August 16, 2013 at 2:50 am #59106
Regarding Erik Munck’s article (May/June 2013 issue of OTL), I think it was presented very well and augmented with great photos. Because of it, I made arrangements for a demo ride at my local dealer. The purpose was to compare it with the ’94 R1100RS I have had for more than 20 yrs.
The bike had all of 5 miles on the “digital” clock and loaded with all the options, except hard bags. My plan was to get acquainted with it in a fixed position first, then perform some slow maneuvers in a near-by parking lot. I thought a 30 min ride on the back-road twisties would be sufficient for the test.
After noting differences in ergonomics (turn signals, tach location, etc), I mounted it to check seat height and mirror adjustment. No problems there. One thing about the mirrors….it is not possible to move the handle bars to move the rear view field of view (like on the R1100RS). I then set the choke, hit the starter and it fired right up.
Low speed test:
I tried a simple figure eight as low speed (both first and second gears) and had difficulty maintaining a constant rpm (surging sensation).
Shifting was very smooth (unlike the clunky R1100RS). So much so, that at times I lost track of which gear it was in (had to view the flat screen display). But consulting the tach was a bit difficult since it was set below than the speedo (the R1100RS has them side-by-side).
This bike jumps on throttle-up and is very flickable…what a joy. I dreamt of being on the Dragon’s Tail again hugging the turns and maintaining pavement contact. It handled like a real sport bike.
You could stop a mile-long train with just the front brakes alone! However, trying to bring her to a halt with the rear only was a chore. The ABS and ASC will come in handy when pushing the performance envelope here.
Stability at speed:
I was having so much fun with this bike that the 30 min schedule had gone up in smoke. I was 90 min late and looking for a slab back to the dealer. Coming off the entrance ramp, a pair of semi’s were neck and neck making a seamless entrance impossible. So I found 5th gear and punched it. A moment later I was clear (ahead) of the tractors and doing 80 mph (impressive). Turbulence was not noticeable, but smoothness was.
This could be my next bike, if I could only commit. Maybe another demo is the key.
Would anyone else like to comment?
SundogAugust 16, 2013 at 2:50 am #63695
Best road bike I ever owned was an R1200GS. Before that, it was an 1100GS, before that it was an R100GS, before that it was a Honda Superhawk, before that it was a Honda VFR – the one with mysteriously complex gear driven cams.
Best bike by far is the newer GS boxer line. The new BMW vertical twin line gets more and more appealing, but it “doesn’t have a soul like a Vincent ’52…”
Listen, you need a new bike. Sure, you can ride your old RS till your Telelever apparatus cracks in half, but the new boxer’s the real deal. ’08 and up, whatever you can afford, you’ll love it.
But if your heart’s set on the vertical twin F series, follow your heart; you’ve only got so much time left to ride. Go for it. You asked.August 16, 2013 at 2:50 am #63698
I hear ya. I’ve got nothing against the boxer. I had a ’78 R100 /7 B4 the RS. Both bikes passed the 100K mi mark. I like naked version of the boxer, but weight is becoming a factor. I need to be able to pick it up if it falls. Weight is the issue here. If I can get the capabilities with a lighter model, I’m sold. Here are the weight in lbs (Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled) comparisons:
R1100RS F800GT R1200GS
527 470 525August 16, 2013 at 2:50 am #63702
The F800 series rocks at the track! Always fun to demo this sleeper’s capability to the RR sportbike crowd.August 16, 2013 at 2:50 am #63799
Glad you liked my story – there’s quite some follow-up to it. I put almost 6000 miles on the F 800 GT and loved every moment of it. I found the un-linked brakes refreshing and demonstrated the ABS efficiency to other riders by braking hard enough to make the front tire ‘chirp’ loudly. So, again: Fantastic brakes !
Quite a few seasoned BMW riders have chosen to step down from the bigger, heavier models simply so they can keep riding their favorite brand. RA members Ellen Welter and Richard Becker both stepped down from R 1200 Rt’s and love their bikes. The common gripe is ‘not enough windshield’. Ellen and Richard have installed the Madstad adjustable windshield and love it. I personally tried the Laminar Lip which I really like, but the Madstad is much larger and thus offers even better wind protection. Another gripe is heat. If you’re stuck in traffic on a hot day and are wearing only jeans, the right frame rail will cook your inside thigh. I speak of personal experience. With leather pants, not nearly as bad. So, techincally, my bad cuz I don’t usually go riding without full leathers.
Got questions ? Feel free to contact me directly: email@example.com
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