Sunday, 30 October 2005

MINI Insurance / MPG cruising@85

Yep its that time of year again.
Esure have been really good but they dont cover modified cars , so given my recent mods ;-) it seemed prudent to find a company who did....
So I'm now insured with Greenlight again , who can now cover MINI's , Ive been with them before for the Mini(Classic) and Fiat Coupe, never claimed bu customer service is great (no foreign call centres!)
Premium is the same as my renewal from Esure but now includes GTT stuff/GRS IC and the wheels ...result.

With the bike away , the cars getting much more use and seems to enjoy being run more often. Did a few big runs recently and on cruise control@85mph (by GPS via road pilot) the car averaged 27.9mpg over 200+ miles which I thought was quite good.
Given previous results Ive had that figure is probably 25.9 mpg ish (the calibration seems roughly 2mpg optimistic)

Need to try an ECU reset soon to see if that helps performance ....

MINI Lightweight Works GP Tuning Special Edition

Anthracite-Blue Metallic Paint (to be named)
Contrast Roof, bonnet scoop and front apron in pure silver
Contrast Mirror Caps in chilli red
Individually numbered
No rear seats
unique 18" light alloy wheels
Additional remote key
brillant silver interior trim
darkened rear glass
dynamic stability control
floor mats in velour
front passenger airbag deactivation
height adjustment for passenger seat
john cooper works kit approx 218bhp/160kw
john cooper works sports brakes
john cooper works sports suspension
interior lights package
manual air conditioning
multi function steering wheel including cruise control
on board computer
radio boost
recaro sports seats
single cd player
seat heating for driver and front passenger
sports leather steering wheel
white direction indicator lights.

Well to be honest its the not the car I expected it to be :-(
Some nice touches though and still looks special, the only thing I really hate is that rear spoiler YUCK.

Thursday, 13 October 2005

K1200R test ride

yep , a nice day in Glasgow so had to get a test ride :-)
Motorrad Central in Bishopbriggs kindly let me take out the beast below for an evaluation.
2200 miles on the clock , fitted with ABS , ESA , sports wheels (190 rear) and heated grips, and also a laser exhaust system as fitted to powercup bikes.

over 100 miles and 3 hrs later....
Awesome , what a machine....
Riding position felt very odd being used to a sportsbike.
Easy to ride straight away , the increased mass/wide bars mean its way more stable at slower speeds than the RR ,a sinch to ride.
Heated grips are superb , I thought a real luxury before trying but theyre brilliant.
Indicators !!! not good little buttons on either side and a seperate cancel button on the throttle side. Ok I may get used the them , but much prefer the traditional single switch on clutch hand , hated the BMW layout esp filtering in traffic.
Rear brake is non existent and in fact I only used it twice (the angle also makes it harder to use). Front brakes (ABS servo assisted remember) are supreme.
The dash (revs and speedo) I dont like , its way to cheap looking and mph is dif to read. The supension is superb (ESA allows on the fly adjustment), I only really tried COMF and SPORT settings which do as they say on the tin , ride quality def improves with COMF. However I basically ran on SPORT most of the time.
One of the biggest revelations though is the fact the front doesnt dive under heavy breaking , really confidence inspiring.
Bike makes a superb whine like a jet engine. Gearbox is OK but not as smooth as Honda unit. Full throttle clutchless upshifts were a bit hit n miss tbh.
Fuelling low down <2.5krpm is very poor ! and on deceleration. Throttle itself has a very long twist range so be sure your getting full throttle :-)
The engine is supreme (with a bit of vibration of this bike at 6krpm), effortless acceleration in any gear right up to the limiter. This bike though really loves 4k and a higher gear and the thrust is highly addictive (and I'd prob say more so than the 05 blade I test rode)
mirrors are OK at best , but small and vibrate badly under hard accel and high speed cruising.
Full throttle easy and doesnt seem to want to wheelie at least in 2nd full throttle.
Wind in the face/hair/chest definitely will slow you down. I got up to 150+ on a private test road and you cant stay at that for long lol
Basically the bike does everything you want , is brutally (but useably) fast and looks good. Round corners its eager but not as composed as the RR.
Exhaust note was great , didnt half get you noticed in town :-)
Insurance ??? Yep , I got a quote and if I bought tommorrow it would be half what I pay for the RR !!!! go figure...
In summary its a superb bike.......well done BMW

Have my opinions changed ?
Yep , I'd def get heated grips , ABS I dont know , ESA im not sure about now either.
Its a handy gadget but Im only ever going to ride 1 up. Sports wheels , yes just for the looks :-)

Am I going to buy one ?? Er I dont know actually ......

For me I jumped back on the RR and realised just how supreme it is.
RR is sharper and much more focussed, it begs for you to improve your riding and go faster. Maybe I havent got rid of my sportsbike fix as yet I dont know.
I'm going to think about it and consider my options. Sure the 1200R is faster in a different way (much like the blade) but you cant beat high revs and a light sportsbike :-)

Time will tell , I may end up with a 1200R yet.
Next test ride will be a GSXR1000K5 , the ultimate sportsbike of 2005.

Sunday, 9 October 2005

finding a bike for Allan / K1200R choices...

Another saturday spent out drooling over bikes
, whilst looking for a bike for Allan , theres just so much choice :-)
Sadly the nice ZX6R wed seen was sold :-(
lots of nice bikes to look at I guess the search continues ,with Xmas coming up soon hopefully prices are going to tumble :-)

Allan kindly agreed to take me to the BMW garage to see the K1200R.
[they also had my dream car outside , a Laguna Seca coloured M3 on 19's :-)]
sadly its only available in 3 colour choices

for now my favourite is the middle image , I think the silver wheels look better :-)
Still finding it difficult to get out of the sportsbike mentality though, especially as I could buy a GSXR1000K5 and have lots of change for next yr!! I am by no means decided as yet.
The extra options are...
ABS £795.00
Anti-Theft Alarm £245.00
Cockpit Fairing £130.00
Dual Low Seat (790mm) £0.00
ESA (electronic suspension) £525.00
Heated Grips £195.00
Luggage grid £80.00
Sports Wheels 190/50 ZR 17 £155.00
so speccing the bike for what I would like (i.e. it all except heated grips!) came to a truly astounding 11k , feck me thats a hell of a lot for a bike.
I will get a test ride first and take it from there....
[and of course see if I can even insure such a beast !!!!]

Still using the 600RR when I can , sitting at 5700 miles this weekend.
I guess I should consider putting it away for the winter very soon :-(


Tuesday, 4 October 2005

climbed cobbler / night bike runs

Well at last :-) I managed to make it up 'The Cobbler'[Ben Arthur] on Saturday.
What a great day with folk from my work. Tired legs after it but nonetheless superb.
Wet on the way up , and true to form the sun came out for a lovely day just as we were on the way down.

Good run there and back in the MINI stretching its legs a bit , GRS I/C really makes a world of difference.

Since its been dry Ive also been out on the bike after finishing work :-)
Cant resist, so thats 2 x 80 mile tanks and 100 miles on the last fill up.
Frugal it aint. Exciting it most definitely is.
wonder if I'll make 6k miles before it get tucked away for the winter?