Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 8:20 am Thread Starter
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Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

I can't wait to see this bike and take it out for a test tide. I currently ride a Victory Kingpin and am pretty active in the Victory Motorcycle Club. I have been considering a touring bike and until now, the Victory Vision is the first bike that came to mind. Now I am obsessed with the K1600GTL.

That being said, I have a few questions that I am hoping you can answer.

I typically ride two up (especially when touring) and we always drag a trailer. Do they (or will they) make a trailer hitch for this GTL?

We are pretty big (OK.... fat) and between the 2 of us, we are 500 lbs. Do you expect the GTL will handle that?

I am used to riding with floor boards with my legs stretched out. The GTL has a legs down position. For those that have made the switch, how do you find the riding position?

With floorboard, you can move your feet around. Do you find the limited foot position of pegs limits your ability to ride long distances?

One of the rumors (on the Victory boards) is that most of the routine maintenance activities need to be done by the dealers and therefor BMWs are expensive to maintain. They reference a 7,000 mile valve adjustment that costs $1,000. I do most of my own maintenance (including tire changes) and would like to continue to do so. Can you shed some light on this?

Thanks in advance.
John
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post #2 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 9:09 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
I can't wait to see this bike and take it out for a test tide. I currently ride a Victory Kingpin and am pretty active in the Victory Motorcycle Club. I have been considering a touring bike and until now, the Victory Vision is the first bike that came to mind. Now I am obsessed with the K1600GTL.

That being said, I have a few questions that I am hoping you can answer.

I typically ride two up (especially when touring) and we always drag a trailer. Do they (or will they) make a trailer hitch for this GTL?

We are pretty big (OK.... fat) and between the 2 of us, we are 500 lbs. Do you expect the GTL will handle that?

I am used to riding with floor boards with my legs stretched out. The GTL has a legs down position. For those that have made the switch, how do you find the riding position?

With floorboard, you can move your feet around. Do you find the limited foot position of pegs limits your ability to ride long distances?

One of the rumors (on the Victory boards) is that most of the routine maintenance activities need to be done by the dealers and therefor BMWs are expensive to maintain. They reference a 7,000 mile valve adjustment that costs $1,000. I do most of my own maintenance (including tire changes) and would like to continue to do so. Can you shed some light on this?

Thanks in advance.
John
BMW will never make a hitch as I don't think any motorcycle manufacturer will ever offer a hitch for their motorcycles. However, I suspect the aftermarket will offer one if the GTL sells well enough and the towing demand is there. Personally, given the sport touring emphasis of the GTL, it wouldn't be my choice for a tow bike. Kind of like towing a camper behind a BMW or Porsche car.

I have never ridden a bike with floorboards for any distance. My Kawasaki Voyager had footpegs as does my current 1200LT. I have found both to be very comfortable for all day rides, but I simply can't compare to a floorboard bike. I test rode a Harley Ultra, but knew within 10 miles that it wasn't for me and my wife knew within 5 miles that it wasn't for her. This was after we had test ridden both the BMW RT and LT.

The mainentance rumors you are hearing are largely BS. Yes, the BMWs tend to require more maintenance than other brands. At least my LT has about twice as much scheduled maintenance as did my Kawasaki. The biggest pain is the annual flushes required for the ABS system. That is just insane. However, I beleive that many here have found that the LT didn't require maintenance as often as BMW suggests, particularly things like valve adjustments, air filters, etc., likely can go much longer than BMW officially suggests.

I've never heard of a 7,000 mile valve adjustment. My LT is 12,000 miles, but generally this is just a clearance check. Most say the valves seldom require adjustment prior to 50,000 miles or so. About the time that a Harley or Victory engine is ready for a rebuild. And a valve adjustment is not $1,000 even at a dealership, but a full 24,000 mile maintenance visit can run close to $1,000. However, that involves a lot list of stuff, not just a valve adjustment. So, the Victory guys are basically full of it.

Read a little on the LT forum here (maybe the GT also, but I don't follow that forum) and you will see how much of their own maintenance and repairs as done by many owners. We have several here that rebuild their own final drives, swap engines, change clutches and certainly do all routine maintenance. Many buy a device called a GS-911 that allows the engine computer codes to be read and some other things to be done. Unfortunately, last I knew, the GS-911 still couldn't do the bleed test on the ABS so that is the one operation that I beleive still has to be done at the dealer with their fancy MoDiTec diagnostic instrument.

I have seen a couple of posts that say the GT family requires less maintenance than the LT and much of the maintenance is easier so I doubt you will have any problems doing most of your own work. I have found BMW parts to be very expensive. They cost about the same as Harley parts and about twice as much as what I paid for Kawasaki parts. I have no idea what Victory parts cost, but I doubt they are much cheaper than BMW or Harley.

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post #3 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 9:18 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

I'll try to answer some for you.

I typically ride two up (especially when touring) and we always drag a trailer. Do they (or will they) make a trailer hitch for this GTL? A lot of us pull trailers so I sure someone will make a hitch for the GTL. My money is on Bushtec or Dauntless being the first

We are pretty big (OK.... fat) and between the 2 of us, we are 500 lbs. Do you expect the GTL will handle that? Yes I over load my current LT many times with no problems so I'm sure the GTL will be no different.

I am used to riding with floor boards with my legs stretched out. The GTL has a legs down position. For those that have made the switch, how do you find the riding position? It took me a few months and about 3000 miles to get used to the seating position. Now A cruiser if very uncomfortable to me.

With floorboard, you can move your feet around. Do you find the limited foot position of pegs limits your ability to ride long distances? As for floor board I never liked them so I hope someone else will chime in on that one.

One of the rumors (on the Victory boards) is that most of the routine maintenance activities need to be done by the dealers and therefor BMWs are expensive to maintain. They reference a 7,000 mile valve adjustment that costs $1,000. I do most of my own maintenance (including tire changes) and would like to continue to do so. Can you shed some light on this?
If you do your own maintenance now you should be able to do your own on the GLT. I believe the valve check on the K1300 is 18K & the K1600 is loosely based on the K13. I would think the valve check would be about the same. Again someone with a K13 should chime in on that info too.


Hope this helps some.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #4 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 9:58 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
That being said, I have a few questions that I am hoping you can answer.
Our answers will be based on speculation, for the most part, but we'll give it a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
I typically ride two up (especially when touring) and we always drag a trailer. Do they (or will they) make a trailer hitch for this GTL?
BMW won't make a hitch ... just as they won't make a trailer for it. But there will be aftermarket solutions, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
We are pretty big (OK.... fat) and between the 2 of us, we are 500 lbs. Do you expect the GTL will handle that?
My wife and I weigh in at 400 (I'm 275 of that ), and the LT and GT had no problems with us AND gear. The new ESA suspensions that BMW fits their bikes with are phenomenal! It's really tthe only feature I wish my current Concours14 had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
I am used to riding with floor boards with my legs stretched out. The GTL has a legs down position. For those that have made the switch, how do you find the riding position?
This is an extremely subjective question. For me, the more the position is "cramped" the longer I can ride. I find it's easier to ride on my thighs, rather than my butt ... make sense? My longest day on my GT was 1,207 miles (not long for some, but not shabby). I did 1,140 on my LT one day heading to the westcoast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
With floorboard, you can move your feet around. Do you find the limited foot position of pegs limits your ability to ride long distances?
No (see above comment). Then again, I'm just not a floorboard kinda guy. I like the sport aspect of riding as much as the touring aspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeamer
One of the rumors (on the Victory boards) is that most of the routine maintenance activities need to be done by the dealers and therefor BMWs are expensive to maintain. They reference a 7,000 mile valve adjustment that costs $1,000. I do most of my own maintenance (including tire changes) and would like to continue to do so. Can you shed some light on this?
Valve adjustments will not be every 7K miles. But to answer the more important question, you will be able to do quite a bit of the maintenance yourself, if you choose to.

Just an FYI (and at the risk of offending) ... BMW bikes are "Beemers" (2 E's). And the cars are "Bimmers".
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post #5 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 11:03 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

I have put my deposit on a K1600 GTL. I am riding a HD ultra now. I like the floor boards, back rest and highway pegs. To me the HD is very comfortable. I believe the GTL will be a good tourer or I would not have ordered it. I have always done my on maintainance on my bikes and I am concerned about the 100 mile trips to the nearest BMW dealer. I hope the GTL will not require any more maintainance than fluid changes. Does BMW sell shop manuals for their bikes?

Last edited by rodeking; Nov 6th, 2010 at 11:37 am.
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post #6 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 8:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
Just an FYI (and at the risk of offending) ... BMW bikes are "Beemers" (2 E's). .
Thanks for the heads up on the Beamer thing. I asked the good webmaster to help me out and now I WannaBeemer.
John
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post #7 of 26 Old Nov 6th, 2010, 9:18 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodeking
I have put my deposit on a K1600 GTL. I am riding a HD ultra now. I like the floor boards, back rest and highway pegs. To me the HD is very comfortable. I believe the GTL will be a good tourer or I would not have ordered it. I have always done my on maintainance on my bikes and I am concerned about the 100 mile trips to the nearest BMW dealer. I hope the GTL will not require any more maintainance than fluid changes. Does BMW sell shop manuals for their bikes?

Shop manuals are sold on a DVD.
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post #8 of 26 Old Nov 7th, 2010, 11:28 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Coming from a Vic, it took a while to get used to the seating/leg position on my GT. I now find it very comfortable.

I really thought I would miss the floorboards but I don't, when I rode the Vic with a thinner soled boot the peg would hurt my foot after 500-600 miles a day so I got the floorboards and fell in love with them, could move around and really get comfortable. I thought i would miss that on the GT but I don't, I do have a real motorcycle boot now though so the sole is thicker and after 500 miles I don't have the pain of the peg like I did on the Vic.
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post #9 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 7:24 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

The accessory "crash bars" to be offered for the bike by BMW look like obvious mounting points for so-called highway pegs that would provide alternative, stretched out positions for the rider's feet. This will be another ergonomic feature that will make the GTL much more comfortable for me than my K1200GT.

I presume the bars will be easily usable for that purpose even though, of course, BMW will not offer any such highway pegs as factory accessories as that could be taken as an endorsement of an unsafe riding posture.
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post #10 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 7:33 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

If the 1600 is anything like the 1200, the valve checks will be tricky. Some have done it on their own, but from what I hear, I don't want to try it. It entails removing the radiator and then evacuating the cooling system to refill it. That something I don't have the tools or the skills to do. I've been quoted about $375 for doing the valve check/coolant change. That's parts and labor.


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post #11 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 8:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Originally Posted by dwsdad
I've been quoted about $375 for doing the valve check/coolant change. That's parts and labor.
How often do you have to do it on the other newer engines? At every 6,000 miles, that is $1,000 a year for me.... when you add that to tires, brakes, etc, it starts to add up. If it is only after the 1st 6,000, that is not so bad.
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post #12 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 8:36 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

I just want to test ride one.


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post #13 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 9:40 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeemer
How often do you have to do it on the other newer engines? At every 6,000 miles, that is $1,000 a year for me.... when you add that to tires, brakes, etc, it starts to add up. If it is only after the 1st 6,000, that is not so bad.
I believe the K1300GT is at 18K for the valve check, So the K16 would most likely be around the same. I check my LT every 24K & have never needed any buckets.

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post #14 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 11:23 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Yep, Steve's right. Every 18K. The only downer for my GT is that it's the model without the drain plug on the final drive, so Let the shop do that too. I think the newer models have a drain plug.


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post #15 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 11:30 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Yep, Steve's right. Every 18K. The only downer for my GT is that it's the model without the drain plug on the final drive, so Let the shop do that too. I think the newer models have a drain plug.

Ever since 2004 with the new style FD with the hole in the middle, there has ALWAYS been a drain in the final, but it was positioned at 9 o'clock and in mid 07, it was relocated to the 6'oclock position.

On my 05 GS, the final drive had the drain at 9 o'clock which meant you had to disconnect it from the torque arm and drop it to drain it, which exposed the drive shaft splines and you got to lube them at that time too.

I will be replacing the FD fluid on the K16 at every 12K miles and lubing the splines at that time.
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post #16 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 12:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Yep, Steve's right. Every 18K.
Thanks. That makes it a non issue for me.

How do you all feel about buying BMW 1st year products. Do they typically need time to work out the bugs?

John
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post #17 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 12:30 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Do they typically need time to work out the bugs?
Yes, but if nobody buys in the first year, then how will they find the bugs?

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post #18 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 1:31 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Yes, but if nobody buys in the first year, then how will they find the bugs?
Very true. I am quite happy that there are people who will get in line to buy a first year product. I do plenty of beta testing at work and am happy to NOT have to do it when my money is on the line. It is great to have so many folks willing to do this for the rest of us. We owe you a debt of gratitude!!

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post #19 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 2:57 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Very true. I am quite happy that there are people who will get in line to buy a first year product. I do plenty of beta testing at work and am happy to NOT have to do it when my money is on the line. It is great to have so many folks willing to do this for the rest of us. We owe you a debt of gratitude!!
You are welcome. I'm happy that many are not in line for the first year out production models, as it enables me to get into the front of the line. I'm not worried about the being the first in the least. Done it many times (with high quality manufacturers) and have never come to regret it.

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post #20 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 4:30 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Originally Posted by WannaBeemer
Thanks. That makes it a non issue for me.

How do you all feel about buying BMW 1st year products. Do they typically need time to work out the bugs?

John
Every bmw i have ever bought has been a first year bike.. no regrets and no major issues, if any at all. That makes 6 beemers.
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post #21 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 5:18 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Every bmw i have ever bought has been a first year bike.. no regrets and no major issues
Sadly, my record isn't nearly that good, even on second-year Beemers. But I remain ever hopeful . . .

Ken
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post #22 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 5:25 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

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Sadly, my record isn't nearly that good, even on second-year Beemers. But I remain ever hopeful . . .
Most of us USE our bikes but you REALLY USE your bike.
BTW are you at 200K on that GT yet?

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post #23 of 26 Old Nov 8th, 2010, 7:40 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
Most of us USE our bikes but you REALLY USE your bike.
Um, isn't that what bikes are for? I sure didn't buy mine so I could spend all weekend waxing the damn thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
BTW are you at 200K on that GT yet?
I wish. I would've been at 160K by now, if the damn thing hadn't died on me at 138K . . .

Ken
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'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #24 of 26 Old Nov 14th, 2010, 8:36 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Nice thing about having cruise control is you can alternate which finger nail yer chewin' while ya wait fer some thing to fail?

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post #25 of 26 Old Nov 15th, 2010, 1:45 am
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Um, isn't that what bikes are for? I sure didn't buy mine so I could spend all weekend waxing the damn thing.

I wish. I would've been at 160K by now, if the damn thing hadn't died on me at 138K . . .
I haven't put 138k on any car I've owned, yet!
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post #26 of 26 Old Nov 15th, 2010, 4:15 pm
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Re: Towing, Ride Position and Maintenance Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeemer
I can't wait to see this bike and take it out for a test tide. I currently ride a Victory Kingpin and am pretty active in the Victory Motorcycle Club. I have been considering a touring bike and until now, the Victory Vision is the first bike that came to mind. Now I am obsessed with the K1600GTL.

That being said, I have a few questions that I am hoping you can answer.

I typically ride two up (especially when touring) and we always drag a trailer. Do they (or will they) make a trailer hitch for this GTL?

We are pretty big (OK.... fat) and between the 2 of us, we are 500 lbs. Do you expect the GTL will handle that?

I am used to riding with floor boards with my legs stretched out. The GTL has a legs down position. For those that have made the switch, how do you find the riding position?

With floorboard, you can move your feet around. Do you find the limited foot position of pegs limits your ability to ride long distances?

One of the rumors (on the Victory boards) is that most of the routine maintenance activities need to be done by the dealers and therefor BMWs are expensive to maintain. They reference a 7,000 mile valve adjustment that costs $1,000. I do most of my own maintenance (including tire changes) and would like to continue to do so. Can you shed some light on this?

Thanks in advance.
John
I tried floorboards on VTX and did not like it. It took me a while to get used to it, but even then it did not feel as comfortable as regular pegs. I always felt that boards restrict my feet in the ankle area, whereas pegs allow me for more free movement and more natural position.

Maintenence can be very expensive if done by BMW dealer, I do it all myself - it's not really a rocket science. If you're not affraid to grease your elbows, you should be able to do all the basic maintenance and save big $$$.
BJ

BJ
2015 R Nine T
2007 LT Storm Grey
2005 LT Gold (traded in for '07)
2007 G 650 Xchallenge
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