BMW R1200RT liquid-cooled ‘Wethead’ – Best sport-tourer for long distance travel, ever?

After 3 years, the 2014 BMW R1200RT 'Wethead' proves to be the best motorcycle I've owned, ever. Photo taken at Washington State Ferry terminal

After 3 years, the 2014 BMW R1200RT ‘Wethead’ proves to be the best motorcycle I’ve owned, ever. Photo taken at Washington State Ferry terminal

After 3 years of ownership, I’ve concluded that my 2014 BMW R1200RT (aka ‘Wethead), is simply the best motorcycle I’ve owned, ever.

Normally, after 3 or 4 years of owning a motorcycle, my eyes begin to wander.  I begin scanning the environment for something new to replace whatever I’m riding at the time.

Not so with the R1200RT.

I’ve owned a lot of bikes.  Each one served me very well at the time, and I was passionate about them.  But after a few years, that passion faded as something newer and more interesting came along.


The first new generation BMW liquid-cooled RTs arrived in Canada in April 2014.  Later, in June that year, BMW Motorrad issued a ‘Do Not Ride’ directive worldwide, stating possible catastrophic rear shock failure.  The entire fleet of 2014 R1200RTs around the world were grounded until replacement rear shocks could be manufactured, delivered to dealers, and finally retrofitted to the force-parked RTs.

To BMW’s credit, the German company offered to buy back the RTs from owners who did not want to wait until their bikes had the new shock installed.  This was an opportunity for frugal-minded folks like me to buy a ‘new’, low mileage RT that had been sold back to BMW.

I picked up my RT in September, 2014 with only about 5,000 kms on it.

RT replaces a succession of fine motorcycles

Sometimes you wonder how a motorcyclist ends up with the bike they’re currently riding, and I often ask riders, ‘What did you ride before buying the (insert name of bike) you’re currently riding?

Here’s the list of bikes that I owned and ultimately led to the current BMW I now enjoy:

  • 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX
  • 2007 Honda Gold Wing GL1800A
  • 2004 BMW R1150RT
  • 2003 Honda ST1300A
  • 1992 Honda ST1100A
  • 1990 Ducati Paso 906

The list goes back further, but that’s ancient history.  You’ll notice that my selection of motorcycles are biased mainly in the direction of sport-touring.

Until owning the R1200RT, I’ve never spent a lot of money or time tailoring bikes, like some folks do.  I might have changed a windscreen or a saddle, but that’s about it.

The RT has been such a good bike, it’s inspired me to customize it, adding a plethora of accessories to suit me perfectly.

Next post, I’ll detail the changes that I’ve undertaken to make the RT that much better for me.


  1. Dave Graham says:

    Time to change the blog photo from Guzzi to BMW?

    • ty says:

      Nahh. Never accuse me of being a brand-loyal ‘Fan Boy!’ I LOVED that Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, and I miss it. Even though the R1200RT LC is a better bike, the Stelvio had much more character.


Leave a Comment