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Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200

Radar

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Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« on: July 20, 2018, 12:07:11 AM »
Decisions, decisions
Replacing a BMW GS1200


I know in the accepted order of the universe that once you buy one BMW GS1200 that it is inevitable that you will buy another: You have not merely bought a motorcycle when you sign on the dotted line for your GS, you have in fact been assimilated into the collective….you must, when the time comes, buy the next model that boasts a revised something or another that is clearly vastly superior and well worth the thousands extra that you will be expected to cough up on top of your existing GS in order to enjoy the delights of a TFT screen or a new way of selecting some function or other. Or do you? I know a man willing to go against the tide, to leave the collective…a rebel! Here we have a man willing to sell his GS and replace it with, gulp…something else!!

His existing GS has been his mount for the last two years and a little over 30,000 mils from new. He uses it almost exclusively for commuting (no tedious continent crossing here, all recorded via Go-Pro) but he now fancies a change and wants to replace the old bus with something else! Does he not know the way of things?!

Stu's Feedback:
Ok, so the reason for taking the RED pill to escape the BMW matrix is a follows…
Buy a premium brand bike, enjoy unparalleled robustness, fine engineering, longevity and a status that gives you excellent residuals. Invest a not inconsiderable chunk of money, then another chunk on essential accessories ( that will make commuting a joy and last what was supposed to be a longterm tenure or at least bits that could be easily transferred to the next model year steed…hence making these premium priced accessories as bit more VFM) and I will be set for life….happy in my ignorance

So, since taking the pill, there has been something of acknowledgement of the brutual truth
These things aren’t that robust (well, at least mine isn’t…it’s had some pretty big things go wrong), some of the quality is questionable and it turns out that it haemorrhages value when you go over 5k per year (WTF…this is supposed to be a globe trotting machine, not some garage queen….I’d have taken less of a hit if I’d bought the lunatic S1000XR that I really wanted). So whilst the dealer is very happy to try and sort stuff out and keep me a happy customer, even if the warranty isn’t worth the paper its written on …I’m getting fed up with the 80 mile roundtrip. In short, I reckon running a Panigale through the winter as my daily commuter would have been less painful.


Anyway he has roped me into this process and I have joined him in his quest and so far five runners are in the race for his business and have been ridden to evaluate their right to take the place of the GS.

The Contenders:
1.   Yamaha XTZ1200 Tenere



The actual example he was looking at was a fully loaded ultra-low miles bike, but the one in the showroom was owned by private individual and couldn’t be ridden. With no demo bike available he had to resort to a leggy 40k 2012 example to at least give the big Yamaha a try. I joined him, riding my Ducati 2008 S2R (I am yet to be assimilated) around a 16 mile loop of local Worcestershire roads that had a little of everything; open roads, tighter sections, urban areas etc. Well to be blunt he didn’t seem to like it, in particular the way it handled, especially the front end feel…NEXT!

Stu's Feedback:
Someone’s always raving about Yamaha’s …so try Yamaha’s GS equivalent (without the expensive electronic gizmo’s to go wrong)…another big twin, sufficient torque and a shafty…..ideal commuter tool.
So, whilst not the freshest example to try it took all of 10 yards to work out that the thing was like steering a supertanker in comparison to the GS…the fact that the junction at the end of the dealership sort of doubles back on itself wasn’t filling me with confidence…I made it with some judicious clutch slipping. I was getting flash backs to my first ride on a feet-forward Victory on the twisty lanes of Warwickshire….will need to apply some concentration to steer this Yam….good job I hadn’t suggested that the test route included some twisties otherwise there would be a high potential to test out the Dakar inspired off-road capabilities.
Making it back unscathed was a relief…clearly 10 years of bike development had moved things in comparison to largely unchanged Super Ten design....suffice to say its off the list


2.   Yamaha MT-09 Tracer GT



Having consulted with a friend of mine who has knocked a big mileage on a Tracer with few issues next on the hit list was the new for 2018 GT model. We went over exactly the same route as we had when trying the XTZ and he came back highly impressed. Way more fun to ride, comfortable and well equipped too. However he wasn’t keen on the current range of colours on offer, but he did get some ‘numbers’ from the sales team…WATCH THIS SPACE…

Stu's Feedback:
What a polar opposite to the XTZ…light, steerable, fast….I could keep up easily with the Ducati riding mad man in front of me (makes a change although I think he’d only engage impulse rather than warp drive). Very much like my old tiger in feel, just with better brakes and a nice TFT screen. The flies in the ointment…what the hell do I do with the Roll-On/Roll-Off shipping container that masquerades on my GS as a top box and why do they offer them in such cr*p colours. Let’s see what happens when 19MY gets released (I’m channelling speedblocks as a paint scheme)…if not, I’ll take the primer grey demo at a discount and get it wrapped !!
We now move on a few days for next in the race…


Big E's Tracer review...http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=7992.0

My Tracer Review...http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=7911.0


3.   KTM 1090 Adventure
The big Austrian is next under the microscope, and like that most famous of Austrians, Mr Schwarzeneggerr, the KTM is a powerful beast…160bhp! I wasn’t with him when he tried this one, but he loved the way it boogied with all that power to play with. Nagging doubts about reliability over 30k miles in two years and depreciation remained but…WATCH THIS SPCE, or as Arnie might put it…I’ll BE BACK (possibly…)!!

Stu's Feedback:
OK…I didn’t try the full fat 160bhp 1290 Super adventure…I tried the 1090 half fat with 125bhp…still a hoot once I’d worked out that the fun started past my usual short shift point of 4k. The quality control seems to have improved since the 1190 I test rode 3 years ago thankfully  but despite the thing being ORANGE (it aint subtle) and the top-box would look at home…the spec is poverty and there’s that niggle about QC and the thought of trying to extract warranty repairs out of the local dealer


Fast forward another week and the next two competitors come to the floor

4.   Honda Africa Twin DCT



This is a beautifully built and presented bike and once again I joined my friend on his quest as he rode the legendary AT on another selection of Worcestershire roads. I led the way on my Ducati once more acting like a ‘chase plane’ as we circulated another challenging 15 mile loop. Not the same as we used before but providing a similar mix of roads. He came back impressed in some respects, but wasn’t at home with the DCT automatic transmission and had a more minor issue with some of the decals being a little tacky and pointless….so….NEXT!!

Stu's Feedback:
In my head this was very much a sensible option…Honda reliability, fit n finish, nice looking bit of kit with all the right bits on it. Hated the DCT, shifted too quickly so you missed all the fun up the rev range…much better to use it in manual. OK, so DCT isn’t essential you can order a manual (which I would do anyway), but there was something going with the ergonomics….1/2mile in and my calf was aching, then at the 30mins marker my butt cheek went numb…and the LCD screen wasn’t compatible with my polarised sunglasses (essential kit for us middle aged bikers to look cool) and my height…I had to bob my head like an owl to see anything on it ! Another off the list


Big E's AT review...http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=8086.0

5.   Triumph XC800 Tiger XRT



Well now it was the turn of the plucky Brit contender to take over from the Bavarian Behemoth. He has run a XC800 in the past, he enjoyed it, but this was the bike that was traded in on his current GS, so it was always going to be a tough gig for the Triumph. This was the very latest 2018 model with all the latest gadgets and updates suchas a TFT screen. It is also the most expensive he has tried so far. Riding yet another 15 mile loop an yet another mix of Worcestershire tarmac he came back impressed, but not blown way and a slight feeling that it was like going out with an old girlfriend again…NEXT!

Stu's Feedback:
Very much like my old XC….even down to not being able to easily slip my boot between the footpeg and the gear lever…..I needed to know whether the 200+ changes that Triumph have been trumpeting has made a significant difference….in short…. Nope (they should really turn their attention to the brakes…as bad as the leggy Super Ten from last week!). It’s also the one with the highest cost to change and I think the Tracer is better (ok….I’m ready for my stoning but all the Trumpet riders)


My XC800 review...http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=7949.0

Big E's review of a XC...http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=7962.0

So five bikes in, the GS remains, but two contenders are pushing it hard…the Tracer GT and the mighty KTM. There are some others to consider, the Suzuki Vstrom 1000 and the Ducati Multistrada perhaps? So far he has no mentioned getting another GS…so let’s hold our breaths and see what happens next…

Stu's Feedback:
The V-strom is uglier than I am (and that’s going some) and a bit old skool now…it’d have to be an epic bargain but you never know
Ducati Multi….as good way to throw £20k away in 3 years and the servicing costs are eye-watering (even compared to Triumphs eye opening costs)
Another GS…would have to go some to reverse my slightly jaded view of Germany’s modern Panzer.
The F850GS would have been an option with its updated engine and new chassis but someone in Germany (actually in India) is filling the front forks with marshmellow’s they dive so much….and being a less than attentive rider I generally hit the front brakes hard and late, which on the occasions I’ve had the bike as a loaner, I’ve been close to scrapping the chin guard of my helmet on the floor it dived so much.

Any suggestions ??


Dealers:
Yamaha
Kidderminster Motorcycle Mart

Honda
Sutton Motorcycles (Bromsgrove)

KTM
Kestral KTM

Triumph
Streetbike
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 05:49:19 AM by Radar »



r6ymy

Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 12:28:41 AM »
I've had my KTM1090 for 10 months now, done 8,000 miles with solely leisure use, including two long weekends in Scotland, and a 9 day trip to the Dolomites a few weeks ago. No problems to report, other than I've changed the handlebars as I found the original ones had too much sweep and gave me a pain between the shoulders after a couple of hours. Did have to be recovered home one evening after filling up with dodgy fuel at Warwick services on the M40. Cleaned the filters out and all OK again.
There were some good deals on the 1090 recently at less than £10k for new unregistered bikes.

I use a chain oiler, but If I was commuting year round I'd be looking at shaft drive as a preference, but that pretty much takes you back to the GS.
I do know a few people that have had warranty issues with GS's, corrosion on engine casings seems very common, but BMW are generally pretty good about warranty.
Maybe try getting a PCP quote for 2 years at 15,000 miles a year, at least you know what the cost will be and not have any nasty surprises about trade in later.

Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 12:50:41 AM »
I've had my KTM1090 for 10 months now, done 8,000 miles with solely leisure use, including two long weekends in Scotland, and a 9 day trip to the Dolomites a few weeks ago. No problems to report, other than I've changed the handlebars as I found the original ones had too much sweep and gave me a pain between the shoulders after a couple of hours. Did have to be recovered home one evening after filling up with dodgy fuel at Warwick services on the M40. Cleaned the filters out and all OK again.
There were some good deals on the 1090 recently at less than £10k for new unregistered bikes.

I use a chain oiler, but If I was commuting year round I'd be looking at shaft drive as a preference, but that pretty much takes you back to the GS.
I do know a few people that have had warranty issues with GS's, corrosion on engine casings seems very common, but BMW are generally pretty good about warranty.
Maybe try getting a PCP quote for 2 years at 15,000 miles a year, at least you know what the cost will be and not have any nasty surprises about trade in later.

Thanks, great feedback...I will pass that on

Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2018, 09:53:26 PM »
Feedback from when the post was shared on FB


Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2018, 10:05:02 PM »
I've had my KTM1090 for 10 months now, done 8,000 miles with solely leisure use, including two long weekends in Scotland, and a 9 day trip to the Dolomites a few weeks ago. No problems to report, other than I've changed the handlebars as I found the original ones had too much sweep and gave me a pain between the shoulders after a couple of hours. Did have to be recovered home one evening after filling up with dodgy fuel at Warwick services on the M40. Cleaned the filters out and all OK again.
There were some good deals on the 1090 recently at less than £10k for new unregistered bikes.

I use a chain oiler, but If I was commuting year round I'd be looking at shaft drive as a preference, but that pretty much takes you back to the GS.
I do know a few people that have had warranty issues with GS's, corrosion on engine casings seems very common, but BMW are generally pretty good about warranty.
Maybe try getting a PCP quote for 2 years at 15,000 miles a year, at least you know what the cost will be and not have any nasty surprises about trade in later.

Thanks, great feedback...I will pass that on

Stu's Feedback:
r6ymy - It’s good to know that you’ve had zero problems with his KTM…the last demo one I rode (3 years ago) had loose LH bar grip…didn’t fill me with confidence. The upside is that the new local dealer is very close to my current office if there is a need to drop it off for warranty work. Just depends on how accommodating they are being!
I ran a Scottoiler on the Tiger previously, so it’s on the cards again if I end up with a chain driven bike. Obviously, shaft driven is idea for commuting but they all seem to have the potential for some expensive catastrophic failure (ask me how I know!)
BMW’s reputation for robustness is fading quicker than there resistance to corrosion currently….I have yet to see any sign of their exceptional warranty/customer service…especially now as I am getting close to paying off my  PCP bubble
In regards to the final settlement I was assuming that it was deliberately low set (using a 14k pa mileage) to ensure that I had a big enough carrot to roll it over onto a new one at the end….the bubble seems to be £500 less than the market value…which means I’ve taken a very hefty hit on the bike…will see when the PCP is up in Nov’ when the rest of the biking world has gone into hibernation and they’ve got sales targets to reach….there’ll be  a bargain out there I am sure…..if not, I may end up with a worthless inter-gallatic GS



Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2018, 10:06:01 PM »
Feedback from when the post was shared on FB



Stu's Feedback:
Matt/Steve D – tried the XR before the GS, loved it… but was advised that anything over 3k pa would kill its residual….I’m doing 12k currently….however, can’t see an XR’s depreciation being any worse than the  freefall one of the GS. Would still have to deal with the same dealer network too and the base products robustness (I can already hear the comments when I start getting warranty issues “Sir, you do realise that the XR is really a sports bike with higher bars…it’s not designed to daily commuter through the winter…you should have bought something more suited….like a GS)
Dave H – similar comment to above + more expensive service bills
Steve P – I though you gave me a very rounded and unbiased opinion of the Tracer…it is very much the sensible option and high on the list….its where the “head” option is.

Gordy

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 04:41:18 PM »
Stop being a dick and go and buy the S1000XR that you wanted in the first place. F_ck the residuals. When your time comes in a few dozen years and you are lying there on your death bed, the last thing that you are going to care about is how clever you were with resale values.

Plus the S1000XR will allow you to leave 10 mins late and get there 10 mins early, and enjoy every mile.

Finger out now. The shop is that way >>>

Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2018, 08:20:28 AM »
Stop being a dick and go and buy the S1000XR that you wanted in the first place. F_ck the residuals. When your time comes in a few dozen years and you are lying there on your death bed, the last thing that you are going to care about is how clever you were with resale values.

Plus the S1000XR will allow you to leave 10 mins late and get there 10 mins early, and enjoy every mile.

Finger out now. The shop is that way >>>

Stu's feedback when I mentioned your advice...


Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 12:30:43 AM »
I wonder why the Triumph 1200 isn't in the frame?

http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=8227.0

r6ymy

Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 09:41:51 PM »
Saw this on the MCN #ride5000miles facebook group, another unhappy ex GS owner complaining about corrosion and warranty issues
https://screenshots.firefox.com/DH9kDvgkZylQg4PZ/www.facebook.com
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 09:46:56 PM by r6ymy »

Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2018, 09:00:40 AM »
Saw this on the MCN #ride5000miles facebook group, another unhappy ex GS owner complaining about corrosion and warranty issues
https://screenshots.firefox.com/DH9kDvgkZylQg4PZ/www.facebook.com

I passed this onto Stu, cheers

Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2018, 09:07:49 AM »
More updates from Stu:

I tried an 1200 Explorer as my very first loan bike when I had the Tiger...definitely a step up from the Tiger but I didn't really feel like a that significant step up from it. It also niggled me that there seemed to be loads of disconnected panels around the front that seemed to be a bit of an after thought. It was a also a bit Benny Hill....top heavy lovely.
So, whilst the TEx like the Tiger has had a significant facelift, I suspect that the amount of change would be similar to the XRt (not sufficient). I'd also have to factor in the eye watering Triumph servicing costs (which are frequent at 12k a year).
Having said all that, its nice to buy British

#Gordy

My curiosity  get the better of me...I know I don't need 160bhp or fully electronic suspension, but they've got a 0.9% APR deal going and it'd be rude to refuse the opportunity...so when a truncated meeting at work presented an opportunity, I took it with both hands and tried the full fat KTM 1290



Ok...the blatantly obvious thing....man it's fast....like XR fast, so I was very careful to keep the front end down (£500 xs for damage!)....the seat is hard (I'm getting old I know!) and it dives under braking (not as bad as the F850GS though). TFT screen is great, rides nice, awesome brakes...did I mention is was ballistic fast ? Just need to get used to revving it more than the GS to keep it in the sweet spot for more Warp speed acceleration. Flies in the ointment are the lack of kit (no heated grips on  £15k Adv bike...WTF!!) and the £10k depreciation over three years (worse than the BMW!!). In my heart of hearts I know that the 1090 would more than exceed my requirements....its just that I "know" for 19MY an updated TFT screen is imminent for the 1090 to get rid of the clunky thing that's currently fitted...which would make it perfecto (relatively speaking)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 07:14:46 AM by Radar »

Gordy

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2018, 02:19:59 PM »
Unfortunately my legs are too short for a KTM, so I'll take your word on it being fast. Their smaller offerings (the 390) I think come from their India factory and exhibit some poor welding and duff corrosion resistance. Hopefully their larger bikes are still built in the EU and have decent quality.

I know I mentioned not worrying about residuals in my previous post, but it would be the actual purchase price that would make me baulk at a 1290... £15,000 sure be a lot of dosh.

So maybe the 1090 is the sweet-spot for you. But do you actually need an 'adventure style' bike? Do you plan on a lot of off-road riding? How about two cheaper bikes each suited to their role - one for fast commuting and general riding pleasure, the other for fully kitted 'adventure' touring. You could let someone else have the initial depreciation, hence go for two secondhand 5k bikes, and hence save yourself 5k on the overall deal. So, how about a VFR800 (low mileage examples about £4500) plus a XL1000V Varadero (immaculate examples seen at £5500, possibly available for less).

Choices, choices...

: )

Radar

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Re: Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2018, 09:14:27 PM »
More from Stu in response to Gordy's points:

Unfortunately my legs are too short for a KTM, so I'll take your word on it being fast

It's all relative..I've not ridden anything you real bikers consider fast....just the 1290 was quick like the XR, so needed a bit of respect from someone who just commutes Their smaller offerings (the 390) I think come from their India factory and exhibit some poor welding and duff corrosion resistance. Hopefully their larger bikes are still built in the EU and have decent quality. I think the bigger bits are still made in Austria, so hopefully things will be better than the India offerings. However, the GS is still built in Germany and there's are some pretty shonky bits on it.

I know I mentioned not worrying about residuals in my previous post, but it would be the actual purchase price that would make me baulk at a 1290... £15,000 sure be a lot of dosh. £15k is a whole hill of beans (but comparable to a new GS), you then need to add £800 worth of bits to make it comparable to my GS and then they hit you with a comedy GFV after 3years/42k miles. So despite the 0.9% apr deal they are currently running you can see why I haven't taken the plunge, but to the dismay of all my power hungry biking mates. Bragging right are all well and good but a big dent in the pocket is another things along with knowing that I'll never use 20% of its real potential or features (many I have on the GS...never use them !)


So maybe the 1090 is the sweet-spot for you.

It's looking that way....just having trouble with the 80's clocks on it

But do you actually need an 'adventure style' bike? Do you plan on a lot of off-road riding?

Ha ha ha ...closest I get to riding off road is going across the path/down a kerb or riding on a gravel drive/car park.....I pap myself if I hit the shingle in the middle of the road ! So no...it doesn't need to be an adventure bike, but I'm 6 ft with arms like a gorilla, so the sitting up posture on an adventure bike works well, along with having great visibility in the winter months (no hibernating Oct-Mar.......just no snow riding thank you !) means its my preference. The fact that I look like a gorilla on a circus bike on a normal bike has nothing to do with it (you should have seen me on a Street Triple...hilarious)

How about two cheaper bikes each suited to their role - one for fast commuting and general riding pleasure, the other for fully kitted 'adventure' touring.

My bike is fundamental a commuter tool...in theory any "pleasure travelling" is done in my Triumph Spitfire (weather permitting)...besides, I reckon another bike with a classic car would tip my very patient wife over the edge (not something you want to do regularly)

You could let someone else have the initial depreciation, hence go for two secondhand 5k bikes, and hence save yourself 5k on the overall deal. So, how about a VFR800 (low mileage examples about £4500) plus a XL1000V Varadero (immaculate examples seen at £5500, possibly available for less).

Good idea....but...my bike is my "company car"....so to make things more cost effective, I buy new (or an ex-demo to swerve the first years depreciation), stick it thru the books, claim the VAT back and then offset the depreciation through the company.....this doesn't mean that its acceptable to live with nearly a £9k drop in residuals on the 1290/GS....I could buy a new bike for less and still sell it with interstellar miles on it and still be better off ! 1st world problems eh ??!!

Need to talk to the respective dealers...check out the size of their carrots. Either way, once the GS is back from the dealers its up for the chop....anyone want a slightly leggy GS with loads of new bits on it ??
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