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Thread: About to order my first BMW

  1. #1
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    About to order my first BMW

    Ok, my second property is about to sell and I will finally be able to order my first BMW. I have had Yamaha's and Honda's but now I can afford quality.
    Looking at a R1200RT and here is where I need your educated advice. I work second shift with a 52 mile daily commute, half of which will be through Bambi country in the dark.
    For daytime riding I want to add the "Pathfinder" headlight moderator. Do any of you have any history with this add on and your throughts would be welcome. If you know of any other type of system that would be better, speak up.
    I also am looking for advice on adding mucho brightness to bring out Bambi's eyes at night. I have wonderful stock lights on my 2010 Toyota 4Runner and would like coverage like that. When I light them up I see everything.
    Thank you all in advance.
    Sickticket

  2. #2
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    Get some Clearwater lights. Dimmable for around town. Pick how bright you need.: they have some that spit our something silly like 6000 lumens.

  3. #3
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Based on personal experience, I'd recommend the KISAN PathBlazer for your headlight modulator, and DENALI LED lights from Twisted Throttle for auxillary lighting.

    Good Luck and enjoy the R1200RT - awesome bike!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  4. #4
    Registered User tuckerman's Avatar
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    +1 on the Clearwater lights. Put a ton of light down range. They're not cheap, but well built and I've had nothing but good experiences with their customer service before and during my self-installation. I never really used the rheostat that much until those long stretches of straight 2 lane road out west. I could turn them up to make myself more visible to possible passing cars coming in the opposite direction.
    J.R., 2012 RT
    MOA #186976
    IBA #42334

  5. #5
    na1g
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    And congratulations on the new RT (soon)!!

    pete

  6. #6
    Ken ken e's Avatar
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    .... I get sick when I get a ticket also...

    Seriously, Congrats on the RT choice! I enjoy mine immensely and would special order another tomorrow if something happened to it.

    Take some time and think about the options that are offered and if you will use them.

    2009 special order took 2 months, well worth the wait. Computer, heated grips, traction control, cruse control, Silver. Standard suspension later up'd to ?├╗hlins, and I kick the tires every couple of days to monitor the tire pressure. Only option I wish I had spent the extra $150 on was chrome plated exaust, blue looks better than brown.

    My light upgrade was to Osram Ralley 65watt H7 lamps in the standard assy. Much longer life and 50% more lumens than stock.
    Ken E.
    2012 R1200RT
    '09 RT, '93 K75, '69 R60US and others long gone....

  7. #7
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    Am going to order the Clearwater lights mainly because of the reviews. My wife surprised me yesterday by ordering the 90th anniversary bike for me. Now I have to get on the ball and order the stuff to be added. I have worked on my old CB350 in the past but am not comfortable with screwing with the electronics on this new bike.

  8. #8
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    New Bike

    I am so jealous. I can't think of anything more fun to do in non-riding weather than to pick out all the farkels for a brand new bike.

    I just installed the Clearwater Darla lights and love them. They look great on the bike and certainly add a lot of light.

    Have fun with your new bike.
    Mary
    2007 R1200RT, gone
    2009 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickticket View Post
    I work second shift with a 52 mile daily commute, half of which will be through Bambi country in the dark.
    You're a braver man than me
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickticket View Post
    Ok, my second property is about to sell and I will finally be able to order my first BMW. I have had Yamaha's and Honda's but now I can afford quality.
    Looking at a R1200RT and here is where I need your educated advice. I work second shift with a 52 mile daily commute, half of which will be through Bambi country in the dark.
    For daytime riding I want to add the "Pathfinder" headlight moderator. Do any of you have any history with this add on and your throughts would be welcome. If you know of any other type of system that would be better, speak up.
    I also am looking for advice on adding mucho brightness to bring out Bambi's eyes at night. I have wonderful stock lights on my 2010 Toyota 4Runner and would like coverage like that. When I light them up I see everything.
    Thank you all in advance.
    Sickticket
    My daily commute is 90 miles round trip and includes riding after dark frequently (...been doing it for about 10 years now). DO NOT trust to any lights on your motorcycle alone. You will need to adjust your riding style appropriately for the darkness. Some things to consider:

    -- Slow down;

    -- Keep more distance from vehicles around you;

    -- Stick to roads you know;

    -- Stick to the widest roads possible; definately avoid narrow two-lane roads through wooded areas;

    -- Where possible, use lighted roads over unlit roads, even if this means adding a few miles to your trip;

    -- Where possible, use an "escort vehicle"; an escort vehicle is any car on the road going the same direction as you at about the same speed as you. Get in behind them at a safe distance and use their headlights to see further down the road and to scan the sides of the road. Do not use trucks or large vehicles as they block your view further down the road.

    -- Scan for reflections along side the roadways; roadway markings which suddenly appear or disappear;

    -- Scan along side the roadways for reflections resembling swarms of large fireflys -- these are most likely light reflections off the eyes of deer;

    -- If a vehicle approaches from the other direction, it will be difficult to see much to your left until you pass, however be alert for anything which momentarily interupts the headlights; it might just be a sign in the median but it could be a deer;

    -- When approaching an unlit intersection with traffic lights, slow down; the glow of the traffic lights pointed towards you WILL shorten how far beyond the traffic light you can see (to understand what I mean by this, in a darkened room, have someone shine a flashlight at you and then see just how little you can see beyond the flashlight; the glow from the traffic light does the same thing)

    -- Watch the weather reports religiously; if the forecast is for rain heavy enough to leave standing water on the road, DO NOT take the motorcycle -- use your car. All the light sources (yours, other cars, street lights) will reflect off the water, making it almost impossible to see road markings;

    -- Learn to judge your speed by feel and sound; you will not find any deer between your face and your instrument panel; (if by chance you do..... well it's too late anyway); in other words, keep your head up and scanning, even more so than you do during daytime;

    -- If you need to look over your shoulder or check mirrors, use several shorter and quicker looks than what you might do in the daytime; use your peripheral vision to watch for lights of over taking vehicles in adjacent lanes or reflecting from your mirrors -- the idea is to keep your vision up and scanning forward as much as possible;

    -- Scan into the darkness for any subtle changes in the shades of darkness which may indicate the presence of something being there (as strange as this may sound it does work; it's something I learned while working an exchange tour with the British military. If your not familiar with it, DO NOT practice it on your motorcycle -- practice it while riding as a passenger in the front seat of a car at night.)

    I'm sure many others can offer tips and advice for riding in the dark (I'm sure some will say don't do it), but if you must, first and foremost SLOW DOWN!!!

    Good luck and keep it safe.... oh and congratulations on the RT.
    Last edited by Artiee; 03-12-2013 at 10:41 AM. Reason: correct typo
    Experience IS NOT the best teacher! Someone else's experience is the best teacher.

  11. #11
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    Artiee,
    I read you very loud and clear on the warnings. The only problem is I have been on second shift for almost 30 years and my current job has me going through two Pa Game Lands. My entire trip is two lane roads and half of which are wooded. I actually see more deer at night in the fields. I have only had to lock my brakes two or three times in all those years.

    As I have aged I have become far more careful in my riding. I realize that after years of riding and 35 years as a volunteer fireman, I am not really immortal. I have been to far toooo many accidents to think otherwise.

    Just got a call from the dealer. My bike will be in in 2 to 3 weeks. I now have to order the lights so they can install them while they are prepping the bike.

    My mouth is watering and my butt is tingling.

  12. #12
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    Some people, myself included, were quite happily surprised to see just how good the stock lights are on the newer RTs and haven't felt the need for extra lighting. I too, sometimes ride to work after dark in deer country. Sometimes I see 1, 2, or 3 cross, the last time there were 8 of them! The main advice I can give is reduce your speed to be prepared to stop.

  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    A diesel-powered 1st generation VW New Beetle (or Golf) won't cost you much and will return better fuel economy on your commute than an RT and probably be a safer bet.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  14. #14
    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Congrats on the RT. I picked up my first BMW 2012 R1200RT last August. Love the bike and can't wait for the weather to clear up so I can ride again.
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

  15. #15
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    I ride 58 miles each way,from rural Virginia bambi country, with a long stretch on the Colonial Parkway @ o dark thirty. Spring and fall are most active with deer. My 2cents is remember if you see one that has crossed ahead of you there are probably 2 or 3 behind it about to cross too! I also watch tailights in front of me, if I see a tap on the brakes, that person has probably seen something.
    I am thinking of trading in my 07' for a camhead, not that there is anything wrong with it, I am just an american consumer out to stimulate the economy! Good Luck with it.

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