2014 BMW R1200RT First Look

November 5, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

BMW has announced an updated R1200RT for the 2014 model-year. The 2014 R1200RT comes with a redesigned Flat-Twin Boxer engine that is “basically the same as the DOHC power unit on the BMW R1200GS,” according to company press, with some notable differences to make it better suited for longer touring rides.

The centrifugal mass of the engine’s crankshaft and alternator were increased to optimize engine performance and reduce vibration. A longer secondary transmission ratio allows the powerplant to run at a lower rev speed. As with the GS, the 1170cc mill features precision liquid-cooling of the engine heads. BMW asserts the change “ensures more efficient heat dissipation, resulting in even greater thermal stability on long trips.” The RT’s powertrain also incorporates the features that debuted on the 2013 GS, like the new six-speed gearbox and wet slipper clutch as well as shifting the Cardan shaft drive to the left side of the motorcycle.

The 1170cc Boxer Twin puts out 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque.
The 2014 BMW R1200RT’s 1170cc Boxer Twin puts out 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque.

BMW has equipped the new R1200RT with its Gear Shift Assist Pro system, which “enables upshifts and downshifts to be made without operation of the clutch or throttle valve.” A sensor on the gearbox output shaft is engaged when a gear shift input is made to trigger the assistance system. Engine torque is reduced or increased as needed to eliminate the load on the powertrain, allowing the shift dogs of the next gear to operate the same as when a clutch is used. There’s no Gear Shift Assist engaged when using the clutch normally, when decelerating or in overrun. Normal foot lever operation remains to shift through gears and the clutch must be engaged to start the bike. BMW stresses “the Gear Shift Assistant is not an automatic shift system, but rather an aid for changing gear.”

The tubular steel chassis has been upgraded to help to make the R1200RT more rigid for improved directional stability and features new mountings for the BMW Telelever and Paralever systems. The mount’s center of gravity has been optimized as well to help enable easier handling. BMW’s Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment system is optional for those looking to boost suspension adjustability and performance.

Standard electronic features have been upgraded too. The instrument panel is redesigned with a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) color display, featuring high light output and heightened contrast for optimal legibility. The 2014 R1200RT also comes with BMW Motorrad’s Pro onboard computer system, which offers a swath of information from average fuel consumption, range, current speed, average speed, onboard electrical system voltage, riding time and distance to service among a number of other options. Audio system technology comes from the same used on BMW K1600 model motorcycles and sound quality has been enhanced thanks to a newly developed bass tube.

Styling remains largely the same as the previous model-year, though the rear-view mirrors are now slightly smaller in size. The mirrors have also been repositioned to retain optimal field of vision. The seat, bars and footrests have been lowered slightly to allow for better reach to the ground while stopped. The pillion seat also been lowered to allow for easier passenger mounting and dismounting.

The 2014 R1200RT is available in three new color options: Quartz blue metallic, Callisto grey metallic matt and Ebony metallic. MSRP is yet to be determined. 

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