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Thread: New Member - R1200RT or F800ST

  1. #1
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    New Member - R1150RS

    Hello! Just joined MOA, 43 yrs. old, just finished MSF class, and will be buying a previously enjoyed F800ST or R1200RT. I am 6 foot, bad lower back, need side bags to carry laptop if on call, and want a bike I can take off on for the day or longer. Too early to know as I need seat time (Understatement). Any feedback would be helpful, the larger faring and more upright riding position have me favoring the RT. Thoughts? Thanks in advance. (Couple of 650CS bikes for sale in the area, but I am worried they are too small).

    Thanks,

    -Dennis
    Last edited by drubery; 06-25-2009 at 09:06 PM.

  2. #2
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I have an 05 RT and my riding buddy an F800ST. Both are great bikes and will work well on all day trips.

    The RT is more prepared for longer journeys and comfort. It also has more features like the ESA, etc. The ST is more sporty. I added a larger windshield, an aftermarket seat, and highway pegs to the RT and it is perfect for long days.

    The F800, even with a larger windshield, is still more on the sporty end. The bags and trunk on the RT are larger, too.

    There's nothing wrong with the F800 but I would lean you to the RT based on your description. Both have about the same power and acceleration character, too (power to weight ratio).

    Finally, the F800 has a very soft front end that is not readily adjustable. The forks will dive tremendously under hard braking. My buddy had new springs installed and it is better, but it's still no Telelever!

    Robo
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  3. #3
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    I have an 05 RT also and love it for long trips or 2-up riding. I also have the F650GS twin and it's very, very nice, even 2-up. It's advantage is that's it's lighter than the RT, easier to handle at slow speeds, easier to move around the garage, etc. The RT might seem somewhat big and heavy to a new rider.
    Dan

  4. #4
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Dennis.

    I would suggest going to your nearest dealer and riding both. BMW dealers let folks take out bikes and try them out.

    Given your narrative, I also would suggest the RT because of your back situation.

    Glad to have you here and look forward to pictures of your new bike when you get it.
    Ride Well

  5. #5
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I missed the "new rider" part. The RT is great, but you as a new rider might drop your bike. That's OK, but consider cylinder head gaurds, etc. on an RT if you go that way. The RT is "heavy" in a relative sense. It is under 600 pounds which makes it 'light' as sport tourers go, but still, if you start to drop it, it has mass!

    Don't beat yourself up if you drop any first bike, it's part of learning. Used is good.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  6. #6
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    Bad back, new rider, big heavy bike. I've consider these factors and hope I am not alone no matter what bike I get if I end up dropping it, not something I aspire to experiencing.

    I'm all ears on the single thumper. The COG on the F800ST is supposed to be pretty low, but the ridding position may be hard on the back and it seems like it might tire the wrists, tough when comparing it to one of the top rated touring bikes of all time.

    Regardless, thanks for the warm welcomes and more importantly the experience backed recommendations. Without a doubt I will be buying "used" for a first bike. My bigger question is what is really too much. The owner of the local BMW dealership is a friend of 30 years and thought the R1150RT '04 would be a good starter or the F650GS. He does not have an 05' RT and I know there were substantial revisions in the bike for 05'. Riding the 04' should give me an idea on the size, but isn't that something you have to learn regardless as you move up? If that sounds overly cocky, please don't hold back

  7. #7
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    1150RT is a fine bike. My buddy has one and he rides it fast and hard in the twisties.

    Power is what you make it. If you're safe and sane, it's OK. Weight is weight. You won't feel it when the bike is moving, only when itis stopped. I can't say for sure, but I bet most people drop a bike when they pop the clutch, learch forward, stall, and tip over. It happens, no big deal.

    My first street bike, I was 18, was an R75/5 with fairing and bags and trunk. It weighed a ton it seemed. The center stand was in bad shape, as was the kickstand, and despite repeated self repairs, she tipped over a lot. But she always ran, and was a great machine.

    Robo
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  8. #8
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    Oops the 04' is an R1150RS, going to test ride it today. I am concerned the R1200RT may be too much and am starting to lean toward the F800ST.

  9. #9
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    When you say bad back, how bad?
    I own both, the riding position on the RT is pretty much upright, while the F's is a little more aggressive.
    What I have found when riders have opined about the F's riding position is what you have said, back and wrists.
    I find that the RT has a considerably higher COG and is heavier, however when you get her rolling it's quite easy to handle. My only caution for you on this bike would be slow speed stuff.

    Returning to the wrists and back, when I have heard complaints about wrists I think it's possibly because the riders are laying on the grips. This in my opinion is not the way you want to ride this bike. You (editorially) want to use your abs and back to hold your position and be light as a feather on the grips. This should correct any wrist pain if you have encountered same.
    The smaller screen on the F I believe is there for a reason. Wind pressure at speed definitely helps support you.

    If you can I would urge you to take a test ride on both. One of decent length if your dealer or current owner will allow.

    Good hunting!

  10. #10
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    wezul.. bad back as in massive ruptured disk between L4 and L5. As long as I don't lift anything heavy in front of me I am alright. I did an hour straight of cardio last night, so I am in good shape at 6' 180lbs. Last fall I stacked ten face cords of wood in three evenings and a better part of a Saturday, that did not bother me until about three weeks latter while bending and twisting. I ski downhill aggressively all winter long and never have a problem.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    I think some things just happen for a reason and today was one of those days.

    I went to Country Rode Motowerks this afternoon to test ride a previously enjoyed 2004 R1150RS and to my surprise a new 2009 F800ST. Drew, my appointed guide, took me to the parking lot next door to allow me to get used to the friction zone and go over the bike, the R1150RS was first. He did mention the front brakes were extremely powerful and should not be used at slow speed. I circled the lot a few times and made some left and right turns all the time using the rear brake. Then I pulled up to Drew with the clutch in, my right foot on the brake but the lot sloping from left to right. I took my foot off the brake to plant it and the bike was still moving and too heavy to stop with my feet. My reflexes from the MFS classes kicked in and I grabbed that oh so powerful front brake and down the bike and I went. The boxer engine saved my leg, mirror was twisted around, the taillight was broken and a scratch on the front fairing and the rear rack. What a way to start a test ride and then the next bike I was slated to ride is a brand new $13,000 bike with no miles and with a $1,000 faring on each side! The only words that were spoken were out of concern for me.

    Well I settled down and "jumped back on the horse" so to speak to take the R1150RS on a test ride down the road with Drew leading the way. Maximum speed was likely 45, needless to say I was still rattled. I thought the bike handled well and was comfortable. It fit me better than the 650CS. Dropping it put into perspective the cost of dropping other bikes I was considering, namely a previously enjoyed 2008 F800ST and a 2005 R1200RT. When we returned from the test ride I was very wary of the front brake, but liked the bike a lot. I decided this was the bike for me as I like how it fits, it was recommended when I first spoke to the owner about buying a bike ( A good friend of 30 years.) and as a bonus it won't matter so much if I drop it again. I will just have to make sure I think about the slope of where I am when stopping and practice bringing the bike to a complete stop with the rear brake followed by a quick plant of both feet. I am sure in due time there will be a lot of other lessons, hopefully none more serious than this one and I am sure I will get accustomed to the sensitive power brakes. On a very happy note I am now the proud owner of a Blue BMW 2004 R1150RS with a couple of dings and scratches that for a first bike I will not have to worry so much about. (I wonder if upon delivery they will throw in some spare taillight covers?)

    Here's a pic!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by drubery; 06-10-2009 at 01:58 PM.

  12. #12
    Love this RT! tkbaker4's Avatar
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    new bike!

    Welcome and congratulations on your purchase.
    I've got the same bike in the same color and just love it.
    Mine has also been on it's side a couple times. It wanted a nap, I guess.
    See you at the rally?
    Tom Baker
    2009 BMW R1200RT
    1970 Triumph Bonneville

  13. #13
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Welcome and congratulations on the purchase and story behind it.

    Ride frequently and often.

    cheers
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
    2009 G450X White
    IBA #35651
    Rogue Moderator

  14. #14
    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    If it was me, I would go for the RT. I love the 08 that I have. I also ride one for work, so I have ridden one for 30 days straight. Just love the RT, great bike.
    John
    2004 BMW R1150R Black
    Contact me 4 (1&1) training, Expert witness in motorcycle crash reconstruction

  15. #15
    Registered User
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    Congrats on the new bike! Go to a parking lot and practice with the front brake, there is nothing to fear and I'm not sure why the salesman was so adamant you should be so careful. Just remember not to GRAB the brake, this should be fresh from MSF class too.

    There is still much for you to learn....parking on a slope will be one that comes quickly to mind. Drops happen. Don't forget to learn how to pick it up correctly, given your back. Plenty of websites show you the "skirt" method. It uses your legs for leverage, not your back.

    Safe riding!
    __________________
    Nancy
    2013 R12RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R, 07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R12RT (Sold),
    IBA# 529

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