BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Motorcycles Reviews (8)
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2007-04-26 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I have had my R1200CLC for just over 2 years, I am more than happy with the performance of this machine. I generally use the machine for touring this bloody big country I live in and I have to say its performance is fantastic. The comfort levels are great, to the point that my wife accompanies me on all my rides now, something that she wasn't keen to do on previous machines. The braking ability of this machine is phenomenal, especially when you live in a country where kangaroos and emus feature high on the road kill register. Economy (m.p.g.) is a plus, it can be some distance between petrol stations. I have fitted a towbar and now tow a Shadow Trailer when we go camping (Shadow Trailers are built in South Australia, check them out) and it can be fully laden and not be a drag on the machine. I applaud BMW on this machine.
- Brian TODD, VICTOR HARBOR, Australia

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2005-05-26 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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The only two things I can think of that are even remotly negative are the fork mounted fairing (causes bike to be a little clunky and awkward but only at parking lot speed) and the lack of a good (meaning economical) place to put highway pegs. I love this bike and can cruise all day long and still be ready to ride some more.
- James, Yukon, Oklahoma

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2004-09-25 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I've seen some mediocre reviews of this machine, and after putting 5000 miles to date on my R1200CL Custom, I don't understand them. I've been on many other bikes, but BMW did a great job on this one. Though it does take a little time to get used to the signals/horn, the heel toe shifter takes about a block to get used to. My choices in the category of cruiser touring came down to the HD Road King and the BMW. I took the BMW for the handling and amenities, as well as the braking system, which is light years ahead of anything I've had prior. I ride all the time with my buds and their Harleys, and have no trouble at all keeping pace. I am also much nimbler in cornering than the HD. No bike is perfect. No matter what, you always seem to want more power and notice some things that could change. The extremely long 6th gear is one, but then again, I get great mileage on the road with it. Upwards to the low 50's. The heated seats and grips are great, and the stereo/cd is decent as well. Gearbox is clunky, but it's a Beemer. It's how they are and why they get 2-400k miles on them. Cornering on this thing is as easy as if being on a 500cc. I can bring this big girl down to the pegs and she just stands right back up with a twist of the hips or a pop on the bars. The power assisted brakes have saved my hands in traffic many times, and my life at others when a deer or car pops out and causes me to hit the hooks. No lock up, no skidding. Just stopping, and straight up. Passengers are comfortable as well. For the money, how can you not buy this machine? I do think the HD has a much better resale value however. Both are fine machines, but at my age I prefer comfort and safety over image. I love this bike and plan on keeping her a long time.
- kurbs, Chicago, Illinois

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2004-04-25 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I purchased my BMW CL 1200 this winter. I picked it up April 1, 2004 and have put approximately 700 kilometers on it. I have to say this bike is awesome in all aspects, for example - breaking, comfort, handling, roll on power and of course industry leading quality, suspension and state of the art safety. The day I picked my bike up it was extremely cold and wet, however the well designed fairing, heated grips and the heated seat made for a relaxing comfortable ride home. When I compare my new BMW with my other past motorcycles such as a Yamaha Venture, Hondas and many British Bikes my CL 1200 is light years ahead. After looking at all the current touring models and going to many bike shows, I was left with 2 choices the Harley Road King or the BMW. I decided to stay with proven quality and superior technology and decided on the BMW - and I am glad I did. I ride mostly two up and it cruises very nicely at 130 kph. I can't say enough about the comfort and especially the handling and breaking at all speeds. I would highly recommend this motorcycle to any serious bike rider. Ride safe.
- Mike, Toronto, Ontario

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2004-02-22 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I bought this bike after riding a Yamaha 1100 for one year. The Yamaha was a nice bike for the buck, but the BMW is in a different league. Protection from the wind/rain is phenomenal. The bike is extremely comfortable even after a couple of hundred miles. It is very smooth on the back roads and highway. The top case is large enough to hold a helmet. The radio/CD player is adequate, but could be a little louder (when wearing a full helmet). With a 1/2 helmet it is plenty loud. A plus is that the volume goes up and down with your speed. Power on this bike is well more than adequate, despite some of the reviews. They must have gotten confused and thought this was a sport bike. No trouble keeping up with a friend of mine on a Harley road king. Fit/finish are superb. Braking takes some getting used to due to the power assisted ABS, but this 700lb bike can stop on a dime. Would highly recommend for someone wanting a refined, comfortable cruiser.
- DRD, Cincinnati, Ohio

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2004-02-20 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I have owned many brands of bikes with this being my first BMW, and all I can say is wow, I was really missing out. The only person that will not be satisfied with this bike is the guy looking for a high horsepower bike, otherwise this is money well spent in my opinion. The quality of components are top-notch, and fit & finish are second to none. This is the only bike that my wife actually looks forward to going anywhere with me on, and all you guys out there know that if mama isn't comfortable you might as well put it up for sale!!!
- Dan, Boise, Idaho

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2003-09-24 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I read a lot of reviews before I tested this bike. They were on average, a little negative over all. Most of the negative comments were directed at the lack of horsepower, and the weight of the bike. This is my third bike, my 1st BMW. I have never owned a Harley, both were Hondas. The R1200CL is a great cruiser, those of you who want lots of power and the ability to carve up the corners, look at the 1200GT, I tested that bike too, but I'm in Germany (Army) and thats too much power for a country with no speed limits. Anyway I like to cruise, enjoy the outdoors and travel. This is the perfect bike for it. The Bike is a little awkward at first, but after getting used to it, it's absolutly no problem, I'm 5'11, 185, and it's very comfortable, even though it towers above almost every bike on the road. The ride is superior in every way, smooth and very stable, the bike is well built, and it comes across everytime I ride it. The power to weight ratio is fine, it's been way overblown in the press, and won't be noticed by anyone who wants a cruiser. There's actually good power up in the 4000+ RPM range, and I can cruise this thing all day at 80 MPH on the Autobahn very comfortably and keep it under 4000 thanks to the 6th gear. The brakes are nothing short of excellent, period. Shifting gears is smooth, but as I read in previous articles(and I agree) 1st could be a little lower, but it is fine. The stereo system actually surprised me, it sounds great, and I can hear it very clearly during normal cruising. There is an internal system available for hook up which will run about $1000 total, which includes helmet speakers and installation. Overall this bike is great to ride, and I was able to pick it up fully loaded (CLC) including delivery for $14,450 (sorry, but you will have to be stationed in Germany for that price) thats about $3000 less than what you can pay in the states, and about $5000 less than a comparable Harley, and you don't have to carry around a drip pan, or a tool box!
- James B, Seattle , Washington

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2003-09-02 2003 BMW R 1200 CL -Custom Dual Sport View Listings

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I had not ridden for 20+ years until this year. I decided to take up Motor cycling again. I first purchased a BMW 1100 RT but found it uncomfortable and more sport bike than I wanted. I tested the R 1200 CL in West Vriginia at the BMW MOA ralley and decided to maybe buy one. I came back sold my current bike and started the research. I got cold feet due to some bad press I read and then tried to try other bikes. The bike got one good review and one bad review that I could find. I ended up purchasing any way after a lot of going back and forth. I am now happy that I decided to take the chance on such an unusual piece of machinery. I made my final decision based on my desire for a Cruiser type bike. I wanted the BMW antilock brakes, better than most cruisers handling and good performance. I believe that the bike is a great bike. I am 6'1" and my wife is 5'11"' together we weight about 450 lbs. We put a lot of weight on a bike sporting only 62 HP and 1170 cc's. We find the ergonmics to be good, not a good as say a Gold Wing 1800 but good. Smaller folks who are a little afraid of the GW and want a larger tourer would like this bike. It never seems to overwhelm me with it's weight like the 1100 RT bike did. Even though it weighs more than the RT. I find the bike has good acceleration and even better handling. I went riding with a neighbor who also has a new bike, a HD Road King. In general around town and back roads It was easy for me to keep up with him. If I am in 6th gear and doing about 55 and we both throtle on his bike will leave me behind. I believe this is mostly because of the high gear. If I am in 5th gear and pulling 3K rpm then the bike accelerates as fast as his bike. When we take off and really get on the gas my bike would out run his bike. One thing to note is that when I first rode a R1200cl it was a corporate test bike with many miles and very well tuned. When I came back to MD and rode the bike I purchased it seemed much slower. It was it only had 5 miles and besides being told to keep the rpm under 4000 the bike was not very loose if you know what I mean. It was down right sluggest. I am now at 1000 miles and the bike runs much better with acceleration and such. I expect it to get even better as it loosens up. I have gotten an average of 40+ MPG so far but a lot of riding was at low speed and low RPM during breakin. I did get 43 MPG for one tank. At higher speeds it seems to be closer to 39-40 MPG. The bike does not have a fuel guage but has a low fuel light. It comes on at about 150+ miles. I have went as far as 180 before filling up and had about .4+- gallons left. Iron butt folks would be looking for a larger tank or extra. Since I can not ride for more than about 80 miles in a stint this is fine with me. I would like to see the 1st gear on this bike to be a little lower so I have more pull from a stop or when starting off up a hill with the bike loaded. As it is I some times have to slip the clutch a little more than I would like when under full load and especially when starting off up a hill under load. The bike produces a little heat at times when not moving much such as in heavy stop/go traffic. The fairing pushing a lot of air out of the way and makes riding comfortable. The unusual head lights attract attention and make the bike very visible. When I had the RT I wanted to put more lights for night driving. I have no such need on this bike the night visiability is great. Lastly a guy, at the local HD store I was visiting, looked at me and commented, figure you got enough lights on that thing fellow? The radio should have been an on board communication system like on Gold Wings. A BMW dealer looked at me in shock when I asked if I could get it with a CB, he said, "seems like something Gold Wing type of folks would want", he did admit that he could put one on a BMW but did not understand my desire for one. BMW parts and maintenance seem expensive. My first 600 mile check up cost $300 and included removing the valve covers and adjusting. I don't believe this is necessary on many Japanese and Americian bikes. I believe it is necessary do this every 6000+ miles. I could be wrong? I will be trying to learn how to change oil and check valves my self in order to cut out this additional expense. I do love the bike and the ride but I do not drink any one's corporate cool aid, so I also see the areas where it should be improved. I will put it on a dynameter after I get about 3000 miles on the bike to see if the HP & FTLBS is what BMW is claiming.
- Philip Wilson, Gaithersburg, Maryland

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