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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I'm pretty set on picking up a R1200R as my next bike. I've already got a boxer twin in the garage (R100GS) but am looking for something to fill the role of an everyday rider/commuter. My other bikes are a '00 VFR800 and a '09 Street Triple R, but I am selling both in an attempt to reduce down to two bikes. I'm in love with the looks of the camheads but am considering the liquid cooled bikes as well. I've done a fair amount of reading up on both bikes so far but have yet to ride either. The electronic wizardry (ABS/ASC/DTC) of the LC is appealing to me but I prefer the classic look of the camheads and their relative simplicity. Also I find the telelever intriguing.

I'm having a hard time locating any nice camheads near me. By any chance does anyone live near Seattle, WA and have a camhead they would be willing to show off?

Also, I would appreciate any information or opinions about the R1200R (camhead/LC) that might sway me one way or another.

Daniel
aka v4moto
 

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2017 R1200r LC sport.
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Welcome to the forum Daniel. (y) I can't offer any help other than I have the LC and think it's the best real world bike you can buy. I have 4 other bikes but the beemer is a better all round bike than any of my others. I've never owned the previous model so don't know how it would compare. Good luck.
 

· Retired In Beautiful Tennessee
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The '11-'14 DOHC Camhead R1200R can be thought of as the culmination of 20th century Boxers, while the '15-'18 Liquid Cooled R1200R and '19-present LC ShiftCam R1250R can be considered more 21st century machines. Both are wonderfully worthy motorbikes, but which do you value more, 'analog' tradition & simplicity or 'digital' performance & technology?

The Camhead is a wonderful engine, it motors on to this day in the RNineT (soon to be "R12") Heritage line. It has BMW telelever front suspension. The useful standard & optional tech includes ABS, ASC, ESA, OBC, TPMS & heated grips. It's a wonderfully grunty charismatic traditional evolved machine you could easily love forever. I love mine.

The LC is essentially in another league. While not hugely different in performance stats, it feels as if it RIPS. It has conventional front fork suspension. The useful standard & optional tech includes ABS Pro, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic ESA, Ride Modes Pro, Gear Shift Assist Pro, On Board Computer Pro, TPMS, LED Headlight, TFT Display, GPS Prep, Multi-controller ("whiz wheel"), Cruise Control, Hill Start Control, Heated Grips & Keyless Ride. It is a modern technological tour de force from one of the worlds premier motorcycle manufacturers and it all WORKS. I had a '18 R12GS Rallye that was perfect and I adored but it outgrew me in my advancing age.

I'm not advocating one or the other. I love both. It's kind of tradition vs. modern. No bad choices here. You absolutely need to ride both before you decide. A late Camhead can cost nearly the same as an early LC. Check out our forum threads & classifieds, dealers, CycleTrader, ADVrider flea market, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay and IBMWR Marketplace for used bikes.

HTH! Dave
 

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2020 R1250R Pollux Metallic Matte
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Daniel,

Welcome! I commented on your VFR post over on ADVR. Hope you find a suitable R in the near future. I love both of the bikes you're selling (especially that outstanding VFR) but the BMW just has a bit... extra. Good luck!

Snoop
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The '11-'14 DOHC Camhead R1200R can be thought of as the culmination of 20th century Boxers, while the '15-'18 Liquid Cooled R1200R and '19-present LC ShiftCam R1250R can be considered more 21st century machines. Both are wonderfully worthy motorbikes, but which do you value more, 'analog' tradition & simplicity or 'digital' performance & technology?

The Camhead is a wonderful engine, it motors on to this day in the RNineT (soon to be "R12") Heritage line. It has BMW telelever front suspension. The useful standard & optional tech includes ABS, ASC, ESA, OBC, TPMS & heated grips. It's a wonderfully grunty charismatic traditional evolved machine you could easily love forever. I love mine.

The LC is essentially in another league. While not hugely different in performance stats, it feels as if it RIPS. It has conventional front fork suspension. The useful standard & optional tech includes ABS Pro, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic ESA, Ride Modes Pro, Gear Shift Assist Pro, On Board Computer Pro, TPMS, LED Headlight, TFT Display, GPS Prep, Multi-controller ("whiz wheel"), Cruise Control, Hill Start Control, Heated Grips & Keyless Ride. It is a modern technological tour de force from one of the worlds premier motorcycle manufacturers and it all WORKS. I had a '18 R12GS Rallye that was perfect and I adored but it outgrew me in my advancing age.

I'm not advocating one or the other. I love both. It's kind of tradition vs. modern. No bad choices here. You absolutely need to ride both before you decide. A late Camhead can cost nearly the same as an early LC. Check out our forum threads & classifieds, dealers, CycleTrader, ADVrider flea market, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay and IBMWR Marketplace for used bikes.

HTH! Dave
Thanks for the info Dave, that's a great description of both of the bikes you wrote up. My heart tells me to go with the camhead so that's what I 'm leaning towards at the moment. Unfortunately there's literally only one camhead R I can find in my entire state compared to at least a dozen LCs. I will probably try to find some time to drive down to test ride the camhead. Finding an LC to test ride on the other hand will be easy.

Daniel,

Welcome! I commented on your VFR post over on ADVR. Hope you find a suitable R in the near future. I love both of the bikes you're selling (especially that outstanding VFR) but the BMW just has a bit... extra. Good luck!

Snoop
I appreciate the reply an ADVRider. The VFR has proven to be a difficult bike to sell given my asking price and how relatively cheap they can be had. I tried to sell it last summer with little success. I have a possible buyer in line now; hope it works out so I can jump on an R when the right one cones across!
 

· Retired In Beautiful Tennessee
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BMW only made Camhead Rs for four years and they were always niche bikes compared to GSs and RTs so finding one can take time and effort as ironically can selling one due to the limited number of buyers so keep looking and be willing to travel and pounce when you find the right one (diagram THAT sentence you cunning linguists ;)).

Best, Dave
 

· Mark – Super Moderator
2015 R1200R Exclusive
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planning on going over 100mph? get the shift cam model. not going over 100mph any nice R1200R will do.
The Telelever suspension is also a consideration. It’s an acquired taste that doesn’t suit everyone, although comes into its own on rough surfaces.
 

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I've had a variety of motorcycles since the '70s including a VFR800 and a telelever BMW. IMHO the R LC is the best of them all. Versatile, just quirky enough to be amusing, capable of going faster than you'd think, comfy for my aging body, and surprisingly easy to work on. Wouldn't trade it for any bike made.

As you shop you should be aware that red frames are the fastest.
 

· Retired In Beautiful Tennessee
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The Telelever suspension is also a consideration. It’s an acquired taste that doesn’t suit everyone, although comes into its own on rough surfaces.
The Tennessee back roads I like to ride are frequently rough & choppy, with blind curves & crests putting you right into sketchy stretches on short notice. The telelever LC GS and Camhead R just roll right through that crap. It's been so long since I've ridden a "forked" street bike that I can't really comment on the contrast.

Cheers, Dave
 
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In testing the Hexhead vs. the Camhead the Hexhead had always some HP more. That goes for the GS,RT and R. So I chose the Hexhead when I was in your situation and don't regret it. Altough I have never ridden a Camhead and my bike knows RPMs over 6000 only from hear say. I also prefer mechanical simplicity. The EURO4 Camhead is overral the better engine, but if you prefer a classic sport engine that comes to life at 5000 RPM the Hexhead is worth a try.
Rectangle Slope Font Line Parallel
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also, do the gold forks on the LC R always denote that the bike is ESA equipped? I had a conversation with Jeff at Ted Porter's Beemer Shop and he told me that the ESA equipped bikes cannot be converted to manually-adjustable aftermarket suspension. Might be worth looking for a silver forked LC if that's the case.
 

· Mark – Super Moderator
2015 R1200R Exclusive
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When did ABS-Pro become available on the R1200R? From what I read it's only on the '17+ bikes but is available as a retroactive upgrade for the '15-'16 bikes. Is this correct?
MY17 introduced ABS Pro to the Roadster, as you say.
It can be retrofitted to MY15+ provided the bike has Dynamic Ride Modes as the function relies on the latter’s inertial measurement unit.
 

· Mark – Super Moderator
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Also, do the gold forks on the LC R always denote that the bike is ESA equipped? I had a conversation with Jeff at Ted Porter's Beemer Shop and he told me that the ESA equipped bikes cannot be converted to manually-adjustable aftermarket suspension. Might be worth looking for a silver forked LC if that's the case.
I’d be surprised if you couldn’t physically change an LC from ESA to non-ESA but you’d be throwing out some expensive kit and the ECU/chassis computer/instrument computer would need to be reprogrammed accordingly to avoid errors (may not be feasible).
I’m not aware of any aftermarket forks for the LC Roadster (may possibly be cartridge inserts to fit the silver forks).
What do you have against ESA?
 

· Mark – Super Moderator
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Uhm, my 2016 R has ABS Pro from the factory.
The MY17 became available from August 2016, so, despite being purchased in 2016, if yours has ABS Pro, it's an MY17. You have the trapezoidal OBD diagnostic connector, right?
 
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