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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, all, have been mainly on the Suzuki Boulevard forums but am thinking about upgrading to another bike. Really like the looks and specs of the R/K1200 RT...

Has anyone here gone from a V-Twin classic cruiser to one of these machines? What did you like/not like? Power, handling, amenities?

What are maintenance costs like? Is it easy to do some of it yourself? Would you advise new or used?

Thanks
 

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Either:
- no one owns a BMW
It has only been a day and a half. Give it some time. Many parts of the country are having unusually nice weather for this time of year and many are out RIDING.

In the meantime, you might want to search for a forum that specializes in BMW. Google can be your friend! :mrgreen:
 

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My friend has one, I rode it, nice bike. He just finished a 2200 mile trip on his, had zero problems, and are comfortable for long rides. Have lots of power too, and handle like a sport tourer should.
On a recent Colorado ride I went on, they out numbered all bikes I saw 3 to 1. Maintenance costs are typical BMW...high. But they are also reliable, my friend also has the older RT model, and it has over 60K on it and all he has done is change the oil, and not too frequent at that. You will instantly be classified as a yuppie tho....:mrgreen:
 

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I am currently on my 5th BMW.

I did NOT move from a V twin cruiser to BMW.

The first time I went from an FZR 600 to a BMW K 75.

Last time I went from a Suzuki RF900 to an R1100 RSL.

What are you looking for?

I loved them all for different reasons.

The R1100RSL was a great bike. It had a great personality, they one thing it lacked was horsepower (I had come from the RF 900 with 130 to the R bike with 90)

I now have a K 1200 RS, I got the horsepower back that the R bike lacked. Although I have not owned it long enough yet to say it is the perfect bike. But I can say it is sneaky fast.

I would look for a used bike (like I did) when you figure out what you want.

I stayed away from the RT models because of the linked brakes.

The RS's have good wind protection. The K model a little better.
The R bike gets better gas milage and has a bigger tank, so more range.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, so it was not because no one cares about me :D.

Thanks for the responses. I have a used M50 that I bought a while ago while taking up riding again after a gap of 15 years. At that time, I wanted something light middleweight to get started and to see if I really wanted to get back to riding - kinda like a trial bike for <$4500 to relearn the ropes, get comfortable, not feel too bad if I drop it (did once only so far in 3 months, did not realize the side stand was not down fully). I am having a great time, riding to work and back and where I live, Houston, the weather is good for all year riding. So I am looking to upgrade to a bike that will be a keeper for a while.

Not looking for a sport bike, dirt bike or a bike built for long distance cruising/touring. Nor a naked bike too. Mainly for my work commutes in mixed city/freeway traffic, able to carry some load (laptop, etc.)...

I like the advanced features on the BMWs, as well as the way they are so tightly put together. I hear that they are very nice in handling - plan to go visit the local dealer tomorrow to get a test ride. The F800ST and the R1200RT seem to fit the bill, per specs.. we will see. I thought BMW did away with the linked brakes...
 

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I keep going to the Dealership and looking over bikes...both Metric and American.

Although, I'm not sure why...the M50 is still the bike of choice for me.
 

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Just talked to somebody about their BMW - and his conclusion was

BMW has their way of doing things, like turn signals, one switch on the left and one on the right.

The horn, located in an unusual manner.

This particular owner said there were other "quirks" that you had to get used to, but in general he liked it.

Against this backdrop, look around here and see how many C50/M50 suzuki owners there are, and there are quite a few.

Followed up by thosed who wanted more power and went to a C90 - M109.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I like the M50, no doubts. For my upgrade, I want a more standard/sport type cruiser (gawd, I hope that makes sense!). I prefer riding with my legs down, rather than forward in a cruiser (probably because of my earlier experience) - find it easier to use the brakes. On the M50, the brakes and gear are forward. Which is why I am not inclined towards the M90.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I keep going to the Dealership and looking over bikes...both Metric and American.

Although, I'm not sure why...the M50 is still the bike of choice for me.
And maybe once I have test ridden the BMW, I may stay with the M50 (but if only the brakes were stronger).
 

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I switched from a Suzuki Marauder (the predecessor to the M50) to a BMW R1200RT and I haven't looked back. There's really no comparison between the BMWs and the cruisers, they're totally different rides and price points between a BMW and a metric cruiser are so far apart its just not fair either way.

Here are some somewhat random stream of consciousness thoughts on the subject...

For me the 'sit up and beg' riding position on the RT is way more comfortable. Whether it's easy maneuvering in the city or long haul riding the riding position is awesome.

You mostly get what you pay for with the BMW, the fit and finish is like a Honda, if not better and the parts or a bit more high end. The brakes are to die for (or not) compared to any cruiser and ABS is awesome to have on a bike. More power is nice to have, with the RT you'll need to flog it just a little bit and apply a modicum of skill to go warp speed, with the GT it will go warp speed with just a twist in pretty much any gear at any speed.

These bikes are a bit more top heavy than you would be used to and may require, dare I say it, a bit more skill to master than the riding a bowling pin feeling of a cruiser.

The brakes are linked, that is pulling the front lever actuates both the front and the rear, mashing the rear actuates only the rear. I like it personally, it lays on a lot more rear brake than you probably would making the bike very stable even under heavy braking. The older RTs were linked both ways making dragging the rear brake during slow maneuvering impossible, meh, the new ones are just fine.

BMWs use a telelever front end instead of standard forks, this drastically reduces front end dive when braking. It's a serious difference between these bikes and others and again makes for much easier to handle panic stops. Riding bikes with regular forks seems kind of silly once you get spoiled by the telelever front end.

Maintenance, um I think the maintenance thing is largely overblown. Yes the RT does call for a valve adjust every 6k however my 'zuki called for the same every 7500 and the valves were under the tank! On the BMW the valves stick out the side of the bike and once you get the hang of it the valve adjust is an easy at home job, I do it when I change my oil and it doesn't add that much time. Also after the first 6k mine haven't really needed adjusting anyway so it's more of a check really. I don't know anything about maintenance on a GT except I think that you might prefer to take that one to the shop. On the RT there's nothing in even the every two year service that any half competent home mechanic couldn't handle.
 

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I recall that as early as 84 Honda had the "trac" system which was supposed to reduce dive. It even had four settings, as memory serves.

Note to say the unilever isn't all that, but prior attempts at anti dive have been made.
 

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And now for a different take on things.

I went from an M50 to a K12LT. I really liked the bike. However, things in the last several months lead me to reconsider my bikage.. (yes, I make up words - deal with it.. ;) )

First, the LT is geared really high. It is meant to be ridden at highway speeds. Around town, it's not that good. Granted, this isn't an issue with all beemers. The R bikes aren't this way; the K bikes are - they all have the inline 4 that just exudes power and the gear set to match.

Next, standard maintenance - since moving to Indiana, my closest dealer is 50 minutes away. I know that some beemer riders won't think twice about that, but after this summer... With the full fairing, the LT's maintenance costs are not cheap (if done by a dealer). Usually calling for at least two hours of labor (if not doing anything more than just a tire or oil change). I've been lucky with the dealers that I've dealt with; cheap at $75/hour.

And next, repair - this summer, I was on a camping trip with my family (my wife and I on the LT and my dad and stepmom on their wing) and my clutch went out at 12K miles. If I hadn't still had warranty left, I would have been out $600+ for towing to the nearest dealer (I was in northern MI and the closest was 175 miles away) and ~$2K for the clutch and work. The warranty covered all of the labor and parts and $500 of the towing. Being the best dealership in MI (of the three that are there - from what I've heard), they were slammed and my bike sat for two weeks before being touched. So, we had to get a rental car to get home and then come back three weeks later to get the bike.

So, the beemer is no longer mine. I've gone to a Yamaha Royal Star.

DISCLAMER: my experience is by no means typical. Even though the LT is a temperamental girl (something like 4% experience final drive failures after the warranty is up - another $2K repair), a large majority of riders report over 100K without issues.

I'm not trying to talk you out of a beemer. Just trying to make sure you know what I've gone through. Maybe things would have been better if I had gone with an R-bike - the powerplant on those have been tested over time (since the 40's).


Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Went to another dealer - they are getting the BMW dealership and are expecting their first shipment of 30 bikes in at the end of the month. Sat on a R1200GS (the only BMW they had in the showroom) - it had a lowered seat and felt just awesome. Also sat on a Triumph Sprint ST - very nice bike, gotten good reviews, and thousands cheaper than the Beemer. But the seat was a little high - had to be a little tippytoey. Plan to go back end of the month and test drive both. I am leaning to the Triumph because of the cost but the BMW felt much much more like my bike :D
 

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just guessing, because 8 - 10 k per year, this bike should make 100 k.

off all brands of bikes, I have seen more old BMWs (early 80's bikes) with higher mileage on them than nearly anything else.

The exception being Goldwings.
 
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