Staff bikes: BMW R1200RT - Marseille, Bologna and Skegness and 2500 miles in five days

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It’s the words you learn to dread while working at MCN – “Can I borrow your bike please?”

In this case there was no way out. MCN Chief Road Tester Trevor Franklin needed to get to Marseille in the South of France for the launch of the new Yamaha FZ8 and because of the Icelandic volcano and no flights riding there was the only route.

We swopped bikes – me taking his BMW S1000RR (in rev limited running-in mode) and him heading for the continent on the RT.

Franklin rode the whole way in one go and reported the BMW R1200RT was perfect for the trip which was around 900-odd miles. After riding the FZ8 he then wrote it up for the MCN test in last week’s paper.

Because the volcano kept on smoking and all flights were stopped, Franklin then got some even better news!

He would be riding on to Bologna in Italy for the launch of the new Ducati Monster 796.

After spending a day riding that he headed for home.

The RT was the perfect companion and thankfully I got it back from him on Friday afternoon as we swopped back.

Getting off the frankly lunatic S1000RR (which had been serviced and delimited by the dealer) was a bit of a relief. It’s an absolute belter of a bike but it was leading me astray.

Franklin handed me the keys, told me the RT had used just under half a litre of oil (Castrol GPS 10W40) which I had sent him away with in the pannier and that it had been faultless over just under 2500 miles.

It was however, completely minging and covered in flies. Still, it was in fine fettle and I headed to Skegness for the MCN Live weekend at Butlins where the RT lead the Saturday ride out.

And the panniers were great for carrying the staple beer and tea bags from a nearby petrol station.

Now to clean it… oh dear! This could take some time.

Further reading:
Staff bike blogs | R1200RT blog

R1200RT10 BLOG10

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter