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BMW marketing philosophy gives us the horn


Mark_C

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We are all painfully aware that cost cutting at BMW between '05 and '06 versions of the RT has meant the disappearance of the separate service booklet, rear mudflap, and a meaningful toolkit, but I wonder why they left us the wonderful twin horns which, incidentally, no-one ever seems to praise.

 

I understand that shaving a few dollars off the build costs is important to BMW, after all, it's not a few dollars compared to the street price of the bike, or even a few dollars off the manufacturing cost of the bike, it's a few dollars added to their margin which may be a significant percentage gain.

 

What I do find surprising is that they passed on the option of removing the second horn, especially considering the fact that you only get the twopenny version on a GS (I think?) and you don't hear a lot of complaints. Also imagine the arguments the engineers must have had when debating how to achieve the weight savings for the new hexheads. They will have had a list of ideas and things to axe and debated the pros and cons of some difficult compromises. All the more surprising that something with as little market appeal as a second horn should make it into the final design.

 

I have had my RT about three weeks and realised today that I have never tried the horn, so I gave it a test just now in the garage and nearly did a backflip! It's superb, but given the choice would you swap it for the other bits?

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Mark,

Is it possible that the UK version (horn) is different than the US? I've tried my horn (2 week old 06 RT) and mine sure sounds like a single horn (and nothing special at that). Maybe I'll have a look and see if there's 2 down there.

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Interesting...

 

I actually checked my facts on the microfiche at Max BMW (in the states I think) before posting and it shows a twin horn for the R1200RT and single for the GS. I wonder if it is an '05 vs '06 issue? My bike was registered in September '05 here in the UK and I have assumed that it is '06 spec based on a few things like grey indicator switches, no mud flap, only one proper key. However, the air temperature sensor is still at the back. There's no mistaking the twin horns though.

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I'll have a look at mine tonight. I'm fairly certain from the sound that I'm only hearing one but perhaps something's disconected.

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St0nkingByte

The RT horn setup is impressive, sounds like a large car ;)

 

I don't understand the flap about tools except that maybe motorcycle's past came with great toolsets. As a standalone 'issue' it doesn't make much sense... I went to Sears and bought a bunch of tools and it didn't come with a motorcycle?!?

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My 2005 R1200RT, delivered to my on July 29, 2005 did not have the service manual, rear mudflap, or a meaningful toolkit either. I do believe I have the twin horns which are quite loud. I don't think the lack of these items is a difference between 2005 and 2006 but I did notice that the prices for some of these "accessories" have gone up.

I rarely use the horn but I would be nice if it went off when the alarm is triggered. wink.gif

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you only get the twopenny version on a GS (I think?) and you don't hear a lot of complaints.

 

GS riders use the horn less...we just ride over the offending obstacle instead.

 

Yes the gs horns stink, but there is nots of room in there to change that.

 

Steve

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I recall reading somewhere the '06 only has the single horn. If you have two, they should be easy to spot looking up under the tupperware from in front of the bike. One on each side, but not in the same spot.

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The single horn gives GS riders the "Watch for finger" option. cool.gif

 

Kidding aside, my 2005 R1150RT has the best stock motorcycle horns I've ever heard.

 

Paper, being as relatively cheap as it is, is probly not much of a savings on the combined manual on the 2006 model.

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Quite agree - the horn is excellent.

 

BTW the 05RTs (over here anyway) didn't have a separate service booklet (seems to make some sense to me keeping it all in one book), rear fender extender (except possibly some of the very first) or large toolkit.

 

Paul

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I must agree about the horn. My horn has made many cell phone using idiots take notice of the approaching motorcycle rider to their rear! thumbsup.gif

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Also imagine the arguments the engineers must have had when debating how to achieve the weight savings for the new hexheads. They will have had a list of ideas and things to axe and debated the pros and cons of some difficult compromises.

 

Yeah, but how does only issuing ONE key with the bike, make for weight saving grin.gif

That was the most annoying thing when I collected my R1200RT last year frown.gif

Got it sorted now, had to ask, but got a free one issued...

 

Glad you like the bike, it is very addictive clap.gifclap.gif

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I just purchased an '05 RT, and it has two horns. One centered between the fork(up high) and one behind the right fairing; roughly the same height as the BMW roundel. I made the mistake of testing the horn in the garage, with the doors closed eek.gif. It's very loud.

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My 2006 also had only the one disc type horn. frown.gif I suspect that changing to one disc type horn is to reduce the current draw through the computer rather than saving money. I would bet the disc type horn (used on Japanese motorcycles for years) draw less current than a single ram horn type that BMW has used in the past. Some previous posts noted that 2005 RT's computer would shut down the horns if you held the button down for more than several seconds. Easiest solution, reduce the current drawn from the computer... I have not taken my 2006 apart to look for the second horn lead that was previously mounted under the left side panel. Buckster

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Can't agree with you there Buckster, the horns are bought-in from Bosch and must have been a soft target for the bean counters. Value engineering in mass production environments is about trimming cents off manufacturing costs. Just imagine trying to make an argument for keeping the horns at the expense of something else or raising the retail price of the bike by $5.

 

Surely the horn is never sounded for long enough to make a significant drain on the battery, unless it is wired into the alarm.

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That's weird, my '06 has two horns and actually startled me the first time I used them. By far the loudest horn of any vehicle I've owned.

 

Checked mine last night (06 RT) and single horn. bncry.gif Not too impressive in the db department either.
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Err...PaulW42'

 

Where would "over here" be? There's not much info in your profile.

 

Regards,

 

Carl

 

Ummm - sorry about that. I thought I had done it - must have been another forum. ooo.gif

 

Anyway the answer is UK.

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The horns on my '05 RT are louder than the horn on my Dodge Magnum. grin.gif

 

I agree and replaced the horns on my Magnum RT with Hellas.

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My 06 turned out to be made in August 2005 it has two horns and they scared the s..t out of me the first time I used them. I hope they sound as loud in front of the bike as they did on the bike.

They are good and did not require replacement which I was ready to do on my 1150R before I traded.

 

h

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Agreed. A friend of mine has another brand sport touring bike and replaced the horn because it wasnt loud enough.

 

My 05 has the double horn and I gotta tell you - it is key to getting the attention of the "cagers" that are too busy checking their cell phone text messages rather than their mirrors...

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My first experience with the horn (mine is an 06 with duals), was to tell a lady in a cage that she was moving into my lane while she chatted on her cell phone. I had never heard the horn and I'm not sure which one of use freaked the most.

I about fell off the bike and she nearly took out a pole on the other side. After I got over my shock I just patted the gas tank and said "that's a girl, stand up for your rights".

Boy that was a wake up on a morning ride for two reasons.

--russ

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..."that's a girl, stand up for your rights"...

 

Yes, it seems these Frauleins can be a bit mouthy when they need to be...

grin.gif

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Mark,

Is it possible that the UK version (horn) is different than the US? I've tried my horn (2 week old 06 RT) and mine sure sounds like a single horn (and nothing special at that). Maybe I'll have a look and see if there's 2 down there.

 

Got the double horn on mine, purchased about a year ago.

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I picked my '06 RT up 2 days ago, and there's definitely only one horn up there. When I tried it, it sounded just like the horn on the '03 Rockster I traded in.

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