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Interesting Comments From BMW On Sport Touring


marcopolo

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I just got my copy of January's Motorcyclist magazine. In it there's a two-page story on BMW for 2009, mainly featuring the S1000RR and the new K1300s. There's also a sidebar Q&A with Hendrik Von Kuenheim, BMW Motorrad's General Director. The question was, "Plans for the touring lineup?" The answer was, "The sport-touring segment is shrinking; it's not a priority. Touring is successful enough, but it's still a small niche. Touring will be the next important platform update for us, after the superbike rollout. You will see something from us in one to one-amd-a-half years -- a huge touring bike with many cylinders, huge torque and a low seat. That's all I'll say now."

 

What to make of that? Presumably the touring bike he's talking about is the rumoured 6-cyl LT, but I found his comments about sport-touring not being a priority quite interesting. Does he mean the RT?

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

Too bad. A K-RT is about the only thing I can think of that might make me consider some debt. A new RT would be nice, but mine is fine until I can afford to buy a Hex head with cash.

 

 

 

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It is only in the USA that the RT is considered a Sport-tourer, elsewhere - especially in Europe - it is seen as a tourer with the LT as a 'luxury' tourer. The K-RS R-RS and later R-ST were sports-tourers in the BMW lexicon, whilst still being seen as 'tourers' to most mainstream European bike press where a Sports-tourer was something like a Blackbird or a VFR.

 

The FJR, Concours and Honda ST1300 are also seen as plain vanilla tourers in Europe - there is a reason that in Europe the ST1300 is called the Pan-European.

 

Andy

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It is only in the USA that the RT is considered a Sport-tourer, elsewhere - especially in Europe - it is seen as a tourer with the LT as a 'luxury' tourer. The K-RS R-RS and later R-ST were sports-tourers in the BMW lexicon, whilst still being seen as 'tourers' to most mainstream European bike press where a Sports-tourer was something like a Blackbird or a VFR.

 

The FJR, Concours and Honda ST1300 are also seen as plain vanilla tourers in Europe - there is a reason that in Europe the ST1300 is called the Pan-European.

 

That's what happens when you can barely get a bike warmed up before you enter the next country.

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It is only in the USA that the RT is considered a Sport-tourer, elsewhere - especially in Europe - it is seen as a tourer with the LT as a 'luxury' tourer. The K-RS R-RS and later R-ST were sports-tourers in the BMW lexicon, whilst still being seen as 'tourers' to most mainstream European bike press where a Sports-tourer was something like a Blackbird or a VFR.

 

The FJR, Concours and Honda ST1300 are also seen as plain vanilla tourers in Europe - there is a reason that in Europe the ST1300 is called the Pan-European.

 

That's what happens when you can barely get a bike warmed up before you enter the next country.

 

With our traffic and speed cameras the bike gets warm enough just getting out of town.

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It is only in the USA that the RT is considered a Sport-tourer, elsewhere - especially in Europe - it is seen as a tourer with the LT as a 'luxury' tourer. The K-RS R-RS and later R-ST were sports-tourers in the BMW lexicon, whilst still being seen as 'tourers' to most mainstream European bike press where a Sports-tourer was something like a Blackbird or a VFR.

 

The FJR, Concours and Honda ST1300 are also seen as plain vanilla tourers in Europe - there is a reason that in Europe the ST1300 is called the Pan-European.

 

 

Andy

 

I love how we classify things. I've seen Johns and Janes of this board flog LT's by stunned squids on their repli-racers. It's not the bike that makes it a sport touring machine or not.

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Great... so they're going to make a Goldwing (lots of cylinders, low seat height)... hmmm... did they ever thing that if LT riders wanted a Goldwing, they would get one. They was something with better handling, and goo range. If you use more than 4 cylinders I think all you're going to do is increase fuel consumption. Maybe BMW can work their magic or use Honda-esque cylinder deavtivation.

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"The sport-touring segment is shrinking; it's not a priority. Touring is successful enough, but it's still a small niche. Touring will be the next important platform update for us, after the superbike rollout. You will see something from us in one to one-amd-a-half years -- a huge touring bike with many cylinders, huge torque and a low seat. That's all I'll say now."

Mark, I noticed that comment too! To me what makes the BMW marque so desirable is to have a proper long distance mount that handles very well and doesn't weigh nearly a half ton. That's why I'm riding a BMW boxer twin. Looks like I'll have to hang on tight to my R12ST. Lighter weight for me is the gift that keeps on giving. :grin:

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I was at the BMW booth at the Long Beach, CA motorcycle show and they didn't have an RT or LT on display. I asked why and they said they only had bikes that were new to their lineup on display. Makes me wonder if BMW isn't supporting the touring bikes because of what's been posted here. Are these bikes just not viewed by them as being exciting anymore?

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They are spending their time (and floor space) showing off the new bikes. Next year, it sounds like they'll have a new LT and I'll speculate on a refreshed RT as well. BMW's touring bikes (including the RT) are still good sellers here as far as I know so I doubt they'll be put on the back lot quite yet.

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I will just bet that with more motorcycle riders over 50 years old than ever before and that number will climb, BMW feels they are loosing more ground to Honda, Harley and some of the other big bikes. The seat height on most of the big tourers is lower than most of the BMW's, and this is a big deal to older riders who also mostly ride 2 up. Honda nd Harley are offering some nice looking trike kits. It is a good guess that BMW may also follow suit in the future with a 3 wheeler kit of their own. I love my RT because the sport tourer fits the niche I wanted between the big ol tourer and the crotch rocket. However my ol Harley gets the same amount of attention because of the way it handles and sits stable at a stop due to a low center of gravity and a verrry low seat height.

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