UPGRADE OR RETROGRADE??? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 3 Old Oct 22nd, 2019, 11:57 am Thread Starter
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Before I begin my topic, I thought it appropriate to begin with a "disclaimer," about my qualification and motivation in bringing up the subject. Truth is, I have almost zero qualification in terms of experience to enable me to post a credible opinion. My motivation is mainly due to curiosity and the desire to gain insight and knowledge.

I struggled a little with where (which sub-forum) to place this conversation? I purchased my 2011 BMW R1200RT Premium approximately 1 & 1/2 year ago about the same time I quit lurking and joined this forum. Except for a couple of riding buddies, I've had very little exposure to BMW bikes. Only, an occasional glance here & there, and waaay back in the 1960's, a short ride to work one morning as a passenger on a fellow airman's air cooled Boxer powered BMW from our barracks to the flightline on our airbase. It was a fond memory, and after all the decades of riding old-school low tech bikes, I probably allowed my emotional attachment to that memory to tilt my decision toward a boxer powered BMW once I began to get serious about owning a BMW. Thus, I'm placing this subject in the RT forum because it happens to be my main frame of reference/experience.

I once read that as the dawn of combustion engine powered vehicles began, the manufacture of horse-drawn vehicles had become a "MATURE" industry. In other words, for the most part, it had reached the highest point of technological advancement. I've seen what I know is "upgrade & advancement" in both, cosmetic design, and technological improvements. For example, aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency. Then there's the RUSH TO PRODUCTION of certain technology that's not quite ready for prime time. Like the early "air pump" pollution controls, or exhaust gas re-burn systems on certain engines? The list of recalls and "should be recalls," is long.

In the quest for the "next best thing"...next year's "NEW MODEL"...whether by technology or cosmetic design...for you long time experienced BMW owners/riders... I see so many comments from experienced riders about their likes, dislikes, disappointment, wishes, and satisfaction with various years, and models. My BMW is so far advanced than anything I had ever ridden that I would feel guilty, and to complain about it would be ungrateful.

So...for you serious long term BMW folks...are there certain bikes/models/features/years that you consider RETROGRADES vs UPGRADES?

Never declare a cherished memory as "the best day of my life"...it will forever diminish the possibility for "Tomorrow" being the "Best Day!"
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post #2 of 3 Old Oct 22nd, 2019, 1:29 pm
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I'm a declared "Retro" whatever you want to call me...

I don't know RT's or LT"s but in respect to the GS, the last year you want in my opinion is 2002 (2003..!?!) (right before they start with over complicated and stupid servowaves)

I do have a 2008 GS/adv but was given to me by the mother ship, if it was my own money i will never buy one..

the newest of the engines those have a massive change in architecture and a wet clutch is a very welcome addition, but you need to remember every bell needs a "String" and every string needs a ringer and something they like to get drunk with Church wine but they never ever tell, so sourcing the core issues can get pretty complicated..

The new engine those have a wet clutch that can be extracted from the front (without taking the bike in half) and that i like a lot, but that is about it..

My idea Boxer, 650cc/700cc as light as possible, as unbreakable as possible, torquey, about 55/60 hp's without anything else a 400cc thumper has

dream bike, 80.000 Euros and you get absolutely nothing, remember Nothing sometime can cost a lot more than to make "Stuff"


I guess if you don't get "Skateboards" you don't get this and for sure you don't get me..

pure hotness, indestructive power..
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post #3 of 3 Old Oct 22nd, 2019, 3:42 pm
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Technology is certainly better served after some level of maturing. BMW may be a good example of NOT doing that. When fuel injection first came to be in common production engines, due to smog laws of the era, it certainly had issues with reliability and expense to repair. But by 1987 when Ford came out with sequential rail port injection it heralded a new performance era.

A good BMW example of maturing is the "whizzy" ABS brake system. While still the best braking system I have ever owned on a motorcycle, the later units far surpass it in function, reliability, and cost to maintain.

Yes there are things that I wish I had more control over. Like the $*&^ service light that requires money spent to turn off at home.

There will always be those that cherish the "old" stuff. Airhead owners are good examples. They have their place.

I own a 1969 Shelby Cobra GT 500. 428 Cobra Jet engine and 4 speed. 45K original miles. THE standard for muscle in its era. Today, my wifes new BMW X3 would likely outrun it in a quarter mile and I KNOW it will outhandle and out brake it! Yet it is fun to get in and drive. For a hour or two. Then you realize just how good vehicles are today. Embrace the technology.

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