HD V-Twin vs. The BMW Boxer Twin

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by cedarbrook63, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    Had the morning off yesterday and went for a test ride on a BMW R1200RT which is a bike which so many reviews will tell you is the most comfortable long distance touring bike you'll find (at least the reviews here in Europe).

    Coming from a 1200 V-twin Harley, it was interesting to feel what this acclaimed BMW Boxer twin felt like. I went to this test ride very prepared to be impressed but I came away a bit disappointed to be honest. First of all, it has a very different vibration to that of the Harley - the horizontally opposed twin really rocks the bike when you are standing at lights/junctions and it took a bit of getting used to how the engine causes the bike to tip a bit to the right when I first revved up a little as I release the clutch to take off. Lots of people go on about the Harley engine being Tractor-like, well I must say that the Beemer felt a lot more agricultural to me and the "Tractor" characteristics of the Harley twin are actually charming and attractive whereas the Boxer just felt a bit dull and lumpy to me. I loved the electronically adjustable screen - fantastic protection from a wet windy English January morning, the heated seat and grips were also sweet. The Normal/Sport/Comfort settings were nice for the different parts of ride and the Electronic Suspension Adjustability and the traction control were very good features. But in the end of the day I wasn't sold.

    I'm not a Harley owner who thinks these bikes are faultless and can do everything better than every other make of bike out there - that's just nonsense. But the Harley V-twin is a lovely engine and I think it is a much more pleasant and comfortable twin to ride than the Boxer. Don't think I'll be getting the Boxer Beemer as another bike.
     
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,276
    133
    156
    I had an air head boxer prior to my first Harley i had a great time doing the restoration of it but never really enjoyed the ride that much it was reasonably quick comfortable and smooth but just seemed to be missing something

    Brian
     

    Attached Files:

  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    5,800
    153
    318
    I would bet that the heart and soul of a Harley is where your opinion is coming from with the BMW.....:s
     
  4. rhino 2

    rhino 2 Active Member

    182
    0
    2
    Had a lot of bikes over the years [decades] each one had it's own sound, A few were smooth, So smooth one or two were like riding a vacuum cleaner.
    Never had a Harley, Last summer i took a T/G out for a test ride, The instance i hit the start button i was hooked on the sound, feel, soul.
    Now i know what it's all about.
     
  5. Safehaven

    Safehaven Active Member

    351
    16
    1
    Thanks for the unbiased comparison.
     
  6. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    Lovely neat looking bike Brian - is that an old photo or do you still have it?

    :D Just my opinion for what it's worth. Hope you're enjoying your Bob and that the weather is not confining it to the garage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012
  7. olbill

    olbill Member

    44
    0
    0
    I spent 25 yrs riding BMW's from R90's to K bikes and f650's they were nice machines.and that's all they were. My 1st ride on a Harley Sportster let me know what was missing i have worked my way up the H.D. food chain and now ride an Ultra limited and have never been happier.I wish i had started with Harley
    but i have some nice memories with the BMW folks as well.Some of you guys complain about the cost of service and attitude at the dealers ride a beemer.

    OLBill
     
  8. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    8,176
    98
    16
    Cedarbrook, so good hearing from you and a very nice post indeed. I felt pretty much the same when I tested the ol' Beemer way back in the 80's...it did not have the whiz bang electronic windscreen and was indeed more "agricultural" as opposed to the Harley but at the time I was into the SPORT side and the KATANA was so razor sharp refined I was swayed. Back then the Harley was attractive, but too many rough edges, and a service record to match.

    Fast forward to today and yes the Harley has trumped them all...bet you really liked the Beemer for it's lightness (I remember I could bounce the rear end and holding the grab rail being able to pivot the bike with the engine off)...still hated the auto retracting Euro kick stand though, now as then...some things never change...LOL!
     
  9. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,276
    133
    156
    That photo was taken the evening that i sold it as once i had the sportster i only took it out for its mot and it was replaced in the shed by the softail but at the time i sold it i had 2 sportsters and a honda 125
    i was sad to see it go as had put 3 winters into a full nuts and bolts restoration to bring it back to original condition with many hours of labour in a cold shed
    But i could never walk past the sportster to get the BMW out when i wanted to go riding

    Brian
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Bob Kennedy

    Bob Kennedy Member

    21
    0
    0
    Thanks for the review, Cedarbrook. The R1200R was one of the bikes I was considering before I bought my XR1200 (the other was a Moto Guzzi Griso), but the BMW was the only one I didn't get a chance to test drive.