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Thread: Does BMW Make the Ugliest Line of Motorcycles?

  1. #16
    BUDDINGGEEZER
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    The last good looking bike they made was the R 1100 RT.

    Everything else is just plain butt ugly. ...................
    The total model lineup is by far and away the ugliest IMO. The K1200R is the ugliest motorcycle I've ever seen, except the Suzuki B-King.

    Who designed the GS's head lights? Jack Elam.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maylett View Post
    German aesthetics are highly influenced by the Bauhaus school of design that existed in Germany between the World Wars. If you're not familiar with the Bauhaus, its designers, artists and architects pretty much set the stage for all modern design that we take for granted today ÔÇö everything from steel and glass skyscrapers to typography to freeway overpasses.

    It's a highly industrial, minimalist and practical aesthetic founded upon the notion that form should follow function. In other words, decoration is discouraged in favor of the object's beauty being the result of its functional and structural elements.

    Chrome plating, for example, is not part of this aesthetic unless the chrome plating serves a functional purpose. This aesthetic view, however, most definitely does not neglect "looks" in favor of engineering. Instead, the premise is that an object's beauty should be derived from and should not be separated from its function, and that doing so actually lessens the beauty of the object and risks compromising its function.

    Viewed from this Bauhaus aesthetic, Harley Davidsons, for example, might be regarded as aesthetically inferior. Instead of HDs obtaining their beauty through the skillful synthesis of form and function, the traditional HD look is merely a non-functional, decorative veneer of chrome, fancy paint, styled noise and cartoonish affectations applied to a functionally compromised motorcycle.
    Doesn't that depend on your definition of what the function should be?

  3. #18
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Being an Army vet, when I left Ft. Dix in 1973 with the nice new DD214 in hand, I made myself two promises:

    1: I would NEVER run anywhere ever again unless somebody was shooting at me. So far, so good

    2: I would NEVER, EVER polish anything metal again. Ever. My R1200R is quite graceful and beautiful in its Granite Gray metallic paint, and no chrome at all. Most all things HD would cause a violation of promise 2.


    I happen to like utility of function rather than useless bling any day. So long as it is any color but green, OD especially !
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  4. #19
    MAYLETT
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    Quote Originally Posted by hlothery View Post
    Doesn't that depend on your definition of what the function should be?
    Yes. If the function is to sell motorcycles, for example, HD has certainly designed a functional brand, image and motorcycle styling that is consistent with achieving that function.

    The aesthetic introduced by the German Bauhaus, however, was something of a revolt against the excessive nature of German decorative styles that existed before World War I. The school also existed during a time of great social upheaval in German society that corresponded to Germany's war defeat, the Great Depression and the socialist, anti-bourgeois mindsets that were gaining traction.

    The Bauhaus positioned itself as taking the best of German culture, building upon it, and rejecting the decorative, class- and region-based aesthetics that had typified German design and crafts before that time. They built a new aesthetic around efficiency, engineering, precision and technology. Their idea was that beauty (or form) should stem directly from these qualities and should not be grafted on as a decorative afterthought.

    BMW motorcycles, like most modern German industrial design, are a reflection of this 20th Century German design movement.

  5. #20
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    1.) All that chrome wont get you home.
    2.) Except for the R-1200-ST, I think BMW makes some of the best looking bikes on the planet.
    3.) My 04 (Black of course) R-1150-RT is one of the best looking bikes ever, right
    after my old 94 (Pearl White/Teal Seat) R-1100-RS and the R-90-S
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
    I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
    04 R-1150-RT current bike. 94 R-1100-RS74,383, Sold, 78 R-80/7, K.I.A by a D.U.I
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  6. #21
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddingGeezer View Post
    Who designed the GS's head lights? Jack Elam.
    no, bill the cat.



    ian

    (proud as hell of his ugly-ass GS)
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  7. #22
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maylett View Post
    It's a highly industrial, minimalist and practical aesthetic founded upon the notion that form should follow function. In other words, decoration is discouraged in favor of the object's beauty being the result of its functional and structural elements.
    the one nod to decoration in bauhaus was asymmetry. it is used elegantly across architecture, typography, graphic and industrial design.

    David Robb, BMW's chief stylist employs it brilliantly.

    i *especially* like the bill-the-cat headlamps of the GS. Some models feature off-center fuel fillers. The headlight arrangement on the S1000RR is another example.

    yet none of these decisions are gratuitous, each has a function.

    There's the sameness and safety of mainstream design and then there's the excitement created by those that dare to risk.

    ian

    ps => some bigshot magazine writer once compared the S1000RR's asymmetric headlights (and BMWs predilection to asymmetry in general) to your weird Aunt Jane that's been showing up at family gatherings a little too long because she embarrasses everyone with her off-kilter behavior. some people just don't get it.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  8. #23
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    But isn't this like the fact that no one thinks their own kids are ugly?

    I used to get compliments on my F800ST, but I'd also get people asking what's up with the hump.
    "What hump?" asks Igor.

    Quote Originally Posted by r11rs94 View Post
    2.) Except for the R-1200-ST, I think BMW makes some of the best looking bikes on the planet.
    HEY. I've got an ST, and I think it's fabulous! And that headlight has two H4 bulbs in it that really light up the night.



    "What hump?"
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  9. #24
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    I just did 2638 miles in 6 days of comfortable riding on my R1150R. Even my butt knows that BMWs are BEAUTIFUL!

  10. #25
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    I have a graphite 2000 R1100RT that draws favorable comments everywhere I go with it. I also have a 2005 K1200LT but that doesn't get the comments that the R1100RT gets. Now if only the R1100RT was more comfortable for the pillian rider.......
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  11. #26
    Rally Rat
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    I very rarely wash my BMWs because they look good when covered with road grime.

  12. #27
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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  13. #28
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    The following are merely my personal thoughts and opinions...

    It's all "ugly" when it doesn't fit your illusion of "beauty"...

    Before riding my first LT, I, honestly, never looked at BMW's twice.. they were, well, obsolete... the newer had some interesting engineering.. but the "package" wasn't together.

    That was a bad view.. and totally my incorrect bias.

    I love my LT.. it's opened my eyes to the possibilities of a promise of what Motorcycling may hold ....

    BMW is in business to make money... and to do interesting, creative things...

    BMW must hope they are delivering product today which will define their "heritage".

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maylett View Post
    Yes. If the function is to sell motorcycles, for example, HD has certainly designed a functional brand, image and motorcycle styling that is consistent with achieving that function.

    The aesthetic introduced by the German Bauhaus, however, was something of a revolt against the excessive nature of German decorative styles that existed before World War I. The school also existed during a time of great social upheaval in German society that corresponded to Germany's war defeat, the Great Depression and the socialist, anti-bourgeois mindsets that were gaining traction.

    The Bauhaus positioned itself as taking the best of German culture, building upon it, and rejecting the decorative, class- and region-based aesthetics that had typified German design and crafts before that time. They built a new aesthetic around efficiency, engineering, precision and technology. Their idea was that beauty (or form) should stem directly from these qualities and should not be grafted on as a decorative afterthought.

    BMW motorcycles, like most modern German industrial design, are a reflection of this 20th Century German design movement.
    I have certainly enjoyed your informative comments, and have also enjoyed comtemplating them. It is interesting to me that this is how I became attracted to BMW in the first place. I was riding my Road King at the time, but owned a BMW X5. It was being serviced at Rhine West in San Antonio, and I was in their waiting room, along with several used BMW bikes (they used to service both cars and bikes there). I was fascinated by the differences in frame, suspension, engine design, ergonomics as I sat there examining these bikes. They were "ugly", in the sense I was used to, but "beautiful" in their function. The rest is history. Fantastic thread.......have enjoyed it!

    (PS Goldwing is one beautiful bike!)

  15. #30
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maylett View Post
    Chrome plating, for example, is not part of this aesthetic unless the chrome plating serves a functional purpose.
    This is how I know who to wave at when riding.

    If the forks are chrome it ain't a BMW.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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