Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 30 Old Oct 13th, 2014, 10:29 pm Thread Starter
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Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Hi all!

I'm strongly considering moving from my F800GT to a new R1200RT, and hoping I can get some advice here.

Basically, my concern is how maneuverable the RT is compared to the GT. I bought the GT to improve my skills on a smaller, lighter bike as I've previously ridden Harleys and haven't ever really felt I was comfortable in the twisties. I've had the GT for about 6 months now, and about 6,000 miles (prior to that I didn't ride for about 5 years). After these 6 months I'm now more comfortable in the twisties than I was, but still one of the slower riders out there.

Any thoughts on if I were to move up to the RT (which I want for more highway riding comfort) how much of a difference there would be in the canyons etc? FYI, I was able to test ride a 2014 RT a few weeks ago for about 20 miles, and I thought it was great! But, I don't think that was long enough to really get a feel for the bike yet.

If anyone has ridden both the 2014 RT and a GT extensively, I would really appreciate your thoughts/advice.

Thanks!

Stu
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post #2 of 30 Old Oct 14th, 2014, 12:30 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

I imagine the same rider would likely be faster on the 800.

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post #3 of 30 Old Oct 14th, 2014, 3:46 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Originally Posted by LA_Stu View Post
If anyone has ridden both the 2014 RT and a GT extensively, I would really appreciate your thoughts/advice.
I can't answer your question based on extensive riding of each bike.

However, I can tell you that for the most part it isn't the bike that is going to make you faster anywhere.
It is training, practice and aptitude.
First off, whatever bike you ride, don't feel you have to be as quick as the next person. It can result in a hospital visit or worse.
There are many good training courses available that will work on your skill sets.
In terms of the bikes, there should be no major difference in terms of 'flickability' because that has much to do with rider input. The RT will give you the comfort and calmness to concentrate on what you are trying to achieve because the wind noise is taken away. The GT may well 'feel' quicker because you have all the elements blowing on you, and the noise from helmet gives a sensation of speed.
I give a big +1 for the RT.
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post #4 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 12:13 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Never ridden the 800 but I can tell you that my new 2014 RT handles fabulously. I've put about a thousand miles on it since late September, and have enjoyed it very much compared to my other bikes which i also love. It has a very advanced chassis and is very stable on all types of roads. The engine/chassis combination makes roll on in the curves feel great, and the connie 14 and ninja 1000 I often ride with tell me they are amazed at the torque I have at all times as they follow me (both have better jockeys btw). I used to ride a harley ultra and I like them, but the new RT is arguably the best sport tourer on the market, and I highly recommend it.

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post #5 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 12:10 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

I had an opportunity to test a R1200rt all I can say is I'm addicted what an awesome touring bike can wait to buy one.
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post #6 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 6:54 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

You don't have to go faster to enjoy the ride on the RT. The RT is a great bike and you can grow into a certain riding skill level. I just cruise through curvy roads except every once in a while I really feel I'm in the groove and go for it. It's the best Road Touring bike imho.
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post #7 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 7:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Thanks all, for the advice... I'm gonna get the RT... now I just have to wait for those 2015's to arrive

One other question... I've never been on a bike with a heated seat... how much does it help in the cold?
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post #8 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 7:18 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Like others I have no GT experience, but I think the RT is a good fit for you IF:
1. Size is right. The RT handles much easier than a HD would, but it going to be slightly heavier than the GT. You won't notice the weight much at speed but might at slow or no speed.
Second part of this is going to be your inseam. If you are 5'9" to 5'10" w/31-32 inseam, the RT seems to be a perfect fit. Taller and you'll want some peg extensions, shorter and seat height becomes an issue.
2. If you plan to do some multi-day, multi-week trips. Yep the RT is a great day bike but where it will shine over the GT is going to be prolonged riding trips.
Here is the thing though; When I started riding a 350-750 was a bike large enough for touring duty and highway riding. Now days everyone THINKS they need something bigger. I'd consider WHAT options you would like, and what options you NEED. If the GT has all you NEED and want stick with it, if not consider a move to the RT.
As for how quickly you can hustle a bike down the road? You miss a lot of scenery you'd otherwise enjoy going too fast. Speed is really nothing more than confidence. Sounds like you are more cautious or lack the confidence to twist the throttle a little harder, lean a little further, and/or enter an apex a little hotter. Changing bikes won't fix this or make you any faster, BUT a different bike may give you a little more confidence (or less). I'd try and get a little more saddle time on an RT and ride it as though you were riding your GT. See if you feel at least as confident leaning, etc..
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post #9 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 7:39 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Teach, thanks for the advice - that's all really helpful! On my short test ride on the RT I had the standard seat set on low, and was on tip-toes (I'm about 5'8"), so I'm going to try get the lower seat.

You're spot-on about lack of confidence leaning more/twisting the throttle more. Riding the GT has helped me get more confident, and my goals are to feel that I'm a competent rider, in full and confident control of the bike on any road, at a reasonable speed. I plan to take one of the on-track classes to improve my skills - maybe one of Keith Code's CA super bike school classes.

Your advice about multi-day trips is also very helpful... thanks! I've done some longer trips on the GT and found it really lacking in comfort on the highway, so that's a big factor in moving to the RT.
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post #10 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 7:50 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Quote:
Originally Posted by LA_Stu View Post
Thanks all, for the advice... I'm gonna get the RT... now I just have to wait for those 2015's to arrive

One other question... I've never been on a bike with a heated seat... how much does it help in the cold?
Heated seats and grips are great in cold weather. I would also suggest to electric liners for your jacket, and maybe pant liners too. Warm buns are great (or so says my wife)

You will not go wrong with the RT. Most of us have only one regret about them: we did not jump on one much, much sooner than we did. I absolutely love my 2011.

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post #11 of 30 Old Oct 18th, 2014, 7:58 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

LAS, consider this BEFORE deciding which seat option is going to work best; Your right foot should be ON the rear brake pedal when stopped. I hear loads of folks saying they are on toe tips and need a shorter saddle, I say rubbish to that. If you are able to get both feet down, but you are on the ball or toes, the seat height is right, IF you are stopped as you should be with ONLY one foot down. I have a 34" inseam but my saddle is also built 2.5" taller so if I try and get both feet down, I'm as previously mentioned. Depending upon how much I lean the bike over left at a stop (or not), I can flat foot or be up on the ball/toes. The bike should fit for riding down the road, not for resting at a stop.
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post #12 of 30 Old Oct 19th, 2014, 9:31 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teach View Post
LAS, consider this BEFORE deciding which seat option is going to work best; Your right foot should be ON the rear brake pedal when stopped. I hear loads of folks saying they are on toe tips and need a shorter saddle, I say rubbish to that. If you are able to get both feet down, but you are on the ball or toes, the seat height is right, IF you are stopped as you should be with ONLY one foot down. I have a 34" inseam but my saddle is also built 2.5" taller so if I try and get both feet down, I'm as previously mentioned. Depending upon how much I lean the bike over left at a stop (or not), I can flat foot or be up on the ball/toes. The bike should fit for riding down the road, not for resting at a stop.
+1

You beat me to it, Teach! I was going to say the very same thing.

I am 5'-7" with 30" inseam, and the standard seat fits me quite fine (with the caveat that I ride just the way Teach described above). However, when I bought my '14 RT, which have the seat lower than the earlier models by 0.8" already, I opted for the low seat with the thought that it will help me when I have to duck-walk the bike backward. Mistake. Low seat on low was fine for about 200 miles, and around then I would feel how my knees were more bent than when riding my '07. I will never install the lowered pegs, because I will drag them earlier than the standard pegs. Low seat on high position would have been about right, for my riding, and so my '15 RT is coming with the standard seat. That will give me comfortable riding position (for me) and more padding than the low seat. For some reasons, the '14/'15 RT seem to be much easier to handle at very low speed, even when walking it backward, and so I am sure that I will be fine.
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post #13 of 30 Old Nov 18th, 2014, 6:13 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

I was in a very similar position to you. The 800GT was my first bike ever, at the age of 70 (but that is a different story). I had it for a year, and learned my skills on that bike. Yes, I dropped it a few times early on, usually at slow speed maneuvers. I used it for commuting and fun riding in my area, but rarely more than 60 miles at a time. I lowered the pegs with the Suburban Machinery kit, which made it more comfortable for these rides, but my primary issue with it was the engine heat it produced all summer. I learned to ride bow-legged, but I still felt that it would not be a bike for me for longer touring distances. In September I test rode the r1200rtw, and immediately felt the difference. No heat, much more comfortable riding position, and much more comfortable for long distances. I've now ridden the 1200 over 150 miles in a single day with only one stop, and I've had no issues. The ergonomics are great, the technology is wonderful, hill start assist is very functional, and now that winter is approaching, I've been using the heated seats. The fairing keeps your body out of the cold breeze, and the windshield keeps the cold wind away from our face. I've found that it is just as maneuverable as the 800GT, even at slow parking lot speeds. I would say go for it if you want to be comfortable on long-distance cruising, but still have a highly maneuverable bike to enjoy on country roads.
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post #14 of 30 Old Nov 20th, 2014, 1:23 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

I have both bikes in my garage. I have a 2011 RT and a 2013 F800GT. The F800GT feels like a light supermoto to me compared to my RT. I definetly feel the extra weight of the RT when hammering the tight stuff. I ride fairly agressively and have done a few dozen track days. Like some have said, its your training and experience. Go to some track days and build your skills. I can run with a lot of fast bikes on my RT in the twistie mountains around San Francisco. They keep looking in the rear view that a big ass touring bike is keeping up with them....
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post #15 of 30 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 12:14 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

I also agree with taking a "track" course...Don't stop with just one course...go out to the track several times to put those new skills to the test in a safe and predictable environment...Don't take those new skills directly to the streets because you can get over confident and quickly exceed your newly acquired skill levels! Hone the new skills on the track and you will see your confidence levels rise dramatically out in the twisties....I would either use the F800 for your track bike before you trade it in on the RT or get a cheaper jap bike to use...A Japanese brand 600 is a great bike to use for track days...even the older ones are great bikes for the track...tons of them out there so, if you skin up some plastics, replacements are easy to find!

Once you get to the point where you can abruptly change directions or lanes without having to think about it...you will know your skills are good.
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post #16 of 30 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 12:53 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teach View Post
LAS, consider this BEFORE deciding which seat option is going to work best; Your right foot should be ON the rear brake pedal when stopped.
No. Just no.
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post #17 of 30 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 1:05 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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I also agree with taking a "track" course...Don't top with just one course...go out to the track several times to put those new skills to the test in a safe and predictable environment...Don't take those new skills directly to the streets because you can get over confident and quickly exceed your newly acquired skill levels! Hone the new skills on the track and you will see your confidence levels rise dramatically out in the twisties....I would either use the F800 for your track bike before you trade it in on the RT or get a cheaper jap bike to use...Even an older 2002 and up 600's are great bikes for the track...tons of them out there so, if you skin up some plastics, replacements are easy to find!

Once you get to the point where you can abruptly change directions or lanes without having to think about it...you will know your skills are good.
I could not agree with you more. After I started track day/schools my riding changed 100% for the better. My casual riding pace is so much higher than the friends I ride with. I have done most of my track days on a BMW K1200S and my wife's GSXR 1000. The Japanese sport bikes are definitely way more fun than any heavy BMW. Find a track school that teaches you how to be a better rider on the street. Here in California, I attend Class Motorcycle Schools with Reg Pridmore. It is NOT a race school. Pretty much every brand and model bike is at his track days. CLASS Motorcycle School - the nation's best street riding school!
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post #18 of 30 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 9:02 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Arch, yes, and just plain yes. There is NO reason for it to be ANYWHERE else. Now if you lack the balance to stop properly, I'd suggest training wheels or a car.
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post #19 of 30 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

I had the 2012 F800ST before moving to the 2012 RT. Obviously weight is different but power/speed didn't change that much for me. I didn't ride two up on the 800 but I'm sure it would have been pushed. I know many folks out there ride two up on the 800 and it works fine for them. 800 has a slightly more forward riding position and this made a bit of difference on long rides.

I wish I could own both bikes. RT satisfies my long distance needs and is spirited enough for the short rides.

There is a big difference in weather protection and once you've enjoyed the heated grips, seat, wind/noise protection it would be hard for me to go back.

I will admit, since I was a new rider on the 800, I had not learned to loosen the grip and relax at speed in windy conditions. If I was riding the 800 today I think I would enjoy it a lot more than before.

I have to question Teach's advice on the foot brake. In fact I had forgotten there was a foot brake If i need brakes at stop then I want both wheels locked.

After riding the RT a while my legs seem to have grown a couple of inches. Possible that muscles have stretched so that I straddle better. Even with a Russell seat (wider and taller) I can flat foot both feet (6'-0' with 32" inseam). I remember being obsessive with looking for level ground to stop on when I first started riding the RT. One trip through Arkansas fixed that.

OP, Get that new RT, you'll never regret it. keep the GT if you can afford both.

Also don't worry about speed. It will come in time. Focus on proper riding technique and just get experience. Would love to do the track classes but I've found multi day trips was great for my training. Every time I come back from an extended ride I feel more in tune with the bike, like it's an extension of me. How bout that for a Zen moment?

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post #20 of 30 Old Nov 22nd, 2014, 3:08 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Every time I come back from an extended ride I feel more in tune with the bike, like it's an extension of me. How bout that for a Zen moment?
I feel the same way...I believe it's because the RT is so balanced and predictably stable that it just inspires confidence the more you ride it!

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post #21 of 30 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 8:35 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Arch, yes, and just plain yes. There is NO reason for it to be ANYWHERE else. Now if you lack the balance to stop properly, I'd suggest training wheels or a car.
Teach, the foot position is often dictated by the size of the rider, the local conditions (camber, road surface and weather situation plus much more). Your suggestion for the foot position is plain wrong.
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post #22 of 30 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 6:13 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

bandytales, why and what situation would dictate the right foot would be anywhere but on the rear brake pedal when stopped? You listed lots of suggestions, none of which are legit. For example size of rider? If you are shorter my position would mean easier flatfooting, taller and it makes no difference at all. camber and/or road surface? Nope again! Wear better footwear if you are worried about surface and no road has so much camber that it makes a bit of difference. Your on two wheels, lean the bike a little.
Weather conditions/situations? I've ridden on several continents, in about every type of weather one can think of and none of it ever prevented me from keeping my right foot on the brake pedal... where it belongs.
Now this might not be your practice, but it is the RIGHT practice. One can always judge the skill of a rider by watching them stop and take off from a stop.
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post #23 of 30 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 3:36 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Quote:
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bandytales, why and what situation would dictate the right foot would be anywhere but on the rear brake pedal when stopped? You listed lots of suggestions, none of which are legit. For example size of rider? If you are shorter my position would mean easier flatfooting, taller and it makes no difference at all. camber and/or road surface? Nope again! Wear better footwear if you are worried about surface and no road has so much camber that it makes a bit of difference. Your on two wheels, lean the bike a little.
Weather conditions/situations? I've ridden on several continents, in about every type of weather one can think of and none of it ever prevented me from keeping my right foot on the brake pedal... where it belongs.
Now this might not be your practice, but it is the RIGHT practice. One can always judge the skill of a rider by watching them stop and take off from a stop.
Teach. You and I have to differ on this. You talk about riding positions in such 'black and white' terms. They are not.
Take a typical traffic light scenario using your approach:
So you come to a stop. Foot over rear brake.
Change foot to select neutral.
Change foot to recover the brake
Change foot to select gear when lights go green.
Change foot to cover rear brake again.

I really don't think many of us do it.
We use the relevant foot at the relevant time.
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post #24 of 30 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 2:37 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Teach. You and I have to differ on this. You talk about riding positions in such 'black and white' terms. They are not.
Take a typical traffic light scenario using your approach:
So you come to a stop. Foot over rear brake.
Change foot to select neutral.
Change foot to recover the brake
Change foot to select gear when lights go green.
Change foot to cover rear brake again.

I really don't think many of us do it.
We use the relevant foot at the relevant time.
No reason to shift to neutral for most stops.

Always be in a gear that allows easy acceleration. Downshift to first as you are approaching the stop. Safer to stay in first to allow for emergency maneuvering. The final few feet of the stop are best made with the rear brake only, reducing the the likelihood of a tipover if the front wheel is not completely straight.
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post #25 of 30 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
No reason to shift to neutral for most stops.

Always be in a gear that allows easy acceleration. Downshift to first as you are approaching the stop. Safer to stay in first to allow for emergency maneuvering. The final few feet of the stop are best made with the rear brake only, reducing the the likelihood of a tipover if the front wheel is not completely straight.
Ok given Teach can be a little ridged on some issues, on this Occassion he is only reiterating from his long experience what the majority of motorcycle education institutes teach ( pardon the pun)

Police in this country are taught that way etc.
That said there are always situations that demand alternatives. An example in Ozzie of stopping on the side of a country road where the drop off from tar too dirt can be over 3 inches ( remember we drive on the other side of the road to you guys so the brake is always towards the centre of the road)

So in general teach can be considered to be right but there are situations that demand a different approach. And before anyone brings it up the teaching institutes recommend staying in gear at traffic lights, stop signs etc.
I don't think anyone needs to be dogmatic on these issues. The world is full of compromise.
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post #26 of 30 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 4:50 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

bandytales, All I am going to say is you propose breaking every rule in the book with your scenario.
Typical traffic stop your bike should already be in first and REMAIN in first when stopped. You should NEVER be in neutral when stopped. Yep I know folks who swap to neutral and it is STUPID. Ask anyone who has ever been rear-ended. What you suggest is the same as proposing coming to a stop at any intersection, in any vehicle order and having not planned a rout of escape before stopping.

Now I am not stupid, I KNOW that folks cut corners, the web & news is full of stories about folks who do just that. HOWEVER, there are BEST practices for motorcycling and those BEST practices will keep one's butt safe (if followed).

DO I ride as I post ALL the time? YES, I actually do. I also hit a favorite parking lot at least once a week all ride season to practice maneuvers, braking, etc... I also try to take at least one new MC riders course every couple years. You'd be surprised at all the BAD habits even experienced riders can adopt in two years & a rider course points them out. Am I a great rider? Nope just your average fella who rides a bunch and has for more than 4 decades. Loads of fellas out there that could ride circles around me I'm sure.
I'll tell you one more thing about my riding opinions that always gets debated; If a bike and cage get in a wreck, it is ALWAYS the riders fault. There is always something the rider should have or could have done to avoid it. A right way to ride, and short cuts. You decide, but I'll stick with what's right.
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post #27 of 30 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 6:56 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
No reason to shift to neutral for most stops.

Always be in a gear that allows easy acceleration. Downshift to first as you are approaching the stop. Safer to stay in first to allow for emergency maneuvering. The final few feet of the stop are best made with the rear brake only, reducing the the likelihood of a tipover if the front wheel is not completely straight.
+1

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post #28 of 30 Old Nov 26th, 2014, 8:51 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

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Originally Posted by Teach View Post
bandytales, All I am going to say is you propose breaking every rule in the book with your scenario.
I don't think this post is the place for long debates on techniques. I too am a trained rider. The practice of waiting at traffic lights with the bike in gear is bad on many grounds.
I think I will respectfully finish the debating this topic as it seems to be getting no where and so many of the points we discuss are context related.
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post #29 of 30 Old Nov 26th, 2014, 11:57 am
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

bandytales, I appreciate the conversation back and forth, thanks. These conversations are good as they provide multiple perspectives. Probably isn't going to shift you or me from our views but there might be someone reading who is new to the game and now knows there are different views.
Thanks again..........
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post #30 of 30 Old Nov 26th, 2014, 12:53 pm
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Re: Advice on moving from F800GT to R1200RT

Quote:
Originally Posted by bandytales View Post
I don't think this post is the place for long debates on techniques. I too am a trained rider. The practice of waiting at traffic lights with the bike in gear is bad on many grounds.
I think I will respectfully finish the debating this topic as it seems to be getting no where and so many of the points we discuss are context related.
LOL somehow I knew you weren't going to get the last word in.

LA Stu, I moved from an HD Road King to the RT, my first BMW and I couldn't be happier. I enjoyed my Harley, but there weren't many times that I would jump on to just go for a couple hour ride, not so with the RT it is just so enjoyable to ride, unfortunately tucked her in this past Sunday for the winter, after going for a couple hour ride of course! Only saw two other bikes out that day.
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