Author Topic: Test rode a few BMWs last week  (Read 11158 times)

Offline JoeRau

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Test rode a few BMWs last week
« on: June 04, 2015, 09:15:12 am »
I have been off the forums for a week.  Took some time off (from work and the web) to get a few day rides in, one day of fishing, and a few projects around the house done. 

One of my day rides around SE MN, NE IA & WC WI I ran into the BMW event in Houston, MN.  Money Creek Haven campground more specifically... I'll let you come up with your own joke there.   It was early afternoon Friday 5/29 and not much going on yet.  I stopped not knowing what was going on with all the bikes.  There was Leo's South with a pile of demo bikes & lots of open slots for test rides.  They where very inviting to join in, so I did.  Nice 30 mile loop they had to ride, much further than I expected for a demo.  Lots lazy curves & hills on good pavement for the most part. 

First up was for me was the R1200R.  Neat little bike.  Little being the key word.  This one had the "Low seat" on it.  It felt a little cramped on the pegs for me with the low seat.  The bike had really good power, especially low RPM.  Much more than the older R12 bikes I have been on before.  Bike felt light and nimble in the curves.  Suspension was nice, but set too soft for me.  Shifting was very clunky and I had to really reach in for the shifter.  I was happy to return as my knees where starting to get sore from the cramped position on the low seat.  I felt like a giant on the R12R.

Next was the K1600 GTL.  That choice was made more on the precipitation than my interest in the bike.  I expected a lot from the GTL, and was a bit disappointed.   It was not the powerhouse beast I expected.  Had sufficient power, and around 2500RPM seemed to be the sweet spot.  I didn't get too carried away, especially in the rain.  Suspension was the big WOW factor.  Then again it should have rode nice in "comfort" mode. 

R1200RT was everything I expected.  Better position for me, good power, still a little clunky in shifting.  Felt very familiar to other ST bikes I have been on.  IMO not worth the price tag, but still nice bike. 

R1200GS was my last ride.  Not near as tall as I expected, but the seat was in the low position.  I can't say there was anything I disliked.  Maybe a bit more wind protection would be nice, but that would make it a different machine.  Of the 4, this is the one I would consider if I was told to take one. 

I was told the clunky shifting is something that will improve with use. 

I ran into my neighbor there, also doing some test rides.  He is in the market for a new bike, and is considering a few options.  I let him ride my C14 on the way home.  I led on his older K  (1000?) LT.   He had one small issue on my C14.... got on the throttle a bit to catch up & got a performance award courtesy of the County Deputy.  77 MPH in a 55.  Deputy had me at 52MPH, but speedometer showed 60... We continued on each others bikes for another 25 miles.  He said he really liked the C14, but would have to wait to get another bike for a while.  Insurance may be a bit high with his driving record. 

The next hour I spent back on my C14.  I can't say enough how much more I like the C14 than anything else I have been on.  It is just the bike for me. 
2012 C14.  Black
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Offline jimmymac

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 10:35:24 am »
 Cool write up. Yep, the Connie is tough to beat.
2010 Connie. No ABS, no TC, no linked brakes. A real bike.
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Offline martin_14

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 07:10:53 am »
Cool write up. Yep, the Connie is tough to beat.

+1 on both counts.
Build bridges, not walls.

Education is important. Riding my bike is importanter.

Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 11:26:12 am »
My BMW buddies keep telling me I need to try the GS, but they don't offer to let me ride there's.

I wonder how much the Z800 engine weighs compared to the Concours engine.  I think a Z800 based touring bike would be perfect for me.  The problem I am finding is that there really isn't that much difference in engine weight between a lot of bikes, and sometimes the smaller engine bikes can actually weigh the same as larger displacement bikes because they use heavier budget materials to manufacture them.

I thought I wanted to try the BMW 800 GT, but I have read complaints about vibration. 
My Concours Travels:
2014 New England Tour http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=17336.msg212077#msg212077

Offline DenverC-14

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 09:02:06 pm »
My BMW buddies keep telling me I need to try the GS, but they don't offer to let me ride there's.

I wonder how much the Z800 engine weighs compared to the Concours engine.  I think a Z800 based touring bike would be perfect for me.  The problem I am finding is that there really isn't that much difference in engine weight between a lot of bikes, and sometimes the smaller engine bikes can actually weigh the same as larger displacement bikes because they use heavier budget materials to manufacture them.

I thought I wanted to try the BMW 800 GT, but I have read complaints about vibration.

Sadly, that bike rides very rough, and sounds like a tractor. The suspension is extremely basic, and not adjustable on the front end. Certainly not 'worth' 13k+

Offline 1jeep

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 06:23:32 am »
GS1200 is a blast to ride and would most likely make me switch to bmw some day, however with that said a much nice KTM adventure can be had for less $$$ and will perform batter off road than that beemer can ever dream about.

Offline stevewfl

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 07:15:58 am »
Ride the new KTM "1290" Super adventure. A beast thats a pleasure.

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine

Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 07:32:04 am »
I'm going to checkout a KTM 390 Duke and the 690 Duke.  Want something light I can put in the truck with the KLX250S when i go camping in the mountains.  That way I can put more off road tires on the KLX250S for the jeep trails.
I've been wanting to get back into base camping more instead of the minimalist camping I have been doing off the bikes. 
Set up camp and ride all the loop rides in the area.
My truck only has a 900 lb payload and a 4 banger.
My Concours Travels:
2014 New England Tour http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=17336.msg212077#msg212077

Offline kwarrgtr

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 07:36:18 am »
Yes nice write -up. A couple of months ago I also tried a few bikes. I kinda think that new biking season also means go to the dealers and have a free fun ride, even if you have no intention of buying.

I wont do a review - as its all pretty much out there... the only one that came close to really tempting me, was the Trophy, some of that had to do with the dealer, who was pretty good and not pushy.

However, on every return ride home, I thought - what am I doing??? I'd be changing it just for  the sake of it.

I'd have to spend a large fortune - to get a bike that would not be any better than my connie - and so...... I spent a small fortune instead - replacing /respraying my damaged cowlings and adding some farkles.

And I am glad I did - bike once again looks stunning - and as we know has the performance to match - happy days :) :) :) :) :)

Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 07:49:45 pm »
.

I wont do a review - as its all pretty much out there... the only one that came close to really tempting me, was the Trophy, some of that had to do with the dealer, who was pretty good and not pushy.



I'd like to hear your thoughts on the trophy.  That is the one bike that might sit between the Voyager and the Concours, so I could replace both with one.
My Concours Travels:
2014 New England Tour http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=17336.msg212077#msg212077

Offline kwarrgtr

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Re: Test rode a few BMWs last week
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2015, 12:18:32 am »
Oh no..... I couldn't possible recommend you replace the connie... not here on a GTR forum!!!

Yep I did like it, a little of that was 'romantic' - Iv'e never owned a Triumph, and part of me was saying..... well, Iv'e owned a few other makes (mostly Jap), but really a brit should have a british bike.

It's not as heavy as the gtr... but then what is. However I did find it fairly heavy. One of my tests on a test ride is to come home and walk it into / out of the garage. Like the gtr I only felt comfortable by paddling it around. Having said that, I have some loose gravel o/s my garage and a (slightly) dodgy shoulder!!

It was very comfy - and easy to ride for quite a large steed. It felt very planted, and I thought it was very sweet in the twisties. I am no racer tho.

With the stock can it sounded lovely - proper throaty bike sound, MUCH more sporty than the connie.

Two things that I didn't think I'd have any interest in, surprised me. The radio/music system.... who needs/wants one on a bike. I sometimes listen to the radio/music through my lid, but have always thought 'radio/music thru speakers.... that's silly'! but it was surprisingly good, and whilst not hifi, I did listen to some sports whilst making my way through heavy traffic. Also ditto the cruise control, never understood the need/want for one on a bike. However, when I realised I was enjoying the test ride too much, I thought I'd better return the bike before the dealers called the police, so, headed back down the motorway/freeway, set the c control, and basically sat back and let the bike take me 'home'.

Trophy looks okay w/out the panniers, but a bit like the gtr, panniers on would be default.

So, as I say, of all the bikes I tried, it was the best, but IMHO, NOT significantly better than the gtr.