This was the first completely redesigned beamer since the /2's ("slash two's") were retired in the early 1960's. BMW designed the model as a midweight sporty type bike when the superbikes (>750 cc's) replaced the smaller /6's. Most of the line, which included a 450 and an interesting dual sport, were not imported into the US. (I'd love to get my hands on the latter.) The bikes couldn't compete in a niche dominated by cheaper, and quicker, Japanese bikes. After a few years, BMW retired the mark.
The bike's forte is twisty back roads where its short wheelbase provides quick handling and nice cornering. Unlike previous boxers (flat twins), it is a short stroke with a high revving engine and a more peaky power curve. These features limit its suitablity for highway cruising since the short wheelbase make it tiring to fight the buffeting you get from winds and slip streams.
Like all the boxer twins, the bike is comfortable (not too tall and with a broad saddle). The engine is smooth, but unlike previous beamers, the transmission is relatively smooth having lost the famous BMW "clunk." (I no longer get stares from motorists at traffic lights who look like they expect to see transmission parts and oil scattered underneath the bike.) BMWs age well since the quality of design and workmanship is very high, and parts are readily available.
If you're looking for a used beamer that handles the twisties better than the long tour, one that looks more Italic than Teutonic, the R65's can be had much more cheaply than the other, more collectable, BMW models.