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Thread: BMW's Too top heavy for older riders?

  1. #46
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    #1: Do not be in a rush if you do not need to be (for example the bike is blocking traffic). Seek and/or accept offers of help to pick-up the bike.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  2. #47
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    #1: Do not be in a rush if you do not need to be (for example the bike is blocking traffic). Seek and/or accept offers of help to pick-up the bike.
    Best advice of all!

    Voni
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  3. #48

    Personal decision on when too infirm to ride

    Everyone's health is different, so some will ride forever, and some will make lifestyle or bike changes. Crash bars help in lifting the bike since the bike uses them as a pivot point and usually doesn't fall "all" the way down. An RT is probably a little too delicate to even think of dropping it, all those expensive plastic fairings. If it is increasingly likely that you might drop your bike, you should probably get something a lot lighter, or built more like a tank (GS) than a fragile RT.

    I am 73, 5'6" and ride a factory-lowered 2017 R12GS. I've dropped it five times, always at low speed, maneuvering. No damage at all to the bike (except minor dings on crash bars.) I have upper and lower crash bars and there are scratches on all of them. Having the bike better fit by being lowered makes it less likely to fall over. Once its down, though, it is a pig to lift, about 600 pounds in current configuration. In the right circumstances, I can right it by myself, but not in every circumstance.

    Since there are some circumstances where it is virtually impossible for me to lift the bike by myself I built and carry a device to jack the bike up, similiar to the commercial gadget eastbound(dot)shop motowinch. I haven't had to use it yet, but nice to know it is there. (BTW, if I had it to do over, I would just buy the commercial product, rather than building my own.)

    I have had a number of open (incision from top to bottom) stomach surgeries so am very aware of potential for incisional hernias, because I've had a bunch, and I really don't want any more repairs.

    In the photo below I removed all the bags and boxes as far as possible to lighten the bike before I attempted to lift it. I was annoyed at BMW's fuel tank to cap connection, because it was leaking fuel.

    IMG_20180812_180506.jpg

  4. #49
    JohnWC
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    I have always thought my R1100RT is the best bike I have ever owned. But I have also come to the conclusion that owning a bike with that much plastic covering it is a bad idea. I'm not an off road rider, (it's Ohio after all) but I would definitely switch to a GS style bike that could tip over without incurring $500 or worse in repair parts. I had a Honda PC800 for a brief time recently, but it left quickly when I realized the plastic parts were getting older and more brittle. Otherwise, a nice, practical bike. But even with GS style bikes being less fragile, it's the higher center of gravity and more total weight that concerns me. When you're on one and it starts to go over, you're panicking in trying to get out of it's way before 500 pounds lands on your leg or ankle. Not something I want to risk anymore.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    Add to this list a lowered seat height (say 29" or 30").

    If any manufacturer offered such a machine I would be the first in line to check it out. I'm not a fan of the Rotax engines because they sound like they've got pea gravel banging around in the crankcase and are hot.
    Yes add an adjustable seat height as well and take the best weight-reduction strategies from the F800GT for example its fuel tank concealed and lower to help keep CoG low, as well as belt drive which was a very positive attribute for that model just ask your average F800GT owner for which the presence of the belt drive was a significant part of their purchase decision. I agree w/ Rotax engine in terms of noise and vibes. I think BMW no longer gets the F engines from Rotax. I believe if the model described was done right it would easily become a hit in terms of market share, relatively speaking, especially w/o competition from multiple brands. Adventure styles still are substantial but that will wane eventually I predict. The most growing market in the US seems to be getting older and older as these are the folks with a history of motorcycling and w/ time and discretionary $$ and fewer and fewer ride 2-up as they age so the heft of a K bike or even RTW isn't as necessary, and almost universally as people age they appreciate the lighter curb weight, and yet now we have an 1800cc model from BMW. Good luck selling lots of those

  6. #51
    Nick Kennedy
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    When your bike falls over and is leaking gas don't light up a cigarette.

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    It truly is amazing how we motorcyclists (humans) have evolved. When I was 16 I could go anywhere on 160 cc's. As I and the motorcycle industry "matured" it took 360 cc's, then 750, 1,000, 1,100, 1,200 even 1,800 to meet my expectations. Now I'm going the other way, but enjoying it as much as when I was that 16 year old.
    In reality, you’re talking about marketing, a corporate activity aimed at creating the beliefs that get you to buy more, more, more.... while spending more, more, more...

    Until I got Punkin’ I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride a smaller lighter bike, and trust me, I don’t care what you’re riding... in the tight twisties my little bike will be glued you your butt!

    I realize that we are all a bunch of old farts here, but imo, the length and scope of this thread is proof that BMW has decided not to cater to its current customers, instead focusing on selling more, more, more to younger (<50 yo) riders and letting older customers go to different brands... Suzuki WeeStrom, Honda CB500, new Yamaha T7 Tenere, Kawasaki Versys, KTM Duke... et al.

    I am currently riding around here in the French Alps and all the young people are on KTMs and Ducatis. All the old guys are riding GS.

    No offense to Paul and Voni, but the 310 does not have enough motor for me....

    A 22 year-old bike... spot-on the money!


  8. #53
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    In reality, youíre talking about marketing, a corporate activity aimed at creating the beliefs that get you to buy more, more, more.... while spending more, more, more...

    Until I got Punkiní I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride a smaller lighter bike, and trust me, I donít care what youíre riding...
    I rode 650's (Versys / GSPD) for a couple of summers, and they were just fine, even in the high passes of the Rockies.
    Rinty

  9. #54
    ďin the tight twisties my little bike will be glued you your butt!Ē

    In your dreams.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by 48012 View Post
    “in the tight twisties my little bike will be glued you your butt!”

    In your dreams.
    Hell, you don’t even know how click a button to do a proper quote. Howizzit that you can even ride?

    My 33 year-old R80G/SPD+ would eat your ass alive in the twisties!

  11. #56
    JohnWC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post

    Until I got Punkiní I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride a smaller lighter bike,

    I realize that we are all a bunch of old farts here,

    No offense to Paul and Voni, but the 310 does not have enough motor for me....

    A 22 year-old bike... spot-on the money!

    That is one beautiful bike. It always seemed like a perfect design. I did get a sense they were a bit difficult to work on, but that's a minor point. I think the F650s are getting to be pretty hard to find, certainly in that nice condition. I'm not sure I would agree that the 310 is lacking in power, although I don't own one. They seem to the closest thing to the older F bikes that you can buy new. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are bigger in the showroom than they look on BMW's site.
    Sorry for the jumbled up quotes. I just kept the ones I liked best. Keep Punkin waxed up!

  12. #57
    wanderer
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    BMW has a real gap in it line up now. A 400-450lb wet tourer. The new F850s are HEAVY (talll too). very close to the R1250s in weight.

    I moved from 20+ years on RTs to a R1200RS 2015. 30 or 40 lbs lighter and much lower C of G due to smaller/lower gas tank. All other the features/ performance is the same (better in my opinion).

    I still use my road bike for dirt roads as needed on my rides...they did it just fine 30 years ago be for the marketeers came up with the GS look...I find they still do it fine.

    I will be looking closely to see if KTM comes up with a 790GT ( extending the 790 line)??? If they do that may very well meet my needs and be my next bike as I do NOT want or need the tallness of their GS type bikes. (harder to pick up a tall bike ever if the weigh the same as a road bike)

    ps I love my KTM 390...what a hoot feels like a feather!

    hope to ride till I drop!

  13. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    Keep Punkin waxed up!
    Well, little Punkiní is more of a 10-footer bike. It was fairly inexpensive, but the previous owner dropped it, rashed the tank and chose to rattle can it. The new body parts are still available but cost more than the bike is worth!

    I bought it to see if I would like a smaller bike and was certainly surprised at its competence! Iíve had my eye on them ever since Helge Pedersen rode them all over creation. I use it mainly to ride down the mountain to run errands, but find that is my preference these days for putt-putting around the mountains.

    I also have an Xchallenge which weighs even less... and basically the same motor. Excellent dual sport bike. I really like how BMW specís out a Rotax engine... both bikes run exceptionally well and that engine is known to run forever.

    They are, as you note, not as easy to work on as real BMWs... valve adjustments are much more involved, but rarely needed. Well, I should say BMWs sold before 2010. I would be afraid to work on the new ones, way too complicated!

  14. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by vtbob View Post
    ps I love my KTM 390...what a hoot feels like a feather!

    hope to ride till I drop!
    If KTM made a dirt-oriented version of that I would certainly own one.

    And... you are absolutely correct about the hole in BMWs product line.... hence my Honda CB500X ... I just canít say enough good about that bike.

  15. #60
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtbob View Post
    BMW has a real gap in it line up now. A 400-450lb wet tourer.
    And which manufacturer makes one of these? My sport bike weighs 418 lb fueled and there is no way a touring bike is going to get close to that number.

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