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Vertically Challenged- From F800ST to R1200RT 2010


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Hi All


i have a 08 F800ST with the lowering kit/low seat for a seat height of 750mm and i'm still not flat footed but have no problem handling the bike. Always wanted to buy the R1200RT but too high for me, Just found out it does come in a lowered version which brings the bike down to 750mm just like my F800ST. Can't find anyone that has the lowered R1200RT in my area to sit on it before i make the big move to the RT world. My concern is that even if they have the same seat height the RT is probably wider....anyone here sat on both bikes who would be able to tell me if there is that much of difference in the width... i'm only 5'2.5". but want the RT!!! any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!



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There is a world of difference between a lowered 800ST and a lowered RT. The RT is much wider. I would respectfully advise you to find a lowered RT, (09 will do) and sit on it to see if it is right for you.

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Maybe Paul will chime in here, I don't have the ddata in front of me but I think the lowered RT is about 10 mm shorter than the ST.

But, it is a much larger motorcycle.

Heavier, wider, and therefore "taller", IMO.

You could try, if you haven't yet, saddle adjustments, boot inserts and or sole changes.

The ST is a wonderful machine and much, much easier to handle for a short rider.

Best wishes.

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From the official BMW seat height chart: Lowered F800ST with low seat: 29.9". Lowered R1200RT with special one-piece low seat: 29.5".

But the RT is much wider, heavier, with much of the weight high up. 7 gal. gas tank on top, big fairing with electric motor windshield, etc.

What is important is not only the bike height but your physical condition. Strength in legs and arms can make up for a less stature. I have seen short people handle big bikes better than taller people.

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Woody, you might give Moto Internationale in Montreal a call. They have had lowered RTs on the floor from time to time. If they do now, it would be worth the drive to try it out.

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You're on the right track: wider = taller...


Head down to your local dealer with some foot sized pieces of plywood (or similar) and use those as shims under your feet. Then measure on a standard RT how much lowering you need. keep in mind that a good shop like Rich's can pull a good inch or two out of a standard seat.




My other two cents is, man, that F800 can't hardly be broke in yet - stick with it, it's not a kid's bike....

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While we are on the subject, it wouldn't take much from BMW to tweak the 800st just a little bit to make a light RT out of it.


Man, that would be a sweet ride. Kind of like they have done with the various GS's.

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Since the '10 model has a lower hieght standard that would lead me to believe that with the low frame/suspension and seat that it would be even lower than an 09. I have sat on the 09 low/low version and was flat foot with knees bent with my 30" inseam, and just 1/2 an inch can make alot of differance. I would check around and see if I could find on if I were you, and if the 09 does it for you then I would feel comfortable pulling the trigger on one.

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  • 3 months later...

Woody - how did this turn out? I always wanted an RS and came real close to pulling the trigger on a couple of lowered ones before the F8 came along. RS instead of RT because it's a little lighter than an RT and has enough weather protection for me.


Here's a link that is too late to help you, but may be of interest to others. If I did it right, this is a brochure that addresses the width issue mentioned above.




Beyond the size issue, the lighter F8ST has encouraged me to stick to sport touring on the two lanes, which is where I am happiest anyway. It is no fun on the slabs! I ride about 300 miles of slab when I'm headed east or south from home - out of a desire to get to curvy two lanes ASAP.


This is not to disparage the huge number of folks who sport tour on the venerable RT. I'm just sayin' the F8ST fits the bill for this lighter, one-up rider who professes to prefer two lanes.


What are you going to be riding this spring?



Dave in Cedar Falls, IA

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