New products: BMW R 1200 RT model presentation

Model presentation: New product BMW R 1200 RT

Traditionally modern

The RT models from BMW weren’t the first to present new technical solutions. However, they always represented the state of the art: full fairing, Nivomat struts, ABS, safety and sound systems. The new RT also continues this tradition.

All Boxer RT since 1978 have one thing in common: They support a dynamic, almost sporty type of touring. Not necessarily through enormous engine power, but through handiness and low weight. You read that right. With a full tank of around 276 kilograms ready to drive – the factory specification of 274 kilograms refers to a 90 percent tank filling – the new one also belongs R. 1200 RT among the tourers among the lightweights, especially since it already includes the standard case and the electrically height-adjustable windshield.

Model presentation: New product BMW R 1200 RT

Traditionally modern

Tires for the BMW R 1200 RT

The fact that the new RT was hardly heavier than its predecessor is remarkable because it is the first with a water-cooled boxer engine. It received a variant of the 125 hp engine that ran with a larger flywheel, which debuted in the R 1200 GS at the beginning of 2013. That fits the requirement profile of a touring bike, because larger centrifugal masses promote smooth running. It is possible that BMW is also reacting to criticism of the constant speed behavior of the GS. Above all, however, the water cooling system, which is specifically used in the hottest area of ​​the engine, solves one of the biggest problems of air-cooled RT boxers: those in summer with a heavy load and extremely high oil temperatures when driving fast.

The transmission of the water boxer remains unchanged, only the secondary transmission has been extended by the BMW developers to lower the engine speed. Because the running noise of the drive train and the load change behavior differ greatly in different models of the R 1200 GS, MOTORRAD asked about the tolerance range for the backlash in the rear axle drive. It covers an area of ​​twelve hundredths of a millimeter. Since three hundredths of a millimeter less already significantly reduces the running noise, one should be amazed that the tolerances are so broad. Probably to save costs (see interview).

A shift assistant pro

The greatest advances today are in electronics, and a high-tech motorcycle like the RT demonstrates this particularly clearly. A spectacular innovation, which until recently was reserved for the World Championship Superbikes at BMW, is the pro shift assistant, which is available for an extra charge. It not only enables upshifting without taking off the accelerator and clutching, but also downshifting without using the clutch. When the driver steps on the gearshift lever, the control unit uses ride-by-wire to provide a precisely metered double-declutching thrust, which relieves the transmission of load for a brief moment and thus enables gear changes. Afterwards, opening the throttle valves in a precisely metered manner prevents excessive braking torque from the engine and drive train and thus a locking rear wheel. At first glance it is astonishing that a technology developed in top-class sport goes into series production in a touring motorcycle of all things. But the system was ready for series production, and the gain in comfort it brings is well suited to a tourer.

In addition to ABS and ASC (traction control), the RT offers two driving modes as standard, "Rain" and "Road", which vary the response of the engine and the work of the assistance systems. For a surcharge, there is an additional "Dynamic" mode with spontaneous throttle response and restrained intervention by ABS and ASC as well as a hill start assistant that automatically actuates the rear brake. If you then order the semi-active ESA chassis, the electronic network of information and intervention options is linked even more precisely. For example, the damping is then automatically tightened to match the dynamic mode. Or rather gently set in Rain mode, in addition to the constant adaptation of the damping to different driving conditions such as accelerating, braking or cornering. If these networked systems work nearly as well in the RT as in the super sports car HP4, then they will set new standards in terms of comfort and driving dynamics when touring.


Thanks to clear displays and ergonomic controls, the driver rarely has to take his eyes off the road and his hands off the handlebars. The sat nav costs extra.

The K 1600 has set new standards in terms of ease of use, and the R 1200 RT benefits from this. With the multicontroller,
A combined rotary and toggle switch on the left end of the handlebar controls the standard on-board computer, but also optional equipment such as the navigation device or some of the functions of the sound system. In combination with the bright, 5.7-inch display, the diverse functions can be activated without the driver having to take his eyes off the traffic in front of him.

The lighting technology of the R 1200 RT is also based on the K 1600 with a centrally positioned main headlight and two side high beam headlights. A daytime running light is available as an option, the light rings of which frame the high beam headlights. Depending on the ambient brightness, the daytime running lights switch to low beam automatically, but the driver can also switch on the low beam at the push of a button during the day. A main headlight that swivels when cornering, as is available as an option for the K 1600, is not available for the RT.
It is clear that the RT cannot be cheap even with standard equipment. The basic price is 16,990 euros, and whoever orders everything that is available in terms of special equipment and accessories ends up at 20,750 euros more ancillary costs.

Technical data of the BMW R 1200 RT


Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 47 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 540 W alternator, 12 V / 16 Ah battery, hydraulically operated Single-disc dry clutch (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, secondary ratio 2.620.

Bore x stroke: 101.0 x 73.0 mm

Displacement: 1170 cm³

Compression ratio: 12.5: 1

Rated capacity: 92.0 kW (125 PS) at 7750 rpm

Max. Torque: 125 Nm at 6500 rpm

landing gear

Load-bearing motor-gear unit, telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm, two-jointed single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly linked, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 276 mm, double-piston Floating saddle, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels: 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17

Tires: 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17

Dimensions + weights

Wheelbase 1485 mm, steering head angle 63.6 degrees, caster 116 mm, spring travel f / r 120/136 mm, seat height 805–825 mm, empty weight 274 kg, permissible total weight 495 kg, tank capacity / reserve 25.0 / 4.0 l.

Guarantee: two years

Colors: Blue, gray, black

Price: 16,990 euros

Additional costs: 390 euros

Interview with Josef Miritsch


Josef Miritsch, head of the R series.

"Working on the lean ABS"

Josef Miritsch, head of the R series, answers the editorial team’s questions about the R 1200 RT and R 1200 GS.

Full fairing, high weight and, in extreme cases, high loads – from a technical point of view, the water-cooled boxer should actually have made its debut in the R 1200 RT. How many degrees lower than with the air-cooled engine are the oil temperatures when driving fast on the motorway?
The oil temperatures compared to the air / oil-cooled predecessor could be reduced from 145 to 130 ° C.
The motor of the RT gets more flywheel mass than in the GS. Simply because of the better concentricity or to alleviate the constant travel jerk?

The flywheel mass increase was implemented in order to emphasize the sovereignty and the touring character of the RT and to make the slow driving behavior even rich.
The new shift assistant, which also enables downshifting without the clutch, seems to have been taken directly from the World Championship Superbikes. Why is it the first to go into series production in a tourer?
The new shift assistant pro is suitable for a very wide range of applications. In a touring motorcycle, too, it enables greater ease of use, especially in dynamic driving conditions when upshifting or downshifting while overrun. We have therefore decided to use the new system for the first time on the new R 1200 RT.
The gearbox of the new boxer in the GS does not receive the best marks in the disciplines of shiftability and shifting noise. Have you revised the RT gearbox?
The interplay of clutch and clutch separation behavior with the gearbox and the gear ratio spread is an essential factor on the subject of shiftability and gearshift noise. In the clutch area, we have incorporated measures to accompany series production. For the transmission, we made a conscious decision to use the large spread already shown in the GS, in order to optimally implement requirements such as slow driving comfort, for example.
The running noises of the drive train vary in strength in individual GS models. How large is the tolerance range for the tooth flank backlash of the rear axle drive?
The tolerance range is 0.08 to 0.20 mm.
A motorcycle like the RT, which has a partially integrated braking system, is predestined for ABS that is suitable for leaning. When will such a system be available??
In addition to the standard motorcycle ABS in all models, BMW Motorrad has long been offering innovative chassis control systems that make motorcycling safer and more comfortable. These include the “ASC anti-slip control”, the “DTC dynamic stability control” and the “Dynamic Damping Control” (DDC) and “Dynamic ESA” semi-active chassis control systems. We are also familiar with the ABS from Bosch, which is optimized for lean angles. We are working on a similar system and will announce in good time when we will launch it with it.
How well would the frame of the RT with continuous connections from the steering head to the swing arm mounting be for a sporty boxer, a new R 1200 S.?
The entire frame assembly from the steering head to the swing arm mounting has already been implemented in the R 1200 GS. The R 1200 RT also has a rear frame made of aluminum. The clear goal of developing the framework concept was a noticeable increase in rigidity compared to the respective predecessor. That is why this framework concept is used as a so-called backbone in all new boxer models with air / water-cooled engines and is the basis for possible further models.

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