Author Topic: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?  (Read 521 times)

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Offline sweaty sock

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BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« on: May 08, 2021, 11:32:22 »
I love my old 1150GS, the noise, character, comfort and performance is plenty for me. Planning ahead, I'm only 58, I'm sure soon I'll struggle with the weight.
What's folk's experiences "downsizing" from a bigger bike to a 650 Strom?
I do the occasional run up to Scotland with luggage but no pillion, "make progress" locally in Mid Wales, and commute a bit in Summer. And do my own spannering... :fix:

Offline Oop North John

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 11:39:59 »
I went from an 1100GS to the 650 V-Strom a few years ago, after having a few versions of the GS. Mainly riding two up and didn't miss the extra power (if any) weight etc. Just like the GS there is a massive debate on screens and finding what's best for you. The 650 does have a chain, but they don't seem to brake too often. Best have a test ride, but be ready to like the bike  :)

Offline The Doctor 46

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2021, 12:59:40 »
I had a 1150GSA and a fantastic ride it was too. I have never enjoyed riding any other bike more. It is (as you know) quick enough for most occasions, smooth, comfortable and fantastic to ride through the twistiest roads. Sadly though, I found the bike hard to live with. too many expensive, very expensive things went wrong with is and it was also hard work keeping it looking nice. If BMW made the bike with far higher quality control and sorted out all the faults it has (but lots of owners don't mention or just throw money at) it would be the greatest bike ever.

I now have a 2012 DL650  and I love it and don't look back. As for weight, I would push the GSA around my garage and it was heavy but the Suzuki rides up outside the house, side stand goes down and it lives there so no pushing, even though it weighs a lot less. I love it.

Offline cb1300rider

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2021, 13:35:38 »
I had come from a R1200GS, before that all my bikes since 2008 were 1000cc+, cb1300, Fjr, Pan, Varadero.
I was worried about downsizing.
Yes it is different, am I missing the extra power - 98% of the time no.  Am I missing the extra weight of the previous bikes - definately not!  Certainly not missing the service bills from the GS!
I like the big bike feel of my wee-strom.  It has done everything I have wanted it to do so far.  Haven't regretted down sizing once.

Hope that helps


***just to add, I bought mine not knowing 100% I would be happy.  There is always the reassuring thought at the back of my mind, IF I don't get on with the 650, simply sell it, good ones don't seem to hang around long.  It is not a bike that would be difficult to sell on.***

Offline Rusty Nuts

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2021, 14:06:40 »
I went from a 1700cc 330kg cruiser to a 650 vstrom. Was nervous about it being "only" a 650. Needn't have worried. More fun, more economy and I rode it more than any other bike I've owned, including 2 trips to France - one loaded with camping gear, the second 2500 miles in a week. They're good. Very good.

Offline oslin

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2021, 14:13:40 »
I have had 5 BMW's over the years the early ones were great but the newer ones including an 1150 rt and a 1200rs have cost me a bomb to the tune of well over £2500 for faults that should not of happened, so I gave up on BMW and went to a v-strom 650 which I love I also have a 1300, 02 pan which been no trouble at all from day one, but it will have to go soon as I am finding it a bit heavy now, but I will keep the v-strom 650 such a nice bike to ride solo or two up.

Offline Oop North John

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 15:15:58 »
I forgot to mention, the 650 "feels" like a bike bike, though on the one's I've owned I've added the footpeg lowering plates to give the knees a bit easier time.

Offline sillyboy

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2021, 18:06:16 »
I went from a 09 1200gs to the 650 strom (new 2017). the gs was getting too heavy. I only miss the power on the odd occasion and the strom is a fair sized bike. I also fitted a peg lowering kit(Cymarc) to save my old knees.it does everything I ask and can cover the ground almost as fast as the gs in the hands of a 75 yr old.

Offline sweaty sock

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2021, 18:56:35 »

Much appreciated, and confirms what I have gleaned so far.
I've been lucky that in 5 years, although not many miles on the Beemer I've only had to replace the starter motor (never before had to on a Jap bike) and the alternator belt (on a bike!!). Weight is an issue, especially pushing about or when it falls over  lol 
I fancy a used Glee, and I'm used to having an ugly bike with GS... :stirpot:  :ty:

Offline RoadWarrior1978

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2021, 20:37:37 »
Just my 2p worth on the spannering front. I've done valve jobs on many different bikes including Hayabusas, Triumph tigers 800 & 1250 etc so I'm no stranger to the job. However as I understand it my l8 1000 is probably slightly easier to do than the 650, but I have to say it's more protracted affair than any of the  inline engines I've done.   

2 heads, four cams and tight access on the rear cylinder make for a long job and the need for a good deal of patience.  On the upside others that have been through the process on more than one occasion say that after the initial adjustment at 16k they're not likely to need further intervention for a few tens of thousands of miles.

Offline porter

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2021, 21:18:13 »
I found mine easy to do, yes you've to do both cylinders but compared to other bikes I've  done, r6, tiger1050, tiger8 and a fireblade I found the strom easy to work at.  One of the reasons I keep it is I see what my three mates spend on maintenance on their multistrada, tiger12 and GS12.

Offline Mac1

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2021, 08:37:49 »
Surprising number of responses. I went from an 1150 gsa to a 12 strom 650 because of the weight. I struggled at 64 to put it on the stand! So apart from not missing the weight I don't miss the power. The handling, power and brakes of the strom are great. However, I think the suspension is inferior, especially where I live surrounded by potholed country roads. I also find it a little boring. I am on the cusp of changing to a tiger 800.

Offline sillyboy

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2021, 10:08:21 »
Quote removed

The brakes are great? :haha: the suspension is OK.

Offline sweaty sock

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2021, 11:29:51 »
Quote removed

I love the odd suspension on the GS- on the shocking roads of Powys and Shropshire- has saved my bacon on a few occasions on tramlined pot-holded corners - shugs it off! Surely there must be some upgrades for a Strom's forks and shock?

Offline Sage

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2021, 17:17:26 »
I bought a 06 650 a couple of years ago as a winter hack to "save" using my XT1200 on salty roads. However the little Wee has been much better than expected especially now I've uprated the suspension. Once set up it is a great agile fun bike.
The stock forks are old fashioned damper rod jobs, so I've fitted a pair of cartridges left over from a previous bike and the rear has a Nitron shock.
There are a few options for the forks, many are happy with different oil/springs etc but I suspect after the telelever front end you are used to that will not be sufficient. The first option would be fork emulators that mimic a cartridge
https://www.brooksuspension.co.uk/fork-internals/yss/yss-fork-emulators/
or then a cartridge replacement. There are threads on here and Stromtrouper.

Offline Mark Shelley

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Re: BMW R1150GS to a DL650- any experiences?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2021, 22:43:08 »
I moved to a 2014 Glee after several years on two R1100GSs. I have never missed the BMW as a riding experience and I would go so far as to say it beats the GS on continuously twisty tight hairpins when fully laden two up. The BMW was so easy to service though. I could do all three oils, adjust valves and balance throttle bodies in an hour and a half. They are remarkable value used. Mine has gone now due to arthritis in my hands, replaced by a DCT NC750X which is nowhere near as good in my opinion.