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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Of course, I was in a train at the time
on my way from Amsterdam to Geneva...I think it was between Cologne and Frankfurt, but I'm not positive.

I link up with Edelweiss tomorrow for the tour with Motorcyclist Magazine. I just wanted to check in with everyone and say hello.

Wish me luck - I'm going to try not to get chucked off of some alpine pass. Hopefully the BMW K 1200 R will be an agreeable enough bike.:rockon

I'll let everyone know how it went when I get the chance...

Jeff.
 

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RCFiftyWon said:
Hopefully the BMW K 1200 R will be an agreeable enough bike.:rockon
would love to hear your impressions of the bike... I've been kinda eyeing that bike ever since it was released...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
macchiato said:
Have they finished the train line through that big ass mountain yet?
A German woman that I was sitting next to said that between Cologne and Frankfurt they made numerous tunnels and excavated a lot of areas to be able to run the train as straight as possible in order to keep the speeds up.

So, yes, I think so... :rockon

I'm off to link up with Edelweiss...just checking my email before leaving the hotel.

Jeff.
 

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Jeff,


Have fun. That is one tour I want to do, and I am also thinking about purchasing that BMW K1200R. Can't wait to hear your impressions of the tour and the bike.:woot:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RCFiftyWon said:
I'm going to try not to get chucked off of some alpine pass.
Well, I made it back to KY a couple of days ago. The tour was incredible! :rockon

I had a great time, we stayed at some really nice 4- and 5- star hotels, which was nice after a day full of riding. The scenery was incredible. Some of the mountain passes were unreal. Others were insane.

I thought I'd ridden switchbacks/hairpins before...but let me tell you, if you haven't ridden the Alps, then you haven't experienced a true hairpin.

The trip was not without incident...there were three on the trip and two of them belonged to me. :banghead I managed to damage two bikes within about 3 hours! Thankfully I didn't damage the K 1200 R.

A guy that was riding a 1200 GS asked me if I'd trade with him for a while. I traded with him and was just having a great time riding that thing through the tight stuff. It has an incredibly tight turn radius and I was thoroughly enjoying it.

Coming out of a tight right turn, I was spooked by a little Suzuki Samarai-sized SUV while I was setting up for a tight left. I tried to tighten my line a bit and ended up low-siding the bike into the SUV. The bike went down and then the front of the GS hit the back of the SUV. For a second I thought I was going under the truck, but the GS is way too big for that to happen!

I banged up my elbow a bit...the pad on my JR Meteor jacket shifted and allowed my elbow to burn through the fabric, but it wasn't bad. In defense of the jacket, I bought it too large. I got a 2X and should've gotten an XL.

The SUV wasn't damaged, so the driver left the scene after ensuring that I wasn't seriously injured. The GS was rideable, but the suspension wasn't working properly and there was a nasty bulb on the front tire's sidewall and a small bend in the rim. It wasn't losing air, but we weren't sure how long that would last. Our tour guide, Christian, said that he should probably ride it.

I was going to get back on my K 1200 R, but the guy whose GS I was riding protested about riding the Ducati ST4S that the guide had been riding. I agreed to ride the ST4S, not realizing how poorly-suited to riding the Alps that bike is. The other guy had ridden the ST4S for a week before in the tight stuff, and he hated it.

The problem with a tour like this is that you have to get to the next hotel each day, so I found myself riding when I normally would not be. I'd had my first street accident ever on the GS and I was pretty shaken. My mind was about a thousand miles away trying to figure out what I'd done wrong. Prior to this accident, the worst thing that had happened to me was when I dropped the bike in some gravel dust, but I never really counted that as a bike accident...this one certainly qualified.

The overwhelming issue was that I was trying to ride the GS like it was a sportbike. And, although it is a great bike, it is not a sportbike. The amount of force that I applied to the brake lever would not have caused a low-side on the K 1200 R or on my RC-51, but I should've known better on the GS...

About 2 1/2 - 3 hours later, we were going through some really tight downhill hairpins when one of the right hairpins (the tightest) got me. I was experimenting with entry and exit lines trying to find the best way to coax the Ducati through the hairpin when I lost forward momentum in the apex. I tried to save it with my foot, but it was too late and too steep to save it. I ended up dropping the ST4S on it's right side and causing some cosmetic damage and a bent brake lever.

Yes, it SUCKS to damage two bikes in one day. I was not a happy camper
. Everyone was really supportive and went out of their way to ask how the elbow was holding up and tried to make sure I was still having a good time. It happened on Tuesday, so we still had all week to ride. I ended up finishing the week without any more incidents. I even started to like the Ducati a bit. I would basically tip-toe it through the hairpins and then ride it normally everywhere else.

Even after Tuesday being one of the worst days I'd ever ridden, I still had a great time on the tour. The riding, the scenery and the other people on the tour were great. Tim Carrithers was there from Motor Cyclist magazine - he's a hoot. The food was mostly great and everywhere we went I managed to find some bourbon, even if it annoyed the stuck-up waiters to get it for me!

The bikes both had the optional insurance on them, so it didn't hurt as much financially as it could have, and after speaking with the tour guide, I'm still in the good graces of the company, which is good since I'm considering going on the Catalunya GP tour next year.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
D-Day said:
Jeff,

Have fun. That is one tour I want to do, and I am also thinking about purchasing that BMW K1200R. Can't wait to hear your impressions of the tour and the bike.:woot:
D-Day, M-B:

I only got to ride the K 1200 R for 1 1/2 days, but I can tell you that it is a great bike. It pulls like a 12-year old (to quote someone else's signature block)...it makes power everywhere, in every gear. You can be totally lazy riding this bike. It is a true point-and-shoot type of bike.

Honestly, I never really took it past about 2/3 throttle. There just wasn't room (or need) to do so. The roads were tight and we didn't go there to ride the straight roads. :rockon

The K 1200 R has wide bars, and it feels like a total hooligan bike. It has a wider turning radius than a typical sportbike and the wider bars help when negotiating the tight hairpins.

The K 1200 R had the expandable BMW bags on it, and they were very convenient. Not totally water-proof, but still nice.

The bike had a small windscreen on it. It was so small that it looked like it was just there to keep bugs off of the guages. Someone said that they didn't think it came on the U.S.-spec bikes...I'm not sure. There wasn't very much wind protection obviously, but that didn't really bother me for the type of riding that we were doing.

I really liked this bike. If I could sum it up in one word, it would be - versatile. You can do so much with it.

Jeff.
 
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