2003 BMW R1150R (retired)

All About Strix

The Machine

Strix - My 2003 R1150R Motorcycle

Strix is my 2003 BMW R1150R motorcycle. Strix is powered by an 1130cc (yes, just like most men, motorcycle manufacturers are "optimistic" about the size of their stuff) boxer motor. Aside from being larger than Otus' motor, Strix's motor is air/oil cooled from the factory and features four valves per cylinder. Strix was advertised as producing 95 horsepower @ 7,250 rpm. Basically I consider Strix a more modern version of Otus. I added Strix to the fleet primarily to take pressure of Otus. Strix is powerful, capable, and familiar. While there are no parts in common between Otus and Strix the two are kindred spirits - and not just because they are brothers in my fleet.

Why Strix?

Building on my owl theme Strix needed an owl name as well, and it had to be short enough to fit on a personalized motorcycle license plate. It was easy to find an Owl genus that fit the five letter maximum but it also had to suit this new-to-me motorcycle's personality. The genus Strix is generally described as medium-sized to largish, robustly built, and powerful owls. That sounded perfect! Then I found this - the Latin genus name Strix referred to a legendary, vampiric owl-monster believed to suck the blood of infants. So I thought about how those seeing his license plate might react. Then I decided that the vast majority of people probably won't notice and if they do notice they'd not be likely to do any research. With this in mind, and a quick check of the personalized license plate registry, this new member of the fleet was named Strix.

Strix's Role

Strix is essentially Otus' understudy and, as the years continue to pile up, will likely become my #1 touring motorcycle. Because Strix is more modern I don't worry so much about burning the all too common 10% ethanol fuel blends I'm likely to encounter on any out-of-town ride. Strix is also fuel injected which means he'll tolerate changes in altitude better than the carbureted elder statesman. Strix also runs tubeless tires so should I experience a flat I will probably be able to plug it and ride on whereas Otus relies on tubes. Removing wheels, tires, and tubes is no fun when using a lift; doing so on the roadside would be an even bigger pain. All-in-all Strix is simply more modern and, therefore, more resistant to the kinds of things that could cut short a tour on Otus.

I am learning more about Strix as I ride him more and spend more time maintaining him. The only big challenge I have with Strix is comfort. My riding position on Strix isn't as upright as on Otus so I need to futz with the ergonomics until he's as comfortable as Otus. But for the foreseeable future, Strix will remain Otus' understudy.

Strix Is A He

As with Otus, I consider Strix a he. Could it be because he's a shaft-drive motorcycle? I suppose that would be too obvious an explanation but I think it is primarily because he looks as rugged as he is.

Strix Now Belongs to Another

On October 26 2018 Strix was traded to my friend Dan for his GS. I could never get comfortable on Strix. In spite of lowering the pegs my legs would hurt after a ride lasting more than about an hour. I tried hard to make Strix - the R1150R - the successor to Otus but as it turns out, that's just not possible. Otus cannot be replaced. Strix is now part of my friend Dan's stable, and Dan could not be happier with Strix. He tells me so often that he's pretty sure he got the best end of the swap. I keep telling him that everyone won. Just as the GS was too tall for him and he was never comfortable riding it, Strix was just too short for me and I was never comfortable riding him. Now I've got a new project motorcycle - the GS - along with a new puzzle. Is this new-to-me GS going to retain the name Strix or will he need a new name? That remains to be seen!