NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 8:26 pm Thread Starter
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NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I am about to take the motorcycle safety course and get my state license. If that tells you anything about my experience level. There is none! I am very interested in riding and have been reading forums and trying to decide which bike style/type really fits my needs best. There seems to be much discussion about how everyone desires different things when riding. Anyway, I am very interested in the K1200GT based on reading reviews and hearing about BMW incredible reliability. I know most people recommend starting out on a lower end bike and working up to the larger bikes, but is that TRULY necessary, especially with the cost involved?
From experienced riders does anyone think that the K1200GT is just too much bike for a new rider? I am a fairly tall/larger person 6'3" 205 lbs and in pretty good shape, if that makes a difference... I am off tomorrow to visit the local BMW dealer and discuss the bike in more detail there (where I am sure they can have direct answers to these questions). They have 4 K1200GT models in stock so maybe I can get a better assessment seeing the bike in person. Was really just looking to see if anyone else had asked similar questions about this model?
Thanks in advance,
Jed
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post #2 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 8:45 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

If you are a coordinated, fairly strong guy, it could actually work. It is a great bike, but you better be VERY careful on it until you get a LOT of miles under your belt. Have you ridden even bicycles a lot in your life? Overall, the GT is not for starters, but if you are careful, you could grow to love it.

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post #3 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 8:53 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Yikes! Never ridden and want to jump right to the big dog? I'm sure many have widely varying opinions and mine will be just 1. It'll take a few months, or perhaps better stated as many miles to get reasonably proficient. Also, are you certain you'll even enjoy it? or be compatible with it? You might find that riding just doesn't suit you. My opinion is to take the BRC, see what you think then. If you still like the ride (you likely will), the BRC experience might give you a better idea of what you can deal with early on. Jumping to the big dog right out of the gate might work for you, but if it doesn't it could be pretty painful (damaged bike, etc).

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post #4 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 8:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Thanks for the reply. I have been mountain biking for years and always been interested in getting a motorcycle, as everyone I work with rides. My friends are a mixed bag of harley/victory riders, a couple sport bike riders and 2 friends that are riding honda sport touring models. They all talk about riding all the time and I have always been thrilled about the day I can join them for a ride. I assume the dealer will give me similar advice tomorrow, and hopefully the riding instructors at the safety course can provide tips as well. The comfort, power, and reliability praises that seem to be coming from the BMW side are what really drew me to the K1200GT model.
Thanks again,
Jed
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post #5 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 9:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliMar
Yikes! Never ridden and want to jump right to the big dog? I'm sure many have widely varying opinions and mine will be just 1. It'll take a few months, or perhaps better stated as many miles to get reasonably proficient. Also, are you certain you'll even enjoy it? or be compatible with it? You might find that riding just doesn't suit you. My opinion is to take the BRC, see what you think then. If you still like the ride (you likely will), the BRC experience might give you a better idea of what you can deal with early on. Jumping to the big dog right out of the gate might work for you, but if it doesn't it could be pretty painful (damaged bike, etc).

Yeah those were my greatest concerns. and before actually purchasing anything I was going to rent a smaller bike from a dealer (harley does that here) and just be sure "motorcycling" is everything I image it is on the open road. You are absolutely right about it may just not be my thing, but I truly hope it is. I would not purchase ANYTHING until I had completed the safety course and obtained a state license and ridden a few bikes for overall comfort.
Driving the K1200GT out of the showroom as my first bike outside th BRC course would most likely be cause for disaster as I like 30 miles from the dealer and over a bridge tunnel... Pure confidence MUST be in place
Thanks again for the reply,
Jed
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post #6 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 9:31 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Anything can be done but I'm not sure I would recomend it. If you do it, Make sure you are very comfortable with the operation of clutches and have a very light throttle hand. If not you will be on your ass and the bike will be heading down the road without you. The GT will get you in a lot of trouble if you do not have enough respect for its power.

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post #7 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 9:32 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I tried it your way when I started out; my first bike was a K100RS sport tourer and while I rode it many miles without any major problems, I did manage to drop it in a gravel parking lot and scrape up the bodywork. The K1200GT has no "tipover" protection and a simple tipover might cause a thousand bucks' damage.

I would look for a good used bike that is a little smaller and easier to ride, like perhaps a Suzuki SV650. If you buy it at the right price, you could probably ride it for a year or two and build skills, then sell it for almost as much as you paid for it.

Check out the dealer's used bike inventory as well. I looked at an R1100R that my local dealer had for sale for about $2500. It had high mileage and was something of a beater but it ran just fine and had all the features you expect on a late model BMW.

If you absolutely must buy a new BMW, check out the F800 series vertical twins that came out about a year ago. They are much less expensive than the GT but they have plenty of usable power. Smaller and lighter, too.
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post #8 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 9:35 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Just remember, you asked.......

As much as you like the GT, don't do it. Go find you a cheap used bike first - a small one. Once you get used to the handling and power, then move up. I take it you've never owned or ridden a motorcycle before. How do you know you're really going to enjoy it? What if you spend $20K on a bike and find out a month later riding isn't what you thought it was going to be? Wouldn't you rather take a financial hit on a $3000 bike than a $20K bike?

I'm about your size. My first bike was a Suzuki 425. I had it for about 2 yrs I think, then one day my wife told me I needed a bigger bike. I "looked like a moose on a stool". So, I moved up to a Yamaha 850. Then to a Concours, which I still have. Then the LT, and now the GT. On each bike I learned how to handle the added power and weight, then moved up.

That's just my opinion, but I do hope you find a bike and really enjoy riding as much as we do. Don't be afraid of the power, but respect it at all times whichever bike you get.


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post #9 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 9:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

This is exactly the type of feedback I was looking for, and surprised I was the only newby to ask... I searched the forum for similar questions and could not find anything, I guess maybe that was a sign

I am going to the dealer tomorrow, really just to discuss motorcycling and their recommendations. The K1200GT is very intriguing and probably way out of my experience level based on posts here and doing other research. It seems most riders, based on research, lay a bike down in the first 1-3 years of riding at some point. Starting to sound like an expensive lay down for the K1200GT. Hopefully, others looking for the same answers I have asked get the same idea. I will still watch posts and read about people's experiences with the various models, and see what the dealer recommends in regards to bike purchases. I guess I am like any new beginner, that just wants to buy 1 bike and not have to upgrade later, but sounding like it could be a COSTLY decision. Still very excited about getting into riding.
Thanks, and the advice is taken very seriously,
Jed
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post #10 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 10:10 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

There is nothing wrong with starting with a GT as long as you don't get over-confident and out ride your ability. It is easy to go too fast on the GT, especially if you are new to motorcycles. I would suggest that you also take a look at the 1200RT (boxer). Similar accommodations but much more forgiving when it comes to riding twisty roads too fast. My buddy has one and I can pull him on the straight aways, but he is a very good rider, and he always is ahead of me in the turns. An RT will go as fast as anyone should want to go.....
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post #11 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 10:17 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Jed, a quick question for you; on your mountain bike what brake does your right hand control? If it is not your front, I suggest you change the bike brake cables and get your muscle memory going in that the right hand really stops a motorcycle via the front wheel. Your first panic stop or slowdown, you will be glad you retrained your brain.

Years ago I swapped my english bike brake cables. Also you did not say if you have used a clutch often in your driving carer. These are two reasons to get some time on a lower power, less costly machine. Remember any one can ride in the center of the operating envelope. Training is for the outer edges of operation. I'm sure your mountain biking experience has taught you risk management. At least in the woods the trees don't move around much. Riding in traffic these days can be life threatening.
All of todays jet pilots started flying prop aircraft before the training system let them move up to the faster more powerful equipment. Enjoy the summer on two wheels!!!

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post #12 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 11:22 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I'll echo what others have said. The GT can be used as a first bike, but it's a pretty expensive gamble and it will eventually bite you hard if you're not completely confident and sure of yourself. I've been riding 30 years and I still have to pay close attention if I want to push the GT towards its limits.

I'm sure the dealers will be full of good advice, mostly concerning how they can put you into the new bike of your dreams. Remember, their main job is to sell bikes.

So find a good used starter bike for $3,000 or less, ride it for a year, then sell it for exactly what you paid for it to someone else who wants to learn to ride. There's no shame in that, and in fact it's a very wise course of action. When you start envying your friend's bikes and beg them to let you ride theirs then you'll know that it's time to move up.

Another option is to spend a bit more on your first bike and get an older Beemer. The older K75, K100, and K1100 models are good bikes that can be had for very reasonable prices these days. And they can also be sold in a year or two for pretty much what you might pay for them now. Hell, if gas keeps going up, you may even make a few $$.

The newer 800 series Beemers are also good bikes, but since they're more recent the prices tend to be higher. But still probably half of what a new GT will cost.

Just don't forget that this is supposed to be fun, and feel free to keep coming here for advice no matter what you end up getting.

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post #13 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 11:49 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Spend three grand on a 600cc bike for six months before you drop twenty on a bigger bike. It's kind of like jumping into a formula-one car never having driven before.....for safety-sake, take a few days in the Taurus before you jump on the track. If nothing else, it will give you an appreciation between a GT and a rice rocket.
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post #14 of 88 Old May 1st, 2008, 11:57 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Hi Jed,

Doug Turner is 100% correct. You should NOT start out on a K1200GT. If you wanted to become a pilot, your first plane wouldn't be an F-22 Raptor or a Boeing 747, would it?

Instead, buy an inexpensive, used, "small" displacement motorcycle first. Small means something that is no larger than 600 cc, preferably 400 cc or so. The list doesn't include the current crop of modern, high performance sport bikes, either. Once you acquire the experience you need, you can probably sell it for what you paid for it.

Others may tell you of friends who bought large bikes and did well with them, but the risk is high. In a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Experienced Rider Course (ERC) the instructor told us that 70% of motorcycle accidents happen to 1st year riders, and 70% of first year rider accidents happen to first three month riders. Even if it isn't factually true, the message is plain enough.

Mastering a motorcycle like a K1200GT requires experience and skill. I bought mine after 28 years of year-round riding in California on multiple motorcycles. It took me a full six months of daily riding before I felt that I had truly internalized my new K1200GT. I am grateful that I didn't do anything really stupid, like getting into an accident or merely dropping it. I made mistakes while learning its eccentricities, and some luck was involved.

Your motorcycle safety course and license are just the beginning. You have much to learn that only time and experience can provide. Why compound the risks?
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post #15 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 5:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Thanks again, the sentiment seems fairly universal across the board and I believe that is the route I will most likely take. Enjoy learning on a smaller used bike and then move to a faster more expensive bike in time.
Price of gas is also a consideration in the move to a motorcycle from the automobile world. I actually know 4-5 people doing the same thing.
Thanks,
Jed
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post #16 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 6:33 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I think heading the wisdom on this site is a good move.

I've had a FZ1 and sold it, also turned down the GT for an RT.

The reason......I have problems controlling my right wrist.

That and a new rider are a combination for disaster.

I started riding at age 30 something. Am 42 now, and turned down the GT because it would get me in trouble. So its not all about age, its about the rider and their maturity and ability to control themselves.

If I had ANY type of motorcycle when I was younger and dumber, I don't think I would be here today.

Also, alot of the smaller bikes get substantially better mileage than the larger ones.

My first bike, I had for about 6 months, before I jumped to a larger one.
It worked out well for me.

Good Luck with your descisions , ride safe, ATTGATT, see ya around

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post #17 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 7:12 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I am often amazed with this question! I have had a number of MSF students that, when asked what bike are they planning to purchase and ride, they give some macho superbike as the answer. I then begin to recommend a used 650cc size bike, I tell them that just a few years ago a 750cc bike was the biggest thing on the road. It will go as fast as they want to go as a newbie! They can ride with their friends. I also tell them if they have to pick it up, a 650 is much lighter than said superbike. They will also have a better experience with a smaller bike, it will be more fun.

I have had several students return to tell me that they were grateful for my advice. That I was right on! I have had a couple that didnt heed my advice and dont ride anymore, because their experience was bad, and not enjoyable. Many dropped the bike and was injured.

So, I recommend that you find a used 650/750 and ride the crap out of it for 6 months to a year and then go for the superbike and have FUN FUN FUN!

HTH

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post #18 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 7:21 am
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Well, you've received all of the good advise one can stand. And I agree with starting on a smaller bike. A used Kawasaki 500 Ninja, or a Suzuki Bandit 600 can be had for cheap cheap. Ride it a year, then re-evaluate. And when you sell it, you'll probably only lose a couple hundred bucks. Or just keep the smaller bike for a commuter bike to work.

And for the record, a 500 or 600cc 4-cylinder Jap bike can keep up with those Harleys all day long (and then some).
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post #19 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 7:23 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Be sure you hang around this board while you're learning. There are literally thousands of years of experience amongst us all and we'll be happy to laugh with your joys and laugh at your mistakes with you.

When you're ready to move up, we'll be there, too.

That's what bud's do.



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post #20 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 10:25 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRESURF
If that tells you anything about my experience level. There is none! , I am very interested in the K1200GT based on reading reviews and hearing about BMW incredible reliability.
From experienced riders does anyone think that the K1200GT is just too much bike for a new rider? Jed

Jed, This would be like learning to fly in a Cessna 152, and a day later transitioning to an FA-18!!!
I had a Doctor friend do nearly the same thing. Took a MSF course and two weeks later purchased a 91 K100RS 16 valve. He could ride it and got a lot of practice in picking it up. That's were your size and conditioning will help!

Norris Cooper Andover Kansas USA
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post #21 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 10:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Thanks again for all the advice here. I actually did just get back from the dealership where I sat on the GT & the RT and to be honest I thought the RT was much more comfortable (upright) position and it also had small guards on the side, you can buy, that help prevent body damage if the bike were to fall over, the GT did not have that option. As mentioned previously the guy at the dealership was very informative and also VERY interested in selling a bike. He suggested just going for it! Of course that does not seem like the best idea based on other discussions. He was saying how tons of first time riders come in and end up buying a small bike then 2 months later regretting not getting what they originally came in for. I have a few months to think about what I want to do, but I was VERY comfortable sitting and moving around on the R1200RT. I am going to continue with the course, rent a bike and test the waters on the highway/back roads to be sure this is something I am comfortable with and then mid-July plan to make a purchase. Not sure it will be an RT or GT but I will base that on my overall comfort level at the time. I will also be hanging out here and other forums reading people's experiences and trying to gage some better overall knowledge. The bike for me is really more about comfort/gas mileage and something I can eventually take on long rides/trips. I am 32 and not very interested in the whole 0-60 or hot rodding danger side of riding, more focused on safety, having fun riding, and being around to watch my 3 year old grow up!

Very appreciative to all the advice and tips, what a great group.
Jed
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post #22 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 11:06 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I picked the RT over the GT myself. I liked the riding position much better. Plus the low end grunt of the boxer is pleasing to me while the high end wank wank of a venerable rice burner turns me off (even though the GT isn't a rice burner...). Anyway, I felt overall the RT would suit my style and needs better than the GT. But bottom line here is that I have experience. While I considered myself fairly new, and still do to some extent, coming back to it after many years, I at least knew I could ride. And the story line that buying something small that you'll regret after a couple of months... BowSheat. Once you regret it get whay you want and sell it. Providing you stay in the several year old middle range of bikes that have been mentioned above plus others, it's not like you're going to loose an appreciable $$ if any, and who knows it could go up in value. Also in 2 months after spending $3K on a Ninja 500 you might decide to by that RT, save the few bucks over the GT and keep the Ninaj for "practice" or when a good friend drops by from way out of town...

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post #23 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 11:08 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Be sure you hang around this board while you're learning. There are literally thousands of years of experience amongst us all and we'll be happy to laugh with your joys and laugh at your mistakes with you.

When you're ready to move up, we'll be there, too.

That's what bud's do.
Grif has so many years of experience himself that he is planning to change his label from "strafist" to "fossil" any day now.
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post #24 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 11:57 am
 
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Exclamation Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRESURF
As mentioned previously the guy at the dealership was very informative and also VERY interested in selling a bike. He suggested just going for it! Of course that does not seem like the best idea based on other discussions. He was saying how tons of first time riders come in and end up buying a small bike then 2 months later regretting not getting what they originally came in for.
Jed,
At least they were still alive and able to trade!
Sounds like he is trying to make a one time sale!
I know several people who bought too much bike only trade if off for a smaller bike or to quit ridding altogether.

Norris Cooper Andover Kansas USA
06 K1200GT
93 K1100RS
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post #25 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 1:02 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Start smaller and then move up with the progressive safety courses as well.

I have been riding the K1200LT for a couple of years now graduating from a K75 (750cc) and over 30 years ago, a now classic R50 (500cc).

A year ago in March, I was in Phoenix on an extended week-end and planned to rent a bike and explore the White Mountains (The post is on the site).
Leaving the Valley of the Sun on a divided highway on a R1200GT I looked at the speedo and gasped. I was dong 105 mph!

A number of things were happening;
  • Recovering from "Winter Cabin Fever"
  • The smoothness of the boxer engine at higher rpm's
  • Lack of speed perspective due to the desert

After a courtesy flash of the bubble gum lights from a State Patrol Officer going the other way, I brought it down to 70 which was the speed limit for that stretch of highway.

I would not recommend starting on a 1200cc bike (especially the very nimble and high riding profile GT) if you have never ridden before.
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post #26 of 88 Old May 2nd, 2008, 7:08 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

You CAN start on a GT, but I don't think you SHOULD start on a GT. I would recommend getting a smaller used bike like an SV 650 or similar. Take some time to learn on that and get your basic skills tuned for the real world environment. Also, you will definitely drop a bike a couple of times while you're learning (parking lot tipovers and the like), and a used naked bike with no fairings (maybe frame sliders for some added protection) you pick up and dust off, the GT you pick up and spend $500 or more replacing bodywork. Also the power, while very manageable, is BIG. It's much more than a newbie rider should try to tame for a first bike.

So get something cheap and smaller to learn on (I'm bigger than you and have ridden SV650 and other middleweights very comfortably) for 3-6 months, then move up to the GT once you-ve got a little more experience and skill under your belt.

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post #27 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 12:36 am
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Jed

I think hanging around this great forum may make things worse for you. Knowing that most in here drive the BIG BMW`s and seeing how nice everyone is will make you want a bigger stronger and more exspencive bike.

I started out on a Vespa 50, then went to Kawzaki 100`s (3 due to stupid young hormones ) after that I had a Suzuki 650, then a Suzuki 1100 and Kawazaki 1000 ( Sold the last oone becouse my driving pattern had not changed...all or nothing on trootle) and finally the LT 20 years after, and I am still thinking that maybe I should have restarrted on a lighter bike.

The learning curve is important, and I would recomend a bike less then 750 cc as a first bike. Preferably not to powerfull.

Start of in the open but keep friends with you to begin with to be sure that you get the hang of it and ready help if you need it before you go alone.

Never ever skip safety gear no matter how warm it is or how stupid you may feel it looks. Remember that you can be very experienced but it is not always about you. Other people and their vehicles may be the strongest hazard.

Unexperienced = 750cc or less and a light bike (possibly the BMW 850)
Medium experience = 1000cc or less + medium weight (possibly the BMW 850)
Experienced = RS, GT or similar
Very experienced = LT, GW etc

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post #28 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 7:27 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paalao
Unexperienced = 750cc or less and a light bike (possibly the BMW 850)
Medium experience = 1000cc or less + medium weight (possibly the BMW 850)
Experienced = RS, GT or similar
Very experienced = LT, GW etc

I would think you would want to put the GT in the very experienced column and drop the LT, GW into experienced. Having ridden all three, and with mucho experience on the LT and GT, the GT will get you trouble before the touring bikes will.



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post #29 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 9:13 am
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
the GT will get you trouble before the touring bikes will.
I totally agree. The biggest issue with lighter yet faster bikes is that they go from 0 to 60 so darn fast. And as good as the brakes are on a GT, going from 60 back down to 0 doesn't happen as fast. Thus, bad things can happen in a hurry. Especially for an inexperienced rider. I can get myself into some trouble, but I have the experience and training to get myself out of it ... like Grif and others. But a newbie won't recover from these mistakes. And sometimes those "mistakes" come with a high price to pay.

Good judgment comes from experience. And most experience is gained from bad judgment.
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post #30 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 11:25 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

This post shows a real-life example of someone who bought his new GT fully loaded, spent $$$ on accessories and top-notch riding gear, and dropped the bike within the first hundred miles. He's now selling it all of at a deep discount because he decided that bikes just aren't for him.

It's an expensive lesson, but fortunately no one was injured. Too bad he didn't think to come here looking for advice first.

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post #31 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 2:35 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbar00c
Jed, a quick question for you; on your mountain bike what brake does your right hand control? If it is not your front, I suggest you change the bike brake cables and get your muscle memory going in that the right hand really stops a motorcycle via the front wheel. Your first panic stop or slowdown, you will be glad you retrained your brain.

!
I disagree on this issue. I have been riding motorcycles and bicycles for about 50 years. When I am on the bicycle, I "know" where the front brake lever is and when i am on my motorcycle i also "know" where the front brake lever is. I tis all about expereience. Just keep riding both vehicles and concentrate on the right levers to push. It becomes 2nd nature after a short while. I also spent some time driving in England and it took a day or two to get to know where all the controls are.
Of course, I can never get used to where the letters are on a computer keyboard. i still look for the lever for the carriage return !!!

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post #32 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 2:40 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
This post shows a real-life example of someone who bought his new GT fully loaded, spent $$$ on accessories and top-notch riding gear, and dropped the bike within the first hundred miles. He's now selling it all of at a deep discount because he decided that bikes just aren't for him.

It's an expensive lesson, but fortunately no one was injured. Too bad he didn't think to come here looking for advice first.
Totally agree! He should have started out on a smaller 250 or 400 cc bike. Too bad, as he will be missing a lot of fun.

Larry
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post #33 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 3:40 pm
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
I would think you would want to put the GT in the very experienced column and drop the LT, GW into experienced. Having ridden all three, and with mucho experience on the LT and GT, the GT will get you trouble before the touring bikes will.
I learned something now, I was thinking if the weight and size of the GT but it is quite big aswell.

I have not been riding the GT or GW yet.
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post #34 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 5:57 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paalao
I learned something now, I was thinking if the weight and size of the GT but it is quite big aswell.
Well, coming off the LT, the GT feels pretty dern svelt! Losing 200 lbs and gaining 50, or so, more horsepower really makes the leetle booger feel like it can fly.



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post #35 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 7:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Based on everything I have read and seen up to this point I am definitely going to wait until after successfully finishing the safety course and talk with my instructor about the bikes I am considering for his/her opinion. The private messages and advice I have received from making this post are VERY beneficial, I appreciate everyone's observations and advice, I take them all very seriously.
Thanks again,
Jed
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post #36 of 88 Old May 3rd, 2008, 9:12 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

[QUOTE=JRESURF]Based on everything I have read and seen up to this point I am definitely going to wait until after successfully finishing the safety course and talk with my instructor about the bikes I am considering for his/her opinion. The private messages and advice I have received from making this post are VERY beneficial, I appreciate everyone's observations and advice, I take them all very seriously.
Thanks again,
Jed[/QUOTE

....and a VERY smart conclusion.

I'll leave you with this one little nugget that you should keep in mind every day before getting on your new bike:

A superior motorcyclist uses his superior judgement in order to avoid having to use his superior skill.

Good luck with your training and check back in to let us know what your new scoot is!


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post #37 of 88 Old May 4th, 2008, 9:24 am
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Thumbs up Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Just remember, you asked.......

As much as you like the GT, don't do it. Go find you a cheap used bike first - a small one. Once you get used to the handling and power, then move up. I take it you've never owned or ridden a motorcycle before. How do you know you're really going to enjoy it? What if you spend $20K on a bike and find out a month later riding isn't what you thought it was going to be? Wouldn't you rather take a financial hit on a $3000 bike than a $20K bike?

I'm about your size. My first bike was a Suzuki 425. I had it for about 2 yrs I think, then one day my wife told me I needed a bigger bike. I "looked like a moose on a stool". So, I moved up to a Yamaha 850. Then to a Concours, which I still have. Then the LT, and now the GT. On each bike I learned how to handle the added power and weight, then moved up.

That's just my opinion, but I do hope you find a bike and really enjoy riding as much as we do. Don't be afraid of the power, but respect it at all times whichever bike you get.
I agree 100% with Doug! Buy something you KNOW you will be able to master almost immediately, and then after at least one riding season, move up if you still think you want to.

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post #38 of 88 Old May 5th, 2008, 12:42 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Well, coming off the LT, the GT feels pretty dern svelt! Losing 200 lbs and gaining 50, or so, more horsepower really makes the leetle booger feel like it can fly.
Yep. Which is exactly why your brain needs to work 50% faster when riding the GT anywhere near its capabilities.

Ken
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post #39 of 88 Old May 5th, 2008, 7:39 am
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
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Yep. Which is exactly why your brain needs to work 50% faster when riding the GT anywhere near its capabilities.
I have to use my brain now? I'm screwed...
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post #40 of 88 Old May 5th, 2008, 12:33 pm
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I have to use my brain now? I'm screwed...
Nah, that's just if you're riding the GT anywhere near its capabilities. So you should be plenty safe, Joe.

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post #41 of 88 Old May 5th, 2008, 12:46 pm
 
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Talking Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I started out with an old Ducati 250 38 years ago. One of the guys at work was asking me about a first bike for a new rider and I suggested a used 600 crusier to learn on and to take the Motorcycle Safety Course. He told me that was for "Pussy's" and bought a new GSXR 1100. I warned him that was a mighty stout bike capable of very high speeds and would raise the front end off the ground in most gears. He told me he couldn't justify buying a used smaller bike and then trading it in or selling it in 4 months and said he was going to go ahead and get the GSXR. Being a person who as far as I know had to pedal the last bike he had, I asked him tounge in cheek if I could take out a life insurance policy on him. He was not amused, but not wishing him bad luck or ill will, I figured it would be like money in the bank. You would just have to know this guy. First day out it got away from him and he ruined his brand new ballistic fabric jacket, skinned up the body work on one side and trashed his helmet. I suggested frame sliders to protect the high dollar plastic body parts and then I hear him bragging about running 145 on one of the Houston Freeways. Next he is over riding conditions at high speed and comes upon a tree across the road lays it down, totals out the bike and helmet. Somehow something in or on the helmet hits him above the eye, looked nasty. And here is the kicker, no gloves. The palms of his hands were eat up with road rash. He's not sure if he is now going to replace the bike and I told him if you do the offer for a life insurance policy still stands. I could make me some cash because this guy is a total idiot. He had no respect for the power to weight ratio of his chosen ride, acted a fool and it bit him. Most people I know that have been riding for awhile have or will go down at one time or another. I have. Whether its your fault or somebody causing you to have an accident, gravity and speed are cruel. Let your conscious be your guide. But whatever you decide, be safe and keep the shiny side up. And at least you came in here to ask questions and opinions. Between all the old geezers in here and the future geezers there are a lot of years of experience in this Forum. And yes Joe A.K.A. Messenger13 and Griff you are there or almost old Geezers.

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post #42 of 88 Old May 5th, 2008, 4:17 pm
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Nah, that's just if you're riding the GT anywhere near its capabilities. So you should be plenty safe, Joe.
Well ... since I'm now scraping the bottom of the Tupperware, I guess you can say Im getting closer.
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post #43 of 88 Old May 5th, 2008, 9:22 pm
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

The GT or anything that is 1200 cc is much to much bike for a starter. I have been riding bikes since I was 14 years old and funny enough I have never dropped a bike yet. However, my first bike was a suzuki 50 cc, to a 80 Bridgestone to yamaha 100, 125 Honda, 250 Suzuki, 450 BSA, 650 Bonneville Triumph, 750 Norton Commando, 1200 Sportster etc to recently 1200 Sportster Sport and V-rod to just last week the BMW K1200GT. You are better off getting something in the range of 250 to 800 cc bike to start with to be on the safe side. Try also different bikes as to the position that will suite you best, there is the relaxed position as in the cruiser HD or the sport and semi-sport as in the k1200GT. I have had a few friends depart over the years on their bikes and that was mostly attributed to them been overly aggressive and buying bikes that were more than they can handle. Take care and start small and progress as you experience and learn.
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post #44 of 88 Old May 6th, 2008, 7:16 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

If and ONLY IF;
1) You hate your wife,
2) You hate your life,
3) Your life insurance is paid in full to date,
4) Your children are ungreatful brats,
5) You have no respect for human life,
6) You want your 15 minutes,,,, on the evening news,
7) You have lived a boring life,
8) Your parents have passed this earthly plain
9) You like pain for very brief periods of time, and
10) You have NOT read even one industry review of this machine,,,,,

Then go ahead and buy the K12 GT. It surely will be the best purchase of your life.
If however you have even an incling that you'd like to live to see just one more sunrise, think this one over,,,, no, just dont do it! This machine you refrence is a monster. It Will I repeat WILL get you into trouble faster than youd ever dreamed possible. There is a time and place for everything in life, and for a beginning rider, no matter how strong me / she may be, a K12 is not the place to start.
I've been riding for some 32. Kawasaki 125, Yamaha 250, Macco 400, Cz 400, Kawasaki 750, BMW R90/6, Suzuki GS 1100, BMW R100/7 and now a K12 GT. Ive come up through the ranks, am now 50 years of wisdom and believe you me, that machine is not only the best crafted piece of German sculpture ever made, but it is fast, very, very fast. And to a beginning rider there is far too much temptation to feel it, to hear it, to see just what the buzz is about, to test yourself to just hop on one of these. There is a false sence of security the bike will instill, its stable, its tight and smooth, its so friggin wonderful you'll want to see what it can do well before you can develop the reactions needed to handle what it has to offer.
If you have the bug and need it, go buy it !!!!! have the dealer deliver it to your garage. But then have him strip the wires from it so it wont start, and tell him to come back in two years.
What you do is your business, but there are other people out there that you WILL take down if you jump on that machine, just think about that. They are the best machines ever made, just please, please dude, start on a 250. Develop your skills. Junp to a 500 for a year, THEN and only then, go play with the K 12.
May God Help you in this decision.
Mike Griff [email protected]
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post #45 of 88 Old May 6th, 2008, 9:14 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Jed,

I've been riding for 35+ years so this question has been asked before. I have also observed many newbies make the same decision you are considering.

My observation is (almost universally) that while the new rider can physically ride the bike and may ride it without incident for many years, they never really learn to ride a motorcycle. Their handing skills are always substandard.

Why is this? I believe it is because they are stuck behind the learning curve on their bikes which are so heavy or have so much performance that they can never get the feel of riding outside of the narrow learning envelope.

That's my opinion. I hope you make the right decision for yourself. Just keep in mind that you are not buying the last m/c you will ever get so don't go overboard.

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post #46 of 88 Old May 7th, 2008, 1:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Thanks again, you all are too much! I have even passed this information on to other friends of mine pondering the same issues and questions! I am really looking forward to learning what i can from the course and starting a great hobby/interest/possible lifestyle in motorcycling. Before buying ANYTHING my friends have allowed me to take the time to try riding on their bikes for overall comfort and learning (not far of course, they are almost as smart as the BMW dealer). A friend of mine offered to sell me his Yamaha 600 sport bike for 1000 bucks and i am seriously considering that as a great starter before engulfing a 430 dollar a month payment for the ole K1200GT (man she is expensive)..... Anyway, again thanks for all the support, comments, private messages, book suggestions, replies, and advice as each and everyone was and is being taken VERY seriously. Your mind just races as you try to imagine something you are about to get into but have not yet had the chance...
Jed
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post #47 of 88 Old May 9th, 2008, 7:56 am
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

From another perspective..

In 1998 I moved to Denver and once I saw the roads around here, I had to have that motorcycle I always wanted (but never got).

I went out and bought a 2500 mile '98 K1200RS (probably that year's equivelent of the K1200GT in size and power).

Next, I went and took the MSF course on those Honda 250 Nighthawks and armed with only that experience, I got my motorcycle endorsement. Immediately afterwards, I hopped on my KRS for the first time and gingerly pointed it down the road. I was terrified/thrilled and in love. Rode the hell out of that RS for the next few months and my obsession with BMW motorcycles began.

I am not sure if I would have been as motivated to start out with a smaller machine (I don't think the "love" factor would have been the same). It worked out well (but that was me).....Good luck with your decision.

Mike M

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post #48 of 88 Old May 9th, 2008, 9:53 am Thread Starter
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBMW
From another perspective..

In 1998 I moved to Denver and once I saw the roads around here, I had to have that motorcycle I always wanted (but never got).

I went out and bought a 2500 mile '98 K1200RS (probably that year's equivelent of the K1200GT in size and power).

Next, I went and took the MSF course on those Honda 250 Nighthawks and armed with only that experience, I got my motorcycle endorsement. Immediately afterwards, I hopped on my KRS for the first time and gingerly pointed it down the road. I was terrified/thrilled and in love. Rode the hell out of that RS for the next few months and my obsession with BMW motorcycles began.

I am not sure if I would have been as motivated to start out with a smaller machine (I don't think the "love" factor would have been the same). It worked out well (but that was me).....Good luck with your decision.
Thanks! I have received both sides of this issue. I have received private messages from people telling me they were in my situation, bought the bike or something similar and had good experiences and bad. Whether I run out and pull the trigger on the K1200GT is still a ways away. I am taking the saftey course, riding a few different styles of bikes and reading a couple saftey books before making any final decisions. I really like the RT/LT and GT lines and will take my time and make sure I make the decision based on many aspects. A lot of good points I have read here and a lot of great advice. It also seems to me, based on what others have said, a lot of the learning experience on a bike has to do with the person's overall attitude and motivation towards motorcycling. Those people out simply to brag about how fast they got their bike going or how quick they "made" an exit ramp are people who are going to get into much more trouble than someone clearly interested in enjoying motorcycling for what it should be and respecting the safety and learning curves that need to take place before anything else. Again, I have not taken a saftey course or been on a bike yet so this is completely based on private messages and things I have heard and seen. Just really excited about finally at 32 getting into this hobby. When I buy my first buy I am not sure yet what or when it will be, definitley a few months out... Thanks again for the advice here!
Jed
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post #49 of 88 Old May 16th, 2008, 12:02 am
 
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Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

I had the same desire to go for the GT and I did it. I did have some experience riding dirtbikes and I took the Basic and Advance Riders course. This really helped. The throttle control is very sensitive and the bike can easily get away from you. Another factor to consider is where you plan to ride. I currently live in the LA area and the traffic is well.......you know always near gridlocked. I would not have purchased a new GT if I didn't have some additional bike miles. The bike is heavy, so if you do it.....hit the weights.
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post #50 of 88 Old May 16th, 2008, 9:02 am
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Lightbulb Re: NEW RIDER, is GT too much for first timer?

Well, Jed, by this time you've had a lot of great advise. I don't want to simply add to it, but I would like to take you in a different direction. First allow me to state a couple of observations that help form my advice.

1. Money is not the number one object or you would not even be considering a new GT
2. You want to be able to ride with your buds on their HDs and Victorys without being embarrassed about your ride.

Those factors stated, I want to add one new rider consideration about the GT and most other BMWs that I do not think has been mentioned. Seat height. BMWs tend to be tall bikes. A lower seat height is easier for a new rider, although with your height it is of less concern that for most.

With all of those factors, I want to discourage you from going the Jap sport bike/crotch rocket route. Even the 600cc sport bikes can be pretty fast.

So here are my recommendations. This first one is from Craig's list, Richmond listing.
2003 BMW F650 GS ABS - $5500 (Ashland)

If you go with a used bike from a private party, find out where they have it serviced. That dealer will tell you if there are any recalls that have not been addressed, if there is recommended service that the owner has deferred and can generally give you the service history.

The bikes below are from Morton's which I suspect may be one of your closest dealers. I really like the 2007 G 650X as well as all of the F 800 series that Morton's currently has in stock. I have friends that have GTs, LTs etc. who also have bought bikes like the G650x or prior versions of bikes such as the Dakar 650 just for the "fun" factor. If you get something like the G650X you will not just want to sell it in a few months. You may want to add to your stable with a GT or R or something like that but you will want to keep the 650X. And---you will more than keep up with the HDs and Victorys and do it with pride and style.

2007 G650X Country -- Black, 2K miles, ABS, many accessories, BMW warranty until 04/24/2010, excellent condition. $7,995

SOLD! 2005 F650GS -- Yellow, 1,100 miles, ABS, heated grips, handguards, centerstand, hazard flashers, BMW engine guard, BMW solo seat with locking storage, excellent condition. $7,495

2007 F800S
#00025 -- Flame red, ABS, heated grips, tire pressure monitor, onboard computer, clear signal lenses. $11,635 -> Special demo price $10,495
2008 F800ST

Also, I want to join the comment about not buying a GT or other large bike planning to grow into it. Most riders that try that route do not find it to be successful. I know a rider that started on an new LT (of all things). He totaled it the first week. Replaced it with a new LT from the insurance money and has dropped it 3 times at an average of $1500 damage per drop. He is a terrible rider and will never improve because he is afraid and spends too much time coping to improve.

Finally, you are an easy drive to Bob's BMW in Jessup, Md. Check them out on line and see what they have available. But if you buy there, take one of your experienced riders to bring it home.

Good luck and let us all know what you decide.

BTW, I grew up in Pearisburg, Va, graduated from Giles High School but now live in Colorado.
Moot is offline  
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