I can't believe KTM screwed up so
badly by not sponsoring Ewan and Charlie.
Good news for BMW though.
The one thing that pushed me over the edge was the one day when a
bunch of friends and I went to a restaurant at the top of the Angeles
Crest highway (the 2 highway in Southern California). Nukem's
Ranch or something like
that. At the restaurant I was watching a guy with a red BMW
R1150R start up his bike. The sounds from that bike was music to
my ears. I was standing there in awe with my jaw
around on the tarmac. Looking like a total idiot no doubt (it
happens every once in a while).
I knew then it is time to
From that point on I was determined to save all the money I can get for
a down payment. In the meantime I went back to the Internet and
researched as much as I can about the R1200GS.
All the magazines and Internet articles hailed the R1200GS as one of
the best bike of 2005. The best of its class that is.
Practically every article I read gave the
R1200GS a 2 thumbs up, a 10, or whatever the top mark is. For me
it is now simply a matter of being patient
enough for the down payment to materialize. But there was this
small matter I had to contend with. The F650GS was not payed for
and I still owed $7600 on it. I had to sell it or trade it in at
the dealer. Fortunately for me, a friend (Eugene) was in the
market for learning how to ride a motorcycle. As he put it ... "I
want to follow in your foot steps." Fine by me. I
need to off load the F650GS so I can get the R1200GS. The deal I
gave to Eugene probably would have even made my mom jealous and she's
not interested in motorcycles.
Basically he took over the payments and I didn't gain anything.
Yes, he was taking candy from a baby. A slightly used 2005
F650GS with 7K miles and a boat load of options on it for $7600.
What a steal!!
So it's the end of August 2005. I have sufficient funds for a 5K
down payment. I went back to the same BMW dealer and said, "I
want a R1200GS". I got the same sales guy so it went
pretty smooth. He asked me if I wanted to go for a test
course I want to go for a test ride. What kind of question is
that? He hauled the demo bike out
to the parking lot and gave me very brief instructions on how to use
the bike. I got on the 1200 and my first thought was ... "Dam!!
Babe rides high." As I was ready to pull out of the parking lot
follow the sales guy, I almost dropped the demo bike. The dam
thing is so tall for me that I was on tippy toes. I was so use to
being flat footed on the F650GS. The other thing was the front
breaks were way too
effective. Good deal though. Suffice to say the test ride
was anything but
fun. The sales guy kept on speeding off ahead of me so I kept on
having to catch up to him. WAZUPWITDAT?!!! At one point he
even split lanes and left me in the dust. Again...
WAZUPWITDAT?!!! The reason why the test ride was so
uncomfortable is due to the fact the signal cancel was located on the
Push up where the arrow points.
This caused me to convulse on the bike every time I had to cancel the
turn signals. I felt like "walk like and Egyptian".
The good news is I
knew it was all me and how I'm not use to the controls. I did
think it was dumb to put the signal cancel on the throttle side.
Why couldn't BMW put the cancel button next to the horn, located on the
left handle bar switches, or something. You know, like all the
other bikes out there. Anyway, the R1200GS rides
very differently than the F650GS (of course). The sitting
position, the gear box (6th gear is AWESOME!!), the breaking, the
the bike, the steering, etc. The primary thing I noticed is ...
that little something that Jaime mentioned ...
"As silk" The boxer twin is so much
smoother than the Rotax thumper (Don't get me wrong though, the Rotax
thumper is still an awesome engine). Not only that, there is
of power. So when I got back to the dealer, we worked out a
deal. Once again... bla bla bla bla... out the door with a Shoei
helmet thrown in for the wife.
I then pass the F650GS to Eugene.
Notice there are no crash bars. Oh when are they going to come in?
I noticed the R1200GS came with all the mounting hardware for the BMW
panniers and top case. I had to purchase that separately for the
F650GS. Having gone through the experience I went trough with the
BMW saddle bags on the F650GS
wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. This time around
The Touratech Panniers are the greatest. I love
'em. They make great frame
sliders too. Especially when going
off-road. Here is the list of after market parts I purchased to
protect my oh so expensive babe.
I also fashioned an instrument panel cover out of a sheet of anodized
aluminum I purchased from a local hardware store. The piece cost
$7 and it took me 1 hour to put the thing together. I could have
done it quicker if I had all the power tools I use to have. I'm
also planning on fabricating a simple skid plate out of aluminum that
attaches to the center stand. I just don't see the need to spend
$60 for a $12 piece of aluminum and an hours worth of work.
I've been riding the bike for approximately 1 1/2 months now. The
600 mile break in has come and gone. For me it was like a 760
mile break in. This is when I decided to put in the Scott's
Performance stainless steel oil filter. As usual, BMW always over
torque the oil filter. As a result, I had to resort to the
"screwdriver in the oil filter" method to remove the BMW oil filter
because I didn't purchase the BMW oil filter remover. The good
deal is, the Scott's Performance filter has a bolt built into the oil
filter housing so no BMW oil filter wrench is needed to remove the
filter. Just a ratchet and the appropriate size socket.
Future oil filter changes will be a piece of cake.
I'm finally getting the hang of canceling
the turn signals but I still think it's dumb to put it where it
is. I no longer "walk like an Egyptian" because I got use to the
control and can clutch, throttle, and signal cancel better.
However, on occasion when I fumble with the controls for some reason,
I still end up convulsing myself because of the throttle and signal
cancel. Oh well, it's just the facts of life.
mentioned in so many on-line and magazine articles out there, I'm
starting to find
it hard to get off the R1200GS. The bike is really addicting to
ride. The high riding position is also a wonderful thing to have
when cruising around town. You can easily see over cars and spot
potential traffic issues.
The next plan is to ride to Death Valley in November 2005.
Finally, a long bike trip on the R1200GS.
Written on: October 1, 2005
Last modified: September 3, 2007