Probably the most important question: Which bike?

When I was about 10 years old, I vividly remember the time I met my dream motorbike. My father took me into a motorbike dealership (I think he was getting his bike serviced) and the guy my dad was speaking to ushered us into the back of his shop. He revealed a freshly unboxed Kawasaki ZX-6R. It was a very pretty bike, but I didn’t fall in love with it until he started it and revved it. I was hooked, I wanted that bike.

It took another 20 years before I made that dream come true. Now, I didn’t get a ZX-6R (because I am 6’4″ and not a lightweight) but I got the next best thing: a ZX-9R. Below was the bike.

ZX-9R

Below was my bike on a dyno run during a ZX-9R annual camping meetup. I remember it was still producing 139BHP, and how could you not love that sound?

This was the bike I had back in 2013 when I came up with the idea of the Europe bike trip. Now don’t get me wrong, this was a comfortable bike given that it was a sport bike…but after an hour or so you would start to get some pains in your wrist, and your bum would start feeling a bit numb. Additionally I wouldn’t be happy loading the bike up with luggage for the trip I wanted to do.

It was a sad day when I sold her. Now the decision around what bike I should get next. Not only for my Europe Adventure, but also to take me to the next part of my biking “career”. In all honesty, there wasn’t really a choice. I knew what I wanted. Not only had I just watched The Long Way Round and The Long Way Down…but my father had been a BMW faithful for the last 20 years. I started to look for a good used BMW R1200GS.

I managed to find a 2008 BMW R1200GS in black. The mileage was pretty high (for a bike) but as I keep getting reassured, these boxer engines go on and on. Or as BMW riders like to say, “30,000 miles? You have only just broken it in at that mileage”. I have since found that there are lots of things that BMW bikers uniquely say (“wow, that service was cheap” isn’t one of them)!

Here is my bike.

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In my next post I will talk about my experience with this bike, and how I have adjusted to the change from a sportbike.