BMW R 1200 RT

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BMW R 1200 RT
BMW R 1200 RT
ManufacturerBMW Motorrad
PredecessorR 1150 RT
Engine1170 cc, 2-cylinder, 8-valve boxer, air/oil cooled
Bore x stroke: 101 mm x 73 mm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Power110 bhp (81 kW) @ 7500 rpm[1]
Torque85 ft·lbf (115 Nm) @ 6000 rpm[1]
Transmission6-speed, shaft drive
SuspensionFront: BMW Telelever
Rear: BMW Paralever
BrakesBMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part-integral)
Front: 4-piston EVO calipers with floating 320 mm discs
Rear: 2-piston floating caliper with single 265 mm disc
TiresFront: 120/70ZR17 on 3.50 x 17 rim
Rear: 180/55ZR17 on 5.50 x 17 rim
Cast aluminium wheels
Rake, Trail63.4°, 4.3 inches (110 mm)
Wheelbase1.48 m, 58.3 in
DimensionsL 2.23 m, 87.8 in W 0.90 m, 35.6 in H 1.43 m, 56.3 in
Seat heightAdjustable 820–840 mm (32.3–33.0 in)
Low seat option: 780–800 mm
Weight229 kg (505 lb) (dry), 259 kg (571 lb) (wet)
Fuel capacity7.1 US gallons, 27 liters

The BMW R 1200 RT was introduced in 2005 by BMW as a touring motorcycle designed to replace the R 1150 RT model.


Previous RT models, 1970s to 2004

Four generations of "RT" motorcycles from 1996 to the present

BMW Motorrad began manufacturing "RT" ((Reise-Tourer, or "travel tourer") touring motorcycle models in the late 1970s. The first of these were "airhead" models that continued BMW's long tradition dating to 1923 of producing "boxer" or opposed-twin engined motorcycle with unit engine-transmission construction and shaft final drive. A change occurred, however, in 1995 when BMW produced its first "oilhead" RT, the R 1100 RT. The new machine included oil-cooling, standard ABS brakes, four-valve heads, 5 speed gearboxTelelever front suspension, Paralever rear suspension, and an electrically adjustable screen.

In 2002, BMW launched the R 1150 RT, providing the same basic platform with increased engine capacity and horsepower, fully linked, power-assisted ABS brakes, revised front lighting system and a 6 speed gearbox. This model was further updated in 2004 by the addition of two spark plugs per cylinder.

R 1200 RT, 2005

The latest version of the RT series arrived in 2005 with the introduction of the R 1200 RT. The design of this model is completely different from the R 1150 RT with a 15% boost in power, 20 kg (44 lb) weight saving,[2][1] optional electronically adjustable suspension (ESA) and on-board computer. A low seat and/or a lowered suspension are available for shorter riders reducing seat height to a lowest level of 820 mm (32.3 in),[1] although the lowered suspension eliminates the ESA option. The standard electrically operated windscreen can be adjusted across a large range of heights. The servo powered ABS brakes on the 2005 and 2006 models are partially integrated such that the rear brake pedal only applies the rear brake while the front brake lever applies both brakes.

For the 2007 model year, servo assist has been removed from the partially integrated brakes. The new, more advanced ABS system is lighter and has been produced by Continental Teves, who also produce the optional Automatic Stability Control (ASC).[3] An electronic tire pressure monitor (TPM) was introduced as an option. During the production of the 2006 models the original two-tone horns were replaced by a single-tone horn. Other optional equipment includes cruise control, heated grips, heated seats for both the rider and passenger, and a CD/Radio audio system.

The BMW motorcycling community has dubbed the 1200 cc version of the RT and BMWs with the same or similar engines as "hexhead" models, so named because of the shape of their valve covers compared to the oval shape of oilhead models.

With 110 hp (82 kW) and 85 lb·ft (115 N·m) of torque, the R 1200 RT is suitable for long-distance touring carrying a rider and passenger and a full load of luggage; and is able to reach 135 mph (220 km/h) and do a standing quarter mile in 12.2 seconds.[2]


See information box for other specifications
The 2005 & 2006 R 1200 RT was available in Piedmont red
BMW's Paralever rear swingarm


  • Type — Air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine, one camshaft and four valves per cylinder, central compensation shaft
  • Mixture control / engine management — Electronic intake pipe injection/digital engine management: BMW engine management, BMS-K with overrun fuel cut-off, dual ignition
  • Emission control — Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter

Performance / fuel consumption

  • Maximum speed — Greater than 125 mph (200 km/h)
  • Fuel consumption over 62 miles (100 km) course at a constant 56 mph (90 km/h) — Template:Convert/mpgus
  • Fuel consumption over 62 mile course at a constant 75 mph (121 km/h) — Template:Convert/mpgus
  • Fuel type — Unleaded premium, 98 octane (RON) with automatic knock control

Electrical system

  • Alternator — 720 watts 60 amperes three-phase alternator
  • Battery — 12 volts, 12 ampere hours

Power transmission

  • Clutch — Single-disc dry clutch, hydraulically operated
  • Gearbox — Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical gearing


  • Frame — Three-section frame consisting of front and rear section, load bearing engine-gearbox unit
  • Front wheel location / suspension — BMW Motorrad Telelever; stanchion diameter 35 mm, central spring strut, rebound damping electronically adjustable with standard ESA
  • Rear wheel location / suspension — Die-cast aluminium single-sided swinging arm with BMW Motorrad EVO-Paralever; spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable to continuously variable levels by means of electronically adjustable ESA, rebound damping with standard ESA
  • Travel front/rear — 4.72 inches (120 mm) / 5.31 inches (135 mm)

Dimensions / Weight

  • Permitted total weight — 1,091 lb (495 kg)
  • Payload (with standard equipment) — 520 lb (236 kg)
  • Fuel reserve — Approximately 1 US gallon

Special models

An R 1200 RT outfitted for police duty

The R 1200 RT-P is produced as a specific emergency services variant, also known as "authority" model, by BMW Motorrad's Official and special duty vehicles division. In addition a unique R 900 RT model is produced for this market, which is not available to the general public. A number of United Kingdom police forces have taken delivery of the BMW R1200RT-P to replace the Honda ST1300 Pan-European, which was withdrawn from service nationally after being involved in a number of incidents,[4] one of which resulted in the death of a police officer from Merseyside.[5]

This replaced the R1150 RT-P variant as used by a many Police forces throughout the world. This variant was recognised by the addition of chrome crash bars situated about the front fairing, and could also be used for mounting of additional equipment such as sirens; crash bars around panniers, "city" lids to panniers, single seat with radio box, additional switch gear for equipment, emergency lighting, lower ratio gearbox increase capacity alternator and second battery.[6]

Reviews and awards

The R 1200 RT was selected as the "Best Touring Bike" by two major American monthly motorcycle magazines.[7]

In September 2006 the R 1200 RT was named the United Kingdom's "number one motorcycle" by readers of RiDE magazine in its annual "RiDER POWER" survey.[8] It repeated this achievement in 2007 and reached second place overall in 2008.[1]

In October 2006, the R 1200 RT was cited as the "Best Tourer" for the second year in a row by Motorcycle News in England. The citation read:

The R 1200 RT was awarded the accolade after RiDE readers were invited to nominate and assess their favourite bike according to a number of rating categories. These included build quality, engine performance, rider comfort, reliability, handling and overall impressions. The RT which also won the 2005 MCN Best Tourer Award in its first year of production received an overall score of 85.14 per cent, beating 149 other motorcycles to the number one spot.

Over 10,000 readers voted in the survey and each was asked to justify their choice of bike. "Overall this is a brilliant bike, I haven't had so much fun in ages" said one RT owner. A second writes: "I've had no faults, build quality or reliability issues. I'm extremely impressed with my BMW." Another claims that his RT is "the best bike I've ever owned."

Safety issues

The R1200RT has been affected by a number of safety issues since its launch. The United Kingdom Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has issued five separate vehicle recalls covering the front brakes,[9] anti-lock braking system,[10][11] throttle cable,[12] and clutch.[13] This compares with just two for its R1150RT predecessor. Similar recalls have been issued in by vehicle safety authorities other countries.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Template:Citation
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Motorcycle Reviews". Motorcycle News. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. 
  3. "Traction control comes to the street from an unlikely source: BMW". American Motorcyclist Association. 13 July 2006. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. 
  4. "Police withdraw Pan over safety concerns". Motorcycle News. 14 May 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. 
  5. "Police bike is 'serious threat'". BBC News. 27 April 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-27. 
  6. "Emergency services version of the R 1200 RT and R 900 RT". BMW Motorrad Authorities. 
  7. "Accolades". BMW Motorrad USA. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. 
  8. "BMW wins Rider Power awards". Inside Bikes News. 26 September 2006. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. 
  9. "Recall RM/2008/019". VOSA. 12 June 2008. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  10. "Recall RM/2006/020". VOSA. 14 March 2006. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  11. "Recall RM/2006/021". VOSA. 14 March 2006. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  12. "Recall RM/2005/015". VOSA. 18 March 2005. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  13. "Recall RM/2006/023". VOSA. 14 March 2006. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 

External links