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RS Ownership – a summary

Discussion in 'BMW R1200RS Reviews' started by Spiky, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Spiky

    Spiky Well-Known Member

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    After riding 14,000km in 10 months – not as far as many of you, I know – it’s time to review the ownership prospect of the RS. Basically, if you’re thinking of buying one and you’re reading this, then these are the things that I think you should know:

    1. Power. Don’t worry about it, it’s got plenty. If you’re the type who’s got to win the willy-waving argument in the pub, 125bhp doesn’t sound like much. In reality however, if you can’t keep up with ‘hyper’ sports bikes whilst on an RS, it’s you that’s the problem. It’s proper quick.

    2. Handling. If you’ve ridden one, you can skip this bit. If you’ve not, you really need to get a ride organised. It still ranks as the best handling bike I’ve ridden – a beautifully balanced package.

    3. Brakes. See ‘handling’.

    4. Equipment. If you didn’t buy the full-fruit version with all the electrikkery, you missed out. It’s worth the money, believe me. I’m struggling to think of anything in the options list that I failed to find incredibly useful. Even the KFI* grows on you after a while.

    5. Luggage. Excellent quality, worth the money, make sure that you get the liners. I found myself a tad disappointed that where the topbox and panniers engage with the bike, they actually scratch it. How the hell did that ever get past quality control? That aside, it’s very good indeed.

    6. Quality. Toughen up princess, because this is one expensive bike. Your annual tax return will determine whether it represents good value for money or not, but if you can afford it, you probably won’t regret it. It is incredibly well put-together, and the reliability (in my experience) is faultless.

    7. Comfort. Truth be told, I have a bony arse. Generally, I find any bike to be a bit uncomfortable after a while, and I found the RS no exception. The simple addition of an Airhawk seat pad (ironically the Airhawk RS model, although that is pure coincidence), makes the bike as comfortable as anything I’ve ever ridden. The bars are perfect, as are the ergonomics. Pillions appear to be slightly more cossetted than the rider, and a 3,000km+ two-up week away raised no complaints at all.

    8. Buffeting. In reality, there is none. Move on with your life.


    And in the interest of balance, here’s the things that I really don’t like at all:


    1. The dealership network. I like the guy who sold it to me. He’s a mate, and I feel as if I got a pretty good deal, so we both walked away from the transaction happy. I call him, he answers the phone, and he’s very good at what he does. After that though, the ownership experience is a steep and treacherous downhill slope. Communication is poor, the quality of the aftersales service is laughable, and the cost of it is eye-wateringly and extortionately expensive. I am yet to bump into one single owner from any corner of Australia who has a good word for the BMW after-sales experience. Would it stop me buying another BMW? Yes, it probably would. I can only speak from personal experience of course, but this is my second new BMW, and I’ve dealt with two different dealerships. I’ll likely be trying something else for my next marque.

    2. Service indicator on the dashboard. I detest this enough to never buy another bike with the same feature. Not only is the aftersales service so poor that you are genuinely afraid to use it, but every time you start the damn engine, it reminds you that you haven’t recently thrown $500 at your dealer to let them attempt to do something that cost you $60 to do properly yourself.

    3. Spare parts. You see that little daytime-running light down the front of your lovely bike? Well, it doesn’t take much to break it. If it gets a direct hit from something – anything - it’s going to smash. The cost of replacement is nine hundred fucking Australian dollars. Let me repeat that for you: nine hundred fucking Australian dollars. Plus fitting, which is probably going to take a couple of hours at the glacial pace that BMW technicians move. Or, of course, you could order it from Germany and fit it yourself for less than half of that price, but who’s taking the piss here?

    4. Keys. You get one. Yes, one. On a brand-new motorcycle, which is expensive enough already. Ring your local dealer and ask them how much a spare key costs. Go on, I dare you. Seriously, BMW can get fucked.

    So, in summary then, here’s what you do:

    1. Buy a second-hand RS with all the toys already on it, remembering of course that the grey bikes are faster. Make sure that you get the panniers, and the liners if you can (although I’m told you can pick up good non-BMW liners on eBay).

    2. Get a small piece of black electrical tape and put it over the service indicator on the dash that reminds you to take it to the local dealership.

    3. Download the service manual from the interwebz, and do all your own servicing.

    4. Start saving for a spare key.

    5. Oh, and get rid of that ugly fucking exhaust. The SC Project is pretty good, and a decent price as well.

    I'd offer to sell you mine, but I’ve just sold it. I’ll spend a year hiking and cycling, then see what takes my fancy.


    *KFI: Keyless Fucking Ignition
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    McChoc, Falcon, bigwillyhere and 11 others like this.
  2. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Brilliant, Spiky. Sad to hear that you sold the RS. Most of your assessment is spot on in my book also.
     
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  3. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    And it was such a good read until this point:)

    Your first and last reviews ( go search for the post called The Bottom for latecomers) reveal a talent for writing that is completely at odds with your colour choice. If this is Goodbye - I wish you luck
    'You funny guy Spiky, I kill you last'
     
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  4. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    Like the review Spiky, I will reserve judgement on the after sales, haven't had the annual service yet! Not sure I get what you mean about panniers scratching the bike, mine is fine. Good luck with your future ventures and merry Christmas!
     
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  5. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Huh. 'nuf said.

    Well summarized. ...and I got the second key/transmitter for my KFI.

    Do some hiking and cycling for the rest of us.
    If I read between the lines, you might decide that the overemphasis on adventure and naked bikes in the industry leaves you with little new, and you will follow your own advice and pick up the used 2017 RS this time next year - though, there is a lot of good (used) technology out there to be sampled. As we all know, motorcycling can be just about free, if we don't mind riding and selling used bikes.
     
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  6. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    I was also wondering about that statement.
    My bags do not touch any of the painted bodywork.
    I can see minor scuffs on the bag mounts and there's no way to avoid that..
     
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  7. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    Did the dealer include it as part of the deal or did you purchase it?
     
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  8. Orson

    Orson Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to write up a thorough review.

    I agree that, like my old 1984 Yamaha FJ 1100, the RS does everything related to sport touring in an effortless manner. No problems related to "buffeting".

    After 9,500 miles, other than a couple knotty gear shifts between second and third, the bike hasn't needed anything other than oil and tire changes.

    As a Guzzi owner, I also agree that the exhaust note is the worst bit. I want to change the pipe but, I'm afraid it will sound basically the same, only louder. Not having an analogue tachometer is minor annoyance.
     
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  9. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Paid cash. (We dealt on enough other things....)
     
  10. Spiky

    Spiky Well-Known Member

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    I'm really not sure what might be next.

    Part of me wants something that I can fettle and fiddle with, so I'm halfheartedly looking out for something like a late-90s Yamaha TRX850. For all the RS's brilliance, I missed getting my hands dirty. This means that there'll be no pillion for a while, but The Bottom has some pretty serious Uni work coming up, not to mention her endurance running commitments.

    We'll have to see.

    In other news, is anyone keen on buying an as-new Airhawk R-S? It retails at $170, but I'd be happy to part with it for $100 posted.
     
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  11. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    That is the conundrum of the digital age. Very few people take their computer apart themselves either ..., same thing really :rolleyes:
    We have signed up to a hi-tech age.
     
  12. oscarguitar

    oscarguitar Well-Known Member

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    Spiky, have today considered the Ducati SuperSport S? That might tick a few boxes.
     
  13. Spiky

    Spiky Well-Known Member

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    Ha, not really! I don't mind 'fettling' with bikes, but draw the line at standing hopelessly at the side of the road cursing Italian electrics and workmanship.
     
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  14. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    The times they are a-changing, hearing good things about Audi influenced Ducati quality assurance these days - the service intervals on their bikes are about 9000 now....
     
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  15. folagana

    folagana Well-Known Member Contributor

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    As a beautiful woman... a Ducati always can be a problem!
     
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  16. loubre

    loubre Active Member Contributor

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    Some I'll agree with some I don't ;). After 21000kms. The agrees first;

    1 Definitely should have two keys for the keyless ride!
    2 Cost of parts truly astronomical here!
    3 Power, yep plenty!
    4 Handling, brilliant!
    5 Seat, yep best so far I've found on a stock BMW.
    6 Shift assist is great until you stall at the lights cause you've forgotten to use the clutch :oops:

    The do not agrees plus a couple of extra things I don't like;

    1 Brakes, underwhelming and I've got cracked discs!o_O
    2 Dealer response - awesome in my case, back up and level of service has been great, no issues though this is the sixth bike I've bought through this dealer, I've had occasions to need the service of two other dealers, one in Canberra and one in Townsville, both were extremely professional with great service.:)
    3 Luggage - mine doesn't touch anywhere it shouldn't.
    4 Ditch the analogue speedo for a digital and put in an analogue tacho.
    5 Service warning, after six BMWs you learn to ignore it ;)
    6 My SE came with an Akrapovic so exhaust looks good :)
    7 Bloody switch blocks still failing, for crying out loud BMW this issue has been ongoing across all models since the new style switches were introduced, surely by now you would have thought these would have been bloody sorted out! :mad:
    8 Cost of servicing, compared to other manufacturers BMW (well except Ducati maybe) is bloody ridiculously expensive.
     
  17. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    Agree 100% with #4
    #5 Some riders really worry about the service message or getting to the dealer at the exact mileage for a service.
    Even though I had a GS911, I let the service message stay on my K1300S for 10,000 miles to see what would happen.
    Nothing happened. Didn't even get a letter from BMW telling me I was a bad boy :)
     
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  18. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    I like the analogue Speedo, the other day I was riding in cold weather in bright sunshine, the bottom of my visor was slightly misted due to breath, couldn't read the digital dash glancing down but could judge the speed on the analogue Speedo. I had to properly move my head to look down at the digital dash to read it. Why do people want an analogue tachometer on this bike, you don't need one, the RS has one very wide power band:)
     
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  19. Hotboot

    Hotboot Active Member

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    Spiky loved his RS, agree with everything and wish him a high time. The dealer can shut off the light for free, black tape until then...good tires and decent oil with an appropriate fuel budget and curvy roads will set you free.
     
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  20. Bill the Cat

    Bill the Cat Active Member

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    "It's proper quick." I'm gonna have to use that. Perfect. Us yanks don't get the DRL, which makes the bike so much more affordable to buy that extra key fob. The only issue I have with the dash is that it is hard to use to speedo when at lower speeds and I need to be precise. Think school or construction zones. Johnny Law will issue you a crushing ticket if you are dead stopped but just look fast in a school zone. It's great PR for local cops. Because the lower range of the speedo is somewhat hidden from my riding vantage point, I really have to focus the peepers to get an accurate read on speed when I need to know the difference between 20 and 25 mph. I'll get used to it....eventually.
     
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