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I'm considering a R1200R to potentially replace my 2010 Honda VFR1200. Has anyone made this jump, and if so do you have any advice specific to this move?

On paper the BMW has a lot less power, but I believe it is lighter as well.
 

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I'm considering a R1200R to potentially replace my 2010 Honda VFR1200. Has anyone made this jump, and if so do you have any advice specific to this move?

On paper the BMW has a lot less power, but I believe it is lighter as well.
Hey Motosapien (nice name BTW),

I have never even sat on a VFR1200, but was considering it before I got my R, shaft drive, and that automatic sound it attractive for city traffic.

The Beemer has a lot less power but it rides like a dream, suspension and brakes are so far the best I have ever used, 110 HP are way more then enough for absolutely anything I ask the bike to do, including track.

My advice is, find out if your closest dealership has one for testing and bring your wallet.
 

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Well my salesman said that he used to have several VFRs before he started working at the BMW dealer and now has an r12rt and a k bike. I don't think you will notice the difference in power.
 

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I had a '98 VFR 800. Fantastic bike. Several bikes in between but love the 1200R (2012). More than enough power for just about everything except the track. Gun bike.
 

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I still have my VFR1200 (non-DCT) and often ride the bikes back to back.

Power: The VFR trounces the R1200R on HP and feels like it on torque as well, then again, it trounces just about everything when it comes to that. The weight difference here makes little difference. That being said, the R1200R has never felt under powered. Power delivery is smoother on the VFR below 3K, but it isn't a big difference. The R1200R has a very linear power delivery that is better than the VFR, huge minus points on the VFR in 2nd and 3rd gear from 4k to 6k RPM. That flat spot drives me nuts.

Handling: They both handle well, but the R1200R feels so much lighter and turns in much more quickly. The R1200R is easier to push over farther. Both hold a line really well.

Comfort: The R1200R wins this hands down, but any standard bike is much easier on the body than the VFR. The VFR is halfway between a super sport and a standard and I don't find it comfortable in stock form. The VFR does cut through the wind better, much experimenting with windshields may be necessary to find something you like. I would look at one of the 20 to 22 inch windshields if you want to travel longer distances. The small BMW touring windshield is about 2 inches too short for me 5'10". I find the tall comfort seat pretty good with a 32" inseam.

Braking: Both have great brakes, I do prefer the linked brakes on the VFR, you can feel one brake effecting the other on the BMW.

General: The BMW gets better fuel economy and has a bigger fuel tank. I can get around 200 miles on a tank vs 130 on the VFR.

Luggage: I have the factory luggage on both, they are both great. The side panniers are a lot bigger on the BMW bags.

If you want to go fast, keep the VFR. If you want to travel longer distances or in more comfort the BMW is the answer in my opinion. Better yet, have both :)
 

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Just wanted to add the VFR shifts silky smooth. IMO typical Honda, but
R1200R is light years better than my klunky R1100R tranny was.
Bags on the Honda were soo beautiful!! I like the larger BMW panniers which dont show skuffs so easily. BMW tank mileage was another plus.
 

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Thank you for the excellent replies. Archon especially delivers exactly what I was hoping for.

I think you're right - I may end up with both. That is pretty hard to do with bikes that both retail in the 15K+ range! However, I am looking at a 2008 with low miles near San Diego for a decent price so I'm crossing my fingers.

I have the VFR1200 DCT version, and I use it mostly for commuting to work each day. I ride about 10K miles a year pretty much all year round in all weather. The DCT is really nice, but I've often wondered if I would get it again if I had the chance. The flat spot especially is something I hate. Additionally, Mother Honda telling me what I can and can't do and locking me out of an easy ECU fix. By the way, since you do not have the DCT version, you can get something called a Z-bomb for around $150 that eliminates the problem by tricking the bike into using the 3rd gear map.


Is there a way to tell by looking if the 2008 has the traction control by looking at it? Are there any make-or-break features on this bike that I should hold out for?

Thanks everyone. I loved every minute of my BMW car, and I'm really looking forward to getting some seat time on a BMW bike.
 

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The feature you are looking for is called ASC (Automatic Stability Control). I would also recommend getting a bike with heated grips (which you could always add later). I really wasn't expecting to like them as much as I do. I would get one with the computer as well, but most of them seem to have this. One thing that I am thinking about getting, at least for the colder months, are the GS hand guards. That combined with the heated grips should really make winter commuting much more enjoyable.

Other people here can probably speak to the differences between the 2008 and 2012 R1200R engines. I am very happy with the 2013, I don't know if the 2008 is noticeably different.

To Clem's point above, the transmission on the VFR is a little better (Honda and Kawasaki have the best transmissions I have had on any bike). The only negative on the BMW is that from a standstill shifting into first from neutral sometimes requires more than one application. This seems to be more true when cold. Other than that, I am very pleased with the BMW transmission. No false neutrals between gears or popping out of gear in about 1200 miles. Oh, the dry clutch is nice too. No grabbing when cold.
 

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:goodjob: Archon.



Is there a way to tell by looking if the 2008 has the traction control by looking at it? Are there any make-or-break features on this bike that I should hold out for?
You should be able to know by looking the left side of the handle bar, there is a way to turn the ASC off by pressing it for few seconds, pretty safe to asume if you see a bike with this button, it means it has ASC.




There is a pretty well known problem with this bike, I wouldn't call it deal breaker (since I have one) The fuel strip seems to fail on many bikes, and it's usually fixed under warranty because it happens early.

Hope you can get both plus your cage, use a different ride depending on the mood.
 

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I bought my R12R in December when shopping for a VFR! I had read everything under the sun and thought the VFR was the bike for me. I test rode a used 2010 VFR with DCT that happened to be at a BMW dealership. The bike seemed like it did everything well, but nothing about it really grabbed me (although I didn't realize at the time that my test ride was spent mostly within the engine flat spot that some of you mentioned).

I came back from the test ride somewhat disappointed. I knew nothing about BMW bikes, but the Montego Blue R12R sitting on the showroom floor caught my eye. I asked about it and was told to take it for a ride. It was just so easy to ride. The handling is so intuitive, it's comfortable, and I accidentally popped a wheelie in first gear on my test ride. I didn't feel like ending the test ride and took that as a sign that the bike was the one for me.

I have been thrilled with the bike. Fit and finish and quality of components is awesome (e.g. Brembo brakes). All the features I had never given a second thought to are now must haves. I can't imagine life without heated grips now.

My only complaint is that I wish the bike had a little more power - maybe 10 HP more (I realize some of you disagree). It has never felt underpowered, but sometimes that jolt is fun, esp. at high speeds.
 

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The bike you test rode was not fully broken in- ( over 10,000 K) if it was a 2013. With a boxer engine, there is a significant difference between the smoothness and power of a broken in boxer versus one that is still factory fresh. Also, riding the boxer engine takes a little getting used to. It loves revs. Those of us who write that more power isn't required have broken in our rides and know how to make them go. I sometimes swap with my buddy who has a Speed Triple. The extra low end torque and HP of the Speedy is a blast off the line, but, once the bike is moving, I find that I'm a much more aggressive rider on the R12r because of the ease with which it handles real life riding conditions of urban and suburban streets and roads. Off the track, I can't wait to get back on the Beemer.
 
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