Handling Issues.

Technical aspects and performance of the BMW R 1200/1250 RT
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1929
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Handling Issues.

Post by 1929 »

Hello everyone and I hope you are all well!


Anyway, to my first post………….


Mid March and I took delivery of a white RT with the TFT screen from Chester Motorrad UK. Overall an amazing machine with a peerless engine and brakes, comfortable with that TFT screen -  surely the way all displays will be in the future. Connect app (3.1.3),works wonderfully (navigation only for me). However, there’s one performance facet I’m not impressed with and I’d like to invite comments and advice from more experienced RT owners - the issue I have is with suspension and handling.


My bike does not feel stable in faster corners especially when suspension is in road mode though it does improve with a pillion. Things are improved in dynamic but I’m having trouble gaining any confidence, even in dynamic it less than rock solid. Given BMWs experience and the extraordinary performance of the bike in other areas the handling shortfall stands out like a sore thumb. On occasion the front and rear wheels seem to be flexing side to side. I’d not describe the ride quality as Cadillac like either.

I’ve seen a guys on uTube comment on similar behaviour - has anyone here experience d such vagueness, am I alone?
Do I need to splash out on Wilbers shocks to bring the suspension up to the standard of the rest of the bike?
Can the suspension be adjusted at the 6k mile service? I hope so, this is issue is casting a little shadow over a great bike.

Thanks for listening and stay safe!






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emlevy
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by emlevy »

I assume the bike is new and has fresh tires. If so, what are the tire pressures (according to a reliable gauge, not the bike’s TPMS)? Most folks seem to run 36F/42R cold or thereabouts with no complaint. I run slightly higher pressures as I seem to get a few more miles out of the tires that way. Keep your money in your wallet until you confirm the basics.


If the tires have some mileage or are squared off, replace them. The RT is a surprisingly well-handling motorbike.
2015 R1200RT | 2012 R1200R Classic
Hors Piste
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by Hors Piste »

If he's squared off the tyres in 3 months he's doing pretty well  :))


I don't feel that my 2021 RT has any handling issues - for such a beast I feel it handles amazingly well.  Have you been back to Chester Motorrad to get them to check it out?  Something doesn't sound right, although I don't claim any superlative riding skills - perhaps I don't push mine as hard as you do?
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Levisp
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by Levisp »

This is something impossible to diagnose on a forum. However I think the majority would say the RT handles extremely well for a big touring bike. So as the previous posters have said first check tyres and if good get the bike checked by dealer. I don't know the new bike suspension setup but maybe something is amiss with the fancy electronics. Worth ruling out. So if bike and tyres are good then maybe its down to riding style and confidence in your new bike. If you have come from something much lighter and smaller then it could be a matter of just getting used to the bike.


Confidence is a funny thing. I remember years ago doing a Superbike level 1 track school on my R1. On the track was a 180 degree hairpin bend with what looked like Brighton beach as a run off. At the beginning of the day I hated that corner and as a result wobbled around it. As confidence grew and I learnt how to ride it, it ended up my favourite corner. It was all about where to look, throttle control and being relaxed.


My first few rides after lockdown were wobbly affairs. But as the miles grew the old skills came back, confidence grew and so did the feeling of a secure bike in the bends. I don't know your riding style and I am certainly not qualified to teach anyone how to ride, but for what its worth, I think the RT does need good throttle control in corners to feel secure. In my experience if I go into a corner too fast, on a closed throttle trying to scrub speed off a little with back brake, the bike feels horrible and has a tendency to run wide. However if I approach at correct speed, on throttle waiting for bend to open up and power out, she feels great.


Before posting this I reread your post. You say the front and rear wheels feel like they are flexing from side to side. That got me thinking. When I had my Pan1300 you could feel no road surface changes. It felt solid. The RT is very different. The RT I can feel road surface changes, banding and ruts. It makes the bike feel like its moving under you. It's communicating to you. Maybe that is what you are feeling.


Hope you get it sorted.
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michaelc2710
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by michaelc2710 »

Hiya, I have the same bike and have changed the suspension setting to dynamic and well as just the mode button on the handle bars.
I've just ran it in during the RT weekend and the handling feels great now I've put everything in dynamic.


It's my 3rd RT and this is the best one to date, but if you've never had an RT before they can take some getting use to but when you do you'll love it.
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60Aviator
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by 60Aviator »

1929
What bike are you comparing it to? I have a 2017 Harley Ultra, 2017 BMW GSA, and 2021 BMW RT and they all feel/handle differently.
???
Last edited by Guest on Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dengieken
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by dengieken »

My current 1250 is the seventh RT I’ve had, one after the other! All my RT’s have handled wonderfully. The front suspension gives the bike a different feel to other bikes. Like others I suspect your tyre pressures could be wrong. I prefer Michelin PR4GT tyres on the RT & felt that Metzelers gave a vey slightly less planted feel, but that is me, others differ. Talk to Chester Motorrad & get your bike checked over, the RT is one hell of a good bike! Let us know how you get on.
GvG
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by GvG »

I think my '20 R1250RT handles quite good in the corners for such a heavy bike, also at very low speed, but what I do notice is that it's a bit wobbly in a straight line at about 25 mph. I have to (exaggeratedly spoken  ^-^ ) counterbalance my bodyweight preventing it from going right to left if I put it on cruise control and take my hands of the handlebar. Above 40 mph it's okay.


Switching between suspension modes doesn't make any difference.
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Steve398
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by Steve398 »

Levisp wrote:
Before posting this I reread your post. You say the front and rear wheels feel like they are flexing from side to side. That got me thinking. When I had my Pan1300 you could feel no road surface changes. It felt solid. The RT is very different. The RT I can feel road surface changes, banding and ruts. It makes the bike feel like its moving under you. It's communicating to you.

+1. Having come from 11 years with a Pan onto an RT that’s about 50kg lighter, I find that the RT moves around a great deal more on less than perfect road surfaces and doesn’t  feel as rock solid on corners. That being said it’s a whole lot quicker and easier to change lines where necessary, it just takes a bit of getting used to…
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Randyjaco
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by Randyjaco »

I wasn't too impressed with my new to me 2017 RT. On another forum someone suggested that I up my front tire pressure. I bumped mine up to 40 psi. I was amazed at the improvement in cornering. It is worth a try and it is free.


Update.
My 17 RT came with Road 4s. The rear was replaced with a new R4 just prior to my buying it. Last week I replaced the front with a new Road 6. It changed the character of the bike for the better. I returned the front tire pressure back to 36 and the steering is much better. When the time comes, the rear will get a R6 too. The front R4 was five years old and probably took some sort of set that made it perform poorly.
So what I am suggesting is that you work with your tires first, before you start spending money on the suspension.  Vary the pressures and if that does not solve the problem, try some other tires. I doubt that it is your suspension (unless something is broken). It is probably "where the rubber meets the road"; the TIRES!
Last edited by Randyjaco on Thu Mar 24, 2022 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jackronner
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by jackronner »

Have you tried just using the front brake lever and letting the bike activate the rear?  It's hard to overcome the tendency to use the foot lever if you've not had a bike before with this feature, but it might help.  Plus, it'll give you more mileage on you rear pads.  And I take it the tires are brand new, so have you roaded them in yet?  They might wobble a bit on acceleration in a turn until they are.  Haven't experienced this on either of my hex-heads, and find them to be a great-handling bike for the weight.
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Steve398
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by Steve398 »

I run my front at 38lb/sq. inch, but that's to try and stop denting the wheel on potholes
joeducati
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Re: Handling Issues.

Post by joeducati »

I would definitely increase your tire pressures a bit and see if that helps. Also, check what your ESA is set on, I found on my 2019 the "Auto" setting was a bit "bouncy" for my liking, I'm keeping it on "Max" setting now, which increases the preload.
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