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Greetings. My 2015 RS is being serviced at Bahnstormer’s in Maidenhead, and they’ve given me a shiny ‘21 1250RS to play with. I thought I’d share my experience with you.
The 1250 is much smoother, vibes-wise. The gearbox is pretty much the same, to me, anyway. I love the shift assist. Not much difference twist mine and the ‘21. Suspension is much more plush. They’ve changed the handlebar position, much more comfy, higher and less forward lean. I like the headlights very much. The engine makes some noises. When not up to full running temperature, there’s an odd sound on the throttle… sounds a little like something rattling in a glass bottle. And there’s a not displeasing whirr (shift cam?) as I roll on the throttle when she’s hot. I love the hill start. Genius. So useful, just at the traffic lights. The grunt in every gear is extraordinary. I managed to spin the rear in third last night on the salted roads. Scary, but fun. Although I won’t choose to repeat the experience. How does a twin produce all that silky smooth propulsion in any gear? Magnificent machine. I’ve been a Honda man always. Till now. No turning back.
Full marks to Bahnstormer too. I turned up two days late for my 36k service, by accident. My diary said wrong, apparently. Simon said “well you’ve here now” when I suggested re-booking. The tyres on the 1250 feel a little less confidence inspiring than the Michelins on mine. I’ve just poked about with my torch, they’re Metzeler Roadtecs. I ferried a colleague home last night, and we took a twisty country road back to his home, after the A40/M40. The Metzelers have plenty of meat left, but they were very sensitive to white lines or any tarmac variations… made it tough to keep a straight line, filtering slowly through the tube strike traffic. The screen might as well not be there, compared to the barn door affair I purloined from eBay on my ride. Would I buy one? For the power, yes. And the suspension. But. Oddly, to me, my ‘15 rides better, notwithstanding gorgeous ‘21 suspension. I prefer mine for the throttle response from standstill. And second gear on mine feels easier on the engine in slow traffic. As for the power, well. In 5th or 6th the ‘21 has more instant GO, which is lovely. But. My ‘15 makes a bit more sense in that regard. Call me a *****, but I think I prefer the ‘15. I’d get used to the ‘21 I suppose, as one always does… but that’s where I’m at. They’re both mental flamethrowers if you require, just slightly different.
Much as I appreciate the keyless mallarkey I’m terrified of losing it. My loan bike has an alarm, which is comforting. What else? TFT I find is less intuitive than my ‘15. Very pretty though, and the speedo better than mine. All in all, they’re both very very classy machines. A cut above.
 

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The engine makes some noises. When not up to full running temperature, there’s an odd sound on the throttle… sounds a little like something rattling in a glass bottle.
Yep, there is a weird sound for 5 or 10 seconds after startup.
No idea what it is. Maybe something with the flapper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, there is a weird sound for 5 or 10 seconds after startup.
No idea what it is. Maybe something with the flapper.
Well on my loan ‘21 it’s not after startup. I fire it up and it runs on choke for maybe 20 seconds, then calms down. The glass bottle noise is there for the next ten minutes on my loan bike. It’s a bit strange. Doesn’t bother me. It goes away. I suppose that’s what they call “character” 😁 I courier an NC750X whilst I’m not otherwise engaged in artistic pursuits. When I climbed aboard my RS I was surprised by her ability to be so bonkers. I’d imagined a rather more refined feel. But compared to the NC (which now has 76k miles) I was unprepared for the visceral rawness of the RS when called upon. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about it: the ability to whistle (mine does) at low revs and speeds, and then the ability to go absolutely bonkers at other times. I was on the A404 last night on the way home. Fricking freezing, so I was. I gave it the berries. I thought I’d got to the power. Then. It found another band of power higher in the rev range. Holy moly. I had to hold on tight. Amazing.
 

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I was on the A404 last night on the way home. Fricking freezing, so I was. I gave it the berries. I thought I’d got to the power. Then. It found another band of power higher in the rev range. Holy moly. I had to hold on tight. Amazing.
Yeah it is not just the peak figures, if you look at dyno print outs comparing the 1200 with the 1250, the shift cam engine adds a whole lot of fat. It doesn’t so much peak as flatten out with 130bhp at the rear wheel from around 6500rpm all the way to almost 9000rpm. It is impressive.

I found the OE Metz tyres to be fine when new, pretty nice tyres, but past half worn not so nice and turning positively nasty as they wore out. Replaced with T32’s.
 

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I didn't notice any difference with the bars on my 2016 RS and 2022 RS.
I'd agree with Lee. No difference in the handlebar between my 2016 1200RS and 2020 1250RS.
I also notice that strange "glass bottle" ringing until the engine has fully warmed up. In fact I think it's probably there most of the time, maybe just a bit subdued. I'd describe it as a "metallic" ringing sound.
Gear changes are way smoother all round on the 1250 IMHO. Even the clunk into I st from neutral is reduced significantly.
 

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The 1250 'box is indeed sweet compared to the previous agricultural experiences. They've gradually, glacially, improved over the years. Still not up to the slickness of a Honda but who wants a two wheeled Civic.

My 1200 can still be embarrassingly loud when going into first, but not always. At least there's little doubt that you are in gear!
 

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Still not up to the slickness of a Honda but who wants a two wheeled Civic.
I've owned a lot of Hondas, and they were always prone to false neutrals. I think the tranny on my 2020 R is better than any Honda I've owned and ridden, but the last one was a 2018, so they might have improved; who knows. But I'm super happy with the R tranny. And yes, it's much better than my ex K1300S and R1200RT. As far as clunking from N, ALL wet-clutch trannies clunk. I don't really notice any difference. And sounds hard to believe, but no harm results from that, so no worries.
 

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Agreed the 1250 is MUCH better & reasonably slick - I have no complaints whatever, As for the 1200, it would be nice if N>1 didn't sound like a Massey-Ferguson, even if you go to N>2>1 which can help.
 

· Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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The 1200 is quieter N->1 on a cold engine. If warm, start it in gear and avoid the issue altogether.
 
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That certainly works but I was thinking more of heavy traffic situations, very warm engine, & where it's a seemingly endless series of 1>2>1>2> etc., as I have several miles of suburbia until I get to open-ish roads.

I live on the western outskirts of the city but the roads worth riding start across town.
 

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That helps, as does a little pre-loading of the shift lever too - used to have to do that with older BMWs when they were REALLY agricultural!

Anyway, it is what it is, as they say, and you either live with it or buy something else. Still in hold-mode at the moment, waiting to see what happens re the V100, although I'm totally unconvinced that buying a first-year of a new bike design with a truly awful dealer network is really such a bright idea.
 

· Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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That certainly works but I was thinking more of heavy traffic situations, very warm engine, & where it's a seemingly endless series of 1>2>1>2> etc., as I have several miles of suburbia until I get to open-ish roads.

I live on the western outskirts of the city but the roads worth riding start across town.
It’s all about timing as there’s a fair bit of inertia in the drive train.
Even though it’s a leisurely pace, a fairly quick change with only a dab of the clutch is required after preloading the clutch, then preloading the gear lever (in that sequence so you don’t trigger the shift assist) - but not too quick. And be deliberate about throttle blipping on changing down.
I wouldn’t be using the shift assist in these circumstances as the revs are too low.
 

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Agreed 100% with you, once you are moving. It's the stop/go that's annoying. I've been riding BMWs since the late 70s - first was a 90/s affectionately known as the tractor by my Ducati 900ss & MG LM1 riding buddies - and they are definitely getting better and I think the 1250s finally have it cracked or at least good enough.

I have a couple of friends who ride R1200RTPs for their day job and one has an R1200RT for fun, and they say the same - bouncing between 2>N>1 and 1>N>2 is a crapshoot in stop and go traffic, with N>1 being worst. Sometimes perfect, other times the bikes sound like a bag of old bolts. 3,4,5 & 6 are fine. Not impressed with the shift assist on the 1200s but its really good on the 1250s, but I've never found working the clutch to be any kind of issue.

Presumably BMW are working toward the same totally seamless (paddle) shifting as their cars. Sitting in Houston traffic at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, or nose-to-tail on the 18-mile I-10 bridge after an accident, and you won't want anything but an auto 'gearbox, car or bike. Sold my two seater with its 6-speed & very heavy clutch after a bad week in Houston for exactly that reason. A good Tiptronic and you have 95% of the fun of manual with none of the pain once you learn how to use it.
 

· Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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I don’t normally change into neutral once under way, as the clutch is light enough to hold in for normal traffic stops. But if it’s really slow stop-start traffic with long waits, it’s a pain, and neutral is a must. The transmission damper from MY17 on should reduce the jarring, I’d expect.
In recent years it’s become legal in Australia to filter between slow moving and stationary traffic, which has helped in such situations. But often there’s insufficient room between lanes for a big Roadster.
 

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I so wish that were the case here!

I have no idea why but even overtaking is viewed rather dimly - there's always some moron, usually in a pickup truck, who gets his nose out of joint even when making a perfectly legal overtaking manouver. I've found a nice friendly but completely unnecessary wave smooths some feathers. Idiocy.

For a country dependent on the automobile, the overall standard of driving is a national embarrassment.

Yes, if you are sitting in traffic, stopped for several minutes, warm engine etc, N>1 is mostly not a joyously silent event.
 

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That certainly works but I was thinking more of heavy traffic situations, very warm engine, & where it's a seemingly endless series of 1>2>1>2> etc., as I have several miles of suburbia until I get to open-ish roads.

I live on the western outskirts of the city but the roads worth riding start across town.
I've noticed that here, too. For instance, if I go South, the really good stuff is like 30 miles, and if I go North, it's about 17 miles to the good stuff, and they charge me 8.00 USD dollars to get come back over a bridge that is free in the other direction.
Sky Cloud Daytime Infrastructure Road surface

The good thing, of course, is that I can go either way and find roads that are fun to ride, East, too, but the good stuff is like 170 miles, West, is no bueno, unless you have a boat.
 

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You live in motorcycling paradise. I grew up on the Peninsula with all those great roads, Alice's, Skyline, Hwy 9, 84, etc. Before all the bicyclists, lol (I am one now..), so we could really fly. And trips up or down the coast.. great times. Nothing since has ever really compared, and I've lived all over. Well, Europe I guess.. anyway, enjoy it..
 

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You live in motorcycling paradise. I grew up on the Peninsula with all those great roads, Alice's, Skyline, Hwy 9, 84, etc. Before all the bicyclists, lol (I am one now..), so we could really fly. And trips up or down the coast.. great times. Nothing since has ever really compared, and I've lived all over. Well, Europe I guess.. anyway, enjoy it..
It could be worse. I was in Florida years ago on a business trip for Porsche AG, and was picked up by a regional sales exec at the airport.
An hour of rolling through flat lands, criss crossed by right angle turns and endless straights, I inquired, "So, where are the twisty roads anyway?"
Regional guy looks at me and says, "3 states North?"
 
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