Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2015 Staff
by Staff

Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of the Year: BMW R1200RT

It’s a hat-trick. Last year’s Sport-Touring winner, and this year’s Reader’s Choice Sport-Touring winner makes it three for three by also winning our 2015 selection for Best Sport-Tourer. We guess you could say it’s a foursome for BMW’s R1200RT if you include it winning our 2014 Sport-Touring Final SmackDown + Video.

The RT’s combination of comfort, protection, tech, storage and performance is unmatched in the Sport-Touring segment. The runner-up Ducati Multistrada DVT is a sportier choice for this segment, but as good as it is, the Duc lacks many of the niceties the BMW boasts. And with no other Sport-Touring entrants to challenge the BMW dominance the RT retains its crown for 2015.

2014 BMW R1200RT Review – First Ride

The RT, starting at $17,650, disguises itself as a touring bike, but once underway, it makes its sporting intentions known. Light on its feet, the RT makes quick transitioning a breeze. Throw in technologies such as Hill Start Control for security when launching from a stop on an incline, or the Shift Assist Pro, which makes riding the RT quickly through a set tight switchbacks seem as though you’re riding an S1000RR, and you’ve one helluva sporty sport-tourer.

Honorable Mention: Ducati Multistrada DVT

That’s DVT as in “Desmodromic Valve Timing.” Variable valve timing isn’t anything new in the world of internal combustion, but it’s rare in motorcycling and slightly unexpected on a Ducati. Turns out, though, that significantly broadening the already excellent 11-degree Testastretta V-Twin’s powerband, while increasing power by 7%, torque by 9% and fuel economy by 8% (according to Ducati) was a pretty genius thing to do.

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 and 1200S First Ride Review + Video

Basically, though, the all-new engine just runs better and smoother throughout its newly widened powerband, with an even juicier midrange and cleaner fuelling. On top of that, valve-check interval are up to 18,000 miles, and maintenance frequency has been extended from 7,500 miles to 9,000 miles.

The revisions to the engine allowed Ducati to fit electronic cruise control to the redesigned Multi, which was the final item it needed to really compete with more traditional “sport tourers” like the R1200RT winner – especially when you spring for the Touring Pack and it’s 58-liter capacity hard bags, heated grips and centerstand.

Now, it’s sort of down to what you prefer; the BMW’s an awesome traveling bike, but the Multistrada’s considerably smaller and lighter, 62.4% sportier according to my calculations and about 90% more off-road capable, should it come to that.

Available as an “S” model with electronic suspension, or not, and with Enduro, Sport, Touring and Urban Pack options, the new Multistrada really is a bike for all seasons. Your base model in Red starts at $17,695, and spirals up to $21,294 for a White “S” Touring model. Best of 2015 Categories Staff Staff presents an unrivaled combination of bike reviews and news written by industry experts

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  • Chslwl1 Chslwl1 on Oct 07, 2016

    Rode the multistrada on a test; rode a 2012 FJR for a few days, rode all the BMW 1200's for at least 5 hours. Owned many bikes over the past 40 years. Sold my 2003 GL1800 Goldwing last year; and sold my 2012 Concours back in March. Bought the BMW K1600GT a day after the Concours sold...never looked back. Hands down, the best overall bike I have ever ridden. Already piled +20K miles; most of it on a 10 week cross country this past summer. An absolute joy to own. At 6'4", not quite as comfy as the GL1800...not quite as fast as a supersport. But all the categories bikes are scored on...handling, power/torque, speed, ergo, braking, riding with passenger, and is the cream of the crop. If you can afford the extra $5K over the it. I've read stories in major bike mag's that they don't include the 1600 because it's such a hybrid freak and unfair to the other little bikes.

  • Carmelo Santini Carmelo Santini on Nov 02, 2016

    So... was the R1200RS not out when all this was going on with the RT? Not sure when it came out. Doesn't that exemplify sport touring more than this does? I'd be curious on a head to head between the two.