The good thing about a new bike is that you want to get the break-in miles out of the way, so that you can be free to use the thing as advertised. BMW has a very prescribed break-in sequence involving varying the revs and progressively increasing them through the first 1000km (600 miles). I needed to get familiar with the bike anyway, so I logged the miles fairly quickly. Here are some first impressions:
- It is a big bike. The extra height makes me just able to flatfoot the thing in comfort mode. I parked it next to a mixture of bikes at a local gathering spot, and it stands out. It is large, and imposing. I swear that it is more visible on the highway based on reactions, but that may be in my head.
- The weight disappears. This is often quoted in reviews, but it is true. Even with a full tank of gas, this bike is very agile when in motion. With a little psychological adjustment of my own, it is every bit as good as my former GS when used in a sporting way, and better in many areas.
- The clutch action is easy, and more precise. It is so easy, that it almost feels like something is wrong after the former GS. This will be a far better bike to ride long distances (or even not so long).
- Teutonic Torque. This is a difference you can feel. Passing is better in any gear, and it just keeps on pulling. Even within the break-in rev guidelines, I had to watch my speed.
- Off-Road Follies. I took it down some hardpack dirt roads with a little soft sandy stuff along the way. About 35 miles total. I had about 3/4 tank at the time, but the bike was fine. I am not sure about the Bridgestone tires as I have experience and confidence with the Metzelers, but I didn't do enough to form a conclsion. I played with the ESA a bit, and can see where that will make a huge difference depending on terrain and load. Now if only it could deflate/inflate the tires automatically ;-)
- This ain't no City Bike. Although the temp guage remained normal (where my old GS would have begun to climb), the bike seems to produce a fair amount of heat off the cylinders if you get stuck in traffic. It might be the greater overhang of the tank that causes this perception.
- The windshield is not able to use the highest settings. The top tiers of the mechanism cannot be accessed because they have redesigned the cam so that it remains in the captive slot. Why?? I dismantled the mechanism and was able to get it up to the top, but I lose the nylock nuts, and it is no longer adjustable if I do this. However, the top setting is the right setting for me. I'm going to post this question on ADVrider and see what comes back.
Well, now it is off to get first service and discuss the farkling...