Jump to content

Short but surprising test ride findings


Emerson00

Recommended Posts

Having sold my Ducati (by necessity, not desire), then promptly broken my foot, I've been off the bike since late August. I've finally gotten to the point where I am looking for the next bike.

 

I've ridden the 12GS and 1150RT and GS, as well as the k12s, but never the GT or current RT. I went to the local BMW shop yesterday and finally got rides on all three.

 

I'm still so used to the flickability of the Duc that the GT felt incredibly foreign to me. There was no quick manuevering, nor quick acceleration. Once you get into a lean, it was incredibly stable, and once you get your wrist into it, it was a rocket... But the hesitant acceleration and high initial stability overshadowed the incredible power and luxurious comfort.

 

The RT... what a bike. As huge as it is, it's luxury car comfortable, stable but quick in steering. Easily a bike to ride all day in any road configuration. I almost didn't want to like it for the size and aesthetic damage they did with the re-design from the 11xx models... but it won for me.

 

I recall the 1150 and 12GS being more flickable than I found yesterday. Perhap the RT was SO comfortable that nothing would compare afterwards, but I didn't find the GS to be as comfortable as the Duc, let alone the GT/RT; it suffered the same lack of flickability as the GT, too... turned in easily enough, but it just didn't want to alter course as quickly.

 

Sometimes I think I'm better off with an 1100S Multistrada and putting the saved money into all the farkles I could find. I missed the instant acceleration, snappy revving, and gnerally featherweight lightness and razor sharp steering of the Duc. I wonder if time and experience on the RT will make me as confident in that bike as I became in the Multistrada?

 

However, I'm looking to build a stable this time. I think it's time to start thinking long term about multiple bikes in the garage. Starting with a luxo-tourer like the RT with good agility and all-around roadworthiness makes sense as it'll pull the wife onto the bike more often (she's already looking forward to riding the RT with me... she LOATHED the Duc). So as a foundation bike for a multiple motorcycle garage, i think the RT is the best choice... and I'll keep my eyes open for a good deal on a 996-998 for the more spirited riding.

 

 

That's my $0.02, and I'll be going back for longer rides on each, though I think the decision is made for an RT. i had no anticipation of this outcome; I'd fully expected the GT or GS to steal the show. Now to find a good used one on the left coast to ride home, and then a pipe and slippers to go with it.

Link to comment

You hit on a good point if you like the Mrs. along for rides. I have a wife that rides very infrequently but, she likes my BMW the best by far of all the many bikes I have owned. I have a friend with a R12RT and his Mrs. also likes the BMW the best and he had a Ducati ST2 among others in his stable over the years. The RT won't hold you back too bad in the twisties either. I have one more bike I'd recommend to test ride, since the R12ST isn't available new any more. Try a R1200R as it is notably lighter than the feature loaded RT and will be easier to handle in the twisties. :thumbsup:

Link to comment

SWMBO watched LWD and LWR and has become interested in riding. She's finally shedding the "biker" generalizations so many girls (indeed, people) grow up with. She wants her license, though no bike of her own, for now... I'd like to encourage this, and having her along means free miles w/o using a hall pass. LOL

 

I'm encouraging her to provide input this time around, so she can take some ownership of the idea of riding.

Link to comment

+1 on the 1200 R. I had the 06 1200 RT but the 1200 R is so much more stable, quick and, your words, flickable. Only problem is that it will not be as comfortable for a passenger as the legs are tucked up pretty high for her.

Bruce

Link to comment

simple answer: because there are a lot of bikes out there, and I want to try something different from what I'm used to.

 

The Ducati was not without it's issues and failures; I'm interested in trying another flavor of kool-aid... besides, In a few years, I'll have a Ducati parked next to the BMW, if anything goes to plan.

 

 

Link to comment
Joe Frickin' Friday

I'm very, very used to my 1100RT, but looking for something new. After asking/reading a bit about lots of power on a streetbike, I finally had a chance to test-ride a GT on Friday. The power was, um, a lot more than my 1100RT, but as others have said, I found it to be user-friendly. Certainly more discretion is required in lower gears, but it's not twitchy like some other bikes.

 

The handling was harder to assess. My 22-mile test ride looked like this:

 

4078.jpg

 

Apart from some snap lane changes on the highway and a few minutes of doing figure-8's around the islands in a neighboring parking lot, there wasn't much I could do to see how "flickable" it might or might not be. The salesman (who owns an older 1200GT) suggested that the new GT was much better than his in tight twisty stuff, and - despite the numbers on the spec sheet - was probably better than my aged 1100RT.

 

So how does a lack of "flickability" manifest itself? If I'm on a GT, can I ride Deals Gap at the same speed as my 1100RT, just by using more force on the bars to make turn-in/stand-up happen at the same rate? Or is there something about the way it steers that's just not correctable by means of rider inputs?

4078.thumb.jpg.a8863b1a3c41f3c5aae1dd84f1fdedc2.jpg

Link to comment

An article in the current BMW Motorcycle magazine told of a German journalist and his partner who borrowed a BMW K1200GT and 1200RT to attend the BMWOA rally in Gillette this year. When his partner had a lapse of memeory, he showed his "displeasure" by grabbing her RT for the rest of the day.

Link to comment

Honestly, I don't really see a mission for a 1200R, myself. In my opinion, the handling of the 1200RT is close enough to the 1200R that it really isn't worth it to give up the ability to ride comfortably all day long, and in cold weather.

 

For my money, if I wanted a bike that handled like a sportbike, I'd just buy one from the major four Japanese companies, instead of a detuned twin cylinder 1200 cc class motor on a sportbike like frame. And the quality would be as good.

 

When I'm tearing up the twisties on the RT, I don't feel like I'm missing out by not being on the gsxr 750, even though the gsxr is up 30 hp and down 150 lbs.

 

I don't buy BMW because I'm a BMW snob, rather, I bought a BMW 1200RT because it just worked out better for me than other motorcycle choices in the same class.

Link to comment

Flickability to me means what happens as you leave the turn and roll on the throttle, or when you pass another vehicle. I thought it meant, essentially, the mid-speed acceleration rate.

 

For instance from 40 - 90 mph or thereabouts. On the R 1200 RT, with proper gearing choices, flickability is adequate. On my one GT test ride, which was 11 miles that looked just like yours, I found the GT to have a much greater range of flickability, with more umphh to it. I was bothered however by busy gearing... had to shift a lot. Since I didn't get to ride twisties, can't say about that. For me the choice was all about ergos, the dealer didn't mention we could alter the ergos on the GT, and I have no idea how the bars were set, but it was way too forward for me. I need upright. Since then I have heard it is easy to set the GT up with RT like ergos, so I would reconsider that knowing what I know now and might make a different decision. Bottom line, the RT is plenty to get me in trouble, heavier than I would like already, and I love the handling. If I make a move it will be towards lighter and more nimble, maybe more dirt road capable.

 

My suggestion, come out to Torrey in May and borrow some rides. I'd be happy to let you try the RT.

Link to comment
Joe Frickin' Friday
Flickability to me means what happens as you leave the turn and roll on the throttle, or when you pass another vehicle. I thought it meant, essentially, the mid-speed acceleration rate.

 

Maybe I'm using the wrong term then. I've already explored the power a bit, now I'm looking for information about how the GT will (or can be made to) handle in really tight twisty stuff.

Link to comment

I know you're limited by the part of the country you live in but... That is one funny ass test run loop! With all we have to put up with here in CA, knowing I have tons of riding possibilites makes up for the madness of living here.

Link to comment

Flickability, to me, means how quickly and easily the bike flops from a right lean to a left lean (moving fast in tight curves).

 

I find my R-RT to be an excellent compromise. I was far too worried about its massive appearance. Some real mountain ridin put that fear to rest. Flickable enough for me solo while still handling 2-up comfortably and in control. HP in the 1200 is just right, even if I could use more when I press hard. I could want less vibration but not really a complaint.

 

Feels like a keeper for me.

Link to comment

I agree the RT is a fantastic touring motorcycle.

However, I can't beleive you road a GS and felt it wasn't a better twisties machine

I have an R1100RT and I have ridden the R1200RT

My GSA is a considerably better twisties machine by a long shot

 

A GS would be even better than the GSA because of weight

 

The GSA has better suspension, more ground clearance (especially two up) and wider handle bars for leverage. All which improve twisties riding.

 

Other than that I can guarantee you will love the RT

Link to comment
Flickability, to me, means how quickly and easily the bike flops from a right lean to a left lean (moving fast in tight curves).

 

 

I guess so. googled it and it seems you and Mitch have the term correct, and I had misunderstood it.

 

Link to comment
Flickability, to me, means how quickly and easily the bike flops from a right lean to a left lean (moving fast in tight curves).

 

That's what the Ducati had, in spades - flickable was defined by that motorcycle.

 

The GT had none of it; I couldn't even gyrate the bike in it's own lane above 20-25 mph. The GT WAS a rocket, though, on an open straight.

 

I also agree re: surprise that the GS felt so un-flickable (is agile a better word for the ability to snap change directions?). Last time I rode it, the bike felt like you could simply "think" it into a turn and over it went.

 

I think I've been smitten over the R/RT since riding one a few years ago out west. I also think that, ever since, I've been looking for that bike - something that did long days so well, in almost any weather (I ride year round and unless it's icey or raining when I leave the house).

 

I've convinced myself that the R/Rt will be a great bike for the next few years until I can add another Ducate to handle dedicated WV- and track-day use.

 

I'm going to ride all three again for longer tests before pulling the trigger, but I'm excited about getting back on two wheels.

 

(FWIW, please note I am not trying to start a Ducati v. BMW argument; the Ducati was simply an amazing bike - perhaps just not the bike to be the only bike in my stable)

 

Thanks for all thoughts.

Link to comment
Flickability to me means what happens as you leave the turn and roll on the throttle, or when you pass another vehicle. I thought it meant, essentially, the mid-speed acceleration rate.

 

Maybe I'm using the wrong term then. I've already explored the power a bit, now I'm looking for information about how the GT will (or can be made to) handle in really tight twisty stuff.

 

Mitch,

Back in the day, when the speed limit was 55 through the Gap, when the '98 K RS was first out, a rider I know and can vouch for rode the Gap several times (knowing road was clear) in 10 min and change.

He is an excellent rider and has won a La Carerra race beating factory sponsored teams w/his home built Boxer, so he is better than I ever dreamed of being.

The K bikes can handle the technical stuff.

Now, that said, I'm much less aggressive and a novice compared to him, so I ride through rather sedately.

I think it is the rider, not the ride, in this case.

Best wishes.

Link to comment

no doubt it's the rider! I'm used to a bike with great flickability, and haven't learned to force a bike with low angle and long wheelbase.

Link to comment
So how does a lack of "flickability" manifest itself? If I'm on a GT, can I ride Deals Gap at the same speed as my 1100RT, just by using more force on the bars to make turn-in/stand-up happen at the same rate? Or is there something about the way it steers that's just not correctable by means of rider inputs?

 

Nothing wrong with the bike.

 

Having just come back from running 191 from Clifton to Alpine (very tight twisties) and 180 from Alpine to Silver City (more open, linked sweepers) I can tell you that probably the fastest guy on 191 was on a newer K1200 R Sport which has a >>longer<< wheelbase than the new GT.

 

On 180, 3 Ks, a brick motor GT and a new model '06 GT and once again the KR Sport led the pack. The rest was a mixed bag of RTs and GSs. You make the call. :Cool:

Link to comment

Disagree Mister Tee,

 

There is a world of difference in the 1200 RT and the 1200 R. Weight, balance and handling come to mind with the 1200 R. I would agree if someone is interested in doing distance with more wind protection, then go for the 1200 RT but the R and RT bikes are completely different. The RT is heavier, more top heavy and blocks practically all the wind. That's good until the Summer. I currently own a relatively new Versys, the 1200 R rides circles around the smaller engined Versys, as well. the 1200 R may be de-tuned but you'd hardly notice it considering the lighter carriage and lower center of gravity. Naked bikes are for those who want the wind in their face, or more then the RT, enjoy the nimble handling and still like the boxer engine. I can't complain about the mileage either. 47 mpg and over 220 miles to a tank gets me down the road just fine. There is no Japanese bike out there that will bring that kind of fun and other deliverables to the table in my opinion. The 1200 R is the best bike I've ever owned and I've owned bikes since 1968 and yes, including all the Japanese brands.

Bruce

Link to comment

The 1200 R is the best bike I've ever owned and I've owned bikes since 1968 and yes, including all the Japanese brands.

 

+1 Only difference for me, substitute 1200ST for 1200R. :thumbsup:

Link to comment

I will tell you what. This past weekend we had a group ride on Hwy. 191 and 180 in AZ and NM. Tight twistie stuff, 13 riders and some pretty good ones at that. So who do you think was fastest of the day? WHIP was on his K1200 R sport. He kicked everybody's ass by a long shot too, there were GS's, GSA's RT's FJR's. So yes it is the RIDER not the bike.

Link to comment
I will tell you what. This past weekend we had a group ride on Hwy. 191 and 180 in AZ and NM. Tight twistie stuff, 13 riders and some pretty good ones at that. So who do you think was fastest of the day? WHIP was on his K1200 R sport. He kicked everybody's ass by a long shot too, there were GS's, GSA's RT's FJR's. So yes it is the RIDER not the bike.

 

Or the riders who obviously took pity on the poor Whip and decided to let him set the pace. :/

:wave:

The R Sport has shown taillights to more than one rider.

Link to comment
I'm very, very used to my 1100RT, but looking for something new. After asking/reading a bit about lots of power on a streetbike, I finally had a chance to test-ride a GT on Friday. The power was, um, a lot more than my 1100RT, but as others have said, I found it to be user-friendly. Certainly more discretion is required in lower gears, but it's not twitchy like some other bikes.

 

The handling was harder to assess. My 22-mile test ride looked like this:

 

4078.jpg

 

Apart from some snap lane changes on the highway and a few minutes of doing figure-8's around the islands in a neighboring parking lot, there wasn't much I could do to see how "flickable" it might or might not be. The salesman (who owns an older 1200GT) suggested that the new GT was much better than his in tight twisty stuff, and - despite the numbers on the spec sheet - was probably better than my aged 1100RT.

 

So how does a lack of "flickability" manifest itself? If I'm on a GT, can I ride Deals Gap at the same speed as my 1100RT, just by using more force on the bars to make turn-in/stand-up happen at the same rate? Or is there something about the way it steers that's just not correctable by means of rider inputs?

 

That's the worst test ride I've ever seen. Any reason they didn't take you to Hines Drive? It at least has a few curves...although nothing you can really take at significant speed legally... but better than a highway...stoplight festival. There's a couple turns you can roll through at maybe 50mph and get a feel for the bike.

 

I used to live in Northville and rode that a hundred times on a bicycle from 7 mile to Ford Road and back.

 

 

For the OP... be sure to do your next test ride 2-up if possible. I think the RT will really impress you at how well it handles when loaded. That's what sold me.

Link to comment
I will tell you what. This past weekend we had a group ride on Hwy. 191 and 180 in AZ and NM. Tight twistie stuff, 13 riders and some pretty good ones at that. So who do you think was fastest of the day? WHIP was on his K1200 R sport. He kicked everybody's ass by a long shot too, there were GS's, GSA's RT's FJR's. So yes it is the RIDER not the bike.

 

I'm chekcin Snopes on this one. You sure that was Whip?

Link to comment
I will tell you what. This past weekend we had a group ride on Hwy. 191 and 180 in AZ and NM. Tight twistie stuff, 13 riders and some pretty good ones at that. So who do you think was fastest of the day? WHIP was on his K1200 R sport. He kicked everybody's ass by a long shot too, there were GS's, GSA's RT's FJR's. So yes it is the RIDER not the bike.

 

 

I think this may have been the exception to the rule.

 

It was the BIKE!!!

 

:thumbsup:

 

 

 

Link to comment

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...