29 November 2012

More Testing

Last week we did some more fooling around:

Andrea on a 2012 BMW R1200R

Guido on a 2012 BMW R1200R

Of course I could not test ride the bike but as you can see, Andrea is in full gear and this shot was actually taken after she came back from a test ride on exactly this bike. 

The test ride was in a quiet residential area as this is certainly a bike that requires some confidence and a steady hand. A 1200cc boxer twin is not an engine to take lightly ... But Andrea managed it great! And she liked it except that "it is still quite a handful". 

And I agree, the bike is not big, but it is compact, not light, very powerful, and as she said, quite a handful. I have not ridden one yet, just sat on some and have ridden earlier version (R1100R and R1150R). It's a bike I always loved, the optic is great, it's not too big. Nothing on it that shouldn't be, but also nothing really missing. A great allrounder. 

This is certainly not a beginner bike, but a dream bike for a lot of riders. It's not cheap, hard to find used in the US, and the prices seem to stay fairly high. 

Oh, and BMW has a special edition of it:

90 Years of BMW Motorcycles - Special Edition R1200R

Oh, and Andrea definitely takes the better pictures ... At least that's what the voice in the background here said ... ;-) 

17 November 2012

IMS San Mateo - The Photo Session

Too Big - Triumph Trophy 1200

Too Fast - Ducati Multistrada 1200

Too Small - Honda CB500F

Too Slow - Honda CB500X

Too Ugly - Kawasaki Versys 650

Too Dangerous ;-) - Yamaha Motocrosser for Kids

Too much "Ape" - Harley Davidson with "Ape Hanger Bars"

Too "feet forward" - Harley Davidson Sportster 1200

Too much Sofa - Suzuki Burgman

Just Right? BMW R1200R

What's the discount for two?

14 November 2012


Cabin fever. It's really bad. And it gets worse. 

Two weeks ago I wrote about my progress after the surgery I had in October. Since then it felt that not much has changed. I was walking daily, up to 4.3km, sometimes even twice a day. I still thought I was feeling the same kind of pain levels each day, had good and bad days, and didn't see that much progress.

But to be honest: progress was there. And it was good. After being at home for about three weeks, I started having enough energy in the evening that I couldn't sleep on my back anymore. That was something I had feared for a while as I generally sleep on my front or my side. And if you ever had cracked ribs, you know how sleeping on the front or the side goes with that: not at all! So, after these three weeks of being damaged and tired enough to at least fall asleep at some point during the night, I was done. No way I could sleep on my back anymore. Then I checked with the surgeon's team and they told me that I was allowed to sleep on my side. YEAH!!!!

Since then I generally sleep well, though I wake up being stiff and sore. But I can feel it getting better every day now. Less waking up, less discomfort in the morning. I'm on the right track!

Today was the final check in with the surgeon's team, a long hour of questions and answers and some checks with an experienced cardiology nurse. So far, everything looks great. 

But ...

The big downside - I'm not allowed to carry anything heavier than 2.5 to 5kg (~ 5 to 10 pounds) for the next two weeks at least. Then not more than 10kg (~ 20lbs) for another few weeks. No riding my bicycle for the next four weeks. At least I'm allowed to drive my car again. Of course, I'm not allowed to get into an accident, but that's something I like to avoid anyways ... 

What it also means is that it will be another four to five weeks until I can ride my Tiger again. It'll be close to Christmas by then! The poor Tiger is sitting in the garage, cold and sad, waiting for me. And I can't ride. 


Interesting New Bike

I'm not certain what happened during the last year, but somehow, somewhere, someone must have heard me. Or maybe I had one of these rare moments of enlightenment and understood what the motorcycle market, especially the US market is missing.

I asked for a medium displacement bike, touring capable with good quality luggage, a not too small fairing, under 220kg weight, no chain, at least two cylinders, good ergonomics, decent range per tank.

And see what we got, the BMW F800GT:

2013 BMW F800GT

2013 BMW F800GT white

2013 BMW F800GT in full touring trim

I have to admit, I really like what I see there. It's an 800cc twin cylinder bike, less than 215kg fully fueled (though without the luggage), belt final drive, 90HP, very frugal engine (I regularly got 4L/100km (58mpg) with my F800GS and I think the GT will be even better because of better aerodynamics), sport touring ergonomics.

It might be a bit sporty from the seating position but other than that, I absolutely love what BMW has done here. They have taken an excellent bike, the F800ST, and refined it in all the major points:

  • More comfortable seat
  • Higher handlebars
  • Better luggage
  • Slightly bigger fairing
  • More stable (longer swing arm meaning a longer wheel base)
And they kept the excellent touring characteristics the bike already had:
  • Roughly around 400km (250 miles) range on a tank during relaxed touring due to the extremely efficient engine
  • A maintenance free belt drive (Why can't more manufacturers jump on that?)
  • A lively engine that feels nice and smooth at normal touring speeds, but has the grunt and the power to ignite some real fun on the back roads
There is certainly more to say about this and the above points are just what comes to my mind when looking at the press material for the bike, but I really have to say: BMW nailed a great sport tourer. This is the first worthy successor to the mighty Honda VFR750F of the 90s. I'm very excited about this bike!

I'd love if they had one at the IMS in San Mateo so we can take a closer look at it.

Oh, and there's more - but that's for another post. At least Honda and Ducati are bringing bikes that hit a nerve with me. Great times to be a motorcycle enthusiast. 

And no - the Tiger is not an endangered species here. No worries. I'm just excited that manufacturers are finally adding some really nice bikes to the medium weight and displacement market. About time.