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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
First (short) ride impressions…

Having had the R9T for twelve days now, it seems I’ve been waiting forever for that first ride, what with the need to join the queue for an overdue annual service, and unkind weather.

I have to say that I was a little apprehensive when I managed to get out briefly this morning for a circuit around local streets. It had been two months since I last rode (on my late Yamaha Tracer 900 GT, an entirely different beast to the R9T), and maybe three years – certainly two – since I was last on a boxer twin, my-then R1200R Roadster LC.

The weather was threatening, with forecast very heavy and prolonged rains expected – and welcome at that – so the outing was brief.

Some very early impressions, which of course may well change as I have more time on the bike:

What I like:

The overall style and appearance of the bike, its typical BMW quality, fit and finish, fine detailing, and its ‘petite’ almost toy-like appearance. The Version 718 model is very attractive, with the Blueplanet metallic paint job and silver side-panels to the tank, as well as the tasty gold pinstriping on the tank and rear cowl. Only trouble is – I cannot see any blue in it except under bright sunlight. Otherwise both in the flesh and in the many photographs I have from the previous owner it looks black: but I don’t mind that at all. Gotta go to SpecSavers!

The ease of mounting and demounting. One of the main reasons why I chose the R9T to end my riding days is its low 803mm seat height, with which my ancient wonky stiff hips and knees allows me to get on and off the bike with some degree of comfort and few gymnastics.

Good strong engine braking.

The exhaust note – not a sharp ‘crack’ that some bikes have, but a nice deep note.

Smooth and precise clutch take-up.

Very smooth jerk-free power at very small throttle openings, doubtless aided by the ‘booster plug’ that is installed. This is pretty important to me as I have a tricky bit of low-speed negotiating to do to enter my short steep drive from the narrow uphill reverse-camber road outside, where any engine hesitation might be disastrous.

Clear easy-to-read instruments.

Self-cancelling
indicators.

Smooth precise faultless gear-changes, as good as on any bike I have had in the past, and much improved from other boxer twins I have owned, going way back to 1997, the age of the dinosaurs.

What I dislike:

The R9T’s ergonomics. My legs are tucked-up like a diminutive jockey on a large racehorse – the back of my calf just about touches (or feels like it) the back of my thigh. It requires a definite extra effort to lift my legs higher than I’m used to, though I’m sure (and surely hope) that with increased experience on the bike the developing muscle-memory will make it a lot easier. Otherwise a set of lower foot-pegs may have to be considered.

Still on ergonomics, even on this very short outing I already experienced an early onset of some mild shoulder discomfort. I have a history of this bursitis, which has necessitated cortisone injections into the bursa of both shoulders from time to time over the years. It can be extremely painful, especially on long trips with multiple long-distance consecutive days in the saddle. I’ll give it some time, and if necessary will have to consider new ‘bar risers or some other changes.

(To compare the ergonomics of any two or more bikes, visit the interesting and useful <cycle-ergo> website).

Feeble horn, which resembles the dying squeak of a baby budgerigar! Nothing new here on almost any bike, so I have a Stebel Magnum horn on its way.

The jury is still out on:

The $540 BMW ‘comfort’ seat, installed by the previous owner. It falls into the ‘not too bad’ category at present, and I’m hopeful that I can adjust to it, as I don’t intend to do any distance touring, as in the past, and I certainly don’t want to have to splash-out on the unknown qualities of an aftermarket seat.

Suspension may require some fine-tuning by my favourite professional suspension guy. The front fork is OE. The rear shock is an expensive Ohlins unit, and I know he can work wonders with both, but again I need some more time in the saddle to evaluate it properly.

Overall, then, I’m pretty happy with my new toy, and look forward to getting to know it properly over coming days, weeks, and months.


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Lawrence, (May I call you Larry?)
Nice write up. I think things will get better as the miles pile up.
Not sure if your pegs are as high as mine, but one thing I found helpful from leaving a stop
was to already have my right foot on the peg.
Seems to work a lot better for me instead of trying to bring two legs up at the same time.
 

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I agree, nice review. However, I did note that everything you did not like are based on ergonomics. Your size ..and the shape your in are all adjustments you’ll have to make to the bike and not factory design or performance problems. Some foot ped drops, handle bar choices, bar risers and perhaps seat changes will begin to fit you to the bike ..not the other way round. I’m almost 71 and I would suggest perhaps a few lessons in Yoga might help too. Stretching and exercise are amazing additions to your daily routine. Age does wonders for ones wisdom but nothing for your bursitis. I love my R9T, she is a perfect Lady/Monster, ..you just have to adjust the saddle to fit the horse. When the weather clears and the sun comes out ..you’ll lean over and take her out on the open highway ..twist her wrist a bit and everything will become quite clear as to what attracted you to her in the first place. Love is grand ! From 90 to 130 is pure adrenaline, you’ll forget all about you aches and pains. StayUpOn2 Lawrence, it will keep you Alive, not just living !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lawrence, (May I call you Larry?)
Nice write up. I think things will get better as the miles pile up.
Not sure if your pegs are as high as mine, but one thing I found helpful from leaving a stop
was to already have my right foot on the peg.
Seems to work a lot better for me instead of trying to bring two legs up at the same time.

Thanks fmd. I'll try your one-foot-already-on peg approach, but it will require me to break the habit of a (riding) lifetime! Balancing big, tall, heavy GSs at rest as I have done always made me feel safer with both feet on the ground, and I guess it became second nature - but I shall certainly try to adapt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree, nice review. However, I did note that everything you did not like are based on ergonomics. Your size ..and the shape your in are all adjustments you’ll have to make to the bike and not factory design or performance problems. Some foot ped drops, handle bar choices, bar risers and perhaps seat changes will begin to fit you to the bike ..not the other way round. I’m almost 71 and I would suggest perhaps a few lessons in Yoga might help too. Stretching and exercise are amazing additions to your daily routine. Age does wonders for ones wisdom but nothing for your bursitis. I love my R9T, she is a perfect Lady/Monster, ..you just have to adjust the saddle to fit the horse. When the weather clears and the sun comes out ..you’ll lean over and take her out on the open highway ..twist her wrist a bit and everything will become quite clear as to what attracted you to her in the first place. Love is grand ! From 90 to 130 is pure adrenaline, you’ll forget all about you aches and pains. StayUpOn2 Lawrence, it will keep you Alive, not just living !
Thanks, Blitz. I'm already looking into 'bar risers etc - it's gonna be a matter of suck and see, I guess - and maybe the sacrifice of some $$s until I get it right. I fully agree with the likely value of some stretching exercises, in fact have recently looked into doing some Pilates. Now that the weather is cooling down somewhat I'll investigate it more.
 

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Thanks fmd. I'll try your one-foot-already-on peg approach, but it will require me to break the habit of a (riding) lifetime! Balancing big, tall, heavy GSs at rest as I have done always made me feel safer with both feet on the ground, and I guess it became second nature - but I shall certainly try to adapt.
I have both feet on the ground at a stop.
I just put the right foot on the peg before starting out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again, fmd. I have a feeling that this is what I do, but if so it may be so automatic/ intuitive that I don't even notice! I'll check when next out ( which may be some time away, as we have and are expecting much more very heavy rain!).
 

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Thanks fmd. I'll try your one-foot-already-on peg approach, but it will require me to break the habit of a (riding) lifetime! Balancing big, tall, heavy GSs at rest as I have done always made me feel safer with both feet on the ground, and I guess it became second nature - but I shall certainly try to adapt.
This technique gets easier with practice. With the slightest lean left or slightly angling the bars left helps. Leaves your right foot on the right peg to apply the rear break, which is essential when stopped on any incline.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm about to order a pair of the Knight Design footpeg-lowering parts, having watched a detailed video of the installation and read some encouraging reviews. The 35mm/ 1 5/8" gain will surely make me feel less cramped. A member here from way back reported that at 6'1" he found the improvement to be excellent, so at a lesser 5'9" they should work very well for me too.

Cost including shipping is a pretty hefty AUD$296, but it will be well worthwhile if successful.

More later when received and installed.

129135
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The Visa card has had a thrashing this afternoon! Just ordered a pair of HELIBAR handlebar risers, @ AUD$277 delivered. They will lift the 'bar by + 25mm/ 1'', and bring it back by +33.3mm or 1 1/4". Piratical cost for what it is, especially the shipping, but what's a man to do? But a useful value-add is that there's a detailed on-line installation video on the website, and a printed version for download too.

Much, much cheaper knock-off are available, but I reckon that this component on any bike takes a good deal of stress and strain under normal - or even abnormal - riding conditions, and it wouldn't do to have one of them snap-off during a bit of spirited twisties riding. Will report one fitted and tried.

Together with the KD footpeg lowering kit (above), the improvement to the bike's ergonomics should be considerable. Here's hoping!

129136
 

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The Visa card has had a thrashing this afternoon! Just ordered a pair of HELIBAR handlebar risers, @ AUD$277 delivered. They will lift the 'bar by + 25mm/ 1'', and bring it back by +33.3mm or 1 1/4". Piratical cost for what it is, especially the shipping, but what's a man to do? But a useful value-add is that there's a detailed on-line installation video on the website, and a printed version for download too.

Much, much cheaper knock-off are available, but I reckon that this component on any bike takes a good deal of stress and strain under normal - or even abnormal - riding conditions, and it wouldn't do to have one of them snap-off during a bit of spirited twisties riding. Will report one fitted and tried.

Together with the KD footpeg lowering kit (above), the improvement to the bike's ergonomics should be considerable. Here's hoping!

View attachment 129136
You’re doing it right. It’s like Tac for a horse. It’s expensive but it’s value will last forever. Every time you mount up and look around your machine you’ll smile, no regrets will be on your lips. Off you will go with a firm satisfaction and joy in search of that moment when adrenaline begins to transport you back in time. You’ll come alive in a way that can only happen when you’re UpOn2 with the wind in your face and that roar in your ears. You’re in command of your destiny once again. 🏍.....You are the Lone Ranger “Hi Ho Silver .. Away !” ........GoFast-HaveFun !
Tempus fugit .....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Lawrence, (May I call you Larry?)
fmd - you may call me anything you like so long as it's not late for dinner! On another BMW Forum where I have the same user name I'm widely known as and often called 'LoS', which is quite a nice short 'name' - feel free to follow suit, or not, as you please!

Yours...

LoS
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You’re doing it right. It’s like Tac for a horse. It’s expensive but it’s value will last forever. Every time you mount up and look around your machine you’ll smile, no regrets will be on your lips. Off you will go with a firm satisfaction and joy in search of that moment when adrenaline begins to transport you back in time. You’ll come alive in a way that can only happen when you’re UpOn2 with the wind in your face and that roar in your ears. You’re in command of your destiny once again. 🏍.....You are the Lone Ranger “Hi Ho Silver .. Away !” ........GoFast-HaveFun !
Tempus fugit .....

Thank you for your rather poetic words, Blitz. One would think I've never had a new mobike before, but - warts 'n' all - this R9T seems to have grabbed me a bit more than some others! I don't mind spending a few (lot!) more dollars to get it right, as I have always done with previous machines. No 'bling', just good useful add-ons, chiefly to improve safety and comfort.

After some front-facing LED DRLs and a rear brake-operated SKENE-type flashing/ pulsing brake light I think I'm pretty much there now, or will be once these latest buys have been fitted.
 

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The Visa card has had a thrashing this afternoon! Just ordered a pair of HELIBAR handlebar risers, @ AUD$277 delivered. They will lift the 'bar by + 25mm/ 1'', and bring it back by +33.3mm or 1 1/4". Piratical cost for what it is, especially the shipping, but what's a man to do? But a useful value-add is that there's a detailed on-line installation video on the website, and a printed version for download too.

Much, much cheaper knock-off are available, but I reckon that this component on any bike takes a good deal of stress and strain under normal - or even abnormal - riding conditions, and it wouldn't do to have one of them snap-off during a bit of spirited twisties riding. Will report one fitted and tried.

Together with the KD footpeg lowering kit (above), the improvement to the bike's ergonomics should be considerable. Here's hoping!

View attachment 129136
Nice, I went with the Wunderlich stackible handlebar riser and a Rizoma handlebar on mine.
129312
 

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Beautiful bike

I added a black Ohlin's damper to go with the theme I got going. I also put on some Rizoma engine guards and D/G axle protectors. I have the tail piece in the R90s color but prefer the Corbin seat. My old 71 year old butt needs the extra padding. lol.....
 
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