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Thread: Telelever vs Telescopic Front Suspension

  1. #1

    Telelever vs Telescopic Front Suspension

    Interested in hearing from those who have ridden the same model with both front suspension types. I have a, '07 R1200R and am considering a new model (also an R1200R) with the telescopic forks. I never liked the lack of feedback/feel with the Telelever when crossing RR tracks and other road irregularities. I also never liked how the bike comes to a stop with the Telelever. You don't get that final settling of the front end that tells you "OK, we are stopped, you can put your foot down". I have a 29" inseam BTW.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Interested in hearing from those who have ridden the same model with both front suspension types. I have a, '07 R1200R and am considering a new model (also an R1200R) with the telescopic forks. I never liked the lack of feedback/feel with the Telelever when crossing RR tracks and other road irregularities. I also never liked how the bike comes to a stop with the Telelever. You don't get that final settling of the front end that tells you "OK, we are stopped, you can put your foot down". I have a 29" inseam BTW.
    I personally like the telelever on my R1150R. Voni likes it on her R1100RS better than the forks on her 13 year newer F800S.

    But you have already said you "never liked the lack of feedback/feel with the Telelever" so it seems to me you might have answered your own question.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Paul nailed it. Some folks like the Telelever, some prefer telescopics. I'm a Telelever fan.

    Don't force yourself to justify or want something you don't care for.
    Last edited by dbrick; 10-18-2017 at 04:12 PM.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #4
    I agree with Paul, I prefer the consistency of the telelever over the front end dive of telescopic forks.

    and has been said, YMMV.

  5. #5
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I like the telelever for the very reason's you seem to dislike them. I'm a much more confident rider with the telelever.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
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  6. #6
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    I like the telelever for the very reason's you seem to dislike them. I'm a much more confident rider with the telelever.
    Me too.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  7. #7
    Never even thought about the differences before.
    Telelever on my biggest 2 bikes which just seems natural. Simple forks on my smaller bikes which also seem to work perfectly for my riding.
    Seek Fun. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most fools do" BF
    2009 K1300GT,
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  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Interesting. I know a number of people who've passed on the new water-boxer R12R just because of the telescopic forks after test riding it. I wouldn't even consider it. I really like being able to grab a great big handful of brake when I want to stop RIGHT NOW - and not have the bike dive when I do it. It gives me more confidence in the brakes. And I've never noticed a lack of feel, but I'm not a 10-10ths rider (more like 5-10ths with an occasional drift into 7-10ths..) I normally have 1/2" chicken-strips on my rear tires, and I'm fine with that.

    If you don't like telelever - well - it's gonna be your bike so do what you want to do. I have a 27" inseam on a tall day.. not that I can see what that has to do with it.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    There's very little front end dive with dynamic ESA.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    There's very little front end dive with dynamic ESA.
    The front DESA suspension does work well relative to anti-dive. My rear unit is getting better with age but still has a few moments when the valving is uncertain.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  11. #11
    Don, thanks. That was the kind of feed back I was hoping to get. Now, if we can just get someone who has actually owned/ridden both R1200R versions for an extended period of time, I would feel more comfortable about making a purchase decision.

  12. #12
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Don, thanks. That was the kind of feed back I was hoping to get. Now, if we can just get someone who has actually owned/ridden both R1200R versions for an extended period of time, I would feel more comfortable about making a purchase decision.
    The R12RS water cooled shares the same suspension design as the R12R WC. My observations are those of someone coming from a 1999 R11RS Oilhead (i.e., telelever) with aftermarket shocks (Yacaguar/Ted Porter). In addition, I'm a big fan of the Telelever design. The inherent anti-dive character of the linkage is beautiful engineering design in my opinion. However, it requires length/volume to accommodate and the R12R/R12RS were targeted at a sport market.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  13. #13
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Don, thanks. That was the kind of feed back I was hoping to get. Now, if we can just get someone who has actually owned/ridden both R1200R versions for an extended period of time, I would feel more comfortable about making a purchase decision.
    I have a friend I could put you in touch with.. he owns a 2011 R12R, and looked to replace it with the new water-cooled R12R. He took a test ride and came back and bought an RT (and kept his 2011 R12R) specifically because he couldn't take the dive under braking. I don't know how long his test ride on the WC R12R was - but he was quite emphatic about how he didn't like the dive, and that's the only reason he bought an RT - to stay with Telelever. He is an experienced rider - he's probably doing 20-25,000 miles this year. If you want to chat with him - PM me and I'll give you his email.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  14. #14
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    Below is a link to another R1200R forum that had a lengthy discussion about the R1200R without the Telelever. The person who started this thread has put MANY miles on a Telelever R1200R. Give it a review. I hope it helps.

    If the ESA does correct for the fork dive I would prefer to have the mechanical solution , the Telelever, instead of the electronic solution, the ESA.

    http://www.r1150r.org/board/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=34038



    Just my 2 cents

    Roger L

  15. #15
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I'll add my own experience, 'tho it isn't with telescopic/Telelever on the same bike.

    I rode /2 bikes (Earls fork) from 1973-1984, and an R65 (telescopic fork) from 1984-1988. I bought a K75S in 1988, and rode it through 1997, probably 60K miles. I upgraded the rear suspension, and liked it a lot. In '97, I saw a black R1100RSL for sale at the dealer; the bike was in good condition. I'm not a black bike fan, and said so. The dealer shrugged, and saying bodywork can be repainted, suggested I ride it.

    Took it up into the Santa Cruz Mountains, narrow roads often with poor pavement. I was transfixed with delight; for me, the Telelever front end was a revelation. I got back to the dealer and bought the bike (and had them repaint the plastic, too).

    My subsequent experience (R1100RSL until 2009, followed by an '07 R1200R with Wilbers shocks) is the same. I considered a new LC R twin, but decided it wasn't likely to improve my current satisfaction with the Hexhead.

    Of course, YMMV. Go find bikes with both kinds of front ends, and try them.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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