I took the R1200RT out for a short 126 mile ride this morning. One of the things I wanted to do was familiarize myself with the BMW Navigator V GPS system using a route I already had saved in Garmin’s BaseCamp software. There are some differences in the way the new Navigator V and the older Garmin Zumo 220 load routes and where they keep them. I left the new Navigator V GPS set so that it would give me prompts and directions through the motorcycle’s on-board audio system through the fairing speakers.
We’re still waiting for our top case to be delivered so this was going to be a solo ride. Donna prefers the security of the top case and its backrest behind her plus she had to work today.
I took a short and fun route that we’ve ridden a number of times and written about here. I have the route saved in BaseCamp as “Hillbilly Drive“. I take GA HWY 53 across to Dawsonville where I take a nice local road back out to GA HWY 183 going towards Amicalola Falls State Park. Before getting to the park I take GA HWY 136 over Burnt Mountain and through its curves before getting to Talking Rock, GA and heading for home.
It was a cool but gorgeous day to ride! It started out right at 50º (F) and dropped to 48 going over the mountain before rising again to the mid 50’s. I was comfortable with the liner in my jacket, a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of riding pants. I even wore unlined plain leather gloves but cheated and used the heated grips. I had the SiriusXM radio tuned to the Grateful Dead station and my route in the GPS. Whenever I had an upcoming turn, the audio system automatically muted and played the instructions from the GPS. It was easier to hear the GPS than it was the music. The R1200RT fell right into the curves! I’ll admit that this was always a fun road on the K1200LT but the boxer twin R1200RT increases the fun factor exponentially. I stopped for a short break at the scenic overlook. There’s still just a little bit of color in the trees too. But after last weekend’s winter weather there was already some sand and gravel spread on a few parts of Highway 136. The boxer goes too! There were some parts of the route that I’m used to downshifting from 5th to 4th on the K1200LT to get better power. But with the R1200RT’s boxer twin you just open the throttle and it goes.
I even tried out BMW’s Hill Start Assist today just to see what it’s all about. It’s like using a parking brake that automatically releases when you give the bike some throttle to start moving again. When pulling out onto the main highway up there, GA HWY 515, I finally tried out another option, BMW’s Shift Assistant Pro. Wow what an option! Shift Assistant Pro allows upshifts and downshifts without the use of the clutch. After pulling onto the highway and rolling I shifted into 3rd through 6th gears by revving and shifting and NOT using the clutch. I remember reading somewhere that Shift Assistant Pro is better suited to a more performance oriented ride.
I did miss having Donna back there though. I hope that top case gets here soon.