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2005 BMW R1200 RT

BMW R1200 RT

The new BMW R1200 RT - fulfilling the dream of motorcycle travel through active touring

BMW Motorrad has always exerted a considerable influence in the touring market and continues to lead, where others follow. In fact, it has a worldwide market share of more than 41 per cent.

The RT 'Boxer' is the most successful BMW Motorrad tourer ever. The R1150 RT has consistently been the market leader, enjoying a particularly loyal customer base despite repeated attempts from other manufacturers to capture a market share.

Since it was launched in the UK in March 2001 the R1150 RT has sold over 2,350 units, making it the second most popular model in the current range behind the R1200 GS. Customers buy it for its outstanding ride comfort, long distance capability, fuel economy, performance, excellent ergonomics and luggage carrying capacity.

Its successor - the new R1200 RT - is the second model of the new Boxer generation and is predestined to become the ultimate touring machine. It has been improved significantly in all the above areas. It is more powerful than its predecessor, faster, significantly lighter, has improved wind and weather protection, better fuel economy and an increased tank range (as well as longer service intervals than its competitors).

BMW Motorrad is expecting much of its existing and loyal customer base of R1150 RT owners to trade up to the new machine, which will be very competitively priced in the UK from 9,910 (on the road). However, like the R1200 GS, which was launched early in 2004, the new R1200 RT has been designed to capture a new market share. Its 'active touring' capabilities will therefore appeal to many riders new to the brand, who have yet to be convinced that a touring motorcycle can also be dynamic, agile and fun to ride.

The new R1200 RT is without a doubt a substantial evolution in the tourer segment and will be available for demonstration rides in every BMW Motorrad dealerships from 12 February 2005. It is available with Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) as seen on the new K1200 S as an option, from March production.

The BMW R1200 RT - a new standard for touring

BMW Motorrad introduces the R1200 RT, a lighter and more powerful, long distance tourer.

Radically innovative - and not just a cosmetic face-lift with token improvements - the new touring machine adheres to BMW Motorrad's current philosophy of producing dynamic and agile, lower mass motorcycles without sacrificing traditional BMW virtues of safety, environmental compliance, practicality, and unmatched road holding. The R1200 RT replaces BMW's benchmark-setting R1150 RT.

With the 1150cc model already acknowledged as the epitome of comfort, weather protection, aerodynamic stability, and long-distance touring capability, the new R1200 RT builds on its predecessor's inherent strengths and popularity while incorporating a huge number of signifi-cant improvements.

With 16 per cent more power, driving approximately 20kg less weight, the R1200 RT delivers a considerable boost in dynamic performance and provides even greater agility than its predecessor. Combined with excellent rid-ing characteristics, superior riding comfort, an expansive new body design (for more effective protection from the elements), extensive rider/passenger ergonom-ics and adjustments, and many other unique BMW practical riding features, the new R 1200 RT is destined to become the industry's most versatile, and dedicated, long distance touring machine.

Important features of the R1200 RT - at a glance

  • Air-cooled, flat-twin power unit displaces 1,170 cc and features a newly aligned balance shaft.
  • Greater power and performance - 81kW (110 bhp) maximum output and 115Nm (85 lb-ft) of maximum torque.
  • Electronic BMS-K engine management with dual ignition and anti-knock control.
  • Fully controlled three-way catalytic converter with two oxygen sensors
  • Six-speed gearbox with helical gears.
  • Innovative on-board network with CAN-bus technology.
  • Highly stable, tubular construction lightweight frame.
  • Lightweight Paralever with weight-optimised driveshaft, adjustable TDD spring strut.
  • Extra-stiff Telelever ensuring a smooth and comfortable response.
  • New cast wheels.
  • EVO brakes with BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (partly integrated version) fitted as standard.
  • New body design with very good wind and weather protection, featuring in-te-grated rear-view mirrors.
  • Electrical windshield with continuous progressive adjustment.
  • Fuel tank made of special, extra-strong synthetic material - 27 litres (5.9 gal) capacity for long range.
  • Two-piece, adjustable seat in two versions with a seat height ranging from 780-840 mm (30.7-33.1).
  • New hard-shell cases (32 litres volume per case) fitted as standard, with four-point locking system and case covers finished in body colour.
  • Fuel tank railing for fastening accessories with maximum convenience.
  • Weight in road trim (without cases) 259kg (571 lb).
  • Dry weight (without cases) 229kg (505 lb).
  • More potent power unit

    The flat-twin power unit incorporates a balance shaft and displaces 1170cc. The concept and features of the engine are described in detail in the press kit for the R1200 GS.

    Briefly, the engine produces more power (than its predecessor) and the torque has been increased to 81 kW (110 bhp). The extra power comes from a 500 rpm to 7,500 rpm increase in engine speed, a different intake system, new silencers, and modified camshafts.

    The power improvements are completed by an increase in the geometric compression ratio to 12:1 by the use of higher pistons.

    Advanced engine management

    The BMS-K electronic engine management features anti-knock control and separate oxygen sensors that control the fuel/air mixture to each cylinder. As on the R1200 GS, the latest generation of engine electronics combines automatic idle speed control with an automatic cold start function.

    The anti-knock function allows the engine to run on lower fuel grades, as basic as 95 RON without suffering damage (the engine is designed for 98 RON, but the only difference when running on 95 RON is a slight decrease in engine output).

    Precise adjustment of the fuel/air mixture to each cylinder, together with the high compression ratio and dual ignition, ensures even better fuel economy than on the former R1150 RT model. In comparison, fuel consumption of the R1200 RT at a steady 120 km/h (75 mph) is 4.8 ltr/100 km (58.8 gals). The R1150 RT required 5.5 ltr/100 km (51.4 Imp gals) under the same conditions. A fully controlled three-way catalytic converter ensures supreme environmental compatibility by featuring the latest generation of exhaust gas management.

    The transmission - an extra-short sixth gear

    A completely new innovation on the R1200 GS is the helical-gear transmission, which weighs only 13kg (28.7 lb) and also features in the R1200 RT.

    The gearbox has been improved once again by detailed optimisation of the shift mechanism so that shifting gears is smooth and precise. This is characterised by the extra-short gear travel between gears. Designed for active riding, sixth gear is especially short and therefore dynamic. The optimum gear increments enable fast acceleration from 0-100 km/h in an impressive 3.6 seconds.

    The frame - maximum stiffness

    The two-piece main/rear tubular steel space frame combines maximum stiffness with supreme strength. It retains the weight-saving truss structure already featured on the R1200 GS and incorporates the engine as a load-bearing unit. However, the particular structural configuration of the new RT required a new frame design that would provide exactly the right qualities for such a unique machine.

    In consequence, the front frame is a welded steel structure, and the rear frame is made of straight steel tubes welded together. As on all four-valve boxers, the front and rear frames are bolted to the engine/gearbox unit and jointly form a load-bearing structure. The longitudinal arm incorporated in the front-wheel Telelever rests on the engine block and the Paralever swing-arm pivots on the rear frame.

    Telelever front-wheel suspension - zero brake dive

    Conceived and designed strictly for road use, superior comfort and superlative road holding, the Telelever has a fixed tube measuring 35mm (1.38in) in diameter. In conjunction with the modified longitudinal arm and suitable geometric adjustment, the result is a supreme realisation of the concept and a perfect balance of sporting and comfort-orientated spring action.

    As on the R1200 GS, the maintenance-free system is designed to reduce brake dive to virtually zero, contributing to greater stability when applying the brakes and leaning at an angle into bends. Front-wheel spring travel is 120mm (4.72in).

    Rear-wheel guidance and suspension - the Evo-Paralever and TDD spring strut The lightweight drive shaft featuring the BMW Motorrad Paralever (Evo-Paralever) is hardly heavier than a conventional swing-arm with a chain drive. Apart from the modifications required for wider tyres, this wheel guidance system has been carried over completely from the R1200 GS, and despite less weight, the entire unit is even stiffer than on the former model.

    Situating the support bar on the rear wheel drive housing, above the swing-arm, provides extra ground clearance, and a 10 per cent weight reduction reduces unsprung masses accordingly. The translates into a smooth and sensitive response at all times and load change reactions are reduced to a minimum.

    The newly designed of the rear wheel drive features a 50mm (1.97in) hole drilled through the axle tube in the housing. A further advantage is the lifetime fluid filling, which means that there is no necessity to change the transmission fluid for the entire life of the motorcycle.

    The rear central spring strut on the Paralever swing-arm incorporates travel-dependent damper technology (TDD for short) ensuring a progressive increase in damper forces as a function of spring travel. The suspension therefore responds smoothly and comfortably to even the smallest bumps but offers generous reserves on the worst of roads and uneven tracks and surfaces. The spring strut system was featured for the first time in 2002 on the R1150 GS Adventure, with spring travel at the rear measuring 135mm (5.3in).

    As an option, the R1200 RT will be available with BMW Motorrad's ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment). Introduced on the K1200 S, the system enables the rider to adjust the spring base and damper rate - the latter even while riding - by pressing a button located on the handlebar.

    Light-alloy cast wheels in new five-spoke design.

    The newly developed, extra-light cast aluminium wheels in almost filigree five-spoke design, combine easy care with superior strength and stiffness. The front wheel measures 3.5 x 17 inches and the rear wheel 5.5 x 17 inches. Tyre dimensions are 120/70 ZR17 at the front and 180/55 ZR17 at the rear.

    EVO brake system with partly integrated ABS

    The proven EVO brake system featuring BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (fitted as standard) offers supreme safety under all conditions. Maximum, easily controllable deceleration by using minimum brake force provides additional safety - especially when braking in an emergency. To meet customer demands, the new R1200 RT comes with partly integral ABS for an even more active style of riding.

    Diameter of the front brake discs is 320mm (12.6in). To reduce unsprung masses and allow an even higher standard of brake precision, the diameter of the rear brake disc now measures 265mm (10.4in) as opposed to 276mm on the former model.

    Woven steel cladding on the brake hoses and brake callipers are stiffer than on the former model. This has resulted in a slight decrease in weight, but provides a more precisely defined and consistently stable, brake pressure point.

    On-board network - CAN-bus technology

    With fewer cables than ever, the new on-board network ensures a high standard of reliability plus an even wider range of functions. The single-wire system transmits all relevant data via one single wire to the respective control units. Physically, it is a double-wire system with CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) technology consistently interconnecting all control units and the central vehicle electronics (CVE) to form a permanent data network - the various units exchanging data with each other. Apart from simplifying the main wiring harness it also allows efficient, comprehensive diagnosis of all vehicle functions.

    A further advantage is that the system no longer requires conventionalfuses. CAN-bus technology automatically switches off the suspect component - where possible - and checks whether the function is still defective when the rider again starts the motorcycle.

    The network also serves to feed all data to the cockpit display on the info-flat-screen. To easily adapt and integrate electronic accessories into the on-board network, there is a plug for special equipment.

    The lightweight alternator supplying the power required by the motorcycle has an output of 720W at 60 amps. The 19 ampere-hour battery is maintenance-free.

    Electronic immobiliser fitted as standard

    BMW Motorrad's electronic immobiliser is an integral part of the modern on-board network. Making life very difficult for the potential thief, this security system offers the best technology currently available to prevent unauthorised use of the machine. The authorised rider benefits from a high standard of convenience - all that is required is to pull the key out of the ignition; the immobiliser intervenes in the engine management software and deactivates fuel-injection and ignition. When the rider next wishes to start the engine, a chip in the key compares its data with engine management data to determine compliance. Once the proper match has been established, the engine control unit switches on the ignition and the rider can start the engine.

    Instruments - everything clearly in sight

    The easy-to-read, all-new instrument panel provides a clear view of all relevant functions and ensures absolute clarity at all times. The control panel comprises the speedometer and rev counter in analogue, classic round design, as well as an extra-large info-flat-screen placed conveniently in the centre. This has a permanent display of the oil temperature, tank level, residual range on the fuel remaining in the tank, the gear currently engaged, and the current time. If the motorcycle is equipped with (optional) seat heating, the info-flat-screen also informs the rider of the current heating level.

    An on-board computer, complete with an oil level warning unit, comes as an option, and provides information on the info-flat-screen.

    The LEDs monitoring of all other functions are sited just above the screen, with instrument illumination controlled by a photocell that automatically adjusts to light conditions.

    Headlight unit - clear glass and free-form technology

    For optimum illumination of the road ahead, the main headlight incorporates free-form surface technology featuring geometrically optimised surface contours. Two H7 headlights provide a dual low beam, and the central bulb guarantees a powerful and bright high beam. With an output of 2 x 5W, the parking light is integrated into the headlight unit, is finished completely in clear glass look and has a polycarbonate front lens.

    All components are easily accessible for the quick changing of bulbs, and the headlight may be adjusted by using a folding lever while the motorcycle is at rest.

    Handlebar, controls and electrical switches - proven technology The controls, handlebar switches and reservoirs for the hydraulic brake and clutch fluids have been carried over from the former model. A new feature is the lifetime clutch filling, which means that the rider never needs to top-up the fluid level in the clutch reservoir.

    Grab width on the clutch and brake levers is variable - the R 1200 RT retains the specific switches and direction indicator control units typical of BMW. Only slightly modified with a different surface finish, the handlebar is almost exactly the same as on the former model.

    Body structure -perfect protection from wind and weather The new BMW tourer is unmistakable at very first sight. Clear lines and striking surfaces ensure a modern and dynamic look while exuding a powerful touch of class and a notable perfection of finish.

    The look of the R1200 RT accentuates the sheer lightness of the machine - despite large fairing elements that provide perfect protection from wind and weather. Dominating the front of the R1200 RT is the headlight. Its sharp contours give the motorcycle a truly unique look and powerful presence. Extra-large rear-view mirrors, with integrated direction indicators, not only provide excellent visibility to the rear but also give the rider's hands highly effective protection from the elements.

    Compared with the windscreen of the R1150 RT, the new screen is higher and wider and has infinite electrical adjustment. The effective height of the windscreen may be adjusted by up to 140mm (5.5in) reducing noise and ensuring that riders of any size have optimum protection from all elements.

    The outer elements of the body, the tank cover and side panels are available in three basic colours: Granite Grey Metallic, Dark Graphite Metallic, and Piemont Red Metallic. The customer can even choose a specific colour for the engine spoiler (Slate Dark Metallic Matt or White Aluminium Metallic Matt) and the seat (Grey or Black) to supplement the basic colour of the motorcycle.

    The seat and riding position - a perfect combination The new, supremely comfortable seat of the R1200 RT is divided into two sections with a manual height adjustment of the rider's section - either 820mm or 840mm (32.3 and 33.1in). A lower seat is available as an option and this adjusts to a height of either 780 or 800mm (30.7 or 31.5in).

    The particular layout and configuration of the 'ergonomics triangle' comprising the footrests, seat and handlebar, ensures a particularly active seating position with supreme long-distance riding comfort. This gives the rider and passenger a comfortable and convenient knee-bend angle. The variable seat height will adjust to the rider's exact step-arch length - a new dimension introduced on the R1200 GS.

    The R1200 RT enables riders to put their feet firmly on the ground, more easily and conveniently, for easy manoeuvring. To provide absolute perfection, the step-arch length considers the height of the seat and the shape and width of the riders' seat section.

    The side and main stand

    A new main stand and side stand, complete with starter interruption function, keep the motorcycle secure on any surface. Both stands have been specially designed and configured for the R1200 RT and are easy to operate, allowing the rider to fold out the side stand with ease while still on the seat.

    Case system and baggage rack

    The BMW R1200 RT has newly designed hard-shell cases as standard. The case supports are integrated almost completely into the body of the motorcycle and provide a perfect match.

    High-quality case covers finished in body colour make the cases an integral element of the motorcycle. A strong and secure locking system acting on four different points keeps the case covers exactly in position and reliably seals the contents against water. The capacity of each case is 32 litres.

    Ample storage space for additional luggage is provided by the newly designed luggage rack, which will accommodate two top cases (capacity 49 or 28 litres). The smaller top case is finished entirely in black, while the larger case features a black lower section and a cover in White Aluminium Metallic.

    An integrated railing on the top of the tank holds a specially developed tank bag securely in position. In addition there are a number of lashing points for extra luggage.

    Range of equipment

    Optional extras and special equipment

    BMW Motorrad's usual wide range of optional extras and special equipment, tailored specifically to the R1200 RT and, of course, the customer's requirements, enables further personalisation and customisation. Optional extras come straight from the plant and are integrated in the actual production of the motorcycle on the assembly line in Berlin. Special equipment, in turn, is fitted by the BMW motorcycle dealership, or at the rider's request.

    Optional extras

  • Low rider seat.
  • Seat heating.
  • Heated handles.
  • Additional power socket.
  • Radio preparation kit.
  • Radio with CD player.
  • On-board computer with oil level warning unit.
  • Cruise control.
  • Anti-theft warning system.
  • ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment.
  • Direction indicators in white.
  • Exhaust system chrome-plated.
  • Seats in grey or black.
  • Engine spoiler in Slate Dark Metallic Matt, or White Aluminium Metallic Matt.
  • On-board computer

    The on-board computer offers additional display functions over and above the standard info-flat-screen display. These include the outside temperature, a black ice warning signal, average fuel consumption, average speed, and oil level warning. The oil level is measured at regular intervals and the rider receives a warning and a request to check the oil level as soon as it drops below a certain mark.

    Anti-theft warning system

    If the position of the R1200 RT, when parked, has been changed, manipulated or jolted, the anti-theft warning system will immediately actuate an optical and an acoustic signal. Where appropriate, it can be deactivated by the authorised rider either by remote control or with the ignition key of the motorcycle.

    Special equipment

  • Top case, large.
  • Top case, small.
  • Backrest for top case, small.
  • Inner bag for top case, large.
  • Inner bag for top case, small.
  • Inner bags for cases, left and right.
  • Tankbag.
  • Valve cover protection.
  • Impact protector for cases.
  • Insert for radio socket.
  • Second and third power take-off.
  • Radio with CD player.
  • BMW Motorrad Navigator II.
  • Connection cable and support for BMW Motorrad Navigator II.
  • Service toolkit.
  • Top case

    The top case is available in two different sizes. The large version has a capacity of 49 litres (sufficient for two helmets) and features a backrest unit as standard. The small top case has a capacity of 28 litres (sufficient for one helmet) and is available with an optional backrest. On request, both variants of the top case can be supplied with a single key for the cases and motorcycle locks, and can be connected (single-handed) to the luggage rack - without the requirement of an adapter plate.

    Tank bag

    The watertight main compartment in the tank bag has a capacity of approximately 13 litres and may be enlarged to 19 litres. Beneath the map folder there is an additional pocket for odds and ends - such as keys, purse, sunglasses, etc. The inner bag section keeps out water without the necessity for an additional cover (even in heavy rain). The map section is also watertight and the tank bag attaches easily onto the tank railing (fitted as standard) and requires the use of only one hand.

    BMW Motorrad Navigator II

    Reading a map was yesterday. Today, the BMW Motorrad Navigator II will take the rider to any destination by providing detailed instructions at every stage of the journey. The Navigator II offers three options for reaching a destination: the fastest route, the shortest, or (as far as possible) the 'straight' route 'as the crow flies'.

    Map presentation is also variable, offering the choice of a map only; a combination of map and instructions; a road book, and a compass function showing the rider the distance and direction to the next point. A zoom function ensures quick and convenient orientation at road junctions. An (optional) voice message, in a choice of nine languages, is transmitted via the helmet.


  • Engine capacity - 1,170 cc
  • Bore/stroke - 101/73 mm
  • Max output - 81/110 kW/bhp at 7, 500 rpm
  • Max torque - 115 ( 85) Nm (lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm
  • Configuration - Boxer (flat-twin)
  • No of cylinders - 2
  • Compression ratio/fuel grade - 12/premium plus
  • Valve/gas management - HC (high camshaft)
  • Valves per cylinder - 4
  • Intake/outlet valve diameter - 36/31 mm
  • Fuel supply - BMS-K
  • Alternator - 720 w
  • Battery - 12/19 maintenance-free V/Ah
  • Headlight - 2 x H7 w
  • Starter 1,2 kw
  • Clutch - Single-plate dry clutch, dia 180 mm
  • Gearbox - Dog-shift six-speed gearbox
  • Primary transmission ratio - 1.882
  • Gear ratios - I, 2.277, II - 1.583, III - 1.259, IV - 1.033, V - 0.903, VI - 0.805
  • Final drive - Driveshaft
  • Final drive transmission ratio - 2.62
  • Frame design - Tubular steel spaceframe, load-bearing engine
  • Wheel guidance, front - BMW Telelever
  • Wheel guidance, rear - BMW Paralever
  • Spring travel, front/rear - 120/135 mm
  • Castor - 109.9 mm
  • Wheelbase - 1 485 mm
  • Handlebar head angle - 63.4
  • Brakes - front, Double disc brake, dia 320 mm, rear - Single disc brake, dia 265 mm, BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (partly integral) fitted as standard
  • Wheels - Cast aluminium, front - 3.50 x 17, rear - 5.00 x 17
  • Tyres - front, 120/70 ZR 17, rear - 180/55 ZR 17
  • Length, overall - 2,230 mm
  • Width, overall, with mirrors - 905 mm
  • Handlebar width, without mirrors - 800 mm
  • Seat height - Standard: 820-840/optional: 780-800 mm
  • DIN unladen weight in road trim - (without cases) 259 kg
  • Dry weight - 229 kg
  • Max permissible - 495 kg
  • Tank capacity - 27 lr
  • Acceleration - 0-100 km/h, 3.6 sec
  • Top speed - 200 km/h