2014 BMW R1200RT – Daunting? At first, yes

2014 BMW R1200RT

2014 BMW R1200RT

A 5-day, 3,100 km tour to Montana, Idaho and Washington snaps into clear focus how competent the new 2014 BMW R1200RT is.  The big German tourer (or sport-tourer if that label makes you feel any younger) is comfortable, offers loads of weather protection, sips premium unleaded fuel in a frugal way that only boxer engines do, and dazzles the rider with a myriad of sophisticated features.


Switches on the Left Handlebar Alone

The left side handlebar is a very, very busy place.  Apart from the clutch lever (which is 4-position adjustable), there are individual switches for each of these controls:

  1. High beam/headlight flasher
  2. Cruise Control – On/Off
  3. Cruise Control – Set/Accel/Decel
  4. Hazard Flasher
  5. Windscreen Up/Down
  6. Turn Indicator L/R/Cancel
  7. Horn
  8. Menu Controller toggle
  9. Rotary Controller

In some markets where Daytime Running Lights are optional (in Canada, DRLs are mandatory), the left handlebar cluster gets one more switch.  And another switch is added if you order BMW’s accessory LED auxiliary lights.  That’s a total of 11 different switches on the left handlebar alone in some markets.

That myriad of sophisticated features is undeniably daunting.  For example, the onboard ‘Menu’ display has seven windows.  Inside each window, there are numerous Yes/No, On/Off or choices for setting rider preferences.

7 Menu ‘Windows’

  1. Dynamic ESA (suspension adjustment) – 6 choices
  2. Info (displays for Range, Temperature, Fuel Consumption, etc.) – 13 choices
  3. Navigation – 6 choices
  4. Trip Meter- 3 choices
  5. Handlebar Heating – 5 levels + Off
  6. Seat Heating – 5 levels + Off
  7. Settings – 32 ++ choices

Add them up; there are minimally 72 different settings the rider can change through the R1200RT’s onboard Menu system (depending on how the bike is equipped), and that doesn’t include learning how to configure and operate the AM/FM/SiriusXM radio or the BMW Navigator V GPS!

I spent about an hour in the garage with the Owner’s Manual cycling through the seven windows and setting up the bike to my liking.  I then spent close to another hour reading and learning the Audio System Manual and setting up the radio.

After a couple of days on the road, the various settings via the Menu’s 7 windows becomes second nature.

Like I said, the 2014 BMW R1200RT is daunting at first.




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