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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. I have been riding streetbikes since 1997. From 1997 until 2009, I rode solely Japanese cruiser & sport bikes (Hondas & Kawasakis). In January 2009, I purchased my first BMW, a 2008 F800ST. More than 2 years and 22,000 miles later, I have fell in love with the BMW Motorrad brand and sport-touring. With my F800ST, I am finding that I ride more now than I have ever done in the past. My commute to work is 27 miles each way and I also frequently make 75-100 mile jaunts from where I live up to San Francisco or other locations here in the Bay Area. While I frequently ride on freeways, I also love to hit the twisty backroads of the Santa Cruz mountains...some of the best riding roads in the country, if not the world!

With all of the time I have spent on my F800ST, I am finding that while I love my bike, there are various features that my ST doesn't have that I would love to have:
-Cruise Control (real cruise, not Throttlemeister)
-Better Wind/Weather protection
-Improved safety (Better ABS, Traction/Stability Control, Linked Brakes, etc.)

Yesterday, I brought my ST into my local dealer (BMW of Santa Cruz) to get its 3rd set of tires installed. While there, I decided to take a 2011 R1200RT for a test ride. An hour later, I arrived back at the dealer with a big grin on my face. I was blown away by the ride quality, comfort and convenience on the RT. During my extended test ride, I evaluated freeway riding, mountain backroad riding, CQM and parking. The single feature the blew me away the most was the electrically adjustable windscreen. Wow! What a difference that makes! I have grown tired of wind noise and neck pains from my head/helmet being blown around on my ST...not an issue on the RT!

The only challenge I had with the RT was backing up the bike to park it. I was able to do it--it just was more difficult than on my ST. I am 5'9" with a 30" inseam. My dealer put the factory low seat (separate front saddle version) on for my test ride. I do not know if he set it to the 30.7" or 31.5" seat height as I wasn't aware of this adjustment until after I got back home following my test ride. Even if he had it at the 30.7" height, I am not too concerned. I was nearly able to completely flatfoot the bike. Plus, if I get the bike, I am planning to ride in to Corbin in nearby Hollister, CA to get a seat custom made for me. I have done this to great success and pleasure on two of my previous bikes (including my current ST).

So, I am now seriously considering upgrading from ST to RT.

Any thoughts/words of advice from your RT veterans would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Andrew
 

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I have a Corbin one piece low seat for my RT that I really like. Unfortunately, I have had to go to a two piece saddle to accomodate my fuel cell.

Just about 200 mile south of you is Ojai, CA, home of Bill Mayer Saddle. Adrian at Bill Mayer Saddle crafted an excellant low saddle for me - I'm 5'8" but have a 28 1/2" inseam. I also have a factory low saddle. In the low position, I can almost flat foot the bike with teh factory low, and am only up on the balls of my feet on the one Adrian crafted for me.

The problem with custom saddles is, to give you any padding to make long days comfrotable, they have to be a bit higher than the factory seats. That means that controlling the bike from your tip-toes becomes the biggest issue to deal with - at least for me. So finding a custom saddle maker that can get you low enough to do so is a pretty big deal.

Other than that, the biggest problem I've had with my RT is a burned out low beam bulb and keeping gas in the damn thing. In the 22,000 plus miles I've added to the bike since I got it at the very end of May last year - I've become plagued with gas station visits and replacing tires for some reason.

Let me warn you up front. Sitting an RT for more than a couple hours can become additive. There is no known cure to that affliction. I've been trying hard to ride myself out of it but oddly, it just gets worse every day I'm on the bike.

I wish nothing but the same for you. Ok, not the burner out bulb, but everything else... :bike:

And Welcome to the forum. Don't jusdge everyone here on me. There are some good guys~n~gals here - can't name any at the moment but they're here - I've SEEN them......
 

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have you considered a low suspension version, I have a 09 with a lowered suspension and one piece seat. the seat is terrible but i replaced it with a russell seat which raised the seat more then I would have liked but hopefully well be more comfortable, have not had a chance to try it yet. I am 5`10 and 30 inch inseam
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Steve: Thanks for your advice. I've always been really happy with riding in to Corbin to get a seat customized to me. While the padding does increase the height a little bit, they also will make the seat a little more narrow for me so I can reach the ground easier. I always wind up being able to put my feet on the ground more firmly with Corbin seats (versus stock seats).

You mentioned that you had to go to a 2 piece saddle to accommodate your fuel cell. What fuel cell?

I'm planning to go with a 2 piece saddle version to retain the heated seat wiring. This way, when I buy my Corbin front saddle, I can go with the OEM heated seat wiring option and plug in my seat to the BMW wiring and use the button the handlebars to turn on my heated seat.

I'm not worried about burning out the factory bulbs as I will be replacing the factory halogens (lows and highs) with an HID kit from 1OffMotorsports (http://www.1offmotorsports.com/Motorcycle-Parts-and-Accesories/Motorcycle-HID-Lighting/BMW-Motorcycle/BMW-R1200RT-HID-Xenon-Light-Kit-2005-2010.html). I have HIDs on my ST and absolutely love them. The difference is incredible!

Thanks for the warning on the bike being addictive! I can definitely understand that!

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #5
snidy said:
have you considered a low suspension version, I have a 09 with a lowered suspension and one piece seat. the seat is terrible but i replaced it with a russell seat which raised the seat more then I would have liked but hopefully well be more comfortable, have not had a chance to try it yet. I am 5`10 and 30 inch inseam
Hi Snidy. I really would like to keep the ESA II which is not available on the low suspension version. Also, if I were to go with the low suspension version, I would likely need to custom order the bike from BMW. There seem to be very few RTs that are delivered to dealers with low suspensions.

Thanks,

Andrew
 

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dreamwave6 said:
I'm not worried about burning out the factory bulbs as I will be replacing the factory halogens (lows and highs) with an HID kit I have HIDs on my ST and absolutely love them. The difference is incredible!
I've just fitted HID to my 2010 RT as the dealer didn't want to install them saying that on the later RT's they've had problems with the canbus turning the lamps off, even with canbus HID's. So far no problems with mine and a hell of a lot cheaper than dealer prices :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very interesting Steve...ride on!
 

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steveaikens said:
...Let me warn you up front. Sitting an RT for more than a couple hours can become additive. There is no known cure to that affliction. I've been trying hard to ride myself out of it but oddly, it just gets worse every day I'm on the bike.....

All I can say is Amen to the addiction. It is an extraordinary bike...even for an old codger like myself. :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

brselman
 

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Any serious backing up, just get off and do it. Safer anyway. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good call, Beech. That will definitely be something I will doing, especially on any upward incline, even the slightest one!

Thanks,

Andrew
 

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Slightly off topic (you have made one of the best path choices in life, getting an RT) but, I would like to share two more small things that make a big difference in bike balance. Comming off the center stand and you beside the bike, like you are going to move it, turn the handle bars (front wheel) slightly away from you. The bike will tend to put its weight towards you when it comes down, not away. Falling away from you expecially on a bike lift is nasty. And please don't let your bike idle on the side stand unless you are sure it is aimed up hill and even then I don't do it so I have no exceptions to the rule. Many a bike has idled to a tip over on the side stand if there is the slightest down slope. I love your area of the country. I had a pal that lived in La Honda when I lived in Oakland and Vallejo. Buena Suerte.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the tips, Beech.

This is an absolutely wonderful area to be a motorcyclist, especially on a bike that can hold its own on windy roads. I've been proud to be a year-round rider for many years. With the incredible weather/wind protection on the RT, my year-round riding can only get better!

Thanks again,

Andrew
 

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Maybe I do it wrong, but it seems to work for me. I straddle my bike and I gently rock it off of the center stand. That way I have full (knock on wood) control of the bike and have yet to lose balance.

brselman
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Exciting news everyone! My local dealer has found the RT in my color and options choices and has acquired the bike from another dealer here in California. This morning, I was approved for the financing I need with BMW Financial Services (and at a great APR of 6.99% to boot)!

I hope to have my RT by this weekend.

I look forward to getting to know all of you on this site!

Andrew
 

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Well, congratulations dreamwave6 on your new RT. It is the best all-around bike I have ever ridden and the 'grin' factor never fades over time. Enjoy your new bike and keep us updated as the farkles get added.
 

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dreamwave6 said:
Exciting news everyone! My local dealer has found the RT in my color and options choices and has acquired the bike from another dealer here in California. This morning, I was approved for the financing I need with BMW Financial Services (and at a great APR of 6.99% to boot)!

I hope to have my RT by this weekend.

I look forward to getting to know all of you on this site!

Andrew

WooHoo! You'll enjoy it.
Best, John
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Bob & John! I look forward to playing with and riding my new RT!

Andrew
 
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