I've owned an R 1200 RT since June 2006. I use it daily for commuting home to work. To date I have clocked 27 600 Km’s.
I had no problems with the gearbox, but did have the master cylinder replaced because it leaked causing the clutch to drag. The clutch was replaced as well. The leak caused sticky down gearing. This problem started after 6000 Km’s. The clutch started dragging again after 17 000 Km’s leading to the clutch being replaced again at 19 000 Km’s. Since then I have not experienced any more such problems.
The dealer did not have any hesitation in assisting me to correct the problems. The experience was a frustrating one, but not a show-stopper thanks to the service.
I have owned, and still do own other bikes. The RT is all that I could expect from such a bike and I certainly am very satisfied with the bike and the service I received.
I am the original writer of the report, and can genuinely say that the report I wrote was totally honest. I used the bike extensively in a variety of weathers, and was surprised by the lack of inherent quality compared to my earlier RT.
I had a number of problems as stated, which the dealer was efficient in dealing with, but should not have happened in the first place. Maybe this was due to mine being one of the very first made; and being used extensively in wet weather and stored uncovered outside (like my old, but better R1100RT).
I hope you are enjoying your bike!
Original writer back again. I read the comments with interest, and would like to state again that my report was totally genuine. I gave the bike extensive all weather use and covered 12,000 mile in 6 months with the bike being left outside in a private parking space, not a garage.
I had loads of problems with it and had considerable warranty work carried out to it. The attention to detail on my (early) bike was poor and not what I had expected from BMW after my previous RT ownership experience. In fairness to BMW, they did replace the faulty parts and had ordered the new gearbox after acknowledging the fault.
I remember the R1200RT as being a very capable long distance tourer, but to this day am still disappointed with the rusting of various bolts, the electrical faults (whole left switchgear was replaced as cruise control faulty), the water in the lights and the dangerous gearbox to name what I can remember.
I genuinely feel that a number of items on the R1200RT were better on the 1100 and 1150 - eg the kneepads on the tank, the domed non-reflective clocks, the pannier elastic straps and the overall quality of plating and finish.
My '98 R1100RT had been halfway round the world and was still 100%, the 2005 R1200RT was tired by the end of 2005 at 12,000 miles, looked tatty in places and had needed a huge number of replacement parts including the ordered gearbox.
I liked the electronically adjustable suspension and far superior riding experience of the R1200RT though, but I expected better build and component quality from BMW. I now always buy the last of line of an outgoing old model, not the first of a new model-they are not "shaken down" enough and paying a premium to be the first on a new model is daft enough, to be part of the "product development" by being the test guinea pig is just crazy.
I am sure that any R1200 RT sold after 2007 was fully sorted after the early faults and warranty claims made BMW sort the bike.
Mine was well below par, and I stand by my comments. If you have an early bike with high wet weather mileage, watch out! I used mine extensively, unlike many Sunday riders.
I had a 2005 R1200RT for 20,000 miles, and had some problems with the CD player skipping, rear main oil seal leaking on to the clutch and tire noise.
The biggest problem I had was starting off in first gear on a hill in stop and go traffic. I had to slip the clutch too much to keep it from stalling, and I know how to drive standard.
I rode a 2011 R1200RT, and couldn't believe the difference in power while starting off and accelerating. It's like they put a lower first gear in it, but they didn't. Also they did away with the CD player and added MP3 player plug in capabilities with Bluetooth. I was so impressed that I traded in my low mileage 2005 within 30 minutes after my free demo road test.