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A road by any other roadster

 | Published on 12/15/2014

Recently, I'd realized that while I rode my 2012 R1200GSA all the time (on dirt and street), my 2007 R1200R was feeling a bit neglected.  Sure, I switched the bikes out each week, but the long trips were going on the GS.  The more I thought of it, the more I realized that the 2 bikes were too similar.  Both were boxers with 1200CC of displacement.  One was slightly more advanced, but ultimately it was the short bike vs the tall bike.  I needed to spread the 2 bikes out more.

As I've always loved naked bikes, I considered a few other options.  Should I get a Ducati Monster... the typical sporty roadster?  What about the Diavel, kind of a cruiser, but not.  Sat on both.... knees can't fit around tank.... damn short Italian size models.  How about going retro with a Triumph Thruxton?  Could be... but not really much get up and go.  Maybe a cruiser to go full out on the other end?  Test drove the new Indian Chief.  Great motor, but the ergonomics had my butt hurting after 30 miles on my 400 mile rental day. 
In the midst of thinking there wasn't an option, I thought about BMW's newest bikes.  Maybe I go full tourer and get the K1600GT/L?  Or got the opposite and get the S1000R?  Hmm... the S1000R is a roadster like my R1200R.... like that.  Spoke with one of the members with a K1600GT and an R1200R, who suggested the R1200R was better for commuting and sporty riding.  OK, leaning more toward the S1000R, but it's been pretty popular this year that it launched.  Head over the Max's to check on the bike.  They don't have any in stock and won't have a demo for another month or 2.  Ask them to let me know when they get it in.
Head up to Hunter mountain for the Maxtoberfest with my GSA a couple months later.  It's a rainy weekend which made the slippery clay of the mountain interesting for the GS Challenge.  They were also offering demo rides and brought the S1000R along with the other models.  0 miles on the bike, so they won't let it out in the rain.  Hoping the rain clears on Saturday, but no luck.  Finally get to signup on Sunday 5 minutes after it opened and almost all the slots are booked.  Get my slot to try it out.  Sit on the bike.  Nice, lightweight sporty feeling, but not so crouched over as a sport bike.  Start it up.... nice sound.  Begin the group ride and we pull out of Hunter and head to some twisties.  Hit the first couple and I'm sold.  The bike turns on a dime and the power is.... addictive.
The 2014s are all sold out and Max is waiting on 2015s to come in.  Then they work on refitting their stores and limit new inventory at the "end of the season".  Speak to Chris at BMW Manhattan and they have a couple in stock in the right color and package.  Decide to pull the trigger and Chris and Frank write it up.
Here I am now about a month into owning it (in the middle of the cold part of the year), not the best time of year to ride a "naked" bike.  But the bike is amazing.  Feels more comfortable than my old R1200R, and way more power.  Losing a couple of weekends with the Thanksgiving holiday, I've just wrapped up the first 600 miles on the bike.  Still loving it more each ride and anxiously awaiting warmer weather when it can really come into it's own.
So the warning to all those considering the new roadster.... DO NOT TEST RIDE IT!  You'll have to buy it.... it's really that good.