No, BMW hasn’t dropped a couple hundred page cease and desist order on my doorstep to change my mind. I firmly believe if you’ve got your little heart set on the new R1200 wasserboxer, you should buy it… In 2023 or so. 

If you haven’t noticed, BMW has an ability to sabotage their bikes with various and sundry serious flaws. Sometimes they’re new bike bugs, like the flaming differentials of a couple years ago, early oilhead self destructing gearboxes, and F800S/ST rear drive bearings. Sometimes it happens when they get sloppy on a mature and well sorted design, like the paralevers, questionable crankcase metallurgy, and missing circlip that were foisted on the last few years production of airheads.

But these bugs do get worked out, sometimes by BMW, and more often by owners. Helps that BMW riders are a tech savvy lot and come up with some pretty sophisticated fixes. Case in point… What was the leading candidate for the worst airhead ever built, the R100GS. What’s not to hate- paralever driveshaft whose excessively angled U-joints are lucky to survive 50k miles, missing circlip in the tranny that causes bearing failure and worse, crankcases of such questionable metallurgy that many were delivered, brand new, with helicoils. Today, 17 years after the last one limped off the assembly line, all those bugs and more have been fixed- Greasable and rebuildable driveshafts that stay in phase from a couple sources, several airhead gearbox rebuilders can fit the circlip, and HPD has produced some wondrous cylinder stud inserts that never strip and pull out.

The there’s the upgrades- you have your choice of two different upgraded alternators with optional piggyback electronic ignitions for the airhead for a start. Then there’s the taller windshields, comfier saddles, LED lighting… There’s no end to it. Yup, 17 years after BMW built the last airhead, they just get better and better.

So around 2023 BMW will come out with an all new boxer twin that’ll promise to be the cat’s meow, and the same early adopters who are now rushing to BMW dealerships to plop down their deposits on the new 2013 wasserboxers will be trading “up” to the latest and “greatest” of BMW boxers, glutting the used bike market with their 2013 wunderbikes and driving prices down. By then the new 2013s will be debugged, cheap, and you’ll probably get a bunch of farkles thrown in to boot. So wander over to your local BMW dealership, enjoy the looks of the new wasserboxer, take note of who’s trading “up”, and make ’em an offer on their now “obsolete” oilhead… Or better yet, buy an airhead while they’re still affordable! 

 
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