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A 'low cost' alternative to venerable European touring? Absolutely, so long as you're not snobbish...

PRICE

CTX 1300: $15,999
R1200 RT: $17,705

ENGINE

CTX 1300: V-4
R1200 RT: Boxer Twin

DISPLACEMENT

CTX 1300: 1261cc
R1200 RT: 1170cc

BORE x STROKE

CTX 1300: 78mm x 66 mm
R1200 RT: 101 mm x 73 mm

COMPRESSION

CTX 1300: 10:1
R1200 RT: 12:1

COOLING:

CTX 1300: Liquid
R1200 RT: Air

CURBWEIGHT

CTX 1300: 724 lbs
R1200 RT: 571 lbs

RAKE

CTX 1300: 28.5 deg
R1200 RT: 26.2 deg

TRAIL

CTX 1300: 4.5 in
R1200 RT: 4.6 in

SEAT HEIGHT

CTX 1300: 29.1 in
R1200 RT: 32.2 in

WHEELBASE

CTX 1300: 58.4 in
R1200 RT: 64.5 in
 

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Used to ride a R1200RT, now ride the CTX1300 ..... and I'm sure the Honda won't bite my backside with unexpected fixes or leave me stranded.

Yeah, the brand snobbishness gets tiring. No need to that rubbish.

However, I DO miss the BMW suspension but not enough to go back.

Aloha,
Huladog
 

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Huladog,

That is the EXACT reason I traded my R1200Rt for the CTX 1300...I kept having something always needing to be fixed or worked on with my BMW. My headlight bulbs would last about half the season, first the left side, then I would replace the right side. Just strange things, quirky things that made you wonder no matter how bullet proof the engine is, the weak link isn't necessarily the big items.

I did have a tough time pulling the trigger on the CTX however. I didn't want to give up the electric adjustable windshield, as the low turbulence and quiet ride on the BMW made me concerned about giving that up. I also liked the detachable luggage, was easy to remove for cleaning the wheels and doing simple maintenance like checking air pressure in the rear tire, etc.

Bike had a six speed and geared to the moon, so for a high speed all weather interceptor, the BMW had it covered. I also DID NOT WANT to give up the electric cruise control, and my plans are to spend the bucks, no matter what that price is, and have this installed on my CTX!

But what about the 6,000 mile valve checks! Really? They were easy to check, but sort of a short interval for a touring bike. My alternator belt would squeal at times, and I had the servo motor brake system, so it was very complex but it would stop the bike quickly!

Ultimately for me it was time to change, I didn't want to put any more money into the BMW, and wanted a low maintenance motorcycle to just go and ride. I just had my college roommate from 25 years ago take a look at the CTX, and he thought the modern look that was different than everything else on the road, he liked the bike. He is looking at the new Indian Scout which I am sure will get more attention than my CTX, but I think the CTX is a much better value.
 

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I don't know about the latest 2014 RT with water cooling, but the 2013 I rode through Colorado last summer was not so impressive. It rattled and shook at low rpms. The windshield was adjustable but even when all the way up it didn't give as good of wind protection as my current Madstad. The mirrors were just like the CTX mirrors...average. And the transmission was still clunky. My RT had suspension adjustment but it didn't smooth out potholes so well...actually just like the CTX. My experience with BMW's is that they have an average product with a lot of cachet. And you pay a lot for that cachet.
 

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Miks,

I agree the RT has some really nice design points, but even though mine was a late model (no servo brakes) small things would fail and then you needed to wait weeks to get a replacement part from Germany, then the replacement would be the wrong version because the factory went through several different versions trying to get the "fix" correct.

Enuff, preaching to the choir.

Interesting note about your friend looking at the Indian Scout since that bike was on my radar due to it's good price point. I made it a point to hunt down a dealer in SoCal who happened to have a press fleet bike on their lot (this was right after the press intros so nobody really had their demo bikes available).

Like everybody says the bike looks really small when you walk up to it and it IS small and low when you sit on it. Since I'm short I thought this would be a neat old-school lookiing v-twin with a modern liquid cooled engine, but as soon as I sat down I realized I wouldn't get the bike (and I was even registered on that Indian "first release" list).

While it was low which is good for my short legs, the forward mounted pegs were too far forward and even with the factory accessory brackets to move them back an inch or so it still wouldn't be comfortable. The other thing was when I was just sitting on the bike I could feel the rear cylinder exhaust pipe was too close to my inner thigh and would be super easy to be burned by it if you didn't pay attention at a stop.

Aloha,
Huladog
 

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Huladog,

Right...I sort of sit on the Indian Scout and had the same impression, just something not right with the feet vs handlebar position that felt - funky! My friend is a larger guy, tall and for some reason he thinks it is the bomb, and will spend about $13,000 + once he adds the seat and luggage for the bike, it had me wondering why he won't look at the CTX since he was sort of enamored with the bike.

Like many buyers of motorcycles, his main reason for the Indian Scout is the style of it, and as he explained his reaction when he first saw it, how good it looked. Forget about function and comfort, this bike looks good! (A Harley Buyer in the making?) Anyway, I may have planted the seed for the CTX, as he isn't going to buy the Indian until April/May so perhaps after he sees the CTX a few more times, he may have the light in his head go on and realize for not much more money, he can have a modern bagger!
 

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FYI the r1200rt has a low seat you can get at purchase BTW... it also adjusts (i think) underneath(?)
mine fit well and im short.
I owned two, R1200R (loved it!) R1200RT (hated it) .. it had a ton of cool stuff though... but I didn't like the powerband and it just didnt have any personality. and ... it would overheat in LA traffic. the R1200R would never overheat .. prolly because it didn't have fairing
oh that suspension was great!
The dealer(s) were all snooty as ****, and one reason I wont ever own one again. I tolerated it OK until I was reprimanded for not having the "official" key-chain ( with roadside assist and dealer number ) anymore. They actually replaced my keychain and asked that I dont remove it!
a keychain!
Thats just a pompous as it gets.
 

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I had the RT with both the low seat and the low suspension which was the big reason I got the bike since BMW is like the only manufacturer, that I can think of, which made some models for shorties like me.

I figured that out when I thought about how the short guys on the solo bike detail for the Honolulu Police Department could ride the RT's. Then I learned about the low options.

About that keychain? Yow, pompous to the max but I fully understand. I know some nice guys that ride BMW's but others who literally only want to ride with other BMW's, like the other bikes are not worthy.

Oh, well, we ride what we like.

Aloha,
Huladog
 

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Huladog, Miks,

What model years were your RTs?

My father-in-law is a Harley guy but now seems to dream about moving to something with better ergonomics than his Road King and has had his eye on the RT. Between the recall this past year for electric suspension issues and the kinds of little issues you guys are talking about, I'm wondering if that move (which at first I cheered) seems like it'd be a mistake.

It affects me because we ride a lot together. :)

Jeff
 

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JeffZ,

My R1200Rt was a 2006, so when I bought it used with 15,000 miles on it, I thought there would be something obvious that would be wrong when I test rode it.

I fixed the bike up from the condition I had purchased it in, but I always had something I needed to fix. The gearbox wasn't the smoothest, but not any worse than a Harley. I did have an oil leak that was between the engine and gearbox, since they are separate reservoirs. I had weird electrical problems, every once in a while I would have a fault in the system, I would leave the bike alone, and it would clear itself. That had to do with the ABS system. I checked all the sensors, wires, etc, and could never figure it out.

The biggest problem is that the bike has a more unreliable factor than the Harley Davidson according to JD Power and Associates. It is the most unreliable bike being built, and yet...there is no dealer network really, and most dealers seem to not have the best customer service. I will tell you that my experience working with the BMW customer services was ABSOLUTELY THE WORST, lip service at best!

It really gets down to if you have a dealer close AND the dealer "gets it", then I would definitely own a BMW! Otherwise, KEEP the Harley!
 

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JeffZ

Mine was a new 2012 R1200RT and I had been riding a 2010 Harley Street Glide prior to that. I did have a good track record with three different Harley models and didn't have any issues. The Harley's did have minor recalls but some were really minor like the warning sticker was worded wrong or the bolt for the rear brake master cylinder needed to be replaced.

I never felt that they would surprise me and just stop running and leave me stranded not knowing what the heck went wrong. They have a super strong dealer network everywhere so that's a big deal when you're touring (BMW? Not even close).

Plus you can find a lot of replacement parts, bolts, etc. at an auto parts store or even the hardware store!

I agree, if you have a great passionate dealer close-by, then the gamble with the BMW is OK. If not, have your dad stick with Harley (or Honda of course).

On my RT the left side handlebar switch housing would act up so the electrically adjustable windshield got stuck in the highest position which blocks a lot of wind and I needed the cooling breeze in Hawaii. Took over a month to get the replacement switches (had to order them twice, had to come from Germany), two trips to the dealer. Granted, it was covered under warranty but what a hassle and something that you wouldn't expect on a Honda! That switch was a known weakness on the forums.

Another minor quality issue was the front brake master cylinder cover would seep/leak so the brake fluid would cause the finish on the cover to blister and peel. The dealer technician told me when he replaced it that he doesn't understand why the factory overfills these reservoirs so the can't help but seep when it gets warm and the brake fluid has nowhere to go.

A friend had a GS that spent so much time in the same dealer shop that he got rid of it. Electrical gremlins they just couldn't get rid of. He warned me, but I took the gamble and lost, too.

My recent experiences with Honda? Nothing has gone wrong, no parts have needed to be replaced due to quality issues, maintenance is straight forward.

On the maintenance issue, with BMW the dealer has to plug in the bike computer to their network which then updates the cosmic BMW network to keep track of what has been done to the bike and by whom (the officially sanctioned shops). I guess that's good if you really want to know about a used bike, but too Big Brother for me.

Again, for your dad's best interests stick with Harley if he's used to them. Or, go rent an RT on a trip and try it out. They do handle well, are lightweight compared to Harley, have great brakes, but if it's an air/oil cooled boxer that dry clutch is more delicate than the oil bathed clutches of most other bikes, the longitudinal twisting of the bike due to engine torque can be unnerving (by the way the CTX doesn't do that).

Shoot us any questions, we'll be happy to reply!

Aloha.
Huladog
 

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Thanks for the responses. That's the thing -- he's rented an R1200RT while on a trip with a friend of his and loved it during a 5-6 day ride. I'm just concerned that he might see some really disappointing issues with it during long-term ownership that he didn't during that rental.

Jeff
 

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Thanks for the responses. That's the thing -- he's rented an R1200RT while on a trip with a friend of his and loved it during a 5-6 day ride. I'm just concerned that he might see some really disappointing issues with it during long-term ownership that he didn't during that rental.

Jeff
The boxer engine is a real workhorse. Good power too. Torque band takes a little getting used to. Rock solid suspension (it has a swingarm!) . Not too heavy, but the RT can be a bit top-heavy and doesn't shed weight like a Honda (no so much to be a dealbreaker). good mileage .

It has a very cool two cylinder unique feel...
Most mechanics know the bike by heart ... police and hardcore riders beat the crap outta these bikes , and they take it!

Its a great bike, but I would suggest outfitting a r1200rt if you like a little personality and willing to give up some cool touring features (... you wont get the electric windshield, cruise control, etc ) and the mileage may go down... but I liked it better. Ride one

I seriously like the rugged panniers , very solid design, and even though shop visits are frequent (esp compared to a honda) they arent too bad or costly. They sell em like hotcakes and have a huge following.

Take a look at a goose! These need a little more TLC and may be finicky , but a griso, norge or california is a very cool experience!
 

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Its a great bike, but I would suggest outfitting a r1200rt if you like a little personality and willing to give up some cool touring features (... you wont get the electric windshield, cruise control, etc ) and the mileage may go down... but I liked it better. Ride one
Did you mean to say something other than R1200RT there? It sounds like you're suggesting taking a different 1200 model and outfitting it to have touring type capabilities. That would work for me, but I know my father-in-law would want the best he can get in the range and to have everything set up for him.

Take a look at a goose! These need a little more TLC and may be finicky , but a griso, norge or california is a very cool experience!
I looked at Guzzis. There's a shop 90 minutes away from us out in the middle of nowhere (strange place to sell Italian motorcycles most people don't know very well). They had a used Norge they let me take for an extended test ride. I hated pretty much everything about it. The vibration, the noise of it, the heat coming off that engine baking my inner thighs and crotch, the adjustable windshield that only gave me protection at the very highest setting, and worst of all the footpegs that were way too high. It's like the bike was made for guys who are 5'6" but who wouldn't mind only being able to put one foot down on the ground at a time. Whoever they're designing for, it's not me. :350x700px-LL-66dd6d

Jeff
 

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Did you mean to say something other than R1200RT there? It sounds like you're suggesting taking a different 1200 model and outfitting it to have touring type capabilities. That would work for me, but I know my father-in-law would want the best he can get in the range and to have everything set up for him.

Jeff
ehem R1200R (sans T )

I loved the Norge, but heat management finally got to me. I went 800 miles on one in one shot ( VERY rare for my old body to manage even 300 miles ) and stepped off it with little damage . Its a old spirited ride for sure... a goose captures the spirit of riding kinda like a old english sport car captures the spirit of driving.
 

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Good afternoon to everyone,
I bought this weekend a CTX 1300 black.
My previous bike was an R 1200 RT BMW 2012 and I made 35,000 km.
With the CTX've done 150 km, with more than 100 km in the rain.
My opinion, still unaware of the Honda, is:
Strengths BMW:
Electronic suspension control (for me unimportant);
Cruise control (for me unimportant);
Tire pressure monitoring;
Heated seats;
Electric windshield of control;
Traction control works great;
Average consumption for my driving 5,6l / 100km;
Sporty handling at high speeds;
Excellent braking;
Excellent aerodynamic protection
Transmits a lot of confidence.
Weaknesses BMW:
Maintenance cost;
Review of 40,000 is very expensive;
Sometimes in the rain I lost my turn signals;
Some materials with poor quality;
On long trips I get some back pain and numb hands.


With 150km Honda CTX 1300 with great windshield:
Strengths Honda:
Comfort and driving position;
Maintenance less expensive and more spaced;
Seems to have better materials;
Design;
With this bike I want to walk slower (perhaps because I still do not know the bike well).


walk slower (perhaps because we still do not know well).


Weaknesses Honda:
The traction control is a disaster. I fell upon entering the garage with wet conditions. Unbelievable. I shall complain;
Reasonable consumption 6.1L / 100km, only slightly more than the BMW;
Side cases not allow you to place one full face helmet;
I still can not pair the iPhone 5S with IOS 8, perhaps be committing a mistake, I do not know yet.
 

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Gika,

As a former owner of a R1200Rt, and three other BMW's, you will find over time, the Honda quality and build becomes apparent. You don't have all those "strangely strange but abnormally normal" issues known for BMW's.

Things I like about the CTX:

Regular fuel - no requirement for premium! Often I ride on the backroads, and many small towns it is hard to find premium fuel.

The LED lights. They are very bright white, and look great!

This bike is a "bagger", so it is about style, cruising along and enjoying the scenery. Comparing the two bikes is difficult, because the BMW is more sport oriented. Loved my R1200Rt, but put some seat time on the CTX and I think you will find it will grow on you and it won't require visiting the dealer nearly as much!
 
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