1100 V 1150 Worth upgrading ??


I currently ride an 1100GS, but am doing about 500 miles a week commuting. I am considering changing bike next year sometime.

It it worth upgrading to the 1150 or should I stick to the 1100 ?

All pro's and con's very welcome.
pro's it's a new bike :D

con's can't be any :)

pro's you get a new bike :coold

more pro's than con's you can't go wrong with a new bike


cheers andrew :beerjug:

How old is your 1100 and how many miles has it got on it?

The answer is simply personal preference, however, here's my two pennies worth.

I know allot of GS'ers change simply because its new and that’s great if you've got a few thousand pounds burning a hole in your pocket, but whether the bikes are technically that different enough to justify the price is doubtful.

Ok you get an extra few CC, but so what, in real terms this makes little difference. I have an 1100, which in side-by-side test is faster than newer 1150's. Having ridden the 1150 on and off-road I can say that the gearbox is a little smoother, but I don’t find a problem with the 1100 anyway. The gearing ratios on the 1100 are also a little more useful than the 1150's. Talk to a few 1150 owners and most will admit to not regularly using the 1150's 6th rear (overdrive).

You'll also notice a fair few post about the poorer build quality of the 1150 compared to the 1100's. Having owned my current 1100 for 3 years and having ridden it in all weather and conditions, it's still mint, no rust, and no peeling paint. Problems with the 1150's build quality seem primarily to do with the front stanchions (forks), wheel rims and spokes; a couple of riders have mentioned peeling paint on the frame.

Lighting: Almost all 1150 riders I've spoken to complain about the headlight set-up. The 1100's light isn't great but it's certainly better than the 115o's, you've only got to look at the amount of riders on this board looking to add additional lighting to their bikes to get an idea of the problem. If you want better lighting on your 1100 get a set of twin headlights from Touratech, I've got a set and find them a big improvement over what I thought was acceptable anyway. Aesthetically I like the look of the twin light set-up compared to the big single lens.

The suspension on the 1150 is the same Showa shock set as the 1100, so if you want your bike to feel new and improved, why not treat yourself to a set of Ohlins/Hagon's/Fouranles shocks. I've got Ohlins on mine and the difference is breathtaking, it really does feel like a different/new bike. Great handing (it was good before), smooth corners and they provide feedback which makes you feel truly planted to the road, all-in-all confidence inspiring and at a fraction of the price of trading in your 1100 and shelling out for an 1150.

I don't know how stock your bike is, but consider the following if you haven’t already:

New suspension (as above)
Aftermarket silencer, straight through connecting tube (referred to as Y-piece). Releases more of the bikes power and makes the bike sound like it's looks suggest it should, without being loud enough to cause offence, Remus or Laser are good choices.

BBPower chip or Laser chip to increase mid-range bhp and smooth out power band. Also stops any surging issues, that the 1100 and 1150 have been known to suffer from.

You could go on adding forever, and this BB is great for ideas. Personally, I think you should stick with 1100. If you've made all the mods above and you just fancy a change then go get an 1150. If you haven’t, well by just changing the shocks, getting a spray job and changing the exhaust, you’ll have a new toy and one that you'll probably get on better with having been directly involved in the changes.

Hope this helps
Simon T
I concur...

yup I agree with Simon. Had an 1100, had problems after 6 years so jumped up and down til I got a good trade in. Not enough difference to warrant flushing several thousand £££'s down the toilet!!
If it aint broke - don't fix it [or change it!]. ;)
simon thomas said:
I have an 1100, which in side-by-side test is faster than newer 1150's

Depends on what you mean by faster. Acceleration? Top speed? The differences are largely due to the different gear ratios, which mean that if the bike gets revved out through each gear, the 1100 will appear to accelerate faster until overhauled by the 1150 in top gear. But, if you have an 1150 with the 6-speed box (and not the 'E' box), there's no difference (except the 1150 can reach a higher top speed).
All other differences are largely due to 1100s being run-in with more mileage than the 1150s they're riding against.
Depends on milage and if the bikes at that point when things are starting to need replaced and cost money.One problem with a new bike is that you worry about it ie a scatch or a stone chip that you wouldnt bother about on your old bike.Also the fact the new bike will be under warrenty so that means dealer servicing and £££'s.I think when the times right to get rid of your bike you will know it.
R1100GS versus R1150GS


I have a R1100GS Anniversary and have been riding it for 3 years now doing about 10,000 per year on mainly commuting work with occasional ride out's here and there.

I've considered moving onto an R1150GS too but after reading about them on this site and talking to friends who have owned both I have decided to stick with my R1100GS.

Please don't think I dislike the R1150GS, I don't, it's a cracking looking bike and has advances over the R1100GS in gearing, performance etc. However, what worried me were the tales of poor build quality on the R1150GS and as I use my bike all year round the build quality is a big factor.

My R1100GS has had no problems at all other than a broken speedo cable. I do all the minor servicing myself , keep a supply of brake pads to hand and that is it!

After 3 winters the bike cleans up like a good 'un with no rust and no wheel pitting, so I think I'll give it a bit longer before I think of changing again.

What I might do, however, is some of the mods mentioned in the earlier posts as mine is the stock bike.

Another way to look at it Jono is that if the R1150GS was not with us yet would you really be looking for something else?



I've had no quality problems whatsoever with my 1150GS. I've seen 1150s with the much talked about paint flaking on the fork braces etc. But I've seen plenty with no such problems. I've also seen the same problems (but worse) on 97/98 or older 850Rs and 1100RTs.
I think you'd be quite wrong to assume from the comments that 1100=good 1150=bad on the matter of build quality. There are so many other factors involved.
R1100GS v's R1150GS


I think you've read me wrong, I don't think for one minute that the R1150GS is bad, far from it.

If I was just setting out to buy a GS I'd go for the 1150 no question about it, fantastic machine.

What I was saying was, that in the debate about chopping in an R1100GS that you are happy with for an R1150GS taht you are curious about, the desire and reason to do so needs to be very, very great.



Re: R1100GS versus R1150GS

What you did say quite emphatically is this

jonshread said:
what worried me were the tales of poor build quality on the R1150GS and as I use my bike all year round the build quality is a big factor.

I should've snipped this first time round. My reply was:

"I think you'd be quite wrong to assume from the comments that 1100=good 1150=bad on the matter of build quality"

I never bought the 1100GS because I didn't like the gearbox and I thought the front end was ugly. I love the look of the 1150 (perverse I know) and the quirky but useless headlights. I prefer the 6-speed gearbox. If I'd had an 1100, those things alone would make me shell out the £££s to upgrade . . . but then I upgrade everything in my life regularly!
The solution is simple, have a go on a mates 1150, then make up your own mind.
Whichever you choose, you can't really lose.
R1100GS v's R1150GS


Exactly, that is what reckon too, with either bike you will be very happy, it's a close call and a personal one too.


OK, I admit that my worry with the 1150 is build quality and reliability. I have 2 friends with 1150's that have had the bearings fail one at 10,000 and the other at 14,000. The one at 10,000 got it done under warranty but not the other one! Both looked after their bikes well (see post on knocking in this forum).
That kind of problem worries me a little.

The gearing issue doesn't bother me as I do mainly town work and rarely see 5th, so don't need a 6th.
I'll stick with my R1100GS for a bit longer thanks.

Oh and Before you ask I have ridden both, extensively, both are top bikes.

I will add to S. Thomas comments that a big improvement is obtained by replacing the air intake snorkel for a wider one (boxer-design from Motorworks) and a K&N filter.
It makes the BB chip almost redundant.
Thanks chaps, much food for thought there.

I already have a Laser pipe so I might well look into the wide snorkel and see how that goes.

As for upgrading, maybe I'll wait a bit longer now and see what BM come up with in 2004, see this weeks MCN !!

Top Bottom