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Old 08-05-2003, 08:54 AM   #31
Tigercub
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

I'm with the cheap Jap bike crowd myself. I suggest a used Suzuki Katana or Honda Nighthawk or equivalent. Spend a year with one of those and if you like the sport you'll be ready to dump the bike for what you paid for it and move on to the bike you've thinking about during the past year.



You need to get street riding skills!! Practice braking and turning and then start developing street riding strategies as quickly as possible. Save the dirt bike for later, when better handling skills are desired. Starting out you need to position yourself correctily in traffic at all times! Best of luck.
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:02 AM   #32
ikonoklass
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

I started riding again four years ago after a 14-year layoff. Bought an F650 and outgrew it within a year. Fortunately, I only lost about $600 when I sold it. I think you would be better off buying a beater and riding it for at least a season before getting a Beemer, and then I would spend the coin to get one some rungs up the ladder from the F650. They look nice, but they're anemic. Also, as someone else said, consider buying used. In the last four years, I've owned two new bikes, plus my current used Sprint ST, and the deal I got on this thing is practically criminal. If you use common sense, you can buy perfectly good bikes at around half price. P.S., I haven't ridden an SV650, but I suspect it would spank the Beemer you're considering.
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:07 AM   #33
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

I know you didnt mean it but it sure looks like you told him to buy a used blackbird. Bad bad choice!
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:09 AM   #34
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

Suzuki Hayabusa. Definitely
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:18 AM   #35
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

Those wings do work well dont they? I rented one and when we got off for breakfast I put down the kick stand and walked away. Not 3 steps later and it starts to slowly go over. Being new to the bike I didnt move the kickstand to its all the way forward position, just moved it down like every other bike Ive ever ridden. Once I picked it back up, which wasnt half as hard as I assumed it would be there wasnt a scratch on it.
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:20 AM   #36
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

Another BMW fan chiming in here - it would really be worth your while to look at an older BMW - the "airheads" as they're called.



These bikes are incredibly fun to ride, are very reliable with the proper maintenance, and you can get one in very good shape for $3k. Easy to resell too. My guess is once you get an airhead, you'll never sell it (but you may add another bike to your collection .



For more advice, sign up for the "Airhead List" for airhead bmw's at:



http://www.airheads.org/



Select the "email Lists" link.





This is a very friendly list - you'll get advice on how to buy and maintain your airhead BMW. Someone in your area will probably volunteer to help you check out a potential bike if you ask for help.



If you do sign up, i recommend using the "digest" format, as this helps manage the volume of email generated.



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Old 08-05-2003, 09:22 AM   #37
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

Only if somebody has first put on a turbo and N.O....
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:25 AM   #38
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

I did the same thing with a KLR 650. After ten years off I bought a KLR, put 11k on the clock then sold it and bought my K12RS. 23k later I'm still smiling like the fool I am.
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:25 AM   #39
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

Forget about the F650 unless it really appeals to you. It isn't as though it has anything in common with the BMWs you have a fetish for, other than the blue and white roundel on the side.



If you can comfortably afford a BMW, there isn't really any reason not to start there. For one thing, the naked ones don't tend to sustain a lot of damage in parking lot drops, if you spend the extra couple hundred on the valve cover protectors and leave the bags on to begin with. Stay away from the GS unless you are over 6'0" with a fairly long inseam. SMaller riders can ride the bike, but it takes experience to deal with a fairly heavy bike when you are on your tippy toes. If you are of average height or shorter, stick to the R1150R if you are going to go BMW. The others are all pretty tall for a newbie.



About that GT. Understand that the sporting K bikes are pretty specialized bikes and you want to make sure it is really the bike you are looking for. All of the oilhead sport tourers have faster handling for the twisties. The K bikes excell in long sweepers, but they are definitely more work when the going gets tight. They have a long wheelbase and there's a lot of weight there, too. On the other hand, when making miles at a rapid pace, whether on the slab or in the sweepers, the K bikes are phenomenal. I'd suggest that you make sure that a more nimble sport tourer isnn't more your cup of tea before you commit to an $18,000 K bike. I go back and forth, myself, but finally commited to having a K(RS) bike PLUS another bike for that very reason.



The SV650 is a great place to start, and is perhaps a bit more versatile than a GS500 or EX500. I suspect you'll be happier wth the SV in the longer term. It is a great little play bike that you may find yourself keeping for years. The prices on used ones are prety good, and they seem to be readily available.



One last thing. Those folks who talk about BMWs holding their value are on crack! You take a $2000-$3000 hit the minute you drive it off the showroom floor, and you lose another couple thou over the course of the first year or so. BIkes under 12K miles resell fairly well, but once past that mark, there is a lot of competition in the marketplace. A well cared for high miles BMW is usually a great deal, though. Just look for one owned by a slightly overweight, white haired, bearded guy with grease under his fingernails and you can pretty much guarantee that it has been meticulously cared for and will last forever.



--sam
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:34 AM   #40
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Default Re: First bike for a BMW fan?

Well, I have a little knowledge about used BMW pricing and bikes. I am the Buy-Sell-Swap editor for the BMW Riders Association's On The Level. Have been for 5 or 6 years now. (uh yeah, I ride Harleys too)



Search out a used R80 (RT, GS, whatever) or an R65 (1981-1983 are my favorites for this model) for a good first bike. They are amazingly easy to ride and you get a full dose of what a BMW was/is for between $1500 and $2500, may be less. Maitenance is a must, but, for the most part, is easy enough. Best part is, unless you trash it, you will be able to get all your money out of it. This alone makes more sense then buying a used Japanese bike whose price ususally ends up being around ZERO by the 3rd or 4th owner....If a multi is more your taste, a good used K75 (RT, S, whatever) is a great choice for a first bike as well! They go for about the same price as the R bikes. They are a little more expensive to maintain, but only if somethng breaks. Trust me, that doesn't happen often.



Anyhow, is the F650 a real BMW? Of course it is, just one of a different stripe, that's all...they are just too new to be really cheap, by BMW standards anyway!



There is one little caveat. These bikes really grow on you, especially the older ones. I would still have my R80RT if the original owner had not tracked it down and wanted it back!



That's my 2 cents worth anyhow...



James Allmond

Current Stable

2003 HD FLHTCI

2000 BMW K1200LT

1988 HD FLHS/Watsonian Cambridge

1951 HD GE (Servi-Car)

Priors:

1971 Kaw KZ100 G24R

197? Yam 500 Twin of some sort....

1978 Yam 650 Special

1981 BMW R65

1982 HD FXR

1985 BMW R80RT

1995 BMW K1100LT

1996 BMW R1100RT (2 of them)

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