The BMW R1200 RT was first introduced in the market back in 2005 when BMW Motorrad decided that its predecessor, the R1150 RT , was ready to hang up its gloves. Initial reaction towards the R1200 RT was overwhelmingly positive, enough at least for the bike to be named as the best touring bike in 2005 and 2006.

The accolades for the R1200 RT didn’t just end there. It was also named the UK’s number one motorcycle in 2006, 2007, and 2009. It’s lone blip was that second-place finish in 2008, preventing it from achieving that rare feat of being named the best bike across the pond for four years in a row.

Since then, the R1200 RT has staked its claim as one of the best tourers in the world, a distinction that it still proudly carries to this day. Sure, there have been some hiccups in the past, including a few recall issues, but for the most part, the R1200 RT has more than lived up to its billing as a worthy successor to the R1150 RT.

Click "continue reading" to read more about the BMW R1200 RT.

  • 2015 BMW R 1200 RT
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    Air/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine, double overhead camshaft, one balance shaft
  • Displacement:
    1170 L
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Price:


2015 BMW R 1200 RT High Resolution Exterior
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The BMW R1200 RT packs a rather athletic look, as if BMW designed it with the idea of trying to make it as sexy as possible. Turns out, that gamble worked perfectly because the R1200 RT definitely looks the part of a broad-shouldered, two-wheeled specimen.

The choice of three colors - San Marino Blue, Ebony Metalic, and Callisto Grey Metallic - provides customers with some variety. I especially like the San Marino Blue finish because the color evokes the coolness of BMW. There are just some shades that are attributed to a specific brand and San Marino Blue undoubtedly screams BMW.

Aesthetically, the R1200 RT is loaded. The full fairing and the fine bodywork fit the bike like a glove and the hard saddlebags at the back not only provides that muscular balance to the bike, but they come as standard features too. If you’re not in need of the bags, taking them off is pretty simple, requiring little to no work and can be done rather quickly.

The seat height is always an issue for me and while the 32.5-inch ground clearance on the R1200 RT isn’t ideal for a man of my size, taller riders will have little issues getting in and out. An electrically adjustable windshield completes the bike’s aggressive looks. This specific windshield can be controlled, too, thanks to a button located on the left handlebar. Once the bike is powered, the windshield extends and when power is turned off, it retracts automatically.

Design Specifications

Length 87.5 in (2,222 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors) 38.7 in (983 mm) / 38.8 in (985 mm) incl. panniers
Height (excl. mirrors) 55.7 in (1,416 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight 31.7 / 32.5 in (high: 32.7 / 33.5 in; low: 29.9 / 30.7 in)
Inner leg curve, unladen weight 71.3 / 72.8 in (high: 73.8 / 75.4 in; low: 68.5 / 70.1 in)
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled 604 lbs (274 kg)
Permitted total weight 1,091 lbs (495 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment) 487 lbs (221 kg)
Usable tank volume 6.6 gal
Reserve approx. 1 gal
Color Options San Marino Blue / Granite Grey Metallic Matte, Callisto Grey Metallic Matte, Ebony Metallic


2015 BMW R 1200 RT High Resolution Exterior
- image 619333

A new chassis with a continuous frame is one of the understated highlights of the BMW R1200 RT. I like to think that the new set-up makes the bike more agile and more comfortable, which it does pretty easily. The front suspension also plays its role, featuring a new Telelever that replaces the conventional telescopic forks. This new system uses both forks and attaches them to a steering head and a trailing link that, in turn, is attached to the frame. According to BMW, this arrangement gives the R1200 RT better responsiveness and reduces dive when the bike brakes. At the back, a continuously variable, hydraulically adjustable Paralever single-sided swingarm handles the suspension duties.

The R1200 RT also makes use of a new option called the Dynamic ESA system, the settings of which can accessed through controls on the left handlebar. Using this feature, riders can choose from three different ride modes - Rain, Road, and Dynamic - each coming with their own distinctive suspension features.

17-inch cast aluminum wheels are used on the bike and are complemented by a dual disc brake with four-piston fixed callipers on the front and a single disc bake with a double-piston floating caliper at the back.

Frame Specifications

Frame Two-section frame consisting of front and rear sections, load-bearing engine-gearbox unit
Front wheel location / suspension BMW Motorrad Telelever; stanchion diameter 37 mm, central spring strut
Rear wheel location / suspension Cast aluminium single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear 4.7 in / 5.4 in (120 mm / 136 mm)
Wheelbase 58.5 in (1,485 mm)
Castor 4.6 in (116 mm)
Steering head angle 63.6°
Wheels Cast aluminium wheels
Rim, front 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear 5,50 x 17"
Tyres, front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres, rear 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front Dual disc brake, floating brake discs, diameter 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers
Brake, rear Single disc brake, diameter 276 mm, double-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part-integral)


2015 BMW R 1200 RT High Resolution Exterior
- image 619337

The new R1200 RT features a 1,170 cc liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder boxer engine that’s a little more powerful than it looks. Output numbers can reach up to 125 horsepower at 7,750 rpm with torque numbers reaching 91 pound-feet at 6,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed transmission, which sends power to the rear wheel, allowing the bike to have crisp acceleration and a broad torque curve for seamless shifting.

The figures are impressive but it doesn’t tell the entire picture of the R1200 RT’s performance capabilities.

Three standard riding modes - Rain, Road, and Dynamic - provide unique differentiation in the way riders would want to ride their bikes. If neither of these three options are dynamic enough, BMW’s also offering a Pro riding mode and Hill Start Control as extra options. If you’re one of those riders who enjoy making the most out of your bikes, I recommend that you get this option just in case you’re not all that impressive with the riding capabilities of the two riding modes. I find that it’s better to have more options at your disposal than having that one missing and you find yourself kicking the dirt because you didn’t get it when you should’ve.

Rounding out the performance features of the bike is ASC traction control system that provides that much-needed stability for the bike.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Type Air/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine, double overhead camshaft, one balance shaft
Bore x stroke 101 mm x 73 mm
Capacity 1,170 cc
Rated output 125 hp (92 kW) at 7,750 rpm
Max. torque 92 lb-ft (125 Nm) at 6,500 rpm
Compression ratio 12.5 : 1
Mixture control / engine management Electronic intake pipe injection / BMS-K+ digital engine management with electromotive throttle actuator
Emission control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3
Maximum speed 125 mph
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h 60 mg at a constant 56 mph (3.9 l)
Fuel type Premium Unleaded
Alternator three-phase alternator 540 W
Battery 12 V / 16 Ah, maintenance-free
Clutch oil lubricated clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical gear teeth
Drive Shaft drive


2015 BMW R 1200 RT High Resolution Exterior
- image 619345

The BMW R1200 RT with ABS capabilities comes with a price of $17,705.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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