Riding the BMW R1200 RT

Motorcycling blog reviews are popular among the people that like that kind of thing. The only time I get near a bike that isn’t my own is the rare occasions I am lent a bike by the dealership that services my bike in Welwyn Garden City. One of those occasions was today, a beautiful sunny Saturday, a rare nice day in an erratic UK Spring. And the bike I got to ride up the sunny A10 back to Cambridge was an RT – as ridden by UK police.
It’s impressive at first sight with its cool circular headlights almost dazzling you so you don’t notice its bulbous front. This model had keyless ignition and a kind of lock-on hand break which according to Kevin some people set by mistake then are surprised to not be going anywhere when they try to head off from the lights.
So off I go. There is a large sweeping cross between a small ring road and roundabout that you exit from Lind Motorrad onto. And you often have to pick your gap between the cars heading onto it at speed from your right. The funny thing is that you drive on to the roundabout feeling uncertain on an unfamiliar bike but by the time you leave it you are confident.

So what did I make of this classic old man’s (all high vis and flip-fronts as they say) touring bike? What I liked: not quite so tall to throw a leg over, smoother gear changing, the back break actually slows the bike down, quite comfortable riding position and comfortable at (very) high speeds. What was not so good: less wind protection from its wide but actually short screen than the GS, a less comfortable seat (I thought this was meant to be a supreme tourer), heavy steering that seems to pull you round a corner in a disconcerting way, heavy to push around, not exactly zippy. So this bike rides exactly how you think it’s going to: a bit heavy and, I have to say it, a little bit boring (I’m not wishing I were riding it through this bank holiday weekend). Thankfully I would not swap my GS for this bike. The GS and especially the huge and high Adventure model has impressive road presence especially with some bright LED auxiliary lights. Nice look.