BMW R850R Motorcycles Reviews (6)
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2003-01-08 1996 BMW R850R Dual Sport View Listings

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This is my first motorcycle and it has been a wonderful experience thus far. I fell in love with its naked looks when I was searching for a bike on-line and was lucky enough to find a '97 R850R Special Edition used with only 4500 miles on it. It's got the accessory plug, windshield, the optional tach & clock and saddle bags. When I was looking to purchase a bike, I did not want to spend money on two motorcycles - a beginners bike and then something I would want to ride after I learned how to. This suited my needs perfectly. My skills have improved and I have yet to come close to uncorking the potential of the machine which is reassuring since I still have a lot of payments left on it:)! It has wonderful mid-range torque, though not much off the line. 2nd and 3rd gears have gotten me out of a lot of trouble on at least 2 occasions. It is nice and steady up to about 75mph, where it starts to vibrate a little - beyond that, I would not know. That said, the negatives: 1. The saddle. More than 1 hour in it and the hot spots start. 2. For experienced riders, the side stand cut off can be a bit patronizing, but it is great for beginner riders. 3. I am, unfortunately, inclined to agree with the reviewer who had a problem with BMW NA. That, however, is not a review of the motorcycle, but of the corporation. Yes, they offer sub-par service for beautifully designed machines which are overpriced. Do yourself a favor and find a really good mechanic who specializes in European bikes and simply avoid using BMW for regular service, i.e. fluid changes/tires etc. You will not find an R850R still under warranty, so there are no issues in voiding one. I have a nightmare story about my dealings with the motorcycle service center at Manhattan BMW. Please don't let that stop you, though. BMW makes wonderfully reliable bikes which are designed to be ridden for years and tour for serious miles. I plan to ride mine for a long, long time. I absolutely love it!
- CC, Tokyo, Japan

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2002-02-05 1996 BMW R850R Dual Sport View Listings

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I purchased a 97 R850R five years ago. It has been the most reliable, dependable, and forgiving bike I have ever owned. It is sporty enough to make it fun to ride, and comfortable enough to make it fun to ride for long stretches. Additionally, the great side cases make it an exceptional tourer, and the high rear foot pegs allow my children to ride along safely. It's big enough to track smooth past big trucks on the freeway, yet small enough as to not make it seem like a burden to get it out just for a short sprint to the corner store. I would suggest this bike to anyone who wants a very dependable and versatile motorcycle, and who also appreciates the quality and finish of BMW.
- Daniel, Canton, Michigan

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2001-10-27 1997 BMW R850R Dual Sport View Listings

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This light weight roadster is a great beginning place for a new rider or a good day riding solution for someone who wants to put 300 + miles in and not have to endure rear end pain. The bike handles 45 mph turns extremely well and has excellent mid-range torque. It is comfortable and can be loaded well for longer trips. BMW has succeeded here with this combination of practicality and fun. I found myself riding with R1's, 929's as well as Goldwings.
- Mike Coffey, Orange County, California

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2001-02-20 1997 BMW R850R Dual Sport View Listings

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After two three years on this solid performer I have to say I am very please with it's overall performance and reliability. Certainly, there are faster, more powerful bikes out there that cost less, but the R850 has never failed to deliver plenty of mid-range power for one-up and two up riding. This bike is fitted with BMW saddlebags, windshield, Givi trunk (it's huge), and the clock & tach accessory kit. Day-to-day this bike gets used for practically everything. It commutes, runs errands, and supplies a little after work recreation. It has also provided my wife and I with some long weekend rides. It has always run smooth and without hesitation. Can there be a down side? Well, yes, but not much. At 15,000 give-or-take it developed an oil leak through the right cylinder head gasket. BMW repair it at no charge with only one week left on the warranty. A noisy throttle body was repair in like manor just prior to that. Neither of these conditions causes the engine to behave poorly. Handling, brakes, and feel are all very good for a non-sport bike. This is not my only motorcycle, but the one I use most often. It is my first BMW, and it has definitely left me with a positive impression
- Jim Pickens, Santa Rosa, California

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2000-12-26 1996 BMW R850R Dual Sport View Listings

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I purchased my R850R new in 1996 and rode it relatively trouble free (some electrical had to be re-wired) for two years, putting 35,000 miles on it. I loved the bike. Unfortunately the cam chain guard cracked and the bike started leaking oil like crazy. I ended up in a nightmare battle with BMW who did nothing for 1 and 1/2 months! I finally called BMW finance and told them to pick up their broken bike. Too bad, it was a great bike. BMW was happy to take my payments - but dragged their feet when it came to warranty issues. Even after calling them every day. Buyer, beware!
- Michael Schelb, Boca Raton, FL

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2000-04-09 1996 BMW R850R Dual Sport View Listings

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I bought a R850R new in 1996. I have almost 20,000 trouble free miles on this bike. I have added a fairing/windshield, Givi luggage and hand guards. This set-up gives me a very capable touring machine for thousands less than a fully equipped BMW. Service is less money due to lower labor time (no body panels etc. to take on and off. Routine service (fluid changes, etc.) can be done by any backyard mechanic. I have taken trips of over 2,000 miles with days as long as 800 miles and the bike performs extremely well. It is so smooth that fatigue is not an issue. Power is more than adequate, even two up and loaded with luggage. Insurance is more affordable due to the less than 1,000 cc engine. This model was only imported in 1996 and 1997. If you are in the market for an affordable, reliable, fun used bike, consider the BMW R850R.
- Anonymous, Michigan

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