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Thread: R bikes, F bikes whats the practical differences?

  1. #1

    R bikes, F bikes whats the practical differences?

    Kids grew up, single again... the only logical thing to do was buy a motorcycle. I snagged an '02 R1150R and I love it. Am now a BMW fan, but an uneducated one. I want to upgrade to a touring model but I'm a little lost. Why, for instance would I want an F1200 over an R1200rt or vice versa?
    Also, I admit, I'm totally enamored over the GS 1200 Adventure, but I'll be riding 99% or more on the road...is it that good of a road bike, too, or should I just get a touring bike and skip the dirt roads?

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    No F1200 exists. Maybe you saw K1200.

    R BMW are the original, all boxer twins.

    K are mostly 4 cyl, but there was a three and now there's a six. Inline engines.

    F and G are economy bikes. C are scooters.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Other designations at the end of the model name fall into these general categories:

    - LT, RT, GT, GTL -- typically are the full up touring models...lots of bells and whistles

    - R -- well you know what that is

    - RS, S -- sport versions

    - RR -- full race version

    - GS, GSA -- off-road versions

    Here's a current full range overview from BMW's website:

    http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/us/en/..._overview.html

    As for what touring model to consider, that's a very personal question that you'll have to answer. Each touring model has plusses and minuses, considering air cooled versus water cooled, classic twin cylinder or multi-cylinder engine, weight distribution, carrying capacity, plus the whole host of instrumentation...you'll just have to see some of these and find what fits you.
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    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    No F1200 exists. Maybe you saw K1200.

    R BMW are the original, all boxer twins.

    K are mostly 4 cyl, but there was a three and now there's a six. Inline engines.

    F and G are economy bikes. C are scooters.
    Not sure that I agree with your categorization of F and G as economy bikes. Certainly cheaper but not cheap. And they fill a niche that is important to BMW.
    Ride Well

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    No F1200 exists. Maybe you saw K1200.

    R BMW are the original, all boxer twins.

    K are mostly 4 cyl, but there was a three and now there's a six. Inline engines.

    F and G are economy bikes. C are scooters.
    Thank you... I did mean "K1200" not "F". But what are the pros and cons of a 2 cyl boxer vs an inline four?

  6. #6
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!
    While you are getting some of your info squared away-I realize your new to the forum...I can suggest--
    Checking out a local club event or dealer to have a peek. A lot of the difference is weight, seat height, final drive systems and air (oil) or water cooled.


    F800 economy?
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by slalomfool View Post
    Thank you... I did mean "K1200" not "F". But what are the pros and cons of a 2 cyl boxer vs an inline four?
    The ride feels different from the way they handle their weight to their power delivery. My pros may be your cons. You need to test ride the bikes and see what YOU prefer. I like both, but prefer the feel of a big twin. But that is only part of the equation... do you like a sit back, sit upright, or lean forward riding position? Do you want lots of fairing or minimal fairing or a naked ride? Do you prefer heavy or light? Do you want a speed demon with lots of HP or can live with a bike with a modest top end?

    My current preference is for mid-weight, sit up, minimal fairing, with the feel and power of a boxer engine. My current ride is GS.

    And don't leave out F series bikes as you consider a change. Give all of them a test ride if you can.

  8. #8
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    The only way to know the practical difference is to ride them.
    You can study the bike up close by looking at it, and read and learn a lot online.
    But it all comes down to which one you like to ride. Which may be two.
    dc

  9. #9
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slalomfool View Post
    Kids grew up, single again... the only logical thing to do was buy a motorcycle. I snagged an '02 R1150R and I love it. Am now a BMW fan, but an uneducated one. I want to upgrade to a touring model but I'm a little lost. Why, for instance would I want an F1200 over an R1200rt or vice versa?
    Also, I admit, I'm totally enamored over the GS 1200 Adventure, but I'll be riding 99% or more on the road...is it that good of a road bike, too, or should I just get a touring bike and skip the dirt roads?
    You want to upgrade to a touring model? In my view, the R1150R is great for touring. If you love it, why so eager to move on? Enjoy this bike and tour on it. The GS is another great touring bike, even if you never leave the pavement. And if you have a GS, you'll have a good reason to take the road less traveled, including the dirt roads.

    Personally, I think the RT/GT/LT bikes are overdone. Too much wind protection, especially in hot weather. A lot of expensive plastic to break if you ever drop it. The R and the GS are just about perfect. In case you wonder how I came to my opinion--I've had two RT's. Great winter bikes for sure, but not my preference for the rest of the year. I like my R1100RS a LOT better, but I think my next bike will be a GS.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '13 R1200GS

  10. #10
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slalomfool View Post
    Thank you... I did mean "K1200" not "F". But what are the pros and cons of a 2 cyl boxer vs an inline four?
    There's a big difference in power. BMW no longer has a K1200. The K1300S has 175 HP and I think the R1200RT has around 115HP. I don't know the HP numbers for the new R1200RT with the watercooled heads, but I'm guessing it's around 125 like the R1200GS.
    The K bike and R bike engines have a totally different feel, you need to ride both to see what works for you.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slalomfool View Post
    Kids grew up, single again... the only logical thing to do was buy a motorcycle. I snagged an '02 R1150R and I love it. Am now a BMW fan, but an uneducated one. I want to upgrade to a touring model but I'm a little lost. Why, for instance would I want an F1200 over an R1200rt or vice versa?
    Also, I admit, I'm totally enamored over the GS 1200 Adventure, but I'll be riding 99% or more on the road...is it that good of a road bike, too, or should I just get a touring bike and skip the dirt roads?
    I have read all the other input and my take is slightly different. I am focusing on the original poster's quest for "practical" differences. My answer is, there is no "practical" difference. All the differences mentioned are either technical or personal differences. As a "practical" matter, one can do all the same riding on either an R bike or a K bike, or an F bike for that matter. We all know that any particular style of riding is mostly between the rider's ears. If you want to tour on a motorcycle, you can tour just fine on any motorcycle, you only have to decide you want to tour on a motorcycle. But ... if you want maximum comfort while you are touring on a motorcycle, then you might seek a specific type of bike, say an R or a K.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  12. #12
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    The important thing is to get a bike that fits you and feels right. To me, a RT/LT fits me better than most other styles. I like the fairing for touring for the wind and weather protection. Riding on a long ride with a small or no windshield protection is tiring with the constant pressure of the wind against my body. The K bike engine is smoother and generally more powerful. However, there is just something about a boxer twin that speaks to me. You can get a water cooled inline engine from many other places while the modern boxer twin is unique to BMW.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  13. #13

    Smile Two bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    The only way to know the practical difference is to ride them.
    You can study the bike up close by looking at it, and read and learn a lot online.
    But it all comes down to which one you like to ride. Which may be two.
    dc
    Two bikes...hmmm....that doesn't sound too bad!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkM View Post
    You want to upgrade to a touring model? In my view, the R1150R is great for touring. If you love it, why so eager to move on? Enjoy this bike and tour on it. The GS is another great touring bike, even if you never leave the pavement. And if you have a GS, you'll have a good reason to take the road less traveled, including the dirt roads.

    Personally, I think the RT/GT/LT bikes are overdone. Too much wind protection, especially in hot weather. A lot of expensive plastic to break if you ever drop it. The R and the GS are just about perfect. In case you wonder how I came to my opinion--I've had two RT's. Great winter bikes for sure, but not my preference for the rest of the year. I like my R1100RS a LOT better, but I think my next bike will be a GS.
    Thanks Mark, I would'nt mind touring on my R1150r if I could find a better windscreen and some panniers/saddlebags, but they seem to be scarce for this model and year. Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough?

  15. #15
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slalomfool View Post
    Thanks Mark, I wouldn't mind touring on my R1150r if I could find a better windscreen and some panniers/saddlebags, but they seem to be scarce for this model and year. Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough?
    There are plenty of choices for windscreens to fit your R: http://www.ceebaileys.com/bmw/, http://parabellum.com/Sport-Shields-BMW-C3.aspx, http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/R1150Rprod.html, and probably others. Hard panniers can be found from BMW and Givi, and there are other suppliers who make the currently-fashionable rectangular aluminum pieces. Soft panniers are made by many tankbag and backpack makers.

    Sounds like heresy, but touring doesn't require any particular bike; touring is about riding. You can ride anything. In decades past, folks regularly went cross-country - even two-up - on bikes so small we think of them now as city machines only. Dexter Ford recently rode (and camped!) cross-country riding a new Honda CBR250R single.

    But...I sense that you're itching for a new bike, and less interested in keeping the one you've got. It's OK to want a new bike. In this country, no one has to ride: we do it because we want to, because it moves us. Prior posters are right: the various bikes we're talking about feel different. You've got to ride some and see what pushes your buttons. Just because you like the idea of a GS Adventure doesn't mean it'll fit you or you'll like how it feels. OTOH, you might just love it.

    There are lots of questions, and the answers are all individual.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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