Remember that First Ride Home on Your New GT? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 10:48 am Thread Starter
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Remember that First Ride Home on Your New GT?

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Originally Posted by Brahma
(from another thread ... see http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showth...082#post131679)

...and re-live the excitement you had waiting for yours to arrive, waiting to hop on it for the first time. I think about that all the time, not just the now resolved issues.

B.
I bought my GT the last day of June 2007. The salesperson made me an offer that I could not refuse. The deal came with the condition that I had to complete the purchase no later than 4:00 PM on 30 June. I assume that there was a bonus or quota that had to be met. We finished the deal that afternoon, just before the deadline. I was nervous from spending so much on a bike, despite the bargain price.

I will never forget that first ride home. I was somewhat unfamiliar with the controls, and definitely not used to the turn signals. The bike was heavier than my old Magna, and the seat was higher. To get home, I chose a long straight wide street, rather than the LA freeways. I got behind a large slow public transportation shuttle bus, the kind that senior citizens use. What could be safer and easier? I followed it for a few miles. It stopped for a red light and I stopped behind it.

As we waited for the light to turn green, suddenly a HUGE puff of black smoke came out from under the shuttle bus. It completely enveloped the bus; I couldn't see the bus at all. A moment later, as the smoke began to clear, the bus burst into flames. The flames roiled out from underneath the bus on both sides and the rear. My first thought went to the senior citizens who must be trapped inside. It was utterly terrifying. I had to jump off and run to rescue them.

But ... I couldn't find the #$&**!! kickstand.

I was within a heartbeat of tossing down that brand new K1200GT without the kickstand, when I saw the little finger tab that you use to push it down. I set the bike on the kickstand and ran toward the flaming bus, struggling to loosen my helmet as I ran. At that moment, the driver emerged from the left side of the bus, waving me off. He made it obvious that the bus was empty; there was nobody else aboard. We stood together, away from the bus, and watched as the flames died down.

He got on his cell phone. I got on my bike. I rode home, heart pounding the rest of the way.

I visit the dealer from time to time, but these days I take the freeway home. If you go to that intersection, you can still see where the texture of the asphalt was altered by the flaming bus.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 11:09 am
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What a great story!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 1:59 pm
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Geeze, mine was not that dramatic!

I was growing tired/bored of my 95" 99 model FXDX HD that I had maxed out as far as handling and power. My wife and I decided we were going to tour and with GPS, radio, ...etc.

Went down to the BMW dealer to late on a saturday afternoon, they were closed, owner invited us in tho to see what I wanted. I wished to test ride the Concours14 or K1200GT, he had neither sold last ones weeks ago.

We come back next week, I test ride the RT, likey so try to trade the HD. He gets real close but I decide to sell it on ebay. While I am waiting for it go (another week) I find a used 07 GT in N.C. and the price is right, only thing I have never even sat on one. Stew awhile then pull the trigger and buy it sight unseen, having only seen one at the Dealer that an owner rode in on.

Wife and I take rented car to N.O. jump amtrak to N.C. and Bus final 60 miles. Nearly dump the bike on test ride out of owners gravel driveway, damn it has quick really good front brakes! Make a couple of blocks and come back load it up with our junk (he had top box also) and set off for Louisiana, west bound hammer down.

I remember being overly cautious at slow manuvering speeds as it felt extremely top heavy compared to the HD I came off of, and I could barely reach the ground it seemed.

We were over dressed for the July heat, so nearly roasted, even stopping every 100 miles or so and wetting down. I also wore bluejean cutoffs under my mesh pants, did not work at all but I thought it was the seat.

I was addicted to the CC and speed on freeway, but paranoid when slowing at a stop somewhere.

It was so hot the first day, we left at 4am in TN to beat the heat, ran freeway with 18 wheelers blocking the deer which were mostly at the low spots (water ditches). The lights were super on bright thank goodness.

By the time I got home, I was finally convinced that I had done the right thing in purchasing the GT and selling the HD, wife was convinced also, that was the biggie.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 3:24 pm
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After being unable to get the color, price, and production date I wanted locally I took a 240 mile drive to Max BMW in Troy N.Y. I had arranged for a test ride on a GT with a friendly salesman over the telephone. I of course had forgotten my gloves, and was promptly lent a set. When I arrived the bike was out front warmed up with a laminated map tapped to the gas tank. It was a suggested route which encompassed twisties on the way out, and highway on the way back. The entire test ride lasted about two hours, and it rained on the way back. When I got back the salesman just asked what do you think. I told him coming off the RT it was a big difference, but actually I had decided I had to have the bike. He didn't have the color scheme I wanted, but said they were getting a final delivery of 2008's next week. We never even discussed price. the following week the salesman gives me a call, and says matter of factly your bike is here. I asked for the VIN number wanting a March, or later production number, then we spoke about price, and stuck a deal quickly. He faxed me the contract, and it was done with $500.00 on my credit card holding it. Once that happened it snowed 6 of the next seven days. Not much, maybe a dusting to an inch each time. I would call every couple of days, and the salesman would say no way don't come up. Finally I got a break it was going to be very cold, but dry. I left Long Island on my RT which was a trade at 6AM it was 26 degrees. On the way it was cold, but not bad, until I got North of the Catskills, then the temps really dropped, and after the Maderna exit I noticed the rode suddenly changed colors slightly. The thruway went down into a valley, and the humidity or dew that had built up on the road froze. Now I realize I'm riding on some ice, so I do everything I can not to change anything. I want to maintain speed and direction. In about two miles I ride out of the valley, and the ice ends, but now I get hit with a burst of snow. It's starts snowing real hard, just as I pass an Army truck full of soldiers. They see me going by start waving, and hit the air horn. I'm sure they were laughing like hell. As quick as the snow started it ends, with no accumulation. Now the sun is starting to come up, and the sky is clear. I finally arrived at Max BMW 9:10AM, and it's now 19 degrees, we begin the paperwork while the tech's swap my Zumo from the RT to the GT. I had some other work done, and while I'm waiting two other GT's are delivered. About 11AM my turn, and they pull my bike out front ready to go. Now it's in the mid 20's, and the weather report is calling for sunny skies, and high temp of 40. I get on the bike start it up, and notice something flashing on the dash. I call the salesman over, and he explains it's the snowflake warning me of the potential for road icing. Off we go. I get on the throughway, and once the tires scuff up a bit I do my best to vary speeds as much as possible for break in. This is not a problem while I'm up North of Albany, but as I trek South, I get in heavier traffic. I start playing with the BC button scrolling through everything, try the cruise, and the valving on the ESA, everything seems to be working fine. Although they started me off with a full tank of fuel once I reached 1/2 tank I decided to fill up at the cheaper prices prevalent North of NYC. I pull into a Mobil station, and you guessed I can't seem to find the sides stand without looking down for it. Filled up, and got back on the road as it warmed up. The snow flake was still flashing at 37, but once I hit Westchester County it went out at 39 degrees. Now that it warmed up I was pressing a bit more on the highway on, and off ramps, and quickly found out the GT had a much lower center of gravity than my RT, and leaned over willingly. 2:15PM pulled into my garage, and tucked the GT in. I picked up a bit of residual road salt during my ride so I washed it down, then plugged in the charger. That was back in November before we were acquainted, now were almost one.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 3:28 pm
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I've mentioned my beloved '85 K100RT a few times here, but my GT story starts with it.

Gas was on the rise, and I was in the middle of a 3 year postion that had me driving a 120 mile daily commute. It was coming off a long winter of driving my Grand Cherokee and pumping cash down the filler tube every other day. It needed a rest and I really didn't want to put the K100RT to that task every day because after 20 years, I didn't want to ride it into the ground either.

But it finally was an unusually hot spring day, so I took advantage of it by changing the plugs and the final drive lube in the RT. Got it finished before lunch, so I thought I'd take it across town to a place for lunch and get the new plugs warm, still a little heavy on my mind that I didn't want to make my baby do that death march everyday to and from work on a routine basis.

I was on the highway, right in the heaviest traffic for a Satuday in the heart of downtown, a place I definately didn't want to stop or pull over, and the RT started popping, gagging, lurching all over the place. I had to really give it the throttle to keep it going. The very last offramp for downtown was approaching, and I got off there, keeping it alive.

The first thing that went through my mind was the plugs, as it had run fine before I started messing with them. But I really did NOT want to stop in this "particular area", so I kept the bike alive and headed back toward home through the city. It was only a few miles in leisurely Saturday traffic to the point where I got to a decent area where if I HAD to, I could leave the bike- something in 20 years I never, EVER, had to do.

Parked in a shopping center lot, under the hot shade of the only tree I could find, I sat down and let the bike cool a bit before popping off the plate to check the plugs. Once I got it off, sure enough, the number one cable had come off because I seem to think it's a good idea to put a dab of dielectric grease on new plug tips before putting the cables on. On this hot day, my "dab" was apparenly more like a "blob", and it acted more like KY than anything else.

Cable back on, my good, reliable friend fired right back up and seemingly immediately said to me "way to go assh**le"... I felt like one. I also felt a lot more heavily about my baby, all the fun miles over the decades I've ridden it, all the cool places, and what I was about "to do to it" on my commute every day, when I realized I was now one block from the local dealer. Hmmm... Maybe I should take a look???

As soon as the dealer was in sight, I saw the GT. It was parked outside, right in front of the shop where they park other used bikes for people to mingle with. I actually thought that was unusual because it was spring of '07, and I didn't really think a GT could be for sale used so soon, so why was it parked in the area with all their used bikes? Besides, it was certainly NOT something I had the money for....

I'm in that shop fairly regularly and they know (cringe?) me when they see me. I asked the sales guy if the GT is for sale. "Yep. Only 3,000 miles on it. People are calling from around the country about it". I didn't doubt it. "How much?" I asked. I was SHOCKED at the price. "The guy buys new bikes every year, and he let this one fall over in his driveway." "Eeewww.." I thought...

I went out and looked at it. It was as beautiful as my K100RT was when I first saw it 20 years previous, it used, and under a south Florida dealer's tent. The GT was on it's side stand, no bags, with a Remus slip-on and a Laminar Lip on it. I literally spent forty-five minutes standing at every quadrant of it, looking at every square inch of it, from every angle, not believing that I COULD afford it and it only had 3,000 miles on it. The few scratches on the side panel all were uniform, in one direction, and all measured only about one inch, so it really didn't appear to have done much more than fall over (I would later relieve this horror for myself in a hail storm). I went and asked for a test ride.

When I got on the GT in that lot in front of my RT, I felt like I had been busted with a call girl by my wife, of which I have neither. But the feeling was the same. But WHAT AN ANIMAL! This was MAYBE the third bike I'd even been on in my life, but GOOD GOD hold on to THIS thing! JESUS what a kick in the pants this bike was! Feeling like a two-timing prick, I pointed it toward the freeway, the same one I had just had to leave less than an hour a before.

I was in love! The GT was an amazing eye-opener from my beloved RT. But how could I "do this to her?" I REALLY felt that way. But when I got back to the dealer, and I saw my K100RT in the lot, standing there as it always had, ready to go, I realized (Insert weird rationalization for a guy who just wants a new bike) "IT TOOK ME TO HER."

Maybe it was self-preservation on it's own behalf, but my K100RT DID lead me to the GT, and within two days, that included my introduction to and heavy research ON THIS FORUM, the paperwork was signed, the Remus replaced with the stock can that also came with it, and the side bags were there too. Within fifteen minutes of having the GT home for the first time, the Laminar Lip was off it and so were the foot peg extensions that only had me hitting the rear brake. The bike WAS a "baby", fully serviced, with just a few scratches. Within days, that panel was replaced, and it was as good and as beautiful as new.

That first year, 2007, my GT completely paid itself off from the gas savings over what I would have spent in my Grand Cherokee on my daily commute. The smile hasn't left my face, even now being a "three-timing prick" after picking up my '07 GS. They ALL are in the garage, swapping stories with my K100RT, and it is really happy for the company.

B.

Last edited by Brahma; Feb 21st, 2009 at 3:40 pm.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 3:50 pm
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My First Ride on my GT.... One of the best so far.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 5:08 pm
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Yeah. I remember my first GT ride.

I bought mine in the Bay area of Northern CA since they were the last dealer I called who had one of the New Gen GT's in stock. Only color was a silver one on their floor. Bought it. Largest check I ever wrote.

Decided to bum around Northern CA for a week or so to build up the 600 mileage and let them do the service before going home to So. CA.

Ended up putting 1000 miles on the critter in a week for the belated 600 mile service.


Pretty uneventful trip other than one cold night in Chico, CA. While I was there, I decided to check out the local BMW shop. It's called Ozzie's BMW and I thought they might have some cold weather duds as I had planned to go into Lassen Nat. Park the next day. No luck. Had to keep wearing my old leather jacket. Ozzie's is a very small friendly shop and the lady part's girl really knows her stuff too, but no clothes.

I got back to motel and looked in phone book. Some place called "Biker Bob's" just north of Chico had clothing along Hwy. 99. Rode about 10 miles to there but they were closed when I got there. Crap.

Some guy wanders up to me and asks "Are you from around here?'

I responded, "Nope. Just cold and looking for some warm clothing for tomorrow's travels."

He asked, "You want a job later tonight?"

I asked, "What kind of job?"

He said, pointing to the building next door, "We need some judges for amateur night. You want to be a part of it? Local judges tend to vote for someone they know and are often biased."

I looked over his shoulder. The pink sign was for a place called "Centerfolds" (dba: a "strip club").

He gave me a business card and left.

Back at the motel and after a great steak dinner I thought, "What the hell? No one around here knows who the hell I am." Soon I was packing for the cold night as well I could and rode off to the joint about 7:30-8pm. Haven't been to one of those joints in maybe 30 years or more since college.

Go there a bit early and saw the cashier guy and several arriving girls with roller luggage petting some Shar Pei pup (those wrinkly dogs). I joined in the petting and then found they were some of the evening's entertainment (albeit, much later).

The DJ there appointed me as his stooge and always yelled: "Hey, the 'Biker Dude' (me) says "You need to...."" which I never did say (X or R-rated) what he announced and I suffered really awful8 mental turmoil through the transpiring events of the evening (yeah. sure I did. ).

Maybe I had too much fun that evening at my newly found second job. Too bad the pay sucked, but the fringies were really great and knocked 10-20 years off my age! Even snagged a few personally autographed Xerox'ed poster memorabilia for my sordid judgmental efforts too.

The GT didn't blow any chunks on the rest of the trip either.

Following year, the GT got me through the iron gates of The Wild Horse and Mustang Ranch east of Sparks, NV. Seems the GT has made me enter some debauchery mode my old R1100RT failed to do.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 8:17 pm
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Yep, sure do.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 7:41 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
Seems the GT has made me enter some debauchery mode my old R1100RT failed to do. Mack
I'll look for that switch on my bike- it must be there somewhere!
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 7:58 am
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Mine wasn't all that dramatic at all , just a ear to ear grin even though it rained like hell the whole 90 miles ! It has rained on me on Every new bike ride home
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