Well, this was supposed to be a motorcycle-centric blog – and I’ve not written a word about bikes since I started this thing.

However, I did actually purchase a new motorcycle last October. It’s by far the best bike I’ve ever owned. 

2014 BMW R1200R Classic

It’s a fantastic machine, and has everything I want. Plenty of power (110hp) and torque (80 lb/ft), shaft drive (close to zero maintenance), anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronically controlled suspension.

And it’s the suspension – specifically the front that makes it special. Instead of traditional sliding-tube forks, it has what BMW call a “Duolever” – it’s a Hossack front end, and has some serious advantages over traditional forks. Unlike traditional forks, the Duolever doesn’t change its geometric angles when moving – so throttle changes don’t cause the bike to try to stand or drop while cornering. This, along with the electronic suspension adjustments and wide powerband make it by far the easiest bike to ride fast that I’ve ever ridden, including my previous Ducati Multistrada 1000s (and my long-ago jewel-like Suzuki Bandit 400). It’s also more comfy than the Duc, has bigger sidecases, is faster, smoother and gets better mileage. And it doesn’t look nearly as goofy as the ’06 ‘Strada did. I may decide to put an aftermarket exhaust on it at some point, but I’m still undecided.