We enjoyed riding the BMW Scrambler this year, which we held onto for six months as a long-term tester. A bunch of us rode it, and you can see our stories here, here, here and here. And now Jacob’s ridden it and returned it to BMW, and you can read his story here.
The bike held up well, as you’d expect from any new machine, but Sabrina’s experience of it overheating and shutting down in downtown Toronto was worrisome. We never did get to the bottom of that. The Scrambler’s tried-and-tested boxer twin engine is air-cooled with a large oil cooler to help, and it just shouldn’t do that on a relatively cool evening. It only shut down that one time, but if other BMW Scrambler owners have a similar issue, anywhere in the world, we hope they’ll find our story and let us know about it. That’s the beauty of the Internet, after all.
In our six months with the Scrambler, we rode it both on-road and off, and we took it on longish runs and short commutes. We all found the same issues that were identified right from the start: an overly firm seat, an annoying lack of a fuel gauge, and a fairly heavy clutch.
We also all loved its huge torque, available from low down in the revs, and its looks – oh, those looks. It’s why Scramblers are selling so well these days, including Ducatis, Triumphs, Yamahas and Guzzis, and there are surely more to come.
There’s no more to come from us with long-termers, though. It was good to test a motorcycle for more than a week or two, but we probably won’t do it again – the logistics just get to be too complicated if it needs to be constantly moved from person to person, and after a while, the testing becomes irrelevant if the machine is not a multi-use bike.
Instead, we’ll be telling you our first impressions of all the new motorcycles we can find the keys to, and of plenty more that we can’t. Along the way, we’ll probably find out a lot more about Zac’s new-to-him Suzuki RF900, Costa’s Honda Ascot and Harley Sportster, Jacob’s Kawasaki’s Z125, Willy’s Harley StreetGlide, Jeff’s Triumph Street Triple R, Steve’s Triumph Tiger, Jeremy’s Kawasaki KLR650, Matt’s Suzuki DRZ400 and even my own Harley Low Rider and ancient Suzuki DR600.
More important though, we want to know about your bike. We’ll be welcoming your stories of riding and your experiences with your motorcycle. After all, your own bike is the ultimate long-term test. Canada Moto Guide’s readership is growing all the time, and that means our community is growing and we all have some great stories to tell.
How about just letting one journo test each long termer rather than trying to pass them around?
We’ve done that in the past, but it isn’t likely going ahead.
The unexpected draw back of the internet permitting people to work remotely. Onsite activities can be difficult to coordinate. Without the long term testing the overheating problem might not have been discovered. Perhaps another reader will have a solution and then the internet will supply the answer as well. The long term testing was nice as the reader can get an idea how riders of different sizes feel about the bike. Unlike some countries, it is not possible to walk into many motorcycle dealerships in Ontario and take a bike for a test ride. The factory organized rides may not be in an area and may be at an inconvenient time when a rider is ready to change bikes. Short term, please get as many riders on as many saddles as you can.