I live in Astoria, Queens, on a street with no alternate side parking(!). I have a 2005 R1200GS that I bought on the last day of February 2011 as a fly-n-ride in Georgia. I promptly did a 1,600 mile trip of visiting family and friends down south, then had a nice 400 mile lap home during one of the worst rainstorms I've ridden through (including that tornado outside Lynchburg, VA back in '96). I'm pretty sure it was the heated grips that got me through.
The bike has 52,xxx miles on it. I'm the third owner. Unfortunately, the bike is mostly a commuter vehicle these days. I do get out for occasional weekend trips to visit family or friends, but nothing epic yet.
This is my first BMW. My first bike was a '96 Honda Shadow 600, bought new without ever having ridden a day in my life. My friends "taught" me how to ride the first night in a couple dark, gravel-strewn parking lots. They say in a wreck you'll slide, roll or get pinned under the bike. I did all three that night. Oh, and the $500 deluxe chrome package I had to have? Rock beats scissors, and gravel beats the crap out of chrome. But I rode that thing into the ground. 53,000 miles in 5 years of riding.
Fast forward a few years and I'm living in Brooklyn. Finances look good so I buy a '04 Honda Shadow Aero 750. Very pretty bike, but the love affair did not last long. The regulator/rectifier pooped out (often in Midtown rush hour traffic uphill). The street we lived on at the time had alternate side parking 6 days a week. That meant I had to move the bike 4 days out of 7 and compete with guys who never seemed to work but had plenty of time to move their 4 cars just as the street cleaning truck passed by. And these were the kinds of guys who would leave 4-5 feet between each of their cars. I sold the Aero after 2 years for only $400 less than I paid for it.
Why do I ride? I don't know. Since the days of dreaming about bikes with my friend in college I've been fascinated by the Iron Butt. I love long rides. But I'm still a novice when it comes to these things. I'm still learning mechanics, gear, trip-planning, proper routing of a Stadium Pal, etc.
One goal of mine is to find the last ____ I'll buy. I think this bike might be the one I ride into the ground (unless my SuperStakes ticket is the big winner). My MotoPort pants and Combat Touring Boots are the last boots and pants I'll buy. This isn't some "I'm dying very soon" type of declaration. It means I'm looking for the quality, long-lasting gear and equipment that I'll stick with for the rest of my life.
I hope BMWMOA proves to be one of those items.
...wow. That was a long introduction.