'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

27 September 2012

An Unexpected Purchase

I'm retired so we're on what is known as a fixed income. We're comfortable but tend to prioritize our purchases. We have a fund for the various non essential stuff we want to some day acquire. When the fund for a particular item is empty or otherwise insufficient we don't buy until it is flush. Until yesterday anyway.

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.



Keads said...

Nice! I'm not a bike dude, but I think you got lucky here. I love Invisible glass too.

Six said...

Thanks Kelly. Yeah, once I tried Invisible Glass I threw all the rest of my glass cleaners out. Good stuff.

Murphy's Law said...

Nice. I'm looking hard for a bike myself right now and the RT is high on my list. Thinking about a June, 2013 trip out your way. Tell more about that bike. Convince me I don't need a Harley.

Six said...

I'm just not a Harley guy but Car Guy has 2 V-Rods. What he complained about was range and that he couldn't stand up occasionally to give his butt a rest. The RT is supremely comfortable but is also a very good handling bike. It'll eat up the miles and take you for a thrill ride when the road begins to twist. The luggage is big, lockable and easy on and off. Good wind protection with an electrically adjustable screen. Grip warmers, important in your neck of the woods if you ride when the mercury dips. Sits high for good vision and the boxer twin is bullet proof. BMW has been making them since at least WWII. The ABS is pure magic, especially in the rain. Before you decide we should definitely talk more.

Let me put it this way. At work I went from the Kawi to a Road Glide to the BMW. The BMW is the most competent motorcycle I've ever ridden. Hands down.

Dude, whatever you buy I am so down for a ride. Get one and let's do it.

Me said...

You didn't tell me about the seat! Before finishing your post I was going to suggest a trip out here for some custom Corbin work. I've already decided that the V-Strom needs a Corbin seat. I was contemplating a trip over there next week. But I can wait if it suits you... :-)

Six said...

I'll call you. I do want the Corbin treatment, the only issue is when I'm going to do it.

Jon said...

I loved my 2001 R1100RL, which I bought in 2004 and rode for several years, then my wife "inherited" it. I bought a 2001 1150GS, which I still ride all the time. BMWs are fantastic machines!

Six said...

I knew you were a smart man Jon.

JihadGene said...

I'm happy for you LOOONG time!!! I bought a used 1997 Honda Valkyrie back in May and I am having a blast! It's a pig on gas...like Obama going through tax dollars...but I ruv it! I'm about 130 miles from the Corbin seat folks down in the Ca Central Valley. Ride safe and I hope to meet you!

Coop said...

nice ride Six, enjoy it!

Six said...

Next time I'm in the area we'll do it Gene. Lunch is on me.

Thanks Coop.

LauraB said...

Pretty! But is that the one that starts to smell like bad fish after a few hours of motors coursework? :)

Looks like Sarge's pal is gonna buy his old FJR from the guy he sold it to - and then they're all off to the Dragon sans wimmenfolk.

I'm thinking about some Colorado snow with the dogs as payback.

Six said...

That's just our fear stink Laura.

I wish I was out that way. I'd love to ride with Sarge.

If you do make it to Colorado let me know. I've got family I need to visit and it'd be a great excuse to head out that way. Lunch on me.

agirlandhergun said...

Sweet! Congrats!!

We both have new rides:)

JihadGene said...

I recently bought some Speed bead and Invisible Glass. I never used them or noticed them, before. Those products are great! Used them on the cars and the bike! Thanks LOOONG time!!!

Six said...

My pleasure Gene. It comes from having to clean and polish my PD motorcycle daily for more than 10 years!