Extreme tour with BMW R 1150 RT

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Extreme tour with BMW R 1150 RT


Extreme tour with a BMW R 1150 RT

Extreme tour with BMW R 1150 RT
48 hours: the kilometer eater

As far as possible in 48 hours. An extreme tour on one of the most popular touring motorcycles, the BMW R 1150 RT.

Michael Pfeiffer


Just in five days to the Turkish border over the coastal road in Yugoslavia, a hammer trip over 50 alpine passes, the 1500-kilometer weekend tour ?? I had earned the nickname “kilometer eater”. 20 years ago there was only one thing for me: drive, drive, drive. My Yamaha RD 250 was almost on my bum. Today I want to know again. A kilometer eater tour, but no longer with a 27-hp rangangang. At 155,000 kilometers, that has long been in the shed.

As far as it goes to the south and back in 48 hours with all the comfort and luxury of modernity that a BMW R 1150 RT offers. Wind tunnel optimized
Paneling, best seating comfort, soft suspension, ABS and huge range ?? Sicily and back should be there in two days. So let’s go on the A8, in the evening of course, when the
Sunday excursionists already at home and the trucks have not yet started. The long sixth gear is there, the boxer hums, there is hardly any wind pressure at 150 km / h, but plenty of vibrations. The bench trembles frighteningly violently. And on top of that, the annoying wind noise, unbearable without earplugs. Quite different with the RD. At the time, I was ecstatic to listen to the robust two-stroke gossip and listen to the cylinders. However, the 250 only ran a good 120 things.

After just 250 kilometers, the BMW fuel gauge warns you to stop for the first time, but the 25-liter barrel only contains just over 16 liters. It’s a shame, wasted time. Gradually darkness falls and a brilliant full moon appears in the cloudless sky. The first border near Bregenz, bought a sticker for four euros, entered Switzerland after the Pfander tunnel? they charge me 40 euros for a vignette. 20 years ago you could still aim for free on the Rhine Valley motorway Chur. Anyway, I want to drive the San Bernardino, imagine that as romantic. In the moonlight through the curves in the mountains, accompanied by the calming mumbling boxer. Suddenly I’m all alone. Miles ahead of me is an empty freeway, the rear-view mirrors remain dark. I slowly relax a little.

Finally I get away from all the stress of everyday life, my nervousness, which almost eats me up at the beginning of a tour, subsides. BMW is doing its part. Great light, fog lights also illuminate the road. I feel safe on RT. It leans into curves like an Airbus controlled by autopilot. Gradually it sinks into a deeper lean position, a gentle pull on the handlebars and it straightens up just as gently. Great.
No comparison to the RD. Depending on the load, the box tipped and wobbled so that one was sometimes frightened. But you just got used to it and drove more defensively. Over time, I also get used to the BMW more and more, and feel that I can rely on it one hundred percent.

A basic trust arises. The vibrations of the boxer get under my skin, ensure that man and machine grow together. All around me the Alps, now and then a brightly lit tunnel, with 120 km / h you can just barely make the curves, a bit of fun has to be.

Warning signs put an end to this in one fell swoop: “Please do not leave the vehicle!”, Backwater at the north portal. Get in line. Construction work in San Bernardino, the tube only allows single-track operation. I take the first pictures with flash, the traffic officer looks suspicious. After the tunnel, a Swedish mobile home sets the pace. Three or four corners later I overtook the four-wheelers and crash down towards Bellinzona. It’s getting warmer and warmer, almost tropical, and that at half past three at night. At Como I say goodbye to the last corners. Po Valley, Milan, Bologna, an endless three-lane straight. Fatigue is widespread, I’m happy about the refueling stop. After all, this time it was a good 350 kilometers to the reserve.

Seven o’clock, I can’t go any more. Now only espresso helps. Tipped two cups down, with lots of sugar, the caffeine gets the blood pumping. It starts to drizzle, over the Apennines, on the top of the pass the first rays of sun blink into my helmet and wake me up again. Great, over 800 kilometers already made ?? the first traffic jam slows me down. Florence at eight, rush hour, truck pushes truck, in between wild Alfas with ties, too late for the office. I chug past on the hard shoulder, which obviously doesn’t bother anyone.

It’s hot, by ten already at least 30 degrees, that’s why the first 1000 kilometers are packed. An accident just before Rome. A Fiat has bored its way into the plank, I sneak past. The heat becomes unbearable. Leave Rome on the right and continue to Naples. The gray strip of asphalt runs endlessly through the shimmering air. It’s good that 150 km / h have recently been allowed on three-lane motorways. I’m increasing the pace, want to escape the unbearable heat. The legs are burning behind the glowing boxer, on the right is a bikini beauty on the roadside, smiling seductively, I turn.
The thermometer shows 34 degrees, the rest area is air-conditioned, lunch. 1250 kilometers in a row ?? as far as never before in life with a machine. Got my record from 1982 with the RD 250 ?? 1180 kilometers on the autoput from Thessaloniki to Zagreb ?? finally outbid. Nevertheless, the motivation to continue driving tends towards zero. Water, espresso, light fare. An Italian speaks to me and warns against speeding up. There is now a point system like in Germany, and the speed is massively controlled.

I force myself back on the BMW. It’s not just my bum that is slowly hurting, but pretty much everything about me. As comfortable as the bench is, after 19 hours it is slowly but surely imprinting on my seat. Shortly before Naples the next refueling stop. Scorching heat. I caught a thief just in time who wanted to let my camera go while I was paying. Continue. Absolute low mood. Everything is annoying, the BMW, the Autobahn, the Neapolitans. I am moving towards the Amalfi coast. Positano from above, that lifts my mood, the sea in front of my nose, pause, reflection. Covered 1500 kilometers in 20 hours. Not bad, but it can’t go on like this. Now comes the most dangerous stretch of the Italian motorway towards Sicily. And the slowest. That will be just under 48 hours. Half-time is almost reached. So nothing Sicily. New course eastwards, look at the Adriatic Sea. First past 20 kilometers of traffic jams, then I pull the BMW up into the mountains. At last we are on an incline again.

Dark clouds are gathering, the first drops on the visor, the road is steaming, rain is pattering on the windshield. Sausage, the main thing is a free motorway on which I can enjoy the BMW again. I enjoy the rich draft, let it glide through the wet corners, the tires grip securely. Perfect, this track seems just made for me, an endless Nordschleife, slow and fast corners, no traffic. And a motorcycle that provides excellent protection against rain.
Which of course could not be said of my naked RD. The rain suit was reasonably tight, but at such temperatures the water ran underneath. And hands and feet were soaking wet in no time, despite the pathetic rubber overcoats. Functional underwear, Gore-Tex membranes and all those miracle cures were yet to be invented.
I turn north. Every now and then the red ball of the sun stands between the clouds, the track dries up, the RT swings uphill-
up, downhill along the coastal highway. At Pescara, I’ll leave it alone. 1877 kilometers in 24 hours, not bad. Now only shower, eat, sleep. In the past I would have pitched my tent. In the parking light of my RD. A few other motorcyclists would have come to chat about gasoline, with heavy work
Red wine would have been agreed on a tour together. The next day, he didn’t remember it and would have moved on. Good old days. Today a Triumph Tiger is parked in front of the hotel, I don’t even get to see the driver.

The RT is ready to go the next morning. Except for refueling, it doesn’t need any maintenance. A real mule. Happy new times. What got ?? I sore my fingers on the RD
screwed when tensioning chains, changing candles, refilling oil. In the meantime, I even like the functional bars on the fuel gauge, I avoid the vibrations with clever gear selection, and I also don’t find the thick rubber grips clumsy anymore. We got closer, BMW and me. That means I got closer to her. Overnight after a day of marathon.

Continue via Rimini, Bologna, Verona. The Alps are already greeting. A van pulls me in the slipstream to Bolzano. half past twelve, went great so far. Right the Dolomites, left the Dolomites, the greatest winding roads in Europe. A detour is easy. So up to the world of turns. The BMW seems to be pleased. Pushes hard out of the curves, almost greedily swings into an inclined position until the notches scratch. Wonderful air in the high altitudes, in front of me are the rose garden and the Schlern. Two hours of curve orgy end in Klausen, the Brenner autobahn swings me to Innsbruck. A bit of hustle and bustle on the Fernpass, last refueling stop before the motorway. After 2780 kilometers, the BMW likes half a liter of oil and a lot of super plus.

From feet I give her the full edge. Glass down, head between shoulders and gas. The cow vibrates off again, finally wants to turn higher than 6800 rpm, the 200 km / h mark has passed, 210 are on the clock. I run into a Daimler, it gives everything and pulls me to 220 km / h. Yes, downhill the boxer even turns 7200 / min, 230 km / h ?? I think?? it not. In 35 minutes I made the 106 kilometers to Ulm, now back to Stuttgart at sunset, after 250 kilometers the reserve lamp flashes. At home. It wasn’t quite enough to Etna. Would have been 1800 kilometers easy. But at least: 3002 kilometers in 48 hours.

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