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Thread: Does BMW Make the Ugliest Line of Motorcycles?

  1. #31
    D-Mac D-Mac's Avatar
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    I remember when I started riding that I was all about chrome (I've never owned a Harley though). I spent about as much time washing my bike as riding it.

    Very quickly, I decided to start working on my bike. I started reading and learning more and slowly came to realize that form was less important than function. This was reinforced by the longer and longer trips I attempted on my bike and by how inherently inefficient cruisers are (removing piles of chrome and carbs just to top up a radiator, removing most of the engine just to access the valves, having my crappy rear drum brake lock up all the time). It got old fast.

    The more I look at bikes like BMWs and Guzzis the more I love them. The design IS the beauty, but you have to look close.
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  2. #32
    1-2-3-Kick It criminaldesign's Avatar
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    Don't snob, hob nob
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  3. #33
    Registered User CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    "Chrome don't get you home."

    But, it is a great reflector of Police, Ambulance, Wrecker lights, and you can adjust your "doo rag" without being obvious and using a mirror.

  4. #34
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    what about the Chromeheads in da club? their chrome does!
    Steve Henson
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  5. #35
    Seeking Mental Floss
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    Or the chrome domes........like me!
    Hugh

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  6. #36
    rocketman
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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.

    So they were just copying F L Wrights work/ideas?
    As he put it, Style is not what you start out with, its what you end up with; it comes about as a result of the form and function of the design. It was that view from which his "Modern" architecture developed.

    RM

  7. #37
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    HD is butt jewerly...
    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.
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  8. #38
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    So they were just copying F L Wrights work/ideas?
    As he put it, Style is not what you start out with, its what you end up with; it comes about as a result of the form and function of the design. It was that view from which his "Modern" architecture developed.

    RM
    I have sat in some of his furniture, it is torture.

    It looked great though.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

  9. #39
    La Poderosa III Catman's Avatar
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    I think what's beautiful about a BMW is the attention to detail. Everything about the bike seems to have been very well thought out. You may agree or disagree with the design, but there's no question that it has been designed by someone with a clear vision in mind. Nothing ever seems to be just thrown together or added on at the last moment.

    In this way, all BMW motorcycles are beautiful. It's just that, as individuals with varying tastes and preferences, we are always going to find certain models more attractive than others.


  10. #40
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Maybe this chap worked in BMW design at some time?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #41
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    what about the Chromeheads in da club? their chrome does!
    The only thing shiny on my first 2 BMWs was on the ignition switch. The K100RT and K75RT blended in and I only got comments when someone noticed it was a BMW. I got a black R80RT with shiny mufflers and the only people who were attracted to it were other "mature" men like me who liked simple and balanced (muffler on each side). I got a big mojave brown CLC with a lot of chrome and women as well as men (normally attracted to Harleys) notice it and compliment it frequently. I personally thought it was ugly when I bought (stole) it but it has grown on me (and I have the only one on this end of the state).

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

  12. #42
    1-2-3-Kick It criminaldesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Maybe this chap worked in BMW design at some time?
    My bets on Mr. Feldman for the omitted circlip. That's attention to detail.
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  13. #43
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    How could Mr. Feldman have missed it with that kind of depth perception?

    He is though, well equipped to balance both TB's at the same time using a mercury stick on each side of the bike.

  14. #44
    Registered User MAYLETT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    So they were just copying F L Wrights work/ideas?
    As he put it, Style is not what you start out with, its what you end up with; it comes about as a result of the form and function of the design. It was that view from which his "Modern" architecture developed.
    Well, this will take the conversation way off topic....

    Frank Lloyd Wright's influence largely ended at America's shores. It's only been recently that his work has gained the professional respect and recognition that it really deserves. In the past, it was often dismissed as provincially middle American. I'm a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, by the way.

    Wright's style is most closely identified with his Prairie Style of residential houses that stressed the visual integration of form into the surrounding landscape. In this sense, it was very organic and reflected more of the arts and crafts movement of the times.

    The International Style of architecture is what really dominated the second half of the 20th Century. This style is so ubiquitous that most people don't even recognize it as a distinct style. The International Style stresses efficiency, sleek lines, functionality and industrial mass production that uses using technology and inexpensive, modern building materials. We can thank the International Style for nearly every steel, glass and concrete skyscraper built since World War II, in addition to all those flat-roofed, brick ramblers built in every suburb in the country during the '50s and the '60s.

    So where did the the International Style originate? Germany, between the wars at the Bauhaus. When the Nazi's took control in Germany, they started clamping down on experimental design schools, among many other things. Many of the Bauhaus faculty members emigrated to the U.S. The primary architect among these emigrants was a man named Mies Van Der Rohe.

    Mies settled in Chicago and was treated as a design god by the American architects who were looking for a new aesthetic that would be suitable for large, modern buildings. He was appointed as the head of the architecture school at what became known as the Illinois Institute of Technology. In that position, he was able to implement a radical new design aesthetic that rejected traditionalism and decoration, while embracing technology and efficiency. Corporations loved this new style because it was less expensive and it marked them as being modern and progressive. In just a few short years, this style spread across the entire world and became the dominant architectural style of the 20th Century.

    It's only been over the past 25 years that that the International Style has waned a bit in favor of an eclectic bunch of more friendly and approachable styles sometimes known as postmodernism. Even so, postmodernism is really a modification of the International Style with some ornamentation and playfulness thrown in.

    The whole field of modern design was what my master's degree program was about so I'm sort of passionate about it. If anyone wants to know more about why modern buildings look they way they do, I'd suggest Tom Wolfe's short book from a few years back, From Bauhaus to Our House.
    '09 BMW R1200RT, '81 Yamaha XS1100 Special

  15. #45
    Roughwaterjohn roughwaterjohn's Avatar
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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. ...................
    Exactly. And I'm not just saying that because I own one. Well.... actually, yes, I am just saying that because I own one, but it's still true.

    You gotta admit though, that's one purty bike.

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