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Trying to decide if the R1200RT is right for me


Optimus Prime

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Optimus Prime

I’m trying decide on my next BMW and I’m currently comparing the K1200S to the R1200RT… What’s that you say? Those two bikes aren’t in the same class? Yes, I know. That’s what I’m trying to work out. Does the RT have enough sport? Does the KS have enough touring? ETC.

 

First, I live in Central Illinois. Nice, fast, curvy roads are few and far between. A large portion of my riding will be on the interstate, Aeroflow will ensure that either mount has suitable weather/wind protection. My last BMW was a R1150R with Aeroflow touring screen and it was fabulous. I’m using this bike as the benchmark for comparison. I like the RT, but I’m afraid of the “old man” image as much as anything. I’m 26, and I’d hate to turn invisible to nubile coeds… at the same rate the KS seems more likely to draw a LEO’s attention just for looking fast...

 

The KS seems to be a supersport that can tour, while the RT seems like a luxury tourer that may have enough sport to keep me happy. I don’t like the K1200GT or R1200S, the former not offering enough over the RT to justify the price IMHO and the later not offering enough touring.

 

Here are a few of my basic questions for the R1200RT:

How far can it go between fill-ups?

How long between service and how much does it cost roughly?

How often do you need to replace tires?

What are the pillion comments?

How well do the bags work?

Is the ESA better than a good set of Wilbers?

Is it fairly easy to hustle around with “sport riders” (R1100S, R1200GS, Monsters, FZ1’s, etc)?

How well does the lighting work?

Comments?

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I pick up my 07 RT on Monday! cool.gifthumbsup.gif

I had an 1150RS that I traded on a new FJR1300 this spring. Before that, I had an 1100RT that I put 50k on.

I think the RT is an awesome ride. There is a reason the FJR costs 12.5k and the BMW 18.

The RT will give more all day comfort and still retain the sporting character. It really is the best of both worlds, even though BMW says this is a Tourer. You said you had an 1150R. I had an RS. The RT seems to be more of everything the RS was, only better. It has more power, less weight, more comfort, and way more range. The FJR was rather a dissappointment to me. It is fat, high cg, and takes a real hand to crank over in the corners. It has pricepoint suspension that really lets it down. I rode a demo RT for about 100 miles after riding the FJR to the demo for 130 miles. I hopped on the RT and was ready for a less than dynamic handling ride. Wow!, was I wrong. It handles fantastic, and is so very controlled. I rode and bought a non ESA bike. You got to decide if a new twin is for you. For me it is.

The only thing that sucks is you cannot do the PM on it like you could on the RS or R. Plus the tupperware has to come off. frown.gif

Can't help on the image thing, although the new Silver RT looks awesome. When I was in my 20's, I had a Yamaha Venture Royale. Not a babe magnet but I rode the wheels off of it. I don't think you buy an RT for 18 large to get babes. It's made to ride!

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Well, my first response is: Get an r12st! smile.gif

 

However to answer your questions (rather than appear too sarcastic, I'll just say "preface each answer with 'It depends'" grin.gif :

 

How far can it go between fill-ups?

Most seem to think 300 miles is a nice round number answer to that question. I easily do 250 with my 1.5 gallon smaller tank (same engine).

 

How long between service and how much does it cost roughly?

6000 miles, and here it really does depend on your dealer's costs. Now, I just got my r12st in July and it hasn't seen the inside of my dealer since the 600 mile service. (Just did the 12k last weekend.) I learned at a Tech Day how to do much of the service myself. Obviously that's going to cut down on costs if you're willing to do it yourself.

 

How often do you need to replace tires?

Anywhere from 4000 to 10k+ miles. I just got 9800 miles out of my Pilot Roads. The Dunlops seem to wear really fast. I've got Conti Road Attacks on now and plan on getting about 6-7k. If you slap some me880's on there (they don't make them in the recommended size for an r12st or r12rt), people have reported getting up to 14k. YMMV (literally).

 

What are the pillion comments?

No idea.

 

How well do the bags work?

My r12st has the same bags and they work great. Easy on, easy off. They hold quite a bit of stuff (although I have a Givi E52 topcase which holds even more). They seem very secure, and if you want to scuff/scratch them, well, that's easy too. eek.gif

 

Is the ESA better than a good set of Wilbers?

Most seem to think "no". I happen to agree with "most". Some really love the functionality of ESA. I'm simply not one of them.

 

Is it fairly easy to hustle around with “sport riders” (R1100S, R1200GS, Monsters, FZ1’s, etc)?

In twisty's - yes. Riders are more limited by their own abilities than the bike's. The r12rt's won't win any pure power contests on the straight-away's though. An r12rt can definitely hang with the other R's and smaller Monsters, but the FZ1 is going to blow the doors off an r12 in a straight away. A very good rider on an FZ1 will outperform an equally good rider on the r12rt, but it's easy for a very good rider on an r12rt to outperform average riders on any of the bikes you listed.

 

How well does the lighting work?

The lighting on an r12rt is quite good. IMHO the lighting on my r12st is better, but only slightly so. They improved the lighting on the r12rt's a lot. However, I'd still recommend motolights - if for no other reason than to help you be seen.

 

Edit: Oops, forgot the comments. I bought my bike for much the same reason. I wanted a true sport-tourer. I had no idea I'd be touring as much as I have. (who knew? I blame it all on this board. wave.gif) Most non-riders I've talked to about it seem to view it as a "crotch rocket" when I don't have any luggage on, and that's kinda how I viewed it too. The r12rt definitely looks a lot sportier (to me) without luggage on too.

 

I just wasn't interested in that "huge" front fairing. Now that I've ridden for a while, I see that it has its purpose most of the year (mid-summer being a big exception.)

 

Also, remember that boxers throw off very little heat in the summer, which is something I wasn't really aware of until I compared it to other bikes in 100°+ weather. BIg difference there. Boxers are easier to do your own service on. The k12s will cost more to service.

 

Just my 2¢.

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I'm pretty much in agreement with everything bakerzdosen says above so I'll just add the pillion part.

 

I do 90% of my R12RT riding with a pillion and she's quite happy with the bike. the RT was my first BMW, before it I used a Triumph Sprint ST as my touring bike which the wife wasnt too happy on for long trips.

 

but put on a 49L topbox and an aftermarket windscreen, you'll have one happy pillion. She complained about wind buffeting at high speed before I got the Ztechnik and says the difference after is like night and day. We regularly do 2-3 day trips on the bike.

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How far can it go between fill-ups?

 

I went over 350 miles once. You can use about 7 gallons of the tank before you get really scared and I've seen MPG range from 42 to a high of 56 depending on what kind of riding I'm doing.

 

How long between service and how much does it cost roughly?

 

Service every 6k miles. Don't know the cost because I've done my own, its not hard.

 

How often do you need to replace tires?

 

Really depends on how you ride, where you ride, what kind of tire.

 

What are the pillion comments?

 

I've only had a few pillions most say its really comfortable. A top case with backrest would make them happier.

 

How well do the bags work?

 

I think they're great. Bag liners (glorified duffel bags) off eBay are a good addition for $50.

 

Is the ESA better than a good set of Wilbers?

 

I like it but I like gadgets and I wouldn't know a 'properly setup bike' if it hit me in the head.

 

Is it fairly easy to hustle around with “sport riders” (R1100S, R1200GS, Monsters, FZ1’s, etc)?

 

I did a whole trip behind my friend on a K1200S and I could keep up no problem. However it comes down to skill because on the same trip I couldn't keep up with our other buddy on a 1980's Honda Magna in the twisties. This morning on the way to work I hit 80mph in 3rd gear and the bike doesn't seem like its working hard, yeah its fast enough for any even slightly reasonable human.

 

 

How well does the lighting work?

 

Incredibly well, when I ride at night I often feel like there's a car tailgaiting me there's so much light on the road.

 

 

Comments?

 

If you test ride one make sure you have your checkbook with you so you don't have to go home and get it to close the deal.

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O. P.

I have owned my 05 RT for 11 months and Ruby is one fantastic machine. Came from an 04 RT where I rode it for 6 months. One test ride on the 05 and it was bye bye 04. Before that I rode a 93 K11RS for 11 years and 68K miles and a 99 Ducati 748.

1. 300+ miles on a tank. on a scale of 1-10 that is a 10

2. 6000 miles. Service will run you approx. $250-$350.

I would do it myself if I were you. Its easy and fun.

3. tire longevity on average would be 6K-9K miles

4. the stock seat is a waste of materials and labor IMHO

5. the bags are awesome. Much better than the previous

bags in terms of volume and getting your helmet in one

6. Get a set of Ohlins or Wilber's and forget ESA

7. The bike does not mean CACA in terms of keeping up. It

is the rider man. If you can ride you can keep up on

this bike. Keep it in 3rd or 4th gear at 5K to 6k rpm

and there is not much that can walk away from you.

Especially in the mountains. Again it is the rider not

the bike.

8. I think the lighting is great. I did add two sets of

aux. lights so I can be seen better (yellow lights and

white lights)

 

This bike does everything well. Nothing more to say.

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Optimus Prime

Thanks for the responses. I have a feeling the RT is more my style, but before I ask for a test ride I wanted to get some opinions. The ST would be high on the list, if BMW offered an '07 version with non-servo ABS.

 

I do know "it's the rider, not the bike" however my MZ supermoto is a lot easier to ride in the twistie's than my Buddie's LT or my other buddie's FJR. I guess the question is how hard is it to ride the twisties versus my old BMW. The oilhead could be hustled around fairly well.

 

Thanks,

Jason

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I do know "it's the rider, not the bike" however my MZ supermoto is a lot easier to ride in the twistie's than my Buddie's LT or my other buddie's FJR. I guess the question is how hard is it to ride the twisties versus my old BMW. The oilhead could be hustled around fairly well.

 

Thanks,

Jason

I guess it depends on the oilhead, but the R12RT will run circles around the R11 & R1150 RT's in the twisties. I've never ridden any of the other oilheads, so I cannot compare to them. It will also humble FJR's & ST1300's on a curvy road. I've even run down sportbike riders in the twisties - but they had license plates from states I associate with mostly long, straight roads ... like Oklahoma, Kansas & Nebraska. (I've only ridden in the Eastern portions of those states, so don't flame me too bad if I missed some good roads.)

 

It's pretty nimble for a big bike - yes, I consider 570 lbs w/o bags to be a big bike. It's also a little top-heavy, especially with a full tank. It doesn't take long to get used to - just be careful about quick stops with the front wheel turned until you know what to expect.

 

I agree with the suggestions about trying the R12ST. It's a sweet bike if you're ok with a little less weather protection. I test rode one for about 50 miles - very addictive.

 

Good luck with your decision!

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I totally understand you Optimus. I was in between K1200S and R1200RT six months ago. I am riding all the year, and driving my car only If I am going to somewhere with family.

 

I used to have a 1150GS Adventure, K1200RS and K1200GT. After riding 4 cylinders, the RS and the GT, I wanted to go with another 4 cylinder, but tested the S several times and decided that for someone riding everyday, under rain and snow, such a bike is not practical and even not safe for winter time. Also, limited (or practically no) luggage capacity of the S was a problem for me.

 

ST? It is not a comfortable touring bike like the RT, and if you are going to lean forward, lean on a 4 cylinder one.

 

About the old man image. I was thinking the same thing, but RT is more stylish and eye catching bike than the S. S looks like the other Japanese bikes but where ever you go, someone is coming and asking something about the RT.

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Three suggestions: (1) Ride the bikes you are considering; (2) ride the bikes you are consicering; and (3) ride the bikes you are considering.

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Rocket_Cowboy
Three suggestions: (1) Ride the bikes you are considering; (2) ride the bikes you are consicering; and (3) ride the bikes you are considering.

 

Amen to that, even though I don't know how to consicer a bike ... but the other two suggestions are excellent! grin.gif

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Three suggestions: (1) Ride the bikes you are considering; (2) ride the bikes you are consicering; and (3) ride the bikes you are considering.

 

Amen to that, even though I don't know how to consicer a bike ... but the other two suggestions are excellent! grin.gif

 

"consicering"

You don't know how to consicer? Hmm....! <g>

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I pretty much agree with al the other respnses you have received from all the other Rt riders. I REALLY like my RT, I also have a 2001 RT and my 05 is better in evrery way I can think of. I have the ESA on my RT I Like it but I'm not sure how expensive it will be to replace the shocks when that time comes. The thing I like about the ESA is that I actually adjudt my suspension, on previous bikes I pretty much left it the same for all types of riding. Like one of the other guys said I wouldn't know how to adjust my suspension without the ESA.

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What are the pillion comments?

My wife an I rode 9200 miles this summer (California to the Vermont MOA meet and back). She found the RT to be way more comfortable than our previous R1150GS. The Aeroflow screen helped me a lot, and she couldn't tell if it was up or down. Weird.

My butt was continuously miserable and hers was fine for the whole trip. But another contributor to this list said exactly the opposite... crazy.gif

How well do the bags work?
I had to rearrange the latch mechanism on one of the side bags in the middle of the trip. A zillion torx bolts and it was fine. I'm happy with the side bags. We bought a Hepco & Becker top case that worked fine, but I don't like having to use the key every time I open or close the case. frown.gif

Is the ESA better than a good set of Wilbers?

I was (am) happy with the one-up two-up adjustability of the ESA. I don't think that the aftermarket shocks offer that easy change. Recently, the rear shock is stuck on two-up and I am awaiting a warranty replacement.

Is it fairly easy to hustle around with “sport riders” (R1100S, R1200GS, Monsters, FZ1’s, etc)?

It's just all fun.

How well does the lighting work?

Twice a week I commute home in the dark. The light is very satisfactory. Much better than the R1150GS, and the GS had BMW accessory lights.

 

Comments?

 

Last, I went for a 200+ mile ride solo today. I look forward to an aftermarket seat. I think that BMW should be embarrassed about their seat. It's awful. frown.gif I'll probably buy a Rick Mayer seat because I can conveniently ride there.

 

Am I glad I bought the bike? You bet!!

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