Cycle World's Best Touring bike of 2005

2013 BMW R1200RT studio side view
2013 BMW R1200RT.Courtesy of BMW

YEARS SOLD: 2005–2013

MSRP NEW: $17,490 ('05) to $17,350 ('13)

BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $6,500 ('05) to $13,535 ('13)

BASIC SPECS: A modern development of BMW's venerable air-/oil-cooled flat twin displacing 1,170cc, featuring fuel injection, DOHC (introduced in 2010), four valves per cylinder, and a six-speed gearbox with tuning that emphasizes broad torque delivery propels this Bavarian-built tourer. Shaft drive and BMW's plush Telelever/Paralever suspension arrangement provide extremely competent chassis handling and stability. Its tubular steel subframe and unique Telelever front suspension attach directly to the load-bearing engine. Detachable hard side bags, electrically adjustable screen, and optional heated seat and grips make for all-day comfort.


WHY IT'S DESIRABLE: The R1200RT represents a significant upgrade in engine and handling performance along with a greater range of standard and optional comfort and convenience features beyond that of its R1150RT predecessor. Lighter and more sporting in nature, the R1200RT introduced optional electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) and Automatic Stability Control (traction control) and cruise control. Servo Assist was eliminated from its partially integrated ABS brakes from 2007 on, and torque output saw an increase in 2010. Law enforcement even recognized the virtues of the RT with many police-equipped units still in hot pursuit.

THE COMPETITION: Named Cycle World's Best Touring bike of 2005, the RT offered a more agile alternative to traditional heavyweights, such as the Honda Gold Wing. The versatile RT also bridged the gap into the sport-touring category populated at the time by its K1200GT and K1600GT siblings and the Kawasaki Concours 14.