Trying to Decide... BMW or not... ? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 1:16 pm Thread Starter
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Trying to Decide... BMW or not... ?

Hello All,

I have been pondering and reading and looking for almost 2 years, preparing to buy another bike. I haven't ridden in about 24 years. Last bike I had was a Suzuki GS 1100 with a Hannigan Fairing. Been raising kids and working and such. Promised my bride no bikes till the kids get out of the house. Well the last one just graduated high school and it looks like by Fall I will have the money set aside to finally buy one.

I have always liked the BMW Twins, and was pretty set on looking at the RT, but the GT is very awesome to look at and to sit on. (My wife really likes the old timey cruiser look, so if we don't do this type of bike, it will likely be a triumph or maybe a jap bike.)

Anyway, this is not a GT or RT question. I will ride both this summer and decide then. This is a "Should I get a BMW?" question. I live in a very central location. About 5-6 hours from anything interesting... like a BMW dealership. I might be able to do some maintenance, but probably only very minor. If I have spare time, I want to ride, not wrench... I have been following this and the LT forums for some time. I see that for some folks, it seems their bike is always going back for troubleshooting. Am I too far from a dealership to even entertain this?

What would you do?

Also, if I opt for the BMW, what is the best little trailer that I could use to put the bike on if I need to take it to the shop? Needs to be small and light to fit behind a leetle car...

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 1:28 pm
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How far away is a Japanese shop?

2008 K1200GT
2005 FZ1
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jumpinjohn
Also, if I opt for the BMW, what is the best little trailer that I could use to put the bike on if I need to take it to the shop? Needs to be small and light to fit behind a leetle car...

Thanks for any help.
One of these, if you ever need one. Maybe $15-$20 per day if you ever need it.

You can also ride it to the dealer leaving at 4AM for routine service and wait for it. I've done a few over-nighters with mine too.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 1:58 pm
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I am a first time BMW owner and I realized there would be some issues going in with a bike as complex as the GT. To be honest, my old "jap bikes" have been around for quite a while and have never seen the inside of a shop.

But bikes are all a lot more complicated now, a techno-tourer bike like the GT would be at the top of the heap. I certainly know there are lots of old boxers out there that have never seen the inside of a shop either.

I personally made the jump because of the experience of actually riding the bike. I always liked it, and when a deal came up, I decided to go for it. I didn't "want a BMW" or some sort of image it projects, or whatever. Just liked the bike. Willing to put up with some of the "issues" due to complexity (computer hookups, CANBUS, fuel injection, etc.).

So, I guess the short answer is "get what you want". There are always some practical considerations, but most things can be worked around if you really want it. You are getting a motorcycle after all, not investment property. You can "makes more sense" yourself down to a Civic if you keep working all the angles.

If you are still comfortable riding after your long layoff, get a ride on the candidates if possible (otherwise, take a MSF riding course then the test rides). Think about what you want to do with the bike. A GT probably isn't the best for intercity commuting, track days or off-road racing (although all have probably been done! ). Some retro and cruiser bikes aren't the best on twisty roads or for long distance rides.

You can probably find an old GS1100 to start on again too, as far as that goes! Great bike, had one of those as well (82 E model, red). Riding something new now will make it seem like a bus though!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Smilodon
So, I guess the short answer is "get what you want".
Yeah. I agree. Get the bike that you can be passionate about. Get the one that lures you into the garage in the late evening just to look at her. Get the object of your desire.

Buying a motorcycle is not usually a practical decision. Don't make it into one.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 3:42 pm Thread Starter
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K-Dog, Jap shop is 20 minutes from house... (So is Victory and H-D...) We used to have an Aprilia shop local, but I don't think they have a bike like I want... GT and RT are right in line with what I want. Not too heavy, but with a top box my wife can ride behind for some fun excursions...

GMack - Thanks. Never thought about uHaul... If ridable, I'll ride for the service for sure!

Smilodon - I'm sure the complexity of all bikes is considerably more. None of my old bikes ever went to the shop I think. Just for tires. I have been riding dirt bikes for the last 10 years. They are so far ahead of my old bike when I was a kid. Amazing! I'm really looking forward to getting on one of these bikes and trying it out on the street. I'll probably take a course pretty soon. So far, I'm just borrowing rides from friends...

My old GS was red also! It was an 83 model. My brother had one of those futuristic Katanas. We had fun on those...

Trout - I can't help trying to have some practicality in it...

I guess nobody is saying I'm nuts to get one living so far from a dealer... Now for the test rides!!

Next thing I'll be wanting is recommendations on riding apparel. Last time I rode it was a Bates leather jacket, jeans and sneakers...

See 'ya,
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 4:10 pm
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John, I rode bikes in my teens and 20's and then laid off untill my early 40's and started agin with 500cc and worked my way up within 2 years to BMW 1100's. Now I am riding a new 2009 1300GT and I am 72. I am doing more mileage now, as I am semi retired and can take days off just to ride and do other foolish things.
Go for it.
BMW's usually have very few problems other than a yearly fluid change ( oil, FD etc).If you have a more than a minor problem, BMW has a 3 year waranty and roadside assistance. In all my years, I have never been stranded and ran out of gas just once ( last week on the way 50 miles to my dealer. I ran out in his parking lot. My fuel guage needs recalibration, repair, whatever. Now, while waiting for my service appt, I watch my mileage between fillups ( 200+ miles).

Ride some jap bikes at your local nearby dealer, then visit BMW, and you will be hooked!!!

Deep Blue 2009 K1300GT
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 4:35 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I know that most people post problems on forums and therefore shop visits and mechanical issues tend to be over represented. My wife liked sitting on the back of the GT which really surprised me. (I think I'll keep her off the LT )

I'm planning to ride this summer - rent if I can, and then make the final decision. Right now, the only thing left is to build a garage. My wife's prerequisite!!

See 'ya,
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