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First ride on an RT

La Chuparosa

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Introductory Hello here. I'm new to the forum and to the BMW culture.


For years I've ridden a variety of bikes. The past 5 or 6 years I've been touring. I usually ride 20 or 25K per year and take two or three longer trips.


This year was no different. I was returning to Oklahoma from my annual west coast road trip. I was on my 2008 Kawasaki Concours14. It is a wonderful machine. The last day of the 15 day trek I stopped in sw Colorado to see my parents. They a semi-retired. My dad told me about a BMW he'd seen locally for sale and piqued my interest. I went and checked it out and was impressed. A fellow not much older than me had it. It was a ’04 1150RT and was near perfect. Short story…I bought it.


My father was headed home the next day and had a trailer. So I buckled the big Kawasaki down on it…mounted the Beemer and rode home.


I must tell you I wasn’t all that excited about the BMW at first. The little twin has a very minute vibration compared to the massive silky smooth I-4 of the state of the art Kawasaki. The power was a obviously less than stellar compared to the missile on two wheels. But the little RT had ample “beans”. The power delivery of the twin was virtually identical to my 30 year old XS1100 except the Beemer seemed to have more kick….especially low to mid grunt.


As the miles of the day rolled up I became more impressed with the bike. The ride was smooth as glass and the bike just felt solid as a rock. The seating position is much less aggressive than the super sport C14. The entire “vibe” of the BMW was much more laid back. I mean that stinkin’ Kawasaki has so much power ( in reality more than most will ever use) it is constantly tempting to twist the grip and shoot to 150+ for a cheap thrill. On the other hand there is no temptation with the finely crafted boxer. I figured out on I-25 near Walsenburg all she’d do is 125…and that took a little time to get there. So the bike is actually much more relaxing to ride for me personally.


But the boxer can hold it’s own in more than one respect. First and foremost: RANGE. I rode home at 75 to 85 mph and never saw the Beemer get less than 47. One tank I got 51. And I sure if I watched my speed and disciplined myself to ride 70 mph on the button it would approach 60 mpg. The Kawasaki…hahahahahaha…it would be lucky to get 40. I have occasionally gotten 48…but only when riding at speeds of 50 mph or less ….like when in a national park. The tank of the RT holds 6.6…the Kaw…5.8. With the added capacity and the superior fuel economy I can see little problem in taking the BMW to 300 miles before even looking for fuel. The C14…at 180 to 190 my fuel light is flashing.


Also the RT is much lighter…by about 150 lbs. Another plus is valve adjustment. Though I will have to do it more often on the boxer (every 6000 vs 15000 for the Kaw) it is infinitely easier. The Kawasaki is a nightmare with under bucket shims and more hoses and wires and fairings to remove than I care to contemplate. Then it's air/oil cooled! No worry of hoses, pumps and coolant. The beauty of true genius is simplicity.


In short…over the past couple weeks I’m sold. The quality of the bike is as expected. And it should be it’s a BMW. And the wife loves it to…but strictly for superficial reasons. She likes the little Blue and white logo on the side…… :rofl:




I’ve dubbed my RT La Chuparosa (hummingbird) because it sounds like the wings of a hummingbird when you rev it. And I’m certain I will be riding it in lieu of the big Kaw in the future for a variety of reasons. :thumbsup:


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Welcome aboard and I think you'll love your RT. It really grows on you after a while. One area where it really shines that you probably have not experienced yet is in the twisties. It handles very well and keeps up with most anything (arguably) and much better than any other "touring" bike.

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Ditto, I can't wait to hear your comments when you have a chance to really ride it in the twisties! You'll be even more impressed. I came from an FJR1300ABS to an R1200RT and it's by far the best bike I've ever owned!



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Welcome aboard and I think you'll love your RT. It really grows on you after a while. One area where it really shines that you probably have not experienced yet is in the twisties. It handles very well and keeps up with most anything (arguably) and much better than any other "touring" bike.


I've read that. Actually when I left Colorado I got into some high speed sweepers headed home in La Veta Pass and Raton Pass. I screwed the throttle up to 90-95 and it felt very good. Hopefully I'll get to take it to Arkansas next weekend and put it through the bends on the Pig Trail.


Thanks to all for the warm welcome!

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Welcome aboard!


I just went through a very long Connie vs. new R1200RT decision. Very happy with my choice of the RT.


I am not at all blown away by the power of the new RT, but it's definitely adequate. I do think the handling is exceptional for a "sport" touring bike, and it's the real strength of the bike. Both cornering and low speed maneuvers are dramatically better than my old R11RT. BMW did a great job with weight reduction and COG location.

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Congrats on picking the best year RT ever. HP gets you down the drag stip, handling gets you through the twisties. The Telelever is that good.


Valve adjustments are simple but rarely needed. I check mine every 6k but rarely have I had to adjust them.



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Well to be fair the Concours14 is not a "crotch rocket". It is truly a world class sport touring machine. The hard bags are much larger than the RT...the thing handles like a liter bike and is unbelievably fast with enough low end torque to pull a 5th wheel camper!


In light of that...the RT is a keeper and has many attributes that make it superior for touring to the Big Kaw. Handling and power are not some of those attributes. :thumbsup:


Still for the really long distant jobs...I'll likely take the RT for the added range alone. The key to making miles isn't speed...it's saddle time. And when you're stopping every 175 miles for fuel it really cuts into your seat time.


Thanks again for the welcome.

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