Long term update: What's it like in the wet?

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The rain outside hammers against the windows of my warm and cosy home. The task of collecting various items of warm and waterproof clothing is done with a certain dread. I only have a 20-mile commute to work, but it’s taken me 15 minutes just to get ready.

At least with the R1200RS I can chuck my dry clothes for the day ahead in the panniers. And I can just load up my laptop and other work-associated paraphernalia. Oh no I can’t as my laptop barely fits into the slightly-too-small panniers. I can get it in but without any sort of covering or protection and in this rain I am not risking the chance of moisture sneaking in and dissolving next week’s MCN.

So it’s on with a rucksack, which is pretty galling when you’ve got hard luggage costing nearly a grand (including the BMW top box, which I rarely use).

I don’t normally like riding in the rain and I question the sanity of those that do. Especially those that do when they don’t have to. But within a few miles, I’m settling into a rhythm.

The heated grips are on full and the warmth is seeping through my body giving me an impression of complete dryness. The sticky-out cylinders of the brilliant 125bhp Boxer motor offer protection to my feet and lower legs and the screen is doing a good job of deflecting wind and rain – it’s in the most upright position and works well.

I’d like to say the riding modes are helpful in the wet too, but I can’t get on with the Rain setting. It just dulls everything down. I can tell if it’s in Rain mode, simply by revving the engine. It feels like it’s not running properly. I have used Dynamic mode most of the time and flick it into Road if it’s really wet to soften the power delivery a bit.

Jerky gear changes are avoided thanks to the quick-shifter and autoblipper. Just change up with a flick of the left foot and the change is smooth and seamless. The riding position is neutral and offers an impressive view of the hazards ahead.

I still don’t LIKE riding in the wet, but the R1200RS makes it utterly bearable.

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Andy Calton

By Andy Calton

Content director, motorcycling, and Suzuki Katana rider