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Thread: Intro and No Bike Yet- advice?

  1. #1
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    Intro and No Bike Yet- advice?

    Hi All,

    Hello from North Carolina!

    My Background: 40+ years ago as a kid I spent many days ripping through the woods and open fields on dirt bikes. Honda MR50, XR75 and MR250. That 250 would really move with my light weight body on it. I've had a few BMW's- but the 4-wheel variety. My favorite of them is my e30 325ix's- BMW's first all wheel drives, and I still own 2 of them. I never wanted to try a road bike because as a young guy I was an adrenaline junkie and had a feeling the rush would decrease my lifespan. I am now in my 50's, and think I could stay alive. I have never ridden a road bike on the street. I'm going to sign up for a local community college motorcycle training weekend, which culminates with the motorcycle permit added to the license. I have a feeling at the end of that I will want a bike asap.

    Type of riding I think I want to do: Day trips on road only. An hour here and there, maybe a saturday ride of 3-5 hour to a destination, ride back sunday.

    My current thoughts on which bike to get: Used it fine, the newer the better i think. I would love to start out in the $5K range, maybe go to $7K max for the bike itself. That will leave me with enough to get pants, boots, jackets, etc. I really like the idea of comfortable riding like can be done on my friends k1600gt. It's not in that price range but more importantly that is WAY too much bike to start out on. I want enough power to not have to work too hard to stay at speed on the highway, and enough power to make a move when getting on the highway. My thoughts are the G310 does not fit that goal. Since I want something primarily designed for the highway I think I want a GT of some sort, not a GS. But I am a small guy. Not saying I'm weak but at 150 pounds I don't want to be trying to wrestle a big bike.

    At the moment I'm looking at ads for The F series- like F650, 700, 800, 850 models. All the GT variant. Not sure that all those exact models exist, I've been looking at so many they are jumbled in my mind.

    So what would you folks recommend?


    edit: PS-I may have committed the cardinal sin of not searching enough for the answer to "which bike" before posting. So if anyone's feathers get ruffled just take this as an intro "hello" and ignore the rest. TIA

  2. #2
    My best advice is wait until you have completed your MSF course at the CC, before making a purchase decision. Certainly no harm in asking around and researching - - in fact itís smart to do so. But that course will give you a lot to think about, and may affect/change your purchase decision in ways you canít anticipate yet.

    That said, I think you are generally on the right track with the models you are considering. Itís a pretty large field of candidates at this point, so a bit difficult to discuss other than very generically. If you get to a point where you have specific questions on specific models, be sure to fire away.

    One last thing... I wouldnít necessarily rule out the ďGSĒ versions of those models, either. A GS may give you some modest off-road capability that you donít need, but they will also meet all of your other requirements very nicely.

  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    You should add your general location. NC is a big state. Depending on where, thereís a lot of us who can help. Ride, wrench, breakfast... once we can all get near each other again.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vark View Post
    My best advice is wait until you have completed your MSF course at the CC, before making a purchase decision. Certainly no harm in asking around and researching - - in fact itís smart to do so. But that course will give you a lot to think about, and may affect/change your purchase decision in ways you canít anticipate yet.

    That said, I think you are generally on the right track with the models you are considering. Itís a pretty large field of candidates at this point, so a bit difficult to discuss other than very generically. If you get to a point where you have specific questions on specific models, be sure to fire away.

    One last thing... I wouldnít necessarily rule out the ďGSĒ versions of those models, either. A GS may give you some modest off-road capability that you donít need, but they will also meet all of your other requirements very nicely.
    ****
    Thx Vark, I do plan to wait until after the course. Iíll keep looking so I can narrow it down. My friend with the k1600 (life long rider) has said that if I were to get something small- single cylinder etc I may be bored with it quick. He has also advised that itís tough to get what you want without getting a little experience under my belt. I think that means donít break the bank on the first bike, because I may have a different one in a year after riding it a while. Another thing Iíve heard is it might make sense to get a non BMW for the first bike- with the specific intention of figuring out which nicer BMW I might like to get after a year of riding. That said- Iím a BMW fan boy. Not so much the new stuff- but the classics.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    You should add your general location. NC is a big state. Depending on where, thereís a lot of us who can help. Ride, wrench, breakfast... once we can all get near each other again.
    Hey mstock Iím near Raleigh. On my cars I do everything. In fact in the next couple weeks Iíll be doing the head gasket on my E30ix m20 motor. For a bike- I donít think Iím going to want to wrench as much. Then again I know myself and I probably will want to trust myself and YouTube university more than anyone else. Lol.

  6. #6
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e30ixguy View Post
    Hey mstock Iím near Raleigh. On my cars I do everything. In fact in the next couple weeks Iíll be doing the head gasket on my E30ix m20 motor. For a bike- I donít think Iím going to want to wrench as much. Then again I know myself and I probably will want to trust myself and YouTube university more than anyone else. Lol.
    Once you get through the MSF basic course and license, look for the BMW Tarheel Travelers. MOA chartered club, active and inexpensive to join. A lot of members in the Raleigh area. Rides, meetings, meals, good folks.

    If youíre good turning a wrench then the choice to do it will depend on the bike you choose and how much youíre willing to fork out for someone else to do the job.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  7. #7
    I wouldn't ignore an Older" K classics". There are nice K75's out there with plenty of life and the prices are reasonable as they aren't collectable [yet]. I've had several and at 160 lbs didn;t have much trouble moving around. They are handle great and are some of the smoothest engines BMW ever made. You can pick up a nicely maintained example for 2-3K.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by e30ixguy View Post
    ****
    Thx Vark, I do plan to wait until after the course. Iíll keep looking so I can narrow it down. My friend with the k1600 (life long rider) has said that if I were to get something small- single cylinder etc I may be bored with it quick. He has also advised that itís tough to get what you want without getting a little experience under my belt. I think that means donít break the bank on the first bike, because I may have a different one in a year after riding it a while. Another thing Iíve heard is it might make sense to get a non BMW for the first bike- with the specific intention of figuring out which nicer BMW I might like to get after a year of riding. That said- Iím a BMW fan boy. Not so much the new stuff- but the classics.
    Your friend is offering up solid advice.

    To put my comments in perspective, I am about the same age as you and am on my first bike (not BMW) after taking my MSF course about a year ago. I had something in mind ahead of taking the course, but after completing it I decided to go another direction. After half a year or so on my current bike, I came here to begin researching my ďnextĒ bike.

    This forum is one of the best resources available for getting advice on BMW motorcycles, especially models that are no longer in production. Also, there is a tremendous amount of generic motorcycle knowledge here, on all makes and models. And lots of good advice on safety culture, as well as travel/touring knowledge.

    Originally, I came here to validate my intention of purchasing a used K75. However, as I learned about other models, and also got a better sense of maintenance requirements, I began to shift my focus to newer, lighter, and more versatile models (eg F/G650GS, F700GS.) My thinking evolved and I realized I want to devote my motorcycling time to riding, not repairing. (Current bike is just 1.5 years old and like new - - a real pleasure to own and operate.)

    Hopefully I will one day end up on a BMW. My son owns a G650GS and we both like it very much. But another candidate has come to the forefront for me currently, and will likely be my next bike. Curiously, I was only made aware of this bike by members of this forum, even though it is not a BMW. That goes to show the depth of knowledge here, and the willingness to guide folks to an appropriate choice.

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e30ixguy View Post
    At the moment I'm looking at ads for The F series- like F650, 700, 800, 850 models. All the GT variant.
    I think the only GT style bikes in your list is the F800GT and F800ST.
    There is a new F900XR but that would be out of your price range.

    F800GT
    GT.jpg


    F800ST
    ST (1).jpg
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    Agreed getting at least a little time in before throwing down your $$. You say you like the classic Bimmers so I would put out there to consider Airhead classic Beemer bikes too. There are a lot out there and many for very reasonable dollars. You could get one to ride around for your first years or so then you have a classic in your garage when you step up for something newer. K bikes have been mentioned but personally I prefer the R twins.

    My '82 R65 LS in the middle is a great little runaround that I toured a couple of weeks on last summer. Next to it is a '99 R1100S which is a very different animal that can go as long and far as I want and it will do it in a hurry. The KTM 640 Adventure on the right is probably not what you're looking for but it too is an excellent machine to tour on offroad.
    IMG_2416_heic-L.jpg

    And yes there is a solid crowd of very knowledgeable and helpful and friendly individuals on this forum and by the sounds of it plenty close to you so don't be afraid to ask your questions.
    http://beerthief.ca
    ITSteve: ride in peace my friend
    save $5 on a new SmugMug account, use this coupon 7frrnSRiTt9Fk

  11. #11
    Bluenoser
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    You can't go to far wrong with an older K75/K100, providing it is in good shape, well kept etc. With the older Airheads ( I have one ) you want to have some mechanical experience as they do need a fair amount of routine and not so routine maintenance, good bikes just be aware. One thing about these older bikes is they are fairly light when compared to the newer bigger touring models. Short leg inseams and BMW don't mix well, unless you can lower the bike. BMW tend to have high seat heights.

    The mid size BMW 800 CC and the like would be good bikes as well as offerings from other manufactures in that displacement range. For an all around bike that you plan on taking some longer rides I would stay away from the single cylinder models.

    After you've taken the course, in most cases they have several different types of bikes, ride them all and that will go a long way to telling you what type of bike you like.
    1995 R100Rt with Kenna Sidecar, 1986 K100RT

  12. #12
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Good Luck, e30ixguy: It's all up to you isn't it; U have some 'cidin to do.

    Try to remember the KISS principle: Keep it simple stupid. Since you're now a returning Elder, find any Used but mechanically sound medium-sized bike of any brand. You're not buying "your Forever bike," so get some sort of 500cc to 800cc mid-size. Stay focused on Function vs Looks. You should consider the drivetrain: chain vs belt vs driveshaft. They all have plusses & minuses. Certainly a twin or triple will be much smoother out on the street & on your derriere! You need something to practice with; expect that you'll screw-up and drop it (at least once - - maybe practicing slow-speed maneuvers in a HS parking lot)... If buying locally, maybe take your friend, and you can both test ride it briefly and exchange thoughts (harder to do a test ride outside your vicinity...). Check out your various dealerships in NC {look Online 1st!}. I would hope they offer Test Rides on their stock of used inventory. If not look elsewhere!!! Lean on your experienced friend(s); Do Not make this initial purchase decision all by yourself!

    Ciao, HSV-Phil & HSV-Karen
    BTW- Karen Loves her 2009 F650GS (>160K miles); traded in her F800S with unsuitable ergonomics w/low mileage.


    Check out this useful site for comparing M/C ergonomics on various machines in your spare time.
    http://cycle-ergo.com

  13. #13
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    I don't know if it would help people in suggesting a bike for you, but what are your height, inseam and weight?
    Walter

    "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
    H. L. Mencken

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterK75 View Post
    I don't know if it would help people in suggesting a bike for you, but what are your height, inseam and weight?
    Iím about 5í8Ē, 150 lbs, 30Ē inseam.

  15. #15
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Take the safety course first, then worry about the bike you want to buy. If your NC classes are like our PA classes, you'll have a choice of bikes to ride.

    Just my opinion....
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

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