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Old 09-20-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
staves OP
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Bmw R1200R

I thought long and hard about what bike I wanted after spinal surgery earlier this year. My '03 Speed Triple was a brilliant ride, but my neck was killing me after a few short miles - the suspension was not winning the war with Chicago potholes and the ergos were a bit too aggressive for my newly tender upper back.

I knew I wanted a naked bike with sophisticated suspension and a semi-upright riding position. I can only afford one bike in the stable, so the new mount needed to handle daily city commuting and weekend 500-ish mile trips. I do most of my own wrenching, so the new bike had to be accessible.

To cut a long story short, after going back and forth on a dozen different bikes, I ended up with a low mileage R1200R with top and side system cases. The only BMW I had ridden was an '06 GS for about five minutes, so I could barely remember what a boxer felt like.

Now, a month after taking delivery (yet another satisfying sight-unseen purchase) I am absolutely in love with this roadster. While not as nimble and pulse-pounding as the Speedy, the R12R is, for my needs, a nearly perfectly balanced bike. Light enough for city maneuvering, substantial enough for planted expressway work; the engine is smooth and predictable in power delivery and dead easy to maintain (so I'm told). At 6'2" with the stock seat and pegs and MV risers, the R fits me like a glove.

My back appreciates the telelever front suspension and the suspension, together with the partially linked brakes, function brilliantly. I commute daily and ride in whatever nature has in store that day so the ABS and Pilot Road 2 tires are confidence inspiring.

It's a relief to buy a bike and not have to go to town changing things up. The stock exhaust makes the R sound like an overgrown scooter, so last week I added an Akrapovic slip-on. It sounds just slightly louder than stock with the baffles in, with more resonance and rumble. I'm not an overly aggressive rider, so any HP gain is a bonus. I'm having a Hyperpro suspension setup installed in a few weeks - that's it for mods for now.

My girlfriend and I just ran up to Horicon Marsh in WI this past weekend and the R was a joy 2 up (Airhawk pads were helpful for the 300 mile trip).

IMHO, the R12R is BMW's stealth wonder bike. Not as muscular as the GS, not as insane as the K1300R, and not as comfortable and sophisticated as the K and R touring bikes. But for me, this is as good as it gets.

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staves screwed with this post 11-15-2010 at 11:07 AM
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #2
dlcool
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R1200r

Staves,

You should look into the Parabellum Scout fairing. It is a great fairing and sporty. I had one on my K75 and liked it.

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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Actually, the short sport screen was great at up to 85 mph. Then again, I'm used to a Speed Triple.

I do like the Scout setup, though.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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Nice choice, I absolutely love mine. I agree the sport screen is fine for me. I recently had a 250 mi day mostly highway and the only thing complaining was my back side.
Don't see how the gs is any more muscular personally, seemed more cush when I tried one with its wide bars, bigger screen and bolt upright seating. The boxer engine is great, but to my mind it sits best in the roadster setting. I doubt I'll ever give up this bike.
You should check out r1150r.org, good site.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:29 PM   #5
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It's easy enough to drop the muffler altogether on the 1150r and 1200r, with no fear of detriment to the engine.

You get a lighter vehicle, a mildly louder rumble and no problems fitting any bags.

The big cannister under the engine does most of the muffling and emission control.

I have a mate that's had a chrome tip over his 1150r exhaust pipe for over 60K ks. No issues.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnarson
Nice choice, I absolutely love mine. I agree the sport screen is fine for me. I recently had a 250 mi day mostly highway and the only thing complaining was my back side.
Don't see how the gs is any more muscular personally, seemed more cush when I tried one with its wide bars, bigger screen and bolt upright seating. The boxer engine is great, but to my mind it sits best in the roadster setting. I doubt I'll ever give up this bike.
You should check out r1150r.org, good site.]
Maybe muscular isn't the best description for the GS - how about rugged? The R12R strikes me as being a very refined ride. The boxer engine does seem a great match for the roadster.

Agreed, r1150r.org is a great resource.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerboy81
It's easy enough to drop the muffler altogether on the 1150r and 1200r, with no fear of detriment to the engine.

You get a lighter vehicle, a mildly louder rumble and no problems fitting any bags.

The big cannister under the engine does most of the muffling and emission control.

I have a mate that's had a chrome tip over his 1150r exhaust pipe for over 60K ks. No issues.
I've heard a few clips of Rs without the muffler and they sound surprisingly good. I was expecting some serious racket.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:22 AM   #8
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Congrats on the purchase! I just finished a 6,000km tour on my R1200R with the sport screen with no issues. I added a Airhawk seat pad and the stock seat was fine too, though many people have success changing that.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LumpyCam
Congrats on the purchase! I just finished a 6,000km tour on my R1200R with the sport screen with no issues. I added a Airhawk seat pad and the stock seat was fine too, though many people have success changing that.
Thanks, I've looked through your blog previously - you've done some amazing touring.

I have no complaints about the Airhawk and stock seat combo for longer rides, though I'd have to say that your recommendation carries more weight!

The air is clean for me with the sport screen - I know some folks have spent much time and money on various screen configs. Not an issue with me.

BTW, I used to live in Vancouver years back - fantastic city.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:18 AM   #10
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The R1200R is a great piece with it's full powered RT engine, and low muffler allowing a full size left bag. Were it mine I wouldn't add a fairing or big shield, just enjoy the light steering and lack of buffeting.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #11
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So is the 1200R still in the BMW current line-up? The fact that it didn't get the DOHC upgrade makes me think it's probably going to end up with same fate as the 1200ST.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:09 PM   #12
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Like a lot of us, I get the "new-bike-itch" on a regular basis.

I recently rented a Road King for a day...

I took a long test ride on an R1200RT...

I'll stick with my Roadster.

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Old 09-21-2010, 07:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staves
I have no complaints about the Airhawk and stock seat combo for longer rides, though I'd have to say that your recommendation carries more weight!

The air is clean for me with the sport screen - I know some folks have spent much time and money on various screen configs. Not an issue with me.
Thanks for the kind words!

I have to admit that of all the perils I've faced biking I've never said to myself "oh dear there's just too much wind hitting me." You're on a motorbike! 1,000km days with the sport screen are fine. The only time i can see enjoying a bunch of plastic in front of me is if you have wicked insect life; can't imaging hitting locusts en masse!

The seat IS a pain in the ass, but it could be worse. The Airhawk is a great piece of kit and with that I never had even a hint of sore ass on the recent trip.

Toss on the voluminous saddle bags, a waterproof duffle bag for tent and sleeping bag, tank bag for camera gear, and you have an awesome do-anything go almost-anywhere touring setup. Come home, wash, and then start your daily commute and wedge into tight parking spots.

This is the setup I've settled on for touring:

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Old 09-22-2010, 01:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towjam
So is the 1200R still in the BMW current line-up? The fact that it didn't get the DOHC upgrade makes me think it's probably going to end up with same fate as the 1200ST.
The R1200R has been discontinued. In fact I've got a feeling that the last examples were manufactured in 2009.

There are rumours that a facelifted model will make an appearance at Intermot in about a fortnight, along with others that the Lo Rider concept might be unveiled as a production model, or even as an R1200R replacement.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:00 AM   #15
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I hope you are right about the Custom Concept. The new twin cam motor in a sub 200kg package might be just the ticket.
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