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Archive for the ‘F800GT’ Category

Yes, I took to the road with my motorcycle during the (four-day) weekend. What motorcyclist would not do that, given the splendid weather we had for Easter? Most cyclists did the same, by the way ;-)

(Click on the image to see the big version on Flickr)

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The weather is not yet perfect, but I have taken out my bike for a couple of little rides the last few days. It’s nice to be back on two wheels, in preparation of the summer and the extended bike trips I already have planned. Fun when riding a bike, that’s what this picture I found on Flickr also shows:

Picture titled 'BMWs on the Angeles Crest'

Picture titled ‘BMWs on the Angeles Crest’ by ‘thelostadventure’ (Click the image for the full version)

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No Time For Blogging

I don’t have much time for blogging these days: weekdays are for work, and weekends are reserved for family business (<grin />) and motorcycle touring…

(Click on the image to see more of my trip)

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My admiration of the R1100S motorcycle should be clear to any reader of this blog. Even today, I think back to mine from day to day. If it weren’t for my back and hip issues, I would probably still own and ride it.

I’ve shown a picture of a similarly modified BMW R1100S before: street-fighter handlebars and a windscreen extension turn it into a different proposition.

Paul Campagna’s BMW R1100S as he bought it (click on the photo to see more pictures of the bike)

And then wonder: why did I not convert mine to such a form, rather than trade it for the F800GT ? Well, there’s no use crying over spilt milk – but I would love to ride an R1100S with a street-fighter handlebars for a day or so!

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Last Sunday, I covered almost 200 km on a good half day. Sunny but not too warm: the ideal weather for a ride and some photographs!

More and bigger photos can be found in my Flickr stream – just click to go there

I hope the photos convey some of the pleasure I had during this trip.

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First Tour Day of 2017

Sunday March 26th, was one of the best days of the year: sunny and not too cold. Time for a ride on the BMW F800 GT – and a nice ride it was. Proof by pictures: see them all on Flickr.

(Click the picture to go to Flickr)

Note: I wasn’t the only two-wheeler to take a bike to the road!

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We were too intent on riding our bikes rather than photographing them, but I still managed a few good stills during our recent Eifel trip. Here’s the black and white version; click on the photo to see them all on my Flickr album for this trip.

Rain in the morning, sun in the afternoon

Rain in the morning, sun in the afternoon

Not as good as I would like them to be, but that’s an incentive for more touring and more photographing!

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The solar energy production numbers are in for July, and they’re below average. For 2010 up to and including 2015, the average production of the month of July is just above 298.000 Wh; this year just got us 94,5% of that.

Luckily July also ended with a four-day motorcycle weekend that was a lot of fun. Yes, we had our fair share of rain this year, but that did not spoil our trip. Lots of fun, lots of fast and slow turns, a great landscape, and a fantastic way to get to know the F800GT better. The GT turns out to be an excellent motorcycle for the roads in the Eifel region (in Germany, near the Belgian border). And we also found a nice place for a cup of cappucino ;-)

cappucino-for-bikers-small.jpg

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All Packed And Ready To Go

I have packed the bike, prepared the route, coordinated with my friends: we’re ready to go on our motorcycle weekend. I hope to find a few occasions to get some more good pictures of our bikes, for example like this one:

Krakatoa's 2013 BMW F800GT

Krakatoa’s 2013 BMW F800GT as pictured on http://advrider.com/
(Click on the image to go there)

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The BMW F800GT is, in my view, a well-looking bike. Not as sharp as the R1100S, but more than “nice”. Of course, the engine is completely different: it’s not a boxer, even if it tries to sound like one (at least, that’s what many reviewers try to tell me).

One of the advantages of the boxer engine is the protection offered by the cilinders pointing sideways. “Dropping” the bike when you’re (almost) not moving means that the cilinders will take the fall and thus avoid damage to the fairing, the mirrors, etc. Put cilinder protectors on your boxer and at least that kind of fall will not cost you an arm and a leg.

What are the possibilities for similar protection on the F800GT ?

  • Wunderlich and Touratech have crash bars for the F800GT in their catalog. I haven’t seen them mounted on a machine in real life, and I’m not entirely convinced of their capabilities: their position doesn’t seem right (at least on photos). They’re not exactly beauties either.
  • Adding panniers would help too, of course, just as on the boxers. But I don’t need them at this moment, and buying them as crash protection and not as a means for transporting luggage is a bit too weird for my taste.
  • Several well-known players offer frame sliders for this particular bike: Wunderlich, R&G, SW Motech, and Puig are some of them.
The Wunderlich frame slider on my bike

The Wunderlich frame slider on my bike

I have pondered the question since I bought the F800GT; last week I asked my dealer to add the Wunderlich frame sliders on my machine. The dealer tells me they really do help in protecting the side panels of the bike, and I don’t want a repeat of what happened a three weeks ago. Fellow F800GT rider Daboo writes: “I stalled the bike just as I was starting a sharp right turn from my driveway to the main street” – and that is almost exactly what happened to me as well.

I should have decided earlier: those fairing panels aren’t cheap!

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Call it sheer luck, but the weather hasn’t be very June-like this month. In fact, many parts of Europe, including Belgium, have seen torrential rains the last few weeks. But when my friends and I ride our yearly Spring Tour on our bikes, the weather is dry and even sunny (at least partially ;-). Ditto today – yeah!

The F800GT on the N758 in Bilzen, Belgium

The F800GT on the N758 in Bilzen, Belgium

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Motorcycle Touring Is Cool

I made the first big tour of the year with my new bike, and managed to add 266km to the counter. It would have been even better if the air temperature had been around 20 degrees Celsius, rather than the 11 or 12 I saw on the thermometers… But I can’t help enjoying the ride, even when it’s chilly outside ;-)

 

The fields of Bassenge (Belgium)

The fields of Bassenge (Belgium)

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These days, I prefer to have instruction manuals, receipts, invoices, product info, etc. in a digital form. Storing everything in Evernote means that I always have everything with me, as long as I have a computer, mobile or otherwise, at hand, plus: I can use the search function to find what I need. After riffling through the paper instruction manual of my new F800GT I went to the belgian BMW motorcycle division website – only to find that they do not offer PDF downloads of manuals!

As it turns out, neither the belgian nor the german websites of BMW offer a way to download rider’s manuals. Strange indeed.

Luckily, there is a way to find the rider’s manual of many current BMW motorcycle types on the website of BMW Motorrad USA. Not just in English, by the way – you can find them in many languages. Just head over to the BMW Motorrad USA website, click on “Service & Maintenance” and then on “Rider’s Manual“. From then on you just follow the instructions…

bmw-usa.png

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Bragging about the BMW R1100S: I have done my share of that on these pages. I still think it is the most elegant motorcycle sold by BMW, and it’s a great ride as well – what more can you ask for? Well, I do have one problem with the machine: even with lowered footpegs (thank you, Wunderlich) I get cramps and pains in my right thigh when I ride it for a whole day. That’s the result of a hip problem, which isn’t the fault of the R1100S. But since the problem is getting worse every year, I have been eying other motorcycles, trying to imagine which model would lessen the pain.

What a beauty, even with that silly tank bag

What a beauty, even with that silly tank bag

Three weeks ago, I had the unexpected opportunity to testdrive a BMW C650GT scooter as well as the BMW F800GT.

The maxi-scooter is luxurious yet quite dynamic. On the small roads I tried it on, I did not have the impression of going slower compared to the R1100S. A strange feeling, really: driving an upbeat tempo while sitting in your lazy chair. Unfortunately for me, after several hours my back started complaining (don’t say it out loud: I know I’m getting older).

And then there was the F800GT. I had been looking at its predecessor in 2006, the F800ST, but that one somehow failed to convince me. Riding the F800GT three weeks ago, however, was an eye-opener. It’s not as sporty as the R1100S, and the engine does not have that wonderful push the boxer can give from low revs on. But I was very happy to drive it: an agile bike with all the trimmings I could ask for (ABS, ASC, ESA, heated grips, comfortable seat, etc.). And to top it off: no pain in my leg!

So a few days later I bought one. It’s not entirely new, but that’s no show-stopper for me. Here it is, next to the R1100S that I will be missing – but I’m sure the new kid on the block will bring its own sensations and adventures. That is what riding a bike is all about, no?

f800gt.jpg

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