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Buying my first BMW


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I have owned Yamaha's and Honda's before but I can now afford quality. I am planning on picking up a 2013 R1200RT and here is what is happening. I will be riding to work on a daily basis and I work second shift. My commute will be 52 miles daily and half of that will be in the dark in Bambi country.

For daytime riding I am looking at adding the "Pathfinder" headlight moderator. Do any of you have any experience with this, what are your impressions and is there something better on the market??

Also, I really need you expert opinion on adding mucho brightness to my night driving. I currently have a 4Runner with wonderful highbeams that really carry. I am rarely surprized. What can I add to my RT to get such great coverage??

Thank you in advance.


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Hello Sickticket,


I am doing much the same as you describe. I am a 2nd shift aircraft mechanic and commute daily in southern MD on an 06 RT pretty much year round. I routinely am dodging bucks and does?


My last bike was a Kawi Concours terrible headlight I added a 100 watts of Hella driving lights. People were not happy when I turned them on but they did the job. I personally find the RT OEM lights to be very good. My model has 2 headlight H5 bulbs and a 3rd one as a highbeam. I know many people add high end driving lights too. I find it not necessary in my case. Enjoy the ride.


Best of Luck you.

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

With the Camhead RT, you already have excellent lights out of the box. I suggest a couple of conspicuity lights near the height of the front wheel just for people to see you.

For the night ride, these mounts will let you hang many things. mount

I like mondomotos.com bullet LED (MM10?) since it fills in a lot of territory with it's not a flood, not a spot pattern.


A low beam HID probably won't hurt....if not aimed into the eyes of oncoming drivers. A high beam HID will take anywhere from 3 to 8'ish seconds to come up to full arc. I have that but with LEDs that come on at the same time so the warm up time is a non-issue for the most part.

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While I can't help with the lights to light up the night I can provide my $.02 on being seen during he day. I have used and loved Moto-lights with Amber bulbs! These are mounted low on the calipers and truly make you stand out during the day but make sure to go with Amber bulbs as they really make your bike jump out. A LED alternative is the Clearwater Glenda lights mounted low on the fender bolts. A riding buddy as the Glenda's and they work almost as well. Having traveled 1,000 of daytime miles with my riding buddies with and without the Amber lights mounted low I can tell you the one or 2 riding buddies without them are much harder to pick out on the interstate when I am leading. But those with the low mounted Amber lights jump out when I am trying to pick them out in traffic.


Good luck and welcome to the BMW World!

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I'm on my 1st BMW and it has the best stock headlight I've had in 45 years of riding with many brands. My 2001 Triumph Speed Triple's dual headlights were a close 2nd. I'd try out your new bike's lights before spending unnecessary money. I'll upgrade mine when a model comes out that can incinerate deer carcasses in flight! :wave:

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I agree with everyone else I just purchased an RT and the OEM lights are great. I had a GS and the lights were OK but add ons were needed. I am not sure if I need to spend the money but I am a firm believer in having the most light you can so you are seen. Will let you know if I do any add ons.

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Thank you all for your input. I have ordered the Clearwater Darla lights.

The bike probably has wonderful lights but I spend half my riding in the dark here in Pennsylvania. Too many deer running around. Just trying to cover my ass.

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I headed from SE MO to Southern NV / CA area for a construction job

the day I brought the new 11 1200RT home. I ride to work every day

except when under 30F at my 3:30am leave-home time, and ride a total of 40 miles one way, 10 of which is thru "deer country" over

a moderate mountain pass.


I agree that these are the best oem lights I've ever had, but would

like a little more esp on the distance end. I set my cruise on 58

thru deer territory but still have had some close calls in spite of

very focused diligence and hands on the brake and clutch levers.


I did put in 55 watt Hella bulbs which did make things a little brighter, but would still like more / longer coverage.


Overall, altho I'm an old (both literally and figuratively) hot

rodder who's always loved the rush of a truly powerful vehicle, I opted for the 1200RT over that horrible temptation of the K1300GT sitting alongside it. I'm glad 99% of the time I did that cuz I've never been a daredevil or considered myself a truly

talented rider, so the nice midrange on the camhead is very satisfying to a 66 yr old who wants to live to ride in my approaching retirement. And I'm glad I did not have a heavier bike when I laid it down WAY in the back country in the AZ mountains. 40 lbs more and I'd of never gotten it back up myself.


Retiring at the end of this job at the end of the year and

moving to WY. Closer to the mountains, and some family and friends.


Started riding the bike May 1 2011 and it's now turned 41k miles. Looking forward to lots more. Only problems have been 2 outer and 1 inner FD seal, replaced under warranty. Was told newer design seals, and no leaks for about 10k, so - - .



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I just turned 62 and plan on working another two or three years. My wife gave me the anniversary 2013 R1200RT for my birthday and it just arrived at the dealer. Need to get riding.

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I just turned 62 and plan on working another two or three years. My wife gave me the anniversary 2013 R1200RT for my birthday and it just arrived at the dealer. Need to get riding.


Need to rethink that "working another two or three years"!

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  • 1 month later...

Might want to reconsider the headlight modulator. It seems riding with high beams during the day is just as effective for visibility and isn't as annoying to other highway users. Also, some of the higher luminance headlights won't function with the modulator.

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I'm picking up my new R1200RT (my 1st Beemer, coming off -- but not entirely over -- a long string of Ducatis) a week from Friday, and as you can imagine, I'm deeply psyched.


I purchased a set of Clearwater Glendas that I never got around to installing on the Multistrada 1200 ST (which the R12 is replacing), and am thinking (a lot) about mounting options. I'm having Ztechnik cylinder head protectors (crash bars) installed prior to taking delivery, and am thinking about mounting the Glenda's on those. Anyone try it? I know the Clearwater lights are generally intended to mount on the front fender attachment points, but I don't know how I feel about all that constant motion at the front end affecting the wiring / connections over time. Plus, I think I may be able to achieve a cleaner install on the Ztech's. I'm mostly doing it for conspicuity, as I know the OEM lights are pretty fine. Any thoughts on this placement strategy?


And yeah, this is my first post, so hi to all you good people!

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I know of millions of miles w/Motolights on front fork legs/calipers w/out wire problems.

No exp w/Clearwater lights.

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