See, ever since my days as an evil motorcycle cop I've lusted after a BMW RT. I spent 3 years riding one full time and another 4 part time. You know how it is when something is just right. It fits and works in a way that is both comfortable and intuitive. For me and motorcycles the BMW is such a machine. I wanted one way back when I bought the BigBandido but time was short and the motorcycle fund was what it was. Most of the RTs I saw were a bit out of the fund's range at the time. Don't get me wrong, the big Suzuki is a fine machine. Big, fast and relatively comfortable. It lacks bags, has a smallish gas tank and lacks a bit of weather protection but is otherwise very competent. It's just not a BMW.
So I've been perusing the want ads, keeping an eye out for older BMWs. You know, just in case. Yesterday I saw an ad out of Las Vegas for a 1999 R1100 RT. The price was significantly under NADA for the year and mileage. An older owner/rider who just wanted it gone so he could move on to something else and who absolutely hated selling stuff. He priced it to move with no muss and no fuss. It had some cosmetic issues and a few of the non essential electrical systems needed to be addressed but it was otherwise mechanically perfect. And the price was fantastic. More than the current motorcycle fund had in it but way too good to pass up. So I called the guy, made an appointment to see it, hooked up the trailer and headed south. When I got there it was actually better than advertised. Handshakes and cash were proffered and the deal was struck. I am now the proud owner of this;
That is a very nice example of a BMW Boxer Twin, a 1999 R1100 RT. The tach needs a bulb, it needs a new battery sometime in the not too distant future, the fuel gauge needs a new sender unit and the left mirror was actually duct taped on. Both seats have a few small rips/ tears but nothing bad. That's about it.
It has the usual nicks and scratches you'd expect from a 13 year old bike but with a little spit and polish she cleans up real good.
Luckily I have quite a bit of experience with these bikes so the mirror fix was simple. Cleaning off the baked on tape glue was a little harder. Tools of the trade. Lemon pledge for general clean up, Speed Bead for final wax/shine and Invisible Glass for mirrors. Throw in some soft rags, elbow grease and a bit of sweat equity and one can work wonders.
I spent the afternoon cleaning, repairing and generally going over her. I think she's beautiful. The tank is nearly 7 gallons, the bags are voluminous and the weather protection is superb. The windscreen even goes up and down at the touch of a button. And did I mention the electrically heated grips? Heaven. She's shiny, comfortable and gorgeous.
What chaps my butt is that I paid exactly 50 bucks more for this BMW than I did for the BigBandido. Not that it's a bad thing (really, it was a fantastic price) just that the timing really sucked. Now I'll go ahead and sell the Bandit and call it even. Well, since I also hate selling stuff Lu has stepped up and graciously offered to sell it for me. Thanks sweetie!
Even now I'm perusing the BMW catalogs for a GPS mount and maybe a trunk. I mean, it does already have the rack just sitting there and all. Maybe a trip to Corbin for some new seat skins. Car Guy is enthused. He just bought a V-Strom 1000 based on the limited range and carry capacity we experienced on our long ride. Now we both have detachable/lockable luggage and big fuel tanks. Come next Spring we'll be pooping in tall cotton!
I flat got lucky on this one. The seller placed the ad the night before, late. I just happened to be the first caller the next morning. By the time I got there he'd already had a host of other callers but held it for me since I was first. Heh heh. I really didn't want to spend the money but when it came up I had to jump or lose her to someone else.
A big sport/tourer with intercontinental range, style and comfort. And that wonderful boxer twin music. Oh yeah, I am a happy man today.