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post #1 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 1:05 pm Thread Starter
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Downgrading from RT to F800GT

This might be a topic rather off this group range... I am 67 and handling the bulk of my fully loaded 2009 RT in and out of garage and on parking lot is becoming a bit difficult now and evidently it is not going to get any better. I am not considering to sell my RT yet, but in not so distant future I might...
Weighing my options, I was wondering if going to a smaller and ligher bike would be a solution. I kind of like this new F800GT with its belt drive, but my main concern is the riding position. Is it as straight and relaxed as on RT or is it leaning more towards the sport bike position style. How is the wind and elements protection? Has anyone had an opportunity to drive the F800GT and compare it to RT?

2009 BMW 1200 RT
2014 Suzuki DL650 VStrom
2009 Kawasaki KLX250s (sold)
2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX (sold)
2006 BMW 1200 GS (sold)
And another at least dozen of bikes before...
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post #2 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 1:28 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I like the GT and if I did not do a lot of two up riding it would be a good choice for me. Have you considered the F800 GSA, I took a F800 GS out this spring and really enjoyed it other than the seat but apparently the GSA has a better seat.

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post #3 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 1:35 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luma46
This might be a topic rather off this group range... I am 67 and handling the bulk of my fully loaded 2009 RT in and out of garage and on parking lot is becoming a bit difficult now and evidently it is not going to get any better. I am not considering to sell my RT yet, but in not so distant future I might...
Weighing my options, I was wondering if going to a smaller and ligher bike would be a solution. I kind of like this new F800GT with its belt drive, but my main concern is the riding position. Is it as straight and relaxed as on RT or is it leaning more towards the sport bike position style. How is the wind and elements protection? Has anyone had an opportunity to drive the F800GT and compare it to RT?
I'm 73 and considering going this route in the near future. If you go to http://cycle-ergo.com/ you can compare the body forward lean angle and knee bend etc fo different bikes
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post #4 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 3:32 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillo
I'm 73 and considering going this route in the near future. If you go to http://cycle-ergo.com/ you can compare the body forward lean angle and knee bend etc fo different bikes
That is the coolest website ever. Apparently, I'm the perfect height and inseam for the RT.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." That's why we know the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that vaccines are safe and effective, that GMO crops don't cause cancer, that anthropogenic global warming is a thing, and that sasquatch does not exist. But mostly it means that any oil works as well as another one.

On my fourth RT, a 2011 beast with all the cool stuff.
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post #5 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 4:41 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

what's really cool about that site is if you use your mouse scroll wheel, it will slowly super impose both bikes to get a true comparison.

John
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post #6 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 5:32 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luma46
This might be a topic rather off this group range... I am 67 and handling the bulk of my fully loaded 2009 RT in and out of garage and on parking lot is becoming a bit difficult now and evidently it is not going to get any better. I am not considering to sell my RT yet, but in not so distant future I might...
Weighing my options, I was wondering if going to a smaller and ligher bike would be a solution. I kind of like this new F800GT with its belt drive, but my main concern is the riding position. Is it as straight and relaxed as on RT or is it leaning more towards the sport bike position style. How is the wind and elements protection? Has anyone had an opportunity to drive the F800GT and compare it to RT?
I put 600 miles on one in March. My write up follows.

Thanks to European Motorcycles of Western Oregon for the opportunity to put some miles on the new, for 2013, BMW F800GT. This workhorse twin cylinder is quick off the line and spins up with a pleasing growl. Top gear offers brisk overtaking performance and pulls hard at anything above 2000 RPM. Around town the bike was smooth, light and agile. On the interstate (in comfort mode) it felt solidly planted at all speeds. The handling was unaffected by side winds or semi truck turbulence. On curvy secondary roads (with the suspension in SPORT mode) the bike responded predictably to steering inputs and handled bumps, pavement seams and rain groves with ease. The flexibility of the gearing allowed for minimal shifting, but when necessary the transmission is smooth and precise.

The ergonomics suited me well; Im 60-215LBS. Wind protection is ample without isolating the rider from the elements. The seat is comfortable, and I had no problem riding tank to tank. Average fuel consumption was 60 MPG on the highway. Brakes are the usual BMW (ABS) phenomenal. I took it down some gravel roads and found the ASC a practical tool to have on board when traction is limited. The heated grips were a welcome addition as temperatures were in the 45F range much of the trip.

At 800cc it is not BMWs most powerful motor but I found it to be their most, flexible and willing mill. It also has an intoxicating gruff tone that is a pleasure to listen to as the motor spins up. I dont have many picks but cruise control wouldve been nice to have on such a capable touring mount. This is a bike that offers all the fun of touring and commuting minus the weight and complexity of the big rigs.
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post #7 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 5:56 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Stop by your dealer and take one for a ride, it's the only way to know if it will work for you.
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post #8 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 7:51 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Before moving away from the RT, go find a LOW SUSPENSION model RT to try out, or at least to sit on in the showroom. Mine is undoubtedly the easiest handling big bike I've ever owned or ridden. It may just be a height adjustment you need to keep you on an RT. It's worth trying in any case; I'm not sure you'd be entirely thrilled by the 800GT after owning an RT -- you'd be giving up a lot of power and smoothness, and that wonderful Boxer engine with all that history and tradition behind it.

The way I view it, if you're looking at the 800GT you may as well look at other brands also and the types/sizes of bikes they offer that would work for you. Not sure I fully embrace the BMW logo on a Rotax-engined bike.
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post #9 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 7:58 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Think that will be a good choice.

I had a F800ST for a bit. Unusual circumstances caused a trade in for a R12RT. I love the RT but know that within a year or two will have to swap out for the F800 again as the weight of R12 is already showing.

To make the ST comfortable for me I added 2" risers, could have used a bit more, new bars would probably be the best option. Added a Madstad bracket and windshild. Others now make windshilds to fit the Madstad.

Didn't get the factory bags but SW Motech mount and Trax cases and a Givi top case.

Was thinking about adding peg lowering kit when swap took place.

At that point the bike was set up great for my ergos. Enough power, great in the twisties, able to cruise at 80-85 with ease, carry enough load for long trips (did a west to east coast and back)

Last option is to take the seat to Mr Moto in Albany.

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post #10 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 8:31 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

A bit off topic, but this post makes me think of a dear friend whose main ride (among about 20+ classic bikes) was a R1200RT. When he got pancreatic cancer and was going through chemo, etc. he down sized to an 800GS for the same reason. About three months before he died I was riding up route 30 south of Middlebury, VT when I noticed a rider coming toward me and thought I recognized Brad's "trademark" helmet with University of Michigan style stripes.

It was Brad and he was riding his RT. It was his last ride. He loved that bike.
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post #11 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 9:32 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I did a short test ride on the 800GT. Very nice light flickable bike but I thought the ergo's are much more aggressive than the RT. Foot pegs are fairly high and rear set. It was fun but my hips were hurting after 30min. I'm 6'3" with a 34" inseam so that should give you an idea of why I felt cramped.

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post #12 of 95 Old Sep 8th, 2013, 11:28 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwbloch
A bit off topic, but this post makes me think of a dear friend whose main ride (among about 20+ classic bikes) was a R1200RT. When he got pancreatic cancer and was going through chemo, etc. he down sized to an 800GS for the same reason. About three months before he died I was riding up route 30 south of Middlebury, VT when I noticed a rider coming toward me and thought I recognized Brad's "trademark" helmet with University of Michigan style stripes.

It was Brad and he was riding his RT. It was his last ride. He loved that bike.
That's how I'm going to go when the time comes. Well, without the Michigan stuff. It'll be a Syracuse Orange helmet.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." That's why we know the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that vaccines are safe and effective, that GMO crops don't cause cancer, that anthropogenic global warming is a thing, and that sasquatch does not exist. But mostly it means that any oil works as well as another one.

On my fourth RT, a 2011 beast with all the cool stuff.
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post #13 of 95 Old Sep 9th, 2013, 9:54 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

A friend of mine was considering trading his 800GS and test road a GT this summer at the MOA Rally. Heat from the engine was a deal breaker for him.

Motor On ,/'


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post #14 of 95 Old Sep 10th, 2013, 3:56 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Just finished the far rider border run on a honda shadow,in company with some BMW's,bought an R1100Rt a week later and love the power after the shadow,so keep your RT ,I'm 79 and arthritic,but not stopping yet!
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post #15 of 95 Old Sep 10th, 2013, 4:23 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I had an F800ST before my R1200RT. In terms of riding position, the ST was really relaxed once you got the seat height sorted. I did that by reshaping the standard seat, and it was perfect. Damn sight cheaper than a factory low seat too.

Thing is though, on the RT you get a world of weather protection. On the ST I was almost totally exposed. Be ready to upgrade the screen, if protection means much to you. I commute at silly hours, being a shift worker, and it's very cold here in winter.

I loved the feel of the smaller bike, and fuel economy is super special.

However, I'm more into the boxers, they have more character IMHO, loads more protection, and just ease their way around the roads. I ride one for work (motor cop), and the bulk is just never an issue.

I wouldn't go back to the 800, but if it makes the difference for you to keep riding, it's a good idea.
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post #16 of 95 Old Sep 10th, 2013, 7:28 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Just bought a 07 f800s in July, with 3500 miles on it. It's a fun bike to ride for 60-80 miles.... much more than that it wears this old man out.

By the way, I went to look at the new f800gt, but couldn't justify due to the cost difference (5k vs 13K)

At 401 lbs dry, it is really fun for the short rides. I live in the country, and take the f800 on gravel roads with ease. With the LT, gravel roads are do-able but not nearly as much fun.

I sure do miss my old RT 1100 (sold it when I bought the LT)....wish I never sold it.

Chris Ogle
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post #17 of 95 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 12:24 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I just purchased a GT after having possession of a demo for about 24 hrs. I'm 5'10", 200 lbs with a 31" inseam and commute year round here in Seattle. The bike I rode had the 'comfort' seat which is supposed to be about an inch taller than the standard seat.

First of all I found the ergos perfect for me. A slight forward lean with my feet under my hips - very comfortable for my back. The fairing provides excellent coverage of my body while still allowing my head to be in clear air. It was foggy and drizzling on my morning commute, and while I stayed dry, the wind was enough to blow my face shield clear. Interestingly, the rain rolling up the windshield was somehow channeled to the sides rather than into my face. I foresee no need for changes to seat, pegs, bars or shield.

The bike was very light compared to the RT - there is probably 100 lbs or more difference. With the fuel tank under the seat the weight carries low. It's also a very narrow chassis. The exhaust note sounds funny to me - reminiscent of my DRZ400 thumper - kinda farty. Actually even though I mention it, sound is about at the bottom of my list of priorities. There is plenty of power for maneuvering, merging, passing - but I'm no racer so I don't know if it will readily pull wheelies (with the traction control off of course). The brakes are very powerful, and if you start braking with the rear and then apply the front the chassis settles down nicely. I ran it up to 80 mph on the freeway and didn't feel any vibration to speak of. The view in the mirrors at that speed was clear. I expect to get between 50 and 60 mpg with it.

Speaking of mirrors, they are not so wide that you can see anything immediately behind you but they are certainly no worse than the RT rear view.

I didn't have the bags although I've seen them and ordered them for my bike, which will be the Light White. They are definitely a little smaller than the RT system cases. I didn't test the ABS, or the alleged problem where the computer will release the front brakes if it detects what it thinks is the rear wheel lifting. I didn't test the traction control either.

The ESA only changes the rear shock damping and you can definitely tell the difference between the two extremes - sport and comfort. Everything else - fit and finish, controls, instruments, bike computer, heated grips, etc are typical BMW. There is some heat coming off the frame spars - I was in a 40 min traffic jam creeping along in 80 degree F temps and it was not a problem for me in Dockers. If I was wearing my aerostich I probably wouldn't have noticed it at all.

The belt is quiet with no off-on transition snatch. It's supposed to cost $400 and be replaced at 24K miles but reports are that most people far exceed the 24K mile life expectancy. It is also very simple to replace (especially as opposed to a chain). Other services (oil change, battery and air filter access, etc) are very straight forward. Supposedly, the diagnostic computer will tell the service tech whether or not the valves need adjustment (don't ask me how THAT works). The rear wheel can be removed on the center stand without removing the muffler.

It's not cheap at just under $13,700 with side bags, the safety and comfort/luxury option packages, freight, and prep. My '09 RT was at least $5K more than that. A lot of my leftover RT stuff like the GPS power connector, battery charger, oil filter wrench and axle wrench will work on the F800GT. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this bike to someone who does a lot of 2-up or super long distance touring, or is much over 6' tall.

I also looked at the Honda NC700 series and the Moto Guzzi Norge. Neither one is in the same league as the F800. It's really in a class of it's own at least right now and if the height and weight and fuel economy of your RT is getting you down it is definitely worth your while to arrange a demo and try it for yourself. I'm calling it my Wee-T!

Courtney in Seattle
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post #18 of 95 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 6:14 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Congrats on your purchase and wishing you many trouble free safe miles.

Gerhard
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post #19 of 95 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 2:20 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I think if/when this happens to me, I'd consider an R100RT Airhead before the F800.

A lighter bike than either I think and still that wonderful boxer engine feel.

Pretty much nothing needed in way of driveline maintenance as opposed to the $400 for ST belt every 24K miles.

Not as great fuel mileage, however.

Kent Christensen
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post #20 of 95 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 4:51 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I think it might be better to think of "Downsizing" rather than "Downgrading". Other than in blue movies and maybe firearms (but we exhausted that topic last week), bigger isn't necessarily better.

What's right for one is not necessarily right for another. Although it would be nice to have a second smaller bike for riding around in town, the geometry of the F800 series just doesn't work for me (6', 200 lbs). Yeah, the RT is a bit heavy to be pushing around a lot, but the trick for me is keeping it balanced, not simply the weight. If it's centered I don't find it too much, but recovering balance when it starts to go is a bit challenging.

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post #21 of 95 Old Sep 20th, 2013, 9:12 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Well I have a love/hate relationship with BMW and had vowed never to buy another one but I weakened and decided to approach the dealer I have used for the the last 6 years to trade my 2011 RT for a 2013 F800GT and as usual they are lowballing me. So I have emailed another dealer in the same area and given them the fact and figures of the deal I have refused and asked them if they are prepared to come to the party ! waiting on that ! So if they are not prepared to deal then I am telling my weakness for BMW to get the hell back in it's box and will revert to selling the RT privately and buy something else
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post #22 of 95 Old Sep 26th, 2013, 6:54 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

So when I purchased my RT I was seriously looking at an F800GT. I didn't take the F for a ride and if I did I know I would have chosen the RT.

Please see my "Burning" thread as to how I got to ride the F.

The F is a very nice bike. Heated grips on a cool morning are very nice. It's fun to wind-out. The shocks could use a little work, but are nice. The engine and tranny are nice. The clutch is a little grabby, but I should probably adjust the lever a little. It tracks really well in the corners (much quicker than the RT). It's really light on its feet.

Major gripes:
1. Fill'er-up and the gauge says "more than 1/2". Go see it to understand. I know, I know...no one trusts the RT gauge but I have had no problems with the RT.
2. Grabby clutch
3. The lap timer is stupid on this bike.
4. It's not fun to wind out ALL the time.
5. Much more wind than an RT (but just look at the F and you could figure that out)
6. The misses would never be happy on the F as pillion (compared to the RT). She used to ride an NC30 so she is no wimp.

As a commuter bike, I could really dig it. However, if you pull the RT's bags, you get more power, wind protection and creature comforts with only losing a little width and weight. Clearly the F is lighter.

As a single bike owner, I'm much happier with the RT. If I had space for a second, the F would be an awesome mid season commuter. Early and late season riding would be more challenging on the F (I am a PA rider...FL/CA riders would clearly see things a little differently). ** I ride ATGATT w/ a 'stich in cooler temps and Motoport mesh in warmer temps.

John
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post #23 of 95 Old Nov 14th, 2013, 1:35 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Well I have at last done the dirty deed ! I have traded my 2011 RT for a new F800GT and the exchange should take place towards the end of the month or early December !
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post #24 of 95 Old Nov 14th, 2013, 5:55 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillo
Well I have at last done the dirty deed ! I have traded my 2011 RT for a new F800GT and the exchange should take place towards the end of the month or early December !
Congrats on the new ride. Post pics when you get a chance.
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post #25 of 95 Old Nov 14th, 2013, 5:56 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I ride an 08 RT and the SO rides an R1100S fully farkled to suit her use for touring.
We also own several other BMWs and other bikes.

A few weeks ago we test rode the F800GT with a ST for comparison. We're both in our 60s and neither of us thought the ergos of the ST were suitable for anyone except a kid or the seriously stumpy. I'm 6 ft, she's a tick under 5' 6". Nor did we find any distinction between the power of the two models despite BMWs claim of bumping power on the new one- I'll believe that only after I personally witness the dyno run supporting it.

However, after the test run there is no doubt in my mind that virtually all riders will find the F800 easier to ride and be faster in tight twisties on it than on a heavier BMW, with the possible exception of S1000RR- same way that most, especially novices, are faster around a track on 600 than liter bike. It has outstanding brakes and non of the herky jerky of most fuel injected motorcycles. Handles light and easy. The ST had a butter smooth tranny and the F800 was close- a nice change from the crappy shifting of R bikes / Getrag trannies. We did not find any annoying buzz on either but its wasn't a 500 mile test day either, though we did enough time at high speeds that we should have noticed it. The brand new F800 had a tight somewhat thudding engine character like all BMWs not broken in seem to have- the local service guys say they expect it to break in like the ST given how similar they are (and there are reasonably priced aftermarket options for correcting if it doesn't)

But the footpegs are still too high- factory only brought them down a fraction of an inch which is nowhere near enough from the ST and tried to do the rest with seats- expect to need lowering bits even with the highest seat. Bars are still a bit too far forward like all BMWs so it will need barbacks for many which also means a new front brake line (especially if you use them on any other BMW, you will want them here also). The windshield is too small to be much more useful than that of a crotch rocket. In short, as built it is no touring machine nor even a real GT though it can made into a touring bike a lot more easily than her R1100S and even my RT needed all the stuff that the F800GT also needs.
But, wonder of all wonders, while the stock seat is nothing special its a lot better than one on the RT and there are 5 factory choices now. Do not think the F800 is an F800RT- it not close as built and arguably not a GT either. I'd suggest that BMW take a hard look at old UJM ergos- they worked and BMWs almost never do in stock form. We all know BMW is pretty pig headed about thinking its staff know better than customers do- it would be nice to see an attitude change. Building test bikes for review by actual US customers in addition to factory riders would be a good start.

Anyway, I'm discussing a deal for a pair with our local dealer mostly for the handling aspects which are vastly superior to the heavier bikes in our NC tight twisties but it will have to include all the needed accessories installed at delivery at a fair price- I'm not personally going to the effort to correct ergos on 2 new bikes- have done my fill of bike projects in the past couple years and only those modernizing an old Transalp were really justifiable (Lots of improvements in electronics, etc since it was built in 1989)- the others are basically correcting BMWs screwups on everything from ergos to fueling.

I expect to dispose of my K1200GT if I acquire an F800GT. Despite my interest in the F800 I don't think BMW has done a good job of listening to US riders who made very clear many times that they wanted a middle weight TOURING bike. If there was any other alternative that didn't have chain drive I'd be looking at something else- chains need too much maintenance and don't last long long enough to have any place on a bike with touring pretensions.

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post #26 of 95 Old Nov 14th, 2013, 7:05 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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I ride an 08 RT and the SO rides an R1100S fully farkled to suit her use for touring.
We also own several other BMWs and other bikes.

A few weeks ago we test rode the F800GT with a ST for comparison. We're both in our 60s and neither of us thought the ergos of the ST were suitable for anyone except a kid or the seriously stumpy. I'm 6 ft, she's a tick under 5' 6". Nor did we find any distinction between the power of the two models despite BMWs claim of bumping power on the new one- I'll believe that only after I personally witness the dyno run supporting it.

However, after the test run there is no doubt in my mind that virtually all riders will find the F800 easier to ride and be faster in tight twisties on it than on a heavier BMW, with the possible exception of S1000RR- same way that most, especially novices, are faster around a track on 600 than liter bike. It has outstanding brakes and non of the herky jerky of most fuel injected motorcycles. Handles light and easy. The ST had a butter smooth tranny and the F800 was close- a nice change from the crappy shifting of R bikes / Getrag trannies. We did not find any annoying buzz on either but its wasn't a 500 mile test day either, though we did enough time at high speeds that we should have noticed it. The brand new F800 had a tight somewhat thudding engine character like all BMWs not broken in seem to have- the local service guys say they expect it to break in like the ST given how similar they are (and there are reasonably priced aftermarket options for correcting if it doesn't)

But the footpegs are still too high- factory only brought them down a fraction of an inch which is nowhere near enough from the ST and tried to do the rest with seats- expect to need lowering bits even with the highest seat. Bars are still a bit too far forward like all BMWs so it will need barbacks for many which also means a new front brake line (especially if you use them on any other BMW, you will want them here also). The windshield is too small to be much more useful than that of a crotch rocket. In short, as built it is no touring machine nor even a real GT though it can made into a touring bike a lot more easily than her R1100S and even my RT needed all the stuff that the F800GT also needs.
But, wonder of all wonders, while the stock seat is nothing special its a lot better than one on the RT and there are 5 factory choices now. Do not think the F800 is an F800RT- it not close as built and arguably not a GT either. I'd suggest that BMW take a hard look at old UJM ergos- they worked and BMWs almost never do in stock form. We all know BMW is pretty pig headed about thinking its staff know better than customers do- it would be nice to see an attitude change. Building test bikes for review by actual US customers in addition to factory riders would be a good start.

Anyway, I'm discussing a deal for a pair with our local dealer mostly for the handling aspects which are vastly superior to the heavier bikes in our NC tight twisties but it will have to include all the needed accessories installed at delivery at a fair price- I'm not personally going to the effort to correct ergos on 2 new bikes- have done my fill of bike projects in the past couple years and only those modernizing an old Transalp were really justifiable (Lots of improvements in electronics, etc since it was built in 1989)- the others are basically correcting BMWs screwups on everything from ergos to fueling.

I expect to dispose of my K1200GT if I acquire an F800GT. Despite my interest in the F800 I don't think BMW has done a good job of listening to US riders who made very clear many times that they wanted a middle weight TOURING bike. If there was any other alternative that didn't have chain drive I'd be looking at something else- chains need too much maintenance and don't last long long enough to have any place on a bike with touring pretensions.
Thanks, Racer, that's a nice writeup. Five years ago I rode both the K12GT and the R12RT, and the former was just too aggressive a posture for me. Even the R12RT had to have barbacks and peg lowering, but now it fits and handles fine. I would actually like a mid-size bike for an alternative/supplement to the RT but as with you, I'm not so keen on getting back into chains. The F800's I've sat on (including my son's F800S) have just been too aggresive a posture, but it's been several years and they may have changed (but I don't bend quite like I used to, either).

Now, if they'd just give the 800GS a belt drive ... but I know that won't happen on an adventure bike (for good reason). I'm still tempted.

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post #27 of 95 Old Nov 14th, 2013, 7:24 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Jay Jay- thanks- will let you guys know what we eventually do about a deal.

And I can't resist a question for Kent who must really really like working on his stuff more than I like working on mine (and that's after a half century of fiddiling with everything from stock bugs to seriously tweaked racing machinery so I know how).

Would you really really choose all the work an old airhead or even an old K bike takes over a modern bike?
I learned to ride in the early 60s and say than goodness for FI, lectronic engine mangement, CANbus, tubeless tires, disc brakes and a few dozen other things that make modern stuff require less service and faster when they do. OK, one can't do workarounds for almost everything like you could on the antiques, but they're not needed as much either.
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post #28 of 95 Old Nov 14th, 2013, 9:43 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I love my 1150RT, and having recently sat on the GT, wouldn't want to trade. For my mid size bike, for a full day of playtime, my '12 KLR650 fits the bill. No stress on any body part, Will go down the hiway ,with one tooth over CS sprocket, at 70MPH all day long.

Throw bags, panniers, tail trunk, etc, on it and go for as long as you want. 50+ MPG on a 6 gal tank, equals a long time between fill-ups. See a dirt, gravel or two track road/trail that needs to be explored, just go for it.

Fast? No. Quick? No, again. Go from point A to B or Z? No sweat. Simple to maintain and work on, if ever necessary. Best part, available brand new for under $6000. Guess that's why it's the number one selling Dual Sport in the world. Sounds like an ad, but it's just the truth...tomp dd50

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post #29 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 2:04 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I.ve got a no fast no quick bike too that I use for around town and fireroads. Not all that different - an 89 Honda Transalp- I like it a lot..

Not a real substitue for an F800GT which is fast enough for all use (70 mph isn't) and has good enough handling and brakes to be fun in the mountains. Basically, neither your or my 40 hp bike is an adequate touring machine. Yes I know folks have used both to go long distances but thats more because they're crude and readily repaired in the boonies. Not bad bikes by any means but also not modern touring machinery. which in my opinion takes at least 150% of the power of either..

I'd love o see the new Yamaha triple built with a belt and a fairng and for Kawasaki to dump the chain on their liter sport tourer for a belt or shaft. Honda is regrettably beyond hopeless- they're got no clue except finally figuring out they need cheap stuff for noobs.

Note that I am keeping my RT but probably not my K-GT..
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post #30 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 2:26 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

The 800 GT is an awesome bike and a great replacement for the bulkier RT.

You have my blessings.

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post #31 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 5:14 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I traded my 06 RT in on one last June for the same reasons and have never looked back.


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post #32 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 6:28 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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I traded my 06 RT in on one last June for the same reasons and have never looked back.

Wow that's a farkled beauty!

And I wish my garage was that nice, too.

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post #33 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 11:54 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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Wow that's a farkled beauty!

And I wish my garage was that nice, too.
Garage - you're being greedy. I'll take the toolboxes.

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post #34 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 12:29 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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Garage - you're being greedy. I'll take the toolboxes.

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post #35 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 12:32 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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Jay Jay- thanks- will let you guys know what we eventually do about a deal.

And I can't resist a question for Kent who must really really like working on his stuff more than I like working on mine (and that's after a half century of fiddiling with everything from stock bugs to seriously tweaked racing machinery so I know how).

Would you really really choose all the work an old airhead or even an old K bike takes over a modern bike?
I learned to ride in the early 60s and say than goodness for FI, lectronic engine mangement, CANbus, tubeless tires, disc brakes and a few dozen other things that make modern stuff require less service and faster when they do. OK, one can't do workarounds for almost everything like you could on the antiques, but they're not needed as much either.
HA! I couldn't agree more with the sentiments in this reply. In early January of this year, after enduring and attempting to track down yet another break-down (yes, another in a series of stranded by the side of the road, break-downs) on my '88 R100RS, I finally snapped and decided that RIDING is what I want to do with my bikes, not work on or diagnose them all the time. So, I traded BOTH my '88 RS and my '84 R80RT for ONE new, low suspension R1200RT (Midnight Blue Metallic) and have NEVER regretted the decision.

Some of my friends, who know my love and appreciation for classic bikes, gasped when I did this, as both of my Airheads were cosmetically very nice bikes, and the 80RT had never given me any trouble (but HAD required lots of valve adjustments and other routine maintenance). But I know I did the right thing, after nearly 8000 happy miles thus far on my 1200RT, including an 1800-mile round trip this summer to the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota to our family's regular vacation spot. I would NOT have felt comfortable doing that on either of my Airheads, particularly with the thought of the tube tires in the 80RT.

But, in that one final moment when the "famously reliable" R100RS let me down again, late last December, and had me struggling again to find the source of its mysterious ignition problem, I said "Uncle" and joined the modern world. If you have the money and space, and time to work on them, classics are wonderful to have around. But, for a bike that I really intend to USE, make it something new with all of today's technology, please.


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post #36 of 95 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 7:31 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Its been so long since I messed with antique stuff that I've forgotten where many of the old tools I used are- like a timing light. The almost continual weaknesses of the old style ignitions will not be missed. Finding that working on my 89 Transalp is giving me a refresher in carbs of the era. If that bike was fuel injected and had tubeless tires it would be perfect as a dual purpose bike.

Really like that farkled F800GT- much along the lines of what I want to do, except that we won't use the top case- preferring Ortlieb waterproof rollups in bright yellow (for added viz) in that spot while touring. Nice paint on the cases- hope they don't need a re paint any time soon. Does it have lowered pegs? Looks like it might have barbacks and the Sargent seat looks good on it..
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post #37 of 95 Old Nov 16th, 2013, 12:37 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Racer, I read somewhere recently that Honda may bring a new version of the Africa Twin to the US. Not holding my breath, though. Probably be stuck with the NC700X, an ADV poser.

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post #38 of 95 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 11:58 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

For me, it's time!

After 18 months with my '12 RT I'm also making the move to a F800GT - I have some mixed feelings because the RT is such a great bike. For me personally though, I'm getting older (..and it seems weaker) and although I've never had a mishap with the fully-loaded RT two-up, I don't want to wait until it happens.

Hey, the 800GT is also a great bike, just two-thirds of the RT in most respects, I guess, New bike comes Friday 22nd so it's going to be a long week of waiting.
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post #39 of 95 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 6:55 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I haven't ridden the GT but I did test ride a F800GS this spring and I wouldn't think of it as a downgrade just different. It had good acceleration and handling,I liked it and could see myself owning one if I didn't ride two up so often.

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post #40 of 95 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 7:07 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Just thinking, here, if you want the boxer but with the GT's weight, why not look at the new R NineT. It weighs less than 20 pounds more than the GT, and had tons of character. Granted it doesn't have a lot of plastic, surrounding the front end, but . it looks like a great motorcycle, and will hopefully be a winner for BMW. Granted it is more expensive, but if you can own an RT, this is not an expensive venture... tomp dd50

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post #41 of 95 Old Nov 18th, 2013, 5:58 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Consider the R1200R rather than the F800GT.

I ran out and traded my 2011 RT for a lighter more city friendly bike what I thought I would find in the F800GT. I did not. Even with the: (I) high comfort seat, which I sent to Kontour and had them add an inch; (ii) MV risers; (III) Madstad wind screen I could not get comfortable. Everything became a major compromise. The GT is greT for short rides and the city, but it is NOT a touring bike as all of the reviewers and BMW would have you think. The RT is such a great bike that you will not be happy on the RT.

Hence, 3 months later I traded the GT for a R1200R. Much less compromise, and very compliant for touring and city riding without the RTs low speed uncertainty. Once that fairing of the RT is not a factor the 1200 R is an easy bike to toss around.

I miss the RT and always will, but I am very happy with the 1200R. All I had to add was a Kontour seat and a cee Bailys windscreen.
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post #42 of 95 Old Nov 19th, 2013, 12:39 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Here is review I did back of April of 2013:

"I was able to take a new F800GT for a test ride today. My interest was peaked when I spotted one in a recent thread here regarding touring bikes. Today my RT was in the shop receiving some farkle, so given the choice I jumped all over this vs. testing the new water cooled GS1200.


Here are some of my impressions and feedback regarding the F800GT. For starters it's a near 90 hp opposed twin, with belt drive and a 4 gallon gas tank. Full Wet weight is 470 lbs, but it feels much lighter. It came with heated grips, a 6 speed transmission and ESA and retails at an unbelievable $13,000 as equipped. I thought it should be priced closer to $11,000. But sans the high price tag, I just can't hold back I like this bike! Nope better than my RT yet, but I do love this bike! I had test ridden a 2006 F800ST which this replaces as of 2013. I thought the original version was down on power, with what seemed like 5-10 horsepower less on the ST. During the ride on a FT back in 2006, stock exhaust burned the heel of my boot pretty bad, which was a deal breaker in considering the F800ST.

Well both problems have been fixed on the GT version. The increased power feels adequate. BMW has added a heal guard to the exhaust which is a welcomed and necessary addition. You rarely need to down shift as the power really never gets sluggish. The bike handles well for how long it is and it flicks side-to-side effortlessly. The bikes sings as you feel a slight vibration, nothing that is uncomfortable, but rather comforting to the point it makes the bike feel alive.

The brakes are some of the best I've felt in my life as well. The F800GT is a joy to ride and I became comfortable on it immediately. The ESA was somewhat of surprised me, it had the typical: Comfort, Normal and Sport Modes, but on this bike Comfort mode felt more like Normal, with Normal feeling more like Sport Mode and as such Sport Mode was surprisingly stiff. I rode around in Comfort Mode for most of the day and never wanted for anything frimer. It was fairly comfortable and compliant. The bike wants to go, it can swing in the triple digits with little to no effort. This bike feel significantly more powerful than the previous 800cc motor as mention, but worth mentioning again.


I really dig the white as a color option, however, I couldn't leave well enough alone, I'd be tempted to add blue & red motorsports graphics to make this plain Jane pop if it were mine. Wind protection is fair to good but wish it had a movable screen. It's a gas sipper claiming 55 mph gallon. I did a 70 mile loop and filled her back-up for $5.02. Impressive.

The Cons.
I don't care for the gauges, they seem piddily and plain compared to the rest of the bike.

An electronic windshield would've taken this bike from great to an excellent bike."


As I mentioned previously, I love this bike, if my Wife was the type (she's not) to tell me I could only have one bike, this would be it. You can tour on it, rail up Highway 9 on it and the up-right seating makes you feel like you're ridding a luxurious motar, of sorts. This bike is not for everyone though, it's has a short reach to the pedals but should fit anyone in the range of 5' 4 to 5' 10. I would not recommend this bike for 2 up ridding, it's just not "that" bike. However, I'd be right at home touring the GT anywhere in California and feel it's capable of doing 400 mile days in relative comfort.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Triple

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post #43 of 95 Old Nov 19th, 2013, 3:43 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Got an RT and love it but I'm 67 and consider the bike rather tall more so than heavy. So recently I got a 2008 K1200S as my second bike. The RT will always be my long distance tourer and the KS is just for fun.

Yes, it's a dilemma. Didn't mean to keep both. I posted an article in my blog about my dilemma.

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post #44 of 95 Old Nov 29th, 2013, 10:53 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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Well I have at last done the dirty deed ! I have traded my 2011 RT for a new F800GT and the exchange should take place towards the end of the month or early December !
Well for what it's worth after much soul searching and internet browsing I have done a U turn on this and am sticking with my RT weight, warts and all - there are just too many things I would have to not have on the GT that I have on the RT and as far as the weight is concerned I will just be a little more careful where and how I park so as to avoid the possibility of dropping it - love my RT
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post #45 of 95 Old Sep 9th, 2016, 8:39 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

Thank you for the review, I have always wondered about that bike at my age something to keep in mind.

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post #46 of 95 Old Sep 9th, 2016, 8:04 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

This is a depressing thread. I'm almost 62 and dread the idea that I may not be able to handle my RT someday. Hopefully that day is a long way off. I also have a K16 and no issues with that either.

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post #47 of 95 Old Sep 9th, 2016, 8:24 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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This is a depressing thread. I'm almost 62 and dread the idea that I may not be able to handle my RT someday. Hopefully that day is a long way off. I also have a K16 and no issues with that either.
If you are healthy, you are probably ok for a good while. I'm 66, and recently bought a Harley Ultra Classic, that I had wanted for ten years. Should have bought one ten years ago, as it was just too heavy for me now, at over 900 lbs. Always felt like I was going to drop it at slow/walking speeds. Kept it two months.

I'm still good with my '04 RT and Concours 14, both being over 200 lbs lighter than the Ultra. I looked at the 800 discussed here, but was told it was too buzzy, and I believed too expensive, so the C14 instead at half the cost.
FWIW, a friend has a 1600 GTL, and we run neck and neck at speed, acceleration, and handling, with me on the 14. Have a Ninja 650R for commuting, and an XR1200 for twisties. Can never have too many bikes, until insurance and annual registrations take over. tp

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post #48 of 95 Old Sep 9th, 2016, 9:26 pm
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

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This is a depressing thread. I'm almost 62 and dread the idea that I may not be able to handle my RT someday. Hopefully that day is a long way off. I also have a K16 and no issues with that either.
I took a 28y hiatus from riding, got back in at age 61, bought a used '13 F800GT and put 23,000 miles on it over about 21 months. I sold it, bought a '16 RT, primarily motivated by a 9,163m trip planned for June 4 which was absolutely fabulous on the RT.

The GT is a fine machine but for me suffered greatly from:
  • Poor wind management
  • Onset of substantial increase in vibration at 4200rpm and up, confirmed in a pole by about 35% of other owners when I last looked.
  • Just plain too cramped out of the box, but I'm 6'3" tall.

Outside of these things, GT is a very fine machine. I appalls me more street bikes aren't belt-driven. Here's what pleasantly surprised me about my '16 RT:
  • Handling in ALL environments included in very spirited riding thru the twisties, in high winds, and at high speeds is far superior in the RT over the GT. No contest!
  • The buzzy harmonic resonance that happens w/ GT does not w/ RT, it's a linear low-pitch thrum instead of the buzziness that ensues w/ high speed riding w/ GT.
  • Wind management is as it should be--essentially totally user controllable w/the toggle of a button.

I think the weight of the RT is given too much importance. If you stay in the present, pay attention to where you park, and understand low-speed handling, there is no problem whatsoever. I'm now 63 1/2 y/o, have had diabetes for 30y now and have very poor upper body musculature though I work on it. As long as your mind is sharp enough not to tip the bike from failing to pay attention to what you're doing, you have good balance, there is no problem in low speed management including in the garage w/ RT. Shockingly, w/ luggage empty RT is easier to put on the center stand than GT was.

The real big surprise for me that was absolutely unexpected is handling in the twisties. Much easier to choose a line and stay on it w/ the RT. My entry speeds are ~5mph higher than w/ GT and I stay on my lines better. I rode for a day and a half in southern Minnesota and S Dakota in prodigious crosswinds on the RT it so much more stable in wind than GT was. I couldn't give up the electric screen now, so my hope is when it's time to depart RT if that day comes that someone comes out w/ a full electric screen model in an ST w/ a curb weight of around 530lbs.

My '13 RT was purchased by an 80 y/o who lives 90 min up the road from. Very inspiring! He sold his RT and bought my GT and it's been a good fit for him I've heard. He looks younger than his years.

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post #49 of 95 Old Sep 10th, 2016, 10:22 am
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Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

I got to ride one the other day when my shift assist was being installed.
The good.
It is lower to the ground.
It looks cool.
The transmission is normal, it clicks into gears.
It feels light.
For a just the city or go to work bike it would work.
That is all the good that I could see.
The bad.
Engine is horrible, vibration, and slow, I hated it. You twist the throttle and wait. You always know it's a 2 cylinder. At speed the vibration is worse. It is BMW's worst engine. It needs a counterbalancer.
Windshield is small and not even comparable to the RT, no power adjustment, hell no adjustment at all. You are still riding into the wind at all times.
No cruise control.
You don't sit up straight, it has a forward lean putting weight on your hands.
They call it a GT because they put luggage on it, I would not travel on this bike.
siclmn is offline  
post #50 of 95 Old Sep 10th, 2016, 11:37 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 124
Re: Downgrading from RT to F800GT

"downgrade" is right

It aint like it used to be no more, then again, they don't make 'em like they used to neither.
Wethead16 is offline  
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