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Thread: Wondering about the 2016 RT

  1. #1

    Wondering about the 2016 RT

    I test drove one and liked it but did notice that sometimes it shifted smoothly, sometimes I thought I could actually feel the gears engaging and sometimes it made a satisfying agricultural clunk as it engaged. Is this typical? I kept it under 4000 rpms so that may have had an influence. Also I noticed in the most recent MOA magazine that maybe the wheels are prone to failure - anyone else experience this? Any idea how widespread that may be? And lastly there seems to be a weep hole issue. Is this a gremlin plagued model?
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
    MOA 7935

  2. #2
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Hi 217don - I have a 2015 RT. It was a demonstrator with 1200 miles on it when I got it. I now how 20,100 miles. I just returned to Boston after an 8890-mile romp over to Oregon, down to LA, then back home across the Southwest and South.

    It seems to me that the transmission is very solid, provides a "clunk" when going into 1st gear at a stop, and thereafter shifts they way I think it should. I have what BMW calls the "Gear Shift Assistant Pro" which allows some non-clutched shifting simply by moving the shift lever. In practice, I find the upward shifts from 3 to 4, 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 as the best and smoothest. Downshifts (with throttle closed) are very smooth from 6 through 1. The electronics blip the RPMs a bit on each downward movement. Since the bike has a slipper clutch, this seems to moderate engine braking some.

    I had not heard about wheel issues. Perhaps I should look. Roads in Massachusetts are pretty awful, so it's something I'll have to watch.

    As to the weep hole and some coolant appearing on the side of the engine case (left-front), I had some of that early on between 3K and 7K miles. I think that some water pumps were replaced under warranty in RTs and GSs. The service manager in the Asheville, NC BMW store looked at that when I was down there in April. He advised me to get someone to look at it if I ever found any accumulation under the bike on the ground. I have been through the 12K and 18K services, and the service people said all was fine.

    I don't think it's a gremlin-plagued machine, but this would only be anecdotal information from one rider. There are some changes in the works for the 2017 models, so you might look at that. I see that BMW Motorrad has a $1750 incentive on 2016 RTs, so maybe that's a factor.

    I hope this is helpful.

    John Gamel
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day. And needing a nap after lunch.

  3. #3
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 217don View Post
    I test drove one and liked it but did notice that sometimes it shifted smoothly, sometimes I thought I could actually feel the gears engaging and sometimes it made a satisfying agricultural clunk as it engaged. Is this typical? I kept it under 4000 rpms so that may have had an influence. Also I noticed in the most recent MOA magazine that maybe the wheels are prone to failure - anyone else experience this? Any idea how widespread that may be? And lastly there seems to be a weep hole issue. Is this a gremlin plagued model?
    418 miles I had a weep. 2015 RT loaded. I had a few drops not a river or anything. Called the dealer documented it with pics and continued riding it. Never a drop since. Dealer said to wait and see if it was a issue or the seal needed a bit of time to seat. He said it made no sense to pull the front half of my motor apart to put in the same run of parts that are in the system and very well will probably leak again. He was right.

    Wheels not sure of that as never in all the forms have I seen a post on a RT wheel. Other then a pothole deal or something.

    Shifting is all over the place on these bikes and I am not sure if it is bike specific or rider specific? I at times snick gears like butter and others it is like shifting a tractor and one wonders if you need to double clutch

    Been some switch issues in the past but dealers address them very promptly.

    Love the bike and mine has been pretty good to me with no major problems.

  4. #4
    Registered User jswisc's Avatar
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    2014 RT here. I've had this bike for 1,500 miles ( bought it with 6,200mi) but have been renting them on and off for 3 years. Other than the clunk into first, I've noticed the longer I ride, the better it gets. I'm sure the bike is the same, just the rider learning what this transmission likes. I short shift due to the plentiful amount of tourque between 1-2, 2-3, then clutchless the rest of the way. Quite smooth now. I have a VFR Honda, and by no means is it Honda smooth, but getting better all the time. BIke never had the weep issue but from what I read I wouldn't be too concerned. And like the other responses, I haven't heard anything about wheel problems. All in all, quite happy with the bike.
    2014 RT, 2008 Honda VFR, 2003 Ducati 800ss race bike

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    Hi 217don - I have a 2015 RT. It was a demonstrator with 1200 miles on it when I got it. I now how 20,100 miles. I just returned to Boston after an 8890-mile romp over to Oregon, down to LA, then back home across the Southwest and South.

    It seems to me that the transmission is very solid, provides a "clunk" when going into 1st gear at a stop, and thereafter shifts they way I think it should. I have what BMW calls the "Gear Shift Assistant Pro" which allows some non-clutched shifting simply by moving the shift lever. In practice, I find the upward shifts from 3 to 4, 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 as the best and smoothest. Downshifts (with throttle closed) are very smooth from 6 through 1. The electronics blip the RPMs a bit on each downward movement. Since the bike has a slipper clutch, this seems to moderate engine braking some.

    I had not heard about wheel issues. Perhaps I should look. Roads in Massachusetts are pretty awful, so it's something I'll have to watch.

    As to the weep hole and some coolant appearing on the side of the engine case (left-front), I had some of that early on between 3K and 7K miles. I think that some water pumps were replaced under warranty in RTs and GSs. The service manager in the Asheville, NC BMW store looked at that when I was down there in April. He advised me to get someone to look at it if I ever found any accumulation under the bike on the ground. I have been through the 12K and 18K services, and the service people said all was fine.

    I don't think it's a gremlin-plagued machine, but this would only be anecdotal information from one rider. There are some changes in the works for the 2017 models, so you might look at that. I see that BMW Motorrad has a $1750 incentive on 2016 RTs, so maybe that's a factor.

    I hope this is helpful.

    John Gamel
    Thanks, John. Very useful info and I appreciate the reply. My wife and I often tour in New England - Vermont 100 last summer
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
    MOA 7935

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LFarling View Post
    418 miles I had a weep. 2015 RT loaded. I had a few drops not a river or anything. Called the dealer documented it with pics and continued riding it. Never a drop since. Dealer said to wait and see if it was a issue or the seal needed a bit of time to seat. He said it made no sense to pull the front half of my motor apart to put in the same run of parts that are in the system and very well will probably leak again. He was right.

    Wheels not sure of that as never in all the forms have I seen a post on a RT wheel. Other then a pothole deal or something.

    Shifting is all over the place on these bikes and I am not sure if it is bike specific or rider specific? I at times snick gears like butter and others it is like shifting a tractor and one wonders if you need to double clutch

    Been some switch issues in the past but dealers address them very promptly.

    Love the bike and mine has been pretty good to me with no major problems.
    Thanks. Very useful. Wheel issue was in a letter to the ed in MOA News with, unfortunately, no response from our club leadership.
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
    MOA 7935

  7. #7
    Rally Rat
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    Perhaps you referring to soft rims that might bend on hard road hazard impact? Some years ago, but I think they are tougher now. Most cast wheel are prone to hard impact.

  8. #8
    Registered User ksb245's Avatar
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    217Don,
    I have a 2016 that I've put 16,000 miles on; FANTASTIC bike!
    Pro shifter is great once you learn it. Transmission only "clunks" going into first when stopped.
    My bike has an annoying clutch problem that only a very few seem to have; the engagement point jumps (for lack of a better description) out as the bike warms up. I adjusted the clutch so that it engages close to the grip when cold, therefore when it jumps I still have good control with my small hands. Just an inconvenience. Dealer replaced the clutch slave cylinder under a recall, but no change.
    Just had the low beam burn out; no other problems.
    I ride both single and two up and get ~ 50 mpg.
    Karl
    2016 R1200RT-LC San Marino Blue (The Alien)
    2008 R1200RT Sand Beige Metallic (Wife's)
    2014 1600 GTL Gray-Traded; 2011 R1200RT Black/Silver-Traded

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Cool

    Had an R1200RT for 7 years and nearly 80k miles. Granted the shifting got smoother with mileage, but like jswisc commented, it's not Honda-smooth (you need a Honda for that!).

    Not sure what the 'wheels concern' is all about, other than you have to avoid potholes with cast rims, as they bend/kink more easily than others.

    Perhaps it was a reference to the FD at the rear wheel? If so, best of luck, but BMW never did admit to or significantly re-engineer that gremlin. I know of current owners still biting that bullet.

    Good luck with the bike and ride often.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    Perhaps you referring to soft rims that might bend on hard road hazard impact? Some years ago, but I think they are tougher now. Most cast wheel are prone to hard impact.
    The letter is in the November issue of the MOA News so don't know much more than what the writer said. Seems he bent a wheel as have several other riders. Not a problem I have had in 40+ years of riding, some with cast wheels!
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
    MOA 7935

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    Had an R1200RT for 7 years and nearly 80k miles. Granted the shifting got smoother with mileage, but like jswisc commented, it's not Honda-smooth (you need a Honda for that!).

    Not sure what the 'wheels concern' is all about, other than you have to avoid potholes with cast rims, as they bend/kink more easily than others.

    Perhaps it was a reference to the FD at the rear wheel? If so, best of luck, but BMW never did admit to or significantly re-engineer that gremlin. I know of current owners still biting that bullet.

    Good luck with the bike and ride often.
    Thanks for the post and info. Am I correct that FD failures are still happening to 2016 bikes? Yikes. Would love to hear from other owners on that issue. Maybe it's a case of the emperor's new clothes.
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
    MOA 7935

  12. #12
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 217don View Post
    Thanks for the post and info. Am I correct that FD failures are still happening to 2016 bikes? Yikes. Would love to hear from other owners on that issue. Maybe it's a case of the emperor's new clothes.
    The FD appears to be reliable for wetheads so far. I've heard of only a couple of failures since the 2013 GS was introduced.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '13 R1200GS

  13. #13
    As Yoda says:

    "Wonder not, do"

  14. #14
    I took delivery of a custom ordered '16 RT on March 18, 2016, just past 16,000 miles, and it's been flawless. It seems to just get better and better at shifting smoothness and vibration dampening. In fact I ordered my RT w/o Shift Assist Pro, and I can shift ultra quickly and very smooth now w/ no lurch in the upper gears w/o the clutch which I do as desired and quite frequently.

    Never read a word about RT wheels so that's news to me, and I visit plenty of forums. Shifting is very well understood and you can read all about it everywhere if you search. In short, shifting is great once you have a little experience and the bike is broken in which IMO starts at around 7500 miles, but that is just my opinion from my own RT. Fabulous, fabulous piece of work in all areas. I really like its Sport side--shockingly it handles better than the F800GT I put 23K miles on in 20 months or so, or so it seems to me. And it is so comfortable on any pavement be they tight switchbacks on up to high speed 4 lane divided roads and everything in between. I hope to have it a long time ;o)

  15. #15
    Registered User zenwhipper's Avatar
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    I have an 2016. Just turned over about 5K. No issues what so ever. On the shifting - I have not noticed anything. All bikes and brands have their little nits.

    But - check this out:

    "For the third year in a row, the BMW R1200GS Adventure and R1200RT received Motorcycle of the Year (MOTY) Awards by Motorcyclist magazine. Editors, once again, chose the GS Adventure for its 2016 “Best Adventure Bike” category, while the RT earned “Best Sport Touring Bike” (after claiming the “Best Touring Bike” category for the previous two years). "

    http://bmwmcmag.com/2016/10/bmw-r120...gazine-awards/

    The machine is an amazing piece.
    I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.- Mark Twain
    Past bikes: 2001 Kawa ZR750S, 2002 VFR, 2006 V-Strom, 2008 FJR

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