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.
Posted By: Zapata

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 01/05/18 08:22 PM

Hello Team:

New 2012 R1200RT (Model: 0440) owner here, this is my first BMW bike. My previous bike was a 2013 Victory Cross Country that I trade for the BMW because Polaris discontinued the Victory brand in favor of the Indian Motorcycles brand. So far the bike is a dream to ride. I am very impressive with all the technology that comes standard in this model. What are the issues that you guys mentioned above the electric switches? Is that recall? How do I know if the recall has been performed? So far I did an oil change as soon as I rode out of the dealership. Last weekend I installed LED bulbs for the brake/tail light.

Best regards,
RB
Posted By: MikeB60

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 01/06/18 03:12 AM

Originally Posted by Zapata
Hello Team:

New 2012 R1200RT (Model: 0440) owner here, this is my first BMW bike. My previous bike was a 2013 Victory Cross Country that I trade for the BMW because Polaris discontinued the Victory brand in favor of the Indian Motorcycles brand. So far the bike is a dream to ride. I am very impressive with all the technology that comes standard in this model. What are the issues that you guys mentioned above the electric switches? Is that recall? How do I know if the recall has been performed? So far I did an oil change as soon as I rode out of the dealership. Last weekend I installed LED bulbs for the brake/tail light.

Best regards,
RB


Might be best in the future to start a new thread as we are hijacking the thread.

There was not a recall on the switches, they were under what BMW calls a campaign. If the switches malfunction they will replace them. The switches in question are the left and right handlebar switch clusters. Went through a couple of each on my camhead.

Here is a link to check for any recalls on BMWs LINK

Enjoy the RT, they are great motorcycles!

Mike
Posted By: MichiganBob

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 01/06/18 03:16 AM

Check out the "Sticker Shock" thread Zapata.
Posted By: Ozzyal

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 02/20/18 08:09 AM

I'm looking at trading my R1100RT on a R1200RT 2010 tomorrow . Good to see everyone is happy with them .
Posted By: Ozzyal

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 02/21/18 07:55 AM

Yep pick it up Monday .
Posted By: Lester V

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 03/25/18 12:09 AM

The camhead must be the best bike to buy...as there isn't much to complain about on this particular BMWST heading.

Look at all the postings in the wethead/oilhead and hexhead headings. Lots more issue discussion. Yes, and from the top of my head I do know that the oil went from 94/95 to the hex at 04/05 til the cam at roughly 09/10 to the 14 wet and til now.

I have owned the bikes from the airheads up to the wetheads. My oilhead, which I sold to a friend, now has 200k miles, still going strong. It did have a few things that needed to be pre worked on though. Even more so on my 07 12GT.

Just saying......long live the camhead....and yes i might get a wethead.....

cheers
Posted By: MichiganBob

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 03/25/18 01:13 PM

I'm going to hit the big 70 very soon. My riding needs have changed a lot since I first mounted that 1969 BSA 441. Being in Michigan, there are no mountains with 15 mph switchbacks except for my yearly jaunt west or southeast. What I have are hundreds of miles of back roads through farmlands, around lakes, and of course three pretty large lakes. My 2012 camhead performs extremely well for this kind of riding. This summer, I'm doing a bucket list ride southwest, California coast, see my kids and grandkids in Washington state, up toe Banff and Jasper, and across northern superior through Thunder Bay and Wawa. The camhead will be flawless for such a ride, just like my oilhead performed to Alaska,

In short, I can't imagine a wethead giving me any more satisfaction for the riding I'm doing. Maybe it's smoother or has more power or torque but how much better can it be? I'll ride one someday and see if I'm wowed so much that I run out and get one. But not any day soon.

Ride safe,

Bob
Posted By: GSman

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 04/03/18 12:03 PM

Coming from 250k miles worth of oilheads the camhead is an amazing machine. Much less maintenance and with 90k miles on my 2011 RT zero issues except fuel strip one time (BMW covered replacement.)
Posted By: Lester V

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 04/04/18 12:26 AM

Originally Posted by GSman
Coming from 250k miles worth of oilheads the camhead is an amazing machine. Much less maintenance and with 90k miles on my 2011 RT zero issues except fuel strip one time (BMW covered replacement.)

I' ve never had a fuel strip issue on my 2011 as mine doesn't have one. Maybe you got a 09 that was registered as a 2011?
Posted By: Pappy35

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 04/04/18 12:48 AM

Originally Posted by Lester V
Originally Posted by GSman
Coming from 250k miles worth of oilheads the camhead is an amazing machine. Much less maintenance and with 90k miles on my 2011 RT zero issues except fuel strip one time (BMW covered replacement.)

I' ve never had a fuel strip issue on my 2011 as mine doesn't have one. Maybe you got a 09 that was registered as a 2011?


I thought I've read that folks have this problem with 2013's. Was it limited to specific models years or are they scattered throughout the entire production run of Oil/Cam heads?
Posted By: Ozzyal

Re: Camhead the perfect bike? - 04/05/18 09:53 PM

Well , I've only done about 3000kms on my R1200RT so far , but the engine and gearbox is light years ahead of the old oil head . Handling is pretty sweet too . I must say , I think the ride position is better on the old R1100RT .
I also don't think the styling is the prettiest thing around ( I don't care when I'm riding it ) . I'm pretty damn happy with it .
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