Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Hexhead v. Camhead

  1. #1
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,327

    Hexhead v. Camhead

    I hear that the twin-cam engine is better in most regards than the original hex-head. True or not? Worth the extra bucks for the newer bike, all other factors being equal or nearly so? Who likes the newer engine and why? What's it like to live with?
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  2. #2
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    1,729
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    I hear that the twin-cam engine is better in most regards than the original hex-head. True or not? Worth the extra bucks for the newer bike, all other factors being equal or nearly so? Who likes the newer engine and why? What's it like to live with?
    I've owned a 2009 RT hexhead and a 2012 RT camhead.

    The hexhead motor was very good, but I prefer the camhead motor for the slightly greater torque on the bottom end. Valve clearance check on the camhead is just as easy as a hexhead, and only slightly more of a bother to swap out shims if an adjustment is needed. From what I've seen, the camhead clearances seem to be more stable over time.

    I'm sure more differences will be pointed out by others, but the increased torque is the biggest difference to me.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  3. #3
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Camas Valley Oregon
    Posts
    1,054
    Having a hexhead and no experience with the camhead I'm happy in my ignorance. Blissfully happy. The valves are simple and easy to maintain and one doesn't need a trip to the dealer for shims as an allen wrench and box end wrench are all you need.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  4. #4
    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    128
    Some like the extra 500 RPM's on the top end. I rarely go to 8500 but it's nice to have the extra cushion. I've ridden both and realistically I don't notice the difference. The only thing is the valves don't need as much maintenance adjustments or at least checked as often.
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

  5. #5
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,327
    I used to have a 2007 hexhead, so Marty I know what you mean about valve adjustments. Funny thing too; before that I had an airhead and even though the hexhead had twice as many valves as the airhead, I found its adjustment procedure to be quicker and easier than that of the airhead, I think because much less 'finessing' was needed when torqueing the locknuts.

    As for shims, well, my very first bike was a K100 and I currently have a Lotus Esprit (one a' them 'car' thingees...), which uses the mother of all ridiculous shim-and-bucket valvetrains. The Esprit engine actually requires that the camshaft housings be removed from the head just to access the shims...which means that most of the stuff on the outside of the engine has to come off just to make this possible, and this is a mid-mounted engine with all the belts up against the firewall that separates the engine compartment from the cockpit. NOT a fun job! I'm thinking of getting rid of this car and getting back into motorbikes.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  6. #6
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,059
    You're looking used, so I'd find the right bike at the right price. I have the hexhead, and I'd be willing to pay maybe 500 more for the torque and extra RPM (I redline all the time). But I wouldn't let it deter me if I found a good hexhead.

    My valves (at 65k miles) have not needed a change to the adjustment in the last 20k miles. I'm at 26k on them now, so soon I'll see what has changed, if anything.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  7. #7
    Registered User chasman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    1,081

    Talking

    Hey Veg, good to see you post! How you doing?
    Chuck Manley #12106
    2012 Howlin' at the Moon Rally Chair
    Ambassador, Knights of the Roundel #333, IBA Member, Life Member NRA
    Black '13 R12GSA (the Outlaw), Black '02 K12RS (157K)

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    180
    I test drove an 09 RT. It didn't seem to have any more power than my 1100 with a techlusion. It was smoother running and I hit the rev limiter twice when not expecting it. What a test drive. I followed the salesman on an F800. There were places I could not catch him.

    I bought a 12 R1200R. It has much more low end torque. It seems to be happy at any rpm. It keeps running better.

    That exra 500 rpm puts it at 100 mph in 3 rd gear.

    Your choice.....

  9. #9
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,327
    Hi Chuck!

    Doing well overall; you?

    I haven't ridden in two years but the itch is coming back and coming back strongly.

    And yeah, been missing my crazy-ass MOA family too!
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    9
    I have driven one hexhead (my '07 R: 600 km last week), and a 20 km test drive on a camhead ('12 RT), and the only difference I noted between the two was the higher rev limit on the RT. For my driving, I prefer the hexhead, because I can shift into 5th gear at highway speeds, whereas on the camhead, I was running up at 125 km/h (about 75 mph), and had only shifted once into 4th gear.

    It's all personal preference, but either engine rates as one of the best motorcycle engine packages ever made.

    Ken Nesbitt

    2007 R1200 R
    1972 Honda CB350 (winter project)

  11. #11
    Registered User sddinnh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    54
    I have about 30 K experience with both (09 RT, 11RT) and the biggest difference to me is the low end. The 09 was at its happiest from 3000 rpm on up and the 11 will pull all the way from 2500 rpm. On paper, it doesn't seem like much, but on the road it makes for a much more tractable machine.

    Otherwise, since I never use the 8500 rpm redline, they are about equal. I had no problems with either of them except for the right hand switch cluster on the 2011. Jeez I hate that new turn signal setup. Mine has failed twice now and after 30 years of BMW's, I was used to the old 2 switch system.
    Steve
    So many roads - so little time.
    2013 R1200GSW

  12. #12
    aka Johnny Hammerlane bullet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    744
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    I hear that the twin-cam engine is better in most regards than the original hex-head. True or not? Worth the extra bucks for the newer bike, all other factors being equal or nearly so? Who likes the newer engine and why? What's it like to live with?
    If you're getting back into riding, you might as well get the best, a camhead. RT?
    Yeah, baby!
    It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.

  13. #13
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,327
    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet View Post
    RT?
    Not enough leg-room. I think another GS is in my future.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •