BMW R1200RT vs Yamaha FJR1300: High-End Tourers Compared

For motorcycle touring enthusiasts, two of the top contending models are the BMW R1200RT and the Yamaha FJR1300.

Both bikes have strong followings thanks to their comfortable ride quality, long-distance capabilities, and performance potential.

But when it comes to choosing between the two, which reigns supreme? Look at the table below for a quick comparison of the two motorcycles.

SpecificationYamaha FJR1300BMW R1200RT
Engine1,298 cc inline 4-cylinder1,170 cc boxer twin cylinder
Power142 hp @ 8,000 rpm125 hp @ 7,750 rpm
Torque103 lb-ft @ 7,000 rpm92 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
Transmission6-speed6-speed
Weight644 lbs604 lbs
Seat height31.7 in32.3 in
Fuel capacity6.6 gallons7 gallons
Front suspension43mm inverted telescopic forksBMW Telelever
Rear suspensionSingle shockBMW Paralever
Front brakesDual 320mm discsDual 305mm discs
Rear brakes282mm disc276mm disc
Standard bagsNoYes
ABSYesYes
Traction controlYesYes
Cruise controlYesYes

Engine

BMW R1200RT comes with a 1,170cc boxer twin engine. This provides smooth, linear power delivery and excellent low-end torque.

The twin cylinders produce 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque, allowing the BMW to accelerate with authority when needed.

The engine is optimized for effortless cruising mile after mile.

The Yamaha FJR1300 utilizes a 1,298cc inline four-cylinder engine. With its additional displacement and aggressive cam profile, it generates 141 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque.

This gives the Yamaha a high-revving, adrenaline-inducing power band when the throttle is cracked open.

It lacks some of the BMW’s low-rpm torque but makes up for it with an intoxicating top-end rush. Read the following article for a detailed discussion of FJR1300 Engine Specifications.

Fuel

Both bikes have sizable fuel tanks allowing over 200 miles between fill-ups. The BMW R1200RT tank holds 7.2 gallons, while the Yamaha FJR1300 carries 7.5 gallons.

Fuel economy estimates give the BMW an advantage, with an average of 41-48 mpg compared to Yamaha’s 33-41 mpg.

Riders seeking maximum range before refueling may prefer the Beemer.

Handling

To provide superior bump absorption and handling, BMW fits the R1200RT with Telelever front suspension and a Paralever rear swingarm.

This allows it to glide smoothly over cracked and uneven pavement.

The Yamaha FJR1300 utilizes an inverted fork up front with rebound and compression damping adjustability.

The rear suspension is a mono-shock with remote preload adjustment.

The Yamaha’s suspension errs on the firmer side, giving it sharper handling and reflexes when ridden aggressively.

Comfort

Both motorcycles are comfortable mile-eaters thanks to their plush seats, adjustable wind protection, and ergonomic rider triangles.

However, the BMW goes the extra mile to pamper riders thanks to details like the power-adjustable seats and expanded legroom.

The reach to the handlebars is also more upright. For two-up touring, the R1200RT treats passengers like royalty with its cavernous rear seat space and integrated backrest.

The pillion area on the Yamaha is less welcoming over the long haul.

BMW R1200RT vs Yamaha FJR1300

Features

As you’d expect from BMW, the R1200RT comes standard with a wealth of technology to make touring easier.

The electronically adjustable suspension optimizes the ride quality on varying roads.

The adaptive headlights swivel into corners for better visibility. Heated seats and grips keep the cold at bay. There’s also a built-in GPS navigation system with Bluetooth connectivity.

The Yamaha FJR1300 lacks some buttons and whistles in stock form, but options can help it catch up.

Reliability

BMW R1200RT can last for up to 100,000 miles without requiring major engine work. The FJR1300 lasts for 100k-150k miles easily with proper maintenance.

Proper maintenance and regular servicing helps ensure either bike will stay the distance on long touring adventures. Owners praise their solid construction and durability mile after mile.

Luggage Capacity

The BMW R1200RT was designed for extended trips, with its cavernous side cases and trunk able to swallow two full-face helmets with room to spare.

The Yamaha FJR1300 isn’t quite as well equipped but still boasts a useful rear trunk and side cases for packing gear, just not as voluminous.

Brakes and Clutch

Strong braking performance gives confidence when hauling these heavyweight machines down from speed. The BMW R1200RT utilizes dual floating discs up front with 4-piston calipers, while the Yamaha FJR1300 also has dual discs and 4-piston calipers.

A single rear disc brake completes the package. The hydraulically operated clutches are buttery smooth and give an excellent feel on both bikes.

Transmission

The R1200RT uses a hydraulically operated 6-speed transmission, while the FJR1300 has just 5 speeds. Their gear ratios allow for relaxed cruising at highway speeds, although the BMW’s extra cog gives it more flexibility.

On twisty backroads, the Yamaha’s closer ratios enhance acceleration and deceleration.

Build Quality

The BMW R1200RT and Yamaha FJR1300 exhibit fantastic build quality thanks to high-end components, meticulous assembly, and extensive quality control.

Both motorcycles are heavy but feel very solidly planted and inspire confidence as a result.

BMW R1200RT Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Smooth and Torquey Engine: The 1,170cc boxer twin engine delivers smooth, linear power and excellent low-end torque, making it great for cruising and providing authority when needed.
  2. Fuel Economy: It offers better fuel economy, with an average of 41-48 mpg, providing greater range between fill-ups.
  3. Comfort Features: The BMW offers power-adjustable seats, expanded legroom, and an upright handlebar position for added rider comfort.
  4. Advanced Technology: The R1200RT comes with a wealth of technology, including electronically adjustable suspension, adaptive headlights, heated seats and grips, and built-in GPS navigation with Bluetooth connectivity.
  5. Luggage Capacity: Designed for extended trips, it offers ample storage space with cavernous side cases and a trunk.
  6. Build Quality: Known for its premium fit and finish, it is a high-quality, solidly built motorcycle.

Cons:

  1. Lower Top-End Power: The BMW lacks the top-end rush of the Yamaha FJR1300’s engine due to its lower displacement and torque.
  2. Soft Suspension: While the suspension provides great bump absorption, it is not as firm, which may affect aggressive handling.

Yamaha FJR1300 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. High-Revving Engine: The 1,298cc inline four-cylinder engine offers a high-revving, adrenaline-inducing power band, ideal for those who enjoy spirited riding.
  2. Handling: The Yamaha’s suspension is firmer, providing sharper handling and reflexes when ridden aggressively.
  3. Strong Braking: Equipped with dual front discs and 4-piston calipers, it offers strong braking performance, instilling confidence when stopping.
  4. Transmission: The Yamaha’s closer gear ratios enhance acceleration and deceleration, making it suitable for twisty backroads.
  5. Reliability: Yamaha is known for its outstanding reliability and solid construction, ensuring durability mile after mile.

Cons:

  1. Lower Fuel Economy: It has slightly lower fuel efficiency, with an average of 33-41 mpg, which may require more frequent refueling.
  2. Less Comfort Features: While comfortable, the Yamaha lacks some of the premium comfort features offered by the BMW, such as power-adjustable seats and expanded legroom.
  3. Smaller Luggage Capacity: While it has useful luggage capacity, it’s not as voluminous as the BMW’s side cases and trunk.
  4. Fewer Advanced Features: The Yamaha FJR1300 comes with fewer advanced features in stock form, although options are available to add some of them.

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