It's ostentatious, I suppose, ( but put that down to my age, perhaps), but these days, I am the owner of not one large BMW motorcycle, but (since 2019), two of the things.

Aesthetically, they probably couldn't be more different from each other, but the differences don't stop at how they look. They have earned the nicknames "The Beauty" and "The Beast".

"The Beauty"

She's a 2008 K1200 LT Lux, in darkest black. Bought in 2014 with a ridiculously low mileage on the clock, after a long period in storage by the one previous owner, this is my third K1200LT since 1999. 2008 was the final year they were produced by BMW, and they'd certainly got the hang of putting them together over the previous ten years or so. The other good thing is that, presumably to clear the shelves of parts, this particular edition contains as standard all the "bells and whistles" previously offered as "extras". Things like chrome trim, cruise control, and much else. The Beauty is my workhorse, often seen with an additional carrier rack fitted across the rear seat, so that I can pack camera boxes and things like that. The pillion seat is, when not doing luggage duty, supposedly the most comfortable motorbike passenger seat in the world (I am told by one who knows). I wouldn't know about that - I've never sat in it and let anyone else up front.


"The Beast"

I've had an "on-off" relationship with BMW's GS series bikes for quite a few years. In terms of looks, they are an acquired taste, I guess. I'd often ridden one for a day, as a loan bike, while my other bike was having routine servicing done. I'd usually regarded them as a bit noisy, with a clunky gearbox, and a seat a bit too tall for my inside leg, so for these and other reasons, including space at home, I had never been tempted to own one. They don't seem to me like the ideal bike from a pillion passenger's point of view, either. The change came when I began thinking about some trips to the Alps and other high ground, armed with cameras etc, and without a passenger. I found the market was awash with good quality, little-used versions. I'd also sold my kit-car, and had garage space. The Beast is a 2015 GS1200 Adventure model, with more than a few added extras. I also found that most of the things I didn't like about them had pretty much been fixed over the years!


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