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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to all for the reply to my previous post. As you can tell I'm trying to decide if the R1200RT is the bike for me.

I haven't ever owned a "touring" bike. I'm used to "standards" - more of a R1200R than R1200RT type of bike. I've owned dozens of bikes over the years - everything from full blown sports bikes (Ducati 916, Yamaha R6) to relaxed cruisers (Harley Heritage Classic), and many bikes in between (R1000R, R1150R, Honda Valkyrie, Moto Guzzi California, Ducati Monster, Honda 750, MV Agusta Brutale, HD Street Rod, Triumph T-100, etc.).

Each of these bikes was chosen because I like "unique" bikes, with a bit of style and lots of "fun". At my age, well above the entry level for an AARP card, I realize that despite taking professional riding classes every two years (MSF - Basic/Advanced, Keith Code Superbike School, North Carolina Bike Safe, etc.) my reaction time is somewhat less than it had been, and my ability to enjoy long rides is also less than in years past. My wife no longer enjoys long rides (arthritis) and I've had 7 surgeries in the last few years that makes riding a bit less fun than it had been.

I recently bought a lighter weight bike, a Harley XL 1200C Sportster, believing that the combination of "looks", lighter weight, and easy of handling would be a good compromise. My riding tends to be in Raleigh, NC - a modest sized city - as well as the surrounding areas. Most rides are 2 hours or less, some run to 3-5 hours, many under an hour (commuting to office).

Traffic and police limit the fun, but at my age that isn't a big deal. I have a pretty enjoyable convertible sports car that gives me all the grins and performance I need, but I miss the ability to lean a bike into a turn, make the perfect shift, and feel "one with the road".

The R1200RT seems a bit much for the riding I've described, especially the desire to "have fun". Not sure I equate fun with touring bikes. On the other hand I've owned BMWs in the past and find them to be exceptional machines. At my age I think that ABS is a very worthwhile option and clearly BMW has that covered as well. It gets remarkably hot in the summer down here - concerned that a full windshield will prevent enough air from passing over me to keep me cool, especially in traffic. I ride with ATGATT - Full face helmet, riding gloves, boots, Aerostich suit in the cooler weather, vented Vanson gear in the summer.

My question, finally, "Is the R1200RT Fun to Drive?" I don't expect it to compete with a MV Agusta Brutale, but the HD Heritage, beautiful as it was, has very limited lean angle, and the weight is quite noticeable, especially with several surgeries on my arms and shoulders. Will the RT fit my needs, and if not, what do you suggest?

Thanks to all in advance. I've just joined the forum and I very much appreciate the support, knowledge and information.
 

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I find the RT a fun bike to ride, but I think the GS is more fun :)
In general, I don't find a bike with a full fairing a problem when it is warm (if it ever gets warm over here)
If I ride a naked bike, the cooling effect of the wind seems to trigger my body to produce more heat.
When coming to a halt, this action continues a while and makes my body temperature to rise above comfortable levels.
When I ride a bike with a full fairing, the much lesser wind cooling doesn't trigger the reaction as described above.
The negative effect when standing still also doesn't occur.
This means that I can dress lighter and keep my body temperature better under control on a bike with more wind protection.
Since the the position of the RT's windscreen can be adjusted, it should be possible to obtain the wind cooling
amount around your head (and perhaps upper torso) that you like.
 

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It's a helluva lot of fun to ride imho. Cruises with comfort on the highway and can be flicked around in the twisties. The more I ride mine the more I think Goddamn, this bike is a blast.
 

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IHMO the RT is a nice touring bike and can be fun to ride in the right conditions. It is not a sport bike. Only you can decide if you want to transition from your sport bikes to a sport touring bike. I found my ST1300 to have a motor with a little more punch, better brakes and of course Honda quality and a little more ."sport" riding position and parts pricing more inline with what I deem acceptable and about 140 more lbs than the RT. With all that said, the ST's riding position and I did not agree inspite of changing bars, seat and pegs. The ST lacked the comforts that the RT offers. The point of all this is that only you can decide the fun factor of the bike. Good luck
 

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Given your experience and the variety of bikes you have and ride, I'm not sure I feel qualified to give you much advice except that I do own a cruiser (R 1200 C) a sport bike (Ducati 999) and an RT. The RT is my "go to" ride and yes it is fun but in a very different context than the 999. The 999 is thrilling but demanding. The 1200 C is just what it was designed to be, a cruiser and certainly does not handle as well as the RT, but definitely better than a HD Sportster. All of that being said, I just returned from a trip to Alaska where I put 3,000 miles on a GS. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to move from the RT to the GS, but damn that is a great bike and if the only criteria is "fun" it is probably more "fun" than the RT. If I did not already own an RT, I would most likely get a GS instead.
 

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Compared to the Gs's I've owned, the RT is a lot of fun! I love the fact that it is so comfortable and I find that I am not as drained after a couple of hundred km's of high speed riding.

It does it's thing trough the twisties and is really deceptively fast! The wife loving it as well. Always had excuses not to join me on the GS's, but now she is a regular pillion!
 

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I am familiar with your neck of the woods. Nice place, great riding opportunities.

I am also fairly familiar with your previous bikes.

The RT is advertised and thought of as a "Touring" bike. Do not let that fool you. It is not nearly the touring-entrenched bike as say, a BMW LT, or the Tour Glides, or the Goldwings. Not even as much as the Road Kings. "Touring" in this case is there to also distinguish the RT from the GS. The GS is squarely in the Dual-Sport camp... giving up some comfort to gain off-road capability. Touring thus means, heat where you want it, cruise control, electric wind screen, etc.

The RT is just plainly more of a multipurpose bike than any on your list.

You seem to have experience with the R1XXXR bikes. You can think of the RT as an R-bike with added weather protection. This will benefit you in summer rain storms, and the chilly weather onset in the Fall. In other words you will extend your comfortable riding season.

The RT will be lighter than many you have listed... measured in pounds but it will FEEL much lighter, more capable and more fun than the others. If you want it to even feel more like a sporty rider, take the side cases off and go for a spin. Need more touring capacity... put them back on and go cross-country. The RT look like a tourer with the cases on, and can easily be taken for a sporty bike with it undressed. By the way, it looks great with no side cases. Taking them off is a 15 second operation.

You mentioned age... well. It fits your demographic perfectly. Comfortable, versatile, sporty, heated grips and seat(s) that actually work. Electric windscreen... which is one of the Oh Wow! features that you did not know you wanted till you had it.

Fun? Absolutely. There is also a great BMW community in your neck of the woods... adds pleasure and will be a great resource. Sporty? I will give you as much as you want... and will probably exceed your capabilities while it leaves lots of guys with open jaws as you power through the twisties and do it in comfort not crouched over like a monkey having relations with a football. If you find one with ESA, you can tune the suspension for comfort, mid-range or sport... on the fly... might come in handy.

The BMW dealers encourage "thorough" test rides. Take one and you may settle the issue.
 
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I think the RT is fun. But that's me.
You need to make a decision based on what you think. We are all tainted. Biased.
If we didn't like our bikes we would have replaced them long ago.
You have to go by your own assessment.
In my case, test drives mean nothing to me. Because they cannot be for about 3 months.
That's about what I go by.
I buy the bike or car, and try it for 3 to 6 months. Usually it hits me by that time, I like it, or don't.
dc
 

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I have to agree with hopz about taking the side bags off. I like the looks of bike best with the bags off. With the bags off you also loose a little bit of weight so directional transition from side to side feels easier. If you are concerned with to much wind protection in the summer you might trim the stock windshield a little. I am pretty sure you can find a stock windshield from someone in the "wanted" area here. I went to a cee bailey mostly for better winter protection but might put the stock one back on for the remainder of the summer.
 

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lencap said:
Thanks to all for the reply to my previous post. As you can tell I'm trying to decide if the R1200RT is the bike for me.

I haven't ever owned a "touring" bike. I'm used to "standards" - more of a R1200R than R1200RT type of bike. I've owned dozens of bikes over the years - everything from full blown sports bikes (Ducati 916, Yamaha R6) to relaxed cruisers (Harley Heritage Classic), and many bikes in between (R1000R, R1150R, Honda Valkyrie, Moto Guzzi California, Ducati Monster, Honda 750, MV Agusta Brutale, HD Street Rod, Triumph T-100, etc.).

Each of these bikes was chosen because I like "unique" bikes, with a bit of style and lots of "fun". At my age, well above the entry level for an AARP card, I realize that despite taking professional riding classes every two years (MSF - Basic/Advanced, Keith Code Superbike School, North Carolina Bike Safe, etc.) my reaction time is somewhat less than it had been, and my ability to enjoy long rides is also less than in years past. My wife no longer enjoys long rides (arthritis) and I've had 7 surgeries in the last few years that makes riding a bit less fun than it had been.

I recently bought a lighter weight bike, a Harley XL 1200C Sportster, believing that the combination of "looks", lighter weight, and easy of handling would be a good compromise. My riding tends to be in Raleigh, NC - a modest sized city - as well as the surrounding areas. Most rides are 2 hours or less, some run to 3-5 hours, many under an hour (commuting to office).

Traffic and police limit the fun, but at my age that isn't a big deal. I have a pretty enjoyable convertible sports car that gives me all the grins and performance I need, but I miss the ability to lean a bike into a turn, make the perfect shift, and feel "one with the road".

The R1200RT seems a bit much for the riding I've described, especially the desire to "have fun". Not sure I equate fun with touring bikes. On the other hand I've owned BMWs in the past and find them to be exceptional machines. At my age I think that ABS is a very worthwhile option and clearly BMW has that covered as well. It gets remarkably hot in the summer down here - concerned that a full windshield will prevent enough air from passing over me to keep me cool, especially in traffic. I ride with ATGATT - Full face helmet, riding gloves, boots, Aerostich suit in the cooler weather, vented Vanson gear in the summer.

My question, finally, "Is the R1200RT Fun to Drive?" I don't expect it to compete with a MV Agusta Brutale, but the HD Heritage, beautiful as it was, has very limited lean angle, and the weight is quite noticeable, especially with several surgeries on my arms and shoulders. Will the RT fit my needs, and if not, what do you suggest?

Thanks to all in advance. I've just joined the forum and I very much appreciate the support, knowledge and information.
The RT is a horrible bike. I think you should stick to your MV.
Imagine asking an RT forum if their bikes are fun?
Sounds like trolling?
:feedtroll
Go rent one and find out for your self?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry you think I'm trolling - not my intent at all. As I said I'm not familiar with touring bikes and I am/was looking for honest feedback from owners about how much fun their bike is.

Clearly this is a BMW site and I expect people to love their ride, but as someone who is trying to make a decision I'm looking for honest opinions.

The point of giving as much information as I did is to provide some understanding of my past riding history so that you could compare your riding history to mine.

The R1200RT is a big expense - I'm trying to avoid buyer's remorse and to make the best decision I can.

Feel free to delete my post if you still consider my intent trolling.
 

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I bought a new RT in April of this year and am scheduling my 12K service next week. I'm having a blast riding it. It's comfortable for the long haul, fun thru the twisties, and the best bike I've ever ridden. I've got a small case of GS fever but I'll just ride the RT until that feeling passes.
 

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Very subjective question. I am retired and in your age group. I have ridden bikes since
the teenage years and done my share of racing. The R1200RT fits my taste. I also have
Tour Harleys in my stable and yes they have a place, but in a very different way. The Beemer's.priority is function and performance. The Harley's priority is Looks, Sound, and History with function and performance coming in 4th and 5th.
So, its what you like and where your priorities are........ You make the Call...............passnthru
 

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As a friend and I returned home from a 160 mile breakfast run through the Delaware Water Gap area we stopped at a light and he looked over and said "I love this bike!". Funny, as I was thinking the same thing. Every time I ride it I like it more. Both of us ride 2011 models and both were riding without side cases, as others have suggested. Makes a great daytripper without 'em.

Take a long test ride or just buy it. I think it'll grow on you.
 

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Being somewhere in your age bracket and similar riding experience (owned, ridden, raced, 47 bikes) I recently traded an '03 1150 RT for a '12 1200 RT, with no buyers remorse. I could have gotten an Ultra classic for what I paid for the RT, but I have owned several heavy H-D touring bikes over the years and could never keep up with my main riding bud who has been on the same 1150 RT since '04.

The 1200 is a wonderful bike, especially with the ESA II and electric windshield. It's not as fast, by any means, as the ZZR1200 I rode, but much more comfortable and handles the twisties about as well. Even if you could fine a 1200 to take out for a day ride, I believe you will see what the members of this forum are trying to say... tomp dd50
 

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patsmith said:
I have to agree with hopz about taking the side bags off. I like the looks of bike best with the bags off. With the bags off you also loose a little bit of weight so directional transition from side to side feels easier. If you are concerned with to much wind protection in the summer you might trim the stock windshield a little. I am pretty sure you can find a stock windshield from someone in the "wanted" area here. I went to a cee bailey mostly for better winter protection but might put the stock one back on for the remainder of the summer.
Just get a Cee Biuleys Sport Shield. Looks amazing and flows a lot more air,. Also nice and quiet without buffetting by raising a bit!

I did the Dark Gray tint!

http://www.ceebaileys.com/bmw/bmwr1200rt2ws.htm

The RT is a fantastic combo of comfort and sport. Happy as a geoduck with mine!
 

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I have 3 bikes as you can see from my signature. The RT is the most versatile and I ride it mostly for overnight trips. I bought the Triumph Street Triple strictly for fun. It's light at 416 lbs with plenty of power and a more upright riding position than a sport bike. As a naked bike it is the coolest for warm weather riding. I typically take it out for 100 mile jaunts into the twisties. For longer rides I would want the RT or cruiser.
 

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In my short time riding motorcycles, started in 2006, I've owned the following

1999 BMW F650
2008 BMW F800ST
2012 BMW R1200RT

I've found the F800 really fun to ride, the F650 was good but the F800 was better. However, I found the forward lean of the F800 hard on my wrists, my knees were a bit cramped, and the seat wasn't as comfortable as I would like, plus the luggage was hard to manage. But it's a fun bike. Then I got the RT this past Dec. Granted it's bigger and heavier but the more I ride the RT the more I like it. Plenty of luggage space for long trips, great options to make touring nice. I've found the ESA to be very useful along with the cruise control and the electronic windshield. Even with the side bags she's a lot of fun to ride, great in the twisties.

After all that babbling my point is I thought I would be losing out on sporty fun leaving my F800 behind in exchange for comfort features of a touring bike. For me the reality is that I've lost absolutely nothing; it's just as fun to ride and I have more comfort features.

Go test ride one!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks to all for the replies. Passnthru's response seemed to frame the decision for me very clearly. The decision, for me, is head versus heart. That's why I'm unsure. Most of the bikes I've purchased with my head have been less memorable and fun than those I bought with my heart. Passnthru's reminder helped me focus on that - many thanks to all.
 
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