In the BMW Motorrad camp, the RT initials have always related to extremely comfortable and highly capable and functional touring bikes. With the introduction of the new BMW R 1200 RT for 2014, the bar will be elevated, yet again, for dynamic two wheeled touring. BMW Motorrad continues to showcase how things are properly executed when it comes to blending stellar travel capabilities with high performance, sporty attributes.
The latest iteration BMW R 1200 RT will come with a new engine and unique profile. The new boxer engine is more powerful with a larger centrifugal mass that yields a heightened level of refinement and smoothness. It is derived from the boxer engine found on the BMW R 1200 GS, and produces a peak output of 125 horsepower at 7,750 rpm along with a maximum torque of 92 pound feet at 6,500 rpm.
The centrifugal masses of both the crankshaft and the alternator have been increased, resulting in an exceptionally smooth operation. Riding comfort has also been enhanced through the utilization of a longer secondary transmission ratio that lowers the engine rpm.
For optimum adaptation to the rider’s individual needs, the new BMW R 1200 RT is equipped with two riding modes along with Automatic Stability Control (ASC) as standard fare. The two riding modes, “Rain” and “Road”, allow the R 1200 RT to be adapted to most road conditions. The optional extra Riding mode Pro feature will include the additional “Dynamic” riding mode plus the Hill Start Control function. The sporty nature of the R 1200 RT may be optimally experienced in “Dynamic” mode, while Hill Start Control provides assistance while stopping and starting on an uphill slope.
BMW’s Gear Shift Assistant Pro, is available as a factory option, representing a world first for a production motorcycle manufacturer. It enables upshifts and downshifts to be made without operation of the clutch or throttle valve in the proper load and rpm speed ranges while riding.
Another factory option is semi-active suspension – BMW Motorrad’s Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment). the new R 1200 RT attains unprecedented levels of riding safety, performance and comfort, with the damping automatically adapted to the prevailing conditions to suit individual riding situations and maneuvers.
The new BMW R 1200 RT features a new, continuous main frame to give it even greater directional stability, along with optimized riding comfort and streamlined aerodynamics thanks to more dynamic bodywork and optional LED Corona Ring headlight.
Seating comfort and ergonomics have also been enhanced for both rider and passenger. The ergonomic triangle formed by the handlebars, seat and footrests has been lowered by 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) making it even easier to reach the ground, a big plus when maneuvering in tight spots or getting on and off the bike.
Thanks to their outstanding comfort and effective wind and weather protection, BMW RT models have always been renowned for their excellent long-distance capabilities, now further improved by the addition of an optimized windshield.
The instrument cluster has undergone a total makeover, now featuring a large 5.7-inch TFT color display that provides the rider with an increased level of data. The display is supplemented by the analogue speedometer and tachometer dials. And for the ultimate in touring comfort, the list of available factory installed options includes an audio system with innovative operation via the multi-controller.
This latest BMW R 1200 RT is built around a chassis which, like the engine, is based on the proven components found on the R 1200 GS. The new frame with mountings for the BMW telelever and BMW paralever now features a continuous design, making it more rigid, resulting in a further major improvement in the bike’s directional stability By stiffening the mounting for the spring elements, the chassis response is more sensitive with better rider feedback. The large 36 degree steering angle to each side results in a very tight turning circle by tourer standards, allowing for easer maneuvering. By optimizing the position of the bike’s center of gravity, handling is now more positive than on the previous model. With BMW Evo paralever rear suspension, the lower spring strut area with wraparound swingarm is now also better protected against possible damage. Finally, delicately styled 10-spoke wheels deliver added impact to the R 1200 RT’s dynamicism.
The R 1200 RT’s high styling execution is readily apparent by taking a look at its instrumentation. Apart from analogue gauges for the road speed and engine speed as well as the customary warning and indicator telltale lights, the restyled instrument cluster also incorporates a large 5.7-inch TFT color information display, featuring high luminosity and outstanding contrast, making it easily legible. It is combined with the standard multi-controller to provide riders of the new R 1200 RT with a peerless operating system offering an array of useful functions. Ensuring optimum viewing conditions and readability, the display unit can be moved to two positions for tilt (+/- 5 degrees).
The BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer is included as standard, and ups the ante for comfort and convenience in the touring segment with a number of functions not be found on any of its competitors, while putting a wealth of useful information at the rider’s fingertips, ranging from the oil level to the voltage of the onboard electrical system to a gear shift indicator. The menu structure has been designed for the specific demands of motorcycling, just as it was on the BMW K 1600 GT and GTL. It has a flat hierarchical structure and can be safely operated by riders using the multi-controller without having to take their eyes off the road.
For peace of mind and added security, a central locking system combined with an anti-theft alarm system locks both panniers, the storage compartment, the audio compartment and the accessory topcase simultaneously and can be conveniently operated using either the radio remote control or a pushbutton control on the end of the right handlebar. The panniers continue to be detachable; and the servo motors for the locking mechanisms are located in the motorcycle’s body with the pannier locks secured mechanically by means of a locking bolt.
When viewed from the front, the R 1200 RT is instantly recognizable as belonging to the BMW Motorrad family. The headlight constitutes a striking eye-catcher on the front end, underlining the hallmark BMW Motorrad “split face”. With two round reflectors on the outside and an elongated reflector in the center, it displays the typical face of a BMW tourer, ensuring an unmistakable look day or night.
Practicality, comfort and convenience as well as wind and weather protection have benefited from major improvements. With features such as the new power-adjustable windshield, which now reduces the amount of drag acting on the rider far more effectively despite offering exactly the same adjustment range as its predecessor. It minimizes wind noise as well, and is the quietest windshield yet from BMW Motorrad. The folding rear-view mirrors are now smaller, but offer an enlarged field of vision, thanks to their lower, wider mounting position.
The standard-fit, waterproof and lockable storage compartment can be found inside the fairing on the left and is also able to comfortably accommodate the BMW Motorrad Navigator if required. Opposite on the right, an additional storage compartment has been included for holding a USB stick, Apple iPod or other music storage device if the optionally available audio system is installed.
The RT’s rich appearance takes on an enhanced new flavor with three new color compositions: Quartz Blue Metallic, Callisto Grey Metallic Matt and Ebony Metallic.
The inventory list of standard features and equipment is indeed impressive in its own right, but there are also a host of options covering a variety of categories, including: riding safety and convenience; storage; appearance; sound; ergonomics and comfort; and navigation.
The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT is coming soon, and is surely destined to continue the rich and high tech touring heritage of BMW Motorrad.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 BMW R 1200 RT
|Base Price:||$17,650. – includes ABS and $1,100 worth of added value and content|
|Price as Tested:||$20,850. – includes ABS and $1,110 worth of added value and content over predecessor model.|
|Engine Type and Size:||1170 cc, DOHC, 8-valve, air/water-cooled twin-cylinder “boxer” (horizontally-opposed) with intake pipe fuel injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||125 @ 7,750 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||92 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed constant mesh with anti-hopping oil-bath clutch.|
|Drive Train:||Final drive – Cardan shaft.|
|Suspension:||Front – BMW Telelever with 120 mm spring travel.
Rear – BMW EVO Paralever with 136 mm spring travel.
Brakes: Hydraulically actuated twin 320 mm discs up front / single 276 mm disc in the rear, with BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (standard part integral) and ASC with two riding modes.
Tires: Continental ContiRAttack 2GT 120/70 ZR17 front / 180/55 ZR 17 rear mounted on 5 “V”swirl-spoke cast aluminum alloy wheels 3.5×17 – front / 5.5×17-rear.
Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
Length Overall: 87.5 inches
Curb Weight: 606 (ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity: 6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: Not available
Seat Height: 31.75/32.5 or 29.75/30.75 inches
0 – 60 mph: 0 – 100 km/h: 3.80 seconds.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.