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Re: New bikes

Hello Bob,

From: "Minor, Bob" <Bminor@xxxxxxxx>

> Is anybody getting excited over the new 1200's? As good as the GS's are,
> I don't consider them for myself due to seat height issues.  But
> yesterday I received a brochure from the dealer in Eugene, Oregon and I
> have to admit I may be smitten by the ST. They have a picture of one in
> red and silver and with a claim of 110 HP (yeah right) and 435 lbs (is
> that dry?) it does appear to be a huge leap over my 96 RS.  In fact, if
> those numbers are even close to correct I can't see why they would still
> offer the 1100S.  But they do.

The word is that the R1100S is no longer being made, and the units you see 
in showrooms are old stock. I have heard a rumor (no hard facts) that a 
R1200S "has been seen", but I am not putting stock in this statement at this 

> I've always thought my next bike would in fact be an RT, but the picture
> in this brochure shows the ugliest thing I've seen in years.  The bike
> shown is grey and silver and the body work appears to be a hodgepodge of
> panels without any sort of continuity or flow.  Maybe they look better
> on the showroom floor but the photographs suck.  Not a look that I think
> I could get used to.  Any RT in my future would have to be 2004 or
> earlier.  But that ST....

I resonate with you regarding the RT's "thrown together" look. In pictures, 
I think it looks ugly. When you see it in person, it's a different 
experience (though still not attractive). BMW did a nice job in preserving 
the "luxury" elements, like molded hydraulics reservoirs, but the fairing 
and body panels really do look pieced together with deliberate gaps between 
panels which end up looking like a poor fit. It reminds me of a toy 
"transformer" that is about to turn into a robot. The saddle bags and tail 
end look attractive.

To my eye, the ST's front end looks nothing short of hideously disfigured. 
The light occupies more that the full height of the fairing (twin lights 
mounted atop each other?) The body panels, although they follow BMW's new 
"patchwork" styling direction, fit together more cohesively than the RT. 
Again, the styling is not what I'd call attractive, but rather Bavarian 
functional/quirky. If the bikes prove to be awesomely reliable, or solid 
performers, people will be able to overlook the quirky styling in favor of 
these strongly positive traits.

The K1200S is easily the most handsome of the new generation of bikes, 
though it looks pretty much Asian in its styling. I don't feel we can fault 
BMW because they have finally "got with the program" and had form follow 
function with a 4-across engine of a UJM. The surprisingly good ergonomics 
make the K1200S a distance sports bike that can be taken comfortably in 
large doses. The down side, in my view, are the tiny (though stylish) and 
non water-proof saddle bags. If the K1200S was dressed in GT clothing, it 
would be noteworthy, regardless of brand.

The styling faux pas shared by all the new BMW bikes is the bazooka-style 
exhaust cannister. BMW seems to have followed the styling misstep of 
Yamaha's Road Warrior in slapping on a huge (by volume) exhaust can. Good 
for low noise. Irritating on the eyes. To me, this represents tacking on 
another grand or more onto an already expensive bike to buy an after-market 
exhaust that at least looks good. But that's okay, because we BMW owners 
have deep pockets ;-)

I ride an '01 R1100S, and so far, BMW doesn't offer anything that suits me 
better for than my current machine. For me, my S is still the best 
all-arounder for a guy who can afford only one bike. That's a 100% 
subjective call, though. Bottom Line: If the bike works for you, and you 
enjoy it, then it's a good bike for you.

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS 


End of oilheads-digest V2 #57