Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The other contents...

In case anyone was wondering...

Let me tell you all about the new RT(W). From an RT perspective, I can appreciate the full fairings when it comes to long distance traveling, in rain or cold conditions. Those fairings are very nice at blocking lots of environmental issues and letting you sit in a little cocoon of air behind that wind sail they call a windshield and all that plastic. (It also blocks air during high temps of summer, not allowing as much cooling air flow.) It might be pointing out the obvious that while I can appreciate the bike and its features, the bike doesn't really appeal to me.

This is now the third RT that Oilburner has owned. His first was the 2009 demo bike that he was able to purchase after its "year" service with 2600 miles on it. I did not ride that bike too often. I was still new to riding and too afraid of dropping the darn thing and scratching up all that expensive plastic. I did ride it a couple times in the winter when I was underdressed and a long way from home. Comparing it to my R1200R, the handling just felt a little "off". Almost like it wasn't tracking well. Hard to imagine with only two wheels. We mentioned it a couple times to the dealer, and they did some research and measuring but never discovered anything.

After totaling that bike, he wasn't sure what he wanted as a replacement. Weeks of researching what he might want next, we were in the BMW dealership and his eyes completely lit up when he saw his second love in the form of a 2011 model. He was so distraught over the loss of the first one, he was having a difficult time thinking of any replacments. So when I saw how excited and happy he looked for the first time, I urged him into buying it then and there.

To give you a little history and tradition, when our little group first started riding, Oilburner's years of riding prompted a tradition of him riding everyone's bikes home from their maiden purchase. No one did that for Oilburner, since he was the backbone after all. And he seemed to have poor luck with his bikes. That meant the purchase of this brand new 2011 meant that we wanted to enforce tradition and have someone else ride his bike home! who would that be...

The difference in handling was night and day. I was still scared of dropping the thing, and wanted to be careful. But I was very impressed with how smooth it was compared to his '09. So while I still would never convert, it was a nicer bike in my opinion.

Fast forward to last Saturday. We bounced back and forth with tradition again and discussed riding each other's bikes home. It was a moot point since he has been so terribly ill that he wasn't capable of riding his home, and the GS wasn't ready. Be default I again rode his brand new 2014 R1200RT(W) home.

Wow. WOW!!!!!!!

The new oil and water cooled engine is fantastically smooth. That might also have something to do with a wet clutch. Oh my. So far, all our our BMW's have been dry clutches. This was a nice change. Oilburner also sprung for the "Pro Shift Assistant" that allows up and down shifting without the clutch. I didn't have the guts to try it. Then again, I was only on the bike about 7 miles.

I'm generally reluctant to do much horseplay or "feeling out" on bikes that are not mine. So it is quite surprising that I was flipping the bike through its paces, zigging and zagging across the lane to get a feel for the balance and handling a block away from the dealer. I tried to reign it in, but failed in another block when I goosed it to avoid having to stop for a very yellow light. Oops.

Another couple of blocks brought me to the larger thoroughfare. Saturday, time of day, empty roads. Just how did I get up to 70 mph?

This bike is fun. They managed to shave about 40 lbs of weight from the bike. They lowered the bars just a touch. It all added up to lighter weight, more flickable, lower center of gravity, and FUN! Don't get me wrong. I'm not a convert, but I caught myself daydreaming about a cross country ride behind those fairings. (It only lasted a second. I swear!)

Poor Oilburner, he had to watch me ride his new motorbike home. (He swears he didn't mind.) And as of the time of this post, he has only pushed the bike a few feet and ridden it exactly 12 feet in a forward direction. Unbelieveable.



  1. Lori:

    I wouldn't trust myself on another's Brand New Bike on it's maiden voyage. You were so brave but someone had to ride it home

    I've always had wet clutches, except for my R1200R and I notice it is a bit rough on initial meshing and it is hard to ride slowly You have to feather the clutch all the time. At parking lot speeds my Vstrom is much smoother.

    I have to make sure I don't do a demo ride or I'll be hooked with the new WC, Wet clutch. Waiting for impressions on your bike

    I notice the antenna. You mean you bought the factory stereo unit ?

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Agreed. I have been wary about riding other peoples bikes. I just don't do it. I hopped onto the '11 RT every once in a very great while. Unfortunately, I can see myself grabbing this one more often as it feels lighter and less bulky. It just feels smaller and easier to handle for me.

    Yes, the dry clutch is different. Love that burnt smell when slipping it heavily. :-( I had been riding them so long I didn't have any issues. But we were warned with marshalling that the slow speeds and heat down here have burnt out quite a few BMW's while on the job.

    No. Don't demo. Everyone I have talked to has failed their demo ride. The power is phenomenal.

    Yes, he purchased the factory stereo. He put every darn option on that thing except the anti-theft alarm, akrapovic exhaust, and auto-lock (where the push of a button would lock all of the side cases and glove compartments). Spoiled isn't he? His excuse was that he's never purchased an "ordered" bike before, and he is hoping this will be the last one for a very long time. :)

  3. I had a 2004 R1150RT, loved it, but it was never the same after the accident when the "spare bike" I got, an '87 R80 was just that much more fun to ride.....

    1. Isn't it funny how you can lose the feel of trust and symbiosis after something like that? And then the other one starts creeping up in favor. I'm sorry you lost your RT, but happy the R80 was treating you well.

  4. Pretty!!! Looks big and heavy to me, but pretty and shiny too.

    The only bike I ever rode home from the dealer myself was the Bonneville and I didn't like it. I think you two may be on to something.......

    1. I agree! I don't like the heavy, big bikes. The '11 felt that way to me. The '14 somehow doesn't. It just feels more comfortable. Hard to explain.

      Yep...there is something about having someone else ride home. Hard to stomach that they get to ride your bike first. But I would rarely let Oilburner on it after that. hehe ;)

  5. Looking good, however too much motorcycle for me to handle. I hope Mr Oilburner has better luck with this machine since he broke out of the (vicious) circle.

    Happy and safe riding!

    1. Hi Sonja, agreed. I like the ones that feel less bulky too.

      But it seems from NIkos' comment that bad luck is starting early. :(

  6. And how is your plunger rod?

    1. Oh Nikos....that crushed him! Thank you for passing on, but it is disappointing. Only 17 miles on the thing!!!

    2. BMW are lending my friend a K1600 whilst they sort out the issue!

    3. That seems like a nice trade. So is it indefinitely? Wish the owner of our place was that nice. He isn't, and they are a small shop, so don't lend bikes. I did threaten to go steal the old RT back until it was sorted. Oilburner thinks it's ok, he'll just ride my R1200R. I made him repeat himself 3 times before I actually understood him. ;)

  7. Very nice BG! Easy to see that changes have been made since my '82 was new. :)

    I can sense its wish to get out and cross some country from here. All the best to many safe and solid miles.

    1. Yeah, there have been a couple changes here or there... hehe

      You are is definitely chomping at the bit to get moving.

  8. Looks heavy and tall. But then again, your new GS will be even taller and just as heavy. Many have a hard time not being able to see the front wheel while riding and having the fairing attached to the frame instead of the forks.

  9. Ohhhh nice, a nice new shiny toy to play with. Who's a lucky girl for getting the first ride in too.

  10. never thought cars could be this pretty. no wonder men would go crazy over them haha! I am starting a new Pinterest board of motorbike pictures and I wish to include this. Please let me? Cheeeeeeers!!
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