NEW BIKES 2021: BMW
Radar for the RT. Soon it’ll be able to ride itself. Plus big cheeses speak.
Forget your multi-level traction control and riding modes configured specifically for overcast Wednesday mornings. If you want to talk proper rider aids, things that actually make it easier to get from A-to-c-via-b, then what you need is a bike with proper full-map navigation built in. One that automatically adjusts its speed and maintains your distance to traffic, and sets itself up for stuffed panniers and ample pillions without being asked. And that on a gloomy night even lights up the path to your front door. You want BMW’S new R1250RT.
Already powered by an über-cunning variable-valve engine and available with an array of easy-life extras, Beemer have pushed the spec of the UK’S favourite touring bike up a rung. The latest RT has dynamic traction, ‘eco’ riding mode, hill start control, cruise, heated grips, ‘Full Integral ABS Pro’ and a bloody enormous 10.25-inch colour TFT dash as standard on the £15,820 base model. With connectivity and builtin navigation, this cinema-scale display is the first on any bike to have all-singing sat-nav-style maps and route planning, rather than turn-by-turn arrows. You can choose how much of the screen the map takes up, and what other trip and info you fancy seeing alongside.
Not happy with just guiding you to the destination, the RT also controls your speed. Opt for dynamic cruise control and the RT uses radar to maintain your gap to other traffic. It’ll pull your speed back if you’re cornering too aggressively as well.
Speaking of corners, the options list now includes adaptive turning lights so that you can peek round bends – and the lamps actually swivel, like on an old Citroën DS. The RT’S LED lights also have a ‘welcome’ function, illuminating when you turn the ignition on before fading to a standby level, and again briefly for ‘goodbye’ when you turn the bike off. Best is the ‘follow me home’ function – turn the RT off, press high beam, and the lights come on so you can see your way up the garden path. Other add-ons include a new sound system, automatic preload adjustment for bikes with ‘latest generation’ semi-active ESA, and ‘comfort telephony with extended smartphone function’ – there’s a waterproof storage compartment for your phone in the revised fairing with inductive charging and a cooling fan. Really. We assume the extra two wheels will be on the 2022 model.