Harley Davidson Pan America Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· Registered
2000 BMW R1100R
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following the passing of my wife of forty years, a year ago in March, I’ve returned to MC riding (have been riding since I was 16) and I am in the relatively enviable position of simply planning to ride for the next 3-5 years. I bought a twenty year old BMW R1100R, and have put about 14,000 miles on it over the last 15 months, but it is difficult to get accessories/farkles (heated grips, cruise control, heated seats . . .) for it, and I kind of want to keep it as it is.

I’m going to buy a new bike, but am not looking for a fully faired touring bike, and while unlikely to do any BDR rides, I’m 69 with bad knees and never like camping to start with, an Adventure style seems to fit. Besides being old, I’m also short 5’7”, but I believe a BMW GS with the lower suspension would work, and obviously the PA with Adaptive Ride Height.

My plan is to see how many of the 800 cities worldwide that host annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Rides, I can visit each year before the May Group Ride. Overseas, I’d likely rent a bike, and there are a lot of BMW tours out there, but to my pleasant surprise, Harley’s extensive international dealer network means that PA’s are also available.

I’ve ridden the PA, and really like it, great power and contemporary electronics, but like many prospective buyers, I’m apprehensive about the initial quality/electrical issues. However, a big positive is that while the nearest BMW is like 70 blocks away (I live in the city of Chicago, so that is like 9 miles), the Harley dealership is only like 20 blocks/2 miles/5 L stops away, and one of the guys in service has had a PA for a half dozen months and loves it, so if it has to go back to the dealer, it’ll be really easy.

In any case that’s the back story, so if my interests and posts/responses are all over the map you’ll know why. And oh yes, the PA is my profile picture belongs to Matt Walksler of Wheels Through Time. I think it looks good on me though🤭
John
 

· Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
If you're basically doing 90-100% road and highway, the larger GS's and the PA would be solid options, as would an Africa Twin. But if you're planning on doing alot of city riding for DGR stuff but need the ADV options, I would also consider the new 'V' Strom and Transalp when they're available or the latest Tenere. They're nimbler bikes but can still haul. They'll all have low seat options, I'm sure.

Recommending PA's is awkward. Would I recommend my personal bike? Absolutely. I would get on mine tomorrow and ride it coast to coast. Would I recommend them in general knowing the horror stories other have faced? Probably not. But then again, I know horror stories for brand new Teslas, Toyotas and Subarus, so it's not like teething issues are anything new. It's a tough call.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I hate to be "that" guy, but I'm tired of lying to people I meet on the road who ask about the bike, and I tell them how awesome the bike is.

Yes, when the bike works - it is awesome. The power, the handling, suspension, style...you name it. Objectively, the only things I don't care for is how they did their media controls (which I no longer use anymore for multiple reasons), and perhaps some design decisions such as the extremely short (useless) mud guards.

But after putting 10,500 miles on a 2022 PAS in 7 months, I've lost use of the bike for over 50 days during that period, been left dead on the side of the road due to warranty issues, and had multiple parts of the bike replaced including the entire clutch assembly. I've outlined my issues in more detail in THIS post.

I'm note sure if my bike is an anomaly, or if more people have issues and simply don't talk about them. But I know at least from 2 separate dealers that they've had to replace over 3 engines due to timing chain skipping, and clutches such as mine because the clutch basket got destroyed (and they've never told me why it happened in the first place, or what's to stop it from happening again).

I can tell you, that even though I'm 6 feet tall...the bike is tall. And when the adaptive ride height fails (which has been happening to me since day 1), if you're not ready at an intersection...it's a far reach to the ground. And offroad? It's the reason I've dropped my bike 4 times now.

That being said...the bike is unreliable at best, perhaps dangerous at worst. I've had to cancel multiple trips due to breakdowns, and none of the dealers can guarantee if/when I'll have all my issues fixed.

As much as I do love the bike, and don't have a clue what other bike I'd rather have...I simply can't endorse anyone else purchasing one.

Ride safe!
 

· Registered
2000 BMW R1100R
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks @rapid.death4140 and @Holymartyr.

You have both highlighted the exact issues I'm struggling with, reliability. One benefit I believe I have is that the service writer at my local dealer has had a PA fro some 5 months now, and has been relatively candid about issues he has had or more generally issues with the bike in general. He has addressed the electrical issues as being primarily software and update related, stating for example about the battery running down being an issue with the earlier bikes having a specific flaw, which cause the battery to drain more than it should have. His comment is that if I were to buy a bike now, all of the updates would have been made, and it would have been as good as it would be. Issues with the mechanical issues, clutch and the like are more challenging, as those are not as easy of a fix.

As I have said the other bike I'm looking at is a GS, w lowered suspension. I was getting mixed answers as to how often the lowered suspension model is sold, but it seems that while it used to be that only 10-20% were sold w lowered suspensions, now it is more like 40%. On top of that at least one dealer around me has a couple in stock, as I want to start riding south by February. This dealer has also shared base pricing with me, so I can do a reasonable cost comparison.

I don't know about you guys, but my HD dealer started out with a like $1K discount from list, but then came back with a $3K discount, but it was his last one, and he had others interested! Currently HD has a promotion that if purchased through HD finance by December 31st, the warranty gets extended to 36 months with unlimited mileage. This even tops BMW's 36 month, 36K miles, but days out of service, especially away from home would obviously be a problem. I guess I'll have to read the fine print and see if trip interruption coverage is included.🫢

While on the topic of pricing and negotiating with the dealer, while the BMW guy is pretty straightforward: list minus some nominal discount from MSRP, then simply sales taxes, license and title fees, HD has Freight and handling - I believe they are assembled in Milwaukee, HD Materials free, Documentation fee, CVR fee, like $2500 in total.

Good news if I have some time, at least until the end of December for the PA, and February for the GS. Also the suggestion about looking at an Africa Twin is also a possibility. I'll keep my R1100R, but I'm not wed to HD or BMW, so I'll see. My local BMW Club has their end of year frostbite ride this Sunday, so I'll see if I can get answers to my questions about dealers being far away, low suspension GS's and the like. I believe one member even has an Africa Twin, so maybe they'll ride that out, so I can check that out.

Thanks for all of your input, and if I don't check back, Have a great Thanksgiving .
 

· Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
If Harley won’t budge further on price, make sure you get first service thrown in, that’s worth another $500 and they never say no. Also, There’s always a possibility of a new model on the horizon so they’ll be wanting to clear out 22 models, so maybe hanging in there is a good option.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top