Bavaria unveils its dream machine
The BMW R 1250 RT is too often overshadowed by its sister, the GS. This is logical enough: the large market of touring bikes has been used for technology transfer for several years.
For this new R 1250 RT, the Bavarian company has decided to give a sporty facelift and a high-tech update to their flagship touring machine.
The RT certainly seems intimidating at first glance. However, this feeling disappears as soon as you mount up. Because you don’t sit “on” the RT, but literally “in” the bike. Your hands fall naturally on the handlebars. The screens, controls and even the mirrors are exactly where you would instinctively place them. The new 10.25-inch TFT screen offers perfect readability, both in terms of contrast and footprint.
Once you leave your home base, the RT is surprisingly manoeuvrable and light. The chassis performs flawlessly no matter what the surface. At any speed range, the bike remains unflappable The electronic control of the chassis has a lot to do with this. Our machine was equipped with the optional semi-active Dynamic-ESA. The “dynamic” setting offers precise handling and an optimal compromise between suspension comfort and driving dynamics. In the other modes, RT is less compelling.
The maximum lean angle is respectable for a luxury yacht. But the footpegs can come into contact with the ground if you ride too aggressively.
On the engine side, the 1250 cm3 boxer provides plenty of punch thanks to its 143 Nm of torque. You can roll through built-up areas in 6th gear and, after you leave that area, you only need a short burst of throttle to adjust your speed. In this respect, the accuracy of the execution of the commands sent by the navigation console is a major asset. The steering inputs and finger strength required are minimal.
You can bring the RT to a halt in a very short braking distance with just your index finger and feel like you’ve dropped an anchor overboard at full speed. With the fully integrated ABS Pro system, including cornering ABS, the operator can use either the brake lever or the brake pedal. The bike calculates the maximum allowable deceleration based on changes in dynamic wheel load, lean angle, etc. In addition to ABS, the system also offers traction control.
The wind and weather protection bubble can be adjusted electrically by a simple press of a button. It offers a very wide range to every fair-weather rider who can, thanks to the heated seat and heated handles, calmly defy the elements.
The RT also features dynamic cruise control. Radar sensors detect the vehicle in front of you, and the range can be set using three different levels, with the rest being handled by the on-board electronics.
What BMW succeeded in doing with the GS, it has also achieved with the large roadsters. The RT sets the bar very high. Expect to pay just under €20,000 for the basic model and over €25,000 if you opt for the many options.