The BMW R 1200 RT comprises all of this and more. It is designed with one purpose in mind: long distance touring with minimal effort and maximum comfort.
A colleague called it the “station wagon of bikes”. If this is true, it’s a pretty fast – and expensive – station wagon.
The 2014 R 1200 RT comes with BMW’s new generation boxer engine with a rated output of 92kW (125hp) at 7 750rpm. The maximum torque is 125Nm at 6 500rpm. But it is a large machine: 2 232m long and 0.982m wide.
At first, the massive front fairing “feels” heavy and it was not my favourite commuting machine. But it grew on me.
It is really on the open road that this machine shows its mettle. Power is not in short supply and the application of the power and speed is refined.
There are plenty of toys and extras on the R 1200 RT, including an electrically adjustable front windshield, heated seats, cruise control, gearshift assist, tyre pressure monitors and different Electric Suspension Adjustment (ESA) settings. The ESA changes make cruising a pleasure.
But the ESA system is also a bit of a cloud hanging over the R 1200 RT. Earlier this year, BMW announced a potential defect in the rear spring strut. There was a chance, Motorrad said, the piston rod of the rear spring strut in connection with the Dynamic ESA option could break.
A “do not ride notice” was issued until the part could be replaced. About 8 000 vehicles were affected worldwide and 142 bikes in South Africa. According to Motorrad, no injuries were reported relating to the defect and all bikes are back on the road.
That aside, it is hard to find fault with the R 1200 RT. At R195 455, it is not cheap but this has not dampened its popularity.
If you are into sport touring, like getting to your destination in style, comfort and quickly, this bike will be a strong contender.
– The author owns a BMW motorcycle.