But first a bye to the Buell. Yes alas the Buell Beasty
has passed the torch and gone on to another future that does not include me. I am sure where ever it finds it's future it will be much happier with a younger and more aggressive owner. At least I comfort my self with this narrative, it is quite possible it will end up at the proverbial slaughter house as certainly today it is worth more in parts and pieces than as a demonic little fire breather. And trust me if you didn't let it warm up and it ever backfired on you it did breath a ball of fire three feet in diameter engulfing the rear wheel. it was literally a fire breather. farewell. Ok, enough about that Damn bike that broke my leg
The new bike is a 2012 BMW R1200GS Rally, I have to say that the stock photos I saw of this bike do not do it justice. They make it good looking but not great. but once I saw it in person I really liked it. I am not sure if it isn't a little ugly as I think all GS are but this one has a bit of refined angularity if I can get away with that. And I like it! Getting it was a bit interesting. It has almost every major option as I think all Rally's come with the upgraded computer display, electronic suspension, heated grips, etc. and all BMW's now come with ABS so the only two options this bike has that are not part of the Rally package are the traction control option (ASC?) and the anti theft alarm.
As I live in the middle of Missouri (watch that pronunciation) there are only a couple of dealers in the State! one of which was recommended to me over and over again (not to disparage the other one, I have never heard anything bad about that other one) and indeed when I talked to the suggested dealer I got a deal that I could not bring my self to pass up so thanks for the suggestions from all those guys that I have met with BMW's over the last few years, and there ain't a lot around these parts. here it is mostly the land of low-tech, low-dragging, and chrome.
That's right Cruisers, in a previous day one would have said Harley's but there are so many other manufactures imitating that style, well there you go. There are some sport bike riders around but even rarer for BMW's. Though Adventure touring or G/S Style bikes (if you will give a bit of a stretch) are around more and more these days usually in the form of a KLR or three.
All of these forms of two wheels have there own merits but since I first looked at a R1100GS I have always liked the ugliness and form following function and simply the "why not" design of the bike. Over the years many other people far crazier, richer, younger, or more energetic than I went out and proved that, in addition to being a design that I liked, it actually worked and was a very good design. So finally I decided to get one, like every body else apparently. From the magical mythology of the Internet I find sites stating that from 1994-1999 the R1100GS sold about 40k while the R1200GS from 2004-july of2007 has sold 85K. Thankfully I am not driven by or really bothered by popular opinion. None the less I have joined in, now where is that coffee shop?
Well the plunge I took, and it was worth it at least so far even though for me it is a very expensive bike, of course I noticed that a large selection of Harley's are actually higher now than BMW's. But I got a good deal and the Buell threw it's self on the financiers pitch forks and here the age of beakey has begun.
So this lead me to Grass Roots BMW
in Cape Girardeau
Missouri which is down in the boot hill and four and a half hours away! Which makes that 600mile "run-in" service just a little more problematic. a Great ride to be sure but likely a day off work or narrow, tight, overgrown, twisting lanes at night. There is always the Interstate but four and a half hours of straight lines is more deadly to me than those narrow lanes in the dark. But none the less that will be my problem (or adventure) to work out as I had just to get the bike in the first place.
So, getting the bike in the first place...
As the buell is great fun the first hour then get's worse and worse every minuet thereafter, In decided to enlisted the help of my friend Jeff. Local Dive shop
owner, good guy, (lived on a desert island for awhile, amongst the tuns of other places he has lived and dove). I rode the Buell over to his house in the morning and we hooked up his utility trailer (usually just use it for short runs to the quarries or to the lake) loaded the Buell and we where off!
All went well until about an hour out side of Cape Girardeau we threw the tread off Left side trailer tire. During a heat wave
with the heat up over 100F in a place with very high humidity, well it was fun. And you know the normal state of the spare tire on a trailer right? yea well this time as well. The Spare tire was mounted on the tong horizontally had no air in it and just for fun the bead was completely loose. The Air didn't bother me that much, when you are riding with a guy who owns a scuba shop well, you just know there is air
What I didn't know was that it is enough at one time to reset a bead very easy. Then strangely we found we had a need to break the bead back off again.
Initially I didn't get Jeff's expression after he lifted the tire off of it's rack (where it was laying as we filled it) but I soon caughton when he said "I think there might be a little water in it" he rolled the tire to me and I am not sure it could have been heavier if it where completely full of concrete. What had happened was the top bead had broken off but not the bottom then years of rain here and there had just poured into the tire filling it with water.
Now getting it out was the problem. I was thinking getting "all" of the water out would be
difficult without tire irons to get at least one side of the tire off the rim. But as is typical while I was thinking Jeff was acting. he let the air out and used the side of the trailer to push the bead off again then began a sort of pressing, bouncing, twisting, pulling rhythmic motion with this tire, the wheel and the side of the trailer that I am sure from the point of view of passing cars must have looked carnal. But his strange rain dance worked and gallons of water came gushing out of the tire in glop's and spurts. We both immediately cracked up at just the shear amount of water
that was coming out of this tire. I only barley remembered to get a picture, why didn't I switch to a video. Well after this the froze up jack was not anywhere near as entertaining, i had to grunt a bit but it broke free and we had the tire changed shortly after.
Some fellow road travelers out and about in the heat stopped next to us (we where on the end of an off ramp, not the shoulder of the interstate) nearly immediately after we stopped offering us water. This was nice and considerate. We happened to be prepared on the water front if not the spare tire front so we declined. With how rushed people are and how incensed people can get with others it is nice to know there are still some helpful and compassionate people out there still. Unless of course it was lased with poison of some kind or other.
Our arival at the Dealers was as quick as our exit. having lots of things scheduled for both of us and having already added some time with the spare tire we had about an hour window for being at the dealers. I am not sure what they thought of us as we came in there. mind you they where friendly to be sure but as I had spoke with the owner a couple of times (though had never met him) well there was not much left to negotiate. And after standing there in the show room we began with the final negotiations which ended about fifteen seconds later. quick and brisk is an understatement. I think this may have cough Jeff a little off guard as well.
Jeff browsed the showroom as I went' into the little room to talk with the paperwork people. I pointed out our time was tight and they had no problems speeding up. they where rattling things off back and fourth as though it was a practiced routine. though they managed to do this in a way that was quick and precise and complete. and in no time I was out of there.
At some time in this process someone asked me if I didn't want to ride it around before putting it on the trailer. and the real answer is yes but time was tight and I was not only consuming my time but Jeff's as well and if I got on the bike I would surely have lost another hour which I didn't want to put on him. no the safest way is to get it on the trailer. At some point a guy there said that it would be like the other 1200's I have rode. to which I had to respond I've never rode one of these bikes,
I never actually stood next to one. This brought a moment of stunned silence. not as they where afraid to say anything just as a little skip in there brain had left five seconds or so where no actual thinking was going on. To me this is always funny, eventually one of the guys there came up with "that shows conviction".
After asking about a local tire shop to replace the trailer tire we left out in what I am sure was one of the quickest in and out's to be seen in a dealership in a long time. The Buell appeared as if we where dropping a loyal dog off at the pound back turned to us and head down.
Stopping at the tire shop we found a good used tire and got it mounted and swapped it back on the trailer. A quick munch and we where off again. Oh how nice we stopped at the tire shop.
Naturally about an hour outside of kingdom city off goes the tread on the other tire. Hot and a long day down at
least this time we had some practice and it was pit crew performance swapping the spare on to the trailer. I really did do some things during these stops, it was not just Jeff laboring away in the heat but I had the camera. Any rate on we went with a little stop maybe 20 minuets from home to visit friends with some friends in the hospital.
Then back at Jeff's house, unload the bike, put the trailer back in it's parking spot. And what happens? people driving by stop to talk. This is the second time this day at Jeff's house and the second neighbors to stop. When i got to Jeff's house in the morning I went around to the front not realizing that he had just walked out the back. I knock on the front door and get no answer and as I turn to go around the back some guy in a truck passing stops and says "are you looking for Jeff?" I nod and he says "he is behind the garage" this guy was just someone from the neighborhood, everyone it seams knows Jeff. Now many hours later a car passes and slows roles down the windows and "hi Jeff". It is kind of odd but nice.
Get some gear on after a hot and long day and finally to turn the bike on and take a ride less than three miles back to my house. Okay So I ended up at my girlfriends house 17 miles away. But I eventually got back round to my house, home, a long day.
A little clip of me leaving Jeff's house. most of it is not usable so for once for me it is a small clip.