BMW R1200RT (2005-2009) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Not just a great tourer, a great motorcycle, period"

BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding

"Not just a great tourer, a great motorcycle, period"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  110 bhp
  • 43 mpg  -  190 miles range
  • Low seat height (780mm)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

All-new successor to able but bland BMW R1150RT was one of the surprise highlights of BMW’s 2005 motorcycle range. It was not only faster and lighter, the ergonomics and handling package is excellent too. Not just a great tourer, a great motorcycle, period.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Along with more power – came much reduced weight with the BMW R1200RT. A full 20kg has been slashed which transforms handling. Steering is sharp, it’s a much more flickable motorcycle than before and yet stability is as good as ever. The BMW R1200RT is great to hustle. It’s also great to cruise thanks to BMW’s plush Telelever/Paralever suspension set-up.

Engine 4 out of 5

New 1200 version of the BMW R1150RT, as debuted on the BMW R1200GS the year before, delivered 110bhp, 15% up on the old 1150 engine. And you notice it, too. The BMW R1200RT is vigorous and lively, yet with the same reliability and flexibility as ever – still no missile, though. If you want that, get a BMW K1200GT.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

BMW R1200RT are good, although sometimes not quite as good as the reputation suggests… There have been no BMW R1200RT scare stories yet and metal and paint finishes are as good as any motorcycle, but you still need to fight off salt corrosion in winter.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The thick end of £10K is a lot of money for a 110bhp twin cylinder touring motorcycle, especially when heated grips, stereo etc cost extra. But the BMW R1200RT is a stonking motorcycle that’ll go on forever and maintain its value. If you buy a BMW R1200RT, you won’t regret it. Find a BMW R1200RT for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

It’s a BMW motorcycle tourer, so there’s the best of everything on the BMW R1200RT… if you pay the extra. In stock trim, however, the BMW R1200RT is still very comfortable thanks to comprehensive instrumentation, effective screen and mirrors and, best of all, the sumptious and usefully height adjustable seat. Every motorcycle should have one. Compare and buy parts for the R1200RT in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

14 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200RT (2005-2009) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.6 out of 5
Equipment 4.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great bike to go out on a long ride....very long ride

31 May 2013 by DutchDiver

After 9 years I upgraded from my R1150R to a 2005 R1200RT. What a difference! The seat is more comfortable, the riding position has more feel, the engine is more responsive, the handling is better, brakes are better, the fuel range is much more and... Read more on top the screen is excellent when cruising! It's just a massive improvement across the board! Took the bike across Spain and Portugal and I actually didn't want to get off on any of the days. This bike will not disappoint and it loves being thrown into corners and eats them all up.... I already feel this is going to be my bike for he next 9 years

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bikes now for pleasure only

10 March 2010 by Gordon1952

On my second RT1200 - truely fantastic bike. Perfect for cruising at 90+mph all day fully loaded 2 up. Also perfect for a weeks holiday in the worst rain imaginable in Scotland. Never got very wet. Perfect roadholding in the wet thanks to traction... Read more control. Never thought cruise control was right on a bike until I bought my LE version - cruise is perfect for 400 miles in a day continental touring - great to rest the right hand even for 5 minutes.Very frugal in fuel economy. In 4 years of owning RT1200's I have travelled 30000 miles without any mechanical problems. only downside is the awkward way of measuring oil level although the on board computer does register when the level becomes very low. Can't wait to get my next RT in 2011.Off to Italy for 3 weeks in August for some serious riding in the mountains.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bikes now for pleasure only

10 March 2010 by Gordon1952

On my second RT1200 - truely fantastic bike. Perfect for cruising at 90+mph all day fully loaded 2 up. Also perfect for a weeks holiday in the worst rain imaginable in Scotland. Never got very wet. Perfect roadholding in the wet thanks to traction... Read more control. Never thought cruise control was right on a bike until I bought my LE version - cruise is perfect for 400 miles in a day continental touring - great to rest the right hand even for 5 minutes.Very frugal in fuel economy. In 4 years of owning RT1200's I have travelled 30000 miles without any mechanical problems. only downside is the awkward way of measuring oil level although the on board computer does register when the level becomes very low. Can't wait to get my next RT in 2011.Off to Italy for 3 weeks in August for some serious riding in the mountains.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Back to bikes at 50

23 February 2010 by JonathanRisley

I bought the 1200 RT after test riding it and a Honda Pan European and loved it from the start. I am 6 foot 3 and weight 16 stone so the only thing I needed to change was the screen. I found a bigger one at Nippy Normans. I have now done over... Read more 12000 miles with 3 trips to Spain including a non-stop Barcelona to home. I love the bike and feel relaxed and comfortable at all times.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An excellent all rounder

21 February 2010 by Oliebloke

First off I'm 6ft 4 and 15 stone (I think these figures are important with bike reviews). The bike is a '59 LE (fully loading end of line). Ive had the bike since Oct 09 and have covered the best part of 2000miles on it so far. Its one of... Read more the best handling bikes I have ever ridden and the engine is fantastic for everything from cruising around country lanes to having a blast along A'roads and along tight n twisty B roads. Comfort is exceptional for both me and my lady, weather protection is fantastic. The screen does allow a little wind onto the helmet however it also can work to clear the rain I have found and there are aftermarket larger screens if it really annoys you. The only down side so far has been the reliability hasnt been fantastic with a knackered ABS Sensor and stuck indicator cancel switch however they were all sorted quickly and efficiently. I personally love this bike. If you are after a bike that can do abit of everything on road and still have quite abit of fun as well this is the bike for you.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

So far so good

10 October 2009 by Cobby

Had the RT for a month now, great equipment, love the ride, surprisingly quick. I even use the cruise control, which I didn't see the need for. Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
2 out of 5

NEW 2009

29 September 2009 by sportsboyuk

TEST RODE ONE IT BROKE DOWN SO THE DEALER GOT ME ANOTHER TO TEST AND YES IT BROKE DOWN AGAIN SO FOLLOWING WEEKEND HE SAID HERE TAKE THIS FOR THE DAY YES YES YES IT WENT MAJORLY WRONG, FAILED PANNIER, ELECTRICAL FAILIURE, AND WORST OF ALL THE FRONT... Read more PADS WENT IT HAD 480 MILES ON THE CLOCK SO I DIDNT BUY ONE I LEFT VERY DISSAPOINTED PS ENGINE POWER IS OOR TOO ODD BIKE BMW HAVE LOST THERE BUILD QAULITY AND THEY ARE EXPENSIVE NOT IMPRESSED

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
1 out of 5

R1200RT Quality problems

14 June 2009 by LesK

Bought an R1200RT new in 2005, since done 31k miles. ESA failed after 4 days, took BMW more than 2 years to make it work properly.Throttle jammed due to incorrect assembly. Horn bracket fractured. Starter motor failed. RHS indicator switch failed.... Read more OIl leaks. Front engine cover and rear wheel replaced due to corrosion problems. Fuel pump elelectronics failed. Wiring harness to ignition switch fractured. Needle roller on final drive failed. Blew 8 headlamp bulbs. BMW washed their hands of it after 2 years. Conclusion, lovely bike with totally unacceptable quality, good luck to prospective buyers, goodbye to BMW.....

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Wind Blast

01 February 2009 by all624

Got an RT SE last year for something different, bike is great, except..... the standard screen: The wind either hit me directly in the mouth at low3 setting, or at full tilt on the top of my helmet making it really unpleasant and I am only 6 foot... Read more tall. Put a Cee Bailey screen on with the largest size option and this has helped a lot but has killed fuel consumption and not so good in a side wind, which I can appreciate. When I tested one I thought that the screen was a bit low but thought that with a bit of fiddling I could sort it out, but no. The new screen also allows you to look through it rather than having the top edge of the standard screen vibrating in your line of sight.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

R1200RT

09 April 2008 by fambone

Had bike for over a year. Done some serious long milage around South Africa in December - super comfy, great power and wind protection for long trips. Also competent commuter but prefer its open road capabilities. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 14 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2009
Original price £11,045
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 190 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tubular type
Fuel capacity 27 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 229kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs
Rear brake Single 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: BMW R1200RT launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200RT motorcycle review - Side view
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