Motorcycles I Have Ridden Part IX

#433 – 457

Dave Preston:                                           Motorcycles Ridden Log

As of January 1st 2011:                                  8 owned –  424  tested = 432 total

#433             BMW R1200RT                  demo

  • “Ostra Grey Metallic Matte” paint –dark silver but also dark bronze depending on light – does not seem to show dirt at all
  • Love the rear mirrors under the bars – work very well
  • Heated grips and heated seat
  • Cruise control
  • Tall seat – even in the “low” position.
  • Rational and utterly utile saddlebags design
  • Supremely capable – it endears with each mile

#434             2007 Yamaha V-Star 11000 Silverado  #A010879     $5,490

  • Lovely silver pearl with blue tint paint
  • Stock pipes
  • Mustang saddle  (with great back support).  Yamaha bags, backrest and windshield, and floorboards
  • Rocker shift is a pleasure few understand
  • 5 speed trans – but could get away with 4
  • Shaft drive
  • New tires
  • 10,023 miles

#435             2011 BMW 800R                         demo

  • Optional red white and blue paint scheme really works on this
  • Optional low seat is too low for me
  • Legs too cramped – also because of the seat
  • Comparisons to my Speed Triple are glaring, and include Much better technology – ABS, temp gauge, heated grips, etc
  • More power low, less power high
  • Lighter
  • Feels more stable on brakes
  • Better (stock) sound
  • First truly awesome design ridden for this year – amazing motorcycle

#436             2011 BMW K 1300S          demo

  • Blah off-white paint not for me, but perhaps some like it
  • Addictive power, and a great gearbox
  • Tremendous levels of technology
  • Comfy for what it is, but not all that comfy at the end of the day

#437`            2011 BMW G 650 GS                   demo

  • Textbook case of styling – same bike as last year but
  • Much “gnarlier” bodywork
  • Cool dark anodized wheels
  • LOOKS far more capable than the previous model

#438             2011 BMW K 1300S  #ZV94087                       “company bike”

  • Red and black.  Red tail section like all but one of them (?)
  • Forgot how much I like big power everywhere
  • Expanding bags to be installed
  • No center stand or tank bag this time
  • Ended up (by fall) as OK but not inspiring

#439             2012 BMW K 1600 GTL                         demo

  • Very dark blue
  • Full kit – side bags and tail trunk
  • Accessory Velcro map case (Keith)
  • Rewrites the rules for large touring bikes
  • “Low” seat is standard – higher one no-cost option
  • Mode switch ala S 1000RR
  • Menu switch accesses multiple choices on screen
  • Needs 10 minutes of acclimatization before use for controls
  • Engine so smooth the ear thinks that 2,000rpm is 6,000rpm
  • Ridden on a day that set records for rainfall – a month of May rain in one day!
  • Makes a terrific sound from 6,000 rpm up – but you might be too busy to enjoy it

#440             2011 BMW R 1200 GS

  • Standard issue bike.
  • Forgot to check seat height first – oh my!

#441             2011 BMW R 1200 RTP

  • Police spec R 1200 RT
  • Black and white
  • Rear seat pod and backrest is cool but not really available
  • Two extra “rings” of buttons for various police functions – not all working
  • But the siren does – found out inadvertently in the garage
  • Seat not bad – rode for 2 hours at a stretch
  • Put on 175 miles working the tires and breaks as much as possible
  • Blue rear running lights are on all the time
  • Stout crash bars and siren carrier
  • Strobe pods look like mirrors at first
  • “Info” button freezes speedo
  • Amusing responses from others, especially the speeding Porsche!

#442             2011  BMW F 800 GS –   Chris Johnson’s of WMST

  • Large panniers with WMST graphics
  • Two laps at the WSP “high speed” facility in Shelton

#443             2011(?) Kawasaki Ninja 250 Roadracer

  • Owned by Chris Johnson of WMST
  • No speedo, odo, mirrors, sidestand, or muffler
  • All fun, no power
  • Nice paint and graphics
  • Two more laps of video from WSP facility in Shelton

#444             2008 Aprilia Tuono #5000902                        $ 7,990

  • 3,793 miles
  • ASV Aluminum levers
  • Matte grey  (OK), various graphics (OK), and blue wheels (what the?)
  • Aftermarket exhaust by – unknown
  • Snarky and temperamental when cold
  • Exhaust system leaks until hot
  • Turn signal and horn button too close together
  • Hand vibration – a lot
  • Stonking power, great brakes, great sound
  • More of a hooligan than the Speed Triple

#445             BMW R 1150 RT                          used

  • Ridden down to service for a UBI
  • Overpadded seats
  • Servo brakes are not good with ignition off OR on
  • One of the few motorcycles I hated within 5  feet

#446             2012 BMW K 1600 GT  demonstrator

  • Most impressive bike since the Speed Triple I purchased
  • Off white color is not the best
  • Sound IS the best – not an M3 but, but – Jag XKE race car!
  • Endless torque and smoothness – often in 5th when I thought third
  • Ergos are nice – windshield up for higher speeds to lower noise
  • 5 position heated grips and seat
  • Radio and other exterannia
  • Progressive but very powerful brakes
  • 3 modes –   rain, road, and “dynamic” – which I preferred
  • Massive saddlebags
  • A bit heavy and  awkward in town, but on the road – other states beckon
  • Shaft drive a bonus – AND a center stand
  • I would want the TPM and the driving lights
  • Candy maroon, please!

#447             ’09 Honda ST 1300   #700148   miles?

  • Interesting contrast to the BMW K 1600 GT
  • MUCH smaller
  • Better low speed handling
  • Less ‘gravitas’
  • Stiff throttle linkage
  • Candy maroon paint is gorgeous
  • Add on aftermarket cruiser control
  • Shaft drive – yes!
  • “sponge” grips are not an improvement
  • Smaller and narrower saddle bags
  • Probably the best model Honda makes

#448             2012 BMW R 1200 GS  demo ZX52181  (demo)

  • The Swiss Army knife of motorcycles
  • So much more comfortable than the Adv
  • With a low seat it would be very useful for me
  • Ideally placed windshield in nice and quiet.
  • ESA – although I could not tell much difference

#449             2011 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure ZX 66923

  • 200 mile ride to break it in for a customer
  • Windscreen fully up, but I did not change it
  • ESA, but I could not tell the difference
  • Driving lights a nice safety feature
  • Humongous fuel tank is nice
  • But makes is more top heavy
  • My legs are just too short – the entire ride is lived in fear of the next stop
  • A low seat would help – but probably not enough

#450             2012 BMW 800 GS demo  (ZV03926)  demo

  • Dark titanium matte grey/black color really works on this bike
  • Does not have the oil check feature
  • Such a terrific “squirt” bike
  • Almost a keeper for me, but just a tad too tall and not luggage capacity
  • Needs a center stand and a Remus exhaust and a tank bag and…
  • Close as is, but with the dirt tires – no

#451             2004 BMW R 1150 R

  • Interesting light blue tint to windshield
  • Rich’s seat is comfy, but perhaps too wide for those short of leg.
  • Clutch pull harder than it should be to me
  • Cool knurled shifter – stock?
  • Hand guards can get in the way of clutch and glove

#452             Used BMW F 650 GS

  • Cool black paint
  • Silver bags give it s “tuxedo” look
  • Front brake seems abysmally weak
  • The usual dearth of power

#453             Used MotoQuest F 650 GS

  • Beat to death and put away wet repeatedly
  • Detailed, but even pros can only do so much
  • Knobby tires give a very uncertain ride
  • Bag mounts intrude on rear calf room
  • Probably good for its intended use – not a good buy used

#454             Bob Grimm’s used BMW R 1200 S

  • Custom seat (BMW option) is hard and awkward
  • Very stiff throttle
  • Needs steering head bearings
  • Handles like a truck, and yet the steering is easier than I would have thought
  • Pretty shockingly bad compared to the newer models of my experience

#455             2001 BMW R 1150 R

  • Reset odometer know  –  back to the old days
  • Really low seat makes the pegs pretty high
  • Clutch lever adjusted all the way out
  • Low growl from exhaust is nice – stock?
  • Windshield and bags –  nice sport tourer!

#456             2012 BMW F 800 GS demo                    #ZV03926

  • Graphite
  • Nice spoke wheels
  • Street tires
  • 249 miles – still breaking in
  • Later “farkled” by Altrider

#457             2008    Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom  9440 miles   $6,200

  • Black and gray
  • Extreme level of aftermarket improvements – heated grips, Givi bags, Givi adjustable windscreen, luggage rack platform, crash bars, etc
  • Engine makes a terrific sound
  • Clutch pull seems heavy
  • Lower seat than a BMW R
  • Great commuter or cross country mount – with some off-road capabilit

About david

I am a 69 year old motorsports nut who lives in Bothell, Washington. After a 31 year career as an English teacher, I segued into a self-created job in the motorsports business. Now retired, I was involved in customer relations for Ride West BMW in Seattle, after almost 10 years of similar work for the Cycle Barn MotorSports Group. I have been married forever and have two grown children. I own, at the current time, a Triumph Bonneville T 120 , a Triumph Thruxton, a Fiat 500S and a VW Tiguan. What else would you like to know?
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