold:



What is means is when mixed dual sports (BMW's and V-Stroms) are out riding, * OFTEN * The BMW's will break down or not start due to antennea security devices, and the Vstrom which does not have those or any other problems will often save the day by rescuing the BMW.

Known fact, most BMW GS'es do not leave their garage without a set of pull straps as they often are dead in the water for no reason.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHjOTN3xOOk

______________________________

Edit: Just Found this.

Aside from long distant touring, these are the type of road the VStrom was built for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZYHDJBkcuY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nLwP_uE8dA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0vIJ2W5hMc&NR=1

 

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Discussion Starter #4
I like the V-Strom allot. I rode a 650 without ABS. I would prefer to have the ABS and I think that would be just great but I usually ride 2-up and the 1000 V-Strom doesn't have ABS and I understand that I could save money by going with the V-Strom for many reasons - not too many BMW stores out there, the price and then the final drive (which is very expensive).

But I'm not scared off by all of the terrible stories about BMWs quality. If it really was true about everything, they wouldn't be selling so many bikes. Besides, I like the people here at the BMW sites and I hope to ride with some of you guys real soon.

A buddy of mine has a LT - you know, Light Truck - not for me, but he is very happy because he has a nice sized woman on the back and she is very comfortable with her heated seat and arm rests and her big trunk box and vanity mirror.

The GS is definitely pricey and I don't know that much about the boxer engine but I've heard lots of good things.

Allot of my friends have told me that I'm just wasting money on BMWs but to each his own.

The 1000 V-Strom is only 30 pounds or so more than the 650, I could put a lowering kit on it and change the seat and put some bags on it. I think going with soft bags would be better than the hard bags. Why try to make it heavier? Besides, we're like cowboys with our horses and our saddlebags. I'm always carrying too much and should lighten the load - ha, ha.

Thanks allot - really appreciate all the advice.
 

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Go here too.......:

Strictly a VStrom Forum...StrormTrooper.

.......for questions concerning the DL1000 VStrom. There are a gazillion former GS owners there.

From what I gathered, a large number of DL1000 oweres lower their bikes. Easier than a oil change...which is PIE to do (less than 30 minutes). I have a 30 inch inseam but when I sit on a DL1000 I'm on my toes. I can flat foot the DL650. It is the seat that makes the difference. The DL1000 seat is wider and one inch higher. The seats between the DL1000 and DL650 or interchangable.

It's easier to swap out the seat. It's cheaper to lower the bike.
 

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Sounds like V-STROM is a much better bike for short people. That guy on the yellow bike bogging itself in the sand looks like a circus midget :teeth

A Honda Accord is far more reliable and 1/4 the price of a Porsche.....

You could buy a Toyota 4x4 for the depreciation of a Cayenne in the first year......

There are plenty of forums that espouse the virtues of the FJR over the GT but it always comes down to the price. If you wanna dance, you gotta pay the band!

There are hundreds of GS riders in my BMW club who ride and rally regularly and I dont know anyone who carries tow or tie straps. so where the "most GS riders" stuff comes from who knows.

Yes the ignition ring was a problem but is now sorted in a recall.

It sounds like if youre really short and/or dont want to or cant spend the money on a beemer, the V-Strom is a good compromise :popcorn:
 

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I guess it's who you ask. I think the GS is a cool bike. According to VStormers who are former GS owners, the Strom is a better bike. I don't know hundreds of GS owners. I know three. All three have broken down (one 08 model with FD failure) and all three carry tow straps and tie downs.

This statement…..:

What is means is when mixed dual sports (BMW's and V-Stroms) are out riding, * OFTEN * The BMW's will break down or not start due to antennea security devices, and the Vstrom which does not have those or any other problems will often save the day by rescuing the BMW.

Known fact, most BMW GS'es do not leave their garage without a set of pull straps as they often are dead in the water for no reason.”


…..was copied from a dedicated GS adventurer/owner?

The Way Round was a cool video. Didn't like the ideal that the group had to have tons of money, endorsements, several support vehicles, support crew, sophisticated communications systems with links to BMW for technical issues, a spare bike and bike parts. All that crap and support was used and needed. All that extra SH!T took away the romance of the trip.

A few months later two kids (early 20s) on VStroms made the same trip. Unsupported with the cash in their pockets. The nature or differences between the two bikes in real world application is stunning.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it looks like you guys out there have made me change my mind. I really like that GS but I haven't ridden it and from what everybody is saying here, I guess there is no need. So now I just have to make up my mind whether it is a 650 with ABS or the 1000.

I have a few friends who I ride with who have a WeeStrom in their collection so I guess I'm going to have one too.

Now I have to work out the deal on price. I'm not into that dealer prep stuff and the market is not going too well for any big purchases so maybe I'll get cut some slack - I doubt it though.

On the website for Suzuki, they give a curb weight and a dry weight and there sure is a big difference there. Also between the 2008 and 2009 but I guess it is just the fuel.

So now that you guys have got me going, how is it for tire selection on the V-Strom?
 

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Wtf???

Why are these guys paddling through the creek? Feet on the pegs, feet on the pegs. Do you ever see enduro guys riding like that? Nooooo. Maybe this event is the opposite of trials - more points for paddling more? Maybe they're canoeists who feel the need to paddle something?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfjGmo_aFio&NR=1
 

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bikeguy said:
So now that you guys have got me going, how is it for tire selection on the V-Strom?
What type of riding do you plan on? All purpose, racing, pure dirt, general off road, street only? The stock tire is an all purpose tire. Not excellent in any one category. Just ok in all categories. But you can go just about anywhere on the stock tires.

No need to finch when the road runs out. You just keep going. Those kids that followed the Way Round route on VStroms did it on stock tires. There isn't a whole lot out there for tire selection. The Wee has a 19 inch front wheel.
 

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Xavier6162 said:
I guess it's who you ask. I think the GS is a cool bike. According to VStormers who are former GS owners, the Strom is a better bike. I don't know hundreds of GS owners. I know three. All three have broken down (one 08 model with FD failure) and all three carry tow straps and tie downs.

This statement…..:

What is means is when mixed dual sports (BMW's and V-Stroms) are out riding, * OFTEN * The BMW's will break down or not start due to antennea security devices, and the Vstrom which does not have those or any other problems will often save the day by rescuing the BMW.

Known fact, most BMW GS'es do not leave their garage without a set of pull straps as they often are dead in the water for no reason.”


…..was copied from a dedicated GS adventurer/owner?

The Way Round was a cool video. Didn't like the ideal that the group had to have tons of money, endorsements, several support vehicles, support crew, sophisticated communications systems with links to BMW for technical issues, a spare bike and bike parts. All that crap and support was used and needed. All that extra SH!T took away the romance of the trip.

A few months later two kids (early 20s) on VStroms made the same trip. Unsupported with the cash in their pockets. The nature or differences between the two bikes in real world application is stunning.
.
Hmm, a couple of guys from our BMW club did the same route as well, on GSs. One of them was 75 - now THAT'S stunning - and they also went unsupported so I guess that blows your theory out the window. I don't think they had tow straps either... come to think of it, I don't know anyone who rides a GS who has tow straps on their bike.
 

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Long way around was "ground-breaking". Support vehicles? Sure. But how many times did they have to backup and try something else?

You then get someone on a different bike w/o support vehicles. But, did they retrace all of the paths taken, or just the successful one? Ya have to toss that into the mix.

Couple of things...the original brand-of-choice was KTM. Someone at KTM didn't like part of the route (China, I believe) and nixed KTM's support. BMW was all for it. One of the bikes ended up with a broken frame. Unreliable? Hard to judge when you're the first one to try something, and end up stressing components trying a new path.

There are probably mulitple brands that can do that route now, including KTM. But, keep in mind that when you do something for the first time it's ever been done (redundant, I know) don't dismiss the support on that endeavor when dicussing subsequent attempts.



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One of the biggest issues that the Long way round guys had was weight.

Those bikes were heavy to start with and waaay overloaded with gear.

The fact that a frame broke on one was down to that issue and it happened in a fall.

In long way down they rode much lighter and had no bike integrity issues other than shocks.

If you want to break a frame a long way from home, try a trip like that, loaded, with an aluminium frame like a V-Strom.

There is no doubting that the V-Twin V-Strom has a really sweat motor and that it is a dual purpose bike for highways, dirt roads and fire trails.

Spend plenty on it attempting to turn it into something that it isnt and it will probably take you most places that a GSA would have taken you straight out of the box. But youve still only got a V-Strom not a GSA.

I drive a VW Turbo Diesel Touareg, a number of these have successfully competed and finished in the DAKAR. Those vehicles though looked not much like mine when entered and many of these V-Stroms look nothing like one out of the box by the time they are ready to take on heavy work.

The earlier comments re other V-Strom forums being full of ex GS riders is probably very true.
For most GS riders a V-Strom will do everything that they want or need it to do for that type of riding for less bucks.

I could have bought a much cheaper jap bike that would have done most of the things my GT does but it wouldnt have been the same and as per the V-Strom, I would have had to spend $$$$$$ to get the all the extra goodies and still had an inferior bike.

This website is full of riders who have migrated from many other brands too, Some have had negative experiences elsewhere some not. I have had many previous rides that have nothing to do with the reason I now ride a beamer.

If my financial position changed tomorrow (fingers crossed) I too would probably have a smile on my face riding a V-Strom, or anything else for that matter.
 

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DebS said:
Hmm, a couple of guys from our BMW club did the same route as well, on GSs. One of them was 75 - now THAT'S stunning - and they also went unsupported so I guess that blows your theory out the window. I don't think they had tow straps either... come to think of it, I don't know anyone who rides a GS who has tow straps on their bike.
Nope. Not according to former GS owners. I don't know, just saying. I think current and former owners have a bit more credibility than hearsay from your post. There is a website documenting the way round from those British Stromers. Why don't you post the info from the 75 year old? I'd be interested in reading it. Especially since I collect such data.
 

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Dadicool59 said:
One of the biggest issues that the Long way round guys had was weight.

If you want to break a frame a long way from home, try a trip like that, loaded, with an aluminium frame like a V-Strom.
Well I don’t know. I’ve done tons of research. I have an entire external hard drive dedicated to motorcycles and adventuring touring covers 30MB.The incidents of frame failures on a GS is very rare. But it has happened. There are no failures on the Storm's frames documented anywhwere. It's just not something that occures. For the Way Round kids, there were no frame failures on the Strom’s aluminum frames even after two server crashes while heavy overloaded and racing like young invincible idiots. Nor did the suspension break while overload and over thoudsands of miles over potted and washboard roads in Asia.

The gear carrying argument is moot when you consider that Stromers carry the same gears, some use similar luggage, but a lot of Stromers carry passengers alone with luggage and gear without drivability problems or breakdowns due to excessive weight issues.

I’m planning on a trio to the Horn (Cape Horn) in 2012.The GS was my first choice. But then the research started….followed by the enormous problems GS owners were encountering. Now I’m also looking at KTM. Something I’ve noticed that seems to be universal, Non GS BMW owners can be sensitive about the GS. Actually GS owners either love’em or hate’em but won’t hesitate to tell you to be prepared of what’s to come “When” something goes wrong. My searches show that GS owners talk a lot about issues and ways to resolve’em. Strom owners talk about the sights, rides, or two-up adventures they just had. Two totally different camps.

While GS shopping some thoughts always occur to me. Do I risk a GS break down (likely) in nowhere land and pray that the parts will arrive and that I can find someone to repair it (not likely). Or do I find a bike where a breakdown (extremely remote) in nowhere land can be taken to “Any” mechanic with parts that can be fabricated by just about anyone and be back on the road the same day.

When shopping I showed the boss (wifey) the bike (GS) I wanted while we watched an episode of Way Down together. She knows nothing of bikes, but her comment, “Why would you want to get stranded on an unreliable motorcycle. It’s probably your way of going out and grtting lost for a few days just to get away from me?” was very eye-opening. Especially since that thought occurred to me.

They are booth rugged workhorses. The GS is a very cool bike. The VStrom is ugly, but more comfortable, especially for long distance highway rides or down bumpy rugged roads. It is also and lot more fun to ride.

End the end it’s about what floats your boat. Though GS resale value and time on the market sucks, it can be ridden and supported 25 years from now. While the other is a throwaway (unsupported by dealers after a dozen years are so) but has an unusually very high resale value that doesn’t appear to have any accountability to common sense,…go figure…, all while on and off the resale market within days (or hours if it’s the ABS model).

The BMW makes you feel good about what you ride and own. The Strom makes you feel smart because you can buy and equip 3 -4 Stroms for the price of one GS.

One ensures you have a personal relationship with your dealer. The other ensures you have a personal relationship with worry free adventures.

In the end it boils down to Romance vs. Practicality. There are people on both sides. Depending on where you sit, there is no association better than “Your” point of view.
 

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Xavier6162 said:
DebS said:
Xavier6162 said:
A few months later two kids (early 20s) on VStroms made the same trip. Unsupported with the cash in their pockets. The nature or differences between the two bikes in real world application is stunning.
Hmm, a couple of guys from our BMW club did the same route as well, on GSs. One of them was 75 - now THAT'S stunning - and they also went unsupported so I guess that blows your theory out the window.
Nope. Not according to former GS owners.
I think you missed her point (your emphasis). It's not so stunning when a GS owner rides unsupported just like the V-strom riders. The fact that he was 75 is probably a tribute to his leading a good life, riding anywhere he can find a road.

The VStrom is a fine dual-sport bike. Obviously, if it can follow the same "Long Way Around" route, it's no slouch. Any bike for that matter; it's a strenuous route.

I'm not sure what the benefit is of praising the attributes of one bike while having a totally negative discourse on another. I'm sure there are current Vstrom owners that are happy they moved away from GS's, but what about (if any) GS owners that were happy to move away from the Vstrom? And, in the grand scheme of things, would it matter?



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I believe in Long Way Down... the 'support' vehicles only meet up with the riders at checkpoints. Other than that, the 3 riders were on their own on 3 bikes.
 
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