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View Full Version : What's The Story on the BMW R1200 RT?


Texagator
09-06-2009, 08:14 PM
Quick background on my current bike situation:
I have been riding a Suzuki V-Strom (DL-1000) for the last several years. I originally got it because I was tired of riding cruisers down the highway, seeing dirt roads, and wondering where they went. I have done some mild dual-sporting on it and even rode it in the 2007 Texas Adventure Ride. Most of my traveling on it has been long distance highway stuff. (Idaho, Washington Oregon, Colorado etc.) Since then, I got a used DRZ400S, did a lot of work on it, and rode it on the TransAmerica Trail. So, I now have a true, dedicated dual-sport bike and a mostly street bike that I have primarily used for long distance traveling. On my last trip to Idaho, I ran across a guy on a BMW R1200RT and I liked the bike. A week ago in Ouray, CO, I met several people on R1200RT's and again liked what I saw. I had been thinking about a Honda ST1300 but I keep coming back to the BMW. I'm now sitting here thinking about getting one...maybe a used one....2 or 3 years old.

Somebody please tell me about the R1200RT. I know all the info that you can read on the BMW website but I'm looking for some advice based on real-world experience.
- Are they prone to certain mechanical problems?
- What's the truth about maintenance? (frequency, cost, difficulty, etc.)
- Any final drive problems?
- Are they as nice to travel on as they look?
- How do they compare to the V-Strom?
- What's it like to travel long-distance on these bikes? (I regularly ride b/t 500 and 800 miles in one day when I travel)
- Do you have to be rich to own one?
- I'm still under 40 and solidly middle class. Will this disqualify me? Is there some law that says I can't have one?:rofl:

Seriously...I'd love to hear from fellow riders with some time on the R1200RT. Thank you for any advice or opinions you can offer.

Manfred
09-06-2009, 09:10 PM
I ride an old airhead R80RT - not much in common with what you're considering. Two observations: Of all the Japanese bikes I've owned, this - my first BMW - handles better than any other bike I've ridden. Secondly, it certainly costs more to buy oil filters and various parts for a BMW than for a Jap bike. In some ways, the BMW experience is very similar to the Harley experience: there's a noticeable percentage of brand snobs and it costs money to own the brand.

kurt
09-06-2009, 09:13 PM
Are they prone to certain mechanical problems? Final drive issue rumors abound. Key anntena rings were replaced under warranty, and the occasional fuel pump/controller failure are all I'm aware of.

- What's the truth about maintenance? (frequency, cost, difficulty, etc.) Maintenance is easy on the 2007 and up models. Pre-2007 had wizzy brakes (Servo assist that is harder to service but still do-able. You can do it all yourself (valves, brake fluid, gear box, final drive etc.) for about $50

- Any final drive problems? They exist in an estimated 4% of R series bikes. GS appear to be overrepresented in this figure.

- Are they as nice to travel on as they look? Yes, especially with an aftermarket seat. Mine is a Rick Mayer saddle.

- How do they compare to the V-Strom? More power, quicker acceleration, better gas mileage, longer range, better weather protection, heated grips, seats, cruise control, computer, AM/FM/CD, and list goes on.

- What's it like to travel long-distance on these bikes? (I regularly ride b/t 500 and 800 miles in one day when I travel? I think I just answered that one.

- Do you have to be rich to own one? I bought my 2005 with 17K miles, every option and accessory for ~$10,000. Insurance is about $400/year and I do my own maintenance.

Kit_McConnico
09-06-2009, 09:25 PM
I ride an '05 GS, so it's similar in many ways.


- Are they prone to certain mechanical problems?

Only if you ask the people who don't own one.

- What's the truth about maintenance? (frequency, cost, difficulty, etc.)

Valves and oil every 6k. You can do it yourself in about an hour. Every 12k you're also supposed to do tranny fluid, FD fluid, and brakes. They're all easy too. Oil filters are around $20 and fluid choice is up to you.

- Any final drive problems?

Everyone knows someone who knows someone who had a failure, but in reality they're pretty rare

- Are they as nice to travel on as they look?

From what I hear

- What's it like to travel long-distance on these bikes? (I regularly ride b/t 500 and 800 miles in one day when I travel)

I can easily do 600-700 mile days on the GS without any issue and I hear the RT is much more comfortable

- Do you have to be rich to own one?
- I'm still under 40 and solidly middle class. Will this disqualify me? Is there some law that says I can't have one?:rofl:

No, I'm still under 30 and solidly poor, and not because I own a BMW so you can save your jokes peanut gallery. :giveup:

Lawman
09-06-2009, 09:28 PM
[U][B]
Somebody please tell me about the R1200RT. I know all the info that you can read on the BMW website but I'm looking for some advice based on real-world experience.
[QUOTE]- Are they prone to certain mechanical problems?

yeah sorta...I have an 05 with 43,000 miles..Left me stranded with a fuel line quick disconnect failure which is probably the most common failure.


- What's the truth about maintenance? (frequency, cost, difficulty, etc.)

They are high maintenance but I've learned to do most of it myself..The newer models are easier because they do not have the servo assist brakes. Manual calls for valve adjustment every 6000 mi. but once they are broken in they don't need it that often. Service is expensive if performed by dealer..like $400.00 - $500.00 for a service requiring brake bleed which is every two years..


- Any final drive problems?-

a fair number

Are they as nice to travel on as they look?

absolutely!

- How do they compare to the V-Strom?

never ridden one


- What's it like to travel long-distance on these bikes? (I regularly ride b/t 500 and 800 miles in one day when I travel)-

best bike I've ever had by far

Do you have to be rich to own one?

only if you buy new and depend on your dealer for service..
We have group get togethers to do maintenance and there are c.d.'s available that make it easy to learn to do your own service..

They are not the most reliable bike but once you own one and learn to work on it you will have a great appreciation for it if you want a sport tourer with the emphasis on touring..There is something about the boxer that I love..And the cruise control will spoil you forever..

Texagator
09-06-2009, 10:48 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

Is it fair to say that once a guy has gotten his hands on one of these bikes, it's no more difficult to keep up and service than any other make/model?

kurt
09-07-2009, 08:59 AM
I'd say it requires slightly more maintenance if you keep up with the recommended intervals. Personally, since my bike is out of warranty, I'll change the oil every 6,000 miles, the gear box and final drive lube every 18,000. Brake fluid evey year or two valves probably every other oil change. I have a code reader so I don't even have to pay for that step. I've always felt that BMW's intervals were excessive. They make up for lower sales volume with service IMHO.

Kit_McConnico
09-07-2009, 08:55 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

Is it fair to say that once a guy has gotten his hands on one of these bikes, it's no more difficult to keep up and service than any other make/model?

IMO no. It's super easy to keep up and service. You can easily do it all yourself. I'm not a mechanic. I'm not even technically inclined. But the R series is a very easy bike to work on. And you can do it yourself for free, which teaches you more about your bike should you have a problem abroad.

Do it. Do it.

Sully
09-07-2009, 09:51 PM
IMO no. It's super easy to keep up and service. You can easily do it all yourself. I'm not a mechanic. I'm not even technically inclined. But the R series is a very easy bike to work on. And you can do it yourself for free, which teaches you more about your bike should you have a problem abroad.

Do it. Do it.

+1 (you meant "IMO yes" based on Gator's wording). It's easy to get at it everything (at least on a GS; the RT does have more tupperware but I wouldn't imagine it's that hard to remove). Lots of resources, too, like Jim Von Baden's DVD. It lays out all the maintenance procedures in a form understandable to even someone of my skill (for point of reference, I've recently learned that you should use the pointy end of the screwdriver on the screw)

Kit_McConnico
09-07-2009, 09:53 PM
Yes you're right. What I mean is it's easy as crap to do the maintenance.

Texagator
09-07-2009, 10:19 PM
It's super easy to keep up and service. You can easily do it all yourself.

What about all the electronics? I have been reading about all the high-tech stuff on this bike (CANBUS???) and the ABS and the shocks. Someone on ADVRider said their RT's ABS went bad and it would have cost $2000 to fix it if it weren't for the warranty!

I like the idea of easy maintenance. I'm fairly experienced with tools and bikes and cars and fixing things. What's the consensus on the RT's high-speed-low-drag techno stuff? Reliable? Problematic? Easy to fix or replace? Modular? Scary?

Kit_McConnico
09-07-2009, 10:36 PM
People gripe about servo brakes, and they are expensive to replace should you need to (I haven't). But man they flat STOP. I think they discontinued them in 2006, but maybe someone else could chime in on that.

CANBUS is just like the final drive. Everyone gripes about it, no one actually had a first hand problem with it. I run Gerbings jacket liner and a GPS with it. I run a iphone charger off the powerlet plug below the seat. Baaaah. Nothing wrong with CANBUS. And I don't have a fuse box or any of that jazz.

Sully
09-07-2009, 10:40 PM
Kit and others may know more about this than me, but I know the R1200 series bikes with the servo-assist ABS brakes (2005-2007?) are very expensive to fix. The newer models ditched the servos (I think the new system is called ABS II). I guess it would depend on what year model you're looking at.

As for canbus, you'll have to get a fuse block (centech is most popular, but there are others). In stock form, I couldn't draw much off the powerlet plug (ex: air pump). The fuse blocks are around $55.

Kit_McConnico
09-07-2009, 10:42 PM
Kit and others may know more about this than me, but I know the R1200 series bikes with the servo-assist ABS brakes (2005-2007?) are very expensive to fix. The newer models ditched the servos (I think the new system is called ABS II). I guess it would depend on what year model you're looking at.

As for canbus, you'll have to get a fuse block (centech is most popular, but there are others). In stock form, I couldn't draw much off the powerlet plug (ex: air pump). The fuse blocks are around $55.

Did your brakes crap out?

Also I didn't know you had problems with the powerlet. Mine was fine (and we were using the same charger.)

Sully
09-07-2009, 10:55 PM
No, brakes are functioning fine, and they do stop the bike NOW. I do wish though that I had the non-servo brakes, for simplicity. As for can-bus, I've had zero reliability issues with it, I just needed to add the fuses to be able to use the accessories I had (Now that I said that about the phone, I can't recall if I did test it pre-block, but the pump definitely wouldn't run). Do you know if the early Hex RTs had the same main seal as the GSs? We might ought to mention that too if he's looking at one of those years.

Kit_McConnico
09-07-2009, 11:01 PM
No, brakes are functioning fine, and they do stop the bike NOW. I do wish though that I had the non-servo brakes, for simplicity. As for can-bus, I've had zero reliability issues with it, I just needed to add the fuses to be able to use the accessories I had (phone charger, air pump). Do you know if the early Hex RTs had the same main seal as the GSs? We might ought to mention that too if he's looking at one of those years.

hmmh. I didn't know you had issues with the phone charger or air pump. My bike powers them just fine.

Something of note that you did mention though. Some of the earlier 1200's (and lots of other modern BMWs) have issues with a rear main seal leak between the engine and transmission. This will eventually contaminate your clutch. Usually when it happens people replace the rear main seal and transmission input shaft seal. It cost me $1900 and I would gladly pay it again. I'm that sold on the GS. Supposedly the newer "brown" seals don't fail the same way.

h2000fb
09-07-2009, 11:05 PM
Hey, I was in Ouray, Co from Aug 14-22nd! My wife and I used this as a base for riding out of. Stayed in B&B. Charcoal gray RT. My wife wore a white helmet with black poka-dots on it - hard to miss!

Anyway, I had a VStrom DL1000 and an 05 R1200RT at the same time. I sold the Suzuki and still have the RT. VStrom more out of the hole torque. On the road in 6th, the RT pulls away. Gas milage... RT wins. Range... RT wins. Comfort... RT wins. The VStrom was nice, just a different bike.

05 RT is not high maintenance. You don't oil or maintain chains, no oiling or cleaning cables - all hydraulic. They do not require value adjustments every 6k. I believe the manual says 6k then every 10k. However, after 10,000+ miles, my values adjustment did not change a bit. I change oil every 5K, changed my final drive oil at 15K. Nothing hard about any of it. More expensive oil or filters? NO. Buy my filters from A&S when on sale. Less than $10 each. Get several at one time. Parts more expensive? Not any more so than any of my other bikes.

Bike is rock solid, comfy w/o the weight and handles great. Not expensive to keep up. Cost about same as taking a bike to any dealer. Weight? About the same as the VStrom. I believe 545 wet?

I know lots of people with Beemers now that I have one. Don't know of a single one that had a problem but me. Had a horn switch go bad and the horn would not quit. Had to disconnect. BMW warrantied the entire switch assembly. Had a headlight fastener break. Repaired it myself.

Also installed speakers and an amplifier so I could play my MP3 or ipod. Better than radio! It does not fade!

Texagator
09-16-2009, 07:32 PM
I went to the dealership and sat on an RT today. The salesman was nice and informative without being too pushy. (BTW:He assured me that the final drive was solid and that the real story on BMW final drive failures was that most of them occurred on GS bikes. He said that people were not performing adequate maintenance on their GS final drives, especially after riding them off-road, and that dirt and grime destroyed the rubber seal which allowed the oil to all drain out.)

The RT is definitely a nice bike. Really nice. I admit to being leery of the final drive and the cost. I'm not trying to start a flamefest here but I am tempted to reconsider the ST1300 with ceramic-coated headers, a cruise control, and a better seat. Even with these add-ons, the total cost wouldn't come close to that of the RT.

BigKev72
10-20-2009, 08:51 AM
Quick background on my current bike situation:

- Are they prone to certain mechanical problems?
- What's the truth about maintenance? (frequency, cost, difficulty, etc.)
- Any final drive problems?
- Are they as nice to travel on as they look?
- How do they compare to the V-Strom?
- What's it like to travel long-distance on these bikes? (I regularly ride b/t 500 and 800 miles in one day when I travel)
- Do you have to be rich to own one?
- I'm still under 40 and solidly middle class. Will this disqualify me? Is there some law that says I can't have one?:rofl:



Mechanical Problems - Final drives - This can be eliminated or heavily reduced by proper preventative maintenance. BMW has even changed the design of their swingarm in recent models to allow for easier oil changes on the swingarm. Contrary to what the salesman says they are not limited to the GS's...LT's get just as many. The RT is not a big one for it though.

Maintenance - Truth, not bad to maintain yourself...get handy with a wrench and they are cheap to maintain, go to the dealer...you had better bring vasolene with you.

Are they nice to travel on? - In my opinion yes. They are comfortable over long periods of travel, eat miles and do it in style. Secondly, when you hit some twisties they really do handle well.

Vstrom/RT comparison - Different strokes for different folks. The strom is a good bike, but in my opinion (again with this) the RT is a better long range touring bike.

Whats it like to travel long distance on an RT - It is great, thats what they are made for.

Do you have to be rich to own one? - No, but like anything else it helps.

Under 40 - Not a disqualifer. RT's dont care how old you are, they are just a machine.

Take one for a test ride, pop your spouse/significant other/life partner on the back of it and go. See if you can finagle 3+ hours of riding on it and just go for a trip on it. You will enjoy it, your s/so/lp will enjoy it...and then both of you sit down and try to figure out how to buy one from there.

Remember though, dont trust your salesman...they are all thieves, doesnt matter where they work they are not there to do you favors but to make the dealership money. Dont be afraid to price RT's out of state, BMW of OK city is regularly less on their ad's than BMW of north dallas (Plano) etc. And if you look around in other areas of the country they are even cheaper than that. Fly and rides can be a hoot, what better way to christen your new RT than a 1200 mile homeward trip, oil change at the end of it.

1TallTXn
10-20-2009, 09:22 AM
I've never ridden a R12RT, but like you, I've drooled over a bunch of them.

I did have a '03 ST1300 and was quite pleased with it. At the time I was comparing the new ST to the new RT and there was a huge price difference. Now, Honda has raised their prices to be almost exactly the same as that of the RT.

So if I were buying new, I would probably get the RT.
Buying used, I'd have to look around and see what the prices were.

Good luck on your search! :thumb:

wbrisett
10-23-2009, 04:17 AM
I'm not trying to start a flamefest here but I am tempted to reconsider the ST1300 with ceramic-coated headers, a cruise control, and a better seat. Even with these add-ons, the total cost wouldn't come close to that of the RT.

Better check the price again. Last I looked the base model for both bikes was within a few hundred dollars of each other and the RT was less! Last year Honda figured they could entice riders to open up the wallets by raising the price of the ST, which I thought was stupid. But, I'm guessing they were simply passing on higher costs to the consumer. Now, depending on sales, you might find a deal on the Honda if a dealer hasn't moved inventory in a while, but feature for feature, dollar for dollar, I'm going bet the BMW will win (and yes, I'm a bit biased having owned two RTs).

Wayne

Boxercup Dave
10-23-2009, 09:15 AM
Don't be scared off by a bike with servo assist brakes. I have them on my 1100S Boxercup and they stop great and also perform well on the track. If you have a bit of mechical skill you can service them yourself as I learned to do it on mine.

Because the servo assist actually separates the fluid in the controls from the fluid going to the calipers you have to bleed both circuits. On my 1100 I removed tank plastic, removed tank bolts, rotated tank off to the side without disconnecting anything. With tank off to the side servo module is exposed. I bought two new reservoir caps and added a nipple to them to connect to clear tubing and a funnel. activated the brakes and the servo motor pumped the new fluid through. Turned out easier than I thought plus you don't have to do it that often.

h2000fb
10-23-2009, 11:30 AM
Better check the price again. Last I looked the base model for both bikes was within a few hundred dollars of each other and the RT was less! Last year Honda figured they could entice riders to open up the wallets by raising the price of the ST, which I thought was stupid. But, I'm guessing they were simply passing on higher costs to the consumer. Now, depending on sales, you might find a deal on the Honda if a dealer hasn't moved inventory in a while, but feature for feature, dollar for dollar, I'm going bet the BMW will win (and yes, I'm a bit biased having owned two RTs).

Wayne

I too have noticed this similarity in prices. Base on ST1300 seems to be $16,000 and base on the RT $16,800, but has more options.

Guess now we can say "Honda just sells overpriced bikes!"

Eric2Tex
11-04-2009, 09:20 AM
I've got one of the first 1200gs's that came into austin, bought it a bit over 5 years ago. I had already put a 100k on airheads and wasn't impressed with the oilheads (first airhead successor) but the r12 has brought me back in.

Servo brakes, wasn't impressed at first until I really started hammering them in the curves. No fading and not hard to service. Final drive issues seem overblown to me, there must be 500k units out there now and how many failures? I've never changed the FD fluid in any of my bmws and none have failed due of it.

I did have the input shaft splines strip at 52k miles, covered under extended warranty. Had a lot of rattling for years i thought was the the throwout bearing. Have not seen many similar failures so chalk it up to poor assembly or
soft metal in the input shaft.

Even with that, it's still the most reliable bike i've owned and with 75k has never failed to start. I have the same spark plugs in it I installed at 18k miles.

One thing I do recommend is ditching the plastic fuel lines QD in favor of metal. The plastic ones are brittle and will leave you stranded or soaked in gas. I went though 2 before upgrading.

valcyr
12-05-2009, 02:06 AM
The salesman was nice and informative without being too pushy. (BTW:He assured me that the final drive was solid and that the real story on BMW final drive failures was that most of them occurred on GS bikes. He said that people were not performing adequate maintenance on their GS final drives, especially after riding them off-road, and that dirt and grime destroyed the rubber seal which allowed the oil to all drain out.)


BULL!!! BMW first said that the final drive was filled for life at the factory and there was no drain plug provided. There were final drive failures. BMW then said the final drive oil should be changed at the 600 mile check and then was good for life. There were final drive failures. BMW then provided a way to drain and fill the final drive and said the oil should be changed every 12k miles. There were final drive failures. The latest thoughts are the failures come from pressure building in the final drive and the seal failing from the pressure, then the oil is lost, then the drive fails. The latest spec from BMW has reduced the quantity of oil in the hexhead (R1200) final drive. Maybe this is the answer. The final drive failures do seem to be from loss of oil, NOT from the large bearing self-destructing as in the K1200LT's (mostly).
Ride Safe,
Phil Marvin - El Paso, TX

ben1364
12-12-2009, 03:28 PM
Lot's of good comments and advice above. I will add that having owned and ridden many motorcycles over the past 55+ years, the R1200RT is to me the best of them all for my purposes.

The OP noted that he had been thinking of an ST1300 along with the R1200RT. Both are fine motorcycles that are aimed at basically the same demographics. The ST has more power and is 'supported' by a larger dealer body. The RT handles better (subjective), has better brakes, suspension, is lighter with a lower COG and consumes less fuel.

It is fair to say that I am partial to the RT. <g> It is the only bike I have owned that I wish I had kept. To me it is the best one up touring motorcycle currently available.

DFW_Warrior
12-12-2009, 06:11 PM
- Are they prone to certain mechanical problems?

Only if you ask the people who don't own one.



Something of note that you did mention though. Some of the earlier 1200's (and lots of other modern BMWs) have issues with a rear main seal leak between the engine and transmission. This will eventually contaminate your clutch. Usually when it happens people replace the rear main seal and transmission input shaft seal. It cost me $1900 and I would gladly pay it again. I'm that sold on the GS. Supposedly the newer "brown" seals don't fail the same way.

:ponder: Hmmmmm... something ain't quite right here.;-)

aggie81
12-12-2009, 06:19 PM
I guess I'm qualified to offer an opinion since I've owned two of them, an '06 and an '08 - both R1200RT models.

First the bad. On the first one, the final drive had to be replaced at under 4000 miles. See BMWfinaldrive.com if you think the problem is overstated. BMW modified the FD on the later models and improved reliability. Secondly, a cylinder head bolt had not been fully threaded into the case during assembly and pulled out. Eight hours of labor to repair. Servo brakes worked fine, but I prefer the simplicity of the brakes on the '08 and later bikes. My second bike, the '08, had an oil leak at the balance shaft that stopped on its own, and had the fuel level sender replaced under warranty - all of this in the first 1000 miles or so.

Now the good. The bike is a dream to ride. I've also had an FJR, and there's just nothing like the comfort and thoughtful construction of the RT. Heated seats, heated grips, a real cruise control and a wonderfully protective yet modestly sized fairing - God there's nothing else like it. Everything about it was designed to make the owner's life as easy and comfortable as possible. Want to take the plastic off? Two torx bits and about 10 minutes and the bike is stripped. The FJR was a kluge of mix and match fasteners and lots of ill-fitting plastic.

I keep watching for something I'll like better, but haven't found it. It's no race bike, but it covers distances with aplomb. It's expensive, but like everything else, you get what you pay for. I love mine. In the DFW area, I strongly recommend BMW of Fort Worth for your dealer needs.

hardybaker
12-12-2009, 08:57 PM
My neighbor is a HD man. He's had 34 of them. Nothing else. Several months ago his 05 HD something or the other went into a high speed wobble at 110. It even broke off both steering stops from the frame. After he recovered and had his insurance settled, his choices of a replacement bike was a new concours or a slightly used RT. Several weeks ago he bought a 2007 RT for the going price. This week, I saw him at the Centerville tax office and I asked him if he liked his RT. He said of his 34 previous bikes, his Buell was be far the best. His RT is ten times the bike the Buell was. HB

Kit_McConnico
12-12-2009, 10:07 PM
:ponder: Hmmmmm... something ain't quite right here.;-)

Some (not all) of the early models had a problem with this seal. Not exactly the first time a new vehicle/bike/whatever had a problem but I included it since the op was asking a legit question and thought he would appreciate full disclosure of the potential issues with the bike.

Other than that I've travelled 30,000 trouble free miles on it in the last year.

Any other questions Bill?

DFW_Warrior
12-13-2009, 07:22 AM
Any other questions Bill?

I never even asked a first question. I was just posting up some discrepancies that were in the thread. But if it were me, a $1900 repair in the first 30k miles of ownership would be a big downer. I'm used to things lasting longer than that before they break.;-)

Texagator
05-06-2010, 06:47 PM
Well...it's been some time now and I've had the opportunity to look at several Honda ST1300's and BMW R1200RT's up close. For a while there, I was leaning more towards the ST1300. Now....the BMW is calling me again.

I emailed my wife some pics of the R1200RT today and told her that I'd like to get a used one. Her emailed reply was, "Sure. What do I get out of it?" :argh:

All she knows about motorcycles is that there's two of them sitting in our garage right now and she can't park her car in there because of them. One thing I know....my V-Strom is paid off...fully farkled...and I have no good reason to be looking to spend money that I don't have on another bike...but I still want to. The BMW is calling to me...

Despite the good reviews and advice given thus far, I admit that I'm still a little nervous about the idea of getting into a "rich man's" bike on which there are components that can cost thousands of $$$ if they go bad. I understand such fears are probably misplaced and based on false perceptions.

Seriously....can anyone give me a good reason why I shouldn't get one?

Lawman
05-06-2010, 07:03 PM
...can anyone give me a good reason why I shouldn't get one?

Yes,

Soon after buying the RT you'll begin your decline by skipping work on nice days for nothing more than taking a ride..It will get worse..Your kids will start to wonder why dad is never home . Your neglect of work will likely result in your termination and the wife will soon begin to complain..In order to avoid the conflict you'll ride even more..Your wife will leave you..Your kids will hate you and the only thing that will matter is that you have money for gas and tires.There's no help available until you hit bottom and by that time you will have lost everything and eventually if you live long enough even the bike will wear out..You are today at a fork in the road that will determine your destiny..Good luck....

kurt
05-06-2010, 07:15 PM
Seriously....can anyone give me a good reason why I shouldn't get one?

No.

bluedogok
05-06-2010, 07:23 PM
I'd say it requires slightly more maintenance if you keep up with the recommended intervals. Personally, since my bike is out of warranty, I'll change the oil every 6,000 miles, the gear box and final drive lube every 18,000. Brake fluid evey year or two valves probably every other oil change. I have a code reader so I don't even have to pay for that step. I've always felt that BMW's intervals were excessive. They make up for lower sales volume with service IMHO.
The funny thing about that with BMW cars is the service intervals went up greatly after BMW started including maintenance with a new car purchase. What was an every 5,000 mile service (mainly oil at that interval) went to every 15,000 miles.

h2000fb
05-06-2010, 07:41 PM
.... Despite the good reviews and advice given thus far, I admit that I'm still a little nervous about the idea of getting into a "rich man's" bike on which there are components that can cost thousands of $$$ if they go bad. I understand such fears are probably misplaced and based on false perceptions... shouldn't get one?

I have 25,000 on my RT and in recent years it has cost me no more than my Harley Fatboy, the Harley Ultra, or my DL-1000 VStrom to maintain.

NEW parts for any of them were expensive. No noticable price difference between brands. That includes Kaw/Suz/HD/BMW/HONDA/YAM. After-market accessories? No real price difference. In fact, it cost me no more to maintain than my Dad spends on his Kawaski Vulcan 800 or his 2006 Vulcan900.

The Beemer may be more expensive then a DL-1000 to buy, but no more than expensive than some upper-end Hondas, Victorys, HDs, and a few others.

Maintenance is what you make of it. And YES, it is my favorite ride of any street bike I ever own and my total bikes to date is approx 38-40. Not saying my others were not nice - I like ALL bikes, really. Just the RT has ended up being my favorite street bike to date.

Texagator
05-09-2010, 09:50 AM
Can someone please give a no-holds-barred description of the factory wind protection? How is the buffeting and wind noise? Would I need to replace the stock shield? Also, how does it handle strong cross winds?

kurt
05-09-2010, 09:57 AM
I got no buffeting with the stock shield. In the low position, the windblast started at the upper chest. My neck and shoulders were in the wind. In the upper position the blast was elevated to the top of my helmet. Noise was present, but no worse than the best touring bikes out there including the Wing and ST1300.

With a V-Stream aftermarket screen, I was able to shield my shoulders and completely hide behind the screen. Never were cross-winds a major concern. Sure you could feel them, but the same can be said for the Wing.

ben1364
05-09-2010, 10:04 AM
No holds barred. It depends. Wind protection provided by fairings and windscreens is better for some than for others. That said, having owned a GL1800, a PC800, a K1100RT, a K1200LT, a R1100RT and a R1200RT, the R1200RT is in my opinion the finest one-up touring/sport bike I have ever sat on. In individual areas some other motorcycles excel whereas the R12RT does everything well.



Can someone please give a no-holds-barred description of the factory wind protection? How is the buffeting and wind noise? Would I need to replace the stock shield? Also, how does it handle strong cross winds?

leekellerking
05-09-2010, 02:36 PM
Ausfletch had the final drive go out on his GS in Mexico.

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22135&highlight=ausfletch+drive

But he still rides a BMW, doesn't he?

dedsmurf
05-09-2010, 03:04 PM
i have an 09 GSA. never been happier for traveling, mild offroading, exploring, commuting... best bike I've ever owned. very happy.

bluedogok
05-09-2010, 03:11 PM
Ausfletch had the final drive go out on his GS in Mexico.

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22135&highlight=ausfletch+drive

But he still rides a BMW, doesn't he?
It was an 1150GS which as stated previously in this thread seems to have a higher failure rate than the RT model.

h2000fb
05-09-2010, 06:47 PM
I got no buffeting with the stock shield. In the low position, the windblast started at the upper chest. My neck and shoulders were in the wind. In the upper position the blast was elevated to the top of my helmet. Noise was present, but no worse than the best touring bikes out there including the Wing and ST1300.

With a V-Stream aftermarket screen, I was able to shield my shoulders and completely hide behind the screen. Never were cross-winds a major concern. Sure you could feel them, but the same can be said for the Wing.

I concur, but will add a little to it.
- Ditto on low position.
- Raising the windscreen... the wind starts going over my head just as top of windscreen is just below my line of vision. This is where I ride most of time. I wear a 3/4 helmet and it is quiet. The wind smoothly breezes over the outer area of shoulders.
- When I raise it all the way up, still not buffeting, I have to look thru screen, and a slight pressure developes at my mid-back area caused by a strong negative air pocket just behind me.

That said, I thought I wanted more "protection" for winter riding. Bought a Cee Bailey, stk height, +2" on width. The screen has "spoiler" type curve in top of screen to help kick wind up over you. My review of screen was:
- in lowest position, almost went over my head without raising. Great I thought (but not good for cruising through town at lower speeds in heat of day.)
- the air pocket behind Cee Bailey was completely still - not even a hint of wind on outer shoulders. In the long run, it was too still.

I sold the Cee Bailey because the Stock BMW Screen filled a full range of options well. The Cee Bailey gave me full 100% protection 100% of the time with little option of adjustment.

Riding in windy condition? Don't really notice it any more than my other larger bikes of the past and better than some.

trainman
05-09-2010, 11:48 PM
How to own a BMW and keep the cost of regular maintenance and repairs down.
1. Join a local club, they have tech days for oil changes, valve adjustments, brake pads and fluid replacement, etc. just about anything you need done that can be done in one day. Note you have to do the work and will be guided by a knowledgeable BMW tech.
2. In the club will be a BMW tech or techs that will work on your bike at his home, he may or may not work for BMW at the present time but will have the BMW computer programs to able to read the computer codes and perform work on your bike as needed. One tech in our group will do that $450 service on your 1200GS for $150-$175.
3. Find out everything about the BMW model you want to buy, it's on the Internet, keep a check on what these problems are that may occur, do your scheduled maintenance and I think you will find your BMW is an exceptional bike.

John

Top Cat
05-11-2010, 09:15 AM
As there are a number of BMW aficionados responding to this post. I sat on both the RT and the GT and wondered why there were two similar bikes with appeared to me to only have different motors. What are the real differences in the two bikes. I think the GT is a beautiful bike.

Eric2Tex
05-11-2010, 10:02 AM
As there are a number of BMW aficionados responding to this post. I sat on both the RT and the GT and wondered why there were two similar bikes with appeared to me to only have different motors. What are the real differences in the two bikes. I think the GT is a beautiful bike.

You answered your own question, some folks prefer the twin, some prefer the I4, there are many differences other than the motor, front suspension is duo lever on the gt as opposed to the telelever on the RT. The twin is much easier to work on than the GT, but isn't as fast. Both get better mileage than their predecessors, but the twin might have slightly better.

BMW attempted to stop making the twins in the mid 80s, but customer outcry cancelled that. IMO, the twin is a more practical powerplant. Personally I prefer the looks of the GT over the RT.

kurt
05-11-2010, 12:05 PM
I found the insurance to be vastly different as well. The GT's was twice that of the RT when I compared.

DFW_Warrior
05-13-2010, 07:19 PM
I think it was my latest edition of Motorcyclist that touted the new RT as one of the best sport tourers ever made. That is a pretty good review if you ask me.

trainman
05-13-2010, 09:14 PM
Just ask this new BMW owner who purchased a used 07 G1200GS Adventure with 9000 miles on it in March 2010 what he thinks of the bike. :rider: All I can say is, why did I wait so long.

John

ben1364
05-14-2010, 07:33 AM
I would have to agree, based on personal experience. It is certainly the overall best I have ever ridden, bar none.

I think it was my latest edition of Motorcyclist that touted the new RT as one of the best sport tourers ever made. That is a pretty good review if you ask me.

ghostrider1964
05-14-2010, 08:28 AM
Though I don't own an RT, I have rode several and maintain several for friends. all of these guys roll the miles. The 96 R1100RT I maintain is closing in on 100K and only minor maintenance. The 1150 has about 60K with NO problems...basic service and tires....the 06 R1200RT had EWS Ring replaced under warranty but did not fail, it was done preventively. Not sure how new you are looking to buy but I would not hesitate to own one. I have considered getting me one in addition to my GSs. I would like to get an 08 RT or late twinspark 1150 RT. I am really partial to the solid feel of the 1150 though the 1200 is faster if speed is a consideration.

ben1364
05-14-2010, 08:52 AM
Though I don't own an RT, I have rode several and maintain several for friends. all of these guys roll the miles. The 96 R1100RT I maintain is closing in on 100K and only minor maintenance. The 1150 has about 60K with NO problems...basic service and tires....the 06 R1200RT had EWS Ring replaced under warranty but did not fail, it was done preventively. Not sure how new you are looking to buy but I would not hesitate to own one. I have considered getting me one in addition to my GSs. I would like to get an 08 RT or late twinspark 1150 RT. I am really partial to the solid feel of the 1150 though the 1200 is faster if speed is a consideration.

The R12RT is also lighter and has a lower COG than the R11/1150RTs. It also is more fuel efficient. I don't know much about the Cam Head engines in the latest R12s but would imagine that they are also great touring/sport bikes.

Red Brown
05-14-2010, 09:36 AM
[U][B] I had been thinking about a Honda ST1300 but I keep coming back to the BMW. I'm now sitting here thinking about getting one...maybe a used one....2 or 3 years old.


I would suggest you test ride both for more than just a few minutes. You might consider renting both of them. The ST is heavier and to some people they dislike the added heft, so they look elsewhere. A well-maintained ST can be had for around $7,000.

With upgraded suspension, custom seat, windscreen, the ST tends to be quite reliable, comfortable and nimble. Honda has recently raised prices but I would never purchase new, so that is not an issue. My second choice would have been the FJR but at the time, it was almost next to impossible to get a test ride.

RB

Manfred
05-14-2010, 10:18 AM
Going back to the original post, Texagator asked, "I'm still under 40 and solidly middle class. Will this disqualify me? Is there some law that says I can't have one?"

Looking at his avatar might provide the answer. The BMWMOA crowd would likely not permit him to ride a beemer, maybe not even possess the logo! :rofl:

tog
05-30-2010, 03:18 PM
texas heat?

ben1364
05-30-2010, 04:54 PM
texas heat?

I'm not sure I understand your comment. It does indeed get hot in Texas, as it does in quite a few places. If we are talking motorcycles and heat, the R RT delivers less engine heat to the rider and passenger than many other bikes; notably less than the ST13. It also delivers considerably better fuel efficiency and has a superior suspension and brakes, in my opinion based on experience with both.

tog
05-30-2010, 05:58 PM
air flow with texas heat?

i like em for sure

heat with fairig is a worry

kurt
05-30-2010, 09:45 PM
I just spent two weeks watching four police RT's doing lots of low speed riding in temps up to 97 degrees. This abuse included lots of u-turns, hard braking, slipping the clutch to attain higher rpm's and much more. Not one of them overheated, or bioled the brake fluid. One high milage bike did burn a clutch however. I'm willing to bet they lead much harder lives than the average rider will ever throw at them.

h2000fb
05-30-2010, 10:12 PM
air flow with texas heat?

i like em for sure

heat with fairig is a worry

Heat? Compared to what - an ST or FJR? You will get much more heat from either over the RT. If you lower the RT's shield enough, you will get blasted.

rtprider
07-07-2010, 04:00 PM
I just spent two weeks watching four police RT's doing lots of low speed riding in temps up to 97 degrees. This abuse included lots of u-turns, hard braking, slipping the clutch to attain higher rpm's and much more. Not one of them overheated, or bioled the brake fluid. One high milage bike did burn a clutch however. I'm willing to bet they lead much harder lives than the average rider will ever throw at them.

I have a 1996 R1100RT-P (P = Police) which I bought with 10,000 miles of abuse by motor officers. The bike was a loaner that BMW would loan out to different police departments to try out which led to a low price I could afford. The clutch eventually needed replacement. However in civilian use they rarely ever need replacement. I understand the newer ones last even better due to their experience with police use.

Maintenance is pretty simple as far as modern high-tech bikes go. As others have written, valves do not need resetting every time the book says. That is just to get you in to the dealer's shop so they can make money by looking things over and tell you that you are in good shape! From what I know from owners of the new hexhead motors, the 1200 is a darn good motor! It has been refined quite a bit since the Oilhead design first came out in 1994. The final drives sometimes have trouble due to out-of-tolerance shimming at the factory but only a small percentage. The crap the salesman told you about too much dirt is a lie! GS's are made to get in the dirt, right? Tom Cutter at Rubber Chicken Racing does the best rebuilds on those and they last forever once rebuilt correctly - IF it does go bad. The newest ones are not supposed to have problems at all. The GS has a much steeper angle on the drive shaft which wears more on the u-joints but the other R-bikes do not have that problem. As it gets older you should keep an eye on your hydraulic clutch slave cylinder whenever doing maintenance and change/flush fluid once/year for both clutch and brakes. That is the kind of thing you should do with any brand of bike. BMW has been selling ABS-equipped bikes more than the other brands and they know how to do it. The power-assisted brakes of previous models were an answer to a problem that did not exist. Owners learned quickly to power up the brakes just to move it around in the garage. More trouble than they are worth even though they do stop really, really fast. For long distance rides (2-up or single) or weekend curve hunting, the RT does really well at both. There is no need for a second bike unless you want to get into the dirt and rocks! The front Telelever suspension is absolutely WONDERFUL! It beats any forks you have ever experienced! Personally, I love the flat twin boxer motors and I hope BMW never tries to kill them off like they almost did in the 1980s.

ben1364
07-08-2010, 04:16 AM
Very well stated, John. I had a '97 oilhead and a '05 hexhead RT and completely agree . Had I relied on internet chatter lone, I might never have considered BMW.

I have a 1996 R1100RT-P (P = Police) which I bought with 10,000 miles of abuse by motor officers. The bike was a loaner that BMW would loan out to different police departments to try out which led to a low price I could afford. The clutch eventually needed replacement. However in civilian use they rarely ever need replacement. I understand the newer ones last even better due to their experience with police use.

Maintenance is pretty simple as far as modern high-tech bikes go. As others have written, valves do not need resetting every time the book says. That is just to get you in to the dealer's shop so they can make money by looking things over and tell you that you are in good shape! From what I know from owners of the new hexhead motors, the 1200 is a darn good motor! It has been refined quite a bit since the Oilhead design first came out in 1994. The final drives sometimes have trouble due to out-of-tolerance shimming at the factory but only a small percentage. The crap the salesman told you about too much dirt is a lie! GS's are made to get in the dirt, right? Tom Cutter at Rubber Chicken Racing does the best rebuilds on those and they last forever once rebuilt correctly - IF it does go bad. The newest ones are not supposed to have problems at all. The GS has a much steeper angle on the drive shaft which wears more on the u-joints but the other R-bikes do not have that problem. As it gets older you should keep an eye on your hydraulic clutch slave cylinder whenever doing maintenance and change/flush fluid once/year for both clutch and brakes. That is the kind of thing you should do with any brand of bike. BMW has been selling ABS-equipped bikes more than the other brands and they know how to do it. The power-assisted brakes of previous models were an answer to a problem that did not exist. Owners learned quickly to power up the brakes just to move it around in the garage. More trouble than they are worth even though they do stop really, really fast. For long distance rides (2-up or single) or weekend curve hunting, the RT does really well at both. There is no need for a second bike unless you want to get into the dirt and rocks! The front Telelever suspension is absolutely WONDERFUL! It beats any forks you have ever experienced! Personally, I love the flat twin boxer motors and I hope BMW never tries to kill them off like they almost did in the 1980s.

ghostrider1964
07-09-2010, 09:10 AM
Bout to start my RT journey...have a deal working on 09 RT...not giving up my GSA though...

ben1364
07-09-2010, 01:29 PM
Bout to start my RT journey...have a deal working on 09 RT...not giving up my GSA though...

You will love it. In my opinion the GS, GS-A and the R RT are the most satisfying motorcycles on the planet in their respective classes.

ghostrider1964
07-09-2010, 01:53 PM
You will love it. In my opinion the GS, GS-A and the R RT are the most satisfying motorcycles on the planet in their respective classes.

I have owned alot of bikes and I love both my GS and GSA but I don't need two that do the same so trading 03 GS in:rider: