Looking for a Sport Touring Bike - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2008, 1:35 pm Thread Starter
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Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

New guy here from Nebraska. Have been riding a "cruiser" style (Suzuki) and need to get a sport touring for longer trips. I ride most miles 2 up and have narrowed the choices down to the BMW K1200RT, K1200GT or YamahaFJR 1300. They all appear to be good bikes for my purpose and I can "just" manage them with my 29" inseam. Obviously the FJR is cheaper; but doesn't necessarily have some of the goodies I'd like. With all of your permission, I'll just hang out and try to figure it out. Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2008, 1:47 pm
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

Have fun looking. These are all good bikes. The one thing you may want to do is make sure you take a ride with the SO. The other bike consider a sport tour because of the way it handles as well is the LT. My second bike for 1 up will be the GT. Have fun looking.

Also I would say to take bad comments with a grain of salt. This is a forum and you need to treat it like the news media. Filter what you read. Just because it is in print doesn't make it so.

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post #3 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2008, 1:58 pm
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

As a matter of fact, I happen to know a fellow that has a pristine 2006 FJR for sale.

Here is a link to my ad in the classifieds. Or you can PM me for the details.

Dave Hoogerland

'08 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS
'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
'08 Can-Am Spyder "???"

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post #4 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2008, 2:01 pm
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

While you're looking, you might want to check out the Concours14 and the ST1300 as well. All are great bikes. All have their own pros and cons.


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post #5 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2008, 2:45 pm
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

I went from an Intruder 1400 (V&H pipes, jetted, Thunderbike 16 liter aluminum tank, Corbin Gunfighter, Jardine billet wheels, EBC drilled rotors, Dyna ignition - yeah, it was a nasty machine) to the K1200 LT. (Getting married will do that to you!)
Best thing I ever did - getting married to Telle, that is! Next best thing was selling the Intruder and getting the LT. She loves riding now (after sitting on the back pillion of a Gunfighter, anything is comfy!) and I don't miss the Intruder at all. The LT is a very capable bike. Fast, comfy, quiet, and will out-handle and out-brake the Intruder any day, any time.
Of course, the tattoos don't exactly fit the BMW rider image...... :-)

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post #6 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2008, 4:51 pm
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

I just went through the purchase routine for a replacement sport tourer myself not too long ago. I had a pristine '02 Concours with less than 5,000 miles when I sold it. I liked the Concours, but the ergonomics were too harsh for me. Too much pain so I started riding it less and less until I stopped completely. Then I got the go-ahead from my wife to buy a new one. With all the hype, I thought the Concours 14 would be the ticket. Updated and modernized and maybe, just maybe, it was more touring than sport orientated. But I was wrong. The C-14 is even more sport orientated than the previous model. Just sitting on it was painful and no amount of thrid party risers or seat replacement was ever going to change it.

So, on to other choices. I looked athe FJR. Tried to check out a ST-1300. The went to BMW. I wanted a RT or GT. The RT is more touring than sport and the GT more sport than touring, but both can be riden two-up. I had my wife with me and had her sit behind me to check the basic fit. The RT was better than the Concours. The GT's seat was uncomfortable with the way it is designed (has a split leg/pocket). So the RT was getting the go-ahead with some reservations when the dealer sugegsted trying on the LT. That's all it took. One sitting and she was sold on the LT.

If you plan to ride 2-up most of the time, there is no question the LT is the best choice in the BMW world. And it's pretty sporty for a heavy motorcycle. But the RT is a better choice for day to day riding one-up and mild to mid two-up riding. The GT has a more relaxed rising position the the FJR, and C-14. The FJR & C-14 are much sportier one-up riding and if you like the tucked in feel of the ergonomics. These two are way to painful for me to ride, but you may be younger or have less back pain than I do. Neither the C-14 or FJR are good for more than short trips two-up unless you are a LOT younger than I am and much more limber.

One good piece of advice I can offer is to test ride. BMW will arrange a longer than average test ride for you to try out any, or all, of their motorcycles. Hours or days can be arranged. So I suggest trying them out before purchasing anything. I tried this with the Concours 14 and ST-1300, but the dealer wasn't interested in letting me test ride the motorcycles. I wouldn't have needed to do the C-14 though as a static test told me all I needed, but I would have liked to try the ST-1300 (even though I was worried about the high speed stability issue).

2006 Magnesium Black Metallic K1200LT (sold - sigh)
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post #7 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2008, 7:25 am
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Thumbs up Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

See my 2007 GT in the classifieds.

EZ-RDR55
The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not represent that of any other humanoid past, present or future on this or any other planet.

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post #8 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2008, 8:20 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles
The GT has a more relaxed rising position the the FJR, and C-14. The FJR & C-14 are much sportier one-up riding and if you like the tucked in feel of the ergonomics. These two are way to painful for me to ride, but you may be younger or have less back pain than I do. Neither the C-14 or FJR are good for more than short trips two-up unless you are a LOT younger than I am and much more limber.
These statements are exactly opposite from my impressions of the bikes. Perhaps you meant the RT?

The FJR has a viturally straight up riding position and a ton of leg room (yes, at a price in ground clearance). The bars and seat height are adjustable. I actually moved my bars fully forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles
One good piece of advice I can offer is to test ride...
Absolutely, ride them all, figure out what fits your life/riding style best. You really can't go wrong with any of them.

Dave Hoogerland

'08 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS
'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
'08 Can-Am Spyder "???"

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post #9 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2008, 12:29 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

I went from a Suzuki Volusia to my LT a little over 2 years ago. Best thing I could have done.
The LT handles great and hauls the wife and I on much longer trips than the Suzie ever could. Just try a 500 mile day on a 800CC cruiser with a weeks worth of gear sometime Bought the LT a couple of months later

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post #10 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2008, 1:37 am
 
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

As a current owner of an LTC and '05 FJR, IMO the '08 FJR is about as good value as exists today. I got to test ride one last month and I don't know of anything better right now that combines the power, comfort, build quality, and beauty for that price. If my '05 wasn't setup and running so well, I would be tempted to trade.

But hard to make a bad choice these days in the ST niche. So many great bikes, its just a matter of getting on them all before making the decision. Kinda like,..............well, you know.
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post #11 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2008, 4:31 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

If your goal is two up riding for long distances, nothing beats the LT. You will sacrifice performance compared to any of the Sport Tourers. It all depends on your priorities.

If you want smooth, strong performance, great handling, but not as much two up and not as many long distance rides, and money isn't that much of an object, the GT is the ticket. I recently test drove a new GT with the bars all the way up and was pretty comfortable. But, that was for 1 hour. The RT has more protection, then the GT, a bit more vibration from the Boxer and good performance. It would be my second choice for long distance touring.

If price is a big issue, you will have to either buy second hand, or look at the Jap offerings.

But, comfort and two up is the LT all the way !!!!
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post #12 of 20 Old Apr 20th, 2008, 8:02 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

I had a st1100 abs/tc for 5 years and really enjoyed its handling one up. But, when me and the wife would go on a trip with luggage it wasnt nearly as much fun. Bought a 06 LT last summer, so glad I did. It handles just as good as the ST one up and doesnt miss a beat when loaded two up. I was so afraid I was going to lose that sport tour feel when I went to the LT. All fears erased. Highly recomend the LT for a two up sport tour.

KENT
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post #13 of 20 Old Apr 21st, 2008, 12:52 pm
 
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

If you want to emphasize the "sport" in sport touring, I recommend the K1200S. I have also owned a 1200RT and a 1200GT. The "S" is very comfortable, has generous fairing and you can purchase either BMW side cases or after market cases. Heated grips are an option too. Two-up may not be so hot. But if you travel single and if you prefer the "sport" in sport touring, the "S" is worthy of consideration!
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post #14 of 20 Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 8:22 am
 
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

Hi Copilot,

Lots of great options out there. I can only give you feedback on what I ride. I have an 05 FJR with ABS that I use as my "work truck". It is my daily driver that does a lot of things well. It's great for knifing in and out of traffic, spirited riding in the twisties (although it does seem to touch down a bit too soon for me sometimes) or just going back and forth from the supermarket.

The motor is strong, the brakes are outstanding, it runs OK on 87 octane and I've gotten as high as 47 mpg (and as low as 38 mpg when using the throttle like an on/off switch).

For me, it's the perfect utility vehicle. Now if I can find a nice LT to go along with the FJR, I'll be a happy camper.

Happy hunting!

Al
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post #15 of 20 Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 10:56 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

I rode a 1400 Intruder for a couple of years and gave it up because it was a nightmare at low speed, even with the low centre of gravity. I particularly remember one instance where, with full luggage and a passenger, I lost it on a wet cobbled street in France. I then changed to the Volusia, which I rode for three years and thought I was always going to buy cruisers because of the comfort, until I took a test ride on an LT. I changed over to an LT two years ago and it was the best change I have ever made. I know it might seem big and heavy but after 1,000 miles you really start to feel the difference. Try one before you make a decision.
Good Luck with whatever you decide on.
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post #16 of 20 Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 6:41 pm
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

the rules of the board say my original message was too short, so I had to type all this B.S. To just say....RT.

2014 R1200RT WC

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post #17 of 20 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 4:25 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

A few years ago, it became clear that my 21-year-old Honda Magna (purchased new in 1986) was wearing out. It took me 2 1/2 years to find a replacement. I tried many different kinds of motorcycles of all brands. I went to dealer open houses and test rides, and also the Cycle World shows.

The Cycle World shows were helpful. Eventually, I narrowed the list to the Honda ST1300, Yamaha FJR-1300, the BMW R1200RT, and BMW K1200GT. The Kawasaki Concours was very new to the market.

The things that helped me narrow down my choice was to talk with owners, motor officers, and the people at the Cycle World shows - some of whom were trying to decide between the bikes, just like me.

I eliminated the Honda first - heavy and throw off a lot of heat. I eliminated the Yamaha next - great value, but missing features that I really wanted. The short list was R1200RT and K1200GT. Frankly, I would be happy with either motorcycle. I chose the K1200GT because I like the mirror placement, the greater air flow, and the liquid-cooled, smooth, higher-power engine. I bought it last June (2007).

I am very happy with my decision to buy a K1200GT. I commute with it most days. The best thing of all is its flexibility and adaptability. It is a great all-purpose motorcycle. The removable side cases and large top case give it great capacity when I need it. With the bags off, it is a decent sport bike.
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post #18 of 20 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 7:41 am
 
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

My 2006 K1200GT is the best all-around bike that I've ever owned. Simply amazing. You and the lil lady need to go sit on one.


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post #19 of 20 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 10:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

Thanks everyone, I really enjoy and appreciate all of your insights. I don't think I want the LT because of size and design even though a lot (most) of my long distance riding will be 2 up. However, if I can swing keeping my 800cc volusia for shorter trips (200-300 miles or so) and around town, maybe the LT is an option. My nearest dealer is 50 miles away; but that really isn't the biggest issue I have in making the decision, it's the fact that I have trouble finding dealers willing to give me test rides on the FJR1300 and the ST1300. Fortunately, I don't have to decide quickly. For those that have sent me in the direction of their for sale FJRs--thanks a lot; but I think I want a 2008 or 2009 since some of the issues with heat mgt and throttle action have been resolved. Keep the ideas coming. If I do keep the 800CC for around town, why is the LT better than a Goldwing?
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post #20 of 20 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 10:55 am
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Re: Looking for a Sport Touring Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by copilot
...For those that have sent me in the direction of their for sale FJRs--thanks a lot; but I think I want a 2008 or 2009 since some of the issues with heat mgt and throttle action have been resolved.
Just an FYI

The heat management issue was fixed on the '06 model, and the (G2 cam) throttle action improvement is less than $200 installed.

Dave Hoogerland

'08 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS
'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
'08 Can-Am Spyder "???"

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