Sports or touring?

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Sports or touring?

Postby bobberjob » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:40 pm

Hi all

I've been looking at the R1100S as I think they look great but what are they like as a general touring bike?

I'm looking for something for solo continental trips but does it need to be ridden like a sports bike. I don't want to be cramped over with my arse in the air.

Also I like a torquey engine not a revver so what's it like?

I know it's all subjective but I would welcome your experiences

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BoxerCup R
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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby BoxerCup R » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:19 am

HI bobberjob

Where you a scout ? :lol:

My BCR is a perfect Euro 'mile muncher' with a bit of sportiness about it. I buy 34" leg jeans and with it's tall seat, tallest seat on any roadbike I've ever ridden :wink: and good 'seat to peg' position, I find her 'all day comfortable' in the saddle with no aches or pains afterwards. The screen is a great wind deflector and does a good job of keeping the rain at bay too. first thing I did when I bought her in 2017 was took her to 'The Ring' and back, 1200 mile round trip and it was absolutely fine.

It is not a touring bike, but you can tour on it. Now you can say that about any bike but having ridden abroad on 4 cylinder in-line, sports bikes, this is as comfortable as they get for my money. The shaft drive means you don't have to carry any chain lube under your seat and you can buy a Baglux tank bag to keep the colours of the tank on show while you tour and also rails and hard luggage depending how much 'stuff' your taking.

The engine - well mine is a little - lets say 'buzzy' for want of a better word above say 80mph but because its a large capacity twin you are sat at low revs and the sound is 'ear' comforting with the wind noise your biggest 'bugbear'.

Hope that helps and there'll be plenty more opinions coming your way I'm sure.

Cheers :wink:
"02 Yamaha XJR 1300SP in Kenny Roberts Yellow - (bought new)
"18 BMW S1000R Sports - (bought new)

"11 Porsche Boxster 987 S Black Edition No.261 of 987

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby Al » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:17 am

Had mine 11yrs and covered many miles on it, solo, two up with luggage(soft throw overs) etc, very capable touring bike. A popular mod is to put the bars above the top yoke, just takes a bit of weight off the wrists, Only changed to a GS because of arthritic/ageing joints were creeping up on me. The 1100s Sport Is very similar spec to the BCR without the fancy paint( larger rear wheel, better shocks)


P.S if you get a silver one I have a baglux tank cover :wink:
Shiny Silver/Grey BMW R1200GS
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Shiny Silver MR2 vvti Roadster.
White Peugeot Boxer Camper Conversion.
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andy griff
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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby andy griff » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:41 pm

I had two 1100S, one with the touring bars set up ( which is the same clip ons just mounted above the yoke) and went all over Europe solo.
It was a great touring bike. How many sports bikes do you know that have OE panniers ? Can take a tank bag ? have rear seat bag fixing points ? and have heated grips ?
I did the 'Ring plus many scratching roads , all good.

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby bobberjob » Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:08 pm

thanks for those impressions - please keep them coming good and bad

I have many years with an Electra Glide which was a great touring bike but now everyone has one.

Seems to be the same with BMW where the most suitable would be the R1200GS which again is very common.

It's my desire for something a bit different which points me to the S - problem is I'm pretty old and short which is not a problem for me but dragging a big bike about gets to be a bore and comfort is now more important.

I'm torn between the F800GT (same basically as my F650GS) which is light and can come with panniers, fairing etc. etc. or the classic and rarer S.

I want an S because of what it looks like and that's not always the best way to choose a bike! :clown:

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby kfrogzx7 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:55 pm

I wouldn't discourage you from an S, it's definitely a sports tourer and loads of fun everywhere. Get the luggage and it'll munch the miles with the best of them and return good mpg and comfort too. However, there are boxer alternatives that fall between the S and the GS that are very much underestimated ... I'm talking 1150rs here. It's much more comfortable than even an S, on a par with a GS, it's less sporty certainly but as a long distance mileage bike I'd say it's about perfect. Owners love them, they're rarer than the ubiquitous GS, but offer far better road manners, seat is low ( highly adjustable ), they have road presence like a GS ,with better weather protection, 250 ml tank range .. .
If your bones are "getting on a bit" I'd test ride ( and read up on ) a good one before letting the looks ( beauty ) of an S seduce you.
Connoisseurs Sports Tourer.
K100rs, R1100s, R1150rs, R1200st, K1300s

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby wicker » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:15 pm

I've toured quite lot on my S and it can take the miles. Bars above the yokes and a higher than standard screen was my preference. However the higher screen is still low by touring standards and tended to deflect the wind onto my upper chest. Thats fine on nice day but not so good when you're faced with a day of heavy rain.

Indicated 80mph is approx 74mph at 4250 rpm, it'll sit at that all day till the tank runs dry. It usually about 140-150 miles to the low fuel light however you still have a gallon left after that so its a comfortable 160-170 between refills.

The suspension is on the firm side of comfortable when riding without luggage. Adding the weight of panniers seemed actually seemed to make it more comfortable.

I retired my S from European tours at the end of 2005 after jiggering my back riding the bumpy coast road in Croatia. I did 15k on it that year. I still have the bike and love the looks, how it rides and sounds but it's Now only used for 200 mile days out rather than 2 week holidays.

With the S you are now looking at bikes which will be at least 15 years old and will have the age related wear associated with that. It's a relatively maintenance heavy bike compared to more modern BMWs and you may well need to budget for a new rear shock if above 30k and some brake discs above 50k.

Personally, if budgets permit, i would be looking at something younger and more current. Plenty of choices out there however, if you want to go the BMW route and shaft drive I would suggest either the R1200R or R1200RS. Both are available for not too much money and are probably both better bikes than the S in terms of having benefited from another generation of design and development updates.

The R1250 versions are currently too pricey for my tastes however I am tempted by the black RS.

The R1200R Classic with the wire wheels always appealed to me. It just needed a decent screen to make it tourable.

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby Neil178 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:31 pm

All good points above. I agree that a newer model would be better in many ways.
I have my bars above the yoke and fitted a peg lowering kit. Taller screen too.
Using the Ventura rack and soft throw over panniers I’m good to go touring/camping for weeks in comfort.
As the years roll on I now notice the weight of the bike when pushing it around.
Still a great looking bike and that’s why I’m sticking with it for now.

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby SP250 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:11 am

Yep toured on mine through Scotland and Europe. Its good for 700+ mile days but I'm not - knee cramps mainly.
The bike will do it, if you are comfortable enough on it.
But at the age of 65 now, I would personally go for a more upright touring riding position on any bike I bought and the later 1200 and WC engines are much more responsive and powerful.
I would also keep my 1100S, which I've had from new, for fun ride outs from home as it is still a damn good bike.
Like Neil I am now noticing the extra weight while pushing it around.
So building a trials bike from the piles of bits in the shed to go playing off road while I still can.
John M

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby bobberjob » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:15 pm

Yes it all confirms my suspicions that I'm probably too old to go touring on an S.

Beautiful bike and great for a day out but probably not for what I want it to do. :cry:

I might still get one though :)

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Re: Sports or touring?

Postby Neil178 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:32 pm

In that case get one bought ASAP. Enjoy it for the time being and sell it on once you have had your fill. If you buy right then you won’t lose much, if at all, when you sell it on.
Box ticked, itch scratched! I’m sure you will enjoy it.

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