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2003 1200 rs vs 2003 1150 rt


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I have a chance to buy both at a very good price but can't seem to make up my mind as to which one. Bike will be used for commuting about 50% of the time and weekend excursions and sometimes with my wife only on occasions. I am just getting back into riding but have ridden a lot 20 years back. How is the maintenance cost between the two and the reliability factor as well. How is the 1200rs for hours in the saddle. Any advice or input for a newbie will be greatly appreciated, Thanks

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Both great distance bikes but the RT has more range due to it's fuel tank size. If you know what you're doing both can be very easy to work on. My sense was that my 2003 K12GT required less maintenance BUT don't trust me on that. Now... a big IF.. IF the bike ended up on it's side the RS will see tupperware damage... the RT (gotta love the jugs) will not get damaged as easily plus with the RT you have the option to add crash bars (not so with the RS).

I had an 03 RT... mt wife wasn't too happy on the back.. when I got my GT (pretty much the same as the RS) she found that she was waaaay more comfy.

RT will be better in the really tight twisty stuff. RS will blow the RT away in sweepers or pretty much anytime when you can be free with the throttle.


I bet the above didn't help a bit. tongue.gif

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I has a 98 RS and it is not much different from the 03 except the 03 has cruise and a very slightly improved fairing.


Look around the forum for recent discussion on RS vs RT, but in summary the RS is way fast, smooth, powerful, heavy, gets lower mileage, smaller tank. Reliable, easy to do routine maintenance, hard to do big stuff, may have a seating position considered aggressive to some. My wife thought the RS was fairly comfortable.


RT is easier to work on, pretty, probably more comfy, gets better mileage, holds more gas, lighter, handles well, slower, but still can be fast. Vibrates like a 2-cylinder opposed motor, needs more maintenance.


My summary is that the RS is a beast of power and speed. RT is refined and more sophisticated.


If I could have sorted out the ergonomics I probably would have kept it, but the R12RT is better for me. Let me say it again... the power and speed of the RS is awesome and requires restraint and maturity. If you are not careful you can get into trouble really quickly.

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There are lots of good opinions out there on the RS vs the RT, but I'll throw in my .02 on pillion comfort.


I had to carry my buddy's wife on the back of my R1150RT for about 1,000 km (625 miles) when he had a problem with his K1200RS; his wife said the pillion saddle of the RS was more comfortable than the RT's.



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You have a choice between 2 excellent bike models.

I would suggest your decision be made based on:

1. Individual condition of each bike under consideration

2. Which one grabs your heart more

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Thanks for all the feedback, one thing that stands out is the weight of the RS. 628 lbs dry seems like a load.


628 and 130 HP

or 618 and 95 HP for the RT

You do the math. grin.gif

The RS changed in other ways from '02 on.

It came with adjustable footpegs, bars, had the turn signals integrated in the fairing.

In addition, the K RS probably has cruise control while the RT does not.

Your size, ergos, strength, passenger's size etc. will have to be considered, but many passengers prefer the K feel when they ride it after having been on a boxer.

Best wishes.

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but many passengers prefer the K feel when they ride it after having been on a boxer.

Best wishes.


I sure miss the quickness of my K bike compared to the RT.

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Thanks for all the feedback, one thing that stands out is the weight of the RS. 628 lbs dry seems like a load.


I had a 99 R1100RT for a few year and about 50K miles and now have (in addition to a 1150GS)and '98 K1200RS.


"IMHO" "YMMV" etc. weight aside the K1200 feels more balanced at stops, less likely to tip over in parking lot manuevers etc.


Did do a slow side drop of the K12 in my own garage the other night; brain obviously elsewhere dopeslap.gif when I got off it w/o putting side stand down. I only mention this because it looked a lot harder to pick up i.e. flatter to the ground vs. a boxer with the head sticking out for stop point. Fortunately I was able to hail a neighbor for a hand picking it up; don't know how it would have gone otherwise


Don't like it but have picked up the RT and GS on my own including this Special Moment tongue.gif when the lift was slightly uphill





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