BMW always touts their 200,ooo-mile reliability (final drive issues notwithstanding). But sometimes, even the most reliable bike has a problem. And if you’re in a small town in the middle of nowhere–especially on a bike where dealers who can service it are few and far between–getting stranded can be a problem.
But, BMW has just released an iPhone app to help out. And it apparently it’s just chock full of cool stuff:
Compatibility with any registered BMW Motorrad model in the United States (models from 1981 onward).
Expedited handling of BMW Motorrad USA Roadside Assistance requests.
Automatic sharing of GPS location and motorcycle details (color, model, etc.) between the BMW Motorrad USA Roadside Assistance call center and the Motorcycle rider.
Direct telephone access to BMW contact information, including authorized BMW Motorrad Dealers, BMW Motorrad Customer Relations, and of course BMW Motorrad USA Roadside Assistance
You can add up to four different motorcycles to the app–each with it’s own picture–storing the colors, VIN, etc, in the app. So, if you need help, you can just go to your iPhone, and get roadside assistance whenever you need it.
As long as you can get a signal, of course.
Now, they just need to get cracking on an app for Android.
BMW has announced two new motorcycles built on a brand new Inline-6 powerplant. The K1600GT will presumably replace the K1300GT, while the K1600GTL will replace the K1200LT.
The powerplant is definitely the atttraction on these bikes. Weighing in at only 226 lbs, the motor puts out 160HP at 7,500 RPM and…wait for it…129 lb/ft of torque at 5,000 RPM. BMW also indicates that over 70% of maximum torque will be available from 1,500 rpm. So, right from a standing start, we’re talking 90 lb/ft of torque. That’s arm-wrenching acceleration worthy of a literbike. Indeed, compare and contrast to the 193 HP S1000RR, whose maximum torque is 83 lb/ft at 9,750 RPM.
Alas, there are no pictures of the bikes from BMW yet, except for a couple of crappy concept drawings that I’m uninterested in showing, as they are probably more misleading than accurate.
But from the specs, it looks like a monster power-tourer, with about 5 more horsepower hitting the ground at the rear wheel, and 27 lb/ft more torque than the current power king of sport-tourers, the Kawasaki Concours14.
The only remaining question will be how much it’ll set back your wallet to acquire the Beemer.
Motorcycle Daily reports on their first ride of the new BMW R1200GS. They really liked it, especially the new engine’s astonishingly wide power band.
Meanwhile, Motorcycle USA was along for that trip, too, and they note:
or not you opt for the Special Edition or an upgraded package on either model, both machines are phenomenal in their performance. They’re the same old lovable Adventure Touring bikes we’ve come to expect from the propeller gang. We wish we could say the new motor is a vast improvement over the old version, but the circumstances and the time gap in our memory make that difficult. While we couldn’t readily detect a difference in engine performance (that’ll have to wait for dyno testing or a dry back-to-back evaluation) the German crew certainly hasn’t taken a step back.
Motorcycle.Com was also an hand, concluding:
The good news is the GS is still very much what the previous bike was, and that’s, well, good.
All in all, despite being unable to compare the older and new models side by side, everyone seems happy with it.
While most motorcycle manufactures are mired in the sales doldrums due to the worldwide economic recession, BMW is bucking the trend.
The BMW Motorcycle segment clearly exceeded last year’s sales in the first three months of this year: Sales were 20.9% higher at 20,840 units (17,232). In March 2010, 11,541 motorcycles – an increase of 26.8% – were delivered to customers (prev. yr . 9,100).
And in some countries, such as the UK, sales are setting records, with 1,539 motorcycles sold in March, up 50% over the same month in 2009.
Motorcycle.Com has the results of their shootout between the BMW K1300S and the Honda VFR1200F. On paper the bikes are a really close match with the Beemer putting out 146.8HP and the Honda throwing out 146.4 HP. BMW has the edge in torque, though, with higher torque all along the rev line, except at the tippy top, and maxing out at 89.6 ft-lb compared to the VFR’s 82 ft-lb. The BMW hit max torque 700RPM shorter, too.
On the other hand, they write that the Honda is easier to ride, more maneuverable, more comfortable, and carries its weight better than the BMW. Both bikes sport about 5-gallon tanks, so neither one is all that impressive when it comes to touring range.
So, what’s the bottom line?
“Although the BMW may not have the utter refinement of the Honda, I wouldn’t be ashamed or regretful of having a K1300S in my garage if I’d purchased one and then later had the chance to ride a VFR1200F,” says Pete. “Furthermore, the practical techy options like anti-spin control, ESA II, etc, that have real-world application raise the K13’s’s price by only $1,800 more than the Honda’s, making a case for the BMW being the better value. Frankly, the BMW’s Premium Package option is simply worth the added cost over base MSRP, especially so if you amortize that $1,800 across the term of a loan.”
The price on the Honda is the kicker. For what you get for the money, I’d agree that the BMW is probably a better deal. You really do have to ride a BMW to really get how good the ESA is. And the BMW cruise control really is excellent.
I really wanted to like the new VFR a lot, but this 1st-gen model doesn’t seem to quite have “it” at the price Honda’s asking you to shell out.
Motorcycle USA Motorcycle.Com has posted their 2010 Literbike shootout, comparing the newest European bikes to the top Japanese 1,000cc rockets. From Europe, they test the Aprilia RSV4 R, and the BMW S1000RR. From the Land of the Rising Sun comes the Honda CBR1000RR and the Kawasaki ZX-10R. Like nearly everyone else who’s riddewn it, they give the top marks to the BMW.
BMW S1000RR. If you want the literbike with the most power, best brakes, a wonderfully compliant chassis and best available options in 2010, these are the only letters and numbers you need to know.
Everybody loves this bike, it seems, in the sportbike set.
And yet, in World Superbike, where the S1000RR is in its second season of competition, its riders have been on the podium…um…not a single time.
If you haven’t seen this month’s Sport Rider magazine, their cover proclaims that The BMWS1000RR is the real deal, writing “No joke: This could be the new King”. It’s apparently wicked fast.
Fast enough, in fact, to kick the crap out of a 700HP Corvette Z1.
Motorcycle Daily reports that the BMW S1000RR appears to be a real superbike.
Apparently, our Brit cousins at MCN strapped the S1000RR to a dyno, and got the HP/Torque results shown over at the right (click to enlarge). The results show 183HP at the rear wheel with stock exhaust, and 185.5 with an Akraprovic setup.
Oh, and about 81 lb-ft of torque, if anyone cares.
So, if they’re putting out 185 at the wheel, then they’ve got to be pushing 200+ HP at the crank, which is…a lot. A lot more, in fact, than BMW even admits to.
As Gabe Ets-Hokin notes:
Used to be 180 hp at the back wheel was the result of tens of thousands of dollars of soup-up work: a turbo or nitrous, or just getting your hands on a megabucks works racebike.
Back when I was a kid in the 70s, we thought a 70HP bike was wicked fast. 200HP would have been seen as…insane.
BTW, the nearest competitor–according to the dyno-tested models, at least–to the S1000RR was the Suzuki Hayabusa at 179.5 HP.
Yet, with all that horsepower on tap, Troy Corser is being beaten like an egg-sucking dog in WSBK by guys riding 170.6 HP Fireblades.
By far the most popular search that leads people to this site, is a search for the rumored variants of the BMW R1200RT for 2010, such as “R1300RT”, or R1250RT”. Everyone seems to want to know what the 2010 version of the BMW R-bikes are going to be.
Well, now we know. It’s the R1200RT, and R1200GS.
BMW announced today that the 2010 R-Series bikes will all sport a DOHC Boxer motor derived from the Hp2 Sport. Unlike the HP2 Sport, however, the R Engine will rev lower, and put out less horsepower.
So, the horsepower figure for the R-series Boxer will remain unchanged at 110HP, but torque will increase by 3lb-ft to 88lb-ft at an unchanged 6,000RPM, for faster acceleration. The redline will increase to 8,500 RPM from the current 8,000rpm.
The R1200RT will receive an updated fairing and windscreen, designed to offer better wind protection. The instrument panel has also been updated, with redesigned instruments and a visor to help keeps the sun’s glare off a bit better. Also updated are the handlebar controls, with the old-style paddle turn signals on each side being replaced by standard turn signals. An additional control is a rotary thumbwheel on the left handgrip to allow the rider to cycle through all the stereo options without taking his hand off the grip. The stereo itself gets rid of BMW’s CD player, although a jack is provided for external audio sources.
TheR1200GS is visually unchanged from the previous year’s model, except for the cylider covers, which have two bolts, instead of four. The new engine, on the other hand also gets the 110HP output, and increase of 5 horsies over last year’s. There’s also an accessory LED headlight for a few extra bucks.
Overall, the change to the DOHC engine doesn’t provide as much oomph as I would have expected, considering that the HP2 engine actually puts out 130HP in the HP2. I would’ve thought that BMW would have added more ponies to the R-series boxer, rather than upping the torque a bit.
I’m also a little disappointed in the new styling for the R1200RT. I think last year’s version looked better, and came in better colors than white, beige and two-tone gray and white. Overall, I suspect that GS afficionados will be a bit more pleased with the 2010 update than their RT brethren.
The big motorcycle show, Italy’s EICMA, will be happening in 20 days. Traditionally, this is a show that always brings some surprises for the new year. So, what’s up this year?
Obviously, Aprilia will be rolling out the RSV4 and RSV4-R. That’s a no-brainer.
BMW might be an interesting presence this year. The rumors of what is going to happen with the R-Series bikes has been rampant, with everything from a new 1300cc boxer, to the 1200cc boxer getting an update with the 130HP DOHC motor ported from the HP2. I’ve written about the GS getting that motor, but there are rumors that the whole R-series will be getting that upgrade as well, which would make both the GS and RT extremely attractive. And with 130HP, the lighter-weight RT would approach the performance of the FJR, making it a true sport-tourer. The 1300cc K bikes and the S1000RR are old news already, so the only conceivable surprise would come from a revamping of the R Bikes.
Ducati’s new 1200cc Multistrada and Hypermotard 796 will be there. We’ve already seen the Hypermotard. And we’ve seen the new Multistrada, too, except with lots of duct tape hiding the fairing. The removal of the duct tape will be Ducati’s big event.
MV Agusta has had the same model lineup of two bikes–the F4 and Brutale–for the last decade. This year looks to be a little different, however. We’ve already seen the two new Brutale models, so, while they’ll no doubt be there, no one will care. What we haven’t seen is the revamped F4, other than the teaser image MV released several days ago, So I expect that to be unveiled. But what we really haven’t seen are the two entirely new models that have been rumored over the last month or so. The 675cc triple that has shown up is spy shots, and the company’s new Superbike, which is expected to lead MV Agusta back to participation in WSS or WSBK racing. We don’t even know if it’s a completely new model, or WSBK-compliant F4 model. But, after a decade with the same old line-up, MV might be the surprise of the show this year.
Neither Honda now Yamaha will be there, which, in Honda’s case seems a bit odd, since their new VFR1200F has just debuted, and it’s supposed to be the basis for a whole new line of motorcycles from Big Red. So, it seems strange that they won’t be at EICMA so show it off.
Triumph will be there, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the new Street Triple R show up, with its new black and gold paint scheme, reminiscent of the John Player Special motorsports paint scheme of beloved memory.
But, surprises aside, with thingsas bad in the motorcycle manufacturing and sales world as they are, it seems that this year will mostly be a low-key affair, which the absence of two of the Big Four won’t help.
BTW, I wonder if Harley-Davidson will be pulling the Buell 1125R from the show?
When people find this blog through web searches, the absolute number one search that brings traffic here is a search for the notional BMW R1300RT. Now, this may be because I’m nearly the only-English-language web site to pull a story from the French Motosports web site MotoRevu about BMW releasing a bike of that very name in 2010. If so, it’s only natural that I get so much traffic from that search, because I have about the only content that matches it…in English, anyway.
The thing is, as near as I can tell, there is no hard information about a new generation of BMW boxer engines for 2010. And, to the extent there is, the most likely move is to a 1250cc boxer, not a 1300cc one. Oberdan Bezzi, the Italian motorcycle designer says that BMW’s next move is for the R1250GS, with and RT version coming a bit later. And BMW’s changes since the 1990s to the R-bikes have been 50cc bumps in displacement. That makes a 1250 more likely than a 1300 for the next-gen R-bikes.
But, of course, that’s just a rumor, too.
The bottom line is that, as of September 2009, there’s no firm indication of a change to the R1200-series bikes coming in 2010. And if there is one, BMW will announce it in the next 60 days or so. But, right now, all the rumors about a new R-bike are just that…rumors.
Motorcycle News, in the UK, has just released their 19 August print issue, in which the BMW S1000RR goes head to head against Honda’s venerable CBR1000RR, and smacks it down like a red-headed stepchild. Indeed, they say that their tester could do a 3-second faster lap in the test at the track in Brno. They breathlessly report:
In this week’s issue of MCN, on sale August 19, we have a world exclusive track test of the BMW S1000RR. According to our tester, it feels more powerful than a Yamaha R1 and makes the Honda Fireblade’s suspension feel rubbish in comparison…
World exclusive riding impressions of the new BMW sports bike shows it can lap Brno 3 secs faster than a Fireblade.
Man, that sounds like a super hot bike, doesn’t it? Three seconds per lap faster than the CBR1000RR! Wow!
The thing is, that in World Superbike, where actual, professional racers do actual, professional racing, the S1000RR’s best result to date has been Troy Corser’s 5th place finish at Brno in Race 1. He was 10th place in Race 2. He was beaten by two Fireblades in race 1 and three in race 2.
And, of the top 10 riders in WSB after 10 of 14 rounds, four of them ride Fireblades. None of them ride BMWs.
I’m just saying.
The annual march of media bike choices continues, with Motorcycle.com weighing in with thir top picks of the year. Their choices are interesting, and a bit different than I would have expected.
For the overall bike of the year, they picked the Triumph Street Triple R.
Best Sportbike honors go to the Kawasaki ZX-6R, with the runner-up being the Honda CBR1000RR.
The Ducati Monster 1100 gets the nod for best standard motorcycle, with second place going to the Harley-Davidson XR1200.
The best cruiser pick is the all new Triumph Thunderbird 1600, with the Suzuki Boulevard M90 taking an honorable mention.
The award for best touring bike goes to the BMW R1200RT, closely followed by the Honda Gold Wing.
BMW also take both first and second place spots for sport-touring, with the K1300GT winning, and the F800ST getting the honorable mention.
BMW stays in the winner’s circle for best off-road bike, with the top honors going to the F800GS, and the second spot going to the Aprilia SXV/RXV 5.5.
They also have picks for best eccentrics, scooters, technology, and more, so why not go there and read them?
The September issue of Sport Rider has a head to head comparison of the BMW K1300S and the Suzuki Hayabusa. You can read it when the mag hits the newsstands, or you can read it in PDF Format here: BMW K1300s vs. Suzuki Hayabusa.
You might expect that the venerable ‘Busa would be the hands-down winner in a head to head comparo with a BMW. You’d be wrong. They rated the K13S higher in every category except transmission, where both bikes tied. They especially liked the more comfortable ergonomics, the anti-spin control, and the on-the-fly adjustable suspension.