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Thread: What was wrong with the Criusers?

  1. #46
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpr3cats3 View Post
    Hey, can't we all just get along?

    The Cruiser is a great ride. It's not for everyone, but those of us who own them know we've got something very special. And the roundel is just as pretty as the ones on any other beemer.

    If we have to explain it to you, you won't understand.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  2. #47
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Perhaps it is unfortunate BMW didn't further develop the C into even more than it was. As one who has ridden an older /7 with the dance of the driveshaft influencing the handling, its too bad BMW couldn't have developed a Paralever style rear end to go with the shorter drive of the cruiser. That alone would have improved the handling dramatically.

    I learned to hustle on my 76 R100RS, to the point I had riders on much more modern bikes wondering how I did it. Riders of the old BMWs learned how to make them hustle. Perhaps it is similar with the R12C.

    I do know that I can recommend the R12C to a rider preferring the ower seating of a cruiser and they'll get a great bike. Possibly at a great price.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit msf-usa.org for training info.

  3. #48
    tseastman
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    Smile Strong feelings

    Looks like there are alot of strong feelings on this topic - those from the C community being by far the stronger.

    Is it perfect? Of course not. On my last trip there were countless roads I wouldn't dream of taking it on because it rides too low and is just too damn pretty to get marred by rocks and vegetation. That's no reason to get rid of it though, it's just a very good excuse to add a GS to your stable! The C's stock seat is, to me, a modern torture device. I did two trips on it and suffered for weeks afterwards. Now I have an Airhawk for any ride over an hour and I can - and do - ride all day in comfort! The fuel mixture choices BMW had to make to get the bike legal made it almost unrideable around town - a malady that plagues other BMWs as well. I installed a Techlusion and now she runs smooth as silk. Still need to sort that out on my GS.

    Problems other riders have mentioned such as the poor chrome quality haven't affected my '01, but I do have a break in the mount for one of my rear turn signals. In my opinion that wasn't made strong enough for the weight of the signal housing and the cruiser ride. It's epoxied for now but I'll be taking that apart for a permanant fix this winter. The side covers are quit heavy and can come loose, possibly flying away. Taking care to put them on tightly and installing a secondary restraint takes the worry out of this complaint.

    I, too, passionately love my C. it does everything I expect it to do; handles well, takes me on fun trips, goes fast enough to kill me if I'm not carefull, and gets LOTS of attention. One thing it will not do is please everyone - but then, nothing does. I didn't buy my C to please anyone but me.

  4. #49
    SlaveToCurves/Wind/Motion jono's Avatar
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    What's wrong with the Cruiser?

    I'm not an owner so I'm somewhat unbiased on the question - my SO rides one and she loves it after a half dozen R- and K-bikes. She fell in love with the looks when she first saw it on the showroom floor. I've put about a thousand miles on her bike - my main ride is an '02 R1150RS.

    So what's wrong with it? Five things in her (our) experience - the chrome spoke wheels flaked after about a year of ownership (from new). BMW warranteed replacements - we anted up a small differential charge and swapped them for the mag wheels from the Phoenix which have been fine and look better IMO. Second, the front turn signal lenses keep breaking. They are too fragile for the vibes. Third - if this were my bike I would want a better rear shock than the stocker - though my SO is happy with it and this is a relatively minor complaint. Fourth, the ABS has a habit of not cycling through the self-test properly at initial startup. My SO has spoken with a number of chromeheads who report the same problem. Finally, whatever its technology - it seems to seep oil past its rings more than regular oilheads, which results in smokey startups on occasion. She has also heard this from other chromeheads.

    WRT the other comments - this has the most beautiful paint job I've ever seen on a stock BMW. It's the green paint which I believe has a gold metalflake base coat. When we pull into gas stations, non-bikers always go over to the cruiser and remark how beautful they think it is. Subjectively it feels like it has plenty of power and it handles just fine. It has a very comfortable seating position and seat (the leather stocker). Yes, I can be faster on my RS - but I've never been left behind on the cruiser.

    Cheers,
    jono

    2014 BMW K1600GT (Sixer)
    1975 Norton Commando (Oiler)

  5. #50
    The answers to these questions are always subjective. We can be objective, too. Biker techno-geeks know these are different machines and the differences are always accumulative when you consider the difference in riders' abilities. Apples Vs oranges discussions never go well.

    If you don't like how a bike fits you, change the setup! This is a cardinal rule for any bike you ride. There are three BMW handlebars available for the C, plus aftermarket stuff.

    The C and the CL and the Montauk are NOT the same bike; the frames and the front ends and the rake and trail are different. The C has HALF the trail of the CL and Montauk, making it nimbler. The CL tranny has 6-speeds, the others are 5.

    The low-hp engines have high torque. I live in the mountains. I'll take the torque, thank you very much.

    Okay, my turn for an apple Vs oranges: I rode a K75RT and couldn't get used to my feet flapping out behind me, pointed down to the ground. Like I was a grasshopper on the tank or something? No thanks.

    Ha ha!

  6. #51
    Rally Rat
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    Probably all true

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    I took a demo on one. I owned a K11RS at the time. I had previously owned a H-D FLH (fat loud heavy).
    The R12C tried to straddle the fence between a BMW (a definitive sport-tourer) and a cruiser (long on looks and "feel", short on power and handling). It ended up being neither fish nor fowl- it did not have real BMW handling nor power, nor did it have the classic cruiser sound or look to it.
    i seriously doubt that BMW could have made the break necessary from their own history to make that bike competitive in that particular arena.
    These comments and all the rest are probably why it didn't work in the marketplace. Too bad. It took me a couple 1,000 miles to get really happy with mine, but now you couldn't tear it away from me. It's solid, meticulously built, has all the bells and whistles for touring, lots of wind protection and great seats (heated, too). As far as the power is concerned, I never feel underpowered, and since I own both an R1100S and a K1200R, I think I have a fair point of reference. I think the R1200CLC is one of the finest motorcycles ever designed and built. Only niggle I have is the shocks. Stock ones suck.

  7. #52
    I like TANG! bubbagazoo's Avatar
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    I rode an R1100RT in 2006 and loved almost everything about it. I didn't like the fact that even at the lowest seat level, the seat height is 31.5 inches. That is why I dropped the dang thing 5 times in that year. Uneven ground and gravity beating me. I decided to trade the RT in for a 2003 CL almost entirely because its seat height is 2 inches lower. I dropped the CL once this past year (my own fault for coasting through a corner and then making a panic grab of the brake to avoid a collision). I love my CL even more than the RT for that reason. Don't get me wrong -- I had a goofy grin for 7 months in 2006 and 8 months in 2007. I love riding.

    What did BMW do wrong with the cruisers -- crappy marketing in my opinion. Until I was 3 months into owning the RT (I bought it in January and picked it up in the first week of April of '06), I didn't even know BMW had made cruisers. I knew they made touring bikes, sport-touring and adventure style bikes. I had been away from riding for 20 years and knew about the other model lines. I had no idea the "C" line even existed.

    A more comfortable seat on any of their bikes would be nice. I can ride for a couple of hours without any issues but to put in a 350-400 mile day is hard to do. This applies to both the RT and the CL.
    Robert
    2010 Suzuki GSX1250SEA
    ǣIf you get in too far over your head, remember - full throttle and make it spectacular! http://www.yearroundriders.com

  8. #53
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Many of you have said you rode a C or CLC and didn't like them. I agree. I rode mine about 6 months before I bought it when the owner was trying to sell it to me and take my R80RT in trade. I didn't like it at all and preferred my old airhead. About Christmas of last year, he got in a financial bind and I made a very low offer that he accepted. When spring came, I decided to give the bike a try before I put it up for sale so I decided to ride it everywhere so I could get accustomed to the weight and odd low speed handling. It grew on me and I wouldn't consider selling it now. It is an acquired taste.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  9. #54

    More to think about.

    When I look for a used R12C, I look for the two that have mags; Phoenix/Montauk

    I hate the spoked wheels, especially the rear one. The rear wheel area that needs a hub cap looks silly with or without a cap. It is a good excuse for luggage.

    One thing that keeps other cruisers popular is the ability to refurbish them to the new owner's tastes, however bad it is. Does the R12C have enough after market accessories to make that possible?

  10. #55
    CRUISIN
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM2096 View Post
    When I look for a used R12C, I look for the two that have mags; Phoenix/Montauk

    I hate the spoked wheels, especially the rear one. The rear wheel area that needs a hub cap looks silly with or without a cap. It is a good excuse for luggage.

    One thing that keeps other cruisers popular is the ability to refurbish them to the new owner's tastes, however bad it is. Does the R12C have enough after market accessories to make that possible?
    You are on target to be looking at Cs with the mag wheels. The spokes are pretty, but a pain to keep looking good. Also the chrome on most of the spoked wheels is of poor quality and has a tendancy to pit & rust very early on.

    The accessories were pretty scarce the first couple of years, but more are available now. The factory leather-covered saddle bags are small and suitable for commuting and shorter trips of 3 to 4 days. The cool thing out now is a much larger saddle bag set (38 liters each I think) that fit the same railing and are just as easy to install with the flip of a couple of levers. There are also some after-market luggage racks avaialble if you want to carry more or add a top-case. Check over on chromeheads.org for more info about accessories and modifications. There are some really good prices out there on used cruisers right now so you should be able to pick one up fairly cheap. IBMWR is a good place to look too.
    Last edited by cruisin; 12-24-2007 at 03:56 PM.

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by RJM2096 View Post
    When I look for a used R12C, I look for the two that have mags; Phoenix/Montauk

    I hate the spoked wheels, especially the rear one. The rear wheel area that needs a hub cap looks silly with or without a cap. It is a good excuse for luggage.
    Hubcaps are available, I think there are four on the market, one of which is BMW's. You can change any C to the mag rims from the Phoenix; they're BBS, actually. That's what I did. You can put on K12RS rims, too, it just takes spacers. This lowers the C.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJM2096 View Post
    One thing that keeps other cruisers popular is the ability to refurbish them to the new owner's tastes, however bad it is. Does the R12C have enough after market accessories to make that possible?
    Ha ha ha! Apparently not, never enough, otherwise why would chromehead owners keep custom-machining stuff?

    Let's see, from BMW for the C alone: three handlebars, three rider's seats, backrest and passenger seating, three shocks, two types of rims, three engine guards, five windshield options, two mirror options, two accessory driving light options, two luggage options...

    Aftermarket? Don't get me started. I put on Kuryakyn footpegs and Rizoma mirrors to get the setup that works for me. There are probably 6 other windshield providers, and that many custom seat and shock builders.

    Have you seen the GG & Cruzo products? Set the gauges into the tank, relocate the turn signals to the side of the headlight, crop the rear fender and put on a hugger, straight bars, fatter rear tire... Biker bling!





    Oh, those Europeans:


    Or you can just chrome the rest of it, too:


    Nitrous, anyone?


    http://www.cruso.info

  12. #57
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knary View Post
    I spent some time chasing Nye and Swider over what passes for twisty roads in the NE on a cruiser. I, to be blunt, hated it. It wasn't the first time I'd spent time on one.

    Crappy compromised suspension

    Anemic completely uninspiring power

    Awkward and uncomfortable seating position

    Too little ground clearance

    And, sin of all sins, weird uncertain handling. There was no way to even guess what the front end was doing. It was all the complaints about the telelever front end amplified to an extreme and put into bike form. "Wooden and distant" doesn't come close to describing it. The awkward long bars don't help.

    I rode it hard. I rode it gently. I wrestled with it through a few U-turns. I even ran one through a mocked up ERC while helping a friend become a better rider. It isn't a sports bike or even a sport tourer, but I did expect a new BMW to perform better than a neglected mid-70's japanese rat bike. IMHO, if it did it wasn't by much. It is exactly the wrong kind of bike for how I like to ride.

    If you have one and love it, enjoy it. It's not for me, but thankfully we each can find a bike for our needs and desires.
    Fastest.

    Cruiser.

    Ever.



    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  13. #58
    On the Road
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    Cool Apple VS oranges Oh so true!

    Ok I have both, and every thing I read states one thing, Either you want to sport or cruise. The sport bike beemers riders don't like it because it is a cruiser and all the people that have both accept the bike for what it is, and usally custom fix all the problems they had. (there are plenty). Really is that not what every biker does to there bikes over time anyhow???

    I am a member of the chromeheads.org websight and I must tell you it is a great place for everyone that has a chromehead cruiser. Being a member for over 3 years and owning a C. I have seen many R12's sold over there but everyone regreted selling and many repurchased later. I really only remember one guy that really hated his C,and went to a Jap bike.

    I think the C needs to be compared to other cruisers. It really is no shock to me that many other beemer guys fing it hard to accept that bike because it is the only cruiser that BMW every made.

    I really think that once you have one you will love it in the time it takes you to customize it the way you want it anyway.

    Oh I also think the price will really go up on these bikes and become the classic's that they are. The after market acces are becoming more scarce and parts will start to dwindle. Only common sense. "supply and demand"

    Last thought! The C is a high tech Harley of BMW's. Dependable Boxer highway cruiser. Yea! they could of made it better but they left that for you to do. I look at it like this I ride my RT every day. I ride my C on the weekends. I smile when I am riding either one. If I did not have my C, I would own some other cruiser. I love to look at Harleys but when I ride them I am reminded of the reason why I do not have one. Oh and by the way, every harley bar I stop at all the harley riders druel,and wish they had some of that technology.(it is well accepted ) That alone should be a reason to own one. Can't say that for my RT. They only say isn't that what the cops ride!

    Over and out!!!

  14. #59
    picaresque
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    The accessories really sucked

    I owned a cruiser as my first Beemer, a 1998 model. Beautiful bike, but the only saddlebags available were from BMW and were too small to be practical. The tankbag eventually offered looked more like my wife's purse than a motorcycling accessory. It did not have a tachometer, nor could one that looked right be added.

    Years later, BMW finally came up with a touring cruiser -- a day late and a dollar short.

    I traded mine in on a GS and never looked back.

  15. #60
    saber
    Guest
    All here are arguing with the Chrome Heads web group.
    They are doing a kind of letter writing campaign to justify their love of mediocrity.
    They will not accept the fact that BMW has turned its back and dumped the whole Cruiser line.
    The whole group is still living in their dungeon and dragon world, unable to realize the world has passed them by.
    Come on guys get out of your mothers basement there always have been and are better bikes.

    The "Lepper C" was the worst bike I ever owned.

    Small tank, pot metal brackets, old rubber formulas on assorted parts, crappy lights and Goofy Ape Hanger handle bars.
    The go slow bike from 1998-2004.

    Remember when you see a C and its rider point and laugh, because they are riding a joke.

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