My GS days are numbered.
What the hell is this? Well, as the title indicates, my GS riding
days are quickly coming to an end. What happened you ask?
Basically, it's taken me 1 1/2 years to figure out that I'm no off road
rider. Trust me, I love the GS, but I don't love it enough to
keep it. Most if not all of the rides I've been doing are road
trips with friends. The last Death Valley trip really hit home on
the return trip. I know every motorcycle has to contend with wind
but I've had enough. On the way back from Death Valley while on
the 395 highway heading south, I was once again confronted with super
windy conditions. The GS is tall so I become a sail in the wind
getting thrashed around like a rag doll. Both Russ and Minh were
commenting on my acute angle of riding while in the wind
condition. Not only that, I'm not a tall guy and have to contend
with heals up when parking the GS. Suffice to say, I'm tired of
these conditions and I'm looking forward to a nice flat footed
bike. The R12R is just the bike I need. The sales person at
Brown Motor Works (Kris) mentioned the R12RT to me but it's too
big. I like something small and naked.
Yes, there were a couple of jerks on the Death Valley trip that made
fun of me for having such a clean suit and GS. Those idiots were
just annoying and nothing else. I'm not giving in to peer
pressure as they weren't my peers. Like I said, they were
idiots. Anyway, Russ did ask me if those idiotic comments were
the reason for my decision to change motorcycles. The answer is
no. I'm changing motorcycles because I'm growing as a biker and
I'm starting to understand myself. Micheline Anakees are great
tires but they're still semi knobies. As a result there is a lot
of buzz in the handle bar. The fact that I had to super inflate
the tires to handle a heavy load on the GS didn't help either.
There were other numerous reasons for me to trade in my GS for the
R12R. The primary element for me is still the seat height.
Anyway, all this conspiracy to change motorcycles this time around is
scarier than hell. What am I talking about? Well, I'm
definitely planning on changing motorcycles but I didn't realize it's
going to happen so fast. Here's what I'm talking about. On
March 21st I finally made the decision to change motorcycle. I'm
planning on waiting a month or two to change out the bike. I know
it was eventually going to happen so I called the dealer to check on my
bike's trade in value. At 14K miles they mentioned that I would
get about 11K for it. That's great considering I owe 9K on
it. That means I get about 2K immediately without any
hassles. Great! I'll be putting down an additional 4-5K on
the R12R. I have selected the Granite Gray R12R with saddle bags,
trunk, tall windshield, ABS, and traction control (ASC). The
other reason for sticking with the R series bike is that I know how to
service the bike (e.g. valve adjustments). Plus I love the boxer
Minh tried to convince me to get the K12R or K12S. Nope!
That's too much bike for me. I'm still not after speed so I don't
want a machine that will beat the living crap out of me, and scare the
pants off of me. R12R it is. It's nice of my riding buddies
to not give me too much hell for selecting a slow bike, again.
So on the 21st, when I got home, I try to coerce my wife into letting
me trade the GS in for the R bike. In her words, "It not a second
bike? So long as it's not a second bike, you can do
whatever." SAWEET!! I actually didn't have to do too much
coercing. So today, I called Brown Motor Works and ask them if
they had a gray R12R with all the goodies. Kris said that they
only have black ones left. He took notes of all the things I
wanted on a R12R and said he'll be in contact. About an hour or
so later, Kris calls me back. It turns out that they are
expecting a gray R12R fully loaded with all the stuff I wanted and it's
on its way to the dealer. It even has a center stand, which is
optional. Man, talk about timing. Perhaps I'm destined to
have this bike. Everything is falling together like pieces of a
jigsaw puzzle. So what's next? This Saturday, March 24th,
I'm bringing my GS in for a trade in. I'm normally religious
about riding my motorcycle to work but tomorrow will be a different
occasion. I'm driving my Subaru Forester. At this point, I
don't want to do anything that can jeopardize the GS. All I care
to do is take what little that I want from the GS and put all the
accessories and spare parts on the GS for a trade in.
What's funny is I just got off the cell phone. Russ is such a
good buddy that he called me to check and make sure I'm not rushing
into things. That I won't regret trading in the GS. He
knows that I have put a lot of time, effort, and money into the
bike. In Russ' words, "Are you sure you won't regret selling the
bike? I know how much you enjoy that bike." The answer is
simple for me. I like the GS but there are things about it that
I'm not too fond of. Again I refer to the seat height. I'm
so much looking forward to being able to flat foot. No regrets on
my end. I think most of my friends are regretting this entire
situation for me. Who says I can't get another GS later if I so
desire. As of right now, I don't see that happening.
I spend the last evening pulling all of the gadgets and things that can
be transferred from the GS to the R off. All stock items either
went back on or, in some instances, are simply put into the top
case. Originally I was going to bring the bike in today, but
thought it better to wait for the R to arrive and then take the GS
in. In this way I don't have to impose on my wife when it comes
time to take possession of the R. Plus it give me time to make
sure everything on the GS is set to go. Now it's time to give the
GS a nice good bath to make it look brandy new.
The R12R finally came in and I'm in a rush to leave work to trade the
bikes. I had already told my boss that I'm leaving early from
or I'm taking the day off when the bike is at the dealer. In this
case, I'm already at work so I leave early to do the deal. The
dealer tried to put me down to 9K for my GS but I fought back and
managed to get 10K+. After all this will be my third bike from
Brown Motor Works. All cool. I down an additional 5K to
things rolling. The entire time I'm at the dealer, Eugene, Russ,
and Minh knew what was going on. They were chomping at the bits
to know what is going on. I haven't seen the bike nor taken it
for a test ride
and I'm already signing my life away. Is it a mistake? I
dare say, with a resounding, NOPE! This is definitely one of the
best decisions I have made in my life.
What's funny is Eddie, the service guy that performs test rides, had
never experienced traction control before (ASC). He took the bike
out for a spin, to test the bike, and also to fill it up. When he
got back, he said he took the bike at a sharp angle
and knew the wheel was going to slide a bit because the tires are
new. What he didn't
realize was the ASC was on so the bike alerted him that ASC is
activated and the computer automatically reduce revs to
compensate and prevent sliding. Even when Eddie tried to force
the throttle, the bike refused to accelerate until all is clear.
Sounds good if you ask me. If Eddie gives it the green light,
I'll be perfectly fine.
OK. Request of the day from Russell. Russ wants me to put
down in text what the initial ride is like. Here it is
Russ. Just what you wanted to know. My initial impression...
If the GS is fun to ride, the R12R is like warp factor 9 Mr.
Sulu. Oh my god! When I finally had a chance to get on the
bike and take it for a spin, I was in heaven. Actually, heaven
and cloud 9 isn't even a good enough description. I wasn't riding
a motorcycle, I was flying through the air. The riding position
and a lack of a large windshield made me think I'm Superman able to
perform low altitude maneuvers. The mirrors are there but I don't
even notice them (only to check my 6, which is done all the
time). I thought the GS was nimble. This thing is like a
hydrofoil in comparison to an aircraft carrier (the GS). No
thoughts ever entered my mind that it was a bad decision to go from a
GS to an R. No regrets what so ever. Baby is
smooth... I thought it was hard to get off of the GS. I
think I'm going to have a real hard time getting of off the R.
Don't be too surprised if I super glue the seat one of these days so I
can't get off of the bike. Russ, I don't think I should let you
ride this bike as you're likely to try and steal it from me. The
beauty of it all? I can flat foot. YES!!!
Sorry Russ, I don't have a picture of the bike yet as I've been
spending the rest of the day putting stuff on the bike. Things
like the head guards, the mp3 player, the Marsee top bag, etc.
Dude, I'm going nuts over the R12R! Roland needs to go and get
himself one too.
The R12R has been in my possession for a little over a week now and it
has about 200 miles on it. It's still a dream to ride even after
I'm over the feeling of being Superman. Unlike previous bikes I'm
breaking this baby in really hard. It seems to like it. I'm
rewarded by a smoother ride when I'm not convulsing back and forth from
revving and unrevving the engine. I have also manages to put most
of the parts from the GS onto the R. This is what is so cool
about changing from the GS to the R. Parts are quite compatible.
At long last, a picture of my new love.
I kept the following from the R12GS for transplant onto the R12R:
Of the items above, I have managed to install the Throttlemeister, the
Hornig LED signal lights, the BMW Navigator III, the Palm TX, the
Touratech head guard, the Marsee Bavarian bag, and the home grown
leather over grips.
- Fastway foot pegs
LED turn signal lights
- Palm TX serving as my MP3 player
- Marsee Bavarian Bag
- Scott's Performance
- Leather handle bar grip to increase hand grip diameter (This is a
home grown deal)
Installing the Throttlemeister, that was originally intended for the
GS, took a bit of my problem solving super power (e.g. I had to fashion
two spacers) in order for the Throttlemeister to work on the R.
The spacers is created with a section of aluminum tubing and some
QuickSteel. I could have went to the hardware store to buy some
spacers but decided on QuickSteel for a better fit. The home
grown spacers, in conjunction with the original bar end weight bolts,
allows everything to fit like a charm. The original bolts that
came with the GS Throttlemeister kit are awkwardly shaped and doesn't
work very well. The kit bolts are originally intended for the
hand guard part of the Throttlemeister. Suffice to say I left out
the hand guard pieces when installing the Throttlemeister for the R12R.
Notice the black bolt at the end of the Throttlemeister weight.
It's the original bolt
from the R12R bar end weight.
This is the throttle lock side. I had to re-shim the throttle
lock with additional
shims and washer in order for the throttle lock to work properly.
The Hornig LED signal lights are intended for pretty much all R12 bikes
so it was a no brainer to install. Sweet, now I don't have to
worry about burnt out signal lights ever.
The BMW Navigator III mount kit for the GS didn't exactly fit the
R12R. The width of the mount is perfectly good but the height of
the mount is a little on the long side. Having two bolts out of
four holding the GPS onto the bike was unacceptable. I performed
some minor surgery to make the mounting bracket fit the R12R. I
had to drill out two new holes on the low end of the mount to allow the
GPS mount to fit onto the R12R handle bar bolts. QuickSteel was
once again used to fill in the old holes and make the mount whole again.
The palm mount was a no brainer since it just clamps onto the handle
bar. I like it when things just work.
Nav III on the left and Palm TX on the right.
The Touratech head guard doesn't care whether it fits onto a R12R or a
R12GS. The mount holes for the head guard is the same on all R12
bikes. As a result, it's just a matter of cleaning the head guard
and installing it with some blue thread lock. Remember, red is
permanent and blue is temporary.
It looks brandy new but in reality these head guards has seen plenty of
Every since I got the BMW top case for the GS, I have forgotten how
good the Marsee Bavarian bag is. When I put the bag on the R12R,
I'm once again reminded of the bag's generous space for anything you
would want to store. It's truly an awesome bag. I'm
currently using the bag in its 22 liter capacity only.
The leather over grip is just Velcro and leather so there's nothing
much to say here other than the fact that the grip on the R12R is
exactly the same as the R12GS.
The one thing I notice on the R12R over the R12GS that I truly like is
the instrument panel. I think the F800S style instrument panel is
much better than the R12GS instrument panel. Instead of the trip
button, you get an info button. This button allows you to choose
from 4 different data display settings. The display I like the
most is the display of the fuel mileage counting down. This is so
cool. When you fill up the tank, the computer figures out how
much range you have and displays it to you. As you move, the
number counts down to let you know how many miles you have left before
refueling is needed. At a full tank it gives me 252 or so
miles. When I get to 50 miles left, I know I'm hitting the
The are other cools things associated with the R12R that I'm so happy
about. Flat footing is definitely the ultimate.
The bad news about the R12R is that the headlights uses H11
bulbs. Doh! Philips Vision Plus doesn't come in the form of
H11. So in order to make my headlights more effective, I have to
settle for the PIAA Xtreme White Plus bulbs. Oh well, at least
they're better than standard bulbs. Maybe Minh will come along an
prove me wrong about Philips not making H11 bulbs and then I'll be
happy. I can only hope.
The R12R is now about 532 miles or so. This means I'm going to
take the bike in for it's break-in service next week. Most likely
I'll be pass the 600 mile requirement. That's OK. So long
as it's close enough to 600, it's not a problem. This time around
I rode the bike so hard that the engine is pretty much broken in at
about 300 miles. After the 300 miles, I don't see the bike
burning oil. All that hard acceleration and decelleration has
paid off. I still push the bike now and then and I can see that
it has no problems with revs.
Written on: March 22, 2007
Last modified: May 8, 2007