Staff bikes: BMW R1200RT - 6000 mile service in ten weeks

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Just ten weeks after I was lucky enough to get my hands on the 2010 BMW R1200RT as my long term test bike it has been in for the 6000 miles service.

The result is a bike that now feels as fresh as new again despite the speedy rate the miles have been racked up. 

The gearbox is loosening up, the suspension still works beautifully, the satnav has been invaluable and nice touches like the glovebox to the right of the fairing are very useful. The panniers are massive, performance is more than adequate and along with the fuel economy of around 48mpg and decent fuel range there really are few and minor criticisms of the RT.     

The biggest one (and this is going to sound silly) is the location of the rear tyre valve which is hard to reach to top up the pressure. You have to be careful with the valve too because at £80 each you can’t bend them because of the pressure sensor inside.

Before the RT went for a service it needed some new tyres as lots of motorway miles had left the original fitment Metzeler Z6s squared off. The Metzelers were replaced with the new Bridgestone BT023 which the MCN testers rated highly. For the big RT they come in a GT construction which have stronger sidewalls. Initial impressions are very, very good in both wet and dry. Checking them out by doing some full power braking does reveal a little bit of a squirm from the front tyre but nothing that worries me unduly. They are very good in the wet – considerably better than the Metzelers.

The work involved in the 6000 mile service for the RT was bigger than I expected as the valve clearance on the new DOHC engine has to be checked. That meant the engine had to be completely cool and it was going to take hours for that to happen.

I left the bike at Balderston BMW in Peterborough (01733-565470) and got a lift back to the office while it was sorted out. The rest of the service is simply an oil and filter change.

The mechanic working on the bike also discovered the front bikes were binding slightly. This was a result of the bike being used at the end of the grim winter months and not having the back of the pads greased. The pads and pins were all stripped, cleaned and greased and all is working perfectly again. Coombined with the oil (Castrol GPS 10w40) and the time taken to sort the brakes out the final bill was £225.

The bike had spent the previous two weeks with a colleague as I was away on holiday with my family and I hated the thought of a perfectly good bike not being used. He loved it for the ability to get decent mileage done in perfect comfort yet still entertain when the roads get twisty.

Next week I’m off the Isle of Man TT to work where I am looking forward to getting some decent time on the unrestricted Mountain section. Should be a laugh.

Further reading:
Staff bike blogs | R1200RT blog

R1200RT10 BLOG10

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter