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View Full Version : Like the new bikes? Thoughts on BMW's vision.



JAMESDUNN
08-22-2009, 09:46 PM
I have often wondered how the membership here feels about the new product coming from Germany. Do you like what you see? Do you find yourself lusting after one of the new models, or, are you thinking what were they "thinking"? Perhaps you are considering the purchase of another brand? I know when I ride my ol' airhead I appreciate the simplicity, but those simple "work on your " bike days are gone, never to return. Sure, some do wrench the new and newer bikes, and good on 'em! But it is a different day in general. What do ya think? Like the new stuff? Hate it? Wish you could get BMW to change direction? Any other thoughts pertaining to BMW bikes? Are ya gonna stay with the brand or abandon it for a new love?

henzilla
08-22-2009, 10:38 PM
I like them all. The newer sleek fairinged machines are just that, you either like them or you don't. I liked the R12ST and its quirky headlight arrangement. My GSA has an oddball look as well...I still like it. I like the new K12S we own as well..not your fathers BMW by any means...but still has that badge. My first airhead will be the restored 90S I am winning at the MOA Open House...yeah, me!!:whistle

It would be great for BMW to do what Triumph has done and retro a few "new" Airhead models. I don't think it will happen, but a nice wish.

I chuckle when some of the airhead crowd says the bikes are simpler...yes they are, but also require some tweaking to keep them rolling just like any other bike, have seen total rebuilds happening under a tent as many of you have as well....the proud factor is that there are not many other brands at that age and number still rolling.I am in awe of the guys & gals that keep 'em flying as well as the bikes themselves. I helped a member do an oil change at my place on an airhead GS and learned a lot in a short session from an" Old School" Master...what a pain it was compared to the oilhead:laugh:laugh

Believe it or not as well, the oilheads and hexheads are more electronic heavy yes, but it is still a boxer engine...nothing scarey there.They run and come apart/go together almost the same. The newest generation K bike engines are a little daunting to dive into so far for me, but am learning them since we now own one as well...dang water cooled engine:laugh What was BMW thinking in '84:dunno The world did not end for all even though some argue BMW lost it's soul about then...they just changed.
Change happens...don't have to like it, but it still happens. I would prefer the cars to be as simple to work on as they were in the 60's/70's as well...not happening. I have had the other brands, HD,Honda & a Kaw. I have ridden a lot more of the Euro and Asian bikes as well. I am staying with the Roundel for the forseeable future .

Semper_Fi
08-22-2009, 11:11 PM
I like the cutting edge style.

For me the most in your face bike style is the K1300R - wow .

I had an RT and everything was right about it - and it was far enough from the status quo to be able to hold it's own. - not a "me too" bike.

I have now gotten a KGT 1300 and at first i was dead against the new switchgear - especially the turn signals - and now ALL of the buttons have become second nature - I now know why they are not illuminated.

The styling for the F800 is sharp and on target, and the GSA will always be a tank on two wheels - the ultimate do anything bike.

The HP2 is smoking, however the new S1000RR is too "japanese" - meaning that it blends in too easily, even with the asymetrical set up - but it is going into the liter sport bike ring with the same style of drive train set up so they may have been limited in their design requirments/definations.

And a personal favorite, although polarizing, is my wife's R1200ST - it is sharp.

I like what BMW does with their cars (the new X6 excluded :laugh) and bikes.

Just wish the gas guage would work:lurk

JAMESDUNN
08-23-2009, 12:14 AM
Great replies and thought provoking! BMW is changing, and how. More so than at any other period in it's history. The range of bikes now offered is astounding: boxers; GS's of every stripe; water cooled inline bikes; "bricks" etcetera. Seem to have all the bases covered, from touring bikes to single track dirt bikes.

The_Veg
08-23-2009, 12:32 PM
I have often wondered how the membership here feels about the new product coming from Germany. Do you like what you see? Do you find yourself lusting after one of the new models, or, are you thinking what were they "thinking"? Perhaps you are considering the purchase of another brand? I know when I ride my ol' airhead I appreciate the simplicity, but those simple "work on your " bike days are gone, never to return. Sure, some do wrench the new and newer bikes, and good on 'em! But it is a different day in general. What do ya think? Like the new stuff? Hate it? Wish you could get BMW to change direction? Any other thoughts pertaining to BMW bikes? Are ya gonna stay with the brand or abandon it for a new love?

I've been told by some older riders that similar discussions were happening when the /5 came out. It was the end of the world for some enthusiasts.

darrylri
08-23-2009, 01:51 PM
"Those newfangled /5s are made with plastic parts! And all those [4, to be exact] colors! It's the end of BMWs as we know them!"

There was a wonderful diatribe on the /2 email list I run after BMW's announcement of the $500 club member program, but it's probably bad form to quote it without the original author's permission. The basic thrust of it was how David Robb's a modernist and all that modern stuff, back past the cubists (at least) is a bunch of crap! There is no good art since about the time of the Dutch Masters, actually. It was a hoot.

PAULBACH
08-23-2009, 02:11 PM
One "new" feature is questionable - the signal switches for turning.

For years BMW used the separate switches on the left and right because the system caused less confusion and was touted as being safer.

I notice the new GT has a single switch on the left like the rest of the crowd from Japan. Is this change safer or cheaper? I would prefer the separate switches.

The only constant is change.

darrylri
08-23-2009, 02:37 PM
Yes, the press chortled (read Mark Tuttle in Rider) about BMW going to the "normal" switch gear layout. The thing that was really great about the separate turn signals, at least for me, riding in LA or Bay Area traffic, was the natural and quick way you could get the 4 way flashers going. Even the oilheads, which nominally have a separate switch for it, would do the 4-ways if you held both turn signals.

tommcgee
08-23-2009, 02:58 PM
For years BMW used the separate switches on the left and right because the system caused less confusion and was touted as being safer.

My first ride was a Velocette, Venom Clubman. Shifter on the right...

Next thing ya know, all the bikes had the shifter on the left! Commies. :laugh

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2533/3848073057_b741580127_b.jpg

mika
08-23-2009, 03:36 PM
:rofl

The good old days of grinding gears. I alternated between a Brit bike and UJM. Right and left gear shifts and no rhyme or reason to switches. Ground several pounds of gears and made more than one turn finally signaling after the turn when I found the switch.
:ha

The current BMW lineup is really nice but honestly there is nothing in it that makes me want to open my wallet (even if there was something in that thin leather thing). My hopes for a S1000RR to borrow from my son-in-law were dashed when he sold a project car and took a Yamaha R1 as part of the payment.

For all the talk that may be going on about the current line up I find myself wondering what is coming. With no inside information or real basis for this I have a feeling the next 18 months may rock our socks in ways we do not current have a clue about.

58058D
08-23-2009, 08:27 PM
I love them all. While I have never owned an airhead, I have ridden several and loved the feel. Between my wife, son and I we have owned three oil heads and three K-Bricks. (R1100R, R1100S Boxer Cup, R1200C, and the 3 KRSs noted below) I find the new twins very neat and functional from the Fs to the RTs & HPs. But as someone raised on more than two cylinders, I am blown away by the new Ks and when I saw the adv. for the S1000RR in Black.....it is all I can do to stay away from the Pre-Order banner on the RoadRacingWorld.com site. The 'new' switch gear was easy to adjust to on my test ride of the K13S, not much different from the Yamahas we owned in the past, sometimes while owning our BMWs, so, no big deal, some cars have the windshield washer stalk on the left, some on the right, used to switch between a 3-speed on the column, a 4 on the floor and an automatic.... I really miss the AFM/AMA/FIM turnworking I did for over ten years, and now that the latest testing indicates BMW is coming on strong again in WSBK, that SRR has me really intrigued. Just like anything else, when you are really really familiar with those bikes, you can easily discern at a glance the BMW from the others. I can barely tell one Harley from another, but put those race bikes out there, I can. And like Mika, I am Really intrigued by the possibilities in the coming year or so.

criminaldesign
08-24-2009, 05:28 PM
Personally i'm whatever with the new models, that's for any brand/model. Newer bikes are like spaceships to me with the electronics and such. I'm pretty contempt with the Airhead and see myself sticking in that direction.

108625
08-24-2009, 11:01 PM
I'm pretty contempt with the Airhead

Freudian slip?

mcmxcivrs
08-24-2009, 11:22 PM
Love the new stuff, can't wait to see what we get to ride in another ten years. :dance:dance

Bobmws
08-24-2009, 11:29 PM
A couple of weeks ago I had to run some errands that took me all around Orlando. I spotted 4 new converts (my opinion) to BMWs, 2 on F800S models, one on a F-GS and another on the 650 X-Country. What made tham stand out is that all four were helmet, jacket and gloveless, 2 were wearing shorts.
Is that the new direction of BMW riders?! :scratch

Visian
08-25-2009, 12:33 AM
i love them all, but the cost of ownership on the new models is really raising my eyebrows.

just did a 12k on the HP2, but the major on my G/SPD+ was more rewarding... it needed a cam chain, too.

plus, the airhead imparts a special vibe that just isn't quite there on the new bikes.

i do look forward to what's coming. i just can't afford it any more. :dunno

ian

JAMESDUNN
08-25-2009, 03:34 AM
I agree with you Visian about the vibe the airhead imparts. My oilhead is lacking that vibe. Love the oilhead though, just not as much. I too like the new bikes, but they are soooo expensive! BMW is on a roll though, at least in terms of interesting product roll out. Amazing! The new S1000RR is a wake up call to the Japanese that they do not own the sportbike market as much as they once did; of course sales will be the final arbitrator on that.

criminaldesign
08-25-2009, 06:21 PM
Freudian slip?

ahem... content?

The_Veg
08-27-2009, 10:45 PM
One "new" feature is questionable - the signal switches for turning.

For years BMW used the separate switches on the left and right because the system caused less confusion and was touted as being safer.

I notice the new GT has a single switch on the left like the rest of the crowd from Japan. Is this change safer or cheaper? I would prefer the separate switches.

The only constant is change.

I'm a bit unusual in this regard*,
But the only only bikes I've owned have been '85 and newer BMWs- which means that the three-button system is what I'm used to and most comfortable with. I recently spent about 30 miles on a friend's Aprilia scooter (which uses the 'Japanese' type signal switch) and I think I fumbled every turn signal in the entire ride.










*Well, most regards really, but that's another thread for another discussion...

Bud
08-27-2009, 11:30 PM
Here is the story as I heard it at a BOD meeting. BMW has decided they want to be #1 in whatever segment they are in. The mainstream M/C press always downgrades BMW's in reviews for the "non-standard" switch gear. Can not change the mind of the M/C press? Change the switch gear instead.

Most of the "conquest" sales (sales to folks who used to buy another brand of bike) will be happy to see the turn signal is in the "right" place (just as they were used to on their other bikes).

Repeat after me: "Change is good. I embrace change. I welcome change. I look forward to change. Change is my life.":laugh :lurk

Please don't stone the messenger and, if the info as told to me is incorrect, I stand corrected. Otherwise I'm ducking. :hide

kstoo
08-27-2009, 11:42 PM
Of all of them, I really like the V7 Classic. Oh, wait, that there is not a BMW. That's right, in BMW's attempt to be number one in all fronts they have completely forgotten about the modern classics, unlike Guzzi, Ducati, Triumph, Harley, ....

JAMESDUNN
08-28-2009, 12:10 AM
Of all of them, I really like the V7 Classic. Oh, wait, that there is not a BMW. That's right, in BMW's attempt to be number one in all fronts they have completely forgotten about the modern classics, unlike Guzzi, Ducati, Triumph, Harley, ....

How true. BMW has completely forgotten it's classic past, i.e. the pre-oilhead Boxers. They do not want to go there again! Discovered with the intro of the brick K's how hard-headed the airhead crowd is. Wish they would though; woud not a new R90S be grand?!

I too love the Guzzi V7 and the retro Ducatis, and the other retro bikes.

Semper_Fi
08-28-2009, 01:20 AM
I'm a bit unusual in this regard*,
But the only only bikes I've owned have been '85 and newer BMWs- which means that the three-button system is what I'm used to and most comfortable with. I recently spent about 30 miles on a friend's Aprilia scooter (which uses the 'Japanese' type signal switch) and I think I fumbled every turn signal in the entire ride.


*Well, most regards really, but that's another thread for another discussion...


Totally opposite here :dance

Finally got used to the GT switchgear. Finished doing a full service on my wife's R1200ST and went for a road test around town and I was just laughing at myself because I just kept messing up all the turn signals, shutting them off and turning them on.

It's all muscle memory - but if I had my druthers I would have left it at the 3 switches - it is more natural and logical :lurk

boxermaf
08-28-2009, 03:24 AM
The only new BMW bikes that I care for are perhaps the R1200R and the F800GS - at least those bikes make some sense to me and aren't totally encased in tupperware. I would love it if BMW came out with some retro style models - if done right, even an oilhead powerplant wouldn't look too bad. In the meantime, I'll keep my little airhead, and keep my eyes open for another one to join it.

I think that BMW seems to want to be #1 in the markets that they think that they can be #1 in - even if that means creating a niche market of their own choosing to be #1 in. Just ask the R1200C owners - that was a unique bike with a decent following, but there was no way BMW would take over the cruiser market with it, so they dropped it to the dismay of many. Oh well, my opinion is probably not worth what you paid for it..

kstoo
08-28-2009, 04:46 AM
How true. BMW has completely forgotten it's classic past, i.e. the pre-oilhead Boxers. They do not want to go there again! Discovered with the intro of the brick K's how hard-headed the airhead crowd is. Wish they would though; woud not a new R90S be grand?!

I too love the Guzzi V7 and the retro Ducatis, and the other retro bikes.

Wow, that would be a great PR move, I never thought of that. A modernized version of the somewhat controversial,ground-breaking 1974 R90S; that would be a great move.
Air-cooled, shaft-drive, I wouldn't mind if it was FI instead of Del'Orto, mmm. That V7 Classic is under-powered; you can compete with that ... come on, Mister BMW ...

kbasa
08-28-2009, 05:20 AM
I have often wondered how the membership here feels about the new product coming from Germany. Do you like what you see? Do you find yourself lusting after one of the new models, or, are you thinking what were they "thinking"? Perhaps you are considering the purchase of another brand? I know when I ride my ol' airhead I appreciate the simplicity, but those simple "work on your " bike days are gone, never to return. Sure, some do wrench the new and newer bikes, and good on 'em! But it is a different day in general. What do ya think? Like the new stuff? Hate it? Wish you could get BMW to change direction? Any other thoughts pertaining to BMW bikes? Are ya gonna stay with the brand or abandon it for a new love?

If you can wrench on an airhead, the new bikes will be a piece of cake.

Sit in on an oilhead tech day and you'll know exactly what those guys are doing during a tune up because it's what you're already doing.

My /2 and my hexhead are equally easy to service.

I'll stick with the brand. I like they way they make speed.

kbasa
08-28-2009, 05:24 AM
How true. BMW has completely forgotten it's classic past, i.e. the pre-oilhead Boxers. They do not want to go there again! Discovered with the intro of the brick K's how hard-headed the airhead crowd is. Wish they would though; woud not a new R90S be grand?!

I too love the Guzzi V7 and the retro Ducatis, and the other retro bikes.

I think one needs to look beyond the appearance and consider the way they work.

When you consider that BMW made a "gentleman's express" in the 90S or RS, the new bikes are very similar. It's not necessarily the bike itself, either. It's the collection of accessories available that make the bike perform its intended mission so well. From the high beam indicator that doesn't blind you at night to the way the bags lock to store your stuff, those same values still exist. That's why I keep buying them.

They're obviously made by people that ride and have spent time on the bikes actually going somewhere.

JAMESDUNN
08-28-2009, 11:09 AM
If you can wrench on an airhead, the new bikes will be a piece of cake.

Sit in on an oilhead tech day and you'll know exactly what those guys are doing during a tune up because it's what you're already doing.

My /2 and my hexhead are equally easy to service.

I'll stick with the brand. I like they way they make speed.

Dave, I own an oilhead and agree they are easy to wrench on, as they are an evolution of the airheads. Just more valves to adjust for example, in relation to the airheads. I do think, however ,the new inline motors are a different story. Still, will not rule out ownership of same and have owned a couple of the K bricks in the past.

ragtoplvr
08-28-2009, 07:37 PM
BMW's direction?

a few questions:

1. When they next re-do the hex-head, will the clutch spline extend all the way thru the disk. Or is the same stubborn old fart still insisting they made it that way for a reason, but never gives the reason.

2. Will the Hydraulic clutch slave cylinder include a weep hole. An upgraded release bearing?

3. Will the final drive ever get reliable.

4. Will the ESA shock become rebuild-able.

5. Will they ever learn how to machine the engine and transmission so the center line of the shafts coincide.

Now I am all for ABS, and all for wiring harness simplification and CAN Buss. Seeing old problems repeated over and over is senseless.

Rod

robsryder
08-28-2009, 08:48 PM
I saw the "40 Years" picture on today's website front page -

To me that bike (R75/5) is better looking than any of the current offerings.

PHMARVIN
08-29-2009, 04:28 AM
It doesn't matter whether I like the new offerings or not, I won't own one. The closest dealer to me is 275 miles away. I'm in a metropolitan area of 3/4 million on this side and 2+million on the Mexican side - with no BMW motorcycle dealer closer than Albuquerque! So I'll just go along, wrenching on my K75's, ordering my parts off the internet, and reading about the new products from BMW.

GlobalRider
08-29-2009, 03:04 PM
Do you like what you see? Perhaps you are considering the purchase of another brand?

Not really and the fact that I am looking at other brands for the first time since 1990 is a sign.



Do you find yourself lusting after one of the new models, or, are you thinking what were they "thinking"?

Not at all. Unfortunately I'm not one of the puppets the advertising world would like me to be.

I always chuckle when there is so much hysteria on the part of BMW owners when a new model comes out; some of them actually run out as fast as possible so that they can be the "first to own one". What puppets will do for attention. :laugh


I know when I ride my ol' airhead I appreciate the simplicity, but those simple "work on your " bike days are gone, never to return.

I feel the same way which is why I'd never sell my two airhead GSes, even though I also own an oilhead GS.

The chances of me getting my airhead GS going are exponentially far better than getting my oilhead going should it fail on the road.

Progress...how interesting!

GlobalRider
08-29-2009, 03:09 PM
plus, the airhead imparts a special vibe that just isn't quite there on the new bikes.

Ian, I don't even have to start them to feel that way.

All I have to do is move my airhead and oilhead GSes around in the garage while doing a clean-up and when I swing a leg over my 1990 GS, all I can say is "this is a real GS"...but not too loudly as my oilhead might feel hurt.

shire2000
08-29-2009, 06:03 PM
The new BMWs do not impress me to the point of wanting to buy one. Just not my style. I am old school and prefer a bike to look more classic. If I was to get real serious about a new bike, I would be leaning more towards a Moto Guzzi V7 Classic or the new Moto Guzzi V7 Cafe Classic. And the price on these is really very reasonable.

I have ridden a new V7 Classic and found it does everything I would want in a bike. Would like a small windscreen or fly screen and some classically styled panniers, but aftermarket is available. It reminds me of the original V7, yet has a more stable feel to it. I don't feel that I need a bike that has over 100HP and can do 150MPH. I prefer a bike that I can enjoy at normal highway speeds as well as around town. I have dealt with the closest dealer to me in the past and always found them to be very personable as well as knowledgable. they are closer than the closest BMW shop as well.

IMHO Moto Guzzi has embraced their past and brought out some very well thought out bikes that point back to their heritage, yet incorporate modern engine management, suspension, frames, etc.

BMW on the other hand appears to be trying to forget it's past and what got them to where they are today. That seems odd to me as almost every other bike maker is bringing out some classically styled bikes that bring back the days of when the make of a bike could be easily identified without looking for a badge or name. When individual bikes had soul. To me, the new BMWs no longer have any soul. They sure have lots of tupperware though.

bmwdean
08-29-2009, 09:56 PM
I saw an article somewhere (BMW Owners News?) where someone put an oilhead engine in a slash-2(?) frame. I thought that was very cool and suggestive. Being an old fart, I would love to see BMW come out with a classically styled bike (read: R69US or /5 or /6) with oilhead engine. But like those above, I do not think it will happen.

My main wish is that I hope BMW knows what it is doing and sells tons of motorcycles, whatever they are. My preferences are likely irrelevant. I would like BMW Motorrad to be profitable so it stays in business, so I want it to increase its market share a lot.

R69US:
http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/r69us-2.jpg

R75/6:
http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/74r75b.jpg

ultracyclist
08-29-2009, 10:13 PM
At the risk of dating myself and possibly offending a few members...
why on Earth do we need all this new horsepower? Just because the Italians and Japanese are nuts, must we follow like lemmings?

Yes, the new bikes look cool and are very powerful, but how many riders can really utilize all that power.

I came close to buying a Guzzi because I love the retro look along with being air cooled and shaft driven, but with a poor dealer network in my area, I opted for a used 2001 R1100RL.

If BMW ever brought back an updated R75/5 ( or other /5's and /6's in the 600cc-900cc range) they would probably sell a ton of 'em.

My 2 cents.

GlobalRider
08-29-2009, 10:32 PM
Why on Earth do we need all this new horsepower? Just because the Italians and Japanese are nuts, must we follow like lemmings?

Its not the fault of the Italians or the Japanese. Its the fault of your average consumer that "wants" more of what they really don't "need"...it makes up for a shortcoming in one particular bodily area. ;)

Its laughable when reading the GS forums...most want more horsepower, at least that is what they talk about when a new model comes out..as if they needed more HP in the dirt. :laugh

barryg
08-29-2009, 11:21 PM
Somebody's got to buy em new so I can buy em 5/10 years from now at a price I can afford when that owner's ready to unload them for the new latest/greatest. :laugh

sit
08-30-2009, 02:15 AM
Speaking of HP, I was just talking to a sales manager who used to work for the mother ship about this. I mentioned the LT and some of the thoughts that it will be getting a make over soon with a much large engine, some rumors say a 6 cylinder don't they? He and I were both in agreement that the K1300 engine would be fine in it and give it plenty of power to haul aroung the bike and passengers. At what point does the HP to weight ratio become so lopsided that it is ridiculous.

I like the old and the new bikes. I wish I could have some of each to suit what ever mood I am in when I go out to the garage. The new style bikes just reflect the times I think, some retro style bikes would be nice too.

I think the bigger issue is the after sale part of the company. I would like to see BMW Motorrad step up their game to the level of the BMW car dealers.

Rpbump
08-30-2009, 02:41 AM
I really like the R1200RT but will ride my 2004 CLC for at least 3>4 more years before acquiring a nice used one (2007 > 2010). If my health dictates that 2 wheels will not be a good option I will look at a sidecar rig. The new bikes are attractive but I believe that you can find greater value with used bikes if you shop carefully.
Ride Safe :usa :usa

JAMESDUNN
08-30-2009, 02:45 AM
It doesn't matter whether I like the new offerings or not, I won't own one. The closest dealer to me is 275 miles away. I'm in a metropolitan area of 3/4 million on this side and 2+million on the Mexican side - with no BMW motorcycle dealer closer than Albuquerque! So I'll just go along, wrenching on my K75's, ordering my parts off the internet, and reading about the new products from BMW.

Marv, the nearest dealer for me is about 120 miles distant (Gina's of Iowa City, Iowa). I ride over at times, mostly just to hang around a BMW dealer. I always spend at least a bit of money. There is an ex-dealer (Ned's of Riverside,Iowa) , about the same distance away. He still sells BMW parts and works on airheads ( Jim, the original owner's son is a fountain of knowledge). Love to drop in there as well. Now, that shop has some history. Wish they were closer! There are many dealers of every stripe where I reside in Des Moines, Iowa. There is even one ex-BMW dealer here. That "ex" sure pops up a lot! Dealer network is important but lacking for a lot of us. A consideration in a new bike purchase.

I do like to look at the new bikes..when I have the time for a fairly long ride.

astrin
09-04-2009, 02:27 PM
I think the extra size and power of the K1300 bikes is questionable. The K1200 models were just fine. But I'm also glad the K1300 models have come out, if it devalues the K1200's on the used market and makes them more affordable, especially post-warranty.

On the other hand, the S1000RR is the most significant, and welcome, development by BMW since the introduction of the K bikes in 1983, in my opinion. The fact that BMW has left Formula 1 and is embracing world class motorcycle racing is FANTASTIC. And the bike itself is an absolutely incredible liter bike, I got to see Nate Kern ride it around at Blackhawk Farms Raceway two days ago. The big concern I'd have with the S1000RR on track is the high cost of replacement parts. I can find tons of low-priced parts for my Suzuki on e-Bay and Craigslist. And track bikes do tend to need parts, they go down from time to time.

So, I definitely lust after the K1200GT as a touring bike and the S1000RR as a track bike, but I'll stick to my Suzuki track bike for a long time. The GT will definitely be my next road bike, way down the line when my K75RT gets old and I convert it to a cafe racer.

stkmkt1
09-04-2009, 03:03 PM
One "new" feature is questionable - the signal switches for turning.

For years BMW used the separate switches on the left and right because the system caused less confusion and was touted as being safer.

I notice the new GT has a single switch on the left like the rest of the crowd from Japan. Is this change safer or cheaper? I would prefer the separate switches.

The only constant is change.

I vote for separate switches also. Since 1968, I have ridden bikes with the single turn signal switch and never had issues. Then this last May, I bought my first BMW, a new GSA. Took me all of about one day to get used to the turn signals and now I really do prefer this layout versus the single switch layout. It just seems more intuitive to me.

Semper_Fi
09-04-2009, 05:58 PM
I think the extra size and power of the K1300 bikes is questionable. ....

Interesting comment.

I like the effortless and bottemless torque and acceleration of my GT.

On the highway I do not even downshift to pass - it's not needed, it was though on my RT and I think the RT is an awesome bike, wish I could have had both.

Anyway, like all things, its a personal thing - the turbine linear power build up in the GT is seductive, tempting and luring - part of the reason we all ride, IMO.

:lurk

astrin
09-04-2009, 08:44 PM
I like the effortless and bottomless torque and acceleration of my GT.



For sure, but is it significantly different from the 1200 cc model? That's my comment, that the increase to 1300 cc is a bit silly. The K1200GT was already a majorly kick-ass bike!

As for turn signals, it would really be nice if BMW gave you the option to have standard or BMW style switches on all their bikes. I'd certainly opt for the BMW style switches. But I also think a lot of folks that come over from other models would prefer the standard switch, and that's perfectly fine. It's a fairly important little piece of ergonomics that should be the rider's decision.

Semper_Fi
09-04-2009, 09:38 PM
For sure, but is it significantly different from the 1200 cc model? That's my comment, that the increase to 1300 cc is a bit silly. The K1200GT was already a majorly kick-ass bike!

Don't know :dunno in the showroom i had both choices - went with the shiny new one :p


As for turn signals, it would really be nice if BMW gave you the option to have standard or BMW style switches on all their bikes. I'd certainly opt for the BMW style switches. But I also think a lot of folks that come over from other models would prefer the standard switch, and that's perfectly fine. It's a fairly important little piece of ergonomics that should be the rider's decision.

That is a great idea - I would have stuck with the BMW ones, more natural response, did relearn the "new" style, in then end though it becomes muscle memory, but if the option was there.............

kbasa
09-04-2009, 10:18 PM
Don't know :dunno in the showroom i had both choices - went with the shiny new one :p



That is a great idea - I would have stuck with the BMW ones, more natural response, did relearn the "new" style, in then end though it becomes muscle memory, but if the option was there.............

:dunno

I switch back and forth between the VFR (conventional switches) the R100 (conventional switches), the R60/2 (no switches - use your arm) and the R12RT and GS without a problem.

I can't say one is better than the other at all. They're just different.

bmwdean
09-04-2009, 11:40 PM
:dunno

I switch back and forth between the VFR (conventional switches) the R100 (conventional switches), the R60/2 (no switches - use your arm) and the R12RT and GS without a problem.

The slash-2s all can be readily equipped with Hella bar-end signals. The signal switch is in the lower left corner of the photo below: lift up for left signal; press down for right signal. No problem. And I also like the R1200RT switch arrangement.

http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/hella-turn.jpg

However, I still recommend using hand signals for visibility to motorists.

henzilla
09-05-2009, 12:22 AM
For sure, but is it significantly different from the 1200 cc model? That's my comment, that the increase to 1300 cc is a bit silly. The K1200GT was already a majorly kick-ass bike!

As for turn signals, it would really be nice if BMW gave you the option to have standard or BMW style switches on all their bikes. I'd certainly opt for the BMW style switches. But I also think a lot of folks that come over from other models would prefer the standard switch, and that's perfectly fine. It's a fairly important little piece of ergonomics that should be the rider's decision.

The Wedge K bikes were in their first generation and who knows why they went up a few cc's...my guess is with the Asian bikes tweaking theirs,think Hyabusa's 1300 and Kawa's ZX-14 , it was an effort to catch the eye of those markets.The GT just benefitted from that engine package when it made the scene after the R's and S's. I am not sure about the GT, but the S was redesigned from a chassis standpoint and some handling issues were adressed in this latest generation...I get the adrenalin rush with the K12S in our stable...not sure I could get any more freaked out going say... another 20MPH:laugh Not that I have ever gone over the posted limit... There are some who think 50HP was plenty and why did BMW ever go over that:stick:gerg

The turn signals are no big deal to me...I swap bikes enough to re-learn each one after a few turns. As far as an option for one or the other...more parts to stock and deal with two different designs seems too much for such a small to me issue. I still flap my arms as well in traffic! And honk at people on occasion:laugh

kbasa
09-05-2009, 02:14 AM
The slash-2s all can be readily equipped with Hella bar-end signals. The signal switch is in the lower left corner of the photo below. No problem. And I also like the R1200RT switch arrangement.

http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/hella-turn.jpg

However, I still recommend using hand signals for visibility to motorists.

I've got the switch, but need to drill the bars before I can run the wires to the turn signals. I've got the original Hellas that came with the bike. The flasher unit and harness are all installed, but the leads to the turn signal units are clipped.

While I've got the bars off, I might as well paint the switchgear so it's shiny right?
Which means I should probably paint the headlight shell since I'll have the bars out of the way already.
Which means I might as well send the toolbox cover and the rear fender out to get painted.

One more thing to do, right? :ha

36654
09-05-2009, 11:35 AM
Hello,

The new bikes look good and have all the "cutting edge" bells and whistles. However, they're the size of freaking Hummers. Whatever happened to the BMW design philosophy of nimble, reliable and a low center of gravity.

The pictures of a GS12xx going off-road reminds me of an M1A1 tank. It can be done, but why?

kbasa
09-05-2009, 01:40 PM
Hello,

The new bikes look good and have all the "cutting edge" bells and whistles. However, they're the size of freaking Hummers. Whatever happened to the BMW design philosophy of nimble, reliable and a low center of gravity.

The pictures of a GS12xx going off-road reminds me of an M1A1 tank. It can be done, but why?

:dunno

My RT weighs in more than a hundred pounds less than a comparable FJR, Concours or ST1300.

We ride on our old bikes together and while they're wonderful, it's nice to have all that cutting edge stuff. I can haul the RT down from pretty high speeds while loaded up with wife and gear with a single finger. That's a big plus, in my opinion.

:buds

shire2000
09-05-2009, 03:26 PM
There is nothing wrong with modern technology on the new bikes (if you like that sort of thing). I just feel that BMW has decided, in it's infinite wisdom, to go after a very small part of the market. They have priced themselves so high that the average Joe cannot afford them. I am talking about "Total Cost of Ownership". Not just the initial purchase price. The new bikes are more expensive than comparative bikes from other manufacturers. Then, if you don't have a dealer close by you have to factor in the added expense of getting to and from that dealer for service of any kind. On top of that, at least near where I live, the dealerships charge a premium shop rate compared to other brands. Then, on top of those obvious expenses, they do not seem to stand behind the bikes as well as they used to. Let's not bring up the recently failed differentials.

Now that may be all well and good for an elite group of people. Unfortunately, that is going to limit the amount of bikes they will sell. Their market share cannot grow substantially, which will impede the growth of their profits, which will require them to increase prices even further. It seems to me that BMW does not really want to compete in the market place. They remind me of the old tales of walking into a Bentley or Rolls Royce emporium where they say, "if you have to ask the price then you can't afford to buy". Sorry, but in this day and age, that is no longer an acceptible method of marketing. You have to be competitive or you will fail.

If BMW really wanted to compete in the market place they would look at what is happening in other parts of the market. There is nothing wrong with offering a premium high quality bike for a good but fair price. They should be looking at the total market and using it to their advantage.

Offer something to the beginning riders that they can develope brand loyalty on. Don't tell me about the 450GS, not everyone wants to start on a $10,000Cdn dual purpose bike. Get the price down to something the average 16-21 year old can afford. You get them hooked young and they will stay loyal to the brand.

Offer something in the way of a modern retro style for those that grew up with the old /5, /6 & /7 style bikes. Many other brands are marketing directly to that segment, which is the Baby Boomers who have the largest amount of disposable income. Why do you think there are so many of us that will spend huge money to rebuild and keep our old airheads running?

No, I think that BMW has lost their way in the marketing department. They are overpriced, don't offer any reason for loyalty to brand, don't stand behind the limited dealer network they do have and appear to have no intention of increasing it.

seniorasi
09-05-2009, 07:26 PM
There is nothing wrong with modern technology on the new bikes (if you like that sort of thing). I just feel that BMW has decided, in it's infinite wisdom, to go after a very small part of the market. They have priced themselves so high that the average Joe cannot afford them. I am talking about "Total Cost of Ownership". Not just the initial purchase price. The new bikes are more expensive than comparative bikes from other manufacturers. Then, if you don't have a dealer close by you have to factor in the added expense of getting to and from that dealer for service of any kind. On top of that, at least near where I live, the dealerships charge a premium shop rate compared to other brands. Then, on top of those obvious expenses, they do not seem to stand behind the bikes as well as they used to. Let's not bring up the recently failed differentials.

Now that may be all well and good for an elite group of people. Unfortunately, that is going to limit the amount of bikes they will sell. Their market share cannot grow substantially, which will impede the growth of their profits, which will require them to increase prices even further. It seems to me that BMW does not really want to compete in the market place. They remind me of the old tales of walking into a Bentley or Rolls Royce emporium where they say, "if you have to ask the price then you can't afford to buy". Sorry, but in this day and age, that is no longer an acceptible method of marketing. You have to be competitive or you will fail.

If BMW really wanted to compete in the market place they would look at what is happening in other parts of the market. There is nothing wrong with offering a premium high quality bike for a good but fair price. They should be looking at the total market and using it to their advantage.

Offer something to the beginning riders that they can develope brand loyalty on. Don't tell me about the 450GS, not everyone wants to start on a $10,000Cdn dual purpose bike. Get the price down to something the average 16-21 year old can afford. You get them hooked young and they will stay loyal to the brand.

Offer something in the way of a modern retro style for those that grew up with the old /5, /6 & /7 style bikes. Many other brands are marketing directly to that segment, which is the Baby Boomers who have the largest amount of disposable income. Why do you think there are so many of us that will spend huge money to rebuild and keep our old airheads running?

No, I think that BMW has lost their way in the marketing department. They are overpriced, don't offer any reason for loyalty to brand, don't stand behind the limited dealer network they do have and appear to have no intention of increasing it.

Dave, I agree with your evaluation of the BMW price structure and the assessment of the mechanical problems with the final drive. ( I think that is what you are referencing. Differential, in mechanical terms, allows two wheels to turn at different speeds, hence the term "differential". )

The final drive problem is the only reason I'm not riding a new GSA. I've been to the dealer 3 times in the last two (2) months to look at them. What a beautiful machine. But when I get there and look at the final drive and know I'm in for a $4,000.00 bill somewhere down the line, my gut feeling is no way! The flip side is I love my piece of crap airhead. It has been really abused by the PO'S and still starts and runs every time I get on it to ride. There is not a single exterior part that has not suffered trauma in one form or another and it is really not worth restoring, but for a rider you don't have to fret about not ever washing it does the trick for me. I've owned it since March and haven't washed it yet.

shire2000
09-05-2009, 09:38 PM
Airheads are just like that. They keep on going. Sure, there are some mechanical issues that one has to contend with as they age, but that is with anything that is mechanical (or otherwise). Plus, on most airheads you don't have to take an hour or more to remove a bunch of tupperware to find the engine.

People complain about valve recession, tranny circlips and many other little problems, but in reality, those things tend to be considered standard maintenance issues by those that choose to ride them. Take care of what is there until it needs fixing. On the other hand, buy a new GSA and you had better have an extra $4000 set aside for the final drive rebuild that you know will happen sooner than later.

Differential or Final Drive? Maybe I should not use them meaning the same thing. I know that technically one is for any sort of drive system while the other is considered for driving 2 wheels at different speeds. But then you get into things like limited slip, locked rear ends, etc. Suffice it to say that I meant the final drive.

My current ride, being an old airhead as well, has many "battle scars" that I have no intention of repairing. Maybe one day I will get around to a full "restoration" and sand and paint it all. But right now, I prefer to ride. So I ensure that it is mechanically safe and sound, and that nothing is rattling or about to fall off.

3 more months and it will be time for it's yearly bath and general cleanup.

JAMESDUNN
09-05-2009, 09:54 PM
Airheads are just like that. They keep on going. Sure, there are some mechanical issues that one has to contend with as they age, but that is with anything that is mechanical (or otherwise). Plus, on most airheads you don't have to take an hour or more to remove a bunch of tupperware to find the engine.

People complain about valve recession, tranny circlips and many other little problems, but in reality, those things tend to be considered standard maintenance issues by those that choose to ride them. Take care of what is there until it needs fixing. On the other hand, buy a new GSA and you had better have an extra $4000 set aside for the final drive rebuild that you know will happen sooner than later.

Differential or Final Drive? Maybe I should not use them meaning the same thing. I know that technically one is for any sort of drive system while the other is considered for driving 2 wheels at different speeds. But then you get into things like limited slip, locked rear ends, etc. Suffice it to say that I meant the final drive.

My current ride, being an old airhead as well, has many "battle scars" that I have no intention of repairing. Maybe one day I will get around to a full "restoration" and sand and paint it all. But right now, I prefer to ride. So I ensure that it is mechanically safe and sound, and that nothing is rattling or about to fall off.

3 more months and it will be time for it's yearly bath and general cleanup.
Dave, a lot of folk use differential to describe the final drive. I knew what you meant when I read your post. Hey! Are you sure there is a BMW under all that dirt? I wash mine more often than you, but not a lot more often! Airheads are very reliable, and yes, I know some argue otherwise, but frequently they are bought without proper maintenance. Then the new but disgruntled owner "sounds off". On bikes that have been maintained it is a different story. If I ever sell my present airhead, the new purchaser will get a "coast to coast" motorsickle!

shire2000
09-06-2009, 02:16 AM
Well, with the hot dry spring and summer we have had here, the major issue is the bugs all over the front of the bike. I am pretty certain that it is still an airhead I sit on as there are these 2 big obstructions in front of my feet and I don't remember running over anything big enough to stay there and petrify. I think the biggest thing I hit was some June bugs, thank gawd for the fairing, windshield and the full face helmet. Those things hurt and leave a welt!!!

seniorasi
09-06-2009, 03:22 AM
Well, with the hot dry spring and summer we have had here, the major issue is the bugs all over the front of the bike. I am pretty certain that it is still an airhead I sit on as there are these 2 big obstructions in front of my feet and I don't remember running over anything big enough to stay there and petrify. I think the biggest thing I hit was some June bugs, thank gawd for the fairing, windshield and the full face helmet. Those things hurt and leave a welt!!!

I heard you guys got mosquitos as big as June bugs up there in Canada...probably want to watch out for them too eh? :-)

GILLY
09-06-2009, 11:02 AM
The pictures of a GS12xx going off-road reminds me of an M1A1 tank. It can be done, but why?

Because sometimes the enemy isn't ON the road???:dunno

Gilly

seniorasi
09-06-2009, 11:57 AM
because sometimes the enemy isn't on the road???:dunno

gilly

+1! :-)

36654
09-06-2009, 12:24 PM
Interesting comment.

I like the effortless and bottemless torque and acceleration of my GT.

On the highway I do not even downshift to pass - it's not needed, it was though on my RT and I think the RT is an awesome bike, wish I could have had both.

Anyway, like all things, its a personal thing - the turbine linear power build up in the GT is seductive, tempting and luring - part of the reason we all ride, IMO.

:lurk

Forget the "linear turbine" description which would be power as a cubic function of RPM. You are longing for an inverter controlled electric motor which has, nominally, constant torque. Toyota's Prius should be a good fit for you.

My father used to praise his 1966 Buick Wildcat (the model between the LeSabre and Electra 225) in the same manner ...... "That hydrostatic drive is so good, it never needs to shift". Now, drawing parallels between a 1966 Buick Sedan and a 200x BMW motorcycle does cause me to pause and ponder the direction of BMW.

36654
09-06-2009, 12:32 PM
Because sometimes the enemy isn't ON the road???:dunno

Gilly

My question was directed at the GS12xx, instead of the M1A1. In reality, the M1A1 is trailered when paved roads are available, while the GS12xx is, typically, parked when leaving the pavement.

henzilla
09-09-2009, 12:13 AM
someone or several of y'all need a hug:violin Has this become another Airhead vs anything else thread? I love them all and hate none unless the battery is dead when I want to roll, then that's fixed and I am loving it again.

I have both of the designs you mention as well as a few older bikes ...a new gen K12S and a R12GSA...both do what I expect from them and that K12 series is no dad's Buick my friend. My dad had the '68 LeSabre so I have something to compare it to.:laugh
That GSA is not the lightest kid off the road and I don't go places I did when I was twenty either on my 250 cc bike...I'll take my chances as it makes me very happy at days end when it's taken me to out of the way backtrails . I have seen those big boys go places I would not have dreamed about......heck, I have even off roaded my K12S when the pavement ended in CO recently...all smiles
When it becomes too much to hold up or pick up which does happen to all riders at some point ...which I am hoping is another twenty years by comparing me at 53 to several riding friends in their 70's...I'll downsize... I don't have a lot of "disposable income" as a late boomer,but, I have paid my dues, saved, and spend frugally enough to buy what I want when I want it ..no apologies for that other than sorry if you are not able to.Having a riding and supportive spouse has helped as well as a few of the bikes are HERS.

Airheads, oilheads,hexheads and all the K bikes require some form of maintenance and are as prone to a major failure as any other model or brand. So what? The FD issues and EWS failures are really not as common as the Internet has made them appear. I have ridden the new models since their intro with only one major issue and over 150K of service between 5 of them. You either are up to owning a motorcycle and dealing with issues or you are not. Quit crabbin on those that do like the new technology...if you don't, then don't. BTW, the tupperware on almost all the "new" bikes comes off in about 5 minutes:whistle If it takes an hour or more...you are doing something seriously wrong.

Average Joe and another opinion:type

saab93driver
09-09-2009, 12:26 AM
I have often wondered how the membership here feels about the new product coming from Germany. Do you like what you see? Do you find yourself lusting after one of the new models, or, are you thinking what were they "thinking"? Perhaps you are considering the purchase of another brand? I know when I ride my ol' airhead I appreciate the simplicity, but those simple "work on your " bike days are gone, never to return. Sure, some do wrench the new and newer bikes, and good on 'em! But it is a different day in general. What do ya think? Like the new stuff? Hate it? Wish you could get BMW to change direction? Any other thoughts pertaining to BMW bikes? Are ya gonna stay with the brand or abandon it for a new love?


I'd love a new Boxer RS but I don't care for the styling of the new boxers, save the R1200R. I've owned 3 BMW's, no plans to sell my current R1150RS but unless they come out with a design to my taste in the boxer line I am probably on my last BMW. I like the Moto Guzzi Norge but the dealer network is questionable.

zoridog
09-09-2009, 01:41 AM
The Good.
The best thing about the new BMWs is that you can actually put your feet down at a stop. Lowered suspension and seats from the factory!

The Bad.
Do we really need more horsepower? My K100 develops 90 HP and only use about 50 of them.

The Ugly.
Made in China. :eek

But what do I know? I laughed when I saw them bring out the 1200 GS. Who would want a 1200cc enduro bike? :whistle

If I were at the helm, I would bet my career on a lowered K75RT reissue.

shire2000
09-09-2009, 02:59 AM
I don't think it is an Airhead vs anything else thing. I think it has a lot to do with practicality, usability and ease of maintenance.

Sure the new bikes are nice whiz bangy things. And lots of people love all that. If I squint my eyes, they do look sort of pretty. I prefer a more naked bike. I do not like all the tupperware enclosing everything. I do not like a bike that has a pseudo gas tank that forms a huge camel hump in front of me. I really don't want to have to slam on the brakes and become a eunuch all in one shot. I want a bike that looks like a bike, not some weird art form. I prefer a bike that I can work on easily on the side of the road or in my own garage. I do not want to have to get a special computer just to tune it up.

As to getting all the tupperware off, I can get it off real quick, but seriously doubt it would go back on as easily.

I do not need high horsepower, off road capability, ABS brakes, heated seats, fancy radios, GPS, heated grips, capability to do 150+MPH, etc. Sure, some of the creature comforts such as the heated grips would be nice on very cold days, but then what would I do with those nice heated gloves I have been using for many years. The rest of it you can keep.

I have been looking at new bikes from many different manufacturers, as of late. I am starting to get pretty serious about a different brand that is embracing it's roots by bringing out some very nice retro styled bikes. Sure, they do have some of the nice whizzy stuff like fuel injection, etc. But they still look like a real bike. At least to me. I have been riding with 70 or less HP for 40 years. It has always gotten me where I need to go and I can get in enough trouble with that. I don't need 120HP+.

All in all, bike preference is extremely subjective, and you have to throw in a good amount of personal prejudice as well. I don't buy a certain brand of anything just because it is new or someone tells me it is great. I have to feel it is right for me. Unfortunately, I do not feel the new BMWs are right for me. That is why I have continued to ride an airhead. Or maybe it is because I just am an airhead.

36654
09-09-2009, 01:59 PM
You either are up to owning a motorcycle and dealing with issues or you are not. Quit crabbin on those that do like the new technology...if you don't, then don't.

Sounds like you need a hug......

henzilla
09-09-2009, 02:22 PM
Sounds like you need a hug......

Get several daily:dance

seniorasi
09-11-2009, 05:51 PM
The Good.
The best thing about the new BMWs is that you can actually put your feet down at a stop. Lowered suspension and seats from the factory!

The Bad.
Do we really need more horsepower? My K100 develops 90 HP and only use about 50 of them.

The Ugly.
Made in China. :eek

But what do I know? I laughed when I saw them bring out the 1200 GS. Who would want a 1200cc enduro bike? :whistle

If I were at the helm, I would bet my career on a lowered K75RT reissue.

Why not an R27 re-issue?

SCJACK
09-14-2009, 02:36 PM
I bought my first BMW in early, 1976 (new Daytona Orange R90S). Since then, I have owned a total of:
9-airheads
3-oilheads
3-K-Bikes
I've enjoyed each of them but my favorites have been the airheads. In fact, I quit riding motorcycles a couple of years ago..........but the bug has bitten again, so I just bought a 1981 R100RT that had the fairing removed. It's in great mechanical shape and is pretty good cosmetically. I learned to do my own wrenching on airheads years ago and although I also learned to wrench my oilheads, I found them to require more work than I cared to perform with their labor intensive spline lubes and I discovered too late about the expensive ABS pump problems and rear end problems. Personally, I would never buy another oilhead but to each his own.

108625
09-14-2009, 11:02 PM
I like the fact the company is trying broaden their range, and therefore customer base.

However, if they're building models that are more directly competetive with other manufacturer's; they need to be more competetive. If you're trying to bite off a share of the big four's business, charging a premium for the product for exclusivity alone doesn't cut it. More frequent service intervals, higher costs of ownership (service and parts) forcing people to go to the dealer to get that d@mn warning light reset, a less accessible dealership network, long waits for work or parts, and so-on are all areas where their "vision" seems to be deficient.

To BMW I would say:

If you're going to charge me more, you need to offer me more. Otherwise, now that your bikes are becoming more similar to the competition, they are becoming easier to compare to the competition. If there's any doubt which is the better bike; the extra cost of buying (and owning) yours, combined with the extra hassles of limited dealers, poor service, parts delays, and overall good riding time wasted, you don't compare very well.

MrGrocer
09-14-2009, 11:39 PM
How true. BMW has completely forgotten it's classic past, i.e. the pre-oilhead Boxers. They do not want to go there again! Discovered with the intro of the brick K's how hard-headed the airhead crowd is. Wish they would though; woud not a new R90S be grand?!

I too love the Guzzi V7 and the retro Ducatis, and the other retro bikes.

And thank goodness. I've ridden airheads since I was 18 and done my own work. I can now go out in the garage and service my bike in a couple of hours. I got a GS-911... zip off the rear wheel, drain everything, fill it, switch filters, diagnosis, clear/correct faults.... bam.

Ever grease clutch splines on a /6... good old days indeed. Not for me, I like my 105 HP and ABS and ASC and ESA and heated comfy space age foam equipped uberbike. I get misty eyed and always want an airhead in my garage but my new bike is easier to work on and performs better and its safer.

I lov 'em all though. The K1300GT, The R1000S, I'll take any of them but I only want to own the easier to maintain boxers.

JAMESDUNN
09-15-2009, 11:20 AM
And thank goodness. I've ridden airheads since I was 18 and done my own work. I can now go out in the garage and service my bike in a couple of hours. I got a GS-911... zip off the rear wheel, drain everything, fill it, switch filters, diagnosis, clear/correct faults.... bam.

Ever grease clutch splines on a /6... good old days indeed. Not for me, I like my 105 HP and ABS and ASC and ESA and heated comfy space age foam equipped uberbike. I get misty eyed and always want an airhead in my garage but my new bike is easier to work on and performs better and its safer.

I lov 'em all though. The K1300GT, The R1000S, I'll take any of them but I only want to own the easier to maintain boxers.

The retro bikes by Guzzi and Ducati are only retro in appearance; the styling evoking the past for both marques. They possess modern brakes, engines, tires, and suspensions. I love the clean styling that is evocative of the 70's motorcycles that were so cool looking and functional. If BMW were to manufacture a retro bike it could be something, like say, an update of the iconic R90S with an oilhead engine,and other modern tid bits.

I agree about the good ol 'days, though I still live "there" with my '78 RS. Like you, I find my newer oilhead easy to maintain. I agree the newer K bikes are not so user friendly in that regard. The performance of new K's is truly incredible however, and I have always found power very alluring, so will not rule out eventually owning one of these bikes.

hillbillypolack
09-16-2009, 02:46 PM
I'm relatively new to the BMW brand, having a 2007 GS and enjoying it more after every ride.

That said, I do like what I see from BMW, and believe that BMW thinks more about "total cost of ownership" than many other marques. Meaning that when I sling a leg over the GS, it's docile enough in town, balanced, adequate power and torque so that I am able to enjoy it "as delivered" without needing to accessorize it immediately.

When I took delivery of my Ducati S2R, it needed re-gearing, as well as a larger clutch slave cylinder as well as at least a partial exhaust to help it breathe better. If I had thought about it before purchase, I might have an R1200R instead in the garage. I'm not immune to farkeling, but layering on thousands to a "new" bike wasn't something I had in the budget at the time (though it was my fault I guess).

The strategic direction I see BMW going is good. Their diversity with the R engine is great, from the 1200R, HP2, Megamoto, GS and GSA. I hope that BMW maintains the air cooled simplicity once they develop a successor to the Hexhead. If a company can engineer around Euro3 emissions, it certainly is BMW, especially since the boxer engine layout is their heritage.

The K and F bikes are great too, though I'm not sure the F800 is priced correctly. Seems a bit on the tall side. Rides great though. The new 1000R, on the other hand seems to be a bargain. I'd love to see more volume production of bikes like the MegaMoto, bring that price down to where I'd consider it as a stablemate to the GS.

Weak entries are the G bikes. They seem too similar to KTMs for example, with an added pricetag. I doubt this is justifiable after I've heard about their Chinese origin. Squaring up the lower end is a matter of strategy (does BMW "belong" in entry bikes), or trickle down their parts bins so that these lower cost bikes aren't as distant from the rest of the range.

The only (and very picky) detail I can see is BMW insistence of using soft-ish textured plastics in high-wear areas. Scuffs, road damage, etc on saddlebags and forward facing surfaces just look badly after several thousand miles. Then again, I guess that open some doors to farkeling too (!)

hillbillypolack
09-16-2009, 06:07 PM
I like the fact the company is trying broaden their range, and therefore customer base.

However, if they're building models that are more directly competetive with other manufacturer's; they need to be more competetive. If you're trying to bite off a share of the big four's business, charging a premium for the product for exclusivity alone doesn't cut it. More frequent service intervals, higher costs of ownership (service and parts) forcing people to go to the dealer to get that d@mn warning light reset, a less accessible dealership network, long waits for work or parts, and so-on are all areas where their "vision" seems to be deficient.

To BMW I would say:

If you're going to charge me more, you need to offer me more. Otherwise, now that your bikes are becoming more similar to the competition, they are becoming easier to compare to the competition. If there's any doubt which is the better bike; the extra cost of buying (and owning) yours, combined with the extra hassles of limited dealers, poor service, parts delays, and overall good riding time wasted, you don't compare very well.

Try owning anything Italian. I love 'em, but the points you bring up are magnified with some other brands. . .

108625
09-16-2009, 10:02 PM
Try owning anything Italian. I love 'em, but the points you bring up are magnified with some other brands. . .

I wouldn't doubt it.

However, I was pointing out that most of BMW's range is now being built to compete with the Japanese. The company has even said as much in some cases.
If you want to be competetive, that means you must expect to be subject to scrutiny and comparison on many levels. Most of the people I know who ride japanese bikes (and I'm one of them) do shop around.

The Italians, on the other hand, aren't playing that game. A Ducati is still distinctly a Ducati, a Moto Guzzi is still distinctly a Guzzi. They stand out in identity and most are sold to people who want to have one, period (they're not shopping around much, if at all).

Weasel
09-17-2009, 01:27 PM
The only thing that bugs me about any of the new models is that they no longer have a bike with a fat front tire (read Montauk or CLC). I have hit so many deep potholes on my daily commute that would have certainly bent the rim on any other "skinny" front tired Beemer...and, as we all know, rims are expensive.

RTRyder
09-17-2009, 07:53 PM
There's something to be said for both simplicity and technology. The motorcycles I currently have in the garage span 50 years of technology, the simplest being the single cylinder, magneto ignition, 1957 Norton ES2.

The ES2 is pretty much as basic as motorcycling gets and great fun to take for short rides on nice days, doesn't take much in the way of tools or knowledge to keep it running once properly setup, but I sure wouldn't want to have to use it on a daily basis regardless of how easy it is to fix when necessary.

At the other end of the spectrum is the 07 R 1200 RT, my first BMW. Were it not for the fact that I've been involved in the computer business for close to 30 years now, this one would be going to the dealer for all of its service needs, there aren't that many user serviceable parts under all that plastic measured by the more traditional standards of the shade tree mechanic. Last service I did on the RT found me with laptop computer connected to the diagnostic port via a GS-911 while I did he throttle body sync with a TwinMax, certainly not the screwdriver and cigarette paper tuning methodology of a Lucas magdyno here folks!

So these days I find myself with both the oldest and newest machines closest to the door. For short, wide grin rides, I take the 52 year old Norton, If I seriously want or need to get someplace fast or faraway, the RT gets the nod.

I've lost count of how many motorcycles I've owned in the close to 40 years I've been riding, BMW's technology and reputation is what sold me on the RT along with the fact that it fit me like a glove from the first moment I sat on one (6'2" @ 215 lbs), no other motorcycle has ever done that regardless of country of origin.

From my perspective, they're on the right path. Perhaps BMW is diluting their heritage in the view of some more traditionally oriented owners, but the same has been said about Harley Davidson and a few other brands that dare to venture into the modern age. With a few "traditional" British machines sitting in my garage, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that motorcycle manufacturers that don't embrace technology with a vision towards the future risk becoming history.

My $.02

JAMESDUNN
09-26-2009, 08:18 PM
There's something to be said for both simplicity and technology. The motorcycles I currently have in the garage span 50 years of technology, the simplest being the single cylinder, magneto ignition, 1957 Norton ES2.

The ES2 is pretty much as basic as motorcycling gets and great fun to take for short rides on nice days, doesn't take much in the way of tools or knowledge to keep it running once properly setup, but I sure wouldn't want to have to use it on a daily basis regardless of how easy it is to fix when necessary.

At the other end of the spectrum is the 07 R 1200 RT, my first BMW. Were it not for the fact that I've been involved in the computer business for close to 30 years now, this one would be going to the dealer for all of its service needs, there aren't that many user serviceable parts under all that plastic measured by the more traditional standards of the shade tree mechanic. Last service I did on the RT found me with laptop computer connected to the diagnostic port via a GS-911 while I did he throttle body sync with a TwinMax, certainly not the screwdriver and cigarette paper tuning methodology of a Lucas magdyno here folks!

So these days I find myself with both the oldest and newest machines closest to the door. For short, wide grin rides, I take the 52 year old Norton, If I seriously want or need to get someplace fast or faraway, the RT gets the nod.

I've lost count of how many motorcycles I've owned in the close to 40 years I've been riding, BMW's technology and reputation is what sold me on the RT along with the fact that it fit me like a glove from the first moment I sat on one (6'2" @ 215 lbs), no other motorcycle has ever done that regardless of country of origin.

From my perspective, they're on the right path. Perhaps BMW is diluting their heritage in the view of some more traditionally oriented owners, but the same has been said about Harley Davidson and a few other brands that dare to venture into the modern age. With a few "traditional" British machines sitting in my garage, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that motorcycle manufacturers that don't embrace technology with a vision towards the future risk becoming history.

My $.02

I love this post. I am not abandoning BMW but I am considering a British Enfield now owned by an Indian company and modernized somewhat, but the look is still there. Not even retro, since it never changed. It is an example of what retro replicates. I am also thinking of a retro Duck or Guzzi. Id be interested in an updated version of your Norton as well.
BMW may well be on the "right track". What concerns me the most is dealership availability. Think Honda and their myriad dealers. Wish BMW had more around; perhaps the new product will allow them to expand. That is, if they can sell enough of 'em.

Figaro1100R
11-01-2009, 01:14 PM
I test rode my first BMW about three weeks ago. The salesman was kind enough to point out the individual turn signal switches and noted the cancel switch on the right.

Somehow, I made an assumption the engineers had continued the symmetry so, as I entered the freeway I begin honking the horn frantically in an attempt to cancel the left signal.

I bought an oil head. I don't honk the horn anymore but I still tend to fumble around with the cancel switch.