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  • Only a 12month warranty (but now increased to 24 after November 2001
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      09.03.2002 05:42
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      • "Only a 12month warranty (but now increased to 24 after November 2001"

      I bought a new R1100S in May of 2001. I ordered the EVO model with ABS, panniers, heated grips, accessory socket to plug my mobile, centrestand and head protectors. I chose the Marrakesh Red. A vast improvement on the previous 'Tomato Soup' red. It has proven to be a superb bike in performance, reliability and quality. The list price was around £7600. With all of the extras this took it closer to £9500. The ABS was £750 alone but cheaper than a front end slide and crash. After a month of ownership, and with 1300 miles on the clock, I took it on a whistle stop tour of France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg. Although loaded with the panniers it had no problem maintaining constant speeds up to 130mph on the autoroutes. Fuel consumption was somewhat compromised with the light coming on at 90 miles (30mpg). Most I have seen is about 160 but that is rare. The average seems to be around 125. After 4 days and 1800 miles it was back to blighty. Oil consumption was negligible although I did take a litre bottle with me just in case. For those used to Japanese bikes, using oil is a bit strange but this is normal according to BMW. It was very comfortable both on the motorways or twisty back roads. I felt confident taking the bike abroad because, as part of first year ownership, BMW provide free full emergency back up. This covers repatriation to the UK, hotels, expenses and if there is a mechanical failure, complete repair and delivery back to your door. When I got back it scrubbed up like new even though the last 800 miles were spent in a monsoon. Having a hugger and fender extender fitted before delivery certainly helped here. The bike now has 6200 on the clock and still looks as good as the day it was made. It does get ridden in the wet and I don't spare the horses when making progress. The only warranty replacement so far has been the screen after stress cracks appeared. Apparently this is a common occurrence . As I come to one year of ownership, my dealer is replacing the top fork brace and an exhaust bracket. Both have corroded a little but it is no trouble for my dealer. The retailer support has been excellent. Servicing costs are reasonable (just over £100 for a 6000 mile inspection) and customer service is second to none. The engine takes a long time to break in, as does the gearbox. There were a few false neutrals until a few thousand miles were covered. It wasn't until 5000 miles that she would touch an indicated 145. The single most impressive feature of the bike is the braking system. The servo assistance can seem a bit abrupt initially but after acclimatisation you wonder why other manufacturers haven't done the same. The ABS has saved my bacon on a number of times; it does give you a feeling of invincibility. It is fun when you have a race rep rocketing up behind you. You both end up at the bend at the same time but leaving the braking until the last minute has them panicking and overcooking it or bottling out. Once they compose themselves on the other side they shoot off into the distance, sucking my headlamps out, but it is funny to watch. I had considered a Triumph 955 or ST4s but one test ride on the BMW had me hooked. Wherever you park up it attracts attention. Ducatis are actually ignored because it is still such a rare bike. The switchgear makes sense now and I love not having to mess about with a chain. The only extras since have been a headlamp protector and a Xenon dip beam bulb. The standard headlamps are not brilliant and the cut off is a bit extreme. At least the beam doesn't dive when you hit the brakes! The more you ride it, the more you love it. It is stylish, not fashionable but we all know fashion comes and goes; style is forever.

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