On Labor day weekend I managed to get the winning bid on a barely used 2012 BMW R1200GS. When I say barely used I mean, 122 miles of use with 4 miles of that being the dealership itself. The amazing thing was that I was the only bidder on the auction. That was fortunate for me but not so for the seller as I was able to win the auction for the minimum bid which was about $4,000 below cost if I went to a local dealership and bought one with only 2 or 3 miles on it.
There was a delay in going to pickup the bike because the seller had to payoff the bike and get the title from BMW. During the whole time Phil, the seller, did a phenomenal job of keeping me updated. When it finally looked like the title was on it’s way I booked a 1 way flight to Boston and he agreed to pick me up at the airport as it was close to his office.
The day came and I was up at 2am. Reagan took me to the airport at 3am and I got on my plane just before 5am. It was a very early morning indeed. The flight went well, the connecting flight went well also and when I got to Boston so did my 1 piece of checked luggage which had all my riding gear, tools and a dry bag to ride home.
Phil picked me up outside baggage claim and we headed toward his place. Along the way we stopped for lunch at a local eatery. Conversation was good as Phil was a fellow Texan. It seems no matter where you go, when you meet another Texan you can find something in common pretty quickly.
When we got to his house the bike was just as described. I looked it over and then proceeded to mount my GPS and battery connection to charge my phone. Then I installed a Bead Rider seat cover and the bike was ready to make it’s 1,800+ mile journey back to Texas. Phil and I completed the transaction and made copies of things. And by 2:30pm EDT I was pulling out of his driveway on my spiffy new blue GS. Oh, I forgot to mention, this was a factory lowered version which meant it didn’t come with the fancy, and expensive, ESA shock system. To me that was a plus because it meant I could use my HyperPro shocks from my current GS. But that also meant it came with the special BMW extra low seat. Ouch!!!
About 10 miles down the road I decide to pull into a gas station to add a little air to the front tire as the onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring system told me the front was about 8 lbs low. While I was stopped I also filled up the tank so I wouldn’t have to worry about the gas possibly being stale.
With a full tank of gas I headed out onto I-495 heading north up to I-90 where I then headed west. The GPS prompted me to head south on I-84. I just followed the GPS while I enjoyed the music I had loaded onto my cell phone for the trip.
In Hartford, I picked up I-91 south until I got down to Hwy 15. For some reason the GPS wanted to route me onto a non-commercial vehicle roadway and I was fine with it since it seemed like a tollway without tolls. This road essentially parallels I-95 but with less traffic. As I approached New York City I picked I-87W and went across the Tapanzee bridge. It was rush hour but traffic seemed to be moving pretty good considering.
Eventually the GPS took me to I-287 down to I-78. I had completely bypassed the heart of NYC again. Eventually I-78 ran into I-81 and I knew I was on the final stretch of road down to Virginia where I’d get the bike serviced in the morning.
I stopped for gas a few times along the way. At one station, in Connecticut I believe, Abdul wanted to pump my gas because that’s the law there or something. I wasn’t going to have anything to do with that crap. I told him he wasn’t touching my new bike unless he wanted to write me a check. He could stand there and supervise me if he liked or he could go take a break. He stood there like I was a child, but after a few minutes he did seem to want to help and asked if he could wipe my windshield while I finished filling up.
As I crossed into Pennsylvania I pulled into a rest stop to investigate a burning oil smell I had noticed intermittently through out the ride. It turned out the left valve cover was leaking oil VERY slowly. Really just enough to make a mess but not enough to cause a problem. This I suspected was a result of when the seller had dropped the bike in his driveway. The drop wasn’t a surprise as it had been disclosed in the ebay listing and the photos didn’t indicate anything serious, Phil had even ordered a replacement valve cover but the dealership sent the wrong color so I didn’t get to install it before the trip home.
The final hundred miles or so in Virginia I was met with rain. Not just a light sprinkle, no this was a full on down pour. I was keeping my eyes open for Noah’s Ark. My Klim gear was working great. My Held gloves were doing great. My right boot was fine. My left boot, not so much. I could feel the water seeping in from the sole. I made it to the hotel in Roanoke, Virginia just after 2am. I had travelled 600+ miles and was ready for some rest as I have been going for 23 hours at this point.
Tuesday – more rain, lots more.
I had made an appointment with the BMW dealership in town to get the 1st service done to the bike and that’s where I went a few minutes after 9am. On the ride over there I didn’t wear my ear plugs and the first thing I noticed was the volume of the exhaust compared to my old GS. It was a little bit louder at idle and had a throatier sound to it.
The dealership got me in and out pretty quick. They looked at the valve cover and determined it was likely just a mis-alignment issue and remounted the cover. Later in the afternoon I discovered they were wrong as the oil continued to leak. There was a tiny crack in the underside of the cover and it only opened enough to leak when the engine was up to temperature.
With the service done I hit the road just before 11:30AM EDT. Of course, as I was getting my gear on the sky opened up again and I left under much the same conditions as I had arrived the night before, a torrential down pour. I worked my way out of town and headed south on I-81 again.
In Knoxville, I picked up I-75 south for a while and then in Chattanooga I got onto I-59. It was a little disconcerting on I-75 to see signs for Atlanta. I kept thinking, “No I don’t want to go to Atlanta.” But when I got onto I-59 I knew I was headed in the right direction. Of course I had to ride through Alabama and Mississippi which seemed to take forever as I was cutting across the states diagonally.
When I finally made it down to I-10 at Slidell, I pulled over to book a room at the Motel 6 in Baton Rouge which was about an hour away. The ride today had been a little more difficult on me, especially my posterior. Oh how I missed my Russel Day Long seat. I was only good for about 100 miles and then I really needed to stretch.
When I got to the motel I was happy to get off the bike. BMW seats aren’t known for their comfort but the extra low seat also caused cramps in my hips as my legs were bunched up tighter than normal.
Wednesday – the sky clears!
I didn’t bother to set my alarm clock, I figured I’d be up early enough with out. I was almost wrong. I packed, emailed my dealership in town that I’d be stopping by for a state inspection and headed west on I-10. It just so happened Baton Rouge has rush hour traffic at 8am. Imagine that.
I made one gas stop along the way and made it to Wild West BMW just a few minutes after noon. They got me in quickly and inspected the bike. By 12:45 I was heading for home.
I stopped by the house to unload some stuff and grab the checkbook, then it was down to the tax office to pay for the vehicle registration. Unlike the last out of state bike we purchased, I didn’t want to pay a late penalty on this one. It was just after 1:30 when I walked out of the tax office with registration paperwork and a Texas license plate.
It took about 48 hours, 1,800+ miles and 1 oil change to bring the new bike home. But even with the 2 nights in a hotel and gas, I figure I still saved more than $3,000 on this purchase. Especially when I discovered it has the option to disable ABS and ASC on the fly. That was a pretty pricey option by itself.
Since I have a rally to get ready for this weekend, I snapped a picture of the bike as it was when it came home. Then put it in the garage, where it will pretty much stay until I begin the build up process in the coming weeks.