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If you were to choose between these two bikes and price wasn't a factor which would you prefer and if you're feeling chatty, why?

 

A BMW R1250RS

 

or

 

A Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

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It depends.............  are you going to ride solo or 2-up? If it were me, and I ride solo 96% of the time, I would buy the Kawi. . It is lighter, lower, better stronger faster greater bigger nicer prettier ... ha ha ... and it costs way less. take the spare cash and treat yourself to a nice trip...

 

If i were going to be riding with the missus on the back a lot... then the Beemer all the way. Or a Concours

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My first thought was exactly the same as Jimbob, or a Multi for 2-up. Kawi is more modern with more features. Consider long term maintenance and repair $$ too...

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The Bimmer. It weighs about the same as the Kwaka, actually has a lower seat height, very similar power, you can get to the valves/ plugs etc. without pfaffing about with the tank, has low maintenance shaft drive, can take a centre stand and IMO looks better. Main and probably most important issues with the Bimmer are that they are expensive and likely less reliable than the Kwaka!

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8 minutes ago, vfrcapn said:

My first thought was exactly the same as Jimbob, or a Multi for 2-up. Kawi is more modern with more features. Consider long term maintenance and repair $$ too...

The new wet head Bimmer with shift cam is pretty modern and the RS has lots of trick features.

 

I have looked closely at both, to replace the VFR, but keep thinking the Viffer is plenty good enough.

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These two bikes are also at the top of my "possible next bike" list. I have looked at the 1000 SX extensively. 

 

I guess my short answer is, if price wasn't a factor, I'd maybe(?) go with the BMW. It's a great bike with lots of "mature rider" refinements. In a moment when the sport-touring concept is somewhat out of fashion (and therefore under-represented in the new model lineups) the 1250 RS is a completely credible "upgrade" from the VFR.

 

That being said, I've never owned a BMW, but spending my own money on one would definitely feel like a gamble. Everything I've read about the "total cost of ownership" for BMWs is either:

 

     a) Actually, they are rock-solid and reliable, or

     b) Actually, they are prone to expensive maintenance issues

 

Which of these contradictory reputations to believe? Since I am both a pessimist and someone who believes that Japanese bikes offer better value to the budget-conscious consumer, I'm inclined to give a Japanese bike the nod in the event of a tie.

 

But since, in the real world, price very much matters, I scratched the BMW from my short list. I haven't priced the BMW recently, but my recollection is that it was consistently at least $4K more than the N1K. Maybe $16K vs $12K or something like that? $4K buys a lot of noteworthy upgrades. That's an ECU re-flash (for smooth throttle response), plus an Ohlins suspension, plus an after-market seat.

 

The knocks I've heard against the 1250 RS:

  • pricey in the usual BMW way
  • some people don't like the "tractor-like" boxer twin
  • some people don't like the rider triangle ergos

 

The knocks I've heard against the Ninja:

  • IL4 can be buzzy at some RPMs
  • insurance can be surprisingly pricey (on account of the Ninja name?)
  • no center-stand
  • fit and finish is a step or two off Honda

I think the 8th gens (especially in red!) are just ridiculously beautiful bikes. I would buy a used 8th gen today if they had modern electronic rider aids. They do have TC and ABS, but both of those are (IMO) 2010 vintage technology. Both the Ninja 1K and the 1250 RS offer Bosch's latest commercial 6-axis IMU technology (aka "cornering ABS"). Everything I have read from the people who have tested these bikes is that the technology is a game-changer in terms of rider confidence and safety.

 

In the end, I tend to be pretty frugal (cheap?) when it comes to motorcycles. That's one of the reasons I ride a 16-year-old 6th gen. In that spirit, if you're looking at new bikes, I don't believe anyone is currently offering more sport-touring motorcycle for the dollar than is Kawasaki with the N1K. 

 

 

 

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I am with Magneto, VFR1200!

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2 hours ago, Wald said:

I am with Magneto, VFR1200!

 

Naturally! :beer:

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I am blindly hoping that KTM will soon add some nice sport touring type creature comforts to the 890..... it has ample power, light weight and nimble handing, and a good fuel tank range. The electronics are modern, and im guessing reliability will be pretty good too. Aprilia RS660 looks tasty too.......

 

Here's to wishing on a star.... like a fully modernized 9th Gen. Viffer ! Ha!

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Neither

 

 

Had Beemers before and no,

I do not want no stinky i-4....  :laugh: 

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After riding my 6th gen VFR over 14 years and many thousands of miles, I bought my first BMW last fall, a new R nineT Pure with its air/oil-cooled boxer twin engine.  I loved the V4's character, torque and hp.  While bike shopping for over a year, I looked at a couple bikes with inline 4 engines, but they just lacked the character I wanted in my next bike.  The boxer twin, on the other hand, had gobs of character, and it's a major reason I chose my BMW.

 

The R1250RS is going to have character, too, but it's smoother, more powerful, quieter, and liquid-cooled.  The low-end torque is great, but you can also rev these boxers up.  Service intervals are also longer on the liquid-cooled boxers compared to my bike's older engine design.  But either way, the valve checks and adjustments are supposed to be much easier than on most bikes.  And the available technology on the newer R bikes is impressive, although I tend to be wary of some advanced tech, fearing failures and expensive repairs.  Among the pros though, I really like the shaft drive.  Also on the plus side, no more chain maintenance and no more buying expensive new chain and sprocket sets every 20,000 miles.  I sometimes miss having a centerstand, which the RS has and the Ninja doesn't. The R1250RS is a great looking bike, but yes, expensive to buy, and dealer service is more expensive than at any Big 4 shop.  I considered buying an R or RS last year, but the RS seemed bigger to me than my VFR, and I was looking to get something a little smaller.

 

The Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX is also a great looking bike, sleeker overall than the BMW in my opinion, and could very well be more reliable than the Beemer.  It's certainly much cheaper.  But look at the smaller details of the two bikes and you might find the quality of the parts and the fit and finish is a step up on the BMW.  Maybe not enough to justify a $4K or more price difference, but when I compare most Big 4 bikes to a new BMW, a few things stand out.  Still, the Ninja has more than enough power and great tech, too.  There's probably going to be some buzzy-ness to it, but you'll get some on the BMW at higher rpms, too.  (Mine is worse, being the older design.)  One factor I've always considered when looking at new or used bikes is the dealer network.  If I'm on a long trip or tour and my bike breaks down, is the nearest dealer shop an hour away, or three to four hours away?  Not a huge factor, but it's there.  I'd bet there are more Kawasaki than BMW shops in America, so that's a point for the Ninja in my opinion.

 

Sorry that was kind of rambling and long-winded.  Like most bikes, these two have pros and cons.  Also, please don't take me for a huge BMW fanboy.  I wanted one for a long time and I really dig my new bike, but I'm not married to the brand.  In fact, I bought pretty much the cheapest new BMW you can buy, excluding the scooter and the 310cc bikes, so it's not like I'm showing more love to the BMW because I need to justify having spent tons of money on it.

 

Anyway, if it were me and price wasn't a factor, I'd probably buy the BMW R1250RS, mainly because I love the boxer twin engine, but also because the BMW is a little different.  You'll see R's and RT's, but you don't see too many RS's, and I like that.  Actually, it's another reason I bought the bike I did.

 

But in real life, instead of one of the two bikes you mentioned, I'd be looking at a used R1200RS instead so I could afford one.  The new R1250RS's are unbelievably expensive, upwards of $17-20K with options, and that's before you even add the OEM hard bags.  In that respect, the Kawasaki starts making a lot more sense.

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Without getting to ride either one first, the 1000SX, even if money was not a factor.  

I've never sat on a BMW, and haven't been on a Kawi in nearly 30 years.  Who knows what I'd choose if I got to test ride them. 

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The reason I haven’t considered the VFR 1200 is simply that it’s too big for my liking. I would have added a Concours and an FJR if that was on my radar.

 

I’ve test rode an R1200RS as well as an R1200R in the past but never a Ninja 1000 of any generation. I have sat on one a few times and think the latest version has a more comfortable ergo compared to the RS. I also agree that the boxer motors have great character as was mentioned earlier. In fact, between the R and the RS I find the R more comfortable and had better handling in the twisties.  I would consider the R decked out in touring gear. 
 

We shall see, I have plenty of time to think about. Would be happy just keeping my VFR if it were more comfortable. 

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I was considering 1000SX at one moment but I was put off by the fact that it's not allowing me to mount a top box and side cases in the same time. I usually like to carry a lot of things during my 2UP touring trips.

On the other hand it looks like a very nice and polished machine but I wouldn't prefer it over the BMW unless I was under a budget constraint or maybe out of the reach of a good BMW dealer. The inline 4 is really smooth and all, but the modern BMW boxers have fixed much of the problems from the past, so you are now left only with the character and fun part of it.

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Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX.  I got to sit on one and it felt just right.  It's also light.  I could see myself putting miles on that bike comfortably. 

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I wanted to add a few more things here.  I ran across a couple riding the R1250RS.  It was impressive to look at so I asked the pilot how he liked it.  He said it was a great bike and his only complaint was replacing the rear tire every 3000 miles.  I wasn't clear on if that was due to the fun factor or always 2 up riding.  

 

To be honest though my next bike is going to be a used Goldwing.  I made the mistake test driving 2 different ones after testing an FJR1300.  You can lean those a lot more than you think and the weight being so low was even easier to handle than my 02 VFR.  Seating position was very close to the 1000SX, I could one foot it at stop lights comfortably, and they move quite quickly with a bit of throttle. 

 

The R1250RS would scare me trying to move it around my garage and the 1000SX could 2 up but my wife won't due the sport bike perches any more so I would always be riding solo.  Throw in a Goldwing with a queen's thrown that is still putting smiles on my face in the twisties and I win.  In the mean time I will just have to "settle" for my VFR.  

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