Various Motorcycle ARTICLES
Got a new bike! Check out the new BMW K1200RS
Go To The Bottom Of This Page For Bikes For Sale
7/03/02 Click on BMW page for Bob Hadden's article on VFR exhaust conversion for a BMW R1100RS
If you like motorcycle pictures and wild European custom street fighter bikes, check out this link
How Did I End Up...
"Just one ride! That's all it took, yea just one ride! and I was hooked".....(repeat verse).
My son's to blame. He bought a new Honda CBR 9 "something". Black, low and mean! He came over our house and said "Dad you got to try this!" I rode motorcycles 20 years ago. Owned a bunch of them. Ossa dirt bikes, Harley kick starters, Yamaha dirt bikes, Honda CBX, Honda 400-4 Supersport and more. But when my wife and I started having kids I just gave it up. Didn't have time (or money) for it. but one ride on my son's black Honda death machine and I had to have a bike. It was like drugs to an addict!
So now I needed a bike. Just so happens that an employee of mine left New England to work in California. He left behind a motorcycle in my warehouse. It had been there for five or six years. I had no idea what it was but now that I needed something to ride I figured I would take a walk down to the warehouse and check it out. Turns out it was a 1980 BMW R65. In terrible condition I might add. The warehouse folks had dropped something on it and shattered the windshield and to add insult to injury they spilled a can of white paint on it. I was assured by the warehouse manager that when the previous owner put it in the warehouse he drove it in. I made arrangements to buy it from the ex employee and to take it home and later get it to a nearby BMW restoration shop for a total rebuild. We loaded it into the back of my pickup truck and before I took it home I stopped by one of those high pressure U-Do-It car washes. While the bike sat in the back of the truck I sprayed it down with degreaser and using the high pressure water gun I hosed it off. Under 6 years of warehouse dirt and grime it didn't look too bad! It had alloy wheels and a set of BMW hard bags. Those alone were worth what I paid for it.
When I got it home and off loaded it I realized that BMWs don't have kick starts. Shows how long I've been out of motorcycles. I might add, although I had owned over a dozen different bikes in my youth, this was the first BMW I had ever sat on! I figured I had nothing to lose so I jump started it off my trucks battery. To my amazement Istarted right up on the second try! Ran like a top. Looked like hell but it ran great. I got on the internet and found out that this was quite a nice bike. Now I had the BMW bug! I went to the local Home Depot and bought a piece of Lexan and made a new windshield. Cleaned the rest of the crud off it and decided it needed a paint job. I called around and no one could handle the job for six months so I decided for the summer I would give it a "shaker can" special. I estimated I needed six cans to paint this little beauty so I went off to the auto parts store to buy paint. The color it ended up was the only color they had six cans of! So I disassembled as much as I could and masked the rest and had at it. To my surprise it actually came out pretty good!
Now it was time to ride. I rode that bike around for a few weeks, but it was just not exciting (fast) enough. Being only a 650 it didn't have the performance of the last bike I owned in the 70s, a Honda CBX. Although not much even today has the performance of the first year CBX!
It was time to start researching a new set of wheels. I couldn't decide between a touring bike or a sport bike. If I went with a touring bike it would have to be another BMW and the R1100RS was keeping my attention. If I went with a sport bike I wanted a naked bike. I looked at the BMW R1100, the Triumph, The Ducati Monster and the Harley 1200S Sportster. They were all great but they just didn't have the fun quotient I was looking for. On the internet I started to read about the Buell series of bikes. I visited a dealer and took a test ride. WOW! This is what I'm looking for if I go a sport bike.
After lots of hand wringing and conversation with folks on the internet I decided that the BMW R1100RS was the bike for me. Wouldn't you know I fall in love with a bike you can't get! Seems the RS version is brought into this country in very limited quantities. Roughly 50 units in 2000 vintage. I called everywhere and no one had one nor were they able to order one. I found a used one up at a dealership in Maine that had 400 miles on it, but the tank was scratched and the dealer was asking what I could buy a new one for if I found one. I finally located one in Chicago and called the dealer. I told him I would get an airplane ticket and fly out to pick it up and ride it back to Massachusetts. When I called him back three hours later after getting an airline ticket he informed me that he had sold it. He said he didn't think I was serious. But luck smiles sometimes. I had posted on the internet that I was looking for an RS and I no sooner put the phone down in my office but it rang and on the other end of the line is a fellow BMW enthusiast and he just so happens to be in a BMW dealership in Lancaster PA. And they have an RS for sale. I talk to the owner who turns out to be a fantastic guy and he informs me that BMW has a $1000 rebate offer on this bike and then he knocks another $1000 off! I ended up buying it for $2000 less than the used one in Maine! And $1000 less than the one in Chicago.
Folks on the internet knew I was looking for a new bike so I had received lots of offers to buy the R65. A fellow in upstate New York was the high bidder and I made arrangements to drop it off at his house on my way down to Lancaster. My wife and I loaded up the R65 in the trailer and headed out at midnight on a Friday night. We arrived at the new owners house at 3:30 AM and he was driving the R65 up and down the street of his exclusive neighborhood. I asked if the neighbors ever complained and he offered that "They were used to it!" Turns out this fellow has a collection of vintage BMW bikes and he was going to fix this one up for his wife to ride. He did a complete restoration. Not a "shaker can" special. His wife chose the color. Looks great!
So now its on to Lancaster and to meet up with Joe Sharkey at TransAm Motors. He agreed to meet us early and we arrived at 8:30AM, loaded up the bike and filled out some paperwork and off we went. Of course we had to stop at the outlets in Lancaster (part of the negotiated deal!) While my wife shopped I slept in the Durango. We got home by 7PM and I rolled the RS off the trailer and started it up. Went for about a 20 minute ride. Great bike! Good decision. (Update...Traded in for a 2002 K1200RS 7/02)
Three days later I'm up in Manchester NH visiting one of my stores. Just behind my store is Manchester Harley/Buell. I had visited this dealership when I was trying to decide between a BMW or a Buell. At that time a 2000 Buell M2 Cyclone was selling for $8300. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the 2000s being closed out at $6500! I was actually thinking about buying a used Buell as a second bike at the end of the summer. Figured I'd find a one or two year old used one for $6000-$7000. I couldn't get my check book out fast enough when I saw brand new, any color you want with full warranty bikes for $6500 out the door. I paid for it and returned a few days later to pick it up.
So now the stable has two bikes. How does the VFR enter the fray. As I started to read more and more motorcycle books and talk to folks my age about motorcycles the 1998 and 1999 Honda VFR kept popping up. Everyone just had positive things to say about it. I didn't need another sport touring bike and although I was intrigued about the VFR I wasn't even contemplating yet another bike!
That is until I wandered into the local used motorcycle shop here in town. Windmill Motors in North Dartmouth Massachusetts has an amazing selections of used sport bikes. It's fun to just browse and see what they have. Well, on the day I went in they had a "just about perfect" example of a 1998 VFR. Not a mark on it. Obviously well cared for. The price they were asking was a bit too high. I made them an offer and to my surprise they accepted it! Seems they had this bike all summer and VFRs are not a big seller around here. When I brought this bike home I thought my wife was going to divorce me! But when she commented that it was "The best looking bike you bought this summer" I knew I was home free!
The VFR has turned out to be a fantastic motorcycle. If I could only keep one, it would be the VFR. Its as comfortable as the BMW but much less vibration at speed, almost as much fun to ride as the Buell, and the sound of the engine with those gear driven cams can't be compared! The engine and transmission are just about the smoothest I've ever experienced. The linked brakes are a fantastic safety feature. If this bike had integral hard bags and ABS like the BMW it would be just about perfect! (Update....Sold 7/02 to help fund the aquisition of the 02 K1200RS....ouch!)
December 1,2000 Had a little time to kill today and I happened to be in the area of Maynard
Mass. Seemed to remember that "Bikeworx" is in the area. If I remembered
right they sell MuZ motorcycles. Ah, just happened to have the owner Galen
Miller's card in my wallet. Sure enough, just down the road from where my
meeting was held.
Stopped in and met Galen. Great guy. Yup, they had a 2001 Baghira Black
Panther in stock.
MY DAUGHTER GETS HER FIRST BIKE!
She couldn't stand son #1 and I having all the fun together so she decided to take the motorcycle safety course and get her license. With a bit of searching and conversation with other female riders she decided on a Honda 250 Rebel. She found one in Holyoke Massachusetts, about a two hour ride from my house so we saddled up the Beemer and took a ride out to look at it. It's a 1999 with 2000 miles on it in like new condition with a cover, bags and a windshield. As soon as we got it home she wanted the windshield removed. She thought it looked like a "CHiP" bike. Ultimately the bike will live with her in Boston. I took it out for a spin. I'm betting she will out grow this thing in a few months. Very little power and a bit "buzzy" at highway speeds. But since she got such a good deal on it, if she keeps it in good condition, she'll get all her money and then some back. (Sold 10/02)
UPDATE.........ANGELA GETS A BIGGER BIKE................
After a year of riding the Rebel, Angela was ready for a larger bike. After a bit of research, she decided on a Suzuki GS-500e. A bit of searching the classifieds found a beautiful, lightly customized 1999 specimen. My friends and I took her on her first ride down to Cape Cod with the new wheels. Almost five hours later she still had that "grin" on her face! The added power allows her to easily keep up with the bigger bikes. The bike came outfitted with a custom fairing, air dam, Vance and Hines full race exhaust system, Corbin seat, SV650 headlight and SV650 rear pegs. The previous owner did a real nice job on the modifications. (Sold 11/02)
UPDATE, UPDATE.......................ANGELA MOVES ON UP!
Wanting to do more touring, Angela decided the GS500 wasn't going to cut it. After doing some research she decided on a Honda Shadow Spirit 750. We found one forsale about two hours from home and decided to check it out. It's a 2001 with 270 miles and it has two years left on the extended warrantee! What a deal! The price was very, very reasonable so we loaded it into the trailer and headed home. Now we just need to wait for better weather to ride.
Out with the R1100RS.....In with the 2002 K1200RS
Don't get me wrong, the 2000 R1100RS is a wonderful bike, but I just couldn't stand the buzzing any longer. I took it up to Canada for the 2002 BMW International Rally and after 10 hours in the saddle, I couldn't use my hands for about ten minutes when I got off. Everyone told me to put 15-20 thousand miles on the bike and it would smooth out. I believe this because the bike was much smoother when I traded it in than it was 9000 miles ago.
But on to the K! FANTASTIC.....Smooth, powerful, planted, fast, comfortable. What else can I say. I've ridden a bunch of motorcycles over the years and I've never ridden anything like this. It's almost a religious experience! Jay Leno has commented that out of the over 300 motorcycles he owns, nothing compares to his KRS. I'll be doing a few modifications like mounting the radar detector and the GPS unit and writing a few articles on it. Stay tuned....
I'M IN THE MARKET FOR A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A HONDA CB-1
Honda CB1, Must be near perfect and in BLUE. Contact me if you see one for sale in your travels
Everything Has A Price!
I'm going to thin out a few of the bikes. The following bikes are for sale....
Moto Guzzi, Rosso Mandello.........$11,000
Descriptions can be found on this web site