2014 BMW R1200RT – 5 week, 4,451 km report

2014 BMW R1200RT - 5 week report

2014 BMW R1200RT – 5 week report

I’ve had the 2014 BMW R1200RT in my hot little hands for five weeks now.  When I acquired it in mid-September, it had 5,391 km on the odometer.  After this weekend’s long day ride, the odo is now showing 10,046 km.  So I’ve ridden about 4,455 km in five weeks.  Not bad.  It’s now time to book the RT in for its first scheduled service.

Fuel Economy

The RT’s fuel economy continues to make me smile.  The liquid-cooled 1170 c.c. 125-horsepower ‘boxer’ twin is superbly fuel-efficient, and it’s smooth and powerful to boot.

I’ve gone through 13 tanks of fuel so far.  The RT has used 207.8 L of unleaded premium fuel in 4,234 km, with an average of 4.91 L/100 km (57.5 Imp. mpg, 47.4 U.S. mpg.)

More Riding Impressions

The RT feels light and is especially easy to ride at slow speeds.  Well balanced and with perfect fueling, the bike happily idles along in first gear at a walking pace.

One of the most impressive aspects of the RT is that when the road starts zigging and zagging, the RT is a willing partner.  Steering is light, very neutral and the bike transitions side-to-side with greater ease than the Stelvio NTX (and Honda ST1300A and ST1100A to the best of my memory.)  I can be sloppy and change my trajectory, mid-corner and the RT simply goes where its pointed.  It feels very natural, neither wanting to fall into the corner nor particularly wanting to stand up when a touch of brake is applied.

Shift Assistant Pro

The RT has the optional Shift Assistant Pro which allows clutchless up- and down-shifting and the system automatically increases or decreases engine torque as needed to remove load from the drivetrain.  BMW says up to 80-percent of ‘normal’ motorcycle riding does not require using the clutch, and I’m starting to use SAP regularly.  It works best when up-shifting from 3rd gear up through 4th, 5th and 6th, and down-shifting from 6th down to 3rd gear.  Other RT owners with SAP agree that in the first three gears, using the clutch gives much smoother gearshifts.

SAP works very well when riding aggressively in the twisties.  Upon entering a corner, say in 6th gear, simply shut the throttle and bang down through 5th, 4th and into 3rd; the BMW twin has plenty of engine braking (something the Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX V-twin lacked), clip the apex of the corner and power out.  Hard on the gas, shift up into 4th and 5th using the gearshift lever alone and roll off the throttle for the next turn.  Clutchless shifting becomes second nature and you can feel like Valentino Rossi in the process.

Is the SAP technology a worthwhile option?  Absolutely!  Would I buy an R1200RT without SAP?  Yes.  The 2014 R1200RT is an excellent sport tourer that is a worthy motorcycle without SAP.  But having SAP is icing on the cake.  And, I understand that SAP can be dealer installed.


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