... but from what I can glean so far, older RT’s have higher or “longer” gearing in the final drive I’m guessing and that translates to about 1000 rpm lower on the highway. I’m looking for feedback is all! Love the bike, wish it wasn’t geared so high and I will be looking for modifications to fix that or might go for a different bike...
That sounds about right for the gearing on my 2014 R1200RT. No difference in tires sizes, tranny gears or final-drive (same part #), between the 2014-2018 RT and the 2019 RT.
My 2004 R1150RT Oilhead was geared lower (numerically) for lower RPM at any given highway speed than my R1200RTW. Both got about the same fuel economy when riding at 80-90 mph, but the R1200RTW got better economy than the R1150RT if running around 70-75 mph.
My touring Ducati (ST3s) spins higher than that at those speeds as do most bikes unless you get into 1,400+ cc touring bikes. Sport bikes will be revving noticeably higher while Harleys, Indians, etc., will be reviving lower, but that is a function of where they make their peak power (HP and TQ).
This is fairly straightforward. The RT is meant to be a Sport-Touring bike and as such, when I'm travelling 90 mph I want instant throttle response if I need to accelerate out of a bad situation. It doesn't make peak TQ until 6,250 RPM and peak TQ at 7,750 RPM. IIRC, that will take dropping down 2-gears. The R1150RT reached peak TQ at 5,500 RPM.
One European publication is reporting acceleration times for the R1250RT compared to the predecessors as being:
80-120 km/h (roughly 50-75 mph) in 6th gear
as being (seconds):
80-120 km/h (roughly 50-75 mph) in 4th gear
as being (seconds):
They don't show anything higher (75-90 mph, etc.) but I suspect it would be a similar story. In 6th gear, that's a full second quicker for the R1250RT over the R1200RTW with the exact same gearing, etc., so at the exact same RPM, and R1150RT takes a whopping 91% longer to get to 75mph!!! That is a function of it's lower power and also the gearing having it loafing along. Even dropping down 2-gears to 4th the R1250RT is 0.6 and 1.0 (40% longer) seconds ahead. I know which I'd prefer. If you factor in 0.3 seconds reaction time to decide you need to downshift two gears (6th to 4th) on the 2014-2018 RTW and execute it, the R1250RT rider can stay in 6th and get there just as quickly. One quick downshift on the R1250RT would make it no contest no matter what the R1200RTW did and they are geared identically.
It may be, unfortunately, that you do have to consider what you are looking for if you want to cruise at 90 mph with the engine running around 4k or lower. Certainly, a K1600GT/GTL, H-D, Indian, Goldwing, etc., will do that, and be near the meat of its power-band, but not a 1,200cc - 1,250cc engine.
The K1600GT/GTL peak TQ is at 5,250rpm (1,000 rpm lower than the R1250RT and over 22% more). The last K1600GT I rode if memory serves me, was spinning at least 1,000 RPM lower at quick highway speeds than my R1200RTW. If I were doing Super Slab at 85-90 mph regularly, I would almost certainly have the K1600GT, it shines anyplace, but especially in that environment. Virtually all of my riding on Super Slab is at 10-clicks over the posted limit, but most of my riding is on secondary roads at 20-clicks over, so the RT so phenomenal for that and suits me perfectly for what how and where I ride.