Careful what you learn without any experience. I started riding BMW"s when I was 23 years old. I am 64 now. A couple (man and wife) that I met at the beginning remained friends the whole time. We started a local BMW club in Chattanooga. He died recently and his wife and I still communicate. They stopped riding 20 years ago. I have a circle of eight dear friends (down from 12 with attrition) that I met on BMW's. We meet twice a year in Johns Island, SC for a weekend of "over-indulgence". Half of them don't / can't ride any more. When I had some health issues a couple of years ago I got several "hope you get better" emails from NC "acquaintances", but one of the eight "buds" rode down from Indianapolis to check on me. I did the same for him five years earlier when he was dealing with cancer. When my son died, they covered me up. I could count on any of them right now for anything. If this is a "club" or a "cult", then it has been one of the most rewarding interpersonal experiences of my life. I am most grateful for the lifetime associations that have developed from it and I am glad there was no all-knowing sage on the internet to talk me out of it when I started young and stupid at 23 years old. By the way, I traded a 1975 Gold Wing for my first BMW because I thought the GW was too heavy and it lacked suspension travel and plushness.I've never owned a BMW... <snip> However, I am slowly realizing that BMW are to touring and adventure bikes as Harley Davidson is to cruisers. It is an image... almost a cult. Sometimes they are a great choice, sometimes it not and much of the time you are buying into a name, or a club.
A GS ADV with Pilot Road tires is considered by many to be the best long-distance touring bike available. That, and its ability to handle the occasional unimproved road, are the essence of the high preference of this bike in LDR circles. My GS is a standard with an auxiliary tank, but it provides 400+ mile range, a luxury adjustable suspension, and ergonomics that fit my tall frame like nothing else on the market. Bonuses include light weight compared to the alternatives and easy maintenance.My focus is on-road, so adventure bikes like an AT, or BMW GSA is not a direction I am interested in.
BMW has its warts. I would never buy a new latest-greatest BMW model. No water-cooled twins and no inline 6's. I would not ride them if I was limited to dealer service. I avoid BMW's inexcusable development warts by buying late-model used bikes at the end of a development line. I own the last model airhead, the last model brick K bike, and the last model air/oil cooled twin (the camhead). Reliability of all has been excellent. Never a failed final drive in 41 years and over 600,000 combined miles (but I keep a spare for each because it could happen). They are boxed to ship and my wife knows where they are in my shop. She could overnight one to me if needed one day. User maintenance is easy to do. I did have to buy a $400 GS-411 computer interface for my 2013 bike. Camhead valves are stupid easy to get to and to adjust. Easier than the NC. No recalls, and my 2 year old GS cost about the same as a new Africa Twin. I"ll probably own these three for many, many years.But lately I am not sure about them. Not just because of the latest recall, but for all the reliability issues and sheer cost of ownership.
Seems like a good plan. The NC is a good bike and there ain't a damn thing wrong with being satisfied.For now, I continue to be good with the NC. It is a jack of all trades that works for me right now. A daily commuter, occasional long rides and tours, and easy to ride (this is only my 2nd year riding).
Please, no insult intended by the cult statement. I mentioned later in the comment about the Goldwings and the group/club aspect of owning one of them. Being part of a group and the bonds that builds is one of the most appealing parts of motorcycle ownership. When I commented about BMW and HD, I meant more of a cult feeling with the company or the brand, not with fellow owners, if you follow me. My statement wasn't meant to categorize or comment on their owners.Careful what you learn without any experience. ... If this is a "club" or a "cult", then it has been one of the most rewarding interpersonal experiences of my life
Oh, I am dreaming again... I think my wife would actually kill me... I am sitting here calculating how much I could sell the NC for...A GS ADV with Pilot Road tires is considered by many to be the best long-distance touring bike available...
I have but so what. Pretty much true of any bike. And so are many things said here about the rather inclusive topic: pretty much true of any bike and its circle of users and admirers and even zealots. So. this pretty much makes the word "best" -- as is usually the case in internet "what is the best ______" threads -- superfluous because what is best is not the same for all. Ferinstance, I'd rather have a KTM Adventure R if I was forced to pick a heavy 1000cc-and-up machine.I've never heard of anyone complain about how a BMW operated.