Af­ter 12,000 miles, the R1200RT still ef­fort­lessly laps up long rides and makes any­thing pos­si­ble... ex­cept fil­ter­ing!

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - adam.child@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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


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