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Old 08-02-2004, 12:22 PM   #1
garet55947 OP
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R1150RT Vs R1150RS

Ok, I am at a total loss. Why, oh why, does the R1150RT get such great marks and the R1150RS the opposite. Don't they both have the same engine, transmission and performance? Doesn't the RS weigh considerably less. The RS has adjustable bars, full luggage, good rider and pillion seats, good upper weather protection, but no lower fairing. To me, the RS would plainly be the better choice, but seems to get no respect. What gives? Is it worth considering against the RT and the Honda ST as a very competitive alternative? Would like some feedback, cause this just isn't making sense to me!?
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:15 PM   #2
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It won last year's RiDE magazine Rider's Survey, beating the R1100RT into 3rd, and the R1150RT into 6th.
See http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=R1150RS
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:19 PM   #3
bmwblake
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i'd prefer the rs anyday. i'm not a big fan of full coverage fairings, but there are a lot of guys that love the rt's weather protection. the rt also has a more upright seating position. some people cant ride even in the modestly leaned forward position that the rs has.
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:36 PM   #4
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Coupla things come to mind.

1) BMW hasn't changed the look of the RS in 11 years.

2) Americans still insist that a sport tourer have full fairing. The RS is viewes as a sport bike by many tourers and as a touring bike by many sport bikers. A bit of an identity crisis.

3) When first introduced, the RS was THE oilhead. Today we have the R, the S, the GS, the RT, the CL and so forth. The somewhat limited number of buyers for BMW Oilheads find a wide yet niche aimed selection. The oldest styling is the RS and it suffers accordingly in terms of sales.

4) When was the last time you saw an RS in the showroom? I don't think I've seen a new one in the last 3 years.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:23 PM   #5
ChicagoF650GS
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I've test ridden 4 R1100/1150R/RS/RT in the past month.

Found the RS surprising comfortable for my middle aged body. The RT test was very short, as it was an new one with only 8 miles on it, and the dealer wants to keep it that way. It would be great if I was going to BC & back, but otherwise didn't seem that much fun.

If they only had a motorized windscreen on the RS, it'd be perfect.


I have a line on an '03 RS with ABS, heated grips, side & top cases, ztecknik exhaust, new tires (Z6?) , 10,000 miles.

Or for exactly half I can get an '94 1100RS almost the same equiptment, ~24,000 miles; only it's several hundred miles away.

Decisions....Decisions
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Old 08-03-2004, 06:57 AM   #6
bmwblake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash
Coupla things come to mind.

1) BMW hasn't changed the look of the RS in 11 years.

2) Americans still insist that a sport tourer have full fairing. The RS is viewes as a sport bike by many tourers and as a touring bike by many sport bikers. A bit of an identity crisis.

3) When first introduced, the RS was THE oilhead. Today we have the R, the S, the GS, the RT, the CL and so forth. The somewhat limited number of buyers for BMW Oilheads find a wide yet niche aimed selection. The oldest styling is the RS and it suffers accordingly in terms of sales.

4) When was the last time you saw an RS in the showroom? I don't think I've seen a new one in the last 3 years.
agree on 1. totally disagree on 2 - i demand a sport tourer without a full fairing.
3. seems like good opinion, but reality?
4. the last time i was at my local dealer they had 2.

i've never been a big fan of full fairing bikes. i cant imagine you living in florida could stand to ride behind a barn door fairing.
i ride everyday. my bike has to be comfy everyday. with a full fairing i roasted about half the year.
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Old 08-03-2004, 08:21 AM   #7
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Mornin' Blake

Look at the sport tourers on the market:

BMW R1150RT
BMW K1200GT
Honda ST1300
Yamaha FJR1300
Triumph Trophy
Kawasaki Concours
Ducati ST4

All fully faired. American's want all weather capability in their sport tourers. The people who buy these bikes don't put the RS in the same category. It's seen as more to the "sport" side of the scale. Which isn't true, but it is the perception.

Yet the "sport" folks gravitate to the S for obvious reasons. More aggressive ergos, way cool looking tail section and the Boxer Cup panache. The RS is viewed as more of a "tourer."

I don't have a problem here in Florida with the full RT fairing. As long as I have lots of airflow over my upper body by using the stock shield I'm OK. I did install a Cee Bailey's #2 shield, with 7 inches of additional height. That lasted all of 2 days. It was stifling. I do appreciate the rain protedtion during the rainy season, which is now.
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:20 AM   #8
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Biased answer here, I ride an '02 RS in blue. I find the overall position very comfortable, though I will admit to considering barbacks. It is much lighter than the RT. I agree a electrically movable screen would be nice, but I leave mine in almost full down most of the time. It is much more flickable -if a 550 pound bike can be considered flickable- than the RT.

An added bonus, it is just damned good looking. I know the design hasn't been updated in 11 years but I think it is truly ageless- like the Porsche 911 a classic design to evolve. I honestly believe the 94 on RS is BMW's best looking bike.

Unless you are over 65 and looking for a 'sporty' alternative to the Goldwing avoid the RT, get the RS and ride happy.


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Old 08-03-2004, 11:04 AM   #9
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My 0.02 cents

Ride an R11xxGS, I just got ride of a 1995 R1100RS in favor of the GS. GS's rip on pavement, AND ON DIRT. They make great touring bikes, are considerably more comfortable than an RS, and due to the bars are actually super fickable on twisty pavement and you won't find yourslef limited to riding blacktop, you can go just about anywhere.

Try one out for a real ride......trust me. If you can get over the funny looks, you'll be suprised!
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Old 08-03-2004, 11:32 AM   #10
Rad
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I loved my 96 R1100RS

Have'n a KTM now, I don't ride my 1150GS off road anymore. For that reason, if I could snap my fingers and change my 1150 GS into any BMW, it would be an R1150RS.
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:15 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback, not really as controversial as I thought it might get. I thought the RT guys would come out of the woodwork contriving ways in which the RT rules over the RS. I have ridden the RT, hated the full bodywork and closed in feeling, very "touring" oriented. I had on old airhead RS and absolutely loved the style. The RS seems much more open and sport touring oriented then the RT. I have an 1150GS and I really love it, but going cross country with no dirt to drift off to, I think the RS would be a better cover lots of miles in a hurry and be comfortable machine. I plan on keeping the GS more for sport, but am looking at a used RS for touring, two up and solo. So the RS is becoming more and more a serious option. Thanks again!
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash
Mornin' Blake

Look at the sport tourers on the market:

BMW R1150RT
BMW K1200GT
Honda ST1300
Yamaha FJR1300
Triumph Trophy
Kawasaki Concours
Ducati ST4
perhaps i'm young and foolish, but i dont think this list is anywhere near complete. a sport tourer to me is anything sporty that one tours on, not just the bikes that companies deem as such. in my eyes everything bmw makes fits in that category to some extent. i like a little bit of wind protection, but cant stand the barn door effect.
to each his own.

old farts ride rt's.
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:42 PM   #13
Cat0020
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Cool2 Another vote for R1150RS.

Before I purchased my 02 R1150RS, I test rode all variations of the BMW Boxer engine bikes.

The R1100S was a great bike, sexy looking, great handling, even better (more forgiving) than most sport or supersport bikes IMO, but the ergo was just not comfortable enough to log 900+ miles in one day.

The R1150R was just not practical for long distance touring, lack of wind protection and lack of forward riding position at high speed.

The GS was too wide for my taste, you really need to have some broad shoulders and longer torso and arms to take advantage of the "super flickable" ability of it, and you need to have longer inseam to flat foot the bike at traffic lights.

The RT just felt much heavier of a bike than I like it to be, and it also looks like something is missing from the bike when you take off the sidebags. I like a motorcycle to be able to squeeze between narrow places.

I also rode a K1200RS for approx. 6000 miles in 5 months, including a trip from Philadelphia, PA to Key West, FL in 28 hours. That bike had everything I wanted and about 200 lb. heavier than I like it to be. so I sold it off to a more significant friend to muscle with.

I've had my R1150RS since new at Sept. 2002, the first day that I got the bike, I rode over 700 miles from Ann Arbor, MI to Philadelphia, PA. If I can be comfortable enough to ride 700 miles for the first day of ownership, I think this bike is comfortable for me. Now my RS has 24500+ miles in less than two years. I put Wilbers shocks on at 18K miles, that just transformed the bike to be much more oriented for leaning and spirited type riding. Sure it does not have raw horsepower nor top speed like so many others.. but how often do you get to travel above 120 mph for more than 5 seconds on one road??
For the last 24500+ miles on my RS, I've yet to exceed speed of 120 mph on my GPS. The RS has decent wind protection, higher gearing than other Boxer engine bikes (besides the R1100S).
People tell you there is not much difference between the R1100RS and R1150RS.. but I know that I love to have that 6th gear for the highway travels. The bike can cruise at 100 mph for a tankful if the road conditions allow.
I never thought I have a need for bar-back extenders, I have my bars as forward as can be, and wish they could even go further forward so when I cruise at higher speed with my chest leaned against the tankbag, I've more room for my arms to stretch out.

BTW, I'm 5'10", 135 lb. with 33" insseam and 30 year old.
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Cat0020 screwed with this post 08-03-2004 at 02:14 PM
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:54 PM   #14
Flash
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At 29, I certainly understand your position. (Happy Birthday BTW) At that age I was happy to have a motorcycle.

20 years from now, if you're still riding, you'll find that "comfy" is harfer to come by. More upright seating, greater wind protection, heated things, all become increasingly important. The need to ride is just as strong. Just prefer to do it on a bike more suited to the task. To carry me quickly, quietly and comfortably long distances.

The sport tourer list I posted is certainly not complete. and I don't disagree that you can tour on most any sporty bike. But the original question was RT vs. RS. I've owned both and offered my thoughts.

To you, old farts ride RT's. To me, old farts ride Gold Wings. 20 years from now, some young'ns gonna laugh at your choice of bikes.

And you'll just smile, turn the heated seat on high, adjust the windscreen and head for the horizon. Trust me.
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Old 08-04-2004, 06:30 AM   #15
Lobby
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Gosh, lots of good comments on this thread.

Juergen, I also have a blue 2002 RS. Cool bike.

Rad, what you're saying about having a dirt bike for off road and an RS for highway (instead of a GS) makes sense. I fear that if I get a dirt bike, and I'm looking, my GS may go on the market, cause my RS will fill the highway needs.

Flash, your comments are pretty much right on.

OK, my thoughts:
my RS has barbacks. W/O them, the forward leaning position was a bit too aggressive for me. But now, I can ride it for long trips without any problems. Down here in Texas, the RS is much better in the summer. Without having much a fairing, it just keeps you much cooler.

Oh, and the foot peg placement being a little higher than my GS results in me feeling almost no heat off the cylinders. The hot air hits the boots instead of my legs. Significantly cooler.

The RS is light and very flickable. Very fun to drive. I think it's faster than my GS. It will run all day at 100 mph.

Have never ridden an RT, but can only agree with Flash's perspective. If you want a few more creature comforts, the RT is the one for you.

Good luck. You can't go wrong with either choice.
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