For those considering the purchase of a new Toyota Yaris because of its high gas mileage, I recommend the K bike here. About the same price if you get the Yaris fully loaded. Think of the Beemer as the economy car of your dreams.
The first BMW that I actually like. And like a lot.
Only problem is that for $14,300 you are approaching a real bike domain. Kawi 2000 for example is 14,499 MSRP last time I checked. After all, we are talkimg about 83 lbft vs. 122 lbft. This is exactly the figure that sorts the men from the boys.
Lots of technology here, some good, some bad, some just for the heck of it. And what about those looks? After all, I like to go in the garage at the end of the day and have a couple of cold ones whilst ogling my baby. Not an option here, I rather look at my compressor!
Also the handling leaves much to be desired, and don't even talk about value.
Of course, the BMW is more aerodynamic (sp?) and 200 lbs. lighter dry. I think that more than makes up for any difference in torque. It'd leave the 2000 behind in a straight line, I'd guess (bet, even).
Of course, it's all an issue of what kind of riding you want to do and whether you need the handling of standard or not.
Sixty-two inch wheelbase? 10 inches longer than a nekkid little XB12? Crimony. A locomotive. That would seem to argue against this Beemer's corner-carving capability. And although a fair amount of torque is available, its offset by a lot of mass. (Erik Buell's old rules about low mass, centralized, and low CG do not appear to be much heeded here.)
I share previous comments questioning this bike's intended buyers. It might be a tough sell here in the States. Odd appearance, pricey, and there's some tough competition in the marketplace. Still, its an interesting design and I'm glad BMW has brought it to the U.S. market. Diversity in motorbikes is a good thing.
But for $15K+ I can get a KLR650 and an FZ1. If I go used I can get the above plus a VTX1800.
Like any other BMW motorcycle, just wait a couple of years and pick one up on the used market, if you really want one. The days are loooonnnng gone when BMW built any better quality than anyone else. In fact, with rear hub problems BMW has been experiencing, their quality is middle of the pack. Definitely not worth the Beemer tax.
I've just never wanted to join the BMW snobs. They can be worse than Harley snobs.