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Observations on my new 07 R1200RT


johnv

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Picked up my new 07 R1200RT on May 4th. It’s blue with silver lowers. I got the option package which included ESA, onboard computer, cruise control, heated seats and grips. I absolutely love the bike. Everything that annoyed me about my R1150RT has been rectified. The engine is amazing, more powerful and smoother. The handling is much improved due to the decrease in weight.

My wife and I got back last week from a trip up to the Gaspe Peninsula with the R1200RT. A word of advice to anybody planning a trip to Gaspe in May, DON’T GO! It was wet, cold and miserable. We rode through one of the biggest downpours I have ever experienced while riding a motorcycle. The bike performed well in spite of the heavy rain.

Here are a few observations after a month of ownership.

1.I find the windshield and seat comfortable. I won’t be changing either one in the near future.

2.The onboard computer screen is very hard to read while wearing sunglasses. The background needs to be lighter. A white background would be much more visible. Other than this, I am quite satisfied with the functionality.

3.The ESA gave me problems. The preload adjustment got stuck on two-up. Not too impressive for a bike with less than 3000kms on the odometer. I will be bringing it back to the dealer this week. I like the ESA in spite of this though. It’s great to be able to adjust the damping on the fly.

4.The gearbox is so much better compared to the R1150RT. 6th gear seems just right now. Only thing, I find 1st gear is too tall. Too much clutch slipping is required to get under way. I’m wondering how clutch life will be affected in the long term.

5.The new non servo-assisted brakes are fantastic. They stop every bit as well as the servo-assisted brakes of the 1150.

6.The horn is pathetic. The beep beep sounds like the roadrunner with laryngitis. I will be looking to upgrade this soon.

 

That’s about it. I am really happy with the bike so far. I don’t miss anything about the R1150RT. I think I’ll be hanging on to this one for a while.

 

Johnv

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John,

 

Although my 2007 R1200RT does not have ESA or heater seats like yours, my experiences are just like yours, especially with regard to the ratio of first gear being too tall. I did find that has become less of a problem as the miles accumulate. I don't know if the that is the result of the bike running in, or the bike "training" me how to better use the clutch and throttle. It also seems the engine vibrations above 4,200 RPM's have smoothed out as the miles accumulate.

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bobanddianne

And I'm here to echo all the previously mentioned items.

1st gear being a bit too tall is VERY evident if we are stuck in traffic on a steep freeway ramp. Having to move forward one car length at a time is most annoying. eek.gif

 

All else is nothing less than PREFECT... IMHO

clap.gif

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Exploreinman

I felt the same way about first gear when I first bought the bike ('05 RT), but now I've adjusted to it and I have absolutely no problem. Give it some time and I'd be curious if your experience will be the same as mine.

 

Good Riding!

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First gear is about the same on my 2005 R1200RT as it was on 1996 R1100RT. Perhaps they lowered first gear on the 6-speeds so your 1150 felt better. It seems great for normal use but would imagine that it is too high for two-up/loaded starting uphill.

I agree completely that the first gear issue, idle quality, low speed torque, etc. will improve with miles. Mine is just now feeling to be completely broken-in at 11K miles. I never think first is too high anymore. I do ride heavily loaded but not with a passenger.

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Since I have an 05 the horn thing is not a problem. The first gear you will get use to it. I had two Plymouth Roadrunners and I always loved their horns, but....they were in full song.

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I too have found the first gear too be very tall. I am curious how much throttle or what RPM are people typically reving to, to get started say on a flat start?

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I felt the same way about first gear when I first bought the bike ('05 RT), but now I've adjusted to it and I have absolutely no problem. Give it some time and I'd be curious if your experience will be the same as mine.

 

Good Riding!

I second this. I was thinking the same thing last year, but don't seem to give it a second thought now, and it seems like I'm revving it even less to get going now. Basically not a problem. 19,000kms on my 06 so maybe they just need to break in?

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I too have found the first gear too be very tall. I am curious how much throttle or what RPM are people typically reving to, to get started say on a flat start?

I'm 180 and I have around 50 pounds in the three bags. My trip was on level ground.

I noticed that I launch the bike from rest with the tach going to 1900-2000rpm. It never drops below 1500 as I take off, typically 1700. The clutch is fully engaged before the tach passes 2000. Running the rpm to 2300 to take off sounds high to me but assume that happens going uphill with a load.

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That tracks with what I have been doing. I was worring that I was over revving but seems to be what it needs.

Thanks thumbsup.gif

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I concur with most although I have adjusted very well to 1st gear being a bit tall. The rest of the enhancements over my 2000 are just to beyond my dreams.

 

The seat however, well that is another story. Coming from a day long ugly Russel to this is a sad sad day. I experience an uncomfortable feeling at just 70-100 miles, and with my sheepskin, I can usually make it about double that. I WILL be replacing my stock seat as soon as I can justify sending mine in for a month to get refinished. It's pretty hard riding around with no seat although it sure helps the height!!! thumbsup.gif

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My wife and I got back last week from a trip up to the Gaspe Peninsula with the R1200RT. A word of advice to anybody planning a trip to Gaspe in May, DON’T GO! It was wet, cold and miserable. We rode through one of the biggest downpours I have ever experienced while riding a motorcycle. Johnv

 

Sounds a bit like Newfoundland in July! Actually, my wife and I have discovered that the weather is dependant on one's choice of vehicle. Our last cycle trip to Gaspe, PEI and Nova Scotia involved 23 days of rain out of 30; so we now travel to that area in a BMW roadster and enjoy nothing but sunshine.

At any rate, enjoy your new RT!

Tom

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johnv, my bike is about a week newer than yours, presently with just over a thousand miles on it. Although some may have noticed my complaint about the speedometer in hexheads, that is resolved, and I really love the bike!

 

Regards first gear I was stalling a lot, and nearly dropped it once or twice when I stalled, but have not done so recently. I think I'm revving up to about 2500 rpms to start, and I make sure to let the clutch out slowly, and keep the rpms up close to 2000. So I understand your point, but I'd like to point out the other side of the issue.

 

First gear is amazing on a fast start! I finally felt like the bike was ready. I started working up my max rpms begining at about 500 miles, first just blipping up to 4500 once in a while, then as I passed 600 miles to 5000, then after first service and about 700 miles I did some sustained driving at 4500 rpm, longer runs at 5000 rpm, and began blipping up to 6000. Finally at about 800 miles I let loose on a fast start. Revved it to about 3500, and dropped the clutch while applying power, and once the clutch was fully engaged, opened it up until about 7000 rpm. Well, about 3 to 4 seconds later, or so it seemed, I was going 50 mph. And I was at 8000' of elevation at the time! I suspect going all the way to the red line, you might come quite close to a 0 - 60 in first. You have (simply must) to try this when you have a safe place, perhaps an empty freeway ramp in front of you! I think you could come to appreciate that tall first gear, since the bike clearly has the engine to handle it.

 

Speaking of normal starts, just remember, your not up into the torque curve until about 2500 rpm, and you need some torque to get going. You don't need to apply much power, just enough to maintain RPMs, as the clutch does the work.

 

Has anybody got some times for one of these things from 0 to 50 or 60, seemed like just a few seconds, but who can say for sure. Love to hear if anyone has some track times for running out 1st gear.

 

My bike has the same as yours plus the white turn signals. ESA has been fine. In fact no mechanical problems at all. I've got about 400 miles since 1st service and no observable oil usage so far.

 

Also road through the rain this weekend, in fact very heavy rain, high wind, and hail! On mtn twistie road, was very impressed as to how the bike handled that, would never have ridden through such a thing on my other bike.

 

Jan

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I suspect going all the way to the red line, you might come quite close to a 0 - 60 in first.

Has anybody got some times for one of these things from 0 to 50 or 60, Jan

 

8,000 rpm in 1st equates to 53 mph, so with the usual speedo error, it should read close to 57~58.

 

Regarding 0-60 (which requires one shift), Motorcycle Consumer News reported 4.0 seconds, and Motorcyclist managed 3.87" with an 11.68" quarter mile. I believe that BMW claims 3.6" (but they also are a bit optimistic on the bike's weight).

 

And regarding the tall first gear, I also engage the clutch at about 1,800 to 2,200 rpm - luckily I haven't stalled it since break-in.

Tom

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Regarding the ESA, my 07 also got stuck at the 2 up position. The dealer has informed me that the rear shock assembly is being replaced to correct the condition.

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Your comments remind me of my first days with my '05 RT. After 22,000 miles I have adjusted to the tall 1st gear, but still wish it were lower, especially when carrying 2-up with luggage.

 

I have had no mechanical problems whatsoever, except for a rattle from the chain tensioner at times. I'll have the dealer look at that at the next service.

 

I am a bit dismayed at how quickly this thing consumes tires - I'm about to buy my 5th set.

 

Jay

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I brought my bike back to the dealer yesterday to get the ESA checked out. After about an hour and a half of poking around in the bike and his computer, the technician said the shock was dead. Bad news is there are no shocks available ANYWHERE. It's back ordered to the factory and the waiting time is at least one month. The service manager said this is only the second time he has seen a shock go bad.

I also asked about replacing the horn. He said I could replace it with another horn. The part nos. he gave me are from the R1150RT. I can use either the high tone or the low tone horn. He didn't recommend that I replace it with dual horns. Apparently dual horns draw too much current and can shut down the circuit.

I'll report back when my shock arrives.

 

Johnv

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He didn't recommend that I replace it with dual horns. Apparently dual horns draw too much current and can shut down the circut.

 

I love the dual horns on my '05 RT. I have heard of them temporarily shutting down the associated circuit in the CANBUS system, though have never had it happen on my bike, even though I have even intentionally tried to do it with long hard recurrent blasts. I don't know why others have had this problem - maybe different resistances on some of the units?

 

Jay

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My 07 is still wired for two horns so I bought them from the dealer. Install is easy and straight forward. No issues in 3k miles,

If you want, the gnat fart horn can be replaced with the trumpet type horn, either tone, for added volume.

I believe that your tech. is mistaken about the current draw issue. Mine work just fine.

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He didn't recommend that I replace it with dual horns. Apparently dual horns draw too much current and can shut down the circut.

 

I love the dual horns on my '05 RT. I have heard of them temporarily shutting down the associated circuit in the CANBUS system, though have never had it happen on my bike, even though I have even intentionally tried to do it with long hard recurrent blasts. I don't know why others have had this problem - maybe different resistances on some of the units?

 

Jay

 

I have an '06 RT with the single, somewhat wimpy, horn. I had read about the horn cutting out temporarily, and indeed it did that last summer. "Re-booting" the bike re-set the horn, so obviously the associated controller was shutting it down. Last month I took the back to the dealer to have them address the horn issue before I headed to Torrey. As usual, the horn worked fine at the dealer. The tech tried it, and I tried it later in the dealer's lot, along with the service manager (though the bike was not running at the time). The tech hooked the bike up to the diagnostic computer, and it indicated that there were no software updates for my bike (a February '06 build). He gave me a hard copy of the computer report showing exactly that. He also checked out the button, but found nothing wrong with it.

 

Sure enough, the horn cut out again on my Torrey trip after I pressed the horn button several times in fairly quick succession. Re-booting again re-set the horn.

 

I'm not sure what to make of this, as there's no software update avilable for my bike. I will mention it again, of course, when I'm next at the dealer (a 90 minute drive away, so it's not just around the block).

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My bike was repaired by replacing the rear shock assembly. I was told the sensor was bad. The dealer stated it was a big task to remove and replace the rear shock assembly. So, problem is fixed for now. Good luck with your problem!

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CoarsegoldKid

1st gear is way too tall. Packed with luggage and 2-up on a street called Marin in Berkeley I was forced to slip the clutch getting away from a stop sign on this very steep grade. The clutch smoked a lot and smelled for a few hours. I was amazed at the amount of smoke that billowed forth. Never in all my 42 years of motorcycling has anything like this happened to me before. Avoid hills with stops.

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Don_Eilenberger
1st gear is way too tall. Packed with luggage and 2-up on a street called Marin in Berkeley I was forced to slip the clutch getting away from a stop sign on this very steep grade. The clutch smoked a lot and smelled for a few hours. I was amazed at the amount of smoke that billowed forth. Never in all my 42 years of motorcycling has anything like this happened to me before. Avoid hills with stops.
I tend to agree - on the Roadster - 1st gear is good to about 40MPH.. and is a bear to get going as you pointed out on uphill stops. I'm getting used to it - but it isn't a comfortable feeling having to slip the clutch while racing the engine. Especially a problem when the start involves crossing traffic.

 

BMW should come up with a hill-holder.. where the bike won't roll back if the hill-holder is engaged. BMW has something like this (called slope assist) on their SMG equipped cars (automatic-manual transmission).. wouldn't seem that hard to engineer into the bikes.

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St0nkingByte
1st gear is way too tall. Packed with luggage and 2-up on a street called Marin in Berkeley I was forced to slip the clutch getting away from a stop sign on this very steep grade. The clutch smoked a lot and smelled for a few hours. I was amazed at the amount of smoke that billowed forth. Never in all my 42 years of motorcycling has anything like this happened to me before. Avoid hills with stops.
I tend to agree - on the Roadster - 1st gear is good to about 40MPH.. and is a bear to get going as you pointed out on uphill stops. I'm getting used to it - but it isn't a comfortable feeling having to slip the clutch while racing the engine. Especially a problem when the start involves crossing traffic.

 

BMW should come up with a hill-holder.. where the bike won't roll back if the hill-holder is engaged. BMW has something like this (called slope assist) on their SMG equipped cars (automatic-manual transmission).. wouldn't seem that hard to engineer into the bikes.

 

Uh... just mash down the rear brake to hold you in place then come off it as you start moving. Pretty easy to do. I start on hills all the time (live in somewhat hilly Western Washington) its not a terribly difficult skill to acquire. And good lord with all the hills I've stopped on and riding in stop and go traffic I've done I've never seen actual smoke from the clutch much less hit it so hard it I could smell it more than a few minutes later. You guys are doing something wrong or there's something wrong with your clutch!

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Me too on first gear. I tend to rev it pretty good (2000 to 2500 rpm) to start--I'm frankly rather terrified that I should stall it and simply fall over. Although it hasn't happened (yet) on the RT, I stalled an R1100S on a test ride a couple of years ago and still haven't got over the embarassment of it eek.gif

 

Also, me too on "I love this bike." grin.gif How do you concentrate on work (or anything else for that matter) when you have this bike in the garage? All I can think about is when can I ride it some more . blush.gif

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I ran across a listing of a ceramic clutch replacement for the R1200RT that is guaranteed for life. I cannot remember the sales site but it sounded a lot like the one at Touratech for the GS. The biggest proviso from them is that they only guarantee for life if it is on an new flywheel/pressure plate assembly. This has the possibility to void guarantee from BMW.

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Don_Eilenberger
Uh... just mash down the rear brake to hold you in place then come off it as you start moving. Pretty easy to do.

Not so easy to do if (1) the road is off-camber AND (2) you have a short inseam and can't flat-foot the bike on level pavement AND (3) the off-camber - downside is to the left so you have to use your right foot to support the bike because of 1 & 2

 

This means your right foot isn't available to mash the rear brake, so you gotta use the front brake and roll on the throttle at the same time as you're releasing it and the clutch.

 

I start on hills all the time (live in somewhat hilly Western Washington) its not a terribly difficult skill to acquire. And good lord with all the hills I've stopped on and riding in stop and go traffic I've done I've never seen actual smoke from the clutch much less hit it so hard it I could smell it more than a few minutes later. You guys are doing something wrong or there's something wrong with your clutch!

Good for you. I'm guessing you have more than a 27" inseam. Must be nice..
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My own experience with the tall 1st on my RT, GS and now ST has me wondering... how difficult would it be for BMW to change over to a wet clutch on future R bikes? The only real advantage of a dry clutch (that I'm aware of) is that of not having to worry about contaminating the engine oil with clutch droppings. But then, that could be alleviated by using a separate sump for the clutch oil - ala Harley.

 

Or am I missing something?

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Finally, a rider with a specially designed Teutonic butt. I knew there must be one out there that represents the ideal German derierre. I would love to visit their factory and ask them who modeled those seats and tested them and what kind of Worker's Comp do they have over there. But then, this should be no surprise as the German's build the same spartan, hardboard seats for $100k cars too. I think it gives them sadistic pleasure to know that nobody can ride their bikes with their stock seat for more than 100 miles without losing all circulation to not only the butt but the extremities. This could be a subconscious desire to get back at us for all the wars they lost to us.

As to the horn, who uses it? I haven't used my horn yet except to test it. I have however, screamed louder when confronted with an a**hole puckering situation.

Bruce

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Have to disagree with you about the BMW car seats, at least on their $30~$40k cars (don't know about $100k models!). The non-sport seats on my Z4 are very comfortable for long distance touring. And the sport seat (with lumbar adjustments) on my 328i allowed a round trip from Washington, DC to New Orleans while I was suffering from a severely herniated disk.

For my butt, though, you're spot on re the RT seat!

Tom

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Ditto, here. I've always liked BMW and VW/Audi car seats. Mercedes seats are awful IMO (but the seats aren't the worst part of a Mercedes).

 

The last decent BMW bike seat was on the airhead RT.

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I haven't had a problem with first gear/clutching. I find the clutch has a good feel starting from a stop on hills and is very easy to finesse, even two-up, and the gear ratio is ok for me. It's a bit better than my previous oilhead RT in that respect, maybe because the motor has a bit more power -- although the hexhead has even less flywheel effect than the oilhead. That said, first gear is no fun in stop/go crawling traffic, mainly because the ridiculous EVO power brakes are soooo cranky and btchy at slow speed. My oilhead RT manual brakes had superb touch at any speed, and I miss them.

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While I've only stalled my RT once, like many others, I feel that the 12RT's first gear is really too take for commnuting. My Kawasaki Voyager would creep along at 5mph but the RT's minimum is just under 10mph. That can make a big difference in how often you need to operate the clutch.

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