NEIL BMW S1000R
THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “Falling in love.”
Having lavished the family last month with a week in Clacton and a couple of 50p DVDs for evening entertainment, my grand plan worked and I was granted the pass-out I needed to pack up my S1000R and thread my way through Europe en route to the San Marino Moto GP. The roads were perfect and scenery stunning, with the only let down being the sporadic crappy pockets of foul weather. Wearing full leathers is often a pain in the arse when the wet stuff comes, and there was no exception from that rule of this mile munching trip, as it meant I was stopping every 10 minutes or so to slot on my waterproofs, only to get a few miles down the road and undress.
Still, at least it gave me a good chance to maximise the epic storage on tap from my BMW luggage systems I had in place. It took me a few days to get my kit packed exactly where I wanted it, and in an order that made life easier, but the tank bag and panniers proved more than accommodating. As well as getting to know the ins and outs of the luggage, I also got a much better grasp of the bike. I’d done over 5,000 miles before this trip, so I reckoned I knew the Beemer inside out, but I didn’t.
Riding over 2,700 miles over seven days with our longest day being 600 miles and 14 hours in the saddle, I got to know the bike on a whole new level. Thankfully I can still count the small niggles on one hand; the clutch lever can feel heavy in slow moving traffic; there’s a small vibration/resonance at 6,000rpm; there’s a slight unstable feeling from the front end that’s impossible to get rid of. But that’s it.
Other than those relatively minor qualms, I had nothing else to moan about, whereas the praise and admiration I have for the BMW has continued to soar with every mile munched. It’s easy to forget to praise the brilliant ergonomics of the bike, which I rate higher than an adventure bike (as the riding position is comfortably upright, but with the slight lean forward taking pressure off your lower back). The fuelling is another big talking point, as it’s silky smooth everywhere. So smooth that it’s easy to take it for granted, but I ride enough different bikes to know when I’ve found a winner in the delivery department.
And then there’s the general torque and power on tap. This thing smashed its way up the Stelvio Pass effortlessly, made all the more beautiful by its blipper and shifter system. All I had to do was twist the throttle and squeeze the brake occasionally; the bike’s tech is next level and makes sporty riding on nadgery roads a real treat. Needless to say my admiration for this bike has grown massively, especially so because it worked so well on that epic ride around Europe.
The thing to note with this bike is its versatility. Just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when you want to get down and dirty, the Beemer plays ball, but it’s also got that sophistication and decorum to switch roles and carry you sensibly and comfortably all over the world. This bike’s really opened my eyes. It’s going back next month so I’m on a mission to get the most out of it while I’ve still got it. I’m already dreading saying goodbye.
Paradise! Look, a sign!
The Beemer ticked all Neil’s boxes.