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BMW R1200S v F800S daily rider?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by K-Babe, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Are there any owners out there with thoughts about either of these? Anyone who has test ridden them for a weekend or taken them for a decent ride?

    I'm going to head out to my local Beemer dealer next week to test ride these but I probably won't be on them long enough to get a good feel for them. (In the old days Mott's used to let me have bikes over long weekends, but this seems to have dried up with the new dealer.)

    My current bike is an R12R. The F800S/R12S will mostly be ridden by my partner. He's still a learner on a 250, so unfortunately I need to choose for him. He likes the look of both the R-S and F-S, so it just comes down to what either would be like to own and ride daily. Ideally he should wait 12 months until he can test-ride them himself, I know, but I can just see him wanting a big bike the day he gets his 250cc licence (WA) so he can be a learner on a big bike. Personally, I think he'll be more than capable. He should have been born with wheels instead of feet.

    I prefer the shaft/telelever/paralever set-up of the R, but I've heard mixed views on its comfort level. I had a friend with an R11S daily rider who seemed happy enough but the new R12S seems more sporty and less sport-toury.

    OK, here's what I'm after: a fun bike that won't get boring, that is comfortable enough to do some distance riding and still fine for commuting. My partner likes the naked or semi-naked look (on bikes too ....). ;) Can't get another R12R as that would just be too cheesy. Besides, he likes more of a forward lean on his bikes and the R-R has the ergonomics of a dirt bike.

    Why only BMW? I'm after ABS, don't want a chain, and I've been on beemers for 12 years. I like their stability, flat torque curves and reliability.

    And before someone starts asking why I'm not looking at a K class beemer .... I've recently gone to R's from K's (had a K75S and K1200RS), and although I loved the smooth pull of the triple in particular, I'm now sold on the R12. I'd liken the R12 engine to a locomotive and now I'm hooked on it. The K is more like a jet fighter. :shock:

    The new K12 engine would just lead to too much sin and a much shorter life expectancy. Perhaps I'm just getting old! However, as my partner will be coming from a 250cc spada, I don't think he'd notice the lack of pull in the F800 that made me walk away from it with a grimace when I test rode an ST a few months back. Perhaps it grows on you ... as my mechanic keeps telling me.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear your experiences riding either of these!

  2. You want fun, but want a BMW? You do know other manufacturers have been building very good bikes with ABS for some while, don't you?

    Regards, Andrew.
  3. K-babe, I used to work at a BMW dealership and had the opportunity to ride both the bikes on extended runs in and around the city. The F800s would be a better commuter bike as it is not such a hard core riding position as the r12s. It is also a fair bit cheaper and not so expensive come service time.
    If your partner wants some thing to trackday or ride hard in the twisties then the 12s would be a better choice but, the ride position will eat you in the city.
  4. What scumbag said.
    The r12s is more sprt oriented rather than sport tourer like the older r11s.
    even with the r11s after a few hours touring you have to hop off and stratch the legs.
    I do commute with the r11s daily and love it but your partner would be better off with the f800s as it is an even better commuter than it's rather larger and sportier sibling.
  5. Well I thought about it and I think you're all right about the R12S being a bit too sports-oriented. I have reservations about the F800 though - mainly that I didn't enjoy it last I got on it and I think my partner may outgrow it too. Especially if he gets on the R12R every now and then.

    Problem solved ... got a 2003 K12RS in pristine condition today. It's got the 2004 alpine white and orient blue paint job and looks great. :cool:

    Got him on it for a test ride and I think it'll take a looong time for the grin to wear off.
  6. Guess I'm too late to contribute, but I'm very happy with my F800ST. It's a little more upright than the S (which given your criteria means the S may well have suited), and for me is great fun and very easily flickable. The lightweight and reasonably slim profile makes it really good in the commute and a good splitter (at lights only of course). ;)

    Have fun with the 1200, I had an R1200R as a loaner when I dropped mine in for the run-in service, and it really had some impressive get-up-n-go! :shock:

    Butz. :beer: