2009 BMW R 1200 RT
UK model positioning for the BMW R 1200 RT
The BMW R 1200 RT – fulfilling the dream of
motorcycle travel through active touring
BMW Motorrad has always exerted a considerable influence
in the touring motorcycle segment and continues to
lead, where others follow.
The RT ‘Boxer’ is the most successful
BMW Motorrad tourer ever. The R 1150 RT has consistently
been a market leader, enjoying a particularly loyal
customer base despite repeated attempts from other
manufacturers to capture a market share.
Its successor – the R 1200 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).
The R 1200 RT is without a doubt a substantial evolution
in the tourer segment and comes with optional Electronic
Suspension Adjustment (ESA) as seen on the a variety
of BMW models.
Technical features, special features of
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 R 1200 RT replaces
BMW’s benchmark-setting R 1150 RT.
With the 1150cc model already acknowledged as the
epitome of comfort, weather protection, aerodynamic
stability, and long-distance touring capability, the
new R 1200 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 R 1200 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 R 1200 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
hp) maximum output and 115Nm (85 lb-ft) of maximum
- 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
- Lightweight Paralever with weight-optimised driveshaft,
adjustable TDD spring strut.
- Extra-stiff Telelever ensuring a smooth and comfortable
- 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
- Electrical windshield with continuous progressive
- Fuel tank made of special, extra-strong synthetic
material – 27 litres (5.9 gal) capacity for
- 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
- Weight in road trim (without cases) 259kg (571
- 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 hp). 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 R 1150 RT model. In comparison,
fuel consumption of the R 1200 RT at a steady 120
km/h (75 mph) is 4.8 ltr/100 km (58.8 gals). The R
1150 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
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 R 1200 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 R 1200 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
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
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
R 1200 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
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
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
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
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
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
Body structure –perfect protection
from wind and weather
The 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 R 1200 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 R 1200 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 R 1150 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 R 1200 RT is available in a choice of three
colour schemes: Biarritz blue metallic; Tital silver
metallic; and Sand beige metallic.
The seat and riding position – a perfect
The new, supremely comfortable seat of the R 1200
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 R 1200 GS.
The R 1200 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 R 1200 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 R 1200 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
Range of equipment
Optional extras and special equipment
BMW Motorrad’s usual wide range of optional
extras and special equipment, tailored specifically
to the R 1200 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.
Factory fit options
- Chrome Exhaust * £ 80.00
- ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) £
- Seat Heating* £ 210.00
- Heated Grips* £ 195.00
- Cruise Control* £ 345.00
- On Board Computer with Oil Level Warning* £
- Radio with CD Player £ 875.00
- White Indicator Lenses* £ 25.00
- Anti-Theft Alarm System £ 175.00
- Additional Power Socket £ 15.00
- Radio Preparation with Speakers £ 260.00
- Low Seat (780-800mm) No Cost
- ASC (Automatic Stability Control) £ 215.00
- Tyre Pressure Control £ 155.00
*items factory-fitted on R 1200 RT SE (Special Equipment)
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 Alarm system
If the position of the R 1200 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.
- Twin tone horn
- One key system for ignition, steering, fuel filler
cap and dual seat and helmet locks
- Large luggage rack
- Adjustable handbrake and clutch lever
- Centre Stand
- Integral pannier cases in the same colour as
- Integral ignition switch and steering lock
- Radio storage compartment lockable
- Windshield on fairing with continuous electric
- Two section dual seat
- Top case
- Tank bag
- BMW Motorrad Navigator II
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.
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 III
Reading a map was yesterday. Today, the BMW Motorrad
Navigator III will take the rider to any destination
by providing detailed instructions at every stage
of the journey. The Navigator III 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
Specifications – BMWR 1200 RT
- Capacity cc -1,170
- Bore/stroke mm - 101/73
- Max output kW/hp - 81/110 at rpm 7, 500
- Max torque Nm (lb-ft) - 115 ( 85) at rpm 6,000
- 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 mm - 36/31
- Fuel supply - BMS-K
- Alternator W - 720
- Battery V/Ah - 12/19 maintenance-free
- Headlight W - 2 x H7
- Starter kW - 1,2
- 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
Running gear and suspension
- Frame - design Tubular steel spaceframe, load-bearing
- Wheel guidance, front; BMW Telelever
- Wheel guidance, rear; BMW Paralever
- Spring travel, front/rear mm - 120/135
- Castor mm - 109.9
- Wheelbase mm - 1485
- 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
- Wheels Cast - aluminium
- front; 3.50 x 17
- rear; 5.00 x 17
- Tyres - front; 120/70 ZR 17
- rear; 180/55 ZR 17
Dimensions and weights
- Length, overall mm - 2,230
- Width, overall, with mirrors mm - 905
- Handlebar width, without mirrors mm - 800
- Seat height mm Standard: 820–840/optional:
- DIN unladen weight in road trim kg (without cases)
- Dry weight kg - 229
- Max permissible kg - 495
- Tank capacity ltr - 27
- Fuel consumption - 90 km/h ltr/100 km - 3.6;
120 km/h ltr/100 km - 4.8
- Acceleration - 0–100 km/h sec; 3.6
- Standing-start km sec - 22.6
- Top speed km/h - >200