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Discussion Starter #1
Morning All!

I am the proud owner of a second hand 08 RT. I am getting used to the handling of the sport tourer. I have spent the last 6 years on an F800 GS. I'm sure this question has been thrown around before, but I am curious to prod the great minds of the RT world.

I currently have the stock windscreen, and the massive BMW top case mounted on the back of the bike. Tires are all the correct pressure with good tread.

Maybe it is something that I have to get used to, but it isn't confidence inspiring. When in the straight bits on the road, especially on the interstate, I feel like the bike is "busy". Every side wind gust or pocket of "rough" air, causes the bike to "twitch" one way or the other.

I'm not sure if it is just the fact that the bike is super nimble and sensitive to cross wind, or if it is some unwanted side effect from the massive top case and the gap between myself and the case.

I don't notice it as much, if any, in curves. Just the straight bits. I've not experienced this on my GS before.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
 

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I'm not sure if it is just the fact that the bike is super nimble and sensitive to cross wind, or if it is some unwanted side effect from the massive top case and the gap between myself and the case.

Coming from the F800 to the 08 RT is a transition from a dual-sport to a tourer. In this case, that transition is also a huge difference in wind loading and steering geometry. The rake and trail of the two machines seems minor on paper but considering side loading, it's actually significant.

Rake & Trail:

08 RT = 26.4°, 116 mm (4.6 in)
F800GS = 26.0°, 117 mm (9.1 in)

You'll get used to it fairly soon and appreciate responsiveness of the RT over the F/GS on the highway.
 

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Cross wind will affect any bikes, and the large topbox also will catch more cross wind. I think that you will need to get used to how your RT reacts, but OTOH I suspect that you are holding onto your grips too hard. Try relaxing your hands, and see how that affect the bike's reaction. I am not suggesting that you do what I do, but I typically hook my thumbs under the grip, and let the rest of my fingers rest naturally on top of the grips except for when I need to hold onto the throttle.

Several years ago, I had rented a 2013 RT (identical in shape to your RT) also with the large topbox to tour the Scottish Highlands. On the last day, heading back to Edinburgh to return the bike, there was a storm with very strong wind. Cross wind as it turns out, with respect to the direction of my travel. The speed limit on the motorway (that I was riding on) was reduced from 70 mph to 40 mph as a result of the strong wind. Very much worse as I was going across the exposed roadway on the Forth Bridge. However, even though I observed the speed limit as much as I was aware, I felt and knew that I could have ridden at the "proper" speed limit without any issues. The bike does handle strong cross wind very well, IF you are aware of how it will react AND know what to do in strong cross wind.
 

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2008 R1200RT / 2010 F800GS / 2004 F650 GS / 1995 Honda GL1500 SE
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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not sure if it is just the fact that the bike is super nimble and sensitive to cross wind, or if it is some unwanted side effect from the massive top case and the gap between myself and the case.

Coming from the F800 to the 08 RT is a transition from a dual-sport to a tourer. In this case, that transition is also a huge difference in wind loading and steering geometry. The rake and trail of the two machines seems minor on paper but considering side loading, it's actually significant.

Rake & Trail:

08 RT = 26.4°, 116 mm (4.6 in)
F800GS = 26.0°, 117 mm (9.1 in)

You'll get used to it fairly soon and appreciate responsiveness of the RT over the F/GS on the highway.
I appreciate the response! And I am quickly falling in love with how quickly it responds in the curves. It is almost as if I don't have to even press on the hand grips, but merely think about it, and the bike responds!
 

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2008 R1200RT / 2010 F800GS / 2004 F650 GS / 1995 Honda GL1500 SE
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Discussion Starter #5
Cross wind will affect any bikes, and the large topbox also will catch more cross wind. I think that you will need to get used to how your RT reacts, but OTOH I suspect that you are holding onto your grips too hard. Try relaxing your hands, and see how that affect the bike's reaction. I am not suggesting that you do what I do, but I typically hook my thumbs under the grip, and let the rest of my fingers rest naturally on top of the grips except for when I need to hold onto the throttle.

Several years ago, I had rented a 2013 RT (identical in shape to your RT) also with the large topbox to tour the Scottish Highlands. On the last day, heading back to Edinburgh to return the bike, there was a storm with very strong wind. Cross wind as it turns out, with respect to the direction of my travel. The speed limit on the motorway (that I was riding on) was reduced from 70 mph to 40 mph as a result of the strong wind. Very much worse as I was going across the exposed roadway on the Forth Bridge. However, even though I observed the speed limit as much as I was aware, I felt and knew that I could have ridden at the "proper" speed limit without any issues. The bike does handle strong cross wind very well, IF you are aware of how it will react AND know what to do in strong cross wind.
Thank you for your response. I am probably guilty of holding onto the grips fairly tight. With my GS it would take quite a bit of steering input to make the bike change direction, so I became accustomed to holding on tightly. I'll have to retrain on how to handle this one.
 

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Thank you for your response. I am probably guilty of holding onto the grips fairly tight. With my GS it would take quite a bit of steering input to make the bike change direction, so I became accustomed to holding on tightly. I'll have to retrain on how to handle this one.
You get used to it. Part of why you don't notice it on the GS is because you feel more of that wind on yourself. On the RT, much of it is deflected around you. The strongest cross winds I've ever been in were about 60mph, which is too much. I stopped and got a motel. It was so bad semis were blown over and some road signs were ripped up. The RT can take a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You get used to it. Part of why you don't notice it on the GS is because you feel more of that wind on yourself. On the RT, much of it is deflected around you. The strongest cross winds I've ever been in were about 60mph, which is too much. I stopped and got a motel. It was so bad semis were blown over and some road signs were ripped up. The RT can take a lot.
I was just surprised at the feeling it gave. Almost a "Twitch"
 

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I’m surprised to hear that you weren’t as affected on the GS. I once had an 800gs and loaded up on a trip it was the only bike that ever scared me in side winds. It would sometimes literally change lanes in when big gusts hit it. I put it down to the larger front wheel and the not inconsiderable height.
I’m hopefully picking up my new first ever RT in May (coming from a 1200gs) and I was wondering if the extra bodywork would offset the lower side profile. As others have said, normally if you can relax and use a bit of counter steering, the bike will look after you.
Great hearing that you’re enjoying your new scoot other than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I’m surprised to hear that you weren’t as affected on the GS. I once had an 800gs and loaded up on a trip it was the only bike that ever scared me in side winds. It would sometimes literally change lanes in when big gusts hit it. I put it down to the larger front wheel and the not inconsiderable height.
I’m hopefully picking up my new first ever RT in May (coming from a 1200gs) and I was wondering if the extra bodywork would offset the lower side profile. As others have said, normally if you can relax and use a bit of counter steering, the bike will look after you.
Great hearing that you’re enjoying your new scoot other than that.
I put 70k Miles on my F800 in the last 5 years. It has always run straight as an arrow. We took a trip down to Big Bend in SW Texas, encountered some 40 MPH crosswinds. So intense, that one of our riders on an RT, broke the mounts for his windscreen, and another rider on a 1150 GS broke his Moose windscreen. I would just lean to the right and keep on trucking.

I've never experienced the sensation that I am finding on the RT. But it looks like the consensus is the fact that it is so sensitive to input, that it is the nature of the beast. I'll just have to adjust!!
 

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I was just surprised at the feeling it gave. Almost a "Twitch"
I used to experience that "twitch" on my old 2005 R1200RT, which is essentially the same as your '08. Unnerving at first but I got used to it. Don't really feel it on my R1250RT. It handles crosswinds better than my '05 did.
 

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Try riding a K1300GT "billboard" with the flat side fairings in a high wind with a top case. My 2005 R1200RT used to handle high winds with no difficulty. Never had to slow down for any winds.
 

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I used to experience that "twitch" on my old 2005 R1200RT, which is essentially the same as your '08. Unnerving at first but I got used to it. Don't really feel it on my R1250RT. It handles crosswinds better than my '05 did.
I have had the same experience when comparing my 2005 RT to my 2016 RT. Tires could have something to do with it as well. I ran Michelin PR 3 or PR 4 on my '05 and I found them a bit twitchy in general as compared to the Continental Road Attack 3 that I run on my '16.

Relax your grip a bit. You'll get used to it.
 

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Morning All!

I am the proud owner of a second hand 08 RT. I am getting used to the handling of the sport tourer. I have spent the last 6 years on an F800 GS. I'm sure this question has been thrown around before, but I am curious to prod the great minds of the RT world.

I currently have the stock windscreen, and the massive BMW top case mounted on the back of the bike. Tires are all the correct pressure with good tread.

Maybe it is something that I have to get used to, but it isn't confidence inspiring. When in the straight bits on the road, especially on the interstate, I feel like the bike is "busy". Every side wind gust or pocket of "rough" air, causes the bike to "twitch" one way or the other.

I'm not sure if it is just the fact that the bike is super nimble and sensitive to cross wind, or if it is some unwanted side effect from the massive top case and the gap between myself and the case.

I don't notice it as much, if any, in curves. Just the straight bits. I've not experienced this on my GS before.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
Hi so yeah I posted something awhile back about the exact same issue. I have an 06 RT, good tires correct pressures etc. I notice the same thing mostly on the highway and I’ve spend a good amount of time adjusting the windscreen at speed. It seems to me that the bike is very sensitive to turbulence from trucks and cars even when they’re not directly in front of me. For instance when I’m alongside passing or being passed or when they’re quite a good distance ahead. All I can think is that the fairing and windscreen are large enough to be be affected by turbulence. I will say I’m relieved to read your post and know I’m not just going crazy. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi so yeah I posted something awhile back about the exact same issue. I have an 06 RT, good tires correct pressures etc. I notice the same thing mostly on the highway and I’ve spend a good amount of time adjusting the windscreen at speed. It seems to me that the bike is very sensitive to turbulence from trucks and cars even when they’re not directly in front of me. For instance when I’m alongside passing or being passed or when they’re quite a good distance ahead. All I can think is that the fairing and windscreen are large enough to be be affected by turbulence. I will say I’m relieved to read your post and know I’m not just going crazy. Lol
it is honestly driving me crazy though. I’m not sure if I’m ready to accept the fact that this is just how it is on an RT. I figured BMWs touring machine would run straight as an arrow no matter what kind of turbulence there is. And it’s not crosswind, because I’ve experienced that on this bike and it handles Crosswinds brilliantly. It currently has a set of Shinko tires on it. It’s about to get a set of Michelin ‘s. But I’m still not convinced that is going to change this situation
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I have had the same experience when comparing my 2005 RT to my 2016 RT. Tires could have something to do with it as well. I ran Michelin PR 3 or PR 4 on my '05 and I found them a bit twitchy in general as compared to the Continental Road Attack 3 that I run on my '16.

Relax your grip a bit. You'll get used to it.
I went and did about 400 miles yesterday. I did work on loosening my grip some, and it seems to help. But still doesn’t make it feel any better when the bike tries to dance around on the interstate LOL
 

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I was just surprised at the feeling it gave. Almost a "Twitch"
I strongly suspect that it's the reaction from you! :) Lighter grips will eliminate this. Staying loose all over your body as you ride is always good. Let the bike handle the cross wind. The experience that I had in Scotland was the most cross wind that I have experience in recent times. I am sure that I have handled much worse in the past, since I had started riding around 1962 in Wellington, NZ, the city that the Kiwis nicknames The Windy City, and that name is very well earned!
 

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it is honestly driving me crazy though. I’m not sure if I’m ready to except the fact that this is just how it is on an RT. I figured BMWs touring machine would run straight as an arrow no matter what kind of turbulence there is. And it’s not crosswind, because I’ve experienced that on this bike and it handles Crosswinds brilliantly. It currently has a set of Shinko tires on it. It’s about to get a set of Michelin ‘s. But I’m still not convinced that is going to change this situation
Those tires are part of the problem [IMO] I'm on PR 4 GT's currently and will soon be moving to PR 5 GTs. They're specifically designed for heavier bikes like the RT. Over the years, I've run tires because friends have suggested I try them.

I'm done playing the tire game because I've learned to stick with the performance - not necessarily the longest lasting tires - and I honestly couldn't care less about what I pay for the tires. I ride fairly aggressively and I ride slightly longer distances than the average rider.

Road handling is most important to me. Low end tires like the Shinko's simply don't offer the same performance as higher end tires.

Replace them with higher end tires and you change the bike significantly.

Michelin Pilot Road 5 GT Review

Revzilla Review
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I strongly suspect that it's the reaction from you! :) Lighter grips will eliminate this. Staying loose all over your body as you ride is always good. Let the bike handle the cross wind. The experience that I had in Scotland was the most cross wind that I have experience in recent times. I am sure that I have handled much worse in the past, since I had started riding around 1962 in Wellington, NZ, the city that the Kiwis nicknames The Windy City, and that name is very well earned!
I keep trying to tell myself that. It’s just disconcerting feeling when it’s dancing at 75 mph lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Those tires are part of the problem [IMO] I'm on PR 4 GT's currently and will soon be moving to PR 5 GTs. They're specifically designed for heavier bikes like the RT. Over the years, I've run tires because friends have suggested I try them.

I'm done playing the tire game because I've learned to stick with the performance - not necessarily the longest lasting tires - and I honestly couldn't care less about what I pay for the tires. I ride fairly aggressively and I ride slightly longer distances than the average rider.

Road handling is most important to me. Low end tires like the Shinko's simply don't offer the same performance as higher end tires.

Replace them with higher end tires and you change the bike significantly.

Michelin Pilot Road 5 GT Review

Revzilla Review
That’s on my list to do today. Local place here has those in stock in the appropriate size.
 

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it is honestly driving me crazy though. I’m not sure if I’m ready to except the fact that this is just how it is on an RT. I figured BMWs touring machine would run straight as an arrow no matter what kind of turbulence there is. And it’s not crosswind, because I’ve experienced that on this bike and it handles Crosswinds brilliantly. It currently has a set of Shinko tires on it. It’s about to get a set of Michelin ‘s. But I’m still not convinced that is going to change this situation
I had shinkos on my K1100LT, same weight as the RT, and preferred them over high end tires, only trouble is the ones for the K quite soft so less mileage but better handling. I would put them on my 2018RT except the front has a center line tread and any tires that have that I find twitchy on grooved pavement which there is quite a bit around here. I liked the Shinkos so much I put them on my Vstar as well. I would have put them on my K1200LT if they made the size for it, not much choice for the LT.

It will be interesting to see what difference you find with the Michelin.
I have had Metzlers on mine, currently Dunlop, may stick with Dunlop.
 
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