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Thread: Like the new bikes? Thoughts on BMW's vision.

  1. #1
    JAMESDUNN
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    Like the new bikes? Thoughts on BMW's vision.

    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?
    Last edited by jamesdunn; 08-22-2009 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Spelling.

  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    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!!

    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

    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 What was BMW thinking in '84 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 .
    Last edited by henzilla; 08-22-2009 at 10:39 PM. Reason: add some more...
    Steve Henson
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  3. #3
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    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 ) and bikes.

    Just wish the gas guage would work
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  4. #4
    JAMESDUNN
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    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.

  5. #5
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdunn View Post
    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.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  6. #6
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    "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.
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  7. #7
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by PAULBACH; 08-23-2009 at 09:02 PM.

  8. #8
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    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.
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  9. #9
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    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.

    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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  10. #10
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    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.


    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.
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  11. #11
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by 58058D; 08-23-2009 at 08:29 PM. Reason: added thoughts
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
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  12. #12
    criminaldesign
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    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.

  13. #13
    Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminaldesign View Post
    I'm pretty contempt with the Airhead
    Freudian slip?

  14. #14
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Love the new stuff, can't wait to see what we get to ride in another ten years.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  15. #15
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    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?!
    Last edited by Bobmws; 08-25-2009 at 01:37 AM.
    Bob Weis
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