MCN Fleet: ‘High or low option, for your R1200RS sir?’

RS is easy to tailor to suit your height.

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That’s the one thing we want to know before putting their money where our mouth is? Power? Torque? According to a recent MCN survey the thing that bothers us most is seat height

Being six foot it’s not something I’ve ever worried about. But since throwing my (longish) leg over the R1200RS in May it’s been niggling away at me. MCN’s original test of the bike included a long ride back from Spain which highlighted a slight issue. Tester Simon Hargreaves was not sitting pretty and mentioned how the high seat and low (ish) bars pushed weight onto his wrists. Seemed fine to me though, maybe he’d just had too many Sangrias. 

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BMW offer three seat height options when you order the R1200RS – Sport (840mm), Standard (820mm) and Extra Low (760mm). There’s also a Low option (790mm, but that will cost you £222).

My bike has the Sport seat and in terms of leg room and comfort, there are no complaints. But after a 300-miles-in-a-day hack, I started to feel the strain. The lack of body movement on the long and boring motorway trek had left me in little doubt that one Mr S Hargreaves had not been hitting the Spanish alcoholic fruity drink quite as liberally as I’d suspected.

In a bid to see if a lower seat took a little weight off my wrists, without simply moving the problem to another part of my body, I borrowed a Standard and Low perch to test.

The height reduction is achieved through thinner padding and the lowest seat I tested (790mm) felt too hard. It lifted weight from my wrists but left my knees poking high in the breeze with achy thighs after just 50 miles. It also made the front go light when accelerating out of corners as my weight is canted back in the seat. 

The Standard seat seems to offer a decent compromise. It creates a more natural ‘sitting’ position and alleviates the forward-inclined riding position. I need to do a longer journey to see if the wrist ache is cured and to see whether any other aches creep up on me.

 

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