Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 9:34 AM

My beloved R1100S has gone in for a service at Sawbridge BMW. The dealer shows me to the loan bike, a R1200RT. As he starts briefing me on what all the buttons do I can’t help thinking that there’s some mistake…This is a bike for bearded 40ish people who are sensible and wear slippers.” I am not there yet!” I want to shout but don’t. Because at the end of the day, beggars can't be choosers. As I set off I begin to notice some benefits to slipper wearing bikes.

This is a fantastic bike that eats mileage for breakfast. In winter these types of bikes are everywhere, and for good reason. Shaft drive means that you don’t get sticky oil everywhere from the chain and service intervals at every 6000 miles means you’ll spend less time fiddling and more time riding. The 1200RT is superbly comfortable and well mannered. Lights are bright (dipped beam uses both sides) and work really well in those grotty winter mornings. Styling is a personal choice. I started off not liking this bike but after 3 days it’s grown on me. It’s got the same quirky BMW switch gearthat we all know and, well if not love then at least get used to. Displays are bright and clear although I did find the addition of km/h measurements slightly confusing, but this would be useful in Europe, and the petrol warning light had a habit of coming on with 70miles still to go before you ran out. Which was a little irritating but certainly better than being the other way around and coming on just after it's spluttered to a stop leaving you to push around a quarter of a tonne to the next petrol station... If you're interested, I was getting about 50.4 miles to the gallon so for a big bike economy was good.


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