BMW’s R1200RT underlines its superiority by once again being MCN’s favourite tourer of 2017. There’s no finer and easier way of clocking up big motorway miles in comfort, for both rider and pillion.
Minor Euro4-induced tweaks aside the RT remains largely unchanged for 2017, but that’s no bad thing. Pay the extra for goodies like dynamic electronic suspension and it gives the BMW an edge over the competition. Traditional tourers like the Honda ST1300 Pan European feel like dinosaurs by comparison. The RT handles far better than its bulk suggests and at 274kg it’s lighter than many of its touring rivals.
That clever suspension irons out imperfections on bumpy back roads, yet provides supple comfort on motorways. A huge electronically-adjustable screen comes standard, but tick more options boxes and you can enjoy cruise control, heated grips, an integrated sat-nav, heated seats and a stereo loud enough to be heard at motorway speeds. Electronics aren’t just there to improve comfort and performance, they keep you safe, too, thanks to an impressive traction and wheelie control system.
ABS-assisted brakes are hugely impressive for such a big bike. The RT’s partially water-cooled boxer engine has almost perfect fuelling, which makes the Beemer easy to manage at low speeds and there’s usable power from low down in the rev range. Rev it a little harder and there's a nice little kick at the top end, which gives this 125bhp cross continental tourer an impressive turn of speed.
BMW will surely upgrade the RT for 2018 inline with the improvements to their own R1200GS this year. The competition will again try their upmost to take its crown, but they’re going to have their work cut out.
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