Common BMW R1200RT Problems (11 Known Issues Explained)

BMW R1200RT mainly faces Fuel Injection System issues, suspension problems, Brake fluid leaks, and Final drive failures.

R1200RT problems often necessitate a visit to a dealer, potentially costing you $1,000 to $2,000 from your pocket.

Fuel Injection System Issues

The fuel injection system problems of the BMW R1200RT include poor idle, stalling, hard starting, and reduced power.

Fuel Injection system problems stem from faulty fuel injectors, sensors, or computer problems.

Solution:

Faulty fuel injectors on the R1200RT need to be cleaned or replaced.

Fuel injection system issues can be diagnosed and fixed by visiting the service center.

Final Drive Failures

Final drive failure is a common problem in the R1200RT, the universal shaft and output shaft bearings wear out quicker than expected.

R1200RT owners report hearing noisy operation from the final drive as the universal shaft and output shaft bearings start to wear prematurely.

If left unattended this leads to final drive failure, warning signs typically present themselves before catastrophic problems arise.

Still, the short lifespan of these critical drivetrain components is frustrating for owners.

Suspension Problems

Front Telelever suspension issues of R1200RT include oil leaks, noisy operation, and loss of damping/rebound control.

The electronic suspension adjustment can also cause problems.

The R1200RT’s front Telelever suspension is prone to oil leaks, noisy function, and bouncy operation as the aged hydraulic cartridges lose their damping abilities.

Fork seal and shock absorber seal leaks have been reported by some R1200RT owners, resulting in loss of suspension damping and oil leakage.

Causes:

Failed seals, bushings, and gaskets can all lead to leaks and deterioration in ride quality.

R1200RT’s electronic suspension adjustment system also suffers occasional electrical glitches and faults.

Solutions:

Replace the failed seals, bushings, and gaskets to improve the ride quality of the R1200RT.

fjr1300 windshield malfunction

Windscreen Malfunctions

R1200RT’s electronically adjustable windscreen gets stuck in the open or closed position, which happens due to motor issues and control module faults.

R1200RT’s windscreen gets stuck at its lowest or highest position, refusing operator inputs.

Replacing the pivoting motors and control modules on the R1200RT costs hundreds of dollars if it is no longer under warranty.

Image Source: CalSci

Brake problems

Brake fluid leaks and worn brake pads/rotors which require premature replacement are the common brake problems of R1200RT.

Braking components are safety-critical, but the R1200RT’s brakes aren’t that durable.

Fluid leaks from failed seals also occur, both at the master cylinders and ABS unit.

R1200RT’s ABS(Anti-lock Braking System) develops its own set of faults and warning lights when components inside fail, ABS problems can be sorted if you know how to diagnose the issue.

Electrical Problems

R1200RT’s electrical components like the ABS module, switches, heated grips, and seats, have been prone to glitches and failures.

Electrical faults cause warning lights on the R1200RT instrument cluster.

Regular inspections of electrical components and wiring connections can help prevent potential electrical issues on R1200RT.

Excess Engine Vibration

Excess engine vibration is seen in R1200RT, especially at higher RPMs and highway speeds, which can decrease comfort levels.

Solutions:

  • Adjust R1200RT valves correctly and ensure the throttle bodies are in sync to reduce vibrations, maintaining proper throttle body synchronization is essential for smooth engine performance and idle stability.
  • Syncing the throttle bodies on the R1200RT can be challenging due to the bike’s complex fuel injection system.
  • R1200RT engine vibrations can be reduced by using heavier/larger bar end weights.
  • See if the wheels of R1200RT are out of balance, balance the wheels on a static balancer.
  • Check if the valve timing of R1200RT is out of sync, and check valve clearances, coils, and spark plug.
  • Check the cylinder compression of the R1200RT.
BMW R1200RT problems

Water Pump Leak

Water pump leaks in certain R1200RT models lead to coolant leakage and potential overheating issues.

Inspect the coolant levels and the water pump for leaks during routine maintenance.

Replace faulty water pump components of the R1200RT to prevent engine damage due to overheating.

Sticky Gear Shift Selector

The gear stick becomes sticky or difficult to operate in the older models of the R1200RT, which can result in hesitations or difficulties when shifting gears.

Lubricate and inspect the gear shift mechanism regularly to ensure smooth and precise gear changes on the R1200RT.

Fuel Strip Sensor Failure

The fuel strip sensor, responsible for indicating fuel level, may fail prematurely in some R1200RT models, leading to inaccurate fuel level readings and potential fuel gauge issues.

R1200RT owners should monitor fuel levels manually and consider replacing the fuel strip sensor if erratic behavior is observed.

Corrosion

BMW R1200RT tends to develop rust quicker than other BMW motorcycles.

R1200RT’s inadequate rust protection can lead to corrosion issues within 3-4 years.

BMW R1200RT Miscellaneous Problems

BMW R1200RT faces problems like premature tire wear, flaky GPS/navigation systems, corrosion on various components, and seat discomfort.

R1200RT reliability is low compared to competitors like the ST1300 or the FJR1300.

Subpar oil or irregular servicing can rapidly degrade the R1200RT engine’s performance.

Parts availability can be a concern for R1200RT owners, particularly in remote states like Alaska, where BMW dealerships are less common.

These costs can add up, even if your bike experiences no major issues, as regular maintenance is an ongoing expense. Read the R1200RT buying guide to see if the motorcycle suits your needs.

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