Demo Ride 2010 R1200RT
Demo Ride 2010 R1200RT
I presently ride a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50 which has over 7,000 miles on the odometer. Recently, I started doing extensive research for a reliable touring bike, mainly for comfort, solo, and interstate riding.
NOTE: I have never ridden a BMW and can only based my riding comparison to my C50 and a short demo ride of the R1200RT(Approx. 2 hours).
My recent touring bike research uncovered the following possibilities:
Honda ST1300 (Good bike overall - excellent engine, appears top heavy, no cruise control, no heated grips or seat)
Honda Gold Wing - Very massive ( The riding position just did not work well for me, being 5-08”, 170lbs.)
BMW K1200LT (Excellent riding position and comfort, great for two up, research indicated that bike is top heavy).
BMW R1200RT ( Excellent overall bike, seems like a good fit for my riding needs).
On March 15, 2010, I took a demo ride on a 2010 R1200RT ( mileage reading @ 590) at a local BMW dealer. The conditions during the demo ride were: Time @ 10:00am, Temp. 60* F, party cloudy, wind N. 10-12 mph, residential and interstate riding.
Now the Demo Ride Observations
Riding position, controls and display: Seating and riding positions (in the lowest position) were excellent. It took me a few minutes and some training from my sales rep. to become familiarized with all of the different controls. The controls, display, and levers were all positioned adequately for my height, reach, and size. Mirrors seemed to be positioned a little low (more about the mirrors later).
Engine Starting & Parking Lot Riding:
The new engine (1,170-cc boxer engine - DOHC) has the new exhaust with a more assertive and aggressive sound. Gear shifting and engagement were smooth. Lower speeds and turning in the parking lot were well controlled and predictable. Clutch action was good. There was no feel of the bike being top heavy.
Residential Street Riding:
It took me about two- three miles to adjust and feel comfortable. Acceleration and the ABS brakes were very impressive. The bike was always well balanced when starting from a stop or coming to a stop, unlike my cruiser. Very little effort was required to maintain the bike on the desired path of travel. By the way, I wore a Nolan N102 helmet, and the ride was very quiet. After about 20 minutes, I stopped in a safe location and spent a few minutes figuring out how to operate the installed radio, which is another story.
After playing with radio, I started the bike again and continued the demo.. The radio/MP3 feature is nice for those who need this feature. I questioned the position of radio antenna - guess it has to grow on you. After a few more miles, I started to feel more comfortable with the bike and headed to the interstate.
Entering and exiting the interstate were effortless, no issues. There were no problems operating the new turn signals. Again, acceleration was immediate, strong, and predictable. The cruise control functioned very well. Braking at high speeds was sure certain, and safe. However, there were some noticeable cross winds on the interstate that caused me some concern on the bike; there was a little intermittent wobble on the bike from the winds at approx. 65-70 mph. The faring protection was good. An upgraded windshield should help in this area. My sales rep. explained that the bike’s faring probably contributed to the bike wobble, similar to a sail boat on the water. As a result of the wind, my ride on the interstate was limited, and I returned to residential street riding for the remaining demo evaluation.
Concerns: 1. Stock seat was adequate based on the short demo, could possibly get a little rough after a few hundred miles. Seat upgrade should be beneficial. 2. Not a major issue, but I noticed the side to side engine pushing & pulling motion of the bike while at a stop position, while in neutral when advancing the throttle control. 3. The ABS “Brake Failure Light” sometimes flashes on the display after starting the bike, the light stops flashing after the bike has been ridden a short distance. 4. “MPG” per the on board computer indicated that I average 34-38 MPG ???
5. The locations of mirrors were not acceptable for me. I constantly attempted to adjust them, but could not achieved a safety comfort level like I have with the mirrors on my cruiser.
Pluses: 1 Overall comfort, balance, and riding position very good. 2. Impressive acceleration and ABS Braking. 3. Cruise control, grip & seat warmers worked very well. 4.Clutch & Transmission (six-speed gearbox) operated smoothly. 5. Suspension (Telelever) It really works! 5. ESA-II(Electronic Suspension Adjustment) very nice feature, used most in the “comfort mode” setting. 6. Bike is not heavy, good dynamic fairing for protection.
7. Cockpit and display, the on board computers provides a lot information.
Overall Assessment: A very impressive touring machine!
I hope this information will be helpful to others.