The new BMW R 1200 RT raises the bar yet again for dynamic touring bikes.

Derived from the boxer unit on the BMW R 1200 GS, the new R 1200 RT engine produces a peak output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm and its maximum torque of 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm.

To ready them for use on the new R 1200 RT, the centrifugal masses of both the crankshaft and the alternator were increased, resulting in even smoother engine running. Comfort has been given an additional boost by using a longer secondary transmission ratio to keep the revs lower.

ASC and two riding modes as standard. Riding mode Pro with Hill Start Control as an ex-works option.
For optimum adaptation to the rider’s individual needs, the new R 1200 RT is equipped as standard with two riding modes along with Automatic Stability Control (ASC). 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, meanwhile, includes the additional riding mode “Dynamic” plus the Hill Start Control function. The sporty nature of the R 1200 RT can be experienced to the full in “Dynamic” mode, while Hill Start Control helps to make light work of stopping and starting on an uphill slope.

The BMW Gear Shift Assistant Pro that is available as an option ex-works represents a world first for production motorcycle manufacture. It enables upshifts and downshifts to be made without operation of the clutch or throttle valve in the load and rev speed ranges that are of relevance for riding, resulting not just in even greater comfort but in added dynamism, too.

Even more agile chassis offering superior handling precision and comfort. Dynamic ESA for optimum riding dynamics in any situation as an ex-works option.

The new R 1200 RT features a new, continuous main frame to give it even greater directional stability. And when fitted with the optionally available semi-active suspension BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), the new R 1200 RT attains unprecedented levels of riding safety, performance and comfort, with the damping being automatically adapted to the prevailing conditions to suit the riding situation and the manoeuvres being carried out.

Optimised comfort, streamlined aerodynamics, more dynamic bodywork and optional LED daytime running light.
Seating comfort and ergonomics have likewise been further improved for rider and passenger alike. The ergonomic triangle formed by the handlebars, seat and footrests has been lowered by 20 millimetres to make it even easier to reach the floor, something which shorter riders and passengers especially will appreciate when manoeuvring 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 optimised windshield. The front headlight assembly is based on the headlight design featured on the BMW Motorrad K 1600 models and lends the new R 1200 RT a highly dynamic appearance. A safety-enhancing daytime running light can be fitted as an ex-works option.

The instrument cluster has undergone a complete makeover, with the new R 1200 RT now featuring a large 5.7-inch TFT colour display to provide the rider with an even greater wealth of data.

This is where the extensive information from the standard-fit BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer can also be called up, for instance. The display is supplemented by the analogue speedometer and rev counter dials. And for the ultimate in touring comfort, the list of available factory-fitted options includes an audio system with innovative operation via the multi-controller.

The model’s dynamism, class and comfort are brought to the fore by three new colour compositions: Quartz blue metallic and Callisto grey metallic matt are combined with the contrasting colour Dark slate metallic matt, while the Ebony metallic finish forms an eye-catching contrast with Monolith metallic matt.

—  The highlights of the new BMW R 1200 RT

  • Engine Type – Air/liquid-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 1,170 cc.
  • Output 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm, maximum torque 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm.
  • Crankshaft and alternator with increased centrifugal mass for even smoother engine running.
  • Two riding modes (“Rain” and “Road”) plus Automatic Stability Control (ASC).
  • Riding mode Pro with “Dynamic” riding mode and Hill Start Control as an option.
  • Gear Shift Assistant Pro as an option for added comfort and dynamism when changing gear.
  • New chassis with a continuous frame that is even more agile and more comfortable.
  • Semi-active suspension Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) as an option.
  • New bodywork in more dynamic design.
  • Optimised comfort and aerodynamics.
  • New, adjustable windshield for even better wind and weather protection.
  • New headlight concept.
  • LED daytime running light as an option.
  • Multifunctional instrument cluster with large TFT colour display.
  • BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer offering a wide range of information.
  • Innovative audio controls.
  • New colours.
  • Optional extras and special accessories made to BMW Motorrad’s customary high standards of quality.

It was more than 35 years ago when one of the most powerful sets of BMW Motorrad initials first appeared – RT, a touring bike unprecedented in form, with full cladding and offering supreme comfort out on the road. Ever since then, the BMW RT has reigned as the quintessential choice for highly comfortable and dynamic touring on two wheels. The latest incarnation of this innovatively appointed, high-performance tourer – the R 1200 RT – has been thoroughly optimised all round and equipped with a new drive unit to make it even more adept at long-distance travelling combined with excellent riding dynamics.

New boxer engine with higher centrifugal mass for even smoother running characteristics and supreme touring comfort. The new flat twin boxer engine is basically the same as the DOHC power unit on the BMW R 1200 GS. Prior to being installed in the R 1200 RT, however, it was first carefully tailored to the specific requirements of a touring bike. It produces an output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm and musters its peak torque of 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm.

Not only does the new power unit generate considerably higher torque than its predecessor over the entire rev range, but torque delivery is more uniform as well: over 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) is constantly on tap throughout the usable rev band. This has the effect of improving pulling power at all engine speeds and further enhancing the sense of effortless drive power that is so important on a tourer.

Like the engine on the outgoing model, the new 1,170 cc unit still employs air/liquid cooling, but with water instead of oil as the cooling agent. Water’s higher heat absorption capacity ensures more efficient heat dissipation, resulting in even greater thermal stability on long trips. With this system of precision cooling, only the parts of the engine that are particularly exposed to thermal stress are cooled by the coolant. The engine continues to be air cooled too, thereby preserving the characteristic appearance of the boxer drive unit.

The flow through the cylinder heads is now vertical for optimum charging, while the six-speed gearbox as well as a light-action oil bath clutch with anti-hopping function have been incorporated into the engine housing for the first time on a BMW Motorrad boxer engine. The secondary drive runs via the maintenance-free cardan shaft that is now placed on the left-hand side.

The centrifugal masses of both the boxer engine’s crankshaft and the alternator were increased in preparation for use on the new R 1200 RT to ensure yet smoother engine performance with even more comfortable running characteristics. The reduced powertrain vibrations help to produce a pleasant, fatigue-free riding experience on long journeys in particular. The longer secondary transmission ratio also helps to ensure greater comfort by allowing the boxer engine to run at a lower rev speed.

The even more sensitive throttle response of the new BMW R 1200 RT is another indication of how its drive system has been further refined. The throttle twist grip’s reduced operating angle and lower return forces are an additional boon to riding comfort.

Last but not least, the R 1200 RT has also been injected with added dynamism. Tractive power has been upped substantially compared to its predecessor, allowing it to power out of bends with even greater urgency, while its engine revs much more freely than before, too.

ASC and two riding modes as standard. Riding mode Pro with Hill Start Control as an ex-works option.
For optimum adaptation to the rider’s individual needs and the intended use, the new R 1200 RT already comes equipped as standard with two riding modes, together with the traction-enhancing Automatic Stability Control (ASC) for increased riding safety. The riding characteristics can be adapted to most road conditions with the help of the two standard riding modes, “Rain” and “Road”. Together with the ABS system, another standard feature, ASC substantially increases the range of use of the new R 1200 RT, at the same time as providing a significant safety boost on slippery surfaces in particular.

In “Road” mode, the control systems are set to provide an optimum balance of performance and comfort on all roads.

When “Rain” mode is activated, the bike is set up for road conditions offering low grip. In this mode the throttle response also becomes gentler. The control systems are triggered sooner, while the damping of the spring struts is softer to suit the conditions.

The optional extra Riding mode Pro, meanwhile, includes the additional riding mode “Dynamic” plus the Hill Start Control function. The sporty side of the new BMW R 1200 RT can be experienced to the full in “Dynamic” mode. Instant throttle response, restrained intervention from the ASC and ABS and a firm damping set-up for the Dynamic ESA (when fitted as an option ex-works) let the bike unleash its full performance potential.

The new Hill Start Control function is a brand new innovation, allowing the rider to effortlessly come to a stop on uphill slopes with the engine running without having to keep the brake lever pressed. This makes it far easier to perform hill starts and is a particularly valuable aid on a fully laden tourer. Thanks to the semi-integral ABS braking system, the rear brake can be operated individually for this purpose. When the Hill Start Control is activated, pressure is built up in the rear wheel’s hydraulic brake unit to hold the motorcycle steady on an incline. The Hill Start Control is purely a comfort feature that is designed to facilitate stopping and starting on a hill and is not to be confused with a parking brake.

Ex-works option Gear Shift Assistant Pro for changing gear with virtually no interruption in power flow.
The BMW Gear Shift Assistant Pro is another world first for production motorcycle manufacture. Compared to the Gear Shift Assistant already featured on the superbike models such as the BMW S 1000 RR, the system’s functionality has been extended for use on the new R 1200 RT and adapted to the specific requirements of a touring bike. The Gear Shift Assistant Pro enables upshifts and downshifts to be made without operation of the clutch or throttle valve in the load and rev speed ranges that are of relevance to riding, both increasing comfort for the rider and providing an added touch of dynamism. The majority of gear changes can be carried out with the help of the Gear Shift Assistant – starting off is one of the few exceptions to this.

When accelerating, the throttle valve no longer needs to be closed for gear changes, allowing the power to flow with barely any interruption. And when decelerating and shifting down a gear (throttle valve closed), automatic double-declutching is used to adjust the engine speed. Gears are engaged in the usual way with the footshift lever. Shift times are considerably faster compared to gear changes with operation of the clutch. The Gear Shift Assistant is not an automatic shift system, but rather just an aid for changing gear. When gear changes are carried out with the help of the Gear Shift Assistant, the cruise control is automatically deactivated for safety reasons.

The system works by employing a sensor on the gearbox output shaft to detect the rider’s shift request and trigger the assistance mechanism. By increasing or reducing engine torque by the required amount, the load on the powertrain is effectively eliminated to allow the shift dogs of the next gear wheel pair to intermesh in the same way as when the clutch is used. No gear shift assistance is provided when changing gear while operating the clutch, or when shifting up with the throttle valve closed (overrunning) or when decelerating. Neither will any assistance be given if the shift lever is not in its proper starting position when shifting up or down.

Assistance is available when downshifting with the throttle valve open but this can provoke severe load change reactions, particularly in low gears. The same effect may be produced when changing down without operating the clutch while cruising at a constant speed. BMW Motorrad therefore recommends always using the clutch to change gear in these riding situations. Riders should also avoid using the Gear Shift Assistant at rev speeds close to the red line.

The new BMW R 1200 RT is built around a chassis which, like the engine, is based on the proven components fitted on the R 1200 GS. The new frame with mountings for the BMW telelever and BMW paralever now features a continuous design to make it more rigid, resulting in a further major improvement in the directional stability of the R 1200 RT. By stiffening the mounting for the spring elements, it has additionally been possible to make chassis response more sensitive with improved feedback for the rider. The large steering angle of 36 degrees to each side furthermore results in a very tight turning circle by tourer standards, enabling easy, straightforward manoeuvring. By optimising the position of the bike’s centre of gravity, handling is now even sharper than on the outgoing model, which itself was already built for very keen performance. What’s more, the ride has been made even more precise to generate even greater handling reserves when putting the bike’s sporting abilities to the test.

Moving back to the 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 give added impact to the dynamic element of the R 1200 RT.

The semi-active suspension BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) is able to maximise riding safety, performance and comfort. Spring travel sensors at both the front and the rear monitor the vertical movements of the respective wheel suspension as well as collating further data, allowing the damping to be automatically adapted to the detected conditions to suit the riding situation and the manoeuvres being carried out. Dynamic ESA is integrated into the riding mode control concept.

It includes the same basic settings already familiar from the previous BMW ESA system for programming the damping level (soft, normal, hard) and load status (rider, rider with luggage, rider and passenger). As with the more advanced ESA II version, the spring preload and spring rate can likewise be adjusted. This alone is sufficient to ensure that the rider is able to enjoy optimum roadholding with highly communicative feedback irrespective of the load being carried.

The new BMW Dynamic ESA system offers a significant boost to safety by modifying the chassis set-up in such a way when braking and accelerating that the bike’s attitude on the road remains virtually unchanged while directional stability is greatly enhanced. As well as increasing safety and comfort, this also has the effect of making the R 1200 RT a real thrill to ride.

The high degree of redevelopment work that has gone into the R 1200 RT is also immediately apparent from 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 colour display for visualising information.

This display continues to be something of a milestone for the motorcycle industry, in terms of both its design and its execution, with the high luminosity and outstanding contrast making sure it is easily legible, too. The display’s high resolution is also ideal for neatly presenting several lines of text or graphics.

It combines with the standard multi-controller to provide riders of the new R 1200 RT with a peerless operating system offering an array of handy functions. To ensure optimum viewing conditions and readability, the display unit can be moved to two positions for tilt (+/- 5 degrees).

BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer with extensive information as standard.
The BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer included as standard ups the ante for comfort and convenience in the touring segment with a number of functions that cannot be found on any of its competitors. It puts 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 specially devised 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. The same is true when it comes to controlling the navigation system that is available as a special accessory – dispensing with the need to operate it via the touchscreen while on the move. Riders are also able to simply program the “favourite” button with a function of their choice for direct access.

The following data can be called up via the BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer: Total mileage, distance covered, trip meter 1+2, automatic trip meter (reset after a break of 6h), ambient temperature incl. ice warning at temperatures below 3 °C, average fuel consumption 1 + 2, average fuel consumption since reset, current fuel consumption, average fuel consumption for range calculation, range, current speed, average speed, oil level, Tyre Pressure Monitor (only in conjunction with optional RDC), onboard electrical system voltage, date, break time, riding time, service date, distance to service.

The front headlight assembly on the new R 1200 RT is based on the headlight design featured on the BMW Motorrad K 1600 models and lends the machine a distinctly dynamic appearance. The main headlight unit in the centre is flanked by two high-beam headlights on the left and right, resulting in outstanding illumination of the road ahead. If it should ever be necessary to lower the headlight beam despite adjustment of the suspension – when the bike is heavily laden for instance – this can easily be done with the help of a handy knob on the bottom of the unit.

Safety is given a further major boost by the daytime running light that can be ordered as an option ex-works. The light is projected in the direction of travel by two fibre-optic light guides running around the high-beam headlights by means of optical prisms. During the daytime, it is either switched on automatically via a light sensor or manually instead of the main headlight using the daytime running light switch.

When darkness falls or when entering a tunnel, there is an automatic switchover to the main headlight, allowing the motorcycle to be differentiated more clearly from other road users. The innovative LED technology keeps energy consumption very low overall, while the LED lighting elements offer the added advantage of a very long service life.

In countries where the daytime running light has not been homologated, the optional extra Headlight Pro can be fitted, comprising light rings which illuminate with the brightness of sidelights when the low beam is switched on.

LED technology is already used as standard for the rear light as well as the front and rear turn indicators, combining with the clear white lenses to give these details of the R 1200 RT a high-tech, sophisticated and dynamic look, too. The indirect LED lighting that is fitted instead of individual diodes with direct light output is the only type of its kind in the motorcycle industry.

The audio system featured on the new R 1200 RT employs the same technology as the BMW K 1600 models, meaning that it already boasts a series of innovative functions that are unrivalled on the motorcycle market, such as operation via the multi-controller, a control interface for iPod and MP3 players/USB, a Bluetooth connection to both rider and pillion passenger, as well as the ability to receive Sirius XM satellite radio (USA and Canada only). The addition of the 5.7-inch TFT colour display has significantly enhanced both the range of functions and ease of use compared to the outgoing model. In the case of the new audio system, for instance, there are now just four buttons in the audio control panel instead of the previous eight, as the remaining functions can be operated with the multi-controller.

Thanks to a newly developed bass tube, it has been possible to bring about a further improvement in the audio system’s already impressive sound quality without having to enlarge the fairing’s outer contour.

The central locking system on the R 1200 RT locks both panniers, the storage compartment, the audio compartment and the 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, though. The servo motors for the locking mechanisms are located in the motorcycle’s body and the pannier locks are secured mechanically by means of a locking bolt.

Due to installation requirements and the space available on the new R 1200 RT, the central locking can only be ordered as an optional extra in conjunction with the optional anti-theft alarm system, with which it shares its housing. The anti-theft alarm system, however, continues to be available individually as a special accessory.

The BMW R 1200 RT is the classic tourer from BMW Motorrad. From the very outset, the initials RT have symbolised unconditional long-distance capabilities rooted in reliability, functionality, supreme comfort and optimum wind and weather protection for the discerning touring rider.

All this is reflected in the design of the new R 1200 RT as well. The aerodynamically sculpted surfaces follow an intelligent configuration, while the motorcycle as a whole exudes a powerful and dynamic presence. Its agile, light and fluid form language is accentuated by the harmonious interplay of coloured and transparent surfaces.

The silhouette of the new BMW R 1200 RT extends from the dynamically styled, expressive front end over the stretched flyline all the way to the rear. Integrated into the flyline are a low Comfort seat and an ergonomically shaped touring tank with a pronounced knee grip area. The elegantly designed panniers and topcase blend in harmoniously with the coherent overall composition of surfaces and lines. As such, the R 1200 RT signals at first glance its commitment to relaxed touring even over long distances.

When viewed from the front, the R 1200 RT is likewise instantly recognisable as belonging to the BMW Motorrad fold. 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 centre, it displays the typical face of a BMW tourer and ensures an unmistakable look by day as well as by night.

When it came to linking the motorcycle front with the side fairing, the designers achieved an exceptionally lightweight look thanks to an air duct that makes the front appear to be floating above the side fairing. An integrated mudguard rounds off the dynamic vehicle concept at the front end.

Practicality, comfort and convenience as well as wind and weather protection have also benefited from significant improvements in the new R 1200 RT. Take the infinitely power-adjustable windshield, for example, 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 minimises wind noise too, and is the quietest windshield yet from BMW Motorrad. What’s more, the memory function with anti-trap protection allows the windshield to be automatically lowered when the ignition is switched off, giving the bike a highly dynamic look even when it’s parked.

Compared to the outgoing R 1200 RT, the rear-view mirrors are now smaller in size. Nevertheless, their lower, wider positioning has actually enlarged the field of vision. By enhancing the rider’s all-round view, the new rear-view mirrors help to ensure a safe and pleasant journey. They are mounted on the fairing and thus also provide protection for the hands, while the indicators are now integrated into the mirror stalks. And for the first time, the mirrors are foldable, too – they fold inwards towards the rider, which can come in very useful when transporting the bike or parking it in a garage.

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, iPod or other music storage device if the optionally available audio system is fitted.

Quite apart from the excellent suspension, rider and passenger also benefit from a further improvement in both seating comfort and ergonomics. The ergonomic triangle formed by the handlebars, seat and footrests has been lowered by 20 millimetres on the new R 1200 RT so that it is even easier to reach the floor, making it ideal for shorter riders as well. This means that, besides the rider’s seat, the handlebars and footrests have also been positioned at a lower height, without affecting either the bike’s banking freedom or the sense of comfort. The pillion seat, together with the footrests, has likewise been lowered by 20 millimetres, heralding a significant gain in comfort for passengers, for instance when getting on and off.

The rider’s seat is now 2 cm longer and the pillion seat 1 cm longer, a useful extension in length that brings about a further increase in comfort compared to the previous model. Apart from the height-adjustable standard seat (seat height 805 / 825 mm), two further seat variants are available as optional extras ex-works to cover the wide-ranging requirements of both rider and passenger: the high seat (830 / 850 mm) and the low seat (760 / 780 mm). The low seat therefore comes close to the sort of seat height that could previously only be achieved on the R 1200 RT by selecting the seat height reduction option (including one-piece, non-adjustable seat without seat heating and not available in conjunction with the optional ESA). To allow use to be made of the stowage space in the motorcycle’s rear, the mounting for the pillion seat on the new R 1200 RT has been designed so that the seat can be removed and attached again without the need for any tools.

An extensive range of optional equipment and special accessories is available for further personalisation of the new BMW R 1200 RT.  Optional extras are integrated into the production process and supplied ex-works. Special accessories are retrofit items that can be added by BMW Motorrad dealers or customers themselves.

—  Optional equipment.

  • Gear Shift Assistant Pro.
  • Dynamic ESA.
  • Riding mode Pro.
  • High rider’s seat (830 mm / 850 mm).
  • Low rider’s seat (760 mm / 780 mm).
  • Hill Start Control.
  • Central locking with anti-theft alarm system.
  • Daytime running light.
  • Preparation for navigation device.
  • Seat heating (five levels for rider, two levels for pillion).
  • Audio system (Bluetooth, USB/MP3, iPod).
  • Tyre Pressure Monitor (RDC).
  • Second power socket.
  • Chromed exhaust.
  • Cruise control, up to 210 km/h (130 mph) depending on gear.
    Special accessories.
  • Impact protection for system pannier, left/right.
  • Protective film for system pannier, left/right.
  • Inner bag for system pannier, left/right.
  • Touring topcase in White aluminium metallic matt (for models with optional central locking).
  • Additional brake light for touring topcase (for models with optional central locking).
  • Touring topcase in Light white aluminium metallic matt (without electrics).
  • Inner bag for touring topcase.
  • Storage compartment for touring topcase.
  • Small topcase.
  • Inner bag for small topcase.
  • Softbag, small/large.
  • Luggage roll.
  • Tank bag.
  • Chrome pannier trim strips.
  • Chromed topcase lid trim.
  • Chromed silencer.
  • Akrapović sport silencer.
  • Gear Shift Assistant Pro.
  • High rider’s seat (830 mm / 850 mm).
  • Low rider’s seat (760 mm / 780 mm).
  • Comfort windshield.
  • Heated rider’s seat.
  • Heated rider’s seat, low.
  • Heated rider’s seat, high.
  • Heated pillion seat.
  • BMW Motorrad Navigator V.
  • iPod adapter cable.
  • Basic anti-theft alarm system (without central locking).
  • Safety plug for oil filler neck.
  • Cylinder head cover protection.
  • LED auxiliary headlight.
  • Hill Start Control.
  • Riding mode Pro.
  • Tyre Pressure Monitor (RDC).
  • Cruise control.
  • First aid kit.
  • Onboard toolkit service kit.
  • LED light for onboard power socket.
  • Paddock stand.
  • Adapter for paddock stand.
  • Auxiliary power socket.
  • Battery charger.

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One Response Comment

  • Web Dude  January 11, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    Excellent site dude. 😉

    Can’t wait to get more from a proper first ride test and comparison.