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Hi, new owner with a 2006 R1200rt

I'm looking for advice on differentiating between the quirks of riding these machines to peculiarities on the older 47k mile bike I have just purchased. My previous bikes have always been St1300 Honda's which are super smooth if a little heavy


1) I find the clutch fairly vague when pulling away around town.......it appears I'm fighting stalling the engine versus too many revs and it never seems to just naturally find a sweet spot and pull away

2) When turning into side roads it appears the engine is labouring when using 2nd gear, I imagine the revs are between idle and 2krpm and road speed is 10-20mph at this point. Are you required to use first gear or am unnecessarily worrying about labouring a large 2 cylinder motorcycle


I have only owned the bike for two weeks so it may be a case of getting used to her
 

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Definitely a case of getting used to it. The hydraulic clutch removes some of the feel a cable operated one provides, but you can get "hand memory" developed and that improved my "clutchwork" a fair bit. Isn't the clutch hydraulic on the ST as well?

My '05 likes to be above 3000 to start pulling without lugging. I usually shift around 4k rpm and the revs drop about 1k, seems to be quite happy (the bike) in that range. I ride two up most of the time. 2k rpm is definitely on the gutless side, unless you chip it. Some people seem to think slipping the clutch is the way to go, I personally disagree with that line of thought, so I just try to consciously keep it in the 3 to 4k range as much as practicable. I use first gear but mostly just to get going from standing still.
 

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I agree with what's been said above. The bike has tall gearing and what I could get away with on my 96 Magna I find more challenging for the RT; more specifically, second gear slow corners. For the most part I'll drop to first to get the torque feel I want. I have installed an AF-XIED on my 16 RT which does make a very noticeable difference in low RPM feel ... I can smoothly pull away at much lower RPM's without the risk of stalling. The clutch feel is a mixed bag ... take up is much farther out when the bike is cold than when warmed up but you get used to that fairly quickly and pretty much compensate for it automatically. I really don't even think about it anymore.
 

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My '05 Hexhead was my favorite- and many ways more enjoyable then the '14 Wethead I followed it with.

It is a different bike than the one you had previously and part of that is that BMW is a different breed. It can be far different from the Oriental DNA/breeds.

Miles and rides will cure most of your issues as will growing familiar with the feel, sounds and comfort of the new bike.
(also check out the "BMW Sport Touring" site...) there are entire forum sections devoted to the year-group of your bike...)
 
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Generally, the RT likes to be ridden at the higher rpm range. For instance, I would never do a slow turn at 10 - 15 mph in 2nd gear! Always in 1st. Typically, except for the very slow maneuvering, keep the rpm above 3k.
 

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Like said earlier, the engine likes higher revs
I find that the sweet spot on mine is between 4&5k


Many people call the 5k mark :"The shift indicator"


YMMV
 
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In the hills you would be surprised how quick an RT is when you ride at 5 or 6 k rpm. :surprise:
 
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Yup, my old bike I kept down in lower RPMs, I've noticed the RT does not like it at all. Kind of a hard habit to break as I've always ridden that way but the RT defiantly performs better in higher RPM ranges. I dunno if its all in my head, but it also seems to get much better gas mileage when ridden at the higher RPMs vs low. I've owned mine for almost a year, ride it daily during the week and I still suck at keeping the motor happy when starting from a stop. I either lug it, or give it too much for whatever reason. I think the one time I tried to break hill assist off via motion I stalled it out lol
 

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Generally, the RT likes to be ridden at the higher rpm range. For instance, I would never do a slow turn at 10 - 15 mph in 2nd gear! Always in 1st. Typically, except for the very slow maneuvering, keep the rpm above 3k.
I learn this and many other things from the real bmw guru's

the mechanics for the HPN 900 RR (Very little bmw about them but the parameters and architecture are pretty much the same) Dakar bikes..

keep it as close to red line as you can and that is totally okay to hit/bounce the rev limited, my bikes don't even lose oil, no nasty deposits, valves are under spec every time plus the silly drive shaft/clutch splines never wear out because they are always "Peg it" instead of the tepid "I want to go fast, but I'm scared of it"

the engine can take it, in fact they like it and perform fast at the upper end of the rpms..

Just don't "Dump" of feather the clutch and it will last you a long time..
 

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I'm fairly new to BMW motorcycles, having ridden only a 16 RT and 19 GS for a combined 5 months and 15k miles. I've owned 15 different street bikes over the past 20 years. I believe the R12## platform is the first I've owned with a useful first gear. Slow speed maneuvers were always in second gear until the R12##, now in first frequently and I like it. If you want to corner in second, pick up the pace, the bike will enjoy it:)
I also like that I can use cruise control at 10 mph in first gear. Not that I do often but some of the bikes I've owned won't allow cruise control engagement below 3rd or even 4th gear.
 

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I'm new to BMW's as well (compared to most others on here anyways) and I had the same first impressions when I bought my '13 early last year (my first ever BMW). There two big differences I noticed: the dry clutch is different, and 2) the bike has very tall gearing, especially first, compared to all my previous bikes.

It makes useful power starting at 2,500 to 3,000 rpm in the lower gears and for 5th and 6th you need to be above 4k for acceleration but cruising is ok down to around 3,500. I don't understand the idea of bouncing it off the limiter, or that abusing it will somehow make it last longer, but otherwise I agree with everything else stated above.

The drive chain on this bike is different than others and there is a short learning curve but put a couple of thousand miles on it and you will, like I did, love it more than any other bike you've ever had.
 

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Perhaps a little off topic but still has to ride the RT after coming from an LT... are you to sit as far forward on the RT so that your thighs are hugging the gas tank? I’ve read that some, including I, have experienced hip and shoulder pain that was non existent on the laid back LT. They then decide that the RT is not for them but I believe it must be me still trying to get used to the new girl and her ergonomics...
 

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Perhaps a little off topic but still has to ride the RT after coming from an LT... are you to sit as far forward on the RT so that your thighs are hugging the gas tank? I’ve read that some, including I, have experienced hip and shoulder pain that was non existent on the laid back LT. They then decide that the RT is not for them but I believe it must be me still trying to get used to the new girl and her ergonomics...
I put bar risers and peg lower's on mine. Problem solved.
 

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Hi, new owner with a 2006 R1200rt

I'm looking for advice on differentiating between the quirks of riding these machines to peculiarities on the older 47k mile bike I have just purchased. My previous bikes have always been St1300 Honda's which are super smooth if a little heavy


1) I find the clutch fairly vague when pulling away around town.......it appears I'm fighting stalling the engine versus too many revs and it never seems to just naturally find a sweet spot and pull away

2) When turning into side roads it appears the engine is labouring when using 2nd gear, I imagine the revs are between idle and 2krpm and road speed is 10-20mph at this point. Are you required to use first gear or am unnecessarily worrying about labouring a large 2 cylinder motorcycle


I have only owned the bike for two weeks so it may be a case of getting used to her
I have only owned the bike for two weeks so it may be a case of getting used to her[/QUOTE]

Coming from an honda st1300 v-4 to the rt twin myself. I can say that the st is a torque monster and can practically start from a stop in any gear, smooth as glass. The rt is rpm sensitive and needs to get above 2000 to move. Also you cannot lug the rt like you can a st1300, it will start bucking and resisting that low rpm input. Rt just like the st at about 4000 rpm the bike will get up and move.

Both bikes are very fast. Rt you will find yourself shifting more often to keep in that sweet spot above 2500 rpm.
 

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Hi, new owner with a 2006 R1200rt

I'm looking for advice on differentiating between the quirks of riding these machines to peculiarities on the older 47k mile bike I have just purchased. My previous bikes have always been St1300 Honda's which are super smooth if a little heavy


1) I find the clutch fairly vague when pulling away around town.......it appears I'm fighting stalling the engine versus too many revs and it never seems to just naturally find a sweet spot and pull away

2) When turning into side roads it appears the engine is labouring when using 2nd gear, I imagine the revs are between idle and 2krpm and road speed is 10-20mph at this point. Are you required to use first gear or am unnecessarily worrying about labouring a large 2 cylinder motorcycle


I have only owned the bike for two weeks so it may be a case of getting used to her
I had a 2005 RT for a couple of years (before buying my 2016 when I moved cross country).

You'll get used to the clutch. The dry clutch is an interesting animal, and its different than the feel of a wet clutch.

In terms of slow speed turns, don't be affraid to put it into first... it will tolerate second gear, but if you're more comfortable using first, then do it.
 

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Just remember the clutch is dry just like a car. Get the bike moving from a stop and dump it. Don't drag it out. As far as RPM's go, just ride it like you stole it. I shift at 5-6k. I find it weird that most heavy iron riders are in 3 gear before they are through an intersection.

I did have an issue on my '11 at low rpm's because the throttle bodies were way out of sync. Had to take it to a dealer to get it back in rhythm.
 

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I have an RT1200RT, and like one of the posters on this thread, I had a Honda ST1300 previously, which had replaced an ST1100. I would occasionally stall the motor when leaving from a stop. Didn't think that it was a clutch issue, but that it was a flat spot off of idle.

I keep magazine tests of sport-touring bikes. In 2014, in the U.S. magazine Motorcycle Consumer News, they showed a chart of the engine's powerband, but it only displayed rpms from around 2,500 rpm to above redline. The test of the R1250RT showed rpms from just below 2,000 upwards to redline. You can see a very steep decline in power as revs dropped below 2,000, which made it seem possible that there could be a very little power off of idle.

When I went into the dealer for a while-you-wait 6,000 mile service, about 1.5 years ago, I had the chance to speak to a law enforcement officer who was also waiting for his R1200RT to be serviced. He said that him and another officer compared acceleration of the ST1300 and the R1200RT police machines. He said that the ST1300 would be faster from a start, but that the RT would catch up. That also seems to confirm that power on the RT could be low at low rpms.
 

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Hi, new owner with a 2006 R1200rt

I'm looking for advice on differentiating between the quirks of riding these machines to peculiarities on the older 47k mile bike I have just purchased. My previous bikes have always been St1300 Honda's which are super smooth if a little heavy


1) I find the clutch fairly vague when pulling away around town.......it appears I'm fighting stalling the engine versus too many revs and it never seems to just naturally find a sweet spot and pull away

2) When turning into side roads it appears the engine is labouring when using 2nd gear, I imagine the revs are between idle and 2krpm and road speed is 10-20mph at this point. Are you required to use first gear or am unnecessarily worrying about labouring a large 2 cylinder motorcycle


I have only owned the bike for two
weeks so it may be a case of getting used to her
Came from a Honda as well (cable-clutch), found the RT to be vague at engagement / disengagement at first too. Also felt, and still do, the bike feels like it labors from a stop. A 2k rev will get er going well. I let it out at a medium rate from a stop, and very quickly between shifts, it seems to respond well and smoothly to that. The bike is made to be ridden with authority, IMO. I will say I believe the issue from a stop is caused by the gear ratio - the RT cop bikes with a lower first gear, and my R1200R with a lower first gear don't have that issue. They're both way easier to start from a stop. Both may be a result of lower FINAL DRIVE ratio rather than transmission differences, but the result is easier around town usage, and highway revs in top gear are higher on those 2 bikes. The civilian RT will really fly on the highway all day long. I keep the rpms at 3k or above almost always, and shift at 5-6k. The power really comes on around 5k, keep it there in traffic for quick maneuvers if needed. It can sing at 5k all day without issue. Just my 2 cents.
 

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The down side to that is that most relate gear/engine sound to speed. I remember the first time I road the RT I was in 3rd gear right around 5k and looked down and I was doing 90 lol Interesting enough the bike really does not feel that fast, even if you get on the throttle it does not have that feeling that comes along with hauling butt. However if you look down you notice you are doing over 100 in a few seconds. The bike is just so smooth when you get on it that you don't even notice.

Merged onto the freeway a few weeks ago, got into the #1 at 100mph then backed off the throttle to match speed like I normally do. Noticed a car behind me caught up to me SUPER fast given my speed.. Then noticed bar lights on the roof..... Luckily it was a city cop and not CHP, otherwise I would had been screwed!!!! >:)
 
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