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Thread: New to BMW's- New R1200RT

  1. #1
    pabl067
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    New to BMW's- New R1200RT

    Hi all,

    Just want to say hi to everybody as I have been lurking for a couple weeks now. I picked up my '07 R1200RT a couple of months and 3000 miles ago, having never owned a new motorcycle in my life. Previous bikes were mostly 15+ year old Yamahas by the time they were new to me.

    The suspension, handling, and brakes on the RT and the other BMW's I checked out left me speechless. The electronically adjustable windshield on the RT sealed the deal for me. The fact that the dealer in my area always had coffee and conversation (and an open offer to test ride) is what drew me toward BMW. I have been ignored at car dealers, etc. in the past. (Sometimes I go out looking like I don't have two nickels to rub together. ) The riders dropping in to talk or shop are also always very friendly.

    So I am looking forward to learning about these bikes, doing some road trips, and I am very fascinated by the thought of motorcycle camping. I am looking forward to picking up all I can from other people's experience and knowledge.

    Thanks,

    -pablo

  2. #2
    charleshickman
    Guest
    Welcome Pablo

    I hope that your new ride lives up to your expectations. Try some BMW rallies. They are usually a chance to ride interesting roads and meet interesting people.

  3. #3
    JIMK23
    Guest
    Congrats on your new R1200RT. I just bought a new '06 and love it. I was going to put a set of Wunderlich case guards on mine but the lower bracket two back holes did not match up of the holes in the engine block. About 1/8" off center. The instructions said you might have to modify to fit and I hoped that was not the case, but it was. I am returning them. I am looking for another brand of case guard. Do you have any case guards on your 1200?
    Anybody have a recommention on case guarsds?

  4. #4
    Registered User SilverRT's Avatar
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    New to BMW's- New R1200RT

    You chose a great "starter" motorcycle. I picked up my '07 RT early this year and have 4,700 miles with no issues. It is my third BMW and I plan on keeping it for while. I've gone camping a few times and I'm able to get all my gear (tent, chair, pad & sleeping bag) in the huge trunk. I'm planning a 6 day trip with no need to strap on extra bags. I've learned much from these forums, including where to go for the best price.
    R1200RT '07, F650CS '03 & Suzuki Bergman '03
    R1150RT 2004 & K75RT 1993 Sold

    "It's all about the journey, make the best of the road you find yourself on."

  5. #5
    gulfcoastbeemer
    Guest
    Welcome Pablo,

    I have an '07 R1200RT as well. I had a Gold Wing, but after I rode my wife's '05 R1200RT I quickly made the switch.

    I've put over 14K miles on the bike since November. My bike came with Dunlops, which I replaced with Metzeler Z6 tires -- great sport-touring tire IMHO.

    I hope you are enjoying your RT as much as my wife and I are. We attended the BMW-RA Rally that was held on the grounds of the Asheville Biltmore Estate. About 95% of the attendees were campers -- beautiful place to camp along the French Broad River. BWM people are great company and happy campers.

    We couldn't make the MOA Rally, due to family commitments, but I'm sure it was a blast. Enjoy the new RT and your new BMW friends.

    Tom

  6. #6
    Roadster Rider sjbmw's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new bike.

    You are a hop from Watkins Glen State Park, a perfect opportunity for you to camp and meet some other beemer riders, this Labor day weekend:

    The Finger Lakes Rally!

    http://www.fingerlakesbmw.org/rally/index.php
    Sig? What's a Sig?

  7. #7
    dickhein
    Guest

    Best Price

    "I've learned much from these forums, including where to go for the best price."

    Where do you go for the best price?

  8. #8
    dickhein
    Guest

    Oops!

    How does one include quotes from a prior reply? My sun soaked brain just doesn't pick this stuff up as fast as it used to.

  9. #9
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pabl067 View Post
    So I am looking forward to learning about these bikes, doing some road trips, and I am very fascinated by the thought of motorcycle camping. I am looking forward to picking up all I can from other people's experience and knowledge.

    Thanks,

    -pablo
    Welcome.
    Excellent choice but holy cats that's a big first step. May I suggest an MSF course, well worth your time even if you think you are an experienced rider.
    I like my R12RT alot, it's a great bike and yes I can confirm your comments on the suspension. Enjoy and be safe!

  10. #10
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickhein View Post
    How does one include quotes from a prior reply? My sun soaked brain just doesn't pick this stuff up as fast as it used to.
    Hit that "Quote" button on the lower right corner of the message you want to show in your post.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #11
    professor
    Guest
    Hey Gulf Coast Beemer,

    I've test-ridden a new Goldwing and was very impressed. I've test-ridden a new R1200RT and was very impressed.

    Since you have owned both, please tell me how they compare. I'm trying to make a decision between them.

    Thanks.

  12. #12
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Professor View Post
    Hey Gulf Coast Beemer,
    I've test-ridden a new Goldwing and was very impressed. I've test-ridden a new R1200RT and was very impressed.
    Since you have owned both, please tell me how they compare. I'm trying to make a decision between them.
    Thanks.
    Don't know if this will help - but I traded a 1988 GL1500 on a 2006 R1200RT. After 68,000 miles on the GL and 17,000 on the RT, I've observed that:

    The GL was a superb 2 up touring machine with nearly 6 cu.ft. of luggage capacity. The RT is an excellent solo tourer with about 4 cu. ft. of lockable storage. If most of my riding was still 2 up, I'd opt for the Wing or the LT. But since my wife and I use a Z4 for touring, the RT works best for me.

    The GL handled very well for it's size above 20 mph - below that, the 900 lbs. was very apparent. The RT handles very well at low speeds and is as stable as the GL on the interstate - with the exception of a bit more wind buffeting from SUVs and trucks.

    Stock seat on the GL was excellent allowing for 500 mile days riding 2 up. The stock seat on my RT has been replaced. As a corollary, the ergonomics on the GL fit me (5'10", 30"inseam) perfectly, where the RT has benefited from the seat replacement, windshield replacement, lowered pegs and barbacks.

    Gas mileage on the GL was 38, on the RT - 50.

    The GL, with a glass smooth engine was a great touring platform - but quite car-like. The RT's boxer twin reminds you that you're on a motorcycle. I'm always aware of the engine, but not bothered by the small amount of vibration.

    While I haven't ridden the GL 1800, I suspect it is not too different from the 1500.

    Tom

  13. #13
    pabl067
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by wezul View Post
    Welcome.
    Excellent choice but holy cats that's a big first step. May I suggest an MSF course, well worth your time even if you think you are an experienced rider.
    I like my R12RT alot, it's a great bike and yes I can confirm your comments on the suspension. Enjoy and be safe!
    Hey all,
    Thanks for making me feel welcome and the good pointers and advice. Fear not-I am far from new to motorcycles - just new to new motorcycles. I have tens of thousands of miles on different bikes - though I didn't know it was cool to log them (or name your bike) until recently. I have been enjoying not only many miles (3800 so far) on the RT, but also all the folks I have met-as well as the interesting, educational, and entertaining posts I find here. I am looking to definitely check out a rally in the near future and I intend to sign up for a rider safety course this summer because I have never taken one.

    Ride safe,
    paul
    1200RT

  14. #14
    gulfcoastbeemer
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Professor View Post
    Hey Gulf Coast Beemer,

    I've test-ridden a new Goldwing and was very impressed. I've test-ridden a new R1200RT and was very impressed.

    Since you have owned both, please tell me how they compare. I'm trying to make a decision between them.

    Thanks.
    I had an '04 GL1800 Gold Wing for about 50,000 miles. I've had my '07 R1200RT for about 14,000 miles.

    Comfort: The Gold Wing operator seat is comfortable to a point. I'm 6'2". I felt cramped. I was having a problem with the riding position. You can't just slide back on the Gold Wing seat -- there is a shallow, built-in, backrest between you the passenger seat. Frequently, I would get, what I might describe as, a muscle spasm in my hips. Since I couldn't stretch my legs or slide back on the seat, I would have to stand for a while to get rid of the spasm. The RT has a rather spartan seat by comparison. Yet, I find the RT much more comfortable thanks to its narrower body and sportier, more athletic, riding position.

    The Gold Wing windshield is manually adjustable, and only while you are parked. The on the fly, electronically adjustable RT windshield is much better -- a big plus.

    I would rate the weather protection of the RT to be superior to that of the wing. BMW designers have done a remarkable job with the aerodynamics.

    If you frequently carry a passenger, don't let them ride on a Gold Wing unless you plan to buying it. The passenger seat is that good -- it's a huge overstuffed lounge chair. Of course, when you ride alone, that huge, overstuffed lounge chair is still there. Somehow a Gold Wing looks strange without a passenger filling the void between the rider and the trunk.

    Engine: The Gold Wing engine is extremely quiet and smooth -- to the point of being annoying. I know that sounds silly. But, I felt it lacked "feedback". Given that I can actual hear and feel the RT's engine, I have much more throttle control with the RT. The Gold Wing throttle seems almost "binary" -- on or off. The GL1800 engine has enough torque to cause you to get "lazy" with the gearbox. It also throws off a lot of heat. Honda has done what they can to control the heat flow around the rider and passenger -- it's not nearly the problem of the Honda ST1300 -- but, you know you are riding through a plume of engine heat thrown from its side radiators. The RT has it all over the Gold Wing when it come to airflow, and directing engine heat away from you. Of coarse the highly efficient, 4-value, 1170cc RT engine is less than 2/3 the size of the less sophisticated, 2-value, 1832cc GL1800 boxer.

    Transmission: The Gold Wing has a 5-speed gearbox. The RT has a 6-speed gearbox. The RT gearbox/clutch combo is not as smooth as that of the Gold Wing. The Gold Wing has a reverse gear which uses the starter motor. Given the weight of the GL1800, the reverse gear is more a requirement than a novelty.

    Luggage: The saddlebags on the Gold Wing are big and relatively aerodynamic, but they are NOT removable. I love that you can easily remove the saddlebags and (optional) top case on the R1200RT -- a truly great luggage system. Plus, the BMW RT tank bag is fantastic -- there is nothing like that available for the Gold Wing. I would score the luggage capability of the RT as better and much more flexible than that of the Gold Wing.

    Brakes: No contest. The BMW R1200RT brakes are far superior. Of course, you are stopping a much lighter bike. The RT has linked brakes when using the front lever only -- a plus in my book. The Gold Wing brakes are linked when using either the front lever or rear pedal. The RT is vastly superior to the Gold Wing when it comes to brake control.

    Handling: Again, a no-brainer. The Gold Wing handling is remarkable given its weight, but you cannot compare a heavy full-blown touring bike against a nimble sport-touring bike in this category. The RT has superior handling. The Gold Wing has a complicated, hydraulic anti-dive system -- a kludge when compared to the elegant BMW Telelever.

    Fuel Economy: This will vary with your riding style; however, the RT has a much, much longer overall range. As far as real economy goes -- the Gold Wing burns regular gas averaging around 40 MPG. The RT uses premium fuel and should yield an overall average of over 50 MPG. BMW claims you can burn regular fuel in a jam -- the engine management system will adjust, and performance will reflect the inferior fuel -- without harm to the engine. Oddly, the RT has a larger fuel tank -- 7.1 gallons verses 6.6 gallons for the Wing.

    Special Safety features: The Honda Gold Wing has a unique optional airbag -- it could save you life. BMW now offers Automatic Stability Control on the RT.

    Cruise Control: The Gold Wing cruise control on my bike was just plain awful -- an annoying lag after being set. The optional RT cruise control is a delight to use -- well worth the money.

    Lighting: The Gold Wing has huge tail-lights, and four (type H7) head lamps. Anyone who rear-ends a Gold Wing has to be legally blind or drunk as a skunk. The RT lighting system has three (type H7) head lamps and a smaller tail-light assembly. If you would like more front-end light on an RT, add a set of Moto-lights, then you pull ahead of the Gold Wing. The optional fog lamps of the Gold Wing turn off when you hit the high-beams.

    Stereo: The standard Gold Wing stereo, which does not include a CD player, has rear speakers that are built into that lounge chair behind you. The optional RT stereo, which includes a CD player, is very good, even if the controls are confusing. The Gold Wing wins overall as it has a built-in stereo headset and intercom capability coming straight from the factory.

    Ride: The Gold Wing has a standard adjustable rear suspension with memory. I was never sure it was just pre-loading the suspension or also adjusting the damping. I find the RT's optional Electronic Suspension Control to be more useful. Overall, I would rate the ride of the RT as better, which may surprise some of you. I found the front suspension of the Gold Wing "harsh". All you have to do is ride over a railroad crossing on each bike to appreciate what I mean. The handlebars of the Gold Wing seems to almost snap against your hands. The RT front suspension is its own thing -- very smooth. I love it.

    Options: The BMW R1200RT can be configured exactly the way you want it from a list of factory or dealer installed options. The Honda Gold Wing has a progressive, multi-tiered option strategy that seems to be directed more at economic production goals than owner satisfaction. If you want to buy a Gold Wing with ABS, you are required to buy premium sound, heated seats/grips, and GPS and bunch of stuff in which you may have no interest.

    Warranty: The Gold Wing has a 3-year, unlimited mileage warranty. I think the 3-year warranty on a BMW is less than it should be because of its 36,000 mile limitation. (Come on BMW, let's get real here. If a BMW is so reliable, what wrong with an unlimited mileage warranty? -- Sorry, I had to get that one off my chest.)

    Bottomline: Both good bikes -- yet, very different. The BMW R1200RT is a SPORT-Touring bike -- albeit with a very neutral, comfortable riding position. The Honda Gold Wing is flat out Touring bike in which you seem to wallow. I enjoy riding the RT much more than the Wing. The BMW R1200RT just seems more refined, more capable and better designed to handle a broader range of riding situations.

    P.S. Not to confuse you by bring up "K" bikes, but have you considered the BMW K1200LT or the BMW K1200GT? If you are seriously looking at a Gold Wing, you might want to add these to your list. The LT is more Gold Wing like -- heavy, comfy, lots of features. The K1200GT is smooth like a Gold Wing, yet light, VERY POWERFUL, INSANELY FAST.
    Last edited by gulfcoastbeemer; 08-06-2007 at 04:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User GS20Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomfromMD View Post
    The GL, with a glass smooth engine was a great touring platform - but quite car-like. The RT's boxer twin reminds you that you're on a motorcycle. I'm always aware of the engine, but not bothered by the small amount of vibration.

    While I haven't ridden the GL 1800, I suspect it is not too different from the 1500.

    Tom
    I second that. Thanks for the great write up about the difference between the goldwing and the RT. I sold my GL1800 Goldwing to go with the better handling of the RT, better fuel mileage and just flat out more fun to ride the RT. You do give up some luggage space and it makes it harder to travel two up with the RT.


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