Ages ago I started riding a motorbike to work, because I lived in/near London and it’s infinitely preferable to the tube. This was a Very Good Decision (except for the times when drivers decided that I didn’t exist and tried to occupy the same part of space/time as me). Pretty much all the bikes I then bought (and broke) mostly existed for the purpose of getting me to work and back.
At some point later, I moved to “The North”, and my need to commute dropped pretty dramatically. I ended up with a Ducati Monster 1100 Evo wihch had always been on my “I’d like to own that one day” list. Typically Italian, it was a bit eccentric and quite noisy. It had a tiny fuel tank and no fuel gauge, so any journey was a bit of a gamble. Presumably the Italian approach is to see running out of fuel as an opportunity to… drink espresso and meet nice people? I don’t know. It was very keen to tell me the voltage across the alternator though, so presumably that’s somehow more important than knowing how much actual go-juice you had left. Also, the servicing costs are hilarious - you hear the myths about Ducati V-twin engines expensively needing their belts doing every two years and think “Surely you mean old ones. The modern ones are sensible, right?”. No - even the recent ones need a 7-hour service every two years. Ouch.
Other than that, a joy to ride. Lightweight, nimble, simple and fun. The last of the air-cooled monsters, I’m sure the newer ones are “very good”, but seem overly complex.
But suddenly I need to do some actual commuting again, involving some bits of motorway. So the Monster had to go, and I ended up with this. Behold!
Yet another BMW! (Specifically, an S1000R).
This has also been on my “I’d really like on of these at some point”. Having done 180 miles on the motorway after picking it up, I can confidently say that it does motorways “pretty well”. It’s got heated grips, cruise control (!), a sensible “oh no it’s raining please turn yourself down” mode, and is generally a nice place to be. On the flip side, it’s got 160bhp, fancy electronic damping and a magic dongle that basically turns on track mode, so it’s good fun at the weekend too. I can already confidently assert that the traction control works.
I’ve already drawn up a far-too-large list of things to buy for it.