BMW K1600 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My transition to BMW took a few decades with many good experiences along the way.

My first bile was a 1976 Kawasaki KE175 as a teenager to ride to school. Green & yellow bike, yellow helmet, jeans jacket with a CB patch. Can you say nerd... It was an inexpensive bike that fit me and my first experiences as a rider. Nice memories being one of the only kids in HS who rode a bike. First freedoms venturing away from home.

As an adult, I bought into the HD craze with a Road King Classic and an Ultra. Nice bikes. I liked buying the add-ons and seeing who would comment on the new chrome. I liked the sound and feel of the bike and the long rides. I fit in with all the other HD guys. Again, nice experiences.

One day, I was reading the Michigan State Police reviews on motorcycles and saw that the BMW outperformed the HD and most other bikes in every category. So one day, I decided to test ride the BMW R1200. After 5 miles of a test ride, I was filling out the paperwork to buy it in 2015. In 2018, I traded for a K1600GTL.

What I like about the BMW is the smoothness, quietness, higher seating position and virtually no fatigue after riding all day. No heat coming up from the cylinder heads, no numb hands from the thump, thump of the motor. I also like the quickness, the lighter weight and saving money on chrome.

While I had great experiences on the HD, I had no idea of the differences until I rode the BMW. No hit on the HD at all. I had a lot of fun on them, but I thoroughly enjoy the ride of BMW.

What got you to BMW? .
 

·
Soupa Mod
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
I thought BMW only made boxers.

I was camping in West Virginia in 2014 and ran into a father and son camping next to Dave and I. The father was riding an old boxer he bought new in Germany when stationed there. The son had a late 1990's K bike.

The son gave me a bike mag that had an article about the K1600. It sounded really cool so when I got home I immediately went to our local dealer, sat on one and bought it. It was a 2011. I put 65,000 on it and traded it for my 2018 K1600.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I started out way back with a Honda 50cc 4-stroke, then a Suzuki 50cc 2-stroke, later a Suzuki 250cc Ram-Air 2-stroke, then Kawasaki Z 1000cc, had a break from street bikes with a Yamaha YZ 125 dirt bike.

After a very long break from bikes I bought a 2008 Harley-Davidson Night Train in 2013, which I sold a month ago when I bought my 2013 GTL.

I saw a lengthy YouTube video review of a GTL about a year ago and was on the look-out for a good used one - wanted to buy in my cash price range so a new one was out for me.

I drooled over the 1000RR, but an overweight older bloke isn't a pretty sight on a sport bike, crotch rocket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Pat3147, our bike histories share the same Kawasaki 175 and same year.. mine was a blue, we were farmers in TX so I used it to go from the house to the field when I was around 14 years old. My next bike in high school was my favorite bike of all time, a Honda CB550-four. I rode that bike all through college in Waco and summers home in TX panhandle. I wish I still had it. I went for a long time w/o a bike until 2007, moved out West (San Fran) and came to realize I needed a bike to get around the city. I bought a new ST1300 which I still have because it's such a great, reliable, low-maintenace machine. I test rode (still in San Fran) the K1600 when it debuted in 2011 but did not like the clunky gear box compared to the ultra-smooth Honda, but I never forgot about the acceleration. I finally purchased a GTL last Sept and have thoroughly enjoyed this bike. I was leery.. I read quite a few postings from other BMW owners regarding bad experiences that kept me from taking the plunge, but now that I'm an owner, the ride experience is worth the risk of a problem down the road. I'm holding onto the Honda in case that happens so that I have something to ride during a maintenance issue.
 

·
Steve's Brother
Joined
·
6,238 Posts
I rode Suzuki and Honda for the better part of 43 years and 25 or so bikes with one HD thrown in. I never thought about owning a BMW. My brother Steve bought a K1200GT in 2010 which I picked up for him in Phoenix and brought to my house for his retrieval. I was riding a Honda ST1300 (among a couple other bikes) for my solo trips and so didn't really think about the BMW one way or another.

I had that ST1300 and a Valkyrie when articles started showing up in magazines about the K1600. It intrigued me especially being a 6 cylinder and having a sport touring lean to it. I thought hmm I could replace 2 bikes with 1.

Short story in 2012 Steve and I were on a road trip and while in Birmingham, AL we both bought K1600s. I traded the ST1300 in on it and after 2 years of not riding the Valkyrie I sold it. I've never looked back.

Probably one of the main reasons for liking the BMW is the whole BMW social experience. After riding for those 43 years with a variety of people I finally found my "family". Going to the BMW rallies and meeting folks that like to ride long distances, tent camp and have a beer (at the end of the day) was nice. I could never get into the HOG thing even after going to the Laughlin and Sturgis rallies for years.

I don't have to dress like everyone else and pretend to be a 1% (they all dress and act alike). I've made so many more motorcycle friends in the past 8 years than I did in the prior 43 years that I doubt I'll not own a BMW for ever.

The folks on this forum have played such a huge part in this wonderful experience (wiping tears away).

Anyway there is a little of my experience.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
402 Posts
Was doing prisoner escort in the Army. Was waiting in Miami for a pickup, & stopped for lunch at a roadside cafe. Was thinking about a new Honda 750, & saw 2 twin brothers leaving the cafe. They were going to a pair of old BMW's. One was a 1950 R/50/2 the other had a 1952 R50 They were retired divorce lawyers touring the world. They had just completed a trip from Alaska to the southern tip of South America. One bike had 250K on it the other 275K. They asked me to sit next to the bike on the ground & using my right hand & arm, to try & pull the kick starter & start the engine. Started the first pull. They said the only parts they had replaced were batteries, brake parts & one clutch cable. I got back to Ft. Gordon & ordered a 1970 R75/5. First of 5 BMW's.
 

·
Green Eggs and Ham
Joined
·
386 Posts
My story starts a little over ten years ago.

I walked into a bike dealership a little over ten years ago with my wife. I'd always wanted a bike but had never ridden one. Saw one bike, a 2005 Honda 1300 VTX S, that I liked. Told the wife I liked it and she didn't throw me out of the house, so two weeks later at age 50 I bought my 1st bike.The guys I rode with had a 2007 HD Heritage Soft Tail, a 2008 Goldwing, a 2010 Yamaha V Star 1300 and a 2010 Suzuki M109R. Those guys drug my azz all over south Georgia and Alabama. That got old very fast. I started looking for something to change that, and read up on the new 6 cylinder BMW.

One Friday around noon in June of 2012, I walked into BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta to look. By 1PM, I was hooked. I drove to Columbus, GA to get my Honda and back to Atlanta to trade it in. By COB that same day, I rolled my new to me 2012 GTL demo out the door.

That bike was totaled in storm a year later, and after turning that bike over to the insurance company I promptly went back and bought a 2013 GTL Premium. That's when I started meeting other BMW riders and was introduced to farkling.

It's a much better experience in every way: Power, braking, handling, suspension, mileage, you name it, it's better. I tell everyone that compared to my Kbike the Honda had square wheels. I've learned riding tips from some of the most seasoned riders on this forum. Not just on how to take this curve or which side of the lane to ride in but gear and equipment to make long distance touring comfortable. Guys all across the spectrum IRT finances and I've yet to encounter the 1st a**hole. What I have encountered is guys willing to go out of their way to help you, from plugging flat tires to lending oil or electrical issues (lights or communications). The few local groups I looked at were full of caste or homesteaders and I wanted no part of that. BMW riders seem to be of a single mind: Riding and the pursuit of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
What partially got me to BMW was 2 years ago buying an older hard top 335i convertible as i was gonna sell my RoadGlide Ultra, cuz my left hand and back was getting the best of me and I packed in my riding days.
After getting the 335i, I was really impressed with BMW all around.
Fast forward, several months ago, my newsfeed popped up BMW Bagger because I get BMW stuff...im like, what.
So I checked out the article, when I first read about Reverse, my brain started churning, then i read about the quick shift pro and I immediately thought about my left hand and less torque on the hand shifting. Next up was almost 200lbs lighter then my RG Ultra.
I found one locally and had to go see the B in person. Once, I sat on it, and felt how light it feeled, I was pretty well sold.
I then looked around and found the Beasty Girl at a BMW Dealer, almost 5k cheaper.
My first ride on her, was my 270km trip home. I took numerous stops along the way to stretch out, as it was almost 2yrs since last riding. I thought for sure, I would be pretty sore but I was pleasantly surprised, I really wasn't.
I still think its an odd looking bike , cuz the back half looks like a bagger and the front half,kinda like a humongous crotch rocket. Its a good fit for me, cuz i could be considered odd myself. Hehehe.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
402 Posts
A follow up. I was hoping to retire in a few years from a job with a boss who was bi polar. Wife of 30+ years set up with a dealer in Medford Oregon we took our old K1100LT to for work. We dropped the old bike off & were waiting for that to be done. The dealer came out in about 15 minutes & said "all done." I knew the work would take a couple of hours, so I asked if they had done everything. He said my bike was waiting out front. When we went outside, my old bike was not in sight. Wife then pointed to a new bike, said she would buy the new 2013 K1600GTL if I promised I would retire within 6 months. Next day I told my boss I would be gone in 2 weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
My transition to BMW took a few decades with many good experiences along the way.

My first bile was a 1976 Kawasaki KE175 as a teenager to ride to school. Green & yellow bike, yellow helmet, jeans jacket with a CB patch. Can you say nerd... It was an inexpensive bike that fit me and my first experiences as a rider. Nice memories being one of the only kids in HS who rode a bike. First freedoms venturing away from home.

As an adult, I bought into the HD craze with a Road King Classic and an Ultra. Nice bikes. I liked buying the add-ons and seeing who would comment on the new chrome. I liked the sound and feel of the bike and the long rides. I fit in with all the other HD guys. Again, nice experiences.

One day, I was reading the Michigan State Police reviews on motorcycles and saw that the BMW outperformed the HD and most other bikes in every category. So one day, I decided to test ride the BMW R1200. After 5 miles of a test ride, I was filling out the paperwork to buy it in 2015. In 2018, I traded for a K1600GTL.

What I like about the BMW is the smoothness, quietness, higher seating position and virtually no fatigue after riding all day. No heat coming up from the cylinder heads, no numb hands from the thump, thump of the motor. I also like the quickness, the lighter weight and saving money on chrome.

While I had great experiences on the HD, I had no idea of the differences until I rode the BMW. No hit on the HD at all. I had a lot of fun on them, but I thoroughly enjoy the ride of BMW.

What got you to BMW? .
When I was a knee high my father would take me to the police festival in Berlin each year. The highlight for me was the motorcycle stunt show. Five cops on a boxer, then six, and a dog. Then free rides on the Olympic Stadium grounds. My dad was a cop and arranged a ride for me each time. I grew up dreaming boxer. My first bike was a Zuendap Moped however, the bmw boxer too heavy duty for me and two more grades up in motorcycle license. Then time went on, and on, and on, and my first bike was in the US, a Suzuki 350 cc I bought new when my mother would not cosign on a Austin Healey 3000. My sister said I'd kill myself with it. So I showed the chicks what was what and went to the Suzuki dealer on Whalley Ave New Haven and bought the bike. In those days a drivers license was enough. Thoroughly enjoyed bringing it home. Then it was various and sundry Japanese motorcycles. A Honda st1100, 1300 and Valkyrie. The first real BMW Motorrad I rode was rental, a k1300 because the rental agency had no other bike available. Rode the whole length of Europa on that tour, two weeks, and I thought I had died and reborn into a medieval torture device. Thank God I brought the big bottle Aleeve from the states. Next year I rented a boxer. Ok, now the ride was endurable, but the bike lacked the power and dang it sounded like an agricultural tractor. Next year I stuck to my knitting and found a Kawasaki dealer to rent from in Europe. The following year I said screw it, and brought my own bike with me on the same plane with me. And back. That was a Harley Electra Glide. Ahhhhhhh......all that was missing was the bacon in the morning. The following year I didn't have the dough so I rented a K1600 over there. Ok, that one I liked. When the HD got too hot under my seat riding out West and SW in the summer, during some contract work out there. I had three heart attacks behind me and didn't want to risk dehydration from a hot seat and Western dryness a mile up. I bought a used K1600GT after riding several adventure bikes and dirt bikes out there. I'd had assorted Kawis, and rented them as well. Today I am drawn to the r1250rs and a Africa Twin with DCT, but I am too old for a bike without a fairing, so the K1600 will have to go into the mausoleum with me.

Did I say 6 cops one bike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
My story starts a little over ten years ago.

I walked into a bike dealership a little over ten years ago with my wife. I'd always wanted a bike but had never ridden one. Saw one bike, a 2005 Honda 1300 VTX S, that I liked. Told the wife I liked it and she didn't throw me out of the house, so two weeks later at age 50 I bought my 1st bike.The guys I rode with had a 2007 HD Heritage Soft Tail, a 2008 Goldwing, a 2010 Yamaha V Star 1300 and a 2010 Suzuki M109R. Those guys drug my azz all over south Georgia and Alabama. That got old very fast. I started looking for something to change that, and read up on the new 6 cylinder BMW.

One Friday around noon in June of 2012, I walked into BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta to look. By 1PM, I was hooked. I drove to Columbus, GA to get my Honda and back to Atlanta to trade it in. By COB that same day, I rolled my new to me 2012 GTL demo out the door.

That bike was totaled in storm a year later, and after turning that bike over to the insurance company I promptly went back and bought a 2013 GTL Premium. That's when I started meeting other BMW riders and was introduced to farkling.

It's a much better experience in every way: Power, braking, handling, suspension, mileage, you name it, it's better. I tell everyone that compared to my Kbike the Honda had square wheels. I've learned riding tips from some of the most seasoned riders on this forum. Not just on how to take this curve or which side of the lane to ride in but gear and equipment to make long distance touring comfortable. Guys all across the spectrum IRT finances and I've yet to encounter the 1st a**hole. What I have encountered is guys willing to go out of their way to help you, from plugging flat tires to lending oil or electrical issues (lights or communications). The few local groups I looked at were full of caste or homesteaders and I wanted no part of that. BMW riders seem to be of a single mind: Riding and the pursuit of it.
Got to know what is farkling ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Got to know what is farkling ???
Quoted from pop culture dictionary
"""""""Farkle

or farkle or Farkel [fahr-kuh l]

WHAT DOES FARKLE MEAN?

Farkle has numerous meanings. Known by other names such as Zonk and Wimpout!, Farkle is a dice game in which the goal is to get the highest score on the highest round of play.

A farkle is also the name for a flashy motorcycle accessory.
"""""
And a better one.
""""""""""""TOP DEFINITION

farkle

accessory.

The word is generally accepted to mean a combination of "function" and "sparkle", hence, farkle.

Motorcycle enthusiasts may install accessories, called farkles (also spelled farkel), to customize their machine.

One source attributes the term to Pete Wells, the organizer of a 1997 Honda ST1100 rally
www.nabble.com/Re:-Farkel,
{delete this line and join two halves for url}
-or-is-it-Farkle--p2354383.html

The term is well known in the sport touring community.

An enthusiast may be in the process of "farkling". The completed motorcycle would be all "farkled up". Radar detectors, Global Positioning System receivers, heated grips, and satellite radios are some of those farkles. Other accessories could be aftermarket seats, side and/or top cases or bar risers, which make the motorcycle more suitable for long miles.

F.A.R.K.L.E. -- Fancy Accessory Really Kool Likely Expensive

by Roy Harp July 20, 2006

""""""""""
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
My first bike was a 2002 R1150R I had it for 3 months and 3300 miles before I traded it for a 2003 K1200RS. The K12RS was a great motorcycle and I wish BMW had dived deeper into developing the flying brick engine instead of allowing it to die off in favor of the inline 4 K1200S. I've owned a total of eight BMW's but I don't recall how i stumbled on to BMW but somehow I did and have never looked back. Of the eight BMW's I've owned only one, 2006 K12S, was a problem child and I was glad to get rid of it when the K13S came out in 2009. I've also owned a Kawasaki ZX14R and currently a Kawasaki H2SXSE, both great bikes. I also wish BMW had further explored improving the K13S another great motorcycle allowed to fall into the dust bin of history.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Grew up on dirt bikes in Arizona, pretty much anything I could afford. First street bike was a 1982 Honda CB900F in 1994 when I moved to WA state. This was the bike that made Fast Freddy Spencer famous winning races in the late 70's early 80's. I has a lot of fun on that bike!

New Wheels 006.jpg

Sold it when my body could not take the aggressive forward sport bike position anymore and I was finding out I really liked multiple day touring. I moved on to a 1977 Honda Goldwing (first generation) about 12 years ago. Did a bunch of suspension, brake and other upgrades and have been to every state west of the Missouri River and a few east. It was truly an amazing bike to ride long distances, all 68 horsepower of it.😁 I could keep on with just about any average street rider in anything but a drag race. It was no slouch in the curves at 60-70 mph on two lane highways, but got pretty "loose" much faster than that. I surprised many a rider when they realized they were passed by a 70's bike, and a Goldwing at that! My mantra was "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow"

GL r-Rear.jpg Naked Front.jpg

Years ago I broke my thumb, and arthritis is set in. I could no longer hold the throttle open for long periods without pain. I needed low effort, fly by wire throttle and cruse control, so time to move on again. May 2019 I was considering a newer Goldwing, when I stumbled across a super clean 2016 K1600GT with only 8000mi. Went for a test ride and it was mine. Sold the '77 Goldwing last week, I did not ride it anymore. No regrets, but I am going to miss her. 😢

144428
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I have been riding 30 plus years mostly trading bikes every two or so. I would usually find used bikes mostly Japanese and ride for couple then move on ( kids and all). I could never find the right power, handling versus comfort. Bought 1000 cc Versys and it was uncomfortable for some reason then went to the 2nd gen Valkyrie didn't even keep that for a year. I was thinking about getting the 1000XR when I saw the 1600B specs and instantly went for a test ride. Best bike of the bunch You can ride it hard enough to be fun or kick your feet up and enjoy. cant say enough good things.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
41 Posts
When I was in high school I got a summer job at Denali National Park (in Alaska). I cleaned single room cabins (like single hotel rooms). There was an old honda (I think) single cylinder bike that was part of a pile of junk on the property that “didn’t work”. The owner of the business let me fiddle with it until I got it to run, and I ran around on it all summer. Well, when I could get it to run, which was mostly.

I went to my freshman year of College in South Dakota (how I got there is a long story), and I was pretty close to broke most of the time. I managed to save some money from buying used textbooks instead of new, and bought a Kawasaki KZ-305 for a couple hundred bucks. It ran good, but didn’t have much compression left so was pretty gutless. But I didn’t have to walk!

A couple of years later, now back in Alaska and still going to school, but working most of the time, I went through a series of bikes. Honda CBR600F3, bought used and got a great deal on a pristine bike. Once I got a good job (still working there) I moved on to my first new bike, Kawasai ZX-11. Fun bike for a young single guy. Later had another CBR600 (can’t remember the year), then a Suzuki GSX1100. That one went so I would have enough cash to pay for my wedding. 😎 That was over 20 years ago, when I could bend onto a sport bike for more than a few minutes at a time.

After a few years of having no bike, and I had an opportunity at work to go to the motorcycle unit, at least during the summer since riding during the winter in Alaska has some challenges. Managed to get in and survive the school, and rode R1150RTP for three summers. Best job assignment I have ever had. Spent a lot of time at the local BMW shop since they did our maintenance, and it was where I had bought my ZX-11 so I knew some of the folks there. Great people. Eventually moved on to other job assignments, but have always wanted a BMW since the R1150RTP.

Last year I was cleaning out the house and found a bunch of my motor gear. Started talking about getting a bike again, but the wife wasn’t too enthusiastic. I didn’t get to 20 years without learning at least one or two things so I didn’t push the issue. Was looking at BMWs of course, thinking R1250RT, but then started looking at the K’s. Really liked what I saw, seemed to resolve all of the things I didn’t like about the R. Found this forum, and realized it was filled with like minded people and started lurking here. 😬

A couple of months ago my wife called me on a Friday afternoon and said “I think you should buy a bike on the way home today.” So, never being one to refuse her, I stopped at the BMW shop on the way home. Walked in, walked over to the leftover 2019 GT they had, and bought it on the spot, got a smoking deal. Don, one of the shop owners sine 1972, came out and said “hey it’s about time you had another bike, remember that ZX-11 you had?” Man he has a great memory!!!!

Being back on a bike has been an amazing salve to my sanity this summer, I can’t imagine ever not having a bike again.

Thanks to all the contributors here, I have learned so much in the last few months! It has made my re-entry to the bike world so much better. I hope some day to get to wander around the lower 48 on it, and meet some of the fine folks here.

Justin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
i started with a suzuki dr400 back in high school. moved up to an 82 yamaha seca 550. then a 86 kawasaki ninja 600r with stage 3 jets and yosh pipe. retired it in 95. then came bake to riding in 2014 on a 2002 BMW R1150 RTP, moved to a lovely 97 GL1500 aspencade and toured all over NC visiting the wineries with my wife, until she surprised me with a 2012 K1600GTL for our mid life crisis escape....
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top