2011 BMW R 1200 RT
Overview of the main features of the
new R 1200 RT:
- New, even more dynamic engine with two overhead
camshafts per cylinder.
- Maximum torque increased to 120 Nm (88 lb-ft)
at 6,000 rpm, maximum output remaining at 81 kW
(110 hp) at 7,750 rpm.
- Increase in maximum engine speed from 8,000 to
8,500 rpm, with an even broader useful range of
- Significantly improved torque, traction, pulling
force, and acceleration.
- Even more spontaneous and direct response with
optimum dosage of power and significantly improved
load change behaviour.
- Torque curve even smoother and more homogeneous.
- Cylinder head covers now with two instead of
four fastening bolts and in new, even more dynamic
- Electronically controlled exhaust flap for superior
and powerful sound.
- ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment with
damping, spring base and now also spring rate adjustable
at the touch of a button.
- BMW Motorrad Integral ABS featured as standard
in the partly integrated version.
- Fairing in new design with protection from wind
and weather improved once again.
- Re-designed cockpit with visor.
- New control units and hydraulic reservoir.
- Electronically controlled windshield with optimised
aeroacoustics and improved transparency with controllable
interface for a USB/MP3 and iPod, operated through
- Adjustable footshift lever.
- Hard-shell cases (each with a capacity of 32
litres) featured as standard, with accurately fi
tting four-point lock system and cover fi nished
in body colour.
- Tank railing for conveniently fastening accessories.
- New colours for the R 1200 RT: Polar metallic,
Ostra Grey metallic matt, Thunder Grey metallic,
multi-colour paintwork in conjunction with Thunder
Grey metallic base colour.
- Extended range of optional extras and special
equipment tailored to the R 1200 RT, naturally in
top BMW quality.
New boxer engine with much more torque for an even
more dynamic and comfortable touring experience.
The BMW R 1200 RT has always been acknowledged as
the epitome of comfortable and dynamic motorcycle
touring in classic style. And now the latest version
of this very special active tourer with its signifi
cant innovations offers even more superior enduro
qualities and dynamic benefi ts thanks to its new
In its configuration and basic structure, the new
fl at-twin power unit is the same as the DOHC engine
featured in the BMW HP2 Sport. It has however been
further upgraded and optimised for the BMW R 1200
RT to meet the specific requirements of such an outstanding
With the 1,170-cc boxer engine on the former model
already offering superior drive power under all conditions
and in all situations, the new R 1200 RT has even
more to offer. First, the new engine comes with an
increase in maximum torque from 115 to 120 Nm (85
- 88 lb-ft) at an unchanged 6,000 rpm, for even
more pulling force and traction. Second, the range
of useful engine speed is now 500 rpm broader, going
up all the way to 8,500 rpm. The third improvement
is a significant increase in torque where it really
counts at low and medium engine speeds, with an absolutely
smooth and homogeneous torque curve. Maximum output,
as before, is 81 kW (110 hp), now at 7,750 rpm (previously
New DOHC cylinder heads for an even more efficient
Designed and built for even higher engine speeds,
the new boxer engine of the R 1200 RT, like the power
unit featured on the BMW HP2 Sport, comes with two
overhead chain-driven camshafts (DOHC) per cylinder.
Valves are operated by very light rocker arms able
to cope easily with high engine speeds. Radial
arrangement of the four valves gives the combustion
chamber very compact configurations, and like on the
former models the fuel/air mixture is ignited by two
spark plugs (HP2 Sport: one spark plug). The compression
ratio of 12.0:1 remains unchanged.
Knock control allows the engine to run on 95-98
RON premium (plus) fuel. Under certain conditions
the rider may experience a very small drop in torque
and a slight increase in fuel consumption whenever
knock control cuts in. Horizontal arrangement of the
camshafts in the direction of travel calls for two
special technical features on the new flat-twin power
unit: Each camshaft controls one intake and one exhaust
valve, and the cams are finished in conical shape
due to the radial arrangement of the valves. Particularly
in the interest of power and performance at low and
medium engine speeds, and to provide even better free-revving
riding characteristics, the intake and exhaust valve
timing on both camshafts has been further optimised.
Compared with the former models, the valve plates
are up in diameter from 36 to 39 millimetres (1.41
– 1.54“) on the intake side and 31 to
33 millimetres (1.22 – 1.30”) on the exhaust
Valve clearance is adjusted by light semi-hemispherical
shims. To provide a greater free-valve cross-section,
valve lift is up from 10.54 mm (0.415“) on the
intake and 9.26 mm (0.365”) on the exhaust side
to 10.8 mm (0.425”) on both sides.
Significantly more torque throughout the entire
The existing ratio of bore:stroke remains the same
at 101:73 mm (3.98:2.87”), giving the engine
the same capacity as before of 1,170 cc. Other features
likewise taken over from the former engine are the
crankshaft and the connecting rods as well as their
bearings, while the two pistons made of cast aluminium
have been re-designed to match the modifi ed dimensions
of the combustion chamber.
Interacting with the upgraded intake system, throttle
butterfly manifolds now offering 50 mm (1.97“)
instead of the former 47 mm (1.85”) (HP2 Sport:
52 mm/2.05”) opening clearance, newly designed
intake air funnels and an air filter element with
even higher throughput, the power unit, as in the
past, develops maximum output of 81 kW/110 hp, now
at 7,750 rpm. The biggest improvement, however, is
the increase in maximum torque to 120 Nm/88 lb-ft
at 6,000 rpm.
An oil cooler ensures a stable thermal balance even
under extreme running conditions.
A further feature on the new model is the use of
cylinder head covers with two instead of formerly
four fastening bolts in new, even more dynamic design.
A valve cover guard made either of aluminium or plastic
as well as chrome-plated aluminium cylinder covers
are available as special equipment.
Electronically controlled exhaust flap for superior
and muscular sound.
On the exhaust system the two manifolds come in
the same design, length and diameter as on the former
model, while the interference pipe has been modified
to take the different vibration conditions on the
exhaust manifold into account.
Featuring an exhaust fl ap controlled via an electric
motor and opening/closing cables, the new BMW R 1200
RT offers a particularly powerful boxer sound nevertheless
in full compliance with all legal standards. To reduce
ram pressure and improve the sound of the engine,
the rear silencer unchanged in its exterior
design versus the former models comes with a modifi
ed interior structure.
Ideal transmission of power thanks to six-speed
gearbox and drive shaft.
As in the past, power is transmitted through the
six-speed gearbox already upgraded in the 2008 model
year, with larger bearing diameters and a modified
gap between shafts. The maintenance-free drive shaft
to the rear wheel is the same as before.
Running gear with Telelever and Paralever following
a proven principle at BMW.
The proven, two-piece main/rear frame sections made
of weight-saving steel tubes incorporating the engine
as a load-bearing element offer maximum strength and
stiffness under all running conditions. The front
and rear frame are fi rmly bolted to the engine/gearbox
unit, interacting with the engine and gearbox to form
a load-bearing structure. The longitudinal arm on
the front Telelever suspension is mounted as before
on the engine block, the Paralever swing arm is fitted
on the rear frame.
With its fixed tube measuring 35 millimetres/1.38”
in diameter, the Telelever is the optimum solution
for the rider using his machine exclusively on the
road and focusing in particular on superior comfort.
This is ensured by the good balance of sporting and
comfort-oriented suspension behaviour, the maintenance-free
system once again designed to reduce brake dive to
almost zero, which again helps to provide greater
stability when applying the brakes when leaning over
at an angle.
As in the past the Paralelver swing arm in the rear
central spring strut comes with travel-dependent damping
or TDD for short, with the damping effect increasing
progressively as a function of spring travel. This
keeps the suspension smooth, sensitive and comfortable
in absorbing even the smallest bumps, while at the
same time offering generous reserves on bad roads
and tracks with grooves or big bumps and pitholes.
As in the past, spring travel is 120 millimetres/4.72“
up front and 135 millimetres/ 5.31” at the rear.
In standard trim, the rear spring strut offers infinitely
variable adjustment on the outbound stroke as well
as a hand-wheel for infi nitely adjusting the spring
base by 10 millimetres or 0.39”, in order to
adjust the rear
end to varying load requirements.
Like its predecessor, the new R 1200 RT comes on
light, almost filigree cast aluminium wheels in fi
ve-spoke design, combining an attractive look with
an easy-to-clean surface and a high standard of stiffness.
The front wheel measures 3.5 x 17“, the rear
wheel 5.5 x 17”, running on a 120/70 ZR17 tyre
up front and a 180/55 ZR17 tyre at the rear.
ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment, adjustable
damping, spring base and now also spring rate.
The BMW R 1200 RT is available with ESA II (Electronic
Suspension Adjustment II) already well-known from
the K series as an option at extra cost. Benefiting
from this system quite unique in the world motorcycle
market, the rider is able to adjust not only the damping
on the outbound stroke of the front and rear spring
strut, but also the spring base (spring pre-tension)
on the front spring strut and the spring rate –
all this at the simple touch of a button.
This second-generation Electronic Suspension Adjustment
or ESA II for short provides the option to set the
suspension for maximum comfort and, with greater precision
than ever before, for optimum riding and load conditions,
thus ensuring a new dimension of riding stability
combined with absolutely excellent response.
To control the Electronic Suspension Adjustment as
easily as possible and to prevent any unwanted settings,
the rider initially enters the motorcycle’s
current load condition (solo, solo with luggage, rider
with passenger and luggage). The appropriate spring
base and spring rate is then set automatically, with
the system coordinating these two parameters to one
another. Depending on the style of riding he wishes
to enjoy, the rider must also choose among the Comfort,
Normal or Sport mode, giving the suspension the desired
qualities. So applying the optimum parameters kept
available in the Central Vehicle Electronics, the
electronic “brain” calculates the appropriate
damper rates and sets them accordingly. As a result,
the new R 1200 RT benefi ts from a total of no less
than nine different set-up options.
With additional adjustment of the spring rate, ride
height can be set perfectly to various load conditions,
ensuring an even higher standard of riding stability,
handling and comfort. Even when carrying high loads
with a passenger and lots of luggage, the R 1200 RT
maintains all of its riding qualities also when leaning
over to a low angle in bends, for a truly sporting
style of riding at all times.
A further advantage is that adjustment of the spring
rate dramatically reduces the risk of the suspension
suddenly sagging under extreme load. The rider is
able to change the damper setting (Normal, Sport,
Comfort) simply by pressing a button also while riding,
while for function and safety reasons the spring base
may be changed only at a standstill. The spring rate
is adjusted by an electric motor complete with its
own transmission, while the damping rate is modifi
ed by small step motors on the dampers.
Adjustment of the spring rate is controlled by two
springs connected in series, one behind the other.
An elastomer unit (Cellasto) in combination with a
conventional coil spring further down takes up forces
under spring pressure, radial expansion of the Cellasto
element to the outside being restricted by a steel
sleeve. On the inside the Cellasto element moves an
aluminium sleeve by means of electrohydraulic connection,
the position of this inner sleeve infl uencing the
expansion behaviour of the Cellasto element to the
inside and, therefore, its spring rate.
In all, this interaction of the various units has
the same effect as a combination of two springs varying
in strength. Whenever the inner sleeve is resting
on the steel spring, the Cellasto unit is not in use
and only the steel spring provides the desired suspension
effect. Once the inner sleeve is moved further, the
base on the steel spring – and therefore the
spring pre-tension – is also varied accordingly.
This configuration signifi cantly improves the normal
static position of the motorcycle and riding geometry
under all load conditions, without any of the disadvantages
encountered with conventional suspension. Benefi ting
from this self-levelling, the R 1200 RT is just as
stable when riding under full load as it is when carrying
only the rider without any luggage.
Additional adjustment of the spring rate over the
wide range from 160 – 260 N/ mm allows far greater
variation of the Sport, Normal and Comfort settings
on ESA II than on ESA I, with each set-up providing
a far greater choice of specific characteristics.
In other words, the R 1200 RT is even more dynamic
precise in the Sport mode, and very comfortable indeed
in the Comfort mode, while maintaining an excellent
standard of stability. In all, ESA II offers the following
- Much wider range of settings and suspension options
with the Sport/Normal and Comfort modes.
- Far better maintenance of the machine’s
static, normal position and riding geometry with
- Optimum adjustment of the damping and spring
rate / spring base in all settings.
- Significant change of the motorcycle’s
character through adjustment of the dampers.
- Excellent adjustment to all load conditions through
the adjustment of the spring rate / spring base.
- Significant enhancement of safety when braking
and in general riding stability, free side angle
in bends and firm suspension without sagging.
Brake system featuring partly integral ABS as standard
for safe stopping power. The proven brake system with
BMW Motorrad Integral ABS in its partly integral version
featured as standard offers supreme safety at all
times. Maximum and controllable stopping power requiring
minimum effort on the part of the rider
guarantees additional safety particularly when braking
in an emergency. The front brake discs measure 320
millimetres or 12.6“ in diameter, the rear brake
disc 265 millimetres/10.4”