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Old 14th May 2012, 17:25   #1
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Talking

I have been privileged to own one of the best sportbikes ever. In terms of looks, power, mental nature-the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R. A bike i bought in 2005 brand new. That bike has a special place in my heart. Yes it still does. I have never respected a bike more than that bike. It overflowed with power and that too dangerous power. Slightly irresponsible behavior and you're done for.

Mods started happening. A huge list of mods which were not even needed. This was probably one of the best modded ZX-12R's in the whole world. Right there at the top with the best. Be it a full titanium exhaust with welds which actually looked delicious or the trick german gillis titanium rear sets or the bears engineering Tall velocity stacks. I won't even mention the routine stuff I had on the bike. This was a bike, wet dreams were made of.
Fast forward 2011. I had still clocked very low miles on it. about 6500 Miles only in 6 years of ownership. Lack of space in Dehradun, fear of the power it had to be used during traffic times, the attention that it gathered kept me back from using it properly.
I just could not go to the places I liked without a lot of attention and even then I had to keep it in my sights at all times to keep the fiddlers at bay. It was actually a tough thing to use that bike for riding. Maybe it was just my skills which were not enough to ride this machine. Especially after the Modifications it had become mental of a different level. I had gone through 4 sets of tires in these 6000 something miles.

Meanwhile I had bought a Royal Enfield Machismo 500. The very last of the production models in end of 2009. I had fallen in love with motorcycling again on it. I loved that i could ride it without the unwanted attention and could park it and go for a walk with my better half. I could pay attention to the better things in life and could actually live the moments.

Thats when i realized I was not doing justice to this bike. It needed to be in the hands of someone who would be able to ride it without the inhibitions that I have. Come December 2011. Early morning I was bidding farewell to my most beloved bike with tears in my eyes. Yes it was that close to me.

Now I was sufficiently happy with my RE. But the need of some more power was always there. Just some more power. Just enough to keep me happy and not to scare me. It also had to be comfortable for me and my better half. It had to fit my life. checked out a lot of bikes. Online of course. Some of the bikes considered were:

1.Harley davidson super glide custom
2.HD Fatboy
3.HD Street Glide
4.Ducati Multistrada 1200
5.Ducati Diavel
6.Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
7.BMW R1200GS
8.BMW R1200R
9.Suzuki Bandit
10. Suzuki Intruder
11. Honda VFR1200
12. Honda CB1000R
13. Yamaha FZ1
14. Kawasaki Ninja 650
15. BMW K1300R

As you can see there was no particular budget in mind or a class of bikes in mind. I was in the middle of a good comfy cache of bikes which I wanted to see and evaluate to what fits me. I didn't want a bike for which I needed to make changes in my lifestyle. It should fit in just like the RE did.

I do a lot of preventive maintenance and didn't have any relaibility issues against any bike. When my RE can start with the first self in SARCHU on the Leh-Manali Highway, any bike I maintain will be reliable as long as its made well from the factory. I'm that hell bent on maintenance.

Another thing I'd like to point out is that whenever we buy anything in our house the whole family comprising of my parents and my sister are consulted. They are very much a part of all decision making in the house. Even if it is a bike that only I will be riding.

Harley Davidson: These guys had been contacting me since a long time and I had take quite a few test rides of the bikes. I especially liked the Super Glide Custom. At the autoexpo they announced a price cut of 4 lakhs on the super glide. This was the trigger I was waiting for.
The fatboy and street glide were taken off the list as I personally didn't find them VFM. Too pricey for me as of now. Maybe at a later point of time I might find them VFM. It all depends on a state of mind.
The Chandigarh dealership before takeover by the delhi dealer was very very friendly. They treated everyone who walked in very carefully. Now it had been taken over by the delhi dealership.
I called them for the superglide custom and asked them to arrange a test ride for me in delhi. I was on a tight schedule. Had only 3 days in delhi.

In delhi they kept postponing my testride on the pretext that the bike will be available on sunday, the last day of my stay. Come sunday I along with my family go to the harley showroom in delhi. I was actually taken aback by their lacklustre attitude. These guys are selling a brand and an experience. The product is the lesser part of the whole equation. I was shocked after the great treatment I used to get at the earlier Chandigarh Dealership.

What really put my mind off Harley was one single incident. My father wanted to just look and feel the Fatboy standing at the showroom. It was a display bike and not a customer bike. They didn't even let us go close to the bike. I just turned back and we all walked out of the showroom. Utter disrespect. What do you think? A person who is dressed up normally and not in designer cloths cannot buy your shiney bike? Well let me tell you one thing. Punjabis are known to have bought Mercs while going to the showroom in a tractor. yes a Tractor!

That was it. Harley Chapter Over.

Enter Ducati: Now the multistrada and the Diavel had generated a huge interest for me. especially the switchable power maps was an amazing thing for me. More over the stance of the bikes was perfect for me. Even though the Diavel looks stunning I was inclined towards the Multi primarily because of the higher GC and slight offroadability.
I tried contacting these guys at precision motors. Here again I got a high handed attitude as if they were doing me a favour by giving me a bike.
No thank you. If this is the behavior before selling the bike imagine after sales service. That coupled by the horror stories on tbhp about the aftersales and spares just put me off.
Bye Bye Ducati.

I had been having a strong inclination towards the BMW but the bike was too expensive.

Enter BMW: So while waiting for the Test Ride of harley I just casually called up the manager of Deutsche motors. The dealer in Delhi which has BMW bikes. The Manager of Motorrad Mr. Sarabjeet Singh is an absolute Gem of a person. Gem I tell you. At first he asked me not to come for the test ride on saturday. I wondered a bit as to why was this gentleman behaving like this. Then the surprise came. He invited to to a superbike ride with the Black Piston Group of Delhi on sunday early Morning and I would be given a R1200GS for the ride. It would be a 120 Kms ride. PERFECT! what awesome people. At 6 in the morning on a sunday! the showroom was opened and I was given riding gear which fitted me and handed a brilliant Triple Black R1200GS Test Ride bike from the showroom. And we just took off. Great bunch of riders the Black Piston group had and infact they all knew me as the guy who owned the awesome modded ZX-12R from Dehradun. A pleasant surprise. The whole riding experience was awesome. The bike was superb. Fitted me perfectly. Could thump along like a Royal Enfield in the traffic and could go pretty fast on the open stretches.

This is how a test ride should be. I was Sold on the bike! Period.

On sunday after the harley fiasco, we went to the BMW showroom and we were pleasantly surprised by their customer friendliness. Wonderful people. We were informed they had a brand new Triple Black R1200GS with spoke wheels sitting with them and I could have it. I was particular about having no electronic gadgetry. Something known to be unreliable in the GS's. There were no electronic aids on the bike thankfully.
Next the negotiations for the deal happened and we got a superb deal. A good cash discount plus a superb deal on BMW riding gear. Yes I got it for free.


After this test ride and deal, the rest of the bikes in the whole list were just forgotten.

Oh yes Harley sales manager called. I just calmly told him what I have bought and how they actually lost a perfectly good deal.

And I am actually thankful that I did not buy a Harley.

So first week of March came. 4th to be exact. Train got late. reached delhi at 2 AM. Got up next morning and was at the dealership at 6 AM. Imagine a dealership open at 6 AM for a delivery. Thats the kind of service I got.

Triple Black R1200GS shining in the early morning sun. I was then informed that the Motorrad Manager Sarabjeet Singh and Senior Sales Consultant Jaspal Matharu were going to accompany me on the ride back home. So there was another R1200GS readied and a K1300S which they would be riding. Just so that I don't feel alone during the ride.
Bike started and the boxer rocks to the right on revving it. This is one feel that I love. It makes one feel the power of this motor.

All 3 bikes started off. Full tanks and we headed to Dehradun.

The ownership experience ahead...

Here are a few pics. Have been so busy riding that I haven't been able to take out the dslr. There are a couple of pics comparing it to the RE as well. This thing is huge!
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From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS-20120304-17.26.22.jpg  

From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS-20120308-07.20.43.jpg  

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From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS-20120308-07.22.34.jpg  

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From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS-20120504-21.56.47.jpg  

Attached Images
   

Last edited by Rehaan : 17th May 2012 at 16:11. Reason: No high speed discussions please. Congrats on the bike!
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Old 15th May 2012, 12:04   #2
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Default re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

First thing that strikes is that this is one huge bike. Part reason for me liking this bike was that finally I would feel at home on this bike. Not like the other bikes I have sat on and I feel like an elephant on a moped.haha.
The sheer size of this bike is not imaginable by any reference. The first time I saw one was at the showroom and when I sat on it, the sheer size of the machine dawns on you. The acres of space towards the handle and the handlebar itself is so wide. Its nothing like I have ever experienced before.
The attention to detail is amazing. Each part is properly engineered. Beautiful Engineering if you're from a mechanical engineering background. The shaft drive is a beauty to behold.

Ergonomics:

This is a supremely comfortable bike. Sitting straight. Legs have a comfortable angle and the hands have a very wide and high grip. The rider is sitting so high that it can be properly termed as an Iron Horse. My helmet was above Innovas to give you an idea.
There is one thing that is very different here. The bike is very roomy. There is lot of room to move around the seat and there is lot of distance from the seat to the handlebars. This can be a problem with slightly shorter riders who might have to bend forwards to grip the handlebars.
The wide grip of the handlebars is very confidence inspiring at all speeds. It is just that when parking the bike or when reversing it out of your garage or gate, it is a problem because when the handle is at its extreme turn, it goes very far and reaching it might be a slight problem.
The height of this bike is quite a lot. The seat height is such that I being over 5'11" can only touch my toes on the ground. This becomes a problem when parking the bike on slowing down to a stop on uneven ground.
The bike is very well balanced that one does not have to put the feet down at crawling speeds but whenever I have to place my foot down it does become a bit of a worry that I should not topple the bike over.
A few things that need to getting used to is the turn signal switches which are placed on left and right hand side respectively. The horn switch is at a weird angle.
The rider seat is height adjustable and is pretty comfortable for long rides. It is engineered in the correct way to enable offroad riding while standing up or simply cruising.
For offroad riding the standing posture on this bike is nearly perfect. I say nearly perfect because for me the bars need to be a bit higher. That will soon be done by variable handlebar fasteners which will be coming soon.

My soon to be better half did not like the looks of the bike initially. But one ride and the comfort of the bike and ease with which I was riding it and having a conversation with her has not made her love this bike too. The pillion seat according to her is supremely comfortable and the pillion pegs are placed very ideally for her.

The center stand is easy to put on and the bike does not feel too heavy when in straight position. Although it feels heavy when taking it off the side stand.
The windscreen works well. It does not deflect too much wind in the lowest position from the helmet. But at a position nearly the highest, it deflects the wind off the helmet and does a good job.

Riding dynamics:
Stability at speeds is superb. even though this is a tall bike, the fact that it is a horizontal twin keeps the CG very very low. This gives immense confidence at speeds on highways as well as twisties of mountains.

During the ride from delhi to dehradun, it is all a flat out straight road with 2/3rds of the distance a very fine 6 lane highway. And then in the end one gets the taste of twisties of the mountains for about 30 odd kms. Initially I was a bit skeptical about its handling in the twisties. This is a big bike with a huge wheelbase. So with this apprehension I entered the mountains being careful on the turns and getting feedback from the bike as I progressed. The way it started handling and inspiring confidence was amazing. Agreed its not a corner carving sportbike but this is very close. The whole thing has been engineered so well that even with its 19 inch front wheel is turns in very well and holds the lines very well. Very soon I was leaning into the corners like anything.
Flickability is another thing I was surprised. Now I guess most of you know that leaning into a corner is one thing but flicking the bike from one corner to another is a totally different ballgame. Here this behemoth was flicking corners better than my previous 12R. Amazing to say the least. This bike has been surprising me in and out. My riding abilities just cannot match the abilities of this bike and its a bit reassuring that even when i push it, there will be so much in reserve with the bike that it won't give up on me.

I have ridden it on some decent offroad trails and it handles well. This is not an enduro bike mind you. It has its short comings with weight as well as a touring oriented suspension setup and can never replace an out and out offroader. But it will take you across the trail. It will be slower than the enduro bikes but will get the job done. Best part is that because of its weight it really tracks well. It does not slip and slide about. It digs in and keeps going.

Braking is something one has to get used to on this bike. This is something not felt on any bike that I have owned till now. The front end does NOT dive under braking. Very unusual in the beginning and a bit uncomfortable. But as I rode this bike more and more I felt more confident about it and it actually helps a lot. You brake for a speedbreaker or a few potholes and you still have full suspension travel to take you through the potholes. It does not bottom out like other bikes while attempting a similar maneuver.

Engine and drive train:
This is an air cooled boxer twin engine. It will never have the finesse of a liquid inline 4. Simple. Yes it has vibrations. Yes it heats up quite a lot and the cylinders let off quite a bit of heat especially in traffic. But it is not unmanageable. It has never overheated in the densest of traffic. And once the speeds climb to 50-70 kmph, the heat goes away.
The best part about having 2 big cylinders is the torque. Its virtually everywhere. All across the rev band. Just rev the throttle and the bike lounges forward in any gear.
A small problem of the boxer engine is that it takes too much space and the cylinders are exposed to damages. I have ordered a set of guards for the cylinders but the danger of getting a hit on those cylinders jutting out still very much present.
This bike can actually just crawl along the road like a bullet thumping along. It is that tractable. Perfect for cool evenings with the lady. Just chug along at 20-30 kmph chatting with the lady and looking at beautiful natural views all around. Perfect!
The shaft drive is something which I have ridden for the first time. It is a very direct drive system. I mean the moment you wring the throttle you will feel a jerk from the drive and the bike will move forward with full force. The gearing is tall and it gives a relaxed ride but at the same time it can become a hooligan and you can ride it really hard if you want to.

The Experience:
This bike has given me what I actually wanted. I felt riding freedom when I bought the bullet. A fairly big bike with good torque and I could go anywhere without a hiccup. Leh, weekend rides to remote places in the mountains. Some amount of offroading. This bike has added to that freedom and by a huge margin. I can ride it anywhere. It is comfortable. Has good power. Everything that I wanted from a bike is here. The public attention that I get is also limited. Most people cannot understand what bike this is and just move on. The looks of this bike are weird to everyone. They just don't understand what to make of it. Thats superb for me. No one following me on the road and no one troubling me when the bike is parked next to a roadside tea shop. Yes the size does gather some attention but as to a first timer it is an ugly bike they just move on. Some even thing its a modified bike. haha. Perfect!

After I had gone back to IIT Kanpur the bike had to be taken to the RTO for registration formalities. Dad did the honours. He had ridden the bullet before but never the ninja. But this bike he wanted to ride. Major problem he had was that he is unable to find a Helmet his size. So that day Dad rode the bike and behind him the driver followed in a car with the small helmet in tow to prove to the cops that the helmet really did not fit his head. He really enjoyed the ride. And he gathered more attention that I ever did. hahaha. Imagine a big built man with a white french beard and Avaitors riding a big black bike. hahaha. A sight to behold.

My parents were shocked when I first showed them the bike. At the showroom this is parked right next to a S1000RR and hence there is an obvious comparison. Then I had to do a detailed explanation that why this is the bike to buy for me. I have been there done that on sportbikes. No sportbike can give me more than what I got from the ZX-12R. Or rather my limited abilities cannot.
The indian mentality has been developed such by the media and films that we believe that anything that does not have a fairing is not a superbike. That includes me too. I today believe that those who truly love riding. Irrespective of what a bike looks like, should buy this Genre of bikes.
And to make a statement this is the genre of bikes that I will buy for the rest of my life!

Some of you might know that BMW is coming out with a Liquid Cooled version of the 1200/1250 GS. This will have more power and torque obviously. You may also ask the question as did my parents that why not wait for the new bike. Well I have owned a ZX-12R in the past. A 2005 model which was its last year of production. The recalls were done and all problems sorted. I never faced any problem with it. This R1200GS has been around since a lot many years too with the Camhead coming in 2010. The problems have been solved and in a way this is the best version of the R1200GS as of now. This will not give me any problem for the coming few years. Then when the LC version has had its recalls and is reliable enough, I will definitely shift to that. But Genre will remain the same.

Over these years I have realized that the truth is that I love riding. I want to enjoy new places. Beautiful places. Especially with my better half and my friends. I don't want my life revolving around a bike. A bike is just a small part of that equation which will make me happy. Thats why no more sportbikes which make me more miserable thinking about the parking and other fiddlers.

These are my views only any I bet almost all of you disagree with it. But then this is what I am. This is the reason I chose a bike that is not a good looker and not the fastest around either. But I love my life and now this bike is making me live my life better by giving me occasions which I enjoy with my Family and Friends.


Pics are due and will come up in the following posts.

Last edited by navpreet318 : 15th May 2012 at 15:58.
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Old 15th May 2012, 22:59   #3
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

There are a few people I'd like to thank for this purchase.

First being Haroon. He patiently answered all my queries and listened to my stupid excuses to favour the Harley. hahaha. It all ended very well for me with the R1200GS.
Secondly Mr. Sarabjeet Singh , Motorrad Manager of Deutsche Motoren, New Delhi for being an awesome host and giving me an awesome deal. This has been simply a pleasure. Hope to buy more BMW's from you in the future.
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Old 15th May 2012, 23:25   #4
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS


Congrats on the bike Navpreet. Smart choice I must say. The GS is a true legend and remarkable piece of machinery for sure. I am particularly disappointed by the attitude of the HARLEY folks at Delhi. They lost a valuable customer. I am shocked at this attitude. At the auto expo this Jan I too was given a cold shoulder by their snobbish attitude. They really have this mentality of judging people by their appearance I guess.

Waiting for the pics.
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Old 16th May 2012, 00:26   #5
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

I really love it. May be I will earn up to own one in future.

How much percentage of wrenching can we do it at home, given that this is a time tested global tourer?
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Old 16th May 2012, 01:06   #6
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Aye,so the cat is out of the bag finally.
Congrats,wishing you many smiles with it.
And hell,i am coming over to ride it soon
And that photograph in water.
managed to drown it already
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Old 16th May 2012, 06:42   #7
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Well thankfully Just managed not to tip her over in water. But that water crossing was a real pain. The exit was way too inclined and with very low traction. Had to get off the bike, and have a friend (Shahalam of Himalayan Moto Tours) help push her up. That dear friend got totally drenched in muddy water. End of day it was an awesome ride!

Kolimuttai: Well, infinite wrenching can be done. Based on one's wrenching skills.
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Old 16th May 2012, 08:54   #8
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Congrats again navpreet. Pleasure to finally see the beauty in pics (esp liked the pic in water). Absolutely wonderful & detailed first hand impression that you have penned. Reading it I felt exactly the way I experienced those feelings when I first got my GS. Glad you have found the perfect bike.

Wish you many many happy miles of enjoyable biking.

Ride safe.
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Old 16th May 2012, 10:14   #9
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

I still recall your 12R thread. Goodness, we all had gone crazy.

While one can ride on a SBK, one has to do so with some caution. You can't ride with as gay abandon as this. I bet your TBW would enjoy the pleasure rides & accompany.

Awesome choice
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Old 16th May 2012, 10:28   #10
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Yes Sheel, those were the crazy days. Riding together is one of the main reasons I was looking for a replacement bike. In all of the 6 years of owning the 12R, TBW had only ridden as a pillion 5-6 times. Thats it. On this bike, we are riding together all the time and a small 50 kms or one hour ride becomes a 200 kms or quite a few hours ride. We just love riding this bike. Supremely comfortable and pretty frugal too. About 16-19 kmpl I have been averaging in the run-in period which is due to increase as the bike settles in. It should hover around the 20kmpl mark soon. and with 20L in the tank, the range becomes pretty good.

Life finally is good and this bike has fit into MY life and enriched it as well.
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Old 16th May 2012, 10:35   #11
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Enjoyed reading your thread Navpreet. Your ZX-12R must have been really dear to you, shows in your first post. I'm sure you found a nice new home for her.

The GS is an excellent choice and is a tank on two wheels. I sat on Haroon's GS while he was here in Blore last year and i could barely reach the ground.

In a way, dont you think it was good that it didn't work out with Harley? If it did the GS probably wouldn't make it to your home.

Enjoy the new bike and wishing you many happy and safe rides.
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Old 16th May 2012, 10:44   #12
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Oh! absolutely! I believe that the sales executives at Harley were god sent!
When I did the first broken road and then offroad ride, I actually imagined how helpless I would have been had i bought a Harley. In a city like dehradun, one can only ride a harley to CCD or McDonalds. Thats it. No other roads would let the rider enjoy the ride.

Thank God for that!!
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Old 16th May 2012, 11:13   #13
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

I like these Genre of bikes rather than a super bike hope someday will own this all-rounder.

Yes, this has won the Adventure Touring Shootout in US aswell
2011 Adventure Touring Shootout - Motorcycle USA
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Old 16th May 2012, 11:25   #14
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

From a crazy 12r to a GS, what a change over!! Congrats on getting yourself a great bike that can literally go anywhere! Quiet unfortunate you had to let go of the 12r. You would've loved riding it @ hubli!!

I would suggest the engine guard. A friend dropped his bike and damaged the left head on a ride.

Gonna be glued to this thread like i had been to the 12r thread!

Cheers!
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Old 16th May 2012, 11:58   #15
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Default Re: From a legendary sportbike to a legendary globe tourer BMW R1200GS

Congratulations on the bike! wish you many miles of happy riding. Hope to check it out when i'm in doon next!
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