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Help me pick, Hexhead or Camhead

guinness58

New member
I am a new member but not new to motorcycles, riding since ‘82 while in the Navy. Currently I am on a R1100R I bought in ‘95. After much thought I have decided my next bike will be a RT for multi day trips in Idaho where I am retired. Locally I found an ‘05 bike with 25k miles in great condition for $4,500. My question to the forum should I look instead for a Camhead with the better motor, ESA II and ASC for a higher price? If so, what year? Thank you in advance, all comments welcome.
 
Can't say much about any other years except a 2012. I put over 75,000 smiles on mine without any real headaches. Replaced the shocks at 50,000 miles ( Tractive ) and 1 coil around 40,000 miles.
 
I can only speak to my 2010. I have no regrets. I like the oil cooled low maintenance. ABS, ESA II, heated grips, heated seats.
 
If you plan to do your own maintenance, I think you’ll be happy with the camhead. Until I bought my2013 R1200R, I had only owned airheads which are fairly easy for scheduled service. For a modern motorcycle, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the camhead was just as easy. Except for the issue of fuel strips, which affect my model and year, I have no complaints. Different model camheads discontinued the fuel strip in earlier years. I now have the new, improved strip which appears to be doing well. Another member will have to speak about the hexhead.

Doug
 
I've chosen two different camheads, an RT and prior the GS. That motor is the culmination of 70+ years of development. The GS was bullet proof, and this 11RT I'm running has exactly the same manners.
 
The oilhead is an improvement on the airhead.
The hexhead is an improvement on the oilhead.
The camhead is an improvement on the hexhead.
See where I am going with this?
Buy the newest, lowest mileage bike you can afford. IMHO.

Frank
 
I'd go with at least a 2009+ Hexhead (no whizzy ABS, better final drive), with a Camhead preferred to that if the budget allows. You're retired, so you have all the time in the world :laugh, but I'd rather be riding than wrenching.
 
I have narrowed it down to a 2012 or 2013. Quick question, I see 8 buttons on the left fairing. What do the buttons do? I think the radio is tied to some of them, cannot find any published info.
 
I have narrowed it down to a 2012 or 2013. Quick question, I see 8 buttons on the left fairing. What do the buttons do? I think the radio is tied to some of them, cannot find any published info.

It's the radio functions.

I have an '05 and they are a big jump up from the oilheads, especially in terms of power.
 
It's the radio functions.

I have an '05 and they are a big jump up from the oilheads, especially in terms of power.

I have the pdf manual on the radio buttons/controls/setting. It's available if one searches for it, that's where I found and downloaded mine
 
I am looking really hard at a 2012 RT with low miles. In response to a prior response, I can afford a new 2024 but I prefer the ergonomics of the 2010-2013 generation. (Anyone else feel the same?) The bike I am considering has no radio, no ESA II, no ASC, no TPS and no heated seats. Two questions: should I wait for another bike to come along? (I know some of the options are personal preference.) If I do buy the bike, is it worth it to retrofit ASC? I am coming of a 1995 R1100R (bought new) with no ABS so this should be a big leap forward.
 
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I have narrowed it down to a 2012 or 2013. Quick question, I see 8 buttons on the left fairing. What do the buttons do? I think the radio is tied to some of them, cannot find any published info.
 

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I am looking really hard at a 2012 RT with low miles. In response to a prior response, I can afford a new 2024 but I prefer the ergonomics of the 2010-2013 generation. (Anyone else feel the same?) The bike I am considering has no radio, no ESA II, no ASC, no TPS and no heated seats. Two questions: should I wait for another bike to come along? (I know some of the options are personal preference.) If I do buy the bike, is it worth it to retrofit ASC? I am coming of a 1995 R1100R (bought new) with no ABS so this should be a big leap forward.
I think it all depends on your needs.
ESA is a real treat if you regularly alternate between riding solo or two-up.
If you need to replace the ESA components it will be very expensive. The alternative is to replace with non-ESA components. A non-ESA bike has less to go wrong.
Heated seats are a bit of a luxury but if you ride in cool weather they are nice.
I've never had ASC and my new-to-me 2013 doesn't have it. I have ridden through some truly horrendous conditions (rain and snow) on my ST1300 and never had an issue. I expect retro fitting it would not be cheap.
 
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