Over the last 35 years, the engine displacement may have changed, but the popularity of the BMW RT family of motorcycles has remained the same. The fully-faired “Reise-Tourer” or “travel tourer”, “boxer”-engined machines have grown in power and sophistication, but they remain an ideal compromise between street performance and long distance comfort tourer.
The latest iteration is the BMW R 1200 RT, a sport tourer that weighs a lot (609 lbs/276 kg) but is light on its feet. The heart of the machine is a 1,170 cc, air-and-water cooled, fuel-injected horizontal twin putting out 125 hp (92 kW) at 7,750 rpm and 92 lb-ft (125 Nm) of torque at 6,500 rpm. BMW modestly claims that the bike will do “over 125 mph” (201 kph) while averaging 47 miles per gallon (5 liters per 100 km.) The front suspension is BMW’s trademark telelever and the rear a single-sided paralever swingarm with shaft drive.
Onboard is a 540 watt generator, ready to power personal electronics. Among the standard features are ABS, heated grips, automatic ride stability, adjustable power windshield, on-board computer and side cases. You can select between a “rain” and a “road” mode to get the best out of the included Automatic Stability Control. The option packages include hill start, clutchless shifting, dynamic suspension, cruise control, heated seat, an audio system, and keyless starting. A top case is also able to be installed.
The riding position is slightly leaned forward, legs tucked behind the fairing. It’s pretty adjustable, with the leg curve varying a little over five inches. Ride height is adjustable too, from 32.7″ to 29.9″ (83 to 75.9 cms.)
The BMW RT is a quick accelerating, sweet-handling thoroughbred sport tourer that’s built both for comfort and performance.
Prices in the United States start at $18395.