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A weekend of test rides with special disappointment on BMW

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by pro-pilot, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. As part of my ‘test rides’ to find a great sports tourer, I happened upon to ride a few bikes by the brand BMW.

    As I had never touched this brand before, I did the usual research, site investigations and forum review elements to judge that it would be worthwhile the time to try them out, specifically the F800ST and R1200ST.
    First impressions….absolute Shiite!!!!

    The bikes failed in every test I gave them:
    - Comfort (in-between posture made a slightly annoying trip over 30 min with your body not quite committed to either a sporty or upright configuration)
    - Suspension, woeful! In decent twisties they provided a completely unstable lateral force effect, no matter how much pre-load and re-bound adjustments were made. Even tried with and without pillion.
    - Brakes, bad. The lag effect on the front end causes again an unstable situation or feel about the bikes which did not inspire me to pre-enter a corner by bleeding off speed (dropped gear instead).
    - Engine with belt and shaft drive. All I can say is uggh! The 800cc motor is nothing short of a joke in terms of exit / roll on speed. The 1200cc one is slightly better (boxter), but still has that resonance feel before kicking in.

    To ensure I wa not dreaming I took out the R1200R. And you guessed it, the same.
    I left the dealership dismayed!

    The rest of the afternoon and next day was spent testing:

    DL1000 (bad and heavy 5 out of 10)
    GSF 1250s (best all round to date 8.5/10)
    ST1300 (enough said 6/10)
    VFR 800 (boring 7/10)
    SV1000s (lazy and fat, 6.5/10)
    Firestorm (great for getting the front up, but not my style 7/10)
    ZX14 (big and lazy for a 1400cc engine, you can’t get the torque out of it unless you rev it above road legal speeds 7/10)
    ZRX 1200R (nice for a naked and very useable, pity about the colour and retro look 7/10)
    B-King (back in your box 6/10)
    Sprint (boring, 5.5/10)
    Tiger (not bad, but no panniers or add-on’s for ~18k, over-priced 7.5/10)
    TDM900 (expensive and very similar to the F800ST, not a value buy 6/10)
    CBF1000 (Not bad, luggage system way to expensive, but the ride is pretty sweet 8/10)

    Pro’s picks:

    1. Bandit
    2. CBF1000
    3. Tiger
    4. ZX14
  2. how many days of fun and games to cover that list off?
    And does this mean you have made a desision or are still looking?
  3. You really don't know how to meet something halfway do you PP? :LOL: It's either Black or White. Period.

    So how many bikes in the garage now?
  4. That is bloody hilarous
  5. That is F#$king hilarious
  6. Thirded!
  7. I noticed all the bikes you like were inline 4's and a triple
    says more about your preference for blandness.
    You don't like twins is all.
  8. Contradicting yourself? Saying you dont like lazy low down power but then say you dont want to have to revv to get it either?

  9. The Triumph Tiger does have panniers, top-box and other add-ons too.
  10. I think he means, "The $16500+ORC Triumph Tiger doesn't include heated grips, luggage, panniers, or other farkles despite costing $3000 more than a V-strom 1000".

    (It does include adjustable Speed Triple suspension, adjustable levers and one billion horsepower however. And looks $3000 nicer too) ;)
  11. Better suspension. Better motor. Better looks. Better finished. More integrated options. You get what you pay for.
  12. Tiger's very probably got a worse gearbox though. Gear ratios are great, action is poor. Everyone says it gets better after a few thousand kilometres, but out of the box it's a heavy-shifting clunky piece of work.
  13. Yeah, the 675 was the same. A bit stiff. It's pretty slick now though. The demo 675 that I rode with 4000kms on the dial shifted so effortlessly that I had to check the gear indicator to be sure that I had actually changed gears. My 675 isn't THAT loose though, you definitely know that you've clicked up or down, and the action is more positive now than I remember it being on my old Yamaha's or Honda's.

    The Triumph gearboxes just seem to be a bit heavy-duty initially, but soon free up with enough use. The demo bike seems to suggest that the boxes don't mind a bit of rough treatment, and in fact, actually benefit from it.
  14. Re: A weekend of test rides with special disappointment on B

    Disappointed with BMW?

    Try a K1200R.
  15. Re: A weekend of test rides with special disappointment on B

    I agree :grin:

    I swore I'd never go back to an inline 4 but after just one ride this baby brings that same shit-eating grin that I was getting from my SP1 minus the 127db exhaust racket.

    It's so smooth, comfortable and stupidly quick.
  16. Re: A weekend of test rides with special disappointment on B

    not to mention that its ridiculously goodlooking =P~
  17. Mate if you're looking at sport-tourers, then you have missed the two best ones out there.

    Honda Blackbird
    BMW K1200S

    The blackbird is a favourite of owners around the world, in fact many who have moved on to other models still mourn the change. It's not the latest design, but it's still a fantastic bike.

    The K1200S is better still IMO. I wrote up a brief report on it too, can't find it now. It's a brilliant bike, a mate of mine (who is a very experienced and sensible rider, and has owned many bikes) has had one for just over a year and he simply loves it too. Incredibly comfortable, very fast - possibly the best sport-tourer out there.
  18. Extremely costly though :(