Twin boxer, or 4 cylinder speed machine - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 14 Old Apr 6th, 2007, 5:11 pm Thread Starter
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Twin boxer, or 4 cylinder speed machine

Hello everyone. I have a dilemma that I'm sure a few of you have wrestled with, and I'm hoping for some insight.

A week ago, I was set on getting a new R12RT. I took one out for a spin, and it handled nice (of course, I am comparing to my HD electra glide classic) and was smooth, etc. My neighbor, who's more of an engine guy, whereas I'm more of an ergonomics guy, was pushing me to get the K12GT. I've been driving Vtwins all my life, and was pretty much set on the boxer twin.

The fact that I could get a radio on the R12RT made the decision simple. I'm in this more for touring than performance. But, being on this forum, I've learned that the BMW radio isn't a particularly good radio, and at $1500, probably a ripoff. So, instead I've decided to go with an intercom system, probably helmet speakers and a mounted radio (details unclear at this point).

The problem with choices is that you have to make them. Without the radio concern, and rethinking my 2-cylinder bias, I'm considering the K12GT, the FJR1300 (not my wifes favorite) or waiting to see how the new concours comes out. I've read a comparison of R12RT and concours. These bikes do seem to appeal to a similar crowd.

The first decision is which type of engine do I want, the twin boxer, or a 4-cylinder speed engine. Anyone interested in sharing their thoughts on why they went with one or the other? What are the pros/cons of the twin boxer?

Thanks for your help. BTW, if I don't get a BMW, can I still play here?
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post #2 of 14 Old Apr 6th, 2007, 5:31 pm
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I have both a boxer and a 4.

The biigest issue you will probably face, coming from a cruiser, is the riding position. Try them both. Get the one that talks to you the most.

The 4 is smoother than the twin, but the twin has the easiest maintenance.

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha FZ1 (Sold) 11000 miles
2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha VSTAR-650 Silverado (Sold) 9100 miles
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post #3 of 14 Old Apr 6th, 2007, 7:41 pm
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If your wife does not like the FRJ, she'll make sure you know about it...
The Connie is nowhere in sight, so unless you want to wait until the riding season is over before you can get one that leaves you with the choice between 2 beemers. Both will satisfy your Sport Touring needs. Try to get a longer test ride on both machines before you make a decision, and be sure to take the bride with you. Her happiness will be shared with you, just as much as her unhappiness would be! Either way you'll get a great bike!

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
IBA# 71594
2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)

For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!

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post #4 of 14 Old Apr 7th, 2007, 12:05 am
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Go with the RT and save big money on the maintainance, have a lighter bike in case of a tipover (With an LT it is a WHEN it happens ) and get the snap of a quick bike. Orrrrr go with an LT and have a smooth ride, super deluxe passenger accomodations (the deal maker for I'll bet most of the LT's sold) a more stable bike on the road and great wind/weather protection.
For me it was the passenger accomodations and the smaller cockpit of the RT that pushed my into the LT, ride-wise I really liked the RT.
As far as the radio goes, you are right about the radio being a problem on the LT, but if you're thinking about an intercom, an IPod or Satellite radio will fix that up right quick.
I'm waiting to check out the new connie while I continue to pay down the LT, but that to me is a totally different animal than the Beemers and should be purchased for completely different riding.
Hope this helps.

R1200GSA Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Alaska I go!
(Down to ONE BIKE - ARGH!)
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post #5 of 14 Old Apr 7th, 2007, 6:29 am
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Althoug I cant comment on the GT, and I dont like its looks, I've had the others (RT, LT, FJR)

If the passenger was not a factor, I'd go with the '07 FJR for a number of reasons. My '04, with a small heat problem, and a few other minor issues fixed in '07, is still my favorite.

The LT is a great ride though, but it will fall over! My wife loves it though, and she has ridden pillion on all of them, wont get back on the FJR and doesn't miss the RT (quick note: the RTs we had were a '97 and an '02 but still boxers.)

The LT is slightly more difficult to maintain but not all that bad IF you do your own. The thing that ticks me off the most is the location of the air cleaner and the major job it is to get to it. The fuel filter is just as bad on the RT but doesnt require the removal of quite as much stuff. But on the other hand, I found that I had to sync the throttle bodies on the RT frequently and never touch stuff like that on the LT.

Hope some of this helps.

PS, you'll never go back to a HD from any of the three!

Just old, clutchless and clueless
Russ Locke
Lakehills, Texas
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post #6 of 14 Old Apr 7th, 2007, 7:15 am
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Not trying to confuse the issue here, but you also should consider the Honda ST1300. Ride them all WITH your passenger, and pick the one you (both) like best. They all will require maintenance and they all have quirks. Of course, I have one of each of the Beemers, so I get the best of both...

Kevin is right regarding the clear choice of passengers is for the LT. My wife only tolerates the RT because I bought an aftermarket seat for her.

Best of luck in your choice!

'07 - R1200RT Slippery Silver

MOA #107139
RA #28511

Past rides:
'03 R1150RT - MAXed out
'03 K1200LTC - Gone to the Darko side
'00 Kawasaki Concours - Buzz
'71 Honda SL350 - The original dual-sport
'72 Kawasaki 250 triple - The smoking gun
'67 Montgomery Wards 125 - Thrashed to death
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post #7 of 14 Old Apr 7th, 2007, 8:11 am
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Get them all

Some people have more than one bike, so can you.
Once I set a goal to have a bike for everyday of the week. Reached that but then they all needed maintained, so I went on an MC diet.

I'll will poisons the soul
Living well is the best revenge
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post #8 of 14 Old Apr 7th, 2007, 8:38 am
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I would suggest that you rent an 1200RT before you buy so you can get a feel for the ergonomics. My wife and I had an Electraglide and wanted to try out the RT. We loved the bike, but the riding position didn't fit us. I am glad we rented before buying.
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post #9 of 14 Old Apr 7th, 2007, 11:29 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help. I think more test driving is in order, with the wife, but I won't rent the LT. If my wife gets on that, she'll never go with me anywhere on an RT or whatever I get. She doesn't care how much fun it is to drive. You don't miss what you never had.

UncleRock is right. I should have 2 bikes, one for touring and one for around town. I'm not going to get 2 sport touring bikes, though. I have enough stuff in my garage.

When I did take the RT around town, I did have trouble finding the foot pegs. I figure I'd adjust to that no problem, but, why not rent it for the weekend and find out? And, I'm sure that whatever I do, I'll be happier than with the HD. Even with the extended warranty, that bike seems to need $1K to $2K every other year or so, and it's just too heavy to be much fun.

Oh, by the way, anyone want a 2001 electra glide classic? Forget that previous comment.

Unfortunately, the dealer won't let me take a K12GT for a rental. They say they cannot get insurance because the bike is too fast. But I can on the RT, so I at least need to do that. Maybe I can look into renting some of the other bikes too. If I try them all, maybe the connie will show up sometime (probably not).

Thanks again. This forum is great.
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post #10 of 14 Old Apr 8th, 2007, 12:36 am
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my 2 cents

Originally Posted by Bobnoxous
My neighbor, who's more of an engine guy, whereas I'm more of an ergonomics guy...
Given what you mentioned above, I'd say the RT is a better ride for you, especially when loaded with gear or going 2 up. If I were approaching this from an ergonomics perspective that would be my choice. But what fits me may not be the best fit for you.

The GT has sick power and is fun ride, but the RT still has plenty of power and is a fantastic all around bike with wonderful character IMHO.

You can't go wrong either way. With the GT you'll want a bigger shield, some tunes added, and a better seat in my opinion, especially if going 2 up.

If you haven't test driven them, go to a local dealer and take them both out 2 or 3 times each and compare! Good luck in finding your next ride and let us know which way you go! ~dk
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post #11 of 14 Old Apr 8th, 2007, 7:22 am
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I love my 99 LT and wish that I could by a newer one but can'nt. I have an RTP and work and love that too. So it comes to "what" you like. But if I had to choose one bike right now it would be the LT. The RT to me has the twin buzz in the handle bars. It has the twin vibration on stops. No intercom unless you after market it. To me the LT is a well rounded motorcycle. You can take it long or take it short, to shop a the store. Just my view.
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post #12 of 14 Old Apr 8th, 2007, 11:43 am
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Might be worth a few minutes to look at Here are forums on all the BMW rides and you can dialog with lots of users--- Personally I am not sure where the thinking came from that a K1200 is higher maintance---and that other thought that a K1200 is a "speed machine" ---
There is going to maintance-Duh!----and I do almost all of it myself which is a fab reflection on the German engineers that I can replace a fuel filter or an air filter and not have a bunch of screws left over!

I have a 2000 BMW K1200RS---this is called a "sport touring" machine--as it fits this quite well---a real driving BLAST!!!---as yes it is quick but the control and quality of the ride is superior---handles like a dream! My suggestion to you is try to drop some of the preconcieved ideas---moving from a HD to a BMW is moving into a new world all together--just look at the speedo on a KRS---the redline is above the max revs you could ever do on the Narley----do I redline mine--no --not even close--but there is a world of fun riding you just can't get to on the HD--but not everyone wants to go there either---keep up with us and get back with what you decide and how it works out for you---PS don't forget "what makes Mama happy makes Everbody happy!!! JD
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post #13 of 14 Old Apr 8th, 2007, 8:28 pm
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Not to complicate matters . . .

If you have the bucks for a new RT or GT, you could also think about getting a used LT AND a used GS. Two sets of tires for the GS and you can tour on either bike (2 up on the LT and your wife will love it), flick the GS through twisties like a whip, and ride off the end of the pavement to the ends of the earth. (Hmmm, maybe I should be writing advertisement copy for BMW.)

Guilford, CT
'99 Canyon Red K1200 LT - Buddah Bike
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post #14 of 14 Old Apr 8th, 2007, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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I'm afraid that if I get my wife on an LT, she'll love it and I won't. But, there is something to be said for her happiness is mine. I will have to consider this.
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