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After many years of riding singles (mainly KTM LC4s) I'm starting to tire of the discomfort on long journeys on sealed roads. One option I'm considering is to change to a twin-cylinder machine. I use my bike for commuting, trail riding, long distance trials, short rallies and overlanding. I've investigated the KTM 950 Adventure but it just seems too big, for me at least, for all the activities above (I recognise that most do-it-all machines will be a compromise). I only want to own one machine as I like to take care of my bike and don't have the time to look after a garage full.
So, along comes the BMW HP2. Despite the price, this looks a suitable candidate - not too heavy but comfortable on the highway. I guess someone will sell a larger fuel tank for them, and as I travel very light I wouldn't care if they didn't sell a baggage system.
But I'm put off by the complexity of the fuel injection system. I've done some research on how these work - they don't seem too complex, but still have the following questions:
1) Has the BMW FI system been known to fail much?
2) Is it feasible, cost and size wise, to carry all the sensors involved in the FI system or possibly a complete system as spares?
3) Is it possible to diagnose faults with the system whilst 'on-the-road'? For example I understand that there's some data bus involved - is some sort of handheld plug-in analyser, or, say software for a PDA available?
One other question. Are factory workshop manuals and spares catalogues available for BMWs?
Thie is a pretty new bike, but very similar to the R1200GS. Look at some of the posts below regarding that bike.
Don't count on a big tank anytime soon. This will be a relatively low volume model until BMW decides there is enough interest to produce more of them. Aftermarket manufacturers need to see the potential for volume sales before designing and producing a tank. Yes, someone may make hand built tanks or some sort of add on container no doubt, but these will be expensive until the volume goes up enough for mass production.
I haven't heard of any specific issues with the R1200GS fuel injection. Lots of bikes have fuel injection, not just BMW's. BMW has taken some critizism for poorly calibrated fuel injection systems in the past (surging - mainly with the F650GS) but seems to have sorted it out. Remember when electronic ignition systems became common? Everyone was worried that they were not 'field repairable'. The reality is they rarely break at all...
Don't think it is practical or necessary to carry all the sensors - not the part of the bike I would worry about. The ability to properly diagnose and repair in the field is low.
Yes, manuals should be availible for this bike, as for other models.
I do find your basic presumption interesting; if anything the HP2 it BMW's attempt to porvide a bike more like the KTM's (they even took the counter balance shaft out of the engine!).
Presonally, if this was going to be my only bike I would wait for some rider impressions before buying. The KTM950 has at least been on the road for a while, and had some of the issues worked out or recognized.
It is an exiting model and showes a commitment to this catagory from BMW. My hope is that they make a more practical model for overlanders (big tank, luggage system) and bring the price down/ volume up.
Or you can buy an old airhead,and with the money you save build the perfect bike for you. All the problems have been worked-out already by others on this board and beyond, and a good rider can go anywhere a KLR can (right Grant )Plus, you have a bike with some real character!
BTW...i'd be more worried about the bevel drive than the fuel injection. I can't think of a single diagnosed FI problem on this board, but final-drive...
I'd have to agree with you on that one. If I had $20,000 I'd be sending the old beast off to HPN for a little 'refurbishment'. You might not get 100HP, but you would have a large tank, large suspension, and big character!
I was planning to wait a while before parting with the hard-earned, and at least until a larger tank is available, and to get a decent test ride and some impressions from owners.
There is a degree of techno-phobia in my questions, in fact before my last trip I got so angry with myself for worrying that I didn't take my spare ignition box. Although I'll take it next time.
I've considered the option of buying an R80G/S and basically re-building it to my requirements. The problem is finding a good one - in the UK at least. These bikes are around 20 years old now but having said that it looks like they'll last another 20 years. I've seen a few on the BMWMCC site.
As you can probably guess I'm actually after an off-road oriented bike - more suited to my requirements, including my trips for which most of the reason for going is to ride some dirt roads. But I also want a comfortable journey to the dirt roads.
The KTM 950 Super Enduro is another contender - but is it going to be produced?
Don't rule out the R100GS - built up until '95. If I was going to do an HPN style rally rebuild, I'd probably start with on of these. HPN does several rear swing arm conversions: one is a more modern Aluminium R1100 style piece, and the other is a lengthened G/S style monolever. Both fit on the R100GS.
There are many more R100GS's around, and I still think you could find one that has lots of life left.
This would be a good route for someone who has the expertise to repair the technology on these bikes - if you like tinkering with valves and carbs, then you can keep these machines running for many, many miles. HPN and other shops have fixes for the known issues (frame breakage, rear drive failure) and can get a reliable 70 HP out of the engines.
Originally posted by Ian:
The KTM 950 Super Enduro is another contender - but is it going to be produced?
Currently it's based on 950 SuperMotard concept and KTM hadn't any time to develop it. Underdeveloping results are visible too - they got beaten from HP2s and many single cylinders too badly on intruduction race at Erzberg, though 950SE won 2-cyl special race but only via pure luck due one HP2 fell on first track one had tech issue before finish. But next two races in real racing conditions along with few hundred single cylinder racer - 950 Super Endors were technically slower than HP2s. They certanly need time to develop it. Though, it's easy to estimate 950 will be considerably cheaper machine, HP2 has more price, more power (115Nm@5500rpm) and considerably more character (offroader equipped with boxer engine afterall).
I've enthusiastically monitored the HP2 racing scene and it seems to be mostly ironed out by now - last races have been very successful and mostly no technical issues as there were on first races and development.
HP2 is made to be the "ultimate" wepon for those who prefer having decent power per weight to put offroad or onroad both and has long racing experiences to handle it to it's performance, it's very dangerous offroad machine for "newbys" to drive. Sure HPN loses some ground in performance theme which HP2 is aiming thus HPN and BMWs HP2 don't compete, fully different machines for different purpose, sure the HP2 is more racing-performance oriented while tuned airhead HPNs is more touring and long distance. Fully depends what you really need.
Good luck what ever you go with, Margus
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 15 June 2005).]
HPN produces racing machines and is also involved in the hp2 racing. It is only becuase of the reliabelaty and qaulity of there product that it became so popular with touring riders.
They are probably the most versatile bikes. You can have the bike set up to fit either the 19 l tank as well as a 43 l tank, changing the look and handeling feel in almost seconds.
And to say the least, you will have your hands full if you put 72hp through the standard 37/11 teeth final drive of the R80G/S.
The maximum speed with a longer fith gear is only about 180 km/h but that speed on any piece of dirt is crazy.
[This message has been edited by gsworkshop (edited 01 September 2005).]
Um a 1984 XT600 is about twice as good as an airhead GS off road, you dont beat your shins to death either, I imagine a KTM640 is better than an XT. On road both the 950 and 12GS are so much better than an airhead its a worthless comparison. cant comment on their off road performance, but my guess is no contest again. I even took an HPN round the block recently and unless i was after some vintage off road cred I would definitely take a 950KTM over all of them. A smooth single would be an option as well, F650 GS or XT660 Tenere, off road these would probably be more comfortable given the lighter weight.
>1) Has the BMW FI system been known to fail much?
No. Filters clog. Pumps fail. Hall effect sensors fail. TPS fail. Well everything fails. But either rare or in 10 years, depends on the component.
>2) Is it feasible, cost and size wise, to carry all the sensors involved in the FI system or possibly a complete system as spares?
No. And yes. You should carry a fuel filter or two. Hall effect sensors are small and cheap (not from bmw). The brains are reliable and expensive as there is no other source other than bmw. The sensors suffer heat and vibration being attached to the motor so they are less reliable. Most sensors are avalible from ohter sources - except the TPS.
> 3) Is it possible to diagnose faults with the system whilst 'on-the-road'?
Don't know about the 12 system. On the older systems yes.
> For example I understand that there's some data bus involved
The CAN BUSS. There is a lot of info on the CAN BUSS on the web. There are some tools out for looking at what is going on, but none of them are specific to the bike. At the moment not much info avaliable on the bikes system. You do know trhat the CAN BUSS does all teh electrics? Stop light, headlight, horn etc. You may be better off with an older model where people have done the work for you?
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