|I broke one of Eilenberger's Laws..|
Never ride a bike you can't afford. In this case - it wasn't really breaking the law since I sorta figured I really could afford a new bike - if I also could afford a bunch of new furniture for the house.
I'll let a posting I made to the RS forum explain what happened:
Well - this was followed by some soul searching. Thing I realized - I wasn't enjoying riding the RS anymore. The vibration just was too much for me - it took all the fun out of riding it. And I couldn't figure out how to reduce it to an acceptable level.
I got a lot of replies - some trying to convince me (1) I could reduce the vibration - and I know I couldn't (2) I really needed to just tough it out (3) or I needed some other bike:
Some people also suggested I try finding a new R1200ST - the bike that replaced the RS.. that wasn't really a bike I could get myself in lust after. I finally finished mulling it through and made my decision:
By now you figured out what the outcome of the 2nd test ride was.. the bike was wonderful at 80MPH - very acceptable on vibration level. Needed a little more wind-blast protection than is provided by the "Sport" shield it came with - but it was infinitely better than the RS I'd ridden to the test ride on.
So - I bought one. I ended up with the black with optional white pinstripe offering from BMW, with ABS, Sport Shield, OBC, heated grips, centerstand, bag mounts and I bought a set of bags for it.
Hmmm.... look what followed me home.. who'da thunk it?
Of course the first thing to do when a new bike arrives is to start Farkleizing™ it. So.. being no slouch in this department, I made a mental list of what I'd want on the bike, and started thinking about how to achieve it.
Mounting my GPS (currently a Garmin 2720) was a priority. I knew from past experience that I find it safest to use and easiest to read if it's mounted centered on the bike, right under the instrument pod. Luckily - BMW has a mount for mounting their Navigator series GPS's.. that for the Roadster uses a mount that fastens to the top of the handlebar clamps. Being thrifty (cheap) by nature - when of almost identical design was offered to me by a club member - for free - I grabbed it. It required a very minor modification of the mounting holes to match the slightly smaller bolt spacing of the R clamps - and it was mounted on the bike and quickly wired in:
The GS GPS bracket adapted to the Roadster.
In case you're wondering - the white thing on the back of it is the cap for the power plug on the GPS - it lives there when the GPS isn't on the bike. I didn't use the power feed BMW provides for GPS use since that is a switched feed, and with a GPS without an internal battery that means the ignition must be on to use the GPS if the bike isn't running. I opted instead to wire directly (with fuse) to the battery under the seat.
I also found that the R11xxRS tankbag fit better on the Roadster than it did on the RS.. so it was quickly moved over to the Roadster:
RS Tankbag on a Roadster. Also - little bullseye mirrors add a wide-field view to the stock mirrors.
I'm accused by one of our local club members of "crapping up the bike" by putting stickers on the rear of the bags... so here - for him - is the last photo available of the Roadster before I start crapping it up:
What else has gotten done?
A headlight modulator has been added. I feel naked riding a bike without one - the difference in people seeing the bike is startlingly clear in an A-B (with and without - over the same route, same time of day) comparison. People DO take note of the modulating light. The one I'm using is from Kisan Technologies and the one I'm using is the P115W-A2. This one has the advantage of being mounted inside the headlight shell, and requiring no new holes to be drilled to get the light detector outside the shell. The small drain hole in the bottom of the shell was enlarged just big enough for the connector to feed through, and then the sensor was routed up to the handlebars and tie-wrapped off on the wiring and line going to the clutch side controls. This makes it an invisible modification - the best kind in my opinion.
One note - the modulator causes the ZFE (central body electronics) module to think the high-beam bulb is intermittently burned out when it's modulating. This causes the "warning" icon on the instrument cluster to flash in sync with the modulation. This is OK with me - since it gives me an indication the modulator IS modulating. What isn't OK - is the error message that appears in the digital display - flashing at the same rate as the headlight is modulated - and alternating with the odometer reading. According to the tech support people at Kisan - this can be eliminated by updating the ZFE firmware to version 8 or greater. When I checked mine - it appears to have version 7 installed. I hope to get that update done this Saturday (05/19/07) during the 600 mile service.
I moved my WarmNSafe Heattroller over to this bike. Mine is the SMSAE model - surface mount, SAE connector. I hid the electronics under the seat, and ran the control unit to the small plastic panel on the left side of the bike that covers the top of the left throttle-body. There is room at the very rear corner of this panel to install the controller, by drilling two small holes. Removal of it won't leave an eyesore on the bike, plus the position falls "readily to hand" when it needs adjustment.
HeatTroller (LED isn't visible in photo - it's below the knob.)
Rear lighting is always a concern, since I've been struck once from the rear when stopped for a light, and had a number of near misses. I've found the stock BMW brake light to be only marginally effective in gaining the attention of the cell-phone talking, latte' sipping idiots who pass for drivers. I contacted a friend - Klaus Huneuke of Run-N-Lites, and asked what he could do to help. The bike is now outfitted with some beta-test LED turnsignal/brake-light modules for the rear turnsignals, and with a LiteBlazer. This provides a flashing light on initial brake application that is quite effective in stopping the people behind you in their tracks. The light then changes to a solid on light - so it is a legal device.
Brake Light Enhancement
Update as of 06/12/07
Back from a very nice ride to the 2007 RA Rally in Asheville North Carolina. Left on 06/01 - first stop was the Square Route Rally (BMWBMW) where I was surprised by being awarded the BMW-MOA Ambassador Award.
On Sunday - my riding companion - Dan Thompson and I left Square Route - where it was only lightly raining - and headed to Don Gralings home in the suburbs of Washington DC. We stayed at Don's house - for a party he'd arranged with some old friends. On Monday we started heading south and west - heading into West Virginia looking for twisty roads.
Did an oil change earlier this week - and grabbed a sample to send off to Brookstone Labs for analysis. The analysis was good news:
Click to enlarge..