Author Topic: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES  (Read 651 times)

Offline IntRunner

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My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« on: May 04, 2018, 01:10:14 pm »
Since I recently posted my Super Tenere ES for sale, I thought I'd to a comparison to the bike(s) I am keeping.  The one I will not compare it to is my Yamaha Xmax 300 scooter, just too different of an animal and even my R1200RT is an apples and oranges comparison.  But, I will add my thoughts of the S10 vs the R1200RT.

First, background as I came to my S10 after totaling my Honda ST1300 in a deer strike back in the fall of 2016.  I brought it as I liked the looks (still do) and it fit me as I sat on it in the dealer showroom.  Unfortunately, it was not comfortable to ride at first as rides over 1 hour would lead to a lot of upper back issues.  So during this time I spent a lot of time looking at other bikes and I ended up getting the BMW R1200RT, but getting back to the S10 I did solve the comfort issues with Helibar risers and a seat concept seat. 

So now to the comparison. 

Reliability, the Yamaha wins hands down as I have not had issues with either bike, but the BMW has a well earned reputation for having issues from time to time.  This is probably reflected in the cost of extended warranty as it was less than $500 for 4 extra years with the Yamaha and when I asked about the BMW (it's still covered under the 3/36 manufactures) they were mentioned something more for just an extra year.

Comfort, the BMW wins as it has much better wind management, but that's partly due to the extras I put on the bike.  I added a big wide windscreen and a Russell Day Long seat vs. the S10 where I added a taller windscreen and Seat Concept seat (even with the taller screen I had a lot of wind noise).  The fairing on the BMW does give more wind protection and that's expected as it's a sport touring bike.  Bottom line, I have no issues riding my S10 for 600 mile days while my BMW has seen 1,000 mile days.

Engine, both are twins with the BMW being a flat Boxer design.  The S10 is smooth, even if it's a little tractor like (e.g. uninspiring) as you need to be less worried about being in the right gear.  The BMW is higher revving and gets upset if you come close to lugging it (yes, I know you should never do that), but when having fun the BMW does reward you with a little more get up and go.  Related, I like the transmission on the S10 better, less clunky than my 2016 RT, but the gear shift assist on the BMW is a joy even the clutch pull (if you use it) is very easy on that bike compared to the S10.

Versatility, both bikes can be loaded up.  On the BMW I had the panniers and a 50l topcase I would move between the two bikes.  On the S10, I never did get panniers and just used the topcase, tank bag, and a duffle if going on a multi-day ride.  Where the S10 shined was the few times I ventured on Forest Service gravel roads as it was just more comfortable, but I'll admit that the RT did pretty good for a sport touring bike. 

Gas mileage etc, I've averaged close to 50 mpg on both bikes and they both run on 91 octane gas.  The S10 seemed to do better cruising down the highway at 75 in windy conditions as it would still return around 40 mpg while the RT could drop down to the high 20's.  Now cruising the back roads, the RT would be a little better, but overall both were very similar. 

Bottom line, it was the better comfort that lead me to keeping the RT, but if the Russell Day Long seat was on the S10, that might very well be the bike I'd keep as long-term it would be the less expensive.

Offline Xclimation

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 10:07:52 am »
Thank You for this write up! I'm always thinking about my next bike and wondering about what I may be missing! I plan on keeping my Tenere for quite some time. It's nice to read a comparison from someone who is not getting paid.

How much more get-up-and-go does your RT have compared to the S10? A friend of mine has an RT and when we ride and he takes off, his acceleration seems soooo smooth and my Tenere struggles to keep up. I wonder how much is a function of my riding or it seems like my Tenere has more wind resistance. Just wondering how much the engine itself factors. I know weight is a factor, but my friend weighs himself more than 50 lbs. than me.
2015 Super Tenere Power Commander PCFC, Catless OEM headers, Delkevic slip-on, Uni-filters, Modified Airbox, Altrider Crash bars and skid plate, Flat seat mod. Dash in-fill, Nighteyes LED headlight bulbs, SW motech tank bag, Madstad windshield bracket, Parabellum/Give Airgflow windshield (Using stock windshield mostly) Touratech Headlight guard, Rox Risers, RideonAdv. extended brake/clutch lines

Offline HeliMark

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 08:25:18 am »
I had a 2012 RT for several years, and I do miss it. But I do not miss the maintenance issues I had with it. The RT is faster off the line and acceleration then the ST. It is geared that way, and without checking, I think it has more HP at the wheel. Although wind resistance may play some factor, I doubt much. And I agree, I could do longer, more comfortable rides with the RT, then the ST (I have a Gen 1, no ES). But one is a sport tourer, and the other an adventure bike. Couldn't expect the ST to be as smooth on road and be capable off road.

The OP is right on with what he has said. Mine did not have the newer gearbox, and inorder to get a smooth upshift, you had to "preload" the shifter at times.

Mark
2013 S10

Offline Checkswrecks

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 08:50:38 am »
Thanks for the honest comparison.
Damascus, MD
XTZ1200, KTM 690R

Offline IntRunner

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 06:45:20 pm »
Thank You for this write up! I'm always thinking about my next bike and wondering about what I may be missing! I plan on keeping my Tenere for quite some time. It's nice to read a comparison from someone who is not getting paid.

How much more get-up-and-go does your RT have compared to the S10? A friend of mine has an RT and when we ride and he takes off, his acceleration seems soooo smooth and my Tenere struggles to keep up. I wonder how much is a function of my riding or it seems like my Tenere has more wind resistance. Just wondering how much the engine itself factors. I know weight is a factor, but my friend weighs himself more than 50 lbs. than me.

By very unscientific seat of the pants feel, I think the R1200RT is a little faster.  It likes living in the higher rev zones so I actually enjoy the S10 more around town (OK, around town I use my scooter).  If you look at the HP/torque ratings, the BMW is not much higher at 125/92 than the S10 and just slightly heavier.  Where I seem to notice it is riding two up, but if it's me solo, then both of the bikes have equal potential to put a smile on my face when I twist the throttle.  ;D

Offline IntRunner

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 06:49:35 pm »
One additional comment, I put the stock windscreen on the Super Tenere to get it ready to sell, but decided to take it on a long ride (460 miles) Saturday.  Whoa, the turbulence was really bad with that shield, I had forgotten and in general, the R1200RT being a sport touring bike, has pretty great wind protection (which we would expect).

Offline Sierra1

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 02:49:38 pm »
In MY opinion, FWIW, I've put MANY miles on an '04 RT, '11 ST 1300, '14 FJR, and test rode a '17 RT.  Each bike had/has its plusses and minuses.  I'm a larger person, and to ME, the Tenere has the most room.  The Honda had the best wind/upper body protection.  I think if I was to take a long trip, I would switch out the OE windshield for a larger one and be done.  ::001::
In the stable: Me-'17 TENERE ES & '86 FJ 1200; Wife-'01 TW 200; Son 1-'16 R6; Son 2-'14 FJR ES
Out to Pasture: '77 XS 360; '81 SECA 550; '00 KZ 1000P; '04 BMW 1150 RT-P; '11 ST1300PA; '11 KLR

Offline Buelligan

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 05:25:52 pm »
I traded my ST1300 in for my 2012 Tenere. The Tenere was much lighter, and for me, more comfortable.
In 2015 I sold my Buell 1125, and bought a '16 R1200RS. Its not as powerful, or as quick turning as the Buell, but with all the bells and whistles it's a mighty fine bike. I've had zero problems in 18,500 miles, and the local shop treats me well.
I've taken the RT home a few times when the RS was in for scheduled service and do like the comfort, and wind protection.
The RS and RT are pretty much the same bike, with the RT having the larger fairing and bags, while the RS is more sport than touring.
I like the motor, but dislike the clunky transmission as well. If I toured more long distance, I would certainly get an RT.
Guns and parachutes: If you ever need one and don't have it, you will never need one again.
USMC retired

Offline IntRunner

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 09:12:01 am »
In MY opinion, FWIW, I've put MANY miles on an '04 RT, '11 ST 1300, '14 FJR, and test rode a '17 RT.  Each bike had/has its plusses and minuses.  I'm a larger person, and to ME, the Tenere has the most room.  The Honda had the best wind/upper body protection.  I think if I was to take a long trip, I would switch out the OE windshield for a larger one and be done.  ::001::

I had an 08 Honda ST1300 and never thought it had great wind protection.  I think much of it depends on the aftermarket windscreen as I'll admit that the RT was not great until I put an aftermarket shield on it, now I don't even need ear plugs as it's just quiet (which is not true on my S10 with the tall windscreen, granted I might still have the wrong one).    I will admit, there is a lot of room to move around on the S10.

Offline Random_Rockfish

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 12:17:08 am »
Former BMW owner with dissenting opinion here.

Owned - airhead, K-bike and two oil-heads

but more importantly, worked at a dealership in the parts department where I dealt intimately with the newer hex, cam and waterheads.

Now, happily own a 2014 S10.

I believe that bikes of similar design can be accessorized and farkled in such a way now-a-days to be pretty much the same ergonomically.
Relative differences in performance can also be almost eliminated via ECU flash tuning and other mods depending on the size of your wallet.
Suspension upgrades can also tighten the gap.

What comes into play at the end of the line is reliability and cost of ownership.
The BMW of yesteryear is gone.  It started happening a few years past 2000 when the helm in Germany was taken over by thinkers from their automotive side.  (Notice the drastic appearance changes in both the cars and the bikes around that time frame?)  Before then, the bikes were pretty heavy and were not performance monsters by any means.  But they were easy to work on and more importantly parts were available for 20 years.  K-bikes (first motorcycle offered with ABS) with +100,000 miles was not uncommon and air-heads were ridden across multiple continents with mostly minor repairs along the way.  But in the 2000's something was forgotten.  Final drives were failing with relative frequency (due to poorly shimmed crown bearings at the factory), fragile plastic fuel line quick disconnects were stranding riders, cheap wires were killing Hall-effect sensors and complicated $2500 i-ABS modules were dying left and right.  The icing on the cake was the introduction of the CANbus to the motorcycle side from automotive.  I believe that was the "can" of worms that started the major change.  No longer could the average mechanic confidently work on his own ride, he had to bring it in to the dealer for merely a Canbus-disabling electrical farkle fix not to mention a technical diagnosis for something more pressing.  This created the "ancient" riders who refused to let go of their prized, older machines and the new-to-BMW riders who had to get the newest, coolest, most-respected and highly-coveted bikes sporting the famed roundel from the Fatherland  (unaware that the engine of the marque's entry bike was now manufactured in China!)  These "new" BMW owners expect to pay a lot for BMW dealership service (and they do) and they generally have the money for it.  Just look at their pricey Klim and Ruuka gear.  While never at the pinnacle of reliability, BMW has now dropped to a level that I feel is close to the bottom.  Spend some time on the various BMW forums or talk to a former BMW mechanic or a present one, if they're candid with you (most people, however, tend to not s**t where they eat).  Parts costs and dealer labor rates are sky-high and their bike MSRP's are in outer space.
You may never have an issue with your RT and I truly do hope that is the case for you.
But I'll never forget the shocking answer I got when I had a private conversation with a successful BMW sales advisor when I asked him what bike he'd buy today - his answer - Yamaha.

Good luck and ride safe.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 12:23:24 am by Random_Rockfish »

Offline IntRunner

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 01:42:40 pm »

What comes into play at the end of the line is reliability and cost of ownership.

I do not disagree and even mention reliability being a solid win in the Yamaha's favor as BMW reliability is below Harley.  Plus, it's not a cheap ride, but for what I primarily use it for, it's does the job very well and that's why it keeps a spot in my garage (granted, in a few years when it's off warranty I just might go back to a Honda with the new Gold Wing for many of the reasons you mentioned).  In my case, I have two Yamaha's in my garage with the second being a Xmax 300 which is my daily ride and I intend to keep that scooter for a long time.

Offline RonH

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Re: My R1200RT vs Super Tenere ES
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2018, 12:06:44 am »
I had my one and only BMW, a 1000RS back in I think 1991. I never kept track of the utter piece of you know what. Kept for 1000 miles. That was enough to sour me on BMW for the next 75yrs. Had one of the first V4 Honda  back in 1983 as well. Soured on V4 for eternity after that too. Had a FJ1200 Yamaha too, and that one was worst of all, but didn't effect me as much as the other two "gems".
2017 Super Tenere 1200ES, 2008 Honda GL1800 Goldwing

 

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