Top test BMW R 1200 RT / R 1150 RT
The old man and the more
BMW worked for a long time on an amendment for the touring boxer. Now the time has come for a moving story, for the R 1200 RT. Always in liaison with the 1150 predecessor.
He hasn’t felt so good for a long time, enjoys the warm breath of spring on his face. The air tastes salty. He put everything on red.
Piedmont red metallic. Has factory direct
he his already opulent BMW
R. 1200 RT further enhanced: cruise control, electronically adjustable chassis, on-board computer including oil level warning, seat heating, heated grips and radio with CD drive. Makes all in all 18,200 euros ?? at 15,100 euros base price.
RT means travel tourer. Or rather “really expensive”? But this moment is worth every penny. The sun burns up in the sea, the sky burns in all colors. When he set off two days ago, somewhere in another world, the on-board thermometer read four degrees Celsius. Minus. Now up to 15 degrees plus, what a luxury. Always in tow, his buddy Kalle with the sophisticated R 1150 RT. The most successful touring motorcycle in Germany since 2001, it still landed in tenth place in the list of new registrations in 2004.
The new one looks like a fresh breeze of more: engine, chassis, equipment, design, everything completely turned inside out. Wind and weather protection are increased. Heated grips and the new heated seats keep hands and bum warm in the maximum second level. “Egg cooker” scoffed Kalle. And if it did, he hadn’t frozen on the way there. Not for 900 kilometers, nowhere. Not even on the knees and feet. Outstanding cylinders and the full fairing developed in the wind tunnel do a great job. BMW calls this “generously cut body”.
Even in continuous rain, the trunk and hands remain largely dry. The mirror and the higher pane compared to the 1150 provide perfect shielding. The latter is electrically adjustable, a matter of honor for an RT. With the new one by 14 centimeters in height and coupled with it in the angle of inclination. Raised all the way up, then standing almost vertically, the powerful protective shield produces a slight suction, disturbing the upper edge in the field of vision. Retracted a little more, visibility and wind protection are good, even with the visor open or beyond 220 km / h.
The wind is picking up, driving the now black sea in front of it. White spray hits angrily over the rocky coast. Time to start the engine. This comes from the R 1200 GS, has a larger stroke and real 1170 cm3, 40 cm3 more
than the 1150s. And a solid 110 hp. On
on paper that means 15 hp plus, im
real life even almost 20 horses and just as many Newton meters more torque ?? see diagram on page 36.
He notices that. The new boxer hangs on the gas more spontaneously, turns off much more freely, not as tough as the old one. And brakes harder when you take off the gas, the higher compression is noticeable. Not only because the more economical 1200 Super Plus wants. The gearbox with now helically toothed gears can be shifted more easily and smoothly. Only when downshifting in the lower gears are the shift shocks rough. A narrower spread makes the sixth the real driving gear, the fifth gear moves closer to it.
At a standard speed of 130, the crankshafts of both cows rotate around 4,300 times per minute. Beyond the 5000 revolutions, the old one shakes like a wet poodle, the new one tingles slightly in the handles. It has a vibration-reducing balance shaft on board. Finally. The four-valve boxers are complicated, with high-lying camshafts, rocker arms, push rods and bucket tappets. The mechanical background noise cannot be ignored. And nothing to be overlooked in the bright floodlights. Two H7 headlights for double low beam, in between the high beam light that is switched on when the lights are turned on. That lives up to its name.
The next morning. Both boxers are heavy as lead when pushing. A whopping 284
The 1200 with suitcases and special equipment weighs kilograms. So it is no consolation that the old RT falls below the full-fat level: 291 kilograms! But as soon as they roll, both Brummers are very good-natured and balanced. Their wheel suspensions iron even the little streets in the hinterland of Provence, along enchanted olive trees, scaly plane trees and gnarled vines. And plenty of Roman ruins.
Maxi motorcycles make you safe and confident. The 1150 waggles surprisingly nimbly through the curves, the new one can do it even faster. It is more manageable, easier to steer in and out of balance-
lay much more direct. Loose and
elated. Steeper steering head and a lot
shorter trail more than compensates for the rear tires that have grown to 180 mm wide. He accelerates the pace. Hey, something’s going on. Its 1200s are accelerating
faster, pulls through beefier. Where’s Kalle? Suspended. The lighter parallel swing arm of the new RT glides more gently over hard heels and rough edges.
The rear shock absorber works pro-
gressive, with travel-dependent damping. There is also an optional ESA, the magic work: electronic suspension adjustment. A button on the left handlebar controls varies the spring / damper characteristics of the front and rear shock absorbers. The 650 euros surcharge for this is much more sensible than the outrageous 1500 euros for radio / CD. In awe, he changes the damping rate while driving. Depending on the mode selected, »Comfort«, »Normal« or »Sport« appear in the cockpit display. For sports he opts for fast, well-developed passages. Then the RT is even tighter without ever being hard.
It takes out damping on furrowed sections. The time of the wrench is over for him. Special stepper motors adjust rebound damping in the front ESA shock absorber, in the rear rebound and compression damping. Rt like
»Revolutionary technology«? Great care even in small things. The spring base can also be effectively adjusted in three steps at the push of a button, but only when the car is stationary. So, including damping, makes nine different adjustments. He puts the spring base sometimes on its own, sometimes on its own with luggage. Only once, when Kalle got on the back, did he switch to pillion mode.
And promptly receives confirmation that a passenger sits better on his 1200. He himself feels more actively arranged at the front and has more space for his legs because of the larger bulges in the panel. Adjustable handlebar halves would be the summit. With a wide rodeo saddle, the 1150 and lower seat height pampers you. Instead, the knee angle is more acute. He’s not a giant. Despite the seat height adjustment, he would have better ordered the lower bench for the 1200s. It’s also a shame that the film in the rear-view mirrors no longer has the previous widescreen format.
Buddy Kalle has other worries, his old RT uses up its damping reserves much sooner. In the case of bumps in the slope it sags, then the main stand hits hard in left turns. Still, Kalle lets it rip, today the cow is flying. Even if feeling for the front wheel is not a strength of the sensitive Telelever construction. The new one is no exception. Anyone who dares will not be disappointed. Special Bridgestone tires BT 020 with special identification harmonize perfectly with the heavy RTs. Kalle and he spiral up to the Mont Caume, turn after turn, enjoying the gigantic view. All-round view of the aircraft carriers of the French fleet in the port of Toulon, which lie like little boats in a bathtub
to the snow-capped peaks of the Maritime Alps. A mottled gray motorcyclist joins them, eyeing the hexagonal udders of the 1200s. Their bends are exposed, a thick and long pipe their silencer. Sounds better, a bit fuller and duller than the all too thin purr
The 1200er is acoustically more present, more active driving and outwardly more dynamic. Powerful and massive, everything about it is angular and fissured, the BMW kidney in front of the oil cooler is more dominant. The flowing lines of the much smaller looking 1150s, their permanently smiling headlights, the baroque bottom, all of that has had its day.
But even six-hundredweight bikes are not invulnerable. The mistral blows them over. Just because. Rum. Not nice, the engine and trunk lids scratched, especially the painted ones of the new ones. The mirror with integrated turn signal has also broken off. The old RT probably rolls off better. Is that why the French Flics committed you to police service? Bavaria’s previous touring bull is Europe’s most popular bull tourer. Only for gendarmes with partially integral ABS on request.
The 1200 always has that. Fine. When turning, it is quite easy for him to activate the rear brake on his own thanks to the surprisingly small turning circle and the easy-to-adjust clutch. Or in curves. Kalle would also like to, but does not work with fully integral ABS. In front
Especially when pedaling, leverage and coarser foot motor skills add up to brute braking. Bad when driving slowly if both wheels suddenly stop. Or the line hails in curves because of the abrupt set-up moment. Then the following applies: Foot off the pedal!
Kalle gets nervous, has to go, the long weekend is coming to an end. He’ll stay with his 1200. He could practice hands-free cruise control, perhaps in the pillion seat. Or outsmart a colleague’s computer, if he has again too tightly calculated the remaining range, reports ebb in the 27-liter tank after 320 kilometers, although five liters are still sloshing in it. But now the tank is full, his longing is great and life is open. As a man aged just 38, he is in control of the situation.
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Top test BMW R 1200 RT / R 1150 RT
The old man and the more
Changes in detail
Changes to the engine of the R 1200 GS
110 instead of 98 hp, sharper camshafts, increased from 11.1 to 12.0
Compression through higher pistons,
higher nominal speed: 7500 instead of 7000 tours, intake tract plus silencer system new
R 1150 RT
Completely new “body”, front fairing and windshield larger
Cylinder-selective knock control with two lambda sensors, engine designed for unleaded Super Plus (98 octane); Performance losses with Eurosuper
On-board network with CAN bus technology
(only one cable harness without fuses)
Reduced weight cardan drive
Shock absorber with progressive damping
New cast wheels, rim and rear wheel wider (5.50 inches and 180/55 ZR 17)
Steering head steeper, caster twelve
Partly integral ABS
Tank capacity 27 instead of 25.2 liters
Flow-optimized 32 liter case with four-point attachment and in
Vehicle color painted lids
Tank rail for mounting a
Was there anything else?
The info display permanently shows the oil temperature, tank content, remaining range, gear engaged and time
Optional on-board computer reports outside temperature, black ice warning, average consumption and speed, and oil level warning
Immobilizer as standard
Final drive and clutch hydraulics with
Lifetime filling, no more fluid change required
A quarter liter of oil consumption in the test
a thousand kilometers
Coupling stinks strongly under load
Fold-out lever for jacking up is
Lacquered suitcases are better in line
integrated, but sensitive to scratches
Headlight range adjustment too coarse? only two positions possible: risk of dazzling
Electronically adjustable chassis: suspension base, depending on the load, solo, solo with luggage, with pillion passenger. Damper setting depending on
Road texture in Sport modes,
Normal and comfort ?? in order from good roads to mogul slopes
A new dimension of dynamics-
opens the 1200 RT: It has it
fuller torque curve
and much better driving performance.
The closer graduation fits this
the corridors. The new gearbox with helical gear wheels can be shifted more easily and over shorter distances. Choke? That was earlier. The 1200 starts and runs fully electronically controlled and warm.
The 1200er drives more manageable, more stable, bolder, at least the electronically adjustable chassis has a clearly better basic set-up. What you can’t see directly in the scoring is the significantly increased driving pleasure.
The new one makes almost everything even safer and more confident. The semi-integral composite braking system can be dosed better and the driver more freedom of choice. In contrast, the fully integral ABS of the 1150s is rather insensitive. The lean angle of the 1200s is greater, their light a stunner. It is almost too bright. Only in the mirrors you can see a lot more with the old woman.
Scoring: everyday life
Boundaries of everyday life:
Even without accessories, the 1200 series achieved almost full points in the new equipment list from MOTORRAD. Furthermore, unlike the new GS, it can load enough.
Wind protection and passenger comfort of the 1200s reach dream level. It couldn’t be more sheltered. The rough vibrations of the 1150s are annoying, the smoothness of the 1200s is better thanks to the balance shaft.
Scoring: costs / environment
The hour of the 1150s strikes now. Cheaper to buy and
Insurance premiums as well as inspections and fuel type.
Your successor looks more valuable and shines in processing
with lower pollutant values. Both receive a point deduction because BMW does not provide a full guarantee.
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