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Dewi Sant

Veteran
Location
Lancashire, England
Real Name
Guess?
I like that, John. I've just taken the bib screen off the BMW, 'tis now a nekid bike and looks very mean 'n moody.

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KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle

John, the CB1100 is my current "if I could snap my fingers and make it appear" bike. I need (want, really, if I'm being honest, there's no Need about it) to sell the old FZ6, and I want either this or a bonnie. I've sat one of these on a showroom floor, and watched every youtube video of them. I get the low power-to-cc thing, and I don't find it a problem. Seems like a great bike to ride forever and rarely have to work on, and all with classic looks I desperately wish I had, as opposed to the fizzer's anime alien bug face.

How's it been? How long have you been on one? Could you maybe mail it here please thanks.
 
On Friday I took a run over to Silverstone to photograph the practice sessions for the British round of the Moto GP. Silverstone was it's usual bleak, cold place dispite the bright sunshine, it's always cold there no matter when you choose to go. Struggling with an ailing camera, the light meter of which is now a very hit and miss affair, I managed some shots but the day hammered home just how much in need I am of a new Canon body.

Lots of expense going on at the moment with revamping my garage and insulating it all aganst the coming winter cold - "winter is coming" - and a new / old car is arriving soon - imported from Japan in June but been at a restorer's place since. As soon as all that's sorted I will most definitely be on the hunt for another camera body, which will be either a Canon 7D or 70D or if I can stretch to it a used full frame 1D. Anyway - Friday's photos .......... Hope you like.

Andrea Dovizioso on the Works Ducati.

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One of the racing Espargaro brothers (both race in MotoGP) - this is Pol

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Valentino (Vale' say "Vallay" ) Rossi leaning the Yamaha M1 into his namesake corner at Vale.

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Team mate of Mac Marquez, Dani Pedrosa on the Works Repsol Honda

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Loris Baz - up close and personal

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One of the Moto 2 riders

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Valentino Rossi at the end of the final session

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Pol Espargaro's team mate,British rider, Bradly Smith at Beckets on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha

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Jorge Lorenzo - he's a contender to win the championship this year, he's hungry for it and riding like a demon

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Vale "on it" through Stow

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Dovizioso at Stow

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Bradley Smith waves to his Brit fans at the end of the final session - nice lad is Bradley.

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And a couple after playing about in Silver Efex - I love that thing :)

Alvaro Bautista

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Marc Marquez leads a gaggle through Beckets

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Well done, looks worthy of piblication.
 
John, the CB1100 is my current "if I could snap my fingers and make it appear" bike. I need (want, really, if I'm being honest, there's no Need about it) to sell the old FZ6, and I want either this or a bonnie. I've sat one of these on a showroom floor, and watched every youtube video of them. I get the low power-to-cc thing, and I don't find it a problem. Seems like a great bike to ride forever and rarely have to work on, and all with classic looks I desperately wish I had, as opposed to the fizzer's anime alien bug face.

How's it been? How long have you been on one? Could you maybe mail it here please thanks.

I've been lucky enough to ride many of the new retro bikes - BMW RNineT, Indian Scout, Moto Guzzi Griso, Royal Enfield Continental GT, and now the CB1100. It's a very capable bike. I managed 350+ miles on the highway one day and exploring 220+ miles of backroads a couple of days later. It's refined in the typical Honda fashion, which some would say sands away some of the character. But I think the CB1100 has character...if you ride it like you stole it. It's geared quite high - 65mph in 6th gear is less than 3,000 RPM IIRC - so a quick pass requires two downshifts to 4th to execute. So in that sense it doesn't feel like an 1100cc bike. But if you keep the revs up above 5k on the backroads and use your right wrist to accelerate out of a turn and decelerate into the next...now you're cooking with gas, literally.

Brakes are good too, twin disks up front and one in the rear. Good feel and power-I avoided kissing the ass of a Moose up in Maine thanks to the CB1100 stoppers. The rear will lock up, so if you're not tuned to that, look at the DLX version which comes in a nice red and includes and extra 1/2 gallon in the tank, which is nice for touring.

It is a bit quiet though. A little more bark would be nice, if that's your thing.

I think it would be a good step up from your FZ6. A Bonnie might actually be a step back in terms of power. But do yourself a favor and test ride a BMW R NineT before you purchase. It's a sweet ride too, more sporting all around.

And if you can swing your leg over a Moto Guzzi Griso 8V, do that too. Personally, that's my choice among all the aforementioned steeds. Something about Italian V-twins and me...
 

Dewi Sant

Veteran
Location
Lancashire, England
Real Name
Guess?
Isn't that beemer like, way overpriced (said everyone who ever considered a new BMW)?

If you count everything in terms of hard cash then yes I guess it is, but a BMW will depreciate far less over the years than most other bikes. At 6 years old I could still buy a decent car for what it's worth in the UK. But, that's not the point. Where biking is concerned I never count things in £s ...... or $s to you Americans, I prefer to see it in terms of perceived personal value, and this is probably the best bike I've ever owned in almost 50 years of biking - and there have been many many bikes.

At just 5ft 6in tall and very short legs I've always struggled with most big bikes over the years but my R1220R is a factory lowered one and fits me like a glove - BMW being one of the only manufacturers to recognise that riders come in all shapes and sizes. At 4 years now this is the longest I've ever kept a bike, I usually get bored with them and move on, but this thing is - to use an expression I loathe - "awesome". I simply love riding it. Alas my riding days are almost at an end due to health issues and simply getting older, but I can think of no better bike to bow out with. Even when I hang up my biking boots I may just keep it and go out to my garage periodically and fire it up - the sound from that Akropovic exhaust is addictive, and worth much more than money in the bank.

Real biking is about passion, not money.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Lexington, VA
Real Name
Steve
Height is also a big issue for HD. They have big sales to women and they have all sorts of ways to lower a bike. It hurts performance but those wiht 28 inch inseams have few options.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle
I fully understand your BMW points, Dewi, and I don't disagree. Once upon a time, when I was flush with a "new job" bonus, I spent almost a year researching new bikes. I had a kawi vulcan 500, which was never really my kind of bike, but it was cheap / reliable / comfortable. Eventually there were three bikes that spoke to me...

Yamaha FZ6
BMW F800 ST (brand new model that year)
Triumph Bonnie / Thruxton

I went to the dealer to test ride the thruxton, and was thrilled. Positively thrilled. I stopped at one point, got off, walked 30 feet away, and just LOOKED at it. I slowed it way down to ride through a tiny town in the southern Wisconsin farm fields, looked down at the speedo, and was in open disbelief... "I can't still be going THAT fast." I loved the handling. I loved the sound, and the lumpy thrum of the parallel twin. I went back two more times for test rides. It was about $7,000.

Near by, a dealer was selling a used FZ6. It was my first time throwing a leg over an inline 4, unless you count dropping a friend's Katana in the parking lot behind work in high school. I got on a straight back road, and decided to "give it hell." And when I thought I had wrung its neck properly, I looked down at the tach, and saw that I was at all of a "screaming" 6k, when it didn't redline til 14k. My mind was blown. And it had hard bags, which disappeared once you were seated and facing forward, but offered so much utility. It was SO light and flicky, but easy to control. It cornered like it was reading my thoughts. New ones were $6,600 out the door.

I drove 2 hours to the nearest BMW dealership. There on the floor, in a well-lit place of prominence, was the brand-spanking-new model F800ST, festooned with tons of factory options. It was that stunning metallic blue color. It looked a bit big, but manageable. I asked about test rides, and got a disapproving frown and more or less a "buzz off, kid" from the sales rep. And then I looked at the price tag. It was just a tick over $14,000.

In the years that followed, which is now 8 and counting, I've never stopped staring at thruxtons and F800's. I think I dodged a quality bullet with the first-year beemer, actually, given what I keep hearing about their electrical and ABS gremlins. But I think it's probably the best form factor, period, for what I do most. Double the price, lower horsepower, lower reliability, vastly more expensive services and parts. There is -NO- way I could've forked over double the price for that BMW instead of the FZ6, which has been so faithfully reliable and capable that it's almost unbelievable. It lacks soul, and I've almost sold it five times because of that. But I've got a 6 year old kid, very little time to ride anymore, and even less money than time. So stupid, boring, cold logic has inserted itself into what I AGREE is a very passionate, emotional relationship. My bike gets used more like a family car than most peoples'.
 

Dewi Sant

Veteran
Location
Lancashire, England
Real Name
Guess?
I think you may have had a lucky escape with the F800ST KR. I bought one a few years back to replace my Harley. I only ever bought the Dyna Glide to see what they're like and wasn't that impressed to be honest, it was fun for what it was and I enjoyed tinkering and customising it but I grew bored with it after a while, it was ponderous and handled terrible after the diet of Japanese & BMWs I'd had in the previous years.

I bought the ST because after the Harley I wanted something nimble and light, and it did fit the bill in that respect. It always felt like something was going to break on it though, for a BMW it felt flimsy and poorly made, the front forks were dreadful and the parallel twin engine ran out of steam quite quickly. I never had any issues with reliability but there were plenty of tales of woe on the BMW forums at the time, rear wheel bearings being one of the major failures and of course the ABS problems. It was my 3rd BMW, I'd had an R1100R and an R1100S a few years before and enjoyed them.

It was when a friend asked us if we wanted to head off on a European bike tour with him and his wife, that was the defining time in my owenrship of the bike. My wife was keen to go but on the few occasions she'd been on the F800 it really didn't feel up to the job of carrying a pilion. Factor in the luggage and it would have meant for a very unpleasant 3000 mile tour, so the decision was made to get rid after just 6 months ownership. The R1200R came up for sale in a BMW dealership about 100 miles away from here, but when I saw it was the factory lowered version I went straight over and took it for a test ride - no problems with that here in the UK at BMW dealers in my experience. I knew as soon as I sat on it that it was the bike for me so I bought it, that was 4 years ago and I still love it.

As it happened we never did get to do our European bike tour in 2012 as I had a heart attack a few months beforehand and I was stopped from riding for a while. Sadly I've never done another long bike tour since, but I still do long roadtrips - mostly in a Miata of some kind which are another of my passions. I've just imported a 1994 RS (rare) from Japan.

Some pics of the F800ST here: http://www.dewisant-photography.net/y_ogb_BMW_ST800.htm
 

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