January 31 2009, 31,000km

Because my Yamaha XJ900F commuter bike started to develop problems like a leaking exhaust and ditto fueltank, I decided to replace it with a newer bike. The prerequisites were still the same: reliable, fuel economic, shaft driven, comfortable. I could have bought the new version of the XJ900F, the XJ900S Diversion, but I thought it would be nice to have a complete different bike for a change. So I searched the Net and found the BMW R850R: not bad looking and with nice new technologies like the front suspension, advanced rear suspension and ABS. The bike I found had as extras a windscreen, heated grips, clock, rev counter and a luggage rack. Because I had nothing to trade in I got a set of hard cases too.
A testride convinced me that this could be a very nice bike to ride with: stable, flickable and comfortable. The frontbrakes felt a little weak. The shopowner told me he would change the brake fluid and brake pads in order to cure this.
In about a week or so I can pick it up.

February 3 2009, 57,000km
Well, things can change quickly. The above mentioned R850R hadn't been built in 1999, but probably in 1996, noticable by the gauges. The early models had some issues with gearbox and clutch, so I wanted a more recent version. So I called the shop and cancelled the order.

Because I had already some alternatives lined up I didn't have to look far for another and went today to the shop of Arjan Brouwer in Putten. He had two R850R's. One black with a lot of kilometers on the odo and a white one from 2005 that has done a reasonable amount of kilometers: 57,000. I bought the latter because of this and because it had about all the options available: heated grips, abs, brake assist, windscreen, hand protectors, hard cases, drop protectors (dunno the English word ;) ) . I thought the white one looked a lot like a police bike, and guess what, it is :) It has been used for training and hasn't seen active duty, or so I was told. I made a testdrive while it was snowing, so I couldn't really try the bike, but it all felt okay. Later this week I can pick it up.

February 6 2009, 57,468km

Made the first decent testrun this evening. First impression when I saw the bike next to the Pan: It's Big! Next impressions: where are the passenger footrests, and what is this hole in the right hard case doing? What was most annoying was the red warning light that was still burning on the dash. When I was at the shop this week I noticed it too and they told me they would fix it. Which they didn't... Gonna call them tomorrow.
But how does it run? In short: I kinda like it. The engine is quite torquey and doesn't vibrate too much. Gear change is light and precise. Throttle response is very nice. Brakes are very good. Seating position is good, although the foodpegs seem to be placed a bit high. Windscreen does its work good. Indicator light switches... Well, don't get me started... Who for peat's sake has designed this, and who has found this a good idea to put on a bike? Three (3!) buttons to use the indicator lights?! Insane. I believe it has taken BMW more than 10 years to see this was a complete design/ergonomic fuck up. Breathe in... Breathe out... Relax...
Topspeed seems to be about 180kmh. That'll be enough. Front suspension feels a bit soft. Dunno if there are possibilities to stiffen it. I'll have a look at it tomorrow. I've seen finger licking replacement shocks from Ohlins :) Can't say anything about the rear suspension. Seems to be good, but I'll have to test that further. Steering was very light and precise, very nice.
I'm curious about the fuel consumption. I'm gonna find out soon enough I guess.
So the first impressions are very positive. I hope to keep this bike for several years to come.

February 7 2009, 57,468km
Sprayed the bike with ACF50. Hopefully this will protect the metal against salt and corrosion.
Still don't know the purpose of the warning light. A BMW dealer nearby thought it had something to do with the lighting. But according to me everything is ok in that department. The shop I bought it from asked me to stop by so they can have a look at it. Since they're not really nearby and seen the lousy weather this may take a while.

February 11 2009, 57,508km

Took the Beemer to work, the job I bought it for in first instance. The good points mentioned above still hold, but there are a few things I'd like to improve. First there's the suspension. 'Him again', I hear you saying. Yep, I like my suspension harsh, and the 850's isn't. I think the stock suspension can't be adjusted further, so I've got to think of alternatives.

Secondly, the windscreen could be a bit higher/wider. Especially in the lousy weather we now have.
Thirdly, I think my Beemer has this typical BMW Boxer problem too: 'konstant fahr ruckeln'. At a certain speed/rpm the bike will run faster/slower at (un)certain intervals. It's a bit tricky when balancing between two expensive cars, but no big problem (up until now).
Fourthly, the hard cases are rather small. Especially the left one whose depth has been severely limited by the exhaust.

Speaking about the exhaust. The bike feels as if it is breathing through a straw. Seems to me the exhaust, and especially the 3-way catalytic converter, is extremely limiting the free breathing of the engine. I would very much like to run the bike once without this gag. If I can obtain another exhaust that doesn't run as high as the stock one I could buy a bigger hard case too. Killing two birds with one stone.

For the rest everything is a-ok.

Oh, except for that light. See the pic above. If anyone knows the function of the red light at the arrow and how to stop it burning, please let me know. Rumour has it it's for checking the brake light, but this is functioning normally.

February 14 2009, 57,508km

Look what I found on the Net: pics of how my 850 must have looked like in its previous life.

February 16 2009, 57,668km
According to the fuel light I had to refuel, and this after only 200km. Happily(?) the light went on far too soon: I could add only 11.5 liters. This means an average of one liter on every 17.4 kilometer. Not bad. Not as good as the XJ, but still a tank load of almost 21 liter should be able to take me about 340km far.
These kilometers have been ridden mostly while lanesplitting and thus at low speeds. I guess the beemer will use more gas when ridden harder.

February 19 2009, 57,910km

Refueled for the second time. This time the Beemer used 1 liter on every 17 kilometer. A little bit more than the last time.

Found a test of the R850R on the Net:
The 850 doesn't perform well in this test. I think the testers could be quite right with the drawbacks they mentioned, but it depends on how you want to use the Beemer. For experiencing motorcycling at its best it might be a bit dull and underpowered, but for commuting it is a very good bike.
BTW I know now how the special braking system is called: evo(lution) brakes.
You'll find the following text on this site.
The final attribute to BMW's brake technology is "EVO," which is most easily understood as power-assisted brakes. EVO provides its assist only while the ignition is in the ON position, and just like power brakes in a car, it provides much more stopping power with less brake lever or brake pedal effort.
Current motorcycles already have awesome brakes enabling a front wheel lockup or a stoppie with just two fingers of braking force applied to the right lever, so one may ask why bother boosting the braking power at all? The real benefit, as claimed by the manufacturer, is in the EVO braking computer, which senses the rapid application of brakes, thereby detects an emergency braking condition and it can take appropriate action.
When the EVO computer senses this condition, BMW says that the brakes are pumped up to full pressure about 1/10 of a second quicker than any human can accomplish the same feat. This translates into a stopping distance from 60 mph to zero that is almost 9 feet shorter with EVO assistance than without. Though 9 feet over a stopping distance of over 100 feet may not appear meaningful, it may make the difference between connecting with an obstacle or not. Or connecting at a lower speed, thereby reducing or eliminating personal injuries.
Early releases of EVO brakes were criticized for being "grabby", or providing much more stopping power than you would expect with little control effort. Current BMW EVO-equipped bikes have been updated to be more compliant to users' expectations, though they still may need some "getting used to." Also, like a car, the power assistance disappears when the ignition is switched to the OFF position, which surprises new EVO-equipped bike owners when they roll their bike with the engine off only to discover that they need to apply much more brake lever pressure than they expected to stop the bike.

On there was a report of a BMW R1100RS with the same braking system. He states that the EVO system is very sensitive to road salt. See 'my bike, so far', chapter 'Brake binding problem'. I hope BMW has improved the brakes in the years between his and mine.

February 22 2009, 58.314km

Had a lot of fun with the Beemer today. I made a trip of about 400km around the IJsselmeer. I've attached the Zumo to the bike, but without wiring it to the battery. Because it had to use its own battery I didn't use it for the first half of the trip. That was no problem since I know that piece by heart. When I started to use the Zumo it lead me sometimes into the IJsselmeer, which I ignored ;) It looks like the maps on the Zumo and the ones I use with MapSource aren't the same. When I let Zumo recalculate the entire route everything was ok again.
The Beemer did very well today. Even the suspension didn't feel too bad. I think that for the time being I won't upgrade the springs and save me some money.
Fuel consumption was on average 1 liter on every 16 kilometer. A bit more that previous measurements but that was to be expected since I now used the full potential of the bike. Sort of. :)

February 23 2009, 58.314km
Another thing learned: the ABS on the 850 is called iABS since it is integrated with the Evo brake system. The fault codes of ABS and Evo brakes are:

  • Gen OFF, ABS ON = Only residual braking in both circuits.
  • Gen OFF, ABS flashes at 1Hz = ABS not available. Pull-away test not completed.
  • Gen OFF, ABS flashes at 4Hz = Only residual braking function available in both circuits.
  • Gen ON, ABS off = rear light/brake light defective.
  • Gen ON, ABS flashes at 1 Hz = At least one brake circuit without ABS.
  • Gen ON, ABS flashes at 4Hz =At least one brake circuit in residual braking function mode.
  • Gen AND ABS flashing alternately at 1Hz = Fluid level in Intergral ABS too low.Low-voltage

See this site. So, since only my 'Gen' light is burning it means there something wrong with the rear (brake)light. But I can't find what...

March 1 2009, 58,844km

Put a yellow bulb into the Beemer. With this I should be better visible while lane splitting.

March 9 2009, 59,150km
Last weekend I used the Pan for a short trip. Today I was back on the 850 and felt immediate the soft suspension. You do get used to it, but it is not as it should be. So I'm afraid that, contrary to what I wrote a while a go, I'll have to change the springs in order to make the Beemer behave better.

April 8, 2009, 60,808km

This morning, while going to work and riding on the leftmost lane, the engine of the Beemer suddenly stopped. Luckily I had enough speed to cruise to the hard shoulder on the right.
I called the auto club and shortly after two cars arrived: one with the mechanic and one tow-truck. The mechanic suspected the fuelpump to be broken and couldn't fix it. Because I wanted the bike to be brought to my dealer they had to call in another truck because the one on the scene wasn't allowed to drive that far. Shortly after the other truck arrived and they put the bike on it.
The dealer the bike was brought to wasn't the one I'd bought it from. When I phoned the latter about the warranty they told me the bike must be brought to them so they can fix it. I still have got to organise this.
While I was at my own dealer I could testdrive a BMW R1200GS. Since I had taken the day off to organise the repair of the 850, I took on the offer.
I must say, the 1200 is a very good bike. I can understand now why it's always in the top of the sales charts. When I rushed it over a dyke I couldn't find anything wrong with it. It's flickable, relatively light (or just feeling so), comfortable, fine brakes, nice torque, few vibrations, even the small windscreen kept me up to speeds of 160kmh out of the wind. A bike to keep in mind when the Pan is due for a replacement...

April 10, 2009, 60,808km
On this beautiful sunny and warm day I brought the 850 to the dealer I bought it from. I borrowed my brothers car, which has a towing bracket, and a trailer from my regular dealer. Next week they hopefully will have fixed the bike.

April 23, 2009, 60,878km
The Beemer's back! The dealer had two more Beemers with a broken fuel pump. Makes you think...

May 31 2009, 61,710km

Did some work on the Beemer. First I connected the power cable for the Zumo. Next I put the rest for the seating in its upmost position (see second photo). I hope this will give me a bit more leg room. Last, but not least, I removed the rear crashbar. I hope I won't need it and it cleans up the look of the bike a lot. See first photo.

June 6, 2009, 62,341km

Today I went to Hyperpro to let them have a look at the suspension of the Beemer. I'm still in doubt if I have to do some changes. Sometimes it feels too soft, sometimes quite harsh. When I got there there was only one mechanic who couldn't give me advise. Although I mailt them to ask if I could visit them, and with a positive response from them, I still went for nothing...
I took the long way home since the weather was quite nice. During this trip I tried the Wirevo D1000 bluetooth dongle I've bought on eBay. I could listen to stereo music from the Zumo and hear the instructions, but for both the volume was too low. I guess now I've got to buy an amplifier...

June 20 2009, 64,333km
Along the way

Castle at Manderscheid

Returning from the trip

Yesterday Pim (TL1000S), Vincent (Z1000) and I drove the Rubberbutt tour of the Dutch Aprilia Riders Association. The Rubberbutt is a sponsor ride, and this time the collected money would go the the CliniClowns. Two years ago I did the same ride with the ST1300.
We could choose from three route lengths: 500, 750 and 1,000km. We decided to do 750km. Oddly enough the route started with about 50km's of highway. I thought that this couldn't be right, so I checked the route, but it was indeed planned that way. We hoped the curvy roads would soon follow, but they didn't. The roads were mainly the larger, straight ones. After 3/4 of the route we had enough of it and decided to make our own over curvy roads. This went quite well and at last we had a blast.
The Beemer did well this day. I rode it hard over curvy and sometimes bad roads, but it didn't budge. Brakes were good. The suspension, well, I actually still don't know. Sometimes it feels soft, other times, especially under braking the rear is quite hard. I will have an expert have a look at it asap. Once the suspension felt like it locked up under hard braking on bad surface. The bike bounced to the side of the road and there wasn't much I could do. Besides hanging on and praying :) Happily the speed wasn't too high, so I regained control in time.
Of course 70hp isn't much especially with the weight of the bike, but I still had a lot of fun aboard the R850R this day.

July 11, 2009, 65,550km
Went today for the second time to Hyperpro. This time I first called to make sure there would be someone there. And there was. The mechanic tried the suspension of the Beemer and concluded that it was crap. Just what I thought. As it seems the front suspension was harsher than rear (it felt the other way round) thus making the bike imbalanced. In two weeks the front and rear springs will be replaced by Hyperpro progressive springs. Hopefully this will cure the suspension.

July 16, 2009, 65,916km
Measured the fuel consumption today: 1 liter for every 20 kilometers. Not bad...

July 21, 2009, 66,191km

Bummer, one of the straps of the screen broke off. I'll have to do without for the time being.

July 23, 2009, 66,490km
Tried the GoPro Hero Wide camera today. The quality is quite good I think. Much better than the ATC2K I had. The position of the camera on the fuel tank could have been better, you don't see much of the road. Next time better.

July 25, 2009, 66,700km

The Beemer got today new springs from Hyperpro (385 euro). Handling improved a lot. The suspension is now more firm and fits my riding style much better.
I tried the GoPro camera again today. This time I'd placed it a bit higher, but I'm still not satisfied by the result. Next next time better. ;)

July 30 2009, 67,000km
10,000Km with the Beemer, time for a recap. In short: I like it. A lot! It's a fun bike. Flickable, stable (after changing the springs for Hyperpro's), very good brakes (more on that later), comfortable (although the foodpegs could be a bit lower), fuel efficient (tank could be a little bit larger though), gear shift is reasonably smooth, clutch is good, not too many vibrations, power delivery is smooth (a little more power wouldn't hurt either), ABS, heated grips, the lot.
Never thought I would have so much fun on a BMW :)
Only small little tiny negative point is that you can be surprised by the brakes. Sometimes you want to brake a little bit at low speed and the wheels almost lock up. They never will because of the ABS, but still. At other times if you want to brake at first nothing happens. That can be a bit scary, but eventually it will brake. This irratic behaviour (which *seldom* occurs) must be caused by the brake assist system with sensors, servos and I don't know what. Between your brake lever and the brakes themselves is a system that's thinking with you, trying to guess what's going on and how fast it should brake. And sometimes it guesses wrong. Let's call it character. ;)

August 1 2009, 67,204km

Fitted today the MRA Varioscreen I've recently bought (189 euro). Fitting was no problem and it looks okay. On the first test ride speeds of 140kmh and more were no problem anymore. But because you're in the 'dirty' whirling air now the wind makes a lot more noise around the helmet, just like the stock screen did.

During the test ride I tried two new positions for the camera: on the crash bar facing front and rear. As it turned out the crash bar vibrates too much to create a stable picture. Up until now the fuel tank remains the best spot for the camera.

August 2 2009, 67,204km
Placed a new vid on YouTube. Nothing special...

August 19 2009, 63,323km
Bummer, my nice yellow headlight bulb broke. For the time being I've put an ordinary bulb in.

August 20 2009, 68,324km

The Beemer got a big service job today. All the sparkplugs, oils and filters were replaced, valves were checked and the injection was synchronized. They even managed to fix the warning light that has been bugging me for more than 10,000km. The 850 is now ready to do another 10,000km.
As a loaner I got a BMW F800S. Nice little bike, although I doubt I can ever get used to a sporty
seating position again. If I'm going to replace my ST1300 for a more sporty bike I'll have to make a long test ride to make sure I'm not going to kill my wrists, shoulders and back.

August 22 2009, 68,424km

Bought two Nokya Arctic Hyper Yellow H4 headlamp light bulbs on eBay. I've read some good things about them in this article, so I'm gonna give them a try.

August 24 2009, 68,682km

Rode part of the Liberation Route today. Well 'route', it's more a collection of points of interest that have something to do with the end of the Second World War in The Netherlands. For each point you can download spoken comments on the things that have happened there. For me it's a great way to combine two interests: motorcycling and WW2. I didn't manage to get to all the points today, so I guess I'll have to go back some day.
Because I was driving quite slow today the Beemer used only 1 liter on every 20 kilometer.

August 29 2009, 68,682km

Fitted the new yellow bulb today. I think it's much brighter than the old one. Which is good.

September 27 2009, 70,430km

Today Pim (TL1000S), Vincent (Z1000) and I rode a route I've made along some dykes. The weather was great and the dykes not too busy, so we had a great time.

October 1 2009, 70,800km
Oops, went down with the Beemer. In Amsterdam the roads were wet and hence the tramway tracks slippery. This wasn't a surprise for me, of course, so I rode quite slow. Still, at a track intersection, the Beemer started to slide with both wheels, leaving me with no other options then to hang on. The Beemer went down on its left side, I on my right, gasping for breath. Luckily I was only bruised at several places. The Beemer had a broken left mirror and the windscreen got a bit deformed. My helmet had no mark, but still the left hinge was broken. In the evening I went to my dealer for a new mirror and a new visor hinge. At my garage I straightend the screen and replaced the mirror, so the bike is ok again. Luckily I kept the front crash bar on the bike, so no harm was done to the protruding cilinders.

The tracks on Google Streetview.

October 3 2009, 70,900km
The bike got new tires: Michelin Pilot Road 2 front and rear (393 euro). While I was there I asked the mechanic about the ticking noises I was hearing from the engine. I was afraid it could be the clutch of shaft drive, but luckily it was only the left fuel injector that was making this annoying ticking sound and it seems it won't do any harm.
Researched a bit on the Internet and found that the ticking noise is a well known problem for BMW boxers. It seems BMW has used too soft material for the throttle valve which in time will wear. Here's a site that shows how to fix things. Maybe I'll have my dealer repair the thing at the next service interval.

Ooctober 8 2009, 71,200km

At last the news about the Honda VFR1200F. A very interesting bike and I will certainly make a testride on it. Especially the touring version looks promising. Although I expect it to cost an arm and a leg to accessorize. Extra options seem to be e.g. heated grips, Zumo GPS, higher windscreen, fairing wideners, main stand, hugger, topcase, side cases, lock, etc. Pity about the small fuel tank though.

October 13 2009, 71,543km
The switch on the sidestand is broken. Gonna visit my dealer tomorrow to see if they can fix it.

October 16 2009, 71,810km

Bought the Gerbing heated jacket liner. I hope this'll get me through the winter reasonably comfortable.
My dealer will fix the sidestand tomorrow.
Learned today that the VFR1200F with automatic gearbox will probably be delivered at the end of 2010. Which is pretty late for me. The new 1400GTR gets more interesting by the day...

October 17 2009, 71,840km

Had the sidestand fixed today. While the mechanic did his thing I could testride a BMW K1300S. It's been a while since I rode a big powerfull semi sportsbike, and I liked it very much. The seating position was not too extreme, but still, after a while, I started to feel my wrists. But I guess I can get used to that. Wind protection was ok, the fairing doesn't keep you completely out of the wind, but you sit in a clean airflow, which means that windnoise around your helmet is much reduced. Gearbox was a bit cluncky. I had to get used to the way the Beemer steers, it didn't give me much confidence in corners. The wet roads didn't help either. The power was great, if there had been any coppers out there I would be out of driving license by now. This bike was equipped with the electronic suspension control ESA. I played around a bit with it, but the ride was too short to feel any noticable difference. Is this Beemer a candidate for my next bike? I'll keep it in mind, but first I want to try the VFR, and maybe the 1400GTR.

October 19 2009, 71,930km
Tried the Gerbing liner today without power, because I haven't made a connection to the bike yet. It feels to me that the Gerbing isolates less than the stock liner. Of course after turning the power on everything should be more than okay.

October 17 2009, 72,200km

2010 1400GTR. Great looking bike...

October 27 2009, 72,500km
Wire of the horn is broken near a proprietary connector. Nasty to repair. Will have my dealer give it a go ;)

October 28 2009, 72,600km
Bought a replacement connector and wiring for the horn from the dealer. Gonna fix it asap.

October 31 2009, 72,780km
Fixed the horn and installed the wiring for the Gerbing stuff.

November 3 2009, 72,965km
On my way back from work (wet, cold, dark, busy, just the way I like it ;) ), the rear-bulb-broken-warning-light went on again. And this time the bulb was fine again, just like it was before.

November 9 2009, 73,330km
Used the Gerbing jacket today plugged in. It soon became clear I had the temp dialed in too high, but still it felt nice. But I don't think I will use the jacket instead of the stock liner because the wind blows easily through it. So when it gets really cold I will use the liner and the heated jacket.

November 11 2009, 73,512km
Oh, oh. When I started the bike this evening the ABS warning light kept flashing. I stopped and turned the ignition off and on again to restart things. At that moment the bike very hesitantly started. Looks like the battery is going to give in? I turned the heated grips off to save some juice. Hopefully the thing will start tomorrow morning...

November 12 2009, 73,603km
Bike's fine, started without problems :)

November 18 2009, 73,970km
Nope, still doesn't work right. When I started the bike after a fuel stop the red ABS light didn't go out again. This meant that the power brakes didn't work either, which is especially nasty because without the bike brakes like a car with the ignition turned off, i.e. hardly. Well, off to the dealer again.

November 21 2009, 74,175km
Phew, it was only a small problem that stopped the ABS and power assisted brakes to function: the front switch of the brake light was broken. Strange that BMW found it necessary to completely shutdown the whole system for such a small problem. It seems that later models don't behave that way.
Now I 'only' had to pay 140 euro (brake switch, fuel line fasteners that weren't fine, labour) in stead of over 1,500 euro for a new brake modulator etc. if that had been the cause of the problem. Because of this windfall I treated myself on a Wunderlich thermometer :)

November 28 2009, 74,400km
Little boring movie of me lanesplitting home from work. Have to do this every workday. Not without danger and still boring. Not a good combination...

And yes, the movie is speeded up a little. A lot... ;)

December 9 2009, 75,390km
The zipper of my Dainese jacket broke today. For me the moment to replace this 5(?) years old smelly jacket with a brand new one: of course a Dainese again. This time the Commando model.

December 14 2009, 75,665km
First frost day of this (nearly) winter with temps of about -1 Celcius. Thanks to the Gerbing stuff I could keep myself quite warm :)

December 17 2009, 75,665km
Snow today. Took public transport to work. No fun at all. To avoid more of this misery I took next week leave of work.

December 20 2009, 75,665km

Weather alert today: people are advised to stay inside and do not travel because of the snow. Due to our moderate sea climate we've turned into a bunch of pussies ;)


January 1 2010, 75,665km

January 4 2010, 75,665km
Winter still won't budge, so I'm condemned to use public transport. Did I tell you I so very much do not like it ;)

February 2 2010, 75,665km
Haven't ridden my bike for more than a month now. Hopefully I will get a chance next week. Roads are still too slippery now. I'm curious if the Beemer will start without big problems. I haven't removed the battery because I don't know how to do that (shame on me, I know). I tried it once, but I got into a fight with the fuel tank and let it be. I can always use my car to give it a jump start.

February 10 2010, 75,665km
Got some new snow today. Unbelievable this winter. Won't it ever stop?

February 13 2010, 75,665km
Had a look at the Beemer today. When I turned the ignition on the battery seemed strong enough to start the bike (abs and brake assist initialized properly). But I didn't start it because I want to save the last drop of electricity for that long overdue time I'm going to take the bike for a ride.
First easter eggs are spotted in the supermarket, a sign spring is coming? ;)

February 18 2010, 75,665km
Wheather is slowly getting better, but still not much fun on a bike. Today I went to a motorshow to see if they have a successor for my ST1300. I saw for the first time the VFR1200F in real life. It's appearance is quite nice and I'm sure it's a fine bike, but for me the fuel tank with its 18 liters is way too small. I like my tanks big :) So scratch the VFR. Now what? FJR1300? Nope, more or less outdated and I want something different from an inline four. 1400GTR? Model 2010 is very nice, but too expensive and has an inline 4. R1200RT? To be honest I do not like the appearance very much, but the specs are great: 27 liter tank, heated grips and buddy, traction control, electronic suspension adjustment, cruise control, etc. This must be a perfect touring machine. My dealer has a model 2008 I'm going to try next Saturday. Stay tuned...

February 20 2010, 75,665km
This is un-f*cking-believable. It has been snowing. Again. Doesn't it ever stop? I can kiss the testride goodbye. This is the worst winter I have ever experienced.

Well, the nice thing about snow is that it melts. This afternoon all the white misery was gone and I could try the bike.
I had to start the R850R for the first time in two months to go to my dealer and it started without hesitation! The battery of the ST1300 was always flat after 2 weeks, but the one in the Beemer lasts for more than 2 months. Good job BMW :)

March 2 2010, 76,020km
With temps of around 4 Celcius the ride to work was still very comfortable with heated gloves and jacket. I just love the Gerbing stuff.

March 8 2010, 76,020km
Snow again today :(

March 11 2010, 76,600km
Pulled about one inch of steel wire out of my rear tire this morning. Luckily it entered the tire sideways, so it didn't puncture it.

Now on Google Maps one of my favorite roads to do a 'quicky': Dyke road

My dealer, Arie Molenaar, on Google Maps

March 16 2010, 76,870km
Headlight broke this morning. I thought it to be an easy fix: put in a new bulb. But unfortunately that didn't do the trick. I messed a bit around with the wiring, but that didn't help either. I'm afraid that's gonna be another trip to the dealer.

March 21 2010, 77,100km
Still haven't fixed the headlight. For the time being I use the high beam and point it a bit lower so I don't blind anyone.

March 25 2010, 77,350km
After the headlight, now the taillight went. Both taillight and brakelight are gone. This weekend I'll have a look at the electrical stuff.

March 26 2009, 77,400km
How clever can a bike be? I inspected the taillight this morning and saw that the brakelight filament was broken. When I put the bulb back and wiggled it around a bit the taillight itself worked again. When I tried the brakelight (dunno why, I knew it was broken) I noticed that instead of the brakelight working, the normal taillight burned brighter when braking. Has BMW made a sort of back up system, where one of the filaments takes on the role of the other, broken, one? That would be so clever. Or are it just electrical gremlins acting up? Who can shed light (pun intended) on this?
There are electrical gremlins at work on the beemer anyhow: the high beam is broken too. So I have no light at all at front anymore. Except for the small city light that is. Got my work cut out for tomorrow.

Found the bike at my employer on Google Streetview.

March 27 2010, 77,400km
Fixed the taillight. And indeed, now the brakelight is working, the taillight works as expected again. So no more simulating a brakelight.
I was not able to fix the headlight. The wiring is pretty unaccessible. So I made an appointment at my dealers to have them fix it. When I was there I ordered the
Wunderlich Led taillight. I think this is more sturdy than an antiquated bulb.

April 6 2010, 77,660km
The dealer fixed the headlight. The problem seemed to have been caused by corroded connectors underneath the gastank. While he was at it the mechanic fiited the new Wunderlich led taillight as well.
Only the silly guy obviously wasn't quite awake yet: he had put the pcb with leds the wrong way round, so they were shining inside the taillight instead of to the outside. At home I could quickly fix this.
Taillight with leds the wrong way round

And the correct way...

April 8 2010, 77,777km
Made an appointment with Oscar to fix the ticking sound in the left throttle body. My dealer would do it for 500 euro by replacing it with a new one. Oscar will overhaul the old one for a lot less.

April 10 2010, 78,128km

Finally got rid of the ticking sound of the left throttle body. Oscar did a good job. I guess the bike is now as good as it can get. Until the next problem ;)

April 13 2010, 78,300km
Yep, it's clearly the 13th... Dropped the bike when entering the garage at work. The roller door was open, but when I wanted to enter the damn thing went down, thereby surprising me. Not much harm done, only my selfesteem ;)

This evening I went to a friend and on the highway at speeds around 140kmh the beemer started to run irregularly. Dirt somewhere in the fuel lines? A problem caused by the fall this morning? I don't know. After I refueled (there was still 5 liter left) and left the gasstation revving high (hoping to remove the dirt) the bike seemed ok again.

April 22 2010, 79,000km
Traffic Terrorist Caught In The Act!
The world just got a bit a better place by giving the criminal above a speeding ticket for doing 57kmh where 50kmh was allowed. This on a
road with lots of bicyclists, children and pedestrians. Not.

May 31 2010, 80,066km
While crossing the 80,000km mark I was wondering what to write in this blog since there was actually no news. The bike was running fine for a couple of weeks now. When I was close to my work the bike started to run irregular as if it was running out of fuel. Which couldn't be the case since I'd only done 310km and on one fuel load I should be able to do at least 340km. Or so I thought. Not far from a gasstation the bike wouldn't run any further. So I walked to the station and bought a jerrycan and fuel. I filled the tank and the bike ran fine again. So, in some circumstances, the bike won't do more than 310km. A good thing to know...

July 2 2010, 81,500km
34 Degrees Celcius is not a nice temp to ride. Happily the roads were deserted because of the soccer game The Netherlands against Brasil. Which we won! :)
Ordered and received the ReCyclizer which should lessen the KFR problem: the irregular running of the engine at lower speeds due to, most likely, environmental measures. But I'm rather hesitant to install it because I've heard that the bike will hardly run with it in high temperatures (like we're now having). If I can install it in such a way that I can remove it easily than I will, otherwise I'm not sure yet.

July 6 2010, 82,000km
Done now 25,000km on the Beemer. Must say I was and am pleasantly surprised by the boxer. It's handling, comfort, brakes, etc. are all very good. That's mainly the reason I bought another one :)
Negative points? Not really. The engine of my 850 is making a rattling noise at some revs for quite a while now. I think gearbox or clutch. The pistons/cilinders/crank/camshaft feel/sound okay to me.
But you can't blame that rattling noise on the whole series. Something somewhere must be worn. When I'm in the neighbourhood of my dealer I will have them have a look at it.

Oh, and The Netherlands are in the final of the World Cup soccer. Yeah! Pity I'm no soccer fan ;)

July 16 2010, 82,250km
This morning I could try a renewed stretch of road (the A2) between my house and my work. Half of this route now has 5 lanes in stead of 3. Almost every Friday morning, like this morning, there is very few traffic on this road, and still I find myself quite often on the outmost lane because people refuse to return to the right lane after they've overtook someone. Which more or less forces me to overtake them on the right which is very illegal... And I again saw some people running red lights. The whole attitude towards traffic is so wrong overhere. Thankfully people who ride a little bit too fast at a safe place got to pay high fines...
End of rant ;)

July 28 2010, 82,700km
Oops, I believe at 78,000km the bike should have had an oil change. I'll visit the dealer asap.

September 2 2010, 83,283km
Had a small service job for the 850 done: 295 euro.

October 18 2010, 85,085km
It's getting colder. Had to remove the ice from the windscreen of my car this morning.
Bike is running fine. No problems whatsoever.

November 21 2010, 87,000km
Prepared the bike for winter. They expect snow later this week so it's almost party time :(
I've done 30,000km now with the Beemer. I still like it a lot and intend to ride it over the 100,000km mark next year.

November 25 2010, 87,300km
First snow this year. I pray we don't get a winter like last year...

November 26 2010, 87,400km
Temp are just above zero Celcius. The heated grips are barely enough to keep my hands warm. I'll put the wiring for the heated gloves and liner in my jacket this weekend.

November 29 2010, 87,500km
Had some snow on the way back from work. The Gerbing stuff kept me perfectly warm.
I'm afraid I'll have to take the car tomorrow and face some traffic jams :(

December 6 2010, 87,500km
Winter in The Netherlands with snow and ice and stuff. Riding a bike is too dangerous. Have to use the car and possibly public transport (let's hope not...).

December 11 2010, 87,500km
Still winter with white slippery stuff. I'm using my new car to go to work :)


January 1 2011, 87,500km
Happy New Year!

January 5 2011, 87,500km
Temps are finally getting above zero Celcius. Next week I should be able to take the 850 to work again. If it wants to start after weeks of standing still...

Pic of Brian's British police R850R:
Looks familiar? ;)

January 8 2011, 87,510km
Snow has gone for the moment and I could finally make a first ride in the new year. After 6 weeks of standing still the 850 started at the first press of the starter button! I guess it has a heavy duty battery due to its previous life?

January 14 2011, 87,571km
Used the 850 for the first time this year to go to work. I didn't like it a bit. It was cold(ish), dark and wet.

I got a comment on one of my movies on YouTube that I don't drive that well. I was recommended to read the book 'Motorcycle Roadcraft' to get smoother, faster and safer. Maybe I'll gonna read that book. You're never too old to learn something ;)

February 2 2011, 87,571km
Still using the car to go to work. Comfy :)
Of course I ride a little too fast by car too, and of course they catch me...

March 15 2011, 88,000km
We had today at last some nice weather so I took the beemer to work. It started okay, but the warning light burned and abs light kept blinking. I guess the abs didn't initialized well due to not enough electricity. So after about half a kilometer, during which the battery could get charged a little bit, I stopped, switched the bike off and restarted it. Now the warning lights went off and everything was fine again.
The trip to and fro work was boring as usual. Since they've added some lanes to the highway to and from my work I can get there by car just as easily. Lanesplitting (by bike ;) ) is hardly necessary anymore. The only reason to take the bike nowadays is to save fuel: the car uses twice as much (expensive...) fuel as the bike.

May 18 2011, 88,175km
Put the bike up for sale.
Since I don't use it anymore to go to work and I'm not planning to do so in the future I might as well sell it.

May 30 2011, 88,200km
Sold the bike! It was a good and fun bike, but since I don't use it to go to work anymore I don't really need it. Especially since I have the R1200RT so satisfy my boxer/beemer needs.
Maybe I'm gonna buy another bike to have some fun with. Or maybe not, we'll see... ;)


Make over
Just got a picture from my ex-R850R from its new owner. He's turned the shabby ex-police workhorse into a beautiful bike!

I only recognize the licenseplate :)

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