I will probably be putting my R1100s up for sale next spring. This oilhead is my third BMW and I have owned Beemers for 20 years. My K75 has been the best bike ever. It was just the sexy looks of the R1100 that seduced me. There are other things about it that I love. I love how it snags the corners. I also love the big twin torque and sound. The brakes are stunning, when they work. It snaps my ass back in the seat like no other bike that I have owned. I also love the luggage. The hard bags snap on and off with such ease.
But there are more than a few things that have worn me out on this expensive bike. May I share just a few of my frustrations?
1. The surge. The first year that I owned the R1100, I rode it so fast that I scared myself to death. But the only time it ran ok was when I was accelerating. It ran much better at 100 than at 30. I live in the country and for the sake of children and dogs, it pays to stick to the speed limit going thru villages. The R1100 stumble was more than irritating. Careful tuning helped, but failed to eliminate the problem.
I installed a Dobeck Performance plug and play fuel injection control box that improved the ride, but there is still that stumble at 4800 rpm.
2. The ABS. The ABS is awesome when it works, but the system just doesn't want to set. I keep the new battery charged and adjusted sensor gaps, but it has never been "right". To get those annoying pair of red lights to stop blinking, I run the bike up in second gear, turn it off, wait a few seconds, turn the key on, shift up to 4th and let out the clutch. That always resets the system, but why should I have to do it?
3. No Gas Gauge. Once you've had a gas guage on your touring bike, it is hard to adjust to one little idiot light. This is a BMW touring bike. Why no gauge?
4. Cheap fasteners. Once apon a time, BMW had high quality coatings and fasteners on their bikes. But now, BMW's bolts, screws and paints are no better than the Japanese motorcycles. I am meticulous with my bikes and keep them under cover 99% of the time, but anyone who travels ends up in the rain. The nuts and bolts on my R1100 look older than the ones on my K75.
5. Ease of repair. My R75 and K75 come apart and go back together with an ease and logic that made German bikes great. The R1100 simply lacks that quality.
There are dozens of nuancence items that I could whine about. If you own one, you could probably add more. It doesn't help that my nearest dealer is 150 miles away.