Right or wrong, in my mind, BMW is synonymous with quality; despite recent recalls, which are frankly rampant in the automotive industry as a whole right now for whatever reason. At any rate, while I don’t particularly care for most of the BMW styling, I cannot deny that often times “you get what you pay for”, which in this case typically means reliability and a motorcycle loaded to the gills with options (at least, that’s the perception…). I’m not chomping at the bit for a new Beemer by any means, but I wouldn’t pass up a good deal on a used one if the opportunity struck.
This year it appeared to me that BMW has made minimal upgrades to the GS line (maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about), but made big strides in the “Adventure/Sport Touring” category with the new S 1000 XR. True to form, I’m a bigger fan of the Triumph Tiger Sport (1050… not available in the U.S. for some unknown reason…), or the Ducati MultiStrada, but the press seems to love the sporty new XR. I can’t really speak for most of the other sport or naked bikes, so I’ll just post the photos…
I snapped a quick photo of the RnineT at last year’s IMS in Cleveland, but this year I couldn’t help taking a closer look. The clear coated, brushed metal tank looks fabulous on this throwback café racer. There’s simply no way I could justify the expense of the new RnineT ($16k…), but I cannot help drooling over the look, performance, and shaft drive; undoubtedly I’ll be even more enamored with the recently released RnineT Scrambler when I see it in the flesh.
The (BMW) pinnacle of quality over aesthetics is probably the R 1200 RT in my mind. While I’m convinced I need a bike I can really get dirty, I realize that someday I want a hardcore (sport) touring machine, and the 1200 RT is unmistakably on that list. While I don’t find the styling emotional stirring in the slightest, the booth representative didn’t call the 1200RT BMW’s flagship bike for nothing. I imagine there are perks to the K 1600 GTL models, but I admit I find the opposed twin (and the price point…) of the RT more alluring.
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I bought a new BMW motorcycle once, an F800gs, and what I can say is, the happiest days of my life were the day I bought it, and the day I sold it. Actually, the happiest day of my life was when I sold my BMW 530i. It seems their bikes and cars aren’t much different – once the honeymoon is over, the wallet keeps coming out to pay for repairs. One beef I have with some of their bikes is, driveshafts suck ! The centrifugal force of the spinning driveshaft causes the bike to lean slightly to one side ! What I hated most about my F800GS (I put 20k miles on it in 3 years and did all my own maintenance and repairs) was that it was hard to work on. They used like 5 different kinds of fasteners all with different, uncommon, heads. I spent $100’s on tools just to work on the darn thing. And it had tubes in the tires so if you got a flat you had to pull the wheel off. Lastly, a 460 bike needs to have more than 85 horsepower. Still, I find BMW’s to be one of my favorite manufacturers in terms of styling. Great photos ! Thanks for sharing.
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Thanks for commenting Steve! As I also do all my own maintenance those are good tips. Shaft drive is alluring to me considering the miles I put on each year but I admit I’ve only ridden one shaft bike and it was a cruiser. Tube tires are another topic of contention for folks spending most of their time on the pavement, I’m on the fence about that myself.