Posts Tagged With: K1200LT

Our Last Post Of The Year

Well here it is the evening of the last night of the year.  Tomorrow starts a whole new year.  We rode over 8,000 miles last year on two different motorcycles.  We started 2014 riding our 2002 BMW K1200LT and then in October we bought a 2014 BMW R1200RT.  I put together a little video of our year in motorcycling.  Maybe next year we’ll remember to take more pictures but maybe we were having too much fun!  “At least I’m enjoying the ride!”

We hope you enjoy riding in 2015!

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The 49 Liter Top Case

Ever since Donna has been riding with me she has had a back rest or a top case to lean against for back support.  For those who don’t know what a “top case” is, it’s what BMW calls a trunk.  Harley Davidson calls their version a King Tour Pack or a Tour Pack (depending on the model).  On our 2006 Suzuki C50T she had a nice big, swiveled back rest that she liked.  On the Magic Carpet, our K1200LTE, she had that big top case with a nice, heated back rest.  You know I don’t really blame her.  I’d want the security of a back rest too.  The R1200RT has nothing back there except a small luggage rack.  BMW will sell you your choice of a few top cases that mount quite effortlessly on that luggage rack.  We opted for the new style 49 liter top case that BMW began using for the 2013 model year.  It took the purchasing dealer 4 weeks and a day to get it delivered and they didn’t even key it right to match the motorcycle (even though they were paid to do so).  It took a trip to a second and local dealer to get the lock re-keyed in a matter of minutes.

Since the top case got here a week and half ago and a week since its properly being keyed it’s been much colder than normal here, raining here or Donna had to work.  Donna really wanted the top case and its back rest to ride back there.  She did ride up from Daytona Beach, FL and went on an afternoon ride without the top case but really wasn’t comfortable.  Yesterday it was forecast to be about 65° (F) and sunny so we went for a ride to try out the new top case.  Well the temperature even got up to 70° which made for an even better day of riding.  Donna enjoyed having the back rest on the top case to lean back into.  She wasn’t grabbing my belt anymore.  I could see in the mirrors that she was back to resting her hands on her thighs as she rode back there.  To say she was much more comfortable and at ease is an understatement.  But now she says the foot-pegs feel “squishy”.  But then again she did have those nice big floorboards on the Magic Carpet.  Even the foot-pegs on the Magic Carpet were wide and flat.


The BMW 49 liter top case.

Categories: Accessories | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Motorcycle Goal To Aim For

The dust is settling after trading in the Magic Carpet, our 2002 BMW K1200LTE, and buying the 2014 BMW R1200RT.

I was looking at a few things and then got curious.  I know, that can be very dangerous.  You see, BMW Motorcycles USA offers a 100,000 mile award to those who can document through a dealer that you have ridden 100,000 miles on BMW Motorcycles.  The award is a nice medallion and a certificate.  Remember, this is not just motorcycles but BMW Motorcycles.  So I got curious about the mileages.  We bought our K1200LTE used and we rode 44,631 miles on it since we purchased it.  We’ve ridden our R1200RT 858 miles since purchasing it just under 3 weeks ago.  That’s a total of 45,489 miles (so far) on BMW Motorcycles.  I have only 54,511 miles to go (as of today).  I think I can do it.

Categories: General | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Near Disaster At Biketoberfest

Greetings from Daytona Beach at Biketoberfest!

But there was near disaster when we got here Wednesday.  We got off the highway and immediately heard a sound coming from the motorcycle as it moved.  It was sort of a “wuuu wuuu” as we rolled along.  We got to my Dad’s house and parked the Magic Carpet in the garage for the night.  The next morning I looked at the motorcycle and checked it more thoroughly.  I  found the sound was coming from the rear and  the right side, the same side as the final drive.  This could be real trouble.  I called my local dealer back home, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta for technical help.  The technician said it sounded like a final drive or drive shaft problem.  He also said to not drive it home because if that were the issue the rear end could fail or even lock up.  He even recommended taking the Magic Carpet to BMW Motorcycles of Daytona and that they had a good service department.

On Thursday morning we were at the dealer.  The service manager, Huel, said it could be the final drive.  When he found out we were from out of town he dropped what he was doing to look at it.  He determined it was the final drive and likely the outer bearing.  He wanted to know when we were heading home.  When I told him we had hoped to leave on Sunday he said he may have it fixed that same day!  The motorcycle was in the shop, on the lift and being worked on before the service paperwork was even done.  They even found an outstanding recall for the fuel line quick disconnects.  We were killing time at the dealer when in less than 30 minutes Huel came to me with some parts.  The outer roller bearing had failed but he said everything else looked good.  And as a result, the repair estimate had also dropped considerably.  The only problem was that they did not have the bearing in stock but he had ordered it for delivery the next day, on Friday.  He said “I’ll have you back on the road tomorrow morning or early afternoon.”

We got great customer service from Huel and BMW of Daytona.  But, I’m typing this on a tablet and will finish it up later with a trip report when we get home as scheduled.

Categories: Maintenance & Repair, Trips | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Cool Picture From This Week’s Ride

A few days ago I had posted that my friend Sean and I had ridden up on the Cherohala Skyway, had lunch in Robbinsville, NC and then rode The Tail Of The Dragon after lunch.  While we didn’t ride up to ride The Tail Of The Dragon, it was a spur of the moment decision; we literally decided to do it just because we were in the area.  The Tail Of The Dragon now has roadside photographers from at least FOUR different businesses out there and it was a weekday!  The one that is probably the most well known and has been there the longest is Killboy.  A few days after the ride I looked on the websites and found a photo I wanted to download from Killboy’s site.  So I was wondering if anyone wanted to see the underbelly of the Magic Carpet.  I mean everyone posts pictures of the side of their motorcycle but no one posts pictures of the bottom, especially as it’s going down the road.

Yes, that big German lady may be 12 years old now but she still likes to go out and dance.

Would you like to see the underbelly of my motorcycle?

Would you like to see the underbelly of my motorcycle?

Categories: Rides | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

2 Men, 2 Motorcycles and 360 Miles

Yesterday was my friend Sean’s birthday.  His wife and my wife, Donna had dropped a hint this past weekend about him taking a birthday ride and me going along with him.  Well as Sean joked, on Monday night, “I got my hall pass.”  Since it was his birthday I told him it was up to him where to ride to and that I was just following along.  So we met Tuesday morning and headed out, me on the BMW K1200LT and Sean on his Victory Cross Country Tour.  First off this was unusual as the both of us nearly always ride with our wives.  It turns out that our main destination was to be the Cherohala Skyway that stretches from Tennessee into North Carolina.  We headed up from Holly Springs, GA until we got to Blue Ridge, GA where we then took GA Highway 5 into McCaysville, GA and Copper Hill, TN.  We enjoyed the twisting and winding roads through places like Ducktown and Turtletown before we took a short rest in Tellico Plains, TN at the Tennessee end of the Skyway.  The Cherohala Skyway is just an amazing road.  It’s a stretch of road over 40  miles long going from Tellico Plains, TN to Robbinsville, NC.  The road twists through the mountains and has altitudes ranging from 900 feet to 5,400 feet above see level.  On a clear day like it was yesterday it seems you can see forever through the openings in the trees and from the scenic overlooks.  Here it was the last day of September and there was already plenty of fall color in the trees and leaves blowing through the air.  We had already planned on having lunch at El Pacifico, a Mexican restaurant and quite possibly the only Mexican restaurant in Robbinsville.

Over lunch we discussed where to ride next.  One idea was to take U.S. Highway 129 back down to Murphy and Andrews, NC and then head back into Georgia through Brasstown before heading home.  Then Sean decided that since we were so close, literally minutes away, that we’d head up to Deal’s Gap and ride The Tail Of The Dragon.  Yes, the infamous Tail Of The Dragon and its 318 curves in 11 miles.  It’s a stretch of road that we’ve both ridden a number of times.  It can be a fun stretch of road to ride too.  We’re lucky enough that we live in an area where a trip to The Tail Of The Dragon and back home can easily be accomplished in a day.  But to be honest, the only reason we rode it on Tuesday was because we were right there.  Before we mounted back up in the parking lot of El Pacifico we experienced the only sad moment of the day.  Sean and Christine are selling their home and have a contract on it and will be moving at the end of October before settling for a while in Florida.  Sean looked up the road and said, “I guess it’ll be a while before I get to ride roads like these again.”  Now granted that we’ll both be up in the area the first weekend in November while leading a group trip to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and Campground but being in a group, while can be fun, is not as fun as just two men and two motorcycles.  We rode onto Deal’s Gap, passing up the store and its nearly empty parking lot and rode The Tail Of The Dragon.  We rode it only once through and headed for US HWY 411 which would take us back south and home to Georgia.  Along the way we commented at a traffic light that it would’ve been more fun to head back on The Dragon and head home on a more scenic route that would take just a little longer.

I’ve ridden both the Cherohala Skyway and The Tail Of The Dragon a few times.  But this is the first time that I have ridden the two of them back to back in the same day.  While The Tail Of The Dragon gets all the hype I can tell you that the Cherohala Skyway is definitely the better of the two rides.

When I got home that afternoon I had 360 more miles on my odometer from the location I had met Sean in the morning.  So, hence the title of “2 Men, 2 Motorcycles and 360 Miles”  You can’t have much more fun on a tank and half of gas!

Along the ride we had our picture taken by a roadside photographer on the Cherohala Skyway and by a number of them on The Tail Of The Dragon.  Once they all finish uploading their pictures I’ll write a post with some proofs and links to their sites and maybe even purchase a picture or two.  So look out for that post.

Categories: Rides | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

She’s Definitley “A Keeper”

And no, I don’t mean the motorcycle.  I mean my lovely wife and riding companion, Donna.  But then I’ve known that for a long time.  When we stepped up from a cruiser to a touring motorcycle and bought the K1200LT one of the things she wanted to do (yes you read that right, she wanted) was to ride from Georgia to Washington state to visit her sister.  Well back in 2008 she suffered a layoff from her job and then a few weeks later they began furloughs for me at the police department of 10% in hours and pay per week for over 6 months.  Those combined with life and other things had put that trip on an indefinite hold.

Then last week we got one of those “save the date” cards for a wedding in California for next June.  Donna asked me “Can the Magic Carpet still make a cross-country trip?”  I told her it sure could.  She had already made preliminary plans for her bucket list trip, already figuring we could ship “wedding clothes” and other things out to California and then just pack the motorcycle with trip clothes like we did for our Blue Ridge Parkway trip back in 2011.  I think she just wants to be able tell relatives that she rode on a motorcycle across the country!

She’s definitely a keeper!

Categories: General | Tags: | Leave a comment

Finally, A Nice Long Ride Together

It seems like forever since Donna and I rode together.  Between her job, a stretch of either hot weather or rain and just life in general it seemed like ages since we rode.  In fact the last time we rode was when we went to Maggie Valley, NC back in July.  The other day Donna asked “What’s the weather like for Sunday?  I need a ride and I want to go to Turner’s Corner for lunch.”  We decided that there would be no errands, no chores and if anyone wanted us for anything that wasn’t a bona-fide emergency they’d just have to wait.  With an approaching cold front the forecast kept going back and forth with the forecast for rain.  It’s no fun riding in the rain and this ride was supposed to be fun. On Friday the forecast was improving and then on Saturday it was improving more (although we had already made our decision to ride).  I knew we would ride, no matter what the weather brought when Donna told me to pack her rain pants.

When we left in the morning I did just as requested and headed up to Turner’s Corner Café that sits on the corner of US HWY 19 and US HWY 129.  The Cafe’s true address is even 10 Turner’s Corner RD!  On the way up one of the first things we noticed was that there weren’t many motorcycles on the road with us as we got closer to the north Georgia mountains.  It must have been the gray clouds and temperatures in the upper 60’s in the morning!  Granted the clouds did look like they could rain on us and in fact they did, quite a few times, but never more than enough to just wet the windshield.  Some of the hill and mountain tops were shrouded in fog and clouds.  We took a pretty standard route for us to get to lunch, heading up I-575 until it became GA HWY 515 (to make up time) then GA HWY 53 to Dawsonville, GA HWY 9 on up to Dahlonega and then US HWY 19 to the restaurant.  Along the way near Marble Hill, Donna saw a baptism going on in a creek.  It is a nice curvy ride up there.  Now when I say a US Highway don’t think a multi-lane highway.  These are 2 lane roads in the mountains (Appalachian version of mountains) that are US Highways.  We had a great lunch out on the deck overlooking the river.  We nearly had the deck to ourselves!  Again, it must’ve been those gray skies that looked like rain.  There weren’t even many motorcycles heading up and down Blood Mountain.  I had planned us two rides for after lunch and both started and ended at Turner’s Corner.  I was in luck because Donna picked the long ride!

We headed south for a short distance towards Cleveland, GA but made the turn onto GA HWY 75 ALT (NOT interstate 75) and took it to its other end at GA HWY 17 just north of Helen.  We headed north on GA HWY 17 towards Hiawassee taking the nice twisting and curving part along the way.  We like to use more than just the center portion of the tires!  Once HWY 17 dead ended at GA HWY 76 in Hiawassee we made the right turn towards Clayton.  Before getting to Clayton though we turned right on GA HWY 197 for its twists and curves along Lake Burton before making our next right turn in Batesville onto GA HWY 356 passing through Unicoi State Park.  We ended back at GA HWY 17 just outside of Helen again before heading back past Turner’s Corner and heading back for home.  This whole ride today was all in Georgia but there’s a stretch along GA HWY 76 where you look into North Carolina.

We filled up with gas when we started in the morning and we put 248 miles on that tank of gas today with gas to spare!  Just before we got home the Magic Carpet’s odometer passed 84,000 miles.  But those aren’t the best things about today.  The best part was doing them with Donna sitting behind me on the motorcycle.

Categories: Rides | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

How Our Motorcycle Got Named “The Magic Carpet”

Boats get names.  Fighter pilots name their airplanes.  Babies get names.  Pets get names.  But I never really thought about naming a motorcycle.  But once we bought our BMW K1200LT I noticed on some of the BMW message boards that the motorcycles had names.  When we had out Suzuki C50T Boulevard we merely just referred to it as the “The motorcycle” or “The Boulevard”.  That seemed simple enough.  But BMW riders were naming their motorcycles and I’m sure they’re not the only ones who do it.  We were trying to come up with names.  “The Big Green Machine” was out, but “The Big German Lady” was a possibility.  It was harder than you think to come up with a name.  Did we want to come up with a name and then translate it into German?

Then one early one brisk morning we were headed up the road to meet some friends to go riding.  We had the stereo, yes a radio station, playing in that nice BMW intercom.  It was a classic rock station that we were listening to.  Then Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” began playing.  My head was moving with the music (luck for Donna I wasn’t singing) and we decided right then that we’d name our BMW K1200LT “The Magic Carpet”.  For some reason it just fit and has been that way ever since.

Categories: Accessories | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

So How Did I End Up Riding A BMW?

It’s a question I get asked all the time.  Why did you get a BMW?  Sometimes the question is “How come you didn’t buy a Harley?”  Well first off there has yet to be a manufacturer that is able to make a motorcycle that suits every rider.  And news flash, while Harley Davidson makes a very good motorcycle they are not the only company building motorcycles.

So here’s how I ended up with a BMW K1200LTE.  In 2006 I wanted to get back into motorcycling.  Like many motorcyclists there had been a break in riding in my life.  Did I set out to buy a BMW?  No I didn’t.  Donna was on board with it.  Donna had never ridden for any length of time on a motorcycle.  She wanted to try but wasn’t sure how she’d like it.  So between the 2 of us some guidelines were set.  We wouldn’t spend a ton of money, it would have some luggage capacity, have a windshield and Donna wanted a passenger back rest.  We decided on a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T in phantom gray.  It was a water-cooled, shaft drive V-Twin motorcycle.  The “50” designated a 50 cubic inch engine which roughly converts to an 820cc engine.  Because it was the “T” model it came with a windshield, hard leather saddlebags and nice big back rest.  In the Suzuki lineup T meant touring.  This motorcycle was basically a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic with a smaller engine and made in Japan.  It was a good, durable and surprisingly strong motorcycle.  Well, Donna literally took to riding like a duck takes to water.  If I backed the motorcycle out of the garage for anything, she was there with her helmet.  We would go on day rides and even weekend overnight trips on the motorcycle.  Then in 2007 we rode that C50T from home in north Georgia to Bike Week in Daytona  Beach!  We intentionally made the trip down in 2 days even though it is an 8 hour trip for us.  But on that trip we also avoided the interstate as much as possible.  It wasn’t long before we were both longing for a real touring motorcycle because no matter what Suzuki said, the C50T and its big brother the C90T were not really touring motorcycles.  The search began for a true touring motorcycle.

Donna with the C50T in Flagler Beach, FL on our way to Bike Week in 2007.

Donna with the C50T in Flagler Beach, FL on our way to Bike Week in 2007.

In early 2008 we had narrowed our search to the Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Honda Goldwing, Yamaha Royal Star Venture, Victory Vision, BMW K1200LT and a used BMW R1200CL.  I had no specific brand in mind.  An interesting note about BMW was that I didn’t consider them the first time around because I remembered black motorcycles with ugly bags being “old man” motorcycles.  But riding again exposed me to newer BMW motorcycles.  If I had looked at them in 2006 we probably would’ve ended up with an R1200R instead of the Suzuki.  But let’s get back to the search.  A later entrant into the search was the BMW R1200RT.  In the late summer and early fall of 2008 we began searching in earnest and things were lining up.  The Honda and the Yamaha were taken off the list pretty quick because we couldn’t find a dealer anywhere near us that would allow a test ride.  We weren’t spending that kind of money on a motorcycle and not being able to test ride it.  We even had a Honda dealer tell us that we wouldn’t need one and that under the law we had 3 business days after the sale to change our mind anyway and that could be our test ride.  That left Harley Davidson, Victory and BMW; all 3 of which by the way not only allowed test rides but encouraged them.  The next motorcycle to drop off the list was the Victory Vision.  The reason the Victory was dropped was a simple statement from Donna: “It looks cool now.  But will we think that in 2 years?”  The R1200RT was the next to drop off the list because Donna thought that the way the seat looked, it looked like it would make her slide forward.  I had to agree with her and after all she would not be an occasional passenger but a nearly all the time passenger.  No I don’t want to hear that we could buy another seat, we already did that with the Suzuki.  We test rode an Ultra Classic.  It was about 1:oo PM and I asked how long a test ride we could take.  I was told “We close at 6.”  The Ultra was one nice motorcycle and could be very comfortable and eat up the miles.  The next ride was a used BMW R1200CL at BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta.  Donna really wasn’t pleased with the look of the motorcycle and it’s “bat wing” fairing like the Ultra Classic and even said from the side it looked like an ant the way it was segmented.  I then went on a test ride on a BMW K1200LT by myself.  One word: WOW!  Since I was a police officer, I qualified to purchase a Peace Officer Special Edition Ultra Classic at a very significant discount from Harley Davidson.  No, it’s not a police motorcycle but an Ultra Classic with Peace Officer “badging”, blue pin-striping and limited colors.  We priced one out in preparation to order because you had to order them from the factory.  Then one day we saw a used 2002 BMW K1200LTE on the BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta website.  It was green!  But we went to look anyway.  Donna asked if they could take it outside in the bright sunshine.

Donna with the Magic Carpet at the Florida Welcome Center on the way to Bike Week in 2010.

Donna with the Magic Carpet at the Florida Welcome Center on the way to Bike Week in 2010.

The doors were opened and out she went.  Donna made the comment, “It sure looks fast and sexy.”  Her next comment was that even though it was green it look very good and very different.  Then came the offer for the test ride.  We took them up on the offer and went for over an hour test ride.  By the end of the week we owned that green K1200LTE that later became know as The Magic Carpet.  I called the Harley Davidson dealer to tell the salesman I would not be coming in to order the Ultra Classic because I had bought another motorcycle.  He said he understood (the peace officer editions don’t count towards their allotment or sales) but asked what I had bought.  When I told him a BMW K1200LTE he said “That’s a really great bike.  You’re going to enjoy it.  At least you didn’t call to tell me you bought a Goldwing!”  When we bought the K1200LTE I kept the C50T for a while.  But there was now no comparison.  The BMW had servo assisted brakes (power brakes like a car) while the Suzuki had a drum rear brake and a single disc front brake.  When I rode the C50T I felt like I wasn’t going to stop.  We sold her to a good home.  We owned the C50T just over 2 years and put 14,000 miles on her.  When we bought the K1200LTE it had 39,000 miles on it and it now has just under 84,000 miles as I write this (our next day ride will probably reach 84,000).  Very soon after buying the K1200LTE we took it on its first real trip.  We went to Florida to visit my parents in the Daytona Beach area for Thanksgiving.  We did it in one day this time with stops only for food and gas.  We were going across I-10 in north Florida when I told Donna on the intercom that it was about lunch time.  She said “We can keep going for a while, I’m fine.”  I had to tell her it was me who was ready for a break.

Basically the BMW fell into our laps at just right time.  Plain and simple.  I didn’t set out for a BMW or any other brand in the beginning and they all started out equal.

Since I’ve owned the BMW I’ve learned 3 major things about motorcylists and the make they ride:

  • Harley Davidson riders dress like pirates.
  • BMW riders dress like armadillos
  • Sport bike riders of any make dress like Power Rangers.

It doesn’t matter what brand you ride.  Just find something you like and ride it!


Categories: General | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: