View Full Version : Best Handling of the Beemers?

05-20-2009, 04:07 AM
OK, I know this question is a bit loaded.

Of the current BMW models, which one would you say is the best handling for twisty, road riding on not so smooth, but paved, in-town roads? Err, the one with the most obviously recognizable, but hidden, fun element to the handling? I am not talking about the fastest bike, but the one with that all elusive hidden fun-factor to it?

Please, it would help if you have lots of experience with a variety of the BMW bikes.

"Mine" does not count! :doh


05-20-2009, 06:45 AM
Hmmm, I'd think it'd be a toss up between the R and the GS. The R is slightly lighter and possibly more flickable. The GS has those wide bars for lots of leverage and a longer suspension. The R doesn't fit me... the GS does.

Now the RT, ST, old RS, and S riders will chime in with reasons why I'm wrong. :nyah

05-20-2009, 09:44 AM
I guess it would be the F800.

05-20-2009, 10:26 AM
That's easy...R1200S with Ohlins suspenders :brow

05-20-2009, 12:48 PM
At home I ride a R11S, and like it for its versitility of running track days, then tossing bags on it and touring back roads.

That said I have ridden R11R, R12R, R1150GS, R12GS, R11RT, R12RT, R100GSPD, F650GS, F800ST and a R12-HP-2 enduro, in Supermoto trim, all in the Alps, where roads are definitely curvy and at times rough.

My solo favorite is the F800ST, my 2 up favorite is the R12GS. I have not ridden F800GS yet, but I could see where that may be the ultimate. The HP-2 was great, but the narrow seat and limited utility make it fun, but not a jack of all trades.

Were I to buy a bike strictly for street it would be an 800ST, or possibly the 800GS, love the motor and economy, good ergonomics too and I am over 6' and 210 lbs.

05-20-2009, 03:42 PM
That's easy...R1200S with Ohlins suspenders :brow

My guess would be BMW's latest and greatest, S1000RR.

J.K. :wow

05-20-2009, 05:14 PM
My guess would be BMW's latest and greatest, S1000RR.

J.K. :wow

:thumb It had better be the best!:stick


05-20-2009, 05:17 PM
IF you are going out for a few hours on some twisty then of course go with the latest and greatest S1000RR but if you are going out for few weeks and plan on putting some serious miles then I wonder if some peoples answers would change,say fully loaded and two up ,then what bike, my guess would be the GS,I prefer my RT very well rounded ,just would be able to handle the gravel and dirt as well as the GS..:brow :brow

05-20-2009, 06:24 PM
Any of the above, with Ohlins (or equivalent) and some Road Pilots of any flavor, or Pilot Power if you care less about how long they last. I am sure someone makes fork valves for the conventional suspension bikes.

Then get a track day (or more).

05-20-2009, 07:05 PM
My guess would be BMW's latest and greatest, S1000RR.

J.K. :wow

On "not so smooth but paved" roads? RR bikes tend to have very stiff suspension which will beat the rider up something fierce when ridden on what passes for back roads around here. Run-of-the-mill sport bikes tend to stay away. It's no fun riding a bike with 4" of suspension over roads made up of 6" deep potholes. :stick

05-20-2009, 07:57 PM
...which...is the best handling...

It would be one of the HP2's; just a question of which one. Probably the Megamoto.

05-20-2009, 11:28 PM
Sticking to the question as asked;

We've had five beemers between us, and I'd have to say my wife's F800ST (lowered version) is the most fun that I've rode on the sort of roads described.
The funny part is, we both like it because it handles almost as well as our mid-nineties Honda CBR 600s did.
It is fun wringing out my R1200ST, however, like all the other "big" beemers it is too fat.
I rode an Interceptor for the first time last night...
In one ride, I was able to match or exceed the best my beemer could do without even pushing it; and when I parked it, my hands weren't numb, and my butt wasn't sore.

05-21-2009, 12:00 AM
Wasn't the question about "not so smooth paved roads"? Who said anything about 6" potholes, or unavailable S1000RR's?

The original question was about currently available BMWs and the elusive "fun factor". Follow the rules already :nyah

05-21-2009, 12:08 AM
Rider Magazine Bike of the Year?

800 GS!!!!

05-21-2009, 12:26 AM
Having ridden a few BMW's and many other brands over the years, I think my R1200RT is a great handling bike but when I get a chance to steal the wifes R1200ST the fun begins. For a good time I vote for the ST.

05-21-2009, 01:40 AM
Kind people, only Ben seems to get it. The R1200s is the bomb for this kind of riding. Frankly for most kinds of riding. Did I mention R1200s? :beer

05-21-2009, 03:33 AM
What does Ben get and why do you ride a bomb, actually the St and the S are no longer availiable (in the USA anyway)., so it counts us both out, but then I didn't get it.

05-21-2009, 03:43 AM
since we are talking FUN...

Ride and own a 1100S... it is a kick, ridden a 1200S,RT,R,ST, GS and GSA, own the GSA and the RT...They all have unique qualities and all do well on the roads you describe. I PREFER the GSA cause unless you are wringing out that S to it's full potential...Your gonna see me smiling my butt off as I pass you on the goofy looking, shouldn't be handling that well GSA! Happens all the time with the sportbike crowd and they just shake their head seeing those aluminum boxes breeze by! Legally of course:D

Have not ridden a 800GS, but did a 800ST...fun but I like the boxers feel and the 800 felt small to me at 6'1" and 199lbs. It did make me smile however cause its pretty smooth and peppy.

Now my K1200S/ RS buddies, I only get past them at the low water crossings when they slow way down:laugh :laugh :laugh That's a couple of bikes that will fun you all day long.

05-21-2009, 04:16 AM
That's easy...R1200S with Ohlins suspenders :brow

Ya' mean like this one? Soon to have wheels swapped for BST CF wheels?


I could not agree more!

05-21-2009, 01:23 PM
Your gonna see me smiling my butt off as I pass you on the goofy looking, shouldn't be handling that well GSA! Happens all the time with the sportbike crowd and they just shake their head seeing those aluminum boxes breeze by! Legally of course:D

Maybe they were shaking their heads for another reason.
I rode sportbikes, and beemers (airhead, oilhead & hexhead).

About to open a can of worms here:
1. It's all about the rider. The same rider will get better results out of a sportbike than a sport-tour, tour, or "adventure" SUV (oops) bike.
2. The better rider may out ride another rider, in spite of being on a less capable bike. That's not some hidden ability the machine has, or some miracle of teutonic engineering. The ultimate difference is the pilot.
3. That could have been Freddie Spencer you were passing for all you know. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. I've been out on a sportbike before and had someone with something to prove shoot past before, and let him/her ride on thinking they or their machine is hot stuff.

Once I was on a group ride (I don't do that often, because it seems to bring out the above behavior in others) with friends. I was on the ubiquitous 600 that forum posters frequently use as their target for what their bikes can "dust".
Two others were on 900s, and another was riding another 600.
A rider on a tour bike followed us for some time, we even rode single file for a long stretch to let him pass. He didn't. He waited until we were approaching the first of the moderate bends and decided to pass just before, I suppose so that we could follow him and be amazed either at his profound talent or his bike's ability in "the twisties". We backed off, rather than give him an audience and encourage more foolishness, and lost sight of him for a few minutes...
'Till we rolled up on the scene and became his first care providers.
Lucky for Mr "I can dust a squid in the twisties on my tour bike", we were all GIs.
All of us had a lot more first aid training than he should have counted on, and fortunately, one was an IDMT (an EMT in civilian jargon).
I never saw the guy again, but I heard stories about similar behavior from him before; it's not that big a town. Some of the quotes attributed to him were a lot like the claims made periodically on this forum; not blowhard boasting, but definitely the same sort of inflated idea of his bike's capabilities, and the inevitable comparisons to us "squids on 600s".

05-21-2009, 10:08 PM
Larry, cheers! :thumb Wish I could afford a stable of bikes. I can only afford one, the S is it. There are still some 2008's out and about. Some points to support the 1200s. From a sporting view, it's extremely capable. A slightly modified S won it's inaugural season in the Canadian Thunder series against established teams from Ducati and Buell. It doesn't have the full out push of the 4's, but the boxer S twin is a tremendous mill with great torque. The Ohlins setup is ace. I can't identify another large capacity sports twin that also provides the reliability, ease of maintenance, and special combination of attributes of this bike. Telepathic handling. No fork maintenance. Big Twin sound. Big Twin torque and more horsepower than most can use on the road. Hard Luggage option. Very comfortable ergonomics for a sportbike. I don't hesitate to tour on it. I sport ride with it. It's a great all round ride. Cheers!

05-22-2009, 12:47 PM
Final note on the R1200S...after buying one and riding it in several scenarios (sport touring, aggressive sport biking, etc), I have to say it is probably the best all around bike I have ever owned (and I've owned a lot of bikes in the 40+ years I've been riding).

I'm actually surprised that I don't see more discussion of them here. I'm also surprised that BMW does not sell them here anymore. This bike is the best kept secret in the world in my opinion! I do not see the HP2 model as a viable alternative for the masses.

I also do not see the S1000R as a viable alternative for the R1200S rider...totally different kind of bike competing with japanese 4's (which is a battle I do not see BMW winning at this late stage).

Anyway, there are some around if you look. I'm keeping mine :heart Go find your own!

By the way, I also have an Aprilia RSVR 1000 Factory so don't take me too seriously!

05-22-2009, 03:37 PM
It's all about the rider.

No worms here...

I agree... The Dragons Tree of Shame can attest to that. When an RT is waved past a Ducati and a MV/Agusta going 35 MPH, you know it's not the equipment. I have provided first response first aid to many folks thru the years and sometimes have seen it coming. I don't judge.

The post was about FUN factor... and in fun I made that comment. I also wish the 1200S was still in the line up as well...very sweet bike.

I have ridden about anything for quite a few years. I don't ride to "dust" squids or anybody, I have been passed by the same 600 sportbikes with competent and sometimes not so riders, no biggie...just ride to have fun and know my limitations and the bike I am riding at that moment. We live in the middle of some very popular riding areas...If any bike is meandering 5 to 10 under the limit and braking at every slight curve, that's their choice and I do not feel bad passing them when I deem it safe. The Hyabusa's with the extended swingarms just don't roll the corners and they have plenty of oomph. I do ride in groups at times and know the mentality it sometimes brings. The fast boys go fast and the rest of us do our thing. I don't judge.
The headshakers usually come up at the next stop and we share stories and a few laughs...they are amazed the big GS can "hang". I was on the 1100S last week and a riding buddy on his new Honda RR1000...I knew I was outgunned but we still had FUN.

05-22-2009, 10:33 PM

No judgement perceived or implied.
I enjoy a good ride, really exploring what the bike and I can do, too.
(On the subject of sportbikes, I'd be content with a '92 CBR900RR, the new stuff is great, but I'd have to live next to a track to get anywhere near what it can do.)

On the road, I have just learned to back off whenever an unknown rider appears to be entering my "safety zone". I have tried just rolling away when the road permits, but sometimes the reaction I get is someone taking that as throwing down the gauntlet and speeding up as well. So instead I'll usually let them keep going, maybe even stop for a drink of water or to take a leak.
He or she will feel like they're hot stuff, and I'll just be the wisened gunfighter in the old westerns, who doesn't feel the need to prove anything...
If it's not mission essential, why waste the ammo?
Like I said, I don't know who's under the helmet; and I wouldn't want an otherwise great ride to end in tears.


05-23-2009, 12:07 AM
My vote would be for the bike that gets you through unscathed when you find yourself in a turn, leaned WAY over, expecting to lowside off the pavement at any moment, screaming "OH SH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!T!"...then when you're safely past it, you giggle and think to yourself, "hey, I did it!"*


*The bike that did this for me is the R1200GS but YMMV.