2014 BMW R1200RTW – 20,000 km service performed

We took our 2014 BMW R1200RT in early for its 20,000 km service. Now ready for a long weekend tour

We took our 2014 BMW R1200RT in early for its 20,000 km service. Now ready for a long weekend tour

We took our 2014 BMW R1200RT in early for its 20,000 km service.  Now, we’re ready for this weekend’s Victoria Day long weekend (in Canada) tour to B.C. and into Idaho and Washington.

Yes, the RT’s 20k service was expensive.  $566.42 – a lot of money my frugal BMW friends would say for an oil change, but that service also includes a new air filter, spark plugs, rear bevel gear oil change, valve clearance valve inspection (all valves ‘within spec’ says the work order), and more.

It’s the ‘and more’ that makes the dealer service worthwhile.  The technician checked the bike for fault codes, and the bike’s ‘DME’ (I’m guessing that’s BMW-speak for ECM engine control module software was updated.)

If you follow the BMW R1200RTW owners’ forums, you’ll see mentioned that there has been a technical service bulletin updating the RT’s engine computer that controls the bike’s optional Shift Assistant Pro.  That’s the technology that lets you upshift and downshift without using the clutch.  The Shift Assistant Pro apparently cuts the fuel momentarily to allow the transmission to shift with less load.

WTF’s wrong with my bike?  Shift Assistant Pro isn’t working!

Knowing that there had been a technical service bulletin to update the Shift Assistant Pro, after picking up my bike from the dealership, that’s the first thing I tried.

WTF?  The Shift Assistant Pro didn’t work at all.  I could NOT shift the bike up or down without using the clutch.  The gearshift lever wouldn’t budge.  I was PO’d.  On the way home, I was cussing the dealership and the tech, wondering if the bike had been road tested (the work order has a Road Test item on the list of things supposedly undertaken.)  So how did the tech miss the non-functioning Shift Assistant Pro?

Does the RT’s onboard computer have to ‘learn?’

After a few kilometres of trying unsuccessfully to use the Shift Assistant Pro, it suddenly started working.  Hmmmm, I wonder if the RT’s onboard computer and related Shift Assistant Pro system has to ‘learn’ to function after it’s been reprogrammed?

Anyway, once it started working again, it has performed flawlessly.  And it feels like the clutchless gear changes now require less pressure to click the gearshift lever up or down, and it feels like the up- and downshifts execute much more smoothly.  (Numerous RT owners reported that with Shift Assistant Pro, upshifting from 1st to 2nd gear was harsh.)  The DME update seems to have much improved this annoying characteristic.

Back to the cost of the 20k service.  I’m not a mechanical guy, so I take no pleasure, as many of my friends do, in performing my own maintenance on bikes.

I know I could have saved hundreds of dollars by doing it myself, but one of the main advantages of having the dealership perform all the maintenance is that when it comes time to trade in or sell the bike, it’s my belief that a bike that has been entirely serviced by the dealer will have a slightly higher resale value.

As they say, you pay your money and you take your choice.



  1. Denis says:

    I understand what you are saying a $566 service is not cheap “au contraire”. We still need to remember that when you decide to do your own maintenance you need to have you own tools and sometimes specialize gear and the time to do it. So when you start adding up all these factors at the end of the day the difference might not be as much as we would like to believe. One other thing that might be worth considering is when you bike is under warranty it might prevent headache later on if you ever require warranty service.

    • ty says:

      Denis, I agree with everything you say.

      I guess I am too used to my fellow BMW owners complaining about the cost of regular service.


Leave a Comment