On this we can agree, BMW’s R1200RT is the best sport-touring motorcycle available today. The newly designed Beemer won our 2014 Sport-Touring Final SmackDown + Video, and was chosen by both MO editors and MO readers as the class winner, making it a unanimous decision. As one of the lighter sport-touring bikes available, (604 pounds with its 6.6-gallon tank full), the RT navigates long sweepers and tight switchbacks with equal aplomb. It was, however, a narrow victory over Ducati’s Multistrada, with 25.0% choosing the BMW and 22.8% choosing the Duc. As our choice for Best Sport-Touring Bike of 2013, we understand the allure of the Multistrada. The Multistrada, with a curb weight of 516 pounds, is significantly lighter than the BMW or our second place sport-touring shootout finisher, Yamaha’s FJR1300.
The R1200RT is a bastion of electronics including our choice for Best Technology of 2014. Hill Start Control is a technology that helps to get a fully loaded RT underway from a dead stop on a steep incline without concerns about it rolling backward. The TFT color display is new to the RT, and its 5.7-inch window displays information from the RT’s onboard computer and audio controls. Using the multi-controller and various fairing-mounted buttons, the TFT color display provides the rider with all the current settings such as Ride Mode, suspension setting, ambient temperature, tire pressure, radio channel selection, etc.
At nearly $21k, the RT with the Premium Package is a technological tour de force, and it would even be a worthy nominee in the Touring category. The sport-touring class contains some bikes that are faster, but none that have the broadband competence of the nimble, advanced, comfortable and adaptable BMW R1200RT.