So we start!

7 10 2009

So since 1st of October 2009 this blog comes to life, the BMW R1150GS is now in my hands, and ready for some adventuring!
29000 Km’s on its counter and ready to roll on the roads of Greece!
I spend the weekend riding the beast, just to see how it feels and how it behaves, I had a long time to ride a motorcycle of this style (On/Off). It felt pretty nice, comfy with a nice engine and quite stable. What I mostly enjoyed was the ability of “her” to hide that extra pounds, it’s amazing how she transforms once she hits the road!

The initial ride included tight mountain roads, open highways and a small bit of very easy dirt road. The bike handled as expect, and maybe even better! Stable and fast in the mountain roads, it would accept every single direction change effortless. I never experienced a feeling of insecurity or any kind of handling problems, even with worn and old tires on it!
Open road handling is also exceptional, but a bit “noisy” for the head, my height (185cm) is probably the upper limit, so the top of my head is a bit exposed from the windshield and I would get a few windblasts and buffeting at speeds over 120Km’s, sometimes it even felt I was riding with double my speed. Although my helmet (SHOEI XR1000) did a good job trying to manage the windblasts I believe the need of a new windshield is obligatory, since high mileage journeys (and especially on open highways) might tire the rider quickly.
Brakes of the bike are quite nice, I never had the chance to test an ABS equipped motorcycle, and I must say that for the Greek roads this “gadget” is a must! Slippery roads are no longer a threat (braking on “mirror” style Greek roads with an expensive SS bike is not the most pleasant experience, especially when you are commuting on unknown territories). I also tested the ABS by trying to block my front or rear several times, felt quite sturdy and confident! Soon it was a real fun riding the tight twisties and being relaxed regarding your brakes and traction!
Suspension is on the soft side, felt the bike is quite soft on the road (which is nice, especially when your trip involves mostly tarmac and little off road) which made a comfy ride. For my taste it felt way too soft! It was like riding my mattress! The telelever (front BMW suspension system) needs a bit of getting used to! Especially if you are coming from the “Jap” school of bikes and more even if you used (or still are) to ride SS motorcycles! Testing the suspension on easy dirt-roads felt as the suspension was working ok, the ride was smooth and both the suspension and the bike geometry helped to reduce vibration or any other kind of disturbs. Things changed a lot on roads with significant anomalies (such as large bumps etc), the bike on this situations “cried” for something stiffer (at least this specific bike), the suspension would top out quite often and I could hear (not happy for the ears) the ugly sound of a topped suspension! Engine helped a lot with the pull it has from the low end of the RPM, small obstacles can be easily bypassed and it’s fun when you encounter them in your way even with this heavy monster! The weight of the bike will soon make its appearance if you try funny off road stuff and although experienced Off road riders can handle it, I would say it’s not the short of bike you would like to have on a trail ride.
Riding on the pegs is comfy, even if you are not experienced doing so, or even if you have a long time doing so, the front suspension helps a lot when riding this way, and for my height everything was spot on, I could rest my hands on the handlebars without putting pressure or not feeling comfortable, the legs embrace the large tank, and although I heard from many riders that you cannot grip the tank easily, I had no problems doing so with my knees!
My conclusion is that this bike rides lovely, it’s made for travelling and the only thing that comes into your mind when on it, is where your next trip is going to be!

The new lady

The new lady

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