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Re: BMW in Cycle World...

Hello Rene,

From: <Rene-didier@xxxxxxxxxxx>

> 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.

Speaking of R1100Ses, my '00 R1100S (got it June 2000) is rated at 98 crank 
HP, and just over 500 lbs wet. It goes 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds. It feels 
most comfortable around 140 to 160 kph (~87 to ~100 mph) where it can cruise 
along all day, without fatiguing the bike or the rider. At 100 kph, I can 
easily pass a vehicle by just rolling on the throttle, or really jack-rabbit 
someone by dropping down a couple of gears before I open it up. Results are 
similarly brisk and fast with two-up riding. Add to that the Telelever 
suspension that lets me take farmer's roads at 100 kph where a MUCH more 
skilled rider on an R1 took it at ~70 kph and commented he was "all over the 
road". Yeah, it sucks up the bad stuff.

So where's the beef? It's not because the BMW boxer has insufficient power 
to perform its mission, or its weight is a hindrance. It's because BMW's 
power figure and weight figures are out of line with the competition.

An informed engineer knows there is no "free lunch", and there is no perfect 
world -- To get something, you either need to give up something, or make 
substantial investments in alternative technologies, approaches, etc. 
Normally aspirated air/oil cooled twins will never outperform liquid cooled 
inline fours of similar displacement when it comes to peak horsepower. You 
want loads of power? It's available in another form (refer to "no perfect 
world", earlier). You want a lighter sportbike? Kiss away those beautiful 
hydraulic reservoirs in favor of light-weight cheap looking plastic drums 
mounted to your handle bars, and get rid of that butt-saving ABS (amongst 
other things) to shave off a few pounds..

An informed consumer knows that many more motorcycles are sold through 
successful marketing, than through an informed consumer defining his 
intended mission, and then finding the machine that most closely suits that 
mission. Again, that's why repli-racers like the Suzuki GSX-R1000 make 
motomag headlines while BMW's bikes are considered "slow and heavy". Well, 
at least historically.

The secret to a happy marriage between rider and motorcycle is "Get what ya 
want. Want what ya got."

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS
 Oakville, Ontario, Canada