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Discussion Starter #1
Since, I clean out the garage of my other toys, the wing looks sad there by its self . I been thinking about getting a RT to use on trips when I don't want to take the wing. The local dealer said I could take the demo out for a day to see if I like it. Don't get me wrong the 1800 is tops in its class, but its to big some days for just wanting to do a few to a couple hundred miles. I know theres other bikes in that so call class but not looking for high speed sport- touring bikes. Something on the simpler side. I personally like the old body style of the RT rather than the new style. Has anyone had one and what do they like or dislike about it.
No, I don't want to go to the BMW web site and ask them, not looking to get how great it is and no better bike out there. I value your opinion better.

Dennis
 

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The new 1200s are a far better bike than any of the predecesors. They are far smoother, shift better, the ABS assist is better, and they are considerably more powerful. That said, they cost far more to maintain than your Wing and they don't hold their value like they once did.

Pete
 

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I know you don't care about the older ones. We've had a BMW R1100RT and I think its a fantastic bike. My wife is now lusting after a R1200RT herself and we as well might get one in the future.

If the dealer lets you take the bike for a day, I would say go ahead and do it. The BMW certainly has more character than a Wing and you have to ride it to see if you would be fine with the bike.

I personally don't like the power assisted brakes of the BMW's as there have been cases when they failed and leave you with hardly any braking ability. But BMW is removing that feature now, which makes them more interesting. They also come now a traction control and tire pressure monitors for them (optional). I like the fact that you can have the options you want and that they aren't buy all to get this like Honda does.

As it seems the reliability problem of the rear drive in the older models seems to be solved with the new final drive on the 1200cc Boxer models so any reliability concerns should be void by now.

BMW tend to have a bit higher maintenance cost, but at least you will find technicians that know what they are doing unlike most Honda service people. Do it yourself on the BMW is simple (it's a Boxer engine) but does require some specific BMW tools.

Reiner
 
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I had a 12RT for 4000 miles, sold it. The power brakes were noisy and annoying, the seat height is very tall (i'm 5 10" and I tiptoed it), and the bike is wide thru the middle. It feels like a large bike, but paradoxically, I felt cramped riding it. I don't know who BMW makes these bikes for, but they're too damned tall and too damned big. Not to mention very expensive to buy and maintain, and not that reliable anymore due to technical overkill. I don't miss it at all.
 

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a beemer in the barn.........

I have had a few of them and I liked them. I rode my R1100RT to Akaska and back and it was faultless the whole trip. If you go to a really out of the way place the BMW is the way to go. You don't see many other types of bikes crossing the deserts and forests of the world like the BMW's. They also tend to win the Iron Butt rally a heck of a lot more than anything else? The RT's with a Remus exhaust and the longer intake plenums will make nice power and are just plain fun to go around corners on. The maintenance on the early oil heads is a simple valve adjustment every once in awhile and you replace the alternator belt at recommended intervals and your good to go long and far. Whether you are standing next to the Key West marker or one of the Alaskan highways signs you will just "feel" it stronger on the bikes that have been all over the world. The newer RT's can be accessorized quite nicely with heated seats and grips and electric windscreens. BMW is also offering free GPS's right now on thier new bikes. :D

Enjoy the search and have fun if you decide to get one.

Denny
 

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just bought an 04 1150RT with 7K a few months back and i really like the bike.Alot lighter and more nimble. six speeds keeps you shifting constantly and 6th gear is for anything over 60mph. i got the black one and ride it more than the wing now. repairs i hear are high but its still under warranty. this is basically the same bike the chp ride hear. the wing is a big bike and im not all that comfortable on it. it is smoother than the BMW. ill probably end up selling the wing because of my uneasiness on it.
 

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in addition you might go to www.bmwrt.com and snoop around the forums and classifieds.
 

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Didn't Motorcycle Consumer News do a test on the new RT? Didn't they say that the rear end oil never needs to be changed? What's up with that? What type of gear material is in that pumpkin for it not needing replacement of the oil? Or is it just BS. :roll:
 

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I own an RT and a Wing and I know exactly what you're talking about. My RT is a '98 and it's the best bike I've ever owned. I use the RT to commute to work and for weekend rides,I've done a SS1000 on it and can ride it all day and be comfortable. I've had the Wing for about a year and just did a Nova Scotia trip that was wonderful.
All that being said,if I had to have one bike it would be the BMW. I'ts not as smooth, or powerful,but it has more power than I need and it handles way better. It isn't a lightweight by any means,but you can pull a tight u-turn without a sweat.
If you do decide on an RT,be prepared for a tough decision every time you go into the garage to select which bike to ride

Good Luck
 
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From my reading on the BMW forums I believe this lifetime fluid recommendation is now being backed off by BMW. The smart guys are changing it regardless of the factory recommendation.
 

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My main riding buddy Joe owns three BMWs and I can attest to the high quality and reliability that he has experienced with his bikes. We have put on some serious miles by riding on IBA SS/BB, SCMA three flags, and Four Corner rides and his BMWs have never left him by the side of the road that I am aware of (expect the one he totaled by trying to punch through the side of a van that pulled out in front of him). He has an older R100 "jugs" with a side car attached, a K100 'brick", and his newest is a sport touring R1200RT. This last bike has the smart buss for electrical control and troubleshooting and the suspension that you can adjust to a couple of different styles while riding down the road. Pretty trick stuff

Joe is a rather small (~145#) and short guy (~5'7") and I am always amazed at him up on the balls of his feet to reach the ground when on the flat and on his tip toes if it is off camber. I have asked him why he stays with BMW and he told me it was because of their performance and reliability. When questioned about the seat height, he says the bike is so much lighter (than a Wing) that it is not a really big problem, but I did notice that he bought the lower seat for his latest bike. It really did help him get much more leather on the asphalt. Joe is a highly skilled rider so once he is underway, you had better be ready to hit it hard...my kind of guy!
:yes:

When I test rode a BMW LT before buying my Wing, I thought it was a great bike once it got moving. The BMW 1200cc engine makes as much hp as an 1800cc Wing, but it has to get up into the higher RPM range to accomplish that feat. This is done by highly tuning the BMW engine and requiring 91 octane gas. As a consequence, the BMW torque output, especially at lower RPMs, is dismal to say the least. High torque is what makes the Wing (and the H-Ds) such an easy bike to ride for most riders.

The BMW center of gravity is much higher up than the Wing. That is actually an advantage when flopping back and forth in the twisties, but on the other hand, that high CoG makes slow speed maneuvering much more of a challenge.

If my wife decided to quit riding behind me on trips, I would probably buy a Yamaha FJR as a second bike (or maybe a replacement). It is a real rocket ship, much lighter than the Wing, still capable of long distance trips, has decent storage capacity, and is just a hoot to ride. You can also save about 25% by buying an FJR instead of a BMW R1200RT. Unless that blue rondel and bragging rights by riding a BMW are really important to you, I think the Yamaha FJR is fairly much an equal in quality and ridability and surpasses the BMW in the fun factor by a WHOLE BUNCH!

I will give the BMW the nod when it comes to the innovation of its suspension but I absolutely HATE their stuborness when it comes to their ABSOLUTELY STUPID turn signal setup that is unique only to BMW. Almost every other motorcycle in the whole world uses the same standard switch setup, but noooo, not BMW. Harte vorangegangene Deutsche (Hard headed Germans). :banghead:
 

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I bought a new RT at the end of June. It has 4500 miles on it at this time. I agree with most of the comments above. Here are a few of my thoughts. Note that I ride a lot! 20,000 on the Wing so far this year.

1. The RT is a lot lighter than the Wing (1800) and has about 2X the suspension travel. There is no jarring of the handlebars that the Wing has. The RT does not need to control all of the extra weight so the suspension can be tuned much better. A much smooter ride than the Wing.

2. Wind management is also superior to the Wing. It surprised me by how much it's better. But to be fair I do have an aftermarket windshield on the RT (V-Stream). At 75 plus there is almost no wind noise on the RT after adjusting the electric shield up a couple of inches. There is also absolutely no helmet buffeting. This is all while still looking over the windshield. If I raise the shield all the way up I start to get hit in the back of the helmet with wind, but I don't like it up to max anyhow. Even my wife feels the difference. I rode for over 2 hours in the rain on the way to GA. I only got a little damp around the shoulders as long as I was moving. My legs never got wet but I could see water on my waterproof boots. It’s about the same on my Wing except that my back gets wet. I don’t get the back flow of air on the RT.

3. I tried both stock and low seats on the RT. Both pretty much sucked. The stock seat was comfortable until I started sliding forward. The low seat was much harder but at least I was not sliding around as much. My Sargent seat is a major improvement but not perfect. I was get a little sore about half way through the 3rd day. My RT has me sitting with a more forward lean than the Wing. I also have more weight on my arms. On the Wing all of my weight (160 5’8”) is on my butt and back. I’m starting to like the forward lean on the RT. On the Wing I must use the backrest (Utopia) all the time or my back will kill me. I did not see a need for back support on the RT so far. Maybe I’ll put a bag on the back seat in the future.

4. The stereo just plain sucks! For $1400 it’s almost useless on the highway. And a single disk CD player with no MP3 hookup, get real! I’m not sure what I will do about this. I’ll probably look into better speakers in the future. The AVC is also not as good as the Wing’s.

5. Mileage and range are in the RT's favor. With the same type of riding the RT will give me an extra 10 mpg. Along with the 7.1 gallon tank I usually go about 300 miles before looking for fuel. The Wing has me looking for fuel at 200.

6. You really know this is a 2 cylinder bike. The Wing wins in the smooth category hands down. But the vibes are not bad at all. On the interstate the bike is still very smooth, just no match to the Wing. There is some tingling through the grips at certain RPMs. They say it will get better as it gets more miles on it or after the service is done. Valve adjustments and throttle synchronizing seems to be critical on the RT.

7. Storage capacity is a little better on the Wing. The Wings saddlebag liners will not fit into the RT's bags. The trunks will be close. I can easily fit both of our full face helmets into the RT's trunk. It's almost impossible to get them into the Wing's. All of the RT's bags come off the bike and have carry handles on them. They pop on and off with just a turn of the key. I'm going to like this feature. Riding without any bags on the bike make it feel like a much smaller and lighter sport bike. Seeing that I plan to use this bike mainly for one up traveling the smaller bags will not be a problem.

Over all I really like both bikes a lot. If I could only have one bike for me and my wife it would be the Wing. For one up I would own the RT. My wife is much more secure on the Wing especially under hard braking and peg dragging twisties. Both bikes have more power; brakes and handling than most people will ever use. The best part of the Wing is sneaking up on the sport bikes and passing them on a twisty road. It’s more shocking to them than doing it with the RT!



 

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I just came from 10 years on BMW's. I had 2 oilheads, a R1100RT and a 04 R1150RT. The ride is much better(on the BMW) and like a poster said no bang in the bars after hitting tar strips, etc. Fuel mileage is 45-50MPG ridden hard( Prem fuel) so really no gain to speak of. The 04 was both a 6spd and a dual spark (2 plugs per cyl) and is so much better than the 5spd single plug. Many or most of the R1100's had a jerk or surge under 50mph and around town. Great bikes but they take a lot of care and feeding to keep them smooth and in top shape. Dealer network is getting to be a real problem and depending on what part of the USA you are in if you have a problem on the road you might find yourself several hundred of miles away from a BMW dealer. Some states no BMW dealers. However you will find most of the BMW dealers are good, know what is going on and will give good service. I would still have mine but it went out of factory warr. and BMW does not offer a factory extended warr. 36/36 and that is it. I asked my BMW dealer about an after market extended warr. and he said '' we don't work well with those people''. Since he would be the one doing the work it sounded like a bad deal going in. Given this bikes history the past 3 years while in warr. I felt like it would cost me more than I was happy with. It had some issues which would have been costly had I'd been footing the bill.

You said you did not wish to go to a BMW form, but I would say at least go to a couple of the better ones and read some of the threads. Lots of rear end failures, tranny problems to mention a few. I hope this helps a bit I don't want to turn this into a Honda Vers BMW Thread but given my history I felt quailified to post here. Really to sum it all up the way BMWNA treat their dealers (forcing a lot of them out) and the high maintance cost they have ran a lot of faithful and long time BMW owners to other brands.
If you can pick up this months BMWMON (BMW Motorcycle Owners News) a monthly rag and read page 30 in this issue. It wasn't written by me but could have been.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys, I will try the RT out for a day. Wing is nice for those long trips, but theres days I want a lighter and more road feel days. Cost is a little high, but nothing with the letters BMW on it goes cheap. My first couple of bikes where all twins and maybe I'm just looking to get back to them. The wing will stay with me but maybe used a little less.
Take a look at Fred H BB, can't decide which bike to take! I like being put in the place. Will let you know how the RT ride goes.

Dennis
 

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Ed Kruse said:
I bought a new RT at the end of June. It has 4500 miles on it at this time. I agree with most of the comments above. Here are a few of my thoughts. Note that I ride a lot! 20,000 on the Wing so far this year.

1. The RT is a lot lighter than the Wing (1800) and has about 2X the suspension travel. There is no jarring of the handlebars that the Wing has. The RT does not need to control all of the extra weight so the suspension can be tuned much better. A much smooter ride than the Wing.

2. Wind management is also superior to the Wing. It surprised me by how much it's better. But to be fair I do have an aftermarket windshield on the RT (V-Stream). At 75 plus there is almost no wind noise on the RT after adjusting the electric shield up a couple of inches. There is also absolutely no helmet buffeting. This is all while still looking over the windshield. If I raise the shield all the way up I start to get hit in the back of the helmet with wind, but I don't like it up to max anyhow. Even my wife feels the difference. I rode for over 2 hours in the rain on the way to GA. I only got a little damp around the shoulders as long as I was moving. My legs never got wet but I could see water on my waterproof boots. It’s about the same on my Wing except that my back gets wet. I don’t get the back flow of air on the RT.

3. I tried both stock and low seats on the RT. Both pretty much sucked. The stock seat was comfortable until I started sliding forward. The low seat was much harder but at least I was not sliding around as much. My Sargent seat is a major improvement but not perfect. I was get a little sore about half way through the 3rd day. My RT has me sitting with a more forward lean than the Wing. I also have more weight on my arms. On the Wing all of my weight (160 5’8”) is on my butt and back. I’m starting to like the forward lean on the RT. On the Wing I must use the backrest (Utopia) all the time or my back will kill me. I did not see a need for back support on the RT so far. Maybe I’ll put a bag on the back seat in the future.

4. The stereo just plain sucks! For $1400 it’s almost useless on the highway. And a single disk CD player with no MP3 hookup, get real! I’m not sure what I will do about this. I’ll probably look into better speakers in the future. The AVC is also not as good as the Wing’s.

5. Mileage and range are in the RT's favor. With the same type of riding the RT will give me an extra 10 mpg. Along with the 7.1 gallon tank I usually go about 300 miles before looking for fuel. The Wing has me looking for fuel at 200.

6. You really know this is a 2 cylinder bike. The Wing wins in the smooth category hands down. But the vibes are not bad at all. On the interstate the bike is still very smooth, just no match to the Wing. There is some tingling through the grips at certain RPMs. They say it will get better as it gets more miles on it or after the service is done. Valve adjustments and throttle synchronizing seems to be critical on the RT.

7. Storage capacity is a little better on the Wing. The Wings saddlebag liners will not fit into the RT's bags. The trunks will be close. I can easily fit both of our full face helmets into the RT's trunk. It's almost impossible to get them into the Wing's. All of the RT's bags come off the bike and have carry handles on them. They pop on and off with just a turn of the key. I'm going to like this feature. Riding without any bags on the bike make it feel like a much smaller and lighter sport bike. Seeing that I plan to use this bike mainly for one up traveling the smaller bags will not be a problem.

Over all I really like both bikes a lot. If I could only have one bike for me and my wife it would be the Wing. For one up I would own the RT. My wife is much more secure on the Wing especially under hard braking and peg dragging twisties. Both bikes have more power; brakes and handling than most people will ever use. The best part of the Wing is sneaking up on the sport bikes and passing them on a twisty road. It’s more shocking to them than doing it with the RT!



intellegent comments
 

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I have a 04 RT with 23K miles. Rear seal leaked but fixed by BMW.
The ride quality is better than my 05 wing and better brakes, lots of brakes.
The wing goes on long trips, cruise control, radio and that motor.
Both are great bikes but different, the BMW always goes to the mountains
and most short trips. Easier to ride the curves. I think everyone needs both. :D
 
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