Most people would recommend a smaller/less expensive bike for their first, and I’d agree. However, to be fair I borrowed John’s bike (a Suzuki VZ800 Marauder) for a winter before I purchased my own. I also got mine for a steal of a price. The reason everyone suggests buying a smaller used bike is because you’ll screw up and drop your bike. I’m going to come clean and admit that I have dropped mine (but oddly never John’s) – three times in fact. The first two drops were within the first month of ownership – once at a gas station and one in my garage. The third drop was at a gas station last summer when I failed to completely put down the kickstand – stupid mistake.During the last 20,000 miles, I’ve had three “incidents” with the bike, but I consider myself very lucky. The first incident was lane splitting a stop light (at night). I clipped a car’s mirror with my own… and mine popped off (at speed), hit the deck and was promptly run over. If you know the R1100RT series, you know the mirrors/blinker units come off a little too easy… and cost a less-than-shiny $300 a piece to replace. The second “incident” was the least expensive, but the most frustrating for me. I had just finished getting a major servicing done at BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco and was riding back to SF across the Bay Bridge. Not 60 miles after the servicing, the bike up and dies – on the damn bay bridge. I was stranded halfway between the Island and SF on a very busy bridge with no shoulder. CalTrans came along and dragged my ass back to the dealership. I was angry mostly because there is nothing as embarrassing as SITTING on the bridge blocking traffic. SF BMW treated me fantastically and spent 6 hours testing the bike (for free) and never found a cause, though I suspect it was junk in the fuel line.
The third incident was a case of an ill-placed Prius. I’ll save you the long drawn out version, but it was raining, I was in stop-and-go traffic and tried to change lanes. Someone was speeding in that lane and I had to abort the lane change, which was unfortunate for the Prius in front of me. Why unfortunate for them? Because the Prius’ bumper met my cylinder heads… and lost. I did a good number on their bumper (and broke my OTHER mirror). I was fortunate in the fact that I didn’t go down or even get a scratch.
When I’m not fighting off rogue
PrionsPriuses, I enjoy my time on the bike. I ride almost everywhere (yes, I have alternate transportation, a Truck, no I don’t use it). Even though I’ve got a 90 mile commute (total) each day – which I ride – I still get out on the weekends and go tooling around. I’ve ridden all the way down Highway 1/101 from San Francisco to L.A (and back). I’ve ridden to Tahoe. I’ve even had some joyful adventures over Mount Hamilton.
As it’s my first bike, I’ve beat it up a bit, but I still try to The Lady stripped down and took a bath">take good care of her. I don’t think I’ll ever sell the bike, but I sure would like to get another one. I’m glad I let myself get talked into riding (Big Thank You to my previous persuasive co-workers). I just hope the next 20,000 miles are as uneventful (all things considered).