All credit goes to our amigos at Motorcycle.com for this one. The moto-centric website reported this week that it had gotten hold of images suggesting an updated BMW R 1200 RT is coming our way.
The photos show a bike that hasn’t changed much aesthetically but keen eyes will spot engine features that suggest the bike’s iconic Boxer engine has been overhauled. According to MO, there have long been rumors of increasing the bike’s capacity from 1170 cc to 1250 cc, as well as introducing variable valve timing.
The latter technique is fast becoming a favorite means of responding to increasingly stringent European environmental regulations. Euro 5 legislation will start to take effect in 2020 and that has every manufacturer trying to work out how to deliver upon customer expectations within the bounds of the law.
Other obvious changes include a newly styled headlight – expect LED cornering everything on this model. Indeed, I’d expect technowhizzbangery abound. The spy shots appear to show a TFT screen, which is totally the “in” thing these days. I’m not that excited by TFT screens, but I’d hope this will result in a digital speedometer, rather than the hard-to-read analogue dial that presently exists.
ALSO RELATED: Ask TMO: Help Me Choose a Sport Tourer
When I rode the K 1600 B last summer I found its Navigator VI system was capable of delivering far more information than I needed, as well as, you know, satellite navigation. It may be that BMW will choose to just have this system as the R 1200 RT’s dash, and do away entirely with the speedometer/tachometer set-up.
Another visible difference can be seen on and near the rocker covers. Either the cylinder heads are different, or the forthcoming R 1200 RT is equipped with engine guards similar to those presently offered as an accessory by Givi. One assumes this would help eliminate the need for clunky, heavy engine bars. Meanwhile, the fairing that helps protect a rider’s legs from engine heat seems to be more pronounced.
As MO points out, it’s probably a good bet that the new R 1200 RT will be a harbinger of changes to all the R series bikes, ie, R 1200 R, R 1200 RS, and R 1200 GS/GSA. BMW being a German company, it’s probably also a good bet that the bike (or bikes) will be revealed on home turf. The Intermot show takes place in Cologne in October; I’d be surprised to not see it there.
Side note: I have already booked my hotel for Intermot. Assuming TMO manages to survive that long (Money’s tight, y’all) I will be there to check it out in person. I’ll also be hoping that BMW’s continued belief in the R 1200 RT platform will convince Triumph to change its mind about abandoning its copycat Trophy SE.