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Thread: '15 R1200RT after-action comments

  1. #1
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    '15 R1200RT after-action comments

    Spoiler alert - the conclusions aren't positive.

    I just came back from an Edelweiss tour (discussion of which belongs somewhere else) of the central (Austrian, mostly) Alps. I chose the RT. Once I figured out how to deal with hairpins, the RT did them with far less effort than "everybody" told me would happen. More open roads, of course, went well. But...

    I developed a very strong dislike of the motor. I tried to keep it turning at 3K or more - well, actually, I had to keep it above 3K. Below that the motor just didn't have much "go". Once in the power band, though, it was able to lift the front wheel on occasion. Throughout, however, the bike buzzed and generally was wearing. To add to the fun, keeping the motor happy meant tons of shifting, up or down. Some hairpins had me down to 1st at about 25 MPH. I generally rode in Road mode, although I wanted the Dynamic mode. In dynamic mode, the bottom of the throttle twist had an ugly on/off, not very helpful when trying to set up turns without pitching the bike on the suspension.

    I also thoroughly dislike the computer. Even though I had a PDF of the owner's manual (none supplied by Edelweiss), I still couldn't find out how to do setting "Road throttle/Dynamic suspension". Going from showing ambient temperature to showing tire pressure, while on the move was simply not practical - too much "head down in the cockpit" time. And a special curse on the "wonder wheel" designer. Give me a simple up/down left/right OK " joystick buttons and make the computer something that doesn't involve calling in the neighborhood's 6 year old computer genius.

    FWIW, the Garmin Zumo 660 is plug and play compatible with the Nav IV mount. The computer controls don't work with the Zumo. But it's easy to poke gloved finger at the screen to control it.

    The side stand is a disaster looking to happen. Trying to get it down, I popped into 1st a couple of times. Anticipating this, I had the clutch in and the front brake set. But imagine doing this with neither set. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

    The center stand... only Arnold Schwarzenegger could get it to work. Arnold did show up once. I planned to run off the stand. I lit the motor and found I was 1st (presumably that happened getting the bike onto the stand. How wonderful to hear the rear tire spinning away merrily. Imagine the excitement of shifting may weight back on the wheel.

    While there are good parts (e.g., master lock for the bags) and the ergos are good, I wouldn't take this bike as a gift. Save as a trade-in on a K bike.

    Let the disputation begin...
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  2. #2
    That's why there are lots of different bikes and bike makers, not everyone likes the same thing or has issues with the same things.

    I personally love my RT, the computer and wonder wheel work very well for me, the side stand I have to look at to make sure I get on it to put it down, never had a full size bike that was easier to get the center stand down than this one is. My one big gripe is that with my helmet and my wifes synced to the bike and Nav V plus my phone to the Nav V I get very intermittent music. Something with the BMW Bluetooth just isn't right or well thought out.

    Hope you find the right bike for you.

  3. #3
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    Your opinion on the engine is interesting, since all I had heard about the R1200LC engine was that it was night and day different in power performance than the hexhead engine on my 06 RT. I have similar criticisms of the hexhead engine on my bike.

    I do admire the courage of your conviction in this post. I should think the responses will be interesting

  4. #4
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

    Sad to hear of your experience. I've had many bikes, and actually tried a 2015 Harley Ultra Limited for exactly one year before trading back to a 2016 RT. But I am now on my second RT, and love it. I live in the mountains of Colorado, and now again smile when I see the "Turns Ahead' signs. I find my bike to be predictable, and has almost double the horsepower and 300 pounds lighter than my Harley. I am inspired again, and love the RT better than any of my Hondas, Yamahas, Harleys, etc. But again, to each our own! Have fun with whatever you end up with!

  5. #5
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Did the Alps back in '08 on a 1150R and quickly discovered that in the tight stuff you only needed two gears; first for the corners, second for the stretches between corners. Spent entire days where I almost never got past third gear. Learned to keep the revs at about 4500 both for throttle response and engine braking. At the end of a 300km day I would be exhausted and grinning ear to ear.
    Paul Mulhern
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  6. #6
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBEmerson View Post
    Throughout, however, the bike buzzed and generally was wearing.
    That's odd: my '03 RT felt agricultural compared to the smoothness of my 2015 R1200GS. My GS is smoother at every RPM and pulls 6th happily @55 mph even uphill, while my old RT was happiest in 6th @ 72 mph and above and was smoothest in 6th gear.

    My new GS is a more enjoyable bike for me.


    Harry

  7. #7
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Did the Alps back in '08 on a 1150R and quickly discovered that in the tight stuff you only needed two gears; first for the corners, second for the stretches between corners. Spent entire days where I almost never got past third gear. Learned to keep the revs at about 4500 both for throttle response and engine braking. At the end of a 300km day I would be exhausted and grinning ear to ear.
    Wow, 300km per day is a BIG day in the Alps!
    I did it last year on a 2015 R1200GS - 220 km was a good day! More KM was almost too much!

    I found the GS motor perfect for the alps, rarely made 3rd gear, most of the day in 1st or 2nd. High revs.
    Don't know if the gearing is different on the RT?
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  8. #8
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Likewise, I mostly used the first three gears. NTL, the bike was annoyingly buzzy. My dealer (Hermy's, Pt. Clinton, PA) sent me out on an F650GS as a loaner during work on my K1200RS. The motor is much smoother, doesn't require gear jamming, and has one INFO button. So... even the 650 was more tractable. OTOH, the saddle was good for about 45 minutes. I guess BMW expects the user to ride standing a lot.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  9. #9
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    Stick with the K...you are obviously a K kind of guy.
    MOA #46783

  10. #10
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Oh K...

    FWIW, I tried to get a K1600 but they said no. And then two guys showed up on HD baggers. Say what?
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  11. #11
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    odd. your experience is about dead-on opposite mine, in nearly every respect. I haven't had my R12GS into the Swiss Alps, but it really loved the American Alps of CO's southern San Juan mntns (think Million Dollar Hiway, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, etc). Smooth power from about 2500rpm up, with a real rush of "oomph" beginning around 5K. Shifting can be clunky between 1-2-3, but the taller gears are all butter smooth.
    Not sure if the computers ops are identical, but i'd have a hard time believing that they're different. There is no "Dynamic" suspension setting for me.. there is preload settings of "1 helmet", "1 helmet plus bag" (what i use for solo riding), "2 helmet" and "2 helmet with bag". that sets the preload. Once you've chosen the throttle mode you want (I like Dyna most of the time), you can set suspension tuning to "soft", "normal" or "hard"... although in Enduro mode, you only have soft or hartd as options.
    And, as far as pulling with authority from below 3K... I've never ridden any big twin that pulls rapidly at those lower speeds, they have all wanted to be at 4K or above for best performance.
    Maybe your expectations were not in line with what this bike offers?
    If you're a guy with K bike experience, the difference in the nature of a big twin vs a multi might be what you encountered.
    Somes is twin guys, others is multi guys.....
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  12. #12
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBEmerson View Post
    Oh K...

    FWIW, I tried to get a K1600 but they said no. And then two guys showed up on HD baggers. Say what?
    Even though I rented a R1200GS for my Alps tour (mostly because I wanted time on that model); for the Alps, smaller is better.
    A F700GS or F800Gs is way lighter and more flickable in all the tight turns, and are less tiresome to handle at slow speeds "all day long".

    When I go for my next tour, it will likely be on a F700. The gearing is perfect for the Alps. Center of Gravity is low too, which all adds to the competence in the switchbacks.

    Ya, if you want to be on the autobahn a lot, a R1200GS (RT) or K1600 is the way to go.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RBEmerson View Post
    Likewise, I mostly used the first three gears. NTL, the bike was annoyingly buzzy. My dealer (Hermy's, Pt. Clinton, PA) sent me out on an F650GS as a loaner during work on my K1200RS. The motor is much smoother, doesn't require gear jamming, and has one INFO button. So... even the 650 was more tractable. OTOH, the saddle was good for about 45 minutes. I guess BMW expects the user to ride standing a lot.
    What you need is K16

  14. #14
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    A K motor is different from a R motor , is different from a RR motor,is different from a F motor, is different C motor, is different from a G motor. This is what makes the world go round! It would be boring if we all like the same things.

  15. #15
    Motoronic diversity: a flavored combustion for every man in town.

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