Posts Tagged With: BMW

3 Oils, 3 Changes

There are three separate oil changes that periodically need to be performed on a BMW K1200LT.  There’s motor oil, transmission oil and final drive oil.  The motor oil service recommendation is every 6,000 miles with 20W50 while the transmission and final drive recommendations are every 12,000 miles with 90 weight GL5 gear oil.  So guess what?  I figured out some time ago that every other oil change all three oils get changed and today was one of those days.  The motor oil and the final drive oil are a snap to do.  But I hate doing the transmission oil.  It’s just that it’s a pain to do with parts to remove and hard to get to.  You usually end up getting the old oil on the floor because you can put the pan under it and have to fashion some sort of funnel.  Mind you, BMW probably sells a nice, expensive part just to do this.  Today I was prepared and put a very large piece of cardboard under the motorcycle and then put it up on the center stand.  I fashioned a funnel out of one my empty oil bottles lengthwise and about ½” tall so that it was flexible enough to bend and thin enough to be able to reach the recessed drain bolt.  This time it worked like a charm and I even get very little oil on the cardboard!

The motor oil would’ve been due during our upcoming trip and looking back on the mileage, the final drive and transmission probably right after the trip.  But I may as well get all of my laying on the garage floor done in one day and keep with the every other change philosophy.  I found no metal flakes on the magnetic drain plug for the final drive and only the dark sludge that’s expected.  The magnet on the transmission drain plug also had no metal flakes or shavings (even though the manual says a few are acceptable), again another thing good sign.  The gear oils were both still a dark golden color this time, yet another good sign.

Another service date out of the way!

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Cowboys On Real Horses And Iron Horses

This morning we had a Blue Knights breakfast meeting in Alpharetta.  The ride over for breakfast was a bit chilly starting at about 44°F but it was forecast to be sunny and warm today.  After the meeting there was a ride planned to go over to the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville where the Southeaster Gathering of Cowboys was going on.  One of our Blue Knights members would be at the gathering and invited us over.  After the meeting a group of 6 motorcycles made the trek over from Alpharetta to Cartersville, going through Canton.  There was an assortment that included a few Harley Davidsons, our BMW, a Victory and a Gold Wing.  We got there and there were cowboys all over the place!  We took a stroll through the museum but the chuck wagons were beginning to close down by the time we toured the museum.  As we mounted our steeds and went our separate directions for home the sunshine was warm and some even packed their jackets away.  I was happy enough with the vents opened on mine.  On our trip home (again avoiding highways) the temperature was just at 70ºF.  It looks like winter might be loosening its grip on us.

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First Farkle Of The New Year?

Well maybe it’s not so much a farkle but more of a sticker. The local BMW Motorcycle dealer has begun selling some stickers after a few years absence. I could resist getting one. After all, the Magic Carpet is not a trailer queen!  I actually meant to put this in the New Years Day ride post but forgot.

If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.

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What Do Choosy Santas Ride?

Why a red BMW S1000RR of course!

It’s either been way too cold to ride or raining (nearly 4.5 inches of rain yesterday) or both to get much riding in.  But I thought we’d all enjoy this Christmas motorcycle video.

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Let’s Help Santa Deliver Some Toys!

Today was the BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia’s annual Toy Ride to the Towns County Georgia Sheriff’s Office.  The club holds its Georgia Mountain Rally every spring in Hiawassee, GA which is located in Towns County.  The county and the area are extremely hospitable to the visiting motorcyclists and this one of the club’s ways of thanking the community.  The Sheriff’s Office is the dropping off location and distribution center  for toys that will be distributed throughout the county from several sources or from deputies who have found children or families in need of some help during Christmas.  Toys can be picked up at the sheriff’s office or even delivered.  In some cases toys are even left secretly by deputies.  The club asks motorcyclists to drop off unwrapped toys at the two Atlanta area BMW Motorcycle dealers.  Then on the day before the ride Blue Moon Cycle’s toys are brought to BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta, where the ride to deliver the toys leaves the next morning.  Any motorcycle is welcome to ride and help spread some holiday cheer.  This year we filled the sprinter van up!  There were even 5 bicycles loaded into the van.

This year, my friend Sean joined me on the ride on his Victory Cross Country Tour.  As I was riding to meet Sean for the ride to the dealer it was 40 degrees (F) and there were a few snow flurries floating around.  Perfect weather to help out Santa Claus!  We got to the dealer where the riders were treated to hot drinks and breakfast before we all helped load the van.  There were about 30 -35 motorcycles riding up this year.  As we headed up north the temperature was dropping and the sky was still overcast.  The heated grips and heated seat were put to use.  Every year we have a scheduled stop in Blue Ridge, GA.  In Blue Ridge we were greeted with snowflakes falling from the sky and a temperature of 34 degrees (F).  Again, perfect for Christmas!  I looked at my phone and was greeted with a weather advisory for freezing mist and freezing fog for the Blue Ridge area.  After our pit stop we were back on our way to Hiawassee to deliver the toys.  As we rode on, we could see snow at the higher elevations.  The sheriff and his staff were there to greet us with coffee, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies while we unloaded our toys to be added to what had already been collected.  I don’t know how anyone was able to get any work done at the Sheriff’s Office as the offices were all filled with donated toys.  Their goal is that no child in the county should not go without a Christmas toy.

After dropping off the toys our group started splitting up to head for lunch and home.  Sean and I took a ride up and over Blood Mountain on US HWY 129, looking at some snow-covered mountain tops.  On most of our ride to lunch the temperature had dropped to 31 degrees (F) and we could even see some of the freezing fog at the higher elevations above us and at Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia.  We stopped in for a leisurely lunch at Turner’s Corner Café before continuing on for home.  Sean had made an observation today too.  As most motorcycles were BMWs (there was Sean’s Victory, a Triumph Tiger and Suzuki V-Strom also) he noticed that most riders were wearing armored, fabric riding gear and full faced helmets, including him, instead of jeans and leather jackets.  He also noted there wasn’t a “beanie” helmet in the bunch.

It was fun to help out Santa Claus.  I also tried out a feature on my phone that’s called “BlackBerry Storymaker” that can make a “story” from pictures or video and that attempt is right below here.

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Every month the magazine of the BMW Motorcycles of America, BMW ON (BMW Owner’s News) runs a section of member submitted photographs.  The section is called “Picture This”.  The magazine releases a subject on the web site, member’s submit photos, photos are then selected and published 2 – 3 months later.  The December issue’s subject is “Kickstand”.  I had a picture that could’ve fit the description so I sent it in.  Yesterday, the magazine came and there was my picture on page 17, picture number 13.  I’d say it qualified as a kickstand picture!

Our kickstand photo submission to BMW ON.

Our kickstand photo submission to BMW ON. Ours is picture number 13.

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What Does A BMW K1200LT Sound Like?

Really, have you ever really heard your motorcycle?  Usually there are too many other sounds like traffic or the wind rushing around your helmet to property hear your motorcycle.  Here’s what a BMW K1200LT, like ours, sounds like.  The YouTube video is courtesy of German rider on his K1200LT when he mounted a microphone under the seat and out of the wind while recording this video.  I love the way the engine “growls” and sounds like a sports car, especially at about one minute and eleven seconds as he’s getting on the autobahn.  Look at his tachometer on the right too.  The engine doesn’t red line until 8,000 rpm!  Enjoy it, we do!

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A Mother’s Day Ride

Yesterday was Mother’s Day here in the US.  Donna and her sister took their Mom to lunch and then Donna had to work later that afternoon.  I called my Mom who lives in another state.  But what did I do on Mother’s Day?  Why I went for a motorcycle ride!  Now some may think this unusual but Donna has even requested to that before on Mother’s Day and birthdays.  I guess I’m one lucky guy.

My Blue Knights Chapter had to cancel a ride the day before because of a forecast of a high probability of thunderstorms.  Those thunderstorms never materialized.  But there’s an old aviation saying about cancelling a flight that can be compared to motorcycling, “It’s better to be down here wishing you were up there than to be up there wishing you were down here.”  So on Sunday a friend, Sean, and I went for a ride.  We were going to pre-ride a route for an upcoming Blue Knights ride.  We met in Jasper, GA under a nearly cloudless blue sky with temperatures already warming into the mid 60′s.  We took off and headed for Talking Rock before heading up over Burnt Mountain on GA HWY 136.  I don’t know what it is about Burnt Mountain but it’s always significantly cooler up there.  Along the top, the temperature dropped down to 51 and when Donna and I were up there about 2 months ago there was snow on the side of the road when the mountain tops in the area hadn’t seen snow for over a week!  We headed on through Dahlonega passing Rider’s Hill and making the turn at the Rock Mound for Turner’s Corner and US HWY 129.  Turner’s Corner wouldn’t be our lunch stop today as we were going to have BBQ in Blairsville.  But now it’s time to vent.  Some people shouldn’t ride motorcycles.  Or if they do, they should pull over and let the line of cars and motorcycles pass them.  On US 19/GA 9, between GA 60 and US 129 we got stuck behind a couple on a Kawasaki Vulcan cruiser, a “Harley-A-Like” bagger.  He had highway pegs mounted high up on his crash bars. He had the pegs angled so his feet pointed to the sides of the road.  This guy literally looked like he could’ve been at the gynecologist’s office for an exam!  That was just to paint a picture.  He would go along at 45 mph or higher; until he reached a curve.  When he reached a curve his brake light would come on and he would slow dramatically.  Come out of the curve and he’s speed up until the next curve and repeat it again.  The entire stretch of road is probably a no passing zone and there was car between us, so I didn’t pass them.  Then I noticed (because I had nothing better to do while creeping along) that when he would brake in the curves that his feet were still up on those highway pegs!  He was braking hard using only his front brake in curves.  When we got to US 129 to go up and over Blood Mountain, this guy on his Kawasaki sadly turned left.  Great, now we were going to be behind him on a really curvy road!  He started his routine all over again.  But luckily, it wasn’t long before we got two lanes on our side of the road with a nice sign that reads “Keep Right Except To Pass”.  So I drop to 4th gear, pull out into the left lane give the gas; good.  I wanted to pass this guy as quickly as we could!  Then to my amazement as I’m parallel to him, he begins changing lanes into me in a curve to the left.  I saw the shock and panic on his face.  I’m sure that if I had hit my horn he would’ve wrecked.  But we put him in our rear view mirrors.  It wasn’t until we stopped for lunch that Sean told me how close that Kawasaki had gotten to me.  Since Sean and I were both riding solo, we rode a bit more “spirited” than if our wives were with us.  The BMW K1200LT is an 850 pound touring motorcycle can that do a pretty good impersonation of a sport bike at times.  We got to a nice sweeping, angled and sharp right curve and I was really leaning into to it, “motor officer style”.  That means pushing the bike over while your body is upright.  Suddenly I felt my right foot peg scraping the road!  I guess I was leaning a bit far!  Usually when riding 2 up and we’re leaning like that, the side stand on the left or the center stand on the right will scrape first as a warning.  I didn’t get that warning being solo and it surprised me a bit.  I got to thinking later and realized that those foot pegs are pretty high off the ground to begin with.  In the same spot Sean drug the right floorboard of his Victory Cross County Tour through the whole curve.  We had a really good time going up and over the mountain.  If you’ve been in the area you know what a well maintained, curvy and fun road US 129 over Blood Mountain can be.  We stopped for lunch in Blairsville before getting back on the motorcycles and taking a more sedate and leisurely route home.  As we were getting ready to leave the BBQ restaurant, a group of 5 Triumph motorcycles pulled in just in time to take our parking spots as the lot was full.  I even made it back home in time to kiss Donna before she headed off for work.  But I did cook her a dinner she wanted when she got home.  Now Donna wants to go for a ride because it’s been a while.  Where should we go………..

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That’s How They Get You, You Know

Today was the spring open house at BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta.  We decided to ride on down and look around and see some friends.  It’s usually a grand affair and today was no exception.  There’s lunch (fresh grilled hamburgers, hot dogs & bratwurst), discounts in the store, door prizes and group test rides.  The demo R1200GSW water-cooled boxer, also known as the “Wasser Boxer”, was booked solid for the test rides.  There were also 2 BMW scooters available for test rides and they were pretty well booked too!  Sadly someone had wrecked one of the demo motorcycles on a group test ride but the owners said he was ok, not so much for the motorcycle though.

I found  a nice gray R1200RT that I wanted to take home!  Donna liked the new dark burgundy color on the K1600GTL, but I think she kind of liked the R1200RT too.  She looked at the scooter outside and even said “I think I could ride this!”  We lunched with friends and chatted.  Of course we looked at motorcycle and gear.  I even won a door prize!  It’s a set of foam earplugs with a metal carrying case.  I’ve already got some nice earplugs but I’ll give these free (free is always good) ones a try and then use the nice carrying case for my earplug.  We didn’t get much riding in, but it was a gorgeous day to ride down there!

But you know that’s how they get you.  They invite you down, feed you, give you door prizes and then you want to buy something!  But they really are a great dealership.  Thanks Bob & Lynda!



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Was That A Commercial For BMW Motorcycles?

When was the last time you saw a TV commercial here in the US for BMW Motorcycles?  Think hard.  Tonight on March 1, 2013 BMW Motorrad USA (motorcycles) kicks off a 4 month campaign of 4 different TV commercials.  The campaign is named “Feed Your Restless” (hint: clicking that link will take you to the BMW Motorrad USA page with all 4 commercials).  The commercials feature the three largest selling styles of BMW motorcycles, sport (featuring the S100RR), dual sport (GS series) and luxury sport touring (K1600GT & GTL).  The fourth commercial combines all three but will be tagged to a BMW Motorcycles Dealer in each the TV market.

So go ahead, click that link and look.  You know you want to.

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