The BMW R 1200 RT is new for 2010 and apart from the prettier face, the German tourer can now brag about being powered by a DOHC engine, which puts down 110hp and 88lb-ft of torque while revving no more than 8,000 rpm. This means the bike has two of the necessary premises to be a wonderful touring, but comfort completes the triangle.
Although features such as the second generation updated Electronic Suspension Adjustment system (ESA II), a generous fairing and windscreen as well as an audio system with MP3, iPod or USB sticks position the 2010 BMW R 1200 RT on the touring side of “sport-touring,” the new motorcycle has plenty of potency to compete with sportier motorcycles such as the Triumph Sprint ST 1050 and Moto Guzzi Norge 1200.
1. The New BMW R 1200 RT.
Overview of the main features of the new R 1200 RT:
New boxer engine with much more torque for an even more dynamic and comfortable touring experience.
The BMW R 1200 RT has always been acknowledged as the epitome of comfortable and dynamic motorcycle touring in classic style. And now the latest version of this very special active tourer with its significant innovations offers even more superior enduro qualities and dynamic benefits thanks to its new engine.
In its configuration and basic structure, the new fl at-twin power unit is the same as the DOHC engine featured in the BMW HP2 Sport. It has however been further upgraded and optimised for the BMW R 1200 RT to meet the specific requirements of such an outstanding tourer.
With the 1,170-cc boxer engine on the former model already offering superior drive power under all conditions and in all situations, the new R 1200 RT has even more to offer. First, the new engine comes with an increase in maximum torque from 115 to 120 Nm (85 - 88 lb-ft) at an unchanged 6,000 rpm, for even more pulling force and traction. Second, the range of useful engine speed is now 500 rpm broader, going up all the way to 8,500 rpm. The third improvement is a significant increase in torque where it really counts at low and medium engine speeds, with an absolutely smooth and homogeneous torque curve. Maximum output, as before, is 81 kW (110 hp), now at 7,750 rpm (previously 7,500 rpm).
New DOHC cylinder heads for an even more efficient cylinder charge.
Designed and built for even higher engine speeds, the new boxer engine of the R 1200 RT, like the power unit featured on the BMW HP2 Sport, comes with two overhead chain-driven camshafts (DOHC) per cylinder. Valves are operated by very light rocker arms able to cope easily with high engine speeds. Radial arrangement of the four valves gives the combustion chamber very compact configurations, and like on the former models the fuel/air mixture is ignited by two spark plugs (HP2 Sport: one spark plug). The compression ratio of 12.0:1 remains unchanged.
Knock control allows the engine to run on 95-98 RON premium (plus) fuel. Under certain conditions the rider may experience a very small drop in torque and a slight increase in fuel consumption whenever knock control cuts in.
Horizontal arrangement of the camshafts in the direction of travel calls for two special technical features on the new fl at-twin power unit: Each camshaft controls one intake and one exhaust valve, and the cams are finished in conical shape due to the radial arrangement of the valves. Particularly in the interest of power and performance at low and medium engine speeds, and to provide even better free-revving riding characteristics, the intake and exhaust valve timing on both camshafts has been further optimised. Compared with the former models, the valve plates are up in diameter from 36 to 39 millimetres (1.41 – 1.54“) on the intake side and 31 to 33 millimetres (1.22 – 1.30”) on the exhaust side.
Valve clearance is adjusted by light semi-hemispherical shims. To provide a greater free-valve cross-section, valve lift is up from 10.54 mm (0.415“) on the intake and 9.26 mm (0.365”) on the exhaust side to 10.8 mm (0.425”) on both sides.
Significantly more torque throughout the entire speed range.
The existing ratio of bore:stroke remains the same at 101:73 mm (3.98:2.87”), giving the engine the same capacity as before of 1,170 cc. Other features likewise taken over from the former engine are the crankshaft and the connecting rods as well as their bearings, while the two pistons made of cast aluminium have been re-designed to match the modified dimensions of the combustion chamber.
Interacting with the upgraded intake system, throttle butterfl y manifolds now offering 50 mm (1.97“) instead of the former 47 mm (1.85”) (HP2 Sport: 52 mm/2.05”) opening clearance, newly designed intake air funnels and an air filter element with even higher throughput, the power unit, as in the past, develops maximum output of 81 kW/110 hp, now at 7,750 rpm. The biggest improvement, however, is the increase in maximum torque to 120 Nm/88 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm.
An oil cooler ensures a stable thermal balance even under extreme running conditions.
A further feature on the new model is the use of cylinder head covers with two instead of formerly four fastening bolts in new, even more dynamic design. A valve cover guard made either of aluminium or plastic as well as chrome-plated aluminium cylinder covers are available as special equipment.
Electronically controlled exhaust flap for superior and muscular sound.
On the exhaust system the two manifolds come in the same design, length and diameter as on the former model, while the interference pipe has been modified to take the different vibration conditions on the exhaust manifold into account.
Featuring an exhaust flap controlled via an electric motor and opening/closing cables, the new BMW R 1200 RT offers a particularly powerful boxer sound nevertheless in full compliance with all legal standards. To reduce ram pressure and improve the sound of the engine, the rear silencer unchanged in its exterior design versus the former models comes with a modified interior structure.
Ideal transmission of power thanks to six-speed gearbox and drive shaft.
As in the past, power is transmitted through the six-speed gearbox already upgraded in the 2008 model year, with larger bearing diameters and a modified gap between shafts. The maintenance-free drive shaft to the rear wheel is the same as before.
Running gear with Telelever and Paralever following a proven principle at BMW.
The proven, two-piece main/rear frame sections made of weight-saving steel tubes incorporating the engine as a load-bearing element offer maximum strength and stiffness under all running conditions. The front and rear frame are firmly bolted to the engine/gearbox unit, interacting with the engine and gearbox to form a load-bearing structure. The longitudinal arm on the front Telelever suspension is mounted as before on the engine block, the Paralever swing arm is fitted on the rear frame.
With its fixed tube measuring 35 millimetres/1.38” in diameter, the Telelever is the optimum solution for the rider using his machine exclusively on the road and focusing in particular on superior comfort. This is ensured by the good balance of sporting and comfort-oriented suspension behavior, the maintenance-free system once again designed to reduce brake dive to almost zero, which again helps to provide greater stability when applying the brakes when leaning over at an angle.
As in the past the Paralelver swing arm in the rear central spring strut comes with travel-dependent damping or TDD for short, with the damping effect increasing progressively as a function of spring travel. This keeps the suspension smooth, sensitive and comfortable in absorbing even the smallest bumps, while at the same time offering generous reserves on bad roads and tracks with grooves or big bumps and pitholes.
As in the past, spring travel is 120 millimetres/4.72“ up front and 135 mil-limetres/5.31” at the rear. In standard trim, the rear spring strut offers infi nitely variable adjustment on the outbound stroke as well as a hand-wheel for infinitely adjusting the spring base by 10 millimetres or 0.39”, in order to adjust the rear end to varying load requirements.
Like its predecessor, the new R 1200 RT comes on light, almost filigree cast aluminium wheels in fi ve-spoke design, combining an attractive look with an easy-to-clean surface and a high standard of stiffness. The front wheel measures 3.5 x 17“, the rear wheel 5.5 x 17”, running on a 120/70 ZR17 tyre up front and a 180/55 ZR17 tyre at the rear.
ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment, adjustable damping, spring base and now also spring rate.
The BMW R 1200 RT is available with ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment II) already well-known from the K series as an option at extra cost.
Benefiting from this system quite unique in the world motorcycle market, the rider is able to adjust not only the damping on the outbound stroke of the front and rear spring strut, but also the spring base (spring pre-tension) on the front spring strut and the spring rate – all this at the simple touch of a button.
This second-generation Electronic Suspension Adjustment or ESA II for short provides the option to set the suspension for maximum comfort and, with greater precision than ever before, for optimum riding and load conditions, thus ensuring a new dimension of riding stability combined with absolutely excellent response.
To control the Electronic Suspension Adjustment as easily as possible and to prevent any unwanted settings, the rider initially enters the motorcycle’s current load condition (solo, solo with luggage, rider with passenger and luggage). The appropriate spring base and spring rate is then set automatically, with the system coordinating these two parameters to one another.
Depending on the style of riding he wishes to enjoy, the rider must also choose among the Comfort, Normal or Sport mode, giving the suspension the desired qualities. So applying the optimum parameters kept available in the Central Vehicle Electronics, the electronic “brain” calculates the appropriate damper rates and sets them accordingly. As a result, the new R 1200 RT benefits from a total of no less than nine different set-up options.
With additional adjustment of the spring rate, ride height can be set perfectly to various load conditions, ensuring an even higher standard of riding stability, handling and comfort. Even when carrying high loads with a passenger and lots of luggage, the R 1200 RT maintains all of its riding qualities also when leaning over to a low angle in bends, for a truly sporting style of riding at all times.
A further advantage is that adjustment of the spring rate dramatically reduces the risk of the suspension suddenly sagging under extreme load.
The rider is able to change the damper setting (Normal, Sport, Comfort) simply by pressing a button also while riding, while for function and safety reasons the spring base may be changed only at a standstill. The spring rate is adjusted by an electric motor complete with its own transmission, while the damping rate is modified by small step motors on the dampers.
Adjustment of the spring rate is controlled by two springs connected in series, one behind the other. An elastomer unit (Cellasto) in combination with a conventional coil spring further down takes up forces under spring pressure, radial expansion of the Cellasto element to the outside being restricted by a steel sleeve. On the inside the Cellasto element moves an aluminium sleeve by means of electrohydraulic connection, the position of this inner sleeve influencing the expansion behavior of the Cellasto element to the inside and, therefore, its spring rate.
In all, this interaction of the various units has the same effect as a combination of two springs varying in strength. Whenever the inner sleeve is resting on the steel spring, the Cellasto unit is not in use and only the steel spring provides the desired suspension effect. Once the inner sleeve is moved further, the spring base on the steel spring – and therefore the spring pre-tension – is also varied accordingly.
This configuration significantly improves the normal static position of the motorcycle and riding geometry under all load conditions, without any of the disadvantages encountered with conventional suspension. Benefiting from this self-levelling, the R 1200 RT is just as stable when riding under full load as it is when carrying only the rider without any luggage.
Additional adjustment of the spring rate over the wide range from 160 – 260 N/ mm allows far greater variation of the Sport, Normal and Comfort settings on ESA II than on ESA I, with each set-up providing a far greater choice of specific characteristics. In other words, the R 1200 RT is even more dynamic and precise in the Sport mode, and very comfortable indeed in the Comfort mode, while maintaining an excellent standard of stability.
In all, ESA II offers the following significant benefits:
Brake system featuring partly integral ABS as standard for safe stopping power.
The proven brake system with BMW Motorrad Integral ABS in its partly integral version featured as standard offers supreme safety at all times. Maximum and controllable stopping power requiring minimum effort on the part of the rider guarantees additional safety particularly when braking in an emergency. The front brake discs measure 320 millimetres or 12.6“ in diameter, the rear brake disc 265 millimetres/10.4”
Lighter and even more dynamic fairing with riding comfort improved once again.
The R 1200 RT remains unmistakable in design, simply begging the rider to go out on the road or track at very first sight. Through its highly attractive black-grain surface finish around the air intake at the front of the fairing and around the upper side fairing, to mention just two examples, the R 1200 RT looks even lighter and more dynamic than its predecessor.
More than ever before, the light look of the fairing, which nevertheless offers superior protection from wind and weather, makes the machine a truly unique experience. The intentionally reduced use of colour around the mirror handguards again contributes to the dynamic appearance of the R 1200 RT, while the integrated direction indicators now with white lenses accentuate the powerful touring character of the machine.
Light edges in the fairing as well as the new cylinder head covers emphasising the length of the R 1200 RT give BMW’s new motorcycle an even sleeker and more slender look from the side. The newly designed front wheel mudguard with improved aerodynamics and the optimised engine spoiler also add a particularly dynamic touch to the design of the new R 1200 RT.
As in the past, the dominating headlight with its sharp contours gives the front end of the R 1200 RT a particularly stylish and truly unique appearance, setting it clearly aside from all other models. Following the free-form surface principle, the headlight unit is made up of two H7 headlights arranged to the right and left for a double low beam and a central light for the high beam, in each case with maximum light intensity.
While so far the headlight was adjusted by means of a lever on the motorcycle at rest, it may now be adjusted most conveniently by a knob on the left side of the cockpit.
The windshield is electrically adjustable to any position desired also on the new R 1200 RT, with variation of windshield height as before by up to 140 millimetres or 5.51”, enough to protect virtually any rider, no matter how tall, even better than before from wind and weather, while reducing the level of noise once again.
To improve aeroacoustics to an even higher level, the windshield has been modified in its design on the upper side section, helping again to significantly reduce wind noise. Windshield transparency has been optimised in this process, with less distortion round the edges as well as less reflection. To reduce vibrations, finally, the windshield support with just one bar has been reinforced and the mirror mounting modified.
Re-designed cockpit with additional visor.
The cockpit placed as usual perfectly in the rider’s line of vision with its two analogue dials for road and engine speed guarantees perfect presentation and safe supervision of all the machine’s functions. Unlike the former model, the new R 1200 RT comes with a matt visor fi nished in a dark metallic colour above the instruments to avoid any undue reflection. The instrument cluster itself features a newly designed face, now looking even more modern and sophisticated.
The instruments are supplemented by a central screen presenting data such as the coolant temperature, tank level, the time of day or the gear currently in mesh in the usual proven manner. On models fitted with ESA II as an option, the instrument cluster also provides information on the current suspension setting. Data retrievable on demand include the overall mileage, trip mileage and, as soon as tank capacity has dropped to the reserve level, the remaining range on the fuel available.
An on-board computer complete with an oil level warner comes as an option, with the information required (ambient temperature, remaining range, average speed and fuel consumption, tyre pressure (special equipment)) also available in the Info Display.
New shift units, new hydraulic reservoir and handlebar separated to avoid vibration.
Like the K 1300 models, the new R 1200 RT comes with a brand-new generation of switches and manual controls. The new switches are far smaller and more compact, but at the same time offer a higher level of functional value and come in very clear design.
Apart from the standard direction indicator, horn, high beam and starter functions, the R 1200 RT features controls for the electrically adjustable windshield and the optional handlebar and seat heating, the on-board computer, ESA II, ASC, and cruise control all integrated in the control unit.
As part of this modification, new, square-shaped and separately mounted hydraulic fluid reservoirs in a discreet smoky glass look for the clutch and brake fluid are also fitted in the cockpit area.
To avoid unwanted vibration and offer an even higher standard of riding comfort, the handlebar is now also mounted on rubber bearings to cancel out vibrations. The upper fork bridge now finished in silver complete with the BMW logo underlines the particular style and fl air of the R 1200 RT also in this area.
New audio system masterminded by the Multi-Controller coming as an option.
An absolute innovation in the motorcycle market is the new Multi-Controller. Fitted on the inside of the left handlebar within optimum reach at all times, the Multi-Controller replaces the former function satellite fitted further to the inside of the handlebar. Like a computer mouse, the Multi-Controller responds to turning and pressing of the wheel, enabling the rider to select a specific radio station and music title or vary the volume of the sound system. The audio system is also brand-new, featuring interfaces for an MP3 player, an iPod or USB stick as well as conventional devices such as a CD player. The CD player fitted on the former model has been dropped.
The new system allows administration of no less than nine playback lists on a USB/MP3 and iPod, with the alternative option to play all titles in random choice.
The Info Display presents the volume chosen as well as the title currently being played. The external devices used may be kept conveniently in a lockable compartment on the right side of the inner fairing, protected safe and sound from wind and weather.
The radio functions themselves are the same as before, but now the new audio system enables the rider to save 24 instead of just six stations. The rider can select stations either manually, through the memory function on stations saved in advance, or through the station search mode looking for the station with best reception (Autostore). The station currently being played is presented on the Info Display and the speed-related volume control may be set to three different levels.
Over and above the functions provided by the Multi-Controller, the radio control unit is masterminded as before through control knobs on the left side of the inner fairing
Perfect ergonomics for superior long-distance riding comfort.
As before, the comfortable seat on the R 1200 RT is split up into two sections, with manual adjustment of the rider’s section to two levels, 820 and 840 millimetres (32.3 and 33.1“). A lower seat is available as an optional extra, with seat height of 780 and, respectively, 800 millimetres (30.7 and 31.5”).
A further option is to lower the entire motorcycle (750 mm/29.5“ seat height including an extra-low seat bench), with a single-piece, extra-low seat bench measuring just 765 millimetres/30.1” in height available as special equipment.
Supreme comfort is ensured by the single-piece comfort seat bench also available as special equipment within the wide range of features coming from BMW Motorrad.
The ergonomic triangle made up of the footrests, seat and handlebar ensures an active seating position with maximum grand touring comfort. The rider and passenger on the R 1200 RT thus enjoy a pleasant knee angle at all times and under all conditions.
In the process of upgrading the new model, BMW Motorrad has given the R 1200 RT gearshift levers adjustable by an eccentric control bar serving to change the distance between the shift lever and the footrest and once again improve rider ergonomics.
High-tech baggage system for comfortable touring.
The R 1200 RT comes as standard with hard-shell cases offering a capacity on each side of 32 litres. The case holders are integrated almost fully in the body of the machine, providing a perfect match with the contours of the R 1200 RT. Case covers finished in high-quality body colour and an appropriate surface look matching the overall design of the motorcycle ensure a harmonious overall impression from every angle. A high-class locking system with four locking points guarantees an exact fit of the case cover as well as reliable sealing against water coming in.
The luggage rack offers ample space for additional luggage. As an alternative, the rider may opt for two topcases (either 49 or 28 litres) from the wide range of special equipment. The smaller of these two topcases is finished in black, the larger comes with a cover finished in White Aluminium metallic matt as a contrast to the black grain lower section or, as yet a further option, the cover in Sapphire Black.
A railing is fitted on top of the tank for fastening the tank bag developed especially for this purpose. And last but not least, numerous lashing points for luggage round off the touring package on the R 1200 RT.
Optional Extras and Special Equipment.
As a systems supplier by tradition, BMW Motorrad has developed a wide range of optional extras and special equipment also for the new R 1200 RT, allowing the discerning customer to personalise his machine to an even higher standard. Special equipment comes directly from the factory and is fitted during production at the Berlin Plant, optional extras are fitted by the BMW Motorcycle Dealer.
Bags and Cases.
Ergonomics and Comfort.
Design and Sound.
Navigation and Communication.
Maintenance and Technical Features.
2. Output and Torque.
Capacity: 1,170 cc
Bore/stroke: 101/73 mm
Max output: 81/110 kW/hp at 7,750 rpm
Max torque: 120/88 Nm/lb-ft at 6,000 rpm
No of cyls: 2
Compression ratio/fuel grade: 12/S 95-98 RON, max output at 98 RON
Valve/charge control: DOHC
Valves per cylinder: 4
Intake/exhaust dia: 39/33 mm
Throttle butterfly dia: 50 mm
Fuel supply management: BMS-K+
Exhaust management: Fully-controlled three-way catalytic converter
Alternator: 720 W
Battery: 12/19 V/Ah maintenance-free
Headlight: 3 x H7 W
Starter: 1.2 kW
Clutch: Single-plate dry clutch, dia 180 mm
Transmission: Dog-type six-speed gearbox
Primary transmission ratio: 1.737
Rear-wheel drive: Drive shaft
Final drive ratio: 2.62
Frame: Tubular steel frame, engine load-bearing
Suspension, front: BMW Telelever
Suspension, rear: BMW Paralever
Spring travel, front/rear: 120/135 mm
Castor: 109.9 mm
Wheelbase: 1,484.6 mm
Handlebar head angle: 63.4°
Brake, front: Double-disc brake, dia 320 mm
Brake, rear: Single-disc brake, dia 265 mm
BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (semi-integral), featured as standard
Wheels: Cast wheels
front - 3.5 x 17
rear - 5.0 x 17
Tyre, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tyre, rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Dimensions and Weight
Length, overall: 2,230 mm
Width, overall, with mirrors: 905 mm
Handlebar width, without mirrors: 800 mm
Seat height: Standard: 820-840 / optional: 780–800 mm
Optional lowered, 750 mm
Special equipment extra-low seat, 765 mm
Special equipment comfort seat, 785 mm
Dry weight: 229 kg
DIN unladen weight in road trim: 259 kg (w/o cases)
Max permissible weight: 495 kg
Tank capacity: 25 ltr
Performance and Fuel Cons
Fuel consumption: 90 km/h - 4.1 ltr/100 km
120 km/h - 5.2 ltr/100 km
Acceleration: 0–100 km/h - 3.8 sec
Top speed: 200 plus km/h
4. Range of Colours.
The fairing on the new R 1200 RT is lighter and more dynamic than the former fairing with its large surfaces. This lighter and more dynamic look is ensured above all by the sophisticated black-grain surface fi nish around the side and front sections.
The colour concept with four new colour shades enhances this effect and gives the R 1200 RT a significantly more compact look through the contrast between the colour of the body and the matt-painted engine spoiler as well as the seat finished exclusively in black on all models.
Polar metallic accentuates the dynamic design language of the new R 1200 RT in particularly elegant and sporting style. In conjunction with the engine spoiler finished in Dark Slate metallic matt, Polar metallic is a particularly colourful highlight in the R 1200 RT range.
Thunder Grey metallic in combination with the engine spoiler finished in White Aluminium metallic matt, on the other hand, emphasises the all-round talent of the new R 120 RT.
Ostra Grey metallic matt sets a powerful contrast to the engine spoiler again finished in White Aluminium metallic matt, providing a very technical look.
Twin-tone paintwork based on Thunder Grey metallic, together with sweeping lines in Titanium Silver metallic and Granite Grey metallic, makes the surfaces at the side look even more compact and dynamic and, together with the exciting breakdown of colours, sets a new and sporting highlight also in conjunction with the cases finished for the first time on a motorcycle in several of the machine’s colours.