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West_Coaster

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West_Coaster

Hi! Been reading through the posts here for a few weeks and decided to join and say hi.

 

I'm from southern Ca, 55 years old. 

 

Grew up riding dirt bikes from around 14, rode a few street bikes for 5 years or so. Stopped riding at 25 for about 10 years, then rode a CR500 with a 12 paddle in the sand dunes for 5 years. Been away from a bike for 15 years.

 

Recently my buddy bought a 2005 street glide and I got the bug again. I got my permit and have rented a Honda rebel 250 a few times. I take the CA safety course in a few weeks.

 

Now I'm trying to decide what to get for a bike. My wife will populate the rear seat 10-20% of the time. Have to have something she is comfortable with.

I've been eyeing a few r1200rts, I like the sport touring looks and the tech. I know my way around a toolbox so short of a clutch or engine rebuild I'll do my own maintenance. 

 

I'm concerned that I should start smaller, but the riding is coming back pretty quickly. 

 

I'd appreciate your thoughts on an r1200rt as a touring bike with 2 up, for an inexperienced rider. I consider myself a beginner at this point.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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wbw6cos

Welcome to the board and back to motorcycling.  As you can tell, there are quite a few variations of the RT, starting with the motors but that is subject to a whole bunch of other threads.

 

The RT is the bike I use when I ride two with my wife.   It has the Sporty side when I am riding solo :bike:. but the touring aspect is when it really shines when riding two-up.  

 

I, too, did let my endorsement lapse on my DL and decided to take the MSF beginner course to get it back.  The Honda Rebel I used in the course was easy and made me learn quite a lot that I had forgotten.  Kudos to you for doing the class.  I got back into riding on a R1200C, which I knew I could handle, but doubted I could have successfully passed the skills test on that bike at that time.  Hence the MSF course.

 

What inseam length do you have?  This might make a difference when it comes to the RT.  I have 30" inseam and can flat-foot my C. but not quite on the RT.  I would say I am about 3/4 of the way there and find it will be enough for riiding 2-up.  I have a stock seat in the low setting and can ride with it in the higher level but would rather not when the wife is with me.  If you know what I mean.

 

As far as handling on the RT, there is absoulutely no issue there for me, with or without a passenger.  The bike is really nimble, so that should not be a concern.  Just get used to riding it before being confident to allow an adult passenger.  Just sayin'

 

My RT is a 2019 model with the 1250 Shift Cam motor, but the chassis is still the prior years model.  Guessing it is similar to '14 on up.  I was told it was the exact chassis used in the '18 model year, but I cannot confirm all the similar model years that use it.   Your kilometers may vary.

 

 

Cheers,

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TEWKS

Wow a CR500 with a sand paddle tire to a Rebel 250. Even with all the time that passed, you had to chuckle just a little! :grin:

 

The RT is a great bike but if backroad (see dirt) exploration is something that’s an interest to you, check out the GS line.

 

Welcome! :wave:

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hopz

Welcome to the board West_Coaster.... you have come to a good place for information as well as advice and friendship. I'm going to ramble on here- sort of a string of consciousness...

 

It is good that you are returning via the path you are on. 

A great deal of the art of safe riding is having a built-in balance combined with practice, practice, practice. What I am trying to get to is that on a bike, a good bit of what you do, and mostly- are prepared to do- needs to be ingrained and instinctive.  Your prior experience is probably imbedded in you, so your main task is to get it to the surface, with instruction and practice. 

 

If you have good balance, good reflexes and good judgement- you are on a good path to safe riding. If these attributes are not there it is best not to think they are..... assumption is the mother of accidents.

 

There is a lot of action/reaction stuff that you need to be good at- without having to think about it. 

 

Taking the MSF basic course is a great way to start. A smaller lighter bike might be worth it in the learning stage but that is not an absolute. Depending on your inherent physical ability and coordination, things might go pretty easy or might need to be learned and practiced- before competence and confidence arrives so give it time and miles.

 

The RT family his a great choice for 2-up riding but understand... they are possibly not the best choice right out of the box. (I am saying this out of concern  mostly for your passenger.) Having said that, let me me also say that if you find a good RT and get some miles, and confidence, and experience under your belt it wold be a great bike for 2-up riding. They are quite different from the low center of gravity of Harleys and the lower weight of small bikes. The higher-up weight calls for some getting-used to...  with a passenger... things can get top-heavy until you get experience with it... word to the wise.

 

A good coach during the MSF phase is worth a lot. Maybe an honest chat with your instructor would be a good place to start, but... in-fact doing the MSF on an RT might be good. 

 

Keep us posted on how it goes. and a few tips: All the Gear, all the time. 

 

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West_Coaster

Hi again, thanks for the comments so far, really appreciate it.

 

Not sure of my inseam, I am 6' tall ~230 lbs if that helps. I'm going to go over to the local BMW dealer and sit on a new RT and see how it fits. Not interested in a new bike, but have to imagine they are similar in height and feel over the years. Maybe after I pass the safety course I will see about a test ride on one.

 

BTW, I plan on riding single for 3 or more months to get my chops back up and get familiar with riding before I think of having a passenger. That first ride with the wife has to be a good one lol.

 

Also I have always been a full gear guy, on dirt bikes I was over the handlebars at least a few times a day. Lol

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West_Coaster
4 hours ago, TEWKS said:

Wow a CR500 with a sand paddle tire to a Rebel 250. Even with all the time that passed, you had to chuckle just a little! :grin:

 

The RT is a great bike but if backroad (see dirt) exploration is something that’s an interest to you, check out the GS line.

 

Welcome! :wave:

 

 

When I walked up to it, I asked the guy where the rest of it was!

 

No Bike off roading for me, I have a dedicated off road car for that. 

 

20150123_171021.thumb.jpg.0cb83d066b4661fe2916b94520759d32.jpg

 

 

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TEWKS

Ah, I was thinking this kind of CR500. Which by nature would either teach you or kill you. There’s no middle ground with a monster like that! :rofl:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.546faef72c9617735f96cf291a3310cc.jpeg

 

 

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West_Coaster
4 minutes ago, TEWKS said:

Ah, I was thinking this kind of CR500. Which by nature would either teach you or kill you. There’s no middle ground with a monster like that! :rofl:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.546faef72c9617735f96cf291a3310cc.jpeg

 

 

 

Add 4 more paddles and that's what I rode. Except mine was a 1991. Really miss those 5th gear wheelies....

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TEWKS

Oh ok, so I had it mostly right. ;) A bit of that had to hang around to help transition you to the street.  :thumbsup:

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wbw6cos

That is okay @West_Coaster, from what I gather, @TEWKS has been trying to lure RT riders over to the dirty side for quite sometime.  

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Indy Dave

The New RTw's 2014 + (wet heads) I believe do feature a lower standard seating position - and from 05-13 will have a higher standard seating position. This is separate from high and low seat position, etc. At your height, you should have no issues with the bike being too high. @Bernie can comment further about stock seat height between models in case I just made all of that up! :ohboy:

 

And Welcome!

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wbw6cos

He is 6 foot, so he should be fine either way.  

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Ken S
12 hours ago, West_Coaster said:

I'd appreciate your thoughts on an r1200rt as a touring bike with 2 up, for an inexperienced rider.

 

The RT is a great bike, especially for the type of riding you have in mind.  That's exactly how I use mine.

 

All the RTs are great.  I had a 2013 camhead and loved it.  But when I moved up to a 2018 wethead I was pleasantly surprised how much more nimble it felt.

 

I understand your thought of being a "beginner" because of getting back into riding.  But, as you say you plan to do, don't ride double until you're comfortable with the bike and your feel for it.

 

Good luck.

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Rinkydink

Yes, my 17RT sits lower than my 09RT did (both with RDL seats) even lower than my  04RT with a Sargent seat. I was tiptoed on that one. 
 

At 6 ft Tall I think you’d be fine but hopz is correct.  It is a top heavy bike and it needs to be worked up to...especially for two-up riding. Your main concern is safety and a low seat height HD is a world of difference from a RT. With that said good passenger skill/etiquette is almost as important as rider skill. Good luck in your decision but don’t let your pride get in the way of smart decisions. Oh and welcome to the board. 

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Selden

It sounds like you have all your bases covered. If you are set on an R bike, try as many on for size as possible. I have been told that passengers find the GS models more comfortable than the RT models because the passenger sits a little higher. The only ones I would avoid are the early R1200s, when BMW engineers decided that the final drives were made for life, and didn't include an easy way to change the FD oil supply, because it would never need changing. FD failures cured them of that idea. 

 

Among the oilheads, I prefer the 1100s to the 1150s. Five-speed transmission with better spaced gears, cable-operated clutch, and simpler ABS brake system. Since you are in southern California, the heater ducts (removed from the R1150RT) aren't really an issue.

 

I put 65,000 trouble-free (but well-maintained) miles on a 1999 R1100RT before selling it recently at 130,000 miles. It felt like it could go for another 100,000 miles.

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dba

First, welcome back to motorcycling.  As for RTs, they are superb bikes.  I've owned two of them, a 2004 1150, (sexiest bike ever made), and a 2007 R1200.  I get my R bike fix currently on a 2009 R1200 GSA and also ride a K1600 GTL.  

 

I don't know where in So Cal you are, or how far you want to travel to look, but I've had great luck at Brown's Motor Works in Pomona, (my wife's home town), Irv Sever in Orange County and BMW of Riverside.  Irv Sever and Riverside are huge stores.  New Century in Alhambra is very nice and I've been treated well in Temecula.  The thing I like about visiting So Cal is the number of dealerships to choose from.  Very good luck to you.  

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RTinNC

Welcome !   As other have noted the RT is a great all around bike especially if you will have a passenger at times.   If solo I would suggest the GS or GSA as even when used 100% ON road the handling can't be beat.   But the RT is a close second and better for a passenger.   I would always suggest buying the newest model year you can afford as they continually make minor tweaks that are usually a plus.   Also,  the pre 2014 models are taller and at 6' you may be at your max with a pre-2014.  In addition the liquid cooled motor is an improvement.   But most any year 1200 or 1250 RT is a great bike. 

 

Good luck and enjoy! 

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West_Coaster

What do you guys think of this bike? https://www.ebay.com/itm/2015-BMW-R1200RT/293666893352

 

I like this color and like that it has the updated digital display. I'm going to ask for more pics to see what options the bike has. It's about a 2 hr drive away.

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TEWKS

If it’s not a scam, I’d jump on that! :thumbsup:

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West_Coaster

I sent the owner a message, let's see if he responds. 

 

40K miles is not a problem right?

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TEWKS

It should breeze though another 100K without much grief. I can’t speak from personal experience on that kind of mileage but there are a few out there. Some with more I’d bet. 


The one scary thing with this motor is its internal alternator. If that fails, it’s kind of a big deal. Very few failures reported though! :thumbsup:

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RTinNC
7 hours ago, West_Coaster said:

What do you guys think of this bike? https://www.ebay.com/itm/2015-BMW-R1200RT/293666893352

 

I like this color and like that it has the updated digital display. I'm going to ask for more pics to see what options the bike has. It's about a 2 hr drive away.

Yes ... what others have said ... sounds like a good deal for sure.   Make sure you see the service records and you may want to call the Riverside dealer and chat with them about the history of the bike.   But that is a sweet package with all the right stuff. 

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West_Coaster

That one is gone.

 

Have a friend of a friend with an 08, has 20k miles. Has the tpms tire pressure light on, so I'd need to take care of that. Going to look at it later in the week.

 

Rented the 250 Rebel again and went on a 100 mile ride. Man is that an awful bike, gutless and tiny.

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Hosstage

Perfect for learning! Not so great for actual riding.

TPMS light is at least a minor fail, in my opinion. You can (and should) always physically check the tire pressure. A little piece of black tape solves the light issue until you get to the repair....

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lawnchairboy

welcome aboard

 

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Dennis Andress

If I may suggest - the dark side. This one is priced way high but it is a really nice example.

 

00505_abNH8Rsd934_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

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Nobrakes

Get that 1200Rt. You already know how to ride. There’ll be some subtle nuances but, nothing you can’t handle. That CR 500 is a handful, you’ll be fine on a 1200RT. As you stated, ease into it and you’ll have it mastered in less than 3 months. Mine is 2017 w/24,000 trouble free miles. It a tallish machine but the CG is down fairly low. Adjustment to 2 up riding will feel different at first. Again ease into it and be sure to ride on solid ground as foot plants are little tricky in gravel. Love my RT and it fits all my needs. Good luck and test ride one...  I’m sure you’ll be comfortable with it in short order. The pro shift is awesome once you break the habit of grabbing for a clutch. The different ride modes are useful. For a “beginner” rain mode is more gentle but, I tend to keep mine in dyna (sport) mode. The bike has no quirky surprises and it’s fun!

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