Well, Gunter, my big yellow R11150GS is gone.
(boring bike-geek post this one I’m afraid…) I handed him over to the lease company yesterday and picked up a loaner (as surprise surprise my new GS isn’t ready). I used to get really attached to my bikes, giving them names and lavishing tremendous amounts of man-hours and cash on their maintenance. Baby in particular lived with me from 10 October 1985 until I finally said good-bye to her in 1994, her engine broken and in boxes (minus some valve guides). When I picked her up from deepest Jersey one wonderful starry night and drove her back to Manhattan with just a whiff of chilled sea air creeping into my helmet. Before baby, I hadn’t ridden anything bigger than a Bultaco 350 Sherpa, so handling a half a tonne 80’s Japanese litre-bike (she was a KZ1000J2 for those who care…) was always going to be interesting.
With hindsight, I’m surprised I never crashed Baby. The early eighties big Zeds where just not up to handling the power of the engine. The Z1000 could be pushed over the 200bhp mark and many made it into the nines at the drag strip.
Anyway, I digress, what I wanted to say is that though the GS I’ve just collected is 99% identical to the old one I’ve just surrendered, it feels completely different. The suspension is completely different. The bike is taller by about 20mm with a more forward tilt and feels faster and more alert. The engine is miles torquier (this can’t be possible, but it sure feels like it) so much so that I accidentally wheelied the thing on Park Street.
As much as I hate BMW GB for their shit service and total lack of organisational skills, I am simply speechless about the performance improvements. The beast now feels a good as a 600 Ténnéré and just as light :-)