RIDEFAST SEPTEMBER

foleyg

It is big, it is comfortable, it is powerful, it is

fully kitted out and highly spec’d with all the

electronic gadgets you can imagine, it is

of a very high quality, it is convenient with

its boxes and panniers and it is very pretty

and I reckon with the Mrs. on the back it

would be the perfect bike for long distance

touring … but it is a very conservative bike.

I eventually dialed the cruise control in and

sat back taking in the scenery and to be

fair that was very pleasant in its own right,

but if I had to choose between the RS and

the RT right now, the RS would win hands

down.

concerned about stability. This proved to

be unfounded – like everything else on this

bike the suspension is liquid smooth and

inspires confidence.

It took me a while to get used to the

position of the side mirrors as they are side

mounted in line with the handlebars. This

means that the rider looks more down and

to the side as opposed to up and to the

side when checking the mirrors.

This is more habit driven and once I had

adapted it felt easy and natural.

This is a big bike – make no doubt about

it, you don’t want to park it on its side and

have to lift it upright without the benefit of

a crane! It is however superbly balanced

and I was pleasantly surprised at how

responsive the engine is.

Power delivery is fantastic – the bike has

an insane ability to put a child-like grin

on the face inside the helmet – and keep

it firmly there – all the while looking at

how quickly other road users disappear

into the distance when playing with the

throttle and checking the mirrors!

We experienced some difficulty figuring out

how to open the panniers. This is on the wrong

side of intuitive logic, but a quick call to a friendly

BMW dealer had this sorted out fairly quickly.

The bike comes with power-shift, (shift

assist). This means that you actually don’t

need to use the clutch when changing

gear. I personally don’t like this, more

of an old school riser. This is possibly

something that would change with more

familiarity - I did use it but very quickly

resumed my normal riding behaviour.

Only much, much later did I realise that

my lack of experience and knowledge of

the new tech on bikes that I didn’t have

to roll off the throttle to change, once I

adapted to keeping the throttle open while

shifting did I realise the true benefit of the

shift assist system.

The bike comes with the usual

assortment of gadgets that you would

expect on a big brand (BMW) luxury

tourer such as this – electric windscreen,

heated grips, heated seat (that was

fun!), electronically set suspension etc.

Overall impressions in short.

Hells bells I want one!

BMW R1250R-HP

If the transition from my previous bike to the R1250RT took a bit then

you can imagine what it was like going from the RT to the sporty

HP…

To start of with the seating position is very different and I felt almost as

if I was crouching over the front wheel. The lack of a fairing takes a bit

of getting used to as it feels as if there is no barrier between yourself

and the afore mentioned front wheel. This bike is a very different

animal.

Power delivery is incredible (HP does stand for High Performance..)

and those engineers have obviously spent some time figuring out how

to get huge dollops of power onto the road in a very short space of time.

This is a naked bike – however, the same engineers have also spent

time figuring what the important bits of information are and have

presented them adequately – there was not much that had to be

figured out with regards to where info was located.

I found that I couldn’t get comfortable on this bike. In hindsight this

would probably not be an issue as the bike would be setup relative to

height and riding style (my version of riding style with this bike was to

open the throttle and hang for dear life!)

I am not used to direct wind exposure and I found this a bit challenging

– I never realised that my front end could attract that much wind

resistance (I might need to go on a diet…) Oh, and put Velcro on the

handles …

This bike is an insane amount of fun for short hops – anything over

150kms I think would not be much fun for somebody of my biking

persuasion.

And for open road riding the RT would definitely be my choice.

Two vastly different bikes, powered by the same 1250 BMW mill, ridden

by two similarly aged riders but vastly different in their riding styles and

expectations from motorcycles.

Our advice is check out www.bmw-motorrad.co.za for your nearest

dealer and grab a test ride on any of these models yourself.

Rolling into the fuel station in Warmbaths

I fairly kicked Trevor off the HP because

I wanted to have a bit of fun on the

homeward leg of the trip, fortunately he

was only too happy to oblige.

Trevor says ….

What I experienced riding 2 very different

(and fantastic) bikes …

BMW R1250RT

Of the 2 my definite preference is for the

luxurious, powerful R1250RT.

To start off with there was a definite

adjustment period to both bikes as they

are both different riding positions to my

previous bike (Triumph 1200 Adv). The

first bike I rode was the R1250RT. Once I

adapted to the different riding position it

took a short while to get comfortable. The

layout in front of the rider is great – all the

required info is adequately presented and it

wasn’t long before I was familiar with it all.

Seating is relaxed and almost qualifies as

being as comfortable as a Gomma Gomma

couch (I might be revealing my age with

that comment!)

For a long ride (+500kms) this would

definitely be a bike that I would

recommend. We experienced some

surfaces that were less than ideal during

the course of the ride. Initially, due to the

size and weight of the bike, I was a bit

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2020 75

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