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2013 BMW R 1200 RT Review

The RT’s boxer twin makes the least power, but its handling and wind protection are hard to beat. And, at 626 pounds, it’s the lightest bike here by 37 pounds.

The RT’s boxer twin makes the least power, but its handling and wind protection are hard to beat. And, at 626 pounds, it’s the lightest bike here by 37 pounds.

Photo Credit: Rich Cox

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013
Filed under BMW Motorcycle Road Tests: Reviews on BMW Motorcycles, Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycle Reviews

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Now in its 34th year of production, the BMW R 1200 RT has long been sport touring’s standard-bearer. Designed, built and refined in the shadow of the Alps, the RT name is synonymous with tractable power, intuitive handling and first-rate comfort and wind protection. Its trademark air/oil-cooled boxer twin with shaft drive represents 90 years of BMW design tradition, a setup that has proven to be reliable and popular.

Updated for 2010, the RT received the HP2 Sport-derived radial four-valve, DOHC cylinder head and other improvements that helped the engine rev more smoothly, broadened the torque curve and perked up the exhaust note. It also introduced the innovative Multi-Controller, a thumb wheel on the left hand grip that controls the optional audio system. Styling was updated, the already-excellent wind protection was improved, the optional Electronic Suspension Adjustment was upgraded from ESA I to ESA II, and more (Rider, September 2012 and on ridermagazine.com).

Like the K 1600 GT, our R 1200 RT test bike is a 2012 model; there are no changes in pricing, options or colors for 2013. The base price of $17,350 includes ABS, a centerstand, a power accessory socket and white turn signal lenses as standard equipment. Our test bike is also equipped with the RT Premium Equipment package ($2,200), which adds a chrome exhaust, ESA II, heated seat and grips, cruise control, an onboard computer and a dual accessory socket; the Audio and Communications package ($1,300), which adds Bluetooth and an audio system with radio software; and the tire pressure monitor ($250), boosting the as-tested price to $21,100.

The R 1200 RT held its own in this comparison, but it will certainly be even better when it receives the new air/liquid-cooled engine, 6-speed transmission with wet slipper clutch, optional Dynamic ESA and other features found on the all-new R 1200 GS (Rider, April 2013).

Analog gauges flank an LCD panel that is hard to read in bright sunlight.

Analog gauges flank an LCD panel that is hard to read in bright sunlight.

Helmet: Nolan N104 / Jacket: Firstgear / Pants: Aerostich / Boots: Firstgear / Tailbag: Tourmaster

Helmet: Nolan N104 / Jacket: Firstgear / Pants: Aerostich / Boots: Firstgear / Tailbag: Tourmaster

 

BMW R 1200 RT

Base Price: $17,350
Price as Tested: $21,100 (RT Premium Equipment, Audio and Communications package, tire pressure monitor)
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com

Engine
Type: Air/oil-cooled, longitudinal opposed flat twin
Displacement: 1,170cc
Bore x Stroke: 101.0 x 73.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl., radial layout
Valve Adj. Interval: 6,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Fully sequential EFI, 50mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated dry clutch
Final Drive: Shaft, 2.62:1

Electrical
Ignition: Electronic (BMS-K+ w/ twin spark plugs)
Charging Output: 720 watts max.
Battery: 12V 19AH

Chassis
Frame: Tubular-steel space frame w/ engine as stressed member & cast aluminum Paralever single-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 58.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 26.2 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.3/33.1 in. (no-cost low seat: 30.7/31.5 in.)
Suspension, Front: BMW Telelever w/ 41mm stanchions & single shock, Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA II, as tested), 4.7-in. travel
Rear: BMW Paralever w/ single shock, ESA II (as tested), 5.3-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual discs w/ opposed 4-piston calipers & semi-Integral ABS
Rear: Single disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.50 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 626 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 465 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 1,091 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 89 PON min. (high/avg/low) 47.1/42.8/38.4
Estimated Range: 283 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 3,200

Read More

This article was published as part of a Sport-Touring Shootout in the May 2013 issue of Rider magazine. Click on the links below to read the other parts of the series.

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Comments

3 Responses to “2013 BMW R 1200 RT Review”

  1. 2013 BMW K 1600 GT Review | Rider Magazine on May 6th, 2013 2:02 pm

    [...] Mr. Traditional: BMW R 1200 RT [...]

  2. 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 Review | Rider Magazine on May 6th, 2013 2:53 pm

    [...] Mr. Traditional: BMW R 1200 RT [...]

  3. Five Fast Fellows: 2013 Sport-Touring Shootout | Rider Magazine on May 6th, 2013 2:54 pm

    [...] Mr. Traditional: BMW R 1200 RT [...]

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