Driven: BMW R1250 R by Thomas Bohm
Old man’s bike? This is how I felt about the RT until I was riding on maximum lean angle on the famous “22 Road” between Sabie and Hazyview. The striking new front spoiler and headlight with its daytime running lights strike a menacing pose on the road. Adjust the electric operated screen to its lowest position to adopt a super-sport personality, return the screen to the maximum position and you have a long-distance mile eater that cocoons you and your pillion all day long. Fewer gear changes becomes the order of the day with the high torque characteristics of the new engine pulling cleanly out of slow bends in the highest gear. Not that spirited riding with the Pro Shift Assistant is not rewarding. I found the standard Hill Start Assist very useful at traffic lights where I could place both feet on the ground and use my hands for other things.
After experiencing the TFT display on the other bikes on the test, the smaller unit on the RT seemed out of date and hard to read, perhaps a massive display to fill the vast cockpit should be on the cards. There is a list of wallet busting options for a top case, audio system, performance exhaust, low seat and even more individualization available from the option 719 catalogue including luxurious metallic colours and top-quality billet covers to choose from.
All three variants are available with BMW Motorrad System 6 Navigator and the Keyless Ride.