I had the first nighttime ride tonight on the R1200RT. It’s pretty impressive. I had a friend and former co-worker pass away this past week and tonight was the visitation at the funeral home. We met when we were both Motor Officers. I felt it would be appropriate to ride the motorcycle to the funeral home and it seems so did some other former Motor Officers.
It was just at sundown as I left the house and was heading east with the sun setting behind me. The R1200RT has an instrument panel that automatically dims or brightens dependant on the ambient light. This feature is pretty cool and in a stretch with some street lights I could actually notice it brighten and dim. In the dark the panel was easy to see and read. The GPS seemed to be a bit dark though. On battery power, the “auto dim” feature is disabled but I’ll have to check on that when it’s powered by the motorcycle. However, when I came home and it was good and dark, the GPS screen was easier to read. The headlight really lights up the road! The Magic Carpet, our retired K1200LT had been upgraded to a nice HID headlight before we bought it. The headlight on the R1200RT is an HID according to what the salesman told us but it doesn’t seem to have that crisp, white appearance the one on the Magic Carpet did. But on a road near home I played with the high beam and was amazed at how much it light up the road and how far the light went. It was also then that I noticed the low beam had a “whiter” light compared the slightly yellow of the halogen high beam lights so the low beam could well be an HID. You never really notice the very slight yellow of good halogen lighting until you see it compared to HID.
I still have to get used to the locations of all the switches on the handlebars in the dark though. On the K1200LT the button for the hazard flashers was always illuminated when the ignition was on and because of that it was a good point of reference. I miss that benign little feature.