2001 BMW R1100S July 2006 Ė current

As the vast majority of my miles were being racked up with the missus, with very little solo riding, the TL didnít seem like the ideal machine for the job. The wish list for the replacement included hard luggage (less faffing about strapping soft stuff on) comfortable for a pillion, reasonably quick, andfun. It also needed to be reasonably cheap. While Iím sure I ignored a huge number of possibilities, the shortlist came down to the pre VTEC Honda VFR800 and BMW R1100S. While the VFR was hugely competent, effortlessly quick, and very comfortable, it didnít quite fill the fun category, unless you were paying no heed whatsoever to speed limits. It also didnít have factory luggage, and I wasnít keen on the Givi alternatives. While the BMW is a fair bit slower than the VFR on paper, it has character in abundance, with a vibey flat twin providing lots of torque, quirky switchgear, and strange suspension. It also handles beautifully, and after a few tweaks to the chassis, even better. The factory hard luggage fits really nicely, and with a tank-cover and bag, carries a goodly dollop of gear. A distinct and under-rated bike loved by BMW fans, and generally regarded as weird by everyone else!

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