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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,
I'm by far, no expert on any of this. But, a very, very large percentage of the Adventure video's I've watched, have the BMW Adventure bikes in them. Unless a video is specifically aimed at an A/T while an adventure ride is filmed, it sure seems that the majority of rides are done with BMW riders. Now, I know, or at least I think I know, that the BMW series adventure bikes may have been around a lot longer than the A/T. I mean, the A/T was re-invented in or about 2015 and first sold as '16, correct? This is of course, not counting the original Dakar versions of the 650 and 750.

But, I know that this is an Africa Twin forum, not a BMW forum. But, some of you, USED to own one and or, some still do and or, some maybe are thinking of buying one. Soooooo, with all that junk being said, let me ask, just what is so over whelming better about a BMW adventure bike, any model, that really towers over the A/T?

I mean, they're both motorcycles, correct? They're both intended for dual purpose applications, off and on road, correct? They're both designed for rigorous riders, correct? BMW's been around for eons of time and has pretty good experience at building things. But, Honda's no slouch at building things either. Honda's also been around for a few eons of time. I've seen videos of both factories. Both of them you could eat off the floor.

Now does BMW have that much better of suspension, is the motor more reliable, is the handling that much different? Is the wiring and components that much better? What part of the Big picture am I not seeing? I do know for a fact that, BMW is seriously higher in cost when purchasing. From what I've seen/read, BMW is also seriously higher in repair costs and parts costs. And, also, as I've been lead to believe, BMW doesn't have nearly as many service centers across the U.S. as Honda does. I don't know about the rest of the world.

I'm asking not because I'm thinking of switching over to BMW, not hardly. BMW doesn't make a DCT so, I'd not even think about it. Anyway, I'm only asking because I'm just curious as to this HIPE that Beemer riders have that their bikes are so superior to the AT and or, any other adventure bike. If the moderators feel this is not an appropriate subject for this part of the forum, by all means, move it to where it should go. I'm just wondering...
Scott
 
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Seriously though after a good laugh at the above video. BMW has done a lot and spent a lot to develop the Adventure Bike category. Are their bikes superior to a Honda? No not really. Reliability numbers don't back up that a BMW is a more reliable machine at all. Are BMW's good machines? Yes I think so. They are also expensive and those that don't do their own work on them are often surprised at the cost of owning one. Much of what BMW has done is develop a lifestyle image in a similar manner that Harley has done but with a different kind of person. This keeps their bikes on the front pages and continues to reinforce that rugged adventurous image that people like to imitate. You have to congratulate BMW for their success at this. Honda could do well to learn a few things. I went on a ride with a fairly large group of riders a couple of years ago and the group had a sizable number of R1200GS owners. I was riding my old KLR650 Kawasaki and our destination was a small town quite a ways out in mountain range over some rather broken up roads with a return trip on a fairly good dirt road. I was shocked to see that most of the riders could barely ride their bikes on the dirt at all. All had fantastic gear and good off road tires etc. but no off road experience at all. I would have to stop every couple of miles and wait for the group to catch up. This demonstrated to me that buying a BMW was mostly an image thing. I am sure the bikes were plenty capable but in a lot of cases the marketing program sold these bikes not the experience of the riders. There are plenty of good riders on all types of bikes including BMW's. I've owned three BMW's and loved them, all were old air head models. The new BMW's to me just do not offer anything better than my AT to justify the price. I look at the new 850 GS and then think about the engine being built in China and I just wonder how many owners know that they are spending a lot of money for a Chinese engine. Will I ever own another BMW? Maybe, but right now the Honda does everything I need then some.

Dan
 

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My 20 cents about BMW as insider , you are gonna pay gold and get not even silver .... Customer became the final test rider ; every penny can be saved will be saved , shaving quality item . Despite many many problems non one is looking to change this marketing way in Spandau.
 
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..... I'm asking not because I'm thinking of switching over to BMW, not hardly. BMW doesn't make a DCT so, I'd not even think about it. Anyway, I'm only asking because I'm just curious as to this HIPE that Beemer riders have that their bikes are so superior to the AT and or, any other adventure bike. If the moderators feel this is not an appropriate subject for this part of the forum, by all means, move it to where it should go. I'm just wondering...
Scott
I believe a lot of the answers to the questions can be found in this article from Moto eMag. Particularly Part 2 titled;The Historic Brand Transformation: BMW Motorcycles US 2003-2008.

Most specifically probably 6. Long Way Round - 2004, where the article mentions "When you have two cool guys riding your bikes around the world for a hit TV series while beating the hell out of the bikes, dropping them hundred times, even get rear-ended by a car yet they keep going--you got yourself not just a bike company but a religious cult."

 

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I believe a lot of the answers to the questions can be found in this article from Moto eMag. Particularly Part 2 titled
The Historic Brand Transformation: BMW Motorcycles US 2003-2008. Most specifically probably 6. Long Way Round - 2004, where the article mentions "When you have two cool guys riding your bikes around the world for a hit TV series while beating the hell out of the bikes, dropping them hundred times, even get rear-ended by a car yet they keep going--you got yourself not just a bike company but a religious cult."

Hmmm, I thought people bought bmws so they didn't have to wave at other motorcyclists anymore. Who knew.
 

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I have had several motorcycles:
Gilera rx 125
Yamaha rd 350 LCF
Kawasaki zxr 400
Honda XR 600 (off road time)
Husqvarna 601 (off road time)
Husqvarna 410 (off road time)
GAS GAS 300 (off road time)
Yamaha R6
Kawasaki z 750
Yamaha Tmax (a moment of madness)
Yamaha FZ1
MV Agusta Brutale 910
BMW RT 1200
Honda Africa Twin 1100 CRFL
And only one wife!
Which one was the best?Always the last one! This time I wanted to go back to a dual sport bike that would also allow me to do some off-road riding a bit like I did with the honda xr, definitely not as technical as with the gas gas, and the bike best suited for weight and performance is the AT. My last bike was a BMW RT and my wife, who was worried about comfort, had to reconsider! It's true that I have friends with BMW adventure bikes that have never seen a dirt road, even if I think they can easily face it, but I think they bought the bikes for their comfort and reliability, as well as for the brand and the adventurous aspect.
 

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Ryan and Fort Nine probably hit a bit at the "marketing Mystique" here as well. While his article is aimed specifically at press releases, BMW does have a large marketing budget and does do a lot of paid sponsorship of riders and videos such as Long Way Around and I am sure others.

Not to mention the power, draw, and sense of belonging/community that their MOA creates. A lot of people want that "members only" part of the "in crowd" feeling. You have your membership card, newsletters, BMW ON monthly mag, national rallies, BMW Annonymous book of names and phone numbers of fellow BMW riders across the world to call on if you need assistance. You can't underestimate the appeal this has for some. Harley has made an art out of buying into a lifestyle when you buy your bike as well.

 

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In "Long Way Round", Ewan MacGregor stated that he wanted to use big KTMs, but they couldn't get sponsorship. Wonder how that would have gone. :)
It's a true story and a question for the ages. Would have been great if they had gotten something together with KTM in a subsequent video.

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
 

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Sitting while have morning coffee, I'm enjoying reading some of the threads. My take on bikes is expressed in my post written a few minutes ago.
BMW GS vs Africa Twin...I've have road BMW's and when I was looking for an "adventure bike" I bought a 1989 Honda Transalp which I still own and ride almost daily. I have ridden it, solo, to some extreme remote places. I have it set up with crash bars, Happy Trails aluminum panniers, driving lamps, GPS in a touratech mount, a Scottoiler, USB and 12v socket. I carry an additional 1 1/2 gallons of fuel. I can repair just about anything in a ditch.
Last September, I bought a used 2018 ATAS with 1677 miles that is set up pretty nicely. I'm ordering a few more farkles for it including an Eastern Beaver fuse block, Camel windshield brace and HD side stand, Fastway pegs, Denali D7 lamps. So far I love the bike but it is not an "off road" unit. I bought it for touring and riding mostly pavement and some gravel roads. I sure a lot of members will ride their Africa Twins on single track etc. Being that I'm pushing 76 years old, I'll stick to easier roads from now on.
Dudley
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey gang,
I most certainly appreciate any and all answers, experience and thoughts here. I kind-a figured I'd stir up a hornets nest but, it's way more mild than I was thinking it would be. While I did not cruise through the videos, I will after this, based on all the answers and experiences you folks have provided, I really didn't see ANY real, validating reason(s) for spending the higher price for a BMW, spending the higher price for the repair of a BMW, spending the higher price for PARTS for a BMW vs an A/T. I do know that, ADVERTISING is, THE name of the game in many brands, cars, trucks, MOTORCYCLES, and a lot more. Psychology plays a HUGE PART in this.

But, I won't drag this out. I just will say that, I didn't really see or read that, "My BMW will turn better, on this kind of power, better than an A/T will, or it will stop better in these particular circumstances than an A/T will. I didn't read, "the electronics are waaaaay better than an A/T, the suspension is way better than an A/T. I didn't read that "my BMW has 100K or 200K miles on it and no Honda I've owned has even come anywhere near that". See what I'm getting at? You folks primarily pointed at Advertising, or, the IMAGE, or a CULT of a type, or a Membership of some type, a magazine, but, nothing absolutely rock solid that a Beemer is the top-of-the-line FOR THESE REASONS type of thing. I'll now check out the vids. Thanks again for your opinions and experience.
Scott
 
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