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I'd probably choose an H-D key, as despite having owned over 70 bikes and ridden many more, I've never had a go on a Harley.
Get yourself to a Harley dealer and take a test ride, it's something everybody should experience. I hired one a few years ago during a holiday in the US and it was the worst bike I've ever been on. I brought one of the exhaust brackets home with me as I ground it off going round some bends. Fortunately the dealer didn't notice.
 

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Sorry, we may all like different things and it would be a sadder world if we all liked the same thing. But some things gain an almost universal recognition for being beautiful, and some things for being ugly, and the R1200ST is one of those. I don't even think it's one of those bikes that divide opinion, where it's beauty can be seen in its functionality. It's great that you have one and like it, each to his own, but throw a bunch of bike keys on the table and no one's picking picking up those keys first to go home.

Thank God, a spokesperson for humanity has arrived - what a relief! It's been hard navigating my buying decisions without knowing the universal opinion on their aesthetic value. Now if I'm on the fence, I can just ask you, the beauty representative for every man woman and child on planet earth. And let me say, it's really refreshing that you're just an idiot on a motorcycle forum and not say, a spiritual leader or respected artist or something dumb like that. I definitely want the mouthpiece of quality in design to be as ignorant as possible.


Out of curiosity, do you ask every person before announcing a final decision on a particular item, or is there an accepted sample size?
 

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Well it would seem I've upset more than one person on here today, and that was not my intention. Clearly some have thinner skins than others, so apologies if some have taken my views in a way other than was intended.

Some things can look a little stark in black and white, particularly on the internet, and with no emoji's on the quick reply box, sometimes the sentiment of a comment may get a little lost. But, I've always presumed that on forums, there is generally some banter and difference of opinion, and I'm never offended by someone have an opinion that is directly opposite to my own.

I can say though, that I do not post with the intention to cause personal offence, and whilst I may oppose an opinion, it is not aimed at anyone personally, and I do not post derogatory remarks about individuals. So, with apologies to anyone I may have inadvertently offended, I will bow out and leave you to discuss the merits of this under appreciated motorcycle in peace.
 

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ST

Was the 2005 R1200ST ahead of it's time?
Returning to the original theme of the thread,
not just superficial comments about appearance.
Have you ridden the ST? I have.
Spent any time using it on the highway?
Learned the merits and shortcomings of the machine by spending time riding it.
Talked to ST owners abut it's advantages?
IF SO, please constructively contribute to the thread and further the conversation in a positive way.
 

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Opinion must always be divided as we all like different things. The key analogy - now that depends on what the other bikes are, if all the others were HD keys what would you chose?
I would go for the Harley keys. Hopefully I'd get one with loud exhausts so I can ride up and down the main street of town blipping the throttle constantly
 

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Never one to follow protocol, and at risk of another superficial comment, a few years back I had an opportunity to ride a demo ST and loved it. After riding the ST my RR felt very quirky. To my way of thinking quirky looks / design enhances the attract. For its day ST struck a good balance ( in terms product-line fit) between the RR &RT.




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Some more stick in the eyes!

This rider loves his bike, owned it on 4 or so years now.
Has ridden the new RS for quiet some hours, likes it too. But then again this bike does all, he requires in a bike.

He is a BMW fan, apart from some old Nortons, he has owned BMW's from his early 20's....boy the BMW look was polarising back then, if he could get his hands on a good condition K1 he would. Wow and they are spaceships, I remember when they first hit the streets.
The colour schemes were WOW!....especially the red and yellow combo.
I actually like those, they have such road presence.

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Dave he got a custom seat cover for his, with red piping to match the paint work, it looks really sharp, the instrument dials has carbon detailing, and the brown header pipes have now been tidied up with some silver electroplating.

Frightening, looking at this photo all the bikes on the right have been binned in the last month!:surprise:


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Here is 'IT' on the move.

And yes I have ridden it, your sitting well in the cockpit, and protected from wind etc, I found it more comfortable to ride than the new RS, in that I'm not so stretched out.
I thought it was a little harder to turn into corners than my r1200r, but that might be just be riding it longer and getting you'st to it.
One thing for sure is you do have people sidling up and asking about the bike, it's just different.

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When you look at the ST in your last photo I can't see why people don't like it. I had my first proper ride out the other day, every bit as good as my Roadster.
 

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When you look at the ST in your last photo I can't see why people don't like it. I had my first proper ride out the other day, every bit as good as my Roadster.

I think at the time it was just a jarring new look on a street bike. People are quick to call new/different things "ugly". They just haven't had time to work their way into the visual lexicon yet. And I think a lot of people are just remembering how they felt about the R1200ST at the time and aren't looking at the bike with fresh eyes. If you released this bike now, there's no way it'd get the polarizing reaction it did then. Funky front ends are all over manufacturer line ups now. You don't hear anyone going batsh!t over the KTM 1290 front end (which btw, looks pretty darn similar).


 

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Other than the headlight those bikes are pretty awesome looking, shame they didn't stick with the ST, not that I don't like the RS but that ST seems to have similar ergos as our R's
 

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I'd probably choose an H-D key, as despite having owned over 70 bikes and ridden many more, I've never had a go on a Harley.
I wouldn't choose the H-D key. Until about two years ago, I had never ridden one. Then a friend of mine bought one. I test rode the one he ended up buying. It was a 2001 H-D 883 Sportster. One twenty minute ride was enough Harley for a lifetime. It is a very different bike from the boxers I have been riding for about 50 years now. One interesting fact: his 2001 H-D has about 6000 km on the clock. I passed that mileage in the first trip on my current R1200R.
 
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I've owed a R1200ST for 15 years now. I've serviced it from Day 1, being a mechanic by trade. I must say, the bike is a great overall performer and rides beautifully in all weather conditions. The performance in windy conditions is excellent. It's not intimidated by strong winds.

I dont understand the general perception that the bike is butt ugly. Every single person that has passed a compliment said that the bike is beautiful. Some went as far as saying the bike is sexy. So yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everybody is entitled to their own opinions.

If you personally think the bike is ugly, don't put it out there for everyone to agree with you.

I just have 1 single gripe, about bmw in particular; The price of spares is just absolutely ridiculous ! Absurd actually.
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I almost bought one just because it's... different. I like exclusive. But in the end I backed off. I am afraid the overwhelming public opinion might have something to do with that. So I opted for an R, just a bit less exclusive. You don't see many of those either around here (Netherlands).
 

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Was the 05 R1200ST ahead of its time/misunderstood? I think it was both.
I nearly bought one, but was still mad at BMW at the time. (my '94 RS ate the gearbox just after I spent hours replacing the clutch. (86,000 miles or so) The gearbox literally kerplunken about 500 miles after putting in the new clutch. I was "hella pissed off" as they say in Oakland, California.
I saw an ST someplace and even though I saw that headlight arrangement as an oddly designed thing, the bike was appealing, after all, there wasn't an RS available for the US market at the time, either.
But I resisted the urge and got an FJR1300, a bike I desperately wanted to like, but ended up kind of hating. It carried a LOT of weight up high, had that stupid 5 speed gearbox and a huge motor with lots of power, but no soul.

I rode it all over the place, from San Francisco to Vermont, Canada and Alaska, and Mexico etc. It was great when you were riding in a straight line, but aside from that, to heavy, too tall and had no perceptible spirit.
 

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. . . I saw an ST someplace and even though I saw that headlight arrangement as an oddly designed thing, the bike was appealing . . .
LOVED the looks of the ST but could NOT get past that headlight, sorry. I don't think it was ahead of its time, I just think sometimes Germans should outsource aesthetics to Italians or Brits.

. . . But I resisted the urge and got an FJR1300, a bike I desperately wanted to like, but ended up kind of hating. It carried a LOT of weight up high, had that stupid 5 speed gearbox and a huge motor with lots of power, but no soul... too heavy, too tall and had no perceptible spirit.
Sums up my experience with a FJR 1300 very well, great paper specs but tall, wide & top heavy like many otherwise fine Yamahas. Sort of the Anti-Roadster.

Cheers, Dave
 
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But I resisted the urge and got an FJR1300, a bike I desperately wanted to like, but ended up kind of hating. It carried a LOT of weight up high, had that stupid 5 speed gearbox and a huge motor with lots of power, but no soul.
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