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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some info about me : 47yr old, doing mostly short rides but sometimes day-long rides of about 200km-300km. No highways, mostly smaller roads/towns etc. Live in Belgium. Had a Kawasaki Z900RS which I loved, but stupid me decided to sell it for something else. Traded it in (together with a Triumph Bobber) for a Harley Low Rider S. Fantastic bike, but it's not for me. I "like" it but don't "love" it and the riding position is very bad for my (lower) back (I have a very bad back). So need something with more upright sitting but with my feet slightly underneath me. Hence... the R1250R is an option. Going to do a final half-a-day testride in a few days (already tested the bike twice for about an hour) and then will probably decide to swap my current bike (Harley Low Rider S FXLRS) to the R1250R 2021 model, mineral grey exclusive, full option - or buy a Kawa Z900RS again.

Anything I need to be aware of? Pro's and cons of the bike? Reason I trade it because I want something that's more comfortable, can be mellow when needed but can also be ridden sporty when I want to and is able to do all-day rides without too much issues (I usually drive for about an hour, then take a break, but do about 300km/day). It's really a toss-up between the Kawasaki Z900RS (which I liked before, the 2022 looks amazing and it's a great bike) and this. Leaning towards the BMW because it's more powerful (love the torque), has a lot more driver-aids but mainly for the (hopefully) more comfortable ride especially with the ESA option (bad roads here). Still like the Z900RS more for its looks but comfort is the main criterium here.

I would also consider an RNineT but no way to test drive on here, and I definitely would need to be sure it's comfortable enough. Love the look of that one a lot more though.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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I’ve not ridden the Z900RS (only a mate’s Z1B, back in the day) but I suspect the 1250 would be more comfortable. The ESA has only Road and Dynamic modes, and Road isn’t plush as such. Only you will know if it’s comfortable enough, noting that the suspension and the seat will ‘settle in’ a bit as the bike racks up some miles, so a demo bike might feel a bit stiffer than an owner will experience.

The R1200R is the great all rounder, in all its editions, and the 1250 is the pinnacle in terms of performance. You won’t be disappointed in that respect, especially if you enjoy the bike punching out of corners at any rpm with a small twist of the throttle.
 

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Since luggage options and multi day trips are not a requirement, I definitely wouldn’t buy the R1250 before trying an R Nine T. Other than that, the best way to compare is really a test drive, looks, sound (I personally don’t like inline fours) and feel if there’s a “click” with the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The main thing I want to avoid is my lower back getting punched by bad roads/bumps/potholes/cobblestones. As much as I loved my Triumph Bobber and Harley low Rider S for the looks and the way it feels, there's no getting over a (too) small shock travel to compensate. Couple that with a very upright sitting (like in a chair) position on these, and I get problems. On the RS and R1250 I set a little bit forward without it being too sporty, so that suits me. Have not had a chance to try a R9T, but read it can be quite firm suspension wise too. Dealer has a "pure" I can test, but I would buy a 'normal" R9T so not sure if these compare well. Loved the R1250R for the two rides I did, but need to ride it a bit longer to get a good feeling.

I'll certainly have a hard time selling the Low Rider S :(
 

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Welcome to the forum lapinobel. (y) I have ridden the Z900rs and the R1250r and given the choice of which to buy I would say that the Beemer has loads more character, power and grunt but does cost a fair bit more. The kwaker does look good and will be a bit cheaper to buy, it's a bit bland in comparison (as most fours are) but it's the only four cylinder on the market today that I would consider buying new.
I have a Suzuki GSX1400ef and a Beemer R1200r and find them both good fun to ride but I have to say the Beemer is probably the best all round real world bike available today. It can cruise, tour, scratch and bimble better than most bikes, the 1250 is just the next version.
Good luck with your research.
 

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Comfort questions are tough to answer, what's comfortable for one person is uncomfortable for another. I think you're the only one who can answer the comfort question, and I think you'll know after that half day test ride.

I've test ridden the Z900RS twice, nice bike. I also rode the Versys 1000 SE with active suspension, one of the plushest suspensions I've ridden. You may also consider a Triumph Speed Twin, I liked it a good deal more than the Z900 in the fun department, but it has no gains in the plush ride department over the Z.

Glad to see you're test riding, it's the only way to get a decent idea on how a bike will work for you. Other peoples opinions shouldn't sway you much, especially mine. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input, nice community here. Was slaughtered on some Harley forums when I said I was considering selling mine. I don't have brand loyalty, just love cool/fast/nimble bikes. Just went on an hour ride on my Harley. Great fun, but as soon as I encounter bad roads it's just not fun with the harsh suspension. I bought both the Bobber and the FXLRS without test riding, and both disapppointed in some way so definitely not gonna make that mistake again.

Z900RS : had one for over 2 years, great, nimble, nice performance but test-rode one again a few days and was surprised that it didn't give me the "wow" factor I used to have, guess I'm a bit too used to the character and torque of the Harley now. Still amazing looking and put together bike. Still considering one...

R1250R : tested twice for about an hour, remember being amazed by the performance and loved the techie stuff. completely different than my Z900RS I had but somehow it felt great. Going to ride it for over 4 hours next friday, should give a good idea. Money isn't exactly a factor, so price isn't something that will determine my choice. still a bit 'meh' about the looks to be honest but it's growing on me and I'm pretty sure it's a fantastic all around bike

Speed Twin : saw a 2021 one in the showroom when I tested the Rocket 3 (great bike too, not for me, too hard on suspension). Love, really LOVE the looks of it and would definitely want to own one, but read quite a bit of reviews that say it's pretty hard on suspension and might feel small. No way to test drive one until oct 1st at the earliest.

R Nine T : would get a 'standard' one, but only can ride a pure. A bit unsure if it would fit me though, read a lot of reviews that say it's a great sporty retro, but not exactly comfortable on bad roads. I'm not looking for a magic carpet, but just can't stand jolts up my spine anymore. Wife also finds it a bit small looking (it isn't, just looks) so don't think it would be a good fit. Still a nice bike too.

So for now, it seems it'll be a toss-up between the Z900RS (candytone blue or the SE), and the R1250R. Friday should tell me a lot more.
 

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......
R Nine T : would get a 'standard' one, but only can ride a pure. A bit unsure if it would fit me though, read a lot of reviews that say it's a great sporty retro, but not exactly comfortable on bad roads. I'm not looking for a magic carpet, but just can't stand jolts up my spine anymore. Wife also finds it a bit small looking (it isn't, just looks) so don't think it would be a good fit. Still a nice bike too.
I have both a liquid-cooled R1200R and an RNineT Scrambler. Your wife has a good eye - the Scrambler is smaller than the Roadster. It's not a huge difference, but they're definitely not the same size. I haven't ridden a Standard R9T, but on paper it has better suspension than the Scrambler. If you bought any of the variants other than Standard, I suspect you'd be looking for suspension upgrades to suit your back. I don't have back problems (other than it's very old) but I habitually stand on the pegs for rough spots.

As for which of the two I prefer? They are like my four daughters - all different, all my favourites. In practical terms, the Roadster is normally my long-distance bike - it's been across North America and back a few times, about 12,000 km per round trip; the Scrambler is my daily wander-around choice. It's also the one I normally use to get dirty, although if you'd seen the Roadster last week, you might think that wasn't true. I did a fairly long ride to visit my favourite daughter and ended up going through some long road repair areas where they were watering the surface to keep down the dust. It was a bit muddy when I got home. I actually had to wash it :oops: An unusual occurrence for someone that washes his bikes once a year, whether they need it or not.
 

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I’ve not ridden the Z900RS either. But I do like 4 cylinder bikes, I still have my old FZS1000 lying in my garage that one day I’m gonna put back on the road – hopefully.

I’m not much interested in ‘rider aids’ and as such my bike is lightly specced. I did go for ESA, and usually leave it in the softer ROAD setting. I think the big advantage with ESA is if you carry a pillion or go touring - it automatically adjusts for different loads.

However, I’m sure somebody here mentioned a supply issue with ESA. And looking at the UK Motorrad web site the ESA option seems to have vanished!

Haven’t ridden the RNineT, but looking at it and sitting on it in the showroom, well I’m of the opinion it is more of a town bike – a hipster bike. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted a more all-round bike, something a bit more practicable.

I have at times been riding about for the last year or so wondering if I really like my R1250R. It is so different from a 4. It rumbles and vibrates. It is nowhere near as smooth or flexible as a four. On the other hand, it has bucket loads of low-down grunt and midrange. It is pretty darn quick when you want it to be, but it will also happily bimble along – whereas my Fazer always wanted to get a move on.

But best of all, the riding position, for me anyway, is super comfortable. It is easy to ride. I popped out on it back on Saturday and covered 330 miles, and I still felt fresh(ish) when I got back. So I think overall I’ve really warmed to it – the easy going nature and comfort winning the day.

Downsides – side stand is too long (fixable), beware of the indicators as they self-cancel when you don’t want them to, and the headlamp leaves a bit to be desired. Oh, the OE tyres didn’t last long, but the T32’s I popped on are showing signs of potentially lasting a bit longer.

Fuel economy and range are good.
 

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Dare I suggest looking at an R1250GS too, while you're in test riding and analysis mode?
IIRC, it positions rider's feet slightly further forward than the Roadster (less acute knee angle) , which may help to give you even more comfort and less back stress and more miles at a sitting 'in the saddle' before having to stop for comfort breaks.
On my 2016 R1200R LC, only very slight rumble and vibration is there, but it's NEVER instrusive and only adds to the character of these amazing engines. Overall they are very, very smooth for a big lump of a twin.
 

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The rumble and vibration…is this something annoying? Mind I am used to a Harley :)
Hard to decide for someone else. If it exists, it certainly doesn't bother me. If rumble is a noise (rather than a sensation), I probably wouldn't notice it since I habitually wear ear-plugs.
 

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The rumble and vibration…is this something annoying? Mind I am used to a Harley
My FZS is like turbine smooth compared to the R1250R, but nor is it dull like some Honda 4’s. But no if you are used to riding agricultural machinery such as Harley you’ll hardly notice:D. Sorry, I just don’t get the Harley thing – though very very popular in Scotland these days. o_O
 

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I have the R9T classic/standard and I love riding it and I love the looks too. However, it is nowhere near as comfortable or well planted as my R1200R with the ESA. Suspension complaints and upgrades are very common discussions on R9T boards.
 

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Dave in NE TN
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Dare I suggest looking at an R1250GS too, while you're in test riding and analysis mode?
IIRC, it positions rider's feet slightly further forward than the Roadster (less acute knee angle) , which may help to give you even more comfort and less back stress and more miles at a sitting 'in the saddle' before having to stop for comfort breaks...
Correct. Having owned both R12R and R12GS, the GS allows a more upright sitting position, arms spread wider, and legs down further & straighter & more forward - basically more upright, neutral, roomy and to me more comfortable in all dimensions. And I LIKE the R12R!

Cheers, Dave
 

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Dave in NE TN
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I have the R9T classic/standard and I love riding it and I love the looks too. However, it is nowhere near as comfortable or well planted as my R1200R with the ESA. Suspension complaints and upgrades are very common discussions on R9T boards.
The R9T line is cool, and carries on the wonderful camhead drivetrain, but IMO the R12R is significantly more versatile - more comfortable, better handling, more accessories available, more likely to be ridden long distances. Not denying the appeal of the R9T line, it is their heritage line, but the R is more developed & modern & useful IMO. HTH.

Cheers, Dave
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I understand why you guys say to check the GS but I already did. Great bike, but wasn't for me and kinda annoyed by the wooshing sound coming from the bottom front of the bike too. Dealer said it's normal for a GS, something about an artificial airbox or something created by the way the bike's front is designed. Anyway, it will be either the R1250R, the Z900RS or (maybe) the FTR1200 which I'm also testing out.

Any rumours about an upcoming model change for 2022? Or can I be pretty certain the R1250R will not be changed as it is today for a while? If BMW would update the R1250R with a more retro-looking/round headlight, I would def wait for it. Front is the only part I kinda dislike a bit. Also seems the R1250R is somewhat less popular right? Strange, almost any review I've read is generally very positive, yet very few to be found let alone not that many people I know that have one. Most seem to be focussed on the S1000R when going for a naked, or a GS or RT for comfort.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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If BMW would update the R1250R with a more retro-looking/round headlight, I would def wait for it.
Don’t hold your breath - round is so ‘last millennium’.

The R is often overlooked as it doesn’t have the touring Tupperware of the GS (or even RS) and doesn’t have the Ewan and Charlie factor of the GS. Other nakeds seem more attractive as they have higher power/more top end and a sexy tail end.
What is often overlooked, though, is that in actuality most people ride on the road rather than the racetrack, so that zingy top end rarely gets a run. Grunty torque with a more than acceptable top end, great everyday ergos, decent pillion space and good load carrying capacity count for a lot. A top case on an S1000R would look dorky, but on my R1200R it looks at home, and stays on my bike 95% of the time.
 
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The rumble and vibration…is this something annoying? Mind I am used to a Harley :)
No! It's what you will miss if you go for a 4-cilinder :ROFLMAO:
 
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The R is often overlooked as it doesn’t have the touring Tupperware of the GS (or even RS) and doesn’t have the Ewan and Charlie factor of the GS.
:ROFLMAO: I could not agree more.
Going from an FJR to a R1200R really brought the fun of riding back to me.
Only problem is fixing an USB socket. Tupperware comes in handy for that purpose...
 
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