Top test BMW R 1150 RT
Purple mood bear
With a friendly smile from the headlights, the BMW R 1150 RT not only invites travel freaks to a trip on its broad back. And unlike Captain Blaubär, she doesn’t spin sailor’s yarn, as the MOTORRAD top test proves.
Lilac purple. No, dark blue. Or blue with a high proportion of red? The opinions about the paintwork of the test RT differ significantly. A look at the press kit helps: Dark blue metallic. OK. And further: »Your nature is traveling.« Yes, no, is? clear. Anyone who has ever stood at an alpine pass and watched the passing bike caravan will immediately believe that around 20,000 copies of the 1150 and its predecessor, the R 1100 RT, will start their fun from garages in the Federal Republic of Germany. Makes a market share in the touring segment of 35 percent, worldwide even around 50 percent. Why is it?
The RT doesn’t boast with its exorbitant top performance, a maximum of 91 hp trot on the dyno roller. The Gore-Tex faction is likely to miss the seam, it calls for strength from the center. And the boxer answers. From 1500 tours it hums cheerfully, sets the cardan shaft in full swing up to almost 6000 rpm, before its vigor drops significantly and it rattles up over the 7000 mark. Rappelt, yes, because the fat twin does not shake its performance out of the sleeve particularly smoothly. Neither in city traffic, if the throttle grip is only slightly open in slow traffic. Here, the four-valve engine, supplied by injection, sometimes moves forward with constant jolting. BMW brought up the less powerful siblings R and GS better.
As soon as traffic-related blockages are loosened and the 45 mm throttle valve is finally allowed to release a larger cross-section, the two-cylinder, which is slightly more compressed than its siblings at 11.3: 1, is pleasing with neat mid-range power – which is always accompanied by vibrations that vary depending on the speed. Between 2500 and 6000 tours, the tourer rushes off like a bear looking for honey – at least in courses one to five. The sixth, translated as overdrive, curbs engine speed and temperament equally, intermediate spurts require a quick downshift. In return, the R 1150 RT grumbles at 100 km / h with a ridiculous 3000 tours, for European motorway travel speeds long about 4500 / min. Only near the top speed of 202 km / h does the boxer exceed the 6000 mark, its vibrations become significantly harder.
When swinging away from the main roads, the vibrations do not interfere, but establish themselves as part of the multimedia entertainment program that the pilot enjoys from the wide, comfortably padded RT saddle – with a bulging 25-liter tank and a country road consumption of just over five liters up to 490 kilometers at a time. He quickly got used to the lateral overturning moment, a product of the longitudinal crankshaft, and accepted the earthy, lively articulation of the boxer as an expression of his personality. Managed with a bit of sensitivity, the BMW spoils its driver with a rich driving experience and surprising handiness, given its impressive weight of 281 kilograms. From wide curves to tricky switchbacks, the RT masters the entire repertoire without appearing stiff-legged or wobbly.
Despite the rather high unsprung mass on the hindquarters? Tribute to cardan and Paralever moment support ?? Thick furnishes road surfaces of any quality. At least as long as you keep the load on the train nicely: The Bavarian capricorn shows the paws of notorious throttle wrestlers. When you pull it up suddenly, the rear suspension hardens despite the Paralever, while a jerky release of the accelerator lets the front submerge, so that the RT gently shakes its Telelever head. Just as if she was going to say: Come on, boy, take it easy.
The MOTORCYCLE handling course is anything but easy. In this pylon-studded open-air test laboratory, agility and neutrality are trumps, light barriers and stopwatch referees. Not an easy exercise for a lavishly wired six-hundredweight bolide that also has a cardan handicap. After a short period for the driver to settle in, the RT circles the cones appropriately quickly and without underhandedness, but requires wide curves and a fluid rhythm. Unfortunately, the fully integral braking system prevents handling-enhancing braking at the rear at the reversal point, which means that turning takes a little longer there.
Oh, the integral brake. Popular topic of discussion at RT. As standard on board, the complex, electrically brake force-boosted system, thanks to ABS, enables even the most gifted to achieve short braking distances that are fearlessly reproducible even under difficult conditions. However, the sudden response takes some getting used to. Although BMW has already made improvements here, a gentle step on the foot lever has a brutal effect. After a few attempts you internalize the fully integral Chose and only delay it by hand because it is easier to dose ?? and still with both brakes. On the other hand, the whine of the two electric motors, which increase the brake pressure, remains annoying, especially in city traffic. Proven antidote: the cassette radio housed in the storage compartment. For a surcharge of 795 euros, it blasts out of its two front speakers against the howling pumps. And when driving at a brisk ride, the sound machine delivers music to the film – easily remote-controlled from the handlebars.
The setting of the three-stage height-adjustable driver’s bench using a lever mechanism is just as easy. If you can’t go down far enough, the BMW people like to push a flatter seat – free of charge ex works, afterwards for 164 euros – under the buttocks. Overall, the versatile Bavarian offers seat heights between 780 and 845 millimeters. The latter in particular lets the pilot sit enthroned over the action almost like enduro. Lulatsche will be happy, because behind the high, backward-curved handlebar halves, people over 1.80 meters are also very welcome.
In addition, the expansive cladding with flank pads absorbs the lower extremities in a quasi-sucking manner, only those who live on big feet will hit the plastic with their boots when shifting gears and braking. In return, shoes and pants are spared from the spray, even in bad weather. A fine thing both in city traffic and on long journeys. At high speed on a country road, the cladding with integrated mirrors and electrically adjustable windshield even directs – delicate – rain showers largely past the RT driver, while the heated grips, surcharge 180 euros, contribute their warming part to the well-being. Suitcases and luggage racks are standard in the range for luggage. Hobby hauliers can order additional freight space for 270 euros using a top case. In addition, the Munich-based company offers suitcase lids of different widths in order to vary the capacity and fully utilize the possible 214 kilograms of payload.
Not a bad plan, as the boxer tourer is the ideal passenger steamer. Not only because of the comfortable pillion seat with separate seat padding and deeply placed pegs, but also because of its chassis qualities. Even when fully loaded, the RT does not reveal any part of its stability. Passing fast motorway curves in the slipstream of those driving ahead, thundering over cracks of frost or just driving straight ahead ?? no problem, the BMW can do it. And the adjustment to the load is done quickly: raise the spring base with the hydraulic handwheel, adjust the headlight range using an electric servomotor, done.
D.he luminosity of the light source equipped with standard fog lights is sufficient to properly illuminate late returnees. Only when driving in the rain does the good piece stubbornly fog up. A phenomenon that has already occurred in previous test copies and does not throw a good light on quality assurance. Incidentally, the RT is neatly processed and pleases in everyday life with solid, practical detailed solutions from the one-key system of the case to the easy jacking up to the complete on-board tools including tire repair kit. Just in case the mood bear has a nail in its paw.
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Top test BMW R 1150 RT
Purple mood bear
What else caught my eye
PlusIntegral braking system with ABS as standardSeat height, hand lever and windshield adjustableLow seat bench ex works at no extra chargeSimple adjustment to the load: Hydraulic spring base and headlight range adjustable by handwheelA wide range of accessories from higher windows to topcase to cruise control Good lighting of the roadLarge steering angleWarning flasher systemMinusFumbling adjustment of the rebound damping with a simply made sheet metal extension of the screwdriverFunnel is necessary to fill in oilBattery poorly accessibleHeadlight glass fogs up after driving in the rain Rebound ¾ turn up
This is how MOTORRAD tests equipment
MOTORRAD explains the individual criteria of the 1000-point evaluation (part 6)
Alloy rims, cruise control, heated seats, air conditioning ?? the list of extras that are subject to a surcharge is usually endless for cars. When it comes to motorcycles, the customer usually only has the choice of color. The equipment is more or less lavish, but – apart from BMW ?? rarely customizable. MOTORRAD awards points for all relevant features, such as useful setting options. The adjustable spring base or damping on the fork and shock absorber is rewarded with one point each, i.e. a maximum of six. The same goes for adjustable fittings, handlebars, footrests and an adjustable windshield. A tachometer, a timer, a trip master or the hazard warning lights are also rewarded with one point each. A fuel gauge is worth three points, a reserve check only one. Luggage hooks and a storage compartment earn a maximum of two points each, a helmet lock another. The main stand scores two points, but it also has a positive effect on criteria such as ease of maintenance. After all, there are two dots for good tools, as well as for an immobilizer. Counted in? An optimally equipped machine can score 30 points in the best case. The BMW R 1150 RT still manages 22 points and is therefore in the top field in this criterion.
MOTORCYCLE readings – BMW R 1150 RT
MOTORCYCLE Measured values²Braking and driving dynamicsBrake measurementBraking distance from 100 km / h 40.2 meters Average deceleration 9.6 m / s² Comments: Strong ABS control processes noticeable when decelerating hard. The brake is very difficult to adjust using the foot lever. Handling course I (fast slalom) Best lap time 22.6 sec Vmax at the measuring point 85.0 km / h Comments: The rear deflects quickly when there are extreme changes in lean angle, sometimes goes against the negative stop, so that Tail lifts off. Large construction width makes it difficult to circling through, wide arches are necessary. Large steering angle enables tight turns at the turning point. Handling course II (slow slalom) Best lap time 29.4 sec Vmax at measuring point 52.1 km / h Comments: Abrupt engine braking torque when closing the gas. Restlessness when changing the gear and gas-to-gas-to, cardan reactions, no braking at the rear alone possible due to the fully integral system, relatively manageable.Circular orbit d 46 metersBest lap time 11.6 sec. touches down at accelerated speed with notches, stands, panels and cylinders
Conclusion – BMW R 1150 RT
The RT is and will remain a constant in the touring segment. Even if the currently strongest 1150 boxer has to bow to the strengthened competition in terms of performance and running smoothness, the stable, surprisingly manageable chassis and the practical equipment including accessories are still convincing? the comfort for pilot and passenger anyway.
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