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Discussion Starter #1
Hi :wave , I am currently interested in the RT. I have spent the last 5 years riding a 2002 Yamaha Road Star Warrior. This warrior has been beefed up with H.C. pistons, heavy duty valve springs, wilder cams, upgraded ECU, free flowing intake and exhaust. Needless to say this 102c.i. Warrior is very spirited and very fun to ride but a little more stiffer suspension than I probably should be riding. In the last 4 years I have had 4 back surgeries and am still looking forward to another :( . I ride daily, in the last 5 years of owning my Warrior, I have put nearly 70,000 miles on it even with all the down time from 4 back surgeries.

I would like to get into a touring bike, hoping that a more comfortable suspension and more upright riding position with help reduce some stress off my back. What are some of the pluses and minuses to look for when looking a at RTs? I am going to head over to the local dealer and look at what they have in used RTs just to get a better idea of how the look up close and how I fit on one and give one a test ride. At 6'5", 245# :eek: getting a comfortable is a little tough.

Any ideas, tips and/or suggestions would be greatly apprreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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62rampsidekid said:
Hi :wave , I am currently interested in the RT. I have spent the last 5 years riding a 2002 Yamaha Road Star Warrior. This warrior has been beefed up with H.C. pistons, heavy duty valve springs, wilder cams, upgraded ECU, free flowing intake and exhaust. Needless to say this 102c.i. Warrior is very spirited and very fun to ride but a little more stiffer suspension than I probably should be riding. In the last 4 years I have had 4 back surgeries and am still looking forward to another :( . I ride daily, in the last 5 years of owning my Warrior, I have put nearly 70,000 miles on it even with all the down time from 4 back surgeries.

I would like to get into a touring bike, hoping that a more comfortable suspension and more upright riding position with help reduce some stress off my back. What are some of the pluses and minuses to look for when looking a at RTs? I am going to head over to the local dealer and look at what they have in used RTs just to get a better idea of how the look up close and how I fit on one and give one a test ride. At 6'5", 245# :eek: getting a comfortable is a little tough.

Any ideas, tips and/or suggestions would be greatly apprreciated. Thanks in advance!
I am 6'5 300 34" inseam. I came from a 2007 Vulcan Nomad and I can tell you it's a world apart from cruisers. The ride is better and adjustable, it's quicker, faster, stops better than anything you probably have ridden and gets decent mileage. 300 miles on a tank isn't abnormal. I bought a leftover 2009 late last year and so far I love the bike.

You will have to put the seat at it's highest adjustment. Even then, I've had a couple knee surgeries and need a little more seat to peg room. To that end I will probably put peg lowering kit in. I may even get bar risers too, but it would be about perfect.

The suspension is electronically adjustable, and even on the sport setting, it's not harsh. Take one for a spin and I will almost guarantee you'll have an epiphany. It's like riding a motorcycle again. My Nomad was 818, the RT is 570 and has a greater load capacity. In fact, it's greater than some touring bikes like an EG Ultra. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Take a spin on one.
 

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No trouble areas that seem to affect everybody, but here's a brief rundown on the different years:
05-06 have the servo brake system. Some love it, some don't. If it breaks, it costs lots to fix
it.
07-09 Some say these are the years to look for in a used RT.
10-11 The new "camhead" engine with more torque in the lower RPM ranges, less noisy, etc.

If you didn't ride them back-to-back, you'd probably like any of them just fine.
 

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Oh yeah, I will probably get a Calsci XL windscreen. Too much buffeting with the stock one...Something that happens with big guys.
 

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Good morning and welcome to the group.

Actually, your best answers will come from the bike itself.

The RT is a much different ride than what you are on right now, and is the premier sport touring bike available right now. It is a capable long range bike, and can easily embarrass sport bike riders in the hands of a good rider. It is very comfortable and most come equipped with cruise control, which is about the best thing since sliced bread. Those with the electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) can quickly be set for a number of possible rider/cargo/passenger combinations, although it is not a major requirement for many owners. Traction control is available on the newer bikes, but is again not a major requirement for many. There is a lot of aftermarket stuff available for all the RT's so you can farkle to your heart's content.

The system cases along with a large top case are great for packing a lot of stuff for a trip, and easily attach/detach.

Comfort is a subjective thing, some of us adding bar-backs and risers to the stock handle bars, and others are comfortable with the seating position of the stock setup. BMW seats are, um... "interesting" ?. Some like them, and others find that they are torture racks. Aftermarket upgrades make things quite nice as many will attest. There is a new "comfort" seat available that I have not had a chance to try.


On thing I might suggest while you are test riding, and given you are a big, tall man living in Arizona, also try a ride on the R1200GS Adventure. That bike is a great touring machine too, with off-road capability that would be great for some of the areas you have access to.

The Adventure has a large fuel tank and a very good suspension that makes riding a pleasure even on rough roads, and especially off road. It is a tall bike that you might find a more comfortable than the RT simply because the RT's fairing plastic behind the cylinders limits leg placement, and a lot of tall people find it cramped. The GS has great ergonomics that you might find much more comfortable.

Hope this helps ! Give us a ride report .
 

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welcome to the board.

What they said is mostly right-on but I do take exception to the folklore about the Servo Assisted brakes on the '05/'06 bikes.

With your back issues and history you will face some challenges. Not really because they are real challenges but because you will find that the bike is a different kind of bike.

The main thing is that you will have to re-learn how to sit on a bike. Once you do this you will find more comfort and be well rewarded for your effort. But it will take effort. The issue is that on your cruiser style bike you are used to sitting on your butt with your legs projecting out towards the front and they are not really involved in riding. Your weight is going down your spine, through your butt to the seat. Comfort is found by making the seat more cushy, like a Barca lounger.

On a modern motorcycle you will find that your upper body is tilted forward enough that your weight projects forward through your arms/wrists and downward through your thighs to your legs and your feet, which are now moved to the rear and are more or less in a position to be actually used to control the bike.

At first you will find this uncomfortable and irritating. You will complain and go searching for solutions that include bar backs and risers. You will deny and in fact probably resent the fact that you will have to change some personal habits.

But... once you figure it out you will be rewarded with a bike that is more comfortable, more responsive, more agile and one that rewards you with more smiles.

All the nits and lice of the various model years are irrelevant. If you are the sort of person who is willing to invest a little time and effort in re-learning and re-developing new patterns of muscle memory you will enjoy the change. If not, you will piss and moan about the bike and sell it.

that and the fact that the BMW is not as noisy and irritating to you and others.

By the way, this advice comes from one who was on H-D for more then 20 years and one who had to learn the lessons himself.
 

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As mentioned check out the GS and GSA. Love my RT, but the suspension on my friend's GSA is incredible. I find that I head for the bumps and cracks in the road when I am riding it, just to feel how well it eats them up.

Find a dealer where you can test ride them all and go from there.
 

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Welcome to the group.
As the replies come in response to your questions you will no doubt hear complaints about the seat. I know I'm in the minority but never had a problem with the seat or riding position---so judge that on your own with an open mind. I did change the windshield to an aftermarket, gray tinted model with a small laminar flip at the top edge--but this was mainly for cosmetics sake.
Fuel mileage and range are outstanding, the braking system is really great. Handling--you'd be very hard pressed to get out of it what it can give you, again, amazing. Weight; light in comparison to most touring rigs. Smooth running--perhaps not like Japanese smooth; you can actually feel the machine working under you as you ride along. It is BMW smooth. It simply feels right.
Good luck with your medical concerns and if finding your "new" Beemer!
Dave
 

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I could not agree more with all of the great things said here about the RT. If you get one, you won't look back!

One great thing about the RT as with all BMWs, dealers are more than willing to allow you to test drive them. Take full advantage of this!! You'll come back with a big ole grin on your face!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the informative replies. The local dealer has a used 2002 that I am going to head over and go for a test ride. I'd love to go for a new one but I'd hate to buy a new one only to find out I may have to quit riding altogether.

I am looking forward to a new riding position, I had a sport bike several years before I picked up my sport cruiser and was amazed at the seating difference and comfort. With my increasing back issues the cruiser seating position has been in the last 6 months or so began to become a little more painful after long rides. I love to ride, I ride everyday to work and then try to head out on longer rides on the weekends with friends from work. An increase in storage and a larger fuel tank will help since most of my long distance friends are riding big HD Ultra Classics.

Thanks again. Once I get my test ride in I'll chime in on how it went! :)
 

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62rampsidekid said:
Thanks for all the informative replies. The local dealer has a used 2002 that I am going to head over and go for a test ride. I'd love to go for a new one but I'd hate to buy a new one only to find out I may have to quit riding altogether.

I am looking forward to a new riding position, I had a sport bike several years before I picked up my sport cruiser and was amazed at the seating difference and comfort. With my increasing back issues the cruiser seating position has been in the last 6 months or so began to become a little more painful after long rides. I love to ride, I ride everyday to work and then try to head out on longer rides on the weekends with friends from work. An increase in storage and a larger fuel tank will help since most of my long distance friends are riding big HD Ultra Classics.

Thanks again. Once I get my test ride in I'll chime in on how it went! :)
2002?
That's not a R1200RT...
 

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Welcome and if you get one take time to fit it to you.
I am 6' tall and 34" inseam wt 190.

It took 1 1/2 Yrs to make this bike comfortable.
I have raised the bars .put Cal Sci Windshield +3" / +3" so I do not have to raise windshield
at all and after 5 or 6 seats to find comfort and have done 10 fly and rides on Harley
program and not having one bad seat put a Ultra Seat on my BMW Rt pans by bolting them together and really happy along with my wife being happy passenger also.

They are great bikes in almost every way other than being a little cramped in my legs.
Good wind and rain protection and the way these bikes corner very few people will
stay with you in the corners..The brakes are touchy and I use 1 or 2 fingers only
for brake lever.
The lights stock are very good .
My only complaint is seat sucks stock and leg room.
I have not put lower kit on shifter and brakes.. I may in 2012 when I plan to do across the country trip with RT..
Good Luck and if you need any information please feel free to ask..Joe in NJ
 

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One thing I did not mention that I should have and at times still hate the bike
is the tall first gear with wife and full load at times in certain road conditions .
Just like any bike or car not one is perfect in every way.
Last year July Forth weekend we were in bumper to bumper traffic from George Washington
Bridge NY to Groton Conn approx 80 miles and hated the bikes first gear that day a 1/ 1/2 hr
ride was 5 hours of hell..
But the bikes shines in every other way in riding the RT.
If you are in a place to rent one for day or so I would suggest you do so to
get real feel of RT or any bike you are looking to buy.
5 and or 10 mile test rides do not give you enough time to really feel the bike
for strengths or weaknesses.
Decisions ,Decisions.LOL Good Luck
 

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to the O.P. (original poster)...

If you really are looking at an '02... it is the R1150RT. Fine bike but let me comment on the differences:
-Heavier than the 1200 (which came out in '05)
-smaller engine than the 1200...
-less power than the 1200
-older style than the 1200
-many think the style of the 1150 is far prettier than the 1200
-the 1100/1150's up to about '03?... had an irritating surge problem which was "cured" in about '03 with a second spark plug in each cylinder. I had the 1100R model and it surged but got better after a careful tune-up.
- not entirely certain the windshield is electric on the 1150. but is manually adjustable.
- electrics simpler on the 1150- no CANBUS- think of this as computer controlled electronic system.
- IIRC the removal of the fairing on the 1150 is more complex.
- No Cruise Control, which is a BFD.
-they are vulnerable to a no-start or weird stoppage on the road due to HES (Hall Effect Sensor) failure often associated with moisture and age. This is the device that tells the spark plugs when to fire. Like the crankshaft position sensor on a car, or Harley.

In general the 1150 is a great bike and many prefer it to the 1200. They can be had at a lower price and some still have low miles. It is heavier, slower and does not have the instrumentation and on board computer the 1200 has. Another caution is that a low miles 1150 may be in the category of "seldom used", thus may have tires that are no longer fresh and springy, and some rubber cracking, corrosion etc associated with older age bikes.

All things equal... if money is not the driving force, I vote for the 1200... just my personal vote.
 

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I'll go a little bit deeper..

I've got an R1100RT with only 21K on it... I've never ridden any of the newer ones and I don't know how they could be better...I think mine is the best year of the Rt..
No servo brakes.. Simple ABS brakes... Cable clutch.. No slave cylinder to fail and wreck the clutch.. Simple cable change.. Excellent wind protection. You can ride all day in the rain and hardly get wet...Simple fuel injection. Far less to go wrong...Yes, electric windshield. No radio, MP3 player connected to comm also has fm radio....

I love my R1100RT.. It rides like a fighter jet.......When properly tuned it doesn't surge..

Starts every time...Never let me down.. No EWS ring to fail and leave you stranded..

No cruise, But a throttle lock suffices... It goes way faster than any speed limit...

If I never ride a newer one, I won't want one...:wave

John
 

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I also had a R1100RT and it was the one that made me feel like I have finally found THE BIKE. When a R1200RT got in my sights I had to pull the trigger. Traded in my R1100RT with a leaking FD and a 03' V-Rod(another test). :histerica
The R1200RT is just better, but not enough if you are just testing the bike and yourself.
Good luck with the hunt!
 

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Hopz is right on with the ergos of the RT, cruisers are the worst thing for a back, trying to raise the bars is going to arch your the wrong way. Let your brain adjust your body to the seating position rather than making the RT into a cruiser. Give it some time and you'll never go back. I started the transition back in the late 90's, since, I occationally buy a cruiser as a second bike and find them awkward now. I find Sportsters and Superglides with mid pegs more suitable. I also experiment with cruisers from the J.A. pan compny and find them equily as miserable as the HDs with forward controls, Valkyries are an exception, I love them.
 

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JPSpen said:
I'll go a little bit deeper..

I've got an R1100RT with only 21K on it... I've never ridden any of the newer ones and I don't know how they could be better...I think mine is the best year of the Rt..
No servo brakes.. Simple ABS brakes... Cable clutch.. No slave cylinder to fail and wreck the clutch.. Simple cable change.. Excellent wind protection. You can ride all day in the rain and hardly get wet...Simple fuel injection. Far less to go wrong...Yes, electric windshield. No radio, MP3 player connected to comm also has fm radio....

I love my R1100RT.. It rides like a fighter jet.......When properly tuned it doesn't surge..

Starts every time...Never let me down.. No EWS ring to fail and leave you stranded..

No cruise, But a throttle lock suffices... It goes way faster than any speed limit...

If I never ride a newer one, I won't want one...:wave

John
John,

I am surprised you did you did not recommend he look at a R100GS. That is what I am looking for next.

I agree with the statement about new is not always better. I ride my airhead more than my R1200RT and the only problem I have is the bugs in my teeth, from the stupid grin on my face every time I ride it.

The airheads are ugly (except to the people who own them), built like tractors and very basic, and they will go forever if maintained. If there ever is a problem you could probably rebuilt the bike, on the side of the road, with the few tools that are included in the tool kit. I have never heard of a fuel pump failing on these bikes yet. :D
 
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