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osbornk
08-10-2007, 02:07 PM
I have 2 friends that each have a 2007 R1200RT. I can't comfortably ride them due to the high seat. A short inseam and weak muscles and a top heavy bike does not work for many of us. Why does BMW insist on making most of their bikes with very hgh seats? I had both a K100RT and a K75RT and I was never comfortable with them due to the high seat (I lowered as much as possible) and top heaviness of the bikes. I then got a R80RT that was still relatively high but the weight and top heaviness was better. I added a R1200 CLC that worked much better with the lower seat but they discontinued it.

I think cruisers have their large market share because of the lower seat height that allows people of limited stature and smaller people (height and strength) to ride more easily.

I like BMWs and want to continue to ride them but I may wait a long time or never upgrade unless BMW changes their bikes (BMWs have driveshafts and boxer motors-others are BMWs in name only).

Tom K.
08-10-2007, 03:38 PM
Have you tried the (no cost) optional low seat for the RT - IIRC, it reduces the seat height from 32" to about 30.5"? Also, did you make certain the seat was in it's lower position?

redclfco
08-10-2007, 03:45 PM
I have 2 friends that each have a 2007 R1200RT. I can't comfortably ride them due to the high seat. A short inseam and weak muscles and a top heavy bike does not work for many of us. Why does BMW insist on making most of their bikes with very hgh seats? I had both a K100RT and a K75RT and I was never comfortable with them due to the high seat (I lowered as much as possible) and top heaviness of the bikes. I then got a R80RT that was still relatively high but the weight and top heaviness was better. I added a R1200 CLC that worked much better with the lower seat but they discontinued it.

I think cruisers have their large market share because of the lower seat height that allows people of limited stature and smaller people (height and strength) to ride more easily.

I like BMWs and want to continue to ride them but I may wait a long time or never upgrade unless BMW changes their bikes (BMWs have driveshafts and boxer motors-others are BMWs in name only).


BMW used to make models with a LS designation, I owned one and loved it, but being 5'11, it was always a bit small for me, much happier with the heighth of my GS. The bike was a 1984 R65 LS Wonder what happened to this type of designation? anybody know?

PAGoldsby
08-10-2007, 03:56 PM
I've been looking for a used airhead GS, and occasionally consider an early oilhead RT. I think about 80% of the ads that I see mention the bike being lowered (GS) or that the lower seat is fitted (RT). At 6'-5", 37" inseam, neither of these options work for me! However, my own independent study of the used BMW market leads me to believe that there are many riders not as tall as me who readily adapt the BMW product line to fit them. It seems to me that it's probably easier for the manufacturer to design in provisions for a lower seat height, than a taller one.

The tallest motorcycle I ever rode was a '97 (or so - they were the same for eons) Cagiva Elefant. I was either tip-toe, or had to lean significantly to one side on one foot at stops. That was a tall mount!

osbornk
08-10-2007, 08:38 PM
I've been looking for a used airhead GS, and occasionally consider an early oilhead RT. I think about 80% of the ads that I see mention the bike being lowered (GS) or that the lower seat is fitted (RT). At 6'-5", 37" inseam, neither of these options work for me! However, my own independent study of the used BMW market leads me to believe that there are many riders not as tall as me who readily adapt the BMW product line to fit them. It seems to me that it's probably easier for the manufacturer to design in provisions for a lower seat height, than a taller one.

The tallest motorcycle I ever rode was a '97 (or so - they were the same for eons) Cagiva Elefant. I was either tip-toe, or had to lean significantly to one side on one foot at stops. That was a tall mount!

Almost everyone is not as tall as you. The lowered GSs and the lower seats on RTs work fine for most but they are still a problem for us folks whose inseam is in the upper 20s.

PAGoldsby
08-10-2007, 10:14 PM
Almost everyone is not as tall as you.You're telling me ?!?!? I haven't bought a pair of trousers off-the-rack since the first Reagan administration! ;)


The lowered GSs and the lower seats on RTs work fine for most but they are still a problem for us folks whose inseam is in the upper 20s.I would presume that BMW is designing their motorcycles to hit the 95th-percentile rider, which would probably be about 30" to 34" inseam. That puts both you and me outside the spectrum. I suppose, for me, it's always possible to add an inch of padding to the seat, and for me to get used to having my knees next to my ears while riding. For you, though, the seat can only be taken out "so much".

Do the same folks who make lowering kits for the GS make them for R, RT models?

knary
08-10-2007, 11:04 PM
Almost everyone is not as tall as you. The lowered GSs and the lower seats on RTs work fine for most but they are still a problem for us folks whose inseam is in the upper 20s.


Lowered bikes scrape hard bits easily and otherwise feel just odd. IMHO.

Some people prefer a lower bike. Some don't care. I'm in the middle. I want to be able to get most of one foot down with nothing more than a slight slip of the butt. Anything more, and the bike feels weirdly low and is almost guaranteed to be tight in the knees (if it has any room to lean). I'm a rather average 5'10" or so.

How tall are you?

wezul
08-10-2007, 11:10 PM
I think it's as much about inseam as total height. I'm about 6'1 but my inseam is only about 31 1/2 - 32 ish. The Gods had a laugh that day, I'll bet. On my RT with standard seat in the low position with a sheepskin I'm maxed out but I'm not on my toes. Once I'm rolling the bike is quite comfortable and I'm thinking if it were the other way around my knees and legs might feel cramped after a distance, so the compromise is ok.

pgods
08-11-2007, 12:16 AM
My girlfriend Susan rides an R1150R with short shocks from WP. She's 5'5" tall/ 115lbs. She's also on the low saddle.
She can (almost) get both feet firmly planted on the ground!
LOVES her bike!

osbornk
08-11-2007, 12:27 AM
Lowered bikes scrape hard bits easily and otherwise feel just odd. IMHO.

Some people prefer a lower bike. Some don't care. I'm in the middle. I want to be able to get most of one foot down with nothing more than a slight slip of the butt. Anything more, and the bike feels weirdly low and is almost guaranteed to be tight in the knees (if it has any room to lean). I'm a rather average 5'10" or so.

How tall are you?

I'm just under 5'7" and short of inseam. On my mother's side of the family, I had an uncle that looked like Stringbean (long torso, short legs). A tall person with a short inseam may not be able to reach the ground with his or her feel flat but a tall person has a hugh advantage with leverage with keeping the bike upright. A lot of people who would like to ride BMWs but are short in stature or inseam have bought Harleys, Shadows, V-Stars and other bikes that cater to their "disability".

The thing I don't understand about BMW, I had 2 K-RT bikes that I had to tip-toe with but the knee room was still inadequate. I apprediated the ground clearance of my K bikes and Airhead once I was up and moving but you have to stop occasionally.

deilenberger
08-11-2007, 04:20 AM
I think it's as much about inseam as total height. I'm about 6'1 but my inseam is only about 31 1/2 - 32 ish. The Gods had a laugh that day, I'll bet.It's actually only about inseam. Mine is 27" on a tall day. So far I've owned an R65, K100RT, K75S, R1150RS and now an R1200R.

The R1200R was the easiest to adapt. The low seat option puts me so I can get the balls of both feet down at the same time. Shocks from Hyperpro-US lowered the bike by 1/2" - and I can comfortably get one foot flat and one ball-of the foot now. That's plenty for me.

K's were harder to reach simply because of the width of the frame above the engine. Splays the legs out so they effectively become much shorter than they are - in my case almost impossibly short.

I'm pretty pleased with the Roadster height/seating - only thing that's a bit bothersome is my legs are fairly bent when riding - lower pegs are in the offing (have them - haven't put them on yet..)

RRainman
08-11-2007, 04:31 AM
To answer your question "Why so high?", the answer is ground clearance. With two big jugs sticking out the side, the height is needed to avoid scraping them on the ground. This then drives the height of the seat further up.

wezul
08-11-2007, 06:43 AM
It's actually only about inseam. Mine is 27

And here I thought that Darwin had inflicted "chimpism" only on yours truly. Misery likes company, NOT. Still I have 4 almost 5 inches on you all so I sympathise with your plight.

cjack
08-11-2007, 11:35 AM
It's actually only about inseam. Mine is 27" on a tall day. So far I've owned an R65, K100RT, K75S, R1150RS and now an R1200R.

The R1200R was the easiest to adapt. The low seat option puts me so I can get the balls of both feet down at the same time. Shocks from Hyperpro-US lowered the bike by 1/2" - and I can comfortably get one foot flat and one ball-of the foot now. That's plenty for me.

K's were harder to reach simply because of the width of the frame above the engine. Splays the legs out so they effectively become much shorter than they are - in my case almost impossibly short.

I'm pretty pleased with the Roadster height/seating - only thing that's a bit bothersome is my legs are fairly bent when riding - lower pegs are in the offing (have them - haven't put them on yet..)

Interesting. This is the first time I have understood the cruiser. Low bike and legs forward to get them straight.
On the other side of the coin, I have ridden an S or RS since before there was an R90S and in my case I just dangle my legs at speed for a half minute now and then to stretch out.

greenwald
08-11-2007, 01:12 PM
BMW is simply manufacturing bikes with ergonomics suited to the results of their market research, like any savy corporation would do.

The vast majority of BMW motorcycles (production run last year of approx. 100,000) never make it to the USA. We see only 12,000 - 16,000 units hit our shores for retail and law enforcement contracts.

Most BMW's, though spread throughout the world, are predominently sold in Europe.

Recent statistics shore up a notion that has been brewing for some time now: the US is an obese nation, and we no longer have the tallest population, as we once did. That 'honor' belongs to Europe, and those inseams have been rewarded by BMW, Triumph, Ducati, etc. for years. Now don't over-react. That doesn't mean if you're short, you are also fat, anymore than me being tall means I'm slender (anything but!).

That being said, I think BMW owes the American market some consideration, above and beyond the F800 series recently introduced. There are many loyal BMW riders here and all heights should be accomodated.

Time will tell, but keep up the pressure on corporate BMW, and we'll see what happens.

osbornk
08-11-2007, 10:13 PM
To answer your question "Why so high?", the answer is ground clearance. With two big jugs sticking out the side, the height is needed to avoid scraping them on the ground. This then drives the height of the seat further up.

That would make sense if all they sold were boxers but they're not. Both the old and new K bikes are inline engines and the 650s are a single vertical engine and they are also tall.

The only large production motorcycle I can think of that has had a long history of a low seat is Harley. The early Japanese bikes were all very tall bikes made by short people. I had problems with my GT Suzukis and my CB Hondas but I had no other choice. The Japanese paid attention to the market and we got Shadows, Magnas, Viragos, etc. us short people. How do you grow market share when you don't make a product for about 1/3 of your potential customers (have you noticed the large number of women riding Sportsters?)

deilenberger
08-12-2007, 03:33 AM
That being said, I think BMW owes the American market some consideration, above and beyond the F800 series recently introduced. There are many loyal BMW riders here and all heights should be accomodated.

Time will tell, but keep up the pressure on corporate BMW, and we'll see what happens.I believe BMW is considering the normal inseam market (us) with the new low-seat/low-suspension F800 twin. I would expect that if it sold in a significant number - that would be an impetus to consider making other models for people with less than 34" inseams. So - the ball is in the 30" and under inseam people's court now..

(First low-low was seen by a friend at Cross Country BMW - with the BMW photographic agency and some models there to take ad photos of it - apparently even BMW-NA doesn't have one yet..)

sachiwilson
08-14-2007, 06:08 PM
I'm another 5'7" woman but that's pretty tall for my sex. I have a fairly easy time finding bikes. I tried the F800 and liked it A LOT. I am not in the market at the mo but I've been encouraging plenty of my female friends to check out the offerings at our local dealer - and two of them have bought boxers. One of the women is UNDER 5' TALL. She really had to modify that R1200 (I think it was an R model) but she can ride it.

Perhaps what is needed is more advertising of the lowering options? I know that when my group went to test ride the BMWs, the dealer made sure it had lowered models available, and TOLD us they were available. It made a difference. The dealer also bent over backwards to talk to the women about what it could and could not do to adjust various models to fit them. However, this (afaict) was an individualized effort by the dealer. By contrast, Harley clearly is targeting women (and shorter riders in general) and makes it clear to them that the bikes can fit.

ZARINELLI
08-15-2007, 02:48 PM
One of the women is UNDER 5' TALL. She really had to modify that R1200 (I think it was an R model) but she can ride it.

Zarinelli Wife here - I am wanting to upgrade to an R1200R and I have very stubby legs. I would be extremely interested in knowing which bike your friend got, exactly what she did to it to make it fit her and her impressions (likes/dislikes) of the lowered bike. Would it be possible to find out that information from her? :D

Madhatter
08-15-2007, 04:08 PM
I love my '07 RT, but at 6'4" and a 35" inseam, the seat is a little low. After a while, my knee starts to ache. I got a Corbin and asked them to build the seat up a bit, but even that was low. (I don't think they built it up really, but the firmness helps). I'm think of getting peg extensions. Just goes to prove that you can please some people some of the time, but not all people all the time. BWTFDIK?

-- Jack

lawman
08-15-2007, 08:48 PM
the low seat option on the newer RT's makes a tremendous difference for an average sized rider (5'11"/32")

sachiwilson
08-15-2007, 09:54 PM
Zarinelli Wife here - I am wanting to upgrade to an R1200R and I have very stubby legs. I would be extremely interested in knowing which bike your friend got, exactly what she did to it to make it fit her and her impressions (likes/dislikes) of the lowered bike. Would it be possible to find out that information from her? :D
I'll ask, but it may take a while -- she just left on a long trip to Colorado and points east! :p PM me and let's link up - it will be easier than trying to communicate in this thread.

osbornk
08-16-2007, 02:44 AM
the low seat option on the newer RT's makes a tremendous difference for an average sized rider (5'11"/32")

If the low seat options makes a tremendous difference for the average sized rider, the less than average size rider is pretty much left out in the cold.

gulfcoastbeemer
08-16-2007, 06:26 PM
I'm 6'2", with a 32" inseam. I ride an '07 R1200RT and love the height of the seat with respect to foot pegs, and handbar placement. I find the erogonics very "neutral".

I used to ride, among other things a Harley Road Glide, and was concerned about making the switch to the RT. Initially, I found the seat very high -- which of course, it is by comparison to the Harley -- yet I quickly adjusted to its height. So much so that I raised the RT seat to the higher position. Later, when I went back to ride the Harley, its low seat felt very strange -- like I wasn't really in control of the bike.

I think BMW rider ergonomics reflect a more athletic, European riding style.

If you want a "slammed, low" cruiser, a BMW is definitely the wrong way to go. Then again, I've seen some gals who are no more than 5'3" riding stock BMWs without a problem. Okay, they are on the tip toes -- but, without complaints.

And as for "top-heavy", I don't think a high seat is what makes a bike top heavy. I found the Harley, even with its low seat, to be much more "top heavy". Just look at its gas tank, vertical cylinders, heavier frame and fairing design.