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OK,

Points well taken but just to be argumentative.....



Another thing I did not like about my K75S was the maintainence required of the shaft drive. I like shaft drive, smooth, clean, etc...but BMW recommended I take the whole thing apart every 10,000 and lube the splines or risk major damage. That is not my idea of simple and it's easy to put 10,000 + miles a year on a bike. I don't want to rebuild half the thing every year. I don't know what BMW recommends for the new boxers so maybe this is no longer a concern.



The concept of fuel injection is simple but good luck fixing or tuning one in your garage let alone out on the road. I guess I could learn with $2000 worth of computers and cables but I would rather use my $5 screwdriver and $7 wrench to change a jet or two.



I've heard the arguments about how you can start it and ride away instantly. Even if I could do that with a carburated bike, I wouldn't...I believe it is good for the engine to let it warm up for a minute or two. Also, I use this time to walk around the bike and do a pre-ride inspection. This has saved my buns a couple of times.



I've also heard the argument about how FI is self adjusting for altitude. OK but I've literally been all around the UAS and Canada on carb equipped bikes from below sea level (Death Valley to over 12,000) and never missed a beat.
 

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Re: R750R at $6999

You'll never see one. It doesn't cost them any less to produce a smaller version of the engine, in fact it'll cost them MORE because they'll have to produce the tooling first. That's why you don't see the R850R anymore. Changing the size of the engine won't make it any less expensive, I don't know why people think it should. Stripping off accessories, using cheaper materials, THAT would make it less expensive. It would also make it "NOT A BMW."
 

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Re: BMW Problems

I have to concur with this reader. I've owned a number of bikes (Hondas, Yamahas, a Harley Sportster, and a R1100R BMW). I've never had a single problem with any of my bikes EXCEPT the Beemer, which was the most expensive of the bunch.

This fuel injected oilhead twin has been around now for 8 years and they STILL can't solve the surging problems? My 1996 R surged so badly the engine would simply shut off at random times. It spend 6 weeks in the shop during the first few months I owned it and even the factory rep couldn't get the bike to run.

I like the design, the handling, the availablility of ABS and the performance of these bikes, but they are simply not worth the money BMW is asking. A previous post mentioned that there is no comparison between the Honda Nighthawk and the BMW twins. I agree. Honda deserves their reputation for inexpensive and reliable bikes because they have earned it.

Online BMW discussion boards are filled with tips for fixing all of the leftover problems from the factory like the surging fuel injection, ABS that fails to initialize properly, and other minor issues. I know I'm sounding like a disgruntled previous BMW owner (and I am, to a degree) but the fact of the matter is that these bikes are not up to the quality levels their prices would dictate.
 

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Trust

I appreciate these comments. I like the RR in theory a lot (6-speed, good torque, trick suspension, shaft, ABS, should go hundreds of thousands of miles) but I see a lot of stories similar to this. Call me selfish, but I want a bike that will go for years with routine maintenance. I don't want a bike that I'm afraid to take more than 50 miles away from a dealer. I know lots of guys have beemers that are rock-solid, but the issue is what percentage. If 99% are rock-solid, that's fine. If 80% are rock-solid and 20% are lemons, then I'm not interested in those odds.

Last year I wanted a road-biased dual-sport and looked long and hard at the F650GS. Great bike, great build, great looks, but serious problems with the FI mapping. No thanks. I got a KLR650 -- yes it's ugly, crude, and about as sexy as the stomach flu, but it's rock-solid reliable, and will easily go until I get tired of it, and then someone else will run it for another 10 years. To me, low tech and simple can be a good thing. It's a lot easier to fix under a tree.

This year I want a sporty standard that will handle some light touring. If the RR comes out and all the reports are that it's as reliable as a brick, then I'll be there. But if there are reports of FI problems here and ABS problems there, and maybe a few cracks in the block where the trick suspension mounts, then I'm going to save $2,000+ and get a low-status UJM that I understand, trust and can rely on.
 

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Opposed twin engines

Does anyone know why no one besides BMW has ever used an opposed-twin engine? I think it adds lot of character, and though some people say the design is "antiquated,"...so is a 45-degree V-twin.

A Honda opposed twin would likely cost less (fewer James Bond gadgets), and have lower repair costs (cheaper parts cost). And it would still have that neat Indiana Jones atmosphere to it.

Is there some fault to the engine design that I don't know about that keeps everyone besides BMW from using it?
 

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Re: Opposed twin engines

i DON'T THINK THERE IS AN INHERANT DESIGN FLAW. EVERY ENGINE IS A COMPROMISE. ON THE OPPOSED TWIN, THE PISTONS SHOULD N THEORY CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT VIBRATION WISE. THE CRANK IS PERPENDICULAR TO THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL AND THAT CAN CAUSE SOME TORQUE STEER BUT AGAIN THAT CAN BE CORRECTED WITH A COUNTER BALANCER. HAVING THE CYLINDERS OUT IN THE WIND IS GOOD FOR COOLING BUT BAD FOR GROUND CLEARANCE. BMW HAS AN UNOFFICIAL RACING BIKE WITH ABOUT A 37 INCH SEAT HIGHT IN AN EFFOR TTO GAIN CORNERING CLEARANCE. YOU ARE RIGHT THE V-TWIN IS AN OLD DESIGN BUT THE KEY IS, HARLEY HAD AND STILL HAS A HUGHE MARKET SHARE. THE JAPANESE WANT A PIECE OF THAT MARKET. IF BMW'S MARKET SHARE WAS AS BIKE I THINK THE JAPANESE WOULD TRY TO MOVE IN ON IT ALSO WITH THEIR OWN OPPOSED TWIN.
 

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Retro Airhead?

I too think that BMW has a need for a moderately priced standard, one that would be suitable for a newer rider or someone unable (or unwilling) to fork over the $8300 for an F650 or $8995 for the R11x0R. My thought was: hey, why not a Retro Airhead?

It'd suit the "Retro" market that is developing here in the US (W650, Bonniville, Drifter, etc) and provide a good, sturdy bike for both newer riders and experienced ones. It wouldn't cost them a whole lot to implement either (tooling should still be around, dealers already carry all the spares, etc).

IIRC, the R80GS was/is still being made and sold as a "value" priced motorcycle in countries like South Africa and New Zealand. The old R100R was basically a street dressed GS - so why not take those curently produced frames, motors, etc and bring back the old airhead as an 800cc standard? I'm thinking of the last R100R's, with black frames and tanks, chrome headlights, and perhaps a nice chrome exhaust.. that would hit the buttons, I think. Yes, compared to the R1100 series t's got carbs and a "normal" suspension, but it's still be a great bike for newer riders.

Think about it: R80R @ $6495-6995? It'd sell, and I don't think they'd cannibalize the sales of the other BMW models either - anyone wanting an R1100GS is not going to buy an R80R and vise versa. It might have an effect on used BMW prices, which may be one reason my BMW isn't embracing the lower price ranges. Why make a cheaper bike when those buyers will pay high prices for slightly used bikes, which keeps the used prices up and the depreciation down... this part I know, as I'm shopping for a used R850/1100R right now. Yow!

- Erston
 

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Re: Retro Airhead?

I think that is a WONDERFUL idea, Erston. The tooling is already around. Since there would be less fancy gadgetry than the R1150R, you could actually price the bike significantly lower (unlike the R850R). And the styling could be wonderful.

Think--a bike with an R1150R seating position, dated but reiliable engine, and R1200C rear fender, taillight assembly, and exhaust pipes. Wouldn't that look BEAUTIFUL? For $6995, it could very easily dominate the "retro standard" market.
 

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No, you're mistaken. As long as you don't intend to make a career of being a starving student, you'll eventually be ahble to buy the bike you want as opposed to the bike you can afford. I was a starving student (one semester I was literally homeless) but that's over now. All things come to those who wait (patience is the rarest but most valuable of all human traits).
 

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Re: Opposed twin engines

Actually, I believe that Harley-Davidson did make a flat twin called the "Sport Twin" earlier in the century. Instead of mounting the engine longitudinally as in the Beemer, they mounted it transversely as in their v-twins. It did not sell for long. It may have been more of a "style" or marketing issue rather than any inherent problem with the engine design. I'm not really sure why it failed.

Ural sells a flat twin but it's a copy of the old BMW engines from the 1930s (design copied by the Russian army during the war).

Moto Guzzi uses a 90 degree twin mounted longitudinally in the frame like the BMW. They get the balance and "character" benefit of the V with the air cooling of having the jugs in the air flow like BMW.

There are some other negatives to the boxer twin. One is that it makes the bike pretty wide. It limits the placement of the foot pegs (note the R1200C in which your toes are 1/2" from the cylinder heads) and if one lays the bike down, it lands on the cylinder heads which could be pretty expensive to fix.
 

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It may just be that I'm not used to BMWs; there isn't a dealer within 2½ hours drive of Pensacola, Florida. With that caveat, I have to say those are both incredibly ugly bikes. The front fender of the R looks as if someone spilled some plastic & decided to call it a fender. And exactly what is that shelf behind the "solo seat"? The bug eyed fairing on the RT is strange also. I can appreciate the technology involved and the excellant thought given to braking system. (BMW apparently realizes that most competent riders want the back brake pedal to work only the back brake for a reason. Honda doesn't seem to understand this.) But, damn, they have to make it so ugly?
 

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Re: Opposed twin engines

Harley made opposed twins on two occasions. In the late teens, early 20s, the Sport model was an opposed twin with the engine in line with the frame. It was underpowered & never sold well. In World War Two, Harley made the XA, a boxer twin with shaft drive that was a direct copy of a german bike. They made it at the request of the government, but only about 1000 were made.
 

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Don't hold your breath...

BMW is about as likely to do that as they are to offer a Z3 at the same price as a Miata, and if they did offer such a bike they wouldn't produce enough to meet demand for fear of cannibalizing more profitable models so you'd end up paying more than $6999 due to the inevitable "vaseline tax" that accompanies short supply.

I'd like to see such a bike too though I doubt if it would dominate the retro standard market (to do that you've got to outsell the HD 883 which, contrary to popular belief, in *base* form is a standard just as it has been since 1957 when there was no such thing as a "cruiser"). I think they could sell at least as many 800cc air-cooled retro standards as Triumph and a lot more than Kawasaki whose W650 is a nice machine but bound to go the way of Honda's GB500 (a shame since that was far and away the prettiest Honda ever made!)
 

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From the reports I've heard from owners of these new bikes, they're considerably smoother, likely due to the new 6th gear.



I'm also curious, did you keep your R1100R long enough for the motor to break in? My R1100RS had the same feeling until around 10,000 miles. It's not uncommon for oilhead BMWs to have a VERY long break-in period, after which the smooth-out considerably.
 

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Holy crapoloa! Are those numbers right? BMW only sold 12,000 bikes in the US. No wonder they are so expensive - no way to achieve any economy of scale. Based upon the numbers of them I see around San Francisco, obviously everyone ever imported in the US is still on the road, which says beaucoup for reliability. BTW, why aren't Harley's nearly free, being as they produce over 200,000 per year. Also, my local Honda dealer is only getting 3 (three!) VTX's this year. So, obviously, I won't get to actually ride one before I decide whether or not to purchase one. That bites, so I will just stick to my four year old bike which sure isn't as shiny as some of the new ones.
 
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