BMW Luxury Touring Community banner
1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

I'm new to Beamers & am seriously considering the purchase of a new (2012 or 2013) R1200RT. I've also considered the K1600 GT. The pricing, fun factor, lightness, & nimbleness are all attractive traits of the 1200. However, a local dealer rep all but talked crap on the 1200 citing the maintenance costs were HIGH, and that 1600 was a far superior bike.

I wondered what your thoughts were on the 1200's reliability, maintenance costs etc? Also, I keep hearing that the 1200 is going to be a water-boxer, which seems like a good progression although many are saying "stay away" from a 2013 water cooled RT.

Addmitingly, im a bit of a fair weather rider and will not likly put a million miles a year on the bike. I come from a moto background and have ridden EVERY style of bike. Even the, dare I say it here (HD) which i may also still consider. A Kawasaki Concours is also still in play. Any input any of you have would be greatly appreciated, and please, do not hold the HD thing against mem :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
I can't really say which cost more to maintain since I know little about the K1600. But you can always do a lot of the simple maintenance yourself and save a lot of money. The cost of oil and filters is not that bad. Having said that I would think that it is much easier to work on the boxer engine than the new 6 cylinder engine.

IMO the weak part of the BMW bikes is the electronics or more correctly the switch gear and fuel strip have had issues on my 2010 RT. The same is true of BMW cars. My last BMW and my sons BMW have/had those electronic issues. My son kept taking his 335i back to the dealer and it never got fixed on weird warning lights staying on. On my RT the left switch gear has gone out 4 times and the fuel strip one time. But I still love this bike. I have a review in my blog comparing my last two bikes. My brother also has a review stating why he switch from BMW to HD (he just purchased a 1979 R100RT).

Because of my age (66) I go with the RT. If I were younger I might go with the K series instead. I think a young me would be riding a K1200GT.

tsp
My Blog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
616 Posts
I think it is very difficult to explain that a complex machine such as the K1600GT would be
cheaper to maintain than the (relative) simple R1200RT :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
I test rode them both and made my own mind up. They're 2 very different motorcycles. For my money and riding style the RT was the bike that felt right.

The boxer motor has been around forever and is pretty bullet proof so I'm not expecting any crazy maintenance costs, and you can do all of the basic stuff yourself easily.

I just felt that the RT had the best of everything, sporty enough to ride hard when I want and also ready for touring when I want to travel. It's a great bike!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
Expensive out of warranty items:
ABS unit
Clutch
ESA Shocks
Final Drive

Common problems:
Fuel controller
Fuel Strip
Switch gear on newer models

It all depends on what you are looking for in a bike. A HD is a different ride. If you are going to go that route, consider a Kawasaki Vulcan 1700, as in Voyager or Vaquero etc. I know one chap that has 160K miles on his 2009 and it's going strong. All you have to do is change the oil for the most part, with occasional (every few years) belt (at least 50K miles), antifreeze and brake fluid changes. No valves to adjust, throttles to sync or magical and expensive procedures.

The C14 is an interesting proposition. If it had ergonomics at least as sane as the RT (meaning less sporty), I would have bought it. That said, the RT is a good bike. It's like dating a talented german gymnast that likes diamonds and gold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Sounds like your dealer rep has a few to many 1600's for sale. His suggestion that maintenance on a 1600 will be less than a 1200 is simply irresponsible. The complexity of the 1600 is staggering when compared to the RT.

In my opinion, both bikes are brilliant but each has its own appeal. As the majority of my riding is now one up, I prefer the RT. If I return to more two up riding in the future the 1600 will certainly be a consideration.

As others will suggest, ride each and then decide, either way I think you will enjoy the experience.

Oh, and perhaps find a competent dealer rep to assist your buying process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
747 Posts
For someone who has ridden a lot of stuff you don't seem to have much of an expressed opinion about what traits you want in road bike- makes providing solid info for you more difficult. Anyone who mentions an HD, a 6 cyl BMW and Kwak 14 in the same note hasn't made much progress in eliminating what isn't a good match for them...

But a few comments on the 2 BMWs

The RT is lighter, amply powerful for any normal riding, a well proven mount for long distance use. The power band is narrower by bunch than the 6 cyl as one would expect. It is easily serviced by an owner who is passably competent. Current versions have eliminated the fuel strip failures (use a more normal gauge system now), have somewhat better final drives than earlier years and have fixed some other design goofs in earlier models (eg non-reinforced fuel pump flange fitting that cracked). But they've also acquired some new ones- there seems to be fairly high failure rate on the new BMW switch design, for example. If you like the RT motor, I'd suggest you also test ride one or both of the R1200 GS models- the handling is different on pavment, much better on gravel, etc and some riders prefer the GS - though its weather protection isn't in the same league as the RT.
The 6 cyl is a complex machine most folks will take to dealer for service- no surprise a salesman might prefer to sell it- more profit and a pretty much guaranteed service revenue stream for the dealership. There have been assorted complaints about the lack of parts is the US inventory leading to long delays and BMW customer service is of no assistance in expediting anything- its dealer resource dependent. Some BMW riders including me pan the design for sloppy appearance compared to other models but that just an opinion. Very little aftermarket support for anything on this bike, yet, including diagnostic tools. And every pillion rider in our club that has demoed it has panned pillion accomodations- its not a great 2 up bike compared to a GoldWing, K1200LT, etc. For that reason alone no one in our local BMW club has purchased one- they prefer their K1200LTs for 2 up by far....The 6 has good handling for its size and the motor is as slick as it gets though and if you like electronic gadgets its got plenty- I tend to count them as negatives because eventually they'll need expensive repairs..

If you're a sunny weather rider I'd guess you don't put enough miles on a bike for that to matter much but FWIW, the RT dry clutch, though a pita to replace for a home mechanic, is as robust as any car design- good for 100K or more if you don't abuse it.. And most FDs will go that far or more unless you're one of the few per cent who has an early failure. 50K miles is generally considered moderate low mileage on a boxer bike and every BMW rally has bikes with 200K, sometimes with 300K and once in a while even more than that...

Test rides should provide your answer. And that's no problem at most BMW dealerships, unlike most J brand shops that don't have demo bikes.

One point to keep in mind is that Germans use their customers as beta testers for new stuff. They do inadequate testing re durability in hot sunny climates for parts susceptible to such damage and rush new stuff to production fast enough to miss minor design goofs. Couple that with a lot of outsourcing based on price and it creates issues for owners BUT the warranties are decent and good dealerships are very effective at warranty service no matter where you bought the bike. I think the 4th or 5th year of model production is the right time to buy any completely new German design- it takes them that long to get it to it reliability peak. The traditional German indsutry skill is motors and metals - related work; he traditional weaknesses are in basic material sciences/choices (eg adhesives, plastics,etc) and electrical/electronic parts (compared to J, Korean or American stuff).

Whether the 6 will become any kind of a permanent fixture in the BMW lineup only time will tell. The boxer has survived many design generations and is about to see its first water-cooled version next year- because it has a loyal following despite all the other models BMW has made- sort of like the air cooled Harley motor. FWIW, I won't be replacing my 08 RT with a new waterboxer, 6 cyl or anything else any time soon- its finally fully farkled to perfection and meets all my requirements in a touring ride- BUT I would like a backup or something different periodically so might add one. I also ride a well farkled K1200RS (chipped, Ohlins, etc) for play time so maybe it should be a GS type- I get time on a friends R1100S so don't need another one of that type...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
IIRC the Kawi doesn't offer cruise control which is a must for me + the RT has a more comfortable seating position.

The RT is considerably lighter than the K1600 GT and I don't need the extra maintenance or any more HP than what the RT has.

BTW, the new RTs no longer have those troublesome fuel strips that plagued earlier models (I think the change was made in 2011?).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
Norms_427 said:
IIRC the Kawi doesn't offer cruise control which is a must for me + the RT has a more comfortable seating position.

The RT is considerably lighter than the K1600 GT and I don't need the extra maintenance or any more HP than what the RT has.

BTW, the new RTs no longer have those troublesome fuel strips that plagued earlier models (I think the change was made in 2011?).
I think there are aftermarket cruise controls for the C14.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I had a 1200LT and sold it anticipating purchasing a K1600. When I finally test rode the 1600 I discovered that compared to the 1200LT there were several deficiencies. The 1600's seat is too low for me (I have a 32 inch inseam), the tuperware was flimsy and seemed cheaply made, the top box or trunk was not as well made or convenient as the LT's, and the electronics were more "gee whiz" than necessary. Maintenance costs were surely going to be higher than an RT, just because there are four more cylinders to contend with. If I had it to do over, I'd have kept the LT, even though it is top-heavy and prone to being dropped at awkward moments.

After thinking about it I bought a 2012 RT. I'd had an '05 RT and loved it. The new dual cam engine in the RT is a major step up from the older single cam engine, and I like the Blue Tooth radio setup. Admittedly I made several changes in the RT based on prior experience; bar backs, lowered foot pegs, Motolights, ZTech windshield, and a Garmin GPS with Wunderlich mount.

Bottom line; you must absolutely test ride anything you are thinking of buying. Buy what fits you, both ergonomically and financially.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
174 Posts
Not to hijack this thread but I made the switch yesterday from an 05LT to a 2012 RT. I must say that this is the most fun anybody can have on a bike; losing that 200+ lbs. was a real treat. Not that I didn't like my LT but I was ready to give the boxer a try. Most of my riding was solo (99%) of the time, since my wife rides her own bike.

I've only owned two BMW bikes the LT and now the RT. Let's hope the RT lives up to its reputation.

The RT has more than ample power and handles very well. Looking forward to giving the bike a workout in the Arkansas Ozarks next week. Here's a photo I placed in photobucket. Hope it works first time using photobucket.

http://s1267.photobucket.com/albums/jj546/ride2ski/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
747 Posts
Another data point is to look at what BMW is trying to move more of because its not selling well enough for their tastes. The 1600 has a buyer incentive on it right now and I'll bet there's also a ft dealer incentive which is providing part of the motivation to push it.

Its an interesting and novel design but so far experienced BMW riders voting with their wallets aren't all screaming to get one- there is what I'd describe as limited acceptance but its still pretty early in the model cycle to try to predict how well it will really establish itself in the line, if at all. Though it handles "light" for its mass, it is direct conflict with what many like about BMW R bikes- the light weight for size. And BMW riders are mostly an older demographic as one would expect from the cost of the bikes and the lack of typical cruisers and crotch rockts in the line until the S1000RR showed up. The latter is at present BMW's best selling model and attracting a lot of new younger riders to BMW dealerships so maybe some of them will jump to the 1600 when they want a touring BMW but not so far...
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top