Ruminating...about the 1250RS - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    I found an old thread that had some terrific and detailed commentary about BMW's 1200RS, written by Daboo (Chris). His comments cover a lot of ground in detail and could be applied to most of what can be said about the newer version, the 1250RS. For some reason, the 1250RS is repeatedly entering my thinking as to whether it might work as a "one bike does it all" replacement in the (near?) future for my RR and GT bikes. I love the RR for twisty canyon riding and the GT for longer distance cruising (though it really does excel in the canyon twisties, too!), but chain maintenance (RR) and the relatively lower power of the GT got me thinking about the RS as a good replacement, someday.

    Has anyone here had similar thoughts about the new 1250RS and, if so, what sort of "pro and con" conclusions have you come to in the process?

    One thing I will say about the 1250RS, which I got to test-ride last year - the windscreen is worse than the GT's, if you can believe that! Otherwise, the balance of the bike, the power and the ergonomics are wonderful.

    Thanks for any commentary!

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    I have been very happy with my similar 2016 R1200RS. My only complaints are that its ESA suspension really sucks as it only has two settings and very stiff springs for a solo rider and the dash display is poorly designed. Plus, it is getting too heavy for me to push around. But it is a wonderful bike for touring and I think the 1250 models have mostly solved my issues, other the the weight.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    I only do one bike at any one time so I have had exactly that idea about the RS as a do it all bike.
    For me, I like the looks of the F800GT and it is very easy to ride, but I'd like more power. For the RS, I like the looks, I like the quirky boxer engine and it has plenty of power.

    Unfortunately, on a RS test ride I could not get along with the (for me) crouched riding position, in particular the forward lean. So no RS for me.

    I haven't researched bar risers or peg modifications but this thread has just prompted to look at the RS again in cycle-ergo.com and even with bar risers, I would still have too much forward lean for my liking.

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    PS, do you have a link to Daboo's RS thread?

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    Mate of mine had GS bars on his RS, made a difference he said
    Ajay

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
    I only do one bike at any one time so I have had exactly that idea about the RS as a do it all bike.
    For me, I like the looks of the F800GT and it is very easy to ride, but I'd like more power. For the RS, I like the looks, I like the quirky boxer engine and it has plenty of power.

    Unfortunately, on a RS test ride I could not get along with the (for me) crouched riding position, in particular the forward lean. So no RS for me.

    I haven't researched bar risers or peg modifications but this thread has just prompted to look at the RS again in cycle-ergo.com and even with bar risers, I would still have too much forward lean for my liking.

    I installed 1" Wunderlich risers on my RS and it made a world of difference. The price was something around $100, only required about 30 minutes to install and I didn't have to replace or reroute the control cables.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Thanks, I started having a look at risers and found these https://www.sportouring.co.uk/shop/m...0rs-lc-901448/ (UK link) which give a whopping 30mm rise and 80mm rearward position change.

    I might start looking at an RS as my next bike. Do you have a F800GT in your garage? How is the footpeg vs seat height and your knee angle on the RS, compared to the 800GT?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
    For me, I like the looks of the F800GT and it is very easy to ride, but I'd like more power.
    I believe the F800 has plenty of power to do almost anything you want to do - you just have to learn that the power below 5,000 rpm is not very impressive.

    You are not likely to discover the available power on your first ride, as it is not all that common to get on a bike and explore the upper rpm range while the bike is still unknown.

    If you want a taste of the power - find a stretch of open road and put the bike in 3rd gear at 60mph......then give the bike full throttle and don't let off until you reach 100mph. I am often amazed at how the bike just keeps pulling hard as the rpm climbs.

    The F800GT does not have the low end torque of the 1200/1250 twin - but it does have good dose of HP in the upper rpm's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
    PS, do you have a link to Daboo's RS thread?
    https://f800riders.org/forum/showthr...0GT-Comparison

    I do agree with Thumpin that in the higher rev range, the GT has torque aplenty. When I'm in the twisties with it, I'll sit up around 6K-7K rpm and just work the throttle while in 3rd gear and the bike pulls nicely. The RS is a bit more "refined" and I can see a day coming when I want that all-around comfort and performance. I found the RS riding position (I'm 5'10") to be really comfortable. The windscreen stinks, but that can (maybe) be fixed.

    Still ruminating, but I do have two great bikes right now. When I'm tired of having two to maintain, I'll jump on the RS, I think. Not yet, though...I'm still quite young, at 74.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
    Thanks, I started having a look at risers and found these https://www.sportouring.co.uk/shop/m...0rs-lc-901448/ (UK link) which give a whopping 30mm rise and 80mm rearward position change.

    I might start looking at an RS as my next bike. Do you have a F800GT in your garage? How is the footpeg vs seat height and your knee angle on the RS, compared to the 800GT?

    No GT. I have a 2009 F650GS which has a little more leg room than the RS. BTW, I don't think installing a 30mm riser is going to be easy. I am pretty sure you will need to replace both the clutch and brake hoses to get them to reach the taller risers. But you had better check with the vendor to make sure.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    I would think if you can take the riding position of the RR the RS would not be an issue. Before the F800GT I had two great 600 class supersports (CBR600RR and ZX6R 636) found the handling of the F800GT to be close to the supersports. It would drop into a turn and flick side to side well also. IMO the RS handles nicely but is not the same sharp handling bike the RR is with the difference being in transitions due to the extra mass. A liter bike is a beast particularly when ridden at 95%. However for touring and very sporty riding the RS would be a great bike and the suspension is reputed to be fantastic across different road surfaces - mid corner bumps. The thought of an RS crossed my mind but the relative lack of power and weight kept me away. CBR snf ZX6R were 425 pounds and over 100HP. Think it was an 1150 I seriously considered. When I first got the F800GT I ran it hard into the rev limiter in 1st and 2nd waiting for the power to come on. I came from a ZX6R 636 which was all high RPM power and the rush to redline in 1st and 2nd was a blast. This is not a criticism of the F800GT but rather coming from a different perspective. I found the F800GT to be a bike I generally shifted at 5 to 6K but when hustling would take it to the redline and it responded well. I went thru all of these thoughts last summer when pondering what to do about my F800GT. Wound up going to a Yamaha Tracer 900 GT which is vey close to the same weight but with more power and a wonderfully flexible and great sounding engine. Took some work on the suspension settings and changed tires and am very happy with the bike as it combines what I really like about the F800GT and the Zx6R - 636. Great power, good handling, ability to put the side cases on and go for a long trip or leave them off and have fun in the twists. For tires I went with a Road 5 rear and a Pilot Power 5 front. Front is softer but expect about the same life as the rear so a good match without loosing any rain traction.

    In summary I would say if you ride at a quick pace in the twisties but not a really fast pace the RS would be a great bike for you. I sat on an RR the other day and was amazed at how light it was - LOL was just after I sat on an R18 and had hefted it upright from the side stand! Have ridden an RR and it is a vey nice bike - lots of power everywhere - ummmm I would be in jail.

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    My '17 RR is fantastic. I fitted it with Heli Bars, an Akropovic GP slip-on, tall OEM tinted screen, and it's good for 300 mountain miles in the twisties no problem, and as I mentioned, I'm 74. What it lacks is space to carry stuff. I have Kriega bags, and can carry "some" stuff, but not like in the panniers. The GT is a nice bike, and has all the attributes you mention, like flick-ability, but I can pin the throttle on it without fear...on the RR I'd be in another universe before I knew what happened if I tried that.

    I don't know what I'm going to do, but am still thinking if I go to one bike, the RS might work. I could sell the GT, but the thought of doing that myself, dealing with strangers, etc....ugh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpin View Post
    I believe the F800 has plenty of power to do almost anything you want to do - you just have to learn that the power below 5,000 rpm is not very impressive.

    You are not likely to discover the available power on your first ride, as it is not all that common to get on a bike and explore the upper rpm range while the bike is still unknown.

    If you want a taste of the power - find a stretch of open road and put the bike in 3rd gear at 60mph......then give the bike full throttle and don't let off until you reach 100mph. I am often amazed at how the bike just keeps pulling hard as the rpm climbs.

    The F800GT does not have the low end torque of the 1200/1250 twin - but it does have good dose of HP in the upper rpm's.
    I have about 4000 miles on the GT now, but still can't shake the feeling that I want more power. The power for twisties is fine, the bike exceeds my ability in twisties. It's the space bending acceleration from rest and the roll on power in top gear when you are already doing 70mph that I want more of.

    On my previous Honda Pan European (ST-1300) I could power wheelie with the front about 3" in the air off the lights

    OTOH, everything else about the GT is great

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
    I have about 4000 miles on the GT now, but still can't shake the feeling that I want more power. The power for twisties is fine, the bike exceeds my ability in twisties. It's the space bending acceleration from rest and the roll on power in top gear when you are already doing 70mph that I want more of.

    On my previous Honda Pan European (ST-1300) I could power wheelie with the front about 3" in the air off the lights

    OTOH, everything else about the GT is great
    Other than what you mention about power...you're right, the GT is a good bike. I don't care about wheelies...my main idea is "one bike does it all", just because two bikes are one too many for me now. My RR has a chain, which I'm not fond of maintaining, though I do, religiously. The GT has a belt, which is good, but is offset by a bit of lower-power "buzzy-ness". So, the RR has about 200hp, the GT has 90hp. Together they average 145 hp; the RS has 136hp, so it's right there in the power spot, with torque all the way through the power band. With the RS, you get sportbike plus touring bike, carrying capacity, twisty-capable cornering and, from what I've gleaned, real comfort. The center of gravity is way low and when I rode one, the bike felt lighter than its actual weight. The balance was unbelievable, compared to my GT.

    Still ruminating. Probably make a decision at the end of the riding season, as both my current bikes are fully serviced and have new tires. By late summer/early fall they'll need both servicing and tires, so might be a good time to trade if the RS demands it.

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    Two summers ago, I realized that horsepower figures were for marketing folks to put into brochures — and for the buyers to tell other riders so they could justify spending outrageous sums of money.

    I spent about a month riding with two groups of riders on the backroads of Northern California and Central Oregon. All their bikes were flashed and all put out at least 160+ hp at the rear wheel. They should've walked away from me, but they didn't. In fact, it was relatively easy to stay with them, even if I only had 90 hp at the crank. I tried to figure this out and came to the conclusion that the massive hp numbers are good for the straights, but in the corners, there's only so fast you can go. Even with electronic aids, it'll allow a less skilled rider to ride faster, but it doesn't eliminate how much traction a tire has at the contact patch with the road. And even on the straights, there's only so fast the human mind wants to take it before it backs off on its own.

    So yeah...I understand wanting more hp. But even if you had 500 hp available...where would you use it? But you could tell your buddies how much you had, because you have to justify selling off the wife and kids to pay for this new bike.

    And as for wheelies...turn off the traction control, and I'll bet you'll have no problem lifting the front wheel off the ground.

    Chris
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    Good points, Chris. My interest in the RS is not having a bike that'll "blow away" other bikes (I already have that in the RR, and I'll bet I've never used more than 60-70% of its capability). My interest is in owning just one bike that doesn't have a chain, has enough torque throughout the power curve to make the bike a joy to ride, has panniers but can be configured as a canyon-carving sport bike simply by removing the panniers, and has a suspension that doesn't require manual re-adjustment depending on whether it's hauling a load or hitting the twisties. The final requirement is an ergonomic set-up that combines sportiness and comfort. So far, from a test ride and all the reviews I've watched and read, the RS seems to meet those requirements.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the GT in combination with my RR...and in the end I may heed the saying that "happiness is wanting what you already have". And when the warm weather finally arrives for good, and I'm riding those two bikes, maybe the "itch" for something new will fade away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    ... My interest is in owning just one bike that doesn't have a chain, ...
    Good luck on that one! The shaft driven bikes are a dying breed. BMW may be the last holdout. I expect the Kawasaki C14 to be discontinued at some point. Emissions will be the death blow, probably. The Honda ST1300 and Triumph Trophy are gone. The FJR I've heard, will be discontinued. (That was my dream bike for years.)

    Newer bikes don't have much for a fairing, and they have a chain. Bikes like the Yamaha Tracer GT have that fun factor that you and Biscuit were talking about, but ...it has a chain. I suppose you could wait for an electric bike with enough range to take you up canyon carving. No chain, I'm guessing. And 100% of power and torque available off the line.

    Chris
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  24. #18
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    Here is entertaining commentary regarding chain vs belt vs shaft final drives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdKe_0TOE70
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    Good luck on that one! The shaft driven bikes are a dying breed. BMW may be the last holdout. I expect the Kawasaki C14 to be discontinued at some point. Emissions will be the death blow, probably. The Honda ST1300 and Triumph Trophy are gone. The FJR I've heard, will be discontinued. (That was my dream bike for years.)

    Newer bikes don't have much for a fairing, and they have a chain. Bikes like the Yamaha Tracer GT have that fun factor that you and Biscuit were talking about, but ...it has a chain. I suppose you could wait for an electric bike with enough range to take you up canyon carving. No chain, I'm guessing. And 100% of power and torque available off the line.

    Chris
    Shaft drive a "dying breed"? Seriously? One of the most popular bikes around, the BMW GS, has shaft drive. This is the first I've heard of it "dying" out.

    I've been looking an the Ninja 1000SX also...got great reviews as a sport-touring bike in Road Racing World magazine...and at under $13,000, it's very reasonably priced. However, it has chain drive and manual suspension...not deal-killers, but a factor. Who wants to lube a chain every 500 miles (not to mention cleaning it, too) on a cross-country trip? Still...a good looking and good performing bike, with luggage, TFT screen, cruise control, around 140hp, etc.: https://content2.kawasaki.com/Conten...=340&mode=crop

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    The Ninja is a nice bike, I looked at them but didn't want a liter bike (LOL so I got a 850cc). Talked to a couple of folks who had them and they liked them. As for lubing on a long cross country trip what I've done is wipe it down and spray a little sticky lube on wipe the excess off and let it sit till the morning then go out and ride all day. I'm not the most rigorous about chain cleaning and lubing but IMO there is a degree of tolerance. On the 1,500 mile ride back on my Tracer GT think I only lubed the chain once. Roads were good, no rain and not much dust. Rain and dirt make me clean and lumber fore frequently. A center stand makes it easy.

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    Moto Guzzi still do a nice range of shaft driven bikes. I think the V85TT is a first for a mid size adventure bike with a shaft. I had a look at one last year. Lovely attention to detail, fit and finish. Charismatic air cooled engine and "enough" power to entertain. Runs out of puff at higher rpms though.
    18 F800GT 

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoAl View Post
    The Ninja is a nice bike, I looked at them but didn't want a liter bike (LOL so I got a 850cc). Talked to a couple of folks who had them and they liked them. As for lubing on a long cross country trip what I've done is wipe it down and spray a little sticky lube on wipe the excess off and let it sit till the morning then go out and ride all day. I'm not the most rigorous about chain cleaning and lubing but IMO there is a degree of tolerance. On the 1,500 mile ride back on my Tracer GT think I only lubed the chain once. Roads were good, no rain and not much dust. Rain and dirt make me clean and lumber fore frequently. A center stand makes it easy.
    That's one problem with the Ninja SX...no center stand availability, due to the large catalytic converter required, right where a center stand would be. Makes chain maintenance on the road a real pain. In the garage, with a paddock stand, no problem.

    I'm vacillating about this. I look at my RR and GT and think...man, you are fortunate to have 2 such great bikes...why do anything? I think this past year has made me (and a lot of other people) itch to "do something" to shake things up. At this very moment I'm leaning toward keeping what I've got. But it's fun to look around and see what's out there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    I'm vacillating about this. I look at my RR and GT and think...man, you are fortunate to have 2 such great bikes...why do anything?
    I really enjoy motorcycles - all kinds. My current lineup of my Suzuki Savage Cafe' bike provides my need for a cool looking and fun bike for the curvy country roads where I live. The F800GT is a great bike for curvy roads, day rides with my wife on the back, or long trips and overnight stays when riding alone......or even trips to the hardware store. My R1200RT fills my need for a long distance sport touring bike and overnight trips with my wife on the back. These bikes are all keepers - the R1200RT is the one I ride the least and will likely be the first to go as I age and the weight gets to be too much for me.

    Still - I enjoy riding and experiencing what other motorcycles have to offer. I have ridden a friends Moto-Guzzi V7 II - it was so much different than my BMW as it had bottom end torque and ran out of power as the rpm climbed it felt like a bike that as built in the 70's even though it was only a couple year old. For a couple years I had a little Kawasaki 250 Ninja....it was a great deal of fun, got 60+ mpg, it could run 80mph all day long and I took it on several 1,400 mile weekend rides. I would enjoy a mid sized dual sport that would be suitable for doing some off road exploring, a vintage trials bike to keep my balance and control skills keen.....and the thought of owning a vintage BSA Goldstar or old Matchless single is always haunting me!

    I have always thought that a BMW R1100RS would be a fun bike.....or any one of the R75 or R90 bikes.

    So many motorcycles - so little time and garage space!
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    After over 52 years of riding and owning something like 46 motorcycles, I have come to the opinion that 500cc is all you really need to have fun when riding solo and still be able to carry a useful load if necessary. However, an engine of about 800cc gets the job done more easily when hauling around a passenger, top box and saddlebags. The extra torque and power just makes two-up touring a lot less work.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    I KNEW it! As soon as the good weather got here, and I got out on the RR and GT, any desire to trade for an RS went away. Just looking at those two bikes in the sunlight during a stop in the rides made me realize I've got two of the best bikes that exist...to say nothing about how they performed (beautifully). Whew...that was close! I might have made a real boo-boo...

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  35. #26
    Right Hand Drive's Avatar
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    I had been considering changing the GT, R1250RS was in the frame and the Guzzi v85TT. However, nice weather here and a few good ride-outs have me enjoying the GT again. The 20 mm bar risers made a huge difference to comfort for me. Still a bit of forward lean but much less weight on my wrists. Flyrider, a bit off topic but are you still running with the MRA screen spoiler on the GT? My more upright riding position has reduced screen turbulence a step further and the screen is now "nearly right" but I was thinking the spoiler might just add the icing on the cake. I know there will never be perfection but are you still of the opinion that the spoiler provides a worthwhile addition?
    18 F800GT 

  36. #27
    flyrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Right Hand Drive View Post
    I had been considering changing the GT, R1250RS was in the frame and the Guzzi v85TT. However, nice weather here and a few good ride-outs have me enjoying the GT again. The 20 mm bar risers made a huge difference to comfort for me. Still a bit of forward lean but much less weight on my wrists. Flyrider, a bit off topic but are you still running with the MRA screen spoiler on the GT? My more upright riding position has reduced screen turbulence a step further and the screen is now "nearly right" but I was thinking the spoiler might just add the icing on the cake. I know there will never be perfection but are you still of the opinion that the spoiler provides a worthwhile addition?
    What a timely question, RHD! I went out on the GT on Saturday (with the MRA deflector on) and stopped a few times to make small adjustments to height/angle, etc. I found some differences...some better, some not. THEN...after about an hour of riding/experimenting, I removed the MRA deflector and rode with just my OEM (tinted) screen, and...liked it better. For whatever reason, I found it less visually bothersome, and the airflow was smoother. So, to answer your question, I think the OEM screen isn't so bad, after all. Sometimes you just have to try things to see what happens, and when I went back to stock it was a hint to me that - maybe - those BMW engineers actually put some thought into the original screen and didn't put something on the bike to aggravate owners, after all!

    Your comment about upright riding positions is probably a factor here, too. With the deflector off, and me sitting taller, my head was likely into smoother airflow. With the deflector on, the wind was moved higher and so was any turbulence that might bubble off it. I think the deflector might be nice to take along on those really long rides, in the event it might enlarge the quiet air bubble and reduce long-distance fatigue, but I'll find out soon enough on my favorite 150-mile loop, when I ride with the stock screen alone.

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  38. #28
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Lag seems to be having trouble uploading photos on to the forum. So I will upload one of my JPG photos of my lupine R1200RS just to make sure that the system is still working.

    It looks like the uploading system is working OK. Especially as I have 215 pages of photos stored in the system memory.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	001 (2).JPG 
Views:	37 
Size:	1.16 MB 
ID:	371759  
    Last edited by Richard230; 03-30-21 at 04:24 PM. Reason: just checking
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  40. #29
    Kylerbry's Avatar
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    Joey Bryant
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    Hopefully someone can help, I got an f700gs 2013 and it's been sitting all winter. Just got new battery installed and now when in idle everything seems fine. But when I rev slightly and roll off throttle the bike revs on its own. I've checked battery connections. Has anyone had this problem?!

  41. #30
    flyrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylerbry View Post
    Hopefully someone can help, I got an f700gs 2013 and it's been sitting all winter. Just got new battery installed and now when in idle everything seems fine. But when I rev slightly and roll off throttle the bike revs on its own. I've checked battery connections. Has anyone had this problem?!
    How did you store it during winter? Fuel stabilizer? Battery tender (guess not)? Did battery die and create fault in electronics? Just speculating here...

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