650 kms On A Gentlemen’s Express

Moto Adventure's BMW R1200R

Moto Adventure’s BMW R1200R

LJK Setright,

was my favourite motorcycle journalist, who wrote for ‘Bike’ Magazine in the early 70’s. Setright often described long distance rides at ‘press on’ rates. He particularly loved long rapid rides on BMW’s, which he often described as a “Gentlemen’s express”.

I had a ride like that last weekend. Hobart to Scamander. Then back the next day.

The Road

The East Coast Highway should be on the world heritage list for great motorcycling roads of the world.

  • Fast sweeping smooth bends,
  • occasional tighter section, and
  • stupendous coastal vistas over many crests and around many corners.

East Coast Highway

Glanced Out Of The Speed Induced Vision Tunnel

Every now and then I glanced out of the speed induced vision tunnel to notice the great beauty around me.

After the wettest winter on record, Tasmania’s east coast is the loveliest I have seen it in many years with full waterways, and green, green fields.

A Ride Like This, On A Bike Like This, Is Close To Heaven

I chose to take the R1200R for this trip – this bike shares the R1200GS mechanicals and suspension, but with a less unwieldy bodywork.

My short legs can comfortably reach the ground, and you don’t need the wide GS bars for a bitumen only trip.

A ride like this, on a warm calm day is close to heaven. I was not quite ‘at one’ with the bike on the way north, but on the return trip, I somehow got in the groove.

My braking points were just right, corner speed fine, and powering out of corners just worked.

A Magic Carpet Motorcycle

The R1200R becomes a magic carpet motorcycle in these circumstances.

The anti dive front suspension gives the impression of ‘slowing’ under the hardest braking.

The bike does not dive, or wriggle, the suspension still deals with the bumps, the bike just slows down.

The suspension still works for you as you flow around the corner, and the 1200cc twin just eases you back up to travel speed, without the need for gear changing, or hanging on to the handlebars for grim death.

I was very pleased that I had chosen this bike for that road on that particular day.