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I am getting the itch, again, for a BMW R1200RT. I've had FJR's and Harleys, but never a BMW. I have had the pleasure of riding a couple of RTs and really loved the way they handle and feel.

I am without a bike at the present time, but looking at R1200RT models for sale on various sites. Seems from about 2014 forward, there are exposed frame components, tubular if you will, that are not on visible earlier models. This must must indicate some improvement for the frame component. I am sure the later models have better suspension components, EAS, better brakes, etc. Are there still problems with the switch gear popping up now and then?

So if you were looking, what is the oldest model you would consider? I am willing to pay the extra for later model bikes. The last thing I want is an older bike with known issues to the community of which I may not be aware.

So any input from the community would be appreciated.

Thanks
I owned a used 2013 R1200RT and after a test ride immediately jumped to the 2014 water cooled. Both were bought used with 1500 miles or less, saving thousands of dollars. Yes, the RT's seem to depreciate fairly quickly in my experience. Even though the 2014-18 do not have the TFT display they are so much more readable than the thin black on gray lettering of the older GS models. I actually prefer the menu setup on the 14-18 RT over the newer TFT system, but have to admit the color is much more vivid with the TFT. Comparing BMW's 605 lb wet weight to 700 or over for the equivalent ST1300, FJR1300 or Concours 1400 is what headed me to the R1200RT. That is a huge difference, plus the BMW's ergonomics and handling are way better IMO. I did sell my RT last year and picked up one of the newer Goldwings mostly for passenger comfort. By doing so I took on almost 300Lbs, reduced handling and cornering speed, reduced luggage space but made my wife happier with a more comfy seat. Always trade offs. The Goldwing does have a smoother engine with its 6 cyclinders, not to say that the RT isn't smooth.
 

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1 have 2014 wet head that has been very reliable and easy to work on. One thing to mention is the shift to a wet clutch from a dry clutch. Much easier to work on than a dry clutch which the bike has to have major surgery to change. I also have not heard of a wet head clutch going out.
 

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I have a Harley Ultra Classic and have owned two of them and about half a dozen RTs. I've taken my Harley all over Mexico and the USA. I call it my lazy boy and it's great for riding two-up. That being said, I love my '17 RT and other than maybe wanting to check out the shift-cam on the newer 1250 RTs that offer better torque at lower rpms, I have no dying interest to upgrade.
 

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Hi Joe,

I can't speak to maintenance differences between pre-wethead models and wethead since I've only owned a '16 RT for 5y now w/ 50K trouble-free miles, but from most every testimony I read the wetheads are generally better than the prior models overall DIY work and maintenance goes. Changing the oil in the final drive is easier to do in wethead models AFAIK. There is no need to lube splines as PadG emphasizes. The commonly done maintanence items like changing oil & filter, spark plugs, valve clearance adjustment will be the same though I know wetheads use shims instead of threaded nut adjustment. At my 48K mile check all valve clearances remain in the middle of their intended range and have never needed adjusting.

When I bought my '16 RT new, I test road 2015 FJR-ES, and a '12 RT. I thought the '12 RT was, as is sometimes said, rather agricultural and didn't appeal to me at all, and it was after that I test rode the FJR. Thankfully I rode a wethead after the FJR. Be aware 2014 was the first year R1200RT went to a wet clutch--prior to that it was a dry clutch and changing it was a case of breaking the bike in half, whereas in wetheads the clutch is wet and is far easier to change.

2017 improved shifting by the addition of a judder-damper, and some way latter years are even better. My '16 shifts just dandy, FWIW.

IMHO the wethead RTs are the quintesssential sport tourer being highly competent in BOTH roles, unlike the vast majority of offerings in the genre. Oh, and while we're here....be sure to consider Continental RoadAttack 3 GT when it's time to change tires--the tire hits best in class in all areas that matter in a tire IMHO of course, at least compared to Michelin PR4GT, Pirelli Angel GT, and Metz Z8.
 

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True to a point. I still miss the super supple suspension and amazing good looks of my 1150RT.
I agree 100% about the 1150RT, I loved my '04. I have to think though that after 10 years on a camhead GS and now putting some miles on a shiftcam RT, if I rode an 1150 it would feel dated.
 

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I agree 100% about the 1150RT, I loved my '04. I have to think though that after 10 years on a camhead GS and now putting some miles on a shiftcam RT, if I rode an 1150 it would feel dated.
Hell my 2013 RT felt dated, and all I did was test ride a 2020...the ride back home on my 2013 was so underwhelming lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Excellent information and I want to thank all of your for your detailed comments and "feelings from the seat". I believe I am honing-in on a '17 model that is for sale and maybe I will be fortunate enough to get that bike. If not it, then something else from the '15 model year and newer. Not to disparage bikes older than '15, but I like the improvements in the newer line-up post liquid cooled. Ride safe everyone.
 
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I had a 07 RT that I sold at 186,000km and still performed like new. (I did replace the drive shaft,clutch and rear ESA strut over the years)
Very easy to work on.I did all my maintenance including the items mentionned above and I've never worked on a bike before.
The tupperware of the 07 is much easier to remove than the wetheads.
On the other hand the engine of the 1250RT is so much better. The double cams make a huge difference especially at low rpm.
I loved my 07 but my 19 is much better....
YMMV
 
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I love my 2017 RT. I've had RT model years 1975, 2004, 2013 and my '17 is the best imho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thanks Dan and Rapz for those comments.
 
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