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Old 03-14-2002, 06:27 PM   #21
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Exactly. See The Onion for an example. As a plus, they have a resident biker.
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Old 03-14-2002, 06:48 PM   #22
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Default Re: BMW R1150R reader feedback

First time poster here!

I subscribed as soon as I saw that the estimable Mr. Burns had signed on. I've subscribed to a lot of bike mags, and he is one of my favorite writers. His sense of irreverance is second to none.

"the footpegs on those bikes are in a stupid place"

Thank You! I cannot convince the Harley riders I know that they would be better off if their footpegs were directly under their asses. They always ask me how I can stand to ride my Bandit "all hunched up like that".

That being said, I think that the R is a pretty cool bike. I don't know if I would buy one, 'cause I have my eye on that FJR 1300.

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Old 03-14-2002, 06:57 PM   #23
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The biggest bang for the buck in the world of motorcycling would have to be a used 1200 Bandit. They can be had two years old, low miles, piped and jetted for under $5000.
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:12 PM   #24
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It is a heck of a bike and a BMW at that for $9900 bucks. All around street ride with great quality and some braggin rights. One of my bud's gettin' one em after I recommended and we checked out.

You've got to hand it to BMW too cause they don't make a machine that you can't get on , put a set of bags on, and ride to somewhere far away in relative comfort and don't even have to think about the bike being good for the trip.

That being said I don't have a darn Beemer but instead have Harley and a pink slip for a new FJR. May have to reconfigure my stable to sell the hot Dyna, add and Ultra Harley, sell the FJR and add the darn GS or R

Hmmmmm - What about it!!!!
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:24 PM   #25
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This really does happen to us - I remember 25 years ago racing and looking down to all these common street bikes and then, some years after having those looking at Harleys the same as I always had - as a blob of crud - then I actually took one of the blobs for a ride. Presto- chango, call a few race buds and then have hot Harleys in garage. Now at 45 I find myself looking at Wings and touring rigs and GS's.

Too bad we can't have em all
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Old 03-14-2002, 08:00 PM   #26
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Glad...no, really glad to hear that the correct footpeg--bum/tush/arse relation is appreciated by other right thinking motorcyclists.

Ever ridden one of those feet-first cruiser thingies? Ride off from a stop and spend several frantic seconds trying to find the place to put your feet. And then there's the air rushing up your pant leg parting your leg hair...

BMW has it sussed. Sit on one of the 1150R's forbears and see what I mean. The footpegs on most of their old standard air-cooled "R" bikes are just below the saddle nose. That coupled with european bars imparts a riding position that is, to me, rational: rider control *and* all-day staying power. Just like my '73 R75/5...

Not that I mind a shorter snort on a gixxer, fizzie, or duc either, though.
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Old 03-14-2002, 08:23 PM   #27
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"When it came time to do the "Naked Bike" story at Motorcyclist last year, the new 1150R got left out because, er, I don't know why, really, but it was in good company as those guys didn't want to include the Triumph Speed Triple either. (Yours truly lobbied that both bikes should be in the mix, which is probably, come to think of it, precisely why they were left out.)"

Still bitter, despite the Paxil.

"It weighs a bit less, and sits lower on its most excellent suspension (which is also nice if you're on the short side like me; it's much easier to swing your stubby little leg over the R). "

Still little.

" That's the part they left out at the big magazines: performance cruisers are fine to take to lunch or down to the beach, but they sit in the garage when it's time for the long commute or the weekend ride to Grandma's. The reason why is perfectly simple: the footpegs on those bikes are in a stupid place. StoooPid"

And still bucking the establishment, and writing well about it. Good work, Burns. You and Jay McDaniel (of the late, lamented activebike.com) call 'em like you see 'em, instead of like the ad department sees 'em.
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:01 PM   #28
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Senna, no, it's not for real. Without a windshield of some sort the Roadster is useless above 75 mph. At that point any freeway work is thoroughly tiring.

You have to get a windshield to maintain and enjoy freeway speeds, period. No way you could tour enjoyably without one on this bike, not unless you're used to something primitive like a Harley with no windshield.
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:31 PM   #29
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Burnsie, you ol' asswipe, long time no talk, yada, yada, it's great to see you here, where hopefully we'll get to read your irreverent but spot on brain farts a lot more than just once a month now.

I love the irony your article here predictably engenders in the responses of the readers.

Every time a Roadster test (or any "sensible bike" test) is conducted the road tester always makes the obligatory comment about how the bike will stay with and even embarrass top shelf sport bikes. Immediately following the article is a chorus of "Hussahs!!" from the BMW Faithful and Blue Hairs Everywhere, most of whom gauge their prowess by anecdotal evidence consisting of once having blown off some newbie squid who was riding a beater ZX-7.

And yes, I'm exaggerating. (Slightly.)

At a certain level of riding, yes, the Roadster will hang with most anything and it'll be easy riding as it's doing so, because of the torquey nature of the upright handle bar endowed bike. At that point, riding a GSX-R1000 is every bit as vacuous and poser-riffic as the Codgers would have us believe.

And yes, this level of riding does encompass probably 80% of what's seen on the local Racer Road.

However, just as the BMW Faithful like to roll their eyes at the sportbike crowd for absurd claims that can't be matched in the real world it's equally true that the BMW rider who truly thinks his steed will in any way keep a well ridden 954 (or whatever) in sight is just as guilty of internal combustion myopia.

There's the irony. Old Smart Guys are just as capable of self delusion as Young Dumbasses.

All that being said, this R1150R is all any non track school junky or racer needs in a canyon, below 100 mph at least. (And to me, on public roads, that's where sportriding is most fun and challenging, in second and third gear 60-90 mph flowing corners. If I'm regularly living well over 100 mph in the corners than it's time to take it back on the track.)

Changing gears here, keep an open mind please and listen up. What I'm about to detail might seem like a very strange notion yet it's an entirely viable option to a bike like the R1150R.

The R1150 (the non ABS version) costs $10K, before you add the $650 hard bags, one of which is oddly shaped and only about half sized due to BMW's incredibly stupid bag-pipe relationship on the Roadster.

For about $10,650 what you have is about 55 litres of carrying capacity aboard a two cyclinder air cooled bike that makes 80 rear wheel hp and decent torque. The bike weighs a helluva lot though, and it won't rev to save its life, so it's still pretty dog slow, especially cresting Tioga Pass at 9,000' elevation.

It's doable for touring with a little windshield, provided you pack lightly and you can stand the incessant motor buzz that lives RIGHT THERE between 75-85 mph.

Are ya with me so far? $10,650, and you've got a great commuter-decent sporty bike-light touring bike.

Now, try this one on for size, and hear me out till the end before you fall over laughing.

You mosey on down to your local Suzuki shop, or even the Classifieds section. Who cares? The bike hasn't changed since its introduction so you don't HAVE to buy new.

However, to make this apples-apples let's say you want a new bike. Sell some crack and bring your ill gotten booty to your Suzuki dealer, in the amount of $6K. What you'll get for $6K is an unfaired SV650 plus an additional two year unlimited mileage warranty, for a total of three years warranty. (That betters the BMW's warranty because it's three years and unlimited miles, vs the BMW's three years and 36,000 miles.)

Now, while you're there, scoot on over to the Parts Department and cut them a check for about $2000. For that sum you will receive in turn these items:

-One fully adjustable Penske shock configured to your requirements by Lindemann Engineering, an item that obliterates any OEM shock.

-One set of Race Tech Emulators and a set of, say, .85 fork springs. (Unless you're Boehm sized, in which case you oughtta go ahead and spring for some .90s, or even 1.0s. If you're under 200 lbs the .85s are the deal.)

-Once bottle of 15 Wt fork oil.

-One set of steel braided brake lines.

-Suzuki's little flyscreen windshield.

-One set of "Hot Grips" heated grips.

-One set of size 40 main jets and some size 17.5 pilots.

-One carbon fiber Yosh RS-3 full race exhaust system. (Errrr, this item is optional but if you don't get it for this particular bike Dante has a special ring set aside just for you in MotoHell For People With No Mechanical Aesthetic Whatsoever. If you should choose not to get this item, go ahead and bask in your lameness and enjoy the $600 you can subtract from that $2K check I told ya to write.)

-One set of Ventura Luggage, comprised of quick detach mounting brackets and 90 litres of the best and most versatile hard mounted luggage God ever invented for sporty bikes.

Now, let's go for the worst case scenario. Let's assume you don't do your own wrenching.

Sheepishly saunter on over to the Service Department and cut them a check for, oh, $500 and dump all this ***** on the counter of the service writer and enjoy the befuddled look on his mug as you exclaim in your best "Performance Bike" British hooligan accent, "Right. Sorted. Here's the whole lot o' bollocks, ya whingin' tosser!" (But make sure to remind them to set the full mixture screws to 2 1/2 turns out from full, and to add two washers under the clip.)

Now, how much have we spent?

$8,500, including an optional pipe and $500 labor.

You say you're a manly monkey who can handle such mechanical canoodlings yourself, and you want a quiet bike, like the BMW? Okay, you're at $7400, and you're gonzo.

Now, in the Grand Parlance of "Motorcyclist" (circa the Carrithers-Burns War Years), what is the crux of this here biscuit? What hath your hard extorted $8500 or $7400 sheckels wrought you?

What will you be riding when you, ahem, take up the cudgels?

Here's what.

You are riding something that with the one major exception of shaft drive will now out tour the Roadster, while ripping its lungs out to an utterly embarrassing degree in any sporting situation, all the while being about three light years more fun than any BMW will ever aspire to be.

How is this possible? Easy. The SV's rear wheel 70 ponies arrayed in a 90 degree v-twin liquid cooled manner are eerily smooth at highway speeds, decidedly moreso than the BMW's in fact, and those 70 ponies are only having to propel something weighing a mere 353 lbs dry. (With the Yosh pipe, otherwise it's 363 stock.)

In the real world, your SV will tip the scales at an Ally McBeal scoffing 405 lbs with a full tank of gas, or about 7000 lbs lighter than the BMW.

This power to weight ratio disparity and the SV's much higher revving capacity simply allows this SV to annihilate the BMW in any test of acceleration. (Or fun. Or wheelies. Or stoppies. Or wheelies.)

(It wheelies like you wouldn't believe.)

Its light weight, much shorter wheelbase and anorexic build make it a 125 GP bike compared to a Pro Blunder AMA bike in terms of throw it around flickability.

The suspension on your bike now is much more versatile and precise than the BMW's, imbuing your SV with overall handling the BMW will never approach.

What about.........character??

"But Van, you ignoramus, the SV is a disposable little generic Japanese Ducati wannabe and the BMW has a histroy of struedel narfing yodelers in suspenders behind it! It's a......BMW!!"

Cool. Great. Fire up this here SV, blip the throttle even once, hop on it and ride it around the block just one time and then do the same with the BMW and THEN tell me which bike absolutely screams "character" and which bike absolutely whispers "Singer".

Oh, btw, this same SV, and its touring capabilities? It recently completed an almost 4000 mile two up tour across the western United States and British Columbia, and it does a daily 106 mile freeway commute.

"Dude, you're just a glutton for punishment. I've heard about guys like you, guys that can will their mind into feats of superhuman endurance and pain tolerance, like those fire walker Hindu dudes and those dads you see with their daughters at N' Synch concerts!"


Other bikes on which I've toured? Among others there was my ST1100, for one, and.........BMW's big Roadster.

No, the SV won't tour with the same nonchalant serenity of the ST. But except for the shaft drive it's a BETTER tourer than the Roadster, simply because the motor is so much smoother, the wind protection is identical, the seating position is slightly better (you're at least slightly canted into the wind) and, most of all, my freaking wife says so!!

She says the BMW's passenger seating position would've killed her with pain if the seating position that places her squarely behind me staring at the back of my helmet hadn't first bored her to death.

And her ass took weeks to forgive her after being subjected to the BMW's nasty crowned seat.

Then there was our combined embarrassment over not being able to properly blow by a series of motorhomes at elevation on the BMW, because the damn thing was just so hang dog pokey.

The SV, in that same situation, ripped on by those motorhomes like Tanya Harding running out to her pick 'em up truck after hearing about another Fox Network freak show audition.

Bottom line, if you can stand to have a couple-few thousand dollars still residing in your wallet and you can live without shaft drive and your chaffeur won't give you too much grief over not having a spinning propeller on the tank there's simply no dynamic way in which this thusly set up SV doesn't completely wipe the floor with the BMW.

And quit laughing already!!

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Old 03-15-2002, 12:16 AM   #30
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Default Re: BMW R1150R reader feedback

Welcome to the world of grown-up motorcycling! Where I live it rains a lot and it's cold in winter. When I'm out riding in these conditions, what do I see? Other BMs. Only when it's dry and sunny do the little coloured butterflies of the sportbikes appear. It's something to do with real-world performance, comfort, and capability. And maybe heated grips.

Some quick things to consider: one, a four or five year old R1100R is almost as good as an 1150R and about a third of the price; two, get the ABS. The first time someone crosses you at an intersection and you stop faster than you ever beleived you could, staying alive and upright, you'll know you spent wisely. Three, you CAN do clutchless changes on the old five-speeder - up the box, anyway, if not down. And four, it's not just the pilot's seat that's comfortable, but the pillion too. It's all to do with seat-to-footrest height. What this means is that if you have a significant other she'll enjoy the ride more on the BM than a sportbike, and that means she'll be happy to see you spend money on bike-related stuff rather than home-related stuff or anything else. BM people are happy, satisfied, long-term, long-distance people, in relationships with both bikes and partners...but don't tell the butterflies that. They get upset.
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