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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been riding my fathers' 2008 R1200R with thoughts of buying it. I love how smooth the engine when it gets revving but am put off by it's roughness at idle and on takeoff. By 2000 rpm it smooths out nicely but at 1200 I can visibly see the tank and mirrors shaking. On takeoff it doesn't feel as smooth and willing to go as my V-Strom or other newer bikes I've ridden like the Triumph T120 or Moto Guzzi V7. It feels like to do a smooth takeoff I have to rev it up to 2000 or higher and slip the clutch some. I've adjusted the valves and checked the synch with a Twinmax. Is some amount of roughness normal on a hexhead or can it be tuned for a very smooth takeoff? The MG V7 I've ridden I just raise the revs slightly and let out the clutch and it smoothly takes off. That is what I'm looking to see if the hexhead can do.

I did rev a R1250R and it did seem much smoother. I know that is a different beast entirely.

Here is a video showing the shake at idle.

 

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Smooth is a very subjective description. My 09 is smooth after riding a F650, but not so smooth after riding a K75. When stationary my bike vibrates a little, as in your video, so I would say nothing to worry about. It always surprises me after not riding my R for a while how 'smooth' it is with 2 huge pistons banging away in opposite directions.
 

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From your video it looks about the same as my '09 R, maybe even a bit smoother.

I'd say if the maintenance is up to date then worry less and enjoy the gentle massage more, it's a legendary big twin "feature". ;)

Cheers, Dave
 
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I've been riding my fathers' 2008 R1200R with thoughts of buying it. I love how smooth the engine when it gets revving but am put off by it's roughness at idle and on takeoff. By 2000 rpm it smooths out nicely but at 1200 I can visibly see the tank and mirrors shaking. On takeoff it doesn't feel as smooth and willing to go as my V-Strom or other newer bikes I've ridden like the Triumph T120 or Moto Guzzi V7. It feels like to do a smooth takeoff I have to rev it up to 2000 or higher and slip the clutch some. I've adjusted the valves and checked the synch with a Twinmax. Is some amount of roughness normal on a hexhead or can it be tuned for a very smooth takeoff? The MG V7 I've ridden I just raise the revs slightly and let out the clutch and it smoothly takes off. That is what I'm looking to see if the hexhead can do.

I did rev a R1250R and it did seem much smoother. I know that is a different beast entirely.

Here is a video showing the shake at idle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qS0DsGgMcU

Man, you're really suspicious of your dad's ride... first the valves, now the vibes. Seems like it was a pretty well maintained machine and the BMW techs just had it for it's regular service recently. It's gonna be ok :) BMWs are referred to as "agricultural" for a reason. Pretty unlikely your dad is passing along a lemon.
 

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Man, you're really suspicious of your dad's ride... first the valves, now the vibes. Seems like it was a pretty well maintained machine and the BMW techs just had it for it's regular service recently. It's gonna be ok :) BMWs are referred to as "agricultural" for a reason. Pretty unlikely your dad is passing along a lemon.
I don't think it won't be reliable, but I don't care for how it feels currently. If I can tune away the roughness I think I will like the bike. I love the luggage and power and seat comfort. I am at my limit for number of bikes so I have to decide if I really want this bike or should hold off for another brand/model of bike.
 

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In my experience, you might be able to tune out some of the hexhead vibes, but some of them are inherent in the design.

I find the camheads smoother and the LCs smoother still, that's progress for you.

You may have to weigh your dislike of vibrating idle vs. your cost to upgrade - cost saving alternative, rev more and idle less.

Cheers, Dave
 

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Keith that looks totally normal to me from your video. Later models (ie. the Camheads) are def smoother imo. After valve clearances have been set as close as possible to spec and then TBS, power balance should be as good as you can get it including at idle ... assuming the Idle Actuators are behaving. If you have a GS-911 (otherwise BMW) you can do a IA recalibration as a further check, otherwise other most possible contributions can be air leaks ... check rubber caps on throttle body ports for perishing and check all TB clamps are tight and all in good order. Assuming spark plugs are also all good, I like to ensure the stick coil plugs & orifice are spotless and have a light coating of dielectric grease to ensure no issues around deterioration of the spark pathway. Good luck! & enjoy the ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I stopped at a local dealer today and looked at a 2012 r1250r. On first startup it seemed to shake at idle the same as mine. My friend who is the sales manager there looked at my bike and thought it sounded normal.

Sent from my LGLS992 using Tapatalk
 

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I stopped at a local dealer today and looked at a 2012 r1250r. On first startup it seemed to shake at idle the same as mine. My friend who is the sales manager there looked at my bike and thought it sounded normal.

Sent from my LGLS992 using Tapatalk
To be more specific wrt to my previous comments, you should find the later models smoother off idle, ie. to ride. It鈥檚 so marginal for me, it would never sway me to give up my Hexhead ... they all have a balance shaft introduced with the Hexhead, which was the defining improvement. Enjoy!
 

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From the few Hexheads I鈥檝e ridden that seems completely normal, and what most would call 鈥榗haracter鈥.

If it smooths out at 2,000 rpm, I can鈥檛 see a problem for riding. The Boxers don鈥檛 have that heavy a flywheel that you can lug away from below those revs anyway. An R1200R-LC is likely to stall and lurch, with potential topple, if you try it when taking off (say when tootling along and taking off at a T intersection, not realising you鈥檙e in 2nd or 3rd gear).
 
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Coming from a 1000 Vstrom, my 2006 1200R is as smooth as a Peter Stringfellow chat-up line..... Yes, it shakes at start-up and the first few metres are a bit vibey but after that its so smooth that it took me a while to stop underestimating my speed and having to grab a handful of brake at corners!
 

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I've got the 2008 R1200R and experienced the same thing. Installed a booster plug and it improved my experience quite a bit.
 

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I don't know if you're still following this Keith but I'd be curious to know if you sorted out your Dad's bike or bought something else.
I'm in exactly the same position now that you were then. Except I went ahead and bought my '11 Classic assuming I would have the same experience with it as when I rode a friend's '09 a couple years ago. Buying it assumed I would sell one as I agreed to do per my wife - but am loathe to do right now.
I even went ahead and bought peg lowering, bar backs, Madstad screen, tank lock tank bag and crash bars for the bike. It rolls along lovely at constant speed or light acceleration. But under hard acceleration, it really doesn't act happily. I'm going to check valves in soon. It does start and idle nicely. If the valves are in spec., I may turn it over to my shop to see what the o.b.d. reader says.
 

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On another thread about roughness between 50 and 60 mph, the poster found a cracked throttle body to be the cause of his roughness.
I'm hoping to take the bike into the basement soon and roll up my sleeves to do the 12k mile maintenance. I'd love to find the same or similar cause to what I'm experiencing. I can afford to take the bike to a BMW dealer. I'm just wary that the tech will go through all the steps like he/she was taught in methodical and bored fashion and not look closely for something that may be the cause of my issue. I'm not a mechanic and don't have some of the BMW tools. What I do have is a serious interest in my ride and the time to go over it carefully.
Understanding that we're subjective with what we experience on any given day, knowing my cam head should be smoother - not rougher than the hexhead bike I rode that got me excited to own an R12, I'm determined to see if I can't improve things.
 
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I've been riding my fathers' 2008 R1200R with thoughts of buying it. I love how smooth the engine when it gets revving but am put off by it's roughness at idle and on takeoff. By 2000 rpm it smooths out nicely but at 1200 I can visibly see the tank and mirrors shaking. On takeoff it doesn't feel as smooth and willing to go as my V-Strom or other newer bikes I've ridden like the Triumph T120 or Moto Guzzi V7. It feels like to do a smooth takeoff I have to rev it up to 2000 or higher and slip the clutch some. I've adjusted the valves and checked the synch with a Twinmax. Is some amount of roughness normal on a hexhead or can it be tuned for a very smooth takeoff? The MG V7 I've ridden I just raise the revs slightly and let out the clutch and it smoothly takes off. That is what I'm looking to see if the hexhead can do.

I did rev a R1250R and it did seem much smoother. I know that is a different beast entirely.

Here is a video showing the shake at idle.

My 08 1200r is a bit rough at idle, but it's a 2 cyl. You might be able to smooth it out a bit by adjusting the valves and clearing the ECU. You would need a GS911 for the ECU.
 
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