BMW R1200RT (2005 - present)

Compared to the old RT it’s closer to a sports-tourer than all-out touring bike. But it hasn’t sacrificed any of its touring ability to make this switch
Manufacturer
Category
Price
£10710
Available from
2005
Matches the Pan for handling while still offering a better riding position
Not exactly the prettiest bike in the car park, is it?
The new R1200 RT improves on the old bike’s talents with a sharper motor and better handling. It should be a winner

User Reviews

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Submitted by Chris Fernandes on Sat, 02/02/2008 - 17:38

Overall Review

Purchased on the strength of having owned an 1150 gs for 2 years and wanting something that would tour 2 up with luggage yet still offer a rewarding ride through the twisties I am yet to be disappointed by this machine. Can be thrown about like the GS but offers sublime comfort and wind / cold protection when required. £400 for a top box is steep but its a pleasure to own.

Strengths

Handling, Comfort, Luggage capacity, Economy.

Weaknesses

Only fault so far the electronic preload on the suspension has packed up, may be a software issue as the electronic damping works fine.

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sfarson's picture
Submitted by sfarson on Sat, 01/03/2008 - 01:57

Overall Review

The bike routinely wins comparisons and shootouts. Munich knows this category of motorcycling well and it shows in their flagship RT. Refined and thoughtful touches throughout. Excellent wind protection. Nimble handling. Very light weight as tourers and sport tourers go. Believe it is a beautiful bike.

Strengths

Comfort Protection Light weight at tourers/sport tourers go

Weaknesses

Clunky transmission Not the best engine for triple digit touring

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Submitted by Navy Boy on Fri, 20/06/2008 - 07:14

Overall Review

The best touring bike around, full stop.

Strengths

Handling, comfort and quite simply the ability to transport two people to the South of France and then let you enjoy yourself at the other end.

Weaknesses

Possibly not as good looking as its predeccessor. Its expensive.

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Comfort
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Submitted by Ragdoll on Tue, 30/09/2008 - 09:42

Overall Review

The very best touring bike. Very comfortable - superb weather protection - economical and the build quality is second to none.

Strengths

handling,fuel economy,load carrying quality of build

Weaknesses

Difficulty in reading oil level. Selecting 2nd gear can be a bit clunky

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Comfort
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Submitted by nixer on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 02:32

Overall Review

I STILL LOVE THE THING. I HAVE AN 05 AND HAVE NOT HAD ANY MECHANICAL FAILURES TO DATE. I REPLACED THE SEAT AND HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK

Strengths

POWER, HANDLING, FINISH AND FIT, BRAKES

Weaknesses

MAINTAINENCE COSTS, BUILD QUALITY ? (FD, SEAL AND KEY RING FAILURES), A SEAT DESIGNED FROM THE MIDIEVAL AGES

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Submitted by Aridzona on Fri, 26/12/2008 - 19:28

Overall Review

All the grunt I need. Comfortable and reliable. All the bells and whistles too. Great long distance bike (Mexico to Canada and back to Arizona three times and all over the Western USA. Confident through the twisties and effortless on the freeways. This is my 25th bike (including an 1150 qnd 1200 BMW GS) in 61 years of riding and I have no plans to replace it....until they make an even better RT!

Strengths

Reliable. Powerful. Good dealer service, Handling. Large fuel tank and excellent mileage at high cruising speeds. Excellent weather protection. Quality finish. Full complement of useful accesories e.g. cruise control, heated grips and seat, spacious quick remove luggage, electronic suspension adjustment, Electronic windshield, comprehensive computer info, GPS, quick detach tank bag etc. etc.

Weaknesses

Brakes (Power boosted) require delicate touch. Noisy engine when cold (but I wear earplugs!) Lighter than contemporaries but would still like it to be lighter. The original seat is reasonably comfortable but I replaced it with a Sargent seat which gives more lateral support. Try one!

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Great tourer on the open road. certainly not a crowd puller in the looks department but it is easy to keep clean or just leave it dirty as it didn't inspire much owner-pride in me compared to my Bonneville T100.

Strengths

wind protection is excellant. Fuel economy - best of 57mpg. Good quality luggage. fantastic servo brakes (05 only). comfortable handlebar height and seat height (I had low seat option). Very easy to do full service yourself. Excellant tankrange -300 miles. Lovely light hydraulic clutch action. Easy to put on centrestand. No unpleasant engine heat at standstill compared to some tourers. probably the lightest tourer on the market.

Weaknesses

First gear is a bit too high - a lot of clutch slipping is needed at take off and low speed or the engine will judder and rattle. Foot pegs are a bit too far back for true long distance comfort. fairy high oil consumption.

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Handling
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Submitted by Buzzwagon on Wed, 18/08/2010 - 01:43

Overall Review

One day you too will realise that Sportbikes really only make sense on track and you'll hanker for a bit of comfort. Enter the BMW R1200RT. One of the best bikes I've owned in 32 years, supremely comfortable, well mannered, planted in any weather and can be hustled when required. I'm only 5'7" and with the low seat option I don't have a problem. Yes, it is heavy, but 50mpg is easy and taking it easy will see you getting 60mpg+. Some have complained that the gearbox is a little clunky but mine's fine. I have a 2006 model with everything BMW do thrown at it, except cruise control, (can't see the point), and I could almost live in it. In a word, Superb!

Strengths

Comfort, Finish, Luggage space, easy to keep clean, shaft drive, BMW touring expertise, lightweight for the class, fuel consumption, weather protection.

Weaknesses

Cost, £180 for a tank bag! £400 for a top box, stupid rear tyre valve.

Rating Breakdown
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Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Having tested quite a few bikes to encourage the missus to get on the back the RT was the pick of the bunch. I get the joybof a good ride in a package that delivers amazing comfort two up.

Strengths

Brilliant handling, great motor much improved from previous. And finally a BMW gearbox that dosent feel like it was manufactured by Massy Ferguson. Much more of a sporty feel than expected. Immaculate build quality.

Weaknesses

Torquey motor. Brilliant suspension with the electronic control. Far more storage space than even the mighty Goldwing. Can't get over how well it handles even two up.

Rating Breakdown
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Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Submitted by Toni P on Tue, 27/12/2011 - 17:38

Overall Review

It does most things brilliantly. I have just traded in a BMWK1200S and F800ST for a 2008 RT. My daily commute of 120 miles consists of mainly dual carriage way and motorway and I was finding myself going quicker and quicker on the K1200S. It was getting a bit silly and if I continued I would end up getting banned or worse. Taking account of my age I thought it best to get something more restrained with better weather protection. After much reading and test riding I settled on 2008 R1200RT SE. I look like a proper "old man" on the beemer but I will keep my license. That's where the story takes a twist. What an amazing bike. Getting used to the bike was a breeze, so easy to ride smoothly. It handles very well being lighter and shorter than the K1200 it is far better at roundabouts and twistys, yes honestly. The electric screen is superb but can lull you into a false sense of security. You think you are ambling along in perfect calm and quiet and then you glance at the speedo. Oooops, and I thought I bought this to slow down!!! Not that it will try and pull your arms off like the K1200S but somehow it gets quickly to license losing speeds calmly, quietly and comfortably. The weather protection is excellent. The front brake is very good but the ABS on the rear kicks in way too early for me. It looks rather ungainly but on the move feels more like my old F800ST but without the engine noise. The engine feels lazy and has occasionally left me wanting a bit more but I think it’s just a case of getting used to what and how the bike does things at this time. Build quality is excellent and it feels very solid. Riding position is very good and as mentioned the screen is superb, heated seats are magic and the cruise control, which allows you to flex your right wrist on long trips, is more than a gimmick. The controls are typical BMW, solid and well positioned, the dials and dash are functional but can suffer from glare. Now I can understand why so many police forces use these bikes. Easy to underestimate if you have never ridden one but so rewarding when you have.

Strengths

Stress free riding. Comfortable and relatively agile. Long hauls a breeze. Faster than it looks. Quality build and finishes.

Weaknesses

Even with a low seat, slightly taller than I would like. Little more power would be nice. Rear ABS kicks in too soon. Mirrors don't work for me. Not the prettiest bike around.

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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