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RideFast Nov 2019

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BOXING BMW recently

BOXING BMW recently invited us along SMART for the launch of 3 new bikes in Mpumalanga. We sent Glenn Foley along for the ride. He came back smiling. Quite a lot actually. Pics Rob Till and Glenn Foley When I saw this launch invitation come along, it was an easy choice to accept and tag along. These are absolutely my kind of bikes – real world machines that can be ridden every day. And with the advent of that new gen boxer engine that I felt at the GS launch earlier this year – BMW’s have suddenly become very interesting to me. New Gen: Some techy stuff. The latest evolution of its liquidcooled boxer features increased capacity, delivering more power with the new ShiftCam variable valve lift and timing system. The new boxer boasts a peak torque number of 105.5 pound-feet at 6,250 rpm that ensures supremely strong and very smooth throttle response at any rpm, in addition to a smoother ride thanks to its improved balancing shaft. You can google all of that – but in my opinion, the new engine is truly a revelation that has suddenly given the BMW Boxer bikes a massive personality. BMW has capitalized on the new tech by dressing the Boxer in 5 different sets of clothing. Everyone is familiar with the GS 1250 which really is a new dawn for the Adventure market – but, the clever guys in Munich also decided to look after the road riding fraternity with four other bikes, all powered by that amazing new boxer engine. The bikes: Lined up at the scenic Kruger Park international Airport for our riding pleasure were three models: The very svelte naked R 1250R, the gorgeous half faired R1250RS and the R1250RT tourer. Lots of tech: Two riding modes, ASC and Hill Start Control as standard. There are two riding modes available as standard on all models in order to be able to adapt the motorcycle to individual rider preferences. The standard Automatic Stability Control ASC ensures a high level of riding safety due to the best possible traction. The set-off assistant Hill Start Control is likewise a standard feature in all models, enabling convenient set-off on slopes. And that’s really handy on bigger bikes like the GS and the RT. Optional equipment also available: “Riding Modes Pro” is now available as an optional equipment item, featuring the additional riding mode “Dynamic” and “Dynamic Pro” (configurable), and Dynamic Traction Control DTC. DTC enables even more efficient and safe acceleration, especially when banking. ABS Pro offers even greater safety when braking, even in banking position. The new Dynamic Brake Control DBC provides additional safety when braking, also in difficult situations, by avoiding unintentional accelerator activation. By means of intervention in the engine control, drive torque is reduced during braking so as to make full use of the braking power at the rear wheel. This keeps the motorcycle stable and shortens the braking distance. On all of the bikes, the ABS is unobtrusive – as it is supposed to be. We all turned on the seat and handlebar heaters as soon as we had to swap bikes – and that raised a couple of chuckles. Naturally we used the electronic quick shifters - they are perfect and are a great touch on any modern bike. Numbers Game: The “R” and the “RS” – If you love engineering and physics – read this. Glenn with Team Bee Em. The R1250R and the R1250RS share the same basic chassis with the only difference represented by 0.6 of an inch in wheelbase—the R 1250 R spanning 59.6 inches while the R 1250 RS goes to 60.2 inches. The difference comes from the 0.6 inch less tri-clamp offset at the R 1250 R steering geometry. In fact, given the same 27.7-degree steering axis rake, the R 1250 R front end geometry features a 4.98-inch trail while the R 1250 RS is happy with a 4.36-inch trail. Possibly the BMW chassis specialists moved the front wheel back on the R 1250 R to increase the amount of weight bias to the front to compensate for the lack of the downforce the fairing generates to keep the R 1250 RS nose down at speed and that does not assist the naked R 1250 R. The Ride: We were loosely arranged into separate groups, allocated time slots for each model and pointed in the direction of the marvelous twisties that only Mpumalanga offers. Country Trax man Aldo van der Walt sorted some really lekker routes out of Mbombelo, twisty roads that hug the mountains and wind through the suburbs. These routes eventually took us past the Ngodwana paper factory – and up onto the Kaapse Hoop pass. We were warned to watch out for wild horses – and guess what? After 25 odd years of riding this road, I finally got to see them. In fact, as we came zooting around a sweeping corner we found a young foal standing nonchalantly in the middle of the road watching the A trio of Boxers. herd of Beemers whizz past, while the adults hunted for green shoots along the side of the road. Too cool! This led to a quick unplanned stop for photos and… Man! I am constantly reminded why we live here! South Africa has so much to offer – especially if you ride a motorcycle. The route wound its way along some of the most famous passes that all motorcyclists in this neck of the woods love - and we soon found ourselves heading into Sabie. The 1250R From R161.400 For this leg, BMW allocated me the 1250R. Mine was the green one – but it is available in 3 different coats of paint. In my opinion, the white, blue and red one needs to make its way into our garage. If you are a naked bike fan, you’d be hard pressed not to like it. Its compact size belies the fact that it is powered by a massive 1250cc engine. It feels small and light – and it’s easy to get your legs onto the ground. It’s really comfortable too – the bars and controls are perfectly placed – and the foam that they have used on the generous seat is comfortable – not too soft and not too firm. Up front in the cockpit you get a cool TFT dash that transmits all the info that you need to know at a glance. This bike is so much fun. Not a maniac like a conventional inline four but it has oodles of bottom end torque and it accelerates quickly and smoothly through the quickshifter - to arm stretching speeds, without revving to the moon. I chickened out at about 195kph – that’s plenty fast for a naked. There is a reason that so many adventure riders love the Boxer engine. It’s all about a low centre of gravity. This bike turns so well and handles like it’s on rails. A brilliant, fun to ride grin stretcher for which you simply do not need an excuse to take for a ride. Love it, love it! Please Mr bank manager… Kaapse Hoop is a pretty spot... 52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 5 3