Our BMW R1200RT now has a name. Naming motorcycles is not as unusual as you think. For example, the R1200RT’s predecessor, our K1200LTE was “The Magic Carpet”. Since the motorcycle is German in origin the name of our R1200RT is “Die Eule” (pronounced dee oila) which in English is “The Owl”. How did it come to be named Die Eule? Well to understand how it got its name just take a look at the picture below.
Posts Tagged With: BMW Motorrad
Okay we’ve owned the new BMW R1200RT for a couple of months now. It’s still an awesome motorcycle. It also came with the whole list of options. I had always looked at and priced motorcycles of interest. I mean who among us hasn’t done that? The R1200RT has quite a list of options and like buying a car, buying a package of options is often the best way to go, price-wise. The motorcycle has a few options that I always figured that if I were to purchase the motorcycle that I’d “opt out” of a few of the options. But now that I’ve been riding it a while some of them are really nice, a few are even things that I’d probably get again. So this post is about some of the more major and innovative options.
- Dynamic ESA electronic suspension adjustment: This is one that I had always figured that I could do without. Boy was I wrong! I figured that I would just continue to adjust the suspension just like I had been doing (and the way the R1200RT does without this option) and just turn the shock pre-load adjuster. With ESA I just scroll through the menu and select the suspension setting for that ride. It’s simple to do. I select one helmet if it’s just me, two helmets if we’re riding 2 up or one helmet with luggage if riding one or 2 up with the side cases loaded. While the suspension adjusts you can actually feel the motorcycle move slightly underneath you. Then additionally you get to pick one of 3 setting of soft (comfortable damping), normal (normal damping) and hard (sporty performance-oriented damping). It’s so easy to do and no more cranking an adjuster in or out. And it really does make a difference in the ride and performance of the motorcycle.
- Ride Mode Pro: This sets the Automatic Stability Control and throttle to one of 3 modes; Rain, Road or Dynamic (with the Pro option). The easiest way to describe it is from the throttle response section on the modes in the Rider’s Manual.
- In rain the throttle response is restrained and ASC intervenes early to prevent rear wheel slipping on wet roads.
- In road the throttle response in and stability is what you would normally expect.
- All I can say about Dynamic is WOW! It’s a sports performance mode. The throttle response is in no way restrained and is even quicker than normal mode. The ASC would intervene at the latest time and power transfer to the rear wheel is QUICK. The motorcycle was in dynamic mode when I picked it up and it flat-out took off. I pulled to the side of the road and figured out how to put it in normal mode.
- Gearshift Assistant Pro: This is nice to have but I’m not so sure I’d pay to get it added. What Gearshift Assistant Pro does is allow you to shift gears both up and down without using the clutch. That’s right, just shift. It’s made for performance oriented riding. I’ve used it when pulling out onto a highway from a stop. It works and it does shift quick. To shift gears up, just keep the throttle constant and shift. The trick is to relieve any pressure on the shifter between gear changes. To shift down, just be below the maximum RPM for that gear or let the throttle close a bit and shift down, again taking any pressure off the shifter between changes. It’s fun to play with but definitely not a “must have”
- Hill Start Control is another that is not a “must have” to me. I’ve used it to see how it works. It’s designed to do just what it says, to start on a hill. Or more precisely to start a fully loaded motorcycle from a stop on a hill. While stopped you shift to neutral, squeeze the front brake lever quickly and firmly and it will set the rear brake. The motorcycle will not roll. To release it, just squeezed the front brake lever again or when driving off, just use a little more throttle than normal. It does work. I’ve found that I’ll use it when Donna is getting on or off the motorcycle or when fumbling for the garage door opener in the left glove compartment. While it’s convenient to have I wouldn’t miss it.
The list goes on but those are some of the major options or the newer ones available. I’ll go over some of the others in future posts. Now I just wish it would warm up a bit for a pleasurable ride. Here in the south we can often ride year round but you don’t really want to do that when you wake up and it’s 7º F.
Well here it is the evening of the last night of the year. Tomorrow starts a whole new year. We rode over 8,000 miles last year on two different motorcycles. We started 2014 riding our 2002 BMW K1200LT and then in October we bought a 2014 BMW R1200RT. I put together a little video of our year in motorcycling. Maybe next year we’ll remember to take more pictures but maybe we were having too much fun! “At least I’m enjoying the ride!”
We hope you enjoy riding in 2015!
Here it is a week before Christmas and Donna and I would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas! This year we are continuing a tradition we started a few years ago with a personal motorcycle related Christmas card. Welcome to our 2014 edition. Whichever holiday you celebrate this season we hope that you find yourself surrounded by family and friends while good memories are created. We hope Santa stops by to see you too. For some of us he came a little early this year!
Ever since Donna has been riding with me she has had a back rest or a top case to lean against for back support. For those who don’t know what a “top case” is, it’s what BMW calls a trunk. Harley Davidson calls their version a King Tour Pack or a Tour Pack (depending on the model). On our 2006 Suzuki C50T she had a nice big, swiveled back rest that she liked. On the Magic Carpet, our K1200LTE, she had that big top case with a nice, heated back rest. You know I don’t really blame her. I’d want the security of a back rest too. The R1200RT has nothing back there except a small luggage rack. BMW will sell you your choice of a few top cases that mount quite effortlessly on that luggage rack. We opted for the new style 49 liter top case that BMW began using for the 2013 model year. It took the purchasing dealer 4 weeks and a day to get it delivered and they didn’t even key it right to match the motorcycle (even though they were paid to do so). It took a trip to a second and local dealer to get the lock re-keyed in a matter of minutes.
Since the top case got here a week and half ago and a week since its properly being keyed it’s been much colder than normal here, raining here or Donna had to work. Donna really wanted the top case and its back rest to ride back there. She did ride up from Daytona Beach, FL and went on an afternoon ride without the top case but really wasn’t comfortable. Yesterday it was forecast to be about 65° (F) and sunny so we went for a ride to try out the new top case. Well the temperature even got up to 70° which made for an even better day of riding. Donna enjoyed having the back rest on the top case to lean back into. She wasn’t grabbing my belt anymore. I could see in the mirrors that she was back to resting her hands on her thighs as she rode back there. To say she was much more comfortable and at ease is an understatement. But now she says the foot-pegs feel “squishy”. But then again she did have those nice big floorboards on the Magic Carpet. Even the foot-pegs on the Magic Carpet were wide and flat.
Well, in the previous post I vented about the differences in motorcycle dealers and the trouble in not only getting my top case delivered but the key being stuck in the lock.
Earlier today, after I installed the lock cylinder and after BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta’s exemplary customer service I posted a picture on Twitter of the top case along with the text “Finally right! But with NO help from BMW of Daytona Beach but LOTS from BMW of Atlanta!” About 2 hours later I got a call from a representative from BMW Motorcycles USA about my social media posting. He explained that an employee whose job is to search social media sent the post to him. First he asked if there was a problem. Then he asked what happened and what each dealer told me or did. Then he wanted to know what could be done to resolve the situation if it had not already been resolved. It was a very friendly friendly and cordial phone call. I was actually surprised and impressed by the call. He even wanted to know if my R1200RT was a buy back motorcycle or involved in the recall. He admitted to not having yet read all the information about the purchase but wanted to reach out to see what happened and what could be done.
I was thoroughly impressed. BMW Motorcycles USA initiated customer contact about an issue or question they spotted on Twitter. Some would look down on it as “big brother” watching us, but I see it as a company being concerned about a customer. One thing he said really made sense, “We want you to know our customer service does not end with the sale, it’s actually where it begins.”
I just hope they don’t call again about this post!
If you’re a reader here you know that last month while in Florida we purchased our 2014 BMW R1200RT. We purchased it at BMW Motorcycles of Daytona. When we purchased it, the BMW Navigator V GPS was a free incentive for the purchase of the 2014 RT and we also purchased the BMW 49 liter top case (trunk) for the motorcycle and paid the extra to have the top case keyed to the motorcycle. The dealership did not have the top case in stock and had to order it. While still at the dealership someone from the parts department came up and told me that it would ship to them on October 21. They also retained one of the motorcycle’s keys so key the lock to be the same as the motorcycle.
Now here’s some of the differences in dealers. They also didn’t have the GPS but said their shop in Orlando did and they would have it sent over or picked up either the next day or the following day while we were still in town. Well the GPS never showed up at the Daytona dealer. After a few calls to our salesman I found out five days later that the GPS had already “been spoken for” and they’d have to order it and send it to me. The salesman or the dealership didn’t call me to tell me, I had called them nearly a week later. A second call about the GPS and now the top case was made. The GPS had shown up that day and was sent “next day” but the top case was expected “any day now”. The GPS arrived on 10/31/14, (we bought the motorcycle on 10/16/14) the next day. Out of curiosity, I checked the UPS tracking number and found it didn’t ship “next day” on the 30th but had actually shipped UPS ground on the 29th. I know it’s a popular item. Just say it might take about 10 days to get if you don’t have it. Oh and about that top case? “Maybe on Monday.” is the answer I got.
I waited a few more days to call back on the top case. On 11/05/04 my salesman and I spoke and I asked if it had actually been ordered. He said he’d check on that and “get back” with me. Five days later on 11/10/14 I called him again as he had not gotten back with me. He longer worked there. The woman on the phone asked if she could help. She remembered the sale and said either she or someone else would call me back about it. She did explain that it could be that same day (it was late in the afternoon) but would probably be the next day but shouldn’t be any later than the 12th. First thing in the morning the next day she called and said the top case was there but they needed the key. She found them in the former salesman’s desk after I told her he had told me they were there. Then on 11/14/14 the top case arrived! The key was in the lock. The key would lock and unlock the top case. But the key would not come out of the lock! No matter what I did the key would not come out. Was I supposed to ride around with a spare ingnition key in the lock? What if someone could get it out? I called the dealership. The woman who had found the case put me on hold to check what to do. Here’s the message she relayed to me, “They said to get a local dealer to fix it because it would be quicker than sending it back to them. He says it’s probably a bad lock.” That was their solution. I had paid them for the lock and paid them to key the same as the ignition key. It seems I was a valued customer to BMW Motorcycles of Daytona right up until the minute I rode off their lot.
Using a few forums and the internet I was able to get the lock cylinder out. You just have to know how and have the right tools along with access to the top case. What I found was amazing. There are supposed to be 6 tumblers in the lock. My lock had 3 tumblers installed and the other spots were vacant. I needed the proper remaining tumblers to complete the job. BMW does sell a lock set with the cylinder and an assortment of tumblers.
On Tuesday the 18th of November I went to my local dealer, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta with the intent to buy a whole new lock kit if I had to. I now knew how to set the lock and re-install the cylinder. “We’ll take care of this for you.” is what I was told. “These are the only tumblers you have?” I was told “Yeah, you can do it with three but you’re really not supposed to.” He got the tumbler kit out and then told me, “Here’s why you couldn’t get the key out, this tumbler is the wrong number. It did let you insert, lock and unlock but then wouldn’t release the key.” So in about 15 minutes or less, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta took care of the lock. Oh and the cost? There wasn’t any. And yes I even told them I had made the purchase at another dealer. They’re a dealer who really understands what customer service is.
Can you tell the difference in the dealers?
Did BMW of Daytona offer to call Atlanta to see if they could take care of it for free or bill them if there was a cost? No they sure didn’t. Have they called to see it the lock issue was somehow resolved? No they sure didn’t. As it stands again would I never go into or patronize BMW of Daytona again? No I sure wouldn’t.
But I’d spend the extra money to buy a part or supply from BMW of Atlanta (instead of online) because of the personal service they supply. They realize you’re a customer long after the sale and want to keep you as a customer. The owners, who are a husband and wife team are actively involved in their business. I took the R1200RT to them for its break-in service. But I’m regretting more and more not purchasing the motorcycle from them.
No matter what motorcycle you purchase, research the dealer as much, if not more than the motorcycle.
As someone on BMWLT.com posted; the problem was fixed by a real dealer.
I took the R1200RT out for a short 126 mile ride this morning. One of the things I wanted to do was familiarize myself with the BMW Navigator V GPS system using a route I already had saved in Garmin’s BaseCamp software. There are some differences in the way the new Navigator V and the older Garmin Zumo 220 load routes and where they keep them. I left the new Navigator V GPS set so that it would give me prompts and directions through the motorcycle’s on-board audio system through the fairing speakers.
We’re still waiting for our top case to be delivered so this was going to be a solo ride. Donna prefers the security of the top case and its backrest behind her plus she had to work today.
I took a short and fun route that we’ve ridden a number of times and written about here. I have the route saved in BaseCamp as “Hillbilly Drive“. I take GA HWY 53 across to Dawsonville where I take a nice local road back out to GA HWY 183 going towards Amicalola Falls State Park. Before getting to the park I take GA HWY 136 over Burnt Mountain and through its curves before getting to Talking Rock, GA and heading for home.
It was a cool but gorgeous day to ride! It started out right at 50º (F) and dropped to 48 going over the mountain before rising again to the mid 50’s. I was comfortable with the liner in my jacket, a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of riding pants. I even wore unlined plain leather gloves but cheated and used the heated grips. I had the SiriusXM radio tuned to the Grateful Dead station and my route in the GPS. Whenever I had an upcoming turn, the audio system automatically muted and played the instructions from the GPS. It was easier to hear the GPS than it was the music. The R1200RT fell right into the curves! I’ll admit that this was always a fun road on the K1200LT but the boxer twin R1200RT increases the fun factor exponentially. I stopped for a short break at the scenic overlook. There’s still just a little bit of color in the trees too. But after last weekend’s winter weather there was already some sand and gravel spread on a few parts of Highway 136. The boxer goes too! There were some parts of the route that I’m used to downshifting from 5th to 4th on the K1200LT to get better power. But with the R1200RT’s boxer twin you just open the throttle and it goes.
I even tried out BMW’s Hill Start Assist today just to see what it’s all about. It’s like using a parking brake that automatically releases when you give the bike some throttle to start moving again. When pulling out onto the main highway up there, GA HWY 515, I finally tried out another option, BMW’s Shift Assistant Pro. Wow what an option! Shift Assistant Pro allows upshifts and downshifts without the use of the clutch. After pulling onto the highway and rolling I shifted into 3rd through 6th gears by revving and shifting and NOT using the clutch. I remember reading somewhere that Shift Assistant Pro is better suited to a more performance oriented ride.
I did miss having Donna back there though. I hope that top case gets here soon.
The dust is settling after trading in the Magic Carpet, our 2002 BMW K1200LTE, and buying the 2014 BMW R1200RT.
I was looking at a few things and then got curious. I know, that can be very dangerous. You see, BMW Motorcycles USA offers a 100,000 mile award to those who can document through a dealer that you have ridden 100,000 miles on BMW Motorcycles. The award is a nice medallion and a certificate. Remember, this is not just motorcycles but BMW Motorcycles. So I got curious about the mileages. We bought our K1200LTE used and we rode 44,631 miles on it since we purchased it. We’ve ridden our R1200RT 858 miles since purchasing it just under 3 weeks ago. That’s a total of 45,489 miles (so far) on BMW Motorcycles. I have only 54,511 miles to go (as of today). I think I can do it.
Okay, I can’t keep the lid on it any longer. Let us introduce you to our new 2014 BMW R1200RT!
When we arrived in Daytona Beach last week, our K1200LT suffered a failed outer bearing on the final drive of the motorcycle. BMW Motorcycles of Daytona was going to get us back on the road pretty quickly though. You can read the entry about the final drive here instead of me going into it again.
We were at the dealer when we started to “What if…” ourselves. Many of you know what I mean. What if this happens or what if that happens? The K1200LT had 85, 391 miles on her when we retired her. Yes there were some maintenance items coming up due but that’s why it’s maintenance and hopefully not repair. I had just changed the oil before our trip to Florida.
We were looking at an ebony black 2015 K1600GTL and what is now our quartz metallic blue 2014 R1200RT. To be honest, the more we looked, I couldn’t justify the extra money of the K1600. Besides the R1200RT is the boxer style engine. I really didn’t like the R1200RT in the black or the matte gray they had. But that’s just my choice. The R1200RT was pretty much outfitted with everything the K1600GTL had too! It has the Bluetooth audio and communications system, the heated seats and grips, cruise control, satellite radio, the ESA suspension system and so much more. Did I say it’s got a boxer style motor? As an incentive from BMW the purchase of the 2014 R1200RT came with the BMW Nav V GPS system. BMW of Daytona was out of the GPS so they needed to get it from their sister dealer in Orlando. It hadn’t arrived by the time we headed for home so they need to ship it this week. We went ahead and ordered the 49 liter top case, which they also didn’t have and will be shipped. It was a tougher decision to do this than we thought but we’re thinking it was a good one.
We spent about half a day riding it around Daytona Beach during Biketoberfest while visiting my Dad. And then on Sunday we rode it home. The top case wasn’t in yet and this was the first time Donna would really be riding without a back rest or top case behind her for support. Luckily, we had done like we had in the past and made the trip home in 2 days after a stop overnight in Tifton, GA. It was really a good idea this time. Donna really wasn’t fond of not having the top case yet. And for me, after having the custom seat on the K1200LT the BMW seat on the R1200RT felt like sitting on a cinder block after a few hours. I’m sure I’ll adjust to the seat. The R1200RT gets tossed around by trucks more being that it’s more than 250 pounds lighter than the K1200LT was. We will miss the Magic Carpet, she served us well.
In the coming weeks as we ride the R1200RT I’ll be posting more articles about it. She hasn’t been named yet but that will come soon.