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2007 BMW R1200RT

Swap Meet Finds

Classic Velocity

The local BMW dealership hosted a swap meet for the first time, and a small group of individuals showed up in an attempt to clean out garages. There was a real eclectic mix of items, but among them were a few items from a guy who sold his RT and had some surplus. I picked up a Wunderlich foot stand enlarger, a set of knee pads, and an official BMW tankbag for the RT. The first two went on pretty quickly, while the tankbag will wait for a trip when extra capacity is needed.

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A Puzzle Solved

Classic Velocity

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Some time ago, I tried to harmonize luggage across a few different machines. In particular, I wanted to use the same tank bag so that I would not be in danger of forgetting to transfer the mini flashlight or the USB adapter or the crampbuster, to the machine I was riding. I used the SW-Motech tanklock system and that took care of 2 machines. However, on the RT, there was no EVO tank ring offered. Why? They clearly had a ring for the hole pattern as it was the same as other years. After thinking about this on and off for a year, I saw a tank ring on sale and ordered it from Revzilla. 

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Once installed, I could see the issue. Unlike the prior generation tanklock, the EVO has a much larger rectangular base on the bag. This interferes with the stock tankbag rack. In addition, the shape of the EVO tank ring interferes with the gas cap when opening. Being motivated to resolve this, there were two parts to the solution. First, the supplied standoffs were too short. A trip to the hardware store yielded 0.5 inch standoffs that elevated the ring so that the bag would seat properly. Second, the dremel tool came out, and shaved the inside of the EVO ring so that the gas flap would open and close. All told, $4 and 15 minutes of work solved the problem.

Head Helmets

Classic Velocity

The RT was and is a popular machine, and Amazon turned up some cylinder head protectors from the Far East. They took a while to arrive, but surprisingly, they came with good hardware, and fit well. All this for less than $40

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The Long Breakfast

Classic Velocity

The idea of going for breakfast some distance away went awry on this trip as the distance and time were miscalculated by the GPS. Actually, the start point was a waypoint from a prior trip, so the human was really at fault. In any case, the stopping point was in Ridgway, PA. Great roads, but a bit of fog along the way. The RT was flawless as usual with heated grips on low starting out, the windshield easing the highway stint, and great handling in the sweepers...

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The Long Errand

Classic Velocity

We needed some yeast for baking, along with a few other more bulky items. Available within a few miles of the garage. However, on this perfect cool summer morning, the best way to get there was via a 112 mile loop up over the mountain and back through some twisties. Along the way we spotted this K bike apparently running errands as well. This is how we should start everyday....

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Rowland, NC

Classic Velocity

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A pit stop in Rowland, NC which is the exit for the historic tourist trap South of the Border. It is kind of run down at this point, but it was a must stop a few decades ago if kids were in your car. Billboards for miles full of cheesy puns ensured that you stopped and paid for overpriced ice cream or a keychain, or gas. Today it was just a gas stop..... 

New Shoes

Classic Velocity

The front tire was a Michelin Pilot Road 3, but from 2013. The rear tire was a Continental but well outdated from 2008. I started out just intending to replace the rear, but thought that the more wise course of action was to get a known matching set. The gold standard is the new Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT. Reviews are stellar, the technology is fascinating, and wet performance and longevity are reportedly very good. An immediate test was riding home from the shop in the rain. New tires not scrubbed in, and wet roads made for a nervous ride, but the RT is now ready for distances great and small....

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First 50

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With winter weather and other time commitments, there was a delay in the first opportunity to put some miles on the RT. Once possible, I took the machine for a fifty mile loop on a 38 degree day. The machine performed as expected, with linear power delivery, neutral handling that got better at speed, and comfortable ergos. The heated grips worked fine on the low setting. The heated seat is one of those options that I never would have paid for, but which certainly feels good on a day like this. It is amazing how much warmer you feel with your butt warmed 😯. 

I also tried out the ESA and it did make a noticeable change in the rear suspension characteristics between comfort and normal. This was not the day to try out the sport setting. The cruise control also worked fine, and I can see this being a major plus on long distance slab riding. The windshield adjustment is amazing. This may be the first bike where the stock screen is exactly right in both the low and the high positions. High creates a quiet pocket with air flow just brushing the top of the helmet. Low is full air to the helmet. 

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The throttle was linear in application with plenty of passing power if you drop down a gear. The rear tire has a strange feel at high speed, and I will likely change it to a Michelin to match the front. Braking is good, and I did not notice the linked brakes. The paralever front suspension did its usual great job of reducing dive. Overall, a very good first run. 

Light it up

Classic Velocity

One hour to spend in the garage, and I decided to tackle the luggage light. It is a simple job of splicing in two wires. However, I don't like splicing factory wiring if I can help it, so I found a couple of dual spade connectors and crimped on a couple of bullet connectors. Job done. No hacking, easy disconnect, and added visibility. As a bonus, I discovered a partially blown bulb which I replaced. All jobs should be this easy and beneficial......

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Luggage, and lots of it

Classic Velocity

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The RT is a luxury tourer. It is known for luggage capacity. However, this one had issues. Both side cases had latch mechanisms that were sticking badly. The process of taking them apart and lubricating them is arduous due to the number of fasteners and the intricate mechanism. It took a few hours to get them done, but once complete they functioned well. Then there were the scratches and dents. Matching paint from Colorite was combined with much sanding to make them presentable. 

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Then there was no tankbag, and no top case. Fortunately, we had a leftover Motech bag and tank ring. It fit, and created a choice of two bags, the very original and the more recent version. The original looked better, but interfered with the handlebars at lock, so the Ion got the job. The top case was even easier. A Bestem 929 from the F800GT was easily mounted to the rear rack. Connecting the brake light will wait for another day...

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