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Thread: R1200RT or GL1800???

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  1. #1
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    R1200RT or GL1800???

    Don't get me wrong, please. I own 2 now, and have owned 4 BMW's in the past. BVMW's are a great bike. My problem is that the closest BMW dealer is 3 1/2 hours away, Honda dealer is 37 miles away. Even "Beemers" need dealer work sometime, and for me that travel time seems not worth it. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Buy the RT and learn to do your own basic maintaince. The twins are easy work on (evidenced by the fact I can do it), at least for basic stuff, then you only have to go to the dealer for a major issue. The are various sources for parts on the internet, both offical and aftermarket.
    If you lack the skills or the resources look for a BMW club in your area to join. You can usually fine someone in the club to mentor you and assit you until you gain the confidence to do it yourself. The club is also a good source to find an independent shop that may exist in your area.
    Working on your own bike not only builds confidence (you KNOW it was done right) it also can save you a lot of money.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  3. #3
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    BMW or Honda

    Alternatively, if you don't want to do your own wrenching you could buy the RT and move! I'm just saying, you know.

    Kent

  4. #4
    Left Coast Rider
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    These folks may be able to help....

    BMW Riders Club of Western New York... http://www.bmwrcwny.com/

    These folks may be in your area... http://countryrode.com/main/index.php

    But to answer your question....its not answerable. The Beemer and the Honda are two completely different rides. Comes down to personal preference.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Buy the RT and learn to do your own basic maintaince. The twins are easy work on (evidenced by the fact I can do it), at least for basic stuff, then you only have to go to the dealer for a major issue. .
    I'd be more concerned about warrant work and things that require expensive specialized tools.

  6. #6
    Curmudgeon in training
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1der View Post
    Don't get me wrong, please. I own 2 now, and have owned 4 BMW's in the past. BVMW's are a great bike. My problem is that the closest BMW dealer is 3 1/2 hours away, Honda dealer is 37 miles away. Even "Beemers" need dealer work sometime, and for me that travel time seems not worth it. What should I do?
    I've had an RT and a GL1800. A couple things to consider.

    1) Just because it's a Honda dealer doesn't mean they have experienced Gold Wing mechanics. You can order a Gold Wing at any Honda dealer, but the dealers that truely specialize in GW's are spread out regionally. You might want to contact your local chapter of GWRRA or GWTA to see where they are buying their bikes from. They may have a different opinion about the dealer 37 miles away.

    2) GW's are ultra reliable, but do you really want a bike that weighs 1,000 pounds?

    Everybody has their own opinion about bikes. It's hard to compare a GW to an RT. Usually you would see a GW to an LT to a Roadglide. Not a cut on anyone else's choices, but I'd pick the RT over the GW. If your SO rides pilon, she may prefer the GW sofa. When you're SO's happy, .....

    I remember someone on this board describe the RT as the best medium weight, go long bike out there. I'd agree.

  7. #7
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    Smile

    Traded my GL1800 (2008) for R1200RT (2011).....It's worth it. I'm thinking about taking the advise of "texpaul".
    At the beginning of every long and winding road is a...car.

  8. #8
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    Excellent Advice!

    All these guys have "nailed it" for advice, and I (as usual) have little to add, save this: Both of these bikes are GREAT machines, and, as has been pointed out, are quite different. The RT is smooth, powerful, offers great comfort over the long haul, and is distinctly a SPORT-tourer. The Wing is smooth, powerful, offers great comfort over the long haul and is a LUXO-tourer. Both bikes handle VERY well, and anybody who has owned/ridden a GL1800 will tell you that all that weight (mostly) disappears in the twisties -- no, really.

    BUT -- IMHO, the RT is never gonna let you forget that you are riding a motorcycle. Those two big slugs are a-movin' and a-shakin' a little, and you gits to shiftin' them gears. . . The Wing? Well, let's just say it doesn't care much what gear you're in, and you (mostly) just turn the grip and go, once up to speed, and you can't "feel" much from the engine room, other than being shot from a cannon with little fanfare. Of course, you could run some straight-pipes to bring in some "character" but that would be wrong.

    These machines are both "boxers," but the R1200 is the culmination of decades-worth of evolution of an amazing aircooled engine that won't be with us for much longer, if the rumors are true. I'd jump on this opportunity, and -- by all means, take texpaul's advice and get a couple of manuals and learn to do the basic stuff. IF you do that, you'll not have to be hauling that baby 3.5 hrs to the dealer very often, IF AT ALL, depending on how much you ride. I WOULD NOT LET THE "DEALER" ISSUE CLOUD YOUR MIND. This question is really about adopting a new member of the family, what kind of riding you/yours want to do, and how many sMiles it's going to put on your face over the next several years.

    Hey, are we LUCKY to be having this discussion on a Saturday morning, or what? Yes, quite a problem you've got there. . .

    Either way, you can't go wrong. Keep us posted, please. Repeat after me: RT, RT, RT, RT

    Walking Eagle

  9. #9
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    Talking

    All good advice.
    Texpaul- Nothing local. I'm50 miles south of Buffalo and 45 miles north of Erie on Lake Erie.
    Kent Niederhofer- Look I now live in NY I would love to move out of this state-of-confusion.LOL
    BC1100S- Tried to deal with CountryRode, 3.5 hours away. So is the Club.
    alzyck- The local dealer has a good service department. I'm riding a GW now, plus my wife will not ride.
    Walking Eagle- VERY GOOD points.
    To add-If the price was about the same for the two bikes it would be A BMW in a heart beat. CountryRode would NOT trade, Honda dealer is giving me $8500.00 and taking $1611.00 of the MSRP. I did ride a K1600GLT in Bloomsburg last summer and then Rode a R1200RT at Countryrode later on, WOW big difference. The K is more comparable to the wing. But a BIG price difference. I'll still have my two Beemers to ride, R80RT 160,000mi and a K1100LT 130,000mi and my son has a 69 R50 also we have a 1990 R100 minus a tranny(anyone have one laying around they aren't using?LOL)
    At this point I'm in no hurry, in a few weeks I'll know which way I'm going.
    Thanks everyone for your help.
    1der
    PS Walking Eagle- Yes we are lucky to be having this conversation on a Saturday morning- we should be RIDING!!!!!! LOL

  10. #10
    On the road again! R80RTJohnny's Avatar
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    Walking Eagle you could not have said it any better "BUT -- IMHO, the RT is never gonna let you forget that you are riding a motorcycle." That's what its all about.

    Thank you and now to time to prepare for an afternoon ride.
    2008 R12RT (Blue)
    1986 R80RT (Silver)

    Member of the Loonie-Tics. MOA 292.

  11. #11
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1der View Post
    I'm50 miles south of Buffalo and 45 miles north of Erie on Lake Erie.
    There's no BMW dealer in Buffalo? That's a surprise. Is Aurora OH (just southeast of Cleveland) any closer to you?

  12. #12
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1der View Post
    Nothing local. I'm50 miles south of Buffalo and 45 miles north of Erie on Lake Erie.
    Sound like you are quite close to Burlington, Ontario where there is a BMW dealer. You could buy in NY (better pricing) and for service, just take quick hops across the border.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  13. #13
    BruceRT
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    Closest Gold Wing Mechanic?

    You said your nearest Honda dealer is 37 miles away but do they have a Gold Wing mechanic? I had a GL1500 from 1989 to this year and had a terrible time finding a dealer who would work on my bike. They love to sell Wings but hate fixing them. In the last ten years, they refused to fix my bike because it was too old. I could do most of the things myself but the carbs finally stumped me.

    If your closest Honda dealer is Neihaus or one of the few that support Gold Wings, then buy the GL1800. But if you would have to travel hours to find a mechanic that got certified on the GL series, then you are in the same boat as the BMW riders.

    Ask your Honda dealer if they have a GL certified mechanic. If they don't, they will claim there is no GL certification.

    Disillusioned Gold Whiner in Northern Virginia with a broken GL1500 for sale.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  14. #14
    Frank Ferrante
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    Jan 2010
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    Dealer distance is no excuse with a dealer like MAX BMW. I live in Toms River, NJ and I purchased a bike from MAX in Brookfield, CT. I did a trade of my 2008 Triumph Rocket III Touring and purchased a 2011 R1200RT,with only 325 miles, over the phone with pictures online. They delivered my RT and picked up the Rocket. They also came back and picked up my RT for it's first service. MAX has a dealership in Troy, NY. Call them if you really want an RT.
    Frank Ferrante
    2011 BMW R1200RT
    2011 Triumph Bonneville T100

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