Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 41

Thread: Old vrs new

  1. #1
    Rideoften
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Orlando, Fl.
    Posts
    564

    Old vrs new

    I hear a lot of Airhead owners swear by the old technology and don't even want to try the "new" stuff. This argument has been around as long as I've been riding BMW's. I remember when the /2 die hards didn't want anything to do with the "new fangled" /5's. They weren't ready to give up their magnetos for the new battery and coil ignitions and the electric starters. Every generation of bikes has had it's share of "fear police" stating all the reasons to stay away from the unproven new models. Almost every new model had some bugs to work out but were better motorcycles in general to the bikes they replaced. I LOVE Airheads and want one for a hobby bike. But for real world riding, touring, and comuting give me the latest version of ABS, traction control, on board computers and every other form of BMW whiz bang technology they can add to two wheels if it in any way gives me a slight edge on risk management and maintaining my zone. Many things were simpler in the good ol days, but these ain't the good ol days.

    Ride safe,
    MB

  2. #2
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Urbana, IL
    Posts
    3,704
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb921 View Post
    give me the latest version of ABS, traction control, on board computers and every other form of BMW whiz bang technology they can add to two wheels if it in any way gives me a slight edge on risk management and maintaining my zone. Many things were simpler in the good ol days, but these ain't the good ol days.

    Ride safe,
    MB
    My thinking too. I love the new bikes...especially when they are running...heh. I guess the old BMWs I had were more likely to limp home when something broke. I bought a new '73 R75/5 once and had the input bearing go out in the trans in less than a thousand miles. I just rode it where I was headed and then home and then to the dealer for a new trans. Noisy, but got me there.
    The new bikes seem to be more vulnerable to something breaking and not get you home.
    Some of the fuel sensor strip problem reports are comical though. I have had four of them in my '08 K1200S and never run out of gas. One time I was thinking "hey...this can't be half full...I haven't ridden this bike that much since I filled up, but it should be down somewhat...". So I did something that I learned in the old days and looked inside the tank with a flashlight...saw nothing but hoses and wires and very little gas...so I headed for the first gas station.

    YMMV...
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  3. #3
    Nutfarm
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Folsom CA.
    Posts
    293
    Ihave a /2, a R75/6, (170,000 miles) and a R1200R, and 2 K100RS's that have passed through the shop. The R75/6 is the most relible motorcycle I have ever owned, and I still enjoy riding it, and yes road side repairs were much easyer but you can't argue with real brakes, forks and frames that don't flex.

    I have a shop full of old motorcycles that I enjoy, but for any real milage I'll take a new one any time.

    Ken G.

  4. #4
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Marion VA-In the middle of some of the best riding in the country.
    Posts
    3,264
    I think new technology is superior but I keep my airhead because of the direction BMW is going (as well as other manufacturers). To me, bigger is not necessarily better. I like a mid-sized touring bike but they are no longer made like they were several years ago. To me, a BMW is a boxer engine with shaft drive. Vertical engines with belt or chain drive is just another bike. I would love to have a modern version of my R80RT (size and feel). The K75RT I had was a nice bike but it didn't have the BMW feel. It did everything better than the R80RT but it didn't push my buttons. The F and G bikes are the right size but just don't do it for me.

    I guess I'm a traditionalist who wants the newest technology.

    Ken
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #5
    JAMESDUNN
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb921 View Post
    I hear a lot of Airhead owners swear by the old technology and don't even want to try the "new" stuff. This argument has been around as long as I've been riding BMW's. I remember when the /2 die hards didn't want anything to do with the "new fangled" /5's. They weren't ready to give up their magnetos for the new battery and coil ignitions and the electric starters. Every generation of bikes has had it's share of "fear police" stating all the reasons to stay away from the unproven new models. Almost every new model had some bugs to work out but were better motorcycles in general to the bikes they replaced. I LOVE Airheads and want one for a hobby bike. But for real world riding, touring, and comuting give me the latest version of ABS, traction control, on board computers and every other form of BMW whiz bang technology they can add to two wheels if it in any way gives me a slight edge on risk management and maintaining my zone. Many things were simpler in the good ol days, but these ain't the good ol days.

    Ride safe,
    MB
    If I suffer a failure of some sort on my old airhead, I can repair it and get it back on the road again. All mechanical, and no modern electronics (except the electric tach on my '78). In this way the old boxers are superior. By any other objective measurement the new technology wins. Subjectively? I love the airheads. Even the modern boxers (oilheads and hexheads) are missing the elusive "soul" of the airheads. Hobby bike? For some perhaps; my '78 sees serious mileage though, and I am just as likely to saddle up on the airhead as the more modern oiler. Depends on my mood, and perhaps to some extent the type of riding I am considering.The old boxer will take me down any road I wish to travel about as fast as any modern road burner, with perhaps a little more effort and a little less comfort, but never with more drama. I do like the power and handling of the new bikes, but even if I bought new, it'd be a boxer. Still easier to service than the latest K bikes and hence cheaper to own (screw type valves vs. shimmed for example). "Whiz bang" technology is fun and exciting, but ya do not wish it to crap out when in the middle of nowhere, or sometimes, even in the middle of somewhere! Real world riding? Depends on which real world you are riding in. Older and slower is maybe at times just the ticket, but maybe not all the times!
    Last edited by jamesdunn; 09-07-2009 at 06:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,734
    I love the new technology and keep up with it with cars.

    As for my motorcycle, my old one will go faster than I can ride it, so a newer, faster one doesn't do much. ABS brakes and electronic stability programs on cars are must haves, but the contribution of such to motorcycle safety seems a bit less obvious. These systems certainly haven't reduced my responsibility for my own safety.

    Besides, I've ridden Oilheads and found them boring because I like brake dive. Actually, I like actually using brakes, but seem to hardly need to use the Oilhead's better brakes as there's so much engine compression braking due to fuel injection cutoff.

    Rock hard tires aren't very fun, either.

    Most of all, the newer bikes are so compromised to carrying passengers that their seats are unusable by taller riders. Who wants to sit on the gap between the front and rear seat?

    Back in '85 I rode the new K-bikes and haven't considered one for a nanosecond since. These supreme vibrators were basically unrideable, although I'm sure they've improved on them since. I'm a boxer twin fan in any event, but the throttle surge and the abrupt throttle cutoff of the Oilheads are not fun to live with, and really not necessary. Perhaps the later versions have improved on these major faults, too, but the seats are still two-piece, aren't they?

    Technology is cool, but comfort is worth something as well. I'm not giving up the latter just to have the former. I know I'm not giving up any fun.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  7. #7
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Marin By God County, California
    Posts
    11,639
    I like them all.

    The new ones have strengths and the old ones have charms.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    advrider.com
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,192
    I was behind some brand new (Suzuki, not BMW) sport bikes on a hilly/twisty road the other day. I was on my 35 year old R75. Apart from initial acceleration on the 2 straightwaways, I kept right with them in the twisties. That's the fun part anyway. I could have passed them.

    The difference between my old bike, and their new ones is the price for the initial acceleration. In a similar vein as lkchris, I can't justify it, as my bike(s) will also do more than I ever need/want of them.

    One day, I may own a "newer" BMW.. but I won't sell my old ones to afford it.

  9. #9
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,751
    At sixeen years old, my R1100RS is hardly new technology anymore. Its even older than a few airheads. Perhaps its true that the older simpler airheads could be repaired roadside when needed. In the 130,000 kms I've ridden my oilhead, I've never had to fix it roadside, so I can't really say if it could be done or not.
    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.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    1,962
    I like all bikes. If your bike does what you want it to do, and you hop off with a smile, then apparently you have done well.
    For my part, I am not wealthy, and the non user servicability of a lot of the newer stuff requires me to marry the dealer. I cannot afford that, so I would end up riding less, or not at all.
    So I deliberately went rtetro/low tech, so i can do my own work. So now I know what is going on/has been done with my bikes.
    Also, my experience with professional mechanics, both directly, and what I have actually found on vehicles with service records, leaves me cold.
    No insult to the good mechanics out there, but on average, based on what I have seen, the people who are paid to work on vehicles are not worth the $$$. They simply and obviously either are not competent, or cannot be trusted.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    453
    I agree with some of the gang here - "new" is nice, and better brakes, charging, and lighting systems all improve safety. But, do I have any practical need for CANbus on a bike, other than antilock brakes and fuel management? ABS can be a big plus, I agree, though I've managed for over 30 years without it on any of my bikes so far. Fuel Injection is very nice for maintaining performance at changing altitudes. These technology improvements make sense to me - but wireless antitheft systems are just for the insurance company and more prone to causing me heartburn, IMHO. To me, it does seem that the bikes are becoming less and less "all-arounders" like many of the airheads are/were, and being more "niche" bikes. They seem to do things quite well in their part of the spectrum, but I am also becoming less happy about where the brand seems to be going with many of the larger/heavier machines. The F800 bikes seem a bit more like the earlier BMW philosophy in some ways, but that engine just isn't pretty in spite of how it can perform.
    BMWs in my garage: 1982 R65LS, 1978 R100/7

  12. #12
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Posts
    1,529
    My first BMW was a K1200RS, after owning a Kawi ZX6R Ninja, so when the opportunity came to "upgrade" it seemed natural to go to the newer K1200S. May not have been the best purchase, as the repairs are more expensive already. I've never owned an airhead, but would love to get a 1966 (my birth year) in whatever model I can find/afford. A buddy got his daughter a 1980 R65 and having ridden that, I can see the pull toward the older, simpler bikes. While I like just about any motorcycle, I enjoy the people I meet (mostly) on BMW's, and the benefits of this club. Sure, you meet the nicest people on a Honda, but it seems the most fun people are on a BMW!

    I guess if you want a new airhead, Ural is making the 750 opposed twin................

    I know, just not the same for some reason.

  13. #13
    shire2000
    Guest
    Actually, the Ural is not such a bad bike. It is definitely "old school" and has gone thru some major teething pains over the past 20 years. They have been drastically improved and have become quite reliable, especially in the past 5 years. I have a few friends that have them and really enjoy them. I think of them as a slightly modified /2 and /5 blended together. If I wanted a sidecar rig for puttering down secondary hiways, the Ural would get more than just a second look from me.

  14. #14
    BUBBAZANETTI
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    I like them all.

    The new ones have strengths and the old ones have charms.
    well said

    i went for a ride Monday with my buddy on his rather newish Bonneville, granted, it's a bit of a throwback bike, but still modern. we'd never ridden together before and he was impressed letting me know "that thing goes pretty good".

    the old bikes do more than you think they can, they might just not do it as effortlessly as the newer machines.

  15. #15
    Bob
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Big Sky country (Montana)
    Posts
    1,166
    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    the old bikes do more than you think they can, they might just not do it as effortlessly as the newer machines.
    The same might be said of some riders

    I look at it this way:

    I've had old beemers and new ones, and presently have old Hondas and new ones. Generally, what you can do with an old bike is a matter of the bike's limits. What you can do with a new bike is a matter of the rider's.

    If I were to ride a beemer again, I would like to try out my limits on their new superbike on the track. However if I had to cross a wide open empty space on crummy roads, without the benefit of cell phone reception, "roadside service" or Ewan and Charley's support convoy, I'd do it on an R100GS with a tool kit.

    Personally though; BMW won't get me back with any hot new model, or by reintroducing some variant of a classic airhead (pipe dream guys; give it up).
    They really need to improve other things besides just their bikes.
    What does it matter which brand it is, or if it's old or new?
    All that matters is if we can say

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •