View Poll Results: The machine described in the original post: interested?

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  • No interest in something like this

    18 26.09%
  • Intrigued, but not sure it's for me

    31 44.93%
  • I want this bike!

    20 28.99%
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Thread: Mid-sized Sport Tourer w/ strong Sport & Tour features: would you want to buy one?

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  1. #1
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    Mid-sized Sport Tourer w/ strong Sport & Tour features: would you want to buy one?

    In March of this year I moved from an F800GT to a '16 RT pretty much completely to equip me better for a 9K mile trip I'm starting in two days.

    While visiting the various forums as I was shopping for appropriate new bikes I was struck by a few recurrent themes:

    1. With the lightweight STs be they F800s, Versys, etc folks are frequently looking to modify ergos, wind management, adding aftermarket cruise, and so forth.
    2. Aging riders who often ride 1-up were looking to downgrade weight, so were moving towards lightweight models.

    I ended up deciding between RT & FJR1300 and the reason is very simple: you can't find a fully touring optimized ST until you get into this weight class. And yet, especially for the predominantly 1-up rider where more luggage capacity is needed, there is nothing necessary engineering-wise that says to have a fully touring optimized machine you need this kind of weight. RT is closest to ideal in these regard, hence I bought one and it's truly lovely.

    So my question to you is: what if you could have the best of both worlds: a performance-oriented ST sacrificing little to nothing on the comfort side, but in a lighter weight package. Would you want this machine? Here's my dreamcycle specs, more or less.

    1. 900-1000cc powerplant, 120HP
    2. Curb Weight: 525lbs fully fueled, w/ empty side cases
    3. Comfort Features: full height power windscreen, relaxed ergos ala RT, more plush seat ALA rt, heated grips/seat
    4. Performance Tech: ABS Pro, ASC, Dynamic ESA
    5. Final Drive: belt w/ 50K mile change interval (lightweight, efficient, clean and no maintenance)
    6. Luggage: trimmed ala R1200RS or F800GT
    7. Fairing: something between RT & GT
    8. Lines & Finish: sportier paint & forward lines, however retaining the more relaxed ergos.


    Quite clearly this is a lighter weight RT, achieving this thru a number of elements, the belt drive which I loved on my GT, the lighter weight luggage is ample and efficient for 1-up, and so forth. It's considerably lighter weight package, amped power:weight, ABS Pro, all go to improve the Sport side of Sport Tourer. This is a fully Comfort and Sport optimized machine aimed primarily at the 1-up rider though 2-up is an option for sure. It does not exist anywhere in the market. The electric windscreen I'm in love w/ on the RT and yet you won't find it until you get way up in weight class.

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Not interested in a "small tourer" unless it has a boxer twin engine and driveshaft.

    It may be in BMW's best interest in terms of liability to not provide a bike that will encourage owners to overload it ... yes, difficult.

    The best thing about BMWs IMHO is that they are not designed with American riding as a top priority.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
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    I already have a mid-sized sport tourer. Weighs only 470 lbs. Has plenty of power...it surprised a Ducati rider who had an 1190 cc engine. I spent 11 hours on it Monday and wasn't tired when I got home at 9pm. Not much need for wanting anything different.

    Chris

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by daboo View Post
    I already have a mid-sized sport tourer. Weighs only 470 lbs. Has plenty of power...it surprised a Ducati rider who had an 1190 cc engine. I spent 11 hours on it Monday and wasn't tired when I got home at 9pm. Not much need for wanting anything different.

    Chris
    Yes you do have a mid-sized sport tourer and it weighs only 470lbs. Great bike even w/ it's shortcomings in both the Sport and Touring sides. I know I loved mine, but would never shy away from something that trumps it in many big ways.

  5. #5
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    ??

    What is this bike?
    With my old R1150R, I surprised a Kaw 1200 once going up hill no less!! He could not believe it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUGENE View Post
    What is this bike?
    With my old R1150R, I surprised a Kaw 1200 once going up hill no less!! He could not believe it.
    Eugene this is the bike I was hoping to find and couldn't when I began looking a few years ago--does not exist but could and I maintain it would be in very high demand if it were done as described to and including lines and paint. I see Yamaha maybe coming out with this machine in fact the Yam rep at a NY show was saying he was hoping for an FJR Light as it were. I think we'll see it and I think the demand will be significant.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by daboo View Post
    I already have a mid-sized sport tourer. Weighs only 470 lbs. Has plenty of power...it surprised a Ducati rider who had an 1190 cc engine. I spent 11 hours on it Monday and wasn't tired when I got home at 9pm. Not much need for wanting anything different.

    Chris
    Is this the F800GT? What mod have you done to it?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUGENE View Post
    Is this the F800GT? What mod have you done to it?
    Yeah. You found me out.

    I was pretty fortunate to have found this particular F800GT. The original owner was a cardiologist and money was no object for him. As he put it, he did all the research on what would make it a better touring bike and then had those options installed. He said he had $2000 of mods on it. I count closer to $3000.

    He put a Madstad windshield on it that helps tremendously. It is fully adjustable, just not electronically. Where I have it now has the air moving over me, but it's not a blast, just clean smooth airflow. No back pressure. No turbulence. It makes a huge difference on a long ride to not have to fight that.

    He also installed some bar risers that bring the handlebars up and back. Beautifully machined pieces. And he also put a peg lowering kit on it. All that relaxes the ergonomics. The handlebar angle is spot on too. Pressure on the hands is even, unlike my other bike that puts too much pressure on the outside of the palms. The bike fits me like a glove.

    All that would be worthless on the wrong bike though. One of the things that surprised me when I did a demo ride at the dealership was how stable the bike is on the freeway. I was riding in heavy traffic and the trucks weren't buffeting me. The bike was tracking nice and straight without requiring any extra effort except to sit there. I would've thought that as responsive as it is in corners, that it would be twitchy. It wasn't. And with the Madstad windshield, the bike is even more relaxed on the freeway.

    He did something that looked a little strange in the Craigslist ad, but are worth their weight in gold. He put Touratech Trax 37L aluminum side cases on it. They open from the top and you can stuff them as much as you'd like. They give some real carrying capacity to the bike for the touring I plan to do after I retire.

    I got compliments everywhere I went last Monday on it. At the Edmonds ferry dock, both the Harley and Ducati rider complimented me on the bike. When I parked at the trailhead for Hurricane Hill, there were two riders admiring the bike. On the way back at the Kingston side of the ferry, two Harley riders, a BMW F1200CL rider and a Kawasake ZX-14 rider all complimented me on it. I even got a compliment on the bike when I went to the barber shop on Wednesday. I've never had that kind of response to a bike before.

    Chris

  9. #9
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    Perfect tourer

    Chris, can you post a picture?

    Thanks,
    Mary
    2007 R1200RT, gone
    2009 R1200RT, gone
    2014 R1200RTW, GREAT

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    In March of this year I moved from an F800GT to a '16 RT pretty much completely to equip me better for a 9K mile trip I'm starting in two days.

    While visiting the various forums as I was shopping for appropriate new bikes I was struck by a few recurrent themes:

    1. With the lightweight STs be they F800s, Versys, etc folks are frequently looking to modify ergos, wind management, adding aftermarket cruise, and so forth.
    2. Aging riders who often ride 1-up were looking to downgrade weight, so were moving towards lightweight models.

    I ended up deciding between RT & FJR1300 and the reason is very simple: you can't find a fully touring optimized ST until you get into this weight class. And yet, especially for the predominantly 1-up rider where more luggage capacity is needed, there is nothing necessary engineering-wise that says to have a fully touring optimized machine you need this kind of weight. RT is closest to ideal in these regard, hence I bought one and it's truly lovely.

    So my question to you is: what if you could have the best of both worlds: a performance-oriented ST sacrificing little to nothing on the comfort side, but in a lighter weight package. Would you want this machine? Here's my dreamcycle specs, more or less.

    1. 900-1000cc powerplant, 120HP
    2. Curb Weight: 525lbs fully fueled, w/ empty side cases
    3. Comfort Features: full height power windscreen, relaxed ergos ala RT, more plush seat ALA rt, heated grips/seat
    4. Performance Tech: ABS Pro, ASC, Dynamic ESA
    5. Final Drive: belt w/ 50K mile change interval (lightweight, efficient, clean and no maintenance)
    6. Luggage: trimmed ala R1200RS or F800GT
    7. Fairing: something between RT & GT
    8. Lines & Finish: sportier paint & forward lines, however retaining the more relaxed ergos.


    Quite clearly this is a lighter weight RT, achieving this thru a number of elements, the belt drive which I loved on my GT, the lighter weight luggage is ample and efficient for 1-up, and so forth. It's considerably lighter weight package, amped power:weight, ABS Pro, all go to improve the Sport side of Sport Tourer. This is a fully Comfort and Sport optimized machine aimed primarily at the 1-up rider though 2-up is an option for sure. It does not exist anywhere in the market. The electric windscreen I'm in love w/ on the RT and yet you won't find it until you get way up in weight class.
    #1 yes
    #2 or less than 525 lbs.
    #3 yes
    #4 ESA is not nessary
    #5 Belt or shaft drive
    #6 ,#7 ,#8 yes
    Have ST 800 now. In the past airhead and oilhead. Currently nothing on the market like this thou.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUGENE View Post
    Currently nothing on the market like this thou.
    Yes, that is the issue. Simply put, the design optimizes both sides of the ST spectrum exceptionally well with really no significant deficiencies whatsoever. 520-525lbs is still very far away from heavy. The only meaningful downside is cost which will be a factor for many, the least of which as a class will be aging baby boomers who most often ride 1-up. Ultimately a poll like this is a hard way to establish true market interest because people sometimes are coming at it from justifying their own choices, what they can afford and they want to remain happy and settled for obvious reasons.

  12. #12
    Touring Rider GRLambert's Avatar
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    Cruise control a must for me. Not sure I would give up my RT for a 75lb weight savings.
    Gary
    Casa Grande, AZ
    2016 R1200RT

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRLambert View Post
    Cruise control a must for me. Not sure I would give up my RT for a 75lb weight savings.
    It's a very good point and if you could trim it back to 510bls all the better. This is a reason why I think BMW would not be the brand that would debut this configuration as they already make something that is lightest in class. But 75-90lbs starts mattering a lot to the aging rider especially. If Kaw or Yamaha did it they would have something unlike anything they current sell and I'm talking all of the major pieces of this including the electric screen which you have to get into 640-690lbs to have in their current heavy SSTs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRLambert View Post
    Cruise control a must for me. Not sure I would give up my RT for a 75lb weight savings.
    You may in a few years which is part of why I bring this up. I sold my F800GT to an ... 80 y/o man who felt his '09 RT was getting too heavy. I met him for coffee just to meet an 80y/o rider and both of us had 30 miles or so of freeway time to get to Starbucks. When he got off his GT his first comment was, 'Well, I didn't buy this to ride on the freeway...' This is in part what cramps GT for being a well optimized touring bike--yes, we like to ride thru canyons but there are places when doing long touring and also adhering to time limits where it makes more sense to take an interstate. For starters beyond having no cruise and no full height power screen the bike feels like it's working at higher sustained speeds--primarily it's the buzziness. I noticed a substantial vibration resonance starting at 4200rpm on up especially under load that I found far too grating for any kind of long touring. Here is a poll on this issue and as you can see a majority of owners also experience this, though not all:

    Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.23.39 AM.jpg

    I took it on a 3K mile trip over 9 days and the bike and I did quite well overall. The bike is very well adapted to canyon riding, can get you on sections of freeway where you have to, but it's blown around much more than RTW which is also a bit grating if you're stuck in sections where there are semi's which means all freeways and many secondary roads and highways.

    Having just come from F800GT at 470lbs wet to RTW at 604lbs wet I found I've adapted very well and very quickly. I couldn't pick up my GT if it hit the deck anyway so having the lighter weight machine doesn't add a whole lot for me. But absolutely weight was a factor in deciding RTW over FJR1300ES which is one fine piece of machinery but its weight exceeds my max weight limit. I truly believe the Sport/Performance optimized Tourer w/ comfort features optimized all in an ~525lb wet package will be exceedingly desirable to all but perhaps riders doing a lot of 2-up in which case the bigger SST's might better serve. I feel that 525lbs wet does not deter from handling meaningfully and begins to approach would I would call optimized weight: more stability, better planted feel, more tolerant of wind effects, over lower weight models like F800GT.

  15. #15
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Sport touring pole thread.

    I like the idea.

    What you are describing sounds a lot like an R1200RS in terms of power, weight and purpose. Check the spec page out over at BMW Motorcycles USA. I test rode one and liked it. If a friend bought one I would love to ride it more.

    Over my riding career I have modified bikes to make them into sport tourerís before the manufacturers and marketers created the class. I have owned VFRs and other middle weight bikes outfitted with luggage both hard and soft.


    I like the idea but it never comes off the page well when I have done it or the manufacturer does. I have come to the conclusion that I can build a daily rider leaning toward the SM class, a 500 or 650 used sport bike, two more purpose focused bikes which will do what I want when I ride them and have money left over compared to the RS or what you are talking about. I can weekend ride and camp with either.

    I have done the lower 48 and all Canadian Provinces and a couple Territories. Havenít made Alaska.I will admit I am turning into a lazy old fart. For longer tours I am calling a cab to take me to the airport and renting on the other end.

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