The Perfect Rider vs. The Perfect Motorcycle
A few years back my wife and I journeyed to Tahoe attending the 80th anniversary celebration of BMW motorcycles. BMW can sure throw a party when they want to.
One of the attractions at the three day event at Squaw Valley was the performance of stunt rider Jean-Pierre Goy. Have to tell you that guy is amazing. Not a big person, maybe 5'8" and 160 lbs. His riding included three motorcycles: an F650, an R12 cruiser, and, (I'll be damned) an LT.
He did everything imaginable on all three bikes: stood on the seat, did wheelies, faced backward, did handstands, stoppies, and turned all three bikes on a dime.
My reaction to all this was this dude really didn't need to figure out which bike was best; they were all equal to whatever he wanted to do on each of them.
But, not many of us are like Goy; the perfect rider. We have different requirements and maybe what we were watching in awe was literrally in a vacuum.
So, we all look for that perfect motorcycle: one that will provide a platform to execute that perfect turn, go thousands of miles towing a trailer, lean until the parts scrape, provide the cocoon of blissfully quiet riding, a radio, long range tankage, gobs of acceleration, light weight, great stability in the face of a stiff cross wind. And any of us can add to the list.
We are looking for the combination of the right features that, in sum, work out to the perfect motocycle - within the paramaters of our personal financial situations.
Enter the new generation of BMW motorcycles with all of their attractive "new features". New engine, new transmission, new front suspension, esa on the rear, canbus electronics, new rear drive, digital read-outs, etc. Appealing, correct?
Now, for a what-if; ok?
What if BMW had introduced both the K-S and the new GT at the same time? (I don't think the K-R owners would have faced this choice). Which of these two motorcyles would have been our choice?
This new GT proves a delimma for many of the present K-S owners. Sure, the K-S could tour, had those cute little expandable saddlebags; but, would some of those with the K-S actually, given the choice, opted for the new GT in lieu of the K-S? Some knew of the rumors or just had a hunch that a new GT (or RT at the time) was imminent and decided the "comfort" features of better weather protection, more commodious luggage, more upright riding postion, more relaxed leg position, electronic cruise, etc. combined with the new engine, tranny, suspension, yada-yada, was worth waiting for.
Looks? Well, that's more subjective. The K-S is lower, sleeker, sexier; the GT, maybe more handsome - at least based on the pictures.
Compare it to the present LT? Well, it figures that a new LT will follow the new GT given the way BMW is rolling out new motorcycles. Maybe the new GT is a bit of a testbed for the LT. You can assume that the 155 engine is the one that will appear in the LT. And, if the new GT weighs 600 lbs, then the new LT will probably come in at about 100 lbs less weight than the current LT. I'm betting that BMW is enamored with their new emphasis of lighter, sportier; and, this might be a better way for BMW to compete with the lardy Honda products: both their ST and the Goldwing.
That's my take on the world of new Beemers - now for some feedback out of Long Beach and and San Jose. <g>