Originally Posted by L48Shark
Does anyone have seat time on an R1100S? I am interested in them and am curious what anyone thinks.
Yep, I just bought an R1100S.... I specifically did not want a K1200S because aesthetically, they just don't do it for me....
Here are my impressions after putting on 2,000 miles.
The R1100S is one of the "sportiest" bikes offered by BMW. It's probably the only bike in the BMW range that I would have purchased because I specifically set out to buy a sport bike and not a touring bike. To give you an idea, the other bikes I seriously considered were a Suzuki GSXR and a Ducati 999. I was sold after sitting on all the bikes and comparing their ergonomics. I had planned on long rides, and it wasn't a good sign when my butt hurt sitting on a Gixxer in the showroom. That and the fact that the R1100S is raced (sort of-- in the Boxer Cup) made me give the edge to the BMW.
The R1100S is a compromise.... It certainly is more comfortable than the GSXR and Ducati for all day riding, but it is going to get smoked on turns and on top end by a competent GSXR or Ducati rider.
Off the line, I can hold my own with a GSXR until about 60 MPH, and then the GSXR launches like a rocket ship and leaves me in the dust. On turns, the R1100S handles surprisingly well, and will amaze a lot of sport bike riders..... However, if you get behind a "knee scraper," he or she will certainly roast you on the road.
I am impressed with the handling for such a big bike, but like I said, it's not going to be anywhere near as quick or nimble than a Japanese or Italian sportbike. However, if you group ride, you'll still have more miles in you at the end of the day, while the sport bike riders straighten out their tired shoulders and backs.
Everywhere I go, people check out the Beemer. Most of the comments I get are that they had no idea BMW made a "race" bike.
There are a couple of issues that can be annoying... The R1100S (like all Boxer motors) may have more vibration than you are used to, especially in the 4,000 to 5,000 RPM range. Some people actually like the rumbly feel after awhile. My opinion is mixed. I also like "smooth." Also puzzling is the fact that there is no storage on the bike itself. Even my friend's GSXR has a storage compartment. I envy the fact that she can put her long sleeve shirt, Cobra chain, water bottle, wallet and other personal items in her lockable compartment, while I have to lug anything I want to carry in my pockets.
Whether or not to buy one depends on what type of riding you plan on doing. I basically have two types of friends. Those that like "all day cruising" and those that like "fast and hard" canyon riding. The BMW is the best bike for all day cruising and a lot of my friends who do that think nothing of having tank bags and saddle bags along for the ride. The fast crowd likes to ride stripped down, and I'd feel like a dorkmeister if I showed up with saddle bags. Suffice it to say, I have started to lean towards the "fast and hard" style of riding (the chicks are much cuter, and younger-by several magnitudes). If I had to do it all over again, I'd still buy the R1100S for cruising, but then again, I am now on the market for a faster and more flickable sport bike.