Something like this is always subject to individual preferences but here is my $.02 worth. I too considered an RT with the lowered suspension and if I would trade the ESA for lower seat height. I test rode an ESA model with the stock seat set on the lowest setting (32.2" seat height) and then with the low seat on the lowest position (30.7" seat height) and although I cannot flat foot both feet sitting on the bike, but I am not standing on my toes either, I determined that the ESA was worth a little higher seat height. I did not have the opportunity to test ride on with the lower suspension, but I doubt it would have swayed my decision. I purchased my RT with the ESA and the low seat on July 30, 2011 and have put on about 3500 miles.
I am 5'10' with a 30" inseam and commute regularly in to Washington, DC from Northern VA in stop and go traffic and so far I am comfortable with the seat height. If the seat height becomes an issue I may elect to get a BMW extra low seat (30.1" seat height) or other custom seat for commuting purposes.
In respect to the ESA I use that function all the time. My commute takes me over poor condition roads and smooth highways, while my fun riding takes me over all type of surfaces and I adjust the ESA as conditions warrant. To me the ESA is worth it and hope that more bikes adopt it over time.
I'm with Monty. I'm actually just a shade over 5'7" and have 29 1/2" inseam and went with the low seat. I have ESA II with the other typical options. I ride most of the time in the sport mode but when I'm on the highway for more than 20 miles it's great to go to a different setting. I rarely ride 2 up but having that option and even the luggage option is great.
I actually regret a little not going to the normal seat height. I can flat foot the low seat but hardly ever feel the need to do that. I'd like to have the extra cushion and room of the normal seat in the low position.
I've got a Rick Mayer seat coming next week acquired from another forum poster that meets my same height, weight, inseam specs. I'm going to toy with the idea and definitely try moving that seat into the higher position.
Personally, I don't think it is necessary to ever flat foot the bike. I'm one foot on the brake at stops 99% of the time, and slow & go with clutch/throttle control rarely means the need to put a foot or both feet down either.
If you can get the balls of your feet on the ground then you are in an athletic position and can pretty much control anything.
Guess this makes +2. I have a 30" inseam and the regular seat set at the low position. I found the low seat uncomfortable. Some have installed the one piece comfort seat and are satisfied as it seems to be somewhere between the height of the low and standard seat. I use ESA all the time because I ride many different types of roads. Given the choice I would have it on any road bike I buy from now on.
A forum community dedicated to BMW Luxury Touring motorcycle owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about performance, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, maintenance, reviews, and more!