These days, BMW's most popular line of motorcycles all over the world are its adventurous GS machines, but the Bavarian manufacturer is also well known for its excellent long-distance touring mounts powered by the traditional boxer engine. BMW looks to uphold that reputation with a thorough update to its 2010 R 1200 RT, and it joins its GS sibling in getting new heads with dual-overhead cams.
Though the maximum power output of 110 horses is carried over from the 2009 model, BMW says that torque is boosted a few lb-ft to 88 and that both the horsepower and torque curves are greatly improved. A revised fairing joins a slightly enlarged windscreen that is reportedly more transparent than before as the notable exterior modifications.
The final major updates are made to the suspension and brakes, including the latest versions of BMW's Integral ABS brakes and Electronic Suspension Adjustment. Nine different combinations are available to the rider that adjust front and rear damping along with spring pretension and spring rate up front. Want all the details? Click past the break for the official press release.
The New BMW R 1200 RT
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - November 5, 2009 -- The BMW R 1200 RT has always been acknowledged as the epitome of comfortable and dynamic motorcycle touring in classic style. And now, the latest version of this unique active tourer, with its significant innovations, offers even more superior enduro qualities and dynamic benefits thanks to its new boxer engine.
In its configuration and basic structure, the new flat-twin engine is the same as the Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) engine featured in the BMW HP2 Sport. It has, however, been
further upgraded and optimized for the BMW R 1200 RT to meet the specific requirements of an outstanding tourer.
With the 1,170-cc boxer engine on the former model already offering superior drive power under all conditions and in all situations, the new R 1200 RT has even more to offer. First, the new engine offers an increase in maximum torque from 85 - 88 lb-ft at an unchanged 6,000 rpm, for even greater acceleration and passing power. Second, the range of useful engine speed has been increased by 500 rpm to a maximum 8,500 rpm. The third improvement is a significant increase in torque where it really counts at low and medium engine speeds, with a smooth and homogeneous torque curve. Maximum engine horsepower is the same as the prior model at 110 hp but occurs now at 7,750 rpm (previously 7,500 rpm).
Overview of the main features of the 2010 R 1200 RT:
* New, even more dynamic engine with two overhead camshafts per cylinder
* Maximum torque increased to 88 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm, maximum output remaining at 110 hp at 7,750 rpm
* Increase in maximum engine speed from 8,000 to 8,500 rpm, with an even broader power band
* Significantly improved torque and acceleration
* Smoother Torque curve
* Cylinder head covers now with two, instead of four, fastening bolts and a new dynamic design
* Electronically controlled exhaust flap for superior and powerful sound
* ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment with damping, spring base and now also spring rate adjustable at the touch of a button
* BMW Motorrad Integral ABS featured as standard in the partly integrated version
* New design fairing with improved protection from wind and weather
* Re-designed cockpit with visor
* New control units and hydraulic reservoir
* Electronically controlled windshield with optimized aero-acoustics and improved transparency
New DOHC cylinder heads offer an even more efficient cylinder charge
Designed and built for even higher engine speeds, the R 1200 RT's new boxer engine , like the engine featured on the BMW HP2 Sport, is equipped with two overhead chain-driven camshafts (DOHC) per cylinder. Valves are operated by very light rocker arms able to cope easily with high engine speeds. Radial arrangement of the four valves allows for a very compact combustion chamber configuration, and like that of the former models, the fuel/air mixture is ignited by two spark plugs (HP2 Sport: one spark plug). The compression ratio of 12.0:1 remains unchanged.
Knock control allows the engine to run on 95-98 RON premium (plus) fuel. Under certain conditions the rider may experience a very small drop in torque and a slight increase in fuel consumption whenever knock control cuts in.
Horizontal arrangement of the camshafts in the direction of travel calls for two special technical features on the new flat-twin engine: Each camshaft controls one intake and one exhaust valve, and the cams are finished in conical shape due to the radial arrangement of the valves. In the interest of power and performance at low and medium engine speeds, and to provide even better free-revving riding characteristics, the intake and exhaust valve timing on both camshafts has been further improved. Compared with the former models, the valve bases are up in diameter from 1.41 - 1.54 inches on the intake side and 1.22 - 1.30 inches on the exhaust side. Valve clearance is adjusted by light semi-hemispherical shims. To provide a greater free-valve cross-section, valve lift is up from 0.415 inches on the intake and 0.365 inches on the exhaust side to 0.425 inches on both sides.
Significantly more torque throughout the entire speed range
The existing ratio of bore to stroke remains the same at 3.98:2.87 inches, giving the engine the same 1,170 cc capacity as before. Other features borrowed from the former engine are the crankshaft and the connecting rods, as well as their bearings, while the two pistons made of cast aluminum have been re-designed to match the modified dimensions of the combustion chamber. Interacting with the upgraded intake system, throttle butterfly manifolds now offer 1.97 inches instead of the former 1.85 inches (HP2 Sport: 2.05 inches) opening clearance, newly designed intake air manifolds and an air filter element with increased volume capacity, the engine as in the past develops maximum output of 110 hp, now at 7,750 rpm. The biggest improvement, however, is the increase in maximum torque to 88 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm.
An oil cooler ensures a stable temperature even under extreme riding conditions. A further enhancement on the 2010 model is the use of cylinder head covers with two, instead of formerly four, fastening bolts in a new dynamic design. A valve cover guard made either of aluminum or plastic as well as chrome-plated aluminum cylinder covers are available as accessory items.
Electronically controlled exhaust flap for a superior muscular sound
On the exhaust system the two manifolds come in the same design, length and diameter as on the former model, while the interference pipe has been modified to take into account the different vibration conditions on the exhaust manifold.
Featuring an exhaust flap controlled via an electric motor and opening/closing cables, the new BMW R 1200 RT offers a particularly powerful boxer sound in full compliance with all legal standards. To reduce ram pressure and improve the sound of the engine, the rear silencer is unchanged in its exterior design versus the former models, but has a modified interior structure.
Ideal transmission of power thanks to six-speed gearbox and drive shaft
As in the past, power is transmitted through the six-speed gearbox already upgraded in the 2008 model year, with larger bearing diameters and a modified gap between shafts. The maintenance-free drive shaft to the rear wheel is unchanged.
Suspension with Telelever and Paralever follows a proven principle at BMW
The proven, two-piece main/rear frame sections made of weight-saving steel tubes, incorporating the engine as a load-bearing element, offer maximum strength and stiffness under all riding conditions. The front and rear frame are firmly bolted to the engine/gearbox unit, interacting with the engine and gearbox to form a load-bearing structure. The longitudinal arm on the front Telelever suspension is mounted as before on the engine block, while the Paralever swing arm is attached to the rear frame.
With its fixed tube measuring 1.38 inches in diameter, the Telelever is the optimum solution for the rider using his machine exclusively on the road and focusing in particular on superior comfort. This is ensured by an optimal balance of sporting and comfort-oriented suspension behavior, the maintenance-free system once again designed to reduce brake dive to almost zero, which helps to provide greater stability when applying the brakes particularly when leaning over at an angle.
As in the past the Paralever swing arm in the rear central spring strut offers travel-dependent damping or TDD for short, with the damping effect increasing progressively as a function of spring travel. This keeps the suspension smooth, sensitive and comfortable in absorbing even the smallest bumps, while at the same time offering generous reserves on bad roads with grooves or bumps and potholes.
As in the past, spring travel is 4.72 inches up front and 5.31 inches at the rear. In standard trim, the rear spring strut offers infinitely variable adjustment on the outbound stroke as well as a hand-wheel for infinitely adjusting the spring base by 0.39 inches to adjust the rear end to varying load requirements.
Like its predecessor, the 2010 BMW R 1200 RT rests on light, almost filigree cast aluminum wheels in five-spoke design, combining an attractive look with an easy-to-clean surface and a high standard of stiffness. The front wheel measures 3.5 x 17 inches, the rear wheel 5.5 x 17 inches, running on a 120/70 ZR17 tire up front and a 180/55 ZR17 tire at the rear.
ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment offers adjustable damping, spring base and now also spring rate
The BMW R 1200 RT is available with ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment II) already well-known from the K series as an option at extra cost. Benefiting from this unique system in the world motorcycle market, the rider is able to adjust not only the damping on the outbound stroke of the front and rear spring strut, but also the spring base (spring pre-tension) on the front spring strut and the spring rate - all at the simple touch of a button. This second-generation Electronic Suspension Adjustment or ESA II for short provides the option to set the suspension for maximum comfort and, with greater precision than ever before, for optimum riding and load conditions. It ensures a new dimension of riding stability combined with premium response.
To control the Electronic Suspension Adjustment as easily as possible and to prevent any unwanted settings, the rider initially enters the motorcycle's current load condition (solo, solo with luggage, rider with passenger and luggage). The appropriate spring base and spring rate is then set automatically, with the system coordinating these two parameters to one another.
Depending on the style of riding he wishes to enjoy, the rider must also choose among the Comfort, Normal or Sport mode, giving the suspension the desired qualities. Applying the optimum parameters in the Central Vehicle Electronics, the electronic "brain" calculates the appropriate damper rates and sets them accordingly. As a result, the new R 1200 RT benefits from a total of no less than nine different set-up options.
With additional adjustment of the spring rate, ride height can be set to various load conditions, ensuring an even higher standard of riding stability, handling and comfort. Even when carrying high loads with a passenger and considerable luggage, the R 1200 RT maintains all of its riding qualities when leaning over at a low angle in turns for a truly sporting style of ridin.
A further advantage is that adjustment of the spring rate dramatically reduces the risk of the suspension suddenly sagging under extreme load. The rider is able to change the damper setting (Normal, Sport, Comfort) simply by pressing a button while riding, although for function and safety reasons the spring base may be changed only at a standstill. The spring rate is adjusted by an electric motor complete with its own transmission, while the damping rate is modified by small step motors on the dampers.
Adjustment of the spring rate is controlled by two springs connected in a series, one behind the other. An elastomer unit (Cellasto) in combination with a conventional coil spring takes up forces under spring pressure, while radial expansion of the Cellasto element to the outside is restricted by a steel sleeve. On the inside, the Cellasto element moves an aluminum sleeve by means of electro-hydraulic connection. The position of this inner sleeve influences the expansion behavior of the Cellasto element to the inside and, therefore, its spring rate.
In all, this interaction of the various units has the same effect as a combination of two springs varying in strength. Whenever the inner sleeve is resting on the steel spring, the Cellasto unit is not in use and only the steel spring provides the desired suspension effect. Once the inner sleeve is moved further, the spring base on the steel spring - and therefore the spring pre-tension - is also varied accordingly.
This configuration significantly improves the normal static position of the motorcycle and riding geometry under all load conditions, without any of the disadvantages encountered with conventional suspension. Benefiting from this self-leveling capability, the R 1200 RT is just as stable when riding under full load as it is when carrying only the rider without any luggage.
Additional adjustment of the spring rate over the wide range from 118-192 ft /lb allows far greater variation of the Sport, Normal and Comfort settings on ESA II than on ESA I, with each set-up providing a far greater choice of specific characteristics.
In other words, the R 1200 RT is even more dynamic and precise in the Sport mode, and very comfortable in the Comfort mode, while maintaining excellent stability.
In all, ESA II offers the following significant benefits:
* Much wider range of settings and suspension options with the Sport, Normal and Comfort modes
* Far better maintenance of the machine's static, normal position and riding geometry with all settings
* Optimum adjustment of the damping and spring rate / spring base in all settings
* Significant change of the motorcycle's character through adjustment of the dampers
* Excellent adjustment to all load conditions through the adjustment of the spring rate / spring base
* Significant enhancement of safety when braking and in general riding stability, free side angle in turns and firm suspension without sagging
Brake system featuring partly integral ABS as standard for safe stopping power
The proven brake system with BMW Motorrad Integral ABS in its partly integral version is standard on the R1200 RT and offers maximum safety at all times. Maximum and controllable stopping power requires minimum effort on the part of the rider particularly when braking in an emergency. The front brake discs measure 12.6 inches in diameter, the rear brake disc measures 10.4 inches.
Lighter and even more dynamic fairing with improved riding comfort
The R 1200 RT remains unmistakable in design, simply begging the rider to take to the road at very first sight. With its highly attractive black-grain surface finish around the air intake at the front of the fairing and around the upper side fairing, the R 1200 RT looks even lighter and more dynamic than its predecessor.
More than ever before, the light look of the fairing, which offers maximum protection from wind and weather, makes the machine a truly unique experience. The intentionally limited use of color around the mirror hand-guards again contributes to the dynamic appearance of the R 1200 RT, while the integrated direction indicators now with white lenses accentuate the powerful touring character of the machine.
Light edges in the fairing as well as the new cylinder head covers showcasing the length of the R 1200 RT give BMW's new motorcycle an even sleeker and more slender look from the side. The newly designed front wheel mudguard with improved aerodynamics and the improved engine spoiler also add a particularly dynamic touch to the design of the new
R 1200 RT.
As in the past, the dominating headlight with its sharp contours gives the front end of the R 1200 RT a particularly stylish and truly unique appearance, setting it clearly apart from all other models. Following the free-form surface principle, the headlight unit is made up of two H7 headlights arranged to the right and left for a double low beam and a central light for the high beam, each with maximum light intensity. On prior models the headlight was adjusted by means of a lever on the motorcycle at rest, on the new 2010 R 1200 RT it may now be adjusted most conveniently by a knob on the left side of the cockpit.
The windshield also is electrically adjustable to any position desired on the new R 1200 RT, with a variation of windshield height as before by up to 5.51 inches -- enough to protect virtually any rider, no matter how tall from wind and weather, while continuing to reduce the level of noise.
To improve aero-acoustics to an even higher level, the windshield has been modified on the upper side section, helping again to significantly reduce wind noise. Windshield transparency has been optimized in this process, with less distortion around the edges as well as less reflection. To reduce vibrations, the windshield support has been reinforced with just one bar and the mirror mounting modified.
Re-designed cockpit with additional visor
The cockpit placed perfectly in the rider's line of vision, with its two analog dials for road and engine speed, offers improved ergonomics and allows the rider improved monitoring of all the machine's functions. The new R 1200 RT is now equipped with a matt visor finished in a dark metallic color above the instruments to avoid any undue reflection. The instrument cluster itself features a newly designed face, now looking even more modern and sophisticated.
The instruments are supplemented by a central screen presenting data such as the coolant temperature, tank level, time of day or the currently selected gear in the usual proven manner. On models fitted with ESA II as an option, the instrument cluster also provides information on the current suspension setting.
Data retrievable on demand include the overall mileage, trip mileage and, as soon as tank capacity has dropped to the reserve level, the remaining range on the fuel available. An on-board computer complete with an oil level warning comes as an option, with the information required (ambient temperature, remaining range, average speed, fuel consumption, tire pressure (optional) also available in the Info Display.
New switches, controls, hydraulic reservoir and vibration reduced handlebar
Like the K 1300 models, the new R 1200 RT is equipped with a brand-new generation of switches and manual controls. The new switches are far smaller and more compact, but at the same time offer a higher level of functional value. Apart from the standard direction indicator, horn, high beam and starter functions, the R 1200 RT features controls for the electrically adjustable windshield and the optional handgrip and seat heating, the on-board computer, ESA II, ASC, and cruise control all integrated in the control unit. As part of this
modification, new, square-shaped and separately mounted hydraulic fluid reservoirs in a discreet smoky glass monitor the clutch and brake fluid are also fitted in the cockpit area.
To avoid unwanted vibration and offer an even higher standard of riding comfort, the handlebar is now mounted on rubber bearings to absorb vibrations. The upper fork bridge, now finished in silver complete with the BMW logo, underscores the particular style and flair of the R 1200 RT.
New audio system regulated by the Multi-Controller available as an option
An absolute innovation in the motorcycle market is the new Multi-Controller. Installed on the inside of the left handlebar within optimum reach at all times, the Multi-Controller replaces the former function switch installed further to the inside of the handlebar. Like a computer mouse, the Multi-Controller responds to turning and pressing of the wheel, enabling the rider to select a specific radio station and music title or vary the volume of the sound system. The audio system is also new, featuring interfaces for an MP3 player, an iPod or USB stick as well as conventional devices such as a CD player. The CD player installed on the former model has been discontinued. The new system can store nine playback lists on a USB/MP3 and iPod, with the alternative option to play all titles in random choice. The Info Display presents the volume chosen as well as the title currently being played. The external devices used may be kept conveniently in a lockable
compartment on the right side of the inner fairing, protected safe from wind and weather.
The radio functions themselves are the same as before, but now the new audio system enables the rider to save 24 instead of just six stations. The rider can select stations either manually, through the memory function on stations saved in advance, or through the station search mode looking for the station with state-of-the-art reception (Autostore). The station currently being played is presented on the Info Display and the speed-related volume control may be set to three different levels. Above and beyond the functions provided by the Multi-Controller, the radio control unit is regulated as before through control knobs on the left side of the inner fairing.
Improved ergonomics for superior long-distance riding comfort
As before, the comfortable seat on the R 1200 RT is split into two sections, with manual adjustment of the rider's section to two levels (32.3 and 33.1 inches). A lower seat is available as an option, with seat height of 30.7 and 31.5 inches respectively. A further option is to lower the entire motorcycle to a 29.5-inch seat height (including an extra-low seat), with a single-piece, extra-low seat measuring just 30.1 inches in height available as an accessory.
Supreme comfort is ensured by the single-piece comfort seat also available as an accessory within the wide range of features available from BMW Motorrad. The ergonomic triangle made up of the footrests, seat and handlebar ensures an active seating position with maximum grand touring comfort. The rider and passenger on the R 1200 RT can both enjoy a pleasant knee angle at all times and under all conditions.
In the process of upgrading the R 1200 RT, BMW Motorrad has given the model adjustable gearshift levers with an eccentric control bar serving to change the distance between the shift lever and the footrest and once again improve rider ergonomics.
High-tech baggage system for comfortable touring
The R 1200 RT comes standard with hard-shell cases, offering a capacity on each side of 8.5 gallons. The case brackets are integrated almost fully into the body of the machine, providing a perfect match with the contours of the R 1200 RT.
Case covers finished in high-quality body color and an appropriate surface look matching the overall design of the motorcycle ensure a harmonious overall impression from every angle. A premier locking system with four locking points offers an exact fit of the case cover as well as reliable protection from water.
The luggage rack offers ample space for additional luggage. As an alternative, the rider may opt for two top-cases (either 12.9 gal or 7.4 gal) from the wide range of accessories. The smaller of these two top-cases is finished in black. The larger comes with a cover finished in White Aluminum metallic matt as a contrast to the black grain lower section or, Sapphire Black.
A specially developed rail is designed on top of the tank for fastening the tank bag. And last but not least, numerous lashing points for luggage round off the touring package on the 2010 R 1200 RT.
Options and Accessories
As a systems supplier by tradition, BMW Motorrad has developed a wide range of options and accessories for the new R 1200 RT, allowing the discerning customer to personalize his or her machine to an even higher standard. Options are available directly from the factory and are installed during production at the Berlin Plant. Accessories are installed by Authorized BMW Motorcycle Dealers.
* ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment II)
* Audio system including Multi-Controller and interfaces for iPod, USB, MP3, etc.
* On-board computer, including oil level warning system
* Rider's seat, lower (30.7 /31.5")
* Suspension, lower (29.5") including extra-low seat (available only without seat heating)
* Seat heating (only in conjunction with heated handgrips)
* Heated handgrips
* Second power socket
* Preparation for audio system
* Cruise control
* Anti-theft warning system
* Exhaust system, chrome-plated
* Comfort seat, single-piece
Bags and Cases
* Topcase, large (12.9 gal), cover in White Aluminium metallic matt or Sapphire Black
* Topcase, small (7.4 gal)
* Back padding for topcase, small
* Inner bag for topcase, large
* Inner bag for topcase, small
* Inner bag for system case, left or right
* System case protector, top (transparent film)
* Impact guard for cases
* Tank bag, watertight, with base plate
* Vario insert for tank bag
* Softbag 2, small (5 gal)
* Softbag 2, large (13.47 gal)
* Baggage roll, watertight (14 gal)
* Lashing strap with tightening lock
* Baggage straps
* Insert for radio socket
Ergonomics and Comfort
* Extra-low seat (30.1") (single-piece, only without seat heating)
* Rider's seat, low, (30.7/31.5"), Black or Grey
* Seat, Grey
* Comfort seat (30.9") (single-piece, only with seat heating)
* Heated handgrips
* Second and third power socket
Design and Sound
* Cylinder head covers chrome-plated
* Carbon cover on engine block
* Akrapovi? sports muffler
* Splashguard at the rear
* Aluminum cylinder head cover protection
* Plastic cylinder head cover protection
* Anti-theft warning system
* First-aid kit, large/small
* Safety bolt for oil filter manifold
Navigation and Communication
* BMW Motorrad Navigator IV with accessories
* Mount for BMW Motorrad Navigator IV
* iPod adapter cable (USB/chinch)
Maintenance and Technical Features
* Paddock stand
* On-board toolkit/service set
* LED light for on-board power socket 16.1"
Range of Colors
The fairing on the new R 1200 RT is lighter and more dynamic than the large surfaced fairing of its predecessor. This lighter and more dynamic look is achieved by the sophisticated black-grain surface finish around the side and front sections. The color concept -- with four new color shades -- enhances this effect and gives the 2010 BMW
R 1200 RT a significantly more compact look through the contrast between the color of the body and the matt-painted engine spoiler as well as the seat finished exclusively in black on all models. Polar metallic accentuates the elegant sporty design of the new R 1200 RT. In conjunction with the engine spoiler finished in Dark Slate metallic matt, Polar metallic is a particularly colorful highlight in the R 1200 RT range. Thunder Grey metallic in combination with the engine spoiler finished in White Aluminum metallic matt, by contrast, offers another bold look.
Ostra Grey metallic matt sets a powerful contrast to the engine spoiler finished in White Aluminum metallic matt, offering a very technical look. Twin-tone paintwork based on Thunder Grey metallic, together with sweeping lines in Titanium Silver metallic and Granite Grey metallic, makes the side surfaces appear even more compact and dynamic. The exciting array of colors available for the new R 1200 RT sets a sporty new tone along with the cases finished for the first time on a motorcycle in several of the machine's colors.
2009 BMW R 1200 RT SPECIFICATIONS
Capacity 1,170 cc
Bore/stroke mm 101/73
Max output 110 hp at 7,750 rpm
Max torque 88 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm
Number of cylinders 2
Compression ratio/fuel grade 12/S 95-98 RON
max output at 98 RON
Camshaft arrangement DOHC
Valves per cylinder 4
Intake/exhaust diameter mm 39/33
Throttle butterfly diameter mm 50
Fuel supply management BMS-K+
Exhaust management Fully-controlled three-way catalytic converter
Alternator 720 W
Battery V/Ah 12/19 maintenance-free
Headlight W 3 x H7
Starter 1.2 kW
Clutch Single-plate dry clutch, diameter 7.1 inches
Transmission Dog-type six-speed gearbox
Primary transmission ratio 1.737
Gear ratios I 2.375
Rear-wheel drive Drive shaft
Final drive ratio 2.62
Frame Tubular steel frame, engine load-bearing
Suspension, front BMW Telelever
Suspension, rear BMW Paralever
Spring travel front/rear 4.7/5.3 inches
Castor 4.3 inches
Wheelbase 58.4 inches
Handlebar head angle 63.4 degrees
Brakes inches front -- Double-disc brake, diameter 12.6
rear -- Single-disc brake, diameter 10.4 inches
BMW Motorrad Integral ABS
(semi-integral), featured as standard
front 3.5 x 17
rear 5.0 x 17
front 120/70 ZR 17
rear 180/55 ZR 17
Dimensions and Weight
Length, overall 87.8 inches
Width, overall, with mirrors 35.6 inches
Handlebar width, without mirrors 31.5 inches
Seat height (inches) Standard: 32.3-33.1 / optional: 30.7-31.5
Optional lowered, 29.5 inches
Accessory extra-low seat, 30.1 inches
Accessory comfort seat, 30.9 inches
Dry weight 505 lbs
DIN unladen weight in road trim (w/o cases) 571 lbs
Max permissible weight 1,091 lbs
Tank capacity 6.6 gallons
Acceleration 0-62 mph -- sec 3.8
Top speed 124+