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Friday, December 19th, 2014

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Top Internet Motorcycle Stories - 19 December 2014

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Web
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
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After surviving a) my birthday last week and b) a storm-from-hell, it's time to go back to normal. And normal means a lot of reading on stuff that happens on the internet. So here are a couple of motorcycle related article that you may have missed over last week for your reading enjoyment. Get ready for the Christmas onslaught.




Enjoy

5 Tips For Motorcyclists Riding During The Winter Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: Twowheelmania Open link in a new window
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 13DEC
Summary: As the title says, 5 tips to make it through the winter, riding your motorcycle.


Speed limits increasing on U.S. highways – along with safety concerns Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 13DEC
Summary: Some states in the USA are increasing speed limits, and there are people believe it or not, that think it's a bad thing.


Luxury motorcycles ruled the roost in India in 2014 – Report Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: Indianautosblog Open link in a new window
Country: India flag  India
Date: 17DEC
Summary: Luxury motorcycle, like Harley-Davidson, are doing very well in India, thank you for asking. Triple sales at this moment.


Global Motorcycles Market Worth $120 Bil By 2018 Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: PR Newswire Open link in a new window
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 18DEC
Summary: Holy cow Batman - 120 BILLION Dollars. Of course, the biggest part goes to Asia, and electric models are going to do better and better.



Read related articles
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 - France: Violent Knee-jerk Reaction From Authorities About Facebook

Radar jackpot
France flag
15 people got convicted for putting radar location information on Facebook in France. Ridiculous. Time for another revolution.
Sunday, July 8th, 2012 - 12 Photos Of Motorcycles Riding In Deep Water

Riding in water China
Riding in water India
12 photos of people on motorcycles that had no choice but ride in deep water, mostly because of storms and floods. Brave people.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - Review: 2015 BMW R1200R - the R1200R Sees Red

Review 2015 BMW R1200R
BMW logo
A detailed review from a top French web site of the 2015 BMW R1200R - the R1200R Sees Red
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - A Motorcycle As Furniture - The JVLT014

JVLT014 Motorcycle Furniture
Italy flag
Joe is an Italian designer and he recently made a very beautiful and functional multi-purpose furniture that is shaped very much like a motorcycle. Cool.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - Review: 2015 Yamaha 250 WR-F - The Winning Comeback

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F
Yamaha logo
A detailed review from a top French web site of the 2015 Yamaha 250 WR-F - The Winning Comeback







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Review: 2015 Yamaha 250 WR-F - The Winning Comeback

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Product Review Yamaha
Author: Charli Anatole
Location: 
Paris, France
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Since this is a translation directly from French, some of the colloquialism may seem a bit strange at times, for which I apologize. It's not easy to translate. Any mistakes below are mine, and mine alone.
Yamaha logo
Le Repaire des Motards logo
The 2015 Yamaha 250 WR-F test report was originally published in French on the Le Repaire des Motards.com Open lerepairedesmotards link in a new window web site.

Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Yamaha 250 WR-F - The Winning Comeback Open Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Yamaha 250 WR-F - The Winning Comeback link in a new window (in French)
The Winning Comeback

To those who doubted Yamaha's involvement in enduro, despite its rich history and its successes, the new 250 WR-F will shut that down quickly. Yes, the brand is still interested in the discipline. Yes, she still knows how to produce good and beautiful machines. And no, she does not drop the ball! Quite the contrary!

It is always the same, we are eternally unsatisfied. Take the case of the 250 WR-F. In this environment, its reputation soared. Ask any enduro rider, they will willingly confirm it. This motorcycle is a monument. Reliable, accurate, consistent, easy, it is the tool for those who want to get around the paths of our beautiful country. This is the motorcycle of the "always running" and for the beginner it will never disappoint and who, incidentally, can still resell it at a good price; its reliability is legendary. It is a reference, which explains a long career in the Yamaha catalog because if you count well, since 2001, it reigns in the Blue motorcycle dealers . But then, despite this Gentleman's suit, there is something that was wrong with the old WR-F: the age. Going into extra time in catalogs, ok, but do it without technical disruptions, off-road, is not possible. Because here, what does not go forward, goes backward. And fast. If so, the WR-F had a good reputation among aspiring enduro riders, epicures, trail riders among others, competitors, clocks hunters, scratch warriors, her aura was different. Lymphatic, even amorphous engine, sluggish suspensions, a tad long frame, some do not hesitate to shame it into a trail-oriented enduro. The ultimate insult ...

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

Endless Waiting

It was high time that the brand reacted, she whose history is closely related to the discipline. The concern is that after such a delay, we had almost lost our illusions. In 15 years, we had rejoiced the coming only one new model, that of 2007, with its aluminum frame model. A chassis strongly inspired by that of the cross model, released a year earlier and had significantly improved rigidity and stability of the beast in the fast, like sex appeal. Except for the engine it happened to have ... Finally, there was only a small minority to think that this year was the one. Already because 2014 had seen land a new 250 YZ-F, a copy of its big brother, the 450, with its inverted cylinder, the fuel injection and completely new global architecture (intake behind the steering column, fuel tank slipped under saddle ...) and then because, behind the scenes, rumors were rife. Especially at a time when the brand had demonstrated unprecedented dynamism. We talk about the incredible MT07, MT09, the 125s and 400 X-Max, the Tricity ... The Blues were booming so inevitably, their enduro could miss the boat. Especially as three years ago, they had been kind to serve us a redesigned 450 WR-F, mixing the frame of the 250 and the motor base of the old model brought up to date, and injected, reworked well internally. In short, we were expecting something huge, it's there! Hallelujah!

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

Thoroughbred Introduction

If they have the same engine (77 x 53.6) and a DOHC distribution, it is a technological revolution that pits the old and new WR-F. The same one that had committed the Blues in 2010 leaving the first inverted cylinder series and cross tilted back, the 450 YZ-F (considering that the Cannondale MX 400 released early 2000 had not really reached the series). A machine that had dated and that remains the direct inspiration of the new YZ-F and WR-F, also featuring the famous engine architecture and injection. Now we will see some differences emerge ...

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

Thus, if we find the same intake system before the block, almost vertically from the cylinder, to force-feed the engine with clean and cool air, all programming of the control box has been reviewed. The hunting for max power has replaced the search for maximum availability, the Holy Grail in Enduro. Gearbox and clutch are also evolving in concert to adapt to the constraints of the discipline: the first is gaining a new staging, with a short first, second and sixth extended, 3rd and 4th lengthened, while the clutch plates and springs see their thickness increased to better support long waxing sessions. The indispensable accessory, the electric starter appeared before the cylinder while an alternator taken from that of the 450 is responsible for providing a little more juice to the entire power plant, logically more demanding on the WR-F.

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

That said, the bottom housings are identical on the two cousins. Special care was taken to the cooling of the beast. Note the presence of the fan behind the radiator (as in KT), but the press release also indicates the change in the axis of the turbine treated with a hard element. Criticized on the cross model for its excessive sound, the exhaust sees muzzled by the single piece that reminds of the old model, her silencer. Aluminum, oval, it appears imposing but reaches the goal set since the Blues have assured us it will pass safely under the regulatory 112 db. This is all the more surprising that the collector, snake type, appears to be completely identical to the cross model.

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

Finally, that which concludes the game of the 7 differences between cross and enduro. A game that ends asserting kinship between the two blocs, almost identical, which is still a good omen on the performance level of the maid ...

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

An Original Plastic

Standardization requires the cycle part to be also very close to the cross model. Same framework, same swingarm, same Kayaba fork measuring 48 mm in diameter with double cartridge, Yamaha was content with the minimum diet. Either a 18' rear wheel, a chain-kit with O-rings, an upper bracket with two bridges settings (but identically offset) and a damper 10 mm longer in order to be able to roll with a pre-load a little higher than on the YZ-F.

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

This is very little, but the WR-F remains nonetheless a typical machine. Especially due to the specific location of the elements, following the original architecture engine. Thus, access to the air filter is made by a hatch maintained by three bolts located at the reservoir cap, which has migrated to the end of the saddle, under a removable cover, held by three studs. Pieces that also inspire skepticism as to their advanced age ...

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

It is the same for a good part of the connection technology moved under the seat, against the rear wheel arch. Open, we remain cautious on the little protection it enjoys and at Yam we are assured they have made many tests, the tightness of all these taken after a good power-washing, or worse, a good ride in thick groves, remains unanswered ... It seems that it will hold. The fuel tank displays the same capacity as the cross model with 7.5 liters (0.5 liters less than the previous model), allowing no problem to complete the 90 kilometer loops that occur in the enduro league.

A Driving Position to Split the Wind

From the outset, the contrast between new and old model is striking. Gone are the impression of sitting in a chair against the handlebars, in the middle of the bike. As on the YZ-F, we have the sensation of being placed on the front wheel, bust straight, very close to the cockpit with footrest a tad high. The saddle very flat and a bit firm. You feel ready to attack. Good straight handlebars at the right height also helps to load the front of the bike and one feels that in turn, to press the front wheel, it should go well ... However, the motorcycle also surprised by the prominence of its radiator louvres and integrated intake ducts. It is much larger and imposing than the old copy, that remains the example despite its years of existence. To use a metaphor, it's like a bulldog ready to pounce. An impression reinforced by the fact that the wheelbase of the machine appears to have been shortened (only appears because the values are identical). Otherwise, nothing to report in terms of the commands, always exemplary in smoothness and precision. A finger is enough to clutch and brake.

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

In short, this is just the same happiness even if we have to get used to the relative overweight! The same to the absence of the off-switch. Now a simple push of the starter is enough to put tension in the beast while a timer is responsible for putting the "out of order" off after a minute of waiting. A little more in terms pleasure.

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

On The Trails

Come on, attacking from the start of the chapter that made the old WR-F a standard value, the trails. First positive point, the motorcycle does not seem noisier than the old. The silencer, basically an unsightly pile, has done its job. The Blue one plays with discretion, even when we tickle the limiter. However, it should be noted more admission noise than yesterday's.

The block allows you to hear the inhalation of fresh air at the front of the saddle, which may surprise a bit. Maybe even annoy some ... that said, the machine remains regal when it comes to go traveling the world: its engine knows how to be gentle on the throttle, resilient and the gearbox, six against five gears for the old model, is a model of smoothness and precision. While the engine brake is limited. As for the engine and chassis, a bit firmer than the old one, more rigid too, she has the good sense not to be in excess. Everything is carefully balanced and we do not have to fight against a manly frame, to impose our will. On the contrary, due to its compactness, it is even more natural in the turnstiles, even more player. At the point where the difficulty would be to almost keep a slow pace ... The test loops of 2 hours designed by Yamaha did not permit to test the maximum autonomy of the 7.5 liters fuel tanks, but you can reasonably count on more than one hundred kilometers of freedom. Enough to consider beautiful rides in isolated areas. In short, riding a WR-F, is easy peasy..

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

On The Attack

On the main course and we can not help but congratulate Yamaha for the quality of their work. As expected, the inverted block produced its good effects on the behavior of the block and its rider. Yesterday wise in its revving and limited in its maximum performance, the new engine is now showing angry and downright awesome power. In the manner of its cross counterpart. The contrast is striking. No more rough revivals with the clutch to try to hang at a bad rev range. From now on, any acceleration of the wrist resulting in a nice little kick in the hindquarters. It is very electric, so much more playful ... and incomparably more powerful. Especially as the Yam has the good sense to combine all this vitality of endless stretches and a just-sensitive engine brake. Again, nothing to do with the proposed menu of yesterday. The settings of the injection are optimal: the feel at the throttle is very faithful and it perfectly manages to dose the arrival of power. A plus point when riding conditions are plump. The gearbox shines again by precision, speed, and staging. Full out, on the fly, gear changes pass without worry. Another rejoicing, the engine and chassis. Until then, a WR-F, it was a rail that nothing could deviate from its path. Served by a high speed train with sluggish suspensions, very sluggish, but it does not flinch, except on big impacts when fork and shock were violently hitting the bottom. Today, a WR-F is a scalpel. A very short frame, very rigid served by a combined perfect suspensions (despite its lack of running in) that reads the track with true fidelity. In short, you can play with the holes, bumps, when yesterday it would suffer. It's much more fun. On the flip side, we have not found the serenity of the front, especially on the angles, which previously allowed us to roll with our eyes almost closed. It seems a little flighty, although, again, the 2015 F rides in the turns with a facility that will be the envy of the old. The price to pay for a much more funky motorcycle ...

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

By Crossing

Blessed are the Blues who had thought of the complementing the test with a climb on stone to gauge the ability of their baby to overcome the crossing. Before the exercise one would have thought that the block vitality would play tricks on the feisty lady and in the end, it did not fare much better, or even worse, than the old anemic block was shown incredible effectiveness in delicate passages. But no, wrong! Here too the Yam is Royal. Blame it on both its amazing engine power, one that allows to fire up rapidely, or riding under full power when off-roading and its perfect electronic control that allows a very fine dosing of the throttle. The clutch is a perfectly progressive, you only focus on the right handle to get away with it, feel the rear tire biting the ground and pushing yourself to the top. In the first, as well as second!

Review 2014 Yamaha WR250F

On the brake side, that of the Yam is correct. In fact, in enduro, all brake systems are alike , except for the KT and HVA Brembo, a little more powerful. But those Japanese and Sherco work more than correctly ... that is also what was meant by "a finger on the lever is enough"

Conclusion

We will not go far as to acknowledge that it was worth to wait 8 years to finally see this new WR-F arrive, the wait was too frustrating, but we must recognize that with this machine, Yamaha has suddenly caught up with the backlog during the last decade. Even taken a little lead over the buddies, which demonstrates a clear expertise in enduro. And, this machine raises two observations. Already, the bet of an inverted cylinder engine, designed for absolute performance was a great idea in that the Blues knew that calming the block's rage was feasible with good mapping. Or how to make an engine "good for everything" cheaply ... After that it is funny to notice that the recipe for Yam to seduce the "green" customer is the same as that used for the road, namely producing character machines well affirmed and with a very sleek angular design. An outlet which therefore fully integrates with the overall policy of the tuning forks brand, though we may regret that it did not follow the same pricing policy as the MT09 and MT07, for the announced sale price is just under the threshold of 9.000 (8.990) euros, the upper range of a 4 stroke enduro. It is clear that one no longer has the age to believe in Santa Claus ...

Strong PointsWeak Points
  • Homogeneous motorcycle
  • Engine performance and fun
  • Aggressive look
  • Instinctive chassis
  • Quality of the finish
  • Ability to change the engine via the Power Tuner which acts on the mapping
  • Discretion
  • Overweight at the front of the machine
  • Silencer identical to the previous model
  • Lock of the front axle at high speeds


Via: Le Repaire Des Motards




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Miracle In Indonesia: Motorcycle Rescued From Mudslide

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Entertainment
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
click to see where Indonesia is on the map
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I love reading these human interest stories, about rescues made after many hours spent under mud slides, earth quakes, etc. Here the motorcycle is rescued alive after a massive mud slide. And he lived happily ever after.

Makes me shed a tear or two..

Motorcycle Rescued From Mud

Reuters logo
Villagers dig out a motorcycle buried in the mud after a landslide hit the village of Sampang in Banjarnegara, December 13, 2014 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Idhad Zakaria/Antara Foto


Via: News Yahoo & Reuters




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Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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A Motorcycle As Furniture - The JVLT014

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Ideas
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where Italy is on the map
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Using a discarded motorcycle (unless you are very rich and use a real working bike) as furniture is nothing new. You can sit on bikes, use then as book holders and even use them as wall art.

But Italian designer Joe Velluto decided to make a purpose-built furniture with four functions in mind:

JVLT014 Motorcycle Furniture

So he designed the JVLT014 motorcycle furniture. It was presented at the Milan Design Week, and obviously you can use it as a seat, more or less the primary function of a motorcycle.

But you can also use the headlight as reading light:

JVLT014 Motorcycle Furniture

Apart from the abacus instead of a rev counter, it also has a vase incorporated in the fuel tank; So a nice place to put some flowers.

JVLT014 Motorcycle Furniture

So with that, the four main design targets were met. Interesting concept. I know it will not work for my house, but maybe for someone with a designer home looking for something original, this might just work. Especially if you are a motorcycle fanatic.

Hey, Jay Leno, is this something for you?

Click here to see many, many more photos of the JVLT014 motorcycle furniture Open Jvlt014 link in a new window.

Via: gBlog




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The Rolling Suitcase Branded Vespa - Old Style

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Gifts Ideas Vespa
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where Italy is on the map
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Vespa logo
Vespa is an old and cool brand. In the old days, it's was the accepted way to ride around town, and today, it's a cool and hip brand.

Vespa scooters have been around for a very long time, as have their accessories. But the latter are not always made and marketed by the Italian brand. Vespa are into merchandising, and you can often find their brand and logo stamped on different goodies.

Italiamoto Open Italiamoto link in a new window makes a pretty nice airline cabin rollerbag that fits the maximum dimension imposed by the airlines, and is fitted with TSA approved locks.

Vespa Rolling Luggage

The Vespa branded suitcase is offered in three different colors, black, red and khaki. The dimensions are  47 x 37 x 22 cm. The look, shape and design is very "Vespa".

Vespa Rolling Luggage

inside there are straps for clothing and 1 zippered compartment. The whole thing weighs 2 kilos.

Vespa Rolling Luggage

Italiamoto sell the case for $123.50, Click here to access the Italiamoto page Open Click here to access the Italiamoto page link in a new window
I also found it on Amazon UK for UK£88.70  click here to buy
Sorry, couldn't find it in the USA.

Via: Actumoto




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Vietnam: Christmas Tree Motorcycle Delivery Service

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Entertainment Cargo
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where Vietnam is on the map
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Now there's a delivery service begging to be done via motorcycles... Maybe he can start a franchise operation in North America and Europe.

Christmas Tree Motorcycle Courrier
© EFE/EPA/DUC THANH

EFE  logo
Hanoi (Viet Nam), 15/12/2014.- A motorbike driver transports a Christmas tree on his bike at a street in Hanoi, Vietnam, 14 December 2014. Christmas is not an official holiday in Vietnam, however some of its customs have become more popular in recent years. EFE/EPA/DUC THANH


Via: News Yahoo & EFE & EPA




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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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Review: 2015 BMW R1200R - the R1200R Sees Red

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Product Review BMW
Author: Jean-Francois Robert
Location: 
Paris, France
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Since this is a translation directly from French, some of the colloquialism may seem a bit strange at times, for which I apologize. It's not easy to translate. Any mistakes below are mine, and mine alone.
BMW logo
Le Repaire des Motards logo
The 015 BMW R1200R test report was originally published in French on the Le Repaire des Motards.com Open lerepairedesmotards link in a new window web site.

Click here to read the original review of the Review: 2015 BMW R1200R - the R1200R Sees Red Open Click here to read the original review of the 2015 BMW R1200R - the R1200R Sees Red link in a new window (in French)
the R1200R Sees Red

Continuing to expand its range, BMW's new water engine in a roadster abandons the iconic front suspension Paralever in favor of a conventional "inverted fork". Discovery and testing in Alicante in south-eastern Spain of the new BMW R1200R.

For a long time the only engine present in the BMW catalog, the flat longitudinal twin was almost abandoned by the brand in the mid 80s to the benefit of 3 & 4 flat cylinders for their "tourism" range. But faced with discontent among its customers, the manufacturer went back, boosting production of the "RT". Today, this engine is again the centerpiece of the range, with the GS and an RT that drive sales counters crazy. Completely redesigned in 2013, the flat-twin has totally changed, leaving behind the "automobile" structure, engine / transmission separate and a dry clutch, in favor of a more common motorcycle: engine / transmission in a single block + disc clutch in oil bath. On this occasion, the manufacturer has the opportunity to rotate the admissions at 90°, those - one from the back, above the cylinder. A technical detail of importance regarding the ergonomics of the bike, we will come back to this later. More sparkling than ever, the new flat extends its grip, with almost 6 models in the catalog, if you count the air-cooled Nine T and the future RS which will arrive in 2015.

Presentation

100% new, the R 1200 R inaugurates a superb tubular trellis frame designed to receive a conventional front fork. Why this choice, is it a flashback or otherwise progress? Neither one nor the other in absolute terms, but the reasons for these are many esthetically first, BMW wanted a true classic roadster, with a look perfectly modern. Something impossible with a Telelever ...

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

It was also necessary to integrate as discreetly as possible the cooling radiator without harming the design, nor hiding the big flat. The engine is indeed central to the design of a roadster. With the lower triangle of the Telelever mobilizing all the space behind the front wheel, it was impossible. Final point, they also needed a typical "roadster" behavior, and it is known that the Telelever does not shine by the feedback it gives the rider. In short, in face of all these esthetic and technical constraints, it was decided to adopt a telescopic fork. Still on the subject of esthetics, we note that the new R 1200 R has become both refined and modernized. The front fork is simplified by the more "limpid", she also receives a small seductive headlight, surmounted by a remarkably fine dashboard. The fuel tank lowered in its rear part refines the bike, while the back itself, very fine and shortened by 12 cm compared to the old version, alleviates the line as a whole. In short, this new version is definitely sexier than the former, especially in its white version with a red frame! With this set of amendments, the R1200 R really enters the family of roadsters, although its target is not as sporty as that of a Tuono, a KTM Super Duke R or S1000R for example. Its power is also not the same either. Its competitors are the Honda CB 1000 R, Yamaha FZ1 or Triumph Speed Triple and Kawasaki Z1000 or at the limit the Ducati Monster 1200.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

In The Saddle

Very narrow at the fuel tank level and the front of the saddle, this BMW is very easy to access. With the original 790 mm saddle, you very easily put both feet on the ground, even if one does not measure 1,70 m. An optional 760 mm version is available, while two higher versions are also available; 820 and 840 mm. Due to the narrowness of the bike you can and should above all, take advantage by opting for a higher saddle. On the one hand because the legs are less bent and partly because the increase in seat height improves the behavior of the bike, as we have seen during our rides. In short, big or small, focus on high saddles, because they are never "very high", thanks to the good ergonomics of the cockpit. It is the turning admissions of 90° that the manufacturer was able to free up space in the area and fine-tune the bike. It is true that once sitting down, legs are slightly apart and you are properly installed.

The dashboard, configurable in three display modes, offers a wealth of useful information. The standard configuration includes two display areas, always with the speedometer needle on the left and a rev counter in graph form on the right. In sport mode, the space dedicated to the rev counter increases, while in touring mode, it is the opposite, it disappears, the speed is also displayed digitally, in addition to the needle.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

Two points however, due to the extraordinary engine availability you don't really care about the rpm counter, while the speedometer is difficult to read with small digits on the needle. So the Tourism mode is relevant, even and especially when riding fast, if one wants to avoid excesses. Note the red zone at 9000 rpm, but a limiter that kicks in 250 rpm before.

In The City

Pressing the starter and the twin flat reveals a hoarse sound. With very little inertia, it easily revs. At each throttle stroke, a serious roar signals the opening of the exhaust valve. Whao... it is appetizing, we have water in our mouth and say, just by the sound, that this engine is full everywhere. Indeed, BMW claims more than 100 Nm over the useful revs range with a maximum of 125 Nm at 6500 rpm. The air box has been reworked and the specific exhaust gives it extra pep at half speed.

We move to the first gear without clunking and the stylish roadster takes off smoothly. The engine is flexible, as are the controls and the seating is comfortable with a fairly upright position, we have a good view without contortion. Here we are very comfortable to navigate at low speed, with a quite decent turning circle. The 880 mm length overall is certainly not that of a utility 125cc, but the R 1200 R is not a ship. Once launched, in low speed roundabouts, the steering is sometimes a little droopy, but nothing that turns a city tour into an event. Despite the many options available on our test bike, the ergonomics of the handlebar is correct, like the mirrors that requires no unpleasant comments. Very civilized, this roadster will lend itself obviously without complaints to daily exercises.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

On Secondary Roads

Normally a roadster is a player and likes roads that twist. With a 1515 mm wheelbase and a column angle of 27.7 °, our BMW does not display properly the current values of the of sporting roadster. However, thanks to its flat twin engine, she has a low center of gravity which allows you to take the changing angles easily. You can throw the bike into curve after curve, while still having the feeling of a long motorcycle, more docile than dynamic, like what its competitors may have. It's not bad, far from it! Here the manufacturer has privileged stability and security over pure & hard efficiency, which can be found with the ultra sporty roadsters. A compromise that was voluntary and assumed, something that surprises in the beginning with its "nice" side. However, very fast, you recognize that the motorcycle is very obedient and when the rhythm accelerates, everything goes well. Everything goes even better than good, especially when you have the higher saddle. While with the standard 790 mm saddle, you are seated like a grandfather and the motorcycle is not very dynamic, but when sitting a bit higher, your riding gets easier, as well as maneuvering your handlebars and pushing down on your foot pegs. You really gain a lot in the vivacity and ease of riding. Even with my 1M67, I tested the 840 mm saddle and it was even better. With significant displacements for the category, (140/140 mm, with a common standard at 125 mm, or 10% less), comfort is excellent, especially with the ESA version we tested. The Electronic Suspension Adjustment allows easy and optimal adjustment to the usage conditions. Sport, comfort, duo, solo. With a small push of a button, the R1200R's suspension is easily set... at a surcharge of €785. In the basic version, you have to be content with a fork (not anodized Gold) without adjustment and a rear shock only adjustable for preload and rebound. It changes everything! A word about ground clearance which will be correct for 95% of users. The more knowledgeable will eliminate the optional center stand at €135, thus they shed a little weight, and then because of the shaft drive, we do not need to grease the chain!

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

On Highways

Continue our testing on faster roads. No problem really, the engine can really breath! It extracts you out of the curves with its hoarse voice with a strong push. We take this opportunity to pass to the "dynamic" mode, which offers a more lively response of the electronic throttle. You can choose between rain (rain), Road (normal configuration, "road") and the sport mode "dynamic". In all three configurations, power remains at 125 hp at 7750 rpm, but with one rotation of the throttle, the driver has more, or less power.

Example 1/3 of the power at 1/3 of the throttle in "road" mode, but only 1/4 in "Rain" mode and 50% in "dynamic" mode, with in all three cases 100% power at maximum throttle opening. In fact, in the dynamic mode, the large flat twin will seriously kick you in the buttocks. No worries, the traction control (DTC) is keeping watch, at least on our test bike equipped with the "riding mode pro" (+€310).

In the basic version you must be content with a simple traction control (ASR), which is only there to prevent evasions on slippery roads at low speeds, but is not intended to improve fast driving. Anyway, the flat really pushes hard and is not stingy in its sensations throughout its range. Although upset by colleagues who are champing at the bit behind the opener, we take advantage of the excellent shifter (optional to €385) to change gear without cutting the throttle, to be rewarded with a small detonation coming from the exhaust after the gas and ignition small micro-cut. It's addictive!

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

With a bit more dexterity, you can also downgrade clutchless, choosing the right time, since the shifter also manages the throttle opening in this phase. It really is magical and that gearbox is a delight. The older riders, who remember being mocked by the slow and "klonking" characteristic of BMW gearboxes, will be delighted. This is just as remarkable as before, but for its quality, pleasure and efficiency this time. Controlling the R1200 R on a winding road, up and down the gears, is like playing on velvet.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

On Motorways

We did not do enough of it, but still recommend the elegant windshield for those who would travel far behind the handlebars, because despite its small size, it seems effective, or more accurately, without it, you will regret even more cruelly its absence. It's again an option at €185. For this purpose, the R 1200 R remains well armed. No vibration, long gear ratio (halfway between that of the GS and RT), so a mechanical purring without forcing. Added to that an autonomy which just right, thanks to a 18 L tank despite its narrowness and an appetite that seems reasonable.

Our onboard computer says between 6 and 6.5 liters per 100 km, at a speed that was not reasonable. You can also use a cruise control .. for €330. Travellers will also appreciate the baggage holders, at €145, the panniers holders at €100 and the heated hand grips with 2 levels, at €210. Bags are also proposed. With all its options, you can have a roadster during the week and a multi-use touring bike for the holidays. Note the optional pillion comfort saddle for €80. Sorry to be mentioning money all the time, but that is the hard reality.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

Brakes

With 231 Kg fully fueled, two 320 mm discs, radial 4-piston calipers, coupling forward/reverse at the lever (but not at the foot pedal) and an ABS that is quickly forgotten, the R 1200 R is blameless at this level. In the absence of the Telelever, the bike plunges "normally" when braking, but without excess, due to its low center of gravity and long wheelbase. However, the rider gains in feeling, here we feel very well what is happening under the front wheel. Let's mention that in the basic version the calipers are black and you'll need to take the sports version for gold ones.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

Practical

Let's start with the price, €13,400 excluding options ... and options there is plethora. On our test bike, they exceeded €3,000. You decide what you deem essential. However, we regret not having been able to try a basic version without ESA, to try original suspensions. But know that if the catalog allows you to compose your roadster of your dreams, it will seriously inflate your budget. However, count on a good resale value, specific to the brand, if it is any consolation. Besides, the old R 1200 R has sold 50,000 copies since 2006, a figure the new one is expected to far exceed with its seductive abilities.

Review 2015 BMW R1200R

Conclusions

Very successful, this new BMW will not compete with the Superduke R. It leaves this thankless task to its sister the S 1000 R. The R 1200 R is in a softer register, more civilized but also more versatile. Its 125 HP is more than enough to make sweet craziness, safe with excellent performance of the chassis and engine. We do not regret the Telelever, the adoption of the fork is very successful, the transplant has taken well. The gearbox, exquisite, becomes downright magic with the shifter. An option that we highly recommend if you like riding. With the BMW R 1200 R signals a smart roadster, which will seduce those who like thrills and efficiency. A successful motorcycle, well-born, well drawn, which should have a great career, despite a premium price, faithful to brand positioning. Decidedly, this new "flat on water" does not stop pleasantly surprising us. Whether its for adventure or traveling and having fun now, it still has a good trick up its sleeve!

Strong PointsWeak Points
  • Full engine everywhere
  • Friendly and evocative sound
  • Excellent chassis
  • ABS braking without reproach
  • Versatility
  • Driveability and real sense of security
  • Higher base price than the competition
  • Many options, which often are themselves indispensable
  • Relative inertia in sporty driving at a very high pace
  • Less vivacity in behavior than in other roadsters


Via: Le Repaire Des Motards




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