BMW R1200RT Review

2010 BMW R1200RT MotorcycleIt has been over a year with my 2010 BMW R1200RT. I figured it was time to do a thorough review of the motorcycle.

Just a little background on why I got this bike a year ago. I had been riding with friends on weekends, and we would regularly ride all day. It was common to ride about 200 to 300 miles in a day. That may not sound like much to iron butt endurance riders, but it was more than I was comfortable on my F800ST sport-touring bike. I walked into San Jose BMW one day and was talking to owner Chris Hodgson about what I might do to make my F800ST more comfortable for long rides. He handed me the keys to a BMW R1200RT and said, “Take the RT out for a few hours. Do your typical ride. Get out onto the highway and into the hills and see what you think.” And, that’s what I did. Covering about 100 miles from San Jose to Half Moon Bay through the hills. Back along the coastal highway 1 to Santa Cruz. Than back to San Jose BMW. You know the end of this story. I bought one.

BMW R1200RT Motorcycle Model Overview

One of the first things I was told about the R1200RT, was that you need to ride it for a few hours to really appreciate it. I’m not sure why. Maybe because sitting on the seat the front fairing seems huge. Or maybe because the horizontally opposed twin-cylinder boxer engine has a funky vibration that feels a different from other motorcycles, particularly Japanese fours.

I had previously checked out the Kawasaki Concours and Yamaha FJR1300. Coming from a smaller, sportier bike, both of these bikes seemed quite large and heavy. Interestingly, the BMW R1200RT feels quite different from a Japanese touring bike. Although the large front fairing and windshield make it feel bigger, once you get it moving, it actually feels a lot lighter and more maneuverable. That’s because it is. At a wet weight of 570 lbs, the RT is considerably lighter than the Concours at 670 lbs, and the FJR1300 at 640 lbs. This makes the RT not only good for touring, but also makes it much more fun at low speeds, in city traffic, and out on twisty mountain roads.

My first reaction was the RT is first and foremost a touring bike. All of its features are designed to help you put on serious miles. The large front fairing, comfortable seat, and large gas tank allow you to easily go over 300 miles on a tank of gas. Not only that, but the heated grips, heated seat, and plug-in for electrically heated clothes, allow you to do those miles in comfort, regardless of the weather.

What the RT is probably best known for is taking these miles year-after-year without complaining. Check out classified lists and you will often see these bikes for sale with over 100,000 miles on them. The RT may not be the least expensive touring bike out there, and not the most powerful touring bike, but pound-for-pound and mile-for-mile, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 6,000 miles. I hope to enjoy many, many more.

In the next section, I’ll cover the RT’s features in more detail.

Performance and Specifications

The 2010 BMW R1200RT has some new and improved features over the previous years. It has a new double overhead cam (DOHC) engine based on the BMW HP2 Sport motorcycle. This motor provides 110 HP, with a maximum torque of 88 lb-ft. The new DOHC engine provides more torque and a flatter torque curve, and therefore better pull at low RPM, than last year’s model.

There are also several other new features for 2010. A a redesigned fairing and windshield providing better wind and weather protection. And, if you are like me and want some entertainment during long rides, the optional BMW audio system provides USB MP3 music and iPod integration, FM radio, and bluetooth headset support.

If you haven’t ridden an RT before, one of the most obvious design differences from other motorcycles is the paralever/telelever suspension. Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA II) allows you to change between standard, comfort and sport settings will riding. You can also electronically change between single rider, passenger, and luggage settings to optimize the shock settings for various riding/passenger/luggage configurations. This provides 9 different suspension settings. In addition to being a very comfortable suspension, the telelever front shock prevents nose dive even under hard braking. In conjunction with the ABS braking system, this provides the RT with smooth and strong braking performance.

The on-board computer provides a wide range of information such as warning lights for low engine oil, coolant and oil temperature, low fuel, low tire pressure, and other potential problems. It also provides lots of nice to have information such as trip miles, remaining fuel miles, average mpg, average speed, ambient temperature, tire pressure, and more.

If your goal is to put on a lot of miles in a day, the 7.5 gallon fuel tank definitely helps. I’ve been averaging between 45 and 50 mpg. So with a 7.5 gallon tank, I can go over 300 miles before needed to find a gas station.

Probably the best feature for helping me put on miles is the cruise control. Unlike many motorcycle cruise controls that simply lock the throttle, the RT has a true cruise control similar to a car. Once you reach cruising speed you simply turn on cruise control. It will maintain your speed whether on flat ground, or going up and down hills. In my younger days, I broke my right hand playing football. It still starts to ache after too long on the bike. Turning on cruise control allows me to take pressure off my throttle hand, and even remove it from the handlebar. After a few minutes my hand is feeling fine again.

The RT comes standard with hard-shell side cases. Each is capable of holding up to 32 liters of storage. There are also two optional hard-shell top cases. I have both. The small top case holds 28 liters. That’s enough storage for a single helmet and some other stuff. The large top case holds 49 liters. It can hold two helmets. For trips, it is large enough to hold my tent, therm-a-rest, sleeping bag and other camping gear. I find it a little large for casual riding, so I generally ride with the small top case.

The RT has performed very well for me, so far. In 6,000 miles, I’ve only had one minor problem. The gas tank uses an electronic strip to measure fuel level. In the middle of one ride, my fuel warning indicator came on, and my fuel level indicator dropped to zero. The strip had come unattached inside the tank. It was a quick warranty repair. I believe that BMW may have gone back to using the traditional float bowl for measuring fuel level on newer bikes.

I think that this covers most of the highlights. You can also post questions if you want any additional information.

Is the BMW R1200RT Right for You?

If you have read other posts on, you probably know that I have a couple of motorcycles. I have yet to find a single motorcycle that is ideal for all of my riding. The RT is definitely my machine of choice for any highway riding, or rides longer than about 3 hours. I get off the bike feeling as fresh and relaxed as when I got on it. If you do a lot of highway riding, or long rides, you will probably love the RT just like me. However, if most of your riding is below 55 mph, or is just short rides around town, the RT is probably overkill. I generally ride my Triumph Bonneville T100 for just tooling around town. It is smaller, lighter, and just more fun for short rides around town. And, although setting the ESA II in sport mode provides for reasonable performance on twisty mountain roads, my sport bike is a little more fun in the hills.
I hope this helps you in figuring out if the RT is right for you. Don’t hesitate to ask me any other questions if I’ve missed something of interest to you.

Touring and Long Rides

In about 4 weeks, I embark on a 10,000 mile motorcycle ride across Canada and the USA. I’ll be riding up the Pacific Coast Highway through California, Oregon and Washington, and then into Canada. From there, I’ll be heading through the Rocky Mountains to Banff and Jasper, continuing east across the prairies, passing through Toronto and Montreal, and eventually reaching eastern Canada where I’ll spend a week in Prince Edward Island. Then south to Boston before I start riding my way west across the USA. Six weeks later, back in California. This will give me a much better feel for long distance riding on the RT. I’ll post most about my experiences when I get back.  If you can track my cross country ride through the blog pages, and my twitter feed.

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In the meantime, if you want to see the RT in touring action, here is a short on touring Scotland on an RT.

If you have any additional questions, or want more information, don’t hesitate to ask. Also, please post your comments below.



  1. Hi There;
    I am planning on buying an RT here in Argentina. The problem is the price of the bike and accessories. The base bike is $31,500. One wonders where all that money goes since you do not see any improvement in the functioning of the country. Anyway, the question is what are what you consider the essential accessories that you would include in the base RT?. thank you!.
    PS: I am 5’5″ and happily own a 2011 Thunderbird 1600.

    • Hi Marcelo,

      I think the best way to answer your question is to tell you what accessories I have, and use. My 2010 BMW R1200RT has most of the accessories available when I bought it, including the audio package. I’ve had the RT for about 2 years, and have put about 17,000 miles on it. So, what do I use, and what can’t I live without? Personally, the only accessory I use all the time is the on-board computer. I find it useful to see how many miles I can ride before needing gas. Could I live without this. Yes, since most other bikes I’ve owned didn’t have this feature. I have the audio package, but rarely use it for anything other than charging my iPhone on long trips. Listening to music through the speakers is not great at highway speeds due to wind noise. The bluetooth doesn’t sync with my helmet headset, so I just sync my iPhone directly with my helmet. I’ve only changed the suspension settings a few times in two years. Basically at the beginning and end of a 6 week (10,000 mile) trip to adjust for the extra luggage weight. ESA made this easy, but since I don’t do it very often, manual adjustment would be fine. I’ve used the heated grips a few times, as with the heated seat. However, I have summer and winter riding gear, so I usually just dress appropriate for the season and don’t need these features. I used the heated seats one morning on my 10,000 trip across the USA and Canada. I was riding into the mountains and it got cold. I eventually pulled over and put my breathable rain gear over my mesh riding suit. That worked just as well, or better. I don’t have the tire pressure monitoring. I actually thought it was on the bike when I bought it, but it wasn’t. So, I manually check tire pressure every now and then. The only feature I believe was a “must have” on my 10,000 mile ride was cruise control. Could I have lived without it? Maybe. But, it made riding very pain free. However, I rarely use cruise control unless putting on long highway miles.

      So, what are must have features? Personally, I could probably live without any of the accessories if I had to. Which are nice to have accessories? The on-board computer and cruise control are very nice, especially if you plan to do any long trips. If you have riding gear appropriate to your climate, then heated seat and grips, and accessory sockets probably aren’t necessary. I don’t use them. However, I do know people that can’t live without their heated vest. So, that depends on you and how you want to keep warm. Everything else, I don’t use often enough to miss if they weren’t there. At 5’5″ you may need the lower seat or suspension option. That you’ll need to figure out by sitting on the bike. Hopefully some other readers will give you their opinion.

      Hope this helps. Bryan

    • Scott T. Parkhurst says:

      Hi Marcelo, I am 5’4″ and have just gotten myself the 2011 R1200RT and loving every second of it!! I strongly suggest that you get the “lowered suspension” WITH the lower seat. I was am able to move the bike around a lot more easier back and forth and able to almost be flat footed with “logger boots” on. Now, I just did go and get a “Corbin” seat made for it to be even more custom to my ‘bum” and it’s not as wide so I can even be more comfortable when I put my feet down and my hips aren’t so spread wide. I also had it made to give me a little bit of a back rest as well. Looks really cool to. Now as far as the on board “stuff”…I do use the heated grips and I do have the tire pressure monitor as well. I also like the gas mileage reading. Yes, I have always in the past just pressed in to “0” and figured out how much I “might” have left…but this is a lot more nicer and I can relax and map out my gas stops this way. I don’t need a heated seat. I am thinking of replacing the speakers in the radio though. I do have XM/Sirus/iPod/iPhone. That for me, is a must…..So I hope that some of this was helpful. And good luck to you. Scott

      • Hi Scott,
        I would love to hear your comments on the QUALITY of the sound system……which is also a must for me. Right now I have a great sound on my Yamaha Venture….

        • I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t a quality sound system. Just that cranking up the volume to hear the sound system over the wind noise at 70 mph isn’t what I consider quality music listening. I only use it with my bluetooth headset. If you are considering getting the audio system, maybe the dealer will let you take a bike with audio out for a test ride to decide for yourself. If you use a bluetooth head set, I’d also check to make sure it syncs with the unit. I’ve had trouble with my Cardo G4 headset. I’ve ended up syncing my headset to my iPhone, then connecting my iPhone to the BMW system. Not the greatest way to do it, but it works for playing music from my iPhone and keeping it charged.


      • Frank Gatdula says:

        Hi Scott,

        I just got my 2013R1200RT and I have the lowest seat there is available for the RT. I am also 5’4″ but it still feels high with the lowest seat. I am thinking of having the suspension lowered also.
        Does the lowered suspension affect the ESA or the performance? I also plan to do 2 up with my wife, will the lowered suspension affect the ESA?

        Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.


  2. Thanks for the great review, and also the follow-up comments on what you actually use as opposed to what you bought. This might sound crazy, but I’m actually torn between this motorcycle and the 2012 Ninja 1000 ABS. Both of them are very appealing for very different reasons. I’m a bit like you in that I don’t think that there’s one perfect motorcycle for me. Your review has really helped, though, and I appreciate your insight! Just out of curiosity, did you ever go on your 10,000 mile trip? I’d like to hear about that as well if you ever get some time to put “pen to paper.”


    • The trip was wonderful. I rode 10,200 miles in 6 weeks. From San Francisco Bay Area north to Vancouver and across the Rockies, then across Canada to the east coast and Prince Edward Island, then down the east coast of the US to about Baltimore before heading back west and eventually going through the Bad Lands of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Craters of the Moon, then home. Amazing sights. I was overly optimistic about having the time or energy at the end of each day to post my blog. I uploaded my photos to Facebook, and copied my video to my computer to make disc space for the next day. That was about it. I’ve got about 1,200 photos from the trip. Lots of adventures. I still plan to do a day-by-day blog post of the trip. I found some photo gallery software last week. I’ll install it this week and start uploading the photos. I still need to figure out how best to organize everything. I also have about 70 hours of video from my dash-mounted GoPro video camera. I plan to edit the video into short daily clips. That will be a major project. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll get the blog posts and photos upload. Editing the video will take more time.

      • Eddie, I’ve started to create posts for my trip. Here is a URL to the first. It also links to the second. I’ll try to create a couple posts a day for the next few weeks to get all of them done.

        Hope you enjoy them.

      • That sounds AWESOME! I have a gopro camera as well, and I have some video on youtube. Just do a search on youtube for joeninpo and you can find my channel. I live in Rome, Italy right now, and we have group rides through the countryside and also rides through the traffic. It’s WAY different than riding in the States. I’ll check out your blog, and I’ll look out for your upcoming pics and video. I’m glad that you had a great time!

        As a side note, I’m seriously going back and forth between the Ninja 1000 and the R1200RT right now. Guys like you have been pretty helpful on getting me narrowed down to these two bikes. How did the BMW hold up? Did you use BMW dealerships for maintenance along the way? Any feedback on your impressions of BMW ownership are greatly appreciated!And thanks again for having such a great site!


        • The BMW did great. A friend of mine with a Harley Road King kept telling how sore I’d be after a few days. I found the R1200RT very comfortable, even after 10,000 miles. After 6 weeks, my only issue was feeling quite tired the last few days. I had several long days of riding through the South Dakota Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Craters of the Moon National Monument, and lots of other very scenic areas. I just didn’t want to miss anything. I probably should have stretched it out over a few more days, but I wanted to get home before my daughter headed back to college.

          I had my bike serviced just before I left. I had it service again in Moncton, New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada about 6,000 miles into the trip. It was a basic 6K service. I also needed new tires, since there were 12,000 miles on the existing ones. The dealer and service were great. They gave me a BMW R1200S loaner to ride for the day, while they did the service. The only work I had to do during the trip was change the headlights. Over the 10,000 miles I had both headlights burn out.

          I’ve been very happy with my BMW ownership experience. The RT is my second BMW. The first was an F800ST. The dealerships I’ve used all treated me and my bike very well. The part I like best is getting a loaner bike while my bike is in for service. Not only don’t I need to worry about getting a ride, I get to try out other motorcycles. However, the service generally more expensive than on the Japanese bikes I’ve owned. So I guess you pay for it one way or another.

          • That’s what I needed to hear. I ride with a lot of guys who own BMWs, but I think that Italians are jaded when it comes to bikes. They love their own “special” brands of bikes, but they absolutely worship the BMWs. They love the status just as much as the engineering, so it’s a good mix for them.

            I grew up around old fashioned Harley guys, and if you didn’t own something that they liked, you might as well be driving a junker car or walking. Needless to say, that ain’t me, and I steer clear of those types of crowds these days. I love the European crowd much better just because it doesn’t matter what you ride…it just matters that you ride. You make instant friends here when you pull into a gas station with a bike, and I like that. It seems similar with BMW owners. It doesn’t matter what you own…you’re just another part of the BMW family.

            Thanks again for the updates!

          • I’ve read many articles on the great rides in Europe. I hope that I get a chance to ride in Europe some day. Maybe in a few years. I’ll be sure to look you up. It is always nice to ride with someone that if familiar with the local area. If you are ever in Northern California, be sure to let me know. We can do a ride together. Regards, Bryan

          • My opinion and our story of the 2011 BMW R1200 RT,
            My wife & I where avid Harley Davidson riders for years. Our last Harley’s where HD Street Glides. As we got close to 60 years old I told my wife one day although I love HD’s motorcycles I can’t take the heat from the engine between my legs, or the loud exhaust or the vibrations any more. So I told her that I was going to try out a another brand of motorcycle. I went on line and read review after review on all motorcycles the BMW boxer RT kept getting rave reviews so I told my wife I’m going to test ride a 2011 BMW RT1200RT. She asked what is it, I said a motorcycle she replied are you crazy! I told her I just want to test ride one, she said go for it but keep in mind and I quote ” You will never she me riding one of them”.
            So off we went to the local BMW dealer in New England. The dealer pulled the bike out for me and I got on it. I was uncomfortable setting on the RT it felt odd, I started it up and placed it in 1st gear and stalled it so I tried it again and again I stalled! I asked the salesman what does this thing have for a clutch he replied it has a dry clutch. So I finely got it going and as I headed down the road I felt the bike handling the road and curves with ease. I felt like the RT and I were becoming one, like it could read my mind. Up ahead I could see a stretch of bad road, pot holes, dips, uneven pavement so got ready for a rough ride and again I was amazed how smooth the bike road thru it all. I kept riding finely I realized that I had been riding for close to an hour and I didn’t have my cell phone with me. So I headed back to the dealer. My said I was worried where did you go! I responded by saying, I just went for one of the best motorcycle ride ever. She replayed “you’re not thinking about trading your 2009 HD Street Glide for this strange looking thing are you” yes I think so ” Your crazy” she said.
            Well I bought it, it had all the extras on it audio, ESA, on board computer, heated seat, heated grips and cruise control I love them all. One summers day last year I asked my wife can we switch bikes so jumped on her Harley and we headed down the road. After 5 miles or so I pulled over and told my wife I want my BMW back she said why I replied it’s like riding a dam tank. I asked what do you think of the BMW she replied ” not bad” . Later last summer my wife asked if she could try the BMW again and I said sure. We headed out, after 20 miles I stopped and said can I please have my BMW back. My wife than said to me “Wow I really love the BMW 1200RT” so the following week I looked around and found a used 2011 RT1200 loaded with extras that someone had traded in for BMW K16000GT. We have no regrets except the needling we get from our Harley motorcycle riding friends and that we have lots of used Harley Davidson clothing.

          • Bob,

            Thanks for sharing your story. I’m currently at Raw Hyde Adventures. Just finished 2 days of off road training. About to start a week long ride on an R1200GS through Mojave Desert and Death Valley. The GS is about as much fun off road as the RT on road. Still love my RT best though.


  3. Scott T. Parkhurst says:

    For Eddie, Hi….I think the Ninja will also be a fine bike as well…BUT I honestly feel that it will not handle as well as the BMW. I know this because I have raced the Ninja “family”. Although in all fairness I have not yet test rode the ’12 that your looking into but just the frame and all….THe shifting “might” be just a tad smoother IF at all…ABS is not at all a real concern how different it may or may not be between any bikes to tell you the truth. So test ride all the bikes if you can and remember to go with the best bike that you are “one with”….I have my Triumph Daytona ’06 Triple 675cc show bike for the days that I feel like “racing” around…even though my R1200RT can just about do anything my crotch rocket can do!! So if you have any questions please feel free to ask me anything….

    • Thanks Scott! That actually helps a lot. I’ve been going back and forth quite a bit lately on these two. I have an 09 Kawasaki Er-6n right now, and it’s loads of fun. If I buy the Ninja, I’ll trade it in or sell it, but if I buy the BMW, I’ll probably keep it just for the fun of it. I’ll see, though. I might jump on the BMW and never look back. I think that I might have to go sit on one tomorrow…..

      Thanks again!

      • You might ask your BMW dealer if they have a demo bike you can take out for a few hours. That’s what sold me. I went into the San Jose BMW dealer looking for a taller windshield and some other stuff to make my F800ST more comfortable for long rides. The owner said if I really wanted a comfortable bike for long rides, I needed a R1200RT. He gave me the keys to their demo bike and said take it out for the afternoon and do my favorite rides. He said to take in on the highway, in the hills, and around town so I can experience all of the places I normally ride. Three hours later I was sold. I returned to the dealer and bought one. I mostly ride the RT if I’m going riding all day, or multiple day rides, especially if I’m going on highways. It handles very well on the highway. It also handles very well on winding mountain roads. Sort of funny, I’ve had Harley riders call it a sport bike. Although I wouldn’t take it out on track days, I can keep up with any of my sport bike friends on the winding roads in the hills near my home.

        For short rides, such as going out for lunch, or just escaping for an hour, I usually ride my Triumph Bonneville T100. The Bonneville is a very fun bike for just scooting around town, or up in the hills near my home. It’s smaller and lighter, and feels more like a toy compared to the RT. However, if I could only have one motorcycle for highway, mountain roads and city riding, it would be the RT.

        • Just out of curiosity…have you had a chance to throw a leg over the new K1600GT yet? I don’t think that it’s in the running for me to consider at this point, but I’m curious to know what people are saying about them without all of the dealer hype.

          I’ll tell you this for sure; you guys have me sold on the BMWs. I’m going to keep my Nekkid Kawi for the days when I need some pure adrenalin, but I think that it’s time to step up to a big boys bike for the longer trips. I’ve been touring around central Italy with a great group of riders here, but they are getting harder and harder to keep up with as we go on longer distance rides. I’m 41, and that wind just beats the crap out of you after a few hours in the saddle. I couldn’t care less up in the mountains, but it sucks on the highways…lol! Anyway, thanks again for all of the help! I’ll keep you posted as things go along.

          And keep up the good work on the blogs! They are really interesting!


          • I looked at the K1600GT several months ago. Mostly out of curiosity since I’m not looking for a new bike. It’s a very nice looking bike. The dealer said it would be more comfortable than my RT for long trips with lots of highway riding, but less fun for everything else due to its size and weight. I took that to mean my RT was better suited for day rides and canyon riding which is mostly what I do. It was mostly the wind protection that sold me on the RT. But, I also like how light and maneuverable it feels compared to something like a Kawasaki Concours or other big touring bikes. It is over 130 lbs lighter than the Concours, and 190 lbs lighter than the K1600GT. That extra weight might be good battling a heavy sidewind on the highway, but otherwise, I think I prefer the lighter RT.

  4. Hi,

    It is very good of you to share your experiences, knowledge and thoughts. I am wondering whether your quest for a good all rounder has led you to the Honda VFR 1200? I have a 2010 RT, a fatboy and an iron. As you can see they all have a sort of role to play. However, of late, I have been looking at the Honda VFR 1200 and it seems to come close to an all rounder. It has sporting abilities, touring abilities and light enough for tooling around the city. It also has fabulous built quality and I am told, is extremely durable. For the avoidance of doubt, no I am not Japanese. I just have a missing link in my trio – the sporty edge.

    On a different note, I just realised that the steering yoke of my RT has developed some free play. While stationary and on its double stand, the steering would rock slightly to and fro upon application of pressure. When the engine is running though, I can’t seem to detect it. I was wondering whether the sophistication of the suspension set up is such that the free play I have notice is a characteristic of the bike’s steering. Any ideas?

    Warm regards from the tropics. Darryl

    • Hi Darryl,

      You seem to have similar tastes to me. Every once in a while, I think a fatboy would look good in my garage. But, so far I’ve exercised self restraint. I also looked at the iron before buying my Triumph Bonneville T100, but my body didn’t like the riding position and suspension. I felt every bump straight up my spine. I need my feet more under me to ease the jolts. The VRF1200 is a beautiful looking bike. I’ve looked at it several times since it was introduced. It’s received great reviews. I understand missing the sporty edge. I still regret selling my F800ST. Not quite as sporty as the VFR, but it was a fun bike. I had a tough time convincing my wife the need for my current 3 bikes. I don’t know how I’d sell the idea of needing a 4th bike. If I were to get a VFR, I’m not sure what I’d be willing to part with to make room in the garage. In my case, I just don’t see it replacing my RT or Bonnie. After my 10,000 mile ride this summer, I’m more sold on the RT than ever. And the Bonnie is small and light like your iron. It’s fun for just scooting around town. However, if you don’t have the space or wife constraints, I think the VFR would be a fun bike to own. Like the old saying goes, “how many motorcycles is the right number to own … one more than you have!” Let me know if you get the VFR, I’d be interested in knowing how well it fits the all rounder category.


    • Darryl,

      As for free play in the steering yoke, that doesn’t sound good to me. I just went to check on my RT. I don’t appear to have any free play anywhere in my front end. Normally, I would think movement in the steering head might be loose or worn bearings. However, I’m not sure why it would matter whether the engine is running or not. If it was purely a mechanical issue, it shouldn’t matter if the engine is running. Maybe it has something to do with the electronic suspension adjustment, that engages once the bike is turned on. But that’s only a guess, since I can’t think of anything else that would engage in the front end when the bike is started. Even then, it doesn’t seem like free play in the front end is good, whether mechanically or electronically induced.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help on this one.

  5. Bryan,

    You’ve completely sold me on this bike! I was actually looking very seriously at the K1300S for about a month, but I keep coming back to this particular bike. There’s a new 2010 that’s been sitting on the dealership floor in Wurzburg Germany, and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end up getting it. It’s almost completely identical to yours with all of the same additions. Same color and everything. We’re in negotiations now…they want $17,000 right now, but I’m trying to see if I can get them down to $16k since it’s been sitting there for a while. Either way, honestly, I’m going to get it. Hell, the only reason that I don’t just rush out there to buy it right now is because it’s in Germany and I’m in Italy. There’s a few mountains between here and there and I have to wait until ski season is over regardless.

    Thanks again for a really great write-up and an awesome trip report! I’ll let you know when I finally get mine nailed down.


  6. ridearedhog says:

    Thanks for sharing so much useful information. I recently sold my R1150GS, and am deciding between a F800ST and a R1200RT. Your reviews on both these bikes are very useful to me in making a decision.

  7. Just about to buy the RT 1200 se 2012 model. Driving from Leeds uk to Switzerland than on to Italy all in 9 days. Is it worth buying it with the audio an extra £1000 ?

    • I have mixed feelings on the audio system. Wind noise makes it somewhat useless at highway speeds, unless you get Bluetooth. However, I have had problems getting my Cardo G4 headset to sync with the audio system. I don’t use the audio system very often, but it is nice on long stretches of straight highway. I don’t use the audio on winding mountain roads. I find it a bit distracting. I also don’t use it on very scenic roads. I prefer to just enjoy the ride. That pretty much limits its use to long boring stretches of highway. It would probably be the feature least missed for me. However, on my 7 week road trip, I used it a lot to charge my iPhone. Most people that I know prefer the solitude of riding, and don’t like audio systems. But, I also know a few people that like the audio to help them keep them alert through a long day of riding boring highways. Sorry for not having a more definitive answer, but I hope this helps.

  8. Pushing on in years but probably stronger and fitter than most 20 years younger
    My first bike was a 650ss Norton, the last of the model in 67, I was late getting started. That featherbead from was very forgiving, later I had a Bol D.Or 900? which was like riding a drunken pack of spaghetti
    Now I want to get this Rt 1200
    Cruise is without a doubt worth squillions, had it in my cars and the rest it affords cannot be overstated
    My one question
    Riding garb>? please outline what you(all of you) would choose for touring NA in spring/summer
    thanks Stuart Hearn
    oh and one more thing, here in Au it is not worth having a bike,m roos and cops, 100km an hours , that is it. Wrap it on and the thugs we call police will swoop on you like vultures on a dead dingo
    So say on the Alcan, what sort of speeds can one safely cruise without attracting the ire of the Highway Patrol?

    • Stuart,

      I did a 10,000 mile motorcycle ride across the USA and Canada last summer. The temperatures varied significantly, from 40 degrees F in the mountains and pacific coast highway, to over 100 degrees F in central areas. I avoided the deep south during the summer because it was even hotter. I had expected this, but you can only carry so much clothes on a motorcycle. So, this is what I took.

      My base gear was First Gear Mesh-Tex Jacket and First Gear Meshed HT Air Over Pant. This was comfortable about 80% of time. I generally wore the meshed jacket over an UnderArmor polo shirt or T-Shirt. My UnderArmor was quick drying so I only took 3 extra polo shirts for 7 weeks and washed them out in the hotel at night. They would dry by morning. Also took UnderArmor quick drying socks and underwear for same reason. A side note, I wore UnderArmor underwear with 6 inch legs. Otherwise the meshed pants irritated my butt where I sat on them. I chose the meshed over pant so I could wear shorts or jeans underneath if it got too cold. However, I never needed to do that. I found it more convenient to wear my rain gear over the mesh gear when it was cold.

      I carried a Frogg Toggs rain suit. It almost feels like paper. It is very light and breathable, yet kept me dry in the rain. Even better, I put it on over my meshed gear if it got cold. At near freezing, my mesh gear with Frogg Toggs rain suit kept me reasonably warm. Only once in the early morning mountain air did I turn on my heated seat and grips. I also used the boot covers to keep my feet dry in the rain.

      I did carry two pairs of gloves. I light summer pair with some mesh on the back of the hands and some heavier BMW GoreTex gloves for the rain.

      Here are some links to the gear I took with me:

      Meshed Pants:
      Frogg Toggs rain suit and boot covers

      As for speeds. This depends on where you are. In many states the speed limit is a least 65 mph. Other states have a speed limit as high as 80 mph. You can generally ride at 10% to 15% over the limit without too much hassle. It depends on whether you are in a heavily populated and trafficked area, or in the middle of a desert or prairie, and how much risk you are willing to take. Over 7 weeks and 10,000 miles, I decided not to speed much. I thought there was too high a chance of getting a ticket(s) during that many miles. Also, I generally ride to relax and enjoy the scenery, not for the adrenaline rush.

      PS. I’m surprised about your comment on not riding in Australia. I have a nephew who lives in Cairns. He seems to go motorcycle riding every week. Amazing photos. Looks like a great place to ride.


      • One other quick note. Here is a link to some blog posts on my trip. This post is day 1. From this post you can follow links to the other 48 days. It also has links to some posts on trip planning and gear selection.

        This will give you a sense for scenery in different parts of the USA and Canada. Hope you find this helpful.


      • Bryan,

        First, I want to thank you for the time and care you put into your posts! It’s been so helpful to read about your experiences.

        I just bought an R1200RT today and can’t wait to put miles in it! I bought the dealers demo, and it’s got almost everything except the traction control and the tire pressure monitor. I think I’m going to miss the latter as I go back and forth between two up and single. I used it frequently on my F650GS, but I understand it’s either too expensive or not possible to retrofit the monitor; so no point worrying about it. On the other hand, the dealer told me the traction control is relative inexpensive to add. Do you have it on your bike? I don’t think you mentioned it in your earlier review of accessories.

        BTW, how was Raw Hyde? I am thinking about doing it in October.


        • No, I don’t have traction control. I’m still not sure what value it adds. I’m not hard on the throttle, so I rarely lose traction. And when I do, it is usually quite easy to correct. Maybe that’s because I’m used to dirt riding where you are often riding with some degree of wheel spin. As for tire pressure monitoring, I don’t have that either. It was a nice feature on my F800ST. Probably would be nice, but I survive easily without it. I check the tire pressure every few months, especially as seasons change. That’s when I notice the most variation in tire pressure.

          The Raw Hyde training along with the base camp alpha and death valley ride was probably the most fun thing I’ve ever done. Well worth it. Say hi to Jim Hyde for me if you go in October. I hope to go on another one of their rides again sometime.


  9. I’ve got a 2005 K1200s I’ve had since new and it’s been a great machine. I’m contemplating something more touring as I have liked long distance riding in the past – 3 years ago I changed jobs with the idea of having more personal time but in reality the oppossite has proven true and have done little riding. As I’m getting close to retirement I want to go touring again. Had a chance last Wednesday to try out the RT at a BMW demo ride for about 40 minutes and I was impressed. I liked the low weight, handling and comfort AND the cruise control. No where near the pep of the K12s but I seldom use the power there anyways and I found the power or the RT was just fine. I’ll continue researching and hopefully get a longer test ride. This may be my next bike.

    • Dave,

      I did a 10,000 mile ride on my RT last summer. You can find daily blog posts and my photos under the blog tab. I found the RT great for long distance touring. During the ride, I did a 16 hour day trying to take in everything around Sturgis, such as the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. At the end of the day I was tired, but no more tired than you’d expect after doing anything for 16 hours.

      The RT definitely doesn’t have the sporty power of something like a K1200, but I never found it short on power for touring. Even going through the Rocky Mountains, it still have lots of power for passing. One other point you didn’t mention is that it can comfortably carry a lot of luggage without affecting the handling too much. I lived off the bike for most of 7 weeks. For a couple of days before my trip, I rode around with my large top case and side cases loaded to get used to the extra weight. After that, it just seemed normal.

      During my summer ride, I met a lot of other riders doing long distance touring. Interestingly, they were either on 900 pound Harleys or a BMW RT. Almost everyone I met riding something else, such as a Japanese motorcycle, was a local out for a day ride.

      I know that both of the BMW dealers in my area have long term demo bikes. They will let you take an RT out for the afternoon, possibly even the day. Before I bought mine, the dealer told me to take the bike out and do my favorite day ride, including highways, the hills, and city traffic, to see what I think. That’s what sold me. Maybe they will let you do the same. Doesn’t hurt to ask.


      • Another point worth mentioning. One of the best features for long distance touring, apart from cruise control, was being able to go over 300 miles on a single tank of gas. I was getting around 50 mpg, even on a fully loaded bike.

  10. I have the same bike, year, color as you. I bought it new in July 2010. Two years on, no regrets about buying it. The only issue I have had was an intermittent fault in the on-board computer that took two dealerships and two months to diagnose and repair under warranty. Beyond that it has been flawless so far. I use it for my daily commute and longer rides up to about 300 miles in a day. Longer than that, I find my knees beginning to ache. Honestly, for touring that involves long stretches on the interstate, I prefer my H-D Road Glide. I just finished a 3000 mile tour on the Harley, with the longest day being 640 miles. For me, that would not have been possible on the RT. Although I’m sure there are many riders who could do it. A different seat and lowered pegs would extend it’s range, but so far I’ve left the bike stock.

    One small correction. I believe the tank is 6.5 gallons, not 7.5.

    • Rami,

      Your back must be better than mine. I can’t last very long on a Harley or Victory without my back bothering me. The forward foot position is very hard on my back. I need my feet underneath me, both for riding comfort and to take the weight off my butt if I hit a bump. I’ve put in a 16 hour riding day on my RT without any discomfort, other that stiffness from lack of movement. According to my chiropractor, sitting with your feet forward takes the curvature out of your spine. Supposedly it isn’t a very good seating position whether on a motorcycle, in the office in front of a computer, or in the living watching TV. I don’t know the physiological basis for this, but it seems to apply to my back.

      As for the gas tank size, I tried doing some research but I’m still confused about useable gas volume and reserve. On my trip last summer, I could easily travel 350 miles on a tank of gas. The trip computer said I was averaging about 50 mpg. If the 6.6 gallon gas tank volume includes the 1 gallon reserve, then I don’t understand how I can travel 350 miles averaging 50 mpg. The math doesn’t work. Either the trip computer is wrong, or the 1 gallon reserve is not included in the tank size specification. I tried to get clarification by searching the internet, but just found other references pointing out this confusion. I suppose a simple experiment would be to fill up the tank, ride until you run out of gas, then fill it up again and see how much gas it takes.


      • It’s a good question about whether the listed tank capacity is useable or total. I’ve never understood why bikes are designed so that you can run out of gas while still having some fuel in the tank, hiding in the nooks and crannies below where the fuel line enters. Believe me, my back was ACHING after that 640 mile ride on the Harley! I’m going to add a backrest which might help. But the ache only showed up the day after. What actually brings a day’s ride to an end is my knees. On the Harley I can extend my feet forward and move my legs around a bit. On the Beemer they’re more or less nailed to the pegs underneath me. After about 300 or 350 miles at most, the knees are screaming for mercy and I’m looking for a motel!

        • Rami,

          You might want to check out Dave’s comments about riding an RT on Iron Butt rides and doing a 1000 miles in a day. You might find his comments helpful. You can find them on another one of my blog pages. Scroll to the bottom of the page:

          Maybe he can provide more specific suggestions on getting your RT set up for long distance riding.


          • Dave Hammond says:

            My knees occasionally get a bit stiff, from staying in one position, on my RT. I find that extending them and stretching a bit (yes… while riding) every half hour or so does just fine. There is some room on the RT to change your position slightly. Try sliding against the tank for a few miles, and sliding all the way back for a few more. If you can easily flat-foot it on your Beemer, then a good custom seat builder has some room to raise your seat height a bit. Unfortunately, virtually ALL of the good seat makers are on the west coast. Coincidentally, Rich’s is in my town of Kingston, WA. He is the only one with (very nice) overnight accommodations for his customers. I have had a seat from Rich, which made my 1,000 mile day a breeze. I presently have one from Russell Day-Long which may be as comfortable, but is yet to be proven (several 600+ mile days with no issues so far). Kingston is also a great starting point for touring the Olympics. If you feel a dire need for a backrest, the chances of achieving long distance comfort seem pretty slim. Out of 76 finishers in the 2011 Iron Butt Rally, zero of them were riding Harleys. There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia, and camaraderie is grand; just be honest about your chosen steed’s true purpose and capabilities.
            The new RT’s tank capacity is actually 6.6 gallons. When the trip computer senses that there is about 50 miles remaining, the low fuel warning begins to flash. After it counts down to zero, you can still travel another 20 or 30 miles. After you run out, you can briefly tilt the bike to the left as far as possible and start it up again for a couple of additional miles. By the time all of this has occurred, you have travelled somewhere in the neighborhood of 330 miles. This makes it pretty hard to escape your own stupidity if you ever end-up spending any time on the side of the road with an empty tank.

        • Dave Hammond says:

          Further Thoughts…

          If you can’t presently flat foot it, the seat can be lowered and/or narrowed in the front, so you can slide forward and get your feet comfortably on the ground while stopped, At the same time, the rear or the seat can be raised to reduce your knee angle while riding. It may only take a very slight change in geometry to make a huge difference in comfort. The seat maker will also make suggestions about handlebar risers and/or lowered pegs if necessary. With your seat/butt contact patch properly maximized, I can almost guarantee that you will be absolutely astonished as to how comfortable a motorcycle can be. I personally would use lowered pegs as a last resort, as the pegs (and NOT the valve covers) are already the first things to scratch the pavement at extreme lean angles (it takes a lot better rider than me to accomplish this most impressive feat).

  11. I Just found your site today as I am interested in a r 1200 rt for 2012. I own a 2005 gl 1800 goldwing and have enjoyed everything about it except the size. I retired and moved from S.E. Pennsylvania to Brevard N.C. a stones throw from the blue ridge parkway and too many other curvey roads in the area to mention. I bought a 1999 vfr 800 to handle these roads but I can’t live with the riding position . Like Rocky Balboa said to his kid in his latest movie “Don’t hit me I’m brittle”. My spine can’t last more than an hour of that kind of riding. I love the wing and am reluctant to sell it , But losing 300+ lbs with the RT is very appealing. The RT also matches the VFR for weight & power . Can you provide a comparison on the wing vs the rt. Any info. from your readers would certainly be appriceated.

    • I’ve never ridden a Gold Wing. I was in a Honda dealer checking out the ST before I bought my RT. the sales guy tried to sell me on the Gold Wing. I sat on it and my first reaction was how big and heavy it was. I didn’t do a test ride. Maybe some of my readers can provide a specific comparison.

      My closest comparison would probably be the Victory Cross Country at about 800 pounds. When I got back on my RT it felt very light and nimble. I thought it was quite funny when the Victory guy called my RT a sport bike. I guess it is all relative.


  12. Charlie Wegman says:

    This site is very helpful. I’m contemplating trading for a newer RT. I now have a 2004 R1150RT and a 2000 HD Road King. Bystanders love the HD, and Carol loves the attention it gets. But, its a ride to work on pretty days toy, a ride out to breakfast on weekends bike. The rear suspension is pitiful and I agree the straight up spine feet out riding position sets you up for a spine jacking if you hit the slightest road defect god forbid cross a RR track. The RT ride is vastly better and the bike just inspires confidence in general with superior handling, cornering, braking. Looking at the 2 bikes, after you get over gawking at all the chrome on the HD, and start looking at the bikes with an engineer’s eye, the components and design of the HD starts to look like something from the 1940’s and the BMW starts to look like something parked on the tarmac down at the general aviation private jet airport.

    So my dilemma is to go down to the BMW shop and look at newer RTs or stay clear and not mess with my own head. ha

    • Your comments remind me of a quote from Willie G. in a Harley press announcement a while back, “This motorcycle will look really good sitting in front of a bar.”

      The choice would be quite clear for me. You will just have to start hanging out at places where people ooh and ahh over the RT. They do exist. In the SF Bay Area we have a lot of twisty mountain roads, so most people I know ride sport bikes, not Harleys. I’ve had lots of people, particularly women, say they love the bike.

      I’m curious about the new water-cooled boxer engine. It came out this year on the GS. People I know are raving about it. Here is an article on it for the 2014 RT.

      When I did my ride across Canada and the USA I had one time sitting in a long line on a really hot day waiting to cross the US/Canada border when the bike started to overheat. The water-cooled engine would have been helpful. The extra 15 HP is supposed to be very nice as well. Personally, I think it is a beautiful looking bike.


  13. Great review if the RT. I’m wavering between a nice used 2008 RT and a 2010 Honda ST1300. Dor mostly road riding, do you have an opinion? I’m an active “senior”, and would ride maturely 🙂

    • John,

      I looked at the Honda ST1300 in 2010, but eventually bought the RT. I went with the RT for several reasons. Probably first and foremost, the BMW dealer handed me keys to an RT and told me to take it out for several hours and do my usual routes. I really liked it. The Honda dealer wouldn’t let me do a test ride, so I didn’t feel able to do a comparison, so I went with the BMW. My only comparison comments are based on sitting on the Honda in the showroom. The RT seemed lighter, and appeared to have better wind protection. Being lighter was a key point for me since I’m on the senior side of life as well. I also felt that the 2010 Honda hadn’t been updated in a while, and was a little behind the technology. However, if you are looking at a 2008 RT, they me be roughly similar in terms of their product technology life cycle. BMW updated the RT in 2010. The last time I looked, I don’t think Honda has updated the ST, yet. Too bad, because I think it used to be a good bike. Just getting a little dated. Hope this helps.


  14. John Stratton says:


    I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog, starting with your review of the 2010 BMW R1200RT. I’ve been researching to determine what might be a good bike for me to buy, and (incredible coincidence) had narrowed my search to two bikes: the BMW R1200RT and the Triumph Bonneville 100T. I couldn’t believe that these two happened to be the two you own.

    Would really welcome your point of view on this. As background, I’m a car and a boat guy, have ridden bikes but never owned, and am looking to make my way to two wheels this coming spring. I’m on the other side of 50, not looking for a racing / sport bike — main use will be some cruising in and around town, but on the weekends will look to open up and do some longer (2-3 hour) runs into the countryside.

    Obviously these are two very different rides, but both appeal to me for their unique characteristics.

    So — limited on road experience, but pretty comfortable with the rides I’ve taken over the years.

    Any thoughts?

    • I think my Bonneville 100T is a lot more fun than the RT for riding around town. It’s smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable at city speeds. However, a 2-3 hour ride is probably the upper limit of how long I can ride the Bonneville before starting to wish I was on the RT. Also, at highway speeds, the Bonneville can get tiring with a 65 MPH wind beating on you. You can get a windshield for the Bonneville, but I think that would take some of the fun out of the bike. The way I use my bikes is riding the Bonneville around town, and the RT for day rides on the weekend. That way I have the best of both worlds. I would also use the RT if I’m going shopping, or anywhere that I’ll be carrying stuff. However, if I didn’t have the RT, I’d get bags for the Bonneville. Another factor may be your height. I’m 5’10”, and if I was any taller the Bonneville would be a little cramped, especially for longer rides. If you haven’t ridden much, the Bonneville is probably a nice bike to gain some experience. All that being said, if I could only own one of the two bikes it would be the RT. It can do everything reasonably well, in comfort. However, it is a rather large bike if you don’t have much experience riding. I don’t know if this helps, or just complicates your decision.


      • John Stratton says:

        Thanks Bryan. Very helpful. I’m deep into my research phase on this, so any feedback is good feedback. As I’ve dug in further, some of the concerns you’ve raised are becoming more clear. While I love the Bonneville for the reasons you’ve stated, it is a bit cramped for my 6’2″ frame. I haven’t yet tested the R1200, but suspect that as a first bike, it may be a bit ambitious. I’m beginning to lean towards a smaller “starter” bike (along the lines of a Honda CBR500 or a BMW G650GS) to use for a year or two, and then move up to a full size cruiser (my more likely long term fit) once I’ve got my legs under me.

        Thanks again for your feedback. If you have any thoughts about the above two bikes for starters (or other suggestions), I’d appreciate the advise.

        • John,

          At 6’2″, you will definitely find the Bonneville cramped. Although a great bike, I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve never ridden the Honda CBR500, but I don’t believe it is much bigger than the Bonneville. The BMW F650GS is tall enough, but would definitely be a starter bike. I have a friend with a 650GS that has about 50,000 miles on it, and likes it a lot. However, you will probably want to trade up after a while. If you are not planning to ride dirt roads, you probably don’t need a GS. I won’t be as comfortable to ride as a pure street bike.

          If you are willing to start with something smaller for a starter bike, you might look at the BMW F800GT (or GS if interested in dirt roads). I had the F800ST (which is now the GT) and really liked it. Great for riding around town. Also comfortable for day rides, especially the new GS with bigger faring and windshield. It is less to handle than an R1200RT, and should be reasonably comfortable for someone your size. They even make a high seat option to raise the seat to 33.3 inches. I sold my F800ST and bought the R1200RT when I was planning my trip across Canada and the USA. For 10,000 miles over 49 days, the RT was really in its prime.

          If you haven’t taken a motorcycle safety/training course yet, such as the MSF course, I strongly recommend it. They provide the bike and the gear, teach you to ride and handle emergency situations, and if you pass the riding test, get your license. That way, you can actually go test riding bikes before you buy. Jumping from the MSF 250cc bikes to an 800cc might feel like a bit of a leap for a few weeks, but you will quickly adjust. You may even decide to not trade the F800 for a cruiser some day. Most cruisers are designed to look good, but are very uncomfortable to ride. Or, are very big and designed to go in straight lines and start scraping parts on fun curvy roads. Another cruiser consideration, specially as you get older, is the riding position. If you talk to a chiropractor, they will tell you it is the worst possible seating position for your back. Your back is completely upright, with no curvature to absorb bumps. With forward foot rests you can’t even take your weight off your butt for bumps. My 57 year old back can’t handle the pounding for more than about 20 minutes. Enough time to get you to a bar, which seems to be their primary function, but not comfortable for long rides. I find the standard riding position with my feet below me, with a light forward curvature of my back, much easier on my back. If you want to go bigger after a while, you may still want to consider a touring bike, such as the RT. However, that’s just my opinion. I have a friend that loves his Road King, and would never trade it for anything.

          Don’t hesitate to asked me questions as you work through your buying decision.


  15. Kirk Camoriano says:

    Great review and most all of my questions have been addressed by others.. I have just agreed to purchase a 2012 RT1200 premium and pick it up this weekend. I am a 5’7″ rider and while I test drove it and could sit flat footed at a stop am mostly curious if I should consider additional lowering modifications? (Wait and see)? I have been touring about 5-7k miles per year on a 1974 Moto Guzzi Eldorado. While it has never left me standed, I suffer from lack of displacement, high altitude issues, a sore throttle hand and constant fear I will need a part that will leave me stranded during a trip. My questions are a) Would this be a suitable bike for 2 up w my wife (she does not think it “looks” comfortable) b) as said I am a wiry 5’7″ at 150 lbs, (I have good strength) is this too much bike for me? (How is the top heaviness)? c) If I averaged 350 miles per day on my old Guzzi, does 500 miles per day seem obtainable? (Makes a difference on my upcoming planned trips) All in all, I am just seeking some honest feedback on if this choice will change my abilities to ride further, safer and if it is within your experience that I made a reasonable decision?

    Thanks for your review, most helpful one for me thus far.. Kirk

    • Kirk, I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer all you questions, but I can give you some feedback. A) I don’t have a passenger very often, but the few times I’ve had a passenger they loved the bike. But, to put it in perspective most of my passengers are used to being on the back of a sport bike. I isn’t like being on the back of a big Harley. But a big Harley isn’t half as fun on winding roads. B) I’m 5’10” with the standard seat height. I can barely get my feet flat. My KTM 450 has a 38 inch seat, and I can only get my toes down. So it is all relative. If you really want a comfortable touring bike, the RT is probably the best one for your size. I’ve looked at several of the competitors and they are a lot heavier. The RTs light weight and wind protection were the too things I liked best over the competition I looked at. That being said, I also had a BMW F800. You might check out the touring version if you are concerned about size and weight. C) I’ve done 500 mile days on my RT, but they were tiring. I preferred to average around 350 miles per day. I talked to a guy that does Iron Butt 1000 mile rides on his RT. He says RTs are far more common than Harleys or other bikes on Iron Butt rides because of their comfort. Hope this helps. Bryan


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