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      16.06.2000 03:20



      having lived very hapily with a BMW K75 for three years (40,000 miles)the decision to replace it was not taken lightly, it's natural sucessor seemed to be an R1100 so after a lot of thought the deal was eventually done. I must say that this was my first riding experience of an horizontaly opposed big twin and at first the gentle sideways shake when stationary was quite appealing, the adjustable electronic screen and that fantastic comfy seat together with the nice big panniers made me think that this was the sort of machine that could take you from Birmingham to Berlin in one easy journey, But..... The R1100 carries a lot of weight and there is hardly any engine braking, spirited riding is possible but you need to have good forward vision because with this brute your line of attack is critical. At lower speed when cranked over bliping the throttle and changing gear resulted in an engine shake which vintage BMW riders may call a 'characteristic' but to me was very worrying especially in the wet !! the gear box on my machine could best be described as agricultural and the cable operated clutch with no hydraulic adjustment could be burned out rapidly if not adjusted daily. within six months the electric screen began to stick in it's rails and seemed to only operate when it had been raining (not a problem in the UK). The shaft drive was very notchy and not as smooth as a Japanese unit. The panniers leaked, I was told that "if I needed them to keep things dry then I could buy an inner liner" (cue the sound of a cash register). These little problems together with endless trailered visits back to the dealer in order to replace gear boxes and drive shafts meant that my love affair with bavaria had ended, even though this bike has the comfiest seat ever and was great on a dry road in a straight line on the motorway it wasn't enough to keep me and I knew then that we had to part. I could almost hear the
      sound of an umpah band fading into the distance as I headed to the land of the rising yen and did something that I have not regretted to this day ..... I went Pan European


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