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Thread: When is enough. . . .enough ?

  1. #1
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Canon City Colorado

    When is enough. . . .enough ?

    I started my GS career back in '94 with a new R100GS. Not sure of the hp but something like 60 or so. Ran plenty fast for me but maybe carrying my wife and all the gear, I was pushing it doing 75 on interstates. . .big deal, I really didn't think so. Wow, I upgraded in late winter of 2001 to a new oil head blue and white 2002 R1150GS with 85 hp and 6 speed. Great bike plenty of power even riding double, just downshift once and you could pass anything with four or more wheels, 50 mpg at highways speeds. I put 92,000 miles on it in 7 years and regret selling it. But I always wanted the adventure so 2008 GSA1200 with 105 hp. Now hardly downshifting was required again even with the wife and gear. Do you really need more hp or is BMW just showing off technology and making changes for change sake. . .? It will never end and costs just keep going up and parts availability gets harder.

  2. #2
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    DeLand Florida
    I started my biking career in 1966 on a 250 Ducati. At the time it was a mid-size bike. The big ones were 650cc, really-really big ones were 750cc. I doubt that any had over 60hp. Now 60hp is a starter bike. BWM is not alone in building bigger bikes, everyone is. They are just keeping up with their competition.

  3. #3
    BMW is competing in a market - especially in the U.S. - where bigger and faster seem to count in the market place. It seems less so in other markets. When they only brought the R65 to the U.S. they had the R45 in Europe and Canada. When they sold lots of R1100 bikes and few R850 bikes in the U.S. the R850 sold in Eurpope. It's us, not them.

    When I was 14 I took camping trips 20 miles out to the state park, two-up, with gear, on a 49cc Sears & Roebuck (Puch) moped. When Voni and I first started taking motorcycle trips with two bikes and two kids it was on Yamaha RD250s.

    Now, while I own and often ride an R1150R I am much happier on one of my K75s.

    From a practical standpoint we reached "enough" a long time ago. Airheads have enough horsepower. It is suspension, braking, and handling that are not up to current technology.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  4. #4
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Twin Cities - MN
    We also tend to go further distances in the U.S. Motorcycles in the U.S. are still more of a recreational vehicle as opposed to primary transportation. That's not true in many other parts of the world.

    I love everything about my airhead except the braking ability. (I've already fixed the suspension).

    My oilhead is light years better in the "stopping" department. Honestly, the extra horsepower is much appreciated as well, especially when commuting. It's good to know you've got a little extra burst when you need it.

    When is enough enough? That depends on the individual. BMW and other manufacturers will continue to improve their products. This will mean more power, better handling,etc. If it actually sells successfully is up to the individual consumer. To me personally, 90 HP is plenty good "enough".
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  5. #5


    Power corrupts and horsepower corrupts absolutely!

  6. #6
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Armstrong, BC
    When is enough enough?

    When we stop buying!
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
    BMW MOA Charter, Life member.
    Valley BMW Riders. British Columbia.

  7. #7
    The Bloviator DocZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Rock throwing distance from Home Despot HQ


    Way too much power has, for most of my riding years, been just barely enough. Now the I'm pushing 60, I find that my R12RT is most assuredly fast enough.

    Still a tasty new GS would be nice - and lighter for the aging knees. Assuming BMW finally gets a handle on the "issues" we discuss so often.

    And I'd still like to find that special open stretch of road and drop the hammer on an FJR or whatever. Then again I did do exactly that a couple of years ago on a friend's (fiend's?) CBR1000RR. I swear I got off and kissed the ground at the end of that ride - and took aspirin for my knees.

  8. #8
    Interesting. I bought an R1200R. A meager 110 HP when I could have bought a S1000RR with only 190 HP. I went for the camhead. I also went for simpler (I think) smaller and lighter than my 200 R1100RT.

    I ride a 650 Versys to work most every day and the camhead sits till the weekend when I go on trips.

    When My airhead was new to me it has lots of power, then the oil head was amazing, then this new camhead is smoother, more powerful and the power is more in the usable area.

    No my airhead does not stop for chit. I even went to twin discs in the front. Its a pretty bike and fun to drive. The newer ones have FAR better brakes.


  9. #9
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    mattituck new york
    re:"I started my biking career in 1966 on a 250 Ducati"

    me, too
    had a friend with an r69s. i think it cost $1700.00 new.
    i think the duke was $700.00
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Greater Bahstin, Massachusetts
    "...on a 250 Ducati."

    Hey, me too! Well, almost. Had a 200 Zundapp Sabre for a couple of months first, then got the Duc. Great bike, and fast for a 250. Very pretty, too. A real bear to start tho.

    So over the (many) years, I worked my way up the ladder to a Honda ST1300, decided that was too much and "downgraded" to my 2011 R1200RT. Like Goldilocks said, "This one is just right!"


    "Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got." - Art Buchwald

  11. #11
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tampa, FL
    My first real bike was a Honda XL350 Enduro. Bought it in 1977 while I was home on leave in Tampa FL, right after military basic training. Rode it, knobby tires and all, to my first duty station in San Antonio TX. Took me 4 days to get there...

  12. #12
    Todd Tebpac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    State College,PA
    Quote Originally Posted by 141987 View Post
    Power corrupts and horsepower corrupts absolutely!
    Started out on dirt bikes and then traveled back and forth to college on a friends Honda 400cc which got upgraded to a Honda CB 750F. More power was cool. Then a long hiatus from bikes with a restart on a Suzuki C90T Boulevard. Then I rode a friends Ducati Multistrada which blew my mind. Didn't think it would change the way I ride with all that power but it did. Then I test rode a GS. 2005. 100hp. Plenty of power to pass on the highway and do whatever else. If I want a true kick in the pants, I'll borrow my friends 1199 Panigale........

    2005 R1200GS

  13. #13
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Camas Valley Oregon
    First bike was a BSA 650 Road Rocket it would vibrate you numb up to the shoulders. Shook so hard your vision was blurred. That was in '56 or '57. After that I rode a whole bunch of Suzuki bikes bought in Reno Nevada. First a GS380 two stroke then a couple of 750cc water buffalos and one RE5 rotary (POS) next came the great four cycle 750s and 1000s all good bikes that would get you in trouble if you weren't careful.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  14. #14

    First bike a 1970 Honda qa50 now a 2005 r1200gs

    I enjoy my GS but would love to have 20% more horsepower like the new wethead. I rode my GS Saturday for 7 hours on-road and off-road, the weather was perfect, 75 degrees and sunny.

    On Sunday I rode my other bike, a 1970 Honda qa 50, sprout green in color, just like the original one my parents bought me in 1970. I rode the qa 50 for one hour, mainly off-road. The terrain was so rough that I had to stand on the pegs most of the time. The qa 50 ran great.

    Horsepower is important, but I enjoyed riding the 1+ horsepower Honda qa 50 just as much as my 100 horsepower GS.

    The Honda qa 50 brought back memories of going off-road exploring on a beautiful fall day just like when I was a kid.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Central CT
    I have these types of thoughts every time I shop for a car.

    Often end up looking at high performance engines - 300-400HP.. then snap back to reality and remember that it will never go off road, never be in a race and a 0-60 of anything 10 seconds or better is all that I'm likely to -NEED-. Usually I then go back to MPG and driver comfort as my main objectives.

    As far as the motorcycle, I came from a pair of Hondas, both about 800CC VTwins. I almost didn't buy the R1200RT because I was concerned about having too much bike.

    Now that I've had it for a year and a half, I'm incredibly happy I have it.... but I doubt I would really notice if it was a lot lower on the horsepower side.

    Then again... it is fun to drop the luggage and really open it up once in a while.

    I can imagine that riding two up with full luggage may be an area where the extra HP is really nice... but I never carry a passenger and my luggage isn't that heavy even on long trips.
    2011 R1200RT
    Somewhere on the backroads...

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