2014 BMW R1200RT — Cooler Heads Prevail

11/05/2013 @ 10:11 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS


A big announcement at EICMA that we have seen coming down the pipe since the latest generation of the BMW R1200GS broke cover, the 2014 BMW R1200RT is the next logical step of progression in BMW Motorrad’s push to bring a “precision-cooled” water-cooled boxer-twin to its R-series of motorbike.

The new BMW R1200RT uses a basic formula for its philosophy: take BMW’s already proven touring package, and update it with the company’s latest technologies, while giving a mild facelift in the process. In many ways the 2014 BMW R1200RT feels like previous generations, and in many ways it is not.

At the heart of the machine is the same 1,170cc displacement, in a boxer-twin configuration, though as we have mentioned, the cylinder heads are now precision-cooled with water. This brings peak horsepower up to 123hp at 7,750, while torque gets a boost to 92 lbs•ft at 6,500 rpm.

BMW says that other changes to the motor on the R1200RT include an increase in the centrifugal masses of both the crankshaft and the alternator, which provides for a smoother engine operation, especially at slower city-traffic speeds.

Automatic Stability Control (ASC) is standard, as are the two riding modes (Road & Rain).  Per usual for BMW, Dynamic riding modes, as well as the new Hill Start Control (as the name implies) and BMW Gear Shift Assistant Pro (a quickshifter that works for both up and down shifts), are optional add-ons.

BMW Motorrad is also making its Dynamic ESC semi-active suspension system available, as well as the LED headlight from the K1600GT series,  optional add-ons to the 2014 BMW R1200RT as well, likely in a continuing effort to showcase BMW’s à la carte approach to motorcycle configuration and purchasing.

Riders of the 2014 BMW R1200RT will enjoy the improved ergonomics triangle, and the 5.7″ TFT dash has also been overhauled for improved visibility and information projection. The TFT display is supplemented by analog speedometer and tachometer displays, for you purists. And lastly, BMW has added an adjustable windscreen to the R1200RT.

Weighing 604 lbs at the curb with fuel in its 6.6 gallon tank, the 2014 BMW R1200RT also gets an impressive 60 mpg (at 56 mph) for its heft. No word yet on pricing or US availability.
























EPSON DSC picture


Source: BMW Motorrad

  • Paul McM

    Jensen, thanks for the detailed report and all the images. I was hoping Honda would give us a lighter ST1300 with improved suspension and upgraded electronics, but it appears Honda is building a wannabee bagger for the vertically challenged instead. So, it looks like this 2014 R1200RT may be the logical replacement for my 2001 ST1100 which is starting to show its age (though it remains stone reliable, and its blessed with one of the best riding positions ever). I like the lighting on this bike (more lumens are important for touring bikes). The added power from H20-cooling is welcome. But someone explain to me why the fairing is so bulbous and hangs way, way out in the front. This looks like a breaching Orca. It also seems that the windscreen is too far from the rider, which will results in a lot of noise and turbulence. I hope they still have the higher seat option. I guess the real question, is, other than power, is this better than its predecessor, and will the price (with bags) be closer to $15K or closer to $20K. If it’s $20K, I’ll ride my ST1100 for another 10 years.

  • proudAmerican

    Gotta agree with Paul McM.

    It’s probably a fantastic motorcycle, but that front end looks way too big/forward. I liked the looks of the old 1200RT. I’m not keen on the looks of this one.

    Oh, and I’m also hoping Honda has a replacement for my 2006 St1300.

  • Ken

    Looks great from the cylinder heads back. The rest…. Uh, well maybe they need some Italian help.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Cooler Heads Prevail”

    good one. LOL I see what you did there.

  • TLH3

    I’m with the previous reviewers…The RT is looking better and better ont the spec sheet, but bigger and bigger on the front end (which I hardly thought would be possible).

    Still waiting for someone to release a new sport-tourer that emphasizes the “sport” part a bit more, i.e., smaller, lighter, more nimble. Sigh.

  • Paul McM

    Here’s a crude photochop of the front fairing moved up and back to a more normal overhang position. This would provide better relief from wind, less noise and less turbulence IMHO. You would see more fork, but so what? Note, I’m NOT claiming to be a better stylist. This just illustrates how radically low and forward the new fairing is. On the actual 2014 bike, it almost looks like a bracket broke and it the fairing tipped forward. IMAGE: http://i40.tinypic.com/qwxcoj.jpg

  • the jer

    Paul, I’ve been thinking the exact thing, the fairing looks a little low and forward. I’d like it about halfway to where you put it. Love the bike, though. Drove the new GS and was blown away by the new motor. Easy wheelies in second gear, which I kinda hope the weight of this fairing tones down a bit. Was looking for a liiiiitle smaller fairing, but I’m sure the size of this will be welcome on those long trips where I always seem to find other than ideal weather. Called my dealer today, I’m on the list……………

  • Blaine Douglas

    Looks good but I would still like to see a sport touring beemer with smaller faring.
    Rode the new R1200 GS this spring. WOW. If they could put this drive train in my old R1100RS it would be perfect.

  • MikeD

    I like it, not as much as the latest air/oil cooled version but would still rock it.

    Yes, the front overhang is pretty low & pronounced and the front cowl is just massive.
    Imagine how front heavy it must look with the bags and top case removed.
    Old one looked more sporty than this one.

    I was waiting to see a NEW or at least updated Honda ST1300 but this is not bad, WAY BEYOND my budget but non the less a welcome refresh to the S/T Category.

    In no time i see myself riding one of these Mammoths, as fighting wind blast in long stretches of highway at sustained high speeds for extended time intervals is getting pretty old & draining on my reliable SV1000N even with a good sized bikini fairing.
    At least with this engine you don’t have to drop it completely to change a fried clutch.
    Depending how this Gen ages i would consider buying it used at a latter day.

  • Gary Niemeier

    Is it really necessary for BMW front ends to look like angry—possibly rabid—cartoon insects?

    /Volumes/Master/Gary’s Media/Photos/Cars:Bikes/BMW Insect.jpg

  • Gary Niemeier

    As I commented previously, why is it that the fronts of BMWs have to look like angry cartoon insects? Is it just me, or do other readers see a resemblance? IMAGE:


  • MikeD


    LMAO. Good one.