Change of bikes

pianojugglerMarch 12, 2007

Right at the end of December, I sold my 2004 GL1800. A fellow posted an ad on craigslist looking for one. He made an acceptable offer and bought it.

A few weeks later, I found an ad, again on craigslist for a 2000 BMW K1200LT. I made an offer and bought it.

This is my third BMW... and I still have the second one, a 1977 R75/7.

The LT is a great bike. I like it much more than the GoldWing, although the maintenance costs will be higher in the long run.

See you on the road.

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Actually Motorcycle Consumer News did a check and found the BMW was slightly cheaper than the Goldwing. They were both cheaper than a Harley Davidson Road King which has more frequent oil changes.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 11:39PM
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You don't have to change the oil so much as just keep adding it. :-)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 7:29PM
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I have been riding a 750 shadow but now I riding on the highway more and more can some one give me some advice on afew bikes that are good on highway riding .I was thinking of a 1800 or a Fat boy .

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 3:03AM
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Many people find that at highway speeds a standard can be more comfortable than a cruiser.

Suzuki Bandit 1200 or Kawasaki ZRX1200.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Buell Ulysses

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:09PM
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I agree that something with a more upright seating position (as opposed to laid back or hunched forward) is more comfortable. But in my (almost 30) years of riding, I've found that the things that make the most difference are having a good windshield or fairing and the shape of the seat.

A small windshield will take the wind off your stomach and chest which significantly reduces fatigue and allows you better control of the bike. If you get a full-size windshield or a fairing, you can get the wind off your arms and face, as well. I prefer a frame-mounted fairing (like a Honda GoldWing or a Harley TourGlide over a fork-mounted fairing like most aftermarket windshields or like an ElectraGlide. Having to steer the extra size (into the wind) and weight of a fork-mounted fairing reduces the benefit of it blocking the wind. I do find that the windshiled on a Harley RoadKing is a good compromise.

I rented a Yamaha TourStar in Australia a couple years ago. It was a very nice bike except after an hour on the road, my butt was in tears. The seat simply was not the same shape I was.

Also, sufficient power is a must on the highway. It's tiring to be riding a bike at or near it's capabilities for more than a few minutes. And you need a good margin of power to out-accelerate a soccer mom in an SUV yakking on her cell phone... up a hill.

If you are looking at new bikes, a full-size touring bike will start well over $15,000 and to up and up and UP from there. Before you shell out big buckazoids, here's a thought: rent a bike for a weekend and ride the hell out of it and see what you think. If I had rented a GL1800 for a couple of days, I probably would not have bought one (and saved the $20,000). I would have understood that the bike was just not what I was looking for and I would have looked at something else.

Many places will rent bikes, although the selection may be fairly limited. I believe every Harley dealer in the U.S. now rents bikes. Take a FatBoy out for a couple days. It'll cost you a couple hundred, but you will really be able to decide if that's what you want.

One last thing about the FatBoy: it has a deceptively small fuel capacity and range. A friend of mine has one and got stranded once riding from Sturgis back to the west coast because the gas stations were farther apart than he could make on a full tank. Even for day trips, you may find the range annoyingly short. Just something to keep in mind.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 3:17PM
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By the way, here is my new bike:

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 3:42PM
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Pianojuggler (and others),

I just made a post about a high miles 1977 BMW that I might be interested in... does anyone know of any special concerns for this model and year... and how much of a "project" or expense is this sort of bike going to be in the long run? (I guess those two questions are highly related!)

Can a bike this old actually be reliable? or be made to be as reliable as a modern bike?


    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:41AM
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I posted a response on your other thread. I would say that a 30 year old BMW would probably be at least as reliable as a similar vintage Japanese bike. As I mentioned over there, I had a 1972 R60/5 with 165K on the clock... and I sold it only because I wanted more power, not because it was unreliable. In fact, I commuted on it for years and it never left me stranded unlike the new Kawasaki that replaced it which left me stranded FIVE TIMES in the three years I owned it.

BMWs definitely have different look and feel from Japanese bikes. But its a taste you will probably acquire quickly... hey, if you were at all attracted to the looks of the bike, you will probably fall in love with it once you ride it.

And here's something to chew on: A year or two ago I took a new BMW R1150RT for a test drive. It definitely had more zip than my 1977 R75, but the seating position, ergonomics, and even the burble from the engine were very similar to my 30-year-old Beemer. BMW got it right... a long, long, long time ago.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 4:35PM
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