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Getting back into BMW bikes – need an update

Home Forums General discussion Motorcycle Talk – General Topics Getting back into BMW bikes – need an update

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  BOB1200RTC 10 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #58691

    keithh
    Participant

    I rode 250,000km on my K75S over 10 years but since my children were born, I’ve taken a hiatus. It’s now time to get back into the sport and I’ve got the bug bad.

    I used to be a fast rider who enjoyed twisty back-roads and “sport-touring” described my tastes perfectly.

    I hope you can help jump-start my research by answering the following questions:[LIST]
    [*]My K75S typically got 320km out of a 21l tank. The R1150RS claims 5.1l/100km @ 120km/h for a 430km range. Just how inflated is that figure? Put another way, how much is the improved engine management able to compensate for the much larger displacement?
    [*]How do the new bikes cope with 87 or 89 octane fuel?
    [*]I used to do the vast majority of my maintenance myself. Is that possible with the new bikes or am I more-or-less confined to changing fluids? Is the boxer easier to maintain than the K?
    [*]My K bike has a lot of electronics already and I had some problems with it (wiring harness fire and arcing at the lightbulb). The new bikes have about four-times as much electronics – does this translate into a lot of electrical hassles? For example, are there commonly problems with electronic accessories such as the trip computers?
    [*]For those of you who have owned a variety of beemers over the years, how does the reliability of the newer (2002+later) bikes compare to the bikes from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s?
    [*]BMW Motorad has continued to grow very successfully; has this translated into a more hard-nosed approach to support from the distributer? In Canada, they used to be a very small group and were very approachable.
    [/LIST]

    So far, I’m interested in the R1150RS and the R1200G/S. I really like the K1200RS as well but suspect that I’d kill myself on it.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Keith
    Ottawa

    [Yes, I fully intend to take some track training to get myself back in the groove.]

    #60871

    MARK FLANAGAN
    Participant

    I love the R1150RT & R1150RS but never got one cuz of the funky power brakes. If you are OK with that go for it, good deals are out there.

    Otherwise try a R1150R with windscreen and bags. You’ll have lots of fun for a good price and you can have it without power brakes.

    Just my 2 cents, and I am now riding a Ducati. 🙂

    #60872

    ANTON LARGIADER
    Participant

    If you look on the OTL page you’ll find our review of the R12GS. I haven’t yet posted the review of the ’08 models but I will soon.

    Personally I think they’re great. I’m not a big fan of the 1150-era bikes due to weight, complexity and gearing. I like the 1100s and the Hexheads. But that’s me. A lot of people like the hydraulic clutch and other features that came on the 2000~2004 bikes. Yes they have better engine management, especially the TwinSpark bikes. Better brakes, too. The last year or two have improvements over the earlier 1150s.

    Any of these will be a big step from the K75. I have put a ton of miles on a K75 and I really love that bike, but the performance of the newer boxers simply overshadows the products from the ’90s in a big way. The K1200RS really is a formidable bike and if you’re OK with the weight it is really amazing. Smooth, fast, and decent on gas. Eats tires, though.

    K75 and the R1100/R1150 series probably are pretty close for fuel economy. You don’t get a real change until the R1200GS and the other ‘Hexheads’.

    #60874

    MARK FLANAGAN
    Participant

    [QUOTE=AntonLargiader »]I’m not a big fan of the 1150-era bikes due to weight, complexity and gearing. I like the 1100s and the Hexheads. But that’s me. A lot of people like the hydraulic clutch and other features that came on the 2000~2004 bikes. Yes they have better engine management, especially the TwinSpark bikes. Better brakes, too. The last year or two have improvements over the earlier 1150s.[/QUOTE]

    How do you feel about the last years R1100S? It seems like the best of both worlds, and they had non-ABS/Linked/Power brakes, too. Or was it the worst of both worlds?

    #60875

    ANTON LARGIADER
    Participant

    If you want a non-ABS bike, the last ones are definitely the ones I’d buy, for the gearbox, 2-spark and brake improvements. And the awesome colors (although the classic Mandarin is just gorgeous).

    If you want ABS, then the decision is driven more by your preference for ABS2 or iABS. For those not liking iABS, you’re going to lose the improvements I noted above.

    I don’t know what I’d do, personally. I like ABS, I like the improvements in the later models and I don’t dislike iABS. So I guess I’d go for a late one. Or an R12S.

    #60876

    keithh
    Participant

    [QUOTE=MarkF »]How do you feel about the last years R1100S? It seems like the best of both worlds, and they had non-ABS/Linked/Power brakes, too. Or was it the worst of both worlds?[/QUOTE]
    That’s the one that’s up on my wall at work right now. The big bright-yellow BMW poster. For my money, it’s the most beautiful bike that BMW ever built.

    I’d be very happy with it but I will need to do another test ride as arthritis is starting to set into my hands and wrists. My recollection is that it’s not too aggressive. (My current bike is the K75S) The R1100S should be fine for the occassional thousand-mile day. Most of my rides average about 500km/day so the higher milage days aren’t as frequent. I don’t think I’ll ever do 2200km/day like I used to.

    I’m not so proud that I won’t make make concessions to comfort but the GT models are out.

    I think I’m leaning towards a R1150RS or R1150RT. The newer R1200RS and RT bikes have some very appealing technical improvements but I don’t care for the angular look.

    I’m still curious about the reliability of the newer bikes. With all the additional electronics and hydraulics, are there additional problems and/or maintenance costs? Or are they still bullet proof and easily maintained?

    Thanks,
    Keith

    #60879

    CTYankee
    Participant

    [QUOTE=keithh »]…The newer R1200RS and RT bikes have some very appealing technical improvements but I don’t care for the angular look.[/QUOTE]

    Hey, did you just call my Fraulein [I]ugly[/I]?!?!?! 🙂

    #60881

    BOB1200RTC
    Participant

    I traded a R1100RT for a 07 R1200RT last August. Unbelievable improvement. The new RT was in for the antenna ring and they found another problem so they gave me a used 04 R1150RT to ride while mine was in the shop. I was never so happy to get my bike back. For me the 1200 is the only way to go.

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