Jump to content

Info on a Sport touring


Wanderlust

Recommended Posts

Wanderlust

I am new to this site and liked the posts.

I have a question. I am looking at getting a Sport Touring bike and not sure which route to go. I looked at the FJR but did not like the ergos . So now I am with the ST1300 and the R1200RT both fit. What I would like to know how are they in comparison in reg to reliability and service friendliness. I have at VTX1300 (2003)now with 58,000 miles on it, I love the bike but would like something that is more designed to go all day. I also commute (130 miles per day)so something with protection of the elements (ie rain) would be great.

Please give me some info.

Link to comment
ckatopodis

Check out web page, bamarider.com .

He owns both the ST1300 and the R1200RT. He has excellent reviews of both with pros and cons. I found the information very valuable. I also emailed him with some questions and he was kind enough to answer.

Link to comment

Welcome Frank,

Wish I had a dime everytime this question comes up. wink.gif

My advice is test ride your choices until you heart

decides. Maintance is maintance. Can't speak for the

ST1300 but I can about the R 1200 RT. I do all of it except

the brakes. Have put 10,000 miles on it since it became mine(18,00 total)

and have never had a problem.

Link to comment

Frank,

 

I posted this on ST-Owners.com back three months ago... maybe this will give you some input that you can use...

 

 

Well, it has been just over a month with the new 06 R1200RT and about 1500 miles on the odometer now… someone asked me to give a write up and compare the new with the old, so here goes…

 

First, let’s get this out of the way… I think Honda has a jewel in the ST1300… I have said more than once that it is the long distant cousin that you see at family reunions once every three years and are glad to see. Honda makes a lot of bikes, some of which I don’t care for and some that I think are amazing… but the ST is in a class by itself from Big Red. I thoroughly enjoyed the bike for the two plus years I had it and find the allure of the V-4 irresistible.

 

I had some issues… coolant leaks, thermostat going out (if this isn’t a recall, I don’t know what is), but overall was pleased with my Steed.

 

But to the RT… wow. What a difference from my old RTs (01 1100RT and 02 1150RT)… not even the same ballpark these new hexheads… I have been removed three plus years from my last Beemer, but I remember enough to make this fair comparison… much better all around (wind management, weight, torque, HP, creature comforts – ESA, cruise, luggage designs)…

 

… and compared to the ST, the first thing is weight… I don’t have exact figures, but it is indeed a lot of weight difference between the two bikes… gotta be over 100 lb difference… I feel like I am riding a dirt bike that rides on rails (not that the ST1300 isn’t confidence inspiring at all either). The flickability of the RT is pretty amazing… I can’t decide if I am the better rider because of it or it just is a better handling bike, but taking corners has been notched up for me.

 

Couple of physical comparisons that stick out between the two… the BMW is taller and wider (taller by a wide margin, too… I could easily flat foot the ST in the highest seat position, on the RT, in the highest position, I flatfoot it, barely, and I am 6’3”). The other is that the RT seating position is a little more upright, not much, but more. I still prefer the ST position, more weight on the bars, but I think that is because I am still “programmed” that way after 2 years of it. Ask me in a couple of months and I may have changed my mind.

 

One the thing that BMW Motorrad has finally addressed is the shifting quality of the boxer series… my old BMWs were agricultural in comparison to the ST… now the RT has taken the lead over the ST, really smooth, except for the clunk into 1st, but my ST had that as well. And having a 6th gear is nice again, I found myself at times trying to go up one more gear on the ST when I was tapped out in 5th. I have heard complaints on the K1200GT not having a smooth shifting experience, but that is not the case with the RT.

 

I like the luggage designs of new BMWs as well, with one feature I never thought I’d go without, but now wonder why more don’t and it is this… the locks can be set to allow you to get into the bags without having to use the key… I know some ST owners make the shorted keys and leave them in there for convenience, but I like that the RT’s bags have that feature. I got the 49 liter topcase with the bike upon delivery and it has the same features. They also have the tie down strap in the side cases which has come in handy at the grocery store.

 

The digital display is a bit clear, easier to read in daylight and is chock full of info, I got the oil level computer with mine and the ESA, so it is equipped appropriately in the readout, plus a gear indicator again. Wonder why the ST doesn’t have one? Doesn’t the FJR have one?

 

And speaking of ESA, I like it so far… really a trip to be sitting on the bike in a stationary position and select different preload settings and feel the bike lower or raise according to the settings you select. I hear that the system is expensive to replace when the shocks go, but I have options like Ohlins, Wilburs, etc.

 

Differences between the two bikes are also the following:

 

The ST is faster off the line, given the horsepower differences (I think the RT has 85-90 at the rear wheel and the ST has 116, even with the weight disadvantage the ST has). Top speed is another nod to the ST, but not by much… 142-145 mph vs 136-138 for the RT, based on what I have read, not personal experience, mind you.

 

Heated grips on the ST (Hondaline) had four settings that would get hot on 3 and up… the RT has just two, but do the job almost as well, but the integration is better… on/off switch is right handlebar located, easy to get to while on the ST, you mount wherever you want, just not on the handlebar location.

 

No easy headlight adjustment on RT, under panels, not electrically adjusted like on ST, but lighting on RT is better.

 

Mileage on RT is much better, almost 8 miles per gallon more, according to trip computer. 7.1 gallons and farthest I have gone without risking running dry is 278 miles, probably could have gone a bit farther, but did not want to push the bike.

 

Two words: Cruise control… never had it before this bike… must have it on all my future bikes… Honda, you listening? Next ST, you gotta have this feature! Not ifs, ands or buts! Great to have!

 

Cost of ownership would probably be in the Honda’s favor, but I intend to do as much work on the RT as I can to defray costs (Oil and filter, valve adjustments, etc)… it’s funny the different approaches the Japanese and Germans have… a recent friend of mine put it this way… “the Japanese design for rock solid reliability without much intervention from the owner or serviceman all along the way… the Germans design for rock solid reliability which depends on consistent and meticulous maintenance to make sure everything is in spec.” I have a Passat that is pretty much the same way as the Beemer… treat her nice and she will bring you home… neglect her and she will let you know (oil consumption the first 12 K miles on the RT, keep an eye on it, after that, forget about it… it’s true, both my old RTs were that way… I hear it is the Nikisil liners on the cylinders).

 

This is my initial impression of the RT ownership experience (again) after just a month… I will be noting some impressions/problems/curiosities down the road from time to time as it comes to mind… one thing I have learned that no bike is without faults, and I am sure that I will have my run in with that with this one… the thing that matters most is that I am confident with the bike and it’s ability to get me from point A to B in the twistiest ways possible with a big grin on my face, after all, isn’t that what’s all about?

 

Guy (BamaRider) has got some more info on his two bikes (ST and RT) and he has said a lot about the comparison between his two from all standpoints. I recommend reading his take at http://www.bamarider.com/.

Link to comment
Wanderlust

Thank you I looked at the page of Bama and it was very informative, but it did not make it any easier for me. It sounds like that the RT is a better bike but the maint and cost go to the ST confused.gif. Thank you RoadWolf that is some good insight.

I am a little confused on the maint that bama eludet to. What else is there besides fluids and filters? I have the 6,000 mile valve adjustment requ now (they never need adj though). Maybe I am spoiled with having had only Hondas in the past, but I gues there is a give and take here. Hmmm I always liked the looks of the beemers though grin.gif they just look like mechanical perfection.

Link to comment
BigGalloot

I would like to point out what I consider the most significant difference between the ST1300 and the R1200RT. Their carrying capacities.

 

The Gross Vehicle Weight Restriction (GSWR) or the greatest safe total weight the ST1300 can carry is 1056#, the wet weight of the bike itself is 727#. That means that the total safe weight of rider, passenger and luggage is 329#.

 

The GVWR for an R1200RT is 1089# and the wet weight is 570#. This leaves a carrying capacity of 519#.

 

This may not be an important restriction for everyone, but I'm a big guy (6'4", 212#) and my usual pillion weighs 134# which means that I would be way over the safe limit of an ST1300 BEFORE adding luggage.

 

That said, I chose the RT because I love boxer motors and not for any sane or logical reason. You got to go with the bike that is going to make you take needeless trips to the garage, just to look at it.

 

If you must buy Japanese, Kawasaki makes a 125 that can carry 360# for when you need to carry a passenger.

Link to comment
If you must buy Japanese, Kawasaki makes a 125 that can carry 360# for when you need to carry a passenger.
lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif
Link to comment
Thank you I looked at the page of Bama and it was very informative, but it did not make it any easier for me.
What, you thot this would be an easy decision? lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

I am a little confused on the maint that bama eludet to. What else is there besides fluids and filters? I have the 6,000 mile valve adjustment requ now (they never need adj though). Maybe I am spoiled with having had only Hondas in the past, but I gues there is a give and take here. Hmmm I always liked the looks of the beemers though grin.gif they just look like mechanical perfection.
Yes, owning a Honda will spoil one - they just seem to keep running. In fact all I ever owned prior to my 12RT were Honda's. There definitely is a difference in owning the RT but for the short time I've owned my RT (one year thumbsup.gif) I can't say it the bike require a lot of service. The ergo's are excellent, and while I'm sure there are more powerful bikes out there the performance of the 12RT is all I need. If you're comfortable on both bikes, then go with the one which grabs your heart - I can't see either being a "bad choice".

 

Cheers,

Greg

Link to comment
Thank you I looked at the page of Bama and it was very informative, but it did not make it any easier for me. It sounds like that the RT is a better bike but the maint and cost go to the ST confused.gif. Thank you RoadWolf that is some good insight.

I am a little confused on the maint that bama eludet to. What else is there besides fluids and filters? I have the 6,000 mile valve adjustment requ now (they never need adj though). Maybe I am spoiled with having had only Hondas in the past, but I gues there is a give and take here. Hmmm I always liked the looks of the beemers though grin.gif they just look like mechanical perfection.

If at all possible, do yourself a favor and rent each bike and spend at least a day with each. Had I done so, I would not have made the mistake (for me) of swapping the RT for the ST. I won't bore you with the details - and I really like Honda products - but it was a very expensive lesson to learn.
Link to comment
I am a little confused on the maint that bama eludet to. What else is there besides fluids and filters? I have the 6,000 mile valve adjustment requ now (they never need adj though). Maybe I am spoiled with having had only Hondas in the past, but I gues there is a give and take here. Hmmm I always liked the looks of the beemers though grin.gif they just look like mechanical perfection.

 

Frank...

 

The main difference between the two bikes is this: Valve Adjustment Intervals... the RT, every 6K to check and probably needing adjusting at those intervals... the ST, every 16K and not having to adjust until MAYBE 48K... rock solid these Honda V4s. Every 8 K is the recommended change everything fluid wise on ST as well. The Honda dealers that I dealt with on my ST were probably anywhere from 20-30 less money changing hands for comparable services (if those can really be compared fairly, item for item) against an RT... That is my experience on the two.

 

Chris

Link to comment
geofherman

I have not owned the bikes you are considering but feel very comfortable sharing my "two-cents." My last tour was a 10 day, 6,000+ mile trip out West. I run a smartly upgraded (my opinion, of course) Honda ST1100. I love its reliability and willingness to always march on. Your preference for the type of touring you would do should be the final determinant.

 

I am selling my ST and hoping to buy a R12ST (somehow must convince wife...please wish me luck). I am selling it for these reasons (in no particular order): the beast dumps heat into the capsule and is uncomfortable and tiring; the design of the bike acts like a sail and crosswinds (wicked out West) have at times pushed me around dangerously; the long wheelbase and tall gearing form a poor combination in the mountains or tight twisties; the bike is heavy and somewhat top heavy making it a beast in parking lot manuevers especially at the end of an 800 mile day.

 

Apparently the 1300 is even a hotter bike; all those ponies generate more heat. Word is that it does not have the ST1100's reliability. I like the R1220RT for its lightweight, wind shedding design, rider capsule free of excessive heat, excellent handling capabilities, and the accessibility to the heads/valves.

 

Get your bike, set aside another grand for the immediate mods, make those mods and then take your trips. The big trips, the "dream trips?" Make them a 5 year goal and then every year move a step closer.

Best of luck!

G-Man thumbsup.gif

Link to comment
Wanderlust

Thanks for all the replies. I am getting some good info here.I think I am leaning more to the RT now, will go over and sit on one again cool.gif.

OK how difficult is the valve adjustment, I would like to do my own since the nearest dealer is 60 miles away.

Once again thanks thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

The Gross Vehicle Weight Restriction (GSWR) or the greatest safe total weight the ST1300 can carry is 1056#, the wet weight of the bike itself is 727#. That means that the total safe weight of rider, passenger and luggage is 329#.

 

The GVWR for an R1200RT is 1089# and the wet weight is 570#. This leaves a carrying capacity of 519#.

 

To be fair, GVWR for the ST1300 is actually 1118 lbs, not 1056. The smaller figure was an error in their press kit that they corrected about 5 years ago when the bike was released. Also, you're comparing a magazine tested wet weight for the ST1300 vs. a manufacturer claimed wet weight for the R1200RT which doesn't include bags, radio, and who knows what else. The MC News test of the R1200RT measured a wet weight of 625 lbs. So if you compare apples vs. apples, the difference in carrying capacities is about 70 lbs, not 190 lbs.

 

How meaningful is this anyway? I routinely see 250 lb. guys with 200 lb. wives riding fully loaded Gold Wings, some even with trailers. And the carrying capacity of a GL1800 is only 422 lbs. as tested by MC News.

 

Dave

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...