It will take a
while to get everything together, so this page will probably be
dynamic for a month or so. I'm going to try to do the layout in a
story fashion, similar to the EaSTOC page. There will be text with
small icon pictures, which you can click to get the bigger version. I
have bought a scanner for home, and it is easily doing much better
than the scanner at work. I hope to rescan everything. I will have
the slides scanned up some day, and put a few of them in here.
Note for the bandwidth impaired. Big pictures are 30-150 Kbytes each. This may take a while!
Wellllll, I'm here to say that the BMW that I rode, an R1100R, is one of the worst motorcycles you could ever imagine. The main problem is the motor. The thing would only run reasonably well from 2500 RPM, where it made no power, to 3500 RPM, where it started clattering and vibrating like it was going to immediately fly apart. I'm not talking about a little bit of vibs either! I'm saying major shaking, bars vibrating, pegs jumping around, things rattling, mirrors blurring out, and maximum bad, metallic, motor internal distress sounds. I thought something was wrong (still do), but the tour people said it was all normal. If it's normal, who would ever buy such a piece of crap?
So, anyway, I rode the thing, but I was never happy with it. I wish I could have ridden a bike with a decent motor. To its credit, when I either cranked on it to see if it would blow up, or wore earplugs so I wouldn't have to listen to the parts coming out, it would run at any speed, and put out lots of power. Of course this made my CD player skip, which was another downer.
Another problem with the Beemer motor was the fuel injection. It had the frequently reported surging problem at steady speeds, but this was only a minor annoyance. The big problem was the inability to reliably and smoothly get power back on after shutting down for a corner. Sometimes it would work, and those felt great. Other times it seemed like there was nothing when I gently twisted the throttle. Kind of left you hanging in the curve! Other times it came on with a bang, and that's another method of hanging - on the outside. Sometimes it came on with a lurch. I tried trailing the brake against the motor, and that helped a bit, but I'm afraid I'm not very practiced at this. I also tried the advice to keep the motor up and control it with the clutch, but I wasn't any good at all at this one. So, each corner was done on the chance of the draw!
On the other hand, the brakes were great (saved my buns in Italy!), the handling excellent, and the riding position perfect for the long riding days. Why can't they just fix the motor? It could be a great bike, if... (I did ride an R1100RT after my return, and its motor is night and day compared to the R. It's about what I had expected of a BMW! However, I didn't have it for my trip!)