After 12,000 miles, the R1200RT still effortlessly laps up long rides and makes anything possible... except filtering!
Goodbye my lovely. My long-term R1200RT’S gone back to BMW and no doubt will be snapped up as a used bargain. Over the past 12,000 miles, the RT has proved incredibly versatile. And no matter what test bikes I’d been riding, it was always comforting to come home to the RT, just like popping down your local for a pint.
I’ll give you an example: on a glorious summer’s day I was up at the crack of dawn as I had to be at Snetterton circuit for 9am – that’s a three-hour journey of about 180 miles from my home in East Yorkshire. My RT was loaded to the brim with race leathers in one pannier and race lid with boots in the other. I, on the other hand, wore an open-face crash helmet and summer leather jacket so I could enjoy the warm, seasonable weather.
After a full day testing classic race bikes in preparation for the Goodwood Revival I was shattered and still had the prospect of my 180-mile return journey. But instead of heading for the nearest B&B, I loaded up the RT, put my open-face lid on and rode home. The ride back in the late evening sunshine after a full day on track was bliss, I even went the long way so I could enjoy the scenery. I was comfortable, warm and listening to the tunes being played from my phone, which was on charge in the front right cubbyhole. Perfect. You can even hear the tunes up to 90mph, which is really impressive.
It’s not been love all the way, however, as there have been times when I’ve hated the RT. Stuck in city traffic it’s almost impossible to filter, trying to paddle backwards when fully loaded also takes herculean strength especially when you’re 5ft 5in. And taking it on a trackday at Cadwell Park perhaps wasn’t the best idea. Although, that said, the RT out-performed my expectations on track; its handling was really impressive for such a huge machine, but it was frustrating getting passed by all those sportsbikes.
But the good times have completely outweighed the bad. When you’re tired and just want to get somewhere in comfort the RT is ideal. Touring Scotland with my fiancée Sarah on the back was one of my highlights of the year. I would have liked to have done more touring, we had a trip planned for August but a crash while racing at Oliver’s Mount put me out of action for four weeks over the summer.
I didn’t add much in the way of accessories to the RT as I’d already ticked every option box before the bike arrived, including the music system which I miss so much. I tested one set of tyres in 12,000 miles (a pair of Metzeler Roadtec 01s, £257.30), which isn’t bad considering the abuse they had, especially on track. If I was to be really critical, compared to other models I’ve tested, I think the RT would benefit from having the latest cornering ABS, especially in wintry conditions. There is a reason the RT won our prestigious MCN Touring Bike of the Year award for the third year running, it’s simply the best touring bike on the market.
‘ Taking the RT on a trackday at Cadwell wasn’t my best idea but it exceeded my expectations’
The RT arrives and takes over my long-distance commute duties Track gear loaded in the pannier, I can get there in the open face Out hunting the sportsbikes on track at Cadwell Park Clear dash is everything you’d expect from BMW
RIDE IT LOAD IT TRACK IT CLOCCLOCKK ON 11,978 MILES