2000 BMW R 1100 R/R 850 R

11 ratings (9 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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SUB - Sport Utility Bike Does All

Dec 23, 1999
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Quality, Handling, Versatility, Comfort

Cons:Price, Weight, Quirkiness

The BMW R1100R is a naked roadster, like the old standards of the Seventies, with 21st Century technology and reliability. Designed to do many tasks, it can be the only bike you own, or simply the most utilitarian. If SUVs were bikes, the R1100R would be one.

First the bad stuff. If you are a multi-brand rider, BMWs are, well, different. Controls are unique in many cases, transmission still tends to be clunky after more than half a century, and they are not exactly light weight. The R1100R (and its smaller bore but otherwise identical junior version, the R850R) tilt the scales well over 600 pounds. Not a bike for the weak, tiny or wobbly. Also, not cheap. If you just want a bike, any bike, and have no appreciation for the finer (or quirkier) things in life, pass it by - you can get two excellent Japanese makes for the price of a Beemer.

Having said all that, the Roadster is one of life's great compromises. It's not the fastest sport bike, it's not the plushest luxo-tourer, it's not a sexy cruiser and it's a little large for commuting. However, it will do all these things admirably, and there's few bikes out there that can say that. The R1100R is most at home on short 1-2 hour jaunts in the twisty back country roads, or sweeping state highways for afternoon recreation. But you can ride it to work; you can pose with the Harley boys at the Brewpub (they'll make fun of you and beat you up anyway) and with optional but integrated hardbags and windshield, it'll handle 2 or 3 days on the road.

Handling is BMW superb - the telelever and paralever suspension is rock solid and stable, even on rough roads or while braking in a curve. Available ABS makes an average rider a terrific stopper, ending rear wheel slide-outs forever. It's weight, which is a parking lot pain, is also a benefit on the Interstate, where the Roadster is no slouch around trucks or distracted SUVs. Fit and finish are what you would expect on a fine, expensive bike.

Finally, BMW is about the only dealer that lets you ride their bikes. There is a reason for this. Try one on. Mine fit perfectly, and that's the reason I bought it. I wanted back into biking, but I was no kid anymore. The bike just slid right on like an old shoe. Taller riders may get a little wind buffeting over the optional windshield (that I'd recommend for anyone over 30), while the shortest riders may want to look at the BMW R1200C Cruiser instead. For everyone else, "trying one on may be the best decision you've made this year.


Recommend this product? Yes

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