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A quick introduction for this first post on i-bmw.com:
58 years old (soon....) and for that birthday, I have decided to pass my motorbike license and buy a (real) bike. I currently drive a 125 cc Varadero Honda as I have no license for bigger bikes.

The future toy will be a roadster, and I hesitate between two extremely different:
- a BMW R1200R (... Reason to be here!)
- a HD Sportster 1200 [should I confess that here ? ;-) ]

Obviously one solution would be to buy both.
But more seriously I would be delighted to get your comments on that.
Being a beginner I hesitate to start with the wide flat Boxer, even if my plan is to use it on small roads in the countryside (and may be in the Alps at some stage).

Thanks in advance. :)
 

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Welcome to R1200R Forum

WELCOME to the R1200R Roadster website Opale59. Glad you found us. This is NOT i-bmw.com. Those chumps are all about K-bikes. Real men with panache ride TWINS. FYI, you may be surprised at some of the confessions here. Relax and feel at ease. I had a Harley-Davidson Roadster. Good low end torque and a low seat. I prefer the Sportster Sport model now. Our R1200R is also a low center of gravity machine. It handles like a gyroscope. It stops with only two fingers like nobody's business. It converts to a real touring machine in minutes, literally. Hard cases, windscreen, tank bag or top case, 1 key does it all.
You should ride them both to decide. IMO, the Roadster is a sport-touring machine, the H-D is a cruiser machine. After you test ride the Roadster, you won't have any doubts about it's abilities. Let us know what you decide to buy. I would be curious to know.
 

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Bonjour et bienvenue (good to have a wife who speaks French) Opale59

Once again, I agree with Mr.Clem,
Although the only HD I would consider is the V-Rod Muscle, I'll go out and test ride both.
I happened to buy my bike from a BMW HD dealer, most of the guys I ride with are on HDs, I say this so you know I don't have anything against them.

Some places rent bikes here in the States, that is a great way for you to test them for longer then 2 blocks around before pulling the trigger.

Go out, test them both and please come back with your reviews.




And pictures of your new R1200R
 

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Got to chime in here. Engine wise, both bikes are iconic; however, everything else is qualitatively vastly different. Suspension, brakes, shaft drive, build quality, technological innovation (ABS, ASC, ESA, TPMS, OBC, to name a few). Buy a Harley if you want to make noise, buy a BMW if you want to make miles. My feeling riding a Harley is that its an interesting engine sort of bolted to the rest which feels like they built it with a "good enough" attitude. On the R1200R, you get the impression that every part contributes to the experience in some subtle yet significant way. Hardley a day goes buy riding mine that I don't find myself saying something positive about what is an almost perfect, purpose built machine and, like was said above, can do so many things so well with literally the turn of a single key and a couple minutes before you ride. Obvioulsy biased but, just saying, I'd have the Harley if it were one of my bikes, not if it was my only bike, no contest.
 

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Bon Jour, Opale59,

just a bit of an anecdote...
One of the first rides I went on--and I started serious riding at age 58 also-- was with a group of friends in "Texas Hill Country," an area similar in terrain to central Britanny (without the sea), like the "yellow" roads on the Michelins. We were riding BMWs and one friend was on a Sportster 1200. He could neither keep up, nor was he at all anything approaching comfortable on the rides. He claimed that the vibrations coming through the bike were unbearable anywhere above 100kmh. At the end of the ride he said enough! and went out, sold the sportster and bought a Honda ST1300, which offered a much improved ride. Now he claims that the Honda is too hot and too heavy and doesn't handle as well as our BMWs do because in the sweepers and twisties the Honda is resistant to flicking.

He will keep the Honda, but is interested in buying my hand-me-down R1150R.
I am replacing my 1150 with a R1200R in about a week.
The R1200R is far taller than the HD, but it is a much more versatile performer in various situations.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bon Jour, Opale59,

just a bit of an anecdote...
One of the first rides I went on--and I started serious riding at age 58 also-- was with a group of friends in "Texas Hill Country," an area similar in terrain to central Britanny


The R1200R is far taller than the HD, but it is a much more versatile performer in various situations.

John
Hi John,
Thanks for your comment.
So 58 is reasonnable to start ! Good...but prior to riding, let me get this bloody license (Exam next week: I hate the low speed driving test between cones and pillars).
I agree with your statement in respect of the height of the BMW. Is it not an additional issue for a beginner (I am 1.77 m tall)?
 

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Agree with all if the above. I'm 62 and I have ridden H-D rentals in the California mountains and down PH1. Great for going slow and straight. Can't compete with the BMW roadster on any level or situation. although the h-d is lower to the ground, the Beemer is much easier to ride. it is lighter, more flickable, more responsive, more forgiving of mistakes, mor versatile, easier to maneuver in tight spaces. There is one area where the H-d beats the Beemer hands down-it is louder. As for height issues, test ride one. If it's too tall for comfort, the suspension can be lowered and there are lower seats available.
 

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Come one guys, don't be so bias, we all agree that harley has way better marketing department the Beemer, and an outstanding painting team.

 

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Can't argue with Hoshiko there. H-D certainly has better paint choices than BMW (except the r1200r Classic paint scheme, of course).
 

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I used to ride a friend's sportster around every now and then.. fun bike.. first 'bigger bike' I ever rode (before then I had only been on a Virago 250cc) ... was fun.. I enjoyed it a lot, and had fun riding it.. but it couldn't compare with the big grin on my face after test riding an R1200R ... I think I am still grinning a few weeks later ... but as everybody else said on here.. try them out.. if you already did.. what is it you like about the sportster and what is it you like about the R12?

And I am originally from Austria.. for me cruiser style bikes were very intriguing as I hadn't seem them that much living in Vienna... that's why my first bike was a cruiser style bike (Honda Shadow 600), but for me I found it to be a fun bike for just riding around for no reason..not really so much for doing longer trips or riding anything more than around town or short out of town trips.
 

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And I am originally from Austria.. for me cruiser style bikes were very intriguing as I hadn't seem them that much living in Vienna... that's why my first bike was a cruiser style bike (Honda Shadow 600), but for me I found it to be a fun bike for just riding around for no reason..not really so much for doing longer trips or riding anything more than around town or short out of town trips.
Austrians like choppa

Ride safe and
 

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Just joined the forum yesterday and this is the first I've read on it...have to comment. I'm 63 and have owned a 1200 Sportster and currently own an '08 R1200R. I did have fun on that Sportster but it in no way compares to the fun I'm having on the R12. It's a blast to drive, so responsive to handling, accelerating and stopping. I use one finger to stop, not recommended but I do it. I ride moderate to slightly aggressive and love that bike. Before this, I had an '05 R1200RT, loved it too but didn't tour and my wife no longer rides so the R1200R fits my needs perfectly. I've owned over 50 bikes in my days and this one is tops! Oh, I also have a spare low-seat for it as I'm 6'2" and had to change it out. Test ride them both but I'd be very surprised if the HD won out.
 

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Hi

I had a test ride on a Harley Davidson XR1200 last month just to see if I could be tempted. The engine was excellent but the rest of the bike wasn't. The BMW is a better all round bike, comfy for rider and passenger, loads of luggage, better fuel economy and to me better looks.

If it's not too late take as many test rides as possible, on these bike and others. Enjoy them all and keep an open mind.
 

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In summary:

HD :hellno:

R1200R :10:

One is for bike night posing and trailer jewelry (though you gotta respect the HD riders who suffer with it on long rides). the other is for riding.

Bob
 

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This is a good question with a counterintuitive answer. I had a BMW G650 gs before my 1200. In every way, my 1200 is an *easier bike to ride. It's balanced better, less top heavy, smoother, safer and is less flabby at highway speeds etc. Bigger does not always mean more advanced or difficult.
 

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(though you gotta respect the HD riders who suffer with it on long rides).
3 of my Saturday ride friends have V-Rods, and one of them rides with his wife on that 2 inch pillion seat, we go for 200+ miles in one shot. :dizzy:

Some how, not V-Rod Harley riders, don't like the V-Rod because it's not the "original' but the funniest thing is that this 3 dudes make fun of me ridding beemer because it's not a Harley.

Go figure.

 

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Come one guys, don't be so bias, we all agree that harley has way better marketing department the Beemer, and an outstanding painting team.

Who cares? Paint can be changed a lot easier and cheaper than lack luster final drive, clunky gearboxs, pitiful handling, a played out underpowered/under-engineered/dinosaur motor (yea I said it), junk brakes, and dated styling. As far as I'm concerned you are all being too nice to make it seem like you're not bias or a dickhead. To me, it's not about that. They just don't build a quality bike and they slap a huge price tag on it because they know people will buy it to have a Harley. So they can hold hands with all the other Harley guys and talk about who's bike is louder and who their favorite Harley mechanic. They haven't made a decent bike since the Harley XA (google it). One of my client's even told me after having a Goldwing previously, his new Harley whatever they call their touring bike isn't half the bike the Goldwing was. But he does like the way it looks, just doesn't actually care for riding it. People talk about the power, it's all in the bottom and it's too get that oversized paper weight moving! Do you want a MOTORCYCLE or a harley? IMO you are better off with Kymco than a Harley. END RANT

edit: Forgot to address the marketing, how about they apply that budget to creating an engine that doesn't cook the rear cylinder after idling for ten minutes. btw I've ridden about every kind of Harley available including the V-Rod. I couldn't wait to get off any of them.
 

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All true but I still think the engine on the XR1200 was good. Maybe it's the exception to an otherwise poor line up. I know some HD owners don't consider it a proper Harley - probably because it's nearly a good bike.
 
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