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Wife's new R1200R

Discussion in 'General R1200RS Discussions' started by edward barkan, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    My wife just got a new 2017 R1200R. I took it for a ride to compare it to my 2016 R1200RS. Here are a few thing I observed:

    - Steering is lighter on the R1200R than the RS, as I expected it would be due to the slightly different steering geometry and wider handlebars on the R. The RS has a stronger tendency to self-center the handlebars, which requires a bit more effort to make it turn. The benefit of the RS steering is that it's easier to feel when the front wheel is losing traction, because the steering gets lighter on slippery surfaces. On the "R" steering is already light, so changes in effort are harder to detect. I feel more confident that I know what the front wheel is doing on the RS.

    - The new R has the "Improved" transmission. It is true that it goes into 1st gear with less of a lurch, but I never really cared about that issue, so I don't see that as an important improvement. The Quick-shifter on the new bike may be a bit smoother, but I've learned how to use the one on the RS well enough that is never stands out as any sort of issue that needs to improve.

    - There is a distinct "thrumming" in fourth gear on the 2017 bike that is totally absent on my 2016 RS. This consists of a rhythmic change in vibration at around once a second. Even during the low vibration portion of the rhythmic variation, some coarseness is present that doesn't exist in other gears. I can tell immediately when I shift into fourth gear, even without looking at the gear indicator, just by how the bike feels.
    I know this has been reported by some members here. I hoped the "improvements" of the 2017 transmission would eliminate this issue, but apparently not. I would be very unhappy if my RS had that vibration, and I'll never buy another R1200 of any sort unless I can ride it first and make certain it doesn't have that particular problem. So far, my wife hasn't noticed the vibration. I'm not going to bring it to her attention, but I will certainly be talking to the dealer about it when the bike goes for its 600 mile service.
    Does anybody know if the fourth gear thrumming gets better with more mileage? Right now the bike only has around 100 miles on it.

    - The rear suspension on the new R is really really stiff. Riding over bumps that are hardly felt on my RS can be punishing on the R even though I have the RS set to rider plus luggage, while the R suspension is set to rider only (It's even worse on other settings). I do remember that the suspension on the RS was stiffer than it is now when it was new, but I don't think it was ever as hard as the new bike is. The RS now has almost 15,000 miles. The new bike's suspension is so hard and uncomfortable it will be difficult to put enough miles on it to allow it to run in and soften up. Incidentally. I checked to see if the part number for the rear strut for the R1200R and for the RS are the same, and they are.

    Right now, I'm very happy with my RS, and have no plans to trade it for a 2017 or 2018 model, although I've always thought I would eventually get a newer one. After riding the new R1200R, however, I know I won't be buying a new RS unless I can get a good long test ride on the specific one I'm going to buy, to make certain the fourth gear thrumming isn't present, and to make sure the rear suspension behaves acceptably.
     
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  2. GvG

    GvG Member

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    Did your '16 RS never have that thrumming in fourth gear, even when it was new?
     
  3. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    Since my 2000 model R1100 S thrummed in 4th gear (and my original 1998 model did not) I know it is not an RS exclusive issue.
    If BMW fixes it as a warranty item, please post all details!
     
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  4. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    You haven't got the R's suspension set to dynamic have you?
     
  5. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    GvG, my 2016 RS never had any of the thrumming, even when new. Willy, the R's suspension was set on Road, same as I use on my RS most of the time. Aussie Import, it's interesting you say you had thrumming on your R1100S. I never heard of any BMW having that problem before until comments started showing up on this forum. I've owned five boxer engines BMWs prior to the RS I have now, and none of them ever had anything like this. I hope there is a fix, or that it goes away with mileage.
     
  6. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    I would bring up the harsh rear suspension at the 600 mile check.

    When you get a chance measure the width of the R and RS bars. When I measured both at the shop in 2016 I found the measurement the same.

    Which color did she buy?
     
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  7. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    Lee, I did measure the distance from the outer end of the hand grip on one side to the outer end of the grip on the other side. The grips on the R1200R are almost an inch farther apart than the RS. The bar end weights on the R are smaller than the RS, so if you measure to the ends of the weights the overall lengths of the bars look very similar.
     
  8. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    My early-build (April 2015) RS doesn't have any "thrumming" in any gear, and never did. :)
     
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  9. Stef

    Stef Active Member

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    [QUOTE="
    - The rear suspension on the new R is really really stiff. .[/QUOTE]

    Had the same on my RS. Had it recalibrated at first inspection. Problem solved
     
  10. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    They can do that? :confused: Sounds like Good News to me. :) However, I wonder what my dealer's shop will say? They are not ones that want to do anything that is not fully BMW approved. :(
     
  11. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Thanks for sharing the review. I agree with you on the "thrumming" issue ... would be a deal breaker if my bike had it; so glad it does not.
     
  12. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    I bet I measured to the ends of the bar end weights.
     
  13. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    Stef, that's great news that the suspension can be re-calibrated. I will be sure to have that done when the bike goes for its first service.
    The weather here is really bad this time of year, so it's hard to put much mileage on a bike. It might be a few weeks before I take the R in for service.
     
  14. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    One thing I didn't mention in my original post is that the R1200R has the larger of the two windscreens that BMW has as options. The windscreen is quite good. Wind blast below my shoulders is blocked when riding at low speed. As speed increases the blast rises up to around my chin. I detected no turbulence or buffeting wearing my Schuberth helmet. I think it's better than the RS screen in the raised position, although not as good as my MRA touring screen. This makes the R quite a good bike for extended rides, assuming the other issues discussed above can be resolved.
     
  15. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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    My '17 RS thrums; my '14 9T does not. These are the only BMWs I have ever owned so I have no "history" of the issue. However, reading about it on the internet and talking to two friends who have owned many different models over many years, it seems to be a pretty common issue for quite a long time. As has been discussed before, it appears to be a resonance between some of the bike's rotating components at a specific RPM range. Obviously, since it typically occurs at one or two Hertz, per most reports, it cannot be a faulty gear/pulley/shaft, etc since those items would vibrate/tick/thrum (whatever) in relation to their RPM at the time. Why some bikes and not others? Heck, could be as simple as an alternator belt that resonates with the engine or driveshaft. Just speculating - belt tension or even the difference between various belts could cause one bike to do it and another not. Watch the alternator belt on an old car that uses an individual alternator (or water pump) belt. At certain rpm you will see the belt change from running in essentially a straight line to "vibrating" like musical instrument string. If that frequency just happens to be a few Hertz different from some other component at some RPM, then they will resonate and produce a "thrum" at the differential frequency, just like a pair of airplane or marine engines that are out of sync.
     
  16. Dirk Coetzee

    Dirk Coetzee Member

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    Hi Edward my 2015 rs made the thrumming for a short while,lets say till after the 1 annual service .
    My 2017 rs with 1900km on the clock thrums less ,the vibration comes and go's
    my 2c worth
    best of luck.
    Dirk
     
  17. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    Could this thrumming be caused by the screen/aerodynamics?

    My 955i Daytona suffered very badly from this at around 90mph - it resonated so badly that it shook my head in unison to the point where it blurred my vision! It also produced a "thrum" which was audible and could be felt through the bars and pegs. Bike was fitted with a double bubble screen (Triumph OEM item) and you just had to ride through it and cruise at a higher speed or drop back to sub 90mph. No problem at all at 157mph (the fastest I ever saw on the clocks)!

    If this was the cause on the RS, it might explain why some bikes are affected and others not.
     
  18. Dirk Coetzee

    Dirk Coetzee Member

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    Hi Gordon
    I don't think its the screen whats making the thrumming.it might be the prop-shaft or the 4th gear got to little clearance inside the gearbox.The boxer gearbox got constant mesh gears.I use to ride for long periods in 4 gear to see if it will go away,and in some way's its better now.
    Its a bmw thing.
    Regards Dirk
     
  19. RNINETRAT

    RNINETRAT Member

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    4th gear thrumming is not an issue. The real problem would be in 6th gear with thrumming, so this is really irrelevant.
     
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  20. Yoda

    Yoda Active Member

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    I was trying to work out how much time I spend in 4th gear - it's not a lot.
     
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