Archives

Price, UT Weather

Categories

Tags

Recent Visitors

From Buck. Be Afraid

:tomcat: Seems the A-10 has been having an IMPACT in Libya. This is my favorite Air Force Airplane.

Big Assed Gatling Gun, the GAU-8 Avenger Cannon! Kills……everything…..dead!

So wander over to Buck’s Place and have a read! You will enjoy it!

http://exileinportales.blogspot.com/2011/03/be-afraid.html

And a link to the Wikipedia article on this outstanding example of aerospace engineering!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-10_Thunderbolt_II

The Nickname is Warthog!

Share

26 March 2011 – More BMW Motorcycles

Work this past week hasn’t been fun.  Yeah, I know it’s called work instead of play time for a reason, but this was worse than usual.  Rain and other problems meant ten to twelve hour days and I was just beat at the end of it all.  I needed something to decompress.

Well, if I can’t go for a nice long motorcycle ride at least I can go drool over ‘em :)  Yeah, I headed back down to BMW of Las Vegas :wink:

I had a good long chat with Kurt, Peter, and another employee at the dealership named Jim.  Peter and Kurt were just as great as ever and Jim is cut from the same cloth.  He took a very long time to answer all the questions I had.  Jim’s a really great resource – he has a G 650 GS himself!  Of course, Peter and Kurt were just as helpful as always :thumb:

On with the bikes :D

26 March 2011 - BMW S1000 RR

26 March 2011 - BMW S1000 RR

26 March 2011 - BMW S1000 RR

26 March 2011 - BMW S1000 RR

I’ll be honest and say I don’t know enough to render an intelligent opinion on street bikes.  That said, if I were to get one this would be the one I’d want :)

BMW’s K 1000 RR decodes this way – K = inline engine; 1000 = displacement in cc’s; RR = Road Race.  That’s a 999cc engine that produces 193 BHP in a bike that weighs only 450 pounds ready to roll with digital traction control, ABS – this bike is pretty much race ready :mrgreen:  So if ya wanna go fast, here’s your bike :thumb:

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Electrical system turned on

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Electrical system turned on

One of the big reasons I came back down to the BMW motorcycle shop was that I wanted to see some of the features on the G 650 GS.  I’ve looked all over and found that there aren’t too many pictures of the controls and dash.  I figured they’d be everywhere, but at least I have access to the bike and permission to photograph from BMW of Las Vegas :thumb:  I actually found ONE site that had some of what I’m looking for (click here) but I also prefer to use my own pictures if possible :wink:

I couldn’t see a tachometer with the bike switched off, so without even asking Jim went and got the keys so we could see.  Jim’s version is a couple of years older and has a different configuration.  Sure enough, there’s a tach on the multifunction display (MFD) :)  I hear the G 650 GS runs about 5,000 RPM at freeway speeds.  I was somewhat worried that this might be a bit high, but when I looked at the tach I saw that the redline starts at 7,000 RPM.  Besides, everyone tells me that the 652cc single cylinder engine is just fine running at 5,000 RPM all day long if needed :)

Looking over the rest of the gauges and indicators on the MFD you can see the main odometer, trip odometer (there are actually two trip odometers), and clock.  What you can’t see is that the trip computer will change to show you the distance traveled after you reach the reserve level (about a gallon) in your fuel tank.

The warning and indicator lights on the right side of the speedometer from top to bottom are:

  • Telltale for turn indicators (Shows you’ve got one of ‘em on)
  • Fuel reserve level warning light (Stop for gas soon!)
  • Telltale for neutral position on transmission (Only on ABS equipped bikes – just tells you you’re in neutral)
  • Telltale / warning light for the ABS system (Flashing = diagnosing; Steady = Selected off or malfunction)
  • Coolant warning light (Shows you’re overheating)
  • Telltale light for high beam on the headlight (Shows your high beam is on)

There are only a couple of other things to note here – just above and below the MFD.  The little dot above the MFD is actually a light that tells you you’re hitting RPM redline and the button below the MFD lets you reset the trip odometers and sets the clock :wink:

I like this setup – It’s simple, easy to understand, and just what you need :)

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Controls for heated grips and hazard lights

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Controls for heated grips and hazard lights

Before we leave the front of the bike, there are a couple other things I wanted to cover.  You really couldn’t see the ignition switch before and you can’t see one of the positions here, but I can explain ‘em :P  There are four positions for the ignition switch:

  • Ignition on (Allows the engine to be started and to run)
  • Ignition off, handlebars unlocked (Allows the steering to move, but the engine won’t start or run)
  • Engine off, parking lights on (Parking lights stay on, engine won’t start or run, and the handlebars are locked)
  • Ignition off, parking lights off (Handlebars locked, engine won’t start or run, all lights off)

There are also two switches to the left of the instrument panel.  The front switch is for the hazard warning flashers and the rear switch is for the heated grips.  Yes, I want those heated grips :D  There’s a setting for off (center), low (press the forward part), and high (press the rear part) heat.

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Left grip controls

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Left grip controls

Moving on to the left side handlebar we have most of the actual switch controls for the bike.  Top left is your high beam for the headlight, below that is the horn, and at the bottom is the turn signal switch.  One switch you can’t see here is the momentary high beam button – it’s on the front of the switch group to be activated by the left index finger.

I won’t get into the way most other BMW motorcycles’ turn signal switches work (that will be a later post), but I like this system.  All you do is push the switch in the direction you want to indicate, let the button return to center (the indicator will continue flashing), and then press directly in to cancel the signal.

Finally there’s that red button on the top right of the cluster – the ABS switch.  This is used to switch the ABS system on and off for road and off road use.  You have to be stopped to make the change either way.  Once you’re stopped and the ignition is on, just press and hold the switch until the light either goes on or goes out.  It’s that simple :wink:

All of this makes perfect sense – put the complicated stuff on the side that’s not busy twisting a grip for throttle :thumb:

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Right grip controls

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Right grip controls

Now we’re on the right side – the one with the hand that’s always busy keeping the throttle in just the right place :wink:  There are only two switches here – starter button (black button on the bottom) and kill switch (red switch on top).  The starter is self explanatory, but the kill switch is just slightly different.  The kill switch is a push on, push off arrangement.  The switch being out allows the engine to run.  If you need to shut off the engine (for example if the bike falls over while running), just press the switch in.

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Engine and transmission

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Engine and transmission

I just wanted to show off the engine the bits on the right side of the bike :)  This is where you’ll find one of the foot pegs, the rear brake, and shock adjustments.

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Swing arm, rear wheel, and chain

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Swing arm, rear wheel, and chain

The double sided swing arm on the G 650 GS is made of a box steel tube which should be plenty strong.  I can’t imagine ever having a problem with it as you’ve still got the suspension working for you.  That little screw on the end is for adjusting the chain tension :)

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Endless O-ring chain

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS - Endless O-ring chain

I’d never heard of an “endless O-ring chain” before, so I asked and Jim explained.  If you look at where the outer links meet the inner links you’ll see a black rubber O-ring.  It keeps dirt and debris out of the junction and prolongs the service life of the chain :cool:

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS

26 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS

I just thought I should show off the entire bike here :)  I’m thinking I’ll get the white one if it’s offered when I’m ready to buy.  It’s more visible, less susceptible to sun damage (at least doesn’t show it as much), and it stays cooler to the touch in the desert summer sun :wink:

I tried to cover as much as possible in this post, but I’ve already made a list of the things I want to check out next week.  Yes, I will be heading back next week to check out a G 650 GS with factory lowered suspension that Kurt and Peter invited me to see :cool:

If you have any questions about the G 650 GS, feel free to ask me, email Kurt or Peter, or check out the rider’s manual I found online :)

26 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

26 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

I really wanted to get a couple of pictures of the R 1200 GS Adventure and there were several around on Saturday :D  This one’s the “30 Years GS” special edition :cool:

If you’re going to ride around the world on a motorcycle, this is one that you can take with confidence as it’s been the choice for many expeditions in the past.  The R in the name denotes a boxer (horizontally opposed) twin cylinder engine and the 1200 tells you it’s (almost) 1200cc displacement (actually 1170cc) which provides 110 BHP and 88 ft/lbs of torque.  The GS means it’s good for on and off pavement excursions while the “Adventure” title tells you this motorcycle is set up from the factory for much more than running down to the grocery store :wink:

This is the type of bike Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have used in their Long Way Round and Long Way Down journeys.  Helge Pedersen of Globe Riders has been known to ride one from time to time as well.  Those are just a couple of the famous adventurers who’ve done some serious miles in the middle of nowhere on the Adventure.  I can see why so many choose this bike – the powerful engine, strong telelever front and paralever rear suspension, robust design, and huge gas tank (8.7 gallons) are all good things to have.  Of course, those crash bars don’t hurt either :)

I’d love to have an Adventure, but there’s just a couple of things that don’t work for me.  The seat is too high for me (that might be less important with experience), it’s a really heavy bike (564 pounds ready to roll without luggage), and it’s not exactly inexpensive.  The base price is $17,250 while the premium package (heated grips, ABS, electronically adjustable suspension, saddle bag mounts, on board computer, and fog lights) will set you back $20,495.  Is one of these great machines in my future?  Maybe, but only time will tell :cool:

I have to say it again before I go – A huge THANK YOU goes out to Jim, Peter, Kurt and everyone at BMW of Las Vegas for their incredible hospitality :thumb:

That’s it for now – gotta go to work tomorrow so I can continue to save up for the bike!  Have a great day everyone :mrgreen:

Share

BMW Video – G 650 GS – I’m Leaning Toward A Thumper

I’ve been cruising around the Internet and reading all sorts of stuff about the two bikes I’m really looking seriously at. One is the G 650 GS and the other is the F 800 GS. There’s lots of new stuff on the 2011 G 650 GS, but strangely not too much in the way of videos. I finally found this one on YouTube :)

I don’t know why it’s only on BMW’s Spanish language YouTube channel, but I’ll take it. Hey – all the titles and narration are in English and there’s a good lookin’ blond on one of the bikes :wink:  The title in English reads G 650 GS, Why Not?  Why not indeed – this is a neat little bike :thumb:

I was and still am in love with the looks, power, and off road potential of the F 800 GS, but the G 650 GS has a whole lot going for it the more I think about it. As a first bike it won’t be too powerful, yet will still cruise at highway speeds with no problem. The G 650 GS gets phenomenal gas mileage, will have lower insurance costs, and will be much more comfortable if I get caught up in traffic. And then there’s the price difference where the little single cylinder G bike comes in somewhere around $4,000 cheaper which is nothing to sneeze at :cool:

Sure I’m a long ways out from buying, but it’s nice to dream and to have options :mrgreen:

Share

BMW K 1600 GT / GTL – This One’s For Glenn!

I came across this video while looking for one of the G 650 GS and it reminded me that Glenn said he’d love to have one of the BMW “full dresser” bikes if money were no object. I can see why :wink: BMW’s K 1600 series bikes are powered by an inline six cylinder engine with 160 BHP on tap. The luxury K 1600 GTL is priced between $23,000 and $26,000 depending on the equipment level and looking at what you get I’d say it’s probably worth it. Electronically adjustable suspension? Sure. Electrically adjustable windscreen? Absolutely. You even get an adjustable seat :) The GT comes with the panniers and the GTL comes with a larger fuel tank and a top case / back rest for the passenger :D

I figured Glenn would like this video the best as it doesn’t have some goofy soundtrack or narration, only the sounds of the bike as it goes along :wink:  The article I found that video in can be found at autolinemag.com and has a few cool things to say about these bikes:

Now, the obvious doubt arises here is whether BMW has mistakenly put such power performance in a luxury touring motorcycle. The answer is a straight no. The idea was to provide excellent driving experience with a racer soul. This luxury touring vehicle is capable of competing with many of the bikes specifically designed for racing. Besides, the handling is so smooth, it requires absolutely no effort at the curves. And there is no desire in the vehicle to wanting to stand up at the curves.

I found another video online that states 0 to 100 KM/H (62 MPH) only takes 3.2 seconds :shock: You get luxury, speed, smooth riding, good handling, and all for about the cost of the average mid size car these days – what more could you want :cool: ?

Glenn – I have some advice for you. Start saving and playing the Lotto now so you can get on one of these awesome machines ASAP :mrgreen:

Share

Class Picture

Taken last summer on a training day. Front Row Center! The short guy in the hawaiian shirt!

Falcon!

Share

Nephrectomy

Took me a while to get that word down pat. My daughter in law, the nurse had it good.

I would link to the Wikipedia entry but for some reason wordpress is not letting that happen right now.

That is the two dollar word for the procedure I had that day. The wikipedia entry also has the link to the condition as well, renal cell carcinoma, with pictures. Don’t go there, Kath.

 

Share

Eighteen Months Ago

It was 18 months ago, tomorrow, that the left kidney came out. The procedure has a fancy medical name. I forgot what it was. Snigs will be able to tell you.
That time has flown by in a way. Got to start a new job in a new place for us.
Managed to quit smoking at the same time. Four days in hospital helped along with the incentive of finding out it was cancer.
So to Jeff and Kath, many thanks again for the support and prayers. Love you guys.

Share

19 March 2011 – BMW Motorcycles!!!

OK, I’ve teased my readers enough with that last post :wink:  If you’ve been wondering what bikes I’m looking at, here’s your answer – BMW :thumb:

When you mention BMW to most people, they think of sports and luxury cars.  Some of them will know that BMW also makes some nice motorcycles as well.  The ones who know about the motorcycles usually also know about BMW’s enduro bikes.  Strangely, few of the people I know ever thought of BMW as an off road motorcycle manufacturer when everything I see online refers to them as one of the best.

As I’ve said before, I want a motorcycle that will work beautifully on the road but will also go down the dirt roads (and other “paths”) I invariably end up on from time to time.  Aside from places like the shooting spot down south, there are other places I’d like to go that my HHR would never reach. BMW motorcycles have raced in the Dakar rally and have been used on globe trotting tours like Long Way Round, Long Way Down, and some other insane trips like the BAM Road in Russia.  If BMW motorcycles can take all that then I don’t have to worry a bit about most anything I’d put them through :wink:

Some people have told me to just get a jeep, but that would miss out on some versatility and the point of making the new vehicle fuel efficient and rather affordable. New Wranglers get 19 MPG highway and prices start at $22,045.  Jeeps just don’t work for what I want.  It may sound strange, but the BMW is the more versatile and inexpensive option here.

19 March 2011 - BMW of Las Vegas

19 March 2011 - BMW of Las Vegas

I spent a couple of hours at BMW of Las Vegas today and I had an absolutely wonderful time :)  That good time wasn’t just because I was checking out really cool motorcycles.  It was mostly because of the people I met :D

I had stopped by the dealership for about 10 minutes on Wednesday as it just happens to be on the same side of town as my dentist :wink:  I met Peter who gave me his “business card” which is actually a poker chip :cool:  I mentioned that I’d like to come back on Saturday and of course he said to come on down.  I sent him an email on Thursday explaining that I’m about two years out from purchasing and asking if I could have a seat on some of the bikes.  I also wanted bring my camera and tripod (some places don’t take kindly to those) and Peter said sure thing!

Peter had to leave before I showed up, but everyone else there took the time to make me feel welcome :)  And it wasn’t just the employees!  I met a guy named Mark who’s had his BMW enduro for about five months now and was in the shop to pick up a bag to use on his bike.  Mike and I chatted about all sorts of things for about an hour.  He’s got the G 650 GS and loves it :wink:

BMW has three bikes in their lineup that I’m having a tough time deciding between.  Thanks to Kurt (one of the great guys there), I was able to get great pictures of all of ‘em including the red G 650 GS that was in the window display :cool:  I also have to thank Mark for taking a couple of pictures of me :thumb:

How about we get to the bikes :wink: ?

19 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS

19 March 2011 - BMW G 650 GS

The BMW G 650 GS is the lowest priced, lowest powered, and has the lowest seat height of any bike of the group.  Its 652 CC, liquid cooled engine is provides 48 BHP  at 6,500 RPM and 44 lb/ft of torque at 5,000 RPM.  I don’t want to go with any engine that’s not liquid cooled out here – it’s a desert and the daytime temps could prove to make overheating a problem.  Mark says his has a bit of vibration at highway speeds, but does just fine with the five speed transmission keeping the engine at about 5K RPM.  The fuel injection works great from all accounts and the engine design has been proven from years of racing in the Dakar rally.

The G 650 GS is not underpowered for the road or the dirt from what I’ve heard.  Along with having enough power, the Rotax designed engine gets really great gas mileage – Mark says he’s averaging around 60 MPG in town which agrees with the claimed 60 MPG city / 69 MPG highway.  True, the fuel tank only holds 3.7 gallons but that works out to about 220 miles per tank and there are ways to carry more gas if needed through after market parts.

That low seat makes it feel either just right or a bit small from my perspective.  I can easily touch both feet to the ground while in the saddle and keeping my right foot on the brake with the left on the ground is a real piece of cake.

My concerns about the G 650 GS are that I might want more power down the road (especially while carrying luggage etc.) and that it’s more road oriented than I may like.  It looks like a dirt bike compared to a K 1300 S, but it’s more suited to road than the dirt.  An example of this would be the cast aluminum wheels and tubeless tires.  If I weren’t thinking of going some of the places I’ve been dreaming about, it might not be a problem.

Don’t get me wrong – This bike is still in the running in a big way!  It’s got the fuel economy, low price (base price $7,900), and very likely lower insurance cost compared to the other two going for it.  It also has a couple of really nice features that are pretty much standard options that its competitors don’t – heated grips and ABS which can be switched off for dirt riding.  It’s low enough that I feel really confident just sitting on it and it does have that world renowned engine that’s reliable as anything out there :)  Everyone says it’s nearly the perfect first motorcycle so how bad could it be?

19 March 2011 - BMW F 650 GS

19 March 2011 - BMW F 650 GS

Moving up to the next higher levels of cost, features, and power takes us to the F 650 GS.  The bike that’s now the G 650 GS used to wear this name, but BMW decided to standardize their naming convention.  All the single cylinder bikes now start with G, parallel twins are F, and boxer (horizontally opposed) twins are R.  There are other engines in the lineup with different letter designations, but the only ones I’m looking at are the F and G series.

This F 650 GS has a 798 CC parallel twin engine that’s also liquid cooled.  This is the same size engine as on F 800 GS but de-tuned to produce 71 BHP at 7,000 RPM and 55 lb/ft of torque at 4,500 RPM and gets a listed 54 MPG city and 64 MPG highway.  It’s definitely got the power and according to Mark (it was nice to have someone who’s ridden all three!), it’s not only quicker – it’s smoother as well.

I could tell the F 650 GS is taller than the G 650 GS when I sat on it – the stats say it’s about 1.25 inches difference at 32.3″ -but it wasn’t objectionable.  If that were really an issue, BMW offers a lower seat which brings the height down to 31.3″.   It still has the same cast aluminum wheels as the G 650 GS which I can concede is a benefit on the road where I’m probably going to spend the most time.  It shares the same 19″ front wheel and 17″ rear wheels with its less expensive stablemate, but it has more suspension travel.

There’s a lot to like on the F 650 GS, but there’s also a few things I’m not entirely thrilled about as well.  Those cast aluminum rims are one of them. Another is the 4.2 gallon tank which gives between 226 and 269 miles.  That may sound like quite a ways, but my HHR can do somewhere over 500 miles on a tank.

It’s easier to list the things I like about this bike than to detail those that I don’t.  While the blue on the example available to me didn’t really suit my tastes, they do come in orange :wink:  Seriously, color aside I do like the size and feel of the F 650 GS.  It feels right.  The seat isn’t too high for me, the handlebars are within easy reach, and the foot pegs are a bit wider than the smaller bike’s.  It’s still very good on gas and with a base price of $9,255 it’s still not all that expensive :cool:

19 March 2011 - BMW F 800 GS

19 March 2011 - BMW F 800 GS

It could be the color, but maybe it’s the looks with that fairing and all its angles.  Maybe it’s the spoked 21″ front and 17″ rear wheels with their dual disk brakes.  Whatever it is, I should probably wear a bib to keep from drooling all over the F 800 GS :mrgreen:

While F 800 GS shares the same basic engine with the F 650 GS, it makes more power.  This 798 CC parallel twin makes 85 BHP at 7,500 RPM and 62 lb/ft of torque at 5,750 RPM.  Fuel is specified as premium unleaded, but I’ve heard it will run just fine on regular if you don’t mind slightly lower power.  I forgot to check that out yesterday, but I’ll check the next time I head down that way.  Fuel economy is surprisingly good compared to the other motorcycles I’m looking with 54 MPG city and 62 MPG highway.  I don’t mind the extra power if I’m only giving up that few miles per gallon :thumb:

I was really worried about whether or not I’d fit on the F 800 GS.  This is the tallest of the three GS bikes I’m looking at with a seat height of 34.6″ – 2.25″ higher than the F 650 GS and 3.5″ taller than the G 650 GS.  I won’t lie – it was a bit tough getting my leg up and over the seat as I’m only 5’8″ tall with a 30″ inseam.  I can reach my toes to the floor on both sides, but only barely.  Remember that part above where I talked about putting your left foot on the ground with your right foot on the brake pedal?  I heard someone call that the “Captain Morgan” stance and I laughed, but it’s the only way I’d be able to ride this beast and it’s strangely appropriate for a Parrothead :wink:  Thankfully there is a lower seat available from the factory which brings the height down to 33.5 which is entirely doable.

As far as things I don’t like immediately, well there are actually a couple.  The fuel tank holds 4.2 gallons which gives a range of between 227 and260 miles on a full tank and I’d like more than that.  As I mentioned, the seat is a bit high, but can be overcome.  Being the most powerful bike in this line up, something tells me insurance would be a bit higher as well.

As far as the things I like, well that would be a very long paragraph indeed!  A few of those items would be the power of that parallel twin engine, liquid cooling on the engine, phenomenal fuel economy for the performance given, it’s the most off road ready motorcycle in the BMW enduro line, and it’s darn near as good looking as some of the surfer girls down at Mission Beach in San Diego :thumb:  The base price is only $11,455 which isn’t that much more than the G 650 GS when you look at monthly payments with a decent amount down.

19 March 2011 - Yours truly on the BMW F 800 GS

19 March 2011 - Yours truly day dreaming on the BMW F 800 GS

Yes, I really like the F 800 GS :cool:  If I had unlimited funds, I’d buy one or several in a heartbeat – gotta have cool rides for your friends, right :wink: ?

But then again it all comes down to compromises.  Price vs. capability, power and cool factor vs. insurance costs,  etc.  I really can’t make up my mind!  I know that’s normal for me, but at least I’ve got a couple of years to take this decision and bash it about until I can (hopefully) come to some sort of conclusion.

What I think it will really come down to is a test ride.  I’m going to get my motorcycle license before too long (probably in the next six to nine months) and then I can go rent a couple of these bikes from this same bunch of guys :thumb:

19 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS - 30 Years GS special edition

19 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS - 30 Years GS special edition

19 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS - 30 Years GS special edition

19 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS - 30 Years GS special edition

19 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS - 30 Years GS special edition

19 March 2011 - BMW R 1200 GS - 30 Years GS special edition

Kurt's BMW R 1200 GS

Kurt's BMW R 1200 GS

19 March 2011 - Black reflective Dakar decal on Kurt's BMW R 1200 GS

19 March 2011 - Black reflective Dakar decal on Kurt's BMW R 1200 GS

19 March 2011 - Black reflective Dakar decal on Kurt's BMW R 1200 GS

19 March 2011 - Black reflective Dakar decal on Kurt's BMW R 1200 GS

The two bikes above aren’t actually on my list, but they’re really rather cool :)  BMW’s R 1200 GS is their top of the line enduro bike.  The basic version you see here isn’t much different from their Adventure version.  The R 1200 GS has a 1,170 CC oil and air cooled flat twin engine that produces 110 BHP at 7,750 RPM and 88 lb/ft of torque at 6000 RPM.  It’s not as tall in the seat as the F 800 GS (33.5″), but it’s a heavy bike at 504 pounds ready to roll without the rider.  The base price is $14,990 with the Adventure’s base price being $17,250.  It’s not that I don’t think the R 1200 GS is worth the money – I know it is from seeing them cross continents in the hands of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.  It’s just that it’s a bit too expensive and a bit big for what I want out of a bike.

Both of these bikes belong to employees at the BMW dealership.  I apologize for not getting the name of the owner of that 30 Years GS limited edition, but I did get the name of the other owner.  Kurt was the guy who helped me by moving the G 650 GS out of the window display as well as giving me suggestions and pointers :wink:  Kurt’s bike has several things I really like that he’s added.  First are the Gadsden flag decals on his panniers :thumb:  Second is the insanely cool Dakar rally logo decal on his wind screen which in normal light looks like black on black and is very understated.  When you hit it with light, it’s reflective like a road sign as you see in the last pic!  Last, but not least are two very functional lighting modifications.  You can see the fog/driving lights below the turn signals (right at the bottom of the last pic) which are actually super bright white LED lights that will never burn out and don’t use much power.  The other light mod is a set of HID headlights like you see in premium sports and luxury cars :cool:

Folks, I have to cut it a bit short here so I can get some sleep before work tomorrow, but I can’t do that without again extending a bit of gratitude :)  To Kurt, Peter, all the employees at BMW of Las Vegas as well as that unbelievably helpful customer Mark, I say THANK YOU :thumb: !!!  I thought it would be cool to have a multipurpose machine to take me places while going easy on the gasoline, but now I really want to get my GS ASAP so I can meet more people just like you :D  Folks, if you’re at all interested in purchasing a BMW motorcycle in the desert southwest, go ahead and email Peter or Kurt by clicking their names above :thumb:

That’s it for tonight, but there will probably be more from the BMW dealership soon – I just love lookin’ at the bikes :wink:  Have a great day :mrgreen:

Share

Planning For The Future – Freedom On Two Wheels

Gas prices in Las Vegas on 16 March 2011

Gas prices in Las Vegas on 16 March 2011

Folks, it’s starting to look really grim when it comes to being able to afford to go just about anywhere.  My HHR gets decent mileage, but even at 35 miles per gallon it still costs me about $10.00 to go down to where I go shooting in the desert, about $7.00 to get to the dentist and back, call it $60.00 to get down to Prescott, AZ and about $120 round trip to get to Cindy & back.  That’s all just the cost of the gas.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately – just kind of down and trying to save money again.  I can’t afford to go play around the state – just the round trip to Rachel, NV would be $50 or so.  This getting ridiculous.  I got to thinking that there had to be a better way.  And I came up with the idea of going with something simpler, more fuel efficient, and (at the risk of jinxing myself) offers bit more adventure :)

Yep, I started thinking motorcycle :thumb:

My idea was to get something small, used, and very inexpensive.  Something like an older Honda or Yamaha.  I checked Cycle Trader, but there was really nothing there – at least not anywhere near me.  I checked Ebay motors.  I checked quite a few other places.  Sadly, there were very few if any good options.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford anything for a couple of years after my initial search, but that just meant I wouldn’t be buying a cheap used bike – I’d be saving up for a down payment so I could finance a new one :wink:

Something did catch my eye on Cycle Trader – a Royal Enfield that was brand new for somewhere around $6,000 that was just down the road at Arlen Ness’ shop here in Vegas.  I dropped by and they only had a couple of the other bikes by that manufacturer.  Still, I got a look at that one and quite a few nice Victory and custom bikes.

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

A customer's bike at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

A customer's bike at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

OLD SCHOOL :thumb: !!!
Custom parts at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Custom parts at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Custom parts at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Custom parts at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Custom parts at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Custom parts at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Arlen Ness knows golf carts, too :cool:

Arlen Ness knows golf carts, too :cool:

Another customer's bike at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

Another customer's bike at Arlen Ness Las Vegas

For sale at Arlen Ness Las Vegas - 1953 Hudson Hornet - $65,000

For sale at Arlen Ness Las Vegas - 1953 Hudson Hornet - $65,000

The Royal Enfield above is a private import from India where the bikes have been made since the mid 1950’s and the owner is having trouble getting it on the road legally here in Nevada.  Import problems aside (it’s easy enough to get a U.S. model), I did quite a bit of research and realized the Royal Enfield isn’t quite what I’m looking for.  The new fuel injected models make just under 30 horsepower and aren’t really suited to long distances.  I love the idea of Royal Enfield’s bikes, but I want something that will do the trips I like to take – up to Rachel, NV or maybe Price, UT and not have problems maintaining 70 to 80 miles per hour.

I also looked at all the really cool street bikes and the shop had a lightly used Victory Vegas 8 Ball for about $8,000.  It’s a good deal, but I just can’t get all that excited about them.  I didn’t know quite why at the time, but I realized later what my problem was.  The problem was that I would be restricted to roads.  You may think the HHR or my previous vehicle – my 2002 Cavalier – are restricted to pavement, but I proved that wrong.  Still, I wouldn’t dare try to take a big, heavy road bike some of the places I’ve been in my cars.

Thinking back to my roots in bicycles (and I’ve got thousands of miles on my old mountain bike), I remembered that I’d really wanted a mountain bike instead of a road bike because of the versatility.  I may not have gone across the Rockies on my Raleigh Heat, but I sure took it off the pavement!  I can’t imagine that I’d never look up a rough old desert dirt road, mountain path, or old trail and not want to find out where it goes.  Hell, there’s plenty of places like ghost towns here in Nevada that I’d love to visit but can’t due to the expense of fuel and the fact that my car may be OK on most dirt roads, but it won’t go on those dirt roads.

After that trip to Arlen Ness, I realized that what I really want is known as an Enduro or Dual sport bike.  It needs to be street legal, fast enough and with long enough legs to get to distant lands without a problem, and and it shouldn’t have problems with the odd fire trail, dirt road, or what passes for a pathway to a dry lake bed.  It should be something that could tackle a bit of a challenge as my skills and confidence grow over time.  You never know – I might just want to go somewhere the Long Way Round :wink:

I’m going to do something here that I normally don’t do – I’m going to leave y’all hanging and guessing at which dealership I’m heading off to in the next few minutes :mrgreen:  OK – I’ll give you a hint.  Riders have finished the Dakar Rally on their bikes, they’re known for a fanatical following, and they’re not made in America.  Figured it out yet?  If not, stay tuned and I’ll catch up with everyone in a few hours :cool:

Have fun everyone :mrgreen:

P.S. – While it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing business with Arlen Ness in the next few years, I really have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone at the shop for being so welcoming, helpful, and engaging :)  They had no problem with my camera and said the entire store and back shop were open to the public – help myself!  Guys, you may not have the type of bike I’m looking for right now, but you were certainly the type of people I enjoy meeting and I would highly recommend you :thumb:

Share

A little Randomness from theBrigade!

Afternoon randomness from Thursday. A little something for everyone!

Saturday. Not much doing here. So Blogging and Linking are the Orders of The Day!!!!!!! :railroad:

Share