So, after just over 4 months the 800ST and me have parted company. There was nothing wrong with the bike, in fact I loved riding it but if I was to be honest I did miss the torque of a big engine. I'd have been very happy though to keep the ST for a lot longer as it was a great little day out bike & very comfortable. It was only when Wesley asked Wee Jim and me if we'd like to do another Euro bike tour in 2012 with him and Morticia that the decision was made to get a more substantial bike for the trip. Carrying a full set of luggage and a pillion would overwhelm the little ST over a tour of that size. As nice as it is, the ST always felt a bit flimsy - as though something was waiting to break on it. At first the plan was to keep it and buy another bike for the trip and sell it when we got back - which would have probably been another VFR800. Then the decision was made for me, whilst mooching through the dealer websites to see what was out there, I stumbled upon the R1200R at Rainbow Motorcycles in Rotherham. The thing that interested me most about this one is that it's the factory lowered chassis version, so seat height isn't an issue for me as on a lot of other bikes. Not many of these were made so I grabbed it while it was going.
I went over to see the bike & take it for a test ride and was immediately taken with it, it just felt right. Low mileage and being sold by the most highly regarded BMW Motorrad dealer in the country, who did me a really good deal on the ST, kinda swung it. So 4 days later I was riding it home over the Woodhead Pass and enjoying every minute of the beautiful wave of torque these bike produce plus the excellent paralever suspension. I had a BMW R1100R about 9 years ago which I loved. It's one of the only bikes I've owned that I truly regret selling.
Of course, I can't leave anything alone for long and this is no exception, first thing to go on was a hugger - I like me huggers! This was followed by painting out the clear screen in black.......
I bought this from Motorworks (BMW parts suppliers) for under half price as it was shop soil damaged. A couple of bits needed sorting and there
was a big chip missing from the rear edge which I was going to repair and paint. However, the hugger is coloured in the gel coat so it was a shame to paint
it when it had such a good finish. In the end I decided to re-shape it on the bandsaw to look more pointy - as shown, which got rid of the chip nicely.
Having never been a great lover of clear screens, I was going to buy another but I like the shape of the genuine BMW item so just painted it to match the bike.
There's an 'ole in me axle
Being an incurable insomniac has it's advantages sometimes! Before heading off for my usual struggle to find sleep in the "Wee small hours" one night last week, I decided to have a quick mooch around E.Bay beforehand. Getting to the Bike Farkles bit after logging in I noticed that someone had listed an Akrapovic Titanium Exhaust for sale, on a buy it now for silly cheap money. These cost over £700 new from BMW dealerships, one UK indie will knock you one out at the bargain price of £658 but that's still a lot of dosh. The previous week one had sold by auction for an ST800 - it went for over £450. This one, at just 10 months old and having evidently done no miles to speak of, was up at just over half that! No brainer really - It had to be bought and I was well pleased. I was even more pleased when it arrived here a few days later, it looks like new and the guy had even sent it in it's original packaging plus the Akropovic legal use certificate. On the bike & with the baffles fitted it looks superb and sounds very understated, with a nice little burble at tickover, it doesn't get loud until the revs start to rise. Even with the baffles removed the noise isn't objectionable, just a lot nicer than the original item. One big plus is the low speed throttle response, with the original end can it tends to be a bit "on - off" in traffic jams etc. This is now smoothed out to a much more acceptable level with no notable changes in power delivery. I like it a lot but I like a bargain even more!
Nice little a
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