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Recovering from a crash and dreaming about a BMW...some advice, please?


HouTexDavid

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HouTexDavid

First, let me explain why I'm here:

 

Cager got me on Monday. I was riding home from work, in the center lane of a busy 3 lane boulevard. A car was 30 feet in front of me on the outside lane, blocking the view of the joker sitting at an intersecting street anxious to dart across 6 lanes of traffic to make a left turn.

 

You can guess the rest. Cager pulls out in front of me and I hit him at 90 degrees, me travelling about 35 mph. I went over the handlebars, over his hood, smashing his windshield with my helmet on the way over, and rolled to a stop on the other side of his car. Nice shiny Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 totalled.

 

Good news: full protective gear- full-face helmet, boots, gloves, Aerostitch jacket (wish I had been wearing the pants!)

 

Bad news: possible fractured wrist and some scraped knees

 

Cager had expired license, invalid car tag

 

Now that is said, I'm here because although I have my wrist in a splint and although the wife says "never again", I've still got the fever.

 

As I replay the crash 1,000 times in my head, I keep asking whether or not I got on the brakes hard enough. I'm completely convinced that no matter how well I might have braked, I would still have hit the cager - he was just too close. But my thoughts go to whether or not, through my fear of locking up the front wheel, I might have eased off more than I should.

 

Which leads me to you BMW guys and your ABS brakes. To make a long story a little shorter, I'm starting to think about a BMW R 1200 RT. From what I read, it seems like a great bike, and the ABS is really starting to sound sweet after my flying trip on the handlebar express on Monday.

 

One of my concerns - comfort. I'm 6'3", and after 6 years on my Honda Shadow, I had really gotten used to the out-front pegs and pull-back handlebars.

 

So now for my question to the folks who probably know BMW sport tourers the best - those who ride them and are passionate enough to while away some time online: what is your advice to a former Honda rider with a bum wrist who has just lost his trusty steed and is looking to get back in the saddle? Should my next bike be a BMW?

 

HouTexDavid

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Firefight911

I will let others chime in regarding your other questions but I feel the need to clarify something concerning ABS.

 

ABS will NOT shorten your brake distance. It will lengthen it. Yes, it will allow a wheel with too much brake application the opportuntiy to continue to roll but in so doing, it will increase your effective stopping distance.

 

Shorter brake distance is obtained through max braking where the tire is on teh edge of losing traction. At this point the coefficient of friction is at its greatest relative to the surface the tire is rolling on.

 

I am NOT second guessing your incident. I was not there and to do so would be ridiculous, however, brakes are not the only resolution to a hazard that presents itself.

 

Swerving and/or accelerating are also very viable options.

 

Another lesson that may be pulled from this is to not ride in a position with another vehicle that could put you in a blind spot to others.

 

Again, I am not second guessing your incident!!!! Just broadening the possibilities available to any of us while riding.

 

Go ride the R12RT. You will come away pretty well impressed, I think. Your height will actually be an advantage as most feel the seat height is a negative.

 

Heal fast!!! Post pics of your new BMW when you get it!!

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Now that Phil has finished(?) second guessing you, I'll just say that it's not a big deal to throw some highway pegs and apehangers on the RT. You can have your knees back in the breeze for just a little coin.

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HouTexDavid

1bmwfan,

All good questions you pose,many of which I have pondered myself. I understand your comment re braking distance and understand that the distance may be longer with abs.

 

Re swerving: interestingly, the cager stopped dead in the center of the 3 lane road (perpendicular to the traffic flow). I know this because for the 1/2 hour after my airborne stunt that I waited for the police, traffic continued to flow around both the front and rear bumper of the cager's sorry car. Also, I was too close to effectively even consider a swerve.

 

Good point about blind spot. Unfortunately, this was in rush-hour traffic in Houston with not a lot of options for maneuvering.

 

Also, I was doing my best to not travel in stealth mode: I wear one of those "lime yellow" Aerostitch jackets - the color of those gosh-awful flourescent school zone signs - and had my headlight on high beam.

 

David

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Glad to hear you are OK.

 

Comfort shouldn't be an issue on an RT. Personaly, I'm 6'2" and have ridden mine from sun up to sun down a few times. I have bar backs and a slightly larger windshield, but I found that the bike fits me great.

 

I ended up on an RT mainly because of the riding stance. I rode crotch rockets for years. A few years ago my Father and a few of his riding buddies decided to ride to CA and back. I decided I wanted to go along. That obviously meant finding a new bike. I was so used to having my feet under me (instead of out in front) that I absoultely hated most of the bikes I sat on. I must have sat on 50+ bikes, and test rode about 10. Then I stumbled into a BMW/Suzuki shop one day to see what they had for sale in their preowned selection. They had a left over R1150R Rockster sitting there that was an absolute steal of a price. I decided to throw a leg over it mainly just because I had never sat on a beemer before. As soon as I flipped up the kick stand and pulled it upright I fell in love. About that time, a sales guy walked over and mentioned that he could give me a hell of a deal because it was a leftover. I told him that I loved it, but I needed more of a touring bike. I explained my situation and thats when he told me about the RT. Honestly, I'm not even sure if I had ever seen one up until then. I started shopping for one, found this board, started lurking, found one for sale locally, and bought it.

 

almost 2 years and 17K miles later, I can't imagine riding anything else.

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Firefight911
Now that Phil has finished(?) second guessing you, I'll just say that it's not a big deal to throw some highway pegs and apehangers on the RT. You can have your knees back in the breeze for just a little coin.

 

Obviously, you didn't read my post wherein I CLEARLY stated I am not doing the very thing you state I did.

 

Many riders read this DB with all levels of skill. After teaching the MSF course for 8 years and working as an investigator with a law firm for 3 years reconstructing accidents, my intent is to provide information that can be hopefully used in a situation that is similar to what one may face in their future travels.

 

Again, I am NOT second guessing anything in the OP. I was NOT there, nor do I have all the facts surrounding the incident.

 

View my post for what it is, information. YMMV, take it or leave it.

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Hi, David; sorry to hear about your bad luck. I am a newbie

to this forum myself, and a first time BMW owner. For what

it's worth, after riding just about everything else for the

past 48 years, I have never had a scooter that I have fallen

in love with so rapidly! I work here in Houston during the

week & would be happy to help out any way I can when you are

able to ride again. Good luck collecting from the goober that got you... you'll need it.

 

cheers,

steve

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russell_bynum

Also, I was doing my best to not travel in stealth mode: I wear one of those "lime yellow" Aerostitch jackets - the color of those gosh-awful flourescent school zone signs - and had my headlight on high beam.

 

You could set your hi-vis jacket on fire and ride down the road in a blazing fireball and that isn't going to compete with a firetruck rolling code 3...and people pull out in front of those all the time.

 

Besides...it sounds like in this case, the offending driver couldn't see you even if he wanted to due to your position in traffic. (I'm not second-guessing you...sometimes you don't have a choice and sh*t happens.)

 

ABS is nice, but everything Phil said is true. The way to maximize your stopping potential is through regular practice. ABS is good for when your skills fail you when you're braking in a straight line, but the better your skills, the better off you are.

 

As for the RT...it is a nice bike. Go ride one and see what you think. Check out This article on a good riding position that will help you with bikes that have a more forward-lean than what you're used to.

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TWO mag here in the UK compared braking on two Triumph Sprint ST machines,(October 2006) one with ABS, one without. Two riders - one James Whitham, former racer & one relative novice. The tests show that ABS brings the braking performance of the novice to a level very close to the racer. For the race rider the ABS made little difference. Tests in the dry, with the rider prepared to brake. Unless there's a Rossi in your name I'd go with ABS for those panic moments. thumbsup.gif

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John Bentall
ABS will NOT shorten your brake distance. It will lengthen it. Yes, it will allow a wheel with too much brake application the opportuntiy to continue to roll but in so doing, it will increase your effective stopping distance.

 

 

I sincerely believe that Phil's comments apply to smooth, dry surfaces only.

 

All the information I have is that on bumpy or rutted surfaces, on wet surfaces or on greasy surfaces where the coefficient of friction changes rapidly, on certain types of pedestrian crossings for example, the ABS will shorten your braking distance or stop you falling off altogether.

 

..and don't rely on the ABS either. It takes practice, practice, practice to apply the brakes hard enough for the ABS to cut in.

By the way, the tests show that the BMW ABS systems are most effective.

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But my thoughts go to whether or not, through my fear of locking up the front wheel, I might have eased off more than I should.
I think that this is a perfect example of the advantage of antilock brakes. Yes, I know, training, practice, yada yada, and these are undeniably important, but the realities of real-world conditions and human judgment frailties under split-second pressure mean that antilock brakes are a very beneficial backup to these skills.

 

Anyway, glad to hear that you weren't seriously injured David.

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HouTexDavid

1bmwfan,

No offense taken at your remarks. I've got a lot of time for suggestions, questions, even criticism from fellow riders, what I can't tolerate are the musings of the cage-ensconced kibbitzers: "I don't know why anyone would want to ride a motorcycle!"

 

Funny you should mention MSF training. My MSF basic course some 7 years ago is the only time I have lost control of a bike. We were doing the hard stop exercise, and it had started to rain. After a stop that the instructor considered to be too soft, he encouraged me to bear down a bit more. So, I did. After travelling through a rain puddle, I squeezed it harder and ended up like Craig Biggio sliding into home plate. Granted, on a Honda Rebel going only 15-18 mph, it wasn't too tragic (especially considering that the bike did not belong to me!!). Since then, I have locked up the front wheel a couple of times in Houston traffic, but always got off the brake before I lost control.

 

Have never ridden an ABS-equipped bike before, but I believe I would be less reluctant to give-'er-all-I've-got on the brakes in a panic stop with ABS.

 

David

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HouTexDavid
Hi, David; sorry to hear about your bad luck. I am a newbie

to this forum myself, and a first time BMW owner. For what

it's worth, after riding just about everything else for the

past 48 years, I have never had a scooter that I have fallen

in love with so rapidly! I work here in Houston during the

week & would be happy to help out any way I can when you are

able to ride again. Good luck collecting from the goober that got you... you'll need it.

 

cheers,

steve

 

Seahog, thanks for your comment - you obviously know traffic in H-town. Might take you up on your offer to discuss BMW bikes when I get my spurs back on...David

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BigGalloot
But my thoughts go to whether or not, through my fear of locking up the front wheel, I might have eased off more than I should.
I think that this is a perfect example of the advantage of antilock brakes. Yes, I know, training, practice, yada yada, and these are undeniably important, but the realities of real-world conditions and human judgment frailties under split-second pressure mean that antilock brakes are a very beneficial backup to these skills.

 

Anyway, glad to hear that you weren't seriously injured David.

 

That's what I wanted to say.

 

It's true that a competent rider who is aware that he/she is being tested can stop faster without ABS. That has nothing to do with the real world.

 

In the real world you are not provided with a perfect surface clear from traffic and lines showing where to start breaking. Even the best rider caught off-guard and needing to simultaneously judge a number of factors at once is much better off with ABS.

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Steve_Witmer

Call me a true believer in ABS following my taking the MSF ERC. I was truly shocked by the braking distances I got on my 1100 RT by using full front and rear brakes and letting the ABS take over. Does this mean I could use more practice braking -- Yes. But it also means that if I get caught off guard and grab a handful of brake in a hurry I've got a better chance of coming out okay.

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Troll or not, you've gotten responses.

Some very good, most opinionated.

Some broad strokes where pin stripes may be needed, some air brushed too.

My .03 (inflation).

No matter who you are, no matter how much you practice, no matter what you ride or how long you've ridden, there's a collision out there with your name on it.

You may avoid it, or not.

The how and why of the result will vary.

Testing performance results do not apply to most situations. Disagree if you wish to, I won't take it personally.

Most bikes will not replicate 1/4 mile times, braking distances, etc... because there is a difference between testing for performance and riding on the street. This has been noted several times already. Feel free to disagree.

I think that hubris interferes with reality sometimes. I know that there are some great riders out there who rate 11 on a 10 (I'm about a 3.5) but no one is invincible.

The phrase "real world" was used above. Some interpret that as code for inexperienced or lazy riders who screw up.

I don't. I've seen way too many examples of the real world getting someone who was more than competent on a motorcycle.

We have all seen professional riders make mistakes on the track, and we've seen equipment fail. These are things that happen in the real world too.

ABS does not make you a better rider per se, but it does provide better braking in more circumstances than non ABS bikes have.

ABS will reduce collision speeds better than non ABS systems in almost every real world situatuion.

ABS will compensate for panic reactions, a very common response in the real world.

I don't want to argue the pros/cons of different systems of ABS. I will stand by my belief that for most riders, in almost every situation, they provide a benefit when compared to non ABS bikes, in the real world.

To make a blanket statement that ABS increases stopping distances can be misconstrued.

Does this mean that a non ABS HD Electra GLide stops better/faster than an ABS equuiped BMWLT? Of course not, nor do I think that was the posters intent.

Does a non ABS CBR 600 stop better/faster than a BMWRTA?

Depends. Not just on the rider, but the circumstances the rider/bike is in. Rain, downhill, curve, guardrail, most riders would be better off on the RT.

When we discuss the pros/cons of Telever, ABS, issues of rider control, front end feedback, are bandied around. While this may be appropriate for a track session, I'd suggest that if you are riding public roads and are concerned about lack of front end feedback, maybe you should be on a track.

Bottom line for many of the riders in the real world, get the best brakes and suspension you can afford. Replace your tires before they become a liability. How many stories and photos have been posted here about riding on the cords? My definition of "best" is one that will be less likely to contribute negatively to an emergency response in the real world.

For me that means little or no nose dive, planted response under heavy braking, predictable response under extreme braking and swerving, no matter what the road surface or weather may be.

Best wishes.

wave.gif

lurker.gif

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Glad to hear you're OK after surviving such an incident. I'm heading out the door to AK, so I haven't read all the responses.

 

You could be quite happy on the RT, but they have a sportier riding position than cruisers. Handlebars can be fitted with risers, but the peg position tends to be shorter and more rearset.

 

The Honda ST1300A, which I have owned, has more leg room, and ABS of course. The Gold Wing will have the most leg room and upright riding position, and has ABS too.

 

Other folks of similar height to you have posted they 'fit' the RT, but that's a very personal thing, so you need to try one.

 

Good luck in shopping.

 

Cheers from Edmonton, Alberta.

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Well I'm going to stay out of the ABS argument (this time! wink.gif) so with regards to your Honda vs. an RT, I think you may actually find the RT more comfortable and a better riding position than your cruiser. With the RT (and other sport-touring bikes) the position is more butt back, weight off your tail bone (where most of the fatigue on a bike originates), arms less stiff and "hanging on", more of your weight carried in your legs, etc. Overall it is a much more relaxed, natural, less tiring riding style. And not coincidentally one that leads to better, safer bike control at the same time.

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Welcome HouTexDavid. You did not say how old you are or what kind of riding you prefer but I did ride a Honda Shadow (Spirit) and then got a BMW 1150RT because as you know the Honda is not suitable for even modest touring.

 

I never did get comfortable on the RT despite modifications like handlebar setback and highway pegs. I am over 60 and there was just no way to move around and after about 6 hours my knees and back would start to ache. Took a lot Advil but just wasn't happy.

 

After almost 3 years, I traded the RT for a HD Road Glide. The Harley doesn't have the excellent wind protection, or the brakes or go through the twisties like the RT did but it is more comfortable. Have done two trips so far and at the end of the day I feel just fine and look forward to the next day's ride.

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KrazyHorse

I'm far from qualified to comment on the whole ABS or accident avoidance issues....but I did just want to pipe up and say that if you enjoy the cruiser look/style/feel etc, but are thinking of a BMW I would suggest checking out the C. I learned to ride on an old Yamaha Vision and got my C in September of last year. I sat on many, many bikes, including all of the BMWs and lots of HD and other metric cruisers. But when I sat on the C the choir of angels appeared (for me LOL) IMO, if you like Cruisers it has the absolute best of all worlds. The tech advancements and reputation of BMW, comfort and it's the prettiest damn bike out there too.

 

But I realize, the C is kinda the black sheep of the BMW family so it may not have many fans here. But I LOVE her and since you seem to like Cruisers, I thought I'd mention it.

 

Btw, don't let anyone tell you it is underpowered though. Lies. Once you know who to work the RPMs it will give you all you need in any road situation.

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TWO mag here in the UK compared braking on two Triumph Sprint ST machines,(October 2006) one with ABS, one without. Two riders - one James Whitham, former racer & one relative novice. The tests show that ABS brings the braking performance of the novice to a level very close to the racer. For the race rider the ABS made little difference. Tests in the dry, with the rider prepared to brake. Unless there's a Rossi in your name I'd go with ABS for those panic moments. thumbsup.gif

Quit clouding this issue with objective data - we want to hear subjective opinions only grin.gif Actually, loved seeing your post (largely 'cause it agrees with MY subjective opinion). I would really like to have a copy of the TWO article. I know that having ABS allows me to be a better braker (ie stop under control in shorter distances) when doing quick stops, and I believe the same is true for a majority of riders I have taught the last decade.

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David, having ridden for many years without ABS brakes & now with them on my last R1100 & now current RT I can say they have their moments as far as good & as far as being evil..

 

Nothing worse than ABS brakes on dry road with chatter bumps in the stopping zone (they will add yards to your stopping distance).. The ABS is not good when aggressive stopping over tar snakes on a hot day either.. They do work wonders when panic braking from 90+ mph on a wet road though..

 

There have been a few impromptu tests on motorcycle ABS systems using identical bikes both with & without ABS.. If you look at the analytical data using just dry road coefficient of friction numbers the non ABS systems will usually out stop the ABS bikes by a few feet.. BUT (& a big but here) for MOST riders the ABS equipped bike will stop in a shorter distance by a fair amount on dry road max decel’s (& this is knowing before hand you are doing a max stop event).. What the ABS system does for MOST riders is allows the rider to use way more front brake than most feel comfortable with as the ABS acts like a safety net if too much front brake is used.. In the data I have seen this is even more evident on wet roads..

 

Is the ABS system worth the money or piece of mind? To some yes & to others no.. My personal take is they are nice when just cruising along & not 100% focusing on your riding.. But do limit the brake control for dirt roads or playing hard.. One of the short falls of motorcycle ABS brakes is their rather poor performance on a leaned over motorcycle.. Quicker ABS response times are a big plus here also & the BMW system’s (at least the ones I have ridden with) are not that fast compared to some of the Japanese bikes..

 

As far as your accident experience.. If your front tire left black marks on the pavement during the braking event then ABS wouldn’t have helped you one bit.. If you braked for that car at anything less than front wheel squeal then maybe ABS might have given you the confidence to use more front brake..

 

Personally I wish ALL ABS motorcycles had an ABS disable switch & on the ones that do be able to disable on the fly without an ign cycle for reset..

 

Twisty

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beemer_me_up

Hope you get well soon. Several years ago myself and a friend were out on a ride. Clear beautifuf day on a freshly paved not devided 4 lane road. He on a Honda 1100 shadow and me on a R-1100-RS. We were going up a hill and and passing on 18 wheeler. We were staggered with him in front of me. As we were along side the 18 wheeler, we went over the hill and started down, a car was making an illegal left turn, no directional of break lights. My friend went into a skid and went right into the rear of the car. I came to a complete stop a good 10' from the car. If he had anti-lock breaks he also would have stopped in time. Luckly he had full gear on and was not hurt bad. the bike was totaled. He now rides a BMW with anti-lock brakes. While true they don't stop you in any shorted distance, they do let you maintain control of the bike. Get well soon thumbsup.gif

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I traded my Spirit 1100 for a R1150RT last year and have not regretted it for a second. I was very comfortable on the Spirit and completed some Ironbutt rides with out a problem. I really liked the Spirit. The riding position on the RT is way different but comfortable in a different way. You sit more upright with you legs more beneath you than the cruiser but is is equally comfortable. The stock seat was problematiic but I fixed that with a seatjack(?). Stopped the sliding forward feeling and I am good to go with the stock seat. I am 6'2 @240# and can ride the RT all day.

 

I bought the BMW for the ABS and really like it. Not everyone who owns one agrees as you can see from some of the previous posts. In my opinion it has saved my bacon a couple of times. I thought the brakes on the Shadow were really poor.

 

The RT has more than ample power and handles at speed like a dream. If you buy one, go to a parking lot and practice slow speed manuvering alot. The top heavy aspect of the RT is the only drawback I can think of. I have experienced that "sinking feeling" a couple of times. It is painful to see your beautiful BMW resting on its side!

 

Overall I am a happy camper with the RT and would not go back to a cruiser unless it became a second bike in the garage.

 

Hope you heal soon.

 

Don

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1bmwfan,

Also, I was doing my best to not travel in stealth mode: I wear one of those "lime yellow" Aerostitch jackets - the color of those gosh-awful flourescent school zone signs - and had my headlight on high beam.

 

David

 

Despite it all, sh*t happens. Period. The cager was driving with an expired license, no insurance...ect. They should have hauled him off to jail for assault. We do rely on some resemblance of order in the traffic and when some Joker just does what he wants, there isn't much we can do about it.

 

Ask this guy...

 

or

Same accident, different outcome...

 

I was actually looking for a specific incident, but instead found a safety page from the Navy that listed traffic causualties of people in the service. Many were hit by drunk drivers, light runners...ect. Some were in cars, some were on bikes.

 

The point is, being in a car isn't going to necessarily save you. I can count 4 times were being on the bike probably saved my life. I hope you aren't beating yourself up over this. No point in second guessing yourself.

 

In the words of a wise man...."Life is great, participate!" :-)

 

M

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I keep asking whether or not I got on the brakes hard enough. I'm completely convinced that no matter how well I might have braked, I would still have hit the cager - he was just too close. But my thoughts go to whether or not, through my fear of locking up the front wheel, I might have eased off more than I should.

 

The benefit of ABS is in a panic situation. "Locking up" the brakes is the worst thing you can do and you recognized this based upon your comment above. With ABS, you don't have to be thinking about this at all. Under controlled conditions, perhaps ABS does create longer stopping distance. But in real life, where road conditions change rapidly, you may not be able to see and read the road: particularly when riding at night. I'd go with ABS.

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Welcome to the Board David! Sorry about your accident and the idiot who caused it! Get well and glad your still excited about motorcycling! I have owned many bikes over 40 years of riding, but the RT's brakes and suspension are the best I have ever had. It's a bit top heavy but at 6'3" you will have an advantage with the seat in the highest position. Like many have commented you need to relearn your riding position on an RT or any sports/sports touring bike but after 8 years on this style bike I would never go back, the comfort and controll (see Master Yoda's riding treatise) are excellent. No matter what folks will argue about absolute statistical stuff, ABS is great for normal HUMANS! Get better and enjoy the ride! AndyT

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Hi HouTex David,

Sorry to hear about your accident. It's the unexpected that always takes us by surprise. I live in Humble, TX and I can relate very well to Houston traffic and the dangers that exist. In regards to the BMW R1200RT it is a fine motorcycle. I own a 2006 R1200RT and enjoy it very much. Keep in touch and hope to see you on the road soon. And remember to keep the shiny side up!

Regards,

Pinky

864922-bikecopy.jpg.7bb7cb99351a90a9df49c43e5845babe.jpg

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Have to agree with what was written before me, ABS will lengthen a stop. On a heavy bike like the RT, it will help you in other situations. A few years ago on my RT, I hit some diesel fuel on an exit ramp near a stop light. I am convinced that if it were not for the ABS, I would have washed the bike out.

 

As for the RT, mine was the 1100, so a couple of generations back, and I still say it was the best travelling bike I ever owned. Have not ridden a 1200 yet, but my understanding is they are impressive.

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HouTexDavid

No matter who you are, no matter how much you practice, no matter what you ride or how long you've ridden, there's a collision out there with your name on it.

You may avoid it, or not.

The how and why of the result will vary.

tallman,

Seems a bit fatalistic, but probably true. I've been riding for over six years, and have avoided all of the wrecks with my name on them ... until this week. I guess that we all believe in this fatalism to some extent; otherwise, we would ride in cutoffs and t-shirts, hair flying in the wind, instead of wrapped up in sweaty, heavy jackets with bulky helmets covering our noggins. Still, buying in to this fatalistic theme gives one pause, doesn't it? Are my skills up to the challenge of all of the unwashed masses, mindlessly steering their SUV death machines into our paths, cell phones glued to their ears? I walked away from my bad encounter this week -- would my next bad encounter put me in the hospital or worse?

 

This sense of destiny is probably what keeps lots of people off of bikes.

...

Bottom line for many of the riders in the real world, get the best brakes and suspension you can afford. ... My definition of "best" is one that will be less likely to contribute negatively to an emergency response in the real world.

This is what has lead me to consider the BMW. I know that my Shadow was remarkably low-tech. Heck, the whole marketing gimmick behind the Shadow and a few others in the Honda stable is to appeal to those who "admire" the HD beasts, but don't want to shell out the big bucks for an anachronistic Harley.

 

I bought my Honda because I like the styling and level of power with a price-point (bought it used,even) that was just right for a beginner six years ago. What I did not consider as much then as I am now was the technology. Oh, the engine technology is great - Honda knows engines.

 

But, the brakes?? Would you even think about buying a car that has a drum rear brake? Single rotor on the Shadow front brake? This nows looks like a big personal blind spot to me. I know that the equipment is only one of the many factors in safety, but if you can afford better equipment, then why not tip the odds in your favor? Thanks, tallman, for your thought-provoking post.

 

David

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HouTexDavid
I'm far from qualified to comment on the whole ABS or accident avoidance issues....but I did just want to pipe up and say that if you enjoy the cruiser look/style/feel etc, but are thinking of a BMW I would suggest checking out the C.

 

KrazyHorse,

 

Me being a BMW-bike neophyte, what is a "C"? Don't see anything that looks like a "C" in the nomenclature on BMW's MC Website.

 

David

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HouTexDavid
Welcome HouTexDavid. You did not say how old you are or what kind of riding you prefer but I did ride a Honda Shadow (Spirit) and then got a BMW 1150RT because as you know the Honda is not suitable for even modest touring.

 

TampaJim,

 

Good point. I did ask for advice without providing much context.

 

I'm 52. My riding over the last six years has consisted of about 65% urban commuting, 25% weekend short trips (no overnight), and about 10% out of town road trips. I hope to increase the proportion of the latter.

 

David

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KrazyHorse

Sorry, I should have added more info. It is the R1200C. There is also the CLC, which is mostly the same bike but lots of fairings nad such. Personally, I like'em nekkid. wink.gif

 

They made them from (I think) '98 to '04. If you go to www.chromeheads.org you can find all the info on them you could want and then some. The guys and gals there are the some of the most helpful and kind people you could hope to meet on the 'net.

Like I mentioned if you're dyed in the wool BMW kinda guy, it might not be your cup of tea, but I love it. I got my '01 in Sept with 8,700 miles on it. It has 16,800 now.

Not bad for a mom with a three year old, a full time job, and another hobby (horses), I think. grin.gif

Patti

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HouTexDavid
Sorry, I should have added more info. It is the R1200C. There is also the CLC, which is mostly the same bike but lots of fairings nad such. Personally, I like'em nekkid. wink.gif

 

They made them from (I think) '98 to '04. If you go to www.chromeheads.org you can find all the info on them you could want and then some. The guys and gals there are the some of the most helpful and kind people you could hope to meet on the 'net.

Like I mentioned if you're dyed in the wool BMW kinda guy, it might not be your cup of tea, but I love it. I got my '01 in Sept with 8,700 miles on it. It has 16,800 now.

Not bad for a mom with a three year old, a full time job, and another hobby (horses), I think. grin.gif

Patti

Patti,

I took a look at the chromeheads site. Great looking bikes! I've seen a few of these around. I saw an pearlescent ivory colored "C" bike in LaJolla CA a few years ago and thought that it was one of the best looking motorcycles that I had ever seen.

 

So, assuming BMW quit making this model because it wasn't selling, why did the "C" bikes go extinct?

 

David

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So, assuming BMW quit making this model because it wasn't selling, why did the "C" bikes go extinct?
Actually, at one point the C bikes were the the #1 selling BMW in the US. As I understand it, BMW wasn't interested in trying to compete with the larger powerplants that were appearing on the newer cruisers and pulled out of the market. (It would be interesting to see the C line reintroduced using the 1200 hexhead.)
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HouTexDavid

A picture of the "deceased" (the bike, not me!) lying in repose.

 

Looks like I hit the car at very near a 90 degree angle, judging from the lack of damage to the rest of the bike. Also, maybe I was able to slow down more than I gave myself credit for.

518034098_508f788173_o.jpg

 

Flickr

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HouTexDavid

As far as your accident experience.. If your front tire left black marks on the pavement during the braking event then ABS wouldn’t have helped you one bit.. If you braked for that car at anything less than front wheel squeal then maybe ABS might have given you the confidence to use more front brake..

Twisty

 

Twisty,

I returned to the scene of the crime yesterday -- no skid marks. Thus, my concern that I left some braking power on the table just before I hit the cager.

 

David

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Actually, at one point the C bikes were the the #1 selling BMW in the US.

First time I've ever heard that claim. I always thought it was the RTs until the hexheads came out, then it was the GSs. I'm a bit skeptical but would love to see the sales figures for C bikes. In any event, I think the market for these machines was saturated pretty quickly and later models stayed in showrooms for quite some time.

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elwoodpone

[quoteTwo riders - one James Whitham, former racer & one relative novice. The tests show that ABS brings the braking performance of the novice to a level very close to the racer. For the race rider the ABS made little difference. Tests in the dry, with the rider prepared to brake. Unless there's a Rossi in your name I'd go with ABS for those panic moments. thumbsup.gif

 

Exactly!

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John Bentall
Patti,

I took a look at the chromeheads site. Great looking bikes! I've seen a few of these around. I saw an pearlescent ivory colored "C" bike in LaJolla CA a few years ago and thought that it was one of the best looking motorcycles that I had ever seen.

 

So, assuming BMW quit making this model because it wasn't selling, why did the "C" bikes go extinct?

 

David

 

Have a look here to try to find an answer to your question.

 

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadtests/motorcycle_road_test_finder/

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