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Re: BMW in Cycle World...

I'm on my 6th bike sine 1983, but my first BMW (R1100S). HP is interesting, but tourque is most useful. HP makes for high top end speeds, but torque makes for acceleration. With most speed limits below 75 mph, most of my riding is done at reasonable speeds. Being able to pull cleanly out of corners, with torque, allows one to go fast in the twisties. A stable chassie helps a bunch

As my mechanic told me, BMW has function over form. I like the function of torque.

- -------------- Original message -------------- 

> Hello All, 
> Tom Brown wrote: 
> >> (John wrote): 
> >> Especially considering that the boxer remains down on power (BMW ought to 
> >> bring out a blown ~850), and in terms of styling, the twins these days 
> range 
> >> from "What do you expect, it's a GS" (at best) to "What the hell were they 
> >> thinking?". 
> > 
> > John, you read too much Cycle World and do too little actual riding! 
> [...] 
> I think that's an unfair statement, unless John tells us otherwise. John is 
> correct when he states that "the boxer remains down on power". Just compare it 
> to four cylinder liter-class bikes, or to other large twins, many of which 
> best the boxer's peak horsepower rating. Whether that truth matters to the 
> rider in real-world street user, is another story. In my opinion, "around a 
> hundred ponies" is ample for a street motorcycle in most cases, testosterone 
> or not (I've included an interesting story later in this posting). Because of 
> this view, I feel BMW is doing a decent job in their "twins" category in terms 
> of peak power, and a rather good job in terms of usable power as expressed by 
> the torque curve and peak torque numbers. 
> The other thorny issue that John touched upon is styling. According to J.D. 
> Powers and Associated, styling is the Number One reason that a potential buyer 
> will not purchase a specific model automobile. I don't know how true this is 
> with bikes, but I can tell you that it is quite common for someone to buy a 
> motorcycle because it "looks awesome" rather than for more mundane, practical 
> reasons. BMW's new styling direction has polarized the buying public with the 
> most often expressed position being that of "nay" rather than "yay". This is 
> true with their cars as well as with their new boxers. Like BMW's cars, their 
> bikes deliver an noteworthy ride, and a really good balance of power and 
> handling making them excellent "real world" vehicles, though not top dogs in 
> any "extreme" category (that's one reason why they aren't race winners in 
> multi-brand competition). 
> Take the GS, for example. The GS is not beautiful, but it is a great 
> all-around bike, and awesome for something that is a good street bike and a 
> capable machine in the loose stuff. So it's a great bike, in spite of its 
> looks. The new RT looks like a "transformer", or a hodge-podge of tacked 
> together, apparently ill-fitting pieces. Sure it rides really well and is a 
> great touring bike, no qualifiers necessary. Sure it's a major step up in 
> performance (more power, lower weight, and better handling) than its 
> predecessor RT. But those looks: Not pretty! I am confident that many folks 
> can forgive the styling department because of all the positive traits the new 
> RT has. I'm sure a small minority will even find the new style gorgeous (just 
> like a number of people actually like the taste of Spam), but BMW's new bikes 
> are not styled in a manner that makes significant number of people say nice 
> things. 
> As for Cycle World, my hat is off to them for not commenting negatively about 
> BMW's styling. They just presented the facts that the styling isn't for 
> everyone, and then went on to say loads of positive things about the bike, 
> much like us BMW fanatics would. And that's a good thing when a non-fan has so 
> much good to say about a BMW bike. 
> On Bikes and Power 
> A buddy of mine is a very talented rider, as proven by his track times. He has 
> been aching for more power since I have known him, around 5 years. His last 
> bike was a Kawasaki ZX-10R with awesome power, light weight, and admirable 
> handling. In his words, when the engine hits 11,000 RPM, it gets frantic with 
> power. He took it on the track several times, and concluded it was overpowered 
> in the twisties. He took it on public streets and concluded there weren't any 
> local roads on which this bike could stretch its legs. After less than a year 
> of ownership, he sold this Uberbike and bought a dedicated 250cc track bikes. 
> He's now building his track skills to professional levels by refining his 
> line, braking skills, and throttle control. There is something to be said when 
> "ultimate power" connects with a good brain :-) 
> -Steve Makohin 
> '01 R1100S/ABS 
> Oakville, Ontario, Canada 


End of oilheads-digest V2 #94