I have owned 3 BMW's the latest being a 2004 R1150 GS Adventure. I have had no problems and they required only routine maintenance. I tested a 04 KTM Adventure but found the seat to hard and the maintenamce to expensive. With the BMW I can do most of the maintenance myself and save alot of cash for other things and dealer service in my area if much more convient with BMW.
Yeah, who's minding the store? Are the lights still on? Who's still left at MO, anyway? I saw minime and Calvin get a mention in one of the paper mags a while back. And at least you still check in, JB. But it looks to me like all we've got left is Sean and whoever he can rope in this week. How come MO could afford more staff back when it was free?
Oh, I know, it was the whole dotcom thing, and MO could charge exorbitant ad rates.
Sorry for ranting so far off topic. Sigh. Must be time for a beer.
Damn, girl. I sent an urgent e-mail to Sean after Thailand got drowned. Thought my favorite girl (whom I've never met) might have been eaten by a shark. Good to know you're still kicking. Sean never responded, probably an overactive junk filter, or a terrible backlog of messages. He never responded to my offer of a review of the R1150RS, either.
I compared both as well and ended up with a 1150GS since the BMW is a much better street bike; much more comfortable for rider and passenger and you can easily take it on dirt roads...but not trail riding. I wouldn't want to trail ride on either one.
I also have a 2004 KTM 625 SMC; which I love but dealer support/part availablility and pricing has been a dissapointment. Maintenance is also more of a chore. I love the bike, but for me a KTM is not a primary bike.
R1der has a great point. Stop what you are doing and go read that article - fast! Before you spend money. MCN is worth the pricey subscription costs.
However I'm baffled as to why you - or anyone else - would ask this bunch for advice.
Jeeze, read up on these bikes. Go check them out. Ride them if you can. Find some owners and talk to them.
Ask yourself this question: do I want a great streetbike that is ok on dirt roads or a great dirtbike that is great on roads but would be a bit less comfy on long hauls? Pretty simple question that should be fairly easy to answer.
Do you want to ride the "Insect God" bike or do you want to ride "Gandalf's Bike" complete with funny hat?
Bottom line: trust yourself. Don't place the opinions of others above your own where YOUR money is concerned!
Couple questions. If he shouldn't place the opinions of others above his own, why should he listen to your opinion? Second, if he shouldn't ask "this bunch" for advice, why did you give him advice that he shouldn't listen to?
After years of living with women I have become used to the fact that my opinion is meaningless, however as a long time dual sport rider I love the KTM, but haraldahide said that he was going touring, and was going to explore some unpaved roads. Therefore the BMW is the logical choice. VWW
BMW's reliability is legendary, and our own experiences back this up. KTMs powered by Rotax should be reliable
I'm not so sure about legendary reliability any more. Think legendary longevity is more like it. There is a surprising amount of disgruntled talk about final drive problems and brake servos at places like ADVrider which, btw, would be an excellent place to ask for first hand opinions on these bikes.
I'm really interested in an adventure bike as well. Currently leaning VStrom (weestrom). Could outfit it w/ bashplates, handguards, etc and still come in at half the price of an R1200GS.
As far as which bike is best, I think there is nothing to do but for MO to get the GS, Ktm, a Tiger and Vstrom 650, camping gear and ride 'em to Baja and take lots of pictures.
I read that adventure was first planned on KTM's but KTM felt the riders were not skilled enough for the trip. They wouldn't sponsor them with bikes because they thought it would be irresponsible and show bad judgement to encourage them when they weren't skilled enough. Can't remember where I read that, maybe CW or Dirt Rider. Guess KTM was wrong about that and missed a good marketing opportunity.
One thing I read in Dirt Rider for certain is Dana Brown (son of Bruce Brown of On Any Sunday) is releasing a documentary on the Baja 1000 called Dust to Glory:
Maybe there was some humor in the "don't ask this bunch" statement so I'm going to give me op. anyway. Who knows, there may be some 1200GS owners and 950 Adventure owners subscribed that usually don't comment and will on this topic.
That said, I completely agree that you should read every print review possible and ask the dealers if you can be put in contact with recent of the bikes (the BMW dealer in Chicago did that for me, he had the okay from a customer to give out his phone number for his opinion on the bike I was looking at). Also, subscribe to an online forum where these bikes are discussed and read up and ask questions. Ducati.ms was extreamly helpful for me when deciding if I wanted an ST3 or not (the site continues to be a great source of information). I think finding a forum online discussing a bike your interested in is invaluable in making a purchasing decision. Of course try to get a test ride. Like Longride said in one post have a wad of cash in your pocket suggesting you are ready to buy "now" but not unless you get a test ride. It's worth a try. Don't get robbed on the way to or from the dealer. Maybe a check book would be better, depends on your hood
In the end, from what I've read on these two bikes, maladg's question of
"Ask yourself this question: do I want a great streetbike that is ok on dirt roads or a great dirtbike that is great on roads but would be a bit less comfy on long hauls?"
is probably what it will come down too. Although I'd think the KTM is more than a bit less comfy than the Beemer. But, the KTM will smoke the Beemer in the dirt. That has been the consensus in every review I've read comparing those two bikes.
Definitely the right bikes to test. I don't know if any of the bikes except the KTM would come back from off-road in Baja alive. I don't think the Tiger or the Strom stand a chance on anything other than dirt and gravel roads. Probalby not the Beemer either IMO.
A unique comparison you never see in mags would be the Suzuki DR650 vs. KLR650 vs. the XR650L. I'd love to hear how those bikes stack up against each other. If one is going to ride 50/50 road/dirt I think those bikes fit the task best.