BMWSportTouring

Camhead the perfect bike?

Posted By: chrisz

Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/01/17 08:34 PM

Hi all,

Am considering coming back into the BMW fold after selling my R1150 RT some years ago. Have been looking for a 2011 RT (in Ontario Canada) for a few weeks and have been watching the camhead forum on this site to learn of any issues I should be aware of. But there is not much activity on the camhead forum compared to the others (oilhead, hexhead, waterheads), which could be a red-herring to think they don't have problems. I'm thinking this may be the bike to buy?!

Your thoughts...

Thanks,
Posted By: mickeym3

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/01/17 09:07 PM

My Camhead was an awesome bike, just got smitten with the Wethead. Only trouble I had was switchgear fails (3), others may know if BMW covers those after warranty.
Posted By: mrzoom

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/01/17 09:15 PM

That's what I did. I found a 2013RT with only 7800 miles. Yes there are possible problems but other than the switches not much is common. Switches are under warranty and had been done on mine. I also got full records of service.
The water cooled are nice but more $$. I was able to transfer many of the accessories from my 2005 RT over which saved me more money.
Posted By: Highway41

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/01/17 11:50 PM

I believe the Camhead is the perfect bike, at least for me.

I've put 120K on a '10 and a '13 and each has been bullet proof. Valves bed in needing little adjustment and the bike is easy to service. It manages heat very well ducting most out the bottom. Has a honking alternator and room under the seat for accessories and tools. Great on/off throttle at 4K and above through the curvy stuff and sounds the best of the boxers too. Lots of used farkles available.

Bill
Posted By: bwpsg42

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/02/17 01:35 AM

+1 on the camhead. I only have 40k miles on my 2013 but it’s a great ride and I concur with everything Bill says above.
Another Bill
Posted By: JAllen

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/02/17 01:53 AM

Bought a 2011 eighteen months ago with 3800kms on it here on Vancouver Island. Have been to Halifax and back, Alaska and back, and Alberta countless times. Now have 60000kms and would say it is by far the best motorcycle I have ever owned. Do my own service work and valves are still in spec. Brings a smile everytime I ride.
Posted By: MichiganBob

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/02/17 02:45 AM

Have had my 2012RT about two years. My other twins were a R75/5, then a 81RT, and 02RT. It's a great motor and tranny and the suspension, brakes, and lighting is excellent. The bags fit well and I like the tank bag rack on the tank which has now been discontinued. I know many others on this board immediately change the seats. It fits me well with just an Alaska Leather on it for a little more cushion. Like others, the dealer recently took care of my switches even though they are out of warranty. The retail for two new switches and labor is just a sliver south of a thousand bucks so you will want to inquire with a seller as to if they were replaced. I'm not sure what year had poorly designed switches other than my 2012. Good luck on your deliberation.
Posted By: Doug_Baliko

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/02/17 12:46 PM

+1 for the Cam Head. The engine is a vast improvement over the Hex Head that I owned. This bike fits me well. I have a peg lowering kit, pull back risers, and an RTL seat, which makes the bike fit me like a glove. I had my switches replaced under warranty and have not had an issue with them since. I can do 500-800 mile days with ease when I need to in relative comfort. I have debated buying a water cooled RT, but I just don’t see the need. I bought my bike when it had 3000 miles on it and now have about 40,000. Besides normal maintenance it hasn’t cost me a dime. Except for farkles..... but that’s on me :-)

Doug
Posted By: Danny caddyshack Noonan

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/02/17 06:08 PM

+1 on the camhead as well. While I've ridden much less the past 2.5 years (leased an electric Focus), it is without a doubt the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden or owned. If your butt can stay awake, 1000 mile days are not that bad and the discomfort is not bike related if you have a good seat. If I had a gripe, it is that the dash display always seems to pick up glare that gets enhanced with polarized sunglasses. Not sure any bike has the perfect electronic display though.

Peter
Posted By: Hank R1200RT

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/03/17 05:15 PM

Ditto on al the above. Camheads have many fewer problems and idiosyncracies than earlier boxers. Maintenance issues are well known. I would like to have a sight glass for the final drive, but that's common to all BMWs, I think. LCD display is terrible in bright sunlight, the only real fault IMHO. Not much choice in the tank bag area, but not terrible. This may be my final bike. Have a dealer inspect it before purchase and ask what recalls gave been done.
Posted By: chrisz

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/03/17 07:41 PM

Thank you all for your input, so this is the bike for me. Now the search starts.
Posted By: Doug_Baliko

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/03/17 10:16 PM

Originally Posted by chrisz
Thank you all for your input, so this is the bike for me. Now the search starts.



If you’re patient, it’s relatively easy to find a low mileage Cam-Head.

Doug
Posted By: chrisz

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/04/17 02:57 AM

Winter is coming, am forced to be patient ;-)
Posted By: Paul Monk

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/05/17 10:35 PM

Just replaced my 2009 R1200GS with a 2011 R1200RT due to the GS drowning. I used to ride the GS and think "how could it be any better than this?" The camhead engine is smoother, more power and the RT does handle a little better. Downside is that I had much more luggage capacity on the GS, but at my age I appreciate the lower suspension. I am no longer disappointed that I couldn't find a used water cooled RT.
Posted By: Lester V

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/07/17 01:15 AM

+1 on the cam head. Lighter than the wethead by a lot. Has more storage etc. Maintenance is easy and the valves don't change........

I've only got 62,000 miles on my 2011 and if the newer wetheads can't lose weight (or BMW makes another lighter RT that works for me) I'll be looking for another low mile camhead.

Wow, one of the recent posts mention a 3800km camhead in B.C. That would be ideal.
Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/07/17 05:27 PM

I own both a hexhead and a camhead. The valve clearance checks are easier to do on the hexhead, period. There is a noticeable difference in pep between the motors favoring the camhead. I like both motors. think the hexhead is easier for owners (non-mechanics) to maintain pertaining to the valves anyway.
Posted By: jimmyd

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/11/17 05:47 PM

I have a 2012 Rt and agree with all that has been stated above . I have logged 90000 KM. As with most others my switches were replaced under warranty. As well my rear shock was replaced under warranty , a rarity I am told. I have owned Honda St's and a FJR, the BMW is a superior touring tool to both of them. It is the most comfortable and offers the best wind protection. I was tempted by the W/C rt but after several test rides could not convince my self to part with the camhead.
Posted By: Yeeha! Stephen

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/12/17 10:45 PM

Got a '12 Camhead RT about to flip over 100K miles and have had no problems with it. Switch gear was replaced under a recall but there was nothing wrong with them when the dealership called me.

Oil, tires and gas and that's it.

Too bad you're not closer to Tejas... there a couple of low mileage camheads for sale here on our Yahoo list...

"I've decided to sell my 2013 RT. Since 'customizing' my bikes is something of a hobby it's quite well equipped (see attached spreadsheet). As is my habit, it's current on maintenance and the maintenance records are available. Current mileage is a touch over 14,000 I'm asking $13,000. Given the low mileage and equipment that seems a good price.
If you are interested I can be reached at wahutton@att.net
Austin"

"A friend of mine is selling his 2012 BMW R1200RT with 20,000 miles. The bike is in Houston, TX. He is asking $11,000. Here is more detail if you are interested.
https://www.cycletrader.com/listing/-123338745
Know the bike well and she is in mint condition.
Best Regards, Armando"
Posted By: chrisz

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/13/17 01:40 AM

Thanks Armando, its winter here, minus 10 or so, not buying at the moment. There are a couple near me for sale, a 2011 and 2012 models, both with about 30K miles for $11K CDN (or $8,500 USD).
Posted By: Green RT

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 12/13/17 04:09 AM

Originally Posted by chrisz
Thanks Armando, its winter here, minus 10 or so, not buying at the moment. There are a couple near me for sale, a 2011 and 2012 models, both with about 30K miles for $11K CDN (or $8,500 USD).

You might be in a stronger position to bargain by buying this time of year.
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