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Hello all. I'm Michael and I'm from Kansas. I've recently determined that my Harley days are over since a Sport Touring configuration will best suit my riding needs now. After considering various Asian ST bikes, and rejecting them for one reason or another, I've turned my attention to BMW's.


It's been suggested to me that they're so reliable and that in many cases, so simple to maintain, that the nearest dealership being an hour and a half away should not be a major concern.


I'm making a decision between the '04 R1150RT and an R1200RT. In favor of the '04, I think it's much better looking and will cost me less to purchase. Also, it's issues are prsumably, better known issues.


As for the 1200, I don't know enough about the differences between the '05-'07 variants to be prepared to formulate a preference. Hopefully I can find a good "version history" for the R1200RT.


Any advice will be welcomed.



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The great thing about Kansas is you can get one of those mile long choppers. You never have to turn.


I ride an LT and am looking to go to the GS, so cannot answer your questions. I like the 04 1150RT alot - firend has one and I have put many miles on it.



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The 1200 vs. 1150 debate usually proceeds (around here) as such:


1150 pros:

Better looking


did I mention better looking?


1200 pros:

more refined power (and just flat out more power)



bigger gas tank

slightly better headlight (not that it's bad, but the 1150 was already pretty good)


There are other issues, but those are the most common that I've seen.


The only difference between an 05 and 07 are the colors and the brakes. The 05 has servo-assist brakes whereas the 07 does not. That should increase reliability and some people like the feel of the non-servo brakes better.


Ride them both and see for yourself. If you can't tell a difference between them, get the 1150.

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It's been suggested to me that they're so reliable and that in many cases, so simple to maintain, that the nearest dealership being an hour and a half away should not be a major concern.

If you believe that I'd be concerned.. dopeslap.gif All bikes have things that need attention, and BMW's are no different. But MANY here do their own service and repairs.


First off.. Welcome. This is a great board, and what makes it a great board is the people. There are many that own several bikes of which BMW is only one, and many who don't own BMW at all. Common thread? Care for fellow riders and a willingness to share!


Presuming care and maint was given, the '04 will be a great bike for you. I own a '02 K1200RS which is a different beast, and soon you will hear from others who are far more RT literate!


Anyway... warm welcome. thumbsup.gif

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I don't know from servo-assisted. Did the integrated ABS from '04 carry forward on the later RT's? What does the servo-assist do? Does this mitigate the less progressive braking behavior I have surmised the '04 may be prone to?

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clap.gif Another Kansan!


Can't help you on your bike decision (buy both and give the 1200 to me), but I can extend a warm welcome.



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Welcome to the board! I have an '04 and think the 1150s are one of the best looking bikes around. I sent you a PM. Look for the flashing letter in upper right.

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Hi Michael, Welcome to BMW. I'll bet when you get one you'll say to yourself, "Man, why did I ride Harleys all those years!"


This is a great forum. Good folks, lot's of good advice, and lots of fun.


Everybody here has put up with me for a few months. I may be assulted at the next rally but that's okay. lmao.gif You'll do well here. Welcome!




P.S. You will be joining an elite group. So please try and maintain our high eliteist standards!! Don't wave to any other riders. Make sure and tell them they need to ride a BMW. Most of all, give your local dealer more money than you need to. They need all the help they can get! Just kidding!! Except maybe the dealer part. lmao.gif

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Welcome Michael. Well it sounds like you know what you want in a BMW- and RT. Good for you. I have had both an 04 and now an 05 RT. My personal feeling is that the hexhead is better in every aspect vs. the 04 an earlier models in terms of power, smoother tranny, bigger tank, creature comforts like cruise control, heated seats, etc. The looks of the bike is in the eye of the beholder. For me one test ride was all it took to make the move up. I have seen 05 RT's advertised in the $13K range now if that figure is in your budget. Test ride both and decide. I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever about buying the 05. Good luck with the bike search and have fun shopping. I put 14K miles on it last year which is the most I have ridden since 1994 so I am definitely having fun on it.

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Hi Michael,


since Harleys are more expensive around here than BMW's (that's because they're scarce and not because they're better, I assume lmao.gif ), we ride BMW's !


I have no time anymore to tinker on automotive toys, so I need a dealer. About every 10.000 km's, actually. In our country that's not an issue; we're a lot smaller than Kansas I think smirk.gif


Servo-assisted brakes means that you only need two fingers to catapult yourself over the windshield, if you're not careful! These things STOP!


I ride a 04 RT and am totally happy with it. I test ride the 1200RT and 1200GS and haven't succumbed to the greater cost of those. But that's a personal choice.


Welcome to the board ! thumbsup.gif



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Welcome Michael!!


Great way to make an entrance; ask a question with lots of answers!! smile.gif


You'll discover this Board to be inundated with folks who know a lot about bikes in general and most model Beemers in particular. More importantly, they are quite willing to assist a fellow rider with anything from bike maintennance to trip routing (just look at the diversity of the "Discussion Board" categories).


That being said, this is not what one might term a "shy" bunch; opinions run strong and "I'm more right then the other guy, just ask me"!! wink.gifsmile.gif


What does seem to be an underlying theme is this group, as a rule, is less contentious then a lot of Web bike sites. Said another way, generally members are just plain polite to one another. Not overly so, but folks for the most part don't seem driven to shove their opinion down your throat as much as wanting to answer the question asked. It's a nice place to simply visit friends and just chat or read about motorcycles (particularly BMW's) and related stuff. I think you'll like it here.


As to your original question; I'll let someone else give you specifics; I like 'um both but prefer the R1200RT.


Good luck in your search and once again, Welcome!

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Michael... welcome on board. I am also a recent convert from Harley- after 15+ years...of H-D I can tell you I was ready for the change too.


I sold the H-D Road Glide last week. Tuesday- picked up my '05 R1200RT. Absolutely love it. Also considered earlier RT's. I am not sure I agree with the apparent consensus about the 04s being prettier.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think the 5's are sleek, modern and refined in all ways.


The servo linked brakes means they have added "power brakes" feel. There is a boost from a servo. This means the sucker will stop on a dime and give change. It also means the fron and rear brakes are linked together. Use just the front lever or both the lever and the foot pedal... does not matter.

The 04 were servo and linked too as I recall, but I am sure I willbe corrected if they were not.


Of course they all have the same ABS. Routine maintenance is fairly easy on either bike. Even some more advanced work is easily done by a reasonably careful or experienced home mechanic. Fortunately the hard stuff is fairly rare.


Just a note on troubles... remember that these Forums are a magnet for trouble reports and questions. The guys with no problems far out weigh the others. But having said that... if you do have a question... these guys will help.


Good luck- you cannot make a bad choice in this game.


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In a few words servo assisted brakes are POWER BRAKES ON A BIKE. You pull the brake and you immediately feel the brakes take hold. Some people like them some hate them. The maintenance is more involved. You bleed the wheel circuits which is the calipers every two years, and the control circuits which is the front brake and clutch circuits/reservoirs on the handlebars every 4 years now. Servo assist brakes are on K bikes and some R models from 2002-2006.

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I saw and sat on an '06 and an '07 today and they look better in person than in photos (not as good as the 1150, but *better*). I didn't have time for a ride today. I'm in Omaha on a tight schedule. I sat on one with and one without the lower profile seat. I had sneakers on and was pretty comfortable on the standard seat and could flat-foot on the low seat. Is the thinner seat noticable crueler on longer rides? I was told that the front and rear brakes are now linked only on the hand brake and that the foot brake is rear only. True?


I wish I was clearer on the differences between '05-'06'-'07 and whatever the rumor mill says about '08...


Is there a site anywhere that documents all the model year changes?

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Welcome to the board. I can't speak to the '05-'07 specifically. I will tell you that I have a 2004 R1150RT and LOVE grin.gif it. I purchased it 1 year and 1 month ago. When I picked her up she had 6,000miles. I just hit 14,000 a couple days ago (not as much as some of the guys on here, but pretty good for me). Anyway, the bike has been very comfortable (even with the stock seat..which I do plan to upgrade just for more comfy). I'm 6'2" and weigh 260 and the bike has plenty of power for me solo, with gear, and with passenger & gear. Handles great on the highway or in the twisty's. As for the brakes, mine are servo assisted and linked. The servo assist is nice (once you get used to it) The bike will stop right NOW!! It did take a bit of adjustment coming from a Honda but I really like the stopping power. .....Basically it is a GREAT thumbsup.gif bike. I would certainly tell you to ride several and see what is best for you. I doubt you would go wrong with any of the BMW's.


As for this board, you are in good hands. Any question, be it about a tech issue or a great restaurant in Timbuktu, can be answered here. I have already made several good friends of folks i've met here and gotten together to go riding. Good luck with your purchase and look forward to seeing you on the road! wave.gif

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Welcome! My two cents is that you'll be happy with either! Like James above I haven't put a bazillion miles on my 04 RT in the 10 months since I've owned it, but I can't tell you just how happy I am with it. My SO and I did a 1000 mile weekend in some pretty intense heat, and it was largely the heat that was the discomfort - though she could have used a comfier seat and more stops (leason learned there - I too will get an aftermarket seat sometime). Anyway, I can't even imagine that trip on a loud cruiser/dresser!


Whatever you buy, ST is about the best experience I can imagine on a bike!

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I have an 07---the 05-06-07 are pretty much identical except in 07 they took the servo-assist off the brakes. This greatly simplified service issues and (many think) made the braking action more "predictable". The brakes are so good that servo just isn't needed--and adds unecessary complexity. Yes, the brakes are linked, but you can still ride the rear brake at low speeds for stability.


Prior to 05, the 1150's had fewer horses, more weight, and the servo brakes like the 05-06's. And some folks like the 04's flowing lines better than the 05's->.

If it were me, I would be looking for a used 07--there *are* some out there. Check here. http://www.ibmwr.org/market/adlist.php?cat=obs


Heres some links that might help you.




Good luck!! clap.gif

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