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  #1  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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Question Bmw Gs To Go Round The World : A Myth - Breaking Down ?

hello,
i posted this a few months ago on horizonsunlimited ... and can t see the thread any more

Before my trip, I chose the BMW R100GS PD (I did not have many bikes experiences before), I thought it was the ideal bike and I had on the trip a few problems with (mechanic and others).
The more I read here on Horizons Unlimited, the more I talk around with bikers/overlanders, I have this feeling that BMW GS efficiency / reliability / adaptability, etc … is a MYTH well entertained by BMW (marketing, etc … ) so bikers/overlanders got affected by whatever (?) and entertain it sometimes (?).
What s your opinion about it ? The debate can be enlarged of course. I m still wondering ...
Some ideas, arguments, nuances (every point almost here under has been discussed more or less on Horizons Unlimited, differently, this is a kind of summary, some other points can be added of course) :

1- there are many different BMW GS models : from the R80G/S to the R1200GS, F650 : there are some differences, especially maintenance.

2- which round the world tour are we talking about ? most of overlanders do it independent alone with no sponsor no mechanic crew behind them ? how many kms driven, which intensity, how long the trip takes etc … ? I don t know, let s say for example something like more than one year or/and more than 50 000 kms.

3- what s your ideal bike to ride ? a relax one, a more fun / aggressive one, reliable (are you ready to accept mechanic problems or do you want no problem ?), confortable, light, heavy, etc … NB : riding a KTM Adventure / R1200GS is not the same idea as riding a 125cc messenger bike.

4- the motorbike is a "tool" to travel around, so it s reasonable to know it well, how it works, how to maintain / fix / repair (that was not my case for example) : some people go round the world on tuk tuk, scooter, 50cc, KTM Adventure and R1200GS. To compare with photography : the camera is a "tool" for the photographer : you give the best camera to a bad photographer if he does not know how to use it, he won t take good photos and even spoil / break it.

5- When there s a mechanic problem, you sometimes need to find spare parts and "manpower / mechanician" : is it easier with Japanese bikes than BMW ??? From my experience in those far countries :
a) BMW dealers are really rare, most of them don t have spare parts and are not experienced, sorry for them !
b) yes, there are definitely more Japanese bikes but mainly 50-200 cc ones : so does it mean that you will fix easily your 500cc-1200cc Japanese bike (1-4 cylinders, 2-4 valves/cylinder) ? + Now thanx to internet, we can order anywhere.

6- Here on Horizons Unlimited, there are more "complaints" and problems on BMW GS than happy posts : maybe, people tend to post rather their problems than their happiness, maybe it s human nature also :-)

7- According to chris scott survey on : http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...stats-you-4972, the BMW GS is surprisingly not in top position.

Your contribution, ideas, thoughts, reactions are welcome

happy trails,
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Old 7 Sep 2006
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Vincent, you posted this thread here about a year ago or even more if i remember correctly. Lot of discussion was involved.
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  #3  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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The old post is here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...und-world-5034

A myth or not I have used BMW for serious travels and I will do it again...

BTW: Your link doesn't work.
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  #4  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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In the first 180kkm my BMW left me stranded once. The rotor had broken. After 150kkm the driveshaft failed but I still used the bike for some weeks after the vibration started.

Right now it is totally rebuild, engine is superb and the rest is pretty much HPN, without the gearbox which I never have opened.
I can't think of any other bike (maybe a XT?) wich can take so much beating and still start the second life after 180kkm, but if I find one I might buy it...
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  #5  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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Thumbs up

hello, Back in the early 90's Therese and I travelled on a 1978 R65 BMW from London to Australia.The bike was a basket case I picked up from another Aussie in London.It was put back together with a 2nd hand short motor as the big end was stuffed . I put on a set of Konis, new clutch and rechromed fork stantions.,a set of panniers and a Scottish lambs wool. with a carnet in hand we set off.It went well all the way home.26,000 k we did.the bikes only hicup was a rear main bearing in the gearbox went awol in Iran.( the only part I didn't look at) 2days and $25 US later I had rebuilt the gearbox with 5 new skf and timkin bearings in Isfahan .
The R80 GS that I've had for 21 years ,yes would have been a better chioce of bike, but it was at home . so the R65 And Bmw I think are very reliable.remember the R65 was a 400 UK pound bikeabout $600 Aussie at the time so you don't need to spend heaps .Oh ya I also drowned her in Pakistan ,a local paki and Alla had her going and back on the road within an hour.that another story
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  #6  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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Yes a mith, but depending on wich one.

In my opinion, the GS is just waaaay too big and way too heavy, you dont need all that power-torque and you dont need all that carrying capacity unless you are traveling two up. and the BIG drawbacks are it is thirsty and expensive.

I would go better for a 500 to 650, single cyl, carbed, air cooled jap. I would use a Jap bike because the machanics in the third world would manage to fix them and pretty much nobody has dealt with broken down beemers.

Among the few good things the GSs are unbeatable in, are: comfort, looks and riding two up.

personally I would understand if anyone preffers a KTM Adventure, 990 or 640 to a DR650 or an XT600 or a GS since the previous are a lot more performance focused and some riders demand. but again you pay big time for that.

The caponord, multistrada or varadero are luxury sport-utes, that will certainly let you down on the first offroad situation you face, plus there are more plastic on them than there is motorcycle.

and the V-strom is just a joke, is an street bike in disguise.

Canuki.
zuk- xf650. (look for it on the net, its the streetable version of the DR).

Oh, and by the way, I live in Colombia (SA) and I have traveled all around my beautifull continent.
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  #7  
Old 8 Sep 2006
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and the V-strom is just a joke, is an street bike in disguise
Really? So you've ridden one eh?

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 06:05.
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Old 8 Sep 2006
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Talking

Instructions previously supplied to Vincent, the initiator of this thread:

1. Locate hornets' nest
2. Locate big stick.
3. Retreat ten metres from hornets' nest.
4. Charge at hornets' nest with big stick.

That should do it.

Simon
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  #9  
Old 8 Sep 2006
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Hey Simon,
You'd be pissed off to if you paid $17,000 USD for a bike and had
it in the shop all the time!

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 06:05.
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  #10  
Old 8 Sep 2006
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Here we go again... at least i have some time to discuss it.

But before we do that i'd like to ask: do you ever consider looking outside your own box and at least stop bashing the bikes you never owned personally and only backing up "third-party" stories, myths and gossips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Remember, a 1150GS is 75 lbs. heavier than a Vstrom 1000. So there
big heavy bikes and then there are lighter big bikes
Well any boxer has lower centre of gravity than any other concept making it the same or even better maneuverable than the Strom exapmple, even if having more weight. Siting on a GS, shaking it on one side to another it feels much lighter than it acctually looks, the same is with handling. I.e. compare a 11xxGS with Capo Nord and you feel the v-twin Capo feels TOP heavy, altough the paper says it's not heavier.

PS: my ancient old R1100GS weights only 2 kilograms more (209kg) as the new V-Strom 1000 if i take ABS system off, catalythic converter, heated grips etc other bits to make it the same spec as V-Strom is. Add the benefit of low centre of gravity to that and add the shaft drive that weights more than a chain set.

The new R1200GS weights a huge 8kg less than a V-Strom btw, at the same time having all the gizmos installed aside the shaft drive, telelever etc.

Weight is a very relative form of word, i ment to say.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Oh, I forgot,
you think Vstroms are a joke! Are you new?
Well V-Stroms are a joke if i start backing up village gossips like some tend to do:

Too much fragile plastic for a real enduro, oil radiator placed the most worst place for serious offroad riding, high centre of gravity, alloy wheels, poor suspension, the clutch tends to blow etc

And do i have to listen all the stories saying any V-Strom is no real enduro, rather a street-bike, like nice plastic looking Honda HRV compared to a robust Landrover if you compare it with a robust GS?

That's what people and journalists say anyways. So it's true in the practice then, so it is a joke then eh?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Problem is, a lot of owners don't want to fiddle with a bike at all. Just
want to ride. BMW's LOOK GOOD, but don't live up to the LOOK!
They never really have.....
Hmm... I always thought the BMWs are among the ugliest looking bikes on the planet, but i bought one after considering Affy Twin, Strom and Capo that all looked a way better optically. So what's wrong with me not wanting the Honda HRV type of very nice looking and well painted plastic "city-Jeep" rather than a robust Landrover Defender?

The beauty is in the looker's eyes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Margus kind of represents the tough old guard of BMW owners. He's a
smart guy who knows how to ride and knows how to fix his bike and takes it
serious. Sadly, in the US at least, the face of BMW owners has really
changed. You still see some old guys like Margus, but the younger
guys aren't nearly as dedicated or mechanical. (I generalize here, but
lots of examples) Its really a new world. These guys can invent software
and do three things at once but can't change oil on a GS.

BMW guys love their bikes and help to perpetuate the mythology that
surrounds BMW. This has been around for years and dealers really push
this when making a sale. I've seen it many times (in person) They talk
about everyone from Danny Liska to Helge Pederson to Glenn Heggsted.
Now the marketing kicks in with videos showing pro riders going on GS's
like moto cross bikes. What crap. They could do the same on a Harley.
Nice philosopy there. But a bit off i'm afraid... Firstly, i don't represent anybody other than myself, I just don't see logic in listening some third-guy saying about things he never experienced with his own skin. (how many times do i have to repeat that anyways? Read my "equivalent" words about V-Strom above to understand it from your perspective)

Re: the marketing videos etc. Then the only way is to start filming for Suzuki factory yourself and be a salesman, and do it much better than the Helge Pedersen, LWR etc. Where's the problem and what's so crap about it? Or you think it's not a good idea to inspire people to do something like that? We live (mostly) in a democratic world, Honda, Suzuki etc are much bigger-richer companies than the small BMW Motorrad, so why haven't they done better ads? Let me guess..., no proper bike to put on the show or they're afraid that the bike brakes down on the trip? I think they have a sheet loads more money to spend on ads if they'd really want to promote their dual sport bikes. So maybe someone more marketing knowledged person can post his/her thoughts about it here.


I think why the G(/)S was/is so successful is because it's the father of big trailies. V-Stroms, Capo Nords, Afrca Twins, 950 Adventures etc are all copycats, they come and go while the name GS has been here for more than 25 years thanks to continous innovation while preserving traditions symbiosis. So it's kind of "the knowledge lives on" case, while for example the Africa Twin didn't do any evolutionary turnpoints and was finally discounted, the same with some others. Not much big trailies have been in production more than 10 years and there's not much point to produce the same old technologies for a long time, time moves on. It's been discussed here before that the paralevers, telelevers, ABS, etc etc the bmw first used puts them into different class and it is also the reason why they are more expensive than the regular bikes. And what the people are most afraid of? It's the unknowing! That's why you see lot of innovator-bmw bashers, they see it as ugly if it differs from the rest of the mass. And it's the same reason why there are so loyal users for such bikes that are proven for them and RTWs and most of all: they like to ride it.

At least i don't see myself buying any other bike if it doesn't have low centre of gravity boxer twin engine, paralever shaft drive and telelever front. Separate engine and gearbox oil, dry clutch. Is there such big trailie? That's the bike i'd prefer according to my speciefic needs. Each of us have their own individual needs-requirements on the specs. Some prefer Enfields, some XTs, some 50cc scooters, but please let's stop knocking on what others need or should buy etc. So the GS has becomed so bloody popular, so what? Let it be and ride the (other) bike you like!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Sadly the repair and warranty record reported in industry publication still
places BMW last among manufacturers in the US. They have most dealer
visits, and worst repair record and repeat repair. Margus will say this is
down to bad dealers, I disagree. The surveys are nationwide and
credible in the industry in the US.
And you think the reported warranty case numbers represent the acctual reliability in equal basis?

I wouldn't be so sure about it altough i don't know much about the new generation BMWs.

The reality is much different i'm afraid aside broken bulbs etc minor ironing out issues that the picky bmw users go back to service with: according to the World's largest survey on the bike's reliablity, for you as a surprise, puts the BMW into the first place of reliability on all makes: see here.

It's the only non-jap company ahead on all japanese. Food for thought. It's on par with the Honda in the reliability level. Or you can come here and supress all the 10,000 biker's opinions who contributed with the speciefic survey?

No one tries to say it's some magical reliablity machine, that doesn't exist, but it doesn't lose any ground to others as this survey proves. There exist no perpetuum mobile concept. Human error is on any bike you buy, whether it's japanese, italian, chinese, german or what ever, they all brake down sooner or later. And if your bike brakes down in the middle of nowhere, so what? See the Grant & Susan Johnson's "The Achievable Dream" DVD for the answer! I hope it opens the eyes for those people who think the only reason to buy bikes is the (mythical) realiability.

One thing always remains - the word "reliability" itself represents a myth! On any bike and that includes the GSes! And i think especially it's a myth for those people, who expect to have mobile perpentuum in their bikes while having no mechanical knowledge themselves.

Just learn to live with the bike you really love to ride, enjoy it as an important part of your adventure travels and stop bashing-complaining others you have no experience with. And if you don't like the bike - sell it and buy a better one!

"When the Flag Drops, the Bullshit Stops"

Margus

Last edited by Margus; 8 Sep 2006 at 20:03.
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  #11  
Old 8 Sep 2006
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Well any boxer has lower centre of gravity than any other concept making it the same or even better maneuverable than the Strom exapmple, even if having more weight. Siting on a GS, shaking it on one side to another it feels much lighter than it acctually looks, the same is with handling. I.e. compare a 11xxGS with Capo Nord and you feel the v-twin Capo feels TOP heavy, altough the paper says it's not heavier.

Are you sure about this, because my 1985 boxer twin has the centreline of the crankshaft above the wheel axles.. this was not true for my old triumph tiger cub, speed twin or trophy. It is also not true of current Enfields. having the majority of the crank below the axles makes a bike non top heavy, plus most of the bikes frame is above the engine.. It certainly feels top heavy...

have you much experience with these older bikes which to me are the 'norm', as i grew up with them and learned on them.
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Old 9 Sep 2006
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off topic a bit, but let's give it a go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw
Are you sure about this, because my 1985 boxer twin has the centreline of the crankshaft above the wheel axles.. this was not true for my old triumph tiger cub, speed twin or trophy. It is also not true of current Enfields. having the majority of the crank below the axles makes a bike non top heavy, plus most of the bikes frame is above the engine.. It certainly feels top heavy...
Quite sure about it.

The crank case bottom end is on the same level on all bikes anyway making the same ground clearance between the similar purpose bikes. I do agree the new oilhead's bmws cylinders height has been rised about 5 cm higher compared to old airheads due cornering angle reasons, especially for the R1100S and 1200S sports models and the width reduced for the same reason. But still the basics are the same - unlike the rest of concepts on boxers not much engine's main components, cylinder heads, carbs, air filters etc go all the way into the fueltank compared to the rest of bikes. The only bit going till the fuel tank is the alternator siting on the engine on the new oilheads. The rest of the mass is about the height of my knees standing aside the bike.

Also the fact that the boxer engine's weight is distributed longditudally left-right on the moving direction of the bike, meaning if the bike goes into lean, one cylinder goes up, the other goes down compensating it's mass. So it generates much better moving direction mass centralization, thus the centre of mass is not that much disturbed in the fast changing leans (all other engine concepts have the whole mass leaning on one or other side asymmetrically, with no compensation), it's the same trick those high wire artists use with the stick or with their stickly out hands not to disturb their overall mass centre to avoid the fall.


Personally I find it pity, that other makes haven't done big trailies or enduros based on the flat engine concept that has many pros compared to the rest of concepts.

For example Honda Goldwing boxer-4 and boxer-6 engine would make an excellent competitior for the GS if it's stripped down to basic lightweight robust air/oil-cooled flat twin for the (travel)enduro use. Honda already had shaft driven enduro back in the 80s the XLV 750, but like with the good old Africa Twin, Honda seems to like to discount those potential machines and not to develop them further.

The pros for the flat engines (boxers) are:
1) they can be made more compact, lightweight and simpler
2) no balancing shaft required unlike v-or inline engines that are "artificially" balanced with the separate balancing shafts (the reason why they can be made more compact, simpler and lightweight). The boxer, independent from the number of cylinders runs naturally smooth, each piston's vibration is elliminated from other piston running simultaneously on the other side, in the "mirror".
3) the lowest centre of gravity concept
4) better mass centralisation if the engine is mounted longitudally
5) the highest torque output concept, it's the concept where the pistons don't have to work against the gravity
6) all the shafts from crank to gearbox shafts run parallel making it mechanically more efficent and the opportunity to use a shaft drive naturally
7) easier to maintain, the maintenance components and procedures (valve checks, carb syncs, sparks, oil changes etc) considerably more easily accessible

The cons are:
1) mounting problems, it's wide and aerodynamically not that effective (certanly not good for fast over 200kph racing bikes that take very agressive racing leans), also the wheelbase can't be made very short for supermoto or street racing type of bikes
2) gyroscopic forces from the longitudal mounting applying in the perpendicular direction
3) noisier because no airbox, carbs, fuel tank etc bits don't cover the cylinder heads to reduce the valve noise compared to the rest of concepts

Also it's interesting to note the fact that the boxer engines are dominant in the aerospace combustion engines range. From small mini helicopters till the large airplanes. Aerospace has the most highest and strict requirements for security and reliability as we all know. So it quite says some things about the potential of boxers.

Margus

Last edited by Margus; 9 Sep 2006 at 11:51.
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Old 9 Sep 2006
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[QUOTE=Margus]Quite sure about it.

****The crank case bottom end is on the same level on all bikes anyway making the same ground clearance between the similar purpose bikes.**** I do agree the new oilhead's bmws cylinders height has been rised about 5 cm higher compared to old airheads due cornering angle reasons, especially for the R1100S and 1200S sports models and the width reduced for the same reason.

***This is not true, as old brit bikes had dry sumps, so the flywheel was running within 1/2" (1 cm) from the bottom of the sump. BMW's have a wet sump so the flywheels/crank is 3" (75mm) or more above the bottom of the sump.

Also the fact that the boxer engine's weight is distributed longditudally left-right on the moving direction of the bike, meaning if the bike goes into lean, one cylinder goes up, the other goes down compensating it's mass.

A single cylinder or twin will 'lean into' a corner which puts the weight where you want it.


The pros for the flat engines (boxers) are:
1) they can be made more compact, lightweight and simpler

So why are they more than 50 kilos heavier than any single or brit Twin ?

take a look at these pictures, run a straight edge from wheel axle to wheel axle. all of teh bmw's engine is above this, in fact the engine is so high the first silencer is fitted under it and it is this not the oil sump which is lowest point
http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/photos/spec...0adventure.jpg
http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/photos/specphotos/r1150r.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l2.../70Bonnie1.jpg
http://www.btinternet.com/~haywards....ra_Classic.jpg










2

Last edited by oldbmw; 9 Sep 2006 at 21:07.
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Old 9 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw
The pros for the flat engines (boxers) are:
1) they can be made more compact, lightweight and simpler

So why are they more than 50 kilos heavier than any single or brit Twin ?
You can't compare it with the singles. Or you know any 1000 to 1150cc single? The biggest production single ever made should be 800cc Suzuki DR Big monster and it weights (it's 227kg wet) about 11kg less than the same year R1100GS equivalent oilhead (with the shaft and telelever, wet) multi cylinder.

The older ones are a bit heavier than the competiors with the same displacement (i.e. Buell Ulysses). But i guess it's because of the shaft and telelever features. Also the patented (probably too-) strong Behr cross-spoked wheels are heavy kit.

But as the HP2 has proven, the same 1200cc engine can make a 175kg weighting bike if there's no telelever and zillion other "extras" and if it's leaved basic as most other bikes are.

Indeed the new 1200 boxers are very much into weight competition with all other similar spec twins, and those are "weighty-techy" bmws at the same time remember?

Anyways, if a something like Yamaha was to build a boxer twin then i guess it'd mean another easy 10kg off from the german iron engine but currently there's no competition in the boxers field unfortunately. So for sure the farting bmw hasn't optimized the engine's physical specs to the "cutting edge" the flat concept would allow in the practice. It's the motorcycling, not the aviation for them.

Cheers, Margus

Last edited by Margus; 9 Sep 2006 at 21:46.
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Old 9 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw
take a look at these pictures, run a straight edge from wheel axle to wheel axle. all of teh bmw's engine is above this, in fact the engine is so high the first silencer is fitted under it and it is this not the oil sump which is lowest point
http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/photos/spec...0adventure.jpg
http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/photos/specphotos/r1150r.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l2.../70Bonnie1.jpg
http://www.btinternet.com/~haywards....ra_Classic.jpg
Sorry, just noticed you've added the pics to the post. So did a new reply. Altough this this might deserve a new topic - could make an interesting study!

To the thing now:

The 1150 GS Adventure is not a good comparision here, it has much higher ground clearance and all lifted higher coz it's a different purpose bike compared to the rest.

Well look at those pics, especially the R1150R wich is the same purpose bike.

Aside the boxer has a wet sump, look the engine as a whole part, the cylinders upper corner ends the dominant weight height of this speciefic bmw oilhead engine (the only thing siting above this is the alternator). And this limit is about exacly few inches below the alloy wheel's upper edge while on the others cylinder head, carb and valve assembly goes a way above this, all the way into the fuel tank level, far above the tyre. Also the Roadster picture is probably made in the studio on the centrestand and later removed graphically.

But again, it doesn't show much to compare a bike made in the year 2000 with a bike made in the year 1980, and also ground clearances are unknown on these bikes. A way too different bikes in the weight and performance.

Thus...

I did a simple draw to compare the weight distribution on the vertical direction between the two different engine concept but very similar purpose bikes photographed in the same conditions, i compared two famous competing naked bikes official studio pictures, the Honda CB 900 F and R 1150 R that makes a fair comparision from our perspective:



As sayed before, by looking from the side down-to-up the dominant amount of weight ends about on the cylinder's upper edge on the boxer seen here. Now take a look on the CB's upper engine weight ending line marked blue on the both bikes. Red line is a connecting line of the wheel centres.

It explains a lot to me. Also you can easily imagine the Honda being made into V-2 or V-4, just imagine the other cylinder in the mirror with the current one - nothing much will change in the weight distribution if the cylinder angle stays fixed (it'd make about 75 degree V engine in this case i guess).

Also take a look where the Honda Goldwing's most of engine's mass and CoG sits, it's pretty similar to the GS:
http://www.tholt.com/images/wing3.jpg
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/goldwing.jpg
http://www.micapeak.com/bmw/gs/images/gs11bloff.jpg

Look at these pics and try to fit inline- or v-engine there.
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round world trip by bike start u.k. - tried routes samon Route Planning 1 16 Jul 2000 19:04

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




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