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Old 11-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
ClearwaterBMW OP
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'14 GS... "MY" impressions thread

as you know I picked up my '14 GS today
there are pictures elsewhere and you can see that which I had added. By the time I left the dealership it was the time school was letting out and rush hour was beginning so my initial ride was 70 miles. I will add further comments as I write more miles to this thread. In advance of writing I want to thank everyone again for helping me to get past and through the last 10 weeks of my life since my shoulder surgery by allowing me to step inside your lives and live vicariously through them.

as a background about me for those who don't know, I have owned 11 bikes and have ridden over 200,000 miles. I traded in my 2000 K1200GT and you can see which bike setup I still own.

in the past I have also owned a 2005 R1200 GS and enjoyed that bike very much.

you should know with the very first time I have ridden the water cooled GS was when I rode my new bike out of the parking lot. I did not find the bike much narrower than my 2005 which some folks have reported. I am 5'6" tall and had a 27 1/2 inch inseam. I bought the normal height bike with the low seat made by BMW. when sitting on the bike both of the balls of my feet are on the ground. When I stop at a light I always shift to the left putting my left foot down on the ground leaving my right foot on the rear brake lever and peg. there are 1 million thoughts about breaking in a motorcycle but I did maintain the bike under 5000 RPM at least for today because again there was traffic everywhere and the tires were green and I didn't want any surprises. of course the bike is more powerful than my 2011 GS adventure even before I stuck a 350 pound sidecar rig on the side of it . I will now list a few impressions of the bike and put more in this thread later after riding a lot longer this weekend:
- powerful "enough"
- typical boxer motor sound
- fairly loud valve gear whine (a bit more than my '05 and '11, i think)
- the wet clutch had a nice engagement zone and suited this bike well
- the windscreen, 2/3rds of the way UP from the bottom was perfect for MY frame
- i love the NAV V GPS... and, at 5'6" i could see THE WHOLE SPEEDO/TACH cluster
- the BMW SMALL tank bag was very nicely made... rain coming this weekend so might be able to test the waterproof qualities is is said to possess
- the tire noise (i have the anakee iiis) was VERY LOUD... as most of reported. i didn't like it... even heard with ear plugs... very odd
- the brakes are typical BMW... strong, yet progressive... only 70 miles on the bike... more later
the switchgear is fine... i'll never get used to this new era of "NON-BMW" turn signal placement and the HIGH BEAM switch isn't located to my liking, either because it is too far INboard, secondary to the CONTROL WHEEL for the GPS.
- the LED light is great. but I think I must mention the following. My friend was riding behind me on his K1600 GT with the LED lights. a much sure a lot of you are aware that those lights are invisible to vehicles riding in front. They may throw a great deal of light at night and they may look cool in a picture but you really can't see them when looking at the bike in the daylight. The LED light on the new GS is fantastic but it isn't really is visible from a vehicle riding in front of you in the daylight as a traditional headlight assembly and that really aggravates me. Fortunately I installed Clearwater lights in the Erica version which can double as a plasma cutter if need be.
- the bike was very nimble and although I have installed a lot of accessories still felt very light to me.
- the vario cases are surely improved from those on my 2005 and they will be fine for me. I looked over every metal case available and I did not like the mounting systems in the asymmetric nature of their unattractiveness. Please remember that I will not be taking this bike off-road because of my 5'6" height and 27 1/2 inch inseam. I realize these cases are not as durable but that isn't relevant to me. I'm not fully convinced I won't change them for something more substantial. Had BMWs adventure cases already been available for their water cooled bikes, which they are not, I might have opted for those otherwise the black 38/31 L cases from touratech were the front runners for me.

I will enter a lot more when I have more time on the bike at the end of this weekend but suffice it to say so far I am happy. If there are any individual questions about initial impressions please don't hesitate to ask me here.

Again, I want to thank each and every one of those of you who have helped encourage me during my convalescence from shoulder surgery by allowing me to live vicariously through your adventures. I promise to do my best to return that favor.
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'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"

ClearwaterBMW screwed with this post 11-14-2013 at 07:40 PM
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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Coffe?

And the Report on the coffee???

My red is faster than your red!!!
Congratulations!

Felipe
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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Great write-up about your initial thoughts - I found your comments about the LED headlamp interesting.

As you know the DRL function is neutered for the NA market, where it runs at roughly 50% intensity (parking lamp mode) along with the low beam in daylight. In ROTW models the DRL runs at full intensity which makes the bike very conspicuous from the front.

Living in a country where filtering is not only legal, but also included as a component on the licence road test - subjectively speaking, I find that car drivers can really see the DRL and move aside to let me through far more than when I’m on my F800GS with its standard headlamp. The light from the full intensity DRL is aimed straight out, and being at roughly the same height as cars’ wing mirrors makes the bike noticeable to drivers. At the reduced intensity combined with the low beam (which has an extremely sharp light cut-off) you don’t have the same conspicuity in the daytime.

Bit of a shame in your market really, since the designers/engineers really have made advancements in safety when their product is used as they had intended. It’s the usual matter of the DOT thinking they know better (despite US accident rates being no better or worse than other western countries) and not moving as quickly as advancements in technology.

Riding at night I find the LED headlamp second to none, particularly when combined with the OEM aux lamps. These are not spotlights aiming straight out like the high beam headlamp, but, rather, the lenses aim the beam down and outwards similar to the low beam headlamp but covering a much wider area. The headlamp and aux lamps combined are superior to the lighting system of any car I’ve driven.

For reference, this is roughly the height someone in a car would view the lighting (EU/ROTW model) which is bright enough to flare the camera lens (see reflection between the wheel and fairing):
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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I found on mine (and others have reported) that the LED headlight is aimed to low. I adjusted that white thumb screw until the head light looked "correct" with me riding it. Then went onto a busy roads and nobody flashed high beams at me so I guess its OK. But I had to really crank it up a good bit.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
ClearwaterBMW OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Tivo View Post
And the Report on the coffee???

My red is faster than your red!!!
Congratulations!

Felipe
LOL about the coffee
Venti Iced Coffee... black
nothing too exciting
and... i hope yours is faster than mine... until i can ride "north" of 5,000 rpm
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'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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Congrats, Clearwater!
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duffs View Post
Great write-up about your initial thoughts - I found your comments about the LED headlamp interesting.

As you know the DRL function is neutered for the NA market, where it runs at roughly 50% intensity (parking lamp mode) along with the low beam in daylight. In ROTW models the DRL runs at full intensity which makes the bike very conspicuous from the front.

Living in a country where filtering is not only legal, but also included as a component on the licence road test - subjectively speaking, I find that car drivers can really see the DRL and move aside to let me through far more than when I’m on my F800GS with its standard headlamp. The light from the full intensity DRL is aimed straight out, and being at roughly the same height as cars’ wing mirrors makes the bike noticeable to drivers. At the reduced intensity combined with the low beam (which has an extremely sharp light cut-off) you don’t have the same conspicuity in the daytime.

Bit of a shame in your market really, since the designers/engineers really have made advancements in safety when their product is used as they had intended. It’s the usual matter of the DOT thinking they know better (despite US accident rates being no better or worse than other western countries) and not moving as quickly as advancements in technology.

Riding at night I find the LED headlamp second to none, particularly when combined with the OEM aux lamps. These are not spotlights aiming straight out like the high beam headlamp, but, rather, the lenses aim the beam down and outwards similar to the low beam headlamp but covering a much wider area. The headlamp and aux lamps combined are superior to the lighting system of any car I’ve driven.

For reference, this is roughly the height someone in a car would view the lighting (EU/ROTW model) which is bright enough to flare the camera lens (see reflection between the wheel and fairing):
I just rode 20 miles at night and I have a few observations about the lights:
- the clearwater lights ERICAS are bright... but so far UNDER THE BEAK, the way CL wants the installer to use the supplied bracket as to decrease the upward effect of the lights, even at full power
- the seem to be aimed too low... which makes oncoming traffic happy but doesn't allow me to "utilize" my expenditure to its fullest capability
- with the touratech metal headlight guard the pattern of the LED light with the Clearwater lights off is rather bizarre. in fact I don't really think the LED light gives a great deal of LIGHTING POWER down the road at all. I wouldn't even feel comfortable riding at night without some auxiliary lights. others may disagree



- I do like the color of the background lighting of the clocks much better than that on previous models.
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'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowPro View Post
I found on mine (and others have reported) that the LED headlight is aimed to low. I adjusted that white thumb screw until the head light looked "correct" with me riding it. Then went onto a busy roads and nobody flashed high beams at me so I guess its OK. But I had to really crank it up a good bit.
and interesting observation on your part. I did not write much without my auxiliary Clearwater lights on. I will have to do that and see if I need to aim my LED lights a bit higher as well.

thanks for telling us your experience and for giving me a bit of a clue of what I might need to do
__________________
Greg
'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Emoto View Post
Congrats, Clearwater!
thank you, very much
i appreciate it
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Greg
'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ClearwaterBMW View Post
If there are any individual questions please don't hesitate to ask me here.
Ready to let go of the GSA rig?
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:47 PM   #11
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When you adjust the lights up where the need to be you will see a huge diffrence. I had the same issues with mine now I have to say the light the road and sides of the road up better than my truck or car. I can assure you it will also help people see you in the day light too, that head light is bright just ask anyone you rode behind. One other note is it really lights up road signs, and gives them all a blueish tint. All while blinding you if the high beem is on.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nadredrum View Post
When you adjust the lights up where the need to be you will see a huge diffrence. I had the same issues with mine now I have to say the light the road and sides of the road up better than my truck or car. I can assure you it will also help people see you in the day light too, that head light is bright just ask anyone you rode behind. One other note is it really lights up road signs, and gives them all a blueish tint. All while blinding you if the high beem is on.
I'm thinking the same, it's probably on its low position...

But also the TT guard is marked 'off road use only' for a reason - it blocks a lot of light. Out here we would get a £300 fine using the guard on the road...
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ClearwaterBMW View Post
and interesting observation on your part. I did not write much without my auxiliary Clearwater lights on. I will have to do that and see if I need to aim my LED lights a bit higher as well.

thanks for telling us your experience and for giving me a bit of a clue of what I might need to do
Greg,

Congrats on the GSW!

I have some experience with the Erica's due to the fact my Brother put a couple sets of Clearwaters on his GSW. We camped at Big Sur this weekend so it was my first ride with him behind me. WOWSERS! Those lights are over the top cool! I could pick him out of the crowd no problem. He also has I think ??? Darla's with amber lens on his fork legs. He is so visible in the mirror it is amazing. Watching him come at you the lights are so unique to look at, it really gets your attention.
He has two controllers for each set of lights that go from 0 ?? to 85% controlable and 100% FULL BLAST with Horn or Hi Beam Flash.

Looking forward to following your posts on this GSW subject.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
Ready to let go of the GSA rig?
nah...
gonna keep it forever..... at THIS point
my dogs would NEVER let me get rid of her
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Greg
'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #15
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from tonight:




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'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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