The BMW R1200RT sets the standard for touring capabilities in an exhilarating package. Its synergistic blend of powerful performance and long-haul comfort defines luxury motorcycling.
This in-depth look at the R1200RT’s key specifications highlights why it has become the pinnacle for two-wheeled globetrotting.
|1170 cc flat-twin engine
|125 hp @ 7,750 rpm
|92 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
|573 lbs (wet)
|Telelever, 4.7 in travel
|Paralever, 5.5 in travel
|Dual discs, 4-piston calipers
|Single disc, double-piston caliper
Engine Type and Displacement
BMW R1200RT gets the famous 1170cc flat-twin boxer engine. Featuring air/liquid cooling, the horizontally opposed twin delivers immense low-end torque perfect for touring along with a robust top-end suited for spirited riding.
Displacing 1170cc, the boxer motor gives the R1200RT spirit and stamina for challenging roads.
Equipped with a wet eight-disc clutch featuring an anti-hopping function, the hydraulically operated system enhances control during gear shifts, ensuring a smooth and precise riding experience.
The transmission‘s gear ratios are thoughtfully designed, with an extra-tall first gear (2.277:1) for powerful acceleration, progressively dropping through the gears for a balanced performance.
Horsepower and Torque Figures
The R1200RT’s boxer twin generates an impressive 125 horsepower arriving at 7,750 rpm. Maximum torque peaks at 92 ft-lbs, available from just 3,500 rpm through 6,500 rpm.
This early plateau of pulling power makes the R1200RT effortless to control when heavily loaded or navigating tight turns.
Few engines blend vigorous acceleration with unflappable real-world muscle so capably.
BMW equips this masterful boxer with advanced features allowing phenomenal flexibility. Dual overhead cams operating four valves per cylinder heighten peak output through optimized valve timing.
Electronic fuel injection meters fuel delivery for power and efficiency. Adjustable ASC traction control optimizes grip at all lean angles. And lightweight magnesium engine covers trim unnecessary heft.
Flat-out acceleration easily propels the R1200RT to over 125 mph, putting many pure sportbikes to shame. Even fully loaded with passengers and luggage, this autobahn stormer surges smoothly past lawful velocities with power in reserve when needed.
Impressively, the R1200RT’s 6.6-gallon tank and frugal boxer engine deliver fuel efficiency exceeding 56 mpg during mixed riding. This allows 300+ miles between fill-ups, critical for conquering long stretches between towns.
Few machines balance ferocious power with a restrained thirst like the R1200RT.
BMW R1200RT is quite reliable and can last for 1,00,000 miles before needing major engine work. The motorcycle can last for 15-20 years with proper maintenance.
The cylinder heads may need servicing around 60,000 miles.
Frame and Swingarm Construction
An advanced steel bridge-type frame provides the R1200RT with a rigid backbone able to handle the boxer engine’s torque while remaining compliant for all-day comfort.
Aluminum is also used extensively, including the Paralever rear swingarm and Telelever front suspension mount. This optimized construction drops pounds without sacrificing strength.
Up front, BMW’s Telelever uses stanchions and gas-filled shock absorbers for sportbike-rivaling cornering grip and plushness over bumps. Out back, the Paralever single-sided swingarm enables five inches of rear suspension travel to smooth rough pavement.
The rear suspension adjusts electronically while on the move via the ESA II system.
Wheels, Tires and Brakes
The R1200RT rolls on custom cast wheels by Akront measuring 3.50 x 17 inches front and 5.50 x 17 inches rear, ideal for stability when loaded or cruising at speed.
Radial tires provide tremendous grip thanks to a 180mm-wide rear. Slowing things down are Brembo Monobloc calipers grabbing 320mm front discs with a 276mm rear, all linked to BMW’s advanced ABS.
With a 60.2-inch wheelbase and 87.8-inch overall length, the R1200RT’s proportions were carefully designed for backroad agility as well as Interstate straight-line composure.
Riders from 5’4” to 6’4” can be accommodated via the three seat height options spanning 29.5 to 32.3 inches, with as low as 29.1 inches achievable.
The R1200RT combines taut handling and rapid reflexes belying its touring design. A low center of gravity, central mass concentration, and balanced suspension tuning enable surprisingly sporty corner carving when desired.
Yet stability reigns when slicing through rain or buffeting winds across entire tank ranges.
Traction Control, ABS, and Riding Aids
To fully harness its prodigious power, the R1200RT integrates an array of electronic riding aids. Lean-sensitive ASC traction control minimizes rear wheel spin for increased cornering confidence.
Linked Integral ABS brakes allow controlled, drama-free stops in all conditions. Electronic Suspension Adjustment varies shock preload at the push of a button.
Instrumentation and Dashboard
A cockpit suited for cross-continent missions, the R1200RT’s dash features an info-packed LCD screen with a digital speedometer, analog tachometer, onboard computer, and additional readouts.
Hands interact via the ergonomic Multi-Controller wheel. Bluetooth connectivity enables music streaming and mobile linking. Everything is angled for easy scan-ability.
For safe night riding, the R1200RT employs all LED lighting. The headlamps produce brilliant high and low beams across a wide frontal arc. Rear LED turn signals, brake lights, and five-way indicators provide sharp visibility.
Adaptive headlight technology points illumination into corners as the bike leans.
Seat Design and Adjustments
Long days in the saddle are painless thanks to the R1200RT’s plush rider and passenger seats. Both offer height adjustments, with a low 29.1-inch option to aid confidence at stops.
The sculpted rider seat provides superlative lumbar support adjustable via an electric motor. Some people prefer to lower the seat of the BMW R1200RT.
An aerodynamically optimized fairing with varying windshield height creates a peaceful cockpit protecting rider and passenger from elements.
Optimal airflow comes courtesy of Computational Fluid Dynamics research. Fatigue and discomfort are drastically reduced, helping turn long trips into inspiring journeys.
Cockpit and Control Layout
Ergonomics tuned for full-day rides position the rider with just a slight forward cant. The adjustable handlebar places control naturally at hand. Buttons and switches fall readily to fingers and thumbs.
At speed, the cocoon of wind protection and cozy rider triangle make the R1200RT feel less like a motorcycle and more like a magic carpet buoyantly eating up the miles.