Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Transition from a four to a twin. One persons view.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by nearlyempty, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. It has been a little over 4 months since I bought the BMW and I thought that I would share with you all some of my experiences of how I have adapted to the switch to the BM from a GSXR750. I’d be interested in your opinions on the following.

    First of all, let’s get one thing straight. I love the BM. It is a fantastic bike & I am really enjoying the challenge of learning how to ride it.

    The BM & the GSXR are of course, two completely different bikes. The GSXR is light, twitchy, flickable & rev hungry, whereas the BM is relatively heavy, stable, slow steering & with an engine that almost feels lazy in its’ power delivery. The GSXR feels fast, the BM fools you into thinking you are going much slower than you are.

    I didn’t think that the differences were affecting me too much at first. I wasn’t barrelling into corners hard on the brakes a-la the GSXR, frantically dancing through the gears trying deperately to keep the revs up to exit the corner, front wheel hovering an inch above the road surface with me clambering all over the front of the bike trying to keep it down. In fact I was doing none of that at all. If anything, I was riding the bike a little lazily, sat back on the seat, setting the bike up early and relying on the bike’s stability through the corner before using the torque of the engine to drive out the other side. But then, I was trying to learn a different bike & so was taking things fairly easy to begin with, as I adapted.

    I have always thought of myself as being a relatively fast road rider. In a ride I’d always be one of the guys at the front of the pack. That’s where I get my thrill, I am a sports bike rider & I love it. Things started to get a little more interesting with the BM when I began to ‘up’ the pace. With the GSXR it was so easy to find that rhythm, the point at which you feel that you are simply ‘thinking’ the bike along that makes riding a sports bike so rewarding. This experience has thus far eluded me on the BM.

    I am a rider that, when riding quickly, traditionally likes to ride on his toes, very front endy, not really sitting on the seat, merely resting on it. On the BM I like to rely on turning the bike quickly and powering out the other side. I find that I am reaching a wall, a point at which everything starts to appear to happen too quickly, preventing me from going any faster. Not wanting to get into trouble or out ride myself, when I reach this point I slow things down again & try to work out what is happening. I try different seating positions, slowing my corner entry, point and squirt against high corner speed. Each time slowing it down and gradually building up the pace again to see how the bike reacts. It’s all very confusing & I suspect that this is the crux of the problem. Concentration.

    I remember similar things happening when I was learning to ride. So many things to take in that the mind becomes fuddled and confused trying to process everything. Everybody goes through this & it is interesting to find it happening again. So many new things to take in with the bike that I have little concentration left, at high speeds, to concentrate on what is going on around me.
    Knowledge is a powerful thing, and knowing this takes the frustration away, it gives me something to work on & a fresh challenge. This is what I love about bikes.
    Time, I think to slow things down again. Go back to basics and take it easy.

    After all, I am getting old & BMW’s are traditionally old men’s bikes :)

    Any thoughts?
  2. I guess the ideal thing would be to have both bikes still, so you could go nutso when you felt like it, or ride more sedately when you felt like it. Ultimately every bike is a compromise, and maybe as we get older we like more composed riding. Still personally I envy you having a BM; I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but for many of us owning a BM is an unobtanium experience, but one to which we aspire.
  3. I just saw the new Honda 1000 naked bike on the cover of the latest AMCN, and now I'm in lust! Maybe this would be an ideal compromise bike, not for you, but for others contemplating the same dilemma.
  4. Given the option I'd also have a 400. For the GSXR to be fun, you needed to ride it pretty damn hard, which meant you were going pretty damn fast. The 400 was just as much fun but at lower speeds. Just need to convince the missus :roll:

    I think the BM price issue is, for the most part a misnomer. Mine wasn't that expensive (2003 model - $15000 - far, far cheaper than the Duke I was considering).
    (I also reckon you're about to get slated pretty badly for suggesting that we all aspire to owning one :LOL: :LOL: )
  5. Hey 'Empty, so what were the factors that led you to choose the Beemer? I'm just interested to hear what you looking for, or what you thought it would offer?
    (Not a criticism - just curious :) )
  6. No worries, mate.

    1/ I decided that I wanted a twin a while ago. Fours are great, but you need to keep the motor spinning to get the most out of them. I felt that I wanted something with more grunt, something that only a twin could provide. Riding the Duke reinforced this.
    2/ I live in the city & needed something that I could ride for an hour to reach decent roads. As a comparison, on the GSXR on longer runs I needed regular rests every 30 mins to stretch. The Duke would have been similar, gorgeous and desirable as it was, an hour would have nearly killed me (the legs don't bend very well - the GSXR put paid to that :LOL: ).
    3/ The missus loves bikes but hasn't passed her test, so I needed something that could also take pillion. Again, the Duke would have been ruined with a pillion, whereas the extra weight of the BM & the easy to alter suspension made it much more pillion friendly.
    4/ I wanted something I could also play on. It needed to be sporty.

    The BM was a compromise. In an ideal world I'd have the Duke, an RT, & a 400 (and maybe a '91 era ZXR750 8) ), but in the real world I had to choose one bike & the BM just ticked all the boxes.

    It's great, I love it (but then I love all bikes :D ).
  7. OK, can see where you're coming from now. I quite like the styling, too, (except maybe for the "nostrils" :LOL: ).
    Hadn't thought about the pillion thing either ( Mrs Titus doesn't like the Trumpy, and it doesn't like her :? )
  8. Yeah, I don't like the front view either.

    The aim is to try and keep in front of everyone so all they can see is the rear :LOL:

    (The speed triple is a sexy beast though.)
  9. Get to ride the bike for 4 years like I have and you'll have a totally different perspective.
    I've scraped my boots on the bimmer no worries and kept up with a mate on his zzr1200 on the reefton and kept ahead of him on the black spur.
    If you sort out the suspension on the bimmer you will have a much more enjoyable ride through the twisties.
    There was a write up somewhere that a well ridden R1100s can outdo a well ridden R1 through the mountains.
    Says a lot for a big lazy twin.
    What suspension adjustments have you done to it?
    I find upping the preload 2 notches below max and softening the dampening a fraction on the rear makes a huge difference.
    Have your tyres 38 front/40-42 rear and you will realise that the bike will corner on rails.
    It is a much better cornering bike than you can imagine if you get to know it well enough.
  10. You may laugh, but a good compromise is the -Hayabusa-, the shear size of the motor gives you all the grunt you need, you barely need to rev the thing, the seating position is very relaxed for long trips and the thing can be tossed through the corners ala Reefton, also the pillion seat is very comfortable.

    now i dont ride one, but ride with 3 guys that do.
    i have ridden 2 of them and was amazed at the potential of the bike.
    Riding to Opollo Bay on his R1 "godfather" would be stuffed b4 the return trip home, on his Busa we can ride to NSW border and he'll get of saying "ok, now where?"
    Riding through Reefton some days, i really have to try hard to keep up with "Franky" on his, boy can he throw it around.
    They barely need to taken past 4 grand on the dial b4 changing gears, so heeps of grunt and feel very nimble from 30 khp plus.
    As for pillioning i spent half a trip to Corryong on one and was relaxed and comfortable as i could possibly imagine, they have firm but soft suspension and a nice wide flat pillion seat.

    would i buy one NO,
    why? because like you were, i'm a sportsbike rider, your only as old as you feel and i'm not about to slow down just yet.
    at your age now, i had a break of 10 years and like you was thinking at that stage, "i'm getting old, maybe a compromise this time around", but secounds later came to my senses :p
    the reason i'm posting this is simply because i didnt like the Busa's from the start, but have gained much respect for what the bike has to offer and that is an almost perfect compromise for both Touring and Sports riding.

    i better stop now otherwise i may talk myself into buying one :D

    cheers ratty ( aka Paul )
  11. Cheers mate.
    Yeah, the boots have gone down a few times at Reefton when I was starting out, but as I said I like to ride on my toes (needed to remove the pillion pegs to do this though).
    Interestingly I am struggling to get on with the Sportec tyres I fitted and actually prefer the Hi Sports that were on it before. The Sportecs grip well enough, but they feel vague and the Hi Sports seemed to have more feel. Maybe a suspension tweak will help.
    I haven't played with the suspension too much yet (other than stiffen the front), preferring to leave everything more or less stock until I have got used to the bike (don't want to take too many steps in one go). Now I am getting used to the bike I'll probably start to play around with the settings (first job, set the preload properly). My gut feeling is to raise the rear ride height a little, but I'll try adusting what I have before doing that (start with the cheaper options before forking out for new torque arms).
    Tyres are as you stated & I religiously check them before each ride. You're right, it makes a HUGE difference.
    I suppose that my main problem, thinking about it, is with the front. It's too vague & lacking in feel, which saps my confidence. I know the grip is there as the few scares I have had (tightening corners), I've always got the bike around. I just can't feel it.

    Going to the Cornering school at PI later in the year. I am hoping that this will help.
  12. I don't think my wallet could afford the tyres/ brakes/ speeding fines & my licence would never survive the demerits :eek:

    Did consider one for about 5 minutes though, until my wife slapped me ["I am NOT getting on the back of one of THOSE!"]. :LOL:
  13. If you can't feel the front your front damping is too hard.
    Seriously the stock suspension settings are way off. You gotta tweak the rear much more than the front.
    My suspension is stock but tweaking the settings make a huge difference.
  14. Need a day blatting up and down Reefton I reckon...
  15. Hey smee, we really should hook up for a ride some time.
  16. Would have to be post october because of the age of my little one and my having a hernia op in september.
    Come along to cofee night sometime.
  17. I've heard some excuses... (admit it, it's really the cold weather putting you off isn't it?) :D
    Seriously though, all the best for the Op, I'll still be around later in the year.

    Yeah, living where I do I really should make some time to pop over. One day :roll:
  18. Hehehehe I ride in all weather but getting a leave pass atm for a nice fang is as rare as hen's teeth.
    Since ya live in the area get yer ar.se down there.