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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Right you lot. Sit up at the back and pay attention.

Today I took a 2010 GSA out for a few hours for a bit of fun and here are my thoughts. I'll where possible compare to my Vara 1000 mainly due to that being the only bike I have to compare to (unless you count the Honda c90 in the garage).

The bike was a 2010 GSA with both premium and dynamic packs. So all the toys basically. It only had a few hundred miles on the clock so was technically still being run in :oops:

First impressions weren't that great when after starting the bike and leaving it ticking over I laid my helmet on the seat and it vibrated off. Only the speed and reactions of the salesman stopped it hitting the deck. Once the revs rose the engine smoothed out a little but this was definitely a more agricultural engine than the Honda lump. Power wise on the road it (the BMW) was the more flexible of the two. The Honda probably had the slicker gearbox and I had a little trouble finding neutral sometimes

Handling wise the beemer (on a nearly empty tank) was more nimble than the Varadero and the Telelever front end was pretty inconspicuous and just seemed to work. No complaints there.

Brakes. The Honda wins here. The ABS on the Honda was less intrusive and for my money the Honda pulled up quicker. On the BMW the ABS kept cutting in way earlier than I suspected was necessary. I know the roads weren't great but I did a bit of heavy braking on the Honda as well and it just seemed to be able to pull more G in stopping. This could have been down to tyres as I have road tyres on the Honda and the BMW was shod with dual purpose tyres.

Toys. The ESA has about a million settings (well I counted 15) and apart from a couple they all felt pretty much the same. Each mode had 3 settings. Comfort, Normal and Sport. There were also Solo, Pillion, Luggage, Offroad and Mountain modes. There was a difference between comfort and normal but I couldn't detect much between normal and sport. In Mountain mode the bike rose up by a couple of inches and I was on tippy toes and was looking for kerb stones to stop along side.

Heated grips had two positions. Warm and Hot. Neither was right for the day so I had to keep switching between them. Oxford ones win hands down.

Trip computer told of tyre pressure, ave MPG, ave speed, time, temperature and distance to empty. Apart from the last one all pretty useless stuff.

ESP. like the ABS this was a little too keen to make it's presence felt when pulling away on bumpy roads but like ABS may well save your life one day.

Comfort. The vara seat is better in so much as with the beemer I kept finding myself sitting on the narrower front of the seat. The bars are also slightly lower on the BMW. Wind noise and protection were too close to tell apart.

So there you have it. All in all it could be a worthy successor to the Varadero. The big problem is the price premium over the Honda and I'm really don't think it's that much better. Better possibly. But not that much better.

Will I buy one?

Probably.

 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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Good report how long was you out on the demo bike? the on board computer is handy to monitor the Gucci systems build in to the bike, Mike gets a fantastic 50 MPH from his bike which is one year old next month, with no corrosion or electrical / mechanical faults either. You will soon become a member of XRV wolfpac:D
 

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The Vara is dumped she will sulk !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good report how long was you out on the demo bike?
I was out for about 2 and a half hours. I could have had longer but I'd pretty much gleamed all I needed to in that time. I did try to get overnight but they wouldn't have it.

the on board computer is handy to monitor the Gucci systems build in to the bike,
Gucci. Handbag or shoes? :)

Mike gets a fantastic 50 MPH from his bike which is one year old next month, with no corrosion or electrical / mechanical faults either. You will soon become a member of XRV wolfpac:D
According to the computer thing I was getting around 45mpg but I was hooning it around the back roads :)

As to the wolfpack. That's a distinct possibility. I just need to convince myself that for more the price of a new Varadero a 2-3 year old BMW is a good deal.
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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You've got that itch haven't you and nothing is going to stop you scratching it unless the GSA was an absolute pile of crap. Just get it bought and enjoy it.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, yes. And the pacific ocean has been reported as a bit damp sometimes. ;-)

It a beemer. They don't really get gearboxes.
And neither do Honda. Compared to a Suzuki box all Hondas I have ridden seem somewhat clunky.
 

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Bloody furriner
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I have to say that little DR I had last year was pretty slick...

But then, my honda has a knackered clutch at the moment, even the old airhead seems smooth in comparison, and that requires a trained foot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You've got that itch haven't you and nothing is going to stop you scratching it unless the GSA was an absolute pile of crap. Just get it bought and enjoy it.:D
My budget doesn't reach to a new one so I will have to sell the Honda first. When I was out on the test ride the BMW garage did a bit of phoning round some dealers and trade buyers and and even although it looks unlikely I will buy from them them they say they have a firm offer of 4K for the varadero. They won't be involved in the sale just put me and the trader in touch. Apparently that's what they were planning anyway had I bought from them as they have enough non BMW in the showroom. They had offered 4.5K on a new bike but that's just creative accounting. I must admit I'm impressed with their attitude and honesty. They are pretty sure they wont get the sale but are still prepared to help get me on a BMW. I suppose in the long run they know I'll be in for the odd final drive or four :hitler:

So there we have it. I have my eye on a couple of fully loaded 08 bikes being sold privately but it's looking like 5.5-6K to change and that's a lot of money in anyone's book. I still have to work out if it's the right thing to do. It would be much easier if I no longer liked or wanted the Varadero but I do.

I think I need to sleep on it.
 

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Boris, good report BUT, putting all the comparisons/specs/reliability stuff aside, did the bike 'grab' you enough to say 'I want one'.
That is the most important factor.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Boris, good report BUT, putting all the comparisons/specs/reliability stuff aside, did the bike 'grab' you enough to say 'I want one'.
That is the most important factor.

Phil
Well I had fun riding it and it put a smile on my face and that after all it why we ride bikes and not cars. However the vara also does that and for a lot less money.

Bottom line is it's about time I changed and I have never changed any bike like for like and the BMW is the only alternative that really floats my boat. As I said some things it does better and some worse. I can live with that and were it a little cheaper it would be a no brainer.

Ask me an hour ago and the answer was no. Ask me now and the answer is yes. Goodness only knows what the answer will be in the morning.
 

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...Ask me an hour ago and the answer was no. Ask me now and the answer is yes. Goodness only knows what the answer will be in the morning.


Hopefully, by the morning, the answer will be... forget that pile of Bavarian scrap metal, and buy some panniers for the C90! Much more reliable, economical, better build quality, and will save you a fortune!


:thumbup:
 

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Bob, you are always the voice of reason!

Phil
what you have to ask yourself, is ?

is the BMW £6000 BETTER Than your honda.

I tried BMW's for 4 years and then returned to Honda.I then had to spend a year looking for a well looked after AT.

In some way's the BM was better than a AT ..{ a bit quicker..better brakes }
That said the AT is mile's better off road,you can ride at 80 with out all the bufferting you get on the BM.
would I go back to a BMW :hitler: No .... I'm not a Tosser :D .......... a [email protected] maybe !

Both bike's are good,it's just what suit's you best.

imho

safe riding

Dazzer
 

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Mines a big red one
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I don't think there's much of a difference between the 08/10 models. I've never had a problem with the ABS or ESA to be honest. The engines smooth out after about 15K when they're properly run in. If you think the gearbox is clunky try an 1150!!:D

Reading your posts in the last few weeks you're going to do it so get on with it :D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Reading your posts in the last few weeks you're going to do it so get on with it :D:D
I've done it. I didn't expect it all to happen quite that quickly but the right bike appeared at the right time. I had been keeping an eye on prices for a while so pretty much knew what cost what and in the end I could have hummed and hawed for ever.
 

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And neither do Honda. Compared to a Suzuki box all Hondas I have ridden seem somewhat clunky.

+2 the wee bandit has a real smooth box... even the DR is better than Hondas XLV has a BM box though ,as the Alp feels like a Suzi box after riding the RD01 :thumbup:

Boris .. dissonance my friend.. you know you will be going over to the darkside soon :))
 

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whys the rum always gone?
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