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JamesW

Wethead?

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JamesW

I've been kind of thinking about a used 2016 low mileage RT for awhile and I have noticed that (1)  These used bikes often appear to have very low miles and that also seems to be true of all wetheads beginning with the 2014 bikes. (2)  Many people seem to think reliability has improved with these bikes.  I have kind of come to the conclusion that because so many used wetheads have accumulated very low miles traveled that not much can really be said about any perceived improvement in quality over say.. early oilhead bikes.  I mean most oilheads didn't have significant issues with miles traveled being under say....35K miles.  Then there is what seems to be a high rate of depreciation of these bikes.  As an example I found a really primo '16 R1200RT with every conceivable option including a virtually new Russell Day Long heated seat and in leather yet.  The bike could have been had for between 15 and 15.5K$.  It had 2 years left on the warranty and had the extended warranty as well with only 3.2K miles on the odo and I just couldn't quite bring myself to take the plunge.  

 

So long and short is I just can't seem to see actual value in the newer BMWs and I'm somewhat skeptical about wether or not BMW quality has really improved all that much if really at all.  Then there is the possibility of encountering very high cost of repairs if one plans to own one of these bikes beyond the warranty period.  Put it another way I'm just a big chicken truth is and I wonder how many other folks feel as I do or maybe I'm just getting a bit paranoid in my old age or maybe I've just spent too much time reading internet forum threads and posts.  I have kind of decided a huge percentage of info on the internet is mostly, excuse the language, BS.

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realshelby

James, you might see some low mile examples but I don't see the correlation. For years low mile examples of Oilheads, Hexheads, Camheads have shown up in the market place. Your posts over time have seemed a bit negative about these bikes concerning tech and reliability. My 2014 isn't high miles, just at 40,000, but it has been flawless. I know of a lot of them with higher miles and similar reliability. I wouldn't trade my 2014 for a brand new FJR even up for instance. 

 

With the "new" Shifthead coming out, you will ALWAYS see some rich owners that have spent a fortune on farkles selling to get the "new" bike.........

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JamesW

Hi Shelby,  lol..lol..Yes, I can see how you might think that from my posts over time that I could be a bit negative toward the newer BMW offerings.  And this negativism is most likely largely unfounded and not backed up by any personal experience.  There, I admit it.  I also agree that many of these low mileage wetheads up for sale are owned by bored people with more money than sense.  IMO of course.

 

I wouldn't trade a 2014 RT for a new FJR either.  Now, I can't say that if the FJR is a later (2010-2012) generation2 model.  I could really go on and on about why I make that statement but this really isn't the place for that.

 

I gotta say one more thing.  I tend to keep motorcycles and cars for long periods of time way beyond warranty periods and I'm always concerned about maintenance costs with older equipment and I always do my own repair and maintenance.  BMW bikes have become very complex and therefore technically very challenging.  I don't think the old BMW slogan "Simple by choice" any longer applies at all not even a little bit.  But of course that can be said for a host of other conveyances out there.

 

I see you like old Fords.  My '11 Mustang GT/CS isn't as old as your ride but she's a keeper :classic_wink: as is yours.

 

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dirtrider
3 hours ago, JamesW said:

I've been kind of thinking about a used 2016 low mileage RT for awhile and I have noticed that (1)  These used bikes often appear to have very low miles and that also seems to be true of all wetheads beginning with the 2014 bikes. (2)  Many people seem to think reliability has improved with these bikes.  I have kind of come to the conclusion that because so many used wetheads have accumulated very low miles traveled that not much can really be said about any perceived improvement in quality over say.. early oilhead bikes.  I mean most oilheads didn't have significant issues with miles traveled being under say....35K miles.  Then there is what seems to be a high rate of depreciation of these bikes.  As an example I found a really primo '16 R1200RT with every conceivable option including a virtually new Russell Day Long heated seat and in leather yet.  The bike could have been had for between 15 and 15.5K$.  It had 2 years left on the warranty and had the extended warranty as well with only 3.2K miles on the odo and I just couldn't quite bring myself to take the plunge.  

 

So long and short is I just can't seem to see actual value in the newer BMWs and I'm somewhat skeptical about wether or not BMW quality has really improved all that much if really at all.  Then there is the possibility of encountering very high cost of repairs if one plans to own one of these bikes beyond the warranty period.  Put it another way I'm just a big chicken truth is and I wonder how many other folks feel as I do or maybe I'm just getting a bit paranoid in my old age or maybe I've just spent too much time reading internet forum threads and posts.  I have kind of decided a huge percentage of info on the internet is mostly, excuse the language, BS.

 

 

Evening James

 

There are some higher mile wetheads floating around now  (highest one that I personally know of is in the low 60k range. A lot in the 25-35K range.

 

From what I have seen so far is that BMW still has a number of smaller issues on the wetheads but the major (trip stopping walk homes of the 1100/1150 days seem to be mostly gone).

 

About all I can say about  (IF) the wethead is an improvement over the 1100/1150 bikes is to go ride one. That should tell you if the improvement is worth the price of an update to YOU.  

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JamesW

Morning DR,  You've convinced me.  I'm going to test ride one.  I had set up for a ride at Pro Caliber in Vancouver, WA to try a 1200 and a 1250 but I canceled maybe because I'm afraid I might be tempted.   Well, that and I would buy more locally especially for warranty service and I like the guys in Eugene a lot.  They really are into their motorcycles.  Just really good folks.

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dirtrider
8 minutes ago, JamesW said:

Morning DR,  You've convinced me.  I'm going to test ride one.  I had set up for a ride at Pro Caliber in Vancouver, WA to try a 1200 and a 1250 but I canceled maybe because I'm afraid I might be tempted.   Well, that and I would buy more locally especially for warranty service and I like the guys in Eugene a lot.  They really are into their motorcycles.  Just really good folks.

 

 

Afternoon James

 

I'm betting that you will be very tempted after a nice test ride. (BIG difference over what you have now)

 

The biggest problem will probably be  in finding an unloaded  base model if you don't want (or require) all the up-level bells & whistles.

 

Or if you are looking at a price point decent BMW boxer then don't discount the camhead 1200RT's as those are a great bike & with the wethead now out for a while the camheads have become a good buy. (personally I like the power/torque of the wethead but actually like the handling & stability better on the camhead)   

 

 

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Jerry Duke

I'm not in the market for an RT, but have almost 200,000 miles on oilhead and hexhead versions and have had transmission, final drive, and about every kind of problem with one or more of these bikes.

In spite of having many issues I love the boxer engine. But the deal killer with the water cooled version is the engine has to be split to change the alternator. That's just totally unacceptable to me.

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BendBill

 

D.R.  had a good point on the camheads as a bargain.  When I began looking into BMW again a while back, I called a source admin on LAPD motor squad.  He claimed that the 2011/13 RTs were very reliable under hard conditions--very little downtime or incidents of major problems.  However, as Jerry Duke stated, the admin  did not like the cost of alternator failure on the wetheads.  At the time I called him, he did not confirm an alternator failure, presumably out of 60-80 LC models [ my wild guess on their rotating fleet replacement for 250+ motor officers]

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realshelby
15 hours ago, Jerry Duke said:

I'm not in the market for an RT, but have almost 200,000 miles on oilhead and hexhead versions and have had transmission, final drive, and about every kind of problem with one or more of these bikes.

In spite of having many issues I love the boxer engine. But the deal killer with the water cooled version is the engine has to be split to change the alternator. That's just totally unacceptable to me.

Well, I had to "split" the Oilhead apart to fix the clutch. I really don't see much difference in that to the alternator. Alternator might be a bit more involved, but then again failure rate is almost nothing compared to clutches in the pre Wethead bikes. I get the concern over the alternator. But it is simply unfounded so far. 

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Pappy35

Replacing the clutch in a Camhead or earlier boxer is a big job getting the back end of the bike off but the engine stays in the frame and the gearbox is a self-contained unit.

 

Replacing a Wethead's alternator requires removing the engine from the bike so there are that many more bits to undo. Then you have to remove the transmission from the engine which is not a self-contained unit, it's basically a housing for the aft side gear shaft mounts. The front end of the gear shafts key into the engine cases. I captured the image from a YouTube video of  a Wethead engine being assembled. One arrow point to the alternator stator and the other points to the dangling ends of the transmission gear shafts. Add to all this the cost of the part which is north $1,400 last time I checked. If you can't do the work yourself then add another grand in labor. 

 

As long as the bike is under warranty who cares but, if not, I pity the guy that has this issue and has to pay out of pocket. This is THE reason I opted to buy a '13 Camhead rather than a used Wethead.

Capture.JPG

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Pappy35
1 hour ago, realshelby said:

Well, I had to "split" the Oilhead apart to fix the clutch. I really don't see much difference in that to the alternator. Alternator might be a bit more involved, but then again failure rate is almost nothing compared to clutches in the pre Wethead bikes. I get the concern over the alternator. But it is simply unfounded so far. 

 

Eventually I'll have to get a newer version and will have no choice but to live with this. I agree that a clutch is guaranteed to fail eventually and that the alternator is much less likely to. It still irritates me that they would design it this way (I mean to be so inaccessible).

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dirtrider
19 hours ago, Jerry Duke said:

I'm not in the market for an RT, but have almost 200,000 miles on oilhead and hexhead versions and have had transmission, final drive, and about every kind of problem with one or more of these bikes.

In spite of having many issues I love the boxer engine. But the deal killer with the water cooled version is the engine has to be split to change the alternator. That's just totally unacceptable to me.

 

Morning Jerry

 

Actually the engine doesn't have to be 'split' to replace the alternator. Not that replacing it is much easier as the transmission has to be removed & the engine dropped partially out of the bike   (at least according to the service manual). Now there might be a way to cheat the engine dropping but I haven't done a 1200WC alternator yet so that I can't say.

 

In any case I have yet to see a BMW 1100/1150/1200 that has failed any internal part of the alternator other than a regulator, bearing, or brushes.  

 

The 1200wc uses an external regulator so that isn't a big deal, the wc alternator doesn't use brushes so that won't ever be the problem, & the bearing is part of the main engine shaft so if that fails you have 'WAY' more problems than a simple alternator failure.

 

That does leave the internal stator windings that could fail & given BMW's past experience with the internal stator windings failing on the BMW 800 bike that is a remote possibility. But the main problem with the BMW 800 was an oil flow (oil cooling issue) & that looks to me to be addressed on the 1200wc as there are peripheral oil flow holes in the alternator rotor as well as spiral oil directing & guidance grooves in the rotor internal face. (hopefully BMW learned a valuable lesson from the BMW 800 bike alternator issues)

 

As Terry mentioned there doesn't seem to be any 1200wc problem showing up so hopefully oil cooling problems of the stator windings is a past thing with the 1200wc BMW.    

 

Those internal brushless 3 phase alternators are pretty simple & pretty hardy as long as they are cooled properly & the vehicle owner doesn't try  to install a bunch of LED replacement lights in place of higher current drawing factory bulbs. The one downside of the internal alternators is that they do not use a current regulated rotor so  they are pretty well a constant output 3 phase alternator that just shunts  excess current output into the external regulator/rectifier's heat sink as heat. There is some leading  phase excitement things going on that won't let it run at 100% output unless needed but they don't run much below the 100% output all the time.  

 

The other thing that can (not will but can) harm internal alternator stator windings is improper oil additives, or plain old sour skunky acidic engine oil,  but that can also harm other engine internals so the damage isn't  to the alternator only.   

 

 

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JamesW
1 hour ago, realshelby said:

Well, I had to "split" the Oilhead apart to fix the clutch. I really don't see much difference in that to the alternator. Alternator might be a bit more involved, but then again failure rate is almost nothing compared to clutches in the pre Wethead bikes. I get the concern over the alternator. But it is simply unfounded so far. 

 

When you say you had to split the oilhead apart I assume you're referring to removing the transmission not splitting the motor?  That is not apples and apples..  I've removed the transmission on my R1150RT (sold) and my '93 RSL just to clean and lube the trans input shaft splines and it wasn't a big deal but splitting the engine case on a wethead?  I'm not going there and I sure as H don't think much of paying through the nose to let BMW do it.

 

On the subject of the wethead, I don't like the idea of feeling like I better shell out even more bucks to buy an extended third party warranty.  All this just to ride the latest and greatest from der fatherland?  This kind of nonsense isn't why I bought my first BMW 43 years ago.  

 

I'm still going for a test ride just to see what I'm missing or not.  But then I think about the wethead styling and to tell the truth is just doesn't do much for me at all.  I think the gen2 not the gen3 FJR would beat BMW in a beauty contest but that's me.  Of course if I was the guy that just shelled out for that new 1200 or 1250 I would never admit even to myself that my bike is, shall we say. but ugly.

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realshelby
1 hour ago, JamesW said:

 

When you say you had to split the oilhead apart I assume you're referring to removing the transmission not splitting the motor?  That is not apples and apples..  I've removed the transmission on my R1150RT (sold) and my '93 RSL just to clean and lube the trans input shaft splines and it wasn't a big deal but splitting the engine case on a wethead?  I'm not going there and I sure as H don't think much of paying through the nose to let BMW do it.

 

On the subject of the wethead, I don't like the idea of feeling like I better shell out even more bucks to buy an extended third party warranty.  All this just to ride the latest and greatest from der fatherland?  This kind of nonsense isn't why I bought my first BMW 43 years ago.  

 

I'm still going for a test ride just to see what I'm missing or not.  But then I think about the wethead styling and to tell the truth is just doesn't do much for me at all.  I think the gen2 not the gen3 FJR would beat BMW in a beauty contest but that's me.  Of course if I was the guy that just shelled out for that new 1200 or 1250 I would never admit even to myself that my bike is, shall we say. but ugly.

I said splitting the Oilhead, which means the transmission comes off the back of the engine. It also involves a LOT of other things coming off. Like I said earlier, the Wethead alternator job might be a bit more complicated. But I could probably drop the engine about as fast as I could split the transmission off the oilhead. 

 

You are wrong about splitting the engine cases on the Wethead. You are removing the transmission. JUST LIKE on the Oilhead, or at least you can say a similar operation with a bit more complication. So I think "apples to apples" applies. You state you removed the transmission on old bikes just to lube the splines! Speaking of which, none of that maintenance seems to be required on the Wethead. 

 

Is there ANYTHING that indicates buying an extended warranty is REQUIRED when buying a new RT? Compared to an FJR for instance? I ask because your main concern about alternators has only happened RARELY and on high mileage bikes. Where a warranty may have already lapsed anyway. 

 

Maybe you would be happier with a 2019 FJR. 35 lbs heavier than a 1250 RT. 10 more horsepower, but less torque. Yamaha says to expect 36 mpg on the FJR, BMW says 47 mpg. I'll bet the powerband, along with the BMW tendency to under rate hp would make the new RT faster than the FJR. :18:

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dirtrider
1 hour ago, JamesW said:

----I'm still going for a test ride just to see what I'm missing or not.  But then I think about the wethead styling and to tell the truth is just doesn't do much for me at all.  I think the gen2 not the gen3 FJR would beat BMW in a beauty contest but that's me.  Of course if I was the guy that just shelled out for that new 1200 or 1250 I would never admit even to myself that my bike is, shall we say. but ugly.

 

Afternoon James

 

That is exactly the way I felt when I bought my 1200RT hexhead. I though the styling was way off-base but the bike rode out W-A-Y better than the 1150RT I was riding at the time, the braking was so nice, & the electronic cruise control was something I had really missed on the 1150.

 

I gave it some thought then decided that I can't see the darn thing when I'm riding it so the looks weren't a big deal.  

 

Thing is: after a few weeks & seeing the new BMW's kind of heading in the 1200RT styling direction the 1200RT look kind of grew on me  so now it really is a non-issue. 

 

First time I set the cruise at 100mph+ then rode hands free at that speed  convinced me that I made the right decision.

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Bill_Walker
On 2/11/2019 at 11:28 AM, JamesW said:

These used bikes often appear to have very low miles and that also seems to be true of all wetheads beginning with the 2014 bikes.

 

That's nothing new.  When I bought my 2004 R1150RT in 2005, it had 3610 miles on it, was fully farkled, and I was the THIRD owner.  

 

When I bought my 2015 R1200RTW in 2017, it was bone stock with 8000 miles on it.  Owner had decided he wanted a GS instead.  But I paid about $10K less than it cost new! So far, it's been dead reliable, but I've only put about 9000 miles on it.

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eddd

Fickle old men with lots of money and are great for taking the big depreciation hit on new bikes.  

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JamesW
5 hours ago, realshelby said:

I said splitting the Oilhead, which means the transmission comes off the back of the engine. It also involves a LOT of other things coming off. Like I said earlier, the Wethead alternator job might be a bit more complicated. But I could probably drop the engine about as fast as I could split the transmission off the oilhead. 

 

You are wrong about splitting the engine cases on the Wethead. You are removing the transmission. JUST LIKE on the Oilhead, or at least you can say a similar operation with a bit more complication. So I think "apples to apples" applies. You state you removed the transmission on old bikes just to lube the splines! Speaking of which, none of that maintenance seems to be required on the Wethead. 

 

Is there ANYTHING that indicates buying an extended warranty is REQUIRED when buying a new RT? Compared to an FJR for instance? I ask because your main concern about alternators has only happened RARELY and on high mileage bikes. Where a warranty may have already lapsed anyway. 

 

Maybe you would be happier with a 2019 FJR. 35 lbs heavier than a 1250 RT. 10 more horsepower, but less torque. Yamaha says to expect 36 mpg on the FJR, BMW says 47 mpg. I'll bet the powerband, along with the BMW tendency to under rate hp would make the new RT faster than the FJR. :18:

 

OK, I kind of think we are close to saying similar things here.  Long and short is the wethead has wet clutch and the oilhead has a dry clutch with a transmission that is separate from the engine as in it doesn't share the same lubricant with the engine and I for one would much rather deal with a dry clutch vs a wet clutch.  Kind of odd that BMW goes on about the superiority of the dry clutch for 93 years and then wham bam it's wet clutch time.

 

When I referred to the extended BMW warranty I was merely stating that most buyers of these bikes buy the extended warranty and further more the majority of these buyers don't plan on keeping these bikes out of warranty.  Myself I tend to keep cars and bikes beyond the warranty period and I have never in my life (75) ever bought an extended warranty on anything.  The extended warranty on the FJR does not involve a 3rd party and is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the BMW extended.  Close to $1000 less but then just about everything about the FJR is cheaper than BMW including shop rates.  For what it's worth Consumer Reports likes Yamaha.

 

I do not want a generation 3 FJR period!  If you wish I will bore you with my reasons.  I don't know about mpg on the new FJRs but my 2010 gets a consistent 44 mpg which seems to be typical.  Maybe the new 1250 is faster than my FJR but I'll bet not by much nor does this concern me.  One thing I really like about the RT bikes is that telelever suspension.  Also, FYI, if I had to part with one of my two bikes but I get to choose the R1100RSL is the keeper not the FJR which is not to say I don't like the FJR because I do very much.  The thing I want to find out is how much better is the new BMW really when it comes to the ride.  DR makes a good point about how when you're riding you don't look at the bike.  Think I said this already but I would always buy used anyway.  Bought my FJR 2 years ago with only 950 miles on the clock in new condition.  Bought the RSL in 2012 virtually brand new with only 1 mile on the clock having arrived in this country in October of '93 and had never even been started.  I was the first one to ever fire it up since Berlin.  

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Skywagon

Don't like the styling, think it going to break, think you must have extended warranty because it will break...going to test ride.  There is nothing wrong with not liking a particular motorcycle.  Heck I think there are many bikes out there that I don't care for, but I guess the part that confuses me a bit, if you dislike it that much, and so afraid of its reliability..why would you waste the time of a dealer and sales person to go ride it?...No offense intended, but if your heart isn't into an RT it's ok.   No reason to dis them for those of us who have ridden them trouble free.  Mine was the 1st in Texas when they came out and the 8th in the US.  It's not high mileage yet, but at nearly 30k and this month its 5th anniversay...….it's flawless, doesn't burn oil at all, and for me..its the cats meow.....  I wish you the best in your search for new scoot.

 

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Paul De

Styling wise I still prefer the bodacious curves of the 1100/1150, but have gotten used to the newer Star Wars X-Wing Fighter lines of the Wetheads.  To be fair the new tupperware provides better overall wind and element protection than my 1100 and you don't have nearly the amount of screws to pull to get under the skin. In some cases it is just a few screws to remove a sub-section.   All that aside the Wethead is way better motorcycle overall than the 1100/1150 bikes, and I suspect incrementally better than the Hex and Cam heads.

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JamesW

Here are some specs just to compare the FJR to the wethead RT.  

      BMW:  125HP @ 7750 RPM 

                    92 ft-lbs torque @ 6500 RPM

       FJR :  141HP  @ 8000 RPM (only 250 revs more than the beemer)

                  99 ft-lbs torque @ 7000 RPM with a 9000 RPM red line

 

The above specs are for realshelby to maybe ponder a bit before he takes on an FJR with his modern marvel from der fatherland.:19:

 

My reason for wanting to test ride a wethead is just curiosity so I can then maybe better understand why people pay large sums of money to own these bikes and who knows maybe I'll even be surprised.  I hope so.  For myself I can 99.9 percent guarantee I will never join the club.  Also, after posting numerous negative opinions about these bikes it's time for me to educate myself a bit better and hopefully gain some understanding about why people would ever spend the bucks for these high tech wonders.  Actually I have long wondered the same about a certain product with its origins in Milwaukie whose main claim to fame seems to be related to high decibels of just noise.  I guess if it's noise or high tech I'll take the tech come to think of it.

 

 

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Bernie
1 hour ago, JamesW said:

Here are some specs just to compare the FJR to the wethead RT.  

      BMW:  125HP @ 7750 RPM 

                    92 ft-lbs torque @ 6500 RPM

       FJR :  141HP  @ 8000 RPM (only 250 revs more than the beemer)

                  99 ft-lbs torque @ 7000 RPM with a 9000 RPM red line

 

The above specs are for realshelby to maybe ponder a bit before he takes on an FJR with his modern marvel from der fatherland.:19:

 

My reason for wanting to test ride a wethead is just curiosity so I can then maybe better understand why people pay large sums of money to own these bikes and who knows maybe I'll even be surprised.  I hope so.  For myself I can 99.9 percent guarantee I will never join the club.  Also, after posting numerous negative opinions about these bikes it's time for me to educate myself a bit better and hopefully gain some understanding about why people would ever spend the bucks for these high tech wonders.  Actually I have long wondered the same about a certain product with its origins in Milwaukie whose main claim to fame seems to be related to high decibels of just noise.  I guess if it's noise or high tech I'll take the tech come to think of it.

 

 

 

I have no idea, why you are wasting everyone's time and forum space. We are not interested in your Yamaha FJR.

You don't have to buy, ride or like the HexHead, CamHead or WetHead or ShiftHead BMW's. There are plenty of R100/80/65 bikes out there for very reasonable prices and they are stone-age reliable.

If I wanted to find out about a Yamaha/Honda or Kawasaki, I am sure there be a way for me to find their website.

And the last time I checked those companies do not give there motorcycles away either and they also break.

:classic_wacko::classic_angry::27::3:

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RecentConvert

If I didn't have a wife, I would have an FJR instead of my '14 RT.  She simply wouldn't ride on the back of the FJR or ride a bike of her own.  Case closed.

  

Looking through old test reports, speed and power are a mixed bag between the two bikes.  Standing start 1/4 mile the FJR wins every time.  High gear roll-on from 60-80 the RT wins every time.  Fastest time through the twisties, FJR.  Gas mileage is RT.   Top speed, RT about 140 mph,  FJR about 152 mph.

 

Both vibrate, the FJR makes my hands tingle at highway speed.  RT mirrors are worthless at highway speed.

 

I know the RT was born in the land of the autobahn,  but mine feels stressed at triple digits going across Utah/Nevada.

 

Both excellent bikes with strengths and weaknesses.

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realshelby
4 hours ago, JamesW said:

Here are some specs just to compare the FJR to the wethead RT.  

      BMW:  125HP @ 7750 RPM 

                    92 ft-lbs torque @ 6500 RPM

       FJR :  141HP  @ 8000 RPM (only 250 revs more than the beemer)

                  99 ft-lbs torque @ 7000 RPM with a 9000 RPM red line

 

The above specs are for realshelby to maybe ponder a bit before he takes on an FJR with his modern marvel from der fatherland.:19:

 

 

 

 

Talking about NEW bikes. Wetheads are no longer "new".  Shiftcam BMW's power rating below. With less cc displacement than the FJR. I would be willing to be the FJR loses quarter mile races to the Shift Cam.  FJR probably compares better to the BMW RS anyway. 

 

136 horsepower at 7750 rpm and 105 ft/lbs of torque at 6250 rpm

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JamesW
1 hour ago, Bernie said:

 

I have no idea, why you are wasting everyone's time and forum space. We are not interested in your Yamaha FJR.

You don't have to buy, ride or like the HexHead, CamHead or WetHead or ShiftHead BMW's. There are plenty of R100/80/65 bikes out there for very reasonable prices and they are stone-age reliable.

If I wanted to find out about a Yamaha/Honda or Kawasaki, I am sure there be a way for me to find their website.

And the last time I checked those companies do not give there motorcycles away either and they also break.

:classic_wacko::classic_angry::27::3:

Wasting everyone's time?  On any public forum you are free to read a thread / post or not totally up to you if you want to waste your time or not.  Also, to define what exactly is a waste of time is completely a matter of opinion and I'm sure you've heard the somewhat vulgar definition of what an opinion is. Hint: it's something everyone has.

 

You're right, all motorcycles break some more frequently than others and some may cost more to repair is the only difference.

 

Also, for what it's worth, if I were to go with a new RT it would not have electronic suspension.  I really don't see the need for it and that kind of option just isn't why I like to ride motorcycles.  You leave out that option and the RT purchase price becomes very competitive with other brands and models like the FJR.  A big plus for BMW is ease of performing routine maintenance and that's true for the new beemers as well as vintage models.  

 

Problem, imo, with the airheads is they are not the easiest bikes to ride safely in today's world.  The brakes are just not up to the task.  When I rode airheads I never noticed issues like frame flex and torque reaction but you spend time on oilheads and newer then go ride an airhead and you'll notice the differences big time.

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JamesW

Hi realshelby, Yes you're right and time marches on.  I would agree the FJR compares more closely to an RS.  

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Skywagon

So...just for fun, being a member of the FJR Forum, I went there to see what they are posting on FJR performance.  Here is direct cut and paste from the FJR Forum...

The Beemer's10.77 at 133.5 mph is just a tick longer than the FJR's 10.73 at 131.9 mph  Search under links by Carlson if you want to check.

 

Next I went to a mostly trusted magazine sight and checked what they had to say....they said....

 

1/4 MILE|11.22 sec. @ 119.24 MPH  BMW

 

¼ Mile 10.4 sec. @ 130.1 FJR

 

Now real live example I know.  My best friend rides a 1 year old FJR.  He is faster by a fraction when we start at 30mph and go to about 130.  At 130 he is about 1 motorcycle length in front of me.  I outweigh him nearly 50 lbs..  I have the big old BMW top case...he does not have a top case.

 

So at the end of the day if either of the published numbers are right and best case with professional drivers the FJR is 8 tenths of a second faster in the 1/4 mile, then I seriously doubt I would know what to do with all that spare time the FJR saved me getting through the quarter mile :)

 

At the end of the day...like the bike you like.  It's ok....but don't waste dealer time and commissioned sales people time testing a bike you have as you say, 99.99% chance you won't buy.  BMW dealers have a hard time staying in business already.  

 

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JamesW

Hi David,  Thanks for your thoughts and you make a very good point.  I have thought about the fairness of taking up a dealer's time just to satisfy my curiosity.  The dealer closest to me I have known for 15 years and he has invited me to check out the RT with a test ride but I do agree that it would not be really at all fair to take up his time.  Good point.  I thought about maybe going to an MOA International rally and test ride of course Nashville is a ways to go and I never really lost much there to tell the truth.  I wonder if BMW has a test ride team that travels the country with bikes for test rides?  I know other manufacturers who shall remain nameless here do.

 

Also I agree that as far as speed is concerned it is pretty much apples and apples and I don't view the FJR as superior in this department and so much of this depends on rider skill same as it does in the twisties.  As far as power goes my '93 RSL has got all I need.

 

Someone earlier said that the 4 cylinder FJR has an annoying high frequency vibration.  I can't speak for all FJRs but mine is smooth as silk and does not have the multi cylinder buzz at all.  When I first got the bike I thought I could detect a slight buzz but after a very careful throttle body balance it is no longer detectable.  Things have come a long way since the '77 KZ1000.  Also, in the case of the generation 3  FJR you CANNOT balance the TBs at any RPM above idle because Yamaha went cheap on the gen3 TB linkage.  This is one big reason why I prefer a gen2 FJR and wouldn't own a gen3 (2013-present).

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wbw6cos
2 hours ago, realshelby said:

Talking about NEW bikes. Wetheads are no longer "new".  Shiftcam BMW's power rating below. With less cc displacement than the FJR. I would be willing to be the FJR loses quarter mile races to the Shift Cam.  FJR probably compares better to the BMW RS anyway. 

 

136 horsepower at 7750 rpm and 105 ft/lbs of torque at 6250 rpm

 

I have ridden an 08 RT a long time ago and it was a lot more sportier than my C, which only has a whopping 63 ponies. (woo hoo, still a blast to ride.)  But I absolutely love my new RT with 136 HP!  I can still remember the difference from the 08.  Oh, my.

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Paul De
23 hours ago, JamesW said:

...My reason for wanting to test ride a wethead is just curiosity so I can then maybe better understand why people pay large sums of money to own these bikes and who knows maybe I'll even be surprised...

 

That can be said for any purchase. Why a Lexus VS a Ford, $30 VS $20 bottle of wine, a prime VS choice cut of meat.  Some are measurable, some are perceived differences, but the calculus is the value derived by the purchaser. Go on line and do a build your own whatever and you have participated in a sophisticated conjoint analysis exercise where if done well the manufacturer will tell you what features you want and exactly how much you will pay for it. 

 

I am not so familiar with the FJR, on this point,  but one of the real issues that comes up in most reviews that sets the RT apart from other touring and sport touring bikes is superior engine heat management. It is maybe a little thing on its own, but add up enough of these little things and the perceived value is there at the price being offered.  And to be sure bang for the buck is just another set of features conjoint analysis targets for another subset of purchasers.

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Indy Dave
19 hours ago, Skywagon said:

So...just for fun, being a member of the FJR Forum, I went there to see what they are posting on FJR performance.  Here is direct cut and paste from the FJR Forum...

 

The Beemer's10.77 at 133.5 mph is just a tick longer than the FJR's 10.73 at 131.9 mph  Search under links by Carlson if you want to check.

 

Next I went to a mostly trusted magazine sight and checked what they had to say....they said....

 

1/4 MILE|11.22 sec. @ 119.24 MPH  BMW

 

¼ Mile 10.4 sec. @ 130.1 FJR

 

Now real live example I know.  My best friend rides a 1 year old FJR.  He is faster by a fraction when we start at 30mph and go to about 130.  At 130 he is about 1 motorcycle length in front of me.  I outweigh him nearly 50 lbs..  I have the big old BMW top case...he does not have a top case.

 

So at the end of the day if either of the published numbers are right and best case with professional drivers the FJR is 8 tenths of a second faster in the 1/4 mile, then I seriously doubt I would know what to do with all that spare time the FJR saved me getting through the quarter mile :)

 

At the end of the day...like the bike you like.  It's ok....but don't waste dealer time and commissioned sales people time testing a bike you have as you say, 99.99% chance you won't buy.  BMW dealers have a hard time staying in business already.  

 

 

For those of us with a dark background, the formatted text from your source made it hard to read (didn't show up). So I've removed the unique formatting and put the pasted text in italics.

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Indy Dave
1 hour ago, Paul De said:

 

That can be said for any purchase. Why a Lexus VS a Ford, $30 VS $20 bottle of wine, a prime VS choice cut of meat.  Some are measurable, some are perceived differences, but the calculus is the value derived by the purchaser. Go on line and do a build your own whatever and you have participated in a sophisticated conjoint analysis exercise where if done well the manufacturer will tell you what features you want and exactly how much you will pay for it. 

 

I am not so familiar with the FJR, on this point,  but one of the real issues that comes up in most reviews that sets the RT apart from other touring and sport touring bikes is superior engine heat management. It is maybe a little thing on its own, but add up enough of these little things and the perceived value is there at the price being offered.  And to be sure bang for the buck is just another set of features conjoint analysis targets for another subset of purchasers.

 

This is an interesting discussion and as each of us has our own unique set of not only parameters, but also the way in which we weight and rank them - there is no one single equation that will be the right answer for you.

 

Based on what James has posted, it seems clear he's made up his mind - even if he thinks he hasn't.

 

Often we look at objective data and facts when we judge bikes, and our default selection tends to be based on the highest ratings of a few criteria eg: highest HP and torque. It seems to be how we're wired, and part of 'maleness' can be to overly focus on HP and Torque. TO ME, it's about the entire package - how do things work together, how does the bike handle FOR THE WAY I RIDE MOST OFTEN. It's been fully 10 years since I did a 'roll on' throttle 'test' with another bike. I see absolutely no reason to ever do it again. Maybe it's my getting older - but 0-60 times and top speed and simulated twisty results - mean next to nothing to me. I hustle my bike as best I can, and so does everyone else. No doubt I am can be a tiny bit quicker in some kinds of situations and others I ride with are can be a quicker in other situations. Who cares? It the RIDER.

 

I cannot not think of ONE single time that, in comparison to others, I thought or felt like I needed MORE power. I've left K1300GT riders struggling to keep up in twistys, and  1150RT's, etc leave me struggling to keep up in the twistys. Big Deal! We all had a great ride and great time.

 

As Paul said, one thing I would be ranking high on my list is engine heat. Another is switch-gear layout and ease of changing common settings. The BMW scores well on the engine heat, but it seems to have a steep learning curve with a lot of menus to navagate, when a simple switch would work simply and not require ones attention.

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JamesW

Hi Indy Dave,  I totally agree with you and I couldn't have said it better.   Everyone's priorities are different and at this stage of my life mine are very different than they were when I was much younger and I'm most likely riding my last two motorcycles and I like them both for what they are and in some ways even for what the aren't.  

 

Yeah, I haven't engaged in a roll on in many years either, have no desire to, and both my motorcycles have all the power I could ever ask for.  I got to admit that sometimes when I'm in the wilds of Eastern Oregon I do enjoy wringing out my FeeJeR on rare occasions.  She does carry the mail.:classic_biggrin:  

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Pappy35

In my case, same guy looking for a bike 13 years later. In 2005 I chose the FJR and didn't like the RT. In 2018, I could have bought a brand new FJR again but having aged and become more of a pragmatist, I chose a used RT.

 

Is the FJR more powerful? In my mind, absolutely, but I don't care about that so much anymore because I learned over time that I don't need that power and the RT is no slouch. The RT is lighter overall and feels ever lighter then the new FJR. The seating position is better for me now (the FJR gave me bilateral carpal tunnel that required surgery). There are things I don't like about the RT but overall it's the better machine for me now.

 

I used to be a "numbers" guy but now I buy what I need, not what someone else tells is better.

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