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2014 BMW R 1200 RT First Look Review

Greg Drevenstedt
November 5, 2013
Filed under BMW Motorcycle Road Tests: Reviews on BMW Motorcycles, Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycle Reviews, Top Stories

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The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT gets the new liquid-cooled boxer engine along with updates to its chassis, bodywork, ergonomics, instrumentation and options.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT gets the new liquid-cooled boxer engine along with updates to its chassis, bodywork, ergonomics, instrumentation and options.

With the introduction of the liquid-cooled BMW R 1200 GS earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before the lighter, more powerful “water boxer” twin made its way onto other R-series models, and the R 1200 RT sport tourer is the obvious next-best platform for the engine. Although the RT got a major update for 2010 and a minor refresh for 2012, the basic platform has remained unchanged since 2005, when the R 1200 RT replaced the R 1150 RT.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT gets the new partially liquid-cooled boxer twin.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT gets the new partially liquid-cooled boxer twin.

Derived from the boxer engine on the BMW R 1200 GS, the RT’s new engine has the same displacement as before (1,170cc), but its output is much higher—a claimed 125 horsepower at 7,750 rpm and 92 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. For sport-touring duty, the centrifugal masses of both the crankshaft and the alternator have been increased to help the engine run more smoothly. The 6-speed transmission has a taller secondary transmission ratio to reduce engine rpm, and the hydraulically actuated wet clutch has a slipper function.

Although the Alps-bred R 1200 RT has always been a nimble machine, for 2014 the chassis has been revised to complement the higher-output engine. The new frame has a continuous design that increases rigidity, which BMW says improves both responsiveness and feedback. The RT’s 36 degrees of steering lock and lower center of gravity should help it turn even more sharply than before. And new 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels add to the bike’s more dynamic look.

Optional LED Corona Ring on the 2014 BMW R 1200 RT is adapted from the K 1600 GT/GTL.

Optional LED Corona Ring on the 2014 BMW R 1200 RT is adapted from the K 1600 GT/GTL.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT comes standard with two riding modes (Rain and Road) as well as Automatic Stability Control (ASC). Optional Riding mode Pro adds a third riding mode (Dynamic) and the new Hill Start Control function, which adds some rear brake pressure to assist the rider when stopping and starting on an uphill slope (BMW says it is not to be confused with a parking brake). Other options include the Gear Shift Assistant Pro for clutchless upshifts and downshifts, as well as BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment).

A 0.8-inch lower handlebar-seat-footpeg triangle makes it easier for more riders to reach the ground without compromising legroom, though cornering clearance is likely to be lower as a result. A redesigned windscreen is said to improve what was already among the best wind protection of any sport tourer available. Bodywork has also been redesigned, giving the R 1200 RT an appearance that splits the difference between the R 1200 GS and the K 1600 GT/GTL, with the optional LED Corona Ring giving the RT a head-on look like that of the K-bikes. A new multifunctional instrument panel with TFT color display, standard BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer and control of the optional audio system with the Multi-Controller dial on the left cluster help narrow the amenity gap between the K 1600s and the R 1200 RT.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT will be available in three colors: Quartz Blue Metallic, Callisto Grey Metallic Matt and Ebony Metallic. As with any BMW, many options and accessories will be available. Pricing and availability are TBD.

For more information, visit bmwmotorcycles.com.

RELATED: 2013 Sport-Touring Shootout – BMW K 1600 GT, BMW R 1200 RT, Kawasaki Concours 14, Triumph Trophy SE, Yamaha FJR1300

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT comes standard with removable hard saddlebags.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT comes standard with removable hard saddlebags.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT has a more sleek, modern appearance than its predecessor.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT has a more sleek, modern appearance than its predecessor.

The Multi-Controller is used to operate the optional audio system.

The Multi-Controller operates the optional audio system.

All-new instrumentation includes a multifunction TFT color display and standard BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer.

All-new instrumentation includes a multifunction TFT color display and standard BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT's windscreen offers more protection.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT’s windscreen offers more protection.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT in Quartz Blue Metallic.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT in Quartz Blue Metallic.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT in Callisto Grey Metallic Matt.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT in Callisto Grey Metallic Matt.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT in Ebony Metallic.

The 2014 BMW R 1200 RT in Ebony Metallic.

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