24 Mar 2012

First service

I am at BMW Battersea getting my first service done—they certainly like to push their coffee! Hopefully the free perks are not a reflection on the upcoming bill. To date I’ve had very good service at Park Lane/Battersea—friendly and professional.

I can't wait until the bike’s engine is fully broken in so I can start to really ride it—so far I’ve been fairly gentle with it.

Some thoughts:

  • It’s deceptively quick—compared to a high strung 4 cylinder motobike, acceleration feels lazy, until you look down at the speedometer
  • It’s very smooth—very good on London’s Beirut-style roads and particularly over crossing humps
  • It took time to get used to—sitting much higher than I’m used to, it felt awkward for the first while until I started to trust that it wasn’t going to go over
  • It is very efficient—nearly double the mileage out of the same size tank as my old bike
  • Putting it on the centre stand requires a knack—the crash bars help for pulling, but need to mind the knee against the hot exhaust can
  • Cars get out of the way—it’s a blend of big but non-threatening and car drivers generally will let you through (helps that they use these as police bikes in some areas)
  • The brakes squeak—not bothered, every German car and motorbike I’ve ever come across has squeaky brakes, but they still work well
  • Stalling the motor at low speed and at full lock is not a good idea—nearly put it down at a traffic light on the second day and wrenched my ankle preventing this from happening, stupid me
  • Pirelli Scorpion tyres—yeah… they do the job but I had really hoped for Michelin Anakee 2 tyres which rate much higher for grip in reviews, particularly in the wet
  • ABS system—see above about tyres, even in the dry the back is very quick to lock but the ABS is effective on the road
  • Wrist strain—after riding for 5–10 minute, my wrists start getting tired as the angle is not quite right for me on the handlebars… will have this adjusted at the service
Comments? Questions? Let me know.

Update 1: The service cost about £160, certainly not cheap but about the same as Honda. I also had the technician rotate the handlebars about 5° back—the angle is perfect for me now, no strain at all after 30 minutes of riding. Slightly lower and closer than stock.

Update 2: I forgot to mention 2 minor items. First was a crushed pannier lock dust cover which was noted on delivery. Second was the topcase retaining cable which was not crimped properly and came apart the second time I opened the case. Both were made right under warranty at no cost.